Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 9

1

TOPIC: Jurisdiction is conferred by the constitution and the law/ allegation in the complaint not
dependent to the defenses raised in the answer

THE ESTATE OF THE LATE JUAN B. GUTIERREZ v HEIRS OF SPOUSE JOSE and GRACITA
CABANGON

G.R. No. 210055 June 22, 2015

Facts:

Respondents, spouses Jose Cabangon and Gracita Cabangon bought (3) from Juan B. Gutierrez for a
total of:45,223.53, on an installment basis. Juan allegedy promised to transfer the title upon full
payment. When the remaining balance was already at Php 3,723.53, Juan stopped collecting payment
and told the spouses Cabangon that he will no longer proceed with the sale unless they will be willing to
take only 1 of the originally 3 lots and leased the said lots to various tenants.. The Spouses Cabangon did
not agree with the new condition, The Spouses Cabangon, consigned the payment with the Clerk of Court
and filed a suit for Specific Performance and Damages before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Cotabato
City, Branch 13 praying that Juan accepts the payment and and transfer the ownership of the said
properties. While the case was pending Juan died.

Meanwhile, Judge Cader P. Indar was assigned to the Cotabato R TC, Branch 14, while Judge
Bansawan Imbrahim was appointed as regular judge of RTC, Branch 13. Judge Indar, rendered a
Decision3 ordering the transfer of ownership, possession, and control of the subject lots to the Spouses
Cabangon. Among his orders were; Effect the transfer of ownership, possession and control of the three
(3) lots to plaintiff; Accept and [receive] the amount of 3,723.53 consigned by plaintiff.

The Estate of Gutierrez filed a Motion for Reconsideration and/or New Trial, which was, however, denied.
On Appeal with the CA, .The Petitioners contends that the assailed decision and subsequent orders are
null and void for lack of jurisdiction, power, and authority. It argues that Judge Indar, who issued the
assailed RTC decision, no longer had authority over the case because Judge Imbrahim was already the
presiding judge of the court at the time of their issuances.

ISSUE:

Whether or Not Judge Indar had the Jusrisdiction of deciding the case even through at the time he
rendered the decision he was no longer the Judge of Branch 13.

HELD:

As for the authority of Judge Indar to issue the assailed decision, it is settled that cases that have been
submitted for decision or those past the trial stage, such as when all the parties have finished presenting
their evidence, prior to the transfer or promotion, shall be resolved or disposed by the judge to which
these are raffled or assigned. Also, a judge transferred, detailed or assigned to another branch shall be
considered as Assisting Judge of the branch to which he was previously assigned. 7 Once trial judges act
as presiding judges or otherwise designated as acting or assisting judges in branches other than their
own, cases substantially heard by them and submitted to them for decision, unless they are promoted to
higher positions, may be decided by them wherever they may be, if so requested by any of the parties
and endorsed by the incumbent Presiding Judges through the Office of the Court Administrator. The
following procedure may be followed: (1) The judge who takes over the branch must immediately make
2

an inventory of the cases submitted for decision left by the previous judge, unless the latter has, in the
meantime, been promoted to a higher court; (2) The succeeding judge must then inform the parties that
the previous judge who heard the case and before whom it was submitted for decision, may be required
to decide the case. In such an event and upon request of any of the parties, the succeeding judge may
request the Court Administrator to formally endorse the case for decision to the judge before whom it was
previously submitted for decision; and (3) After the judge who previously heard the case is finished with
his decision, he should send back the records and his decision to the branch to which the case properly
belongs, by registered mail or by personal delivery, for recording and promulgation, with notice of such
fact to the Court Administrator. 8 Also, it must be pointed out that the authority to resolve cases of the
newly-appointed judge starts, not upon appointment, but upon assumption of duty. 9 Likewise, assumption
of duty does not automatically mean resolution of cases because the newly assumed judge must first
conduct the necessary inventory10 of all pending cases in the branch.

Here, the Estate failed to prove that Judge Imbrahim assumed office at the RTC, Branch 13 on August 18,
2005. Even granting that Judge Ibrahim in fact assumed his duties on said date, the Estate still failed to
present any evidence that would show that, prior to the release of the August 26, 2005 Decision, he
conducted an inventory of cases where Civil Case No. 2618 was included, as required by the court
guidelines.

VELASQUEZ v CRUZ

G.R. No. 191479, September 21, 2015

FACTS:

Herein respondents are the registered owners of a parcel of land situated at Barangay Sta. Monica in
Hagonoy, Bulacan, they filed a Complaint for Recovery of Possession with Accounting and Damages
against petitioner alleging that petitioner's father-in-law, Bernabe Navarro, was a tenant in said lot until 6
April 1985 when the latter relinquished his tenancy rights by virtue of a Sinumpaang Salaysay; They
further claimed that that no other person was installed as tenant of the farmland; that they discovered that
petitioner entered the farmland without their knowledge and consent; that from 1985 up to the time of the
filing of the complaint, petitioner never paid a single centavo as rent for the use of the land and that the
latter refused to vacate the property. Respondents further prayed for the surrender of possession of the
property to them and for accounting and damages. In his Answer with Motion to Dismiss,, petitioner
contended that, jurisdiction pertains to the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB)
because in the instant controversy is an agrarian dispute. petitioner emphasized that since the
implementation of the Operation Land Transfer, he is deemed to be the owner of the subject land and
respondents had no more right to demand rentals. Petitioner claimed that he was identified as a farmer-
beneficiary and has since been paying amortizations to Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP). 4

RTC issued an Order5 dismissing the case for want of jurisdiction.

Respondents filed a Petition for Certiorari before the Court of Appeals arguing that the elements of
tenancy, which would vest jurisdiction on the DARAB, were not sufficiently established.

The CA granted the petition ordering the CA to assume jurisdiction. The appellate court ruled that
petitioner failed to establish tenancy relationship between the parties. According to the appellate court, the
elements of consent and sharing of harvest are lacking. Moreover, petitioner was held as unqualified to be
a successor-tenant by virtue of hereditary succession because he is not among those listed under Section
3

9 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 3844, he being only a relative by affinity.

Aggrieved, petitioner file d the instant Petition for Review on Certiorari contending that the award of an
emancipation patent in the name of petitioner is the best proof that Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR)
has identified him as the bonafide successor of his deceased father-in-law, Navarro. Petitioner adds that
by becoming the farmer-beneficiary and registered owner of the subject lot, the issue of the existence or
non-existence of tenancy relationship between the parties has become moot and academic. Petitioner
maintains that since Original Certificate of Title was issued pursuant to Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 27
and Operation Land Transfer, any and all actions pertaining to the right and obligation of petitioner in
connection thereto is vested in DARAB which has primary and exclusive original and appellate
jurisdiction. Similarly, any and all matters relating to the identification, qualification or disqualification of
petitioner as a farmer-beneficiary over the subject land and the validity of his emancipation patent over
the same land are in the nature of an agrarian dispute beyond the jurisdiction of the RTC.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the DARAB and not RTC has jurisdiction over the issue since the herein petitioner as a
farmer-beneficiary over the subject land and the validity of his emancipation patent over the same land
are in the nature of an agrarian dispute and beyond the jurisdiction of the RTC.

HELD:

On account of [petitioner's] illegal occupancy of the lot in controversy, [respondents] were deprived of their
income that could be derived from the rental thereof, the amount of which is submitted to the sound
discretion of this Honorable Court, after [petitioner] is ordered to account for all the benefits he derived
from use of the premises. Reading the material allegations of the Complaint, the decision under review
concluded that the case below was for recovery of possession or an accion publiciana, a plenary action to
recover the right of possession which should be brought in the proper regional trial court when
dispossession has lasted for more than one year. It is an ordinary civil proceeding to determine the better
right of possession of realty independently of title. In other words, if at the time of the filing of the
complaint more than one year had elapsed since defendant had turned plaintiff out of possession or
defendant's possession had become illegal, the action will be an accion publiciana.18

BUREAU OF CUSTOMS v DEVANADERA

G.R. No. 193253, September 08, 2015

FACTS:

Private respondent UNIOIL Petroleum Philippines, Inc. is engaged in marketing, distribution, and sale of
petroleum, oil and other products, while its co-respondent OILINK International, Inc. is engaged in
manufacturing, importing, exporting, buying, selling, or otherwise dealing in at wholesale and retails of
petroleum, oil, gas and of any and all refinements and byproducts thereof. Commissioner Napoleon L.
Morales of petitioner Bureau of Customs (BOC) issued Audit Notification Letter informing the President of
OILINK that the Post Entry Audit Group (PEAG) of the BOC will be conducting a compliance audit,
including the examination, inspection, verification and/or investigation of all pertinent records of OILINK's
import transactions for the past three (3)-year period. OILINK submitted initially the documents required
and on May 7, 2007, OILINK expressed its willingness to comply with the request for the production of the
said documents, but claimed that it was hampered by the resignation of its employees from the
4

Accounting and Supply Department. On June 4, 2007, OILINK sent a letter stating that the documents
which the Audit Team previously requested were available with the Special Committee of the BOC, and
that it could not open in the meantime its Bureau of Internal Revenue ( BIR) - registered books of accounts
for validation and review purposes.

The Audit Team informed OILINK of the adverse effects of its request for the postponement of the exit
conference and its continuous refusal to furnish it the required documents. On July 24, 2007,
Commissioner Morales approved the filing of an administrative case against OILINK for failure to comply
with the requirements of Customs Administrative Order. the Legal Service of the BOC rendered a
Decision finding that OILINK for violating Sections IV.A.2 (c) and (e) of Customs Administrative Order No.
4-2004, and a DECISION is hereby ordered to pay the equivalent of twenty percent (20%) ad valorem on
the article/s subject of the Importation for which no records were kept and maintained as prescribed in
Section 2504 of the Customs Code in the amount of Pesos: Two Billion Seven Hundred Sixty-Four Million
Eight Hundred Fifty-Nine Thousand Three Hundred Four and 80/100 (Php 2,764,859,304.80); . Ordering
the Bureau of Customs to hold the delivery or release of subsequent imported articles to answer for the
fine, any revised assessment, and/or as a penalty for failure to keep records.

On May 2, 2008, Rochelle E. Vicencio, Corporate Administrative Supervisor of UNIOIL, citing the existing
Terminalling Agreement dated January 2, 2008 with OILINK for the Storage of UNIOIL's aromatic process
oil and industrial lubricating oils (collectively, "base oils"), requested District Collector Suansing Jr. to allow
it to withdraw base oils from OILINK's temporarily closed Terminal.

Commissioner Morales granted the request of UNIOIL to withdraw its base oils stored at OILINK's
terminal/depot based on the Terminalling Agreement between the two companies .
Pundanera wrote a clarificatory letter pursuant to the verbal instruction of District Collector Almoradie to
explain the withdrawal of products from the Terminal of OILINK, We affirm that the withdrawn products
loaded at the terminal are entirely Unioil products. Unioil owns these products pursuant to its supply and
terminalling agreements with Oilink.

In a complaint-affidavit dated December 15, 2008, Atty. Balmyrson M. Valdez, a member of the petitioner
BOC's Anti-Oil Smuggling Coordinating Committee that investigated the illegal withdrawal by UNIOIL.
Commissioner Morales referred to the Office of Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito R. Zuno the said
complaint-affidavit, together with its annexes, for preliminary investigation

In a Resolution23 dated May 29, 2009, public respondent Arman A. De Andres, State Prosecutor of the
Department of Justice (DOJ), recommended the dismissal of the complaint-affidavit for lack of probable
cause. The Resolution was approved by public respondents Assistant Chief State Prosecutor Pedrito L.
Ranees and Chief State Prosecutor Zuflo. On automatic review, the Resolution was affirmed by then
Secretary of Justice Raul M. Gonzales.

Dissatisfied, the BOC filed a motion for reconsideration which was denied by the public respondent, the
Acting Secretary of Justice Agnes VST Devanadera, in a Resolution dated December 28, 2009, the BOC
filed a petition for certiorari with the CA which the latter dismissed outright, abd subsequently its motion
for reconsideration, due to procedural defects: The instant petition (ii) shows that it has no proper
verification and certification against forum shopping and (iii) the docket and other lawful fees payment is
short by P1,530.0026

The CA stressed that procedural rules are not to be belittled or dismissed simply because their non-
observance may have resulted in prejudice to a party's substantive rights. Like all rules, they are required
to be followed except only when, for the most persuasive of reasons, they may be relaxed to relieve a
litigant of an injustice not commensurate with the degree of thoughtlessness in not complying with the
procedure prescribed.
5

ISSUE:

Whether or not the CA Erred when it dismissed the Certiorari filed on mere technicalities following the rule
on non compliance with petition of non forum shopping and non payment of Docket

HELD:

In Traveno, et al. v. Bobongon Banana Growers Multi-Purpose Cooperative, et al., 41 the Court restated the
jurisprudence on non-compliance with the requirements on, or submission of defective, verification and
certification against forum shopping:

1) A distinction must be made between non-compliance with the requirement on or submission of


defective verification, and non- compliance with the requirement on or submission of defective
certification against forum shopping.

2) As to verification, non-compliance therewith or a defect therein does not necessarily render the
pleading fatally defective. The court may order its submission or correction or act on the pleading if the
attending circumstances are such that strict compliance with the Rule may be dispensed with in order that
the ends of justice may be served thereby.

3) Verification is deemed substantially complied with when one who has ample knowledge to swear to the
truth of the allegations in the complaint or petition signs the verification, and when matters alleged in the
petition have been made in good faith or are true and correct.

4) As to certification against forum shopping, non-compliance therewith or a defect therein, unlike in


verification, is generally not curable by its subsequent submission or correction thereof, unless there is a
need to relax the Rule on the ground of "substantial compliance" or presence of "special circumstances or
compelling reasons."

5) The certification against forum shopping must be signed by all the plaintiffs or petitioners in a case;
otherwise, those who did not sign will be dropped as parties to the case.' Under reasonable or justifiable
circumstances, however, as when all the plaintiffs or petitioners share a common interest and invoke a
common cause of action or defense, the signature of only one of them in the certification against forum
shopping substantially complies with the Rule.

6) Finally, the certification against forum shopping must be executed by the party-pleader, not by his
counsel. If, however, for reasonable or justifiable reasons, the party-pleader is unable to sign, he must
execute a Special Power of Attorney designating his counsel of record to sign on his behalf. 42

Faced with the issue of whether or not there is a need to relax the strict compliance with procedural rules
in order that the ends of justice may be served thereby and whether "special circumstances or compelling
reasons" are present to warrant a liberal interpretation of such rules, the Court rules -after a careful
review of the merits of the case - in the affirmative.

Despite the BOC's failed attempt to comply with the requirement of verification and certification against
forum shopping, the Court cannot simply ignore the CA's perfunctory dismissal of the petition on such
sole procedural ground vis-a-vis the paramount public interest in the subject matter and the substantial
amount involved, i.e., the alleged illegal withdrawal of oil products worth P181,988,627.00 with
corresponding duties and taxes worth P35,507,597.00. Due to the presence of such special
circumstances and in the interest of justice, the CA should have at least passed upon the substantive
issue raised in the petition, instead of dismissing it on such procedural ground. Although it does not
condone the failure of BOC to comply with the said basic requirement, the Court is constrained to
exercise the inherent power to suspend its own rules in order to do justice in this particular case.
6

As the CA dismissed the petition for certiorari solely due to a procedural defect without resolving the issue
of whether or not the Acting Secretary of Justice gravely abused her discretion in affirming the dismissal
of the BOC's complaint-affidavit for lack of probable cause, the Court ought to reinstate the petition and
refer it to the CTA for proper disposition. The court citing the enactment 33 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9282,
amending R.A. No. 112534 by expanding the jurisdiction of the CTA, enlarging its membership and
elevating its rank to the level of a collegiate court with special jurisdiction,

SUNRISE GARDEN CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS

G.R. No. 158836, September 30, 2015

FACTS:

In 1999, the Sangguniang Barangay of Cupang requested the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Antipolo City
to construct a city road to connect Barangay Cupang and Marcos Highway. 3 The request was approved
through the enactment of Resolusyon Big. 027-99. 4 In view of the same The Technical Committee created
by City Ordinance No. 08-98 posted notices to property owners that would be affected by the construction
of the city road.5 The notices stated:

NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC

PURSUANT TO CITY ORDINANCE NO. 08-98 xxxxxx THE OF ANTIPOLO IS GOING TO


CONSTRUCT THE 20.00 METERS WIDE CITY GENERAL PUBLIC IS HEREBY NOTIFIED THAT THE
CITY GOVERNMENT xxxxxx

ALL PROPERTY OWNERS AFFECTED ARE ENJOINED TO SEE THE PLANNING OFFICER OF
ANTIPOLO CITY FOR DETAILS OF THE PROGRAM.

Sunrise Garden Corporation was an affected landowner Sunrise Garden Corporation, through Cesar T.
Guy executed an Undertaking11 That I am willing to undertake and finance development of the City Park
and City Road connecting Marcos Highway to Marikina - San Mateo - Antipolo National Highway which
cost shall be applied to our [t]axes and other fees payable to the City Government;. That I am willing to
sign and execute all legal instrument necessary to transfer ownership of the same to the City
government[.

Sunrise Garden Corporation's contractor15 began to position its construction equipment. 16 However,
armed guards,17 allegedly hired by Hardrock Aggregates, Inc., prevented Sunrise Garden Corporation's
contractor from using an access road to move the construction equipment. 18 , Sunrise Garden Corporation
filed a Complaint19 for damages with prayer for temporary restraining order and writ of preliminary
injunction against Hardrock Aggregates, Inc.20 Hardrock Aggregates, Inc. filed its Answer to the
Complaint.21 The trial court issued a temporary restraining order on February 15, 2002, "directing
Hardrock to cease and desist from preventing/blocking the contractor in moving its equipments to the site
of the proposed city road however the latter continued with their acts. the trial court ordered the issuance
of a Writ of Preliminary Injunction, subject to the posting of a bond by Sunrise Garden Corporation. 24 Writ
of Preliminary Injunction was issued.

While the Complaint was pending, informal settlers started to encroach on the area of the proposed city
road.26 , filed a Motion and Manifestation to amend the Preliminary injunction to include and all person or
group in preventing or obstructing all of petitioner's etc. which was granted by the RTC. Although the
informal settlers complied with the order armed guards of K-9 Security Agency, allegedly hired by First
7

Alliance Real Estate Development, Inc., 33 blocked Sunrise Garden Corporation's contractor's employees
and prevented them from proceeding with the construction. 34

A Motion to cite K-9 Security Agency in contempt was filed on October 11, 2002 41 by Sunrise Garden
Corporation.42 , K-9 Security Agency, joined by First Alliance Real Estate Development, Inc. and
represented by the same counsel, 43 opposed the Motion to cite them in contempt, raising the defense of
lack of jurisdiction over their persons, since they were not bound by the Amended Writ of Preliminary
Injunction.44

The trial court granted Sunrise Garden Corporation's Motion and issued an Order dated November 22,
2002 requiring K-9 Security Agency to comply with the Amended Writ of Preliminary Injunction

K-9 Security Agency and First Alliance Real Estate Development, Inc. filed a Motion for
Reconsideration76reiterating their arguments that since the trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over
them, the Writ of Preliminary Injunction could not be enforced against them. 77 the same was denied by
the RTC.

First Alliance Real Estate Development, Inc. thus filed a Petition for Certiorari with prayer for preliminary
injunction and temporary restraining order before the Court of Appeals.

Court of Appeals, on November 5, 2003, granted First Alliance Real Estate Development, Inc.'s Petition
for Certiorari and annulled the Amended Writ of Preliminary Injunction issued by the trial
court,99 reasoning as: Indeed, public respondent court acted with grave abuse of discretion and without
jurisdiction when it sought the enforcement of its amended writ of preliminary injunction against petitioner,
who was never a party to the pending case. Worse, it threatened petitioner with contempt of court for not
following an unlawful order.

Sunrise Garden Corporation argue that the Court of Appeals committed grave abuse of discretion in not
dismissing the Petition outright due to insufficiency of form and substance. 112 Sunrise Garden Corporation
argues that First Alliance Real Estate Development, Inc. failed to prove its ownership over the properties
in dispute.113 Thus, it did not establish any right that would entitle it to the reliefs prayed for.

ISSUE:

Whether or NOT the RTC acquired jurisdiction over K9 and First Alliance Real Estate Development, Inc.

HELD:

In Philippine Commercial International Bank v. Spouses Dy Hong Pi, et al.,214 this court discussed that
voluntary appearance in court may not always result in submission to the jurisdiction of a court.

Preliminarily, jurisdiction over the defendant in a civil case is acquired either by the coercive power of
legal processes exerted over his person, or his voluntary appearance in court. As a general proposition,
one who seeks an affirmative relief is deemed to have submitted to the jurisdiction of the court. This,
however, is tempered by the concept of conditional appearance, such that a party who makes a special
appearance to challenge, among others, the court's jurisdiction over his person cannot be considered to
have submitted to its authority.

The appearance of respondent First Alliance Real Estate Development, Inc. and K-9 Security Agency
should not be deemed as a voluntary appearance because it was for the purpose of questioning the
jurisdiction of the trial court. The records of this case show that the defense of lack of jurisdiction was
raised at the first instance and repeatedly argued by K-9 Security Agency and respondent First Alliance
Real Estate Development, Inc. in their pleadings. 216
8

Considering that the trial court gravely abused its discretion when it sought to enforce the Amended Writ
of Preliminary Injunction against respondent First Alliance Real Estate Development, Inc., the Court of
Appeals did not err in granting the Petition for Certiorari filed by respondent First Alliance Real Estate
Development, Inc.

TOPIC: EMPLOYER CAN PROVE THAT SUCH INJURY, INCAPACITY, DISABILITY OR DEATH IS
DIRECTLY ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE SEAFARER

UNICOL MANAGEMENT SERVICE INC v MALIPOT

G.R. No. 206562, January 21, 2015

FACTS:

Seaman Glicerio Malipot was processed for hiring by petitioner Unicol Management Services acting for
and in behalf of its principal, petitioner Link Marine Pte. Ltd. as Chief Engineer Officer with a monthly
salary of $2,500.00 for a contract duration of four (4) months. He undergo a rigorous pre-employment
medical examination conducted by petitioners designated physicians and was found fit to work physically
and mentally. During his employment, he allegedly became depressed and has reiterated to his superiors
that he will just wait for his replacement and he would like to go back to the Philippines. However the Port
captain din not allow Glicerio to leave the Vessel.

Respondent further contended that seaman Glicerio became depressed, especially when December
came and he was still not allowed to go home. Seaman Glicerio called up and texted respondent, begging
her to talk to the Port Captain and allow him to go home. He soon became ill and experienced chest pains
and palpitations. He was seen by a physician at the Fujairah Port Medical Center in Fujairah, United Arab
Emirates and was diagnosed with Muscoskeletal pain and Emotional trauma/illness. Despite this, seaman
Glicerio was not repatriated. Even when his 4-month contract expired on December 18, 2008, he was still
not allowed to join his family for Christmas. Regrettably, before the end of his employment contract
Glicerio committed suicide by hanging in the store room of the Heredia Sea. This report was confirmed by
the Certification of the Philippine Consulate General at Dubai, and the accompanying documents, namely:
Medico Legal Report issued by the Ministry of Justice of the United Arab Emirates and the Death
Certificate issued by the Ministry of Health of the United Arab Emirates.

The Labor Arbiter rendered a Decision5 awarding death compensation in the amount of US$71,500.00.
Ruling that petitioners failed to satisfactorily prove by substantial evidence that seaman Glicerio
committed suicide as it relied on the inconclusive report of the medico-legal

As a result of the foregoing events, respondent filed a Complaint before the Labor Arbiter claiming death
compensation under seaman Glicerios POEA contract. The NLRC however reversed and set aside the
decision of the Labor Arbiter and dismissed respondents complaint for lack of merit. The Labor Arbiter
thus seriously erred in ruling that there is no certainty as to the cause of Glicerios death when the above
documents clearly provided otherwise. Further stating that postmortem examination and the police report
in this case, categorically mentioned that Salvador died of asphyxia due to hanging. It was also shown
that no other individual could have caused the death of Salvador because the bathroom door was locked
or bolted from the inside and could not be opened from the outside.
9

Respondent filed a certiorari petition before the CA alleging that the NLRC committed grave abuse of
discretion when it gave weight to the Medico-Legal Report issued by Dr. Osman Abdul Hameed Awad and
the Death Certificate issued by the United Arab Emirates

The CA reversed the NLRC ruling and awarded death benefits holding that petitioners failed to prove the
cause or circumstances which lead to seaman Glicerios suicide, Apart from the Medico-Legal Report and
Death Certificate, there is no showing that [petitioners] exerted effort to ascertain the circumstances
surrounding Glicerios death which was their duty to undertake as employer. a reading of these
documents does not show the actual circumstances which surrounded Glicerios death, for even the
Investigation Report merely stated: The local Fujairah Police is presently carrying out an investigation
into the likely cause of death. Thus this petition.

ISSUE:

Whether or Not death by suicide compensable under the poea contract? 10

HELD:

All told, taking the Medico-Legal Report and the Death Certificate, together with the Investigation Report,
log book extracts, and Masters Report, we find that petitioners were able to substantially prove that
seaman Glicerios death was attributable to his deliberate act of killing himself by committing suicide.

Section 20 of the POEA Standard Terms and Conditions Governing the Overseas Employment of Filipino
Seafarers On-Board Ocean-Going Ships,

A. COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS FOR INJURY OR ILLNESS


B. COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS FOR DEATH

1. In case of work-related death of the seafarer, during the term of his contract, the employer shall
pay his beneficiaries the Philippine currency equivalent to the amount of Fifty Thousand US
dollars (US$50,000) and an additional amount of Seven Thousand US dollars (US$7,000) to each
child under the age of twenty-one (21) but not exceeding four (4) children, at the exchange rate
prevailing at the time of payment.

x x x x

D. No compensation and benefits shall be payable in respect of any injury, incapacity, disability
or death of the seafarer resulting from his willful or criminal act or intentional breach of his
duties, provided however, that the employer can prove that such injury, incapacity, disability
or death is directly attributable to the seafarer.27

Clearly, the employer is liable to pay the heirs of the deceased seafarer for death benefits once it is
established that he died during the effectivity of his employment contract. However, the employer may be
exempt from liability if it can successfully prove that the seamans death was caused by an injury directly
attributable to his deliberate or willful act. 28 Thus, since petitioners were able to substantially prove that
seaman Glicerios death is directly attributable to his deliberate act of hanging himself, his death,
therefore, is not compensable and his heirs not entitled to any compensation or benefits.