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MCBURNIE V.

GANZON (see 2013 resolution) respondents not only refused to post appeal bond within the
Ynares-Santiago, J. | Sept. 18, 2009 | In division prescribed period but the ground relied upon for the reduction
THIRD DIVISION thereof, to wit: the awards were patent nullity and excessive, was
not meritorious.
FACTS
PROCEDURAL ISSUES
Petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of a Court of
Appeals decision granting respondents Motion to Reduce Appeal WON the CA committed reversible error in finding that the NLRC
Bond; directing them to post a bond of P10 Million; and ordering committed grave abuse of discretion when it implemented the
the NLRC to give due course to their appeal and to conduct further provision of the Labor Code, Art. 223 and Sec. 6, Rule VI of the
proceedings. Also assailed is a Resolution denying a motion for NLRC Rules of Procedure. YES.
reconsideration.
RULING
Petitioner Andrew McBurnie, an Australian national, signed a five-
year employment contract as executive vice-president of The petition is granted. The decision and resolution of the CA are
respondent EGI Managers through its president Eulalio Ganzon. reversed and set aside. The resolutions of the NLRC are reinstated
McBurnie later featured in an accident and while recuperating from and affirmed.
his injuries in Australia, he was informed by Ganzon that his
services were no longer needed. McBurnie filed a complaint for Under Art. 223 of the Labor Code, the posting of a bond is
illegal dismissal with prayer for the payment of his salary and indispensable to the perfection of an appeal in cases involving
benefits for the unexpired term of the contract, damages and monetary awards from the decision of the Labor Arbiter.
attorneys fees. Moreover, the filing of the bond is not only mandatory but a
jurisdictional requirement as well, that must be complied with in
The Labor Arbiter declared petitioners dismissal illegal and order to confer jurisdiction upon the NLRC. The jurisdictional
ordering respondents to pay salary and benefits for the unexpired principle and the mandatory nature of the appeal bond posted
term of the contract, moral and exemplary damages, and attorneys within the 10-day reglementary period are reaffirmed by the New
fees. The NLRC denied respondent’s motion to reduce bond and Rules of Procedure of the NLRC. While the bond may be reduced
ordered respondents to post an additional bond together with the upon motion by the employer, this is subject to the conditions that
other requirements under the NLRC Rules of Procedure within a (1) the motion to reduce the bond shall be based on meritorious
non-extendible period of 10 days from receipt thereof, otherwise grounds; and (2) a reasonable amount in relation to the monetary
the appeal shall be dismissed. Respondents moved for award is posted by the appellant, otherwise the filing of the motion
reconsideration but it was denied; respondents were again ordered to reduce bond shall not stop the running of the period to perfect an
to post the additional appeal bond within another non-extendible appeal.
period of 10 days from receipt thereof.
Records show that respondents filed their memorandum of appeal
Instead of complying, respondents filed a petition for certiorari and and motion to reduce appeal bond on the 10th or last day of the
prohibition with the CA with prayer for issuance of a preliminary reglementary period. Although they posted an initial appeal bond,
injunction and/or temporary restraining order. A TRO effective for the same was grossly inadequate. Further, there is no basis in
60 days was issued enjoining the NLRC from enforcing its orders. respondents contention that the awards of the Labor Arbiter were
After the TRO expired and respondents still failed to post null and excessive, and with premeditated intention to render
additional bond, the NLRC dismissed their appeal. respondents incapable of posting an appeal bond and deprive them
of the right to appeal.
Following the denial of their MFR, respondents filed with the CA a
petition for certiorari with prayer for issuance of TRO and/or writ It also does not escape judicial notice that the cash/surety bond
of preliminary injunction. requirement does not necessitate the employer to physically
surrender the entire amount of the monetary judgment. The usual
The CA issued a TRO enjoining the NLRC from enforcing procedure is for the employer to obtain the services of a bonding
resolution dismissing respondents appeal, and its resolution company, which will then require the employer to pay a percentage
denying the MFR. It issued a writ of preliminary injunction. of the award in exchange for a bond securing the full amount.
Petitioner assailed the issuance of the writ before the Supreme
Court. However, it was dismissed for submitting an affidavit of SPECIAL SECOND DIVISION
service which failed to show a competent evidence of affiants [G.R. No. 180147. January 14, 2015.]
identity. SARA LEE PHILIPPINES, INC., petitioner, vs. EMILINDA
D.
Meanwhile, the CA rendered the assailed decision granting MACATLANG, ET AL., 1 respondents.
respondents motion to reduce appeal bond and directing them to
post an appeal bond of P10 million with the NLRC, which was PEREZ, J
likewise ordered to give due course to the appeal and to conduct
further proceedings. FACTS:
Aris Philippines permanently ceased operations
Petitioners MFR was denied hence this petition for review on on 9 October 1995 displacing 5,984 rank-and-file employees. On
certiorari. 26 October 1995, FAPI was incorporated prompting former Aris
employees to file a case for illegal dismissal on the allegations that
POSITION OF PARTIES FAPI was a continuing business of Aris. Sarah Lee Corporation
(SLC), Sarah Lee Philippines (SLP) and Cesar Cruz were
Petitioner impleaded as defendants being major stockholders of FAPI and
officers of Aris, respectively.
Petitioner contends that the CA erred in holding that the NLRC
committed grave abuse of discretion when it outrightly dismissed On 30 October 2004, the Labor Arbiter found
the motion to reduce appeal bond without fixing a reasonable the dismissal of 5,984 Aris employees illegal and awarded them
amount therefor, thus depriving the respondents their right to monetary benefits amounting to P3,453,664,710.86. The judgment
appeal the Labor Arbiters decision; that the rules on perfection of award is composed of separation pay of one month for every year
appeals must be strictly applied; that the period for posting the of service, back wages, moral and exemplary damages and
bond cannot be made to depend on the discretion of the party; that attorney's fees.
The Corporations filed a Notice of Appeal with A compromise is a contract whereby the
Motion to Reduce Appeal Bond. They parties, by making reciprocal concessions, avoid a litigation or put
posted a P4.5 Million bond. The NLRC granted the reduction of an end to one already commenced. It is an agreement between two
the appeal bond and ordered the Corporations to post an additional or more persons, who, for preventing or putting an end to a lawsuit,
P4.5 Million bond. adjust their difficulties by mutual consent in the manner which they
The 5,984 former Aris employees, represented agree on, and which everyone of them prefers to the hope of
by Emilinda Macatlang (Macatlang petition), filed a petition for gaining, balanced by the danger of losing.A compromise must not
review before the Court of Appeals insisting that the appeal was be contrary to law, morals, good customs and public policy; and
not perfected due to failure of the Corporations to post the correct must have been freely and intelligently executed by and between
amount of the bond which is equivalent to the judgment award. the parties.
While the case was pending before the Article 273 of the Labor Code of the Philippines authorizes
appellate court, the NLRC prematurely issued an order setting compromise agreements voluntarily agreed upon by the parties, in
aside the decision of the Labor Arbiter for being procedurally conformity with the basic policy of the State "to promote and
infirmed. emphasize the primacy of free collective bargaining and
negotiations, including voluntary arbitration, mediation and
The Court of Appeals, on 26 March 2007, conciliation, as modes of settling labor or industrial disputes.” A
ordered the Corporations to post an additional appeal bond of P1 compromise agreement is valid as long as the consideration is
Billion reasonable and the employee signed the waiver voluntarily, with a
full understanding of what he was entering into.
PETITIONERS' CONTENTION: That by the filing of the motion A review of the compromise agreement shows a gross disparity
to reduce the bond and the positing of the bond of Php 4.5m, between the amount offered by the Corporations compared to the
roughly equivalent to the 10% of the original judgment award is judgment award. The judgment award is P3,453,664,710.86 or
enough to perfect an appeal. each employee is slated to receive P577,149.85. On the other hand,
That the Confession of Judgement submitted the P342,284,800.00 compromise is to be distributed among 5,984
by the Petitioners that is only signed by some of the aggrieved employees which would translate to only P57,200.00 per
workers instead of the 5,984 illegally dismissed employees and employee. From this amount, P8,580.00 as attorney's fees will be
only an amount of P342,284,800.00 is enough as a substitute for a deducted, leaving each employee with a measly P48,620.00. In
valid compromise agreement that will dismiss the cases in dispute. fact, the compromised amount roughly comprises only 10% of the
judgment award.
RESPONDENTS' CONTENTIONS: That the appeal bond made by
Petitioners are not enough to perfect an appeal due to its amount BORJA ESTATE
being below the directed amount given by the Courts vs.
That the Confession of Judgement submitted SPOUSES ROTILLO BALLAD and ROSITA BALLAD
by Petitions are not enough to satisfy the claims of Respondents for G.R. No. 152550 June 8, 2005
being grossly inadequate to satisfy their claims and that they lack TINGA, J.:
all of the signatures and/or consent of all the 5,984 illegally
dismissed employees running counter to the nature of a
compromise agreement. FACTS:
The Ballad spouses had been employed as overseers of the Borja
ISSUE: 1)WON the appeal bond of roughly Php 4.5M is enough to Estate by its owners, the spouses Manuel Borja and Paula Borja,
perfect an appeal. since 1972. Their appointment as such was later made in writing
2) WON the Confession of Judgement can be accepted as a valid per the certification of appointment issued by Paula Borja.
compromise agreement between the parties.
For their compensation, the Ballad spouses received a monthly
HELD: 1) NO. The Corporations should have followed the salary of P1,000.00 for both of them, or P500.00 each. They were
direction of the Court and filed the additional amount requested by provided residential quarters plus food and traveling allowances
the Courts for the perfection of the appeal so that the NLRC may equivalent to twelve (12) cavans of shelled corn every crop harvest.
proceed to try the merits of the case for illegal dismissal. The 10% In the year 1980, said salary was increased to P2,500.00 for each of
requirement pertains to the reasonable amount which the NLRC them by Paula Borja when she came from abroad. Until the time
would accept as the minimum of the bond that should accompany before their dismissal, the Ballad spouses received the same
the motion to reduce bond in order to suspend the period to perfect amount.
an appeal under the NLRC rules. The 10% is based on the
judgment award and should in no case be construed as the
minimum amount of bond to be posted in order to perfect appeal. The Ballad spouses further alleged that they were appointed as the
Should the NLRC, after considering the merit attorney-in-fact of the owners to represent the latter in courts
of the Motion to Reduce Appeal Bond determines that a greater and/or government offices in cases affecting the titling of the
amount or the full amount of the bond needs to be posted by the Borjas’ unregistered lands, and to institute and prosecute recovery
appellant, then the party shall comply accordingly. The appellant of possession thereof, as well as in ejectment cases.
shall be given a period of 10 days from notice of the NLRC order
within which to perfect the appeal by posting the required appeal On 10 November 1996, according to the Ballad spouses, when
bond. Francisco Borja, brother of the late Manuel Borja, was appointed
The Petitioners are then directed to post the the new administrator, he issued immediately a memorandum to all
amount of PHP 725M in cash or surety bond within 10 days of the the tenants and lessees of the Borja Estate to transact directly with
decision to continue with the determination of the merits of the him and to pay their monthly rentals to him or to his overseers, the
alleged illegally dismissed Respondents through the NLRC. Ballad spouses.

2) NO. The Confession of Judgement cannot be accepted as a Upon his appointment, Francisco Borja allegedly promised to give
valid compromise agreement. the Ballad spouses their food and traveling allowances aforestated
A confession of judgment is an but not the twelve (12) cavans per harvest which he reduced to two
acknowledgment that a debt is justly due and cuts off all defenses (2) cavans per harvest. Francisco Borja also stopped giving the
and right of appeal. It is used as a shortcut to a judgment in a case Ballad spouses their allowances. For twenty-seven (27) years that
where the defendant concedes liability. It is seen as the written the Ballad spouses were in the employ of the Borjas they were
authority of the debtor and a direction for entry of judgment against purportedly not paid holiday pay, overtime pay, incentive leave
the debtor.
pay, premiums and restday pay, 13th month pay, aside from the The Court is of the considered opinion that ever since appeals from
underpayment of their basic salary. the NLRC to the SC were eliminated, the legislative intendment
was that the special civil action for certiorari was and still is the
In June 1999, the Ballad spouses alleged that Francisco Borja proper vehicle for judicial review of decisions of the NLRC. The
unceremoniously dismissed them and caused this dismissal to be use of the word appeal in relation thereto and in the instances
broadcast over the radio, which caused the former to suffer shock we have noted could have been a lapsus plumae because appeals by
and physical and mental injuries such as social humiliation, certiorari and the original action for certiorari are both modes of
besmirched reputation, wounded feelings, moral anxiety, health judicial review addressed to the appellate courts. The important
deterioration and sleepless nights. distinction between them, however, and with which the Court is
particularly concerned here is that the special civil action for
certiorari is within the concurrent original jurisdiction of this Court
The Court of Appeals observed that petitioners were able to post a and the Court of Appeals; whereas to indulge in the assumption
bond only on 17 December 1999 in the amount of Forty Thousand that appeals by certiorari to the SC are allowed would not subserve,
Pesos (P40,000.00) when the same should have been done during but would subvert, the intention of the Congress as expressed in the
the same period of appeal. As this was not done and as no sponsorship speech on Senate Bill No. 1495.
justifiable reason was given for the late filing, the Court of Appeals
ruled that the decision of the Labor Arbiter had become final and Therefore, all references in the amended Section 9 of B.P No. 129
executory. to supposed appeals from the NLRC to the Supreme Court are
interpreted and hereby declared to mean and refer to petitions for
ISSUE: Whether the appeal is perfected certiorari under Rule65. Consequently, all such petitions should
henceforth be initially filed in the Court of Appeals in strict
HELD: observance of the doctrine on the hierarchy of courts as the
The appeal bond is required under Article 223 of the Labor Code appropriate forum for the relief desired.
which provides:

ART. 223. Appeal. - Decisions, awards or orders of the Labor


Arbiter are final and executory unless appealed to the Commission Yupangco Cotton Mills, Inc. vs. CA (2002)
by any or both parties within ten (10) calendar days from receipt of
such decisions, awards, or orders Facts:
Petitioner contended that a sheriff of the NLRC “erroneously and
unlawfully levied” certain properties which it claims as its own. It
In case of a judgment involving a monetary award, an appeal by filed a 3rdparty claim with the Labor Arbiter and recovery of
the employer may be perfected only upon the posting of a cash or property and damageswith the RTC. The RTC dismissed the case.
surety bond issued by a reputable bonding company duly In the CA, the court dismissed the petition on the ground of
accredited by the Commission, in the amount equivalent to the forumshopping and that the proper remedy was appeal in
monetary award in the judgment appealed from. duecourse, not certiorari or mandamus. Petitioner filed aMFR and
argued that the filing of a complaint for
accionreinvindicatoria with the RTC was proper because it is a
ST. MARTIN FUNERAL HOME, petitioner, vs. NATIONAL remedy specifically granted to an owner (whose properties were
LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION and BIENVENIDO subjected to a writ of execution to enforce a decision rendered in a
ARICAYOS, respondents. labor dispute in which itwas not a party). The MFR was denied.
G.R. No. 130866 Hence, petitionerfiled this appeal.
September 16, 1998
Issue:
REGALADO, J.: Whether the CA has jurisdiction over the case

FACTS: Held:YES

Private respondent alleges that he started working as Operations A third party whose property has been levied upon by asheriff to
Manager of petitioner St. Martin Funeral Home on February 6, enforce a decision against a judgment debtor isafforded with
1995. However, there was no contract of employment executed several alternative remedies to protect itsinterests. The third party
between him and petitioner nor was his name included in the semi- may avail himself of alternativeremedies cumulatively, and one
monthly payroll. On January 22, 1996, he was dismissed from his will not preclude thethird party from availing himself of the other
employment for allegedly misappropriating P38,000.00. Petitioner alternativeremedies in the event he failed in the remedy firstavailed
on the other hand claims that private respondent was not its of.Thus, a third party may avail himself of the followingalternative
employee but only the uncle of Amelita Malabed, the owner of remedies:a) File a third party claim with the sheriff of theLabor
petitioner St.Martin’s Funeral Home and in January 1996, the Arbiter, andb) If the third party claim is denied, the third partymay
mother of Amelita passed away, so the latter took over the appeal the denial to the NLRC.Even if a third party claim was
management of the business. denied, a third partymay still file a proper action with a competent
courtto recover ownership of the property illegally seizedby the
Amelita made some changes in the business operation and private sheriff.The filing of a third party claim with the Labor Arbiterand
respondent and his wife were no longer allowed to participate in the NLRC did not preclude the petitioner from filing asubsequent
the management thereof. As a consequence, the latter filed a action for recovery of property and damageswith the Regional Trial
complaint charging that petitioner had illegally terminated his Court. And, the institution of suchcomplaint will not make
employment. The labor arbiter rendered a decision in favor of petitioner guilty of forumshopping.
petitioner declaring that no employer-employee relationship existed
between the parties and therefore his office had no jurisdiction over
the case.

ISSUE: WON the decision of the NLRC are appealable to the


Court of Appeals.

RULING: