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Republic of the Philippines

Department of Labor and Employment


NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION
National Capital Region
Quezon City
ALEXANDER B. ACERO,
Complainant,
- versus

NLRC CASE NO. NCR-06065596-15


LABOR ARBITER ERIC V.

CHUANICO
STAPLE RICE SUPPLY AND
LUCITA
DELA
CRUZ
SERMONIA,
Respondents.
x---------------------------------------------x

REPLY
Complainant, by counsel, to this Honorable Office, by
way of reply to respondents Staple Rice Supply and Lucita
Dela Cruz Sermonias position paper, dated 06 August 2015,
most respectfully sets forth the following:
Complainant would like to stress that the allegations
stated in respondents Staple Rice Supply and Sermonias
position paper, dated 06 August 2015, are peddled lies
concocted to serve their self-serving interests. The same are
just product of their wild and barren imaginations which sole
purpose is to desperately justify their illegal acts of
dismissing complainant, without any justified ground or
cause at all. This is so plain and clear to be mistaken.
While admitting that she owns the business Staple Rice
Supply, respondent Sermonia, in an evasive manner, refuses
responsibility over the illegal dismissal of the complainant by
advancing the theory that complainant was never her
employee.

Respondent Sermonia is blatantly lying.


The complainant has been under the employ of
respondent Sermonia as early March 3, 2011. The factual
backdrop of his employment with respondents Staple Rice
Supply and Sermonia was succinctly discussed by the
complainant in his own Sinumpaang Salaysay, dated 07
August 2015, to wit:
xxx
1. Ako ay regular na manggagawa ng
Staple Rice Supply na matatagpuan sa De
Jesus St., Bagong Barrio, Caloocan City;
2.
Ako ay nagsimulang magtrabaho sa
naturang kumpanya noong March 03, 2011;
3.
Bilang isang caretaker o taga-bantay
ng mga trailer trucks na may mga lamang
bigas, ako ay pinapasahod ng halagang
Dalawang Daang Piso (Php200.00) kada
araw;
4.
Bukod sa arawang sahod ako ay
binibigyan din ng kalahating sakong bigas
kada buwan. Bilang patunay ay nakalakip dito
bilang ANNEX A hanggang ANNEX H
ang mga resibo sa mga natanggap kong rice
subsidies;
5.
Bukod sa pagbabantay ng mga trailer
trucks, taga-deliver din po ako ng mga bigas
sa mga tindahan at minsan naman ay tagatubos ng lisensiya ng mga drivers;
6.
Ang
Staple
Rice
Supply
ay
pagmamay-ari ni Ginang Lucita dela Cruz
Sermonia;
7.
Ang aking pasok sa trabaho ay
magmula ala-sais ng gabi (6:00 p.m.)
hanggang ala-sais ng umaga (6:00 a.m.).
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Labindalawang oras (12 hours) akong nagtratrabaho araw-araw. Wala po akong day-off.
Pati araw ng Linggo po ay pumapasok ako;
8.
Sa akin pong pagtra-trabaho ay hindi
po ako binabayaran ng night shift differential,
overtime pay, rest day pay at holiday pay.
Hindi rin po ako binabayaran ng 13th month
pay at ng service incentive leave pay. Pati po
sa coverage ng S.S.S., Pag-ibig, at Philhealth
ay hindi ako ibinilang ng aking amo;
9.
Dahil sa nahahalata ko na walang
pinapipirmahan sa aking papel na nagsasabi
na ako ay regular na empleyado na ng Staple
Rice Supply, sa kabila ng mahigit isang taon
ng panunungkulan sa kumpanya, minsan ay
tinanong ko po si Madam Lucita Dela Cruz
Sermonia ukol dito. Tinanong ko rin po siya
tungkol sa umento sa aking sahod. Sinagot
po ako ni Ginang Sermonia na magsipag lang
po ako sa trabaho at tataasan niya ang aking
sahod at ire-regular niya na ako;
10. Ako naman po ay umasa sa kanyang
sinabi kaya lalo po akong nagsipag at
nagsumikap sa aking trabaho. Kaya tumagal
po ako ng apat (4) na taon sa kumpanya. Ang
paglilingkod ko dito ay pinutol lamang ng
isang hindi katanggap-tanggap na dahilan;
xxx
No credence should be given to Sermonias contention
that she could not have employed complainant because the
latter was a Brgy. Kagawad who just offered his service to
watch over the delivery trucks of the respondent company
without any intention of entering into an employment
contract with her. As proof that complainant was never a
barangay kagawad is a certification from Punong Barangay
Eduardo S. Bade, ATTACHED HERETO AS ANNEX A,
attesting to the fact that complainant was never a barangay
kagawad of Barangay 138 Zone 12, District 1 of the City of
Caloocan;

Sermonia vehemently denies that complainant was her


employee. She even asserted in her position paper that: (a)
complainant has no proof whatsoever to show that
complainant was employed by her; (b) that complainant was
never paid or received salary from the respondents; (c) that
complainant does not have any employment contract nor
issued a company ID, which is regularly issued by
respondents to their workers; and (d) neither could
complainant produce proof that he was terminated for there
is none.
Again, the allegations of Sermonia are peddled LIES.
The rejection of Sermonia on the existence of an
employer-employee relationship between her and the
complainant is completely disproved by the rice vouchers
issued to complainant and their admission that THEY are
paying the complainant P200.00 allowance daily. Regardless
of how she denominates the compensation given to the
complainant, what is undeniable is the fact that complainant
was paid his wages during his engagement at Staple Rice
Supply;
It is true that complainant was not issued a company
ID. Neither is he armed with a formal employment contract
with the respondents. In fact, he was not even given any pay
slips as proofs of payment of his salaries. Be as it may, the
absence of these documents does not mean the lack of an
employer-employee relationship between him and the
respondents Staple Rice Supply and Sermonia;
The fact that complainant was not issued a company ID
is not conclusive proof of the absence of employer-employee
relationship. Otherwise, an employer would be rewarded for
his failure or even neglect to perform his obligation;
Nor does the fact that the complainant was not given
his pay slips negate the existence of employer-employee
relationship;
It was held that no particular form of evidence is
required to prove the existence of an employer-employee
relationship. Any competent and relevant evidence to prove
the relationship may be admitted. For, if only documentary
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evidence would be required to show that relationship, no


scheming employer would ever be brought before the bar of
justice, as no employer would wish to come out with any
trace of the illegality he has authored considering that it
should take much weightier proof to invalidate a written
instrument. (Opulencia Ice Plant vs. NLRC-G.R. No. L98368-December 15, 1993). (underscoring supplied)
The complainant would not have had the courage to file
the complaint against the moneyed Sermonia, unless his
complaints were true, having had nothing to lean on to for
support except the strength of his claims and the
uprightness of his cause.
Thus, it must be sustained that the employer-employee
relationship between the respondents and the complainant
was sufficiently proved by the evidence attached in the
latters pleadings in this case; the absence of company ID,
employment contract, time sheet, time record or payroll has
become inconsequential.
While the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC may
subsequently be found without jurisdiction over a case when
it would later appear that no employer-employee relationship
existed between the contending parties, such is not the
situation in this case where the employer-employee
relationship between Sermonia and herein complainant was
clearly established. If the argument of Sermonia were to be
allowed, then unscrupulous employers could readily avoid
the jurisdiction of the Labor Arbiters and NLRC, and may
even elude compliance with labor laws only on the bare
assertion that an employer-employee relationship does not
exist. (Opulencia Ice Plant vs. NLRC-G.R. No. L-98368December 15, 1993).
Verily, by Article 1702 of the Civil Code of the
Philippines, in case of doubt, all labor legislation and all labor
contracts shall be construed in favor of the safety and
decent living for the laborer. It is a cardinal teaching of
jurisprudence that if doubts exist between the evidence
presented by the employer and that adduced by the
employee, or in the interpretation of agreements between
these two, the scales of justice must be tilted in favor of the
latter. The policy of the law is to spread out maximum
benefits under the labor laws to the greatest number of
5

laborers, workers and employees who represent some of the


most disadvantaged and marginalized segments of society.
(Baron Express vs. Umanito et al., G.R. No. 156969,
November 11, 2005).
It has been held that in any controversy between a
laborer and his master, doubts reasonably arising from the
evidence are resolved in favor of the laborer. As a regular
employee, the complainant enjoys the right to security of
tenure under Article 279 of the Labor Code and may only be
dismissed for a just or authorized cause, otherwise the
dismissal becomes illegal. (South East International
Rattan, Inc. and/or Estanislao Agbay vs. Jesus J.
Coming, G.R. No. 186621, 12 March 2014).
The arguments and/or discussion contained in
complainants position paper, dated 07 August 2015, are
hereby re-pleaded and made part hereof by reference.
As to the other issues in this case, the same were
already lengthily and sufficiently discussed in complainants
position paper dated, 07 August 2015, and are just hereby
re-pleaded by reference.
As to the other issues and/or points raised by
respondents Staple Supply Rice and Lucita Sermonia, subject
of this Reply, the same are either already addressed in
complainants position paper, dated 07 August 2015, or are
plainly irrelevant in this case.
PRAYER
WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, it is most
respectfully prayed for that after due consideration, a
DECISION BE RENDERED in favor of the Complainant as
follows:
1.
DECLARING
complainant
EMPLOYEE of the respondents;

as

REGULAR

2.
DECLARING
complainant
to
have
been
ILLEGALLY DISMISSED and was DENIED DUE PROCESS;

3.
DIRECTING
respondents
to
immediately
REINSTATE the complainant to his former position without
loss of seniority rights and other privileges under the law and
the payment of his FULL BACKWAGES , inclusive of
allowances, and to other benefits or their monetary
equivalent computed from the time his compensation was
withheld from him up to the time of his actual reinstatement;
4.
HOLDING respondents SOLIDARILY LIABLE for
other monetary claims herein demanded as well as
DAMAGES in the amount of ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND
(P100,000.00)
PESOS as moral damages and TWO
HUNDRED
THOUSAND
(P200,000.00)
PESOS
as
exemplary damages; and
5. DECLARING respondents SOLIDARILY LIABLE to
reimburse complainant all his litigation and other related
expenses, including attorneys fees equivalent to ten (10%)
percent of the total monetary award.
OTHER RELIEFS deemed just and equitable under the
premises are likewise prayed for.
Quezon City, 20 August 2015.

LAWIN
(Legal Advocates for Workers INterest)
Counsel for the Complainant
Room 206, Jiao Building
2 Timog Avenue, Quezon City
Email address: lawin2setufree@yahoo.com
Telefax (02) 373-18-44

ERNESTO R. ARELLANO
PTR No. 0560896; 01-05-15; Q.C.
IBP No. 0981335; 01-05-15; CALMANA
ROLL No. 22660
MCLE No. IV-0017780; 22 April 2013
JASPER C. BALBOA
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PTR No. 0595301; 01-06-15; Q.C.


IBP No. 0982982; 01-06-15; MANILA I
ROLL No. 63288
MCLE Compliance until April 14, 2016
Admitted to the Bar on 07 May 2014
(Per MCLE Governing Board Order No. 1, Series of 2008, 04 July 2008)

Copy Furnished: by hand and during hearing


ATTY. ALLAN O. SALVE
KING, CABANGON, SALVE &
KING
Counsel for Respondents STAPLE
RICE SUPPLY AND LUCITA DELA
CRUZ SERMONIA
Suite 501, 5th Floor, Goldhill Tower
No. 5 Annapolis St. Greenhills, San
Juan City