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G.R. No.

160352 July 23, 2008 We scrutinize the facts and evidences presented by the parties and
arrived at a decision that at least two (2) members of [KFWU], namely:
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, represented by Department of Dany I. Fernandez and Jesus R. Quinto, Jr. are supervisory employees,
Labor and Employment (DOLE), Petitioner, having a number of personnel under them. Being supervisory employees,
vs. they are prohibited under Article 245 of the Labor Code, as amended, to
KAWASHIMA TEXTILE MFG., PHILIPPINES, INC., Respondent. join the union of the rank and file employees. Dany I. Fernandez and
Jesus R. Quinto, Jr., Chief Engineers of the Maintenance and
DECISION Manufacturing Department, respectively, act as foremen to the line
engineers, mechanics and other non-skilled workers and responsible [for]
the preparation and organization of maintenance shop fabrication and
AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, J.:
schedules, inventory and control of materials and supplies and tasked to
implement training plans on line engineers and evaluate the performance
The Republic of the Philippines assails by way of Petition for Review of their subordinates. The above-stated actual functions of Dany I.
on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, the December 13, 2002 Fernandez and Jesus R. Quinto, Jr. are clear manifestation that they are
Decision1 of the Court of Appeals (CA), which reversed the August 18, supervisory employees.
2000 Decision2 of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and
reinstated the May 17, 2000 Order3 of Med-Arbiter Anastacio L. Bactin,
xxxx
dismissing the petition of Kawashima Free Workers Union-PTGWO Local
Chapter No. 803 (KFWU) for the conduct of a certification election in
Kawashima Textile Mfg. Phils., Inc. (respondent); and the October 7, Since petitioner’s members are mixture of rank and file and
2003 CA Resolution4 which denied the motion for reconsideration. supervisory employees, petitioner union, at this point [in] time, has
not attained the status of a legitimate labor organization. Petitioner
should first exclude the supervisory employees from it membership
The relevant facts are of record.
before it can attain the status of a legitimate labor organization. The
above judgment is supported by the decision of the Supreme Court in the
On January 24, 2000, KFWU filed with DOLE Regional Office No. IV, a Toyota Case10 wherein the High Tribunal ruled:
Petition for Certification Election to be conducted in the bargaining unit
composed of 145 rank-and-file employees of respondent.5 Attached to its
"As respondent union’s membership list contains the names of at least
petition are a Certificate of Creation of Local/Chapter6 issued on January
twenty seven (27) supervisory employees in Level Five Positions, the
19, 2000 by DOLE Regional Office No. IV, stating that it [KFWU]
union could not prior to purging itself of its supervisory employee
submitted to said office a Charter Certificate issued to it by the national
members, attain the status of a legitimate labor organization. Not being
federation Phil. Transport & General Workers Organization (PTGWO),
one, it cannot possess the requisite personality to file a petition for
and a Report of Creation of Local/Chapter.7
certification election." (Underscoring omitted.)
Respondent filed a Motion to Dismiss8 the petition on the ground that
xxxx
KFWU did not acquire any legal personality because its membership of
mixed rank-and-file and supervisory employees violated Article 245 of the
Labor Code, and its failure to submit its books of account contravened Furthermore, the commingling of rank and file and supervisory
the ruling of the Court in Progressive Development Corporation v. employees in one (1) bargaining unit cannot be cured in the exclusion-
Secretary, Department of Labor and Employment.9 inclusion proceedings [at] the pre-election conference. The above ruling
is supported by the Decision of the Supreme Court in Dunlop Slazenger
(Phils.), Inc. vs. Honorable Secretary of Labor and Employment, et al.,
In an Order dated May 17, 2000, Med-Arbiter Bactin found KFWU’s legal
G.R. No. 131248 dated December 11, 199811 x x x.
personality defective and dismissed its petition for certification election,
thus:
xxxx
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition for certification election dismissal of a petition for certification election based on lack of legal
is hereby dismissed for lack of requisite legal status of petitioner to file personality of a labor organization only on the following grounds: (1)
this instant petition. [KFWU] is not listed by the Regional Office or the Bureau of Labor
Relations in its registry of legitimate labor organizations; or (2) [KFWU's]
SO ORDERED.12 (Emphasis supplied) legal personality has been revoked or canceled with finality."18 The DOLE
noted that neither ground existed; on the contrary, KFWU's legal
On the basis of the aforecited decision, respondent filed with DOLE personality was well-established, for it held a certificate of creation and
Regional Office No. IV a Petition for Cancellation of Charter/Union had been listed in the registry of legitimate labor organizations.
Registration of KFWU,13 the final outcome of which, unfortunately, cannot
be ascertained from the records. As to the failure of KFWU to file its books of account, the DOLE held that
such omission was not a ground for revocation of union registration or
Meanwhile, KFWU appealed14 to the DOLE which issued a Decision on dismissal of petition for certification election, for under Section 1, Rule VI
August 18, 2000, the dispositive portion of which reads: of Department Order No. 9, a local or chapter like KFWU was no longer
required to file its books of account.19
WHEREFORE, the appeal is GRANTED. The Order dated 17 May 2000
of the Med-Arbiter is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Accordingly, let the Respondent filed a Motion for Reconsideration20 but the DOLE denied the
entire records of the case be remanded to the office of origin for the same in its September 28, 2000 Resolution.21
immediate conduct of certification election, subject to the usual pre-
election conference, among the rank-and-file employees of Kawashima However, on appeal by respondent, the CA rendered the December 13,
Textile Manufacturing Philippines, Inc. with the following choices: 2002 Decision assailed herein, reversing the August 18, 2000 DOLE
Decision, thus:
1. Kawashima Free Workers Union-PTGWO Local Chapter No.
803; and Since respondent union clearly consists of both rank and file and
supervisory employees, it cannot qualify as a legitimate labor
2. No union. organization imbued with the requisite personality to file a petition
for certification election. This infirmity in union membership cannot
be corrected in the inclusion-exclusion proceedings during the pre-
Pursuant to Rule XI, Section 11.1 of the New Implementing Rules, the
election conference.
employer is hereby directed to submit to the office of origin the certified
list of current employees in the bargaining unit for the last three months
prior to the issuance of this decision. Finally, contrary to the pronouncement of public respondent, the
application of the doctrine enunciated in Toyota Motor Philippines
Corporation vs. Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation Labor Union was
SO DECIDED.15
not construed in a way that effectively denies the fundamental right of
respondent union to organize and seek bargaining representation x x x.
The DOLE held that Med-Arbiter Bactin's reliance on the decisions of the
Court in Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation v. Toyota Motor
For ignoring jurisprudential precepts on the matter, the Court finds that
Philippines Corporation Labor Union16 and Dunlop Slazenger, Inc. v.
the Undersecretary of Labor, acting under the authority of the Secretary
Secretary of Labor and Employment17 was misplaced, for while Article
of Labor, acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
245 declares supervisory employees ineligible for membership in a labor
excess of jurisdiction.
organization for rank-and-file employees, the provision did not state the
effect of such prohibited membership on the legitimacy of the labor
organization and its right to file for certification election. Neither was such WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Petition is hereby GRANTED.
mixed membership a ground for cancellation of its registration. Section The Decision dated 18 August 2000 of the Undersecretary of Labor,
11, Paragraph II, Rule XI of Department Order No. 9 "provides for the acting under the authority of the Secretary, is hereby REVERSED and
SET ASIDE. The Order dated 17 May 2000 of the Med-Arbiter dismissing "Art. 245-A. Effect of Inclusion as Members of Employees Outside the
the petition for certification election filed by Kawashima Free Workers Bargaining Unit. - The inclusion as union members of employees
Union-PTGWO Local Chapter No. 803 is REINSTATED. outside the bargaining unit shall not be a ground for the
cancellation of the registration of the union. Said employees are
SO ORDERED.22 (Emphasis supplied) automatically deemed removed from the list of membership of said
union." (Emphasis supplied)
KFWU filed a Motion for Reconsideration23 but the CA denied it.
Moreover, under Section 4, a pending petition for cancellation of
The Republic of the Philippines (petitioner) filed the present petition to registration
seek closure on two issues:
will not hinder a legitimate labor organization from initiating a certification
First, whether a mixed membership of rank-and-file and supervisory election, viz:
employees in a union is a ground for the dismissal of a petition for
certification election in view of the amendment brought about by D.O. 9, Sec. 4. A new provision is hereby inserted into the Labor Code as Article
series of 1997, which deleted the phraseology in the old rule that "[t]he 238-A to read as follows:
appropriate bargaining unit of the rank-and-file employee shall not
include the supervisory employees and/or security guards;" and "Art. 238-A. Effect of a Petition for Cancellation of Registration. - A
petition for cancellation of union registration shall not suspend the
Second, whether the legitimacy of a duly registered labor organization proceedings for certification election nor shall it prevent the filing of
can be collaterally attacked in a petition for a certification election through a petition for certification election.
a motion to dismiss filed by an employer such as Kawashima Textile
Manufacturing Phils., Inc.24 In case of cancellation, nothing herein shall restrict the right of the union
to seek just and equitable remedies in the appropriate courts." (Emphasis
The petition is imbued with merit. supplied)

The key to the closure that petitioner seeks could have been Republic Furthermore, under Section 12 of R.A. No. 9481, employers have no
Act (R.A.) No. 9481.25 Sections 8 and 9 thereof provide: personality to interfere with or thwart a petition for certification election
filed by a legitimate labor organization, to wit:
Section 8. Article 245 of the Labor Code is hereby amended to read as
follows: Sec. 12. A new provision, Article 258-A is hereby inserted into the Labor
Code to read as follows:
"Art. 245. Ineligibility of Managerial Employees to Join any Labor
Organization; Right of Supervisory Employees. - Managerial employees "Art. 258-A. Employer as Bystander. - In all cases, whether the petition
are not eligible to join, assist or form any labor organization. Supervisory for certification election is filed by an employer or a legitimate labor
employees shall not be eligible for membership in the collective organization, the employer shall not be considered a party thereto
bargaining unit of the rank-and-file employees but may join, assist or form with a concomitant right to oppose a petition for certification
separate collective bargaining units and/or legitimate labor organizations election. The employer's participation in such proceedings shall be
of their own. The rank and file union and the supervisors' union operating limited to: (1) being notified or informed of petitions of such nature;
within the same establishment may join the same federation or national and (2) submitting the list of employees during the pre-election
union." conference should the Med-Arbiter act favorably on the petition."
(Emphasis supplied)
Section 9. A new provision, Article 245-A is inserted into the Labor Code
to read as follows:
However, R.A. No. 9481 took effect only on June 14, 2007;26 hence, it membership in a labor organization of employees under their supervision
applies only to labor representation cases filed on or after said date.27 As but may form separate organizations of their own. (Emphasis supplied)
the petition for certification election subject matter of the present petition
was filed by KFWU on January 24, 2000,28 R.A. No. 9481 cannot apply to Nothing in R.A. No. 875, however, tells of how the questioned mingling
it. There may have been curative labor legislations29that were given can affect the legitimacy of the labor organization. Under Section 15, the
retrospective effect,30 but not the aforecited provisions of R.A. No. 9481, only instance when a labor organization loses its legitimacy is when it
for otherwise, substantive rights and interests already vested would be violates its duty to bargain collectively; but there is no word on whether
impaired in the process.31 such mingling would also result in loss of legitimacy. Thus, when the
issue of whether the membership of two supervisory employees impairs
Instead, the law and rules in force at the time of the filing by KFWU of the the legitimacy of a rank-and-file labor organization came before the Court
petition for certification election on January 24, 2000 are R.A. No. En Banc in Lopez v. Chronicle Publication Employees Association,41 the
6715,32 amending Book V of Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 442 (Labor majority pronounced:
Code),33 as amended, and the Rules and Regulations Implementing R.A.
No. 6715,34 as amended by Department Order No. 9, series of 1997.35 It may be observed that nothing is said of the effect of such ineligibility
upon the union itself or on the status of the other qualified members
It is within the parameters of R.A. No. 6715 and the Implementing Rules thereof should such prohibition be disregarded. Considering that the law
that the Court will now resolve the two issues raised by petitioner. is specific where it intends to divest a legitimate labor union of any of the
rights and privileges granted to it by law, the absence of any provision on
If there is one constant precept in our labor laws – be it Commonwealth the effect of the disqualification of one of its organizers upon the legality
Act No. 213 (1936),36 R.A. No. 875 (1953),37 P.D. No. 442 (1974), of the union, may be construed to confine the effect of such ineligibility
Executive Order (E.O.) No. 111 (1986)38 or R.A. No. 6715 (1989) - it is only upon the membership of the supervisor. In other words, the invalidity
that only a legitimate labor organization may exercise the right to be of membership of one of the organizers does not make the union illegal,
certified as the exclusive representative of all the employees in an where the requirements of the law for the organization thereof are,
appropriate collective bargaining unit for purposes of collective nevertheless, satisfied and met.42 (Emphasis supplied)
bargaining.39 What has varied over the years has been the degree of
enforcement of this precept, as reflected in the shifting scope of Then the Labor Code was enacted in 1974 without reproducing Sec. 3 of
administrative and judicial scrutiny of the composition of a labor R.A. No. 875. The provision in the Labor Code closest to Sec. 3 is Article
organization before it is allowed to exercise the right of representation. 290,43 which is deafeningly silent on the prohibition against supervisory
employees mingling with rank-and-file employees in one labor
One area of contention has been the composition of the membership of a organization. Even the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of the Labor
labor organization, specifically whether there is a mingling of supervisory Code44 (Omnibus Rules) merely provides in Section 11, Rule II, thus:
and rank-and-file employees and how such questioned mingling affects
its legitimacy. Sec. 11. Supervisory unions and unions of security guards to cease
operation. – All existing supervisory unions and unions of security guards
It was in R.A. No. 875, under Section 3, that such questioned mingling shall, upon the effectivity of the Code, cease to operate as such and their
was first prohibited,40 to wit: registration certificates shall be deemed automatically cancelled.
However, existing collective agreements with such unions, the life of
Sec. 3. Employees’ right to self-organization. – Employees shall have the which extends beyond the date of effectivity of the Code shall be
right to self-organization and to form, join or assist labor organizations of respected until their expiry date insofar as the economic benefits granted
their own choosing for the purpose of collective bargaining through therein are concerned.
representatives of their own choosing and to engage in concerted
activities for the purpose of collective bargaining and other mutual aid or Members of supervisory unions who do not fall within the definition of
protection. Individuals employed as supervisors shall not be eligible for managerial employees shall become eligible to join or assist the rank and
file organization. The determination of who are managerial employees effectivity of Republic Act No. 6715, shall remain in that unit x x x.
and who are not shall be the subject of negotiation between (Emphasis supplied)
representatives of supervisory union and the employer. If no agreement s
reached between the parties, either or both of them ma bring the issue to and Rule V (Representation Cases and Internal-Union Conflicts) of the
the nearest Regional Office for determination. (Emphasis supplied) Omnibus Rules, viz:

The obvious repeal of the last clause of Sec. 3, R.A. No. 875 prompted Sec. 1. Where to file. – A petition for certification election may be filed
the Court to declare in Bulletin v. Sanchez45that supervisory employees with the Regional Office which has jurisdiction over the principal office of
who do not fall under the category of managerial employees may join or the employer. The petition shall be in writing and under oath.
assist in the formation of a labor organization for rank-and-file
employees, but they may not form their own labor organization. Sec. 2. Who may file. – Any legitimate labor organization or the employer,
when requested to bargain collectively, may file the petition.
While amending certain provisions of Book V of the Labor Code, E.O. No.
111 and its implementing rules46continued to recognize the right of The petition, when filed by a legitimate labor organization, shall contain,
supervisory employees, who do not fall under the category of managerial among others:
employees, to join a rank-and-file labor organization.47
xxxx
Effective 1989, R.A. No. 6715 restored the prohibition against the
questioned mingling in one labor organization, viz:
(c) description of the bargaining unit which shall be the employer unit
unless circumstances otherwise require; and provided further, that the
Sec. 18. Article 245 of the same Code, as amended, is hereby further appropriate bargaining unit of the rank-and-file employees shall not
amended to read as follows include supervisory employees and/or security guards. (Emphasis
supplied)
"Art. 245. Ineligibility of managerial employees to join any labor
organization; right of supervisory employees. Managerial employees By that provision, any questioned mingling will prevent an otherwise
are not eligible to join, assist or form any labor organization. Supervisory legitimate and duly registered labor organization from exercising its right
employees shall not be eligible for membership in a labor organization of to file a petition for certification election.
the rank-and-file employees but may join, assist or form separate labor
organizations of their own." (Emphasis supplied)
Thus, when the issue of the effect of mingling was brought to the fore in
Toyota,48 the Court, citing Article 245 of the Labor Code, as amended by
Unfortunately, just like R.A. No. 875, R.A. No. 6715 omitted specifying R.A. No. 6715, held:
the exact effect any violation of the prohibition would bring about on the
legitimacy of a labor organization.
Clearly, based on this provision, a labor organization composed of both
rank-and-file and supervisory employees is no labor organization at all. It
It was the Rules and Regulations Implementing R.A. No. 6715 (1989 cannot, for any guise or purpose, be a legitimate labor organization. Not
Amended Omnibus Rules) which supplied the deficiency by introducing being one, an organization which carries a mixture of rank-and-file
the following amendment to Rule II (Registration of Unions): and supervisory employees cannot possess any of the rights of a
legitimate labor organization, including the right to file a petition for
Sec. 1. Who may join unions. – x x x Supervisory employees and security certification election for the purpose of collective bargaining. It
guards shall not be eligible for membership in a labor organization of the becomes necessary, therefore, anterior to the granting of an order
rank-and-file employees but may join, assist or form separate labor allowing a certification election, to inquire into the composition of any
organizations of their own; Provided, that those supervisory employees labor organization whenever the status of the labor organization is
who are included in an existing rank-and-file bargaining unit, upon the challenged on the basis of Article 245 of the Labor Code.
xxxx Sec. 1. Chartering and creation of a local/chapter.- A duly registered
federation or national union may directly create a local/chapter by
In the case at bar, as respondent union's membership list contains the submitting to the Regional Office or to the Bureau two (2) copies of the
names of at least twenty-seven (27) supervisory employees in Level Five following: a) a charter certificate issued by the federation or national
positions, the union could not, prior to purging itself of its supervisory union indicating the creation or establishment of the local/chapter; (b) the
employee members, attain the status of a legitimate labor organization. names of the local/chapter’s officers, their addresses, and the principal
Not being one, it cannot possess the requisite personality to file a petition office of the local/chapter; and (c) the local/ chapter’s constitution and by-
for certification election.49 (Emphasis supplied) laws; provided that where the local/chapter’s constitution and by-laws is
the same as that of the federation or national union, this fact shall be
In Dunlop,50 in which the labor organization that filed a petition for indicated accordingly.
certification election was one for supervisory employees, but in which the
membership included rank-and-file employees, the Court reiterated that All the foregoing supporting requirements shall be certified under oath by
such labor organization had no legal right to file a certification election to the Secretary or the Treasurer of the local/chapter and attested to by its
represent a bargaining unit composed of supervisors for as long as it President.
counted rank-and-file employees among its members.51
which does not require that, for its creation and registration, a local or
It should be emphasized that the petitions for certification election chapter submit a list of its members.
involved in Toyota and Dunlop were filed on November 26, 1992 and
September 15, 1995, respectively; hence, the 1989 Rules was applied in Then came Tagaytay Highlands Int’l. Golf Club, Inc. v. Tagaytay
both cases. Highlands Employees Union-PGTWO54 in which the core issue was
whether mingling affects the legitimacy of a labor organization and its
But then, on June 21, 1997, the 1989 Amended Omnibus Rules was right to file a petition for certification election. This time, given the altered
further amended by Department Order No. 9, series of 1997 (1997 legal milieu, the Court abandoned the view in Toyota and Dunlop and
Amended Omnibus Rules). Specifically, the requirement under Sec. 2(c) reverted to its pronouncement in Lopez that while there is a prohibition
of the 1989 Amended Omnibus Rules - that the petition for certification against the mingling of supervisory and rank-and-file employees in one
election indicate that the bargaining unit of rank-and-file employees has labor organization, the Labor Code does not provide for the effects
not been mingled with supervisory employees - was removed. Instead, thereof.55 Thus, the Court held that after a labor organization has been
what the 1997 Amended Omnibus Rules requires is a plain description of registered, it may exercise all the rights and privileges of a legitimate
the bargaining unit, thus: labor organization. Any mingling between supervisory and rank-and-file
employees in its membership cannot affect its legitimacy for that is not
Rule XI among the grounds for cancellation of its registration, unless such
Certification Elections mingling was brought about by misrepresentation, false statement or
fraud under Article 239 of the Labor Code.56
xxxx
In San Miguel Corp. (Mandaue Packaging Products Plants) v. Mandaue
Packing Products Plants-San Miguel Packaging Products-San Miguel
Sec. 4. Forms and contents of petition. - The petition shall be in writing
Corp. Monthlies Rank-and-File Union-FFW,57 the Court explained that
and under oath and shall contain, among others, the following: x x x (c)
since the 1997 Amended Omnibus Rules does not require a local or
The description of the bargaining unit.52
chapter to provide a list of its members, it would be improper for the
DOLE to deny recognition to said local or chapter on account of any
In Pagpalain Haulers, Inc. v. Trajano,53 the Court had occasion to uphold question pertaining to its individual members.58
the validity of the 1997 Amended Omnibus Rules, although the specific
provision involved therein was only Sec. 1, Rule VI, to wit:
More to the point is Air Philippines Corporation v. Bureau of Labor May 17, 2000 Order of Med-Arbiter Anastacio L. Bactin
Relations,59 which involved a petition for cancellation of union registration are REVERSED and SET ASIDE, while the August 18, 2000 Decision
filed by the employer in 1999 against a rank-and-file labor organization and September 28, 2000 Resolution of the Department of Labor and
on the ground of mixed membership:60 the Court therein reiterated its Employment are REINSTATED.
ruling in Tagaytay Highlands that the inclusion in a union of disqualified
employees is not among the grounds for cancellation, unless such No costs.
inclusion is due to misrepresentation, false statement or fraud under the
circumstances enumerated in Sections (a) and (c) of Article 239 of the SO ORDERED.
Labor Code.61 lavvphil

All said, while the latest issuance is R.A. No. 9481, the 1997 Amended
Omnibus Rules, as interpreted by the Court in Tagaytay Highlands, San
Miguel and Air Philippines, had already set the tone for it. Toyota and
Dunlop no longer hold sway in the present altered state of the law and
the rules.

Consequently, the Court reverses the ruling of the CA and reinstates that
of the DOLE granting the petition for certification election of KFWU.

Now to the second issue of whether an employer like respondent may


collaterally attack the legitimacy of a labor organization by filing a motion
to dismiss the latter’s petition for certification election.

Except when it is requested to bargain collectively,62 an employer is a


mere bystander to any petition for certification election; such proceeding
is non-adversarial and merely investigative, for the purpose thereof is to
determine which organization will represent the employees in their
collective bargaining with the employer.63 The choice of their
representative is the exclusive concern of the employees; the employer
cannot have any partisan interest therein; it cannot interfere with, much
less oppose, the process by filing a motion to dismiss or an appeal from
it;64 not even a mere allegation that some employees participating in a
petition for certification election are actually managerial employees will
lend an employer legal personality to block the certification election.65 The
employer's only

right in the proceeding is to be notified or informed thereof.66

The amendments to the Labor Code and its implementing rules have
buttressed that policy even more.

WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The December 13, 2002


Decision and October 7, 2003 Resolution of the Court of Appeals and the
March 15, 2017 misrepresentation, false statement and fraud in connection with its
creation and registration as a labor union as it shared the same set of
G.R. No. 192648 officers and members with BMDOMMC; 2) mixed membership of rank-
and-file and managerial/supervisory employees; and 3) inappropriate
DE OCAMPO MEMORIAL SCHOOLS, INC., Petitioner bargaining unit.9
vs
BIGKIS MANGGAGAWA SA DE OCAMPO MEMORIAL SCHOOL, On April 13, 2004, De Ocampo filed a Supplemental Petition,10 informing
INC. , Respondent the DOLE-NCR of the cancellation of the Certificate of Registration of
BMDOMMC in Case No. NCR-OD-0307-009-LRD. It attached a copy of
DECISION the Decision11of the DOLE-NCR dated March 3, 2004, which cancelled
and struck off Union Registration No. NCR-UR-9-3858- 2002 from the
registry of legitimate labor organizations for being an inappropriate
JARDELEZA, J.:
bargaining unit.12
This is a Petition for Review on Certiorari1 assailing the Court of Appeals
On May 18, 2004, BMDOMSI filed its Comment-Opposition to Petition for
(CA) Decision2 dated July 15, 2009 and the Resolution3 dated June 21,
Cancellation of Certificate of Registration and Supplemental
2010 (assailed Decision). The assailed Decision affirmed the
Petition,13 denying De Ocampo's allegations and claiming that the latter
Decision4 dated December 29, 2004 of the Bureau of Labor Relations
only wants to impede the formation of the union.
(BLR), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Case No. BLR-
A-C-75-8- 24-04, In Re: Petition for Cancellation of Union Registration of
Bigkis Manggagawa sa De Ocampo Memorial School, Inc., - Lakas Union In a Decision14 dated July 26, 2004, Acting Regional Director Ciriaco A.
Registration Number (NCR-12-CC-002-2003). Lagunzad III of the DOLE-NCR ruled that BMDOMSI committed
misrepresentation by making it appear that the bargaining unit is
composed of faculty and technical employees. In fact, all the union
I
officers and most of the members are from the General Services
Division.15 Furthermore, the members of the union do not share
De Ocampo Memorial Schools, Inc. (De Ocampo) is a domestic commonality of interest, as it is composed of academic and non-
corporation duly-organized and existing under the laws of the Philippines. academic personnel.16 The nature of work of the employees of the
It has two main divisions, namely: De Ocampo Memorial Medical Center General Services Division, while falling within the category of non-
(DOMMC), its hospital entity, and the De Ocampo Memorial Colleges academic personnel, differs from that of the other nonacademic
(DOMC), its school entity.5 employees composed of clerks, messengers, etc., since they also serve
the hospital component of De Ocampo.17
On September 26, 2003, Union Registration No. NCR-UR-9-3858- 2002
was issued in favor of Bigkis Manggagawa sa De Ocampo Memorial BMDOMSI then filed an appeal to the BLR alleging that the union
Medical Center - LAKAS (BMDOMMC).6 members are all employees of De Ocampo and that the bargaining unit it
sees to represent is appropriate.18
Later, on December 5, 2003, Bigkis Manggagawa sa De Ocampo
Memorial School, Inc. (BMDOMSI) was issued a Union In a Decision19 dated December 29, 2004, the BLR reversed the Regional
Registration/Certificate of Creation of Local Chapter No. NCR-l 2-CC- Director's finding of misrepresentation, false statement or fraud in
002- 2003 and declared a legitimate labor organization.7 BMDOMSI's application for registration. According to the BLR, De
Ocampo failed to adduce proof to support its allegation of mixed
On March 4, 2004, De Ocampo filed a Petition for Cancellation of membership within respondent union.20 Further, and contrary to De
Ce1iificate of Registration8 with the Department of Labor and Ocampo's claim, records show that BMDOMSI stated in its application
Employment - National Capital Region (DOLE-NCR). It sought to cancel that its members are composed of rank-and-file employees falling under
the Certificate of Registration of BMDOMSI on the following grounds: 1)
either faculty or technical occupational classifications.21 The BLR also intentionally suppressed the fact that at the time of its application, there
held that the existence of an inappropriate bargaining unit would not was another union known as BMDOMMC, with whom they shared the
necessarily result in the cancellation of union registration, and the same set of officers and members.32 It was also made to appear that
inclusion of a disqualified employee in a union is not a ground for BMDOMMC is a labor union representing a separate bargaining unit
cancellation.22 Even if BMDOMSI shared the same set of officers and whose personality, affairs and composition are unknown to
members of BMDOMMC, the latter had already been delisted on March BMDOMSI.33 Lastly, BMDOMSI suppressed the fact that its members
3, 2004 and there is no prohibition against organizing another union.23 have no mutuality or commonality of interest as they belong to different
work classifications, nature and designations.34
De Ocampo filed a Petition for Certiorari24 with the CA seeking to annul
and set aside the BLR Decision as well as the Resolution25 dated January II
24, 2005 denying its motion for reconsideration.
We deny the petition.
The CA affirmed the Decision of the BLR. It ruled that there was no
misrepresentation, false statement or fraud in the application for Article 247, previously Aiiicle 239 of the Labor Code35 provides:
registration.
Art. 247. Grounds for Cancellation of Union Registration. - The following
The record shows that, as BMDOMSI had indicated, the bargaining unit may constitute grounds for cancellation of union registration:
as described is composed of rank-and-file employees with occupational
classifications under technical and faculty.26 The CA found that there (a) Misrepresentation, false statement or fraud in connection with the
could be no misrepresentation as the members appearing in the minutes adoption or ratification of the constitution and by-laws or amendments
of the general membership meeting, and the list of members who thereto, the minutes of ratification, and the list of members who took part
attended the meeting and ratified the union constitution and by-laws, are in the ratification;
in truth employees of the school, though some service the hospital.27 The
CA also ruled that, other than De Ocampo's bare allegations, there was
(b) Misrepresentation, false statements or fraud in connection with the
no proof of intent to defraud or mislead on the part of BMDOMSI. Hence,
election of officers, minutes of the election of officers, and the list of
the charge of fraud, false statement or misrepresentation cannot be
voters;
sustained.28
(c) Voluntary dissolution by the members.
However, the CA observed that the members of the union, who are from
academic, non-academic, and general services, do not perform work of
the same nature, receive the same wages and compensation, nor share For fraud and misrepresentation to constitute grounds for cancellation of
a common stake in concerted activities.29 While these factors dictate the union registration under the Labor Code, the nature of the fraud and
separation of the categories of employees for purposes of collective misrepresentation must be grave and compelling enough to vitiate the
bargaining,30 the CA reasoned that such lack of mutuality and consent of a majority of union members.36
commonality of interest of the union members is not among the grounds
for cancellation of union registration under Article 239 of the Labor De Ocampo insists that "by conveniently disregarding" BMDOMMC's
Code.31 existence during the filing of its application, despite having the same set
of officers and members,37 BMDOMSI "had misrepresented facts, made
De Ocampo filed a motion for reconsideration which was denied in the false statements and committed fraud in its application for union
assailed Resolution dated June 21, 2010. Hence, this petition. registration for alleging facts therein which they [know] or ought to have
known to be false."38
De Ocampo maintains that BMDOMSI committed misrepresentation and
fraud in connection with its application, creation and registration. It We agree with the BLR and the CA that BMDOMSI did not commit fraud
or misrepresentation in its application for registration. In the form "Report
1âw phi1
of Creation of Local Chapter"39 filed by BMDOMSI, the applicant indicated may also constitute grounds for cancellation, lack of mutuality of
in the portion "Description of the Bargaining Unit" that it is composed of interests, however, is not among said grounds.45
"Rank and File" and under the "Occupational Classification," it marked
"Technical" and "Faculty." The BLR and the CA's finding that the members of BMDOMSI are rank-
and-file employees is supported by substantial evidence and is binding
Further, the members appearing in the Minutes of the General on this Court.46 On the other hand, other than the allegation that
Membership and the List of Workers or Members who attended the BMDOMSI has the same set of officers with BMDOMMC and the
organizational meeting and adopted/ratified the Constitution and By-Laws allegation of mixed membership of rank-and-file and managerial or
are, as represented, employees of the school and the General Services supervisory employees, De Ocampo has cited no other evidence of the
Division, though some of the latter employees service the hospital.40 alleged fraud and misrepresentation.

Moreover, there is nothing in the form "Report of Creation of Local A final word. A party seeking the cancellation of a union's certificate of
Chapter" that requires the applicant to disclose the existence of another registration must bear in mind that:
union, much less the names of the officers of such other union. Thus, we
cannot see how BMDOMSI made the alleged misrepresentation or false x x x [A] direct challenge to the legitimacy of a labor organization based
statements in its application. on fraud and misrepresentation in securing its certificate of registration is
a serious allegation which deserves careful scrutiny. Allegations thereof
De Ocampo likewise claims that BMDOMSI committed fraud and should be compounded with supporting circumstances and evidence.
misrepresentation when it suppressed the fact that there exists "no The records of the case are devoid of such evidence. Furthermore, this
mutuality and/or communality of interest"41 of its members. This, De Court is not a trier of facts, and this doctrine applies with greater force in
Ocampo asserts, is a ground for the cancellation of its registration. labor cases. Findings of fact of administrative agencies and quasi-judicial
bodies, such as the BLR, which have acquired expertise because their
We disagree. jurisdiction is confined to specific matters, are generally accorded not
only great respect but even finality.47
While the CA may have ruled that there is no mutuality or commonality of
interests among the members of BMDOMSI, this is not enough reason to WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DENIED for lack of merit. The
cancel its registration. The only grounds on which the cancellation of a Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 89162 dated July 15,
union's registration may be sought are those found in Article 247 of the 2009 is AFFIRMED.
Labor Code. In Tagaytay Highlands International Golf Club Incorporated
v. Tagaytay Highlands Employees Union-PTGW0,42 we ruled that "[t]he SO ORDERED.
inclusion in a union of disqualified employees is not among the grounds
for cancellation, unless such inclusion is due to misrepresentation, false
statement or fraud under the circumstances enumerated in Sections (a)
and (c) of Article [247] x x x of the Labor Code."43 Thus, for purposes of
de-certifying a union, it is not enough to establish that the rank-and-file
union includes ineligible employees in its membership. Pursuant to
paragraphs (a) and (b) of Article 247 of the Labor Code, it must be shown
that there was misrepresentation, false statement or fraud in connection
with: (1) the adoption or ratification of the constitution and by-laws or
amendments thereto; (2) the minutes of ratification; (3) the election of
officers; (4) the minutes of the election of officers; and (5) the list of
voters.44 Failure to submit these documents together with the list of the
newly elected-appointed officers and their postal addresses to the BLR
G.R. No. 179146 July 23, 2013 In its Comment8 and Position Paper,9 petitioner HCCS consistently noted
that it is a parochial school with a total of 156 employees as of June 28,
HOLY CHILD CATHOLIC SCHOOL, Petitioner, 2002, broken down as follows: ninety-eight (98) teaching personnel,
vs. twenty-five (25) non-teaching academic employees, and thirty-three (33)
HON. PATRICIA STO. TOMAS, in her official capacity as Secretary of non-teaching non-academic workers. It averred that of the employees
the Department of Labor and Employment, and PINAG-ISANG TINIG who signed to support the petition, fourteen (14) already resigned and six
AT LAKAS NG ANAKPAWIS – HOLY CHILD CATHOLIC SCHOOL (6) signed twice. Petitioner raised that members of private respondent do
TEACHERS AND EMPLOYEES LABOR UNION (HCCS-TELU- not belong to the same class; it is not only a mixture of managerial,
PIGLAS), Respondents. supervisory, and rank-and-file employees – as three (3) are vice-
principals, one (1) is a department head/supervisor, and eleven (11) are
DECISION coordinators – but also a combination of teaching and non-teaching
personnel – as twenty-seven (27) are non-teaching personnel. It insisted
that, for not being in accord with Article 24510 of the Labor Code, private
PERALTA, J.:
respondent is an illegitimate labor organization lacking in personality to
file a petition for certification election, as held in Toyota Motor Philippines
Assailed in this petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules Corporation v. Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation Labor Union;11 and
of Civil Procedure are the April 18, 2007 Decision1 and July 31, 2007 an inappropriate bargaining unit for want of community or mutuality of
Resolution2 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 76175, which interest, as ruled in Dunlop Slazenger (Phils.), Inc. v. Secretary of Labor
affirmed the December 27, 2002 Decision3 and February 13, 2003 and Employment12 and De La Salle University Medical Center and
Resolution4 of the Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment College of Medicine v. Laguesma.13
(SOLE) that set aside the August 10, 2002 Decision5 of the Med-Arbiter
denying private respondent’s petition for certification election.
Private respondent, however, countered that petitioner failed to
substantiate its claim that some of the employees included in the petition
The factual antecedents are as follows: for certification election holds managerial and supervisory
positions.14 Assuming it to be true, it argued that Section 11 (II),15 Rule XI
On May 31, 2002, a petition for certification election was filed by private of DOLE Department Order (D.O.) No. 9, Series of 1997, provided for
respondent Pinag-Isang Tinig at Lakas ng Anakpawis – Holy Child specific instances in which a petition filed by a legitimate organization
Catholic School Teachers and Employees Labor Union (HCCS- shall be dismissed by the Med-Arbiter and that "mixture of employees" is
TELUPIGLAS), alleging that: PIGLAS is a legitimate labor organization not one of those enumerated. Private respondent pointed out that
duly registered with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) questions pertaining to qualifications of employees may be threshed out
representing HCCS-TELU-PIGLAS; HCCS is a private educational in the inclusion-exclusion proceedings prior to the conduct of the
institution duly registered and operating under Philippine laws; there are certification election, pursuant to Section 2,16 Rule XII of D.O. No. 9.
approximately one hundred twenty (120) teachers and employees Lastly, similar to the ruling in In Re: Globe Machine and Stamping
comprising the proposed appropriate bargaining unit; and HCCS is Company,17 it contended that the will of petitioner’s employees should be
unorganized, there is no collective bargaining agreement or a duly respected as they had manifested their desire to be represented by only
certified bargaining agent or a labor organization certified as the sole and one bargaining unit. To back up the formation of a single employer unit,
exclusive bargaining agent of the proposed bargaining unit within one private respondent asserted that even if the teachers may receive
year prior to the filing of the petition.6 Among the documents attached to additional pay for an advisory class and for holding additional loads,
the petition were the certificate of affiliation with Pinag-Isang Tinig at petitioner’s academic and non-academic personnel have similar working
Lakas ng Anakpawis Kristiyanong Alyansa ng Makabayang Obrero conditions. It cited Laguna College v. Court of Industrial Relations,18 as
(PIGLAS-KAMAO) issued by the Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR), well as the case of a union in West Negros College in Bacolod City,
charter certificate issued by PIGLASKAMAO, and certificate of which allegedly represented both academic and non-academic
registration of HCCS-TELU as a legitimate labor organization issued by employees.
the DOLE.7
On August 10, 2002, Med-Arbiter Agatha Ann L. Daquigan denied the teaching and non-teaching personnel of petitioner. These differences
petition for certification election on the ground that the unit which private were pointed out by petitioner in its position paper. We do not, however,
respondent sought to represent is inappropriate. She resolved: agree with the Med-Arbiter that these differences are substantial enough
to warrant the dismissal of the petition. First, as pointed out by private
A certification election proceeding directly involves two (2) issues namely: respondent, "inappropriateness of the bargaining unit sought to be
(a) the proper composition and constituency of the bargaining unit; and represented is not a ground for the dismissal of the petition." In fact, in
(b) the validity of majority representation claims. It is therefore incumbent the cited case of University of the Philippines v. Ferrer-Calleja, supra, the
upon the Med-Arbiter to rule on the appropriateness of the bargaining Supreme Court did not order the dismissal of the petition but ordered the
unit once its composition and constituency is questioned. conduct of a certification election, limiting the same among the non-
academic personnel of the University of the Philippines.
Section 1 (q), Rule I, Book V of the Omnibus Rules defines a "bargaining
unit" as a group of employees sharing mutual interests within a given It will be recalled that in the U.P. case, there were two contending unions,
employer unit comprised of all or less than all of the entire body of the Organization of Non-Academic Personnel of U.P. (ONAPUP) and All
employees in the employer unit or any specific occupational or U.P. Workers Union composed of both academic and nonacademic
geographical grouping within such employer unit. This definition has personnel of U.P. ONAPUP sought the conduct of certification election
provided the "community or mutuality of interest" test as the standard in among the rank-and-file non-academic personnel only while the all U.P.
determining the constituency of a collective bargaining unit. This is so Workers Union sought the conduct of certification election among all of
because the basic test of an asserted bargaining unit’s acceptability is U.P.’s rank-and-file employees covering academic and nonacademic
whether or not it is fundamentally the combination which will best assure personnel. While the Supreme Court ordered a separate bargaining unit
to all employees the exercise of their collective bargaining rights. The for the U.P. academic personnel, the Court, however, did not order them
application of this test may either result in the formation of an employer to organize a separate labor organization among themselves. The All
unit or in the fragmentation of an employer unit. U.P. Workers Union was not directed to divest itself of its academic
personnel members and in fact, we take administrative notice that the All
In the case at bar, the employees of petitioner, may, as already U.P. Workers Union continue to exist with a combined membership of
suggested, quite easily be categorized into (2) general classes: one, the U.P. academic and non-academic personnel although separate
teaching staff; and two, the non-teaching-staff. Not much reflection is bargaining agreements is sought for the two bargaining units. Corollary,
needed to perceive that the community or mutuality of interest is wanting private respondent can continue to exist as a legitimate labor
between the teaching and the non-teaching staff. It would seem obvious organization with the combined teaching and non-teaching personnel in
that the teaching staff would find very little in common with the non- its membership and representing both classes of employees in separate
teaching staff as regards responsibilities and function, working bargaining negotiations and agreements.
conditions, compensation rates, social life and interests, skills and
intellectual pursuits, etc. These are plain and patent realities which WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Med-Arbiter dated 10 August 2002 is
cannot be ignored. These dictate the separation of these two categories hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. In lieu thereof, a new order is
of employees for purposes of collective bargaining. (University of the hereby issued directing the conduct of two certification elections, one
Philippines vs. Ferrer-Calleja, 211 SCRA 451)19 among the non-teaching personnel of Holy Child Catholic School, and the
other, among the teaching personnel of the same school, subject to the
Private respondent appealed before the SOLE, who, on December 27, usual pre-election conferences and inclusion-exclusion proceedings, with
2002, ruled against the dismissal of the petition and directed the conduct the following choices:
of two separate certification elections for the teaching and the non-
teaching personnel, thus: A. Certification Election Among Petitioner’s Teaching Personnel:

We agree with the Med-Arbiter that there are differences in the nature of 1. Holy Child Catholic School Teachers and Employees
work, hours and conditions of work and salary determination between the Labor Union; and
2. No Union. ruling is inapplicable because the vice-principals, department head, and
coordinators are neither supervisory nor managerial employees. It
B. Certification Election Among Petitioner’s Non-Teaching reasoned:
Personnel:
x x x While it may be true that they wield power over other subordinate
1. Holy Child Catholic School Teachers and Employees employees of the petitioner, it must be stressed, however, that their
Labor Union; and functions are not confined with policy-determining such as hiring, firing,
and disciplining of employees, salaries, teaching/working hours, other
2. No Union. monetary and non-monetary benefits, and other terms and conditions of
employment. Further, while they may formulate policies or guidelines,
nonetheless, such is merely recommendatory in nature, and still subject
Petitioner is hereby directed to submit to the Regional Office of origin
to review and evaluation by the higher executives, i.e., the principals or
within ten (10) days from receipt of this Decision, a certified separate list
executive officers of the petitioner. It cannot also be denied that in
of its teaching and non-teaching personnel or when necessary a separate
institutions like the petitioner, company policies have already been pre-
copy of their payroll for the last three (3) months prior to the issuance of
formulated by the higher executives and all that the mentioned
this Decision.20
employees have to do is carry out these company policies and standards.
Such being the case, it is crystal clear that there is no improper
Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration21 which, per Resolution dated commingling of members in the private respondent union as to preclude
February 13, 2003, was denied. Consequently, petitioner filed before the its petition for certification of (sic) election.33
CA a Petition for Certiorari with Prayer for Temporary Restraining Order
and Preliminary Injunction.22 The CA resolved to defer action on the
Anent the alleged mixture of teaching and non-teaching personnel, the
prayer for TRO pending the filing of private respondent’s
CA agreed with petitioner that the nature of the former’s work does not
Comment.23 Later, private respondent and petitioner filed their
coincide with that of the latter. Nevertheless, it ruled that the SOLE did
Comment24 and Reply,25 respectively.
not commit grave abuse of discretion in not dismissing the petition for
certification election, since it directed the conduct of two separate
On July 23, 2003, petitioner filed a motion for immediate issuance of a certification elections based on Our ruling in University of the Philippines
TRO, alleging that Hon. Helen F. Dacanay of the Industrial Relations v. Ferrer-Calleja.34
Division of the DOLE was set to implement the SOLE Decision when it
received a summons and was directed to submit a certified list of
A motion for reconsideration35 was filed by petitioner, but the CA denied
teaching and non-teaching personnel for the last three months prior to
the same;36 hence, this petition assigning the alleged errors as follows:
the issuance of the assailed Decision.26 Acting thereon, on August 5,
2003, the CA issued the TRO and ordered private respondent to show
cause why the writ of preliminary injunction should not be I.
granted.27 Subsequently, a Manifestation and Motion28 was filed by
private respondent, stating that it repleads by reference the arguments THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN HOLDING THAT
raised in its Comment and that it prays for the immediate lifting of the THE RULING IN THE CASE OF TOYOTA MOTOR PHILIPPINES
TRO and the denial of the preliminary injunction. The CA, however, CORPORATION VS. TOYOTA MOTOR PHILIPPINES CORPORATION
denied the manifestation and motion on November 21, 200329 and, upon LABOR UNION (268 SCRA 573) DOES NOT APPLY IN THE CASE AT
motion of petitioner,30 granted the preliminary injunction on April 21, BAR DESPITE THE [COMMINGLING] OF BOTH SUPERVISORY OR
2005.31 Thereafter, both parties filed their respective Memorandum.32 MANAGERIAL AND RANK-AND-FILE EMPLOYEES IN THE
RESPONDENT UNION;
On April 18, 2007, the CA eventually dismissed the petition. As to the
purported commingling of managerial, supervisory, and rank-and-file II
employees in private respondent’s membership, it held that the Toyota
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN ITS R.A. No. 6715, as amended by D.O. No. 9, which was dated May 1, 1997
CONFLICTING RULING ALLOWING THE CONDUCT OF but took effect on June 21, 1997.40
CERTIFICATION ELECTION BY UPHOLDING THAT THE
RESPONDENT UNION REPRESENTED A BARGAINING UNIT However, note must be taken that even without the express provision of
DESPITE ITS OWN FINDINGS THAT THERE IS NO MUTUALITY OF Section 12 of RA No. 9481, the "Bystander Rule" is already well
INTEREST BETWEEN THE MEMBERS OF RESPONDENT UNION entrenched in this jurisdiction. It has been consistently held in a number
APPLYING THE TEST LAID DOWN IN THE CASE OF UNIVERSITY OF of cases that a certification election is the sole concern of the workers,
THE PHILIPPINES VS. FERRER-CALLEJA (211 SCRA 451).37 except when the employer itself has to file the petition pursuant to Article
259 of the Labor Code, as amended, but even after such filing its role in
We deny. the certification process ceases and becomes merely a bystander.41 The
employer clearly lacks the personality to dispute the election and has no
Petitioner claims that the CA contradicted the very definition of right to interfere at all therein.42 This is so since any uncalled-for concern
managerial and supervisory employees under existing law and on the part of the employer may give rise to the suspicion that it is batting
jurisprudence when it did not classify the vice-principals, department for a company union.43 Indeed, the demand of the law and policy for an
head, and coordinators as managerial or supervisory employees merely employer to take a strict, hands-off stance in certification elections is
because the policies and guidelines they formulate are still subject to the based on the rationale that the employees’ bargaining representative
review and evaluation of the principal or executive officers of petitioner. It should be chosen free from any extraneous influence of the
points out that the duties of the vice-principals, department head, and management; that, to be effective, the bargaining representative must
coordinators include the evaluation and assessment of the effectiveness owe its loyalty to the employees alone and to no other.44
and capability of the teachers under them; that such evaluation and
assessment is independently made without the participation of the higher Now, going back to petitioner’s contention, the issue of whether a petition
Administration of petitioner; that the fact that their recommendation for certification election is dismissible on the ground that the labor
undergoes the approval of the higher Administration does not take away organization’s membership allegedly consists of supervisory and rank-
the independent nature of their judgment; and that it would be difficult for and-file employees is actually not a novel one. In the 2008 case of
the vice-principals, department head, and coordinators to objectively Republic v. Kawashima Textile Mfg., Philippines, Inc.,45 wherein the
assess and evaluate the performances of teachers under them if they employer-company moved to dismiss the petition for certification election
would be allowed to be members of the same labor union. on the ground inter alia that the union membership is a mixture of rank-
and-file and supervisory employees, this Court had conscientiously
On the other hand, aside from reiterating its previous submissions, discussed the applicability of Toyota and Dunlop in the context of R.A.
private respondent cites Sections 9 and 1238 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. No. 6715 and D.O. No. 9, viz.:
9481 to buttress its contention that petitioner has no standing to oppose
the petition for certification election. On the basis of the statutory It was in R.A. No. 875, under Section 3, that such questioned mingling
provisions, it reasons that an employer is not a party-in-interest in a was first prohibited, to wit:
certification election; thus, petitioner does not have the requisite right to
protect even by way of restraining order or injunction. Sec. 3. Employees' right to self-organization. - Employees shall have the
right to self-organization and to form, join or assist labor organizations of
First off, We cannot agree with private respondent’s invocation of R.A. their own choosing for the purpose of collective bargaining through
No. 9481. Said law took effect only on June 14, 2007; hence, its representatives of their own choosing and to engage in concerted
applicability is limited to labor representation cases filed on or after said activities for the purpose of collective bargaining and other mutual aid or
date.39 Instead, the law and rules in force at the time private respondent protection. Individuals employed as supervisors shall not be eligible for
filed its petition for certification election on May 31, 2002 are R.A. No. membership in a labor organization of employees under their supervision
6715, which amended Book V of Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 442 (the but may form separate organizations of their own. (Emphasis supplied)
Labor Code), as amended, and the Rules and Regulations Implementing
Nothing in R.A. No. 875, however, tells of how the questioned mingling reached between the parties, either or both of them may bring the issue
can affect the legitimacy of the labor organization. Under Section 15, the to the nearest Regional Office for determination. (Emphasis supplied)
only instance when a labor organization loses its legitimacy is when it
violates its duty to bargain collectively; but there is no word on whether The obvious repeal of the last clause of Sec. 3, R.A. No. 875 prompted
such mingling would also result in loss of legitimacy. Thus, when the the Court to declare in Bulletin v. Sanchez that supervisory employees
issue of whether the membership of two supervisory employees impairs who do not fall under the category of managerial employees may join or
the legitimacy of a rank-and-file labor organization came before the Court assist in the formation of a labor organization for rank-and-file
En Banc in Lopez v. Chronicle Publication Employees Association, the employees, but they may not form their own labor organization.
majority pronounced:
While amending certain provisions of Book V of the Labor Code, E.O. No.
It may be observed that nothing is said of the effect of such ineligibility 111 and its implementing rules continued to recognize the right of
upon the union itself or on the status of the other qualified members supervisory employees, who do not fall under the category of managerial
thereof should such prohibition be disregarded. Considering that the law employees, to join a rank- and-file labor organization.
is specific where it intends to divest a legitimate labor union of any of the
rights and privileges granted to it by law, the absence of any provision on Effective 1989, R.A. No. 6715 restored the prohibition against the
the effect of the disqualification of one of its organizers upon the legality questioned mingling in one labor organization, viz.:
of the union, may be construed to confine the effect of such ineligibility
only upon the membership of the supervisor. In other words, the invalidity
Sec. 18. Article 245 of the same Code, as amended, is hereby further
of membership of one of the organizers does not make the union illegal,
amended to read as follows:
where the requirements of the law for the organization thereof are,
nevertheless, satisfied and met. (Emphasis supplied)
Art. 245. Ineligibility of managerial employees to join any labor
organization; right of supervisory employees. Managerial employees are
Then the Labor Code was enacted in 1974 without reproducing Sec. 3 of
not eligible to join, assist or form any labor organization. Supervisory
R.A. No. 875. The provision in the Labor Code closest to Sec. 3 is Article
employees shall not be eligible for membership in a labor organization of
290, which is deafeningly silent on the prohibition against supervisory
the rank-and-file employees but may join, assist or form separate labor
employees mingling with rank-and-file employees in one labor
organizations of their own (Emphasis supplied)
organization. Even the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of the Labor
Code (Omnibus Rules) merely provides in Section 11, Rule II, thus:
Unfortunately, just like R.A. No. 875, R.A. No. 6715 omitted specifying
the exact effect any violation of the prohibition would bring about on the
Sec. 11. Supervisory unions and unions of security guards to cease
legitimacy of a labor organization.
operation. - All existing supervisory unions and unions of security guards
shall, upon the effectivity of the Code, cease to operate as such and their
registration certificates shall be deemed automatically cancelled. It was the Rules and Regulations Implementing R.A. No. 6715 (1989
However, existing collective agreements with such unions, the life of Amended Omnibus Rules) which supplied the deficiency by introducing
which extends beyond the date of effectivity of the Code shall be the following amendment to Rule II (Registration of Unions):
respected until their expiry date insofar as the economic benefits granted
therein are concerned. Sec. 1. Who may join unions. - x x x Supervisory employees and security
guards shall not be eligible for membership in a labor organization of the
Members of supervisory unions who do not fall within the definition of rank-and-file employees but may join, assist or form separate labor
managerial employees shall become eligible to join or assist the rank and organizations of their own; Provided, that those supervisory employees
file organization. The determination of who are managerial employees who are included in an existing rank-and-file bargaining unit, upon the
and who are not shall be the subject of negotiation between effectivity of Republic Act No. 6715, shall remain in that unit x x x.
representatives of supervisory union and the employer. If no agreement s (Emphasis supplied)
and Rule V (Representation Cases and Internal-Union Conflicts) of the In the case at bar, as respondent union's membership list contains the
Omnibus Rules, viz.; names of at least twenty-seven (27) supervisory employees in Level Five
positions, the union could not, prior to purging itself of its supervisory
Sec. 1. Where to file. - A petition for certification election may be filed with employee members, attain the status of a legitimate labor organization.
the Regional Office which has jurisdiction over the principal office of the Not being one, it cannot possess the requisite personality to file a petition
employer. The petition shall be in writing and under oath. for certification election. (Emphasis supplied)

Sec. 2. Who may file. - Any legitimate labor organization or the employer, In Dunlop, in which the labor organization that filed a petition for
when requested to bargain collectively, may file the petition. certification election was one for supervisory employees, but in which the
membership included rank-and-file employees, the Court reiterated that
The petition, when filed by a legitimate labor organization, shall contain, such labor organization had no legal right to file a certification election to
among others: represent a bargaining unit composed of supervisors for as long as it
counted rank-and-file employees among its members.
xxxx
It should be emphasized that the petitions for certification election
involved in Toyota and Dunlop were filed on November 26, 1992 and
(c) description of the bargaining unit which shall be the employer unit
September 15, 1995, respectively; hence, the 1989 Rules was applied in
unless circumstances otherwise require; and provided further, that the
both cases.
appropriate bargaining unit of the rank-and-file employees shall not
include supervisory employees and/or security guards. (Emphasis
supplied) But then, on June 21, 1997, the 1989 Amended Omnibus Rules was
further amended by Department Order No. 9, series of 1997 (1997
Amended Omnibus Rules). Specifically, the requirement under Sec. 2(c)
By that provision, any questioned mingling will prevent an otherwise
of the 1989 Amended Omnibus Rules - that the petition for certification
legitimate and duly registered labor organization from exercising its right
election indicate that the bargaining unit of rank-and-file employees has
to file a petition for certification election.
not been mingled with supervisory employees - was removed. Instead,
what the 1997 Amended Omnibus Rules requires is a plain description of
Thus, when the issue of the effect of mingling was brought to the fore in the bargaining unit, thus:
Toyota, the Court, citing Article 245 of the Labor Code, as amended by
R.A. No. 6715, held:
Rule XI
Certification Elections
Clearly, based on this provision, a labor organization composed of both
rank-and-file and supervisory employees is no labor organization at all. It
xxxx
cannot, for any guise or purpose, be a legitimate labor organization. Not
being one, an organization which carries a mixture of rank-and-file and
supervisory employees cannot possess any of the rights of a legitimate Sec. 4. Forms and contents of petition. - The petition shall be in writing
labor organization, including the right to file a petition for certification and under oath and shall contain, among others, the following: x x x (c)
election for the purpose of collective bargaining. It becomes necessary, The description of the bargaining unit."
therefore, anterior to the granting of an order allowing a certification
election, to inquire into the composition of any labor organization In Pagpalain Haulers, Inc. v. Trajano, the Court had occasion to uphold
whenever the status of the labor organization is challenged on the basis the validity of the 1997 Amended Omnibus Rules, although the specific
of Article 245 of the Labor Code. provision involved therein was only Sec. 1, Rule VI, to wit:

xxxx Sec. 1. Chartering and creation of a local/chapter.- A duly registered


federation or national union may directly create a local/chapter by
submitting to the Regional Office or to the Bureau two (2) copies of the on the ground of mixed membership: the Court therein reiterated its ruling
following: a) a charter certificate issued by the federation or national in Tagaytay Highlands that the inclusion in a union of disqualified
union indicating the creation or establishment of the local/chapter; (b) the employees is not among the grounds for cancellation, unless such
names of the local/chapter's officers, their addresses, and the principal inclusion is due to misrepresentation, false statement or fraud under the
office of the local/chapter; and (c) the local/ chapter's constitution and by- circumstances enumerated in Sections (a) and (c) of Article 239 of the
laws; provided that where the local/chapter's constitution and by-laws is Labor Code.
the same as that of the federation or national union, this fact shall be
indicated accordingly. All said, while the latest issuance is R.A. No. 9481, the 1997 Amended
Omnibus Rules, as interpreted by the Court in Tagaytay Highlands, San
All the foregoing supporting requirements shall be certified under oath by Miguel and Air Philippines, had already set the tone for it. Toyota and
the Secretary or the Treasurer of the local/chapter and attested to by its Dunlop no longer hold sway in the present altered state of the law and
President. the rules.46

which does not require that, for its creation and registration, a local or When a similar issue confronted this Court close to three years later, the
chapter submit a list of its members. above ruling was substantially quoted in Samahang Manggagawa sa
Charter Chemical Solidarity of Unions in the Philippines for
Then came Tagaytay Highlands Int'l. Golf Club, Inc. v. Tagaytay Empowerment and Reforms (SMCC-Super) v. Charter Chemical and
Highlands Employees Union-PTGWO in which the core issue was Coating Corporation.47 In unequivocal terms, We reiterated that the
whether mingling affects the legitimacy of a labor organization and its alleged inclusionof supervisory employees in a labor organization
right to file a petition for certification election. This time, given the altered seeking to represent the bargaining unit of rank-and-file employees does
legal milieu, the Court abandoned the view in Toyota and Dunlop and not divest it of its status as a legitimate labor organization.48
reverted to its pronouncement in Lopez that while there is a prohibition
against the mingling of supervisory and rank-and-file employees in one Indeed, Toyota and Dunlop no longer hold true under the law and rules
labor organization, the Labor Code does not provide for the effects governing the instant case. The petitions for certification election involved
thereof. Thus, the Court held that after a labor organization has been in Toyota and Dunlop were filed on November 26, 1992 and September
registered, it may exercise all the rights and privileges of a legitimate 15, 1995, respectively; hence, the 1989 Rules and Regulations
labor organization. Any mingling between supervisory and rank-and-file Implementing R.A. No. 6715 (1989 Amended Omnibus Rules) was
employees in its membership cannot affect its legitimacy for that is not applied. In contrast, D.O. No. 9 is applicable in the petition for certification
among the grounds for cancellation of its registration, unless such election of private respondent as it was filed on May 31, 2002.
mingling was brought about by misrepresentation, false statement or
fraud under Article 239 of the Labor Code. Following the doctrine laid down in Kawashima and SMCC-Super, it must
be stressed that petitioner cannot collaterally attack the legitimacy of
In San Miguel Corp. (Mandaue Packaging Products Plants) v. Mandaue private respondent by praying for the dismissal of the petition for
Packing Products Plants-San Miguel Packaging Products-San Miguel certification election:
Corp. Monthlies Rank-and-File Union-FFW, the Court explained that
since the 1997 Amended Omnibus Rules does not require a local or Except when it is requested to bargain collectively, an employer is a mere
chapter to provide a list of its members, it would be improper for the bystander to any petition for certification election; such proceeding is
DOLE to deny recognition to said local or chapter on account of any non-adversarial and merely investigative, for the purpose thereof is to
question pertaining to its individual members. determine which organization will represent the employees in their
collective bargaining with the employer. The choice of their
More to the point is Air Philippines Corporation v. Bureau of Labor representative is the exclusive concern of the employees; the employer
Relations, which involved a petition for cancellation of union registration cannot have any partisan interest therein; it cannot interfere with, much
filed by the employer in 1999 against a rank-and-file labor organization less oppose, the process by filing a motion to dismiss or an appeal from
it; not even a mere allegation that some employees participating in a documentary requirements, the Regional Office or Bureau shall issue in
petition for certification election are actually managerial employees will favor of the applicant labor organization a certificate indicating that it is
lend an employer legal personality to block the certification election. The included in the roster of legitimate labor organizations. Any applicant
employer's only right in the proceeding is to be notified or informed labor organization shall acquire legal personality and shall be entitled to
thereof. the rights and privileges granted by law to legitimate labor organizations
upon issuance of the certificate of registration.53
The amendments to the Labor Code and its implementing rules have
buttressed that policy even more.49 In case of alleged inclusion of disqualified employees in a union, the
proper procedure for an employer like petitioner is to directly file a petition
Further, the determination of whether union membership comprises for cancellation of the union’s certificate of registration due to
managerial and/or supervisory employees is a factual issue that is best misrepresentation, false statement or fraud under the circumstances
left for resolution in the inclusion-exclusion proceedings, which has not enumerated in Article 239 of the Labor Code, as amended.54 To reiterate,
yet happened in this case so still premature to pass upon. We could only private respondent, having been validly issued a certificate of registration,
emphasize the rule that factual findings of labor officials, who are should be considered as having acquired juridical personality which may
deemed to have acquired expertise in matters within their jurisdiction, are not be attacked collaterally.
generally accorded not only with respect but even finality by the courts
when supported by substantial evidence.50 Also, the jurisdiction of this On the other hand, a bargaining unit has been defined as a "group of
Court in cases brought before it from the CA via Rule 45 is generally employees of a given employer, comprised of all or less than all of the
limited to reviewing errors of law or jurisdiction. The findings of fact of the entire body of employees, which the collective interests of all the
CA are conclusive and binding. Except in certain recognized employees, consistent with equity to the employer, indicated to be best
instances,51 We do not entertain factual issues as it is not Our function to suited to serve reciprocal rights and duties of the parties under the
analyze or weigh evidence all over again; the evaluation of facts is best collective bargaining provisions of the law."55 In determining the proper
left to the lower courts and administrative agencies/quasi-judicial bodies collective bargaining unit and what unit would be appropriate to be the
which are better equipped for the task.52 collective bargaining agency, the Court, in the seminal case of
Democratic Labor Association v. Cebu Stevedoring Company,
Turning now to the second and last issue, petitioner argues that, in view Inc.,56 mentioned several factors that should be considered, to wit: (1) will
of the improper mixture of teaching and non-teaching personnel in private of employees (Globe Doctrine); (2) affinity and unity of employees'
respondent due to the absence of mutuality of interest among its interest, such as substantial similarity of work and duties, or similarity of
members, the petition for certification election should have been compensation and working conditions; (3) prior collective bargaining
dismissed on the ground that private respondent is not qualified to file history; and (4) employment status, such as temporary, seasonal and
such petition for its failure to qualify as a legitimate labor organization, the probationary employees. We stressed, however, that the test of the
basic qualification of which is the representation of an appropriate grouping is community or mutuality of interest, because "the basic test of
bargaining unit. an asserted bargaining unit's acceptability is whether or not it is
fundamentally the combination which will best assure to all employees
We disagree. the exercise of their collective bargaining rights."57

The concepts of a union and of a legitimate labor organization are As the SOLE correctly observed, petitioner failed to comprehend the full
different from, but related to, the concept of a bargaining unit: import of Our ruling in U.P. It suffices to quote with approval the apt
disposition of the SOLE when she denied petitioner’s motion for
reconsideration:
Article 212(g) of the Labor Code defines a labor organization as "any
union or association of employees which exists in whole or in part for the
purpose of collective bargaining or of dealing with employers concerning Petitioner likewise claimed that we erred in interpreting the decision of
terms and conditions of employment." Upon compliance with all the the Supreme Court in U.P. v. Ferrer-Calleja, supra. According to
petitioner, the Supreme Court stated that the non-academic rank-andfile
employees of the University of the Philippines shall constitute a in the U.P. case prohibits us from commingling teaching and non-
bargaining unit to the exclusion of the academic employees of the teaching personnel in one bargaining unit, they have to be separated into
institution. Hence, petitioner argues, it sought the creation of separate two separate bargaining units with two separate certification elections to
bargaining units, namely: (1) petitioner’s teaching personnel to the determine whether the employees in the respective bargaining units
exclusion of non-teaching personnel; and (2) petitioner’s non-teaching desired to be represented by private respondent. In the U.P. case, only
personnel to the exclusion of teaching personnel. one certification election among the non-academic personnel was
ordered, because ONAPUP sought to represent that bargaining unit only.
Petitioner appears to have confused the concepts of membership in a No petition for certification election among the academic personnel was
bargaining unit and membership in a union. In emphasizing the phrase instituted by All U.P. Workers Union in the said case; thus, no certification
"to the exclusion of academic employees" stated in U.P. v. Ferrer-Calleja, election pertaining to its intended bargaining unit was ordered by the
petitioner believed that the petitioning union could not admit academic Court.58
employees of the university to its membership. But such was not the
intention of the Supreme Court. Indeed, the purpose of a certification election is precisely to ascertain the
majority of the employees’ choice of an appropriate bargaining unit – to
A bargaining unit is a group of employees sought to be represented by a be or not to be represented by a labor organization and, if in the
petitioning union. Such employees need not be members of a union affirmative case, by which one.59
seeking the conduct of a certification election. A union certified as an
exclusive bargaining agent represents not only its members but also At this point, it is not amiss to stress once more that, as a rule, only
other employees who are not union members. As pointed out in our questions of law may be raised in a Rule 45 petition. In Montoya v.
assailed Decision, there were two contending unions in the U.P. case, Transmed Manila Corporation,60 the Court discussed the particular
namely, the Organization of Non-Academic Personnel of U.P. (ONAPUP) parameters of a Rule 45 appeal from the CA’s Rule 65 decision on a
and the All U.P. Worker’s Union composed of both U.P. academic and labor case, as follows:
non-academic personnel. ONAPUP sought the conduct of a certification
election among the rank-and-file non-academic personnel only, while the x x x In a Rule 45 review, we consider the correctness of the assailed CA
All U.P. Workers Union intended to cover all U.P. rank-and-file decision, in contrast with the review for jurisdictional error that we
employees, involving both academic and non-academic personnel. undertake under Rule 65. Furthermore, Rule 45 limits us to the review of
questions of law raised against the assailed CA decision. In ruling for
The Supreme Court ordered the "non-academic rank-and-file employees legal correctness, we have to view the CA decision in the same context
of U.P. to constitute a bargaining unit to the exclusion of the academic that the petition for certiorari it ruled upon was presented to it; we have to
employees of the institution", but did not order them to organize a examine the CA decision from the prism of whether it correctly
separate labor organization. In the U.P. case, the Supreme Court did not determined the presence or absence of grave abuse of discretion in the
dismiss the petition and affirmed the order for the conduct of a NLRC decision before it, not on the basis of whether the NLRC decision
certification election among the non-academic personnel of U.P., without on the merits of the case was correct. In other words, we have to be
prejudice to the right of the academic personnel to constitute a separate keenly aware that the CA undertook a Rule 65 review, not a review on
bargaining unit for themselves and for the All U.P. Workers Union to appeal, of the NLRC decision challenged before it. This is the approach
institute a petition for certification election. that should be basic in a Rule 45 review of a CA ruling in a labor case. In
question form, the question to ask is: Did the CA correctly determine
In the same manner, the teaching and non-teaching personnel of whether the NLRC committed grave abuse of discretion in ruling on the
petitioner school must form separate bargaining units. Thus, the order
1âwphi 1
case?61
for the conduct of two separate certification elections, one involving
teaching personnel and the other involving non-teaching personnel. It Our review is, therefore, limited to the determination of whether the CA
should be stressed that in the subject petition, private respondent union correctly resolved the presence or absence of grave abuse of discretion
sought the conduct of a certification election among all the rank-and-file in the decision of the SOLE, not on the basis of whether the latter's
personnel of petitioner school. Since the decision of the Supreme Court decision on the merits of the case was strictly correct. Whether the CA
committed grave abuse of discretion is not what is ruled upon but
whether it correctly determined the existence or want of grave abuse of
discretion on the part of the SOLE.

WHEREFORE, the pet1t1on is DENIED. The April 18, 2007 Decision and
July 31, 2007, Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No.
76175, which affirmed the December 27, 2002 Decision of the Secretary
of the Department of Labor and Employment that set aside the

August 10, 2002 Decision of the Med-Arbiter denying private


respondent's petition for certification election are hereby AFFIRMED.

SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. L-25246 September 12, 1974 follows: ... "but such agreement shall not cover members of any religious
sects which prohibit affiliation of their members in any such labor
BENJAMIN VICTORIANO, plaintiff-appellee, organization".
vs.
ELIZALDE ROPE WORKERS' UNION and ELIZALDE ROPE Being a member of a religious sect that prohibits the affiliation of its
FACTORY, INC., defendants, ELIZALDE ROPE WORKERS' members with any labor organization, Appellee presented his resignation
UNION, defendant-appellant. to appellant Union in 1962, and when no action was taken thereon, he
reiterated his resignation on September 3, 1974. Thereupon, the Union
Salonga, Ordonez, Yap, Sicat & Associates for plaintiff-appellee. wrote a formal letter to the Company asking the latter to separate
Appellee from the service in view of the fact that he was resigning from
Cipriano Cid & Associates for defendant-appellant. the Union as a member. The management of the Company in turn
notified Appellee and his counsel that unless the Appellee could achieve
a satisfactory arrangement with the Union, the Company would be
constrained to dismiss him from the service. This prompted Appellee to
file an action for injunction, docketed as Civil Case No. 58894 in the
ZALDIVAR, J.:p Court of First Instance of Manila to enjoin the Company and the Union
from dismissing Appellee.1 In its answer, the Union invoked the "union
Appeal to this Court on purely questions of law from the decision of the Court of First Instance of
Manila in its Civil Case No. 58894. security clause" of the collective bargaining agreement; assailed the
constitutionality of Republic Act No. 3350; and contended that the Court
The undisputed facts that spawned the instant case follow: had no jurisdiction over the case, pursuant to Republic Act No. 875,
Sections 24 and 9 (d) and (e).2 Upon the facts agreed upon by the parties
during the pre-trial conference, the Court a quo rendered its decision on
Benjamin Victoriano (hereinafter referred to as Appellee), a member of
August 26, 1965, the dispositive portion of which reads:
the religious sect known as the "Iglesia ni Cristo", had been in the employ
of the Elizalde Rope Factory, Inc. (hereinafter referred to as Company)
since 1958. As such employee, he was a member of the Elizalde Rope IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, judgment is rendered
Workers' Union (hereinafter referred to as Union) which had with the enjoining the defendant Elizalde Rope Factory, Inc. from
Company a collective bargaining agreement containing a closed shop dismissing the plaintiff from his present employment and
provision which reads as follows: sentencing the defendant Elizalde Rope Workers' Union
to pay the plaintiff P500 for attorney's fees and the costs
of this action.3
Membership in the Union shall be required as a condition
of employment for all permanent employees workers
covered by this Agreement. From this decision, the Union appealed directly to this Court on purely
questions of law, assigning the following errors:
The collective bargaining agreement expired on March 3, 1964 but was
renewed the following day, March 4, 1964. I. That the lower court erred when it did not rule that
Republic Act No. 3350 is unconstitutional.
Under Section 4(a), paragraph 4, of Republic Act No. 875, prior to its
amendment by Republic Act No. 3350, the employer was not precluded II. That the lower court erred when it sentenced appellant
"from making an agreement with a labor organization to require as a herein to pay plaintiff the sum of P500 as attorney's fees
condition of employment membership therein, if such labor organization and the cost thereof.
is the representative of the employees." On June 18, 1961, however,
Republic Act No. 3350 was enacted, introducing an amendment to — In support of the alleged unconstitutionality of Republic Act No. 3350, the
paragraph (4) subsection (a) of section 4 of Republic Act No. 875, as Union contented, firstly, that the Act infringes on the fundamental right to
form lawful associations; that "the very phraseology of said Republic Act Sixthly, the Union contended that Republic Act No. 3350 violates the
3350, that membership in a labor organization is banned to all those constitutional provision regarding the promotion of social justice. 11
belonging to such religious sect prohibiting affiliation with any labor
organization"4 , "prohibits all the members of a given religious sect from Appellant Union, furthermore, asserted that a "closed shop provision" in a
joining any labor union if such sect prohibits affiliations of their members collective bargaining agreement cannot be considered violative of
thereto"5 ; and, consequently, deprives said members of their religious freedom, as to call for the amendment introduced by Republic
constitutional right to form or join lawful associations or organizations Act No. 3350; 12and that unless Republic Act No. 3350 is declared
guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, and thus becomes obnoxious to Article unconstitutional, trade unionism in this country would be wiped out as
III, Section 1 (6) of the 1935 Constitution. 6 employers would prefer to hire or employ members of the Iglesia ni Cristo
in order to do away with labor organizations. 13
Secondly, the Union contended that Republic Act No. 3350 is
unconstitutional for impairing the obligation of contracts in that, while the Appellee, assailing appellant's arguments, contended that Republic Act
Union is obliged to comply with its collective bargaining agreement No. 3350 does not violate the right to form lawful associations, for the
containing a "closed shop provision," the Act relieves the employer from right to join associations includes the right not to join or to resign from a
its reciprocal obligation of cooperating in the maintenance of union labor organization, if one's conscience does not allow his membership
membership as a condition of employment; and that said Act, therein, and the Act has given substance to such right by prohibiting the
furthermore, impairs the Union's rights as it deprives the union of dues compulsion of workers to join labor organizations; 14 that said Act does not
from members who, under the Act, are relieved from the obligation to impair the obligation of contracts for said law formed part of, and was
continue as such members.7 incorporated into, the terms of the closed shop agreement; 15 that the Act
does not violate the establishment of religion clause or separation of
Thirdly, the Union contended that Republic Act No. 3350 discriminatorily Church and State, for Congress, in enacting said law, merely
favors those religious sects which ban their members from joining labor accommodated the religious needs of those workers whose religion
unions, in violation of Article Ill, Section 1 (7) of the 1935 Constitution; prohibits its members from joining labor unions, and balanced the
and while said Act unduly protects certain religious sects, it leaves no collective rights of organized labor with the constitutional right of an
rights or protection to labor organizations.8 individual to freely exercise his chosen religion; that the constitutional
right to the free exercise of one's religion has primacy and preference
Fourthly, Republic Act No. 3350, asserted the Union, violates the over union security measures which are merely contractual 16; that said
constitutional provision that "no religious test shall be required for the Act does not violate the constitutional provision of equal protection, for
exercise of a civil right," in that the laborer's exercise of his civil right to the classification of workers under the Act depending on their religious
join associations for purposes not contrary to law has to be determined tenets is based on substantial distinction, is germane to the purpose of
under the Act by his affiliation with a religious sect; that conversely, if a the law, and applies to all the members of a given class; 17 that said Act,
worker has to sever his religious connection with a sect that prohibits finally, does not violate the social justice policy of the Constitution, for
membership in a labor organization in order to be able to join a labor said Act was enacted precisely to equalize employment opportunities for
organization, said Act would violate religious freedom.9 all citizens in the midst of the diversities of their religious beliefs." 18

Fifthly, the Union contended that Republic Act No. 3350, violates the I. Before We proceed to the discussion of the first assigned error, it is
"equal protection of laws" clause of the Constitution, it being a necessary to premise that there are some thoroughly established
discriminately legislation, inasmuch as by exempting from the operation principles which must be followed in all cases where questions of
of closed shop agreement the members of the "Iglesia ni Cristo", it has constitutionality as obtains in the instant case are involved. All
granted said members undue advantages over their fellow workers, for presumptions are indulged in favor of constitutionality; one who attacks a
while the Act exempts them from union obligation and liability, it statute, alleging unconstitutionality must prove its invalidity beyond a
nevertheless entitles them at the same time to the enjoyment of all reasonable doubt, that a law may work hardship does not render it
concessions, benefits and other emoluments that the union might secure unconstitutional; that if any reasonable basis may be conceived which
from the employer. 10 supports the statute, it will be upheld, and the challenger must negate all
possible bases; that the courts are not concerned with the wisdom, The right to refrain from joining labor organizations recognized by Section
justice, policy, or expediency of a statute; and that a liberal interpretation 3 of the Industrial Peace Act is, however, limited. The legal protection
of the constitution in favor of the constitutionality of legislation should be granted to such right to refrain from joining is withdrawn by operation of
adopted. 19 law, where a labor union and an employer have agreed on a closed shop,
by virtue of which the employer may employ only member of the
1. Appellant Union's contention that Republic Act No. 3350 prohibits and collective bargaining union, and the employees must continue to be
bans the members of such religious sects that forbid affiliation of their members of the union for the duration of the contract in order to keep
members with labor unions from joining labor unions appears nowhere in their jobs. Thus Section 4 (a) (4) of the Industrial Peace Act, before its
the wording of Republic Act No. 3350; neither can the same be deduced amendment by Republic Act No. 3350, provides that although it would be
by necessary implication therefrom. It is not surprising, therefore, that an unfair labor practice for an employer "to discriminate in regard to hire
appellant, having thus misread the Act, committed the error of contending or tenure of employment or any term or condition of employment to
that said Act is obnoxious to the constitutional provision on freedom of encourage or discourage membership in any labor organization" the
association. employer is, however, not precluded "from making an agreement with a
labor organization to require as a condition of employment membership
Both the Constitution and Republic Act No. 875 recognize freedom of therein, if such labor organization is the representative of the employees".
association. Section 1 (6) of Article III of the Constitution of 1935, as well By virtue, therefore, of a closed shop agreement, before the enactment of
as Section 7 of Article IV of the Constitution of 1973, provide that the right Republic Act No. 3350, if any person, regardless of his religious beliefs,
to form associations or societies for purposes not contrary to law shall not wishes to be employed or to keep his employment, he must become a
be abridged. Section 3 of Republic Act No. 875 provides that employees member of the collective bargaining union. Hence, the right of said
shall have the right to self-organization and to form, join of assist labor employee not to join the labor union is curtailed and withdrawn.
organizations of their own choosing for the purpose of collective
bargaining and to engage in concerted activities for the purpose of To that all-embracing coverage of the closed shop arrangement,
collective bargaining and other mutual aid or protection. What the Republic Act No. 3350 introduced an exception, when it added to Section
Constitution and the Industrial Peace Act recognize and guarantee is the 4 (a) (4) of the Industrial Peace Act the following proviso: "but such
"right" to form or join associations. Notwithstanding the different theories agreement shall not cover members of any religious sects which prohibit
propounded by the different schools of jurisprudence regarding the affiliation of their members in any such labor organization". Republic Act
nature and contents of a "right", it can be safely said that whatever theory No. 3350 merely excludes ipso jure from the application and coverage of
one subscribes to, a right comprehends at least two broad notions, the closed shop agreement the employees belonging to any religious
namely: first, liberty or freedom, i.e., the absence of legal restraint, sects which prohibit affiliation of their members with any labor
whereby an employee may act for himself without being prevented by organization. What the exception provides, therefore, is that members of
law; and second, power, whereby an employee may, as he pleases, join said religious sects cannot be compelled or coerced to join labor unions
or refrain from Joining an association. It is, therefore, the employee who even when said unions have closed shop agreements with the
should decide for himself whether he should join or not an association; employers; that in spite of any closed shop agreement, members of said
and should he choose to join, he himself makes up his mind as to which religious sects cannot be refused employment or dismissed from their
association he would join; and even after he has joined, he still retains jobs on the sole ground that they are not members of the collective
the liberty and the power to leave and cancel his membership with said bargaining union. It is clear, therefore, that the assailed Act, far from
organization at any time. 20 It is clear, therefore, that the right to join a infringing the constitutional provision on freedom of association, upholds
union includes the right to abstain from joining any union. 21 Inasmuch as and reinforces it. It does not prohibit the members of said religious sects
what both the Constitution and the Industrial Peace Act have recognized, from affiliating with labor unions. It still leaves to said members the liberty
and guaranteed to the employee, is the "right" to join associations of his and the power to affiliate, or not to affiliate, with labor unions. If,
choice, it would be absurd to say that the law also imposes, in the same notwithstanding their religious beliefs, the members of said religious
breath, upon the employee the duty to join associations. The law does sects prefer to sign up with the labor union, they can do so. If in
not enjoin an employee to sign up with any association. deference and fealty to their religious faith, they refuse to sign up, they
can do so; the law does not coerce them to join; neither does the law
prohibit them from joining; and neither may the employer or labor union contracts as a postulate of the legal order. All contracts made with
compel them to join. Republic Act No. 3350, therefore, does not violate reference to any matter that is subject to regulation under the police
the constitutional provision on freedom of association. power must be understood as made in reference to the possible exercise
of that power. 26 Otherwise, important and valuable reforms may be
2. Appellant Union also contends that the Act is unconstitutional for precluded by the simple device of entering into contracts for the purpose
impairing the obligation of its contract, specifically, the "union security of doing that which otherwise may be prohibited. The policy of protecting
clause" embodied in its Collective Bargaining Agreement with the contracts against impairment presupposes the maintenance of a
Company, by virtue of which "membership in the union was required as a government by virtue of which contractual relations are worthwhile a
condition for employment for all permanent employees workers". This government which retains adequate authority to secure the peace and
agreement was already in existence at the time Republic Act No. 3350 good order of society. The contract clause of the Constitution must,
was enacted on June 18, 1961, and it cannot, therefore, be deemed to therefore, be not only in harmony with, but also in subordination to, in
have been incorporated into the agreement. But by reason of this appropriate instances, the reserved power of the state to safeguard the
amendment, Appellee, as well as others similarly situated, could no vital interests of the people. It follows that not all legislations, which have
longer be dismissed from his job even if he should cease to be a the effect of impairing a contract, are obnoxious to the constitutional
member, or disaffiliate from the Union, and the Company could continue prohibition as to impairment, and a statute passed in the legitimate
employing him notwithstanding his disaffiliation from the Union. The Act, exercise of police power, although it incidentally destroys existing
therefore, introduced a change into the express terms of the union contract rights, must be upheld by the courts. This has special application
security clause; the Company was partly absolved by law from the to contracts regulating relations between capital and labor which are not
contractual obligation it had with the Union of employing only Union merely contractual, and said labor contracts, for being impressed with
members in permanent positions, It cannot be denied, therefore, that public interest, must yield to the common good. 27
there was indeed an impairment of said union security clause.
In several occasions this Court declared that the prohibition against
According to Black, any statute which introduces a change into the impairing the obligations of contracts has no application to statutes
express terms of the contract, or its legal construction, or its validity, or its relating to public subjects within the domain of the general legislative
discharge, or the remedy for its enforcement, impairs the contract. The powers of the state involving public welfare. 28 Thus, this Court also held
extent of the change is not material. It is not a question of degree or that the Blue Sunday Law was not an infringement of the obligation of a
manner or cause, but of encroaching in any respect on its obligation or contract that required the employer to furnish work on Sundays to his
dispensing with any part of its force. There is an impairment of the employees, the law having been enacted to secure the well-being and
contract if either party is absolved by law from its happiness of the laboring class, and being, furthermore, a legitimate
performance. 22 Impairment has also been predicated on laws which, exercise of the police power. 29
without destroying contracts, derogate from substantial contractual
rights. 23 In order to determine whether legislation unconstitutionally impairs
contract obligations, no unchanging yardstick, applicable at all times and
It should not be overlooked, however, that the prohibition to impair the under all circumstances, by which the validity of each statute may be
obligation of contracts is not absolute and unqualified. The prohibition is measured or determined, has been fashioned, but every case must be
general, affording a broad outline and requiring construction to fill in the determined upon its own circumstances. Legislation impairing the
details. The prohibition is not to be read with literal exactness like a obligation of contracts can be sustained when it is enacted for the
mathematical formula, for it prohibits unreasonable impairment only. 24 In promotion of the general good of the people, and when the means
spite of the constitutional prohibition, the State continues to possess adopted to secure that end are reasonable. Both the end sought and the
authority to safeguard the vital interests of its people. Legislation means adopted must be legitimate, i.e., within the scope of the reserved
appropriate to safeguarding said interests may modify or abrogate power of the state construed in harmony with the constitutional limitation
contracts already in effect. 25 For not only are existing laws read into of that power. 30
contracts in order to fix the obligations as between the parties, but the
reservation of essential attributes of sovereign power is also read into
What then was the purpose sought to be achieved by Republic Act No. It may not be amiss to point out here that the free exercise of religious
3350? Its purpose was to insure freedom of belief and religion, and to profession or belief is superior to contract rights. In case of conflict, the
promote the general welfare by preventing discrimination against those latter must, therefore, yield to the former. The Supreme Court of the
members of religious sects which prohibit their members from joining United States has also declared on several occasions that the rights in
labor unions, confirming thereby their natural, statutory and constitutional the First Amendment, which include freedom of religion, enjoy a preferred
right to work, the fruits of which work are usually the only means whereby position in the constitutional system. 33 Religious freedom, although not
they can maintain their own life and the life of their dependents. It cannot unlimited, is a fundamental personal right and liberty, 34 and has a
be gainsaid that said purpose is legitimate. preferred position in the hierarchy of values. Contractual rights, therefore,
must yield to freedom of religion. It is only where unavoidably necessary
The questioned Act also provides protection to members of said religious to prevent an immediate and grave danger to the security and welfare of
sects against two aggregates of group strength from which the individual the community that infringement of religious freedom may be justified,
needs protection. The individual employee, at various times in his and only to the smallest extent necessary to avoid the danger.
working life, is confronted by two aggregates of power — collective labor,
directed by a union, and collective capital, directed by management. The 3. In further support of its contention that Republic Act No. 3350 is
union, an institution developed to organize labor into a collective force unconstitutional, appellant Union averred that said Act discriminates in
and thus protect the individual employee from the power of collective favor of members of said religious sects in violation of Section 1 (7) of
capital, is, paradoxically, both the champion of employee rights, and a Article Ill of the 1935 Constitution, and which is now Section 8 of Article
new source of their frustration. Moreover, when the Union interacts with IV of the 1973 Constitution, which provides:
management, it produces yet a third aggregate of group strength from
which the individual also needs protection — the collective bargaining No law shall be made respecting an establishment of
relationship. 31 religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, and the
free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and
The aforementioned purpose of the amendatory law is clearly seen in the worship, without discrimination and preference, shall
Explanatory Note to House Bill No. 5859, which later became Republic forever be allowed. No religious test shall be required for
Act No. 3350, as follows: the exercise of civil or political rights.

It would be unthinkable indeed to refuse employing a The constitutional provision into only prohibits legislation for the support
person who, on account of his religious beliefs and of any religious tenets or the modes of worship of any sect, thus
convictions, cannot accept membership in a labor forestalling compulsion by law of the acceptance of any creed or the
organization although he possesses all the qualifications practice of any form of worship, 35 but also assures the free exercise of
for the job. This is tantamount to punishing such person one's chosen form of religion within limits of utmost amplitude. It has
for believing in a doctrine he has a right under the law to been said that the religion clauses of the Constitution are all designed to
believe in. The law would not allow discrimination to protect the broadest possible liberty of conscience, to allow each man to
flourish to the detriment of those whose religion discards believe as his conscience directs, to profess his beliefs, and to live as he
membership in any labor organization. Likewise, the law believes he ought to live, consistent with the liberty of others and with the
would not commend the deprivation of their right to work common good. 36 Any legislation whose effect or purpose is to impede the
and pursue a modest means of livelihood, without in any observance of one or all religions, or to discriminate invidiously between
manner violating their religious faith and/or belief. 32 the religions, is invalid, even though the burden may be characterized as
being only indirect. 37 But if the stage regulates conduct by enacting,
It cannot be denied, furthermore, that the means adopted by the Act to within its power, a general law which has for its purpose and effect to
achieve that purpose — exempting the members of said religious sects advance the state's secular goals, the statute is valid despite its indirect
from coverage of union security agreements — is reasonable. burden on religious observance, unless the state can accomplish its
purpose without imposing such burden. 38
In Aglipay v. Ruiz 39 , this Court had occasion to state that the government We believe that in enacting Republic Act No. 3350, Congress acted
should not be precluded from pursuing valid objectives secular in consistently with the spirit of the constitutional provision. It acted merely
character even if the incidental result would be favorable to a religion or to relieve the exercise of religion, by certain persons, of a burden that is
sect. It has likewise been held that the statute, in order to withstand the imposed by union security agreements. It was Congress itself that
strictures of constitutional prohibition, must have a secular legislative imposed that burden when it enacted the Industrial Peace Act (Republic
purpose and a primary effect that neither advances nor inhibits Act 875), and, certainly, Congress, if it so deems advisable, could take
religion. 40 Assessed by these criteria, Republic Act No. 3350 cannot be away the same burden. It is certain that not every conscience can be
said to violate the constitutional inhibition of the "no-establishment" (of accommodated by all the laws of the land; but when general laws conflict
religion) clause of the Constitution. with scrupples of conscience, exemptions ought to be granted unless
some "compelling state interest" intervenes. 45 In the instant case, We see
The purpose of Republic Act No. 3350 is secular, worldly, and temporal, no such compelling state interest to withhold exemption.
not spiritual or religious or holy and eternal. It was intended to serve the
secular purpose of advancing the constitutional right to the free exercise Appellant bewails that while Republic Act No. 3350 protects members of
of religion, by averting that certain persons be refused work, or be certain religious sects, it leaves no right to, and is silent as to the
dismissed from work, or be dispossessed of their right to work and of protection of, labor organizations. The purpose of Republic Act No. 3350
being impeded to pursue a modest means of livelihood, by reason of was not to grant rights to labor unions. The rights of labor unions are
union security agreements. To help its citizens to find gainful employment amply provided for in Republic Act No. 875 and the new Labor Code. As
whereby they can make a living to support themselves and their families to the lamented silence of the Act regarding the rights and protection of
is a valid objective of the state. In fact, the state is enjoined, in the 1935 labor unions, suffice it to say, first, that the validity of a statute is
Constitution, to afford protection to labor, and regulate the relations determined by its provisions, not by its silence 46 ; and, second, the fact
between labor and capital and industry. 41 More so now in the 1973 that the law may work hardship does not render it unconstitutional. 47
Constitution where it is mandated that "the State shall afford protection to
labor, promote full employment and equality in employment, ensure equal It would not be amiss to state, regarding this matter, that to compel
work opportunities regardless of sex, race or creed and regulate the persons to join and remain members of a union to keep their jobs in
relation between workers and employers. 42 violation of their religious scrupples, would hurt, rather than help, labor
unions, Congress has seen it fit to exempt religious objectors lest their
The primary effects of the exemption from closed shop agreements in resistance spread to other workers, for religious objections have
favor of members of religious sects that prohibit their members from contagious potentialities more than political and philosophic objections.
affiliating with a labor organization, is the protection of said employees
against the aggregate force of the collective bargaining agreement, and Furthermore, let it be noted that coerced unity and loyalty even to the
relieving certain citizens of a burden on their religious beliefs; and by country, and a fortiori to a labor — union assuming that such unity and
eliminating to a certain extent economic insecurity due to unemployment, loyalty can be attained through coercion — is not a goal that is
which is a serious menace to the health, morals, and welfare of the constitutionally obtainable at the expense of religious liberty. 48 A
people of the State, the Act also promotes the well-being of society. It is desirable end cannot be promoted by prohibited means.
our view that the exemption from the effects of closed shop agreement
does not directly advance, or diminish, the interests of any particular 4. Appellants' fourth contention, that Republic Act No. 3350 violates the
religion. Although the exemption may benefit those who are members of constitutional prohibition against requiring a religious test for the exercise
religious sects that prohibit their members from joining labor unions, the of a civil right or a political right, is not well taken. The Act does not
benefit upon the religious sects is merely incidental and indirect. The require as a qualification, or condition, for joining any lawful association
"establishment clause" (of religion) does not ban regulation on conduct membership in any particular religion or in any religious sect; neither
whose reason or effect merely happens to coincide or harmonize with the does the Act require affiliation with a religious sect that prohibits its
tenets of some or all religions. 43 The free exercise clause of the members from joining a labor union as a condition or qualification for
Constitution has been interpreted to require that religious exercise be withdrawing from a labor union. Joining or withdrawing from a labor union
preferentially aided. 44 requires a positive act. Republic Act No. 3350 only exempts members
with such religious affiliation from the coverage of closed shop which make for real differences; that it must be germane to the purpose
agreements. So, under this Act, a religious objector is not required to do of the law; that it must not be limited to existing conditions only; and that
a positive act — to exercise the right to join or to resign from the union. it must apply equally to each member of the class. 54 This Court has held
He is exempted ipso jure without need of any positive act on his part. A that the standard is satisfied if the classification or distinction is based on
conscientious religious objector need not perform a positive act or a reasonable foundation or rational basis and is not palpably arbitrary. 55
exercise the right of resigning from the labor union — he is exempted
from the coverage of any closed shop agreement that a labor union may In the exercise of its power to make classifications for the purpose of
have entered into. How then can there be a religious test required for the enacting laws over matters within its jurisdiction, the state is recognized
exercise of a right when no right need be exercised? as enjoying a wide range of discretion. 56 It is not necessary that the
classification be based on scientific or marked differences of things or in
We have said that it was within the police power of the State to enact their relation. 57 Neither is it necessary that the classification be made with
Republic Act No. 3350, and that its purpose was legal and in consonance mathematical nicety. 58 Hence legislative classification may in many cases
with the Constitution. It is never an illegal evasion of a constitutional properly rest on narrow distinctions, 59 for the equal protection guaranty
provision or prohibition to accomplish a desired result, which is lawful in does not preclude the legislature from recognizing degrees of evil or
itself, by discovering or following a legal way to do it. 49 harm, and legislation is addressed to evils as they may appear.

5. Appellant avers as its fifth ground that Republic Act No. 3350 is a We believe that Republic Act No. 3350 satisfies the aforementioned
discriminatory legislation, inasmuch as it grants to the members of certain requirements. The Act classifies employees and workers, as to the effect
religious sects undue advantages over other workers, thus violating and coverage of union shop security agreements, into those who by
Section 1 of Article III of the 1935 Constitution which forbids the denial to reason of their religious beliefs and convictions cannot sign up with a
any person of the equal protection of the laws. 50 labor union, and those whose religion does not prohibit membership in
labor unions. Tile classification rests on real or substantial, not merely
The guaranty of equal protection of the laws is not a guaranty of equality imaginary or whimsical, distinctions. There is such real distinction in the
in the application of the laws upon all citizens of the state. It is not, beliefs, feelings and sentiments of employees. Employees do not believe
therefore, a requirement, in order to avoid the constitutional prohibition in the same religious faith and different religions differ in their dogmas
against inequality, that every man, woman and child should be affected and cannons. Religious beliefs, manifestations and practices, though
alike by a statute. Equality of operation of statutes does not mean they are found in all places, and in all times, take so many varied forms
indiscriminate operation on persons merely as such, but on persons as to be almost beyond imagination. There are many views that comprise
according to the circumstances surrounding them. It guarantees equality, the broad spectrum of religious beliefs among the people. There are
not identity of rights. The Constitution does not require that things which diverse manners in which beliefs, equally paramount in the lives of their
are different in fact be treated in law as though they were the same. The possessors, may be articulated. Today the country is far more
equal protection clause does not forbid discrimination as to things that heterogenous in religion than before, differences in religion do exist, and
are different. 51 It does not prohibit legislation which is limited either in the these differences are important and should not be ignored.
object to which it is directed or by the territory within which it is to operate.
Even from the phychological point of view, the classification is based on
The equal protection of the laws clause of the Constitution allows real and important differences. Religious beliefs are not mere beliefs,
classification. Classification in law, as in the other departments of mere ideas existing only in the mind, for they carry with them practical
knowledge or practice, is the grouping of things in speculation or practice consequences and are the motives of certain rules. of human conduct
because they agree with one another in certain particulars. A law is not and the justification of certain acts. 60 Religious sentiment makes a man
invalid because of simple inequality. 52 The very idea of classification is view things and events in their relation to his God. It gives to human life
that of inequality, so that it goes without saying that the mere fact of its distinctive character, its tone, its happiness or unhappiness its
inequality in no manner determines the matter of constitutionality. 53 All enjoyment or irksomeness. Usually, a strong and passionate desire is
that is required of a valid classification is that it be reasonable, which involved in a religious belief. To certain persons, no single factor of their
means that the classification should be based on substantial distinctions experience is more important to them than their religion, or their not
having any religion. Because of differences in religious belief and simply because in practice it results in some inequality. 61 Anent this
sentiments, a very poor person may consider himself better than the rich, matter, it has been said that whenever it is apparent from the scope of
and the man who even lacks the necessities of life may be more cheerful the law that its object is for the benefit of the public and the means by
than the one who has all possible luxuries. Due to their religious beliefs which the benefit is to be obtained are of public character, the law will be
people, like the martyrs, became resigned to the inevitable and accepted upheld even though incidental advantage may occur to individuals
cheerfully even the most painful and excruciating pains. Because of beyond those enjoyed by the general public. 62
differences in religious beliefs, the world has witnessed turmoil, civil strife,
persecution, hatred, bloodshed and war, generated to a large extent by 6. Appellant's further contention that Republic Act No. 3350 violates the
members of sects who were intolerant of other religious beliefs. The constitutional provision on social justice is also baseless. Social justice is
classification, introduced by Republic Act No. 3350, therefore, rests on intended to promote the welfare of all the people. 63 Republic Act No.
substantial distinctions. 3350 promotes that welfare insofar as it looks after the welfare of those
who, because of their religious belief, cannot join labor unions; the Act
The classification introduced by said Act is also germane to its purpose. prevents their being deprived of work and of the means of livelihood. In
The purpose of the law is precisely to avoid those who cannot, because determining whether any particular measure is for public advantage, it is
of their religious belief, join labor unions, from being deprived of their right not necessary that the entire state be directly benefited — it is sufficient
to work and from being dismissed from their work because of union shop that a portion of the state be benefited thereby.
security agreements.
Social justice also means the adoption by the Government of measures
Republic Act No. 3350, furthermore, is not limited in its application to calculated to insure economic stability of all component elements of
conditions existing at the time of its enactment. The law does not provide society, through the maintenance of a proper economic and social
that it is to be effective for a certain period of time only. It is intended to equilibrium in the inter-relations of the members of the
apply for all times as long as the conditions to which the law is applicable community. 64 Republic Act No. 3350 insures economic stability to the
exist. As long as there are closed shop agreements between an members of a religious sect, like the Iglesia ni Cristo, who are also
employer and a labor union, and there are employees who are prohibited component elements of society, for it insures security in their
by their religion from affiliating with labor unions, their exemption from the employment, notwithstanding their failure to join a labor union having a
coverage of said agreements continues. closed shop agreement with the employer. The Act also advances the
proper economic and social equilibrium between labor unions and
Finally, the Act applies equally to all members of said religious sects; this employees who cannot join labor unions, for it exempts the latter from the
is evident from its provision. The fact that the law grants a privilege to compelling necessity of joining labor unions that have closed shop
members of said religious sects cannot by itself render the Act agreements and equalizes, in so far as opportunity to work is concerned,
unconstitutional, for as We have adverted to, the Act only restores to those whose religion prohibits membership in labor unions with those
them their freedom of association which closed shop agreements have whose religion does not prohibit said membership. Social justice does not
taken away, and puts them in the same plane as the other workers who imply social equality, because social inequality will always exist as long
are not prohibited by their religion from joining labor unions. The as social relations depend on personal or subjective proclivities. Social
circumstance, that the other employees, because they are differently justice does not require legal equality because legal equality, being a
situated, are not granted the same privilege, does not render the law relative term, is necessarily premised on differentiations based on
unconstitutional, for every classification allowed by the Constitution by its personal or natural conditions. 65 Social justice guarantees equality of
nature involves inequality. opportunity 66 , and this is precisely what Republic Act No. 3350 proposes
to accomplish — it gives laborers, irrespective of their religious scrupples,
The mere fact that the legislative classification may result in actual equal opportunity for work.
inequality is not violative of the right to equal protection, for every
classification of persons or things for regulation by law produces 7. As its last ground, appellant contends that the amendment introduced
inequality in some degree, but the law is not thereby rendered invalid. A by Republic Act No. 3350 is not called for — in other words, the Act is not
classification otherwise reasonable does not offend the constitution proper, necessary or desirable. Anent this matter, it has been held that a
statute which is not necessary is not, for that reason, unconstitutional; member thereof for any act done by or on behalf of such
that in determining the constitutional validity of legislation, the courts are organization in furtherance of an industrial dispute to
unconcerned with issues as to the necessity for the enactment of the which it is a party, on the ground only that such act
legislation in question. 67 Courts do inquire into the wisdom of induces some other person to break a contract of
laws. 68 Moreover, legislatures, being chosen by the people, are employment or that it is in restraint of trade or interferes
presumed to understand and correctly appreciate the needs of the with the trade, business or employment of some other
people, and it may change the laws accordingly. 69 The fear is entertained person or with the right of some other person to dispose
by appellant that unless the Act is declared unconstitutional, employers of his capital or labor. (Emphasis supplied)
will prefer employing members of religious sects that prohibit their
members from joining labor unions, and thus be a fatal blow to unionism. That there was a labor dispute in the instant case cannot be disputed for
We do not agree. The threat to unionism will depend on the number of appellant sought the discharge of respondent by virtue of the closed shop
employees who are members of the religious sects that control the agreement and under Section 2 (j) of Republic Act No. 875 a question
demands of the labor market. But there is really no occasion now to go involving tenure of employment is included in the term "labor
further and anticipate problems We cannot judge with the material now dispute". 74 The discharge or the act of seeking it is the labor dispute itself.
before Us. At any rate, the validity of a statute is to be determined from its It being the labor dispute itself, that very same act of the Union in asking
general purpose and its efficacy to accomplish the end desired, not from the employer to dismiss Appellee cannot be "an act done ... in
its effects on a particular case. 70 The essential basis for the exercise of furtherance of an industrial dispute". The mere fact that appellant is a
power, and not a mere incidental result arising from its exertion, is the labor union does not necessarily mean that all its acts are in furtherance
criterion by which the validity of a statute is to be measured. 71 of an industrial dispute. 75 Appellant Union, therefore, cannot invoke in its
favor Section 24 of Republic Act No. 875. This case is not intertwined
II. We now pass on the second assignment of error, in support of which with any unfair labor practice case existing at the time when Appellee
the Union argued that the decision of the trial court ordering the Union to filed his complaint before the lower court.
pay P500 for attorney's fees directly contravenes Section 24 of Republic
Act No. 875, for the instant action involves an industrial dispute wherein Neither does Article 2208 of the Civil Code, invoked by the Union, serve
the Union was a party, and said Union merely acted in the exercise of its as its shield. The article provides that attorney's fees and expenses of
rights under the union shop provision of its existing collective bargaining litigation may be awarded "when the defendant's act or omission has
contract with the Company; that said order also contravenes Article 2208 compelled the plaintiff ... to incur expenses to protect his interest"; and "in
of the Civil Code; that, furthermore, Appellee was never actually any other case where the court deems it just and equitable that attorney's
dismissed by the defendant Company and did not therefore suffer any fees and expenses of litigation should be recovered". In the instant case,
damage at all . 72 it cannot be gainsaid that appellant Union's act in demanding Appellee's
dismissal caused Appellee to incur expenses to prevent his being
In refuting appellant Union's arguments, Appellee claimed that in the dismissed from his job. Costs according to Section 1, Rule 142, of the
instant case there was really no industrial dispute involved in the attempt Rules of Court, shall be allowed as a matter of course to the prevailing
to compel Appellee to maintain its membership in the union under pain of party.
dismissal, and that the Union, by its act, inflicted intentional harm on
Appellee; that since Appellee was compelled to institute an action to WHEREFORE, the instant appeal is dismissed, and the decision, dated
protect his right to work, appellant could legally be ordered to pay August 26, 1965, of the Court of First Instance of Manila, in its Civil Case
attorney's fees under Articles 1704 and 2208 of the Civil Code. 73 No. 58894, appealed from is affirmed, with costs against appellant Union.
It is so ordered.
The second paragraph of Section 24 of Republic Act No. 875 which is
relied upon by appellant provides that: Makalintal, C.J, Castro, Teehankee, Barredo, Makasiar, Antonio,
Esguerra, Muñoz Palma and Aquino, JJ., concur.
No suit, action or other proceedings shall be maintainable
in any court against a labor organization or any officer or
power to prescribe what shall be orthodox in matters of conscience — or
to mundane affairs, for that matter.

Gerona v. Secretary of Education 4 speaks similarly. In the language of its ponente,


Justice Montemayor: "The realm of belief and creed is infinite and limitless bounded only by one's
imagination and thought. So is the freedom of belief, including religious belief, limitless and without
bounds. One may believe in most anything, however strange, bizarre and unreasonable the same may
appear to others, even heretical when weighed in the scales of orthodoxy or doctrinal
Separate Opinions standards."5There was this qualification though: "But between the freedom of belief and the exercise of
said belief, there is quite a stretch of road to travel. If the exercise of said religious belief clashes with
the established institutions of society and with the law, then the former must yield and give way to the
latter. The Government steps in and either restrains said exercise or even prosecutes the one
exercising it."6 It was on that basis that the daily compulsory flag ceremony in accordance with a
statute7was found free from the constitutional objection on the part of a religious sect, the Jehovah's
FERNANDO, J, concurring: Witnesses, whose members alleged that their participation would be offensive to their religious beliefs.
In a case not dissimilar, West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette,8 the American Supreme
Court reached a contrary conclusion. Justice Jackson's eloquent opinion is, for this writer, highly
The decision arrived at unanimously by this Court that Republic Act No. persuasive. Thus: "The case is made difficult not because the principles of its decision are obscure but
3350 is free from the constitutional infirmities imputed to it was because the flag involved is our own. Nevertheless, we apply the limitations of the Constitution with no
fear that freedom to be intellectually and spiritually diverse or even contrary will disintegrate the social
demonstrated in a manner wellnigh conclusive in the learned, scholarly, organization. To believe that patriotism will not flourish if patriotic ceremonies are voluntary and
and comprehensive opinion so typical of the efforts of the ponente, spontaneous instead of a compulsory routine is to make an unflattering estimate of the appeal of our
institutions to free minds. We can have intellectual individualism and the rich cultural diversities that we
Justice Zaldivar. Like the rest of my brethren, I concur fully. Considering owe to exceptional minds only at the price of occasional eccentricity and abnormal attitudes. When
moreover, the detailed attention paid to each and every objection raised they are so harmless to others or to the State as those we deal with here, the price is not too great. But
as to its validity and the clarity and persuasiveness with which it was freedom to differ is not limited to things that do not matter much. That would be a mere shadow of
freedom. The test of its substance is the right to differ as to things that touch the heart of the existing
shown to be devoid of support in authoritative doctrines, it would appear order."9
that the last word has been written on this particular subject.
Nonetheless, I deem it proper to submit this brief expression of my views There is moreover this ringing affirmation by Chief Justice Hughes of the
on the transcendent character of religious freedom1 and its primacy even primacy of religious freedom in the forum of conscience even as against
as against the claims of protection to labor,2 also one of the fundamental the command of the State itself: "Much has been said of the paramount
principles of the Constitution. duty to the state, a duty to be recognized, it is urged, even though it
conflicts with convictions of duty to God. Undoubtedly that duty to the
1. Religious freedom is identified with the liberty every individual state exists within the domain of power, for government may enforce
possesses to worship or not a Supreme Being, and if a devotee of any obedience to laws regardless of scruples. When one's belief collides with
sect, to act in accordance with its creed. Thus is constitutionally the power of the state, the latter is supreme within its sphere and
safeguarded, according to Justice Laurel, that "profession of faith to an submission or punishment follows. But, in the forum of conscience, duty
active power that binds and elevates man to his Creator ...."3 The choice to a moral power higher than the state has always been maintained. The
of what a man wishes to believe in is his and his alone. That is a domain reservation of that supreme obligation, as a matter of principle, would
left untouched, where intrusion is not allowed, a citadel to which the law unquestionably be made by many of our conscientious and law-abiding
is denied entry, whatever be his thoughts or hopes. In that sphere, what citizens. The essence of religion is belief in a relation to God involving
he wills reigns supreme. The doctrine to which he pays fealty may for duties superior to those arising from any human relation." 10 The American
some be unsupported by evidence, devoid of rational foundation. No Chief Justice spoke in dissent, it is true, but with him in agreement were
matter. There is no requirement as to its conformity to what has found three of the foremost jurists who ever sat in that Tribunal, Justices
acceptance. It suffices that for him such a concept holds undisputed Holmes, Brandeis, and Stone.
sway. That is a recognition of man's freedom. That for him is one of the
ways of self- realization. It would be to disregard the dignity that attaches 2. As I view Justice Zaldivar's opinion in that light, my concurrence, as set
to every human being to deprive him of such an attribute. The "fixed star forth earlier, is wholehearted and entire. With such a cardinal postulate
on our constitutional constellation," to borrow the felicitous phrase of as the basis of our polity, it has a message that cannot be misread. Thus
Justice Jackson, is that no official, not excluding the highest, has it in his is intoned with a reverberating clang, to paraphrase Cardozo, a
fundamental principle that drowns all weaker sounds. The labored effort shown to be devoid of support in authoritative doctrines, it would appear
to cast doubt on the validity of the statutory provision in question is far that the last word has been written on this particular subject.
from persuasive. It is attended by futility. It is not for this Court, as I Nonetheless, I deem it proper to submit this brief expression of my views
conceive of the judicial function, to restrict the scope of a preferred on the transcendent character of religious freedom1 and its primacy even
freedom. as against the claims of protection to labor,2 also one of the fundamental
principles of the Constitution.
3. There is, however, the question of whether such an exception
possesses an implication that lessens the effectiveness of state efforts to 1. Religious freedom is identified with the liberty every individual
protect labor, likewise, as noted, constitutionally ordained. Such a view, possesses to worship or not a Supreme Being, and if a devotee of any
on the surface, may not be lacking in plausibility, but upon closer sect, to act in accordance with its creed. Thus is constitutionally
analysis, it cannot stand scrutiny. Thought must be given to the freedom safeguarded, according to Justice Laurel, that "profession of faith to an
of association, likewise an aspect of intellectual liberty. For the late active power that binds and elevates man to his Creator ...."3 The choice
Professor Howe a constitutionalist and in his lifetime the biographer of of what a man wishes to believe in is his and his alone. That is a domain
the great Holmes, it even partakes of the political theory of pluralistic left untouched, where intrusion is not allowed, a citadel to which the law
sovereignty. So great is the respect for the autonomy accorded voluntary is denied entry, whatever be his thoughts or hopes. In that sphere, what
societies. 11 Such a right implies at the very least that one can determine he wills reigns supreme. The doctrine to which he pays fealty may for
for himself whether or not he should join or refrain from joining a labor some be unsupported by evidence, devoid of rational foundation. No
organization, an institutional device for promoting the welfare of the matter. There is no requirement as to its conformity to what has found
working man. A closed shop, on the other hand, is inherently coercive. acceptance. It suffices that for him such a concept holds undisputed
That is why, as is unmistakably reflected in our decisions, the latest of sway. That is a recognition of man's freedom. That for him is one of the
which is Guijarno v. Court of Industrial Relations, 12 it is far from being a ways of self- realization. It would be to disregard the dignity that attaches
favorite of the law. For a statutory provision then to further curtail its to every human being to deprive him of such an attribute. The "fixed star
operation, is precisely to follow the dictates of sound public policy. on our constitutional constellation," to borrow the felicitous phrase of
Justice Jackson, is that no official, not excluding the highest, has it in his
The exhaustive and well-researched opinion of Justice Zaldivar thus is in power to prescribe what shall be orthodox in matters of conscience — or
the mainstream of constitutional tradition. That, for me, is the channel to to mundane affairs, for that matter.
follow.
Gerona v. Secretary of Education 4 speaks similarly. In the language of its ponente,
Justice Montemayor: "The realm of belief and creed is infinite and limitless bounded only by one's
imagination and thought. So is the freedom of belief, including religious belief, limitless and without
bounds. One may believe in most anything, however strange, bizarre and unreasonable the same may
appear to others, even heretical when weighed in the scales of orthodoxy or doctrinal
standards."5There was this qualification though: "But between the freedom of belief and the exercise of
said belief, there is quite a stretch of road to travel. If the exercise of said religious belief clashes with
the established institutions of society and with the law, then the former must yield and give way to the
Separate Opinions latter. The Government steps in and either restrains said exercise or even prosecutes the one
exercising it."6 It was on that basis that the daily compulsory flag ceremony in accordance with a
statute7was found free from the constitutional objection on the part of a religious sect, the Jehovah's
FERNANDO, J, concurring: Witnesses, whose members alleged that their participation would be offensive to their religious beliefs.
In a case not dissimilar, West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette,8 the American Supreme
Court reached a contrary conclusion. Justice Jackson's eloquent opinion is, for this writer, highly
The decision arrived at unanimously by this Court that Republic Act No. persuasive. Thus: "The case is made difficult not because the principles of its decision are obscure but
3350 is free from the constitutional infirmities imputed to it was because the flag involved is our own. Nevertheless, we apply the limitations of the Constitution with no
fear that freedom to be intellectually and spiritually diverse or even contrary will disintegrate the social
demonstrated in a manner wellnigh conclusive in the learned, scholarly, organization. To believe that patriotism will not flourish if patriotic ceremonies are voluntary and
and comprehensive opinion so typical of the efforts of the ponente, spontaneous instead of a compulsory routine is to make an unflattering estimate of the appeal of our
Justice Zaldivar. Like the rest of my brethren, I concur fully. Considering institutions to free minds. We can have intellectual individualism and the rich cultural diversities that we
owe to exceptional minds only at the price of occasional eccentricity and abnormal attitudes. When
moreover, the detailed attention paid to each and every objection raised they are so harmless to others or to the State as those we deal with here, the price is not too great. But
as to its validity and the clarity and persuasiveness with which it was freedom to differ is not limited to things that do not matter much. That would be a mere shadow of
freedom. The test of its substance is the right to differ as to things that touch the heart of the existing That is why, as is unmistakably reflected in our decisions, the latest of
order."9
which is Guijarno v. Court of Industrial Relations, 12 it is far from being a
favorite of the law. For a statutory provision then to further curtail its
There is moreover this ringing affirmation by Chief Justice Hughes of the operation, is precisely to follow the dictates of sound public policy.
primacy of religious freedom in the forum of conscience even as against
the command of the State itself: "Much has been said of the paramount
duty to the state, a duty to be recognized, it is urged, even though it The exhaustive and well-researched opinion of Justice Zaldivar thus is in
conflicts with convictions of duty to God. Undoubtedly that duty to the the mainstream of constitutional tradition. That, for me, is the channel to
state exists within the domain of power, for government may enforce follow.
obedience to laws regardless of scruples. When one's belief collides with
the power of the state, the latter is supreme within its sphere and
submission or punishment follows. But, in the forum of conscience, duty
to a moral power higher than the state has always been maintained. The
reservation of that supreme obligation, as a matter of principle, would
unquestionably be made by many of our conscientious and law-abiding
citizens. The essence of religion is belief in a relation to God involving
duties superior to those arising from any human relation." 10 The American
Chief Justice spoke in dissent, it is true, but with him in agreement were
three of the foremost jurists who ever sat in that Tribunal, Justices
Holmes, Brandeis, and Stone.

2. As I view Justice Zaldivar's opinion in that light, my concurrence, as set


forth earlier, is wholehearted and entire. With such a cardinal postulate
as the basis of our polity, it has a message that cannot be misread. Thus
is intoned with a reverberating clang, to paraphrase Cardozo, a
fundamental principle that drowns all weaker sounds. The labored effort
to cast doubt on the validity of the statutory provision in question is far
from persuasive. It is attended by futility. It is not for this Court, as I
conceive of the judicial function, to restrict the scope of a preferred
freedom.

3. There is, however, the question of whether such an exception


possesses an implication that lessens the effectiveness of state efforts to
protect labor, likewise, as noted, constitutionally ordained. Such a view,
on the surface, may not be lacking in plausibility, but upon closer
analysis, it cannot stand scrutiny. Thought must be given to the freedom
of association, likewise an aspect of intellectual liberty. For the late
Professor Howe a constitutionalist and in his lifetime the biographer of
the great Holmes, it even partakes of the political theory of pluralistic
sovereignty. So great is the respect for the autonomy accorded voluntary
societies. 11 Such a right implies at the very least that one can determine
for himself whether or not he should join or refrain from joining a labor
organization, an institutional device for promoting the welfare of the
working man. A closed shop, on the other hand, is inherently coercive.
[G.R. No. 152356. August 16, 2005] certifying that respondent as of that date was duly certified as a local or
chapter of FFW; (2) a copy of the constitution of respondent prepared by its
Secretary, Noel T. Bathan and attested by its President, Wilfred V. Sagun;
(3) a list of respondents officers and their respective addresses, again
SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION (MANDAUE PACKAGING PRODUCTS prepared by Bathan and attested by Sagun; (4) a certification signifying that
PLANTS), petitioner, vs. MANDAUE PACKING PRODUCTS respondent had just been organized and no amount had yet been collected
PLANTS-SAN PACKAGING PRODUCTS SAN MIGUEL from its members, signed by respondents treasurer Chita D. Rodriguez and
CORPORATION MONTHLIES RANK-AND-FILE UNION FFW attested by Sagun; and (5) a list of all the rank-and-file monthly paid
(MPPP-SMPP-SMAMRFU-FFW), respondent. employees of the Mandaue Packaging Products Plants and Mandaue Glass
Plant prepared by Bathan and attested by Sagun.[3]
DECISION The petition was assigned to Mediator-Arbiter Achilles V. Manit of the
TINGA, J.: DOLE Regional Office No. VII, and docketed as Case No. R0700-9806-RU-
013.[4]
The central question in this Petition for Review is on what date did On 27 July 1998, petitioner filed a motion to dismiss the petition for
respondent Mandaue Packing Products Plants-San Miguel Packaging certification election on the sole ground that herein respondent is not listed or
ProductsSan Miguel Corporation Monthlies Rank-And-File UnionFFW included in the roster of legitimate labor organizations based on the
acquire legal personality in accordance with the Implementing Rules of the certification issued by the Officer-In-Charge, Regional Director of the DOLE
Labor Code. The matter is crucial since respondent filed a petition for Regional Office No. VII, Atty. Jesus B. Gabor, on 24 July 1998.
certification election at a date when, it is argued, it had yet to acquire the
requisite legal personality. The Department of Labor and Employment On 29 July 1998, respondent submitted to the Bureau of Labor
(DOLE) and the Court of Appeals both ruled that respondent had acquired Relations the same documents earlier attached to its petition for certification.
legal personality on the same day it filed the petition for certification election. The accompanying letter, signed by respondents president Sagun, stated
The procedure employed by the respondent did not strictly conform with the that such documents were submitted in compliance with the requirements for
relevant provisions of law. But rather than insist on an overly literal reading of the creation of a local/chapter pursuant to the Labor Code and its
the law that senselessly suffocates the constitutionally guaranteed right to Implementing Rules; and it was hoped that the submissions would facilitate
self-organization, we uphold the assailed decisions and the liberal spirit that the listing of respondent under the roster of legitimate labor
animates them. organizations.[5] On 3 August 1998, the Chief of Labor Relations Division of
DOLE Regional Office No. VII issued a Certificate of Creation of
Local/Chapter No. ITD. I-ARFBT-058/98, certifying that from 30 July 1998,
respondent has acquired legal personality as a labor organization/workers
Antecedent Facts association, it having submitted all the required documents.[6]
Opting not to file a comment on the Motion to Dismiss,[7] respondent
The present petition assailed the Decision dated 7 June 2001 rendered instead filed a Position Paper wherein it asserted that it had complied with all
by the Court of Appeals Eighth Division[1] which in turn affirmed the necessary requirements for the conduct of a certification election, and
a Decision dated 22 Feburary 1999 by the DOLE Undersecretary for Labor that the ground relied upon in the Motion to Dismiss was a mere
Relations, Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz, ordering the immediate conduct of a technicality.[8]
certification election among the petitioners rank-and-file employees, as
prayed for by respondent. The following facts are culled from the records. In turn, petitioner filed a Comment, wherein it reiterated that respondent
was not a legitimate labor organization at the time of the filing of the petition.
On 15 June 1998, respondent, identifying itself as an affiliate of Petitioner also propounded that contrary to respondents objectives of
Federation of Free Workers (FFW), filed a petition for certification election establishing an organization representing rank-and-file employees, two of
with the DOLE Regional Office No. VII. In the petition, respondent stated that respondents officers, namely Vice-President Emannuel L. Rosell and
it sought to be certified and to represent the permanent rank-and-file monthly Secretary Bathan, were actually supervisory employees. In support of this
paid employees of the petitioner.[2] The following documents were attached to allegation, petitioner attached various documents evidencing the designation
the petition: (1) a Charter Certificate issued by FFW on 5 June 1998 of these two officers in supervisory roles, as well as their exercise of various
supervisory functions.[9] Petitioner cited Article 245 of the Labor Code, which SO DECIDED.[13]
provides that supervisory employees shall not be eligible for membership in a
labor organization of the rank-and-file employees.[10] These two conclusions of the DOLE were affirmed in the
On 20 August 1998, petitioner filed a petition to cancel the union assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals. It is now our task to review
registration of respondent. However, this petition was denied, and such whether these conclusions are warranted under law and jurisprudence. First,
denial was subsequently affirmed by the Court of Appeals in a decision that we shall discuss the aspect of respondents legal personality in filing the
has since become final.[11] petition for certification election.

In the meantime, on 15 September 1998, Med-Arbiter Manit issued


an Order dismissing respondents petition for certification election. The sole
First Issue: On the Acquisition of
ground relied upon for the dismissal was the Med-Arbiters Opinion that as of
Legal Personality by Respondent
the date of filing of the petition on 15 June 1998, respondent did not have the
legal personality to file the said petition for certification election. [12] No
discussion was adduced on petitioners claims that some of respondents Statutory Provisions for Registration Of
officers were actually supervisory employees. Local/Chapter of Federation or National Union
Respondent promptly appealed the 15 September 1998 Order to the Before we proceed to evaluate the particular facts of this case, it would
DOLE. On 22 February 1999, DOLE Undersecretary Rosalinda Dimapilis- be useful to review the statutory paradigm that governs the establishment
Baldoz rendered a Decision reversing the Order. Undersecretary Baldoz and acquisition of legal personality by a local/chapter of a labor organization.
concluded that respondent acquired legal personality as early as 15 June The applicable rules have undergone significant amendments in the last
1998, the date it submitted the required documents, citing Section 3, Rule VI decade, thus a recapitulation of the framework is in order.
of the New Rules Implementing the Labor Code (Implementing Rules) which
deems that a local/chapter acquires legal personality from the date of filing of The Labor Code defines a labor organization as any union or
the complete documentary requirements as mandated in the Implementing association of employees which exists in whole or in part for the purpose of
Rules. The DOLE also ruled that the contention that two of respondents collective bargaining or of dealing with employers concerning terms and
officers were actually supervisors can be threshed out in the pre-election conditions of employment,[14] and a legitimate labor organization as any labor
conferences where the list of qualified voters is to be determined. The organization duly registered with the DOLE, including any branch or local
dispositive portion of the DOLE Decision stated: thereof.[15] Only legitimate labor organizations may file a petition for
certification election.[16]
WHEREFORE, the appeal is GRANTED. The order dated 15 September 1999 of the Article 234 of the Labor Code enumerates the requirements for
Med-Arbiter is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Accordingly, let the records of the registration of an applicant labor organization, association, or group of unions
case be remanded to the office of origin for the immediate conduct of certification or workers in order that such entity could acquire legal personality and
election, subject to the usual pre-election conference, among the monthly-paid rank- entitlement to the rights and privileges granted by law to legitimate labor
and-file employees of the Mandaue Packaging Products Plant San Miguel organizations. These include a registration fee of fifty pesos (P50.00); a list of
Corporation, with the following choices: the names of the members and officers, and copies of the constitution and
by-laws of the applicant union.[17]
1. MANDAUE PACKAGING PRODUCT PLANT SAN MIGUEL PACKAGING
PRODUCTS SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION MONTHLIES RANK However, the Labor Code itself does not lay down the procedure for the
AND FILE UNIONFFW (MPPP-SMPP-SMCMRFUFFW),
registration of a local or chapter of a labor organization. Such has been
2. NO UNION. traditionally provided instead in the Implementing Rules, particularly in Book
V thereof. However, in the last decade or so, significant amendments have
Pursuant to Rule XI, Section 11.1 of the New Implementing Rules, the company is been introduced to Book V, first by Department Order No. 9 which took effect
hereby directed to submit to the office of origin the certified list of current on 21 June 1997, and again by Department Order No. 40 dated 17 February
employees in the bargaining unit, along with the payrolls covering the members of 2003. The differences in the procedures laid down in these various versions
the bargaining unit for the last three months prior to the issuance of this decision. are significant. However, since the instant petition for certification was filed in
1998, the Implementing Rules, as amended by Department Order No. 9, Section 1. Chartering and creation of a local chapter A duly registered federation or
should govern the resolution of this petition.[18] national union may directly create a local/chapter by submitting to the Regional
Office or to the Bureau two (2) copies of the following:
Preliminarily, we should note that a less stringent procedure obtains in
the registration of a local or chapter than that of a labor organization.
Undoubtedly, the intent of the law in imposing lesser requirements in the a) A charter certificate issued by the federation or national union indicating the
case of a branch or local of a registered federation or national union is to creation or establishment of the local/chapter;
encourage the affiliation of a local union with a federation or national union in
order to increase the local union's bargaining powers respecting terms and (b) The names of the local/chapter's officers, their addresses, and the principal
conditions of labor.[19] This policy has remained consistent despite the office of the local/chapter;
succeeding amendments to Book V of the Omnibus Implementing Rules, as
contained in Department Orders Nos. 9 and 40. (c) The local/chapter's constitution and by-laws; provided that where the
local/chapter's constitution and by-laws is the same as that of the
The case of Progressive Development Corp. v. Secretary of federation or national union, this fact shall be indicated accordingly.
Labor,[20] applying Section 3, Rule II, Book V of the Implementing Rules, in
force before 1997, ruled that "a local or chapter therefore becomes a
legitimate labor organization only upon submission of the following to the All the foregoing supporting requirements shall be certified under oath by the
BLR: (1) a charter certificate, within thirty (30) days from its issuance by the Secretary or Treasurer of the local/chapter and attested by its President.
labor federation or national union; and (2) The constitution and by-laws, a
statement of the set of officers, and the books of accounts all of which are In contrast, an independent union seeking registration is further required
certified under oath by the secretary or treasurer, as the case may be, of under Dept. Order No. 90 to submit the number and names of the members,
such local or chapter, and attested to by its president.[21] The submission by and annual financial reports.[27]
the local/chapter of duly certified books of accounts as a prerequisite for
Section 3, Rule VI of Department Order No. 9 provides when the
registration of the local/chapter was dropped in Department Order No. 9,[22] a
local/chapter acquires legal personality.
development noted by the Court in Pagpalain Haulers v. Hon.
Trajano,[23] wherein it was held that the previous doctrines requiring the
submission of books of accounts as a prerequisite for the registration of a Section 3. Acquisition of legal personality by local chapter. A local/chapter
local/chapter are already pass and therefore, no longer applicable. [24] constituted in accordance with Section 1 of this Rule shall acquire legal personality
from the date of filing of the complete documents enumerated therein. Upon
Department Order No. 40, now in effect, has eased the requirements by compliance with all the documentary requirements, the Regional Office or Bureau
which a local/chapter may acquire legal personality. Interestingly, shall issue in favor of the local/chapter a certificate indicating that it is included in
Department Order No. 40 no longer uses the term local/chapter, utilizing the roster of legitimate labor organizations.
instead chartered local, which is defined as a labor organization in the private
sector operating at the enterprise level that acquired legal personality It is evident based on this rule that the local/chapter acquires legal
through the issuance of a charter certificate by a duly registered federation or personality from the date of the filing of the complete documentary
national union, and reported to the Regional Office. [25] Clearly under the requirements, and not from the issuance of a certification to such effect by
present rules, the first step to be undertaken in the creation of a chartered the Regional Office or Bureau. On the other hand, a labor organization is
local is the issuance of a charter certificate by the duly registered federation deemed to have acquired legal personality only on the date of issuance of its
or national union. Said federation or national union is then obligated to report certificate of registration,[28] which takes place only after the Bureau of Labor
to the Regional Office the creation of such chartered local, attaching thereto Relations or its Regional Offices has undertaken an evaluation process
the charter certificate it had earlier issued.[26] lasting up until thirty (30) days, within which period it approves or denies the
But as stated earlier, it is Department Order No. 9 that governs in this application.[29] In contrast, no such period of evaluation is provided in
case. Section 1, Rule VI thereof prescribes the documentary requirements Department Order No. 9 for the application of a local/chapter, and more
for the creation of a local/chapter. It states: importantly, under it such local/chapter is deemed to acquire legal personality
from the date of filing of the documents enumerated under Section 1, Rule
VI, Book V.
Apart from promoting a policy of affiliation of local unions with national its registration.[36] It therefore would be improper to deny legal recognition to a
unions,[30] there is a practical reason for sanctioning a less onerous local/chapter owing to questions pertaining to its individual members since
procedure for the registration of a local/chapter, as compared to the national the local/chapter is not even obliged to submit the names of its individual
union. The local/chapter relies in part on the legal personality of the members prior to registration.
federation or national union, which in turn, had already undergone evaluation
and approval from the Bureau of Legal Relations or Regional Office. In fact, a Certainly, when a local/chapter applies for registration, matters raised
federation or national union is required, upon registration, to establish proof against the personality of the federation or national union itself should not be
of affiliation of at least ten (10) locals or chapters which are duly recognized acted upon by the Bureau or Regional Office, owing to the preclusion of
as the collective bargaining agent in the establishment or industry in which collateral attack. Instead, the proper matter for evaluation by the Bureau or
they operate; and the names and addresses of the companies where the Regional Office should be limited to whether the local/chapter is indeed a
locals or chapters operate and the list of all the members in each of the duly created affiliate of the national union or federation.
companies.[31] Once the national union or federation acquires legal Parenthetically, under the present Implementing Rules as amended by
personality upon the issuance of its certificate or registration,[32] its legal Department Order No. 40, it appears that the local/chapter (or now, chartered
personality cannot be subject to collateral attack.[33] local) acquires legal personality upon the issuance of the charter certificate
The fact that the local/chapter acquires legal personality from the by the duly registered federation or national union. [37] This might signify that
moment the complete documentary requirements are submitted seems to the creation of the chartered local is within the sole discretion of the
imply that the duty of the Bureau or Regional Office to register the federation or national union and thus beyond the review or interference of the
local/chapter is merely ministerial. However, in Progressive Bureau of Labor Relations or its Regional Offices. However, Department
Development Corporation v. Laguesma,[34] the Court, in ruling against a Order No. 40 also requires that the federation or national union report the
petition for certification filed by a chapter, held that the mere submission of creation of the chartered local to the Regional Office.
the documentary requirements does not render ministerial the function of the
Bureau of Labor Relations in according due recognition to the labor
organization.[35] Still, that case was decided before the enactment of Acquisition by Respondent of Legal Personality
Department Order No. 9, including the aforestated Section 3. Should we
consider the said 1997 amendments as having obviated our characterization
in Progressive of the Bureaus duty as non-ministerial? We now proceed to determine if and when the respondent acquired
legal personality under the procedure laid down by the rules then in effect,
Notwithstanding the amendments, it still is good policy to maintain that Department Order No. 9, that is.
per Department Order No. 9, the duty of the Bureau of Labor Relations to
recognize the local/chapter upon the submission of the documentary At the onset, the arguments raised by petitioner on this point are plainly
requirements is not ministerial, insofar as the Bureau is obliged to adjudge erroneous. Petitioner cites the case of Toyota Motor Philippines v. Toyota
the authenticity of the documents required to be submitted. For example, the Motor Philippines Corporation Labor Union,[38] and the purported holding
Bureau is not mandated to accept just any purported charter certificate therein that [if] it is true that at the time of the filing of the petition, the said
matter how spurious it is in appearance. It is empowered to ascertain registration certificate has not been approved yet, then, petitioner lacks the
whether the submitted charter certificate is genuine, and if finding that said legal personality to file the petition.[39] However, an examination of the case
certificate is fake, deny recognition to the local/chapter. actually reveals that the cited portion was lifted from one of the antecedent
rulings of the Med-Arbiter in that case which had not even been affirmed or
However, in ascertaining whether or not to recognize and register the reinstated by the Court on review.[40] Moreover, such pronouncement made
local/chapter, the Bureau or Regional Office should not look beyond the prior to the enactment of Department Order No. 9 squarely contradicts
authenticity and due execution of the documentary requirements for the Section 3, Rule VI thereof, which provides that legal personality of the
creation of the local/chapter as enumerated under Section 1, Rule VI, Book V local/chapter is vested upon the submission of the complete documentary
of Department Order No. 9. Since the proper submission of these requirements.
documentary requirements is all that is necessary to recognize a
local/chapter, it is beyond the province of the Bureau or Regional Offices to It is also worth noting that petitioner union in Toyota was an
resort to other grounds as basis for denying legal recognition of the independent labor union, and not a local/chapter, and under Department
local/chapter. For example, Department Order No. 9 does not require the Order No. 9, independent labor unions, unlike local/chapters, acquire legal
local/chapter to submit the names of its members as a condition precedent to personality only upon issuance of the certificate of registration by the Bureau
or Regional Office. Still, petitioner cites in its favor Section 5, Rule V of Dept. with. However, labor laws are generally construed liberally in favor of labor,
Order No. 9, which states that the labor organization or workers association especially if doing so affirms the constitutionally guaranteed right to self-
shall be deemed registered and vested with legal personality on the date of organization.
issuance of its certificate of registration. Again, the citation is obviously
misplaced, as respondent herein is a local/chapter, the acquisition of its legal True enough, there was no attempt made by the national federation, or
personality being governed instead by Section 3, Rule VI. the local/chapter for that matter, to submit the enumerated documentary
requirements to the Regional Office or Bureau for the specific purpose of
It is thus very clear that the issuance of the certificate of registration by creating the local/chapter. However, these same documents were submitted
the Bureau or Regional Office is not the operative act that vests legal by the local/chapter to the Regional Office as attachments to its petition for
personality upon a local/chapter under Department Order No. 9. Such legal certification election. Under Section 3, Rule VI of Department Order No. 9, it
personality is acquired from the filing of the complete documentary is the submission of these same documents to the Regional Office or Bureau
requirements enumerated in Section 1, Rule VI. Admittedly, the manner by that operates to vest legal personality on the local/chapter.
which respondent was deemed to have acquired legal personality by the
DOLE and the Court of Appeals was not in strict conformity with the Thus, in order to ascertain when respondent acquired legal personality,
provisions of Department Order No. 9. Nonetheless, are the deviations we only need to determine on what date the Regional Office or Bureau
significant enough for the Court to achieve a different conclusion from that received the complete documentary requirements enumerated under Section
made by the DOLE and the Court of Appeals? 1, Rule VI of Department Order No. 9. There is no doubt that on 15 June
1998, or the date respondent filed its petition for certification election,
In regular order, it is the federation or national union, already in attached thereto were respondents constitution, the names and addresses of
possession of legal personality, which initiates the creation of the its officers, and the charter certificate issued by the national union FFW. The
local/chapter. It issues a charter certificate indicating the creation or first two of these documents were duly certified under oath by respondents
establishment of the local/chapter. It then submits this charter certificate, secretary Bathan and attested to by president Sagun.[41]
along with the names of the local/chapters officers, constitution and by-laws
to the Regional Office or Bureau. It is the submission of these documents, It may be noted though that respondent never submitted a separate by-
certified under oath by the Secretary or Treasurer of the local/chapter and laws, nor does it appear that respondent ever intended to prepare a set
attested by the President, which vests legal personality in the local/chapter, thereof. Section 1(c), Rule VI, Book V of Department Order No. 9 provides
which is then free to file on its own a petition for certification election. that the submission of both a constitution and a set of by-laws is required, or
at least an indication that the local/chapter is adopting the constitution and
In this case, the federation in question, the FFW, did not submit any of by-laws of the federation or national union. A literal reading of the provision
these documentary requirements to the Regional Office or Bureau. It did might indicate that the failure to submit a specific set of by-laws is fatal to the
however issue a charter certificate to the putative local/chapter (herein recognition of the local/chapter. A more critical analysis of this requirement
respondent). Respondent then submitted the charter certificate along with the though is in order, especially as it should apply to this petition.
other documentary requirements to the Regional Office, but not for the
specific purpose of creating the local/chapter, but for filing the petition for By-laws has traditionally been defined as regulations, ordinances, rules
certification election. or laws adopted by an association or corporation or the like for its internal
governance, including rules for routine matters such as calling meetings and
It could be properly said that at the exact moment respondent was filing the like.[42] The importance of by-laws to a labor organization cannot be
the petition for certification, it did not yet possess any legal personality, since gainsaid. Without such provisions governing the internal governance of the
the requisites for acquisition of legal personality under Section 3, Rule VI of organization, such as rules on meetings and quorum requirements, there
Department Order No. 9 had not yet been complied with. It could also be would be no apparent basis on how the union could operate. Without a set of
discerned that the intention of the Labor Code and its Implementing Rules by-laws which provides how the local/chapter arrives at its decisions or
that only those labor organizations that have acquired legal personality are otherwise wields its attributes of legal personality, then every action of the
capacitated to file petitions for certification elections. Such is the general rule. local/chapter may be put into legal controversy.
Yet there are peculiar circumstances in this case that allow the Court to However, if those key by-law provisions on matters such as quorum
rule that respondent acquired the requisite legal personality at the same time requirements, meetings, or on the internal governance of the local/chapter
it filed the petition for certification election. In doing so, the Court are themselves already provided for in the constitution, then it would be
acknowledges that the strict letter of the procedural rule was not complied feasible to overlook the requirement for by-laws. Indeed in such an event, to
insist on the submission of a separate document denominated as By-Laws the Regional Office, and proper that respondents legal personality be
would be an undue technicality, as well as a redundancy. deemed existent as of 15 June 1998, the date the complete documents were
submitted.
An examination of respondents constitution reveals it sufficiently
comprehensive in establishing the necessary rules for its operation. Article IV
establishes the requisites for membership in the local/chapter. Articles V and
VI name the various officers and what their respective functions are. The Second Issue: On the Alleged Presence
procedure for election of these officers, including the necessary vote Of Supervisory Employees as
requirements, is provided for in Article IX, while Article XV delineates the Officers of the Respondent
procedure for the impeachment of these officers. Article VII establishes the
standing committees of the local/chapter and how their members are
appointed. Article VIII lays down the rules for meetings of the union, including The second issue hinges on a point of some controversy and frequent
the notice and quorum requirements thereof. Article X enumerates with discussion in recent years. Petitioner claims error in the common
particularity the rules for union dues, special assessments, fines, and other pronouncement in the assailed decisions that the matter concerning the two
payments. Article XII provides the general rule for quorum in meetings of the officers who are allegedly supervisory employees may be threshed out
Board of Directors and of the members of the local/chapter, and cites the during pre-election conferences. Petitioner cites the cases of Toyota
applicability of the Roberts Rules of Order [43] in its meetings. And finally, Motors and Progressive Development Corporation-Pizza Hut v.
Article XVI governs and institutes the requisites for the amendment of the Ledesma[45] wherein the Court ruled that the question of prohibited
constitution. membership of both supervisory and rank-and-file employees in the same
union must be inquired into anterior to the granting of an order allowing a
Indeed, it is difficult to see in this case what a set of by-laws separate certification election; and that a union composed of both of these kinds of
from the constitution for respondent could provide that is not already employees does not possess the requisite personality to file for recognition
provided for by the Constitution. These premises considered, there is clearly as a legitimate labor organization. It should be noted though that in the more
no need for a separate set of by-laws to be submitted by respondent. recent case of Tagaytay Highlands International Golf Club v. Tagaytay
Highlands Employees Union,[46] the Court,
The Court likewise sees no impediment in deeming respondent as
notwithstanding Toyota and Progressive, ruled that after a certificate of
having acquired legal personality as of 15 June 1998, the fact that it was the
registration is issued to a union, its legal personality cannot be subject to
local/chapter itself, and not the FFW, which submitted the documents
collateral attack, but questioned only in an independent petition for
required under Section 1, Rule VI of Department Order No. 9. The evident
cancellation.[47]
rationale why the rule states that it is the federation or national union that
submits said documents to the Bureau or Regional Office is that the creation There is no need to apply any of the above cases at present because
of the local/chapter is the sole prerogative of the federation or national union, the question raised by petitioner on this point is already settled law, as a
and not of any other entity. Certainly, a putative local/chapter cannot, without result of the denial of the independent petition for cancellation filed by
the imprimatur of the federation or national union, claim affiliation with the petitioner against respondent on 20 August 1998. The ground relied upon
larger unit or source its legal personality therefrom. therein was the alleged fraud, misrepresentation and false statement in
describing itself as a union of rank and file employees when in fact, two of its
In the ordinary course, it should have been FFW, and not respondent,
officers, Emmanuel Rosell and Noel Bathan, were occupying supervisory
which should have submitted the subject documents to the Regional Office.
positions.[48]Said petition was denied by the Regional Director, this action was
Nonetheless, there is no good reason to deny legal personality or defer its
affirmed by the DOLE, the Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court. [49] The
conferral to the local/chapter if it is evident at the onset that the federation or
denial made by the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court may have been
national union itself has already through its own means established the
based on procedural grounds,[50] but the prior decisions of the Regional
local/chapter. In this case, such is evidenced by the Charter Certificate dated
Director and the DOLE ruled squarely on the same issue now raised by the
9 June 1998, issued by FFW, and attached to the petition for certification
petitioner. We quote from the Resolution of the DOLE dated 29 December
election. The Charter Certificate expressly states that respondent has been
1998:
issued the said certificate to operate as a local or chapter of the [FFW]. The
Charter Certificate expressly acknowledges FFWs intent to establish
respondent as of 9 June 1998.[44] This being the case, we consider it . . . . [The] substantive issue that is now before us is whether or not the inclusion of
permissible for respondent to have submitted the required documents itself to the two alleged supervisory employees in appellee unions membership amounts to
fraud, misrepresentation, or false statement within the meaning of Article 239(a) and automatically, but indeed with utmost discretion. Where a remedy short of
(c) of the Labor Code. cancellation is available, that remedy should be preferred. In this case, no party will
be prejudiced if Bathan were to be excluded from membership in the union. The
We rule in the negative. vacancy he will thus create can then be easily filled up through the succession
provision of appellee unions constitution and by-laws. What is important is that there
is an unmistakeable intent of the members of appellee union to exercise their right to
Under the law, a managerial employee is one who is vested with powers or
organize. We cannot impose rigorous restraints on such right if we are to give
prerogatives to lay down and execute management policies and/or to hire, transfer,
suspend, layoff, recall, discharge, assign or discipline employees. A supervisory meaning to the protection to labor and social justice clauses of the Constitution. [51]
employee is one who, in the interest of the employer, effectively recommends
managerial actions if the exercise of such recommendatory authority is not merely The above-cited pronouncement by Bureau of Labor Relations Director
routinary or clerical in nature but requires the use of independent judgment. Finally, Benedicto Ernesto R. Bitonio, Jr. in BLR-A-C-41-11-11-98 was affirmed by
all employees not falling within the definition of managerial or supervisory the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. Hence, its pronouncement
employee are considered rank-and-file employees. It is also well-settled that the affirming, notwithstanding the questions on the employment status of Rossell
actual functions of an employee, not merely his job title, are determinative in and Bathan, the legitimacy of the respondent, stands as a final ruling beyond
classifying such employee as managerial, supervisory or rank and file. the ambit of review, thus warranting the Courts respect. There may be a
difference between this case, which involves a petition for certification
In the case of Emmanuel Rossell, appellants evidence shows that he undertakes the election, and the other case, which concerns a petition for cancellation.
filling out of evaluation reports on the performance of mechanics, which in turn are However, petitioner opposes the petition for certification election on the
used as basis for reclassification. Given a ready and standard form to accomplish, ground of the illegitimacy of respondent, owing to the alleged supervisory
coupled with the nature of the evaluation, it would appear that his functions are more nature of the duties of Rossell and Bathan. That matter has already been
routinary than recommendatory and hardly leave room for independent judgment. In settled in the final disposition of the petition for cancellation, and thus cannot
the case of Noel Bathan, appellants evidence does not show his job title although it be unsettled by reason of this present petition.
shows that his recommendations on disciplinary actions appear to have carried some
weight on higher management. On this limited point, he may qualify as a supervisory
employee within the meaning of the law. This may, however, be outweighed by his Effect of Respondents Manifestation
other functions which are not specified in the evidence. Of Subsequent Developments

Assuming that Bathan is a supervisory employee, this does not prove the existence of
fraud, false statement or misrepresentation. Because good faith is presumed in all A final note. In its Memorandum, petitioner alleges that the bargaining
representations, an essential element of fraud, false statement and misrepresentation unit that respondent sought to represent is no longer the same because of
in order for these to be actionable is intent to mislead by the party making the the dynamic nature of petitioners business, a lot of changes having occurred
representation. In this case, there is no proof to show that Bathan, or appellee union in the work environment, and that four of respondents officers are no longer
for that matter, intended to mislead anyone. If this was appellee unions intention, it connected with petitioner.[52] Assuming that these manifestations are true,
would have refrained from using a more precise description of the organization they have no effect on the Courts ruling that a certification election should be
instead of declaring that the organization is composed of rank and file monthlies. immediately conducted with respondent as one of the available choices.
Hence, the charge of fraud, false statement or misrepresentation cannot be sustained. Petitioners bare manifestations adduce no reason why the certification
election should not be conducted forthwith. If there are matters that have
arisen since the filing of the petition that serve to delay or cancel the election,
Appellants reliance on the Toyota case must be tempered by the peculiar
these can be threshed out during the pre-election conferences. Neither is the
circumstances of the case. Even assuming that Bathan, or Rossel for that matter, are
fact that some of respondents officers have since resigned from petitioner of
supervisory employees, the Toyotacase cannot certainly be given an interpretation
any moment. The local/chapter retains a separate legal personality from that
that emasculates the right to self-organization and the promotion of free trade
of its officers or members that remains viable notwithstanding any turnover in
unionism. We take administrative notice of the realities in union organizing, during
its officers or members.
which the organizers must take their chances, oftentimes unaware of the fine
distinctions between managerial, supervisory and rank and file employees. The WHEREFORE, the Petition is DENIED. Costs against petitioner.
grounds for cancellation of union registration are not meant to be applied
SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. 96566 January 6, 1992 On September 18, 1990, the Med-Arbiter issued an order in favor of the
private respondent, the dispositive portion of which provides:
ATLAS LITHOGRAPHIC SERVICES, INC., petitioner,
vs. WHEREFORE, premises considered, a certification
UNDERSECRETARY BIENVENIDO E. LAGUESMA (Department of election among the supervisory employees belonging to
Labor and Employment) and ATLAS LITHOGRAPHIC SERVICES, the Administrative, Personnel, Production, Accounting
INC. SUPERVISORY, ADMINISTRATIVE, PERSONNEL, Departments as well as confidential employees
PRODUCTION, ACCOUNTING AND CONFIDENTIAL EMPLOYEES performing supervisory functions of Atlas Lithographic
ASSOCIATION-KAISAHAN NG MANGGAWANG PILIPINO (KAMPIL- Services, Incorporated is hereby ordered conducted
KATIPUNAN), respondents. within 20 days from receipt hereof, subject to usual pre-
election conference, with the following choices:
Romero, Lagman, Valdecantos & Arreza Law Offices for petitioner.
1. KAMPIL (KATIPUNAN);
Esteban M. Mendoza for private respondent.
2. No union.

SO ORDERED. (Rollo, pp. 39-40)


GUTIERREZ, JR., J.:p
The petitioners, as expected, appealed for the reversal of the above
This is a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court seeking the modification of the Order order. The public respondent, however, issued a resolution affirming the
dated 14 December 1990 and the Resolution dated 21 November 1990 issued by the public
respondents. Med-Arbiter's order.

The antecedent facts of the case as gathered from the records are as The petitioners, in turn, filed a motion for reconsideration but the same
follows: was denied. Hence, this petition for certiorari.

On July 16, 1990, the supervisory, administrative personnel, production, The sole issue to be resolved in this case is whether or not, under Article
accounting and confidential employees of the petitioner Atlas 245 of the Labor Code, a local union of supervisory employees may be
Lithographic Services, Inc. (ALSI) affiliated with private respondent allowed to affiliate with a national federation of labor organizations of
Kaisahan ng Manggagawang Pilipino, a national labor organization. The rank-and-file employees and which national federation actively
local union adopted the name Atlas Lithographic Services, Inc. represents its affiliates in collective bargaining negotiations with the same
Supervisory, Administrative, Personnel, Production, Accounting and employer of the supervisors and in the implementation of resulting
Confidential Employees Association or ALSI-SAPPACEA-KAMPIL in collective bargaining agreements.
short and which we shall hereafter refer to as the "supervisors" union.
The petitioner argues that KAMPIL-KATIPUNAN already represents its
Shortly thereafter, private respondent Kampil-Katipunan filed on behalf of rank-and-file employees and, therefore, to allow the supervisors of those
the "supervisors" union a petition for certification election so that it could employees to affiliate with the private respondent is tantamount to
be the sole and exclusive bargaining agent of the supervisory employees. allowing the circumvention of the principle of the separation of unions
under Article 245 of the Labor Code.
The petitioners opposed the private respondent's petition claiming that
under Article 245 of the Labor bode the private respondent cannot It further argues that the intent of the law is to prevent a single labor
represent the supervisory employees for collective bargaining organization from representing different classes of employees with
purposeless because the private respondent also represents the rank- conflicting interests.
and-file employees' union.
The public respondent, on the other hand, contends that despite the New Code in January 1, 1975 ceased to operate as such and the
affiliation with a national federation, the local union does not lose its members who did not qualify as managerial employees under this
personality which is separate, and distinct from the national federation. It definition in Article 212 (k) therein became eligible to form, to join or
cites as its legal basis the case of Adamson & Adamson, Inc. v. CIR (127 assist a rank-and-file union.
SCRA 268 [1984]).
A revision of the Labor Code undertaken by the bicameral Congress
It maintains that Rep. Act No. 6715 contemplates the principle laid down brought about the enactment of Rep. Act No. 6715 in March 1989 in
by this Court in the Adamson case interpreting Section 3 of Rep. Act No. which employees were reclassified into three groups, namely: (1) the
875 (the Industrial Peace Act) on the right of a supervisor's union to managerial employees; (2) supervisors; and (3) the rank and file
affiliate. The private respondent asserts that the legislature must have employees. Under the present law, the category of supervisory
noted the Adamson ruling then prevailing when it conceived the employees is once again recognized. Hence, Art. 212 (m) states:
reinstatement in the present Labor Code of a similar provision on the
right of supervisors to organize. (m) . . . Supervisory employees are those who, in the
interest of the employer, effectively recommend such
Under the Industrial Peace Act of 1953, employees were classified into managerial actions if the exercise of such authority is not
three groups, namely: (1) managerial employees; (2) supervisors; and (3) merely routinary or clerical in nature but requires the use
rank-and file employees. Supervisors, who were considered employees of independent judgment. . . .
in relation to their employer could join a union but not a union of rank-
and-file employees. The rationale for the amendment is the government's recognition of the
right of supervisors to organize with the qualification that they shall not
With the enactment in 1974 of the Labor Code (Pres Decree No. 442), join or assist in the organization of rank-and-file employees. The reason
employees were classified into managerial and rank-and-file employees. behind the Industrial Peace Act provision on the same subject matter has
Neither the category of supervisors nor their right to organize under the been adopted in the present statute. The interests of supervisors on the
old statute were recognized. So that, in Bulletin Publishing Corporation one hand, and the rank-and-file employees on the other, are separate
v. Sanchez (144 SCRA 628 [1986]), the Court interpreted the and distinct. The functions of supervisors, being recommendatory in
superseding labor law to have removed from supervisors the right to nature, are more identified with the interests of the employer. The
unionize among themselves. The Court ruled: performance of those functions may, thus, run counter to the interests of
the rank-and-file.
In the light of the factual background of this case, We are
constrained to hold that the supervisory employees of This intent of the law is made clear in the deliberations of the legislators
petitioner firm may not, under the law, form a supervisors on then Senate Bill 530 now enacted as Rep. Act No. 6715.
union, separate and distinct from the existing bargaining
unit (BEU), composed of the rank-and-file employees of The definition of managerial employees was limited to those having
the Bulletin Publishing Corporation. It is evident that most authority to hire and fire while those who only recommend effectively the
of the private respondents are considered managerial hiring or firing or transfers of personnel would be considered as closer to
employees. Also, it is distinctly stated in Section 11, Rule rank-and-file employees. The exclusion, therefore, of middle level
II, of the Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code, executives from the category of managers brought about a third
that supervisory unions are presently no longer classification, the supervisory employees. These supervisory employees
recognized nor allowed to exist and operate as such. (pp. are allowed to form their own union but they are not allowed to join the
633, 634) rank-and-file union because of conflict of interest (Journal of the Senate,
First Regular Session, 1987, 1988, Volume 3,
In Section 11, Rule II, Book V of the Omnibus Rules implementing Pres. p. 2245).
Decree No. 442, the supervisory unions existing since the effectivity of
In terms of classification, however, while they are more closely identified concerted activities for the purpose of collective
with the rank-and-file they are still not allowed to join the union of rank- bargaining and other mutual aid or protection. Individuals
and-file employees. To quote the Senate Journal: employed as supervisors shall not be eligible for
membership in a labor organization of employees under
In reply to Sen. Guingona's query whether "supervisors" their supervision but may form separate organizations of
are included in the term "employee", Sen. Herrera stated their own (Emphasis supplied).
that while they are considered as rank-and-file
employees, they cannot join the union and they would This was not the consideration in the Adamson case because as
have to form their own supervisors' union pursuant to mentioned earlier, the rank-and-file employees in the Adamson case
Rep. Act 875. (supra, p. 2288) were not under the supervision of the supervisors involved.

The peculiar role of supervisors is such that while they are not managers, Meanwhile, Article 245 of the Labor Code as amended by Rep. Act No.
when they recommend action implementing management policy or ask 6715 provides:
for the discipline or dismissal of subordinates, they identify with the
interests of the employer and may act contrary to the interests of the Art. 245. Ineligibility of managerial employees to join any
rank-and-file. labor organization: right of supervisory employees. —
Managerial employees are not eligible to join, assist or
We agree with the petitioner's contention that a conflict of interest may form any labor organization. Supervisory employees shall
arise in the areas of discipline, collective bargaining and strikes. not be eligible for membership in a labor organization of
the rank-and-file employees but may join, assist or form
Members of the supervisory union might refuse to carry out disciplinary separate labor organizations of their own.
measures against their co-member rank-and-file employees.
The Court construes Article 245 to mean that, as in Section 3 of the
In the area of bargaining, their interests cannot be considered identical. Industrial Peace Act, supervisors shall not be given an occasion to
The needs of one are different from those of the other. Moreover, in the bargain together with the rank-and-file against the interests of the
event of a strike, the national federation might influence the supervisors' employer regarding terms and conditions of work
union to conduct a sympathy strike on the sole basis of affiliation.
Second, the national union in the Adamson case did not actively
More important, the factual issues in the Adamson case are different from represent its local chapters. In the present case, the local union is
the present case. First, the rank-and-file employees in the Adamson case actively represented by the national federation. In fact, it was the national
are not directly under the supervisors who comprise the supervisors' federation, the KAMPIL-KATIPUNAN, which initially filed a petition for
union. In the case at bar, the rank-and file employees are directly under certification in behalf of the respondent union.
the supervisors organized by one and the same federation.
Thus, if the intent of the law is to avoid a situation where supervisors
The contemplation of the law in Sec. 3 of the Industrial Peace Act is to would merge with the rank and-file or where the supervisors' labor
prohibit supervisors from joining a labor organization of employees under organization would represent conflicting interests, then a local
their supervision. Sec. 3 of the Industrial Peace Act provides: supervisors' union should not be allowed to affiliate with the national
federation of union of rank-and-file employees where that federation
Sec. 3 — Employees' Right to Self Organization. actively participates in union activity in the company.
Employees shall have the right to self-organization and to
form, join or assist labor organizations of their own The petitioner further contends that the term labor organization includes a
choosing for the purpose of collective bargaining through federation considering that Art. 212 (g) mentions "any union or
representatives of their own choosing and to engage in association of employees."
The respondent, however, argues that the phrase refers to a local union Labor and Employment (DOLE) to remain on the basis of the petitioner's
only in which case, the prohibition in Art. 245 is inapplicable to the case loss of interest. The December 14, 1990 order and the November 21,
at bar. 1990 resolution of DOLE are contrary to law and must be declared as
such.
The prohibition against a supervisors' union joining a local union of rank-
and-file is replete with jurisprudence. The Court emphasizes that the WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby GRANTED. The private respondent
limitation is not confined to a case of supervisors wanting to join a rank- is disqualified from affiliating with a national federation of labor
and-file local union. The prohibition extends to a supervisors' local union organizations which includes the petitioner's rank-and-file employees.
applying for membership in a national federation the members of which
include local unions of rank-and-file employees. The intent of the law is SO ORDERED.
clear especially where, as in the case at bar, the supervisors will be co-
mingling with those employees whom they directly supervise in their own
bargaining unit.

Technicalities should not be allowed to stand in the way of equitably and


completely resolving the rights and obligations of the parties. (Rapid
Manpower Consultants, Inc. v. NLRC, 190 SCRA 747 [1990]) What
should be paramount is the intent behind the law, not its literal
construction. Where one interpretation would result in mischievous
consequences while another would bring about equity, justice, and the
promotion of labor peace, there can be no doubt as to what interpretation
shall prevail.

Finally, the respondent contends that the law prohibits the employer from
interfering with the employees' right to self-organization.

There is no question about this intendment of the law. There is, however,
in the present case, no violation of such a guarantee to the employee.
Supervisors are not prohibited from forming their own union. What the
law prohibits is their membership in a labor organization of rank-and-file
employees (Art. 245, Labor Code) or their joining a national federation of
rank-and-file employees that includes the very local union which they are
not allowed to directly join.

In a motion dated November 15, 1991 it appears that the petitioner has
knuckled under to the respondents' pressures and agreed to let the
national federation KAMPIL-KATIPUNAN represent its supervisors in
negotiating a collective bargaining agreement. Against the advise of its
own counsel and on the basis of alleged "industrial peace", the petitioner
expressed a loss of interest in pursuing this action. The petitioner is, of
course, free to grant whatever concessions it wishes to give to its
employees unilaterally or through negotiations but we cannot allow the
resulting validation of an erroneous ruling and policy of the Department of
G.R. No. 102084 August 12, 1998 6. It is not true that supervisory employees are joining the
rank-and-file employees' union. While it is true that both
DE LA SALLE UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER AND COLLEGE OF regular rank-and-file employees and supervisory
MEDICINE, petitioner, employees of herein respondent have affiliated with FFW,
vs. yet there are two separate unions organized by FFW. The
HON. BIENVENIDO E. LAGUESMA, Undersecretary of Labor and supervisory employees have a separate charter certificate
Employment; ROLANDO S. DE LA CRUZ, Med-Arbiter Regional issued by FFW. 2
Office No. IV, DE LA SALLE UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER AND
COLLEGE OF MEDICINE SUPERVISORY UNION-FEDERATION OF On July 5, 1991, respondent Rolando S. de la Cruz, med-arbiter of the
FREE WORKERS, respondents. Department of Labor and Employment Regional Office No. IV, issued an
order granting respondent union's petition for certification election. He
said;

. . . [petitioner] . . . claims that based on the job


MENDOZA, J.: descriptions which will be presented at the hearing, the
covered employees who are considered managers
occupy the positions of purchasing officers, personnel
Petitioner De La Salle University Medical Center and College of Medicine
officers, property officers, cashiers, heads of various
(DLSUMCCM) is a hospital and medical school at Dasmariñas, Cavite.
sections and the like.
Private respondent Federation of Free Workers-De La Salle University
Medical Center and College of Medicine Supervisory Union Chapter
(FFW-DLSUMCCMSUC), on the other hand, is a labor organization [Petitioner] also argues that assuming that some of the
composed of the supervisory employees of petitioner DLSUMCCM. employees concerned are not managerial but mere
supervisory employees, the Federation of Free Workers
(FFW) cannot extend a charter certificate to this group of
On April 17, 1991, the Federation of Free Workers (FFW), a national
employees without violating the express provision of
federation of labor unions, issued a certificate to private respondent
Article 245 which provides that "supervisory employees
FFW-DLSUMCCMSUC recognizing it as a local chapter. On the same
shall not be eligible for membership in a labor
day, it filed on behalf of private respondent FFW-DLSUMCCMSUC a
organization of the rank-and-file employees but may join,
petition for certification election among the supervisory employees of
assist or form separate labor organizations of their own"
petitioner DLSUMCCM. Its petition was opposed by petitioner
because the FFW had similarly issued a charter certificate
DLSUMCCM on the grounds that several employees who signed the
to its rank-and-file employees.
petition for certification election were managerial employees and that the
FFW-DLSUMCCMSUC was composed of both supervisory and rank-and-
file employees in the company. 1 xxx xxx xxx

In its reply dated May 29, 1991, private respondent FFW- In its position paper, [petitioner] stated that most, if not all,
DLSUMCCMSUC denied petitioner's allegations. It contended that — of the employees listed in . . . the petition are considered
managerial employees, thereby admitting that it has
supervisory employees who are undoubtedly qualified to
2. Herein petition seeks for the holding of a certification
join or form a labor organization of their own. The record
election among the supervisory employees of herein
likewise shows that [petitioner] promised to present the
respondent. It does not intend to include managerial
job descriptions of the concerned employees during the
employees.
hearing but failed to do so. Thus, this office has no basis
in determining at this point in time who among them are
xxx xxx xxx
considered managerial or supervisory employees. At any alter, much less set aside, the aforesaid resolution.
rate, there is now no question that [petitioner] has in its Perforce, the motion for reconsideration must fail.
employ supervisory employees who are qualified to join or
form a labor union. Consequently, this office is left with no WHEREFORE, the instant motion for reconsideration is
alternative but to order the holding of certification election hereby denied for lack of merit and the resolution of this
pursuant to Article 257 of the Labor Code, as amended, office dated 30 August 1991 STANDS.
which mandates the holding of certification election if a
petition is filed by a legitimate labor organization involving No further motions of a similar nature shall hereinafter be
an unorganized establishment, as in the case of herein entertained. 5
respondent.
Hence, this petition for certiorari.
As to the allegation of [petitioner] that the act of the
supervisory employees in affiliating with FFW to whom
Petitioner DLSUMCCM contends that respondent Laguesma gravely
the rank-and-file employees are also affiliated is violative
abused his discretion. While it does not anymore insist that several of
of Article 245 of the Labor Code, suffice it to state that the
those who joined the petition for certification election are holding
two groups are considered separate bargaining units and
managerial positions in the company, petitioner nonetheless pursues the
local chapters of FFW. They are, for all intents and
question whether unions formed independently by supervisory and rank-
purposes, separate with each other and their affiliation
and-file employees of a company may validly affiliate with the same
with FFW would not make them members of the same
national federation. With respect to this question, it argues:
labor union. This must be the case because it is settled
that the locals are considered the basic unit or principal
with the labor federation assuming the role of an agent. THE PUBLIC RESPONDENT, HONORABLE
The mere fact, therefore, that they are represented by or BIENVENIDO E. LAGUESMA, UNDERSECRETARY OF
under the same agent is of no moment. They are still LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT, IN A CAPRICIOUS,
considered separate with each other. 3 ARBITRARY AND WHIMSICAL EXERCISE OF POWER
ERRED AND COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF
DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO ACTING WITHOUT OR
On July 30, 1991, petitioner DLSUMCCM appealed to the Secretary of
IN EXCESS OF JURISDICTION WHEN HE DENIED THE
Labor and Employment, citing substantially the same arguments it had
PETITIONER'S APPEAL AND ORDERED THE
raised before the med-arbiter. However, its appeal was dismissed. In his
HOLDING OF A CERTIFICATION ELECTION AMONG
resolution, dated August 30, 1991, respondent Undersecretary of Labor
THE MEMBERS OF THE SUPERVISORY UNION
and Employment Bienvenido E. Laguesma found the evidence presented
EMPLOYED IN PETITIONER'S COMPANY DESPITE
by petitioner DLSUMCCM concerning the alleged managerial status of
THE FACT THAT SAID SUPERVISORY UNION WAS
several employees to be insufficient. He also held that, following the
AFFILIATED WITH THE FEDERATION OF FREE
ruling of this Court in Adamson & Adamson, Inc. v. CIR, 4 unions formed
WORKERS TO WHICH THE RANK-AND-FILE
independently by supervisory and rank-and-file employees of a company
EMPLOYEES OF THE SAME COMPANY ARE
may legally affiliate with the same national federation.
LIKEWISE AFFILIATED, CONTRARY TO THE
EXPRESS PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE 245 OF THE
Petitioner moved for a reconsideration but its motion was denied. In his LABOR CODE, AS AMENDED. 6
order dated September 19, 1991, respondent Laguesma stated:
The contention has no merit.
We reviewed the records once more, and find that the
issues and arguments adduced by movant have been
Supervisory employees have the right to self-organization as do other
squarely passed upon in the Resolution sought to be
classes of employees save only managerial ones. The Constitution states
reconsidered. Accordingly, we find no legal justification to
that "the right of the people, including those employed in the public and therefore, that the Commission intended the absolute
private sectors, to form unions, associations or societies for purposes not right to organize of government workers, supervisory
contrary to law, shall not be abridged." 7 As we recently held in United employees, and security guards to be constitutionally
Pepsi-Cola Supervisory Union v. Loguesma, 8 the framers of the guaranteed. 9
Constitution intended, by this provision, to restore the right of supervisory
employees to self-organization which had been withdrawn from them Conformably with the constitutional mandate, Art. 245 of the Labor Code
during the period of martial law. Thus: now provides for the right of supervisory employees to self-organization,
subject to the limitation that they cannot join an organization of rank-and-
Commissioner Lerum sought to amend the draft of what file employees:
was later to become Art. 111, §8 of the present
Constitution: Supervisory employees shall not be eligible for
membership in a labor organization of the rank-and-file
xxx xxx xxx employees but may join, assist or form separate labor
organizations of their own.
MR. LERUM. . . . Also, we have unions of
supervisory employees and of security The reason for the segregation of supervisory and rank-and-file
guards. But what is tragic about this is that employees of a company with respect to the exercise of the right to self-
after the 1973 Constitution was approved organization is the difference in their interests. Supervisory employees
and in spite of an express recognition of are more closely identified with the employer than with the rank-and-file
the right to organize in P.D. No. 442, employees. If supervisory and rank-and-file employees in a company are
known as the Labor Code, the right of allowed to form a single union, the conflicting interests of these groups
government workers, supervisory impair their relationship and adversely affect discipline, collective
employees and security guards to form bargaining and strikes. 10 These consequences can obtain not only in
unions was abolished. cases where supervisory and rank-and-file employees in the same
company belong to a single union but also where unions formed
xxx xxx xxx independently by supervisory and rank-and-file employees of a company
are allowed to affiliate with the same national federation. Consequently,
We are afraid that without any this Court has held in Atlas Lithographic Services Inc. v. Laguesma 11that
corresponding provision covering the —
private sector, the security guards, the
supervisory employees . . . will still be To avoid a situation where supervisors would merge with
excluded and that is the purpose of this the rank-and-file or where the supervisors' labor
amendment. organization would represent conflicting interests, then a
local supervisors' union should not be allowed to affiliate
xxx xxx xxx with a national federation of unions of rank-and-file
employees where that federation actively participates in
union activities in the company.
In sum, Lerum's proposal to amend Art. III, § 8 of the draft
Constitution by including labor unions in the guarantee of
organizational right should be taken in the context of As we explained in that case, however, such a situation would obtain only
statements that his aim was the removal of the statutory where two conditions concur: First, the rank-and-file employees are
ban against security guards and supervisory employees directly under the authority of supervisory employees. 12 Second, the
joining labor organizations. The approval by the national federation is actively involved in union activities in the
Constitutional Commission of his proposal can only mean, company. 13 Indeed, it is the presence of these two conditions which
distinguished Atlas Lithographic Services, Inc. v. DLSUMCCM has not presented any evidence showing that the rank-and-
Laguesma from Adamson & Adamson, Inc. v. CIR 14 where a different file employees composing the other union are directly under the authority
conclusion was reached. of the supervisory employees. As held in Adamson & Adamson, Inc. v.
CIR, 17 the fact that the two groups of workers are employed by the same
The affiliation of two local unions in a company with the same national company and the fact that they are affiliated with a common national
federation is not by itself a negation of their independence since in federation are not sufficient to justify the conclusion that their
relation to the employer, the local unions are considered as the organizations are actually just one. Their immediate professional
principals, while the federation is deemed to be merely their agent. This relationship must be established. To borrow the language of Adamson &
conclusion is in accord with the policy that any limitation on the exercise Adamson, Inc. v. CIR: 18
by employees of the right to self-organization guaranteed in the
Constitution must be construed strictly. Workers should be allowed the We find without merit the contention of petitioner that if
practice of this freedom to the extent recognized in the fundamental law. affiliation will be allowed, only one union will in fact
As held in Liberty Cotton Mills Workers Union v. Liberty Cotton Mills, represent both supervisors and rank-and-file employees
Inc.: 15 of the petitioner; that there would be an indirect affiliation
of supervisors and rank-and-file employees with one labor
The locals are separate and distinct units primarily organization; that there would be a merging of the two
designed to secure and maintain an equality of bargaining bargaining units; and that the respondent union will lose
power between the employer and their employee its independence because it becomes an alter ego of the
members in the economic struggle for the fruits of the federation. 19
joint productive effort of labor and capital; and the
association of locals into the national union . . . was in Mention has already been made of the fact that the petition for
furtherance of the same end. These associations are certification election in this case was filed by the FFW on behalf of the
consensual entities capable of entering into such legal local union. This circumstance, while showing active involvement by the
relations with their members. The essential purpose was FFW in union activities at the company, is by itself insufficient to justify a
the affiliation of the local unions into a common enterprise finding of violation of Art. 245 since there is no proof that the supervisors
to increase by collective action the common bargaining who compose the local union have direct authority over the rank-and-file
power in respect of the terms and conditions of labor. Yet employees composing the other local union which is also affiliated with
the locals remained the basic units of association, free to the FFW. This fact differentiates the case from Atlas Lithographic
serve their own and the common interest of all, . . . and Services. Inc. v. Laguesma, 20 in which, in addition to the fact that the
free also to renounce the affiliation for mutual welfare petition for certification election had been filed by the national federation,
upon the terms laid down in the agreement which brought it was shown that the rank-and-file employees were directly under the
it to existence. 16 supervisors organized by the same federation.

The questions in this case, therefore, are whether the rank-and-file It follows that respondent labor officials did not gravely abuse their
employees of petitioner DLSUMCCM who compose a labor union are discretion.
directly under the supervisory employees whose own union is affiliated
with the same national federation (Federation of Free Workers) and WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED.
whether such national federation is actively involved in union activities in
the company so as to make the two unions in the same company, in SO ORDERED.
reality, just one union.
G.R. No. 79025. December 29, 1989.
Although private respondent FFW-DLSUMCCMSUC and another union
composed of rank-and-file employees of petitioner DLSUMCCM are
indeed affiliated with the same national federation, the FFW, petitioner
BENGUET ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC., petitioner, On September 2, 1985 the med-arbiter issued an order giving due course
vs. to the petition for certification election. However, the med-arbiter limited
HON. PURA FERRER-CALLEJA, Director of the Bureau of Labor the election among the rank and file employees of petitioner who are
Relations, and BENECO EMPLOYEES LABOR UNION, respondents. non-members thereof and without any involvement in the actual
ownership of the cooperative. Based on the evidence during the hearing
E.L. Gayo & Associates for petitioner. the med-arbiter found that there are thirty-seven (37) employees who are
not members and without any involvement in the actual ownership of the
cooperative. The dispositive portion of the med-arbiter's order is as
follows:
CORTES, J.:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, a certification
election should be as it is hereby ordered to be conducted
On June 21, 1985 Beneco Worker's Labor Union-Association of
at the premises of Benguet, Electric Cooperative, Inc., at
Democratic Labor Organizations (hereinafter referred to as BWLU-
Alapang, La Trinidad, Benguet within twenty (20) days
ADLO) filed a petition for direct certification as the sole and exclusive
from receipt hereof among all the rank and file employees
bargaining representative of all the rank and file employees of Benguet
(non-members/consumers and without any involvement in
Electric Cooperative, Inc. (hereinafter referred to as BENECO) at
the actual ownership of the cooperative) with the following
Alapang, La Trinidad, Benguet alleging, inter alia, that BENECO has in its
choices:
employ two hundred and fourteen (214) rank and file employees; that one
hundred and ninety-eight (198) or 92.5% of these employees have
supported the filing of the petition; that no certification election has been 1. BENECO WORKERS LABOR UNION-ADLO
conducted for the last 12 months; that there is no existing collective
bargaining representative of the rank and file employees sought to 2. BENECO EMPLOYEES LABOR UNION
represented by BWLU- ADLO; and, that there is no collective bargaining
agreement in the cooperative. 3. NO UNION

An opposition to the petition was filed by the Beneco Employees Labor The payroll for the month of June 1985 shall be the basis
Union (hereinafter referred to as BELU) contending that it was certified as in determining the qualified voters who may participate in
the sole and exclusive bargaining representative of the subject workers the certification election to be conducted.
pursuant to an order issued by the med-arbiter on October 20,1980; that
pending resolution by the National Labor Relations Commission are two SO ORDERED. [Rollo, pp. 22-23.]
cases it filed against BENECO involving bargaining deadlock and unfair
labor practice; and, that the pendency of these cases bars any BELU and BENECO appealed from this order but the same was
representation question. dismissed for lack of merit on March 25,1986. Whereupon BENECO filed
with this Court a petition for certiorari with prayer for preliminary injunction
BENECO, on the other hand, filed a motion to dismiss the petition and /or restraining order, docketed as G.R. No. 74209, which the
claiming that it is a non-profit electric cooperative engaged in providing Supreme Court dismissed for lack of merit in a minute resolution dated
electric services to its members and patron-consumers in the City of April 28, 1986.
Baguio and Benguet Province; and, that the employees sought to be
represented by BWLU-ADLO are not eligible to form, join or assist labor The ordered certification election was held on October 1, 1986. Prior to
organizations of their own choosing because they are members and joint the conduct thereof BENECO's counsel verbally manifested that "the
owners of the cooperative. cooperative is protesting that employees who are members-consumers
are being allowed to vote when . . . they are not eligible to be members of
any labor union for purposes of collective bargaining; much less, to vote
in this certification election." [Rollo, p. 28]. Petitioner submitted a Respondent Director, p. 4; Rollo, p. 125; Comment of BELU, pp. 9-10;
certification showing that only four (4) employees are not members of Rollo pp. 99-100].
BENECO and insisted that only these employees are eligible to vote in
the certification election. Canvass of the votes showed that BELU The Court finds the present petition meritorious.
garnered forty-nine (49) of the eighty-three (83) "valid" votes cast.
The issue of whether or not employees of a cooperative are qualified to
Thereafter BENECO formalized its verbal manifestation by filing a form or join a labor organization for purposes of collective bargaining has
Protest. Finding, among others, that the issue as to whether or not already been resolved and clarified in the case of Cooperative Rural
member-consumers who are employees of BENECO could form, assist Bank of Davao City, Inc. vs. Ferrer Calleja, et al. [G.R. No. 7795,
or join a labor union has been answered in the affirmative by the September 26,1988] and reiterated in the cases of Batangas-Electric
Supreme Court in G.R. No. 74209, the med-arbiter dismissed the protest Cooperative Labor Union v. Young, et al. [G.R. Nos. 62386, 70880 and
on February 17, 1987. On June 23, 1987, Bureau of Labor Relations 74560 November 9, 1988] and San Jose City Electric Service
(BLR) director Pura Ferrer-Calleja affirmed the med-arbiter's order and Cooperative, Inc. v. Ministry of Labor and Employment, et al. [G.R. No.
certified BELU as the sole and exclusive bargaining agent of all the rank 77231, May 31, 1989] wherein the Court had stated that the right to
and file employees of BENECO. collective bargaining is not available to an employee of a cooperative
who at the same time is a member and co-owner thereof. With respect,
Alleging that the BLR director committed grave abuse of discretion however, to employees who are neither members nor co-owners of the
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction BENECO filed the instant cooperative they are entitled to exercise the rights to self-organization,
petition for certiorari. In his Comment the Solicitor General agreed with collective bargaining and negotiation as mandated by the 1987
BENECO's stance and prayed that the petition be given due course. In Constitution and applicable statutes.
view of this respondent director herself was required by the Court to file a
Comment. On April 19, 1989 the Court gave due course to the petition Respondent director argues that to deny the members of petitioner
and required the parties to submit their respective memoranda. cooperative the right to form, assist or join a labor union of their own
choice for purposes of collective bargaining would amount to a patent
The main issue in this case is whether or not respondent director violation of their right to self-organization. She points out that:
committed grave abuse of discretion in certifying respondent BELU as
the sole and exclusive bargaining representtative of the rank and file Albeit a person assumes a dual capacity as rank and file
employees of BENECO. employee and as member of a certain cooperative does
not militate, as in the instant case, against his/her
Under Article 256 of the Labor Code [Pres. Decree 442] to have a valid exercise of the right to self-organization and to collective
certification election, "at least a majority of all eligible voters in the unit bargaining guaranteed by the Constitution and Labor
must have cast their votes. The labor union receiving the majority of the Code because, while so doing, he/she is acting in his/her
valid votes cast shall be certified as the exclusive bargaining agent of all capacity as rank and file employee thereof. It may be
workers in the unit." Petitioner BENECO asserts that the certification added that while the employees concerned became
election held on October 1, 1986 was null and void since members- members of petitioner cooperative, their status
employees of petitioner cooperative who are not eligible to form and join employment as rank and filers who are hired for fixed
a labor union for purposes of collective bargaining were allowed to vote compensation had not changed. They still do not actually
therein. participate in the management of the cooperative as said
function is entrusted to the Board of Directors and to the
Respondent director and private respondent BELU on the other hand elected or appointed officers thereof. They are not vested
submit that members of a cooperative who are also rank and file with the powers and prerogatives to lay down and
employees are eligible to form, assist or join a labor union [Comment of execute managerial policies; to hire, transfer, suspend,
lay-off, recall, discharge, assign or discipline employees;
and/or to effectively recommend such managerial
functions [Comment of Respondent Director, p. 4; Rollo, Rural Bank of Davao City v. Ferrer-Calleja, supra]. Similarly, members of
p. 125.] cooperatives have rights and obligations different from those of
stockholders of ordinary corporations. It was precisely because of the
Private respondent BELU concurs with the above contention of special nature of cooperatives, that the Court held in the Davao City case
respondent director and, additionally, claims that since membership in that members-employees thereof cannot form or join a labor union for
petitioner cooperative is only nominal, the rank and file employees who purposes of collective bargaining. The Court held that:
are members thereof should not be deprived of their right to self-
organization. A cooperative ... is by its nature different from an ordinary
business concern being run either by persons,
The above contentions are untenable. Contrary to respondents' claim, the partnerships, or corporations. Its owners and/or members
fact that the members-employees of petitioner do not participate in the are the ones who run and operate the business while the
actual management of the cooperative does not make them eligible to others are its employees. As above stated, irrespective of
form, assist or join a labor organization for the purpose of collective the number of shares owned by each member they are
bargaining with petitioner. The Court's ruling in the Davao City case that entitled to cast one vote each in deciding upon the affairs
members of cooperative cannot join a labor union for purposes of of the cooperative. Their share capital earn limited
collective bargaining was based on the fact that as members of the interest. They enjoy special privileges as-exemption from
cooperative they are co-owners thereof. As such, they cannot invoke the income tax and sales taxes, preferential right to supply
right to collective bargaining for "certainly an owner cannot bargain with their products to State agencies and even exemption from
himself or his co-owners." [Cooperative Rural Bank of Davao City, Inc. v. the minimum wage laws.
Ferrer-Calleja, et al., supra]. It is the fact of ownership of the cooperative,
and not involvement in the management thereof, which disqualifies a An employee therefore of such a cooperative who is a
member from joining any labor organization within the cooperative. Thus, member and co-owner thereof cannot invoke the right to
irrespective of the degree of their participation in the actual management collective bargaining for certainly an owner cannot
of the cooperative, all members thereof cannot form, assist or join a labor bargain with himself or his co-owners.
organization for the purpose of collective bargaining.
It is important to note that, in her order dated September 2, 1985, med-
Respondent union further claims that if nominal ownership in a arbiter Elnora V. Balleras made a specific finding that there are only
cooperative is "enough to take away the constitutional protections thirty-seven (37) employees of petitioner who are not members of the
afforded to labor, then there would be no hindrance for employers to cooperative and who are, therefore, the only employees of petitioner
grant, on a scheme of generous profit sharing, stock bonuses to their cooperative eligible to form or join a labor union for purposes of collective
employees and thereafter claim that since their employees are not bargaining [Annex "A" of the Petition, p. 12; Rollo, p. 22]. However, the
stockholders [of the corporation], albeit in a minimal and involuntary minutes of the certification election [Annex "C" of the Petition: Rollo, p.
manner, they are now also co-owners and thus disqualified to form 28] show that a total of eighty-three (83) employees were allowed to vote
unions." To allow this, BELU argues, would be "to allow the floodgates of and of these, forty-nine (49) voted for respondent union. Thus, even if We
destruction to be opened upon the rights of labor which the Constitution agree with respondent union's contention that the thirty seven (37)
endeavors to protect and which welfare it promises to promote." employees who were originally non-members of the cooperative can still
[Comment of BELU, p. 10; Rollo, p. 100]. vote in the certification election since they were only "forced and
compelled to join the cooperative on pain of disciplinary action," the
The above contention of respondent union is based on the erroneous certification election held on October 1, 1986 is still null and void since
presumption that membership in a cooperative is the same as ownership even those who were already members of the cooperative at the time of
of stocks in ordinary corporations. While cooperatives may exercise some the issuance of the med-arbiter's order, and therefore cannot claim that
of the rights and privileges given to ordinary corporations provided under they were forced to join the union were allowed to vote in the election.
existing laws, such cooperatives enjoy other privileges not granted to the
latter [See Sections 4, 5, 6, and 8, Pres. Decree No. 175; Cooperative Article 256 of the Labor Code provides, among others, that:
To have a valid, election, at least a majority of all eligible
voters in the unit must have cast their votes. The labor
union receiving the majority of the valid votes cast shall
be certified as the exclusive bargaining agent of all
workers in the unit . . . [Italics supplied.]

In this case it cannot be determined whether or not respondent union was


duly elected by the eligible voters of the bargaining unit since even
employees who are ineligible to join a labor union within the cooperative
because of their membership therein were allowed to vote in the
certification election. Considering the foregoing, the Court finds that
respondent director committed grave abuse of discretion in certifying
respondent union as the sole and exclusive bargaining representative of
the rank and file employees of petitioner cooperative.

WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby GRANTED and the assailed


resolution of respondent director is ANNULLED. The certification election
conducted on October 1, 1986, is SET ASIDE. The Regional Office No. 1
of San Fernando, La Union is hereby directed to immediately conduct
new certification election proceedings among the rank and file employees
of the petitioner who are not members of the cooperative.

SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. 101738 April 12, 2000 In a Notice9 dated August 10, 1989, the initial hearing of the petition was
set on August 18, 1989 but it was reset to August 25, 1989, at the
PAPER INDUSTRIES CORPORATION OF THE instance of PICOP, as it requested a fifteen (15) day period within which
PHILIPPINES, petitioner, to file its comments and/or position paper. But PICOP failed to file any
vs. comment or position paper. Meanwhile, private respondents Federation
HON. BIENVENIDO E. LAGUESMA, Undersecretary of Labor and of Free Workers (FFW) and Associated Labor Union (ALU) filed their
Employment, HON. HENRY PABEL, Director of the Department of respective petitions for intervention.
Labor and Employment Regional Office No. XI and/or the
Representation Officer of the Industrial Relations Division who will On September 14, 1989, Med-Arbiter Arturo L. Gamolo issued an
act for and in his behalf, PCOP- BISLIG SUPERVISORY AND Order 10 granting the petitions for interventions of the FFW and ALU.
TECHNICAL STAFF EMPLOYEES UNION, ASSOCIATED LABOR Another Order 11 issued on the same day set the holding of a certification
UNION and FEDERATION OF FREE WORKERS, respondents. election among PICOP's supervisory and technical staff employees in
Tabon, Bislig, Surigao del Sur, with four (4) choices, namely: (1)
PBSTSEU; (2) FFW; (3) ALU; and (4) no union.

On September 21, 1989, PICOP appealed 12 the Order which set the
holding of the certification election contending that the Med-Arbiter
DE LEON, JR., J.:
committed grave abuse of discretion in deciding the case without giving
PICOP the opportunity to file its comments/answer, and that PBSTSEU
Before us is a petition for certiorari seeking to annul the Resolution1 and had no personality to file the petition for certification election.
the Order2 dated April 17, 1991 and August 7, 1991, respectively, of
public respondent Bienvenido E. Laguesma, acting then as
After PBSTSEU filed its Comments 13 to petitioner's appeal, the Secretary
Undersecretary, now the Secretary, of the Department of Labor and
of the Labor 14 issued a Resolution 15dated November 17, 1989 which
Employment (DOLE), which reversed the Order dated March 27, 19903 of
upheld the Med-Arbiter's Order dated September 17, 1989, with
Med-Arbiter Phibun D. Pura declaring that supervisors and section heads
modification allowing the supervising and staff employees in Cebu,
of petitioner under its new organizational structure are managerial
Davao and Iligan City to participate in the certification election.
employees and should be excluded from the list of voters for the purpose
of a certification election among supervisory and technical staff
employees of petitioner.4 During the pre-election conference on January 18, 1990, PICOP
questioned and objected to the inclusion of some section heads and
supervisors in the list of voters whose positions it averred were
The facts of the case are the following:
reclassified as managerial employees in the light of the reorganization
effected by it. 16 Under the Revised Organizational Structure of the
Petitioner Paper Industries Corporation of the Philippines (PICOP) is PICOP, the company was divided into four (4) main business groups,
engaged in the manufacture of paper and timber products, with principal namely: Paper Products Business, Timber Products Business, Forest
place of operations at Tabon, Bislig, Surigao del Sur. It has over Resource Business and Support Services Business. A vice- president or
9,0005 employees, 9446 of whom are supervisory and technical staff assistant vice-president heads each of these business groups. A division
employees. More or less 487 of these supervisory and technical staff manager heads the divisions comprising each business group. A
employees are signatory members of the private respondent PICOP- department manager heads the departments comprising each division.
Bislig Supervisory and Technical Staff Employees Union (PBSTSEU).7 Section heads and supervisors, now called section managers and unit
managers, head the sections and independent units, respectively,
On August 9, 1989, PBSTSEU instituted a Petition8 for Certification comprising each department. 17 PICOP advanced the view that
Election to determine the sole and exclusive bargaining agent of the considering the alleged present authority of these section managers and
supervisory and technical staff employees of PICOP for collective unit managers to hire and fire, they are classified as managerial
bargaining agreement (CBA) purposes. employees, and hence, ineligible to form or join any labor organization. 18
Following the submission by the parties of their respective position THE PUBLIC RESPONDENT, HONORABLE BIENVENIDO E.
papers 19 and evidence 20 on this issue, Med-Arbiter Phibun D. Pura issued LAGUESMA, ALSO ERRED AND COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE
an Order 21 dated March 27, 1990, holding that supervisors and section OF DISCRETION, TANTAMOUNT TO ARBITRARILY ACTING
heads of the petitioner are managerial employees and therefore excluded WITHOUT OR IN EXCESS OF JURISDICTION WHEN HE
from the list of voters for purposes of certification election. TOTALLY DISREGARDED THE DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE
SO FAR SUBMITTED BY YOUR PETITIONER AND RELIED
PBSTSEU appealed 22 the Order of the Med-Arbiter to the Office of the MAINLY ON THE UNSUBSTANTIATED CLAIM AND MERE
Secretary, DOLE. ALU likewise appealed. 23PICOP submitted evidence ALLEGATIONS OF PRIVATE RESPONDENT, PBSTSEU, THAT
militating against the appeal. 24 Public respondent Bienvenido E. THE REORGANIZATION OF YOUR PETITIONER WAS A SHAM
Laguesma, acting as the then Undersecretary of Labor, issued the AND CALCULATED MERELY TO FRUSTRATE THE
assailed Order 25 dated April 17, 1991 setting aside the Order dated March UNIONIZATION OF YOUR PETITIONER'S SUPERVISORY
27, 1990 of the Med-Arbiter and declaring that the subject supervisors PERSONNEL; AND SOLELY ON THIS BASIS, DENIED YOUR
and section heads are supervisory employees eligible to vote in the PETITIONER'S URGENT MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION. 28
certification election.
PICOP's main thesis is that the positions Section Heads and Supervisors,
PICOP sought 26 reconsideration of the Order dated April 7, 1991. who have been designated as Section Managers and Unit Managers, as
However, public respondent in his Order 27 dated August 7, 1991 denied the case may be, were converted to managerial employees under the
PICOP's motion for reconsideration. decentralization and reorganization program it implemented in 1989.
Being managerial employees, with alleged authority to hire and fire
Hence, this petition. employees, they are ineligible for union membership under Article
245 29 of the Labor Code. Furthermore, PICOP contends that no malice
should be imputed against it for implementing its decentralization
PICOP anchors its petition on two (2) grounds, to wit:
program only after the petition for certification election was filed inasmuch
as the same is a valid exercise of its management prerogative, and that
I. said program has long been in the drawing boards of the company, which
was realized only in 1989 and fully implemented in 1991. PICOP
THE PUBLIC RESPONDENT HONORABLE BIENVENIDO E. emphatically stresses that it could not have conceptualized the
LAGUESMA, UNDERSECRETARY OF LABOR AND decentralization program only for the purpose of "thwarting the right of
EMPLOYMENT, IN A CAPRICIOUS, ARBITRARY AND the concerned employees to self-organization."
WHIMSICAL EXERCISE OF POWER ERRED AND
COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION, TANTAMOUNT The petition, not being meritorious, must fail and the same should be as it
TO ACTING WITHOUT OR IN EXCESS OF JURISDICTION is hereby dismissed.
WHEN HE DENIED YOUR PETITIONER'S PLEA TO PRESENT
ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE TO PROVE THAT SOME OF ITS
First. In United Pepsi-Cola Supervisory Union (UPSU) v. Laguesma, 30 we
MANAGERIAL EMPLOYEES ARE DISQUALIFIED FROM
had occasion to elucidate on the term "managerial employees."
JOINING OR FORMING A UNION REPRESENTED BY CO-
Managerial employees are ranked as Top Managers, Middle Managers
RESPONDENT PBSTSEU, IN VIEW OF A SUPERVENING
and First Line Managers. Top and Middle Managers have the authority to
EVENT BROUGHT ABOUT BY THE CHANGES IN THE
devise, implement and control strategic and operational policies while the
ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE OF YOUR PETITIONER
task of First-Line Managers is simply to ensure that such policies are
WHICH WAS FULLY IMPLEMENTED IN JANUARY 1991 AFTER
carried out by the rank-and- file employees of an organization. Under this
THE CASE WAS ELEVATED ON APPEAL AND SUBMITTED
distinction, "managerial employees" therefore fall in two (2) categories,
FOR DECISION.
namely, the "managers" per se composed of Top and Middle Managers,
and the "supervisors" composed of First-Line Managers. 31 Thus, the mere
II. fact that an employee is designated "manager" does not ipso facto make
him one. Designation should be reconciled with the actual job description WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DISMISSED, and the Resolution
of the employee, 32 for it is the job description that determines the nature and Order of public respondent Bienvenido E. Laguesma dated April 17,
of employment. 33 1991 and August 17, 1991, respectively, finding the subject supervisors
and section heads as supervisory employees eligible to vote in the
In the petition before us, a thorough dissection of the job description 34 of certification election are AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner.
the concerned supervisory employees and section heads indisputably
show that they are not actually managerial but only supervisory SO ORDERED. 1âw phi 1.nêt

employees since they do not lay down company policies. PICOP's


contention that the subject section heads and unit managers exercise the
authority to hire and fire 35 is ambiguous and quite misleading for the
reason that any authority they exercise is not supreme but merely
advisory in character. Theirs is not a final determination of the company
policies inasmuch as any action taken by them on matters relative to
hiring, promotion, transfer, suspension and termination of employees is
still subject to confirmation and approval by their respective
superior. 36 Thus, where such power, which is in effect recommendatory in
character, is subject to evaluation, review and final action by the
department heads and other higher executives of the company, the
same, although present, is not effective and not an exercise of
independent judgment as required by law. 37

Second. No denial of due process can be ascribed to public respondent


Undersecretary Laguesma for the latter's denial to allow PICOP to
present additional evidence on the implementation of its program
inasmuch as in the appeal before the said public respondent, PICOP
even then had already submitted voluminous supporting
documents. 38 The record of the case is replete with position papers and
exhibits that dealt with the main thesis it relied upon. What the law
prohibits is the lack of opportunity to be heard. 39 PICOP has long harped
on its contentions and these were dealt upon and resolved in detail by
public respondent Laguesma. We see no reason or justification to deviate
from his assailed resolutions for the reason that law and jurisprudence
aptly support them. 1âwphi1

Finally, considering all the foregoing, the fact that PICOP voiced out its
objection to the holding of certification election, despite numerous
opportunities to ventilate the same, only after respondent Undersecretary
of Labor affirmed the holding thereof, simply bolstered the public
respondents' conclusion that PICOP raised the issue merely to prevent
and thwart the concerned section heads and supervisory employees from
exercising a right granted them by law. Needless to stress, no obstacle
must be placed to the holding of certification elections, for it is a statutory
policy that should not be circumvented. 40
G.R. No. 161933 April 22, 2008 Finally, the charge of unfair labor practice for gross violation of
the economic provisions of the CBA is hereby dismissed for want
STANDARD CHARTERED BANK EMPLOYEES UNION (SCBEU- of jurisdiction.
NUBE), petitioner,
vs. SO ORDERED.3
STANDARD CHARTERED BANK and ANNEMARIE DURBIN, in her
capacity as Chief Executive Officer, Philippines, Standard Chartered Both petitioner and the Bank filed their respective motions for
Bank, respondents. reconsideration, which were denied by the Secretary per Order dated
August 30, 2001.4
DECISION
Petitioner sought recourse with the CA via a petition for certiorari, and in
AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, J.: the assailed Decision dated October 9, 20025 and Resolution dated
January 26, 2004,6 the CA dismissed their petition and affirmed the
For resolution is an appeal by certiorari filed by petitioner under Rule 45 Secretary's Orders.
of the Rules of Court, assailing the Decision1 dated October 9, 2002 and
Resolution2 dated January 26, 2004 issued by the Court of Appeals (CA), Hence, herein petition based on the following grounds:
dismissing their petition and affirming the Secretary of Labor and
Employment's Orders dated May 31, 2001 and August 30, 2001. I.

Petitioner and the Standard Chartered Bank (Bank) began negotiating for THE COURT A QUO ERRED IN DECIDING THAT THERE WAS
a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) in May 2000 as their NO BASIS FOR REVISING THE SCOPE OF EXCLUSIONS
1998-2000 CBA already expired. Due to a deadlock in the negotiations, FROM THE APPROPRIATE BARGAINING UNIT UNDER THE
petitioner filed a Notice of Strike prompting the Secretary of Labor and CBA.
Employment to assume jurisdiction over the labor dispute.
II.
On May 31, 2001, Secretary Patricia A. Sto. Tomas of the Department of
Labor and Employment (DOLE) issued an Order with the following THE COURT A QUO ERRED IN DECIDING THAT A ONE-
dispositive portion: MONTH OR LESS TEMPORARY OCCUPATION OF A
POSITION (ACTING CAPACITY) DOES NOT MERIT
WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, the Standard ADJUSTMENT IN REMUNERATION.7
Chartered Bank and the Standard Chartered Bank Employees
Union are directed to execute their collective bargaining The resolution of this case has been overtaken by the execution of the
agreement effective 01 April 2001 until 30 March 2003 parties' 2003-2005 CBA. While this would render the case moot and
incorporating therein the foregoing dispositions and the academic, nevertheless, the likelihood that the same issues will come up
agreements they reached in the course of negotiations and in the parties' future CBA negotiations is not far-fetched, thus compelling
conciliation. All other submitted issues that were not passed upon its resolution. Courts will decide a question otherwise moot if it is capable
are dismissed. of repetition yet evading review.[8]

The charge of unfair labor practice for bargaining in bad faith and The CBA provisions in dispute are the exclusion of certain employees
the claim for damages relating thereto are hereby dismissed for from the appropriate bargaining unit and the adjustment of remuneration
lack of merit. for employees serving in an acting capacity for one month.
In their proposal, petitioner sought the exclusion of only the following G. One (1) HR Staff11
employees from the appropriate bargaining unit – all managers who are
vested with the right to hire and fire employees, confidential employees, The Secretary, however, maintained the previous exclusions because
those with access to labor relations materials, Chief Cashiers, Assistant petitioner failed to show that the employees sought to be removed from
Cashiers, personnel of the Telex Department and one Human Resources the list qualify for exclusion.12
(HR) staff.9
With regard to the remuneration of employees working in an acting
In the previous 1998-2000 CBA,10 the excluded employees are as capacity, it was petitioner's position that additional pay should be given to
follows: an employee who has been serving in a temporary/acting capacity for
one week. The Secretary likewise rejected petitioner's proposal and
A. All covenanted and assistant officers (now called National instead, allowed additional pay for those who had been working in such
Officers) capacity for one month. The Secretary agreed with the Bank's position
that a restrictive provision would curtail management's prerogative, and
B. One confidential secretary of each of the: at the same time, recognized that employees should not be made to work
in an acting capacity for long periods of time without adequate
1. Chief Executive, Philippine Branches compensation.

2. Deputy Chief Executive/Head, Corporate Banking The Secretary's disposition of the issues raised by petitioner were
Group affirmed by the CA.13 The Court sustains the CA.

3. Head, Finance Whether or not the employees sought to be excluded from the
appropriate bargaining unit are confidential employees is a question of
fact, which is not a proper issue in a petition for review under Rule 45 of
4. Head, Human Resources
the Rules of Court.14 This holds more true in the present case in which
petitioner failed to controvert with evidence the findings of the Secretary
5. Manager, Cebu and the CA.

6. Manager, Iloilo The disqualification of managerial and confidential employees from


joining a bargaining unit for rank and file employees is already well-
7. Covenanted Officers provided said positions shall be entrenched in jurisprudence. While Article 245 of the Labor Code limits
filled by new recruits. the ineligibility to join, form and assist any labor organization to
managerial employees, jurisprudence has extended this prohibition to
C. The Chief Cashiers and Assistant Cashiers in Manila, Cebu confidential employees or those who by reason of their positions or
and Iloilo, and in any other branch that the BANK may establish in nature of work are required to assist or act in a fiduciary manner to
the country. managerial employees and hence, are likewise privy to sensitive and
highly confidential records.15
D. Personnel of the Telex Department
In this case, the question that needs to be answered is whether the
E. All Security Guards Bank's Chief Cashiers and Assistant Cashiers, personnel of the Telex
Department and HR staff are confidential employees, such that they
F. Probationary employees, without prejudice to Article 277 (c) of should be excluded.
the Labor Code, as amended by R.A. 6715, casuals or
emergency employees; and
As regards the qualification of bank cashiers as confidential Absent any proof that Chief Cashiers and Assistant
employees, National Association of Trade Unions (NATU) – Republic Cashiers, personnel of the Telex department and one (1) HR
Planters Bank Supervisors Chapter v. Torres16 declared that they are Staff have mutuality of interest with the other rank and file
confidential employees having control, custody and/or access to employees, then they are rightfully excluded from the
confidential matters, e.g., the branch's cash position, statements of appropriate bargaining unit. x x x21(Emphasis supplied)
financial condition, vault combination, cash codes for telegraphic
transfers, demand drafts and other negotiable instruments, pursuant to Petitioner cannot simply rely on jurisprudence without explaining how and
Sec. 1166.4 of the Central Bank Manual regarding joint custody, and why it should apply to this case. Allegations must be supported by
therefore, disqualified from joining or assisting a union; or joining, evidence. In this case, there is barely any at all.
assisting or forming any other labor organization.17
There is likewise no reason for the Court to disturb the conclusion of the
Golden Farms, Inc. v. Ferrer-Calleja18 meanwhile stated that "confidential Secretary and the CA that the additional remuneration should be given to
employees such as accounting personnel, radio and telegraph employees placed in an acting capacity for one month. The CA correctly
operators who, having access to confidential information, may become stated:
the source of undue advantage. Said employee(s) may act as spy or
spies of either party to a collective bargaining agreement."19 Likewise, We uphold the public respondent's Order that no
employee should be temporarily placed in a position (acting
Finally, in Philips Industrial Development, Inc. v. National Labor Relations capacity) for more than one month without the corresponding
Commission,20 the Court designated personnel staff, in which human adjustment in the salary. Such order of the public respondent is
resources staff may be qualified, as confidential employees because by not in violation of the "equal pay for equal work" principle,
the very nature of their functions, they assist and act in a confidential considering that after one (1) month, the employee performing the
capacity to, or have access to confidential matters of, persons who job in an acting capacity will be entitled to salary corresponding to
exercise managerial functions in the field of labor relations. such position.

Petitioner insists that the foregoing employees are not confidential xxxx
employees; however, it failed to buttress its claim. Aside from its
generalized arguments, and despite the Secretary's finding that there In arriving at its Order, the public respondent took all the relevant
was no evidence to support it, petitioner still failed to substantiate its evidence into account and weighed both parties arguments
claim. Petitioner did not even bother to state the nature of the duties and extensively. Thus, public respondent concluded that a restrictive
functions of these employees, depriving the Court of any basis on which provision with respect to employees being placed in an acting
it may be concluded that they are indeed confidential employees. As capacity may curtail management's valid exercise of its
aptly stated by the CA: prerogative. At the same time, it recognized that employees
should not be made to perform work in an acting capacity for
While We agree that petitioner's proposed revision is in extended periods of time without being adequately compensated.
accordance with the law, this does not necessarily mean that the x x x22
list of exclusions enumerated in the 1998-2000 CBA is contrary to
law. As found by public respondent, petitioner failed to show Thus, the Court reiterates the doctrine that:
that the employees sought to be removed from the list of
exclusions are actually rank and file employees who are not
[T]he office of a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of
managerial or confidential in status and should, accordingly,
the Rules of Court requires that it shall raise only questions of
be included in the appropriate bargaining unit.
law. The factual findings by quasi-judicial agencies, such as the
Department of Labor and Employment, when supported by
substantial evidence, are entitled to great respect in view of their
expertise in their respective fields. Judicial review of labor cases
does not go so far as to evaluate the sufficiency of evidence on
which the labor official's findings rest. It is not our function to
assess and evaluate all over again the evidence, testimonial and
documentary, adduced by the parties to an appeal, particularly
where the findings of both the trial court (here, the DOLE
Secretary) and the appellate court on the matter coincide, as in
this case at bar. The Rule limits that function of the Court to the
review or revision of errors of law and not to a second analysis of
the evidence. x x x Thus, absent any showing of whimsical or
capricious exercise of judgment, and unless lack of any basis for
the conclusions made by the appellate court be amply
demonstrated, we may not disturb such factual findings.23

WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED.

SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. 100485 September 21, 1994 Petitioner appealed to the Secretary of Labor. It claimed that
Atty. Batalla was only authorized to agree to the holding of certification
SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION, petitioner, elections subject to the following conditions: (1) there would only be one
vs. general election; (2) in this general election, the individual sales offices
THE HONORABLE BIENVENIDO E. LAGUESMA and NORTH LUZON shall still comprise separate bargaining units. 3
MAGNOLIA SALES LABOR UNION-INDEPENDENT, respondents.
In a Resolution dated March 19, 1991, 4 public respondent, by authority of
Siguion Reyna, Montecillo & Ongsiako for petitioner. the Secretary of Labor, denied SMC's appeal and affirmed the Order of
the Med- Arbiter.
E.N.A. Cruz & Associates for private respondent.
Hence this petition for certiorari.

Petitioner claims that:


PUNO, J.:
THE HONORABLE UNDERSECRETARY LAGUESMA
Petitioner San Miguel Corporation (SMC) prays that the Resolution dated ACTED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION WHEN
March 19, 1991 and the Order dated April 12, 1991 of public respondent HE IGNORED AND TOTALLY DISREGARDED
Undersecretary Bienvenido E. Laguesma declaring respondent union as PETITIONER'S VALID AND JUSTIFIABLE GROUNDS
the sole and exclusive bargaining agent of all the Magnolia sales WHY THE ERROR MADE IN GOOD FAITH BY
personnel in northern Luzon be set aside for having been issued in PETITIONER'S COUNSEL BE CORRECTED, AND
excess of jurisdiction and/or with grave abuse of discretion. INSTEAD RULED:

On June 4, 1990, the North Luzon Magnolia Sales Labor Union A


(respondent union for brevity) filed with the Department of Labor a
petition for certification election among all the regular sales personnel of THAT PRIVATE RESPONDENT IS "THE
Magnolia Dairy Products in the North Luzon Sales Area. 1 SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE BARGAINING
AGENT FOR ALL THE REGULAR SALES
Petitioner opposed the petition and questioned the appropriateness of the OFFICES OF MAGNOLIA DAIRY
bargaining unit sought to be represented by respondent union. It claimed PRODUCTS, NORTH LUZON SALES
that its bargaining history in its sales offices, plants and warehouses is to AREA", COMPLETELY IGNORING THE
have a separate bargaining unit for each sales office. ESTABLISHED BARGAINING HISTORY
OF PETITIONER SMC.
The petition was heard on November 9, 1990 with petitioner
being represented by Atty. Alvin C. Batalla of the Siguion Reyna law B
office. Atty. Batalla withdrew petitioner's opposition to a certification
election and agreed to consider all the sales offices in northern Luzon as THAT PETITIONER IS ESTOPPED
one bargaining unit. At the pre-election conference, the parties FROM QUESTIONING THE
agreed inter alia, on the date, time and place of the consent election. "AGREEMENT" ENTERED INTO AT THE
Respondent union won the election held on November 24, 1990. In an HEARING ON
Order dated December 3, 1990, 2 Mediator-Arbiter Benalfre J. Galang 9 NOVEMBER 1990, IN
certified respondent union as the sole and exclusive bargaining agent for CONTRAVENTION OF THE
all the regular sales personnel in all the sales offices of Magnolia Dairy ESTABLISHED FACTS OF THE CASE
Products in the North Luzon Sales Area.
AND THE APPLICABLE LAW ON THE is similarity of employment status for only the regular sales personnel in
MATTER. the north Luzon area are covered. They have the same duties and
responsibilities and substantially similar compensation and working
We find no merit in the petition. conditions. The commonality of interest among he sales personnel in the
north Luzon sales area cannot be gainsaid. In fact, in the certification
The issues for resolution are: (1) whether or not respondent union election held on November 24, 1990, the employees concerned accepted
represents an appropriate bargaining unit, and (2) whether or not respondent union as their exclusive bargaining agent. Clearly, they have
petitioner is bound by its lawyer's act of agreeing to consider the sales expressed their desire to be one.
personnel in the north Luzon sales area as one bargaining unit.
Petitioner cannot insist that each of the sales office of Magnolia should
Petitioner claims that in issuing the impugned Orders, public respondent constitute only one bargaining unit. What greatly militates against this
disregarded its collective bargaining history which is to have a separate position is the meager number of sales personnel in each of the Magnolia
bargaining unit for each sales office. It insists that its prior collective sales office in northern Luzon. Even the bargaining unit sought to be
bargaining history is the most persuasive criterion in determining the represented by respondent union in the entire north Luzon sales area
appropriateness of the collective bargaining unit. consists only of approximately
fifty-five (55) employees. 9 Surely, it would not be for the best interest of
these employees if they would further be fractionalized. The adage "there
There is no merit in the contention.
is strength in number" is the very rationale underlying the formation of a
labor union.
A bargaining unit is a "group of employees of a given employer,
comprised of all or less than all of the entire body of employees,
Anent the second issue, petitioner claims that Atty. Batalla was merely a
consistent with equity to the employer, indicate to be the best suited to
substitute lawyer for Atty. Christine Ona, who got stranded in Legaspi
serve the reciprocal rights and duties of the parties under the collective
City. Atty. Batalla was allegedly unfamiliar with the collective bargaining
bargaining provisions of the law." 5
history of its establishment. Petitioner claims it should not be bound by
the mistake committed by its substitute lawyer.
The fundamental factors in determining the appropriate collective
bargaining unit are: (1) the will of the employees (Globe Doctrine); 6 (2)
We are not persuaded. As discussed earlier, the collective bargaining
affinity and unity of the employees' interest, such as substantial similarity
history of a company is not decisive of what should comprise the
of work and duties, or similarity of compensation and working conditions
collective bargaining unit. Insofar as the alleged "mistake" of the
(Substantial Mutual Interests Rule); (3) prior collective bargaining history;
substitute lawyer is concerned, we find that this mistake was the direct
and (4) similarity of employment status. 7
result of the negligence of petitioner's lawyers. It will be noted that Atty.
Ona was under the supervision of two (2) other lawyers, Attys. Jacinto de
Contrary to petitioner's assertion, this Court has categorically ruled that la Rosa, Jr. and George C. Nograles. There is nothing in the records to
the existence of a prior collective bargaining history is neither decisive show that these two (2) counsels were likewise unavailable at that time.
nor conclusive in the determination of what constitutes an appropriate Instead of deferring the hearing, petitioner's counsels chose to proceed
bargaining unit. 8 therewith. Indeed, prudence dictates that, in such case, the lawyers
allegedly actively involved in SMC's labor case should have adequately
Indeed, the test of grouping is mutuality or commonality of interests. The and sufficiently briefed the substitute lawyer with respect to the matters
employees sought to be represented by the collective bargaining agent involved in the case and the specific limits of his authority. Unfortunately,
must have substantial mutual interests in terms of employment and this was not done in this case. The negligence of its lawyers binds
working conditions as evinced by the type of work they perform. petitioner. As held by this Court in the case of Villa Rhecar Bus v. De la
Cruz: 10
In the case at bench, respondent union sought to represent the sales
personnel in the various Magnolia sales offices in northern Luzon. There
. . . As a general rule, a client is bound by the mistakes of
his counsel. Only when the application of the general rule
would result in serious injustice should an exception
thereto be called for.

In the case at bench, petitioner insists that each of the sales offices in
northern Luzon should be considered as a separate bargaining unit for
negotiations would be more expeditious. Petitioner obviously chooses to
follow the path of least resistance. It is not, however, the convenience of
the employer that constitutes the determinative factor in forming an
appropriate bargaining unit. Equally, if not more important, is the interest
of the employees. In choosing and crafting an appropriate bargaining
unit, extreme care should be taken to prevent an employer from having
any undue advantage over the employees' bargaining representative.
Our workers are weak enough and it is not our social policy to further
debilitate their bargaining representative.

In sum, we find that no arbitrariness or grave abuse of discretion can be


attributed to public respondents certification of respondent union as the
sole and exclusive bargaining agent of all the regular Magnolia sales
personnel of the north Luzon sales area.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the challenged Resolution and


Order of public respondent are hereby AFFIRMED in toto, there being no
showing of grave abuse of discretion or lack of jurisdiction.

SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. 96189 July 14, 1992 Professional Staff (REPS), who are academic non-teaching personnel,
should not be deemed part of the organizational unit.
UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner,
vs. For its part, the University, through its General Counsel, 6 made of record
HON. PURA FERRER-CALLEJA, Director of the Bureau of Labor its view that there should be two (2) unions: one for academic, the other
Relations, Department of Labor and Employment, and THE ALL U.P. for non-academic or administrative, personnel considering the dichotomy
WORKERS' UNION, represented by its President, Rosario del of interests, conditions and rules governing these employee groups.
Rosario, respondent.
Director Calleja ruled on the matter on August 7, 1990. 7 She declared
that "the appropriate organizational unit . . should embrace all the regular
rank-and-file employees, teaching and non-teaching, of the University of
NARVASA, C.J.: the Philippines, including all its branches" and that there was no sufficient
evidence "to justify the grouping of the non-academic or administrative
In this special civil action of certiorari the University of the Philippines personnel into an organization unit apart and distinct from that of the
seeks the nullification of the Order dated October 30, 1990 of Director academic or teaching personnel." Director Calleja adverted to Section 9
Pura Ferrer-Calleja of the Bureau of Labor Relations holding that of Executive Order No. 180, viz.:
"professors, associate professors and assistant professors (of the
University of the Philippines) are . . rank-and-file employees . . ;" Sec. 9. The appropriate organizational unit shall be the
consequently, they should, together with the so-called non-academic, employer unit consisting of rank-and-file employees,
non-teaching, and all other employees of the University, be represented unless circumstances otherwise require.
by only one labor organization. 1 The University is joined in this
undertaking by the Solicitor General who "has taken a position not and Section 1, Rule IV of the Rules Implementing said EO 180
contrary to that of petitioner and, in fact, has manifested . . that he is not (as amended by SEC. 2, Resolution of Public Sector Labor
opposing the petition . . ." 2 Management Council dated May 14, 1989, viz.:

The case 3 was initiated in the Bureau of Labor Relations by a petition xxx xxx xxx
filed on March 2, 1990 by a registered labor union, the "Organization of
Non-Academic Personnel of UP" (ONAPUP). 4 Claiming to have a For purposes of registration, an appropriate
membership of 3,236 members — comprising more than 33% of the organizational unit may refer to:
9,617 persons constituting the non-academic personnel of UP-Diliman,
Los Baños, Manila, and Visayas, it sought the holding of a certification xxx xxx xxx
election among all said non-academic employees of the University of the
Philippines. At a conference thereafter held on March 22, 1990 in the
d. State universities or colleges, government-owned or
Bureau, the University stated that it had no objection to the election.
controlled corporations with original charters.
On April 18, 1990, another registered labor union, the "All UP Workers'
She went on to say that the general intent of EO 180 was "not to
Union," 5 filed a comment, as intervenor in the certification election
fragmentize the employer unit, as "can be gleaned from the
proceeding. Alleging that its membership covers both academic and non-
definition of the term "accredited employees' organization," which
academic personnel, and that it aims to unite all UP rank-and-file
refers to:
employees in one union, it declared its assent to the holding of the
election provided the appropriate organizational unit was first clearly
defined. It observed in this connection that the Research, Extension and . . a registered organization of the rank-and-file
employees as defined in these rules recognized to
negotiate for the employees in an organizational unit
headed by an officer with sufficient authority to bind the 4) Not all teaching personnel may be deemed included in the term, "rank-
agency, such as . . . . . . state colleges and universities. and-file;" only those holding appointments at the instructor level may be
so considered, because those holding appointments from Assistant
The Director thus commanded that a certification election be "conducted Professor to Associate Professor to full Professor take part, as members
among rank-and-file employees, teaching and non-teaching" in all four of the University Council, a policy-making body, in the initiation of policies
autonomous campuses of the UP, and that management appear and and rules with respect to faculty tenure and promotion. 9
bring copies of the corresponding payrolls for January, June, and July,
1990 at the "usual pre-election conference . . ." The ONAPUP quite categorically made of record its position; that it was
not opposing the University's proferred classification of rank-and file
At the pre-election conference held on March 22, 1990 at the Labor employees. On the other hand, the "All UP Workers' Union" opposed the
Organizational Division of the DOLE, 8 the University sought further clarification of the University's view, in a Position Paper presented by it under date of
coverage of the term, "rank-and-file" personnel, asserting that not every employee could properly be October 18, 1990.
embraced within both teaching and non-teaching categories since there are those whose positions are
in truth managerial and policy-determining, and hence, excluded by law.
Director Calleja subsequently promulgated an Order dated October 30,
At a subsequent hearing (on October 4, 1990), the University filed a 1990, resolving the "sole issue" of "whether or not professors, associate
Manifestation seeking the exclusion from the organizational unit of those professors and assistant professors are included in the definition of high-
employees holding supervisory positions among non-academic level employee(s)" in light of Rule I, Section (1) of the Implementing
personnel, and those in teaching staff with the rank of Assistant Guidelines of Executive Order No. 180, defining "high level employee" as
Professor or higher, submitting the following as grounds therefor: follows:

1) Certain "high-level employees" with policy-making, managerial, or 1. High Level Employee — is one whose functions are
confidential functions, are ineligible to join rank-and-file employee normally considered policy determining, managerial or
organizations under Section 3, EO 180: one whose duties are highly confidential in nature. A
managerial function refers to the exercise of powers such
as:
Sec. 3. High-level employees whose functions are
normally considered as policy-making or managerial or
whose duties are of a highly confidential nature shall not 1. To effectively recommend such
be eligible to join the organization of rank-and file managerial actions;
government employees;
2. To formulate or execute management
2) In the University hierarchy, not all teaching and non-teaching policies and decisions; or
personnel belong the rank-and file: just as there are those occupying
managerial positions within the non-teaching roster, there is also a 3. To hire, transfer, suspend, lay-off,
dichotomy between various levels of the teaching or academic staff; recall, dismiss, assign or discipline
employees.
3) Among the non-teaching employees composed of Administrative Staff
and Research personnel, only those holding positions below Grade 18 The Director adjudged that said teachers are rank-and-file employees
should be regarded as rank-and-file, considering that those holding "qualified to join unions and vote in certification elections." According to
higher grade positions, like Chiefs of Sections, perform supervisory her —
functions including that of effectively recommending termination of
appointments or initiating appointments and promotions; and A careful perusal of the University Code . . shows that the
policy-making powers of the Council are limited to
academic matters, namely, prescribing courses of study
and rules of discipline, fixing student admission and The University would now have this Court declare void the Director's
graduation requirements, recommending to the Board of Order of October 30, 1990 as well as that of November 20, 1990. 11 A
Regents the conferment of degrees, and disciplinary temporary restraining order was issued by the Court, by Resolution dated
power over students. The policy-determining functions December 5, 1990 conformably to the University's application therefor.
contemplated in the definition of a high-level employee
pertain to managerial, executive, or organization policies, Two issues arise from these undisputed facts. One is whether or not
such as hiring, firing, and disciplining of employees, professors, associate professors and assistant professors are "high-level
salaries, teaching/working hours, other monetary and employees" "whose functions are normally considered policy determining,
non-monetary benefits, and other terms and conditions of managerial or . . highly confidential in nature." The other is whether or
employment. They are the usual issues in collective not, they, and other employees performing academic functions, 12 should
bargaining negotiations so that whoever wields these comprise a collective bargaining unit distinct and different from that
powers would be placed in a situation of conflicting consisting of the non-academic employees of the
interests if he were allowed to join the union of rank-and- University, 13 considering the dichotomy of interests, conditions and rules
file employees. existing between them.

The University seasonably moved for reconsideration, seeking to make As regards the first issue, the Court is satisfied that it has been correctly
the following points, to wit: resolved by the respondent Director of Bureau Relations. In light of
Executive Order No. 180 and its implementing rules, as well as the
1) UP professors do "wield the most potent managerial powers: the University's charter and relevant regulations, the professors, associate
power to rule on tenure, on the creation of new programs and new jobs, professors and assistant professors (hereafter simply referred to as
and conversely, the abolition of old programs and the attendant re- professors) cannot be considered as exercising such managerial or
assignment of employees. highly confidential functions as would justify their being categorized as
"high-level employees" of the institution.
2) To say that the Council is "limited to (acting on) academic matters" is
error, since academic decisions "are the most important decisions made The Academic Personnel Committees, through which the professors
in a University . . (being, as it were) the heart, the core of the University supposedly exercise managerial functions, were constituted "in order to
as a workplace. foster greater involvement of the faculty and other academic personnel in
appointments, promotions, and other personnel matters that directly
3) Considering that the law regards as a "high level" employee, one who affect them." 14 Academic Personnel Committees at the departmental and
performs either policy-determining, managerial, or confidential functions, college levels were organized "consistent with, and demonstrative of the
the Director erred in applying only the "managerial functions" test, very idea of consulting the faculty and other academic personnel on
ignoring the "policy-determining functions" test. matters directly affecting them" and to allow "flexibility in the
determination of guidelines peculiar to a particular department or
4) The Director's interpretation of the law would lead to absurd results, college." 15
e.g.: "an administrative officer of the College of Law is a high level
employee, while a full Professor who has published several treatises and Personnel actions affecting the faculty and other academic personnel
who has distinguished himself in argument before the Supreme Court is a should, however, "be considered under uniform guidelines and consistent
mere rank-and-file employee. A dormitory manager is classified as a high with the Resolution of the Board (of Regents) adopted during its 789th
level employee, while a full Professor or Political Science with a Ph. D. Meeting (11-26-69) creating the University Academic Personnel
and several Honorary doctorates is classified as rank-and-file." 10 Board." 16 Thus, the Departmental Academic Personnel Committee is
given the function of "assist(ing) in the review of the recommendations
The motion for reconsideration was denied by Director Calleja, by Order initiated by the Department Chairman with regard to recruitment,
dated November 20, 1990. selection, performance evaluation, tenure and staff development, in
accordance with the general guidelines formulated by the University
Academic Personnel Board and the implementing details laid down by From the foregoing, it is evident that it is the University Academic
the College Academic Personnel Committee;" 17 while the College Personnel Committee, composed of deans, the assistant for academic
Academic Personnel Committee is entrusted with the following affairs and the chief of personnel, which formulates the policies, rules and
functions: 18 standards respecting selection, compensation and promotion of members
of the academic staff. The departmental and college academic personnel
1. Assist the Dean in setting up the details for the committees' functions are purely recommendatory in nature, subject to
implementation of policies, rules, standards or general review and evaluation by the University Academic Personnel Board.
guidelines as formulated by the University Academic In Franklin Baker Company of the Philippines vs. Trajano, 20 this Court
Personnel Board; reiterated the principle laid down in National Merchandising Corp. vs.
Court of Industrial Relations, 21 that the power to recommend, in order to
2. Review the recommendation submitted by the DAPCs qualify an employee as a supervisor or managerial employee "must not
with regard to recruitment, selection, performance only be effective but the exercise of such authority should not be merely
evaluation, tenure, staff development, and promotion of of a routinary or clerical nature but should require the use of independent
the faculty and other academic personnel of the College; judgment." Where such recommendatory powers, as in the case at bar,
are subject to evaluation, review and final action by the department
heads and other higher executives of the company, the same, although
3. Establish departmental priorities in the allocation of
present, are not effective and not an exercise of independent judgment
available funds for promotion;
as required by law.
4. Act on cases of disagreement between the Chairman
Significantly, the personnel actions that may be recommended by the
and the members of the DAPC particularly on personnel
departmental and college academic personnel committees must conform
matters covered by this Order;
with the general guidelines drawn up by the university personnel
academic committee. This being the case, the members of the
5. Act on complaints and/or protests against personnel departmental and college academic personnel committees are not unlike
actions made by the Department Chairman and/or the the chiefs of divisions and sections of the National Waterworks and
DAPC. Sewerage Authority whom this Court considered as rank-and-file
employees in National Waterworks & Sewerage Authority vs. NWSA
The University Academic Personnel Board, on the other hand, performs Consolidated Unions, 22because "given ready policies to execute and
the following functions: 19 standard practices to observe for their execution, . . . they have little
freedom of action, as their main function is merely to carry out the
1. Assist the Chancellor in the review of the company's orders, plans and policies."
recommendations of the CAPC'S.
The power or prerogative pertaining to a high-level employee "to
2. Act on cases of disagreement between the Dean and effectively recommend such managerial actions, to formulate or execute
the CAPC. management policies or decisions and/or to hire, transfer, suspend, lay-
off, recall, dismiss, assign or discipline employees" 23 is exercised to a
3. Formulate policies, rules, and standards with respect to certain degree by the university academic personnel board/committees
the selection, compensation, and promotion of members and ultimately by the Board of Regents in accordance with Section 6 of
of the academic staff. the University
Charter, 24 thus:
4. Assist the Chancellor in the review of
recommendations on academic promotions and on other (e) To appoint, on the recommendation of the President of
matters affecting faculty status and welfare. the University, professors, instructors, lecturers and other
employees of the University; to fix their compensation,
hours of service, and such other duties and conditions as professor, or assistant professor. The Council shall have
it may deem proper; to grant them in its discretion leave the power to prescribe the courses of study and rules of
of absence under such regulations as it may promulgate, discipline, subject to the approval of the Board of
any other provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, Regents. It shall fix the requirements for admission to any
and to remove them for cause after investigation and college of the university, as well as for graduation and the
hearing shall have been had. receiving of a degree. The Council alone shall have the
power to recommend students or others to be recipients
Another factor that militates against petitioner's espousal of managerial of degrees. Through its president or committees, it shall
employment status for all its professors through membership in the have disciplinary power over the students within the limits
departmental and college academic personnel committees is that not all prescribed by the rules of discipline approved by the
professors are members thereof. Membership and the number of Board of Regents. The powers and duties of the
members in the committees are provided as follows: 25 President of the University, in addition to those
specifically provided in this Act shall be those usually
Sec. 2. Membership in Committees. — Membership in pertaining to the office of president of a university.
committees may be made either through appointment,
election, or by some other means as may be determined It is readily apparent that the policy-determining functions of the
by the faculty and other academic personnel of a University Council are subject to review, evaluation and final approval by
particular department or college. the Board of Regents. The Council's power of discipline is likewise
circumscribed by the limits imposed by the Board of Regents. What has
Sec. 3. Number of Members. — In addition to the been said about the recommendatory powers of the departmental and
Chairman, in the case of a department, and the Dean in college academic personnel committees applies with equal force to the
the case of a college, there shall be such number of alleged policy-determining functions of the University Council.
members representing the faculty and academic
personnel as will afford a fairly representative, Even assuming arguendo that UP professors discharge policy-
deliberative and manageable group that can handle determining functions through the University Council, still such exercise
evaluation of personnel actions. would not qualify them as high-level employees within the context of E.O.
180. As correctly observed by private respondent, "Executive Order No.
Neither can membership in the University Council elevate the professors 180 is a law concerning public sector unionism. It must therefore be
to the status of high-level employees. Section 6 (f) and 9 of the UP construed within that context. Within that context, the University of the
Charter respectively provide: 26 Philippines represents the government as an employer. 'Policy-
determining' refers to policy-determination in university mattes that affect
those same matters that may be the subject of negotiation between
Sec. 6. The Board of Regents shall have the following
public sector management and labor. The reason why 'policy-
powers and duties . . . ;
determining' has been laid down as a test in segregating rank-and-file
from management is to ensure that those who lay down policies in areas
xxx xxx xxx that are still negotiable in public sector collective bargaining do not
themselves become part of those employees who seek to change these
(f) To approve the courses of study and rules of discipline policies for their collective welfare." 27
drawn up by the University Council as hereinafter
provided; . . . The policy-determining functions of the University Council refer to
academic matters, i.e. those governing the relationship between the
Sec. 9. There shall be a University Council consisting of University and its students, and not the University as an employer and
the President of the University and of all instructors in the the professors as employees. It is thus evident that no conflict of interest
university holding the rank of professor, associate
results in the professors being members of the University Council and When first confronted with the task of determining the proper collective
being classified as rank-and-file employees. bargaining unit in a particular controversy, the Court had perforce to rely
on American jurisprudence. In Democratic Labor Association vs. Cebu
Be that as it may, does it follow, as public respondent would propose, Stevedoring Company, Inc., decided on February 28, 1958, 31 the Court
that all rank-and-file employees of the university are to be organized into observed that "the issue of how to determine the proper collective
a single collective bargaining unit? bargaining unit and what unit would be appropriate to be the collective
bargaining
A "bargaining unit" has been defined as a group of employees of a given agency" . . . "is novel in this jurisdiction; however, American precedents
employer, comprised of all or less than all of the entire body of on the matter abound . . (to which resort may be had) considering that
employees, which the collective interest of all the employees, consistent our present Magna Carta has been patterned after the American law on
with equity to the employer, indicate to be the best suited to serve the the subject." Said the Court:
reciprocal rights and duties of the parties under the collective bargaining
provisions of the law. 28 . . . Under these precedents, there are various factors
which must be satisfied and considered in determining the
Our labor laws do not however provide the criteria for determining the proper constituency of a bargaining unit. No one particular
proper collective bargaining unit. Section 12 of the old law, Republic Act factor is itself decisive of the determination. The weight
No. 875 otherwise known as the Industrial Peace Act, simply reads as accorded to any particular factor varies in accordance
follows: 29 with the particular question or questions that may arise in
a given case. What are these factors? Rothenberg
mentions a good number, but the most pertinent to our
Sec. 12. Exclusive Collective Bargaining Representation
case are: (1) will of the employees (Globe Doctrine); (2)
for Labor Organizations. — The labor organization
affinity and unit of employees' interest, such as
designated or selected for the purpose of collective
substantial similarity of work and duties, or similarity of
bargaining by the majority of the employees in an
compensation and working conditions; (3) prior collective
appropriate collective bargaining unit shall be the
bargaining history; and (4) employment status, such as
exclusive representative of all the employees in such unit
temporary, seasonal probationary employees. . . .
for the purpose of collective bargaining in respect to rates
of pay, wages, hours of employment, or other conditions
of employment; Provided, That any individual employee xxx xxx xxx
or group of employees shall have the right at any time to
present grievances to their employer. An enlightening appraisal of the problem of defining an
appropriate bargaining unit is given in the 10th Annual
Although said Section 12 of the Industrial Peace Act was subsequently Report of the National Labor Relations Board wherein it is
incorporated into the Labor Code with minor changes, no guidelines were emphasized that the factors which said board may
included in said Code for determination of an appropriate bargaining unit consider and weigh in fixing appropriate units are: the
in a given case. 30 Thus, apart from the single descriptive word history, extent and type of organization of employees; the
"appropriate," no specific guide for determining the proper collective history of their collective bargaining; the history, extent
bargaining unit can be found in the statutes. and type of organization of employees in other plants of
the same employer, or other employers in the same
industry; the skill, wages, work, and working conditions of
Even Executive Order No. 180 already adverted to is not much help. All it
the employees; the desires of the employees; the
says, in its Section 9, is that "(t)he appropriate organizational unit shall be
eligibility of the employees for membership in the union or
the employer unit consisting of rank-and-file employees, unless
unions involved; and the relationship between the unit or
circumstances otherwise require." Case law fortunately furnishes some
units proposed and the employer's organization,
guidelines.
management, and operation. . . .
. . In said report, it is likewise emphasized that the basic Certainly, there is a mutuality of interest among the
test in determining the appropriate bargaining unit is that employees of the Sawmill Division and the Logging
a unit, to be appropriate, must affect a grouping of Division. Their functions mesh with one another. One
employees who have substantial, mutual interests in group needs the other in the same way that the company
wages, hours, working conditions and other subjects of needs them both. There may be difference as to the
collective bargaining (citing Smith on Labor Laws, 316- nature of their individual assignments but the distinctions
317; Francisco, Labor Laws, 162). . . . are not enough to warrant the formation of a separate
bargaining unit.
The Court further explained that "(t)he test of the grouping is community
or mutuality of interests. And this is so because 'the basic test of an In the case at bar, the University employees may, as already suggested,
asserted bargaining unit's acceptability is whether or not it is quite easily be categorized into two general classes: one, the group
fundamentally the combination which will best assure to all employees composed of employees whose functions are non-academic, i.e., janitors,
the exercise of their collective bargaining rights' (Rothenberg on Labor messengers, typists, clerks, receptionists, carpenters, electricians,
Relations, 490)." Hence, in that case, the Court upheld the trial court's grounds-keepers, chauffeurs, mechanics, plumbers; 32 and two, the group
conclusion that two separate bargaining units should be formed, one made up of those performing academic functions, i.e., full professors,
consisting of regular and permanent employees and another consisting of associate professors, assistant professors, instructors — who may be
casual laborers or stevedores. judges or government executives — and research, extension and
professorial staff. 33 Not much reflection is needed to perceive that the
Since then, the "community or mutuality of interests" test has provided community or mutuality of interests which justifies the formation of a
the standard in determining the proper constituency of a collective single collective bargaining unit is wanting between the academic and
bargaining unit. In Alhambra Cigar & Cigarette Manufacturing Company, non-academic personnel of the university. It would seem obvious that
et al. vs. Alhambra Employees' Association (PAFLU), 107 Phil. 23, the teachers would find very little in common with the University clerks and
Court, noting that the employees in the administrative, sales and other non-academic employees as regards responsibilities and functions,
dispensary departments of a cigar and cigarette manufacturing firm working conditions, compensation rates, social life and interests, skills
perform work which have nothing to do with production and maintenance, and intellectual pursuits, cultural activities, etc. On the contrary, the
unlike those in the raw lead (malalasi), cigar, cigarette, packing dichotomy of interests, the dissimilarity in the nature of the work and
(precintera) and engineering and garage departments, authorized the duties as well as in the compensation and working conditions of the
formation of the former set of employees into a separate collective academic and non-academic personnel dictate the separation of these
bargaining unit. The ruling in the Democratic Labor two categories of employees for purposes of collective bargaining. The
Association case, supra, was reiterated in Philippine Land-Air-Sea Labor formation of two separate bargaining units, the first consisting of the rank-
Unit vs. Court of Industrial Relations, 110 Phil. 176, where casual and-file non-academic personnel, and the second, of the rank-and-file
employees were barred from joining the union of the permanent and academic employees, is the set-up that will best assure to all the
regular employees. employees the exercise of their collective bargaining rights. These
special circumstances, i.e., the dichotomy of interests and concerns as
Applying the same "community or mutuality of interests" test, but resulting well as the dissimilarity in the nature and conditions of work, wages and
in the formation of only one collective bargaining units is the case compensation between the academic and non-academic personnel, bring
of National Association of Free Trade Unions vs. Mainit Lumber the case at bar within the exception contemplated in Section 9 of
Development Company Workers Union-United Lumber and General Executive Order No. 180. It was grave abuse of discretion on the part of
Workers of the Phils., G.R. No. 79526, December 21, 1990, 192 SCRA the Labor Relations Director to have ruled otherwise, ignoring plain and
598. In said case, the Court ordered the formation of a single bargaining patent realities.
unit consisting of the Sawmill Division in Butuan City and the Logging
Division in Zapanta Valley, Kitcharao, Agusan Norte of the Mainit Lumber WHEREFORE, the assailed Order of October 30, 1990 is hereby
Development Company. The Court reasoned: AFFIRMED in so far as it declares the professors, associate professors
and assistant professors of the University of the Philippines as rank-and-
file employees. The Order of August 7, 1990 is MODIFIED in the sense
that the non-academic rank-and-file employees of the University of the
Philippines shall constitute a bargaining unit to the exclusion of the
academic employees of the institution — i.e., full professors, associate
professors, assistant professors, instructors, and the research, extension
and professorial staff, who may, if so minded, organize themselves into a
separate collective bargaining unit; and that, therefore, only said non-
academic rank-and-file personnel of the University of the Philippines in
Diliman, Manila, Los Baños and the Visayas are to participate in the
certification election.

SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. 151326 November 23, 2005 employees of St. James, the total number of voters would be 263. Thus,
the 84 votes cast would not be sufficient to constitute a majority of all
ST. JAMES SCHOOL OF QUEZON CITY, Petitioner, eligible voters to have a valid certification election. The dispositive portion
vs. of the Order reads:
SAMAHANG MANGGAGAWA SA ST. JAMES SCHOOL OF QUEZON
CITY, Respondent. WHEREFORE, premises considered, the certification election protest is
hereby given due course.
DECISION
Accordingly, judgment is hereby rendered, declaring the certification
CARPIO, J.: election for the rank and file employees of respondent/protestant St.
James School of Quezon City conducted on June 26, 1999, a failure; and
The Case null and void ab initio.

Before the Court is a petition for review1 assailing the 5 September 2001 SO ORDERED.4
Decision and 3 January 2002 Resolution of the Court of Appeals2 in CA-
G.R. SP No. 60197. The Court of Appeals sustained the Decision of the Samahang Manggagawa appealed to the Secretary of Labor. In its
Department of Labor and Employment ("DOLE") directing the opening of Decision5 dated 5 May 2000, the DOLE6reversed the ruling of Med-
the challenged ballots cast during the certification election. Arbiter Falconitin. The DOLE ruled that Samahang Manggagawa seeks
to represent the non-academic personnel or the rank and file employees
The Antecedent Facts from the motor pool, construction and transportation departments, and
not all the rank and file employees of St. James. According to the DOLE,
Med-Arbiter Falconitin erred in including all the rank and file employees
The Samahang Manggagawa sa St. James School of Quezon City
of St. James, whether teaching or non-teaching personnel, in the
("Samahang Manggagawa") filed a petition for certification election to
computation of the total number of employees. The DOLE ruled that the
determine the collective bargaining representative of the motor pool,
list submitted by St. James contained only the administrative, teaching
construction and transportation employees of St. James School of
and office personnel of the school. The dispositive portion of the Decision
Quezon City ("St. James"). On 26 June 1999, the certification election
reads:
was held at the DOLE office in Intramuros, Manila. There were 149
eligible voters and 84 voters cast their votes. St. James filed a
certification election protest challenging the 84 votes. St. James alleged WHEREFORE, the appeal is hereby GRANTED and the order dated 06
that it had 179 rank and file employees, none of whom voted in the January 2000 of the Med-Arbiter is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. In lieu
certification election. St. James argued that those who voted were not its thereof, an order is hereby issued directing the Election Officer, Lilibeth
regular employees but construction workers of an independent Cagara, DOLE-National Capital Region to open and canvass the 84
contractor, Architect Conrado Bacoy ("Architect Bacoy"). challenged ballots within ten (10) days from receipt hereof, subject to
usual notice and representation by the parties and thereafter to issue the
corresponding certification of the results.
In an Order dated 6 January 2000,3 Med-Arbiter Tomas F. Falconitin
("Med-Arbiter Falconitin") ruled that at the time of the certification
election, the 84 voters were no longer working at St. James. Med-Arbiter SO DECIDED.7
Falconitin supported his ruling using the roster of rank and file employees
submitted by St. James, which did not include the names of the 84 St. James filed a motion for reconsideration. The DOLE8 denied the
voters. Med-Arbiter Falconitin also ruled that since the construction motion in its 19 June 2000 Resolution.9 St. James filed a special civil
projects have ceased, some of the workers were no longer entitled to action before the Court of Appeals.
vote in the certification election. Finally, Med-Arbiter Falconitin ruled that
even if the 84 workers were to be included in the 179 rank and file
In a Decision10 dated 5 September 2001, the Court of Appeals dismissed transportation departments. The Court of Appeals also ruled that
the petition and ruled that the DOLE did not commit grave abuse of Architect Bacoy is a labor-only contractor and thus an agent of St.
discretion in reversing the ruling of Med-Arbiter Falconitin. In its 3 James, which is the real employer.
January 2002 Resolution,11 the Court of Appeals denied St. James’
motion for reconsideration. St. James filed a petition for certiorari before this Court. The case was
docketed as G.R. No. 149648. In a Resolution dated 10 October 2001,
Hence, the petition before this Court. this Court denied the petition for St. James’ error in the choice or mode of
appeal.18 The Court’s 10 October 2001 Resolution closed any issue on
The Issues the validity of the formation of the labor union.

St. James questions the validity of the formation of the labor union and The Validity of the Certification Election
the validity of the certification election.12
Section 13, Rule XII, Book V of the Omnibus Rules Implementing the
The Ruling of the Court Labor Code ("Omnibus Rules") provides:

The petition has no merit. Section 13. Proclamation and certification of results by election officer;
when proper. – Upon completion of the canvass there being a valid
The Validity of the Formation of the Labor Union election, the election officer shall proclaim and certify as winner the union
which obtained a majority of the valid votes cast under any of the
following conditions:
St. James argues that majority of the members of Samahang
Manggagawa are not its employees but employees of Architect Bacoy,
an independent contractor. a) No protest had been filed or, even if one was filed, the same was not
perfected within the five-day period for perfection of the protest;
St. James may no longer question the validity of the formation of the
labor union. b) No challenge of eligibility issue was raised or even if one was raised,
the resolution of the same will not materially change the result.
The records13 show that prior to the holding of the certification election,
St. James filed a petition for cancellation of Samahang Manggagawa’s For this purpose, the election officer shall immediately issue the
union registration. Among the grounds cited in the petition was the lack of corresponding certification, copy furnished all parties, which shall form
employer-employee relationship between St. James and Samahang part of the records of the case. The winning union shall have the rights,
Manggagawa’s members. The Med-Arbiter recommended the privileges and obligations of a duly certified collective bargaining
cancellation of the union registration. DOLE Regional Director IV Romeo representative from the time the certification is issued. The proclamation
Young ("Director Young") adopted the Med-Arbiter’s recommendation and certification so issued shall not be appealable.
and cancelled Samahang Manggagawa’s union registration. Samahang
Manggagawa filed an appeal before the Bureau of Labor Relations According to St. James, the certification election was conducted without
("BLR"). In its Decision14 dated 22 January 1998, the BLR15 reversed quorum. St. James alleges that it has 179 rank and file employees in its
Director Young’s Decision. In its Resolution16 of 12 February 1998, the Quezon City Campus. When the certification election was held, none of
BLR denied St. James’ motion for reconsideration. St. James filed a these qualified rank and file employees cast their votes because they
special civil action before the Court of Appeals. The case was docketed were all on duty in the school premises. The 84 voters who cast their
as CA-G.R. SP No. 50918. In its 9 February 2001 Decision,17 the Court of votes are employees of Architect Bacoy. St. James also alleges that it
Appeals dismissed St. James’ petition and affirmed the BLR’s Decision. has 570 rank and file employees in all its campuses. Even if the 84 voters
The Court of Appeals ruled that the construction workers are actually St. are its employees, the votes do not constitute a majority vote of its rank
James’ regular employees in its motor pool, construction and
and file employees because the quorum should be based on its 570 rank administrative, teaching and office personnel. These administrative,
and file employees. teaching and office personnel are not members of Samahang
Manggagawa. They do not belong to the bargaining unit that Samahang
We cannot sustain the argument. Manggagawa seeks to represent. Hence, the list submitted by St. James
may not be used as basis to determine the members of Samahang
St. James has five campuses – the Philamlife and Scout Alcaraz, Manggagawa.
Quezon City campuses which are pre-schools; the Parañaque City and
Calamba, Laguna campuses which offer elementary, secondary and WHEREFORE, we DENY the petition. We AFFIRM the 5 September
college education; and the Tandang Sora, Quezon City campus which 2001 Decision and the 3 January 2002 Resolution of the Court of
offers elementary and secondary education.19 Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 60197.

The members of Samahang Manggagawa are employees in the Tandang SO ORDERED.


Sora campus. Under its constitution and by-laws, Samahang
Manggagawa seeks to represent the motor pool, construction and
transportation employees of the Tandang Sora campus.20 Thus, the
computation of the quorum should be based on the rank and file motor
pool, construction and transportation employees of the Tandang Sora
campus and not on all the employees in St. James’ five campuses.

Section 2, Rule XII, Book V of the Omnibus Rules provides:

Section 2. Qualification of voters; inclusion-exclusion proceedings. – All


employees who are members of the appropriate bargaining unit sought to
be represented by the petitioner at the time of the certification or consent
election shall be qualified to vote. A dismissed employee whose
dismissal is being contested in a pending case shall be allowed to vote in
the election.

In case of disagreement over the voters’ list or over the eligibility of


voters, all contested voters shall be allowed to vote. However, their votes
shall be segregated and sealed in individual envelopes in accordance
with Section 9 of these Rules.

The motor pool, construction and transportation employees of the


Tandang Sora campus had 149 qualified voters at the time of the
certification election. Hence, the 149 qualified voters should be used to
determine the existence of a quorum. Since a majority or 84 out of the
149 qualified voters cast their votes, a quorum existed in the certification
election.

St. James further alleges that the names of the 84 voters are not on the
list of its rank and file employees. On this score, we sustain the factual
finding of the DOLE that the list submitted by St. James consists of its