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VOL.

152, JULY 31, 1987 725


FEU-Dr. Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation, Inc. vs.
Trajano

*
No. L-76273. July 31, 1987.

FEU-DR. NICANOR REYES MEDICAL FOUNDATION,


INC., petitioner, vs. HON. CRESENCIANO TRAJANO and
RICARDO C. CASTRO, FAR EASTERN UNIVERSITYDR.
NICANOR REYES MEDICAL FOUNDATION, INC.
ALLIANCE OF FILIPINO WORKERS (AFW),
respondents.

Labor, Labor Unions; Certification Election; Under Art 244 of


the Labor Code, as amended by B.P. 70, rank and file employees of
non-profit medical institutions are now permitted to form,
organize or join labor unions of their choice for purposes of
collective bargaining; Certification election should be considered
when respondent union had complied with the legal requisites for
calling a certification election.—Under the aforequoted provision
(Art. 244, as amended),

_______________

* FIRST DIVISION.

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726 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

FEU-Dr. Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation, Inc. vs. Trajano

there is no doubt that rank and file employees of non-profit


medical institutions (as herein petitioner) are now permitted to
form, organize or join labor unions of their choice for purposes of
collective bargaining. Since private respondent had complied with
the requisites provided by law for calling a certification election
(p. 15, Rollo), it was incumbent upon respondent Director to
conduct such certification election to ascertain the bargaining
representative of petitioner's employees (Samahang Manggagawa
Ng Pacific Mills, Inc. vs. Noriel, 134 SCRA 152).
Same; Same; Same; Res Judicata; Requirements for pendency
of another action between the same parties for the same cause can
be availed of as a ground to dismiss a case.—As held in Quimpo v.
Dela Victoria, 46 SCRA 139, in order that the pendency of another
action between the same parties for the same cause may be
availed of as a ground to dismiss a case, there must be, between
the action under consideration and the other action: (1) identity of
parties, or at least such as representing the same interest in both
actions; (2) identity of rights asserted and relief prayed for, the
relief being founded on the same facts; and (3) the identity on the
two preceding particulars should be such that any judgment
which may be rendered on the other action will, regardless of
which party is successful, amount to res judicata in the action
under consideration.
Same; Same; Same; Same; No res judicata in case at bar
where in the petition for certiorari the union questioned before the
Supreme Court the constitutionality of Art. 244 of the Labor Code
before its amendment, while in the petition for certification election
the union invokes the same article as already amended.—In the
instant case, any judgment which may be rendered in the petition
for certiorari pending before the Supreme Court (G.R. No. L-
49771) will not constitute res judicata in the petition for
certification election under consideration, for while in the former,
private respondent questioned the constitutionality of Article 244
of the Labor Code before its amendment, in the latter, private
respondent invokes the same article as already amended.

PETITION for certiorari to review the decision of the


Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations.
The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.

727

VOL. 152, JULY 31, 1987 727


FEU-Dr. Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation, Inc. vs.
Trajano

PARAS, J.:

This is a petition for certiorari seeking to annul and set


aside the decision of the respondent Director which
affirmed the Order of the Med-Arbiter in the petition for
certification election (NCR-LRD-N-2-050-86) filed by
private respondent, thus ordering the holding of a
certification election among the rank and file employees of
the herein petitioner.
The facts of the case are as follows:
The petitioner, Far Eastern University-Dr. Nicanor
Reyes Memorial Foundation, Inc., has a work force of about
350 rank and file employees, majority of whom are
members of private respondent Alliance of Filipino
Workers.
On February 13, 1986, private respondent filed a
Petition for Consent and/or Certification Election with The
Ministry of Labor and Employment. The petitioner opposed
the petition on the ground that a similar petition involving
the same issues and the same parties is pending resolution
before the Supreme Court, docketed as G.R. No. L-49771.
In its position paper, private respondent admitted: that
as early as May 10, 1976, private respondent filed a similar
petition for certification election with the Ministry of Labor
and Employment but the petition was denied by the MED
Arbiter and the Secretary of Labor on appeal, on the
ground that the petitioner was a non-stock, non-profit
medical institution, therefore, its employees may not form,
join, or organize a union pursuant to Article 244 of the
Labor Code; that private respondent filed a petition for
certiorari with the Supreme Court (docketed as G.R. No. L-
49771) assailing the constitutionality of Article 244 of the
Labor Code; that pending resolution of the aforesaid
petition, or on May 1, 1980, Batas Pambansa Bilang 70 was
enacted amending Article 244 of the Labor Code, thus
granting even employees of non-stock, nonprofit
institutions the right to form, join and organize labor
unions of their choice; and that in the exercise of such
right, private respondent filed another petition for
certification election with the Ministry of Labor and
Employment (NCR-LRDN-2-050-86).
On April 17, 1986, the Med Arbiter issued an Order
grant-

728

728 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


FEU-Dr. Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation, Inc. vs.
Trajano

ing the petition, declaring that a certification election be


conducted to determine the exclusive bargaining
representative of all the rank and file employees of the
petitioner (p. 4, Rollo).
Respondent Director affirmed said Order on appeal. In
dismissing the appeal, however, respondent Director said
that:

"x x x respondent's (petitioner herein, reliance on the petition


with the Supreme Court involving as it does the provisions of
Article 244 of the Labor Code vis-a-vis the character of the
hospital, which has been alleged as a non-profit medical
foundation, has been rendered moot and academic by virtue of the
amendatory BP #70, which allows employees of non-profit medical
institutions to unionize.
Whatever doubt there may be on the right of the workers in a
medical institution has been laid to rest by BP#70.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the present appeal is
hereby dismissed for lack of merit and the Order of the Med-
Arbiter dated 17 April 1986 affirmed x x x." (p. 19, Rollo)

Hence, this petition, raising the issue of whether or not


respondent Director gravely abused his discretion in
granting the petition for certification election, despite the
pendency of a similar petition before the Supreme Court
(G.R. No. 49771) which involves the same parties for the
same cause.
The Petition is devoid of merit.
At the time private respondent filed its petition for
certification election on February 13, 1986, Article 244 of
the Labor Code was already amended by Batas Pambansa
Bilang 70, to wit:

"Art. 244. Coverage and employees' right to self-organization.—


All persons employed in commercial, industrial and charitable,
medical, or educational institutions whether operating for profit or
not, shall have the right to self-organizations of their own
choosing for purposes of collective bargaining. Ambulant
intermittent and itinerant workers, self-employed people, rural
workers and those without any definite employers may form labor
organizations for the purpose of enhancing and defending their
interests and for their mutual aid and protection." (underscoring
supplied).

Under the aforequoted provision, there is no doubt that


rank and file employees of non-profit medical institutions
(as herein
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VOL. 152, JULY 31, 1987 729


FEU-Dr. Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation, Inc. vs.
Trajano
petitioner) are now permitted to form, organize or join
labor unions of their choice for purposes of collective
bargaining. Since private respondent had complied with
the requisites provided by law for calling a certification
election (p. 15, Rollo), it was incumbent upon respondent
Director to conduct such certification election to ascertain
the bargaining representative of petitioner's employees
(Samahang Manggagawa Ng Pacific Mills, Inc. vs. Noriel,
134 SCRA 152).
As held in Quimpo v. Dela Victoria, 46 SCRA 139, in
order that the pendency of another action between the
same parties for the same cause may be availed of as a
ground to dismiss a case, there must be, between the action
under consideration and the other action: (1) identity of
parties, or at least such as representing the same interest
in both actions; (2) identity of rights asserted and relief
prayed for, the relief being founded on the same facts; and
(3) the identity on the two preceding particulars should be
such that any judgment which may be rendered on the
other action will, regardless of which party is successful,
amount to res judicata in the action under consideration.
In the instant case, any judgment which may be
rendered in the petition for certiorari pending before the
Supreme Court (G.R. No. L-49771) will not constitute res
judicata in the petition for certification election under
consideration, for while in the former, private respondent
questioned the constitutionality of Article 244 of the Labor
Code before its amendment, in the latter, private
respondent invokes the same article as already amended.
Petitioner, however, has pointed out that respondent
Director should not have arrogated upon himself the power
to declare the aforesaid petition for certiorari (G.R. No. L-
49771) moot and academic, as the same is sub-judice and
only the Supreme Court can decide the matter. The
Director cannot be f aulted f or he had to make a decision.
WHEREFORE, this petition is DISMISSED, and the
decision appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED.
SO ORDERED.

     Teehankee, C.J., Narvasa, Cruz and Gancayco, JJ.,


concur.

730

730 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


Tablarin vs. Gutierrez

Petition dismissed and decision affirmed.


Notes.—A certification election is the sole-concern of the
workers. The only exception is where the employer has to
file a petition for certification election pursuant to Article
259 of the Labor Code because it was requested to bargain
collectively. Thereafter the role of the employer in the
certification process ceases. It becomes merely a bystander.
(Trade Unions of the Philippines and Allied Services vs.
Trajano, 120 SCRA 64.)
Withdrawal of laborers from a union before filing of
petition for certification election is presumed voluntary and
affects the 30% requirement for holding elections. (La
Suerte Cigar and Cigarette Factory vs. Director of Bureau of
Labor Relations, 123 SCRA 679.)

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