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G.R. No. L-31195 June 5, 1973 Company: (1) Mr. Arthur L. Ang (2) Atty. S. de Leon, Jr.

y: (1) Mr. Arthur L. Ang (2) Atty. S. de Leon, Jr., (3) and all
department and section heads. For the PBMEO (1) Florencio Padrigano, (2)
PHILIPPINE BLOOMING MILLS EMPLOYMENT Rufino Roxas, (3) Mariano de Leon, (4) Asencion Paciente, (5) Bonifacio
ORGANIZATION, NICANOR TOLENTINO, FLORENCIO, Vacuna and (6) Benjamin Pagcu.
PADRIGANO RUFINO, ROXAS MARIANO DE LEON, ASENCION
PACIENTE, BONIFACIO VACUNA, BENJAMIN PAGCU and 5. That the Company asked the union panel to confirm or deny said
RODULFO MUNSOD, petitioners, vs. PHILIPPINE BLOOMING projected mass demonstration at Malacañang on March 4, 1969. PBMEO
MILLS CO., INC. and COURT OF INDUSTRIAL thru Benjamin Pagcu who acted as spokesman of the union panel,
RELATIONS, respondents. confirmed the planned demonstration and stated that the demonstration or
rally cannot be cancelled because it has already been agreed upon in the
MAKASIAR, J.: meeting. Pagcu explained further that the demonstration has nothing to do
with the Company because the union has no quarrel or dispute with
The petitioner Philippine Blooming Mills Employees Organization Management;
(hereinafter referred to as PBMEO) is a legitimate labor union composed of
the employees of the respondent Philippine Blooming Mills Co., Inc., and 6. That Management, thru Atty. C.S. de Leon, Company personnel
petitioners Nicanor Tolentino, Florencio Padrigano, Rufino Roxas, Mariano manager, informed PBMEO that the demonstration is an inalienable right of
de Leon, Asencion Paciente, Bonifacio Vacuna, Benjamin Pagcu and the union guaranteed by the Constitution but emphasized, however, that any
Rodulfo Munsod are officers and members of the petitioner Union. demonstration for that matter should not unduly prejudice the normal
operation of the Company. For which reason, the Company, thru Atty. C.S.
de Leon warned the PBMEO representatives that workers who belong to the
Petitioners claim that on March 1, 1969, they decided to stage a mass
first and regular shifts, who without previous leave of absence approved by
demonstration at Malacañang on March 4, 1969, in protest against alleged
the Company, particularly , the officers present who are the organizers of
abuses of the Pasig police, to be participated in by the workers in the first
the demonstration, who shall fail to report for work the following morning
shift (from 6 A.M. to 2 P.M.) as well as those in the regular second and
third shifts (from 7 A.M. to 4 P.M. and from 8 A.M. to 5 P.M., (March 4, 1969) shall be dismissed, because such failure is a violation of
the existing CBA and, therefore, would be amounting to an illegal strike;
respectively); and that they informed the respondent Company of their
proposed demonstration.
7. That at about 5:00 P.M. on March 3, 1969, another meeting was
The questioned order dated September 15, 1969, of Associate Judge Joaquin convoked Company represented by Atty. C.S. de Leon, Jr. The Union panel
M. Salvador of the respondent Court reproduced the following stipulation of was composed of: Nicanor Tolentino, Rodolfo Munsod, Benjamin Pagcu
and Florencio Padrigano. In this afternoon meeting of March 3, 1969,
facts of the parties — parties —
Company reiterated and appealed to the PBMEO representatives that while
all workers may join the Malacañang demonstration, the workers for the
3. That on March 2, 1969 complainant company learned of the projected first and regular shift of March 4, 1969 should be excused from joining the
mass demonstration at Malacañang in protest against alleged abuses of the demonstration and should report for work; and thus utilize the workers in
Pasig Police Department to be participated by the first shift (6:00 AM-2:00 the 2nd and 3rd shifts in order not to violate the provisions of the CBA,
PM) workers as well as those working in the regular shifts (7:00 A.M. to particularly Article XXIV: NO LOCKOUT — NO STRIKE'. All those who
4:00 PM and 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM) in the morning of March 4, 1969; will not follow this warning of the Company shall be dismiss; De Leon
reiterated the Company's warning that the officers shall be primarily liable
4. That a meeting was called by the Company on March 3, 1969 at about being the organizers of the mass demonstration. The union panel countered
11:00 A.M. at the Company's canteen, and those present were: for the
that it was rather too late to change their plans inasmuch as the Malacañang labor practice and were, as a consequence, considered to have lost their
demonstration will be held the following morning; and status as employees of the respondent Company (Annex "F", pp. 42-56,
rec.)
8. That a certain Mr. Wilfredo Ariston, adviser of PBMEO sent a cablegram
to the Company which was received 9:50 A.M., March 4, 1969, the contents Herein petitioners claim that they received on September 23, 1969, the
of which are as follows: 'REITERATING REQUEST EXCUSE DAY aforesaid order (p. 11, rec.); and that they filed on September 29, 1969,
SHIFT EMPLOYEES JOINING DEMONSTRATION MARCH 4, 1969.' because September 28, 1969 fell on Sunday (p. 59, rec.), a motion for
(Pars. 3-8, Annex "F", pp. 42-43, rec.) reconsideration of said order dated September 15, 1969, on the ground that
it is contrary to law and the evidence, as well as asked for ten (10) days
Because the petitioners and their members numbering about 400 proceeded within which to file their arguments pursuant to Sections 15, 16 and 17 of
with the demonstration despite the pleas of the respondent Company that the Rules of the CIR, as amended (Annex "G", pp. 57-60, rec. )
the first shift workers should not be required to participate in the
demonstration and that the workers in the second and third shifts should be In its opposition dated October 7, 1969, filed on October 11, 1969 (p. 63,
utilized for the demonstration from 6 A.M. to 2 P.M. on March 4, 1969, rec.), respondent Company averred that herein petitioners received on
respondent Company prior notice of the mass demonstration on March 4, September 22, 1969, the order dated September 17 (should be September
1969, with the respondent Court, a charge against petitioners and other 15), 1969; that under Section 15 of the amended Rules of the Court of
employees who composed the first shift, charging them with a "violation of Industrial Relations, herein petitioners had five (5) days from September 22,
Section 4(a)-6 in relation to Sections 13 and 14, as well as Section 15, all of 1969 or until September 27, 1969, within which to file their motion for
Republic Act No. 875, and of the CBA providing for 'No Strike and No reconsideration; and that because their motion for reconsideration was two
Lockout.' " (Annex "A", pp. 19-20, rec.). The charge was accompanied by (2) days late, it should be accordingly dismissed, invoking Bien vs.
the joint affidavit of Arthur L. Ang and Cesareo de Leon, Jr. (Annex "B", Castillo,1 which held among others, that a motion for extension of the five-
pp. 21-24, rec.). Thereafter, a corresponding complaint was filed, dated day period for the filing of a motion for reconsideration should be filed
April 18, 1969, by Acting Chief Prosecutor Antonio T. Tirona and Acting before the said five-day period elapses (Annex "M", pp. 61-64, rec.).
Prosecutor Linda P. Ilagan (Annex "C", pp. 25-30, rec.)
Subsequently, herein petitioners filed on October 14, 1969 their written
In their answer, dated May 9, 1969, herein petitioners claim that they did arguments dated October 11, 1969, in support of their motion for
not violate the existing CBA because they gave the respondent Company reconsideration (Annex "I", pp. 65-73, rec.).
prior notice of the mass demonstration on March 4, 1969; that the said mass
demonstration was a valid exercise of their constitutional freedom of speech In a resolution dated October 9, 1969, the respondent en banc dismissed the
against the alleged abuses of some Pasig policemen; and that their mass motion for reconsideration of herein petitioners for being pro forma as it
demonstration was not a declaration of strike because it was not directed was filed beyond the reglementary period prescribed by its Rules (Annex
against the respondent firm (Annex "D", pp. 31-34, rec.) "J", pp. 74-75, rec.), which herein petitioners received on October 28, 196
(pp. 12 & 76, rec.).
After considering the aforementioned stipulation of facts submitted by the
parties, Judge Joaquin M. Salvador, in an order dated September 15, 1969, At the bottom of the notice of the order dated October 9, 1969, which was
found herein petitioner PBMEO guilty of bargaining in bad faith and herein released on October 24, 1969 and addressed to the counsels of the parties
petitioners Florencio Padrigano, Rufino Roxas, Mariano de Leon, Asencion (pp. 75-76, rec.), appear the requirements of Sections 15, 16 and 17, as
Paciente, Bonifacio Vacuna, Benjamin Pagcu, Nicanor Tolentino and amended, of the Rules of the Court of Industrial Relations, that a motion for
Rodulfo Munsod as directly responsible for perpetrating the said unfair reconsideration shall be filed within five (5) days from receipt of its
decision or order and that an appeal from the decision, resolution or order of that "the happiness of the individual, not the well-being of the State, was the
the C.I.R., sitting en banc, shall be perfected within ten (10) days from criterion by which its behaviour was to be judged. His interests, not its
receipt thereof (p. 76, rec.). power, set the limits to the authority it was entitled to exercise." 5

On October 31, 1969, herein petitioners filed with the respondent court a (3) The freedoms of expression and of assembly as well as the right to
petition for relief from the order dated October 9, 1969, on the ground that petition are included among the immunities reserved by the sovereign
their failure to file their motion for reconsideration on time was due to people, in the rhetorical aphorism of Justice Holmes, to protect the ideas
excusable negligence and honest mistake committed by the president of the that we abhor or hate more than the ideas we cherish; or as Socrates
petitioner Union and of the office clerk of their counsel, attaching thereto insinuated, not only to protect the minority who want to talk, but also to
the affidavits of the said president and clerk (Annexes "K", "K-1" and "K- benefit the majority who refuse to listen.6 And as Justice Douglas cogently
2", rec.). stresses it, the liberties of one are the liberties of all; and the liberties of one
are not safe unless the liberties of all are protected.7
Without waiting for any resolution on their petition for relief from the order
dated October 9, 1969, herein petitioners filed on November 3, 1969, with (4) The rights of free expression, free assembly and petition, are not only
the Supreme Court, a notice of appeal (Annex "L", pp. 88-89, rec.). civil rights but also political rights essential to man's enjoyment of his life,
to his happiness and to his full and complete fulfillment. Thru these
I freedoms the citizens can participate not merely in the periodic
establishment of the government through their suffrage but also in the
There is need of briefly restating basic concepts and principles which administration of public affairs as well as in the discipline of abusive public
officers. The citizen is accorded these rights so that he can appeal to the
underlie the issues posed by the case at bar.
appropriate governmental officers or agencies for redress and protection as
well as for the imposition of the lawful sanctions on erring public officers
(1) In a democracy, the preservation and enhancement of the dignity and and employees.
worth of the human personality is the central core as well as the cardinal
article of faith of our civilization. The inviolable character of man as an
(5) While the Bill of Rights also protects property rights, the primacy of
individual must be "protected to the largest possible extent in his thoughts
human rights over property rights is recognized.8 Because these freedoms
and in his beliefs as the citadel of his person." 2
are "delicate and vulnerable, as well as supremely precious in our society"
and the "threat of sanctions may deter their exercise almost as potently as
(2) The Bill of Rights is designed to preserve the ideals of liberty, equality the actual application of sanctions," they "need breathing space to survive,"
and security "against the assaults of opportunism, the expediency of the permitting government regulation only "with narrow specificity." 9
passing hour, the erosion of small encroachments, and the scorn and
derision of those who have no patience with general principles." 3
Property and property rights can be lost thru prescription; but human rights
are imprescriptible. If human rights are extinguished by the passage of time,
In the pithy language of Mr. Justice Robert Jackson, the purpose of the Bill then the Bill of Rights is a useless attempt to limit the power of government
of Rights is to withdraw "certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political and ceases to be an efficacious shield against the tyranny of officials, of
controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials, and majorities, of the influential and powerful, and of oligarchs — political,
to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One's rights economic or otherwise.
to life, liberty and property, to free speech, or free press, freedom of
worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted
to a vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections."4 Laski proclaimed
In the hierarchy of civil liberties, the rights of free expression and of assembly and petition for redress of grievances in particular before
assembly occupy a preferred position as they are essential to the appropriate governmental agency, the Chief Executive, again the police
preservation and vitality of our civil and political institutions; 10 and such officers of the municipality of Pasig. They exercise their civil and political
priority "gives these liberties the sanctity and the sanction not permitting rights for their mutual aid protection from what they believe were police
dubious intrusions." 11 excesses. As matter of fact, it was the duty of herein private respondent firm
to protect herein petitioner Union and its members fro the harassment of
The superiority of these freedoms over property rights is underscored by the local police officers. It was to the interest herein private respondent firm to
fact that a mere reasonable or rational relation between the means employed rally to the defense of, and take up the cudgels for, its employees, so that
by the law and its object or purpose — that the law is neither arbitrary nor they can report to work free from harassment, vexation or peril and as
discriminatory nor oppressive — would suffice to validate a law which consequence perform more efficiently their respective tasks enhance its
restricts or impairs property rights. 12 On the other hand, a constitutional or productivity as well as profits. Herein respondent employer did not even
valid infringement of human rights requires a more stringent criterion, offer to intercede for its employees with the local police. Was it securing
namely existence of a grave and immediate danger of a substantive evil peace for itself at the expenses of its workers? Was it also intimidated by
which the State has the right to prevent. So it has been stressed in the main the local police or did it encourage the local police to terrorize or vex its
opinion of Mr. Justice Fernando in Gonzales vs. Comelec and reiterated by workers? Its failure to defend its own employees all the more weakened the
the writer of the opinion in Imbong vs. Ferrer. 13 It should be added that Mr. position of its laborers the alleged oppressive police who might have been
Justice Barredo in Gonzales vs. Comelec, supra, like Justices Douglas, all the more emboldened thereby subject its lowly employees to further
Black and Goldberg in N.Y. Times Co. vs. Sullivan, 14 believes that the indignities.
freedoms of speech and of the press as well as of peaceful assembly and of
petition for redress of grievances are absolute when directed against public In seeking sanctuary behind their freedom of expression well as their right
officials or "when exercised in relation to our right to choose the men and of assembly and of petition against alleged persecution of local officialdom,
women by whom we shall be governed," 15 even as Mr. Justice Castro relies the employees and laborers of herein private respondent firm were fighting
on the balancing-of-interests test. 16 Chief Justice Vinson is partial to the for their very survival, utilizing only the weapons afforded them by the
improbable danger rule formulated by Chief Judge Learned Hand, viz. — Constitution — the untrammelled enjoyment of their basic human rights.
whether the gravity of the evil, discounted by its improbability, justifies The pretension of their employer that it would suffer loss or damage by
such invasion of free expression as is necessary to avoid the danger. 17 reason of the absence of its employees from 6 o'clock in the morning to 2
o'clock in the afternoon, is a plea for the preservation merely of their
II property rights. Such apprehended loss or damage would not spell the
difference between the life and death of the firm or its owners or its
The respondent Court of Industrial Relations, after opining that the mass management. The employees' pathetic situation was a stark reality —
demonstration was not a declaration of strike, concluded that by their abused, harassment and persecuted as they believed they were by the peace
officers of the municipality. As above intimated, the condition in which the
"concerted act and the occurrence temporary stoppage of work," herein
employees found themselves vis-a-vis the local police of Pasig, was a matter
petitioners are guilty bargaining in bad faith and hence violated the
that vitally affected their right to individual existence as well as that of their
collective bargaining agreement with private respondent Philippine
families. Material loss can be repaired or adequately compensated. The
Blooming Mills Co., inc.. Set against and tested by foregoing principles
governing a democratic society, such conclusion cannot be sustained. The debasement of the human being broken in morale and brutalized in spirit-
demonstration held petitioners on March 4, 1969 before Malacañang was can never be fully evaluated in monetary terms. The wounds fester and the
scars remain to humiliate him to his dying day, even as he cries in anguish
against alleged abuses of some Pasig policemen, not against their employer,
for retribution, denial of which is like rubbing salt on bruised tissues.
herein private respondent firm, said demonstrate was purely and completely
an exercise of their freedom expression in general and of their right of
As heretofore stated, the primacy of human rights — freedom of expression, labor union, namely the complete unity of the Union members as well as
of peaceful assembly and of petition for redress of grievances — over their total presence at the demonstration site in order to generate the
property rights has been sustained. 18 Emphatic reiteration of this basic tenet maximum sympathy for the validity of their cause but also immediately
as a coveted boon — at once the shield and armor of the dignity and worth action on the part of the corresponding government agencies with
of the human personality, the all-consuming ideal of our enlightened jurisdiction over the issues they raised against the local police. Circulation
civilization — becomes Our duty, if freedom and social justice have any is one of the aspects of freedom of expression. 21 If demonstrators are
meaning at all for him who toils so that capital can produce economic goods reduced by one-third, then by that much the circulation of the issues raised
that can generate happiness for all. To regard the demonstration against by the demonstration is diminished. The more the participants, the more
police officers, not against the employer, as evidence of bad faith in persons can be apprised of the purpose of the rally. Moreover, the absence
collective bargaining and hence a violation of the collective bargaining of one-third of their members will be regarded as a substantial indication of
agreement and a cause for the dismissal from employment of the disunity in their ranks which will enervate their position and abet continued
demonstrating employees, stretches unduly the compass of the collective alleged police persecution. At any rate, the Union notified the company two
bargaining agreement, is "a potent means of inhibiting speech" and days in advance of their projected demonstration and the company could
therefore inflicts a moral as well as mortal wound on the constitutional have made arrangements to counteract or prevent whatever losses it might
guarantees of free expression, of peaceful assembly and of petition. 19 sustain by reason of the absence of its workers for one day, especially in
this case when the Union requested it to excuse only the day-shift
The collective bargaining agreement which fixes the working shifts of the employees who will join the demonstration on March 4, 1969 which request
employees, according to the respondent Court Industrial Relations, in effect the Union reiterated in their telegram received by the company at 9:50 in the
imposes on the workers the "duty ... to observe regular working hours." The morning of March 4, 1969, the day of the mass demonstration (pp. 42-43,
strain construction of the Court of Industrial Relations that a stipulated rec.). There was a lack of human understanding or compassion on the part
working shifts deny the workers the right to stage mass demonstration of the firm in rejecting the request of the Union for excuse from work for
against police abuses during working hours, constitutes a virtual tyranny the day shifts in order to carry out its mass demonstration. And to regard as
over the mind and life the workers and deserves severe condemnation. a ground for dismissal the mass demonstration held against the Pasig police,
Renunciation of the freedom should not be predicated on such a slender not against the company, is gross vindictiveness on the part of the employer,
ground. which is as unchristian as it is unconstitutional.

The mass demonstration staged by the employees on March 4, 1969 could III
not have been legally enjoined by any court, such an injunction would be
trenching upon the freedom expression of the workers, even if it legally The respondent company is the one guilty of unfair labor practice. Because
appears to be illegal picketing or strike. 20 The respondent Court of the refusal on the part of the respondent firm to permit all its employees and
Industrial Relations in the case at bar concedes that the mass demonstration workers to join the mass demonstration against alleged police abuses and
was not a declaration of a strike "as the same not rooted in any industrial the subsequent separation of the eight (8) petitioners from the service
dispute although there is concerted act and the occurrence of a temporary constituted an unconstitutional restraint on the freedom of expression,
stoppage work." (Annex "F", p. 45, rec.). freedom of assembly and freedom petition for redress of grievances, the
respondent firm committed an unfair labor practice defined in Section 4(a-
The respondent firm claims that there was no need for all its employees to 1) in relation to Section 3 of Republic Act No. 875, otherwise known as the
participate in the demonstration and that they suggested to the Union that Industrial Peace Act. Section 3 of Republic Act No. 8 guarantees to the
only the first and regular shift from 6 A.M. to 2 P.M. should report for work employees the right "to engage in concert activities for ... mutual aid or
in order that loss or damage to the firm will be averted. This stand failed protection"; while Section 4(a-1) regards as an unfair labor practice for an
appreciate the sine qua non of an effective demonstration especially by a
employer interfere with, restrain or coerce employees in the exercise their that could happen to them was to lose a day's wage by reason of their
rights guaranteed in Section Three." absence from work on the day of the demonstration. One day's pay means
much to a laborer, more especially if he has a family to support. Yet, they
We repeat that the obvious purpose of the mass demonstration staged by the were willing to forego their one-day salary hoping that their demonstration
workers of the respondent firm on March 4, 1969, was for their mutual aid would bring about the desired relief from police abuses. But management
and protection against alleged police abuses, denial of which was was adamant in refusing to recognize the superior legitimacy of their right
interference with or restraint on the right of the employees to engage in such of free speech, free assembly and the right to petition for redress.
common action to better shield themselves against such alleged police
indignities. The insistence on the part of the respondent firm that the Because the respondent company ostensibly did not find it necessary to
workers for the morning and regular shift should not participate in the mass demand from the workers proof of the truth of the alleged abuses inflicted
demonstration, under pain of dismissal, was as heretofore stated, "a potent on them by the local police, it thereby concedes that the evidence of such
means of inhibiting speech." 22 abuses should properly be submitted to the corresponding authorities having
jurisdiction over their complaint and to whom such complaint may be
Such a concerted action for their mutual help and protection deserves at referred by the President of the Philippines for proper investigation and
least equal protection as the concerted action of employees in giving action with a view to disciplining the local police officers involved.
publicity to a letter complaint charging bank president with immorality,
nepotism, favoritism an discrimination in the appointment and promotion of On the other hand, while the respondent Court of Industrial Relations found
ban employees. 23 We further ruled in the Republic Savings Bank that the demonstration "paralyzed to a large extent the operations of the
case, supra, that for the employees to come within the protective mantle of complainant company," the respondent Court of Industrial Relations did not
Section 3 in relation to Section 4(a-1) on Republic Act No. 875, "it is not make any finding as to the fact of loss actually sustained by the firm. This
necessary that union activity be involved or that collective bargaining be significant circumstance can only mean that the firm did not sustain any loss
contemplated," as long as the concerted activity is for the furtherance of or damage. It did not present evidence as to whether it lost expected profits
their interests. 24 for failure to comply with purchase orders on that day; or that penalties
were exacted from it by customers whose orders could not be filled that day
As stated clearly in the stipulation of facts embodied in the questioned order of the demonstration; or that purchase orders were cancelled by the
of respondent Court dated September 15, 1969, the company, "while customers by reason of its failure to deliver the materials ordered; or that its
expressly acknowledging, that the demonstration is an inalienable right of own equipment or materials or products were damaged due to absence of its
the Union guaranteed by the Constitution," nonetheless emphasized that workers on March 4, 1969. On the contrary, the company saved a sizable
"any demonstration for that matter should not unduly prejudice the normal amount in the form of wages for its hundreds of workers, cost of fuel, water
operation of the company" and "warned the PBMEO representatives that and electric consumption that day. Such savings could have amply
workers who belong to the first and regular shifts, who without previous compensated for unrealized profits or damages it might have sustained by
leave of absence approved by the Company, particularly the officers present reason of the absence of its workers for only one day.
who are the organizers of the demonstration, who shall fail to report for
work the following morning (March 4, 1969) shall be dismissed, because IV
such failure is a violation of the existing CBA and, therefore, would be
amounting to an illegal strike (;)" (p. III, petitioner's brief). Such threat of Apart from violating the constitutional guarantees of free speech and
dismissal tended to coerce the employees from joining the mass assembly as well as the right to petition for redress of grievances of the
demonstration. However, the issues that the employees raised against the employees, the dismissal of the eight (8) leaders of the workers for
local police, were more important to them because they had the courage to proceeding with the demonstration and consequently being absent from
proceed with the demonstration, despite such threat of dismissal. The most
work, constitutes a denial of social justice likewise assured by the issued in the instant case are a nullity. Recognition and protection of such
fundamental law to these lowly employees. Section 5 of Article II of the freedoms are imperative on all public offices including the courts 28 as well
Constitution imposes upon the State "the promotion of social justice to as private citizens and corporations, the exercise and enjoyment of which
insure the well-being and economic security of all of the people," which must not be nullified by mere procedural rule promulgated by the Court
guarantee is emphasized by the other directive in Section 6 of Article XIV Industrial Relations exercising a purely delegate legislative power, when
of the Constitution that "the State shall afford protection to labor ...". even a law enacted by Congress must yield to the untrammelled enjoyment
Respondent Court of Industrial Relations as an agency of the State is under of these human rights. There is no time limit to the exercise of the freedoms.
obligation at all times to give meaning and substance to these constitutional The right to enjoy them is not exhausted by the delivery of one speech, the
guarantees in favor of the working man; for otherwise these constitutional printing of one article or the staging of one demonstration. It is a continuing
safeguards would be merely a lot of "meaningless constitutional patter." immunity to be invoked and exercised when exigent and expedient
Under the Industrial Peace Act, the Court of Industrial Relations is enjoined whenever there are errors to be rectified, abuses to be denounced,
to effect the policy of the law "to eliminate the causes of industrial unrest by inhumanities to be condemned. Otherwise these guarantees in the Bill of
encouraging and protecting the exercise by employees of their right to self- Rights would be vitiated by rule on procedure prescribing the period for
organization for the purpose of collective bargaining and for the promotion appeal. The battle then would be reduced to a race for time. And in such a
of their moral, social and economic well-being." It is most unfortunate in contest between an employer and its laborer, the latter eventually loses
the case at bar that respondent Court of Industrial Relations, the very because he cannot employ the best an dedicated counsel who can defend his
governmental agency designed therefor, failed to implement this policy and interest with the required diligence and zeal, bereft as he is of the financial
failed to keep faith with its avowed mission — its raison d'etre — as resources with which to pay for competent legal services. 28-a
ordained and directed by the Constitution.
VI
V
The Court of Industrial Relations rule prescribes that motion for
It has been likewise established that a violation of a constitutional right reconsideration of its order or writ should filed within five (5) days from
divests the court of jurisdiction; and as a consequence its judgment is null notice thereof and that the arguments in support of said motion shall be filed
and void and confers no rights. Relief from a criminal conviction secured at within ten (10) days from the date of filing of such motion for
the sacrifice of constitutional liberties, may be obtained through habeas reconsideration (Sec. 16). As above intimated, these rules of procedure were
corpus proceedings even long after the finality of the judgment. Thus, promulgated by the Court of Industrial Relations pursuant to a legislative
habeas corpus is the remedy to obtain the release of an individual, who is delegation. 29
convicted by final judgment through a forced confession, which violated his
constitutional right against self-incrimination; 25 or who is denied the right The motion for reconsideration was filed on September 29, 1969, or seven
to present evidence in his defense as a deprivation of his liberty without due (7) days from notice on September 22, 1969 of the order dated September
process of law, 26 even after the accused has already served sentence for 15, 1969 or two (2) days late. Petitioners claim that they could have filed it
twenty-two years. 27 on September 28, 1969, but it was a Sunday.

Both the respondents Court of Industrial Relations and private firm trenched Does the mere fact that the motion for reconsideration was filed two (2)
upon these constitutional immunities of petitioners. Both failed to accord days late defeat the rights of the petitioning employees? Or more directly
preference to such rights and aggravated the inhumanity to which the and concretely, does the inadvertent omission to comply with a mere Court
aggrieved workers claimed they had been subjected by the municipal police. of Industrial Relations procedural rule governing the period for filing a
Having violated these basic human rights of the laborers, the Court of motion for reconsideration or appeal in labor cases, promulgated pursuant to
Industrial Relations ousted itself of jurisdiction and the questioned orders it
a legislative delegation, prevail over constitutional rights? The answer It is true that We ruled in several cases that where a motion to reconsider is
should be obvious in the light of the aforecited cases. To accord supremacy filed out of time, or where the arguments in suppf such motion are filed
to the foregoing rules of the Court of Industrial Relations over basic human beyond the 10 day reglementary period provided for by the Court of
rights sheltered by the Constitution, is not only incompatible with the basic Industrial Relations rules, the order or decision subject of29-
tenet of constitutional government that the Constitution is superior to any a reconsideration becomes final and unappealable. But in all these cases, the
statute or subordinate rules and regulations, but also does violence to natural constitutional rights of free expression, free assembly and petition were not
reason and logic. The dominance and superiority of the constitutional right involved.
over the aforesaid Court of Industrial Relations procedural rule of necessity
should be affirmed. Such a Court of Industrial Relations rule as applied in It is a procedural rule that generally all causes of action and defenses
this case does not implement or reinforce or strengthen the constitutional presently available must be specifically raised in the complaint or answer;
rights affected,' but instead constrict the same to the point of nullifying the so that any cause of action or defense not raised in such pleadings, is
enjoyment thereof by the petitioning employees. Said Court of Industrial deemed waived. However, a constitutional issue can be raised any time,
Relations rule, promulgated as it was pursuant to a mere legislative even for the first time on appeal, if it appears that the determination of the
delegation, is unreasonable and therefore is beyond the authority granted by constitutional issue is necessary to a decision of the case, the very lis
the Constitution and the law. A period of five (5) days within which to file a mota of the case without the resolution of which no final and complete
motion for reconsideration is too short, especially for the aggrieved determination of the dispute can be made. 30 It is thus seen that a procedural
workers, who usually do not have the ready funds to meet the necessary rule of Congress or of the Supreme Court gives way to a constitutional
expenses therefor. In case of the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court, a right. In the instant case, the procedural rule of the Court of Industrial
period of fifteen (15) days has been fixed for the filing of the motion for re Relations, a creature of Congress, must likewise yield to the constitutional
hearing or reconsideration (See. 10, Rule 51; Sec. 1, Rule 52; Sec. 1, Rule rights invoked by herein petitioners even before the institution of the unfair
56, Revised Rules of Court). The delay in the filing of the motion for labor practice charged against them and in their defense to the said charge.
reconsideration could have been only one day if September 28, 1969 was
not a Sunday. This fact accentuates the unreasonableness of the Court of
In the case at bar, enforcement of the basic human freedoms sheltered no
Industrial are concerned.
less by the organic law, is a most compelling reason to deny application of a
Court of Industrial Relations rule which impinges on such human rights. 30-
It should be stressed here that the motion for reconsideration dated a
September 27, 1969, is based on the ground that the order sought to be
reconsidered "is not in accordance with law, evidence and facts adduced
It is an accepted principle that the Supreme Court has the inherent power to
during the hearing," and likewise prays for an extension of ten (10) days
"suspend its own rules or to except a particular case from its operation,
within which to file arguments pursuant to Sections 15, 16 and 17 of the whenever the purposes of justice require." 30-b Mr. Justice Barredo in his
Rules of the Court of Industrial Relations (Annex "G", pp. 57-60, rec.); concurring opinion in Estrada vs. Sto. Domingo. 30-c reiterated this principle
although the arguments were actually filed by the herein petitioners on
and added that
October 14, 1969 (Annex "I", pp. 70-73, rec.), long after the 10-day period
required for the filing of such supporting arguments counted from the filing
of the motion for reconsideration. Herein petitioners received only on Under this authority, this Court is enabled to cove with all situations
October 28, 1969 the resolution dated October 9, 1969 dismissing the without concerning itself about procedural niceties that do not square with
motion for reconsideration for being pro forma since it was filed beyond the the need to do justice, in any case, without further loss of time, provided
reglementary period (Annex "J", pp. 74-75, rec.) that the right of the parties to a full day in court is not substantially
impaired. Thus, this Court may treat an appeal as a certiorari and vice-
versa. In other words, when all the material facts are spread in the records
before Us, and all the parties have been duly heard, it matters little that the of Industrial Relations to "act according to justice and equity and substantial
error of the court a quo is of judgment or of jurisdiction. We can then and merits of the case, without regard to technicalities or legal forms ..."
there render the appropriate judgment. Is within the contemplation of this
doctrine that as it is perfectly legal and within the power of this Court to On several occasions, We emphasized this doctrine which was re-stated by
strike down in an appeal acts without or in excess of jurisdiction or Mr. Justice Barredo, speaking for the Court, in the 1970 case of Kapisanan,
committed with grave abuse of discretion, it cannot be beyond the admit of etc. vs. Hamilton, etc., et. al., 30-e thus:
its authority, in appropriate cases, to reverse in a certain proceed in any
error of judgment of a court a quo which cannot be exactly categorized as a As to the point that the evidence being offered by the petitioners in the
flaw of jurisdiction. If there can be any doubt, which I do not entertain, on motion for new trial is not "newly discovered," as such term is understood
whether or not the errors this Court has found in the decision of the Court of
in the rules of procedure for the ordinary courts, We hold that such criterion
Appeals are short of being jurisdiction nullities or excesses, this Court
is not binding upon the Court of Industrial Relations. Under Section 20 of
would still be on firm legal grounds should it choose to reverse said
Commonwealth Act No. 103, 'The Court of Industrial Relations shall adopt
decision here and now even if such errors can be considered as mere
its, rules or procedure and shall have such other powers as generally pertain
mistakes of judgment or only as faults in the exercise of jurisdiction, so as to to a court of justice: Provided, however, That in the hearing, investigation
avoid the unnecessary return of this case to the lower court for the sole and determination of any question or controversy and in exercising any
purpose of pursuing the ordinary course of an appeal. (Emphasis
duties and power under this Act, the Court shall act according to justice and
supplied). 30-d
equity and substantial merits of the case, without regard to technicalities or
legal forms and shall not be bound by any technical rules of legal evidence
Insistence on the application of the questioned Court industrial Relations but may inform its mind in such manner as it may deem just and
rule in this particular case at bar would an unreasoning adherence to equitable.' By this provision the industrial court is disengaged from the
"Procedural niceties" which denies justice to the herein laborers, whose rigidity of the technicalities applicable to ordinary courts. Said court is not
basic human freedoms, including the right to survive, must be according even restricted to the specific relief demanded by the parties but may issue
supremacy over the property rights of their employer firm which has been such orders as may be deemed necessary or expedient for the purpose of
given a full hearing on this case, especially when, as in the case at bar, no settling the dispute or dispelling any doubts that may give rise to future
actual material damage has be demonstrated as having been inflicted on its disputes. (Ang Tibay v. C.I.R., G.R. No. 46496, Feb. 17, 1940; Manila
property rights. Trading & Supply Co. v. Phil. Labor, 71 Phil. 124.) For these reasons, We
believe that this provision is ample enough to have enabled the respondent
If We can disregard our own rules when justice requires it, obedience to the court to consider whether or not its previous ruling that petitioners
Constitution renders more imperative the suspension of a Court of Industrial constitute a minority was founded on fact, without regard to the technical
Relations rule that clash with the human rights sanctioned and shielded with meaning of newly discovered evidence. ... (Alonso v. Villamor, 16 Phil.
resolution concern by the specific guarantees outlined in the organic law. It 315; Chua Kiong v. Whitaker, 46 Phil. 578). (emphasis supplied.)
should be stressed that the application in the instant case Section 15 of the
Court of Industrial Relations rules relied upon by herein respondent firm is To apply Section 15 of the Court of Industrial Relations rules with "pedantic
unreasonable and therefore such application becomes unconstitutional as it rigor" in the instant case is to rule in effect that the poor workers, who can
subverts the human rights of petitioning labor union and workers in the light ill-afford an alert competent lawyer, can no longer seek the sanctuary of
of the peculiar facts and circumstances revealed by the record. human freedoms secured to them by the fundamental law, simply because
their counsel — erroneously believing that he received a copy of the
The suspension of the application of Section 15 of the Court of Industrial decision on September 23, 1969, instead of September 22, 1969 - filed his
Relations rules with reference to the case at is also authorized by Section 20 motion for reconsideration September 29, 1969, which practically is only
of Commonwealth Act No. 103, the C.I.R. charter, which enjoins the Court one day late considering that September 28, 1969 was a Sunday.
Many a time, this Court deviated from procedure technicalities when they intercession of the Secretary of Labor, the Union members who are not
ceased to be instruments of justice, for the attainment of which such rules officers, were not dismissed and only the Union itself and its thirteen (13)
have been devised. Summarizing the jurisprudence on this score, Mr. officers were specifically named as respondents in the unfair labor practice
Justice Fernando, speaking for a unanimous Court in Palma vs. Oreta, 30- charge filed against them by the firm (pp. 16-20, respondent's Brief;
f Stated: Annexes "A", "B" and "C", pp. 20-30, rec.). Counsel for respondent firm
insinuates that not all the 400 or so employee participated in the
As was so aptly expressed by Justice Moreland in Alonso v. Villamor (16 demonstration, for which reason only the Union and its thirteen (13) officers
Phil. 315 [1910]. The Villamor decision was cited with approval in Register were specifically named in the unfair labor practice charge (p. 20,
of Deeds v. Phil. Nat. Bank, 84 Phil. 600 [1949]; Potenciano v. Court of respondent's brief). If that were so, then many, if not all, of the morning and
Appeals, 104 Phil. 156 [1958] and Uy v. Uy, 14243, June 30, 1961, 2 regular shifts reported for work on March 4, 1969 and that, as a
SCRA 675.), decided as far back as 1910, "technicality. when it deserts its consequence, the firm continued in operation that day and did not sustain
proper-office as an aid to justice and becomes its great hindrance and chief any damage.
enemy, deserves scant consideration from courts." (Ibid., p, 322.) To that
norm, this Court has remained committed. The late Justice Recto in Blanco The appropriate penalty — if it deserves any penalty at all — should have
v. Bernabe, (63 Phil. 124 [1936]) was of a similar mind. For him the been simply to charge said one-day absence against their vacation or sick
interpretation of procedural rule should never "sacrifice the ends justice." leave. But to dismiss the eight (8) leaders of the petitioner Union is a most
While "procedural laws are no other than technicalities" view them in their cruel penalty, since as aforestated the Union leaders depend on their wages
entirety, 'they were adopted not as ends themselves for the compliance with for their daily sustenance as well as that of their respective families aside
which courts have organized and function, but as means conducive to the from the fact that it is a lethal blow to unionism, while at the same time
realization the administration of the law and of justice (Ibid., p.,128). We strengthening the oppressive hand of the petty tyrants in the localities.
have remained steadfastly opposed, in the highly rhetorical language Justice
Felix, to "a sacrifice of substantial rights of a litigant in altar of Mr. Justice Douglas articulated this pointed reminder:
sophisticated technicalities with impairment of the sacred principles of
justice." (Potenciano v. Court of Appeals, 104 Phil. 156, 161 [1958]). As
The challenge to our liberties comes frequently not from those who
succinctly put by Justice Makalintal, they "should give way to the realities consciously seek to destroy our system of Government, but from men of
of the situation." (Urbayan v. Caltex, L-15379, Aug. 31, 1962, 5 SCRA
goodwill — good men who allow their proper concerns to blind them to the
1016, 1019). In the latest decision in point promulgated in 1968, (Udan v.
fact that what they propose to accomplish involves an impairment of liberty.
Amon, (1968, 23 SCRA citing McEntee v. Manotok, L-14968, Oct. 27,
1961, 3 SCRA 272.) Justice Zaldivar was partial to an earlier formulation of
Justice Labrador that rules of procedure "are not to be applied in a very ... The Motives of these men are often commendable. What we must
rigid, technical sense"; but are intended "to help secure substantial justice." remember, however, is thatpreservation of liberties does not depend on
(Ibid., p. 843) ... 30-g motives. A suppression of liberty has the same effect whether the suppress
or be a reformer or an outlaw. The only protection against misguided zeal
is a constant alertness of the infractions of the guarantees of
Even if the questioned Court of Industrial Relations orders and rule were to
liberty contained in our Constitution. Each surrender of liberty to the
be given effect, the dismissal or termination of the employment of the demands of the moment makes easier another, larger surrender. The battle
petitioning eight (8) leaders of the Union is harsh for a one-day absence over the Bill of Rights is a never ending one.
from work. The respondent Court itself recognized the severity of such a
sanction when it did not include the dismissal of the other 393 employees
who are members of the same Union and who participated in the ... The liberties of any person are the liberties of all of us.
demonstration against the Pasig police. As a matter of fact, upon the
... In short, the Liberties of none are safe unless the liberties of all are xxx xxx xxx
protected.
Instead of stifling criticism, the Bank should have allowed the respondents
... But even if we should sense no danger to our own liberties, even if we feel to air their grievances.
secure because we belong to a group that is important and respected, we
must recognize that our Bill of Rights is a code of fair play for the less xxx xxx xxx
fortunate that we in all honor and good conscience must be observe. 31
The Bank defends its action by invoking its right to discipline for what it
The case at bar is worse. calls the respondents' libel in giving undue publicity to their letter-charge.
To be sure, the right of self-organization of employees is not unlimited
Management has shown not only lack of good-will or good intention, but a (Republic Aviation Corp. vs. NLRB 324 U.S. 793 [1945]), as the right of
complete lack of sympathetic understanding of the plight of its laborers who the employer to discharge for cause (Philippine Education Co. v. Union of
claim that they are being subjected to indignities by the local police, It was Phil. Educ. Employees, L-13773, April 29, 1960) is undenied. The
more expedient for the firm to conserve its income or profits than to assist Industrial Peace Act does not touch the normal exercise of the right of the
its employees in their fight for their freedoms and security against alleged employer to select his employees or to discharge them. It is directed solely
petty tyrannies of local police officers. This is sheer opportunism. Such against the abuse of that right by interfering with the countervailing right of
opportunism and expediency resorted to by the respondent company self organization (Phelps Dodge Corp. v. NLRB 313 U.S. 177 [1941])...
assaulted the immunities and welfare of its employees. It was pure and
implement selfishness, if not greed. xxx xxx xxx

Of happy relevance is the 1967 case of Republic Savings Bank vs. In the final sum and substance, this Court is in unanimity that the Bank's
C.I.R., 32 where the petitioner Bank dismissed eight (8) employees for conduct, identified as an interference with the employees' right of self-
having written and published "a patently libelous letter ... to the Bank organization or as a retaliatory action, and/or as a refusal to bargain
president demanding his resignation on the grounds of immorality, nepotism collectively, constituted an unfair labor practice within the meaning and
in the appointment and favoritism as well as discrimination in the intendment of section 4(a) of the Industrial Peace Act. (Emphasis
promotion of bank employees." Therein, thru Mr. Justice Castro, We ruled: supplied.) 33

It will avail the Bank none to gloat over this admission of the respondents. If free expression was accorded recognition and protection to fortify labor
Assuming that the latter acted in their individual capacities when they wrote unionism in the Republic Savings case, supra, where the complaint assailed
the letter-charge they were nonetheless protected for they were engaged in the morality and integrity of the bank president no less, such recognition
concerted activity, in the exercise of their right of self organization that and protection for free speech, free assembly and right to petition are
includes concerted activity for mutual aid and protection, (Section 3 of the rendered all the more justifiable and more imperative in the case at bar,
Industrial Peace Act ...) This is the view of some members of this Court. where the mass demonstration was not against the company nor any of its
For, as has been aptly stated, the joining in protests or demands, even by a officers.
small group of employees, if in furtherance of their interests as such, is a
concerted activity protected by the Industrial Peace Act. It is not necessary
WHEREFORE, judgement is hereby rendered:
that union activity be involved or that collective bargaining be
contemplated. (Annot., 6 A.L.R. 2d 416 [1949]).
(1) setting aside as null and void the orders of the respondent Court of
Industrial Relations dated September 15 and October 9, 1969; and

(2) directing the re instatement of the herein eight (8) petitioners, with full
back pay from the date of their separation from the service until re instated,
minus one day's pay and whatever earnings they might have realized from
other sources during their separation from the service.

With costs against private respondent Philippine Blooming Company, Inc.


G.R. No. 87698 September 24, 1991 decision promulgated on May 30, 1980. The Commission ruled that "the
running of the prescriptive period ... commenced on the date ... (Macatol's)
PHILIPPINE AIRLINES, INC., petitioner, vs. NATIONAL LABOR cause of action accrued;" that such cause of action did not accrue "upon the
RELATIONS COMMISSION and OSCAR IRINEO, respondents. termination of the criminal case," but upon "his dismissal, the legality or
illegality of which could be determined soon after it was effected ... (and a)
suit to contest its legality could proceed independently of any criminal
NARVASA, J.:
proceedings;" that "if no criminal case was instituted, following the logic of
the complainant's argument, the cause of action would not and could not
This case treats of an employee of Philippine Airlines, Inc. (PAL), who was have accrued at all; ... (and) the institution of the criminal action did not bar
dismissed from his work on August 23, 1967 on the basis of the findings the complainant from filing a complaint for illegal dismissal." 6
and recommendations of a Fact Finding Panel, submitted on August 11,
1967 after an investigation commenced in July, 1967 in coordination with a
On the other hand, the appeal taken by Oscar Irineo, Rogelio Damian,
well known accounting firm.1 The Fact Finding Panel recommended the
criminal prosecution of the employee, Oscar Irineo, together with four Antonio Rabasco, resulted in a decision promulgated on September 23,
others, namely: Rogelio Damian, Antonio Rabasco, Jacinto Macatol and 1983 by the Intermediate Appellate Court,7 affirming the judgment of
conviction only as regards Rogelio Damian, but acquitting Irineo and
Jesus Saba, on account of complicity in irregular refunds of international
Rabasco "on grounds of reasonable doubt." 8
plane tickets.2

On the basis of the panel's report, and the testimony of witnesses taken in On May 10, 1984, seventeen (17) years after the termination of his
the course of the investigation, criminal proceedings were also initiated employment on August 23, 1967, Irineo filed a complaint against PAL for
reinstatement and back wages on the claim that that termination was illegal.
against four of the PAL employees above named, namely: Oscar Irineo,
It is the action thus instituted that has given rise to the proceedings now
Rogelio Damian, Antonio Rabasco, and Jacinto Macatol. They were
before this Court.
prosecuted for estafa thru falsification of commercial documents in the
Court of First Instance of Rizal, under an information filed by the Provincial
Fiscal on September 25, 1968.3 The case resulted in the conviction after due Irineo's action eventuated in a decision of the Labor Arbiter dated
trial of all the accused on March 1, 1976; this, despite the fiscal's having November 12, 1985,9 decreeing his reinstatement to his position in 1967
earlier moved for the dismissal of the charges as against Irineo and without loss of seniority rights and the payment to him of back wages "from
Macatol.4 August 13, 1967 up to his actual reinstatement," as well as moral damages
in the amount of P300,000.00.
All four (4) defendants filed motions for reconsideration and/or new trial.
All the motions were denied except Macatol's. After due hearing on said The Arbiter overruled the defense of prescription asserted by PAL, among
motions, the Trial Court rendered an amended decision dated September 23, others. The Arbiter held that since there was a PAL circular dated June 15,
1977 absolving Macatol of any liability for the offense charged, "for lack of 1966 to the effect that "(a)n employee charged with any crime inimical to
sufficient evidence." The other three appealed.5 the company's interest shall be placed under preventive suspension until the
final adjudication of his case," and there was, too, a standing order by the
Court of Industrial Relations at that time forbidding the dismissal of any
On July 6, 1978 — about twelve (12) years after his dismissal from
employee by PAL without court authority, the termination by PAL of
employment — Macatol filed a complaint for illegal dismissal against PAL
Irineo's employment on August 23, 1967 merely "amounted to a suspension
in the Department of Labor. His complaint was however dismissed by the
per (said) PAL IRD Circular No. 66-11." According to the Arbiter, said IRD
Labor Arbiter on the ground that his right of action had prescribed. That
dismissal was affirmed by the National Labor Relations Commission in a Circular No. 66-11 was not raised in issue in the earlier case instituted by
Macatol, supra,10 and this serves to distinguish Macatol's case from Irineo's, Court issued a temporary restraining order on April 26, 1989 prohibiting
precluding reaching a conclusion in the latter similar to that in the former enforcement or implementation of the challenged resolution. 13
(i.e., that the claim was barred by prescription). The Arbiter held, in fine,
that in view of said Circular No. 66-11, PAL's termination of Irineo's Required to comment in public respondent's behalf, the Office of the
employment should be deemed only as an act by which "Irineo was placed Solicitor General begged to be excused, declaring that "(a)fter an exhaustive
under preventive suspension until his (criminal) case was finally and judicious scrutiny of the records of the case, as well as the applicable
adjudicated, for after all, the arbitration branch of the Commission should law and jurisprudence on the issues involved, ... (it could not), without
put meaning to the law between the parties and unless such law between the violating the law, espouse the position taken by the respondent ... (NLRC)
parties are (sic) implemented the same would become useless." The Arbiter ..." Comments were filed by private respondent14 and the Senior Research
concluded with the following disposition: Attorney of the NLRC in the latter's behalf,15 which the Court resolved to
treat as their answers to PAL's petition.
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered directing PAL to terminate the
suspension of Irineo which it imposed on August 23, 1967 and to reinstate In light of the material facts above set out, it is not indeed possible, as the
him to his position without loss of seniority rights and with backwages from Solicitor General holds, to defend the decision of the respondent
August 13, 1967 up to his actual reinstatement. Commission or that of the Labor Arbiter.

Lastly, moral damages in the amount of P300,000.00 is (sic) That there should be care and solicitude in the protection and vindication of
awarded to complainant. the rights of workingmen cannot be gainsaid; but that care and solicitude
can not justify disregard of relevant facts or eschewal of rationality in the
PAL appealed to the NLRC but failed to obtain reversal of the Arbiter's construction of the text of applicable rules in order to arrive at a disposition
judgment. In a Resolution promulgated on February 28, 1989, the Third in favor of an employee who is perceived as otherwise deserving of
Division of the NLRC upheld all the Arbiter's conclusions.11 The NLRC sympathy and commiseration.
agreed with the Arbiter that "applying the mandate of IRD Circular No. 66-
11 which respondent PAL itself solely promulgated," Irineo was never The letter to Oscar Irineo of then PAL President Benigno P. Toda, Jr. dated
dismissed from employment but "was merely under preventive suspension;" August 23, 1967, based evidently on the investigation and report of the fact
and that PAL's termination of Irineo's work was violative of the "Injunction finding panel, leaves no doubt that Irineo's employment was being ended;
Order dated September 3, 1963 in CIR Case No. 43-IPA" (forbidding, the language is plain and categorical. It reads pertinently as follows:16
during the pendency of said case, the dismissal of any employee by PAL
without court authority), even though that order "lost its efficacy when the To: Oscar Ireneo
parties concerned entered into a valid Certified Bargaining Agreement" (on
December 7, 1965, according to petitioner PAL12 ). It also affirmed the
award of moral damages. Comptroller's Department

PAL is now before this Court, praying for the issuance of a writ For being involved in the irregular refund of tickets in the
of certiorari to nullify and set aside the NLRC Resolution of February 28, international service to the damage and prejudice of the
1989 as constituting "a plain case of patent abuse of discretion amounting to company, you are dismissed from the service effective immediately.
excess of jurisdiction or lack of the same — an exemplary example of
power arbitrarily exercised without due regard to the rule of law." The
The acts committed being criminal, resulting in the swindling of belief in the soundness of the theory. His claim must thus be rejected as
the company, the Legal Department is directed to file immediately time-barred, as being unpardonably tardy.
the corresponding criminal cases against you.
Premises considered, it appears clear to the Court that the respondent
To say, as both the Arbiter and the respondent Commission do, that that Commission's conclusions are flawed by errors so serious as to constitute
declaration, "you are dismissed from the service effective immediately," grave abuse of discretion and should on this account be struck down.
should be construed merely as a suspension, not a dismissal, from
employment, is illogical if not downright ludicrous. They attempt to justify WHEREFORE, the Court GRANTS the petition and issues the writ of
this conclusion by adverting to a PAL circular dated June 15, 1966 to the certiorari prayed for, NULLIFYING AND SETTING ASIDE the
effect that "(a)n employee charged with any crime inimical to the company's respondent Commission's Resolutions promulgated on February 28, 1989
interest shall be placed under preventive suspension until the final and on March 20, 1989, MAKING PERMANENT the temporary
adjudication of his case," and construe this as a complete foreclosure or restraining order issued by this Court on April 26, 1989, and DISMISSING
prohibition of any alternative or concurrent action on PAL's part, such as private respondent's complaint. No costs.
the imposition of administrative sanctions or penalties; in other words, any
disciplinary action against an erring employee was absolutely dependent on
SO ORDERED.
the outcome of the criminal action against the latter, no disciplinary
measure of any nature being permissible against the employee "until the
final adjudication" of his criminal case. It is a construction that has nothing
to support it, is contrary to common sense, and one certainly not justified by
the recorded facts.

The attempt to sustain the strained theory of dismissal-qua-suspension by


referring to a standing order by the Court of Industrial Relations at that time
forbidding the dismissal of any employee by PAL without court authority, is
equally indefensible. That prohibition was imposed only in relation to a
labor dispute then pending before the Court of Industrial Relations. That
dispute however ended when the parties entered into a collective bargaining
agreement two (2) years or so before Irineo was fired on August 23, 1967.
In other words, when Irineo's employment was terminated, the CIR
injunction adverted was already functions officio and could no longer have
any relevance to that event.

There is moreover, nothing in the record to excuse respondent Irineo's


omission to impugn his termination of employment by PAL — in line with
the respondent commission's theory, i.e., that under existing PAL rules and
the CIR injunction, he could only be placed under preventive suspension
and therefore his dismissal was illegal. His assertion thereof after seventeen
(17) years from his discharge from employment can only mean that he slept
on his rights or that his counsel did not share the respondent Commission's
G.R. No. 151379 January 14, 2005 This matter was submitted for voluntary arbitration. On November 8, 1994,
the panel of voluntary arbitrators rendered a decision, the dispositive portion
UNIVERSITY of IMMACULATE, CONCEPCION, INC., petitioner, of which states:
vs. The HONORABLE SECRETARY OF LABOR, THE UIC
TEACHING and NON-TEACHING PERSONNEL AND WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Panel hereby resolves to exclude
EMPLOYEES UNION, LELIAN CONCON, MARY ANN DE the above-mentioned secretaries, registrars, chief of the accounting
RAMOS, JOVITA MAMBURAM, ANGELINA ABADILLA, department, cashiers and guidance counselors from the coverage of the
MELANIE DE LA ROSA, ZENAIDA CANOY, ALMA bargaining unit. The accounting clerks and the accounting staff member are
VILLACARLOS, JOSIE BOSTON, PAULINA PALMA GIL, hereby ordered included in the bargaining unit.2
GEMMA GALOPE, LEAH CRUZA, DELFA DIAPUEZ, respondent.
The UNION moved for the reconsideration of the above decision. Pending,
AZCUNA, J.: however, the resolution of its motion, on December 9, 1994, it filed a notice
of strike with the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) of
This is a petition for review of a decision of the Court of Appeals and the Davao City, on the grounds of bargaining deadlock and unfair labor
resolution denying reconsideration thereof. The principal issue to be practice. During the thirty (30) day cooling-off period, two union members
resolved in this recourse is whether or not the Secretary of Labor, after were dismissed by petitioner. Consequently, the UNION went on strike on
assuming jurisdiction over a labor dispute involving an employer and the January 20, 1995.
certified bargaining agent of a group of employees in the workplace, may
legally order said employer to reinstate employees terminated by the On January 23, 1995, the then Secretary of Labor, Ma. Nieves R. Confessor,
employer even if those terminated employees are not part of the bargaining issued an Order assuming jurisdiction over the labor dispute. The
unit. dispositive portion of the said Order states:

This case stemmed from the collective bargaining negotiations between WHEREFORE, ABOVE PREMISES CONSIDERED, and pursuant to
petitioner University of Immaculate Concepcion, Inc. (UNIVERSITY) and Article 263 (g) of the Labor Code, as amended, this Office hereby assumes
respondent The UIC Teaching and Non-Teaching Personnel and Employees jurisdiction over the entire labor dispute at the University of the Immaculate
Union (UNION). The UNION, as the certified bargaining agent of all rank Concepcion College.
and file employees of the UNIVERSITY, submitted its collective
bargaining proposals to the latter on February 16, 1994. However, one item Accordingly, all workers are directed to return to work within twenty-four
was left unresolved and this was the inclusion or exclusion of the following (24) hours upon receipt of this Order and for Management to accept them
positions in the scope of the bargaining unit: back under the same terms and conditions prevailing prior to the strike.

a. Secretaries Parties are further directed to cease and desist from committing any or all
acts that might exacerbate the situation.
b. Registrars
Finally, the parties are hereby directed to submit their respective position
c. Accounting Personnel papers within ten (10) days from receipt hereof.

d. Guidance Counselors 1 SO ORDERED.3


On February 8, 1995, the panel of voluntary arbitrators denied the motion employees that they could not remain as confidential employees and at the
for reconsideration filed by the UNION. The UNIVERSITY then furnished same time as members or officers of the Union. However, the individual
copies of the panel’s denial of the motion for reconsideration and the respondents remained steadfast in their claim that they could still retain their
Decision dated November 8, 1995 to the individual respondents herein: confidential positions while being members or officers of the Union. Hence,
on February 21, 1995, the UNIVERSITY sent notices of termination to the
1. Lelian Concon – Grade School Guidance Counselor individual respondents.1a\^/phi1.net

2. Mary Ann de Ramos – High School Guidance Counselor On March 10, 1995, the UNION filed another notice of strike, this time
citing as a reason the UNIVERSITY’s termination of the individual
respondents. The UNION alleged that the UNIVERSITY’s act of
3. Jovita Mamburam – Secretary to [the] Vice President for
terminating the individual respondents is in violation of the Order of the
Academic Affairs/ Dean of College
Secretary of Labor dated January 23, 1995.
4. Angelina Abadilla – Secretary to [the] Vice President for
On March 28, 1995, the Secretary of Labor issued another Order reiterating
Academic Affairs/ Dean of College
the directives contained in the January 23, 1995 Order. The Secretary also
stated therein that the effects of the termination from employment of these
5. Melanie de la Rosa – Secretary to [the] Dean of [the] College of individual respondents be suspended pending the determination of the
Pharmacy/ Academic Affairs/ Dean of College legality thereof. Hence, the UNIVERSITY was directed to reinstate the
individual respondents under the same terms and conditions prevailing prior
6. Zenaida Canoy – Secretary to [the] Vice President for Academic to the labor dispute.
Affairs/ Dean of College
The UNIVERSITY, thereafter, moved to reconsider the aforesaid Order on
7. Alma Villacarlos – Guidance Counselor (College) March 28, 1995. It argued that the Secretary’s Order directing the
reinstatement of the individual respondents would render nugatory the
8. Josie Boston – Grade School Psychometrician decision of the panel of voluntary arbitrators to exclude them from the
collective bargaining unit. The UNIVERSITY’s motion was denied by the
9. Paulina Palma Gil – Cashier Secretary in an Order dated June 16, 1995, wherein the Secretary declared
that the decision of the panel of voluntary arbitrators to exclude the
individual respondents from the collective bargaining unit did not authorize
10. Gemma Galope – High School Registrar
the UNIVERSITY to terminate their employment. The UNIVERSITY filed
a second motion for reconsideration, which was again denied in an Order
11. Leah Cruza – Guidance Counselor (College) dated July 19, 1995. Undeterred, the UNIVERSITY filed a third motion for
reconsideration. In the Order dated August 18, 1995, then Acting Secretary
12. Delfa Diapuez – High School Psychometrician 4 Jose S. Brilliantes denied the third motion for reconsideration, but modified
the two previous Orders by adding:
Thereafter, the UNIVERSITY gave the abovementioned individual
respondents two choices: to resign from the UNION and remain employed xxx
as confidential employees or resign from their confidential positions and
remain members of the UNION. The UNIVERSITY relayed to these
Anent the Union’s Motion, we find that superseding circumstances would x x x [T]he Secretary was explicitly granted by Article 263(g) of the Labor
not warrant the physical reinstatement of the twelve (12) terminated Code the authority to assume jurisdiction over a labor dispute causing or
employees. Hence, they are hereby ordered placed under payroll likely to cause a strike or lockout in an industry indispensable to the
reinstatement until the validity of their termination is finally resolved. 5 national interest, and decide the same accordingly. Necessarily, the
authority to assume jurisdiction over the said labor dispute must include and
xxx extend to all questions and controversies arising therefrom, including cases
over which the Labor Arbiter has exclusive jurisdiction.
Still unsatisfied with the Order of the Secretary of Labor, the UNIVERSITY
filed a petition for certiorari with this Court on September 15, 1995. The UNIVERSITY contends that the Secretary cannot take cognizance of
However, its petition was referred to the Court of Appeals, following the an issue involving employees who are not part of the bargaining unit. It
ruling in St. Martin Funeral Homes v. Court of Appeals . 6 insists that since the individual respondents had already been excluded from
the bargaining unit by a final and executory order by the panel of voluntary
On October 8, 2001, the Court of Appeals promulgated its Decision, arbitrators, then they cannot be covered by the Secretary’s assumption
affirming the questioned Orders of the Secretary of Labor. The dispositive order.
portion of the Decision states:
This Court finds no merit in the UNIVERSITY’s contention. In Metrolab
7 Industries, Inc. v. Roldan-Confessor ,13 this Court declared that it recognizes
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit.
the exercise of management prerogatives and it often declines to interfere
with the legitimate business decisions of the employer. This is in keeping
The UNIVERSITY then moved for the reconsideration of the with the general principle embodied in Article XIII, Section 3 of the
abovementioned Decision,8 but on January 10, 2002, the Court of Appeals Constitution,14 which is further echoed in Article 211 of the Labor
denied the motion on the ground that no new matters were raised therein Code.15 However, as expressed in PAL v. National Labor Relations
that would warrant a reconsideration.9 Commission,16 this privilege is not absolute, but subject to exceptions. One
of these exceptions is when the Secretary of Labor assumes jurisdiction over
Hence, this petition. labor disputes involving industries indispensable to the national interest
under Article 263(g) of the Labor Code. This provision states:
The UNIVERSITY assigns the following error:
(g) When, in his opinion, there exists a labor dispute causing or likely to
THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED REVERSIBLE ERROR IN cause a strike or lockout in an industry indispensable to the national interest,
AFFIRMING THE ORDERS OF THE SECRETARY OF LABOR THAT the Secretary of Labor and Employment may assume jurisdiction over the
SUSPENDED THE EFFECTS OF THE TERMINATION OF TWELVE dispute and decide it or certify the same to the Commission for compulsory
EMPLOYEES WHO WERE NOT PART OF THE BARGAINING arbitration. Such assumption or certification shall have the effect of
UNIT INVOLVED IN A LABOR DISPUTE OVER WHICH THE automatically enjoining the intended or impending strike or lockout as
SECRETARY OF LABOR ASSUMED JURISDICTION.10 specified in the assumption or certification order. If one has already taken
place at the time of assumption or certification, all striking or locked out
The Court of Appeals relied upon the doctrine in St. Scholastica’s College employees shall immediately return to work and the employer shall
v. Torres.11 In the case therein, this Court, citing International immediately resume operations and readmit all workers under the same
Pharmaceuticals Incorporated v. the Secretary of Labor,12 declared that: terms and conditions prevailing before the strike or lockout. x x x
When the Secretary of Labor ordered the UNIVERSITY to suspend the under the same terms and conditions prevailing before the strike or
effect of the termination of the individual respondents, the Secretary did not lockout.l^vvphi1.netThe phrase "under the same terms and conditions"
exceed her jurisdiction, nor did the Secretary gravely abuse the same. It makes it clear that the norm is actual reinstatement. This is consistent with
must be pointed out that one of the substantive evils which Article 263(g) of the idea that any work stoppage or slowdown in that particular industry can
the Labor Code seeks to curb is the exacerbation of a labor dispute to the be detrimental to the national interest.
further detriment of the national interest. In her Order dated March 28,
1995, the Secretary of Labor rightly held: In ordering payroll reinstatement in lieu of actual reinstatement, then Acting
Secretary of Labor Jose S. Brillantes said:
It is well to remind both parties herein that the main reason or rationale for
the exercise of the Secretary of Labor and Employment’s power under Anent the Union’s Motion, we find that superseding circumstances would
Article 263(g) of the Labor Code, as amended, is the maintenance and not warrant the physical reinstatement of the twelve (12) terminated
upholding of the status quo while the dispute is being adjudicated. Hence, employees. Hence, they are hereby ordered placed under payroll
the directive to the parties to refrain from performing acts that will reinstatement until the validity of their termination is finally resolved. 18
exacerbate the situation is intended to ensure that the dispute does not get
out of hand, thereby negating the direct intervention of this
As an exception to the rule, payroll reinstatement must rest on special
office.l^vvphi1.net
circumstances that render actual reinstatement impracticable or otherwise
not conducive to attaining the purposes of the law.19
The University’s act of suspending and terminating union members and the
Union’s act of filing another Notice of Strike after this Office has assumed The "superseding circumstances" mentioned by the Acting Secretary of
jurisdiction are certainly in conflict with the status quo ante. By any
Labor no doubt refer to the final decision of the panel of arbitrators as to the
standards[,] these acts will not in any way help in the early resolution of the
confidential nature of the positions of the twelve private respondents,
labor dispute. It is clear that the actions of both parties merely served to
thereby rendering their actual and physical reinstatement impracticable and
complicate and aggravate the already strained labor-management
more likely to exacerbate the situation. The payroll reinstatement in lieu of
relations.17 actual reinstatement ordered in these cases, therefore, appears justified as an
exception to the rule until the validity of their termination is finally
Indeed, it is clear that the act of the UNIVERSITY of dismissing the resolved. This Court sees no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the
individual respondents from their employment became the impetus for the Acting Secretary of Labor in ordering the same. Furthermore, the issue has
UNION to declare a second notice of strike. It is not a question anymore of not been raised by any party in this case.
whether or not the terminated employees, the individual respondents herein,
are part of the bargaining unit. Any act committed during the pendency of
WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Court of Appeals dated October 8,
the dispute that tends to give rise to further contentious issues or increase
2001 and its Resolution dated January 10, 2002 in CA-G.R. SP No. 61693
the tensions between the parties should be considered an act of exacerbation
are AFFIRMED.
and should not be allowed.

With respect to the Secretary’s Order allowing payroll reinstatement instead


of actual reinstatement for the individual respondents herein, an amendment
to the previous Orders issued by her office, the same is usually not allowed.
Article 263(g) of the Labor Code aforementioned states that all workers
must immediately return to work and all employers must readmit all of them
G.R. No. 140518 December 16, 2004 an obvious strain between them. The Hotel claims that the strike was illegal
and it had to dismiss some employees for their participation in the allegedly
MANILA DIAMOND HOTEL EMPLOYEES’ UNION, petitioner, illegal concerted activity. The Union, on the other hand, accused the Hotel
vs. THE HON. COURT OF APPEALS, THE SECRETARY OF of illegally dismissing the workers. What is pertinent to this case, however,
LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT, and THE MANILA DIAMOND is the Order issued by the then Secretary of Labor and Employment
HOTEL, respondents. Cresenciano B. Trajano assuming jurisdiction over the labor dispute. A
Petition for Assumption of Jurisdiction was filed by the Union on April 2,
1998. Thereafter, the Secretary of Labor and Employment issued an Order
AZCUNA, J.:
dated April 15, 1998, the dispositive portion of which states:
This petition for review of a decision of the Court of Appeals arose out of a
WHEREFORE, premises considered[,] this Office CERTIFIES the
dispute between the Philippine Diamond Hotel and Resort, Inc. ("Hotel"),
labor dispute at the Manila Diamond Hotel to the National Labor
owner of the Manila Diamond Hotel, and the Manila Diamond Hotel
Employees’ Union ("Union"). The facts are as follows: Relations Commission, for compulsory arbitration, pursuant to
Article 263 (g) of the Labor Code, as amended.
On November 11, 1996, the Union filed a petition for a certification election
Accordingly, the striking officers and members of the Manila
so that it may be declared the exclusive bargaining representative of the
Diamond Hotel Employees Union --- NUWHRAIN are hereby
Hotel’s employees for the purpose of collective bargaining. The petition
was dismissed by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on directed to return to work within twenty-four (24) hours upon
January 15, 1997. After a few months, however, on August 25, 1997, the receipt of this Order and the Hotel to accept them back under the
same terms and conditions prevailing prior to the strike. The
Union sent a letter to the Hotel informing it of its desire to negotiate for a
parties are enjoined from committing any act that may exacerbate
collective bargaining agreement.1 In a letter dated September 11, 1997, the
the situation.
Hotel’s Human Resources Department Manager, Mary Anne Mangalindan,
wrote to the Union stating that the Hotel cannot recognize it as the
employees’ bargaining agent since its petition for certification election had The Union received the aforesaid Order on April 16, 1998 and its members
been earlier dismissed by the DOLE.2 On that same day, the Hotel received reported for work the next day, April 17, 1998. The Hotel, however, refused
a letter from the Union stating that they were not giving the Hotel a notice to accept the returning workers and instead filed a Motion for
to bargain, but that they were merely asking for the Hotel to engage in Reconsideration of the Secretary’s Order.
collective bargaining negotiations with the Union for its members only and
not for all the rank and file employees of the Hotel. 3 On April 30, 1998, then Acting Secretary of Labor Jose M. Español, issued
the disputed Order, which modified the earlier one issued by Secretary
On September 18, 1997, the Union announced that it was taking a strike Trajano. Instead of an actual return to work, Acting Secretary Español
vote. A Notice of Strike was thereafter filed on September 29, 1997, with directed that the strikers be reinstated only in the payroll.4 The Union moved
the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) for the Hotel’s for the reconsideration of this Order, but its motion was denied on June 25,
alleged "refusal x x x to bargain" and for alleged acts of unfair labor 1998. Hence, it filed before this Court on August 26, 1998, a petition
practice. The NCMB summoned both parties and held a series of dialogues, for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court alleging grave abuse of
the first of which was on October 6, 1997. discretion on the part of the Secretary of Labor for modifying its earlier
order and requiring instead the reinstatement of the employees in the
payroll. However, in a resolution dated July 12, 1999, this Court referred
On November 29, 1997, however, the Union staged a strike against the
Hotel. Numerous confrontations between the two parties followed, creating
the case to the Court of Appeals, pursuant to the principle embodied reinstate them since it would be impracticable and detrimental to the
in National Federation of Labor v. Laguesma.5 students to change teachers at that point in time.

On October 19, 1999, the Court of Appeals rendered a Decision dismissing In the present case, there is no showing that the facts called for payroll
the Union’s petition and affirming the Secretary of Labor’s Order for reinstatement as an alternative remedy. A strained relationship between the
payroll reinstatement. The Court of Appeals held that the challenged order striking employees and management is no reason for payroll reinstatement
is merely an error of judgment and not a grave abuse of discretion and that in lieu of actual reinstatement. Petitioner correctly points out that labor
payroll reinstatement is not prohibited by law, but may be "called for" under disputes naturally involve strained relations between labor and management,
certain circumstances.6 and that in most strikes, the relations between the strikers and the non-
strikers will similarly be tense.9 Bitter labor disputes always leave an
Hence, the Union now stands before this Court maintaining that: aftermath of strong emotions and unpleasant situations. Nevertheless, the
government must still perform its function and apply the law, especially if,
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRIEVIOUSLY as in this case, national interest is involved.
ERRED IN RULING THAT THE SECRETARY OF LABOR’S
UNAUTHORIZED ORDER OF MERE "PAYROLL After making the distinction between UST and the present case, this Court
REINSTATEMENT" IS NOT GRAVE ABUSE OF now addresses the issue of whether the Court of Appeals erred in ruling that
DISCRETION7 the Secretary did not commit any grave abuse of discretion in ordering
payroll reinstatement in lieu of actual reinstatement. This question is
The petition has merit. answered by the nature of Article 263(g). As a general rule, the State
encourages an environment wherein employers and employees themselves
must deal with their problems in a manner that mutually suits them best.
The Court of Appeals based its decision on this Court’s ruling in University This is the basic policy embodied in Article XIII, Section 3 of the
of Santo Tomas (UST) v. NLRC.8 There, the Secretary assumed jurisdiction Constitution,10 which was further echoed in Article 211 of the Labor
over the labor dispute between striking teachers and the university. He Code.11 Hence, a voluntary, instead of compulsory, mode of dispute
ordered the striking teachers to return to work and the university to accept settlement is the general rule.
them under the same terms and conditions. However, in a subsequent order,
the NLRC provided payroll reinstatement for the striking teachers as an
However, Article 263, paragraph (g) of the Labor Code, which allows the
alternative remedy to actual reinstatement. True, this Court held therein that
the NLRC did not commit grave abuse of discretion in providing for the Secretary of Labor to assume jurisdiction over a labor dispute involving an
alternative remedy of payroll reinstatement. This Court found that it was industry indispensable to the national interest, provides an exception:
merely an error of judgment, which is not correctible by a special civil
action for certiorari. The NLRC was only trying its best to work out a (g) When, in his opinion, there exists a labor dispute causing or
satisfactory ad hoc solution to a festering and serious problem. likely to cause a strike or lockout in an industry indispensable to
the national interest, the Secretary of Labor and Employment may
However, this Court notes that the UST ruling was made in the light of one assume jurisdiction over the dispute and decide it or certify the
same to the Commission for compulsory arbitration. Such
very important fact: the teachers could not be given back their academic
assumption or certification shall have the effect of automatically
assignments since the order of the Secretary for them to return to work was
enjoining the intended or impending strike or lockout as specified
given in the middle of the first semester of the academic year. The NLRC
in the assumption or certification order. If one has already taken
was, therefore, faced with a situation where the striking teachers were
entitled to a return to work order, but the university could not immediately place at the time of assumption or certification, all striking or
locked out employees shall immediately return to work and the on the asserted ground of attaining a laudable objective, the same will not
employer shall immediately resume operations and readmit all be maintained if the intendment or purpose of the law would be defeated.13
workers under the same terms and conditions prevailing before the
strike or lockout. x x x WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED and the assailed Decision of the
Court of Appeals dated October 19, 1999 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE.
This provision is viewed as an exercise of the police power of the State. A The Order dated April 30, 1998 issued by the Secretary of Labor and
prolonged strike or lockout can be inimical to the national economy and, Employment modifying the earlier Order dated April 15, 1998, is likewise
therefore, the situation is imbued with public necessity and involves the SET ASIDE. No pronouncement as to costs.
right of the State and the public to self-protection.12

Under Article 263(g), all workers must immediately return to work and all
employers must readmit all of them under the same terms and conditions
prevailing before the strike or lockout. This Court must point out that the
law uses the precise phrase of "under the same terms and conditions,"
revealing that it contemplates only actual reinstatement. This is in keeping
with the rationale that any work stoppage or slowdown in that particular
industry can be inimical to the national economy. It is clear that Article
263(g) was not written to protect labor from the excesses of management,
nor was it written to ease management from expenses, which it normally
incurs during a work stoppage or slowdown. It was an error on the part of
the Court of Appeals to view the assumption order of the Secretary as a
measure to protect the striking workers from any retaliatory action from the
Hotel. This Court reiterates that this law was written as a means to be used
by the State to protect itself from an emergency or crisis. It is not for labor,
nor is it for management.

It is, therefore, evident from the foregoing that the Secretary’s subsequent
order for mere payroll reinstatement constitutes grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. Indeed, this Court has always
recognized the "great breadth of discretion" by the Secretary once he
assumes jurisdiction over a labor dispute. However, payroll reinstatement in
lieu of actual reinstatement is a departure from the rule in these cases and
there must be showing of special circumstances rendering actual
reinstatement impracticable, as in the UST case aforementioned, or
otherwise not conducive to attaining the purpose of the law in providing for
assumption of jurisdiction by the Secretary of Labor and Employment in a
labor dispute that affects the national interest. None appears to have been
established in this case. Even in the exercise of his discretion under Article
236(g), the Secretary must always keep in mind the purpose of the law.
Time and again, this Court has held that when an official by-passes the law
G.R. No. L-49046 January 26, 1988 Instance of Bulacan docketed as Civil Case No. 750-V. Said court issued an
injunction enjoining the three-day-old strike staged against the company.
SATURNO A. VICTORIA, petitioner, vs. HON. AMADO G. The complaint was later amended seeking to declare the strike illegal.
INCIONG, DEPUTY MINISTER, and FAR EAST BROADCASTING
COMPANY, INC., respondents. Upon the declaration of martial law on September 21, 1972 and the
promulgation of Presidential Decree No. 21 creating the National Labor
FERNAN, J.: Relations Commission, the ad hoc National Labor Relations Commission
took cognizance of the strike through NLRC Case No. 0021 entitled "Far
East Broadcasting Company Employees Association, complainant versus
Petition for review of the Order of the then Acting Secretary of Labor
Far East Broadcasting Company, respondent" and NLRC Case No. 0285
Amado G. Inciong dated June 6, 1978, in NLRC Case No. RB-1764-75,
entitled "Generoso Serino, complainant, versus Far East Broadcasting
reversing the decision of the National Labor Relations Commission dated
Company, respondent", both cases for reinstatement due to the company's
November 17, 1976 and holding that, under the law and facts of the case,
there was no necessity for private respondent to obtain a clearance for the return to accept the union's offer to return to work during the pendency of
termination of petitioner's employment under Article 257 [b] of the Labor the case in the Court of First Instance.
Code, as amended, and that a mere report of such termination was
sufficient, under Section 11 [f]. Rule XIV of the Rules and Regulations On December 28, 1972, Arbitrator Flavio Aguas rendered a joint decision in
implementing said Code. the two cases mentioned above recognizing the jurisdiction of the Court of
First Instance of Bulacan, the dispositive portion reading as follows:
Petitioner Saturno Victoria was employed on March 17, 1956 by private
respondent Far East Broadcasting Company, Incorporated as a radio IN VIEW WHEREOF, and in the interest of justice and equity, it is hereby
transmitter operator. Sometime in July 1971, he and his co-workers directed that:
organized the Far East Broadcasting Company Employees Association.
After registering their association with the then Department of Labor, they 1. That striking members of the Far East Broadcasting Company Employees
demanded recognition of said association by the company but the latter Association return to their respective positions in the corporation;
refused on the ground that being a non-profit, non-stock, non-commercial
and religious corporation, it is not covered by Republic Act 875, otherwise 2. The respondent Far East Broadcasting Company Incorporated to accept
known as the Industrial Peace Act, the labor law enforced at that time. back the returning strikers without loss in rank seniority or status;

Several conciliation meetings were held at the Department of Labor and in 3. The workers shall return to work within [10] days from receipt of this
those meetings, the Director of Labor Relations Edmundo Cabal advised the resolution otherwise they shall be deemed to have forfeited such right;
union members that the company could not be forced to recognize them or
to bargain collectively with them because it is a non-profit, non-commercial 4. The respondent shall report compliance with this decision within fifteen
and religious organization. Notwithstanding such advice, the union [15] days from receipt hereof.
members led by Saturno Victoria as its president, declared a strike and
picketed the company's premises on September 6, 1972 for the purpose of
seeking recognition of the labor union. This Order shall, however, be without prejudice to whatever decision the
Court of First Instance of Bulacan may promulgate in Civil Case No. 750-V
and to the requirements the existing order may need of people working with
As a countermeasure, the company filed a case for damages with the mass media of communications.
preliminary injunction against the strikers before the then Court of First
IT IS SO ORDERED. 1 thereby ordering reinstatement with fun backwages. On appeal, the arbiter's
decision was aimed by the National Labor Relations Commission. But when
The decision of the arbitrator was successively appealed to the ad the commission's decision was in turn appealed to the Secretary of Labor, it
hoc National Labor Relations Commission, the Secretary of Labor and the was set aside and in lieu thereof the questioned Order dated June 6, 1978
Office of the President of the Philippines, and was affirmed in all instances. was issued.

On April 23, 1975, the Court of First Instance of Bulacan rendered In view of its brevity and for a better understanding of the reasons behind it,
judgment, to wit: We quote the disputed Order in full:

WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered: ORDER

1. Making injunction against defendants permanent; This is an appeal by respondent from the Decision of the National Labor
Relations Commission, dated November 17, 1976.
2. Declaring that this Court has jurisdiction to try and hear the instant case
despite Section 2 of Presidential Decree No. 2; The Commission upheld the Decision of the labor arbiter dated February 27,
1976 ordering respondent to reinstate with full backwages herein
3. Declaring that plaintiff Far East Broadcasting Company is a non-profit complainant Saturno A. Victoria based on the finding that respondent did
not file any application for clearance to terminate the services of
organization since it does not declare dividends;
complainant before dismissing him from his employment.
4. Declaring that the strike admitted by the defendants to have been declared
by them is illegal inasmuch as it was for the purpose of compelling the Briefly the facts of this case are as follows:
plaintiff-company to recognize their labor union which could not be legally
done because the plaintiffs were not covered by Republic Act 875; Complainant Saturno Victoria is the president of the Far East Broadcasting
Company Employees Union. On September 8, 1972, the said union declared
a strike against respondent company. On September 11, 1972, respondent
5. Declaring that the evidence presented is insufficient to show that
defendants caused the damage to the plaintiff consequent on the destruction filed with the Court of First Instance of Bulacan, Civil Case No. 750-V, for
of its relays and its antennas as well as its transmission lines. the issuance of an injunction and a prayer that the strike be declared illegal.

On October 24, 1972, complainant together with the other strikers filed with
SO ORDERED. 2
the ad hoc National Labor Relations Commission Case Nos. 0021 and 0285
for reinstatement. The Arbitrator rendered a decision in said case on
On April 24, 1975, by virtue of the above decision, the company notified December 28, 1972, wherein he ordered respondent to reinstate
Saturno Victoria that he is dismissed effective April 26, 1975. Thereupon, complainants subject to the following condition:
he filed Case No. RB-IV-1764 before the National Labor Relations
Commission, Regional Branch IV against the company alleging violation of
article 267 of the Labor Code which requires clearance from the Secretary "This Order shall, however, be without prejudice to whatever decision the
of Labor for every shutdown of business establishments or dismissal of Court of First Instance may promulgate on Civil Case No. 750-V and to the
requirements the existing order may need of people working with the mass
employees. On February 27, 1976, Labor Arbiter Manuel B. Lorenzo
media of communications."
rendered a decision in petitioner's favor declaring the dismissal to be illegal,
Since said decision was affirmed by the NLRC, the Secretary of Labor, and Petitioner elevates to Us for review on certiorari the aforequoted Order
the Office of the President of the Philippines, complainants were reinstated seeking to persuade this Court that then Acting Secretary of Labor Amado
pursuant thereto. G. Inciong committed reversible error in holding that, under the law and
facts of this case, a mere report of the termination of the services of said
In a Decision dated April 23, 1975, in Civil Case No. 750-V, promulgated petitioner was sufficient. Petitioner assigns the following errors:
by the Court of First Instance of Bulacan, the strike staged by herein
complainant and the other strikers was declared illegal. Based on said I
Decision, respondent dismissed complainant from his employment. Hence,
complainant filed the instant complaint for illegal dismissal. WHETHER OR NOT A CLEARANCE FROM THE SECRETARY OF
LABOR IS STILL NECESSARY BEFORE THE PETITIONER HEREIN
Under the aforecited facts, we do not agree with the ruling of the COULD BE DISMISSED CONSIDERING THE RESTRICTIVE
Commission now subject of this appeal that an application for clearance to CONDITION IN THE DECISION OF THE COMPULSORY
terminate herein complainant is mandatory on the part of respondent before ARBITRATOR IN NLRC CASE NOS. 0021 AND 0285.
terminating complainant's services. We believe that what would have been
necessary was a report as provided for under Section 11 [f] Rule XIV, Book II
V of the Rules and Regulations Implementing the Labor Code. Moreover,
even if an application for clearance was flied, this Office would have treated
WHETHER OR NOT THE DECISION OF THE COURT OF FIRST
the same as a report. Otherwise, it would render nugatory the Decision of INSTANCE OF BULACAN IN CIVIL CASE NO. 750-V IPSO FACTO
the Arbitrator dated December 28, 1972 in Case Nos. 0021 and 0285 which GAVE THE RESPONDENT COMPANY AUTHORITY TO DISMISS
was affirmed by the Commission, the Secretary of Labor and the Office of
HEREIN PETITIONER WITHOUT ANY CLEARANCE FROM THE
the President of the Philippines, ordering his temporary reinstatement,
SECRETARY OF LABOR. 4
subject to whatever Decision the CFI of Bulacan may promulgate in Civil
Case No. 750-V. It could be clearly inferred from said CFI Decision that if
the strike is declared illegal, the strikers will be considered to have lost their The substantive law on the matter enforced during the time of petitioner's
employment status under the then existing laws and jurisprudence, dismissal was Article 267 [b] of the Labor Code [in conjunction with the
otherwise strikers could stage illegal strike with impunity. Since the strike rules and regulations implementing said substantive law.] Article 267 reads:
was declared illegal, respondent acted in good faith when it dispensed with
the services of herein complainant. No employer that has no collective bargaining agreement may shut down
his establishment or dismiss or terminate the service of regular employees
For failure of respondent to file the necessary report and based on equitable with at least one [1] year of service except managerial employees as defined
considerations, complainant should be granted separation pay equivalent to in this book without previous written clearance from the Secretary of Labor.
one-half month salary for every year of service.
Petitioner maintains that the abovecited provision is very clear. It does not
WHEREFORE, let the decision of the National Labor Relations make any distinction as to the ground for dismissal. Whether or not the
Commission dated November 17, 1976 be, as it is hereby, set aside and a dismissal sought by the employer company is for cause, it is imperative that
new judgment is entered, ordering respondent to give complainant the company must apply for a clearance from the Secretary of Labor.
separation pay equivalent to one-half month salary for every year of service.
In a recent case 5 penned by Justice Abraham F. Sarmiento promulgated on
SO ORDERED. 3 June 30, 1987, we had occasion to rule in agreement with the findings of
then Presidential Assistant for Legal Affairs Ronaldo Zamora that the arbiter's decision in NLRC Case Nos. 0021 and 0285 by the Secretary of
purpose in requiring a prior clearance from the Secretary of Labor in cases Labor and the Office of the President of the Philippines, signifies a grant of
of shutdown or dismissal of employees, is to afford the Secretary ample authority to dismiss petitioner in case the strike is declared illegal by the
opportunity to examine and determine the reasonableness of the request. Court of First Instance of Bulacan. Consequently and as correctly stated by
the Solicitor General, private respondent acted in good faith when it
The Solicitor General, in relation to said pronouncement and in justification terminated the employment of petitioner upon a declaration of illegality of
of the Acting Labor Secretary's decision makes the following observations: the strike by the Court of First Instance of Bulacan. Moreover, the then
Secretary of Labor manifested his conformity to the dismissal, not once, but
It is true that article 267 [b] of the Labor Code requires that before any twice. In this regard, the mandatory rule on clearance need not be applied.
business establishment is shut down or any employee is dismissed, written
clearance from the Secretary of Labor must first be obtained. It is likewise The strike staged by the union in 1972 was a futile move. The law then
true that in the case of petitioner, there was no written clearance in the usual enforced, Republic Act 875 specifically excluded respondent company from
form. But while there may not have been strict compliance with Article 267 its coverage. Even if the parties had gone to court to compel recognition, no
there was substantial compliance. The Secretary of Labor twice manifested positive relief could have been obtained since the same was not sanctioned
his conformity to petitioner's dismissal. by law. Because of this, there was no necessity on the part of private
respondent to show specific acts of petitioner during the strike to justify his
dismissal.
The first manifestation of acquiescence by the Secretary of Labor to the
dismissal of petitioner was his affirmance of the decision of the arbitrator in
NLRC Case Nos. 0021 and 0285. The arbitrator ordered the reinstatement This is a matter of responsibility and of answerability. Petitioner as a union
of the strikers but subject to the decision of the CFI of Bulacan in Civil leader, must see to it that the policies and activities of the union in the
Case No. 750-V. The Secretary of Labor affirmed the decision of the conduct of labor relations are within the precepts of law and any deviation
arbitrator. In effect, therefore, the Secretary of Labor issued a carte from the legal boundaries shall be imputable to the leader. He bears the
blanche to the CFI of Bulacan to either dismiss or retain petitioner. responsibility of guiding the union along the path of law and to cause the
union to demand what is not legally demandable, would foment anarchy
which is a prelude to chaos.
The second manifestation was his decision in NLRC Case No. RB-IV-1764-
65 wherein he said that clearance for the dismissal of petitioner was not
required, but only a report; that even if an application for clearance was Petitioner should have known and it was his duty to impart this imputed
filed, he would have treated it as a mere report. While this is knowledge to the members of the union that employees and laborers in non-
not prior clearance in the contemplation of Article 267, it is at least profit organizations are not covered by the provisions of the Industrial Peace
a ratification of the dismissal of petitioner. 6 Act and the Court of Industrial Relations [in the case at bar, the Court of
First Instance] has no jurisdiction to entertain petitions of labor unions or
organizations of said non-profit organizations for certification as the
We agree with the Solicitor General. Technically speaking, no clearance
exclusive bargaining representatives of said employees and laborers. 7
was obtained by private respondent from the then Secretary of Labor, the
last step towards full compliance with the requirements of law on the matter
of dismissal of employees. However, the rationale behind the clearance As a strike is an economic weapon at war with the policy of the Constitution
requirement was fully met. The Secretary of Labor was apprised of private and the law at that time, a resort thereto by laborers shall be deemed to be a
respondent's intention to terminate the services of petitioner. This in effect choice of remedy peculiarly their own and outside of the statute, and as
is an application for clearance to dismiss petitioner from employment. The such, the strikers must accept all the risks attendant upon their choice. If
affirmance of the restrictive condition in the dispositive portion of the labor they succeed and the employer succumbs, the law will not stand in their
way in the enjoyment of the lawful fruits of their victory. But if they fail,
they cannot thereafter invoke the protection of the law for the consequences
of their conduct unless the right they wished vindicated is one which the
law will, by all means, protect and enforce. 8

We further agree with the Acting Secretary of Labor that what was required
in the case of petitioner's dismissal was only a report as provided under
Section 11 [f] of Rule XIV of the Rules and Regulations implementing the
Labor Code which provides:

Every employer shall submit a report to the Regional Office in accordance


with the form presented by the Department on the following instances of
termination of employment, suspension, lay-off or shutdown which may be
effected by the employer without prior clearance within five [5] days
thereafter:

xxx xxx xxx

[f] All other terminations of employment, suspension, lay-offs or


shutdowns, not otherwise specified in this and in the immediately preceding
sections.

To hold otherwise would render nugatory the conditions set forth in the
decision of Labor Arbiter Aguas on the basis of which petitioner was
temporarily reinstated.

Inasmuch as there was a valid and reasonable ground to dismiss petitioner


but no report as required by the implementing rules and regulations of the
Labor Code was filed by respondent Company with the then Department of
Labor, petitioner as held by the Acting Secretary of Labor, is entitled to
separation pay equivalent to one-half month salary for every year of service.

WHEREFORE, the petition is dismissed. The decision of the acting


Secretary of Labor is AFFIRMED in toto.
G.R. No. 181531 July 31, 2009 Arbiter Ma. Simonette Calabocal to decide which among those votes would
be opened and tallied. Eleven (11) votes were initially segregated because
NATIONAL UNION OF WORKERS IN HOTELS, RESTAURANTS they were cast by dismissed employees, albeit the legality of their dismissal
AND ALLIED INDUSTRIES- MANILA PAVILION HOTEL was still pending before the Court of Appeals. Six other votes were
CHAPTER, Petitioner, vs. SECRETARY OF LABOR AND segregated because the employees who cast them were already
EMPLOYMENT, BUREAU OF LABOR RELATIONS, HOLIDAY occupying supervisory positions at the time of the election. Still five other
INN MANILA PAVILION HOTEL LABOR UNION AND ACESITE votes were segregated on the ground that they were cast
PHILIPPINES HOTEL CORPORATION, Respondents. by probationary employees and, pursuant to the existing Collective
Bargaining Agreement (CBA), such employees cannot vote. It bears noting
early on, however, that the vote of one Jose Gatbonton (Gatbonton), a
CARPIO MORALES, J.:
probationary employee, was counted.
National Union of Workers in Hotels, Restaurants and Allied Industries –
Manila Pavilion Hotel Chapter (NUWHRAIN-MPHC), herein petitioner, By Order of August 22, 2006, Med-Arbiter Calabocal ruled for the opening
seeks the reversal of the Court of Appeals November 8, 2007 Decision1 and of 17 out of the 22 segregated votes, specially those cast by the 11
dismissed employees and those cast by the six supposedly supervisory
of the Secretary of Labor and Employment’s January 25, 2008
employees of the Hotel.
Resolution2 in OS-A-9-52-05 which affirmed the Med-Arbiter’s Resolutions
dated January 22, 20073 and March 22, 2007.4
Petitioner, which garnered 151 votes, appealed to the Secretary of Labor
A certification election was conducted on June 16, 2006 among the rank- and Employment (SOLE), arguing that the votes of the probationary
employees should have been opened considering that probationary
and-file employees of respondent Holiday Inn Manila Pavilion Hotel (the
employee Gatbonton’s vote was tallied. And petitioner averred that
Hotel) with the following results:
respondent HIMPHLU, which garnered 169 votes, should not be
immediately certified as the bargaining agent, as the opening of the 17
EMPLOYEES IN VOTERS’ LIST = 353 segregated ballots would push the number of valid votes cast to 338 (151 +
169 + 1 + 17), hence, the 169 votes which HIMPHLU garnered would be
TOTAL VOTES CAST = 346 one vote short of the majority which would then become 169.
NUWHRAIN-MPHC = 151
By the assailed Resolution of January 22, 2007, the Secretary of Labor and
HIMPHLU = 169 Employment (SOLE), through then Acting Secretary Luzviminda Padilla,
affirmed the Med-Arbiter’s Order. It held that pursuant to Section 5, Rule
NO UNION = 1 IX of the Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code on exclusion and
inclusion of voters in a certification election, the probationary employees
SPOILED = 3 cannot vote, as at the time the Med-Arbiter issued on August 9, 2005 the
Order granting the petition for the conduct of the certification election, the
SEGREGATED = 22 six probationary employees were not yet hired, hence, they could not vote.

In view of the significant number of segregated votes, contending unions, The SOLE further held that, with respect to the votes cast by the 11
petitioner, NUHWHRAIN-MPHC, and respondent Holiday Inn Manila dismissed employees, they could be considered since their dismissal was
Pavillion Hotel Labor Union (HIMPHLU), referred the case back to Med- still pending appeal.
As to the votes cast by the six alleged supervisory employees, the SOLE The appellate court brushed aside petitioner’s contention that the opening of
held that their votes should be counted since their promotion took effect the 17 segregated votes would materially affect the results of the election as
months after the issuance of the above-said August 9, 2005 Order of the there would be the likelihood of a run-off election in the event none of the
Med-Arbiter, hence, they were still considered as rank-and-file. contending unions receive a majority of the valid votes cast. It held that the
"majority" contemplated in deciding which of the unions in a certification
Respecting Gatbonton’s vote, the SOLE ruled that the same could be the election is the winner refers to the majority of valid votes cast, not the
basis to include the votes of the other probationary employees, as the simple majority of votes cast, hence, the SOLE was correct in ruling that
records show that during the pre-election conferences, there was no even if the 17 votes were in favor of petitioner, it would still be insufficient
disagreement as to his inclusion in the voters’ list, and neither was it timely to overturn the results of the certification election.
challenged when he voted on election day, hence, the Election Officer could
not then segregate his vote. Petitioner’s motion for reconsideration having been denied by Resolution of
January 25, 2008, the present recourse was filed.
The SOLE further ruled that even if the 17 votes of the dismissed and
supervisory employees were to be counted and presumed to be in favor of Petitioner’s contentions may be summarized as follows:
petitioner, still, the same would not suffice to overturn the 169 votes
garnered by HIMPHLU. 1. Inclusion of Jose Gatbonton’s vote but excluding the vote of the
six other probationary employees violated the principle of equal
In fine, the SOLE concluded that the certification of HIMPHLU as the protection and is not in accord with the ruling in Airtime
exclusive bargaining agent was proper. Specialists, Inc. v. Ferrer-Calleja;

Petitioner’s motion for reconsideration having been denied by the SOLE by 2. The time of reckoning for purposes of determining when the
Resolution of March 22, 2007, it appealed to the Court of Appeals. probationary employees can be allowed to vote is not August 9,
2005 – the date of issuance by Med-Arbiter Calabocal of the Order
By the assailed Decision promulgated on November 8, 2007, the appellate granting the conduct of certification elections, but March 10, 2006
court affirmed the ruling of the SOLE. It held that, contrary to petitioner’s – the date the SOLE Order affirmed the Med-Arbiter’s Order.
assertion, the ruling in Airtime Specialist, Inc. v. Ferrer Calleja 5 stating that
in a certification election, all rank-and-file employees in the appropriate 3. Even if the votes of the six probationary employees were
bargaining unit, whether probationary or permanent, are entitled to vote, is included, still, HIMPHLU could not be considered as having
inapplicable to the case at bar. For, the appellate court continued, the six obtained a majority of the valid votes cast as the opening of the 17
probationary employees were not yet employed by the Hotel at the time the ballots would increase the number of valid votes from 321 to 338,
August 9, 2005 Order granting the certification election was issued. It thus hence, for HIMPHLU to be certified as the exclusive bargaining
held that Airtime Specialist applies only to situations wherein the agent, it should have garnered at least 170, not 169, votes.
probationary employees were already employed as of the date of filing of
the petition for certification election. Petitioner justifies its not challenging Gatbonton’s vote because it was
precisely its position that probationary employees should be allowed to
Respecting Gatbonton’s vote, the appellate court upheld the SOLE’s finding vote. It thus avers that justice and equity dictate that since Gatbonton’s vote
that since it was not properly challenged, its inclusion could no longer be was counted, then the votes of the 6 other probationary employees should
questioned, nor could it be made the basis to include the votes of the six likewise be included in the tally.
probationary employees.
Petitioner goes on to posit that the word "order" in Section 5, Rule 9 of bargaining." Collective bargaining covers all aspects of the employment
Department Order No. 40-03 reading "[A]ll employees who are members of relation and the resultant CBA negotiated by the certified union binds all
the appropriate bargaining unit sought to be represented by the petitioner at employees in the bargaining unit. Hence, all rank and file employees,
the time of the issuance of the order granting the conduct of certification probationary or permanent, have a substantial interest in the selection of the
election shall be allowed to vote" refers to an order which has already bargaining representative. The Code makes no distinction as to their
become final and executory, in this case the March 10, 2002 Order of the employment status as basis for eligibility in supporting the petition for
SOLE. certification election. The law refers to "all" the employees in the
bargaining unit. All they need to be eligible to support the petition is to
Petitioner thus concludes that if March 10, 2006 is the reckoning date for belong to the "bargaining unit." (Emphasis supplied)
the determination of the eligibility of workers, then all the segregated votes
cast by the probationary employees should be opened and counted, they Rule II, Sec. 2 of Department Order No. 40-03, series of 2003, which
having already been working at the Hotel on such date. amended Rule XI of the Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code,
provides:
Respecting the certification of HIMPHLU as the exclusive bargaining
agent, petitioner argues that the same was not proper for if the 17 votes Rule II
would be counted as valid, then the total number of votes cast would have
been 338, not 321, hence, the majority would be 170; as such, the votes Section 2. Who may join labor unions and workers' associations. - All
garnered by HIMPHLU is one vote short of the majority for it to be certified persons employed in commercial, industrial and agricultural enterprises,
as the exclusive bargaining agent. including employees of government owned or controlled corporations
without original charters established under the Corporation Code, as well as
The relevant issues for resolution then are first, whether employees on employees of religious, charitable, medical or educational institutions
probationary status at the time of the certification elections should be whether operating for profit or not, shall have the right to self-organization
allowed to vote, and second, whether HIMPHLU was able to obtain the and to form, join or assist labor unions for purposes of collective
required majority for it to be certified as the exclusive bargaining agent. bargaining: provided, however, that supervisory employees shall not be
eligible for membership in a labor union of the rank-and-file employees but
On the first issue, the Court rules in the affirmative. may form, join or assist separate labor unions of their own. Managerial
employees shall not be eligible to form, join or assist any labor unions for
The inclusion of Gatbonton’s vote was proper not because it was not purposes of collective bargaining. Alien employees with valid working
questioned but because probationary employees have the right to vote in a permits issued by the Department may exercise the right to self-organization
and join or assist labor unions for purposes of collective bargaining if they
certification election. The votes of the six other probationary employees
are nationals of a country which grants the same or similar rights to Filipino
should thus also have been counted. As Airtime Specialists, Inc. v. Ferrer-
workers, as certified by the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Calleja holds:

In a certification election, all rank and file employees in the appropriate For purposes of this section, any employee, whether employed for a definite
period or not, shall beginning on the first day of his/her service, be eligible
bargaining unit, whether probationary or permanent are entitled to vote.
for membership in any labor organization.
This principle is clearly stated in Art. 255 of the Labor Code which states
that the "labor organization designated or selected by the majority of the
employees in an appropriate bargaining unit shall be the exclusive All other workers, including ambulant, intermittent and other workers, the
representative of the employees in such unit for purposes of collective self-employed, rural workers and those without any definite employers may
form labor organizations for their mutual aid and protection and other The order granting the conduct of a certification election shall state the
legitimate purposes except collective bargaining. (Emphasis supplied) following:

The provision in the CBA disqualifying probationary employees from (a) the name of the employer or establishment;
voting cannot override the Constitutionally-protected right of workers to
self-organization, as well as the provisions of the Labor Code and its (b) the description of the bargaining unit;
Implementing Rules on certification elections and jurisprudence thereon.
(c) a statement that none of the grounds for dismissal enumerated
A law is read into, and forms part of, a contract. Provisions in a contract are in the succeeding paragraph exists;
valid only if they are not contrary to law, morals, good customs, public
order or public policy.6
(d) the names of contending labor unions which shall appear as
follows: petitioner union/s in the order in which their petitions
Rule XI, Sec. 5 of D.O. 40-03, on which the SOLE and the appellate court were filed, forced intervenor, and no union; and
rely to support their position that probationary employees hired after the
issuance of the Order granting the petition for the conduct of certification
(e) a directive upon the employer and the contending union(s) to
election must be excluded, should not be read in isolation and must be
submit within ten (10) days from receipt of the order, the certified
harmonized with the other provisions of D.O. Rule XI, Sec. 5 of D.O. 40- list of employees in the bargaining unit, or where necessary, the
03, viz: payrolls covering the members of the bargaining unit for the last
three (3) months prior to the issuance of the order. (Emphasis
Rule XI supplied)

Section 5. Qualification of voters; inclusion-exclusion. - All employees who Section 21. Decision of the Secretary. - The Secretary shall have fifteen (15)
are members of the appropriate bargaining unit sought to be represented by days from receipt of the entire records of the petition within which to decide
the petitioner at the time of the issuance of the order granting the conduct of the appeal. The filing of the memorandum of appeal from the order or
a certification election shall be eligible to vote. An employee who has been decision of the Med-Arbiter stays the holding of any certification election.
dismissed from work but has contested the legality of the dismissal in a
forum of appropriate jurisdiction at the time of the issuance of the order for The decision of the Secretary shall become final and executory after ten
the conduct of a certification election shall be considered a qualified voter,
(10) days from receipt thereof by the parties. No motion for reconsideration
unless his/her dismissal was declared valid in a final judgment at the time of
of the decision shall be entertained. (Emphasis supplied)
the conduct of the certification election. (Emphasis supplied)
In light of the immediately-quoted provisions, and prescinding from the
xxxx principle that all employees are, from the first day of their employment,
eligible for membership in a labor organization, it is evident that
Section 13. Order/Decision on the petition. - Within ten (10) days from the the period of reckoning indetermining who shall be included in the list of
date of the last hearing, the Med-Arbiter shall issue a formal order granting eligible voters is, in cases where a timely appeal has been
the petition or a decision denying the same. In organized establishments, filed fromthe Order of the Med-
however, no order or decision shall be issued by the Med-Arbiter during the Arbiter, the date when the Order of the Secretary of Labor and Employment
freedom period. , whether affirmingor denying the appeal, becomes final and executory.
The filing of an appeal to the SOLE from the Med-Arbiter’s Order stays its during the pendency of the appeal. More importantly, reckoning the date of
execution, in accordance with Sec. 21, and rationally, the Med-Arbiter the issuance of the Med-Arbiter’s Order as the cut-off date would render
cannot direct the employer to furnish him/her with the list of eligible voters inutile the remedy of appeal to the SOLE.1avvph!1
pending the resolution of the appeal.
But while the Court rules that the votes of all the probationary employees
During the pendency of the appeal, the employer may hire additional should be included, under the particular circumstances of this case and the
employees. To exclude the employees hired after the issuance of the Med- period of time which it took for the appeal to be decided, the votes of the six
Arbiter’s Order but before the appeal has been resolved would violate the supervisory employees must be excluded because at the time the
guarantee that every employee has the right to be part of a labor certification elections was conducted, they had ceased to be part of the rank
organization from the first day of their service. and file, their promotion having taken effect two months before the election.

In the present case, records show that the probationary employees, including As to whether HIMPHLU should be certified as the exclusive bargaining
Gatbonton, were included in the list of employees in the bargaining unit agent, the Court rules in the negative. It is well-settled that under the so-
submitted by the Hotel on May 25, 2006 in compliance with the directive of called "double majority rule," for there to be a valid certification election,
the Med-Arbiter after the appeal and subsequent motion for reconsideration majority of the bargaining unit must have voted AND the winning union
have been denied by the SOLE, rendering the Med-Arbiter’s August 22, must have garnered majority of the valid votes cast.
2005 Order final and executory 10 days after the March 22, 2007
Resolution (denying the motion for reconsideration of the January 22 Order Prescinding from the Court’s ruling that all the probationary employees’
denying the appeal), and rightly so. Because, for purposes of self- votes should be deemed valid votes while that of the supervisory employees
organization, those employees are, in light of the discussion above, deemed should be excluded, it follows that the number of valid votes cast would
eligible to vote. increase – from 321 to 337. Under Art. 256 of the Labor Code, the union
obtaining the majority of the valid votes cast by the eligible voters shall be
A certification election is the process of determining the sole and exclusive certified as the sole and exclusive bargaining agent of all the workers in the
bargaining agent of the employees in an appropriate bargaining unit for appropriate bargaining unit. This majority is 50% + 1. Hence, 50% of 337 is
purposes of collective bargaining. Collective bargaining, refers to the 168.5 + 1 or at least 170.
negotiated contract between a legitimate labor organization and the
employer concerning wages, hours of work and all other terms and HIMPHLU obtained 169 while petitioner received 151 votes. Clearly,
conditions of employment in a bargaining unit.7 HIMPHLU was not able to obtain a majority vote. The position of both the
SOLE and the appellate court that the opening of the 17 segregated ballots
The significance of an employee’s right to vote in a certification election will not materially affect the outcome of the certification election as for, so
cannot thus be overemphasized. For he has considerable interest in the they contend, even if such member were all in favor of petitioner, still,
determination of who shall represent him in negotiating the terms and HIMPHLU would win, is thus untenable.
conditions of his employment.
It bears reiteration that the true importance of ascertaining the number of
Even if the Implementing Rules gives the SOLE 20 days to decide the valid votes cast is for it to serve as basis for computing the required
appeal from the Order of the Med-Arbiter, experience shows that it majority, and not just to determine which union won the elections. The
sometimes takes months to be resolved. To rule then that only those opening of the segregated but valid votes has thus become material. To be
employees hired as of the date of the issuance of the Med-Arbiter’s Order sure, the conduct of a certification election has a two-fold objective: to
are qualified to vote would effectively disenfranchise employees hired determine the appropriate bargaining unit and to ascertain the majority
representation of the bargaining representative, if the employees desire to be
represented at all by anyone. It is not simply the determination of who
between two or more contending unions won, but whether it effectively
ascertains the will of the members of the bargaining unit as to whether they
want to be represented and which union they want to represent them.

Having declared that no choice in the certification election conducted


obtained the required majority, it follows that a run-off election must be
held to determine which between HIMPHLU and petitioner should
represent the rank-and-file employees.

A run-off election refers to an election between the labor unions receiving


the two (2) highest number of votes in a certification or consent election
with three (3) or more choices, where such a certified or consent election
results in none of the three (3) or more choices receiving the majority of the
valid votes cast; provided that the total number of votes for all contending
unions is at least fifty percent (50%) of the number of votes cast. 8 With 346
votes cast, 337 of which are now deemed valid and HIMPHLU having only
garnered 169 and petitioner having obtained 151 and the choice "NO
UNION" receiving 1 vote, then the holding of a run-off election between
HIMPHLU and petitioner is in order.

WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The Decision dated November


8, 2007 and Resolution dated January 25, 2008 of the Court of Appeals
affirming the Resolutions dated January 22, 2007 and March 22, 2007,
respectively, of the Secretary of Labor and Employment in OS-A-9-52-05
are ANNULLED and SET ASIDE.

The Department of Labor and Employment-Bureau of Labor Relations is


DIRECTED to cause the holding of a run-off election between petitioner,
National Union of Workers in Hotels, Restaurants and Allied Industries-
Manila Pavilion Hotel Chapter (NUWHRAIN-MPC), and respondent
Holiday Inn Manila Pavilion Hotel Labor Union (HIMPHLU).
G.R. No. 211145, October 14, 2015 Peninsula, Sitio Agustin, Barangay Cawag, Subic Bay Freeport Zone, filed
a petition7 with DOLE-Pampanga praying for the cancellation of
SAMAHAN NG MANGGAGAWA SA HANJIN SHIPYARD REP. BY registration of Samahan's association on the ground that its members did not
ITS PRESIDENT, ALFIE ALIPIO, Petitioner, v. BUREAU OF LABOR fall under any of the types of workers enumerated in the second sentence of
RELATIONS, HANJIN HEAVY INDUSTRIES AND Article 243 (now 249).
CONSTRUCTION CO., LTD. (HHIC-PHIL.), Respondents.
Hanjin opined that only ambulant, intermittent, itinerant, rural workers, self-
employed, and those without definite employers may form a workers'
MENDOZA, J.:
association. It further posited that one third (1/3) of the members of the
association had definite employers and the continued existence and
The right to self-organization is not limited to unionism. Workers may also registration of the association would prejudice the company's goodwill.
form or join an association for mutual aid and protection and for other
legitimate purposes. On March 18, 2010, Hanjin filed a supplemental petition, 8 adding the
alternative ground that Samahan committed a misrepresentation in
connection with the list of members and/or voters who took part in the
This is a petition for review on certiorari seeking to reverse and set aside ratification of their constitution and by-laws in its application for
the July 4, 2013 Decision1 and the January 28, 2014 Resolution2 of the registration. Hanjin claimed that Samahan made it appear that its members
Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. SP No. 123397, which reversed the were all qualified to become members of the workers' association.
November 28, 2011 Resolution3 of the Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR)
and reinstated the April 20, 2010 Decision4 of the Department of Labor and On March 26, 2010, DOLE-Pampanga called for a conference, wherein
Employment (DOLE) Regional Director, cancelling the registration of Samahan requested for a 10-day period to file a responsive pleading. No
Samahan ng Manggagawa sa Hanjin Shipyard (Samahan) as a worker's pleading, however, was submitted. Instead, Samahan filed a motion to
association under Article 243 (now Article 249) of the Labor Code. dismiss on April 14, 2010.9

The Facts The Ruling of the DOLE Regional Director

On February 16, 2010, Samahan, through its authorized representative, On April 20, 2010, DOLE Regional Director Ernesto Bihis ruled in favor of
Alfie F. Alipio, filed an application for registration5 of its name "Samahan Hanjin. He found that the preamble, as stated in the Constitution and By-
ng Mga Manggagawa sa Hanjin Shipyard" with the DOLE. Attached to the Laws of Samahan, was an admission on its part that all of its members were
application were the list of names of the association's officers and members, employees of Hanjin, to wit:
signatures of the attendees of the February 7, 2010 meeting, copies of their
Constitution and By-laws. The application stated that the association had a KAMI, ang mga Manggagawa sa HANJIN Shipyard (SAMAHAN) ay
total of 120 members. naglalayong na isulong ang pagpapabuti ng kondisyon sa paggawa at
katiyakan sa hanapbuhay sa pamamagitan ng patuloy na pagpapaunlad ng
On February 26, 2010, the DOLE Regional Office No. 3, City of San kasanayan ng para sa mga kasapi nito. Naniniwala na sa pamamagitan ng
Fernando, Pampanga (DOLE-Pampanga), issued the corresponding aming mga angking lakas, kaalaman at kasanayan ay anting maitataguyod
certificate of registration6 in favor of Samahan. at makapag-aambag sa kaunlaran ng isang lipunan. Na mararating at
makakamit ang antas ng pagkilala, pagdakila at pagpapahalaga sa mga
On March 15, 2010, respondent Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction tulad naming mga manggagawa.
Co., Ltd. Philippines (Hanjin), with offices at Greenbeach 1, Renondo
x x x10 On September 6, 2010, the BLR granted Samahan's appeal and reversed the
ruling of the Regional Director. It stated that the law clearly afforded the
The same claim was made by Samahan in its motion to dismiss, but it failed right to self-organization to all workers including those without definite
to adduce evidence that the remaining 63 members were also employees of employers.16 As an expression of the right to self-organization, industrial,
Hanjin. Its admission bolstered Hanjin's claim that Samahan committed commercial and self-employed workers could form a workers' association if
misrepresentation in its application for registration as it made an express they so desired but subject to the limitation that it was only for mutual aid
representation that all of its members were employees of the former. Having and protection.17 Nowhere could it be found that to form a workers'
a definite employer, these 57 members should have formed a labor union for association was prohibited or that the exercise of a workers' right to self-
collective bargaining.11 The dispositive portion of the decision of the Dole organization was limited to collective bargaining.18
Regional Director, reads:
The BLR was of the opinion that there was no misrepresentation on the part
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is hereby GRANTED. of Samahan. The phrase, "KAMI, ang mga Manggagawa sa Hanjin
Consequently, the Certificate of Registration as Legitimate Workers Shipyard" if translated, would be: "We, the workers at Hanjin Shipyard."
Association (LWA) issued to the SAMAHAN NG MGA MANGGAGAWA The use of the preposition "at" instead of "of " would indicate that "Hanjin
SA HANJIN SHIPYARD (SAMAHAN) with Registration Numbers Shipyard" was intended to describe a place.19 Should Hanjin feel that the
R0300-1002-WA-009 dated February 26, 2010 is hereby CANCELLED, use of its name had affected the goodwill of the company, the remedy was
and said association is dropped from the roster of labor organizations of this not to seek the cancellation of the association's registration. At most, the use
Office. by Samahan of the name "Hanjin Shipyard" would only warrant a change in
the name of the association.20 Thus, the dispositive portion of the BLR
SO DECIDED.12 decision reads:

The Ruling of the Bureau of Labor Relations WHEREFORE, the appeal is hereby GRANTED. The Order of DOLE
Region III Director Ernesto C. Bihis dated 20 April 2010 is REVERSED
Aggrieved, Samahan filed an appeal13 before the BLR, arguing that Hanjin and SET ASIDE.
had no right to petition for the cancellation of its registration. Samahan
pointed out that the words "Hanjin Shipyard," as used in its application for Accordingly, Samahan ng mga Manggagawa sa Hanjin Shipyard shall
registration, referred to a workplace and not as employer or company. It remain in the roster of legitimate workers' association.21
explained that when a shipyard was put up in Subic, Zambales, it became On October 14, 2010, Hanjin filed its motion for reconsideration. 22
known as Hanjin Shipyard. Further, the remaining 63 members signed
the Sama-Samang Pagpapatunay which stated that they were either In its Resolution,23 dated November 28, 2011, the BLR affirmed its
working or had worked at Hanjin. Thus, the alleged misrepresentation September 6, 2010 Decision, but directed Samahan to remove the words
committed by Samahan had no leg to stand on.14 "Hanjin Shipyard" from its name. The BLR explained that the Labor Code
had no provision on the use of trade or business name in the naming of a
In its Comment to the Appeal,15 Hanjin averred that it was a party-in- worker's association, such matters being governed by the Corporation Code.
interest. It reiterated that Samahan committed misrepresentation in its According to the BLR, the most equitable relief that would strike a balance
application for registration before DOLE Pampanga. While Samahan between the contending interests of Samahan and Hanjin was to direct
insisted that the remaining 63 members were either working, or had at least Samahan to drop the name "Hanjin Shipyard" without delisting it from the
worked in Hanjin, only 10 attested to such fact, thus, leaving its 53 roster of legitimate labor organizations. The fallo reads:
members without any workplace to claim.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, our Decision dated 6 September 2010 the 120 members were actually working in Hanjin while the phrase in the
is hereby AFFIRMED with a DIRECTIVE for SAMAHAN to remove preamble of Samahan's Constitution and By-laws, "KAMI, ang mga
"HANJIN SHIPYARD" from its name. Manggagawa sa Hanjin Shipyard" created an impression that all its
members were employees of HHIC. Such unqualified manifestation which
SO RESOLVED.24 was used in its application for registration, was a clear proof of
misrepresentation which warranted the cancellation of Samahan's
registration.
Unsatisfied, Samahan filed a petition for certiorari25 under Rule 65 before
the CA, docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 123397. It also stated that the members of Samahan could not register it as a
legitimate worker's association because the place where Hanjin's industry
was located was not a rural area. Neither was there any evidence to show
In its March 21, 2012 Resolution,26 the CA dismissed the petition because that the members of the association were ambulant, intermittent or itinerant
of Samahan's failure to file a motion for reconsideration of the assailed workers.36
November 28, 2011 Resolution.
At any rate, the CA was of the view that dropping the words "Hanjin
Shipyard" from the association name would not prejudice or impair its right
On April 17, 2012, Samahan filed its motion for reconsideration27 and on to self-organization because it could adopt other appropriate names. The
July 18, 2012, Hanjin filed its comment28 to oppose the same. On October dispositive portion reads:
22, 2012, the CA issued a resolution granting Samahan's motion for WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED and the BLR's directive,
reconsideration and reinstating the petition. Hanjin was directed to file a ordering that the words "Hanjin Shipyard" be removed from petitioner
comment five (5) days from receipt of notice. 29 association's name, is AFFIRMED. The Decision dated April 20, 2010 of
the DOLE Regional Director in Case No. R0300-1003-CP-001, which
ordered the cancellation of petitioner association's registration is
On December 12, 2012, Hanjin filed its comment on the petition,30 arguing REINSTATED.
that to require Samahan to change its name was not tantamount to
interfering with the workers' right to self-organization.31 Thus, it prayed, SO ORDERED.37
among others, for the dismissal of the petition for Samahan's failure to file
the required motion for reconsideration.32 Hence, this petition, raising the following

ISSUES
33
On January 17, 2013, Samahan filed its reply.
I. THE COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED IN FINDING
THAT SAMAHAN CANNOT FORM A WORKERS' ASSOCIATION
On March 22, 2013, Hanjin filed its memorandum. 34 OF EMPLOYEES IN HANJIN AND INSTEAD SHOULD HAVE
FORMED A UNION, HENCE THEIR REGISTRATION AS A
The Ruling of the Court of Appeals WORKERS' ASSOCIATION SHOULD BE CANCELLED.

On July 4, 2013, the CA rendered its decision, holding that the registration II. THE COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED IN ORDERING
of Samahan as a legitimate workers' association was contrary to the THE REMOVAL/DELETION OF THE WORD "HANJIN" IN THE
provisions of Article 243 of the Labor Code. 35 It stressed that only 57 out of
NAME OF THE UNION BY REASON OF THE COMPANY'S [Emphasis Supplied]
PROPERTY RIGHT OVER THE COMPANY NAME "HANJIN."38
Samahan argues that the right to form a workers' association is not exclusive And Section 8, Article III of the 1987 Constitution also states:
to intermittent, ambulant and itinerant workers. While the Labor Code Section 8. The right of the people, including those employed in the public
allows the workers "to form, join or assist labor organizations of their own and private sectors, to form unions, associations, or societies for purposes
choosing" for the purpose of collective bargaining, it does not prohibit them not contrary to law shall not be abridged.
from forming a labor organization simply for purposes of mutual aid and
protection. All members of Samahan have one common place of work, In relation thereto, Article 3 of the Labor Code provides:
Hanjin Shipyard. Thus, there is no reason why they cannot use "Hanjin
Shipyard" in their name.39
Article 3. Declaration of basic policy. The State shall afford protection to
Hanjin counters that Samahan failed to adduce sufficient basis that all its labor, promote full employment, ensure equal work opportunities regardless
members were employees of Hanjin or its legitimate contractors, and that of sex, race or creed and regulate the relations between workers and
the use of the name "Hanjin Shipyard" would create an impression that all employers. The State shall assure the rights of workers to self-
its members were employess of HHIC.40 organization, collective bargaining, security of tenure, and just and
humane conditions of work. [Emphasis Supplied]
Samahan reiterates its stand that workers with a definite employer can
organize any association for purposes of mutual aid and protection. Inherent As Article 246 (now 252) of the Labor Code provides, the right to self-
in the workers' right to self-organization is its right to name its own organization includes the right to form, join or assist labor organizations for
organization. Samahan referred "Hanjin Shipyard" as their common place of the purpose of collective bargaining through representatives of their own
work. Therefore, they may adopt the same in their association's name. 41 choosing and to engage in lawful concerted activities for the same purpose
for their mutual aid and protection. This is in line with the policy of the
The Court's Ruling State to foster the free and voluntary organization of a strong and united
labor movement as well as to make sure that workers participate in policy
The petition is partly meritorious. and decision-making processes affecting their rights, duties and welfare.42

Right to self-organization includes right to form a union, workers' The right to form a union or association or to self-organization
association and labor management councils comprehends two notions, to wit: (a) the liberty or freedom, that is, the
absence of restraint which guarantees that the employee may act for himself
More often than not, the right to self-organization connotes unionism. without being prevented by law; and (b) the power, by virtue of which an
Workers, however, can also form and join a workers' association as well as employee may, as he pleases, join or refrain from joining an association. 43
labor-management councils (LMC). Expressed in the highest law of the land
is the right of all workers to self-organization. Section 3, Article XIII of the In view of the revered right of every worker to self-organization, the law
1987 Constitution states: expressly allows and even encourages the formation of labor organizations.
Section 3. The State shall afford full protection to labor, local and overseas, A labor organization is defined as "any union or association of employees
organized and unorganized, and promote full employment and equality of which exists in whole or in part for the purpose of collective bargaining or
employment opportunities for all. It shall guarantee the rights of all of dealing with employers concerning terms and conditions of
workers to self-organization, collective bargaining and negotiations, and employment."44 A labor organization has two broad rights: (1) to bargain
peaceful concerted activities, including the right to strike in accordance with collectively and (2) to deal with the employer concerning terms and
law. xxx conditions of employment. To bargain collectively is a right given to a
union once it registers itself with the DOLE. Dealing with the employer, on workers be employed in the establishment before they can participate in
the other hand, is a generic description of interaction between employer and policy and decision making processes.
employees concerning grievances, wages, work hours and other terms and
conditions of employment, even if the employees' group is not registered In contrast, the existence of employer-employee relationship is not
with the DOLE.45 mandatory in the formation of workers' association. What the law simply
requires is that the members of the workers' association, at the very least,
A union refers to any labor organization in the private sector organized for share the same interest. The very definition of a workers' association speaks
collective bargaining and for other legitimate purpose, 46 while a workers' of "mutual aid and protection."
association is an organization of workers formed for the mutual aid and
protection of its members or for any legitimate purpose other than collective Right to choose whether to form or join a union or workers' association
bargaining.47 belongs to workers themselves

Many associations or groups of employees, or even combinations of only In the case at bench, the Court cannot sanction the opinion of the CA that
several persons, may qualify as a labor organization yet fall short of Samahan should have formed a union for purposes of collective bargaining
constituting a labor union. While every labor union is a labor organization, instead of a workers' association because the choice belonged to it. The
not every labor organization is a labor union. The difference is one of right to form or join a labor organization necessarily includes the right to
organization, composition and operation.48 refuse or refrain from exercising the said right. It is self-evident that just as
no one should be denied the exercise of a right granted by law, so also, no
Collective bargaining is just one of the forms of employee participation. one should be compelled to exercise such a conferred right. 53 Also inherent
Despite so much interest in and the promotion of collective bargaining, it is in the right to self-organization is the right to choose whether to form a
incorrect to say that it is the device and no other, which secures industrial union for purposes of collective bargaining or a workers' association for
democracy. It is equally misleading to say that collective bargaining is the purposes of providing mutual aid and protection.
end-goal of employee representation. Rather, the real aim is employee
participation in whatever form it may appear, bargaining or no bargaining, The right to self-organization, however, is subject to certain limitations as
union or no union.49 Any labor organization which may or may not be a provided by law. For instance, the Labor Code specifically disallows
union may deal with the employer. This explains why a workers' association managerial employees from joining, assisting or forming any labor union.
or organization does not always have to be a labor union and why employer- Meanwhile, supervisory employees, while eligible for membership in labor
employee collective interactions are not always collective bargaining. 50 organizations, are proscribed from joining the collective bargaining unit of
the rank and file employees.54 Even government employees have the right to
To further strengthen employee participation, Article 255 (now 261) 51 of the self-organization. It is not, however, regarded as existing or available for
Labor Code mandates that workers shall have the right to participate in purposes of collective bargaining, but simply for the furtherance and
policy and decision-making processes of the establishment where they are protection of their interests.55
employed insofar as said processes will directly affect their rights, benefits
and welfare. For this purpose, workers and employers may form LMCs. Hanjin posits that the members of Samahan have definite employers, hence,
they should have formed a union instead of a workers' association. The
A cursory reading of the law demonstrates that a common element between Court disagrees. There is no provision in the Labor Code that states that
unionism and the formation of LMCs is the existence of an employer- employees with definite employers may form, join or assist unions only.
employee relationship. Where neither party is an employer nor an employee
of the other, no duty to bargain collectively would exist. 52 In the same The Court cannot subscribe either to Hanjin's position that Samahan's
manner, expressed in Article 255 (now 261) is the requirement that such
members cannot form the association because they are not covered by the eligible for membership in a labor union of the rank-and-file employees but
second sentence of Article 243 (now 249), to wit: may form, join or assist separate labor unions of their own. Managerial
employees shall not be eligible to form, join or assist any labor unions for
Article 243. Coverage and employees' right to self-organization. All purposes of collective bargaining. Alien employees with valid working
persons employed in commercial, industrial and agricultural enterprises and permits issued by the Department may exercise the right to self-organization
in religious, charitable, medical, or educational institutions, whether and join or assist labor unions for purposes of collective bargaining if they
operating for profit or not, shall have the right to self-organization and to are nationals of a country which grants the same or similar rights to Filipino
form, join, or assist labor organizations of their own choosing for purposes workers, as certified by the Department of Foreign Affairs.
of collective bargaining. Ambulant, intermittent and itinerant workers,
self-employed people, rural workers and those without any definite
employers may form labor organizations for their mutual aid and For purposes of this section, any employee, whether employed for a definite
protection. (As amended by Batas Pambansa Bilang 70, May 1, 1980) period or not, shall beginning on the first day of his/her service, be eligible
[Emphasis Supplied] for membership in any labor organization.

Further, Article 243 should be read together with Rule 2 of Department


Order (D.O.) No. 40-03, Series of 2003, which provides: All other workers, including ambulant, intermittent and other workers, the
self-employed, rural workers and those without any definite employers may
RULE II form labor organizations for their mutual aid and protection and other
legitimate purposes except collective bargaining.
COVERAGE OF THE RIGHT TO SELF-ORGANIZATION
[Emphases Supplied]
Section 1. Policy. - It is the policy of the State to promote the free and Clearly, there is nothing in the foregoing implementing rules which
responsible exercise of the right to self-organization through the provides that workers, with definite employers, cannot form or join a
establishment of a simplified mechanism for the speedy registration of labor workers' association for mutual aid and protection. Section 2 thereof even
unions and workers associations, determination of representation status and broadens the coverage of workers who can form or join a workers'
resolution of inter/intra-union and other related labor relations disputes. association. Thus, the Court agrees with Samahan's argument that the right
Only legitimate or registered labor unions shall have the right to represent to form a workers' association is not exclusive to ambulant, intermittent and
their members for collective bargaining and other purposes. Workers' itinerant workers. The option to form or join a union or a workers'
associations shall have the right to represent their members for purposes association lies with the workers themselves, and whether they have definite
other than collective bargaining. employers or not.

No misrepresentation on the part of Samahan to warrant cancellation of


Section 2. Who may join labor unions and workers' associations. - All registration
persons employed in commercial, industrial and agricultural enterprises,
including employees of government owned or controlled corporations In this case, Samahan's registration was cancelled not because its members
without original charters established under the Corporation Code, as well as were prohibited from forming a workers' association but because they
employees of religious, charitable, medical or educational institutions allegedly committed misrepresentation for using the phrase, "KAMI, ang
whether operating for profit or not, shall have the right to self-organization mga Manggagawa sa HAN JIN Shipyard."
and to form, join or assist labor unions for purposes of collective
bargaining: provided, however, that supervisory employees shall not be Misrepresentation, as a ground for the cancellation of registration of a labor
organization, is committed "in connection with the adoption, or ratification Based on the foregoing, the Court concludes that misrepresentation, to be a
of the constitution and by-laws or amendments thereto, the minutes of ground for the cancellation of the certificate of registration, must be done
ratification, the list of members who took part in the ratification of the maliciously and deliberately. Further, the mistakes appearing in the
constitution and by-laws or amendments thereto, and those in connection application or attachments must be grave or refer to significant matters. The
with the election of officers, minutes of the election of officers, and the list details as to how the alleged fraud was committed must also be indubitably
of voters, xxx."56 shown.

In Takata Corporation v. Bureau of Relations,57 the DOLE Regional The records of this case reveal no deliberate or malicious intent to commit
Director granted the petition for the cancellation of certificate of registration misrepresentation on the part of Samahan. The use of such words "KAMI,
of Samahang Lakas Manggagawa sa Takata (Salamat) after finding that the ang mga Manggagawa sa HANJIN Shipyard" in the preamble of the
employees who attended the organizational meeting fell short of the 20% constitution and by-laws did not constitute misrepresentation so as to
union registration requirement. The BLR, however, reversed the ruling of warrant the cancellation of Samahan's certificate of registration. Hanjin
the DOLE Regional Director, stating that petitioner Takata Corporation failed to indicate how this phrase constitutes a malicious and deliberate
(Takata) failed to prove deliberate and malicious misrepresentation on the misrepresentation. Neither was there any showing that the alleged
part of respondent Salamat. Although Takata claimed that in the list of misrepresentation was serious in character. Misrepresentation is a devious
members, there was an employee whose name appeared twice and another charge that cannot simply be entertained by mere surmises and conjectures.
was merely a project employee, such facts were not considered
misrepresentations in the absence of showing that the respondent Even granting arguendo that Samahan's members misrepresented
deliberately did so for the purpose of increasing their union membership. themselves as employees or workers of Hanjin, said misrepresentation does
The Court ruled in favor of Salamat. not relate to the adoption or ratification of its constitution and by-laws or to
the election of its officers.
In S.S. Ventures International v. S.S. Ventures Labor Union,58 the petition
for cancellation of certificate of registration was denied. The Court wrote: Removal of the word "Hanjin Shipyard" from the association's name,
If the union's application is infected by falsification and like serious however, does not infringe on Samahan's right to self-organization
irregularities, especially those appearing on the face of the application and
its attachments, a union should be denied recognition as a legitimate Nevertheless, the Court agrees with the BLR that "Hanjin Shipyard" must
labor organization. Prescinding from these considerations, the issuance to be removed in the name of the association. A legitimate workers'
the Union of Certificate of Registration No. RO300-00-02-UR-0003 association refers to an association of workers organized for mutual aid and
necessarily implies that its application for registration and the supporting protection of its members or for any legitimate purpose other than collective
documents thereof are prima facie free from any vitiating irregularities. bargaining registered with the DOLE.59 Having been granted a certificate of
Another factor which militates against the veracity of the allegations in registration, Samahan's association is now recognized by law as a legitimate
the Sinumpaang Petisyon is the lack of particularities on how, when and workers' association.
where respondent union perpetrated the alleged fraud on each
member. Such details are crucial for in the proceedings for cancellation According to Samahan, inherent in the workers' right to self-organization is
of union registration on the ground of fraud or misrepresentation, what its right to name its own organization. It seems to equate the dropping of
needs to be established is that the specific act or omission of the union words "Hanjin Shipyard" from its name as a restraint in its exercise of the
deprived the complaining employees-members of their right to choose. right to self-organization. Hanjin, on the other hand, invokes that "Hanjin
Shipyard" is a registered trade name and, thus, it is within their right to
[Emphases Supplied] prohibit its use.
As there is no provision under our labor laws which speak of the use of
name by a workers' association, the Court refers to the Corporation Code,
which governs the names of juridical persons. Section 18 thereof provides:
No corporate name may be allowed by the Securities and Exchange
Commission if the proposed name
is identical or deceptively or confusingly similar to that of any existing
corporation or to any other name already protected by law or is patently
deceptive, confusing or contrary to existing laws. When a change in the
corporate name is approved, the Commission shall issue an amended
certificate of incorporation under the amended name.

[Emphases Supplied]
The policy underlying the prohibition in Section 18 against the registration
of a corporate name which is "identical or deceptively or confusingly
similar" to that of any existing corporation or which is "patently deceptive"
or "patently confusing" or "contrary to existing laws," is the avoidance of
fraud upon the public which would have occasion to deal with the entity
concerned, the evasion of legal obligations and duties, and the reduction of
difficulties of administration and supervision over corporations. 60

For the same reason, it would be misleading for the members of Samahan to
use "Hanjin Shipyard" in its name as it could give the wrong impression that
all of its members are employed by Hanjin.

Further, Section 9, Rule IV of D.O. No. 40-03, Series of 2003 explicitly


states:
The change of name of a labor organization shall not affect its legal
personality. All the rights and obligations of a labor organization under its
old name shall continue to be exercised by the labor organization under its
new name.
Thus, in the directive of the BLR removing the words "Hanjin Shipyard,"
no abridgement of Samahan's right to self-organization was committed.

WHEREFORE, the petition is PARTIALLY GRANTED. The July 4,


2013 Decision and the January 28, 2014 Resolution of the Court of Appeals
are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The September 6, 2010
Resolution of the Bureau of Labor Relations, as modified by its November
28, 2011 Resolution, is REINSTATED.
G.R. No. 171153 September 12, 2007 the purpose of acquiring legal personality. 6 Upon submission of its charter
certificate and other documents, respondent was issued Certificate of
SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION EMPLOYEES UNION– Creation of Local or Chapter PDMP-01 by the BLR on 6 July
PHILIPPINE TRANSPORT AND GENERAL WORKERS 1999.7 Thereafter, respondent filed with the Med-Arbiter of the DOLE
ORGANIZATION (SMCEU–PTGWO), petitioner, Regional Officer in the National Capital Region (DOLE-NCR), three
vs. SAN MIGUEL PACKAGING PRODUCTS EMPLOYEES separate petitions for certification election to represent SMPP, SMCSU, and
UNION–PAMBANSANG DIWA NG MANGGAGAWANG PILIPINO SMBP.8 All three petitions were dismissed, on the ground that the separate
(SMPPEU–PDMP), respondent1. petitions fragmented a single bargaining unit.9

CHICO-NAZARIO, J.: On 17 August 1999, petitioner filed with the DOLE-NCR a petition seeking
the cancellation of respondent's registration and its dropping from the rolls
of legitimate labor organizations. In its petition, petitioner accused
In this Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Revised
Rules of Court, petitioner SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION EMPLOYEES respondent of committing fraud and falsification, and non-compliance with
UNION-PHILIPPINE TRANSPORT AND GENERAL WORKERS registration requirements in obtaining its certificate of registration. It raised
allegations that respondent violated Articles 239(a), (b) and (c) 10 and
ORGANIZATION (SMCEU-PTGWO) prays that this Court reverse and set
234(c)11 of the Labor Code. Moreover, petitioner claimed that PDMP is not
aside the (a) Decision2 dated 9 March 2005 of the Court of Appeals in CA-
a legitimate labor organization, but a trade union center, hence, it cannot
G.R. SP No. 66200, affirming the Decision3 dated 19 February 2001 of the
directly create a local or chapter. The petition was docketed as Case No.
Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR) of the Department of Labor and
Employment (DOLE) which upheld the Certificate of Registration of NCR-OD-9908-007-IRD.12
respondent SAN MIGUEL PACKAGING PRODUCTS EMPLOYEES
UNION–PAMBANSANG DIWA NG MANGGAGAWANG PILIPINO On 14 July 2000, DOLE-NCR Regional Director Maximo B. Lim issued an
(SMPPEU–PDMP); and (b) the Resolution4 dated 16 January 2006 of the Order dismissing the allegations of fraud and misrepresentation, and
Court of Appeals in the same case, denying petitioner's Motion for irregularity in the submission of documents by respondent. Regional
Reconsideration of the aforementioned Decision. Director Lim further ruled that respondent is allowed to directly create a
local or chapter. However, he found that respondent did not comply with the
20% membership requirement and, thus, ordered the cancellation of its
The following are the antecedent facts:
certificate of registration and removal from the rolls of legitimate labor
organizations.13 Respondent appealed to the BLR. In a Decision dated 19
Petitioner is the incumbent bargaining agent for the bargaining unit February 2001, it declared:
comprised of the regular monthly-paid rank and file employees of the three
divisions of San Miguel Corporation (SMC), namely, the San Miguel
As a chartered local union, appellant is not required to submit the
Corporate Staff Unit (SMCSU), San Miguel Brewing Philippines (SMBP),
number of employees and names of all its members comprising at
and the San Miguel Packaging Products (SMPP), in all offices and plants of
least 20% of the employees in the bargaining unit where it seeks to
SMC, including the Metal Closure and Lithography Plant in Laguna. It had
been the certified bargaining agent for 20 years – from 1987 to 1997. operate. Thus, the revocation of its registration based on non-
compliance with the 20% membership requirement does not have
any basis in the rules.
Respondent is registered as a chapter of Pambansang Diwa ng
Manggagawang Pilipino (PDMP). PDMP issued Charter Certificate No. 112
Further, although PDMP is considered as a trade union center, it
to respondent on 15 June 1999.5 In compliance with registration
requirements, respondent submitted the requisite documents to the BLR for is a holder of Registration Certificate No. FED-11558-LC issued
by the BLR on 14 February 1991, which bestowed upon it the respondent] is an affiliate of a registered federation PDMP, having
status of a legitimate labor organization with all the rights and been issued a charter certificate. Under the rules we have reviewed,
privileges to act as representative of its members for purposes of there is no need for SMPPEU to show a membership of 20% of the
collective bargaining agreement. On this basis, PDMP can charter employees of the bargaining unit in order to be recognized as a
or create a local, in accordance with the provisions of Department legitimate labor union.
Order No. 9.
xxxx
WHEREFORE, the appeal is hereby GRANTED. Accordingly, the
decision of the Regional Director dated July 14, 2000, canceling In view of the foregoing, the assailed decision and resolution of the
the registration of appellant San Miguel Packaging Products BLR are AFFIRMED, and the petition is DISMISSED.16
Employees Union-Pambansang Diwa ng Manggagawang Pilipino
(SMPPEU-PDMP) is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Appellant
Subsequently, in a Resolution dated 16 January 2006, the Court of Appeals
shall hereby remain in the roster of legitimate labor denied petitioner's Motion for Reconsideration of the aforementioned
organizations.14 Decision.

While the BLR agreed with the findings of the DOLE Regional Director
Hence, this Petition for Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of
dismissing the allegations of fraud and misrepresentation, and in upholding
Court where petitioner raises the sole issue of:
that PDMP can directly create a local or a chapter, it reversed the Regional
Director's ruling that the 20% membership is a requirement for respondent
to attain legal personality as a labor organization. Petitioner thereafter filed WHETHER OR NOT THE HONORABLE COURT OF
a Motion for Reconsideration with the BLR. In a Resolution rendered on 19 APPEALS COMMITTED REVERSIBLE ERROR IN RULING
June 2001 in BLR-A-C-64-05-9-00 (NCR-OD-9908-007-IRD), the BLR THAT PRIVATE RESPONDENT IS NOT REQUIRED TO
denied the Motion for Reconsideration and affirmed its Decision dated 19 SUBMIT THE NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES AND NAMES OF
February 2001.15 ALL ITS MEMBERS COMPRISING AT LEAST 20% OF THE
EMPLOYEES IN THE BARGAINING UNIT WHERE IT SEEKS
TO OPERATE.
Invoking the power of the appellate court to review decisions of quasi-
judicial agencies, petitioner filed with the Court of Appeals a Petition
for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure docketed The present petition questions the legal personality of respondent as a
as CA-G.R. SP No. 66200. The Court of Appeals, in a Decision dated 9 legitimate labor organization.
March 2005, dismissed the petition and affirmed the Decision of the BLR,
ruling as follows: Petitioner posits that respondent is required to submit a list of members
comprising at least 20% of the employees in the bargaining unit before it
In Department Order No. 9, a registered federation or national may acquire legitimacy, citing Article 234(c) of the Labor Code which
union may directly create a local by submitting to the BLR copies stipulates that any applicant labor organization, association or group of
of the charter certificate, the local's constitution and by-laws, the unions or workers shall acquire legal personality and shall be entitled to the
principal office address of the local, and the names of its officers rights and privileges granted by law to legitimate labor organizations upon
and their addresses. Upon complying with the documentary issuance of the certificate of registration based on the following
requirements, the local shall be issued a certificate and included in requirements:
the roster of legitimate labor organizations. The [herein
a. Fifty pesos (P50.00) registration fee; if during the term of this Agreement, a plant within the territory
covered by this Agreement is transferred outside but within a
b. The names of its officers, their addresses, the principal address radius of fifty (50) kilometers from the Rizal Monument, Rizal
of the labor organization, the minutes of the organizational Park, Metro Manila, the employees in the transferred plant shall
meetings and the list of the workers who participated in such remain in the bargaining unit covered by this Agreement.
meetings; (Emphasis supplied.)

c. The names of all its members comprising at least twenty percent Petitioner thus maintains that respondent, in any case, failed to meet this
(20%) of all the employees in the bargaining unit where it seeks to 20% membership requirement since it based its membership on the number
operate; of employees of a single division only, namely, the SMPP.

d. If the applicant union has been in existence for one or more There is merit in petitioner's contentions.
years, copies of its annual financial reports; and
A legitimate labor organization19 is defined as "any labor organization duly
e. Four (4) copies of the constitution and by-laws of the applicant registered with the Department of Labor and Employment, and includes any
union, minutes of its adoption or ratification and the list of the branch or local thereof."20 The mandate of the Labor Code is to ensure
members who participated in it.17 strict compliance with the requirements on registration because a legitimate
labor organization is entitled to specific rights under the Labor Code, 21 and
are involved in activities directly affecting matters of public interest.
Petitioner also insists that the 20% requirement for registration of
Registration requirements are intended to afford a measure of protection to
respondent must be based not on the number of employees of a single
unsuspecting employees who may be lured into joining unscrupulous or fly-
division, but in all three divisions of the company in all the offices and
by-night unions whose sole purpose is to control union funds or use the
plants of SMC since they are all part of one bargaining unit. Petitioner
refers to Section 1, Article 1 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement labor organization for illegitimate ends.22 Legitimate labor organizations
(CBA),18 quoted hereunder: have exclusive rights under the law which cannot be exercised by non-
legitimate unions, one of which is the right to be certified as the exclusive
representative23 of all the employees in an appropriate collective bargaining
ARTICLE 1 unit for purposes of collective bargaining.24 The acquisition of rights by any
union or labor organization, particularly the right to file a petition for
SCOPE certification election, first and foremost, depends on whether or not the
labor organization has attained the status of a legitimate labor
Section 1. Appropriate Bargaining Unit. The appropriate organization.25
bargaining unit covered by this Agreement consists of all regular
rank and file employees paid on the basis of fixed salary per month A perusal of the records reveals that respondent is registered with the BLR
and employed by the COMPANY in its Corporate Staff Units as a "local" or "chapter" of PDMP and was issued Charter Certificate No.
(CSU), San Miguel Brewing Products (SMBP) and San Miguel 112 on 15 June 1999. Hence, respondent was directly chartered by PDMP.
Packaging Products (SMPP) and in different operations existing in
the City of Manila and suburbs, including Metal Closure and The procedure for registration of a local or chapter of a labor organization is
Lithography Plant located at Canlubang, Laguna subject to the provided in Book V of the Implementing Rules of the Labor Code, as
provisions of Article XV of this Agreement provided however, that amended by Department Order No. 9 which took effect on 21 June 1997,
and again by Department Order No. 40 dated 17 February 2003. The personality is acquired from the filing of the complete documentary
Implementing Rules as amended by D.O. No. 9 should govern the requirements enumerated in Section 1, Rule VI.30
resolution of the petition at bar since respondent's petition for certification
election was filed with the BLR in 1999; and that of petitioner on 17 August Petitioner insists that Section 3 of the Implementing Rules, as amended by
1999.26 Department Order No. 9, violated Article 234 of the Labor Code when it
provided for less stringent requirements for the creation of a chapter or
The applicable Implementing Rules enunciates a two-fold procedure for the local. This Court disagrees.
creation of a chapter or a local. The first involves the affiliation of an
independent union with a federation or national union or industry union. Article 234 of the Labor Code provides that an independent labor
The second, finding application in the instant petition, involves the direct organization acquires legitimacy only upon its registration with the BLR:
creation of a local or a chapter through the process of chartering.27
Any applicant labor organization, association or group of unions or
A duly registered federation or national union may directly create a local or workers shall acquire legal personality and shall be entitled to the
chapter by submitting to the DOLE Regional Office or to the BLR two rights and privileges granted by law to legitimate labor
copies of the following: organizations upon issuance of the certificate of registration based
on the following requirements:
(a) A charter certificate issued by the federation or national union
indicating the creation or establishment of the local/chapter; (a) Fifty pesos (P50.00) registration fee;

(b) The names of the local/chapter's officers, their addresses, and (b) The names of its officers, their addresses, the principal address
the principal office of the local/chapter; and of the labor organization, the minutes of the organizational
meetings and the list of the workers who participated in such
(c) The local/chapter's constitution and by-laws; Provided, That meetings;
where the local/chapter's constitution and by-laws is the same as
that of the federation or national union, this fact shall be indicated (c) The names of all its members comprising at least twenty
accordingly. percent (20%) of all the employees in the bargaining unit where it
seeks to operate;
All the foregoing supporting requirements shall be certified under
oath by the Secretary or the Treasurer of the local/chapter and (d) If the applicant union has been in existence for one or more
attested to by its President.28 years, copies of its annual financial reports; and

The Implementing Rules stipulate that a local or chapter may be directly (e) Four (4) copies of the constitution and by-laws of the applicant
created by a federation or national union. A duly constituted local or union, minutes of its adoption or ratification, and the list of the
chapter created in accordance with the foregoing shall acquire legal members who participated in it. (Italics supplied.)
personality from the date of filing of the complete documents with the
BLR.29 The issuance of the certificate of registration by the BLR or the It is emphasized that the foregoing pertains to the registration of an
DOLE Regional Office is not the operative act that vests legal personality independent labor organization, association or group of unions or workers.
upon a local or a chapter under Department Order No. 9. Such legal
However, the creation of a branch, local or chapter is treated differently. expertise because their jurisdiction is confined to specific matters, are
This Court, in the landmark case of Progressive Development Corporation generally accorded not only great respect but even finality.36
v. Secretary, Department of Labor and Employment,31 declared that when
an unregistered union becomes a branch, local or chapter, some of the Still, petitioner postulates that respondent was not validly and legitimately
aforementioned requirements for registration are no longer necessary or created, for PDMP cannot create a local or chapter as it is not a legitimate
compulsory. Whereas an applicant for registration of an independent union labor organization, it being a trade union center.
is mandated to submit, among other things, the number of employees and
names of all its members comprising at least 20% of the employees in the Petitioner's argument creates a predicament as it hinges on the legitimacy of
bargaining unit where it seeks to operate, as provided under Article 234 of PDMP as a labor organization. Firstly, this line of reasoning attempts to
the Labor Code and Section 2 of Rule III, Book V of the Implementing
predicate that a trade union center is not a legitimate labor organization. In
Rules, the same is no longer required of a branch, local or chapter. 32 The
the process, the legitimacy of PDMP is being impugned, albeit indirectly.
intent of the law in imposing less requirements in the case of a branch or
Secondly, the same contention premises that a trade union center cannot
local of a registered federation or national union is to encourage the
directly create a local or chapter through the process of chartering.
affiliation of a local union with a federation or national union in order to
increase the local union's bargaining powers respecting terms and
conditions of labor.33 Anent the foregoing, as has been held in a long line of cases, the legal
personality of a legitimate labor organization, such as PDMP, cannot be
subject to a collateral attack. The law is very clear on this matter. Article
Subsequently, in Pagpalain Haulers, Inc. v. Trajano 34 where the validity of
212 (h) of the Labor Code, as amended, defines a legitimate labor
Department Order No. 9 was directly put in issue, this Court was organization37 as "any labor organization duly registered with the DOLE,
unequivocal in finding that there is no inconsistency between the Labor and includes any branch or local thereof."38 On the other hand, a trade
Code and Department Order No. 9.
union center is any group of registered national unions or federations
organized for the mutual aid and protection of its members; for assisting
As to petitioner's claims that respondent obtained its Certificate of such members in collective bargaining; or for participating in the
Registration through fraud and misrepresentation, this Court finds that the formulation of social and employment policies, standards, and programs,
imputations are not impressed with merit. In the instant case, proof to and is duly registered with the DOLE in accordance with Rule III, Section 2
declare that respondent committed fraud and misrepresentation remains of the Implementing Rules.39
wanting. This Court had, indeed, on several occasions, pronounced that
registration based on false and fraudulent statements and documents confer
The Implementing Rules stipulate that a labor organization shall be deemed
no legitimacy upon a labor organization irregularly recognized, which, at registered and vested with legal personality on the date of issuance of its
best, holds on to a mere scrap of paper. Under such circumstances, the labor certificate of registration. Once a certificate of registration is issued to a
organization, not being a legitimate labor organization, acquires no rights. 35
union, its legal personality cannot be subject to collateral attack.40 It may be
questioned only in an independent petition for cancellation in accordance
This Court emphasizes, however, that a direct challenge to the legitimacy of with Section 5 of Rule V, Book V of the Implementing Rules. The
a labor organization based on fraud and misrepresentation in securing its aforementioned provision is enunciated in the following:
certificate of registration is a serious allegation which deserves careful
scrutiny. Allegations thereof should be compounded with supporting
Sec. 5. Effect of registration. The labor organization or workers'
circumstances and evidence. The records of the case are devoid of such
association shall be deemed registered and vested with legal
evidence. Furthermore, this Court is not a trier of facts, and this doctrine
personality on the date of issuance of its certificate of registration.
applies with greater force in labor cases. Findings of fact of administrative
Such legal personality cannot thereafter be subject to collateral
agencies and quasi-judicial bodies, such as the BLR, which have acquired
attack, but may be questioned only in an independent petition for major role as a socio-economic force. The Labor Code was first amended by
cancellation in accordance with these Rules. Republic Act No. 6715, and recently, by Republic Act No. 9481.
Incidentally, the term trade union center was never mentioned under
PDMP was registered as a trade union center and issued Registration Presidential Decree No. 442, even as it was amended by Republic Act No.
Certificate No. FED-11558-LC by the BLR on 14 February 1991. Until the 6715. The term trade union center was first adopted in the Implementing
certificate of registration of PDMP is cancelled, its legal personality as a Rules, under Department Order No. 9.
legitimate labor organization subsists. Once a union acquires legitimate
status as a labor organization, it continues to be recognized as such until its Culling from its definition as provided by Department Order No. 9, a trade
certificate of registration is cancelled or revoked in an independent action union center is any group of registered national unions or federations
for cancellation.41 It bears to emphasize that what is being directly organized for the mutual aid and protection of its members; for assisting
challenged is the personality of respondent as a legitimate labor such members in collective bargaining; or for participating in the
organization and not that of PDMP. This being a collateral attack, this Court formulation of social and employment policies, standards, and programs,
is without jurisdiction to entertain questions indirectly impugning the and is duly registered with the DOLE in accordance with Rule III, Section 2
legitimacy of PDMP. of the Implementing Rules.46 The same rule provides that the application for
registration of an industry or trade union center shall be supported by the
Corollarily, PDMP is granted all the rights and privileges appurtenant to a following:
legitimate labor organization,42 and continues to be recognized as such until
its certificate of registration is successfully impugned and thereafter (a) The list of its member organizations and their respective
cancelled or revoked in an independent action for cancellation. presidents and, in the case of an industry union, the industry where
the union seeks to operate;
We now proceed to the contention that PDMP cannot directly create a local
or a chapter, it being a trade union center. (b) The resolution of membership of each member organization,
approved by the Board of Directors of such union;
This Court reverses the finding of the appellate court and BLR on this
ground, and rules that PDMP cannot directly create a local or chapter. (c) The name and principal address of the applicant, the names of
its officers and their addresses, the minutes of its organizational
After an exhaustive study of the governing labor law provisions, both meeting/s, and the list of member organizations and their
statutory and regulatory,43 we find no legal justification to support the representatives who attended such meeting/s; and
conclusion that a trade union center is allowed to directly create a local or
chapter through chartering. Apropos, we take this occasion to reiterate the (d) A copy of its constitution and by-laws and minutes of its
first and fundamental duty of this Court, which is to apply the law. The ratification by a majority of the presidents of the member
solemn power and duty of the Court to interpret and apply the law does not organizations, provided that where the ratification was done
include the power to correct by reading into the law what is not written simultaneously with the organizational meeting, it shall be
therein.44 sufficient that the fact of ratification be included in the minutes of
the organizational meeting.47
Presidential Decree No. 442, better known as the Labor Code, was enacted
in 1972. Being a legislation on social justice,45 the provisions of the Labor Evidently, while a "national union" or "federation" is a labor organization
Code and the Implementing Rules have been subject to several with at least ten locals or chapters or affiliates, each of which must be a duly
amendments, and they continue to evolve, considering that labor plays a certified or recognized collective bargaining agent;48 a trade union center,
on the other hand, is composed of a group of registered national unions or Presidential Decree No. 442, As Amended, Otherwise Known as the Labor
federations.49 Code of the Philippines" lapsed52 into law on 25 May 2007 and became
effective on 14 June 2007.53 This law further amends the Labor Code
The Implementing Rules, as amended by Department Order No. 9, provide provisions on Labor Relations.
that "a duly registered federation or national union" may directly create a
local or chapter. The provision reads: Pertinent amendments read as follows:

Section 1. Chartering and creation of a local/chapter. – A duly SECTION 1. Article 234 of Presidential Decree No. 442, as
registered federation or national union may directly create a amended, otherwise known as the Labor Code of the Philippines, is
local/chapter by submitting to the Regional Office or to the Bureau hereby further amended to read as follows:
two (2) copies of the following:
ART. 234. Requirements of Registration. — A federation, national union or
(a) A charter certificate issued by the federation or national union industry or trade union center or an independent union shall acquire legal
indicating the creation or establishment of the local/chapter; personality and shall be entitled to the rights and privileges granted by law
to legitimate labor organizations upon issuance of the certificate of
(b) The names of the local/chapter's officers, their addresses, and registration based on the following requirements:
the principal office of the local/chapter; and
(a) Fifty pesos (P50.00) registration fee;
(c) The local/chapter's constitution and by-laws; provided that
where the local/chapter's constitution and by-laws is the same as (b) The names of its officers, their addresses, the principal address of the
that of the federation or national union, this fact shall be indicated labor organization, the minutes of the organizational meetings and the list of
accordingly. the workers who participated in such meetings;

All the foregoing supporting requirements shall be certified under (c) In case the applicant is an independent union, the names of all its
oath by the Secretary or the Treasurer of the local/chapter and members comprising at least twenty percent (20%) of all the employees in
attested to by its President.50 the bargaining unit where it seeks to operate;

Department Order No. 9 mentions two labor organizations either of which is (d) If the applicant union has been in existence for one or more years, copies
allowed to directly create a local or chapter through chartering – a duly of its annual financial reports; and
registered federation or a national union. Department Order No. 9 defines a
"chartered local" as a labor organization in the private sector operating at (e) Four copies of the constitution and by-laws of the applicant union,
the enterprise level that acquired legal personality through a charter minutes of its adoption or ratification, and the list of the members who
certificate, issued by a duly registered federation or national union and participated in it.
reported to the Regional Office in accordance with Rule III, Section 2-E of
these Rules.51
SECTION 2. A new provision is hereby inserted into the Labor Code as
Article 234-A to read as follows:
Republic Act No. 9481 or "An Act Strengthening the Workers'
Constitutional Right to Self-Organization, Amending for the Purpose
ART. 234-A. Chartering and Creation of a Local Chapter. — A duly construction, be extended to other matters.56 Such is the case here. If its
registered federation or national union may directly create a local chapter intent were otherwise, the law could have so easily and conveniently
by issuing a charter certificate indicating the establishment of the local included "trade union centers" in identifying the labor organizations allowed
chapter. The chapter shall acquire legal personality only for purposes of to charter a chapter or local. Anything that is not included in the
filing a petition for certification election from the date it was issued a enumeration is excluded therefrom, and a meaning that does not appear nor
charter certificate. is intended or reflected in the very language of the statute cannot be placed
therein.57 The rule is restrictive in the sense that it proceeds from the
The chapter shall be entitled to all other rights and privileges of a legitimate premise that the legislating body would not have made specific
labor organization only upon the submission of the following documents in enumerations in a statute if it had the intention not to restrict its meaning
addition to its charter certificate: and confine its terms to those expressly mentioned.58 Expressium facit
cessare tacitum.59 What is expressed puts an end to what is implied. Casus
omissus pro omisso habendus est. A person, object or thing omitted must
(a) The names of the chapter's officers, their addresses, and the principal
have been omitted intentionally.
office of the chapter; and

Therefore, since under the pertinent status and applicable implementing


(b) The chapter's constitution and by-laws: Provided, That where the
rules, the power granted to labor organizations to directly create a chapter or
chapter's constitution and by-laws are the same as that of the federation or
local through chartering is given to a federation or national union, then a
the national union, this fact shall be indicated accordingly.
trade union center is without authority to charter directly.
The additional supporting requirements shall be certified under oath by the
The ruling of this Court in the instant case is not a departure from the policy
secretary or treasurer of the chapter and attested by its president. (Emphasis
of the law to foster the free and voluntary organization of a strong and
ours.)
united labor movement,60 and thus assure the rights of workers to self-
organization.61 The mandate of the Labor Code in ensuring strict
Article 234 now includes the term trade union center, but interestingly, the compliance with the procedural requirements for registration is not without
provision indicating the procedure for chartering or creating a local or reason. It has been observed that the formation of a local or chapter
chapter, namely Article 234-A, still makes no mention of a "trade union becomes a handy tool for the circumvention of union registration
center." requirements. Absent the institution of safeguards, it becomes a convenient
device for a small group of employees to foist a not-so-desirable federation
Also worth emphasizing is that even in the most recent amendment of the or union on unsuspecting co-workers and pare the need for wholehearted
implementing rules,54 there was no mention of a trade union center as being voluntariness, which is basic to free unionism. 62 As a legitimate labor
among the labor organizations allowed to charter. organization is entitled to specific rights under the Labor Code and involved
in activities directly affecting public interest, it is necessary that the law
This Court deems it proper to apply the Latin maxim expressio unius est afford utmost protection to the parties affected.63 However, as this Court has
exclusio alterius. Under this maxim of statutory interpretation, the enunciated in Progressive Development Corporation v. Secretary of
expression of one thing is the exclusion of another. When certain persons or Department of Labor and Employment, it is not this Court's function to
things are specified in a law, contract, or will, an intention to exclude all augment the requirements prescribed by law. Our only recourse, as
others from its operation may be inferred. If a statute specifies one previously discussed, is to exact strict compliance with what the law
exception to a general rule or assumes to specify the effects of a certain provides as requisites for local or chapter formation. 64
provision, other exceptions or effects are excluded. 55 Where the terms are
expressly limited to certain matters, it may not, by interpretation or
In sum, although PDMP as a trade union center is a legitimate labor
organization, it has no power to directly create a local or chapter. Thus,
SMPPEU-PDMP cannot be created under the more lenient requirements for
chartering, but must have complied with the more stringent rules for
creation and registration of an independent union, including the 20%
membership requirement.

WHEREFORE, the instant Petition is GRANTED. The Decision dated 09


March 2005 of the Court of Appeals in CA-GR SP No. 66200
is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The Certificate of Registration of San
Miguel Packaging Products Employees Union–Pambansang Diwa ng
Manggagawang Pilipino is ORDERED CANCELLED, and SMPPEU-
PDMP DROPPED from the rolls of legitimate labor organizations.

Costs against petitioner. SO ORDERED.


G.R. No. 177024 October 30, 2009 the petition for cancellation of that union’s registration shall have been
resolved with finality.8 The decision of the Court of Appeals became final
THE HERITAGE HOTEL MANILA (OWNED AND OPERATED BY when the HHE union withdrew the petition for review that it filed with this
GRAND PLAZA HOTEL CORPORATION)Petitioner, Court.9
vs. PINAG-ISANG GALING AT LAKAS NG MGA MANGGAGAWA
SA HERITAGE MANILA (PIGLAS-HERITAGE),Respondent. On December 10, 2003 certain rank and file employees of petitioner
company held a meeting and formed another union, the respondent Pinag-
ABAD, J.: Isang Galing at Lakas ng mga Manggagawa sa Heritage Manila (the
PIGLAS union). This union applied for registration with the DOLE-
NCR10 and got its registration certificate on February 9, 2004. Two months
This case is about a company’s objections to the registration of its rank and
later, the members of the first union, the HHE union, adopted a resolution
file union for non-compliance with the requirements of its registration.
for its dissolution. The HHE union then filed a petition for cancellation of
its union registration.11
The Facts and the Case
On September 4, 2004 respondent PIGLAS union filed a petition for
Sometime in 2000, certain rank and file employees of petitioner Heritage certification election12 that petitioner company also opposed, alleging that
Hotel Manila (petitioner company) formed the "Heritage Hotel Employees the new union’s officers and members were also those who comprised the
Union" (the HHE union). The Department of Labor and Employment- old union. According to the company, the employees involved formed the
National Capital Region (DOLE-NCR) later issued a certificate of PIGLAS union to circumvent the Court of Appeals’ injunction against the
registration1 to this union. holding of the certification election sought by the former union. Despite the
company’s opposition, however, the Med-Arbiter granted the petition for
Subsequently, the HHE union filed a petition for certification election 2 that certification election.13
petitioner company opposed. The company alleged that the HHE union
misrepresented itself to be an independent union, when it was, in truth, a On December 6, 2004 petitioner company filed a petition to cancel the
local chapter of the National Union of Workers in Hotel and Restaurant and union registration of respondent PIGLAS union.14 The company claimed
Allied Industries (NUWHRAIN). The company claimed that the HHE union that the documents submitted with the union’s application for registration
intentionally omitted disclosure of its affiliation with NUWHRAIN because bore the following false information:
the company’s supervisors union was already affiliated with it.3 Thus, the
company also filed a petition for the cancellation of the HHE union’s
(a) The List of Members showed that the PIGLAS union had 100
registration certificate.4
union members;15
Meanwhile, the Med-Arbiter granted the HHE union’s petition for
certification election.5 Petitioner company appealed the decision to the (b) The Organizational Minutes said that 90 employees attended
Secretary of Labor but the latter denied the appeal.6 The Secretary also the meeting on December 10, 2003;16
denied petitioner’s motion for reconsideration, prompting the company to
file a petition for certiorari7 with the Court of Appeals. (c) The Attendance Sheet of the meeting of December 10, 2003
bore the signature of 127 members who ratified the union’s
On October 12, 2001 the Court of Appeals issued a writ of injunction Constitution and By-Laws;17 and
against the holding of the HHE union’s certification election, effective until
(d) The Signature Sheet bore 128 signatures of those who attended the record that were deemed indispensable but the court denied it for lack of
that meeting.18 merit.23 Hence, the company filed this petition for review under Rule 45.

Petitioner company alleged that the misrepresentation was evidenced by the Issues Presented
discrepancy in the number of union members appearing in the application
and the list as well as in the number of signatories to the attendance and The petition presents the following issues:
signature sheets. The minutes reported that only 90 employees attended the
meeting. The company further alleged that 33 members of respondent 1. Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in dismissing the
PIGLAS union were members of the defunct HHE union. This, according to
petition for certiorari before it for failure of petitioner company to
the company, violated the policy against dual unionism and showed that the
attach certain material portions of the record;
new union was merely an alter ego of the old.
2. Whether or not the union made fatal misrepresentation in its
On February 22, 2005 the DOLE-NCR denied the company’s petition to application for union registration; and
cancel respondent PIGLAS union’s registration for the reason that the
discrepancies in the number of members stated in the application’s
supporting documents were not material and did not constitute 3. Whether or not "dual unionism" is a ground for canceling a
misrepresentation. As for the charge of dual unionism, the same is not a union’s registration.
ground for canceling registration. It merely exposed a union member to a
possible charge of disloyalty, an internal matter. Here, the members of the The Rulings of the Court
former union simply exercised their right to self-organization and to the
freedom of association when they subsequently joined the PIGLAS union. 19 First. While the Court of Appeals correctly dismissed the company’s
petition initially for failure to attach material portions of the record, the
On appeal, the Bureau of Labor Relation (BLR) affirmed the ruling of the court should have bended back a little when petitioner company
DOLE-NCR. It reasoned that respondent PIGLAS union’s organization subsequently attached those missing materials to its motion for
meeting lasted for 12 hours. It was possible for the number of attendees to reconsideration. As a general rule, petitions for certiorari that lack copies of
have increased from 90 to 128 as the meeting progressed. Besides, with a essential pleadings and portions of the record may be dismissed but this rule
total of 250 employees in the bargaining unit, the union needed only 50 has not been regarded as absolute. The omission may be cured. 24
members to comply with the 20 percent membership requirement. Thus, the
union could not be accused of misrepresentation since it did not pad its The Court of Appeals has three courses of action when the annexes to the
membership to secure registration. petition are insufficient. It may dismiss the petition, 25 require the
submission of the relevant documents, or order the filing of an amended
As for the issue of dual unionism, it has become moot and academic, said petition with the required pleadings or documents. A petition lacking in
the BLR, because of the dissolution of the old union and the cancellation of essential pleadings or portions of the record may still be given due course,
its certificate of registration.20 or reinstated if earlier dismissed, upon subsequent submission of the
necessary documents or to serve the higher interest of justice. 26
Petitioner company filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of
Appeals,21 assailing the order of the BLR. But the latter court dismissed the Second. Since a remand of the case to the Court of Appeals for a
petition, not being accompanied by material documents and portions of the determination of the substantive issues will only result in more delays and
record.22 The company filed a motion for reconsideration, attaching parts of since these issues have been amply argued by the opposing sides in the
various pleadings and documents they submitted to this Court, the case may to be genuine and regular and the constitution and by-laws democratically
now be resolved on the merits. ratified, the union is deemed to have complied with registration
requirements.
Did respondent PIGLAS union commit fraud and misrepresentation in its
application for union registration? We agree with the DOLE-NCR and the Petitioner company claims that respondent PIGLAS union was required to
BLR that it did not. Except for the evident discrepancies as to the number of submit the names of all its members comprising at least 20 percent of the
union members involved as these appeared on the documents that supported employees in the bargaining unit. Yet the list it submitted named only 100
the union’s application for registration, petitioner company has no other members notwithstanding that the signature and attendance sheets reflected
evidence of the alleged misrepresentation. But those discrepancies alone a membership of 127 or 128 employees. This omission, said the company,
cannot be taken as an indication that respondent misrepresented the amounted to material misrepresentation that warranted the cancellation of
information contained in these documents. the union’s registration.

The charge that a labor organization committed fraud and misrepresentation But, as the labor authorities held, this discrepancy is immaterial. A
in securing its registration is a serious charge and deserves close scrutiny. It comparison of the documents shows that, except for six members, the
is serious because once such charge is proved, the labor union acquires none names found in the subject list are also in the attendance and signature
of the rights accorded to registered organizations. Consequently, charges of sheets. Notably, the bargaining unit that respondent PIGLAS union sought
this nature should be clearly established by evidence and the surrounding to represent consisted of 250 employees. Only 20 percent of this number or
circumstances.27 50 employees were required to unionize. Here, the union more than
complied with such requirement.
Here, the discrepancies in the number of union members or employees
stated in the various supporting documents that respondent PIGLAS union Labor laws are liberally construed in favor of labor especially if doing so
submitted to labor authorities can be explained. While it appears in the would affirm its constitutionally guaranteed right to self-
minutes of the December 10, 2003 organizational meeting that only 90 organization.30 Here, the PIGLAS union’s supporting documents reveal the
employees responded to the roll call at the beginning, it cannot be assumed unmistakable yearning of petitioner company’s rank and file employees to
that such number could not grow to 128 as reflected on the signature sheet organize. This yearning should not be frustrated by inconsequential
for attendance. The meeting lasted 12 hours from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. technicalities.
There is no evidence that the meeting hall was locked up to exclude late
attendees.1 a vv p h i 1 Third. The fact that some of respondent PIGLAS union’s members were
also members of the old rank and file union, the HHE union, is not a ground
There is also nothing essentially mysterious or irregular about the fact that for canceling the new union’s registration. The right of any person to join an
only 127 members ratified the union’s constitution and by-laws when 128 organization also includes the right to leave that organization and join
signed the attendance sheet. It cannot be assumed that all those who another one. Besides, HHE union is dead. It had ceased to exist and its
attended approved of the constitution and by-laws. Any member had the certificate of registration had already been cancelled. Thus, petitioner’s
right to hold out and refrain from ratifying those documents or to simply arguments on this point may also be now regarded as moot and academic.
ignore the process.
WHEREFORE, the Court DENIES the petition and AFFIRMS the
At any rate, the Labor Code28 and its implementing rules29 do not require decision of the Bureau of Labor Relations in BLR-A-26-3-05 dated May 26,
that the number of members appearing on the documents in question should 2006.
completely dovetail. For as long as the documents and signatures are shown
G.R. No. 178989 March 18, 2010 Ridge opposed this petition,11 followed by its filing of a petition for the
cancellation12 of Reg. Cert. No. RO400-200512-UR-003. Docketed as
EAGLE RIDGE GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB, Petitioner, RO400-0602-AU-003, Eagle Ridge’s petition ascribed misrepresentation,
vs. COURT OF APPEALS and EAGLE RIDGE EMPLOYEES false statement, or fraud to EREU in connection with the adoption of its
UNION (EREU), Respondents. constitution and by-laws, the numerical composition of the Union, and the
election of its officers.
VELASCO, JR., J.:
Going into specifics, Eagle Ridge alleged that the EREU declared in its
application for registration having 30 members, when the minutes of its
In this petition for certiorari under Rule 65, Eagle Ridge Golf & Country
December 6, 2005 organizational meeting showed it only had 26 members.
Club (Eagle Ridge) assails and seeks to nullify the Resolutions of the Court
The misrepresentation was exacerbated by the discrepancy between the
of Appeals (CA) dated April 27, 20071 and June 6, 2007,2 issued in CA-
certification issued by the Union secretary and president that 25 members
G.R. SP No. 98624, denying a similar recourse petitioner earlier interposed
to set aside the December 21, 2006 Decision3 of the Bureau of Labor actually ratified the constitution and by-laws on December 6, 2005 and the
Relations (BLR), as reiterated in a Resolution4 of March 7, 2007. fact that 26 members affixed their signatures on the documents, making one
signature a forgery.
Petitioner Eagle Ridge is a corporation engaged in the business of
Finally, Eagle Ridge contended that five employees who attended the
maintaining golf courses. It had, at the end of CY 2005, around 112 rank-
and-file employees. The instant case is an off-shot of the desire of a number organizational meeting had manifested the desire to withdraw from the
of these employees to organize themselves as a legitimate labor union and union. The five executed individual affidavits or Sinumpaang Salaysay13 on
February 15, 2006, attesting that they arrived late at said meeting which
their employer’s opposition to their aspiration.
they claimed to be drinking spree; that they did not know that the
documents they signed on that occasion pertained to the organization of a
The Facts union; and that they now wanted to be excluded from the Union. The
withdrawal of the five, Eagle Ridge maintained, effectively reduced the
On December 6, 2005, at least 20% of Eagle Ridge’s rank-and-file union membership to 20 or 21, either of which is below the mandatory
employees—the percentage threshold required under Article 234(c) of the minimum 20% membership requirement under Art. 234(c) of the Labor
Labor Code for union registration—had a meeting where they organized Code. Reckoned from 112 rank-and-file employees of Eagle Ridge, the
themselves into an independent labor union, named "Eagle Ridge required number would be 22 or 23 employees.
Employees Union" (EREU or Union),5 elected a set of officers,6and
ratified7 their constitution and by-laws.8 As a counterpoint, EREU, in its Comment,14 argued in gist:

On December 19, 2005, EREU formally applied for registration 9 and filed 1) the petition for cancellation was procedurally deficient as it does
BLR Reg. Form No. I-LO, s. 199810 before the Department of Labor and not contain a certification against forum shopping and that the
Employment (DOLE) Regional Office IV (RO IV). In time, DOLE RO IV same was verified by one not duly authorized by Eagle Ridge’s
granted the application and issued EREU Registration Certificate (Reg. board;
Cert.) No. RO400-200512-UR-003.
2) the alleged discrepancies are not real for before filing of its
The EREU then filed a petition for certification election in Eagle Ridge application on December 19, 2005, four additional employees
Golf & Country Club, docketed as Case No. RO400-0601-RU-002. Eagle
joined the union on December 8, 2005, thus raising the union orderly and proper proceedings of the organizational meeting on December
membership to 30 members as of December 19, 2005; 6, 2005.

3) the understatement by one member who ratified the constitution In its Reply,22 Eagle Ridge reiterated the grounds it raised in its petition for
and by-laws was a typographical error, which does not make it cancellation and asserted further that the four additional members were
either grave or malicious warranting the cancellation of the union’s fraudulently admitted into the Union. As Eagle Ridge claimed, the
registration; applications of the four neither complied with the requirements under
Section 2, Art. IV of the union’s constitution and by-laws nor were they
4) the retraction of 5 union members should not be given any shown to have been duly received, issued receipts for admission fees,
credence for the reasons that: (a) the sworn statements of the five processed with recommendation for approval, and approved by the union
retracting union members sans other affirmative evidence president.
presented hardly qualify as clear and credible evidence considering
the joint affidavits of the other members attesting to the orderly Moreover, Eagle Ridge presented another Sinumpaang Salaysay23 of
conduct of the organizational meeting; (b) the retracting members retraction dated March 15, 2006 of another union member. The membership
did not deny signing the union documents; (c) following, Belyca of EREU had thus been further reduced to only 19 or 20. This same member
Corporation v. Ferrer-Calleja15 and Oriental Tin Can Labor was listed in the first Sama-Samang Sinumpaang Salaysay24 presented by
Union v. Secretary of Labor and Employment,16 it can be presumed the Union but did not sign it.
that "duress, coercion or valuable consideration" was brought to
bear on the retracting members; and (d) citing La Suerte Cigar and The Ruling of the DOLE Regional Director
Cigarette Factory v. Director of Bureau of Labor
Relations,17 Belyca Corporation and Oriental Tin Can Labor
After due proceedings, the DOLE Regional Director, Region IV-A,
Union, where the Court ruled that "once the required percentage
focusing on the question of misrepresentation, issued on April 28, 2006 an
requirement has been reached, the employees’ withdrawal from
Order25 finding for Eagle Ridge, its petition to cancel Reg. Cert. No.
union membership taking place after the filing of the petition for RO400-200512-UR-003 being granted and EREU being delisted from the
certification election will not affect the petition," it asserted the
roster of legitimate labor organizations.
applicability of said ruling as the petition for certification election
was filed on January 10, 2006 or long before February 15, 2006
when the affidavits of retraction were executed by the five union Aggrieved, the Union appealed to the BLR, the recourse docketed as BLR
members, thus contending that the retractions do not affect nor be A-C-30-5-31-06 (Case No. RO400-0602-AU-003).
deemed compelling enough to cancel its certificate of registration.
The Ruling of the BLR
The Union presented the duly accomplished union membership
forms18 dated December 8, 2005 of four additional members. And to rebut Initially, the BLR, then headed by an Officer-in-Charge (OIC),
the allegations in the affidavits of retraction of the five union members, it affirmed26 the appealed order of the DOLE Regional Director.
presented the Sama-Samang Sinumpaang Salaysay19 dated March 20, 2006
of eight union members; another Sama-Samang Sinumpaang Undeterred by successive set backs, EREU interposed a motion for
Salaysay,20 also bearing date March 20, 2006, of four other union members; reconsideration, contending that:
and the Sworn Statement21 dated March 16, 2006 of the Union’s legal
counsel, Atty. Domingo T. Añonuevo. These affidavits attested to the
1) Contrary to the ruling of the BLR OIC Director, a certificate of 1. the questioned [BLR] Decision dated December 21, 2006 and
non-forum shopping is mandatory requirement, under Department the Resolution dated March 7, 2007 Resolution [appended to the
Order No. (DO) 40-03 and the Rules of Court, non-compliance petition] are mere machine copies; and
with which is a ground to dismiss a petition for cancellation of a
certificate of registration; 2. the verification and certification of non-forum shopping was
subscribed to by Luna C. Piezas on her representation as the legal
2) It was erroneous for both the Regional Director and the BLR counsel of the petitioner, but sans [the requisite] Secretary’s
OIC Director to give credence to the retraction statements of union Certificate or Board Resolution authorizing her to execute and sign
members which were not presented for reaffirmation during any of the same.
the hearings of the case, contrary to the requirement for the
admission of such evidence under Sec. 11, Rule XI of DO 40-03. The CA later denied, in its second assailed resolution, Eagle Ridge’s motion
for reconsideration, albeit the latter had submitted a certificate to show that
In a Decision dated December 21, 2006, the BLR, now headed by Director its legal counsel has been authorized, per a board resolution, to represent the
Rebecca C. Chato, set aside the July 28, 2006 order of the BLR OIC corporation.
Director, disposing as follows:
The Issues
WHEREFORE, the motion for reconsideration is hereby GRANTED and
our Resolution dated 28 July 2006 is hereby VACATED. Accordingly, the Eagle Ridge is now before us via this petition for certiorari on the
Eagle Ridge Employees Union (EREU) shall remain in the roster of submissions that:
legitimate organizations.
I.
In finding for the Union, the BLR Director eschewed procedural
technicalities. Nonetheless, she found as without basis allegations of [THE CA] COMMITTED SERIOUS ERROR AND GRAVE ABUSE OF
misrepresentation or fraud as ground for cancellation of EREU’s
DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF
registration.
JURISDICTION IN DISMISSING THE COMPANY’S PETITION FOR
CERTIORARI AND DENYING ITS MOTION FOR
In turn aggrieved, Eagle Ridge sought but was denied reconsideration per RECONSIDERATION CONSIDERING THAT THE COMPANY’S
the BLR’s Resolution dated March 7, 2007. PREVIOUS COUNSEL WAS AUTHORIZED TO REPRESENT THE
COMPANY IN THE PETITION FOR CERTIORARI FILED BEFORE
Eagle Ridge thereupon went to the CA on a petition for certiorari. THE [CA];

The Ruling of the CA II.

On April 27, 2007, the appellate court, in a terse two-page IN ORDER NOT TO FURTHER PREJUDICE THE COMPANY, IT IS
Resolution,27 dismissed Eagle Ridge’s petition for being deficient, as: RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED THAT THIS HONORABLE COURT
COULD TAKE COGNIZANCE OF THE MERITS OF THIS CASE AND
RESOLVE THAT BASED ON THE EVIDENCE ON RECORD, THERE
WAS FRAUD, MISREPRESENTATION AND/OR FALSE STATEMENT
WHICH WARRANT THE CANCELLATION OF CERTIFICATE OF Evidently, the Rules requires the petitioner, not his counsel, to sign under
REGISTRATION OF EREU.28 oath the requisite certification against non-forum shopping. Such
certification is a peculiar personal representation on the part of the principal
The Court’s Ruling party, an assurance to the court that there are no other pending cases
involving basically the same parties, issues, and cause of action. 32
We dismiss the petition.
In the instant case, the sworn verification and certification of non-forum
shopping in the petition for certiorari of Eagle Ridge filed before the CA
Procedural Issue: Lack of Authority
carried the signature of its counsel without the requisite authority.
Certiorari is an extraordinary, prerogative remedy and is never issued as a
Eagle Ridge tried to address its faux pas by submitting its board secretary’s
matter of right.29 Accordingly, the party who seeks to avail of it must
strictly observe the rules laid down by law.30 Certificate33 dated May 15, 2007, attesting to the issuance on May 10, 2007
of Board Resolution No. ERGCCI 07/III-01 that authorized its counsel of
record, Atty. Luna C. Piezas, to represent it before the appellate court.
Petitions for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court require a "sworn
certification of non-forum shopping as provided in the third paragraph of
The CA, however, rejected Eagle Ridge’s virtual plea for the relaxation of
Section 3, Rule 46."31 Sec. 3, paragraphs 4 and 6 of Rule 46 pertinently
provides: the rules on the signing of the verification and certification against forum
shopping, observing that the board resolution adverted to was approved
after Atty. Piezas has signed and filed for Eagle Ridge the petition for
SEC. 3. Contents and filing of petition; effect of non-compliance with certiorari.
requirements. — x x x x
The appellate court’s assailed action is in no way tainted with grave abuse
xxxx of discretion, as Eagle Ridge would have this Court believed. Indeed, a
certification of non-forum shopping signed by counsel without the proper
xxxx authorization is defective and constitutes a valid cause for dismissal of the
petition.34
The petitioner shall also submit together with the petition a sworn
certification that he has not theretofore commenced any action The submission of the board secretary’s certificate through a motion for
involving the same issues in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals x x reconsideration of the CA’s decision dismissing the petition for certiorari
x, or any other tribunal or agency; if there is such other action or may be considered a substantial compliance with the Rules of Court. 35 Yet,
proceeding, he must state the status of the same x x x. this rule presupposes that the authorizing board resolution, the approval of
which is certified to by the secretary’s certification, was passed within the
xxxx reglementary period for filing the petition. This particular situation does not,
however, obtain under the premises. The records yield the following
The failure of the petitioner to comply with any of the foregoing material dates and incidents: Eagle Ridge received the May 7, 2007
requirements shall be sufficient ground for the dismissal of the petition. resolution of the BLR Director on March 9, 2007, thus giving it 60 days or
(Emphasis supplied.) up to May 8, 2007 to file a petition for certiorari, as it in fact filed its
petition on April 18, 2007 before the CA. The authorization for its counsel,
however, was only issued in a meeting of its board on May 10, 2007 or a
couple of days beyond the 60-day reglementary period referred to in filing a any action or filed any claim involving the same issues in any court, tribunal
certiorari action. Thus, there was no substantial compliance with the Rules. or quasi-judicial agency and, to the best of his knowledge, no such other
action or claim is pending therein; (b) if there is such other pending action
As with most rules of procedure, however, exceptions are invariably or claim, a complete statement of the present status thereof; and (c) if he
recognized and the relaxation of procedural rules on review has been should thereafter learn that the same or similar action or claim has been
effected to obviate jeopardizing substantial justice. 36 This liberality stresses filed or is pending, he shall report that fact within five (5) days therefrom to
the importance of review in our judicial grievance structure to accord every the court wherein his aforesaid complaint or initiatory pleading has been
party litigant the amplest opportunity for the proper and just disposition of filed. (Emphasis added.)
his cause, freed from the constraints of technicalities.37 But concomitant to a
liberal interpretation of the rules of procedure should be an effort on the part It is, thus, clear that the counsel is not the proper person to sign the
of the party invoking liberality to adequately explain his failure to abide by certification against forum shopping. If, for any reason, the principal party
the rules.381avvphi1 cannot sign the petition, the one signing on his behalf must have been duly
authorized.39
To us, Eagle Ridge has not satisfactorily explained its failure to comply. It
may be true, as Eagle Ridge urges, that its counsel’s authority to represent In addition, Eagle Ridge maintains that the submitted board resolution,
the corporation was never questioned before the DOLE regional office and albeit passed after the filing of the petition was filed, should be treated as a
agency. But EREU’s misstep could hardly lend Eagle Ridge comfort. And ratificatory medium of the counsel’s act of signing the sworn certification of
obviously, Eagle Ridge and its counsel erred in equating the latter’s non-forum shopping.
representation as legal counsel with the authority to sign the verification and
the certificate of non-forum shopping in the former’s behalf. We note that We are not inclined to grant the desired liberality owing to Eagle Ridge’s
the authority to represent a client before a court or quasi-judicial agency failure to sufficiently explain its failure to follow the clear rules.
does not require an authorizing board resolution, as the counsel-client
relationship is presumed by the counsel’s representation by the filing of a
If for the foregoing considerations alone, the Court could very well dismiss
pleading on behalf of the client. In filing a pleading, the counsel affixes his the instant petition. Nevertheless, the Court will explore the merits of the
signature on it, but it is the client who must sign the verification and the
instant case to obviate the inequity that might result from the outright denial
certification against forum shopping, save when a board resolution
of the petition.
authorizes the former to sign so.
Substantive Issue: No Fraud in the Application
It is entirely a different matter for the counsel to sign the verification and
the certificate of non-forum shopping. The attestation or certification in
either verification or certification of non-forum shopping requires the act of Eagle Ridge cites the grounds provided under Art. 239(a) and (c) of the
the principal party. As earlier indicated, Sec. 3 of Rule 46 exacts this Labor Code for its petition for cancellation of the EREU’s registration. On
requirement; so does the first paragraph of Sec. 5 of Rule 7 pertinently the other hand, the Union asserts bona fide compliance with the registration
reading: requirements under Art. 234 of the Code, explaining the seeming
discrepancies between the number of employees who participated in the
organizational meeting and the total number of union members at the time it
SEC. 5. Certification against forum shopping. — The plaintiff or principal
filed its registration, as well as the typographical error in its certification
party shall certify under oath in the complaint or other initiatory pleading
which understated by one the number of union members who ratified the
asserting a claim for relief, or in a sworn certification annexed thereto and
union’s constitution and by-laws.
simultaneously filed therewith: (a) that he has not theretofore commenced
Before their amendment by Republic Act No. 9481 40 on June 15, 2007, the xxxx
then governing Art. 234 (on the requirements of registration of a labor
union) and Art. 239 (on the grounds for cancellation of union registration) (c) Misrepresentation, false statements or fraud in connection
of the Labor Code respectively provided as follows: with the election of officers, minutes of the election of officers,
the list of voters, or failure to submit these documents together
ART. 234. REQUIREMENTS OF REGISTRATION. –– Any applicant with the list of the newly elected/appointed officers and their postal
labor organization, association or group of unions or workers shall acquire addresses within thirty (30) days from election. 42 (Emphasis
legal personality and shall be entitled to the rights and privileges granted by supplied.)
law to legitimate labor organizations upon issuance of the certificate of
registration based on the following requirements: A scrutiny of the records fails to show any misrepresentation, false
statement, or fraud committed by EREU to merit cancellation of its
(a) Fifty pesos (P50.00) registration fee; registration.

(b) The names of its officers, their addresses, the principal address First. The Union submitted the required documents attesting to the
of the labor organization, the minutes of the organizational facts of the organizational meeting on December 6, 2005, the
meetings and the list of workers who participated in such election of its officers, and the adoption of the Union’s constitution
meetings; and by-laws. It submitted before the DOLE Regional Office with
its Application for Registration and the duly filled out BLR Reg.
(c) The names of all its members comprising at least twenty Form No. I-LO, s. 1998, the following documents, to wit:
percent (20%) of all the employees in the bargaining unit
where it seeks to operate; (a) the minutes of its organizational meeting43 held on
December 6, 2005 showing 26 founding members who
xxxx elected its union officers by secret ballot;

(e) Four copies (4) of the constitution and by-laws of the applicant (b) the list of rank-and-file employees44 of Eagle Ridge
union, minutes of its adoption or ratification and the list of the who attended the organizational meeting and the election
members who participated in it.41 of officers with their individual signatures;

xxxx (c) the list of rank-and-file employees45 who ratified the


union’s constitution and by-laws showing the very same
ART. 239. GROUNDS FOR CANCELLATION OF UNION list as those who attended the organizational meeting and
REGISTRATION. –– The following shall constitute grounds for cancellation the election of officers with their individual signatures
except the addition of four employees without their
of union registration:
signatures, i.e., Cherry Labajo, Grace Pollo, Annalyn
Poniente and Rowel Dolendo;
(a) Misrepresentation, false statements or fraud in connection
with the adoption or ratification of the constitution and by-
laws or amendments thereto, the minutes of ratification, and the (d) the union’s constitution and by-laws46 as approved on
December 6, 2005;
list of members who took part in the ratification;
(e) the list of officers47 and their addresses; applied for registration on December 19, 2005 while only 26
actually participated in the organizational meeting is borne by the
(f) the list of union members48 showing a total of 30 records.
members; and
Fourth. In its futile attempt to clutch at straws, Eagle Ridge assails
(g) the Sworn Statement49 of the union’s elected president the inclusion of the additional four members allegedly for not
and secretary. All the foregoing documents except the complying with what it termed as "the sine qua non requirements"
sworn statement of the president and the secretary were for union member applications under the Union’s constitution and
accompanied by Certifications50by the union secretary by-laws, specifically Sec. 2 of Art. IV. We are not persuaded. Any
duly attested to by the union president. seeming infirmity in the application and admission of union
membership, most especially in cases of independent labor unions,
must be viewed in favor of valid membership.
Second. The members of the EREU totaled 30 employees when it
applied on December 19, 2005 for registration. The Union thereby
complied with the mandatory minimum 20% membership The right of employees to self-organization and membership in a
requirement under Art. 234(c). Of note is the undisputed number of union must not be trammeled by undue difficulties. In this case,
112 rank-and-file employees in Eagle Ridge, as shown in the when the Union said that the four employee-applicants had been
Sworn Statement of the Union president and secretary and admitted as union members, it is enough to establish the fact of
confirmed by Eagle Ridge in its petition for cancellation. admission of the four that they had duly signified such desire by
accomplishing the membership form. The fact, as pointed out by
Eagle Ridge, that the Union, owing to its scant membership, had
Third. The Union has sufficiently explained the discrepancy
not yet fully organized its different committees evidently shows the
between the number of those who attended the organizational
direct and valid acceptance of the four employee applicants rather
meeting showing 26 employees and the list of union members
than deter their admission—as erroneously asserted by Eagle
showing 30. The difference is due to the additional four members
admitted two days after the organizational meeting as attested to by Ridge.
their duly accomplished Union Membership forms. Consequently,
the total number of union members, as of December 8, 2005, was Fifth. The difference between the number of 26 members, who
30, which was truthfully indicated in its application for registration ratified the Union’s constitution and by-laws, and the 25 members
on December 19, 2005. shown in the certification of the Union secretary as having ratified
it, is, as shown by the factual antecedents, a typographical error. It
was an insignificant mistake committed without malice or
As aptly found by the BLR Director, the Union already had 30
prevarication. The list of those who attended the organizational
members when it applied for registration, for the admission of new
meeting shows 26 members, as evidenced by the signatures beside
members is neither prohibited by law nor was it concealed in its
their handwritten names. Thus, the certification’s understatement
application for registration. Eagle Ridge’s contention is flawed
when it equated the requirements under Art. 234(b) and (c) of the by one member, while not factual, was clearly an error, but neither
Labor Code. Par. (b) clearly required the submission of the minutes a misleading one nor a misrepresentation of what had actually
happened.
of the organizational meetings and the list of workers who
participated in the meetings, while par. (c) merely required the list
of names of all the union members comprising at least 20% of the Sixth. In the more meaty issue of the affidavits of retraction
bargaining unit. The fact that EREU had 30 members when it executed by six union members, we hold that the probative value
of these affidavits cannot overcome those of the supporting affidavits presented by the Union before the DOLE Regional
affidavits of 12 union members and their counsel as to the Director were duly re-affirmed in the hearing of March 20, 2006
proceedings and the conduct of the organizational meeting on by the affiants. Thus, a reversible error was committed by the
December 6, 2005. The DOLE Regional Director and the BLR DOLE Regional Director and the BLR OIC Director in giving
OIC Director obviously erred in giving credence to the affidavits credence to the inadmissible affidavits of retraction presented by
of retraction, but not according the same treatment to the Eagle Ridge while not giving credence to the duly re-affirmed
supporting affidavits. affidavits presented by the Union.

The six affiants of the affidavits of retraction were not presented in Evidently, the allegations in the six affidavits of retraction have no
a hearing before the Hearing Officer (DOLE Regional Director), as probative value and at the very least cannot outweigh the rebutting
required under the Rules Implementing Book V of the Labor Code attestations of the duly re-affirmed affidavits presented by the
covering Labor Relations. Said Rules is embodied in Department Union.
Order No. (DO) 40-03 which was issued on February 17, 2003 and
took effect on March 15, 2003 to replace DO 9 of 1997. Sec. 11, Seventh. The fact that six union members, indeed, expressed the
Rule XI of DO 40-03 specifically requires: desire to withdraw their membership through their affidavits of
retraction will not cause the cancellation of registration on the
Section 11. Affirmation of testimonial evidence. – Any affidavit ground of violation of Art. 234(c) of the Labor Code requiring the
submitted by a party to prove his/her claims or defenses shall be mandatory minimum 20% membership of rank-and-file employees
re-affirmed by the presentation of the affiant before the Med- in the employees’ union.
Arbiter or Hearing Officer, as the case may be. Any affidavit
submitted without the re-affirmation of the affiantduring a The six retracting union members clearly severed and withdrew
scheduled hearing shall not be admitted in evidence, except their union membership. The query is whether such separation
when the party against whom the affidavit is being offered admits from the Union can detrimentally affect the registration of the
all allegations therein and waives the examination of the affiant. Union.

It is settled that affidavits partake the nature of hearsay evidence, We answer in the negative.
since they are not generally prepared by the affiant but by another
who uses his own language in writing the affiant’s statement, Twenty percent (20%) of 112 rank-and-file employees in Eagle
which may thus be either omitted or misunderstood by the one Ridge would require a union membership of at least 22 employees
writing them.51 The above rule affirms the general requirement in
(112 x 205 = 22.4). When the EREU filed its application for
adversarial proceedings for the examination of the affiant by the
registration on December 19, 2005, there were clearly 30 union
party against whom the affidavit is offered. In the instant case, it is
members. Thus, when the certificate of registration was granted,
required for affiants to re-affirm the contents of their affidavits
there is no dispute that the Union complied with the mandatory
during the hearing of the instant case for them to be examined by 20% membership requirement.
the opposing party, i.e., the Union.
Besides, it cannot be argued that the six affidavits of retraction
For their non-presentation and consonant to the above-quoted rule,
retroact to the time of the application of registration or even way
the six affidavits of retraction are inadmissible as evidence against
back to the organizational meeting. Prior to their withdrawal, the
the Union in the instant case. Moreover, the affidavit and joint- six employees in question were bona fide union members. More
so, they never disputed affixing their signatures beside their on December 8, 2005 (Reg. Cert. No. RO400-200512-
handwritten names during the organizational meetings. While they UR-003 was eventually issued by the DOLE RO IV-A);
alleged that they did not know what they were signing, it bears
stressing that their affidavits of retraction were not re-affirmed (3) On January 10, 2006, the Union filed before the
during the hearings of the instant case rendering them of little, if DOLE RO IV-A its petition for certification election in
any, evidentiary value. Eagle Ridge;

With the withdrawal of six union members, there is still (4) On February 13, 2006, Eagle Ridge filed its Position
compliance with the mandatory membership requirement under Paper opposing the petition for certification election on
Art. 234(c), for the remaining 24 union members constitute more essentially the same grounds it raised in the instant case;
than the 20% membership requirement of 22 employees. and

Eagle Ridge further argues that the list of union members includes (5) On February 24, 2006, Eagle Ridge filed the instant
a supervisory employee. This is a factual issue which had not been case for cancellation of the Union’s certificate of
raised at the first instance before the DOLE Regional Director and registration on essentially the same grounds it raised in its
cannot be appreciated in this proceeding. To be sure, Eagle Ridge opposition to the Union’s petition for certification
knows well who among its personnel belongs or does not belong to election.
the supervisory group. Obviously, its attempt to raise the issue
referred to is no more than an afterthought and ought to be Evidently, as the Union persuasively argues, the withdrawal of six member-
rejected.
employees from the Union will affect neither the Union’s registration nor its
petition for certification election, as their affidavits of retraction were
Eighth. Finally, it may not be amiss to note, given the factual executed after the Union’s petition for certification election had been filed.
antecedents of the instant case, that Eagle Ridge has apparently The initial five affidavits of retraction were executed on February 15, 2006;
resorted to filing the instant case for cancellation of the Union’s the sixth, on March 15, 2006. Indisputably, all six were executed way after
certificate of registration to bar the holding of a certification the filing of the petition for certification election on January 10, 2006.
election. This can be gleaned from the fact that the grounds it
raised in its opposition to the petition for certification election are
In Eastland Manufacturing Company, Inc. v. Noriel,52 the Court
basically the same grounds it resorted to in the instant case for emphasized, and reiterated its earlier rulings,53 that "even if there were less
cancellation of EREU’s certificate of registration. This amounts to than 30% [the required percentage of minimum membership then] of the
a clear circumvention of the law and cannot be countenanced.
employees asking for a certification election, that of itself would not be a
bar to respondent Director ordering such an election provided, of course,
For clarity, we reiterate the following undisputed antecedent facts: there is no grave abuse of discretion."54 Citing Philippine Association of
Free Labor Unions v. Bureau of Labor Relations,55 the Court emphasized
(1) On December 6, 2005, the Union was organized, with that a certification election is the most appropriate procedure for the desired
26 employees of Eagle Ridge attending; goal of ascertaining which of the competing organizations should represent
the employees for the purpose of collective bargaining.56
(2) On December 19, 2005, the Union filed its formal
application for registration indicating a total of 30 union Indeed, where the company seeks the cancellation of a union’s registration
members with the inclusion of four additional members during the pendency of a petition for certification election, the same
grounds invoked to cancel should not be used to bar the certification
election. A certification election is the most expeditious and fairest mode of
ascertaining the will of a collective bargaining unit as to its choice of its
exclusive representative.57 It is the fairest and most effective way of
determining which labor organization can truly represent the working force.
It is a fundamental postulate that the will of the majority, if given
expression in an honest election with freedom on the part of the voters to
make their choice, is controlling.58

The Court ends this disposition by reproducing the following apt excepts
from its holding in S.S. Ventures International, Inc. v. S.S. Ventures Labor
Union (SSVLU) on the effect of the withdrawal from union membership
right before or after the filing of a petition for certification election:

We are not persuaded. As aptly noted by both the BLR and CA, these
mostly undated written statements submitted by Ventures on March 20,
2001, or seven months after it filed its petition for cancellation of
registration, partake of the nature of withdrawal of union membership
executed after the Union’s filing of a petition for certification election on
March 21, 2000. We have in precedent cases said that the employees’
withdrawal from a labor union made before the filing of the petition for
certification election is presumed voluntary, while withdrawal after the
filing of such petition is considered to be involuntary and does not
affect the same. Now then, if a withdrawal from union membership
done after a petition for certification election has been filed does not
vitiate such petition, is it not but logical to assume that such withdrawal
cannot work to nullify the registration of the union? Upon this light, the
Court is inclined to agree with the CA that the BLR did not abuse its
discretion nor gravely err when it concluded that the affidavits of retraction
of the 82 members had no evidentiary weight.59 (Emphasis supplied.)

WHEREFORE, premises considered, we DISMISS the instant petition for


lack of merit.

Costs against petitioner.

SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. 169717 March 16, 2011 Med-Arbiter’s Ruling

SAMAHANG MANGGAGAWA SA CHARTER CHEMICAL On April 30, 1999, Med-Arbiter Tomas F. Falconitin issued a
SOLIDARITY OF UNIONS IN THE PHILIPPINES FOR Decision6 dismissing the petition for certification election. The Med-Arbiter
EMPOWERMENT AND REFORMS (SMCC-SUPER), ZACARRIAS ruled that petitioner union is not a legitimate labor organization because the
JERRY VICTORIO-Union President,Petitioner, Charter Certificate, "Sama-samang Pahayag ng Pagsapi at Authorization,"
vs. CHARTER CHEMICAL and COATING and "Listahan ng mga Dumalo sa Pangkalahatang Pulong at mga Sumang-
CORPORATION, Respondent. ayon at Nagratipika sa Saligang Batas" were not executed under oath and
certified by the union secretary and attested to by the union president as
DEL CASTILLO, J.: required by Section 235 of the Labor Code7 in relation to Section 1, Rule VI
of Department Order (D.O.) No. 9, series of 1997. The union registration
was, thus, fatally defective.
The right to file a petition for certification election is accorded to a labor
organization provided that it complies with the requirements of law for
proper registration. The inclusion of supervisory employees in a labor The Med-Arbiter further held that the list of membership of petitioner union
organization seeking to represent the bargaining unit of rank-and-file consisted of 12 batchman, mill operator and leadman who performed
employees does not divest it of its status as a legitimate labor organization. supervisory functions. Under Article 245 of the Labor Code, said
We apply these principles to this case. supervisory employees are prohibited from joining petitioner union which
seeks to represent the rank-and-file employees of respondent company.
This Petition for Review on Certiorari seeks to reverse and set aside the
Court of Appeal’s March 15, 2005 Decision1 in CA-G.R. SP No. 58203, As a result, not being a legitimate labor organization, petitioner union has
which annulled and set aside the January 13, 2000 Decision2 of the no right to file a petition for certification election for the purpose of
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in OS-A-6-53-99 (NCR- collective bargaining.
OD-M-9902-019) and the September 16, 2005 Resolution3 denying
petitioner union’s motion for reconsideration. Department of Labor and Employment’s Ruling

Factual Antecedents On July 16, 1999, the DOLE initially issued a Decision8 in favor of
respondent company dismissing petitioner union’s appeal on the ground that
On February 19, 1999, Samahang Manggagawa sa Charter Chemical the latter’s petition for certification election was filed out of time. Although
Solidarity of Unions in the Philippines for Empowerment and Reforms the DOLE ruled, contrary to the findings of the Med-Arbiter, that the
(petitioner union) filed a petition for certification election among the regular charter certificate need not be verified and that there was no independent
rank-and-file employees of Charter Chemical and Coating Corporation evidence presented to establish respondent company’s claim that some
(respondent company) with the Mediation Arbitration Unit of the DOLE, members of petitioner union were holding supervisory positions, the DOLE
National Capital Region. sustained the dismissal of the petition for certification after it took judicial
notice that another union, i.e., Pinag-isang Lakas Manggagawa sa Charter
Chemical and Coating Corporation, previously filed a petition for
On April 14, 1999, respondent company filed an Answer with Motion to
certification election on January 16, 1998. The Decision granting the said
Dismiss4 on the ground that petitioner union is not a legitimate labor
petition became final and executory on September 16, 1998 and was
organization because of (1) failure to comply with the documentation
requirements set by law, and (2) the inclusion of supervisory employees remanded for immediate implementation. Under Section 7, Rule XI of D.O.
within petitioner union.5 No. 9, series of 1997, a motion for intervention involving a certification
election in an unorganized establishment should be filed prior to the finality WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby GRANTED. The assailed Decision
of the decision calling for a certification election. Considering that and Resolution dated January 13, 2000 and February 17, 2000 are hereby
petitioner union filed its petition only on February 14, 1999, the same was [ANNULLED] and SET ASIDE.
filed out of time.
SO ORDERED.10
On motion for reconsideration, however, the DOLE reversed its earlier
ruling. In its January 13, 2000 Decision, the DOLE found that a review of In nullifying the decision of the DOLE, the appellate court gave credence to
the records indicates that no certification election was previously conducted the findings of the Med-Arbiter that petitioner union failed to comply with
in respondent company. On the contrary, the prior certification election filed the documentation requirements under the Labor Code. It, likewise, upheld
by Pinag-isang Lakas Manggagawa sa Charter Chemical and Coating the Med-Arbiter’s finding that petitioner union consisted of both rank-and-
Corporation was, likewise, denied by the Med-Arbiter and, on appeal, was file and supervisory employees. Moreover, the CA held that the issues as to
dismissed by the DOLE for being filed out of time. Hence, there was no the legitimacy of petitioner union may be attacked collaterally in a petition
obstacle to the grant of petitioner union’s petition for certification for certification election and the infirmity in the membership of petitioner
election, viz: union cannot be remedied through the exclusion-inclusion proceedings in a
pre-election conference pursuant to the ruling in Toyota Motor Philippines
WHEREFORE, the motion for reconsideration is hereby GRANTED and v. Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation Labor Union. 11 Thus, considering
the decision of this Office dated 16 July 1999 is MODIFIED to allow the that petitioner union is not a legitimate labor organization, it has no legal
certification election among the regular rank-and-file employees of Charter right to file a petition for certification election.
Chemical and Coating Corporation with the following choices:
Issues
1. Samahang Manggagawa sa Charter Chemical-Solidarity of
Unions in the Philippines for Empowerment and Reform (SMCC- I
SUPER); and
Whether x x x the Honorable Court of Appeals committed grave abuse of
2. No Union. discretion tantamount to lack of jurisdiction in granting the respondent
[company’s] petition for certiorari (CA G.R. No. SP No. 58203) in spite of
Let the records of this case be remanded to the Regional Office of origin for the fact that the issues subject of the respondent company[’s] petition was
the immediate conduct of a certification election, subject to the usual pre- already settled with finality and barred from being re-litigated.
election conference.
II
SO DECIDED.9
Whether x x x the Honorable Court of Appeals committed grave abuse of
Court of Appeal’s Ruling discretion tantamount to lack of jurisdiction in holding that the alleged
mixture of rank-and-file and supervisory employee[s] of petitioner [union’s]
On March 15, 2005, the CA promulgated the assailed Decision, viz: membership is [a] ground for the cancellation of petitioner [union’s] legal
personality and dismissal of [the] petition for certification election.

III
Whether x x x the Honorable Court of Appeals committed grave abuse of Respondent company asserts that it cannot be precluded from challenging
discretion tantamount to lack of jurisdiction in holding that the alleged the July 16, 1999 Decision of the DOLE. The said decision did not attain
failure to certify under oath the local charter certificate issued by its mother finality because the DOLE subsequently reversed its earlier ruling and, from
federation and list of the union membership attending the organizational this decision, respondent company timely filed its motion for
meeting [is a ground] for the cancellation of petitioner [union’s] legal reconsideration.
personality as a labor organization and for the dismissal of the petition for
certification election.12 On the issue of lack of verification of the charter certificate, respondent
company notes that Article 235 of the Labor Code and Section 1, Rule VI of
Petitioner Union’s Arguments the Implementing Rules of Book V, as amended by D.O. No. 9, series of
1997, expressly requires that the charter certificate be certified under oath.
Petitioner union claims that the litigation of the issue as to its legal
personality to file the subject petition for certification election is barred by It also contends that petitioner union is not a legitimate labor organization
the July 16, 1999 Decision of the DOLE. In this decision, the DOLE ruled because its composition is a mixture of supervisory and rank-and-file
that petitioner union complied with all the documentation requirements and employees in violation of Article 245 of the Labor Code. Respondent
that there was no independent evidence presented to prove an illegal company maintains that the ruling in Toyota Motor Philippines vs. Toyota
mixture of supervisory and rank-and-file employees in petitioner union. Motor Philippines Labor Union14 continues to be good case law. Thus, the
After the promulgation of this Decision, respondent company did not move illegal composition of petitioner union nullifies its legal personality to file
for reconsideration, thus, this issue must be deemed settled. the subject petition for certification election and its legal personality may be
collaterally attacked in the proceedings for a petition for certification
Petitioner union further argues that the lack of verification of its charter election as was done here.
certificate and the alleged illegal composition of its membership are not
grounds for the dismissal of a petition for certification election under Our Ruling
Section 11, Rule XI of D.O. No. 9, series of 1997, as amended, nor are they
grounds for the cancellation of a union’s registration under Section 3, Rule The petition is meritorious.
VIII of said issuance. It contends that what is required to be certified under
oath by the local union’s secretary or treasurer and attested to by the local
The issue as to the legal personality of petitioner union is not barred by the
union’s president are limited to the union’s constitution and by-laws,
July 16, 1999 Decision of the DOLE.
statement of the set of officers, and the books of accounts.
A review of the records indicates that the issue as to petitioner union’s legal
Finally, the legal personality of petitioner union cannot be collaterally
personality has been timely and consistently raised by respondent company
attacked but may be questioned only in an independent petition for
before the Med-Arbiter, DOLE, CA and now this Court. In its July 16, 1999
cancellation pursuant to Section 5, Rule V, Book IV of the Rules to
Decision, the DOLE found that petitioner union complied with the
Implement the Labor Code and the doctrine enunciated in Tagaytay documentation requirements of the Labor Code and that the evidence was
Highlands International Golf Club Incoprorated v. Tagaytay Highlands insufficient to establish that there was an illegal mixture of supervisory and
Empoyees Union-PTGWO.13
rank-and-file employees in its membership. Nonetheless, the petition for
certification election was dismissed on the ground that another union had
Respondent Company’s Arguments previously filed a petition for certification election seeking to represent the
same bargaining unit in respondent company.
Upon motion for reconsideration by petitioner union on January 13, 2000, The then prevailing Section 1, Rule VI of the Implementing Rules of Book
the DOLE reversed its previous ruling. It upheld the right of petitioner V, as amended by D.O. No. 9, series of 1997, provides:
union to file the subject petition for certification election because its
previous decision was based on a mistaken appreciation of facts. 15 From this Section 1. Chartering and creation of a local chapter — A duly registered
adverse decision, respondent company timely moved for reconsideration by federation or national union may directly create a local/chapter by
reiterating its previous arguments before the Med-Arbiter that petitioner submitting to the Regional Office or to the Bureau two (2) copies of the
union has no legal personality to file the subject petition for certification following:
election.
(a) A charter certificate issued by the federation or national union
The July 16, 1999 Decision of the DOLE, therefore, never attained finality indicating the creation or establishment of the local/chapter;
because the parties timely moved for reconsideration. The issue then as to
the legal personality of petitioner union to file the certification election was
(b) The names of the local/chapter’s officers, their addresses, and
properly raised before the DOLE, the appellate court and now this Court. the principal office of the local/chapter; and

The charter certificate need not be certified under oath by the local union’s
(c) The local/chapter’s constitution and by-laws provided that
secretary or treasurer and attested to by its president.
where the local/chapter’s constitution and by-laws [are] the same
as [those] of the federation or national union, this fact shall be
Preliminarily, we must note that Congress enacted Republic Act (R.A.) No. indicated accordingly.
948116 which took effect on June 14, 2007.17 This law introduced
substantial amendments to the Labor Code. However, since the operative
All the foregoing supporting requirements shall be certified under oath by
facts in this case occurred in 1999, we shall decide the issues under the
the Secretary or the Treasurer of the local/chapter and attested to by its
pertinent legal provisions then in force (i.e., R.A. No. 6715,18 amending
President.
Book V of the Labor Code, and the rules and regulations 19 implementing
R.A. No. 6715, as amended by D.O. No. 9,20
As readily seen, the Sama-samang Pahayag ng Pagsapi at Authorization and
Listahan ng mga Dumalo sa Pangkalahatang Pulong at mga Sumang-ayon at
series of 1997) pursuant to our ruling in Republic v. Kawashima Textile
Nagratipika sa Saligang Batas are not among the documents that need to be
Mfg., Philippines, Inc.21
submitted to the Regional Office or Bureau of Labor Relations in order to
register a labor organization. As to the charter certificate, the above-quoted
In the main, the CA ruled that petitioner union failed to comply with the rule indicates that it should be executed under oath. Petitioner union
requisite documents for registration under Article 235 of the Labor Code concedes and the records confirm that its charter certificate was not
and its implementing rules. It agreed with the Med-Arbiter that the Charter executed under oath. However, in San Miguel Corporation (Mandaue
Certificate, Sama-samang Pahayag ng Pagsapi at Authorization, and Packaging Products Plants) v. Mandaue Packing Products Plants-San
Listahan ng mga Dumalo sa Pangkalahatang Pulong at mga Sumang-ayon at Miguel Corporation Monthlies Rank-and-File Union-FFW (MPPP-SMPP-
Nagratipika sa Saligang Batas were not executed under oath. Thus, SMAMRFU-FFW),22 which was decided under the auspices of D.O. No. 9,
petitioner union cannot be accorded the status of a legitimate labor Series of 1997, we ruled –
organization.
In San Miguel Foods-Cebu B-Meg Feed Plant v. Hon. Laguesma, 331 Phil.
We disagree. 356 (1996), the Court ruled that it was not necessary for the charter
certificate to be certified and attested by the local/chapter officers. Id. While
this ruling was based on the interpretation of the previous court, that petitioner union consisted of both rank-and-file and supervisory
Implementing Rules provisions which were supplanted by the 1997 employees.
amendments, we believe that the same doctrine obtains in this case.
Considering that the charter certificate is prepared and issued by the Nonetheless, the inclusion of the aforesaid supervisory employees in
national union and not the local/chapter, it does not make sense to have petitioner union does not divest it of its status as a legitimate labor
the local/chapter’s officers x x x certify or attest to a document which organization. The appellate court’s reliance on Toyota is misplaced in view
they had no hand in the preparation of.23 (Emphasis supplied) of this Court’s subsequent ruling in Republic v. Kawashima Textile Mfg.,
Philippines, Inc.31 (hereinafter Kawashima). In Kawashima, we explained at
In accordance with this ruling, petitioner union’s charter certificate need not length how and why the Toyota doctrine no longer holds sway under the
be executed under oath. Consequently, it validly acquired the status of a altered state of the law and rules applicable to this case, viz:
legitimate labor organization upon submission of (1) its charter
certificate,24 (2) the names of its officers, their addresses, and its principal R.A. No. 6715 omitted specifying the exact effect any violation of the
office,25 and (3) its constitution and by-laws26— the last two requirements prohibition [on the co-mingling of supervisory and rank-and-file
having been executed under oath by the proper union officials as borne out employees] would bring about on the legitimacy of a labor
by the records. organization.

The mixture of rank-and-file and supervisory employees in petitioner union It was the Rules and Regulations Implementing R.A. No. 6715 (1989
does not nullify its legal personality as a legitimate labor organization. Amended Omnibus Rules) which supplied the deficiency by introducing the
following amendment to Rule II (Registration of Unions):
The CA found that petitioner union has for its membership both rank-and-
file and supervisory employees. However, petitioner union sought to "Sec. 1. Who may join unions. - x x x Supervisory employees and security
represent the bargaining unit consisting of rank-and-file employees. Under guards shall not be eligible for membership in a labor organization of
Article 24527 of the Labor Code, supervisory employees are not eligible for the rank-and-file employees but may join, assist or form separate labor
membership in a labor organization of rank-and-file employees. Thus, the organizations of their own; Provided, that those supervisory employees
appellate court ruled that petitioner union cannot be considered a legitimate who are included in an existing rank-and-file bargaining unit, upon the
labor organization pursuant to Toyota Motor Philippines v. Toyota Motor effectivity of Republic Act No. 6715, shall remain in that unit x x x.
Philippines Corporation Labor Union28 (hereinafter Toyota). (Emphasis supplied) and Rule V (Representation Cases and Internal-Union
Conflicts) of the Omnibus Rules, viz:
Preliminarily, we note that petitioner union questions the factual findings of
the Med-Arbiter, as upheld by the appellate court, that 12 of its members, "Sec. 1. Where to file. - A petition for certification election may be filed
consisting of batchman, mill operator and leadman, are supervisory with the Regional Office which has jurisdiction over the principal office of
employees. However, petitioner union failed to present any rebuttal the employer. The petition shall be in writing and under oath.
evidence in the proceedings below after respondent company submitted in
evidence the job descriptions29 of the aforesaid employees. The job Sec. 2. Who may file. - Any legitimate labor organization or the employer,
descriptions indicate that the aforesaid employees exercise recommendatory
when requested to bargain collectively, may file the petition.
managerial actions which are not merely routinary but require the use of
independent judgment, hence, falling within the definition of supervisory
employees under Article 212(m)30 of the Labor Code. For this reason, we The petition, when filed by a legitimate labor organization, shall contain,
are constrained to agree with the Med-Arbiter, as upheld by the appellate among others:
xxxx membership included rank-and-file employees, the Court reiterated that
such labor organization had no legal right to file a certification election to
(c) description of the bargaining unit which shall be the employer unit represent a bargaining unit composed of supervisors for as long as it
unless circumstances otherwise require; and provided further, that the counted rank-and-file employees among its members.
appropriate bargaining unit of the rank-and-file employees shall not
include supervisory employees and/or security guards. (Emphasis It should be emphasized that the petitions for certification election involved
supplied) in Toyota and Dunlop were filed on November 26, 1992 and September 15,
1995, respectively; hence, the 1989 Rules was applied in both cases.
By that provision, any questioned mingling will prevent an otherwise
legitimate and duly registered labor organization from exercising its right to But then, on June 21, 1997, the 1989 Amended Omnibus Rules was further
file a petition for certification election. amended by Department Order No. 9, series of 1997 (1997 Amended
Omnibus Rules). Specifically, the requirement under Sec. 2(c) of the 1989
Thus, when the issue of the effect of mingling was brought to the fore Amended Omnibus Rules – that the petition for certification election
in Toyota, the Court, citing Article 245 of the Labor Code, as amended by indicate that the bargaining unit of rank-and-file employees has not been
R.A. No. 6715, held: mingled with supervisory employees – was removed. Instead, what the 1997
Amended Omnibus Rules requires is a plain description of the bargaining
unit, thus:
"Clearly, based on this provision, a labor organization composed of both
rank-and-file and supervisory employees is no labor organization at all. It
cannot, for any guise or purpose, be a legitimate labor organization. Not Rule XI Certification Elections
being one, an organization which carries a mixture of rank-and-file and
supervisory employees cannot possess any of the rights of a legitimate xxxx
labor organization, including the right to file a petition for certification
election for the purpose of collective bargaining. It becomes necessary, Sec. 4. Forms and contents of petition. - The petition shall be in writing and
therefore, anterior to the granting of an order allowing a certification under oath and shall contain, among others, the following: x x x (c) The
election, to inquire into the composition of any labor organization description of the bargaining unit.
whenever the status of the labor organization is challenged on the basis
of Article 245 of the Labor Code. In Pagpalain Haulers, Inc. v. Trajano, the Court had occasion to uphold the
validity of the 1997 Amended Omnibus Rules, although the specific
xxxx provision involved therein was only Sec. 1, Rule VI, to wit:

In the case at bar, as respondent union's membership list contains the names "Section. 1. Chartering and creation of a local/chapter.- A duly registered
of at least twenty-seven (27) supervisory employees in Level Five positions, federation or national union may directly create a local/chapter by
the union could not, prior to purging itself of its supervisory employee submitting to the Regional Office or to the Bureau two (2) copies of the
members, attain the status of a legitimate labor organization. Not being one, following: a) a charter certificate issued by the federation or national union
it cannot possess the requisite personality to file a petition for certification indicating the creation or establishment of the local/chapter; (b) the names
election." (Emphasis supplied) of the local/chapter's officers, their addresses, and the principal office of the
local/chapter; and (c) the local/ chapter's constitution and by-laws; provided
In Dunlop, in which the labor organization that filed a petition for that where the local/chapter's constitution and by-laws is the same as that of
certification election was one for supervisory employees, but in which the the federation or national union, this fact shall be indicated accordingly.
All the foregoing supporting requirements shall be certified under oath by All said, while the latest issuance is R.A. No. 9481, the 1997 Amended
the Secretary or the Treasurer of the local/chapter and attested to by its Omnibus Rules, as interpreted by the Court in Tagaytay Highlands, San
President." 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
which does not require that, for its creation and registration, a local or law and the rules.32 [Underline supplied]
chapter submit a list of its members.
The applicable law and rules in the instant case are the same as those
Then came Tagaytay Highlands Int'l. Golf Club, Inc. v. Tagaytay Highlands in Kawashima because the present petition for certification election was
Employees Union-PGTWO in which the core issue was whether mingling filed in 1999 when D.O. No. 9, series of 1997, was still in effect.
affects the legitimacy of a labor organization and its right to file a petition Hence, Kawashimaapplies with equal force here. As a result, petitioner
for certification election. This time, given the altered legal milieu, the Court union was not divested of its status as a legitimate labor organization even if
abandoned the view in Toyota and Dunlopand reverted to its some of its members were supervisory employees; it had the right to file the
pronouncement in Lopez that while there is a prohibition against the subject petition for certification election.
mingling of supervisory and rank-and-file employees in one labor
organization, the Labor Code does not provide for the effects thereof. Thus, The legal personality of petitioner union cannot be collaterally attacked by
the Court held that after a labor organization has been registered, it may respondent company in the certification election proceedings.
exercise all the rights and privileges of a legitimate labor organization. Any
mingling between supervisory and rank-and-file employees in its Petitioner union correctly argues that its legal personality cannot be
membership cannot affect its legitimacy for that is not among the grounds collaterally attacked in the certification election proceedings. As we
for cancellation of its registration, unless such mingling was brought about explained in Kawashima:
by misrepresentation, false statement or fraud under Article 239 of the
Labor Code.
Except when it is requested to bargain collectively, an employer is a mere
bystander to any petition for certification election; such proceeding is non-
In San Miguel Corp. (Mandaue Packaging Products Plants) v. Mandaue adversarial and merely investigative, for the purpose thereof is to determine
Packing Products Plants-San Miguel Packaging Products-San Miguel which organization will represent the employees in their collective
Corp. Monthlies Rank-and-File Union-FFW, the Court explained that since bargaining with the employer. The choice of their representative is the
the 1997 Amended Omnibus Rules does not require a local or chapter to exclusive concern of the employees; the employer cannot have any partisan
provide a list of its members, it would be improper for the DOLE to deny interest therein; it cannot interfere with, much less oppose, the process by
recognition to said local or chapter on account of any question pertaining to filing a motion to dismiss or an appeal from it; not even a mere allegation
its individual members. that some employees participating in a petition for certification election are
actually managerial employees will lend an employer legal personality to
More to the point is Air Philippines Corporation v. Bureau of Labor block the certification election. The employer's only right in the proceeding
Relations, which involved a petition for cancellation of union registration is to be notified or informed thereof.
filed by the employer in 1999 against a rank-and-file labor organization on
the ground of mixed membership: the Court therein reiterated its ruling The amendments to the Labor Code and its implementing rules have
in Tagaytay Highlands that the inclusion in a union of disqualified buttressed that policy even more.33
employees is not among the grounds for cancellation, unless such inclusion
is due to misrepresentation, false statement or fraud under the circumstances
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The March 15, 2005 Decision
enumerated in Sections (a) and (c) of Article 239 of the Labor Code. and September 16, 2005 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP
No. 58203 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The January 13, 2000
Decision of the Department of Labor and Employment in OS-A-6-53-99
(NCR-OD-M-9902-019) is REINSTATED.

No pronouncement as to costs.
G.R. No. 163532 March 10, 2010 YEU appealed the 18 December 2000 Decision to the BLR. In its 12 March
2001 Resolution, the BLR reversed the 18 December 2000 Decision. The
YOKOHAMA TIRE PHILIPPINES, INC., Petitioner, BLR found that (1) Pineda did not approach any officer of YEU to have his
vs. YOKOHAMA EMPLOYEES UNION, Respondent. signature removed from the organizational documents; (2) Pineda’s
affidavit that no election of officers took place was unreliable and
inconsistent with his earlier written statement; (3) the affidavit of a certain
CARPIO, J.:
Rachelle Gonzales (Gonzales) that no election of officers took place was
unreliable and inconsistent with her earlier resignation letter; (4) the
This is a petition1 for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of affidavit of a certain Arthur Calma (Calma) did not state that no election of
Court. The petition challenges the 16 January 2004 Decision2 and 12 May officers took place; (5) at least 82 other members of YEU did not question
2004 Resolution3 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 65460. The the legality of YEU’s organization; and (6) 50 YEU members executed
Court of Appeals affirmed the 12 March4 and 3 May5 2001 Resolutions of a Sama-Samang Pahayag9 stating that:
the Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR) in BLR-A-C-7-2-05-01, reversing the
18 December 2000 Decision6 of the Department of Labor and Employment
(DOLE) Regional Office No. 3, San Fernando, Pampanga (Regional 3. Noong ika-25 ng Hulyo 1999, kami ay dumalo sa isang pulong para sa
pag-oorganisa ng aming Unyon at pagraratipika ng Saligang Batas at
Office), in Case No. RO300-0001-CP-002.
Alituntunin nito. x x x
Yokohama Employees Union (YEU) is the labor organization of the rank-
and-file employees of Yokohama Tire Philippines, Inc. (YTPI). YEU was xxxx
registered as a legitimate labor labor union on 10 September 1999.
5. Walang katotohanan ang alegasyon ng Yokohama na walang naganap
na pagpupulong kaugnay ng pag-oorganisa o pagtatayo namin ng
YEU filed before the Regional Office a petition for certification election.
Unyon. Nakakatuwa ring isipin ang alegasyon ng kompanya na hindi namin
YTPI filed before the Regional Office a petition7 dated 24 January 2000 for
the revocation of YEU’s registration. YTPI alleged that YEU violated lubos na naiintindihan ang aming kapasyahang magtayo at sumapi sa
Article 239(a)8 of the Labor Code: (1) YEU fraudulently included the aming Unyon.
signature of a certain Ronald O. Pineda (Pineda) in the organizational
documents; (2) Pineda was not aware of any election of union officers; (3) 6. Malinaw na ginagawa ng kompanya ang lahat ng paraan upang
YEU fraudulently obtained the employees’ signatures by making them hadlangan ang aming karapatan sa pag-oorganisa at kilalanin bilang
believe that they were signing a petition for a 125% increase in the kinatawan ng lahat ng mga regular na manggagawa para sa sama-samang
minimum wage, not a petition for registration; (4) the employees did not pakikipagtawaran.
belong to a single bargaining unit; and (5) YEU fraudulently stated in its
organizational meeting minutes that its second vice president was Bernard 7. Sa kabila ng lahat ng ito, kami ay lubos pa ring naninindigan sa aming
David, not Bernardo David. Unyon at patuloy na ipaglalaban ang aming karapatan sa pag-oorganisa at
sa sama-samang pakikipagtawaran;10
In its 18 December 2000 Decision, the Regional Office granted the 24
January 2000 petition. The Regional Office held that YEU committed The BLR also held that (1) YTPI was estopped from questioning the fact
misrepresentation: (1) YEU failed to remove Pineda’s signature from the that the Sama-Samang Pahayag was an unsworn document since it filed the
organizational documents despite instructions to do so; and (2) YEU 24 January 2000 petition for the revocation of YEU’s registration based on
declared that it conducted an election of union officers when, in truth, it did unsworn documents; (2) the fact that there was no express mention of an
not. election of union officers in the Sama-Samang Pahayag did not necessarily
mean that no election occurred; (3) there was an organizational meeting and Hence, the present petition. YTPI raises as issues that (1) the Court of
an organizational meeting may include an election of union officers; (4) any Appeals erred in finding that YEU did not commit fraud or
infirmity in the election of union officers may be remedied under the last misrepresentation, and (2) the Court of Appeals erred in holding that YTPI
paragraph11 of Article 241 of the Labor Code and under Rule XIV of DOLE had the burden of proving that YEU committed fraud and
Department Order No. 9; and (5) cancellation of union registration must be misrepresentation.
done with great caution.
The petition is unmeritorious.
YTPI filed before the BLR a motion12 for reconsideration. In its 3 May
2001 Resolution, the BLR denied the motion for lack of merit. The Court of Appeals found that YEU did not commit fraud or
misrepresentation:
YTPI filed before the Court of Appeals a petition13 for certiorari under Rule
65 of the Rules of Court. In its 16 January 2004 Decision, the Court of Anent whether an election of officers was conducted or not, the petitioner
Appeals denied the petition and held that the BLR did not commit grave relied largely on the affidavit of Pineda to substantiate its claim that no
abuse of discretion: (1) Pineda’s affidavit that no election of officers took election of officers was held by the union. However, respondent BLR
place was unreliable and inconsistent with his earlier written statement; (2) Director accorded greater credence to Pineda’s handwritten statement,
Gonzales’ affidavit that no election of officers took place was unreliable and wherein he made references to at least 2 meetings he had attended during
inconsistent with her earlier resignation letter; (3) Calma’s affidavit was which he had signed the organizational documents, than to Pineda’s
unreliable because he admitted that he stayed at the organizational meeting later affidavit, whereby he denied any knowledge of the holding of an
for only 20 minutes; (4) the affidavit of a certain Bernardino David (David) election. A perusal of the affirmative handwritten statement easily explains
that no election of officers took place was unreliable and inconsistent with why the public respondent preferred it to the negating affidavit, to wit:
his earlier sinumpaang salaysay; (5) David’s affidavit was only filed before
the BLR when YTPI filed its motion for reconsideration of the BLR’s 12
Noong unang araw na pumirma ako galing ako sa graveyard. Pagkatapos
March 2001 Resolution; (6) Pineda did not approach any officer of YEU to
yung pangalawang meetinggraveyard din ako, pinapirma ako doon sa
have his signature removed from the organizational documents; (7) siyam (9) na pirasong papel noong umagang pag-uwi namin. x x x
the Sama-Samang Pahayag was entitled to credit even if it was an unsworn
document; (8) the allegation that the signatures of a certain Denry
Villanueva (Villanueva) and a certain Apolinar Bognot (Bognot) in July 25, 99 - Unang Pirmahan
the Sama-Samang Pahayag were forged was only raised for the first time
before the BLR when YTPI filed its motion for reconsideration of the July 26, 99 - Pinirmahan ko ang siyam na piraso
BLR’s 12 March 2001 Resolution; (9) Villanueva and Bognot were not
signatories to YEU’s organizational documents; (10) cancellation of union July 27, 99 - Pinatatanggal ko ang aking pangalan sa listahan
registration must be done with great caution; (11) YTPI, in filing the
petition for revocation of YEU’s registration, had the burden of proving that The petitioner also relied on the affidavit of Ma. Rachelle Gonzales attesting
YEU committed fraud and misrepresentation; and (12) YTPI failed to prove that there was no election of officers, but respondent BLR Director
that YEU committed fraud and misrepresentation.1avvphi1 dismissed the affidavit as nothing but the petitioner’s belated attempt to
establish its claim about the election being held considering that Gonzales
YTPI filed before the Court of Appeals a motion14 for reconsideration. In its did not even intimate such matter in her handwritten resignation letter to
12 May 2004 Resolution, the Court of Appeals denied the motion for lack YEU.
of merit.
Another affidavit, that of Arthur Calma, stated that no election was held, required to be established by the petitioner. Herein, no degree of abuse of
but, again, respondent BLR Director gave Calma’s affidavit scant discretion was attendant.15
consideration because the affiant admittedly remained in the YEU office for
only 20 minutes. In contrast, the public respondent accorded more weight to YTPI claims that the Court of Appeals erred in finding that YEU did not
the sama-samang pahayag executed by 50 YEU members who averred commit fraud or misrepresentation. YTPI stated that:
about the holding of an organizational meeting. The public respondent
justifiably favored the latter, deeming the meeting to include the holding of
There was evidence that respondent committed fraud and misrepresentation
an election of officers, for, after all, Art. 234, (b), Labor Code, does not in its failure to omit the name of Ronald Pineda prior to the filing of the
itself distinguish between the two. respondents organizational documents with the Department of Labor and
Employment. On the other hand, the Regional Director held that there
Respondent BLR Director is further assailed for not taking into was no election of officers that had taken place during respondent’s
consideration the affidavit asserting that no election of officers was ever alleged organizational meeting as there was no proof of such
conducted, which Bernardino David, YEU’s second vice president, election.16(Emphasis in the original)
executed. The omission is not serious enough, however, because
the affidavit was submitted only when the petitioner moved for the
The Court is not convinced. A petition for review on certiorari under Rule
reconsideration of the questioned decision, and because the affidavit was
45 of the Rules of Court should include only questions of law — questions
even inconsistent with David’s earlier sinumpaang salaysay, whereby he
of fact are not reviewable. A question of law exists when the doubt centers
attested to his attendance at the organizational meeting and to his election
on what the law is on a certain set of facts, while a question of fact exists
thereat as vice president. when the doubt centers on the truth or falsity of the alleged facts. There is a
question of law if the issue raised is capable of being resolved without need
As to the inclusion of Pineda’s signature in the organizational documents, of reviewing the probative value of the evidence. Once the issue invites a
the BLR Director correctly ruled that evidence to prove the participation of review of the evidence, the question is one of fact.17
YEU in the failure to delete Pineda’s signature from the organizational
documents was wanting. It is not deniable that Pineda never approached any Whether YEU committed fraud and misrepresentation in failing to remove
officer of YEU; and that Pineda approached a certain Tonton whom he
Pineda’s signature from the list of employees who supported YEU’s
knew to be a union organizer but who was not an officer of the union nor an
application for registration and whether YEU conducted an election of its
employee of the company.
officers are questions of fact. They are not reviewable.

If the petitioner was [sic] sincere and intent on this imputed error, its effort Factual findings of the Court of Appeals are binding on the Court. Absent
to show so does not [sic] appear in the record. What appears is its abject
grave abuse of discretion, the Court will not disturb the Court of Appeals’
failure to establish Tonton’s actual identity. The petitioner seemed content
factual findings.18 In Encarnacion v. Court of Appeals,19 the Court held that,
in making the insinuation in the petition for certiorari that Tonton was
"unless there is a clearly grave or whimsical abuse on its part, findings of
widely recognized as the organizer behind the creation of YEU. That was
fact of the appellate court will not be disturbed. The Supreme Court will
not enough. only exercise its power of review in known exceptions such as gross
misappreciation of evidence or a total void of evidence." YTPI failed to
In sum, the BLR Director was neither capricious nor whimsical in his show that the Court of Appeals gravely abused its discretion.
exercise of judgment, and, therefore, did not commit grave abuse of
discretion. For certiorari to lie, more than mere abuse of discretion is
The Court of Appeals held that YTPI had the burden of proving that YEU
committed fraud and misrepresentation:
The cancellation of union registration at the employer’s instance, while Did respondent PIGLAS union commit fraud and misrepresentation in its
permitted, must be approached with caution and strict scrutiny in order that application for union registration? We agree with the DOLE-NCR and the
the right to belong to a legitimate labor organization and to enjoy the BLR that it did not. Except for the evident discrepancies as to the number of
privileges appurtenant to such membership will not be denied to the union members involved as these appeared on the documents that supported
employees. As the applicant for cancellation, the petitioner naturally had the the union’s application for registration, petitioner company has no other
burden to present proof sufficient to warrant the cancellation. The petitioner evidence of the alleged misrepresentation. But those discrepancies alone
was thus expected to satisfactorily establish that YEU committed cannot be taken as an indication that respondent misrepresented the
misrepresentations, false statements or fraud in connection with the election information contained in these documents.
of its officers, or with the minutes of the election of officers, or in the list of
votes, as expressly required in Art. 239, (c), Labor Code. But, as the The charge that a labor organization committed fraud and
respondent BLR Director has found and determined, and We fully agree misrepresentation in securing its registration is a serious charge and
with him, the petitioner simply failed to discharge its burden. 20 deserves close scrutiny. It is serious because once such charge is proved,
the labor union acquires none of the rights accorded to registered
YTPI claims that the Court of Appeals erred in holding that YTPI had the organizations. Consequently, charges of this nature should be clearly
burden of proving that YEU committed fraud and misrepresentation. YTPI established by evidence and the surrounding
stated that: circumstances.23 (Emphasis supplied)

5.5 In the Decision dated 16 January 2004, the Honorable Court of Appeals WHEREFORE, we DENY the petition. We AFFIRM the 16 January 2004
upheld the BLR Director’s ruling that the petitioner had the burden of Decision and 12 May 2004 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R.
proving that subject election of officers never took place. SP No. 65460.

5.6 However, the petitioner does not have the burden of proof vis-à-vis SO ORDERED.
whether or not the said elections took place. The respondent has the
burden of proof in showing that an election of officers took
place.21 (Emphasis in the original)

The Court is not convinced. YTPI, being the one which filed the petition for
the revocation of YEU’s registration, had the burden of proving that YEU
committed fraud and misrepresentation. YTPI had the burden of proving the
truthfulness of its accusations — that YEU fraudulently failed to remove
Pineda’s signature from the organizational documents and that YEU
fraudulently misrepresented that it conducted an election of officers.

In Heritage Hotel Manila v. Pinag-Isang Galing at Lakas ng mga


Manggagawa sa Heritage Manila,22 the employer filed a petition to revoke
the registration of its rank-and-file employees’ union, accusing it of
committing fraud and misrepresentation. The Court held that the petition
was rightfully denied because the employer failed to prove that the labor
union committed fraud and misrepresentation. The Court held that:
G.R. No. 196276 June 4, 2014 legal personality as it agreed to a certification election and actively
participated in the pre-election conference of the certification election
TAKATA (PHILIPPINES) CORPORATION, Petitioner, proceedings.6 Respondent argued that the union members were informed of
vs. BUREAU OF LABOR RELATIONS and SAMAHANG LAKAS the contents of the documents they signed and that the 68 attendees to the
MANGGAGAWA NG TAKATA (SALAMAT),Respondents. organizational meeting constituted more than 50% of the total union
membership, hence, a quo rumexisted for the conduct of the said meeting. 7
PERALTA, J.:
On August 27, 2009, DOLE Regional Director, Atty. Ricardo S. Martinez,
Sr., issued a Decision8 granting the petition for cancellation of respondent's
Before us is a petition for review on certiorari filed by petitioner TAKATA
certificate of registration, the dispositive portion of which reads:
Philippines Corporation assailing the Decision1 dated December 22, 2010
and the Resolution2 dated March 28, 2011 of the Court of Appeals in CA-
G.R. SP No. 112406. WHEREFORE, from the foregoing considerations, the petition is hereby
GRANTED. Accordingly, the respondent Union Certificate of Registration
No. RO400A-2009-05-01-UR-LAG, dated May 19, 2009 is hereby
On July 7, 2009, petitioner filed with the Department of Labor and
REVOCKED (sic) and /or CANCELLED pursuant to paragraph (a) & (b),
Employment (DOLE) Regional Office a Petition3for Cancellation of the
Section 3, Rule XIV of Department Order No. 40-03 and the Samahang
Certificate of Union Registration of Respondent Samahang Lakas
Lakas ng Manggagawa ng TAKATA (SALAMAT) is hereby delisted from
Manggagawa ng Takata (SALAMA1) on the ground that the latter is guilty
of misrepresentation, false statement and fraud with respect to the number the roll of legitimate labor organization of this office. 9
of those who participated in the organizational meeting, the adoption and
ratification of its Constitution and By-Laws, and in the election of its In revoking respondent's certificate of registration, the Regional Director
officers. It contended that in the May 1, 2009 organizational meeting of found that the 68 employees who attended the organizational meeting was
respondent, only 68 attendees signed the attendance sheet, and which obviously less than 20% of the total number of 396 regular rank-and-file
number comprised only 17% of the total number of the 396 regular rank- employees which respondent sought to represent, hence, short of the union
and-file employees which respondent sought to represent, and hence, registration requirement; that the attendance sheet which contained the
respondent failed to comply with the 20% minimum membership signatures and names of the union members totalling to 68 contradicted the
requirement. Petitioner insisted that the document "Pangalan ng mga Kasapi list of names stated in the document denominated as "Pangalan ng mga
ng Unyon" bore no signatures of the alleged 119 union members; and that Kasaping Unyon." The document "Sama-Samang Pahayag ng Pagsapi" was
employees were not given sufficient information on the documents they not attached to the application for registration as it was only submitted in
signed; that the document "Sama-Samang Pahayag ng Pagsapi" was not the petition for certification election filed by respondent at a later date. The
submitted at the time of the filing of respondent's application for union Regional Director also found that the proceedings in the cancellation of
registration; that the 119 union members were actually only 117; and, that registration and certification elections are two different and entirely separate
the total number of petitioner's employees as of May 1, 2009 was 470, and and independent proceedings which were not dependent on each other.
not 396 as respondent claimed.4
Dissatisfied, respondent, through Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino
Respondent denied the charge and claimed that the 119 union members (BMP) Paralegal Officer, Domingo P. Mole, filed a Notice and
were more than the 20% requirement for union registration. The document Memorandum of Appeal10 with the Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR).
"Sama-Samang Pahayag ng Pagsapi sa Unyon" which it presented in its However, on September 28,2009, respondent, through its counsels, Attys.
petition for certification election5 supported their claim of 119 members.
Respondent also contended that petitioner was estopped from assailing its
Napoleon C. Banzuela, Jr. and Jehn Louie W. Velandrez, filed an Appeal evidence showing that the employees assailed their inclusion in the list of
Memorandum with Formal Entry of Appearance 11 to the Office of the union members.
DOLE Secretary, which the latter eventually referred to the BLR. Petitioner
filed an Opposition to the Appeals12 praying for their dismissal on the Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration, which was denied by the BLR
ground of forum shopping as respondent filed two separate appeals in two in a Resolution16 dated January 8, 2010.
separate venues; and for failing to avail of the correct remedy within the
period; and that the certificate of registration was tainted with fraud,
Undaunted, petitioner went to the CA via a petition for certiorari under Rule
misrepresentation and falsification. 65.

In its Answer,13 respondent claimed that there was no forum shopping as


After the submission of the parties' respective pleadings, the case was
BMP's Paralegal Officer was no longer authorized to file an appeal on
submitted for decision.
behalf of respondent as the latter's link with BMP was already terminated
and only the Union President was authorized to file the appeal; and that it
complied with Department Order No. 40-03. On December 22, 2010, the CA rendered its assailed decision which denied
the petition and affirmed the decision of the BLR. Petitioner's motion for
reconsideration was denied in a Resolution dated March 29, 2011.
On December 9, 2009, after considering respondent's Appeal Memorandum
with Formal Entry of Appearance and petitioner's Answer, the BLR
rendered its Decision14 reversing the Order of the Regional Director, the Hence this petition for review filed by petitioner raising the following
decretal portion of which reads: issues, to wit:

WHEREFORE, the appeal is hereby GRANTED. The Decision of Regional THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED GRAVE AND
Director Ricardo S. Martinez, Sr., dated 27 August 2009, is hereby SERIOUS ERROR IN AFFIRMING THE DECISION OF PUBLIC
REVERSEDand SET ASIDE. RESPONDENT BLR AND NOT FINDING ANY VIOLATION BY
SAMAHANG LAKAS MANGGAGAWA SA TAKATA (SALAMAT) OF
THE RULE ON FORUM SHOPPING IN THE FILING OF TWO
Accordingly, Samahang Lakas Manggagawa ng TAKATA (SALAMAT)
VERIFIED APPEALS FOR AND ITS BEHALF. BOTH OF THE
shall remain in the roster of labor organizations. 15
APPEALS SHOULD HAVE BEEN DISMISSED OUTRIGHT BY
PUBLIC RESPONDENT BLR, ON GROUND OF FORUM SHOPPING.
In reversing, the BLR found that petitioner failed to prove that respondent
deliberately and maliciously misrepresented the number of rank-and-file
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED IN
employees. It pointed out petitioner's basis for the alleged noncompliance
FINDING THAT THE APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION OF
with the minimum membership requirement for registration was the
SAMAHANG LAKAS MANGGAGAWA SA TAKATA (SALAMAT)
attendance of 68 members to the May 1, 2009 organizational meeting WAS COMPLIANT WITH THE LAW. CONSIDERING THE
supposedly comprising only 17% of the total 396 regular rank-and-file CIRCUMSTANCES OBTAINING IN THE REGISTRATION OF
employees. However, the BLR found that the list of employees who
SALAMAT, IT IS CLEAR THAT THE SAME IS TAINTED WITH
participated in the organizational meeting was a separate and distinct
FRAUD, MISREPRESENTATION AND FALSIFICATION. SALAMAT
requirement from the list of the names of members comprising at least 20%
DID NOT POSSESS THE REQUIREDNUMBER OF MEMBERS AT
of the employees in the bargaining unit; and that there was no requirement
THE TIME OF FILING OF ITS APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION,
for signatures opposite the names of the union members; and there was no HENCE, IT SHOULD BE HELD GUILTY OF MISREPRESENTATION,
AND FALSE STATEMENTS AND FRAUD IN CONNECTION Respondent through its authorized representative filed its Appeal
THEREWITH.17 Memorandum with Formal Entry of Appearance before the Labor Secretary,
and not with the BLR. As the appeal emanated from the petition for
Anent the first issue, petitioner contends that respondent had filed two cancellation of certificate of registration filed with the Regional Office, the
separate appeals with two different representations at two different venues, decision canceling the registration is appealable to the BLR, and not with
in violation of the rule on multiplicity of suits and forum shopping, and the Labor Secretary. However, since the Labor Secretary motu propio
instead of dismissing both appeals, the appeal erroneously filed before the referred the appeal with the BLR, the latter can now act on it. Considering
Labor Secretary was the one held validly filed, entertained and even that Mole's appeal with the BLR was not deemed filed, respondent’s appeal,
granted; that it is not within the discretion of BLR to choose which between through Banzuela and Associates, which the Labor Secretary referred to the
the two appeals should be entertained, as it is the fact of the filing of the two BLR was the only existing appeal with the BLR for resolution. There is,
appeals that is being prohibited and not who among the representatives therefore, no merit to petitioner's claim that BLR chose the appeal of
therein possessed the authority. Banzuela and Associates over Mole's appeal.

We are not persuaded. The case of Abbott Laboratories Philippines, Inc. v. Abbott Laboratories
Employees Union20 cited by petitioner is not at all applicable in this case as
the issue therein is the authority of the Labor Secretary to review the
We find no error committed by the CA in finding that respondent
decision of the Bureau of Labor Relations rendered in the exercise of its
committed no forum shopping. As the CA correctly concluded, to wit:
appellate jurisdiction over decision of the Regional Director in cases
involving cancellations of certificate of registration of labor unions. We
It is undisputed that BMP Paralegal Officer Domingo P. Mole was no found no grave abuse of discretion committed by the Secretary of Labor in
longer authorized to file an appeal on behalf of union SALAMAT and that not acting on therein petitioner's appeal. The decision of the Bureau of
BMP was duly informed that its services was already terminated. Labor Relations on cases brought before it on appeal from the Regional
SALAMAT even submitted before the BLR its "Resolusyon Blg. 01-2009" Director are final and executory. Hence, the remedy of the aggrieved party
terminating the services of BMP and revoking the representation of Mr. is to seasonably avail of the special civil action of certiorari under Rule 65
Domingo Mole in any of the pending cases being handled by him on behalf and the Rules of Court. In this case, after the Labor Secretary motu propio
of the union. So, considering that BMP Paralegal Officer Domingo P. Mole referred respondent's appeal filed with it to the BLR which rendered its
was no longer authorized to file an appeal when it filed the Notice and decision reversing the Regional Director, petitioner went directly to the CA
Memorandum of Appeal to DOLE Regional Office No. IV-A, the same can via a petition for certiorari under Rule 65.
no longer be treated as an appeal filed by union SALAMAT. Hence, there is
no forum shopping to speak of in this case as only the Appeal Memorandum
with Formal Entry of Appearance filed by Atty. Napoleon C. Banzuela, Jr. As to the second issue, petitioner seeks the cancellation of respondent's
registration on grounds offraud and misrepresentation bearing on the
and Atty. Jehn Louie W. Velandrez is sanctioned by SALAMAT. 18
minimum requirement of the law as to its membership, considering the big
disparity in numbers, between the organizational meeting and the list of
Since Mole's appeal filed with the BLR was not specifically authorized by members, and so misleading the BLR that it obtained the minimum required
respondent, such appeal is considered to have not been filed at all. It has number of employees for purposes of organization and registration.
been held that "if a complaint is filed for and in behalf of the plaintiff who is
not authorized to do so, the complaint is not deemed filed.
We find no merit in the arguments.
An unauthorized complaint does not produce any legal effect." 19
Art. 234 of the Labor Code provides:
ART. 234. Requirements of Registration. - A federation, national union or (a) Misrepresentation, false statement or fraud in connection with
industry or trade union center or an independent union shall acquire legal the adoption or ratification of the constitution and by-laws or
personality and shall be entitled to the rights and privileges granted by law amendments thereto, the minutes of ratification, and the list of
to legitimate labor organizations upon issuance of the certificate of members who took part in the ratification;
registration based on the following requirements:
(b) Misrepresentation, false statements or fraud in connection with
(a) Fifty pesos (₱50.00)registration fee; the election of officers, minutes of the election of officers, and the
list of voters;
(b) The names of its officers, their addresses, the principal address
of the labor organization, the minutes of the organizational (c) Voluntary dissolution by the members.
meetings and the list of the workers who participated in such
meetings; Petitioner's charge that respondent committed misrepresentation and fraud
in securing its certificate of registration is a serious charge and must be
(c) In case the applicant is an independent union, the names of all carefully evaluated. Allegations thereof should be compounded with
its members comprising at least twenty percent (20%) of all the supporting circumstances and evidence.21 We find no evidence on record to
employees in the bargaining unit where it seeks to operate; support petitioner's accusation.

(d) If the applicant union has been in existence for one or more Petitioner's allegation of misrepresentation and fraud is based on its claim
years, copies of its annual financial reports; and that during the organizational meeting on May 1, 2009, only 68 employees
attended, while respondent claimed that it has 119 members as shown in the
(e) Four copies of the constitution and by-laws of the applicant document denominated as "Pangalan ng mga Kasapi ng Unyon;" hence,
union, minutes of its adoption or ratification, and the list of the respondent misrepresented on the 20% requirement of the law as to its
members who participated in it." membership.

And after the issuance of the certificate of registration, the labor We do not agree.
organization's registration could be assailed directly through cancellation of
registrati on proceedings in accordance with Articles 238 and 239 of the It does not appear in Article 234 (b) of the Labor Code that the attendees in
Labor Code. And the cancellation of union certificate of registration and the the organizational meeting must comprise 20% of the employees in the
grounds thereof are as follows: bargaining unit. In fact, even the Implementing Rules and Regulations of
the Labor Code does not so provide. It is only under Article 234 (c) that
ART. 238. Cancellation of Registration. - The certificate of registration of requires the names of all its members comprising at least twenty percent
any legitimate labor organization, whether national or local, may be (20%) of all the employees in the bargaining unit where it seeks to operate.
cancelled by the Bureau, after due hearing, only on the grounds specified in Clearly, the 20% minimum requirement pertains to the employees’
Article 239 hereof. membership in the union and not to the list of workers who participated in
the organizational meeting. Indeed, Article 234 (b) and (c) provide for
separate requirements, which must be submitted for the union's registration,
ART. 239. Grounds for Cancellation of Union Registration. - The following
may constitute grounds for cancellation of union registration: and which respondent did submit. Here, the total number of employees in
the bargaining unit was 396, and 20% of which was about 79. Respondent
submitted a document entitled "Pangalan ng Mga Kasapi ng Unyon"
showing the names of 119 employees as union members, thus respondent In Mariwasa Siam Ceramics v. Secretary of the Department of Labor and
sufficiently complied even beyond the 20% minimum membership Employment,24 we said:
requirement. Respondent also submitted the attendance sheet of the
organizational meeting which contained the names and signatures of the 68 For the purpose of de-certifying a union such as respondent, it must be
union members who attended the meeting. Considering that there are 119 shown that there was misrepresentation, false statement or fraud in
union members which are more than 20% of all the employees of the connection with the adoption or ratification of the constitution and by-laws
bargaining unit, and since the law does not provide for the required number or amendments thereto, the minutes of ratification; or, in connection with
of members to attend the organizational meeting, the 68 attendees which the election of officers, the minutes of the election of officers, the list of
comprised at least the majority of the 119 union members would already voters, or failure to submit these documents together with the list of the
constitute a quorum for the meeting to proceed and to validly ratify the newly elected-appointed officers and their postal addresses to the BLR.
Constitution and By-laws of the union. There is, therefore, no basis for
petitioner to contend that grounds exist for the cancellation of respondent's
The bare fact that two signatures appeared twice on the list of those who
union registration. For fraud and misrepresentation to be grounds for
participated in the organizational meeting would not, to our mind, provide a
cancellation of union registration under Article 239 of the Labor Code, the valid reason to cancel respondent’s certificate of registration. The
nature of the fraud and misrepresentation must be grave and compelling cancellation of a union’s registration doubtless has an impairing dimension
enough to vitiate the consent of a majority of union members. 22
on the right of labor to self-organization. For fraud and misrepresentation to
be grounds for cancellation of union registration under the Labor Code, the
Petitioner's claim that the alleged union members signed documents without nature of the fraud and misrepresentation must be grave and compelling
adequate information is not persuasive. The one who alleges a fact has the enough to vitiate the consent of a majority of union members.1âwphi1
burden of proving it and a mere allegation is not evidence.23 In fact, we note
that not one of those listed in the document denominated as "Pangalan ng
In this case, we agree with the BLR and the CA that respondent could not
Mga Kasaping Unyon" had come forward to deny their membership with
have possibly committed misrepresentation, fraud, or false statements. The
respondent. Notably, it had not been rebutted that the same union members
alleged failure of respondent to indicate with mathematical precision the
had signed the document entitled "Sama-Samang Pahayag ng Pagsapi,"
total number of employees in the bargaining unit is of no moment,
thus, strengtheningtheir desire to be members of the respondent union. especially as it was able to comply with the 20% minimum membership
requirement. Even if the total number of rank-and-file employees of
Petitioner claims that in the list of members, there was an employee whose petitioner is 528, while respondent declared that it should only be 455, it
name appeared twice and another employee who was merely a project still cannot be denied that the latter would have more than complied with
employee. Such could not be considered a misrepresentation in the absence the registration requirement.25
of showing that respondent deliberately did so for the purpose of increasing
their union membership. In fact, even if those two names were not included
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition for review is DENIED.
in the list of union members, there would still be 117 members which was
The Decision dated December 22, 2010 and the Resolution dated March 28,
still more than 20% of the 396 rank-and-file employees.
2011 of the Court of Appeals, in CA-G.R. SP No. 112406, are AFFIRMED.

As to petitioner's argument that the total number of its employees as of May SO ORDERED.
1, 2009 was 470, and not396 as respondent claimed, still the 117 union
members comprised more than the 20% membership requirement for
respondent's registration.
G.R. No. 208986, January 13, 2016 house workers, loaders, or labelers. In 2001, complainants were absorbed by
HRC, but they were working under the contractor-growers: Buenaventura
HIJO RESOURCES CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. EPIFANIO P. Tano (Bit Farm); Djerame Pausa (Djevon Farm); and Ramon Q. Laurente
MEJARES, REMEGIO C. BALURAN, JR., DANTE SAYCON, AND (Raquilla Farm). Complainants asserted that these contractor-growers
CECILIO CUCHARO, REPRESENTED BY NAMABDJERA- received compensation from HRC and were under the control of HRC. They
HRC, Respondents. further alleged that the contractor-growers did not have their own
capitalization, farm machineries, and equipment.
CARPIO, J.:
On 1 July 2007, complainants formed their union NAMABDJERA-HRC,
which was later registered with the Department of Labor and Employment
The Case (DOLE). On 24 August 2007, NAMABDJERA-HRC filed a petition for
certification election before the DOLE.
This petition for review1 assails the 29 August 2012 Decision2 and the 13
August 2013 Resolution3 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No.
04058-MIN. The Court of Appeals reversed and set aside the Resolutions When HRC learned that complainants formed a union, the three contractor-
dated 29 June 2009 and 16 December 2009 of the National Labor Relations growers filed with the DOLE a notice of cessation of business operations. In
Commission (NLRC) in NLRC No. MIC-03-000229-08 (RAB XI-09- September 2007, complainants were terminated from their employment on
00774-2007), and remanded the case to the Regional Arbitration Branch, the ground of cessation of business operations by the contractor-growers of
Region XI, Davao City for further proceedings. HRC. On 19 September 2007, complainants, represented by
NAMABDJERA-HRC, filed a case for unfair labor practices, illegal
The Facts dismissal, and illegal deductions with prayer for moral and exemplary
damages and attorney's fees before the NLRC.
Respondents Epifanio P. Mejares, Remegio C. Baluran, Jr., Dante Saycon,
and Cecilio Cucharo (respondents) were among the complainants,
represented by their labor union named "Nagkahiusang Mamumuo ng Bit, On 19 November 2007, DOLE Med-Arbiter Lito A. Jasa issued an
Djevon, at Raquilla Farms sa Hijo Resources Corporation" Order,4 dismissing NAMABDJERA-HRC's petition for certification
(NAMABDJERA-HRC), who filed with the NLRC an illegal dismissal case election on the ground that there was no employer-employee relationship
against petitioner Hijo Resources Corporation (HRC). between complainants (members of NAMABDJERA-HRC) and HRC.
Complainants did not appeal the Order of Med-Arbiter Jasa but pursued the
illegal dismissal case they filed.
Complainants (which include the respondents herein) alleged that petitioner
HRC, formerly known as Hijo Plantation Incorporated (HPI), is the owner
of agricultural lands in Madum, Tagum, Davao del Norte, which were On 4 January 2008, HRC filed a motion to inhibit Labor Arbiter Maria
planted primarily with Cavendish bananas. In 2000, HPI was renamed as Christina S. Sagmit and moved to dismiss the complaint for illegal
HRC. In December 2003, HRC's application for the conversion of its dismissal. The motion to dismiss was anchored on the following arguments:
agricultural lands into agri-industrial use was approved. The machineries (1) Lack of jurisdiction under the principle of res judicata; and (2) The
and equipment formerly used by HPI continued to be utilized by HRC. Order of the Med-Arbiter finding that complainants were not employees of
HRC, which complainants did not appeal, had become final and executory.
Complainants claimed that they were employed by HPI as farm workers in
HPI's plantations occupying various positions as area harvesters, packing
The Labor Arbiter's Ruling
The Ruling of the Court of Appeals
On 5 February 2008, Labor Arbiter Sagmit denied the motion to inhibit.
Labor Arbiter Sagmit likewise denied the motion to dismiss in an Order The Court of Appeals found the ruling in the Sandoval case more applicable
dated 12 February 2008. Labor Arbiter Sagmit held that res judicata does in this case. The Court of Appeals noted that the Sandoval case, which also
not apply. Citing the cases of Manila Golf & Country Club, Inc. v. involved a petition for certification election and an illegal dismissal case
IAC5 and Sandoval Shipyards, Inc. v. Pepito,6 the Labor Arbiter ruled that filed by the union members against the alleged employer, is on all fours
the decision of the Med-Arbiter in a certification election case, by the nature with this case. The issue in Sandoval on the effect of the Med-Arbiter's
of that proceedings, does not foreclose further dispute between the parties as findings as to the existence of employer-employee relationship is the very
to the existence or non-existence of employer-employee relationship same issue raised in this case. On the other hand, the case of Chris
between them. Thus, the finding of Med-Arbiter Jasa that no employment Garments Corp. v. Hon. Sto. Tomas7 cited by the NLRC, which involved
relationship exists between HRC and complainants does not bar the Labor three petitions for certification election filed by the same union, is of a
Arbiter from making his own independent finding on the same issue. The different factual milieu.
non-litigious nature of the proceedings before the Med-Arbiter does not
prevent the Labor Arbiter from hearing and deciding the case. Thus, Labor
Arbiter Sagmit denied the motion to dismiss and ordered the parties to file The Court of Appeals held that the certification proceedings before the
their position papers. Med-Arbiter are non-adversarial and merely investigative. On the other
hand, under Article 217 of the Labor Code, the Labor Arbiter has original
and exclusive jurisdiction over illegal dismissal cases. Although the
HRC filed with the NLRC a petition for certiorari with a prayer for proceedings before the Labor Arbiter are also described as non-litigious, the
temporary restraining order, seeking to nullify the 5 February 2008 and 12 Court of Appeals noted that the Labor Arbiter is given wide latitude in
February 2008 Orders of Labor Arbiter Sagmit. ascertaining the existence of employment relationship. Thus, unlike the
Med-Artbiter, the Labor Arbiter may conduct clarificatory hearings and
The Ruling of the NLRC even avail of ocular inspection to ascertain facts speedily.

The NLRC granted the petition, holding that Labor Arbiter Sagmit gravely Hence, the Court of Appeals concluded that the decision in a certification
abused her discretion in denying HRC's motion to dismiss. The NLRC held election case does not foreclose further dispute as to the existence or non-
that the Med-Arbiter Order dated 19 November 2007 dismissing the existence of an employer-employee relationship between HRC and the
certification election case on the ground of lack of employer-employee complainants.
relationship between HRC and complainants (members of
NAMABDJERA-HRC) constitutes res judicata under the concept of On 29 August 2012, the Court of Appeals promulgated its Decision, the
conclusiveness of judgment, and thus, warrants the dismissal of the case. dispositive portion of which reads:
The NLRC ruled that the Med-Arbiter exercises quasi-judicial power and
the Med-Arbiter's decisions and orders have, upon their finality, the force WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby GRANTED and the assailed
and effect of a final judgment within the purview of the doctrine of res Resolutions dated June 29, 2009 and December 16, 2009 of the National
judicata. Labor Relations Commission are hereby REVERSED AND SET ASIDE.
Let NLRC CASE No. RAB-XI-09-00774-0707 be remanded to the
On the issue of inhibition, the NLRC found it moot and academic in view of Regional Arbitration Branch, Region XI, Davao City for further
Labor Arbiter Sagmit's voluntary inhibition from the case as per Order proceedings.
dated 11 March 2009.
SO ORDERED.
The Issue Apropos to the present case, once there is a determination as to the
existence of such a relationship, the med-arbiter can then decide the
Whether the Court of Appeals erred in setting aside the NLRC ruling and certification election case. As the authority to determine the employer-
remanding the case to the Labor Arbiter for further proceedings. employee relationship is necessary and indispensable in the exercise of
jurisdiction by the med-arbiter, his finding thereon may only be reviewed
The Ruling of the Court and reversed by the Secretary of Labor who exercises appellate jurisdiction
under Article 259 of the Labor Code, as amended, which provides -
We find the petition without merit. "ART. 259. Appeal from certification election orders. - Any party to an
election may appeal the order or results of the election as determined by the
Med-Arbiter directly to the Secretary of Labor and Employment on the
There is no question that the Med-Arbiter has the authority to determine the ground that the rules and regulations or parts thereof established by the
existence of an employer-employee relationship between the parties in a Secretary of Labor and Employment for the conduct of the election have
petition for certification election. As held in M. Y. San Biscuits, Inc. v. been violated. Such appeal shall be decided within fifteen (15) calendar
Acting Sec. Laguesma:9 days."10

Under Article 226 of the Labor Code, as amended, the Bureau of Labor In this case, the Med-Arbiter issued an Order dated 19 November 2007,
Relations (BLR), of which the med-arbiter is an officer, has the following dismissing the certification election case because of lack of employer-
jurisdiction – employee relationship between HRC and the members of the respondent
union. The order dismissing the petition was issued after the members of the
"ART. 226. Bureau of Labor Relations. - The Bureau of Labor Relations respondent union were terminated from their employment in September
and the Labor Relations Divisionfs] in the regional offices of the 2007, which led to the filing of the illegal dismissal case before the NLRC
Department of Labor shall have original and exclusive authority to act, at on 19 September 2007. Considering their termination from work, it would
their own initiative or upon request of either or both parties, on all inter- have been futile for the members of the respondent union to appeal the
union and intra-union conflicts, and all disputes, grievances or problems Med-Arbiter' s order in the certification election case to the DOLE
arising from or affecting labor-management relations in all workplaces Secretary. Instead, they pursued the illegal dismissal case filed before the
whether agricultural or non-agricultural, except those arising from the NLRC.
implementation or interpretation of collective bargaining agreements which
shall be the subject of grievance procedure and/or voluntary arbitration. The Court is tasked to resolve the issue of whether the Labor Arbiter, in the
illegal dismissal case, is bound by the ruling of the Med-Arbiter regarding
The Bureau shall have fifteen (15) working days to act on labor cases before the existence or non-existence of employer-employee relationship between
it, subject to extension by agreement of the parties." (Italics supplied) the parties in the certification election case.
From the foregoing, the BLR has the original and exclusive jurisdiction
to inter alia, decide all disputes, grievances or problems arising from or The Court rules in the negative. As found by the Court of Appeals, the facts
affecting labor-management relations in all workplaces whether agricultural in this case are very similar to those in the Sandoval case, which also
or non-agricultural. Necessarily, in the exercise of this jurisdiction over involved the issue of whether the ruling in a certification election case on
labor-management relations, the med-arbiter has the authority, original and the existence or non-existence of an employer-employee relationship
exclusive, to determine the existence of an employer-employee relationship operates as res judicata in the illegal dismissal case filed before the NLRC.
between the parties. In Sandoval, the DOLE Undersecretary reversed the finding of the Med-
Arbiter in a certification election case and ruled that there was no employer-
employee relationship between the members of the petitioner union and Decision and the 13 August 2013 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in
Sandoval Shipyards, Inc. (SSI), since the former were employees of the CA-G.R. SP No. 04058-MIN.
subcontractors. Subsequently, several illegal dismissal cases were filed by
some members of the petitioner union against SSI. Both the Labor Arbiter SO ORDERED.
and the NLRC ruled that there was no employer-employee relationship
between the parties, citing the resolution of the DOLE Undersecretary in the
certification election case. The Court of Appeals reversed the NLRC ruling
and held that the members of the petitioner union were employees of SSI.
On appeal, this Court affirmed the appellate court's decision and ruled that
the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC erred in relying on the pronouncement of
the DOLE Undersecretary that there was no employer-employee
relationship between the parties. The Court cited the ruling in the Manila
Golf11 case that the decision in a certification election case, by the very
nature of that proceeding, does not foreclose all further dispute between the
parties as to the existence or non-existence of an employer-employee
relationship between them.

This case is different from the Chris Garments case cited by the NLRC
where the Court held that the matter of employer-employee relationship has
been resolved with finality by the DOLE Secretary, whose factual findings
were not appealed by the losing party. As mentioned earlier, the Med-
Arbiter's order in this case dismissing the petition for certification
election on the basis of non-existence of employer-employee
relationship was issued after the members of the respondent union were
dismissed from their employment. The purpose of a petition for
certification election is to determine which organization will represent the
employees in their collective bargaining with the employer. 12The
respondent union, without its member-employees, was thus stripped of
its personality to challenge the Med-Arbiter's decision in the
certification election case. Thus, the members of the respondent union
were left with no option but to pursue their illegal dismissal case filed
before the Labor Arbiter. To dismiss the illegal dismissal case filed before
the Labor Arbiter on the basis of the pronouncement of the Med-Arbiter in
the certification election case that there was no employer-employee
relationship between the parties, which the respondent union could not even
appeal to the DOLE Secretary because of the dismissal of its members,
would be tantamount to denying due process to the complainants in the
illegal dismissal case. This, we cannot allow.

WHEREFORE, we DENY the petition. We AFFIRM the 29 August 2012