Sunteți pe pagina 1din 154

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

Republic of the Philippines examination of the samples he extracted from the


SUPREME COURT cellophane wrapper (tsn, pp. 5-6, October 6, 1987).
Manila
He brought the letter and a sample of appellant's
THIRD DIVISION shipment to the Narcotics Section of the National
Bureau of Investigation (NBI), at about 1:30 o'clock in
G.R. No. 81561 January 18, 1991 the afternoon of that date, i.e., August 14, 1987. He
was interviewed by the Chief of Narcotics Section.
Job Reyes informed the NBI that the rest of the
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee shipment was still in his office. Therefore, Job Reyes
vs. and three (3) NBI agents, and a photographer, went to
ANDRE MARTI, accused-appellant. the Reyes' office at Ermita, Manila (tsn, p. 30, October
6, 1987).
The Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee.
Reynaldo B. Tatoy and Abelardo E. Rogacion for accused- Job Reyes brought out the box in which appellant's
appellant. packages were placed and, in the presence of the
NBI agents, opened the top flaps, removed the styro-
BIDIN, J.: foam and took out the cellophane wrappers from
inside the gloves. Dried marijuana leaves were found
This is an appeal from a decision * rendered by the Special to have been contained inside the cellophane
Criminal Court of Manila (Regional Trial Court, Branch XLIX) wrappers (tsn, p. 38, October 6, 1987; Emphasis
convicting accused-appellant of violation of Section 21 (b), supplied).
Article IV in relation to Section 4, Article 11 and Section 2 (e)
(i), Article 1 of Republic Act 6425, as amended, otherwise The package which allegedly contained books was
known as the Dangerous Drugs Act. likewise opened by Job Reyes. He discovered that
the package contained bricks or cake-like dried
The facts as summarized in the brief of the prosecution are as marijuana leaves. The package which allegedly
follows: contained tabacalera cigars was also opened. It
turned out that dried marijuana leaves were neatly
stocked underneath the cigars (tsn, p. 39, October 6,
On August 14, 1987, between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m., 1987).
the appellant and his common-law wife, Shirley
Reyes, went to the booth of the "Manila Packing and
Export Forwarders" in the Pistang Pilipino Complex, The NBI agents made an inventory and took charge
Ermita, Manila, carrying with them four (4) gift of the box and of the contents thereof, after signing a
wrapped packages. Anita Reyes (the proprietress and "Receipt" acknowledging custody of the said effects
no relation to Shirley Reyes) attended to them. The (tsn, pp. 2-3, October 7, 1987).
appellant informed Anita Reyes that he was sending
the packages to a friend in Zurich, Switzerland. Thereupon, the NBI agents tried to locate appellant but to no
Appellant filled up the contract necessary for the avail. Appellant's stated address in his passport being the
transaction, writing therein his name, passport Manila Central Post Office, the agents requested assistance
number, the date of shipment and the name and from the latter's Chief Security. On August 27, 1987, appellant,
address of the consignee, namely, "WALTER FIERZ, while claiming his mail at the Central Post Office, was invited
Mattacketr II, 8052 Zurich, Switzerland" (Decision, p. by the NBI to shed light on the attempted shipment of the
6) seized dried leaves. On the same day the Narcotics Section of
the NBI submitted the dried leaves to the Forensic Chemistry
Anita Reyes then asked the appellant if she could Section for laboratory examination. It turned out that the dried
examine and inspect the packages. Appellant, leaves were marijuana flowering tops as certified by the
however, refused, assuring her that the packages forensic chemist. (Appellee's Brief, pp. 9-11, Rollo, pp. 132-
simply contained books, cigars, and gloves and were 134).
gifts to his friend in Zurich. In view of appellant's
representation, Anita Reyes no longer insisted on Thereafter, an Information was filed against appellant for
inspecting the packages. The four (4) packages were violation of RA 6425, otherwise known as the Dangerous
then placed inside a brown corrugated box one by two Drugs Act.
feet in size (1' x 2'). Styro-foam was placed at the
bottom and on top of the packages before the box After trial, the court a quo rendered the assailed decision.
was sealed with masking tape, thus making the box
ready for shipment (Decision, p. 8).
In this appeal, accused/appellant assigns the following errors,
to wit:
Before delivery of appellant's box to the Bureau of
Customs and/or Bureau of Posts, Mr. Job Reyes
(proprietor) and husband of Anita (Reyes), following THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN ADMITTING IN
standard operating procedure, opened the boxes for EVIDENCE THE ILLEGALLY SEARCHED AND
final inspection. When he opened appellant's box, a SEIZED OBJECTS CONTAINED IN THE FOUR
peculiar odor emitted therefrom. His curiousity PARCELS.
aroused, he squeezed one of the bundles allegedly
containing gloves and felt dried leaves inside. THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN CONVICTING
Opening one of the bundles, he pulled out a APPELLANT DESPITE THE UNDISPUTED FACT
cellophane wrapper protruding from the opening of THAT HIS RIGHTS UNDER THE CONSTITUTION
one of the gloves. He made an opening on one of the WHILE UNDER CUSTODIAL PROCEEDINGS WERE
cellophane wrappers and took several grams of the NOT OBSERVED.
contents thereof (tsn, pp. 29-30, October 6, 1987;
Emphasis supplied). THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN NOT GIVING
CREDENCE TO THE EXPLANATION OF THE
Job Reyes forthwith prepared a letter reporting the APPELLANT ON HOW THE FOUR PARCELS CAME
shipment to the NBI and requesting a laboratory INTO HIS POSSESSION (Appellant's Brief, p.
1; Rollo, p. 55)
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

1. Appellant contends that the evidence subject of the imputed On the other hand, the case at bar assumes a peculiar
offense had been obtained in violation of his constitutional character since the evidence sought to be excluded was
rights against unreasonable search and seizure and privacy of primarily discovered and obtained by a private person, acting
communication (Sec. 2 and 3, Art. III, Constitution) and in a private capacity and without the intervention and
therefore argues that the same should be held inadmissible in participation of State authorities. Under the circumstances, can
evidence (Sec. 3 (2), Art. III). accused/appellant validly claim that his constitutional right
against unreasonable searches and seizure has been
Sections 2 and 3, Article III of the Constitution provide: violated? Stated otherwise, may an act of a private individual,
allegedly in violation of appellant's constitutional rights, be
invoked against the State?
Sec. 2. The right of the people to be secure in their
persons, houses, papers and effects against
unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever We hold in the negative. In the absence of governmental
nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no interference, the liberties guaranteed by the Constitution
search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except cannot be invoked against the State.
upon probable cause to be determined personally by
the judge after examination under oath or affirmation As this Court held in Villanueva v. Querubin (48 SCRA 345
of the complainant and the witnesses he may [1972]:
produce, and particularly describing the place to be
searched and the persons or things to be seized. 1. This constitutional right (against unreasonable
search and seizure) refers to the immunity of one's
Sec. 3. (1) The privacy of communication and person, whether citizen or alien, from interference by
correspondence shall be inviolable except upon lawful government, included in which is his residence, his
order of the court, or when public safety or order papers, and other possessions. . . .
requires otherwise as prescribed by law.
. . . There the state, however powerful, does not as
(2) Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the such have the access except under the
preceding section shall be inadmissible for any circumstances above noted, for in the traditional
purpose in any proceeding. formulation, his house, however humble, is his
castle. Thus is outlawed any unwarranted intrusion by
Our present constitutional provision on the guarantee against government, which is called upon to refrain from any
unreasonable search and seizure had its origin in the 1935 invasion of his dwelling and to respect the privacies of
Charter which, worded as follows: his life. . . . (Cf. Schermerber v. California, 384 US
757 [1966] and Boyd v. United States, 116 US 616
[1886]; Emphasis supplied).
The right of the people to be secure in their persons,
houses, papers and effects against unreasonable
searches and seizures shall not be violated, and no In Burdeau v. McDowell (256 US 465 (1921), 41 S Ct. 547; 65
warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, to be L.Ed. 1048), the Court there in construing the right against
determined by the judge after examination under oath unreasonable searches and seizures declared that:
or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he
may produce, and particularly describing the place to (t)he Fourth Amendment gives protection against
be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. unlawful searches and seizures, and as shown in
(Sec. 1 [3], Article III) previous cases, its protection applies to governmental
action. Its origin and history clearly show that it was
was in turn derived almost verbatim from the Fourth intended as a restraint upon the activities of sovereign
Amendment ** to the United States Constitution. As such, the authority, and was not intended to be a limitation upon
Court may turn to the pronouncements of the United States other than governmental agencies; as against such
Federal Supreme Court and State Appellate Courts which are authority it was the purpose of the Fourth Amendment
considered doctrinal in this jurisdiction. to secure the citizen in the right of unmolested
occupation of his dwelling and the possession of his
property, subject to the right of seizure by process
Thus, following the exclusionary rule laid down in Mapp v. Ohio duly served.
by the US Federal Supreme Court (367 US 643, 81 S.Ct. 1684,
6 L.Ed. 1081 [1961]), this Court, in Stonehill v. Diokno (20
SCRA 383 [1967]), declared as inadmissible any evidence The above ruling was reiterated in State v. Bryan (457 P.2d 661
obtained by virtue of a defective search and seizure warrant, [1968]) where a parking attendant who searched the
abandoning in the process the ruling earlier adopted automobile to ascertain the owner thereof found marijuana
in Moncado v. People's Court (80 Phil. 1 [1948]) wherein the instead, without the knowledge and participation of police
admissibility of evidence was not affected by the illegality of its authorities, was declared admissible in prosecution for illegal
seizure. The 1973 Charter (Sec. 4 [2], Art. IV) possession of narcotics.
constitutionalized the Stonehill ruling and is carried over up to
the present with the advent of the 1987 Constitution. And again in the 1969 case of Walker v. State (429 S.W.2d
121), it was held that the search and seizure clauses are
In a number of cases, the Court strictly adhered to the restraints upon the government and its agents, not upon
exclusionary rule and has struck down the admissibility of private individuals (citing People v. Potter, 240 Cal. App.2d
evidence obtained in violation of the constitutional safeguard 621, 49 Cap. Rptr, 892 (1966); State v. Brown, Mo., 391
against unreasonable searches and seizures. (Bache & Co., S.W.2d 903 (1965); State v. Olsen, Or., 317 P.2d 938 (1957).
(Phil.), Inc., v. Ruiz, 37 SCRA 823 [1971]; Lim v. Ponce de
Leon, 66 SCRA 299 [1975]; People v. Burgos, 144 SCRA 1 Likewise appropos is the case of Bernas v. US (373 F.2d 517
[1986]; Roan v. Gonzales, 145 SCRA 687 [1987]; See (1967). The Court there said:
also Salazar v. Hon. Achacoso, et al., GR No. 81510, March
14, 1990). The search of which appellant complains, however,
was made by a private citizen the owner of a motel
It must be noted, however, that in all those cases adverted to, in which appellant stayed overnight and in which he
the evidence so obtained were invariably procured by the State left behind a travel case containing the
acting through the medium of its law enforcers or other evidence***complained of. The search was made on
authorized government agencies. the motel owner's own initiative. Because of it, he
became suspicious, called the local police, informed
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

them of the bag's contents, and made it available to relationship between the individual and the state. Its
the authorities. concern is not the relation between individuals,
between a private individual and other individuals.
The fourth amendment and the case law applying it What the Bill of Rights does is to declare some
do not require exclusion of evidence obtained through forbidden zones in the private sphere inaccessible to
a search by a private citizen. Rather, the amendment any power holder. (Sponsorship Speech of
only proscribes governmental action." Commissioner Bernas , Record of the Constitutional
Commission, Vol. 1, p. 674; July 17, 1986; Emphasis
supplied)
The contraband in the case at bar having come into
possession of the Government without the latter transgressing
appellant's rights against unreasonable search and seizure, the The constitutional proscription against unlawful searches and
Court sees no cogent reason why the same should not be seizures therefore applies as a restraint directed only against
admitted against him in the prosecution of the offense charged. the government and its agencies tasked with the enforcement
of the law. Thus, it could only be invoked against the State to
whom the restraint against arbitrary and unreasonable exercise
Appellant, however, would like this court to believe that NBI of power is imposed.
agents made an illegal search and seizure of the evidence
later on used in prosecuting the case which resulted in his
conviction. If the search is made upon the request of law enforcers, a
warrant must generally be first secured if it is to pass the test of
constitutionality. However, if the search is made at the behest
The postulate advanced by accused/appellant needs to be or initiative of the proprietor of a private establishment for its
clarified in two days. In both instances, the argument stands to own and private purposes, as in the case at bar, and without
fall on its own weight, or the lack of it. the intervention of police authorities, the right against
unreasonable search and seizure cannot be invoked for only
First, the factual considerations of the case at bar readily the act of private individual, not the law enforcers, is involved.
foreclose the proposition that NBI agents conducted an illegal In sum, the protection against unreasonable searches and
search and seizure of the prohibited merchandise. Records of seizures cannot be extended to acts committed by private
the case clearly indicate that it was Mr. Job Reyes, the individuals so as to bring it within the ambit of alleged unlawful
proprietor of the forwarding agency, who made intrusion by the government.
search/inspection of the packages. Said inspection was
reasonable and a standard operating procedure on the part of Appellant argues, however, that since the provisions of the
Mr. Reyes as a precautionary measure before delivery of 1935 Constitution has been modified by the present
packages to the Bureau of Customs or the Bureau of Posts phraseology found in the 1987 Charter, expressly declaring as
(TSN, October 6 & 7, 1987, pp. 15-18; pp. 7-8; Original inadmissible any evidence obtained in violation of the
Records, pp. 119-122; 167-168). constitutional prohibition against illegal search and seizure, it
matters not whether the evidence was procured by police
It will be recalled that after Reyes opened the box containing authorities or private individuals (Appellant's Brief, p. 8, Rollo,
the illicit cargo, he took samples of the same to the NBI and p. 62).
later summoned the agents to his place of business.
Thereafter, he opened the parcel containing the rest of the The argument is untenable. For one thing, the constitution, in
shipment and entrusted the care and custody thereof to the laying down the principles of the government and fundamental
NBI agents. Clearly, the NBI agents made no search and liberties of the people, does not govern relationships between
seizure, much less an illegal one, contrary to the postulate of individuals. Moreover, it must be emphasized that the
accused/appellant. modifications introduced in the 1987 Constitution (re: Sec. 2,
Art. III) relate to the issuance of either a search warrant or
Second, the mere presence of the NBI agents did not convert warrant of arrest vis-a-vis the responsibility of the judge in the
the reasonable search effected by Reyes into a warrantless issuance thereof (See Soliven v. Makasiar, 167 SCRA 393
search and seizure proscribed by the Constitution. Merely to [1988]; Circular No. 13 [October 1, 1985] and Circular No. 12
observe and look at that which is in plain sight is not a search. [June 30, 1987]. The modifications introduced deviate in no
Having observed that which is open, where no trespass has manner as to whom the restriction or inhibition against
been committed in aid thereof, is not search (Chadwick v. unreasonable search and seizure is directed against. The
State, 429 SW2d 135). Where the contraband articles are restraint stayed with the State and did not shift to anyone else.
identified without a trespass on the part of the arresting officer,
there is not the search that is prohibited by the constitution (US Corolarilly, alleged violations against unreasonable search and
v. Lee 274 US 559, 71 L.Ed. 1202 [1927]; Ker v. State of seizure may only be invoked against the State by an individual
California 374 US 23, 10 L.Ed.2d. 726 [1963]; Moore v. State, unjustly traduced by the exercise of sovereign authority. To
429 SW2d 122 [1968]). agree with appellant that an act of a private individual in
violation of the Bill of Rights should also be construed as an
In Gandy v. Watkins (237 F. Supp. 266 [1964]), it was likewise act of the State would result in serious legal complications and
held that where the property was taken into custody of the an absurd interpretation of the constitution.
police at the specific request of the manager and where the
search was initially made by the owner there is no Similarly, the admissibility of the evidence procured by an
unreasonable search and seizure within the constitutional individual effected through private seizure equally applies,
meaning of the term. in pari passu, to the alleged violation, non-governmental as it
is, of appellant's constitutional rights to privacy and
That the Bill of Rights embodied in the Constitution is not communication.
meant to be invoked against acts of private individuals finds
support in the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission. 2. In his second assignment of error, appellant contends that
True, the liberties guaranteed by the fundamental law of the the lower court erred in convicting him despite the undisputed
land must always be subject to protection. But protection fact that his rights under the constitution while under custodial
against whom? Commissioner Bernas in his sponsorship investigation were not observed.
speech in the Bill of Rights answers the query which he himself
posed, as follows:
Again, the contention is without merit, We have carefully
examined the records of the case and found nothing to
First, the general reflections. The protection of indicate, as an "undisputed fact", that appellant was not
fundamental liberties in the essence of constitutional informed of his constitutional rights or that he gave statements
democracy. Protection against whom? Protection without the assistance of counsel. The law enforcers testified
against the state. The Bill of Rights governs the
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

that accused/appellant was informed of his constitutional such as the common experience and observation of mankind
rights. It is presumed that they have regularly performed their can approve as probable under the circumstances (People v.
duties (See. 5(m), Rule 131) and their testimonies should be Alto, 26 SCRA 342 [1968], citing Daggers v. Van Dyke, 37 N.J.
given full faith and credence, there being no evidence to the Eg. 130; see also People v. Sarda, 172 SCRA 651 [1989];
contrary. What is clear from the records, on the other hand, is People v. Sunga, 123 SCRA 327 [1983]); Castaares v. CA, 92
that appellant refused to give any written statement while SCRA 567 [1979]). As records further show, appellant did not
under investigation as testified by Atty. Lastimoso of the NBI, even bother to ask Michael's full name, his complete address
Thus: or passport number. Furthermore, if indeed, the German
national was the owner of the merchandise, appellant should
Fiscal Formoso: have so indicated in the contract of shipment (Exh. "B",
Original Records, p. 40). On the contrary, appellant signed the
contract as the owner and shipper thereof giving more weight
You said that you investigated Mr. and Mrs. Job to the presumption that things which a person possesses, or
Reyes. What about the accused here, did you exercises acts of ownership over, are owned by him (Sec. 5 [j],
investigate the accused together with the girl? Rule 131). At this point, appellant is therefore estopped to
claim otherwise.
WITNESS:
Premises considered, we see no error committed by the trial
Yes, we have interviewed the accused together with court in rendering the assailed judgment.
the girl but the accused availed of his constitutional
right not to give any written statement, sir. (TSN, WHEREFORE, the judgment of conviction finding appellant
October 8, 1987, p. 62; Original Records, p. 240) guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged is hereby
AFFIRMED. No costs.
The above testimony of the witness for the prosecution was not
contradicted by the defense on cross-examination. As borne SO ORDERED.
out by the records, neither was there any proof by the defense
that appellant gave uncounselled confession while being
investigated. What is more, we have examined the assailed Fernan, C.J., Gutierrez, Jr. and Feliciano, JJ., concur.
judgment of the trial court and nowhere is there any reference
made to the testimony of appellant while under custodial Footnotes
* Penned by Judge Romeo J. Callejo.
investigation which was utilized in the finding of conviction. ** It reads: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons,
Appellant's second assignment of error is therefore misplaced. houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and
seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon
probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly
3. Coming now to appellant's third assignment of error, describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be
appellant would like us to believe that he was not the owner of seized."
the packages which contained prohibited drugs but rather a *** Forged checks.
certain Michael, a German national, whom appellant met in a
pub along Ermita, Manila: that in the course of their 30-minute
conversation, Michael requested him to ship the packages and
gave him P2,000.00 for the cost of the shipment since the
German national was about to leave the country the next day
(October 15, 1987, TSN, pp. 2-10).

Rather than give the appearance of veracity, we find


appellant's disclaimer as incredulous, self-serving and contrary
to human experience. It can easily be fabricated. An
acquaintance with a complete stranger struck in half an hour
could not have pushed a man to entrust the shipment of four
(4) parcels and shell out P2,000.00 for the purpose and for
appellant to readily accede to comply with the undertaking
without first ascertaining its contents. As stated by the trial
court, "(a) person would not simply entrust contraband and of
considerable value at that as the marijuana flowering tops, and
the cash amount of P2,000.00 to a complete stranger like the
Accused. The Accused, on the other hand, would not simply
accept such undertaking to take custody of the packages and
ship the same from a complete stranger on his mere say-so"
(Decision, p. 19, Rollo, p. 91). As to why he readily agreed to
do the errand, appellant failed to explain. Denials, if
unsubstantiated by clear and convincing evidence, are
negative self-serving evidence which deserve no weight in law
and cannot be given greater evidentiary weight than the
testimony of credible witnesses who testify on affirmative
matters (People v. Esquillo, 171 SCRA 571 [1989]; People vs.
Sariol, 174 SCRA 237 [1989]).

Appellant's bare denial is even made more suspect considering


that, as per records of the Interpol, he was previously
convicted of possession of hashish by the Kleve Court in the
Federal Republic of Germany on January 1, 1982 and that the
consignee of the frustrated shipment, Walter Fierz, also a
Swiss national, was likewise convicted for drug abuse and is
just about an hour's drive from appellant's residence in Zurich,
Switzerland (TSN, October 8, 1987, p. 66; Original Records, p.
244; Decision, p. 21; Rollo, p. 93).

Evidence to be believed, must not only proceed from the


mouth of a credible witness, but it must be credible in itself
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

Republic of the Philippines Thus, he held the position of LP president in a holdover


SUPREME COURT capacity until new officers were elected.
Manila
Both sides of the dispute came to this Court to challenge the
EN BANC COMELEC rulings. On April 17, 2007 a divided Court issued a
resolution,5 granting respondent Drilons petition and denying
G.R. No. 188920 February 16, 2010 that of petitioner Atienza. The Court held, through the majority,
that the COMELEC had jurisdiction over the intra-party
leadership dispute; that the Salonga Constitution had been
JOSE L. ATIENZA, JR., MATIAS V. DEFENSOR, JR., validly amended; and that, as a consequence, respondent
RODOLFO G. VALENCIA, DANILO E. SUAREZ, SOLOMON Drilons term as LP president was to end only on November 30,
R. CHUNGALAO, SALVACION ZALDIVAR-PEREZ, HARLIN 2007.
CAST-ABAYON, MELVIN G. MACUSI and ELEAZAR P.
QUINTO, Petitioners,
vs. Subsequently, the LP held a NECO meeting to elect new party
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, MANUEL A. ROXAS II, leaders before respondent Drilons term expired. Fifty-nine
FRANKLIN M. DRILON and J.R. NEREUS O. NECO members out of the 87 who were supposedly qualified
ACOSTA, Respondents. to vote attended. Before the election, however, several persons
associated with petitioner Atienza sought to clarify their
membership status and raised issues regarding the
DECISION composition of the NECO. Eventually, that meeting installed
respondent Manuel A. Roxas II (Roxas) as the new LP
ABAD, J.: president.

This petition is an offshoot of two earlier cases already On January 11, 2008 petitioners Atienza, Matias V. Defensor,
resolved by the Court involving a leadership dispute within a Jr., Rodolfo G. Valencia, Danilo E. Suarez, Solomon R.
political party. In this case, the petitioners question their Chungalao, Salvacion Zaldivar-Perez, Harlin Cast-Abayon,
expulsion from that party and assail the validity of the election Melvin G. Macusi, and Eleazar P. Quinto, filed a petition for
of new party leaders conducted by the respondents. mandatory and prohibitory injunction6 before the COMELEC
against respondents Roxas, Drilon and J.R. Nereus O. Acosta,
Statement of the Facts and the Case the party secretary general. Atienza, et al. sought to enjoin
Roxas from assuming the presidency of the LP, claiming that
the NECO assembly which elected him was invalidly
For a better understanding of the controversy, a brief recall of convened. They questioned the existence of a quorum and
the preceding events is in order. claimed that the NECO composition ought to have been based
on a list appearing in the partys 60th Anniversary Souvenir
On July 5, 2005 respondent Franklin M. Drilon (Drilon), as Program. Both Atienza and Drilon adopted that list as common
erstwhile president of the Liberal Party (LP), announced his exhibit in the earlier cases and it showed that the NECO had
partys withdrawal of support for the administration of President 103 members.
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. But petitioner Jose L. Atienza, Jr.
(Atienza), LP Chairman, and a number of party members Petitioners Atienza, et al. also complained that Atienza, the
denounced Drilons move, claiming that he made the incumbent party chairman, was not invited to the NECO
announcement without consulting his party. meeting and that some members, like petitioner Defensor,
were given the status of "guests" during the meeting. Atienzas
On March 2, 2006 petitioner Atienza hosted a party conference allies allegedly raised these issues but respondent Drilon
to supposedly discuss local autonomy and party matters but, arbitrarily thumbed them down and "railroaded" the
when convened, the assembly proceeded to declare all proceedings. He suspended the meeting and moved it to
positions in the LPs ruling body vacant and elected new another room, where Roxas was elected without notice to
officers, with Atienza as LP president. Respondent Drilon Atienzas allies.
immediately filed a petition1 with the Commission on Elections
(COMELEC) to nullify the elections. He claimed that it was On the other hand, respondents Roxas, et al. claimed that
illegal considering that the partys electing bodies, the National Roxas election as LP president faithfully complied with the
Executive Council (NECO) and the National Political Council provisions of the amended LP Constitution. The partys 60th
(NAPOLCO), were not properly convened. Drilon also claimed Anniversary Souvenir Program could not be used for
that under the amended LP Constitution,2 party officers were determining the NECO members because supervening events
elected to a fixed three-year term that was yet to end on changed the bodys number and composition. Some NECO
November 30, 2007. members had died, voluntarily resigned, or had gone on leave
after accepting positions in the government. Others had lost
On the other hand, petitioner Atienza claimed that the majority their re-election bid or did not run in the May 2007 elections,
of the LPs NECO and NAPOLCO attended the March 2, 2006 making them ineligible to serve as NECO members. LP
assembly. The election of new officers on that occasion could members who got elected to public office also became part of
be likened to "people power," wherein the LP majority removed the NECO. Certain persons of national stature also became
respondent Drilon as president by direct action. Atienza also NECO members upon respondent Drilons nomination, a
said that the amendments3 to the original LP Constitution, or privilege granted the LP president under the amended LP
the Salonga Constitution, giving LP officers a fixed three-year Constitution. In other words, the NECO membership was not
term, had not been properly ratified. Consequently, the term of fixed or static; it changed due to supervening circumstances.
Drilon and the other officers already ended on July 24, 2006.
Respondents Roxas, et al. also claimed that the party deemed
On October 13, 2006, the COMELEC issued a petitioners Atienza, Zaldivar-Perez, and Cast-Abayon resigned
resolution,4 partially granting respondent Drilons petition. It for holding the illegal election of LP officers on March 2, 2006.
annulled the March 2, 2006 elections and ordered the holding This was pursuant to a March 14, 2006 NAPOLCO resolution
of a new election under COMELEC supervision. It held that the that NECO subsequently ratified. Meanwhile, certain NECO
election of petitioner Atienza and the others with him was members, like petitioners Defensor, Valencia, and Suarez,
invalid since the electing assembly did not convene in forfeited their party membership when they ran under other
accordance with the Salonga Constitution. But, since the political parties during the May 2007 elections. They were
amendments to the Salonga Constitution had not been dropped from the roster of LP members.
properly ratified, Drilons term may be deemed to have ended.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

On June 18, 2009 the COMELEC issued the assailed Two. Respondents Roxas, et al. also claim that petitioners
resolution denying petitioners Atienza, et al.s petition. It noted Atienza, et al. have no legal standing to question the election
that the May 2007 elections necessarily changed the of Roxas as LP president because they are no longer LP
composition of the NECO since the amended LP Constitution members, having been validly expelled from the party or
explicitly made incumbent senators, members of the House of having joined other political parties.8 As non-members, they
Representatives, governors and mayors members of that body. have no stake in the outcome of the action.
That some lost or won these positions in the May 2007
elections affected the NECO membership. Petitioners failed to But, as the Court held in David v. Macapagal-Arroyo,9 legal
prove that the NECO which elected Roxas as LP president was standing in suits is governed by the "real parties-in-interest"
not properly convened. rule under Section 2, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court. This states
that "every action must be prosecuted or defended in the name
As for the validity of petitioners Atienza, et al.s expulsion as LP of the real party-in-interest." And "real party-in-interest" is one
members, the COMELEC observed that this was a who stands to be benefited or injured by the judgment in the
membership issue that related to disciplinary action within the suit or the party entitled to the avails of the suit. In other words,
political party. The COMELEC treated it as an internal party the plaintiffs standing is based on his own right to the relief
matter that was beyond its jurisdiction to resolve. sought. In raising petitioners Atienza, et al.s lack of standing
as a threshold issue, respondents Roxas, et al. would have the
Without filing a motion for reconsideration of the COMELEC Court hypothetically assume the truth of the allegations in the
resolution, petitioners Atienza, et al. filed this petition for petition.
certiorari under Rule 65.
Here, it is precisely petitioners Atienza, et al.s allegations that
The Issues Presented respondents Roxas, et al. deprived them of their rights as LP
members by summarily excluding them from the LP roster and
not allowing them to take part in the election of its officers and
Respondents Roxas, et al. raise the following threshold issues: that not all who sat in the NECO were in the correct list of
NECO members. If Atienza, et al.s allegations were correct,
1. Whether or not the LP, which was not impleaded in they would have been irregularly expelled from the party and
the case, is an indispensable party; and the election of officers, void. Further, they would be entitled to
recognition as members of good standing and to the holding of
2. Whether or not petitioners Atienza, et al., as ousted a new election of officers using the correct list of NECO
LP members, have the requisite legal standing to members. To this extent, therefore, Atienza, et al. who want to
question Roxas election. take part in another election would stand to be benefited or
prejudiced by the Courts decision in this case. Consequently,
they have legal standing to pursue this petition.
Petitioners Atienza, et al., on the other hand, raise the
following issues:
Three. In assailing respondent Roxas election as LP
president, petitioners Atienza, et al. claim that the NECO
3. Whether or not the COMELEC gravely abused its members allowed to take part in that election should have
discretion when it upheld the NECO membership that been limited to those in the list of NECO members appearing in
elected respondent Roxas as LP president; the partys 60th Anniversary Souvenir Program. Atienza, et al.
allege that respondent Drilon, as holdover LP president,
4. Whether or not the COMELEC gravely abused its adopted that list in the earlier cases before the COMELEC and
discretion when it resolved the issue concerning the it should thus bind respondents Roxas, et al. The Courts
validity of the NECO meeting without first resolving decision in the earlier cases, said Atienza, et al., anointed that
the issue concerning the expulsion of Atienza, et al. list for the next party election. Thus, Roxas, et al. in effect
from the party; and defied the Courts ruling when they removed Atienza as party
chairman and changed the NECOs composition.10
5. Whether or not respondents Roxas, et al. violated
petitioners Atienza, et al.s constitutional right to due But the list of NECO members appearing in the partys 60th
process by the latters expulsion from the party. Anniversary Souvenir Program was drawn before the May
2007 elections. After the 2007 elections, changes in the NECO
membership had to be redrawn to comply with what the
The Courts Ruling
amended LP Constitution required. Respondent Drilon adopted
the souvenir program as common exhibit in the earlier cases
One. Respondents Roxas, et al. assert that the Court should only to prove that the NECO, which supposedly elected
dismiss the petition for failure of petitioners Atienza, et al. to Atienza as new LP president on March 2, 2006, had been
implead the LP as an indispensable party. Roxas, et al. point improperly convened. It cannot be regarded as an immutable
out that, since the petition seeks the issuance of a writ of list, given the nature and character of the NECO membership.
mandatory injunction against the NECO, the controversy could
not be adjudicated with finality without making the LP a party to
Nothing in the Courts resolution in the earlier cases implies
the case.7
that the NECO membership should be pegged to the partys
60th Anniversary Souvenir Program. There would have been
But petitioners Atienza, et al.s causes of action in this case no basis for such a position. The amended LP Constitution did
consist in respondents Roxas, et al.s disenfranchisement of not intend the NECO membership to be permanent. Its Section
Atienza, et al. from the election of party leaders and in the 2711 provides that the NECO shall include all incumbent
illegal election of Roxas as party president. Atienza, et al. were senators, members of the House of Representatives,
supposedly excluded from the elections by a series of governors, and mayors who were LP members in good
"despotic acts" of Roxas, et al., who controlled the standing for at least six months. It follows from this that with
proceedings. Among these acts are Atienza, et al.s expulsion the national and local elections taking place in May 2007, the
from the party, their exclusion from the NECO, and respondent number and composition of the NECO would have to yield to
Drilons "railroading" of election proceedings. Atienza, et al. changes brought about by the elections.
attributed all these illegal and prejudicial acts to Roxas, et al.
Former NECO members who lost the offices that entitled them
Since no wrong had been imputed to the LP nor had some to membership had to be dropped. Newly elected ones who
affirmative relief been sought from it, the LP is not an gained the privilege because of their offices had to come in.
indispensable party. Petitioners Atienza, et al.s prayer for the Furthermore, former NECO members who passed away,
undoing of respondents Roxas, et al.s acts and the resigned from the party, or went on leave could not be
reconvening of the NECO are directed against Roxas, et al. expected to remain part of the NECO that convened and held
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

elections on November 26, 2007. In addition, Section 27 of the from the state. The COMELEC may intervene in disputes
amended LP Constitution expressly authorized the party internal to a party only when necessary to the discharge of its
president to nominate "persons of national stature" to the constitutional functions.
NECO. Thus, petitioners Atienza, et al. cannot validly object to
the admission of 12 NECO members nominated by respondent The COMELECs jurisdiction over intra-party leadership
Drilon when he was LP president. Even if this move could be disputes has already been settled by the Court. The Court
regarded as respondents Roxas, et al.s way of ensuring their ruled in Kalaw v. Commission on Elections16 that the
election as party officers, there was certainly nothing irregular COMELECs powers and functions under Section 2, Article IX-
about the act under the amended LP Constitution. C of the Constitution, "include the ascertainment of the identity
of the political party and its legitimate officers responsible for
The NECO was validly convened in accordance with the its acts." The Court also declared in another case17 that the
amended LP Constitution. Respondents Roxas, et al. COMELECs power to register political parties necessarily
explained in details how they arrived at the NECO composition involved the determination of the persons who must act on its
for the purpose of electing the party leaders.12 The explanation behalf. Thus, the COMELEC may resolve an intra-party
is logical and consistent with party rules. Consequently, the leadership dispute, in a proper case brought before it, as an
COMELEC did not gravely abuse its discretion when it upheld incident of its power to register political parties.
the composition of the NECO that elected Roxas as LP
president. The validity of respondent Roxas election as LP president is a
leadership issue that the COMELEC had to settle. Under the
Petitioner Atienza claims that the Courts resolution in the amended LP Constitution, the LP president is the issuing
earlier cases recognized his right as party chairman with a authority for certificates of nomination of party candidates for
term, like respondent Drilon, that would last up to November all national elective positions. It is also the LP president who
30, 2007 and that, therefore, his ouster from that position can authorize other LP officers to issue certificates of
violated the Courts resolution. But the Courts resolution in the nomination for candidates to local elective posts.18 In simple
earlier cases did not preclude the party from disciplining terms, it is the LP president who certifies the official standard
Atienza under Sections 2913 and 4614 of the amended LP bearer of the party.
Constitution. The party could very well remove him or any
officer for cause as it saw fit. The law also grants a registered political party certain rights
and privileges that will redound to the benefit of its official
Four. Petitioners Atienza, et al. lament that the COMELEC candidates. It imposes, too, legal obligations upon registered
selectively exercised its jurisdiction when it ruled on the political parties that have to be carried out through their
composition of the NECO but refused to delve into the legality leaders. The resolution of the leadership issue is thus
of their expulsion from the party. The two issues, they said, particularly significant in ensuring the peaceful and orderly
weigh heavily on the leadership controversy involved in the conduct of the elections.19
case. The previous rulings of the Court, they claim,
categorically upheld the jurisdiction of the COMELEC over Five. Petitioners Atienza, et al. argue that their expulsion from
intra-party leadership disputes.15 the party is not a simple issue of party membership or
discipline; it involves a violation of their constitutionally-
But, as respondents Roxas, et al. point out, the key issue in protected right to due process of law. They claim that the
this case is not the validity of the expulsion of petitioners NAPOLCO and the NECO should have first summoned them
Atienza, et al. from the party, but the legitimacy of the NECO to a hearing before summarily expelling them from the party.
assembly that elected respondent Roxas as LP president. According to Atienza, et al., proceedings on party discipline are
Given the COMELECs finding as upheld by this Court that the the equivalent of administrative proceedings20and are,
membership of the NECO in question complied with the LP therefore, covered by the due process requirements laid down
Constitution, the resolution of the issue of whether or not the in Ang Tibay v. Court of Industrial Relations.21
party validly expelled petitioners cannot affect the election of
officers that the NECO held.1avvphi1 But the requirements of administrative due process do not
apply to the internal affairs of political parties. The due process
While petitioners Atienza, et al. claim that the majority of LP standards set in Ang Tibay cover only administrative bodies
members belong to their faction, they did not specify who these created by the state and through which certain governmental
members were and how their numbers could possibly affect acts or functions are performed. An administrative agency or
the composition of the NECO and the outcome of its election of instrumentality "contemplates an authority to which the state
party leaders. Atienza, et al. has not bothered to assail the delegates governmental power for the performance of a state
individual qualifications of the NECO members who voted for function."22 The constitutional limitations that generally apply to
Roxas. Nor did Atienza, et al. present proof that the NECO had the exercise of the states powers thus, apply too, to
no quorum when it then assembled. In other words, the claims administrative bodies.
of Atienza, et al. were totally unsupported by evidence.
The constitutional limitations on the exercise of the states
Consequently, petitioners Atienza, et al. cannot claim that their powers are found in Article III of the Constitution or the Bill of
expulsion from the party impacts on the party leadership issue Rights. The Bill of Rights, which guarantees against the taking
or on the election of respondent Roxas as president so that it of life, property, or liberty without due process under Section 1
was indispensable for the COMELEC to adjudicate such claim. is generally a limitation on the states powers in relation to the
Under the circumstances, the validity or invalidity of Atienza, et rights of its citizens. The right to due process is meant to
al.s expulsion was purely a membership issue that had to be protect ordinary citizens against arbitrary government action,
settled within the party. It is an internal party matter over which but not from acts committed by private individuals or entities. In
the COMELEC has no jurisdiction. the latter case, the specific statutes that provide reliefs from
such private acts apply. The right to due process guards
What is more, some of petitioner Atienzas allies raised against unwarranted encroachment by the state into the
objections before the NECO assembly regarding the status of fundamental rights of its citizens and cannot be invoked in
members from their faction. Still, the NECO proceeded with the private controversies involving private parties.23
election, implying that its membership, whose composition has
been upheld, voted out those objections. Although political parties play an important role in our
democratic set-up as an intermediary between the state and its
The COMELECs jurisdiction over intra-party disputes is citizens, it is still a private organization, not a state instrument.
limited. It does not have blanket authority to resolve any and all The discipline of members by a political party does not involve
controversies involving political parties. Political parties are the right to life, liberty or property within the meaning of the due
generally free to conduct their activities without interference process clause. An individual has no vested right, as against
the state, to be accepted or to prevent his removal by a
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

political party. The only rights, if any, that party members may C E R T I F I C AT I O N
have, in relation to other party members, correspond to those
that may have been freely agreed upon among themselves Pursuant to Section 13, Article VIII of the Constitution, it is
through their charter, which is a contract among the party hereby certified that the conclusions in the above Decision had
members. Members whose rights under their charter may have been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to
been violated have recourse to courts of law for the the writer of the opinion of the Court.
enforcement of those rights, but not as a due process issue
against the government or any of its agencies.
REYNATO S. PUNO
Chief Justice
But even when recourse to courts of law may be made, courts
will ordinarily not interfere in membership and disciplinary
Footnotes
matters within a political party. A political party is free to 1
Docketed as COMELEC Case SPP 06-002.
conduct its internal affairs, pursuant to its constitutionally- 2
The original LP Constitution was known as the "Salonga Constitution." It was
protected right to free association. In Sinaca v. Mula,24 the amended several times under the party leadership of Senators Raul Daza and
Franklin M. Drilon. The amended LP Constitution came to be known as the
Court said that judicial restraint in internal party matters serves "Daza/Drilon Constitution."
the public interest by allowing the political processes to operate 3
Referred to as the Daza-Drilon amendments.
without undue interference. It is also consistent with the state 4
Rollo, pp. 91-107.
5
policy of allowing a free and open party system to evolve, The Court did not render a full-blown decision but, instead, issued a resolution
to which was appended the individual opinions of Justices Antonio T. Carpio,
according to the free choice of the people.25 Dante O. Tinga and Cancio C. Garcia.
6
Docketed as COMELEC Case SPP 08-001.
7
Rollo, pp. 756-757.
To conclude, the COMELEC did not gravely abuse its 8
Id. at 757-761.
discretion when it upheld Roxas election as LP president but 9
G.R. No. 171396, May 3, 2006, 489 SCRA 160, 216.
refused to rule on the validity of Atienza, et al.s expulsion from 10
11
Rollo, pp. 27-31.
SECTION 27. COMPOSITION. The National Executive Council (NECO) shall
the party. While the question of party leadership has be composed of the following members:
implications on the COMELECs performance of its functions 1. The Party Chairperson;
under Section 2, Article IX-C of the Constitution, the same 2. The Party Vice-Chairperson;
cannot be said of the issue pertaining to Atienza, et al.s 3. The Party President;
4. The Party Executive Vice-President;
expulsion from the LP. Such expulsion is for the moment an 5. The Party Vice-Presidents for Policy, Platform and Advocacy, External Affairs,
issue of party membership and discipline, in which the Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, the National Capital Region and Sectors;
COMELEC cannot intervene, given the limited scope of its 6. The Party Secretary General;
7. The Party Deputy Secretary General;
power over political parties. 8. The Party Treasurer;
9. The Party Deputy Treasurer;
10. The Party Legal Counsel;
WHEREFORE, the Court DISMISSES the petition and 11. The Party Spokesperson;
UPHOLDS the Resolution of the Commission on Elections 12. The Party Deputy Spokesperson;
dated June 18, 2009 in COMELEC Case SPP 08-001. 13. The Party Director General;
14. All incumbent Senators and members of the House of Representatives who
are members of the Party in good standing for at least six (6) months;
SO ORDERED. 15. All incumbent Governors of Provinces who are members of the Party in good
standing for at least six (6) months;
16. All incumbent Mayors of Cities who are members in good standing for at least
ROBERTO A. ABAD six (6) months;
Associate Justice 17. All former Presidents and Vice-Presidents of the Republic who are members
of the Party in good standing for at least six (6) months;
18. All Past Presidents of the Party;
19. The National Presidents of all established Allied Sectoral Groups (Youth,
WE CONCUR: Women, Urban Poor, Labor, etc.);
20. Such other persons of National Stature nominated by the Party President and
approved by the National Directorate.
REYNATO S. PUNO Interim vacancies for these offices shall be filled by the NECO but only for the
Chief Justice remaining portion of the term.
12
Rollo, pp. 750-754.
13
SECTION 29. TENURE.- All Party officers and members of the NECO shall
hold office for three (3) years and until their successors shall have been duly
ANTONIO T. CARPIO RENATO C. CORONA elected and qualified or unless sooner removed for cause.
Associate Justice Associate Justice 14
SECTION 46. DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS.- Any officer of the Party may be
removed or suspended on the following grounds:
1. Commission of any act antagonistic to the Party objectives or inimical to its
CONCHITA CARPIO PRESBITERO J. interests, or for violation of or deliberate failure to support any of its fundamental
decisions;
MORALES VELASCO, JR. 2. Membership in another political party, either by act or deed;
Associate Justice Associate Justice 3. Dishonesty, oppression or misconduct while in office, gross negligence, abuse
of authority or dereliction of duty; and
4. Failure to attend two (2) consecutive Party meetings or at least of the
TERESITA J. meetings duly convened within a calendar year of the appropriate committee or
ANTONIO EDUARDO
LEONARDO-DE Party organ.
B. NACHURA Any officer of the Party may be subjected to disciplinary actions, including
CASTRO
Associate Justice suspension from effective exercise of his Party rights for a period of one year or
Associate Justice less for the same or less serious cause as may be established by the National
Executive Council or the national Political Council.
15
Rollo, pp. 33-38.
DIOSDADO M. 16
G.R. No. 80218, Minute Resolution dated November 5, 1987.
ARTURO D. BRION
PERALTA 17
Palmares v. Commission on Elections, G.R. Nos. 86177-78, Minute Resolution
Associate Justice dated August 31, 1989.
Associate Justice 18
Section 51 of the amended LP Constitution reads:
"SECTION 51. CERTIFICATES OF NOMINATION Certificates shall be issued
by the Party President or the General Secretary upon authorization by the former,
MARIANO C. DEL for candidates for President, Vice- President, Senators and members of the
LUCAS P. BERSAMIN
CASTILLO House of Representatives.
Associate Justice
Associate Justice The Party President or the General Secretary may authorize in writing other
Party officers to issue Certificates of Nomination to candidates for local elective
positions.
MARTIN S. Certificates of Nomination as guest candidates may only be issued by the Party
JOSE P. PEREZ President or the General Secretary, upon the latters authorization."
VILLARAMA, JR. 19
In Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino v. Commission on Elections, 468 Phil. 70,
Associate Justice
Associate Justice 83 (2004), the Court cited the rights and privileges of political parties and its
official candidates as follows:
"x x x The dominant majority party, the dominant minority party as determined by
the COMELEC, for instance, is entitled to a copy of the election returns. The six
JOSE C. MENDOZA (6) accredited major political parties may nominate the principal watchers to be
Associate Justice designated by the Commission. The two principal watchers representing the
ruling coalition and the dominant opposition coalition in a precinct shall, if
available, affix their signatures and thumbmarks on the election returns for that
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

precinct. Three (3) of the six accredited major political parties are entitled to
receive copies of the certificate of canvass. Registered political parties whose
candidates obtained at least ten percent (10%) of the total votes cast in the next
preceding senatorial election shall each have a watcher and/or representative in
the procurement and watermarking of papers to be used in the printing of
election returns and official ballots and in the printing, numbering, storage and
distribution thereof. Finally, a candidate and his political party are authorized to
spend more per voter than a candidate without a political party." (Citations
omitted)
20
Rollo, pp. 41-43.
21
69 Phil. 635 (1940).
22
Administrative Law, Law on Public Officers and Election Law, 2005 Edition,
Ruben E. Agpalo, pp. 3-4, citing Luzon Development Bank v. Association of
Luzon Development Bank Employees, 319 Phil. 262 (1995).
23
City of Manila v. Hon. Laguio, Jr., 495 Phil. 289, 311 (2005).
24
373 Phil. 896, 912 (1999).
25
Section 6, Article IX-C of the Constitution.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

Republic of the Philippines progress of his effort to lose weight. Petitioner weighed 217
SUPREME COURT pounds, gaining 2 pounds from his previous weight. After the
Manila visit, petitioner made a commitment3 to reduce weight in a
letter addressed to Cabin Crew Group Manager Augusto
THIRD DIVISION Barrios. The letter, in full, reads:

G.R. No. 168081 October 17, 2008 Dear Sir:

ARMANDO G. YRASUEGUI, petitioners, I would like to guaranty my commitment towards a weight loss
vs. from 217 pounds to 200 pounds from today until 31 Dec. 1989.
PHILIPPINE AIRLINES, INC., respondents.
From thereon, I promise to continue reducing at a reasonable
DECISION percentage until such time that my ideal weight is achieved.

REYES, R.T., J.: Likewise, I promise to personally report to your office at the
designated time schedule you will set for my weight check.
THIS case portrays the peculiar story of an international flight
steward who was dismissed because of his failure to adhere to Respectfully Yours,
the weight standards of the airline company.
F/S Armando Yrasuegui4
He is now before this Court via a petition for review on
certiorari claiming that he was illegally dismissed. To buttress Despite the lapse of a ninety-day period given him to reach his
his stance, he argues that (1) his dismissal does not fall under ideal weight, petitioner remained overweight. On January 3,
282(e) of the Labor Code; (2) continuing adherence to the 1990, he was informed of the PAL decision for him to remain
weight standards of the company is not a bona fide grounded until such time that he satisfactorily complies with the
occupational qualification; and (3) he was discriminated weight standards. Again, he was directed to report every two
against because other overweight employees were promoted weeks for weight checks.
instead of being disciplined.
Petitioner failed to report for weight checks. Despite that, he
After a meticulous consideration of all arguments pro and con, was given one more month to comply with the weight
We uphold the legality of dismissal. Separation pay, however, requirement. As usual, he was asked to report for weight check
should be awarded in favor of the employee as an act of social on different dates. He was reminded that his grounding would
justice or based on equity. This is so because his dismissal is continue pending satisfactory compliance with the weight
not for serious misconduct. Neither is it reflective of his moral standards.5
character.
Again, petitioner failed to report for weight checks, although he
The Facts was seen submitting his passport for processing at the PAL
Staff Service Division.
Petitioner Armando G. Yrasuegui was a former international
flight steward of Philippine Airlines, Inc. (PAL). He stands five On April 17, 1990, petitioner was formally warned that a
feet and eight inches (58") with a large body frame. The proper repeated refusal to report for weight check would be dealt with
weight for a man of his height and body structure is from 147 to accordingly. He was given another set of weight check
166 pounds, the ideal weight being 166 pounds, as mandated dates.6 Again, petitioner ignored the directive and did not report
by the Cabin and Crew Administration Manual1 of PAL. for weight checks. On June 26, 1990, petitioner was required
to explain his refusal to undergo weight checks.7
The weight problem of petitioner dates back to 1984. Back
then, PAL advised him to go on an extended vacation leave When petitioner tipped the scale on July 30, 1990, he weighed
from December 29, 1984 to March 4, 1985 to address his at 212 pounds. Clearly, he was still way over his ideal weight of
weight concerns. Apparently, petitioner failed to meet the 166 pounds.
companys weight standards, prompting another leave without
pay from March 5, 1985 to November 1985. From then on, nothing was heard from petitioner until he
followed up his case requesting for leniency on the latter part
After meeting the required weight, petitioner was allowed to of 1992. He weighed at 219 pounds on August 20, 1992
return to work. But petitioners weight problem recurred. He and 205 pounds on November 5, 1992.
again went on leave without pay from October 17, 1988 to
February 1989. On November 13, 1992, PAL finally served petitioner a Notice
of Administrative Charge for violation of company standards on
On April 26, 1989, petitioner weighed 209 pounds, 43 pounds weight requirements. He was given ten (10) days from receipt
over his ideal weight. In line with company policy, he was of the charge within which to file his answer and submit
removed from flight duty effective May 6, 1989 to July 3, 1989. controverting evidence.8
He was formally requested to trim down to his ideal weight and
report for weight checks on several dates. He was also told On December 7, 1992, petitioner submitted his
that he may avail of the services of the company physician Answer.9 Notably, he did not deny being overweight. What he
should he wish to do so. He was advised that his case will be claimed, instead, is that his violation, if any, had already been
evaluated on July 3, 1989.2 condoned by PAL since "no action has been taken by the
company" regarding his case "since 1988." He also claimed
On February 25, 1989, petitioner underwent weight check. It that PAL discriminated against him because "the company has
was discovered that he gained, instead of losing, weight. He not been fair in treating the cabin crew members who are
was overweight at 215 pounds, which is 49 pounds beyond the similarly situated."
limit. Consequently, his off-duty status was retained.
On December 8, 1992, a clarificatory hearing was held where
On October 17, 1989, PAL Line Administrator Gloria Dizon petitioner manifested that he was undergoing a weight
personally visited petitioner at his residence to check on the
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

reduction program to lose at least two (2) pounds per week so According to the NLRC, "obesity, or the tendency to gain
as to attain his ideal weight.10 weight uncontrollably regardless of the amount of food intake,
is a disease in itself."26 As a consequence, there can be no
On June 15, 1993, petitioner was formally informed by PAL that intentional defiance or serious misconduct by petitioner to the
due to his inability to attain his ideal weight, "and considering lawful order of PAL for him to lose weight.27
the utmost leniency" extended to him "which spanned a period
covering a total of almost five (5) years," his services were Like the Labor Arbiter, the NLRC found the weight standards of
considered terminated "effective immediately."11 PAL to be reasonable. However, it found as unnecessary the
Labor Arbiter holding that petitioner was not remiss in the
His motion for reconsideration having been denied,12 petitioner performance of his duties as flight steward despite being
filed a complaint for illegal dismissal against PAL. overweight. According to the NLRC, the Labor Arbiter should
have limited himself to the issue of whether the failure of
petitioner to attain his ideal weight constituted willful defiance
Labor Arbiter, NLRC and CA Dispositions of the weight standards of PAL.28

On November 18, 1998, Labor Arbiter Valentin C. Reyes PAL moved for reconsideration to no avail.29 Thus, PAL
ruled13 that petitioner was illegally dismissed. The dispositive elevated the matter to the Court of Appeals (CA) via a petition
part of the Arbiter ruling runs as follows: for certiorari under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil
Procedure.30
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, judgment is hereby
rendered, declaring the complainants dismissal illegal, and By Decision dated August 31, 2004, the CA reversed31 the
ordering the respondent to reinstate him to his former position NLRC:
or substantially equivalent one, and to pay him:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, we hereby GRANT the
a. Backwages of Php10,500.00 per month from his dismissal petition. The assailed NLRC decision is declared NULL and
on June 15, 1993 until reinstated, which for purposes of appeal VOID and is hereby SET ASIDE. The private respondents
is hereby set from June 15, 1993 up to August 15, 1998 complaint is hereby DISMISSED. No costs.
at P651,000.00;
SO ORDERED.32
b. Attorneys fees of five percent (5%) of the total award.
The CA opined that there was grave abuse of discretion on the
SO ORDERED.14 part of the NLRC because it "looked at wrong and irrelevant
considerations"33 in evaluating the evidence of the parties.
The Labor Arbiter held that the weight standards of PAL are Contrary to the NLRC ruling, the weight standards of PAL are
reasonable in view of the nature of the job of meant to be a continuing qualification for an employees
petitioner.15 However, the weight standards need not be position.34 The failure to adhere to the weight standards is
complied with under pain of dismissal since his weight did not an analogous cause for the dismissal of an employee under
hamper the performance of his duties.16 Assuming that it did, Article 282(e) of the Labor Code in relation to Article 282(a). It
petitioner could be transferred to other positions where his is not willful disobedience as the NLRC seemed to
weight would not be a negative factor.17 Notably, other suggest.35 Said the CA, "the element of willfulness that the
overweight employees, i.e., Mr. Palacios, Mr. Cui, and Mr. NLRC decision cites is an irrelevant consideration in arriving at
Barrios, were promoted instead of being disciplined.18 a conclusion on whether the dismissal is legally proper."36 In
other words, "the relevant question to ask is not one of
Both parties appealed to the National Labor Relations willfulness but one of reasonableness of the standard and
Commission (NLRC).19 whether or not the employee qualifies or continues to qualify
under this standard."37

On October 8, 1999, the Labor Arbiter issued a writ of


execution directing the reinstatement of petitioner without loss Just like the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC, the CA held that the
of seniority rights and other benefits.20 weight standards of PAL are reasonable.38 Thus, petitioner was
legally dismissed because he repeatedly failed to meet the
prescribed weight standards.39 It is obvious that the issue of
On February 1, 2000, the Labor Arbiter denied21 the Motion to discrimination was only invoked by petitioner for purposes of
Quash Writ of Execution22 of PAL. escaping the result of his dismissal for being overweight.40

On March 6, 2000, PAL appealed the denial of its motion to On May 10, 2005, the CA denied petitioners motion for
quash to the NLRC.23 reconsideration.41 Elaborating on its earlier ruling, the CA held
that the weight standards of PAL are a bona fide occupational
On June 23, 2000, the NLRC rendered judgment24 in the qualification which, in case of violation, "justifies an employees
following tenor: separation from the service."42

WHEREFORE, premises considered[,] the Decision of the Issues


Arbiter dated 18 November 1998 as modified by our findings
herein, is hereby AFFIRMED and that part of the dispositive In this Rule 45 petition for review, the following issues are
portion of said decision concerning complainants entitlement posed for resolution:
to backwages shall be deemed to refer to complainants
entitlement to his full backwages, inclusive of allowances and
to his other benefits or their monetary equivalent instead of I.
simply backwages, from date of dismissal until his actual
reinstatement or finality hereof. Respondent is enjoined to WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY
manifests (sic) its choice of the form of the reinstatement of ERRED IN HOLDING THAT PETITIONERS OBESITY CAN
complainant, whether physical or through payroll within ten BE A GROUND FOR DISMISSAL UNDER PARAGRAPH (e)
(10) days from notice failing which, the same shall be deemed OF ARTICLE 282 OF THE LABOR CODE OF THE
as complainants reinstatement through payroll and execution PHILIPPINES;
in case of non-payment shall accordingly be issued by the
Arbiter. Both appeals of respondent thus, are DISMISSED for II.
utter lack of merit.25
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY It is clear that, except the just cause mentioned in sub-
ERRED IN HOLDING THAT PETITIONERS DISMISSAL FOR paragraph 1(a), all the others expressly enumerated in the law
OBESITY CAN BE PREDICATED ON THE "BONA FIDE are due to the voluntary and/or willful act of the employee. How
OCCUPATIONAL QUALIFICATION (BFOQ) DEFENSE"; Naduras illness could be considered as "analogous" to any of
them is beyond our understanding, there being no claim or
III. pretense that the same was contracted through his own
voluntary act.48
WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY
ERRED IN HOLDING THAT PETITIONER WAS NOT UNDULY The reliance on Nadura is off-tangent. The factual milieu
DISCRIMINATED AGAINST WHEN HE WAS DISMISSED in Nadura is substantially different from the case at
WHILE OTHER OVERWEIGHT CABIN ATTENDANTS WERE bar. First, Nadura was not decided under the Labor Code. The
EITHER GIVEN FLYING DUTIES OR PROMOTED; law applied in that case was Republic Act (RA) No.
1787. Second, the issue of flight safety is absent in Nadura,
thus, the rationale there cannot apply here. Third, in Nadura,
IV. the employee who was a miner, was laid off from work
because of illness, i.e., asthma. Here, petitioner was dismissed
WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY for his failure to meet the weight standards of PAL. He was not
ERRED WHEN IT BRUSHED ASIDE PETITIONERS CLAIMS dismissed due to illness. Fourth, the issue in Nadura is
FOR REINSTATEMENT [AND] WAGES ALLEGEDLY FOR whether or not the dismissed employee is entitled to separation
BEING MOOT AND ACADEMIC.43 (Underscoring supplied) pay and damages. Here, the issue centers on the propriety of
the dismissal of petitioner for his failure to meet the weight
Our Ruling standards of PAL. Fifth, in Nadura, the employee was not
accorded due process. Here, petitioner was accorded utmost
leniency. He was given more than four (4) years to comply with
I. The obesity of petitioner is a ground for dismissal under the weight standards of PAL.
Article 282(e) 44 of the Labor Code.
In the case at bar, the evidence on record militates against
A reading of the weight standards of PAL would lead to no petitioners claims that obesity is a disease. That he was able
other conclusion than that they constitute a continuing to reduce his weight from 1984 to 1992 clearly shows that it is
qualification of an employee in order to keep the job. Tersely possible for him to lose weight given the proper attitude,
put, an employee may be dismissed the moment he is unable determination, and self-discipline. Indeed, during the
to comply with his ideal weight as prescribed by the weight clarificatory hearing on December 8, 1992, petitioner himself
standards. The dismissal of the employee would thus fall under claimed that "[t]he issue is could I bring my weight down to
Article 282(e) of the Labor Code. As explained by the CA: ideal weight which is 172, then the answer is yes. I can do it
now."49
x x x [T]he standards violated in this case were not mere
"orders" of the employer; they were the "prescribed weights" True, petitioner claims that reducing weight is costing him "a lot
that a cabin crew must maintain in order to qualify for and of expenses."50 However, petitioner has only himself to blame.
keep his or her position in the company. In other words, He could have easily availed the assistance of the company
they were standards that establish continuing physician, per the advice of PAL.51 He chose to ignore the
qualifications for an employees position. In this sense, the suggestion. In fact, he repeatedly failed to report when
failure to maintain these standards does not fall under Article required to undergo weight checks, without offering a valid
282(a) whose express terms require the element of willfulness explanation. Thus, his fluctuating weight indicates absence of
in order to be a ground for dismissal. The failure to meet the willpower rather than an illness.
employers qualifying standards is in fact a ground that does
not squarely fall under grounds (a) to (d) and is therefore one
that falls under Article 282(e) the "other causes analogous to Petitioner cites Bonnie Cook v. State of Rhode Island,
the foregoing." Department of Mental Health, Retardation and
Hospitals,52decided by the United States Court of Appeals
(First Circuit). In that case, Cook worked from 1978 to 1980
By its nature, these "qualifying standards" are norms that and from 1981 to 1986 as an institutional attendant for the
apply prior to and after an employee is hired. They mentally retarded at the Ladd Center that was being operated
apply prior to employment because these are the standards by respondent. She twice resigned voluntarily with an
a job applicant must initially meet in order to be hired. They unblemished record. Even respondent admitted that her
apply after hiring because an employee must continue to performance met the Centers legitimate expectations. In 1988,
meet these standards while on the job in order to keep his job. Cook re-applied for a similar position. At that time, "she stood
Under this perspective, a violation is not one of the faults for 52" tall and weighed over 320 pounds." Respondent claimed
which an employee can be dismissed pursuant to pars. (a) to that the morbid obesity of plaintiff compromised her ability to
(d) of Article 282; the employee can be dismissed simply evacuate patients in case of emergency and it also put her at
because he no longer "qualifies" for his job irrespective of greater risk of serious diseases.
whether or not the failure to qualify was willful or intentional. x x
x45
Cook contended that the action of respondent amounted to
discrimination on the basis of a handicap. This was in direct
Petitioner, though, advances a very interesting argument. He violation of Section 504(a) of the Rehabilitation Act of
claims that obesity is a "physical abnormality and/or 1973,53 which incorporates the remedies contained in Title VI of
illness."46 Relying on Nadura v. Benguet Consolidated, the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Respondent claimed, however,
Inc.,47 he says his dismissal is illegal: that morbid obesity could never constitute a handicap within
the purview of the Rehabilitation Act. Among others, obesity is
Conscious of the fact that Naduras case cannot be made to a mutable condition, thus plaintiff could simply lose weight and
fall squarely within the specific causes enumerated in rid herself of concomitant disability.
subparagraphs 1(a) to (e), Benguet invokes the provisions of
subparagraph 1(f) and says that Naduras illness occasional The appellate Court disagreed and held that morbid obesity is
attacks of asthma is a cause analogous to them. a disability under the Rehabilitation Act and that respondent
discriminated against Cook based on "perceived" disability.
Even a cursory reading of the legal provision under The evidence included expert testimony that morbid obesity is
consideration is sufficient to convince anyone that, as the trial a physiological disorder. It involves a dysfunction of both the
court said, "illness cannot be included as an analogous cause metabolic system and the neurological appetite suppressing
by any stretch of imagination." signal system, which is capable of causing adverse effects
within the musculoskeletal, respiratory, and cardiovascular
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

systems. Notably, the Court stated that "mutability is relevant In Duncan Association of Detailman-PTGWTO v. Glaxo
only in determining the substantiality of the limitation flowing Wellcome Philippines, Inc.,70 the Court did not hesitate to pass
from a given impairment," thus "mutability only precludes those upon the validity of a company policy which prohibits its
conditions that an individual can easily and quickly reverse by employees from marrying employees of a rival company. It was
behavioral alteration." held that the company policy is reasonable considering that its
purpose is the protection of the interests of the company
Unlike Cook, however, petitioner is not morbidly obese. In the against possible competitor infiltration on its trade secrets and
words of the District Court for the District of Rhode Island, procedures.
Cook was sometime before 1978 "at least one hundred pounds
more than what is considered appropriate of her height." Verily, there is no merit to the argument that BFOQ cannot be
According to the Circuit Judge, Cook weighed "over 320 applied if it has no supporting statute. Too, the Labor
pounds" in 1988. Clearly, that is not the case here. At his Arbiter,71 NLRC,72 and CA73 are one in holding that the weight
heaviest, petitioner was only less than 50 pounds over his ideal standards of PAL are reasonable. A common carrier, from the
weight. nature of its business and for reasons of public policy, is bound
to observe extraordinary diligence for the safety of the
In fine, We hold that the obesity of petitioner, when placed in passengers it transports.74 It is bound to carry its passengers
the context of his work as flight attendant, becomes an safely as far as human care and foresight can provide, using
analogous cause under Article 282(e) of the Labor Code that the utmost diligence of very cautious persons, with due regard
justifies his dismissal from the service. His obesity may not be for all the circumstances.75
unintended, but is nonetheless voluntary. As the CA correctly
puts it, "[v]oluntariness basically means that the just cause is The law leaves no room for mistake or oversight on the part of
solely attributable to the employee without any external force a common carrier. Thus, it is only logical to hold that the weight
influencing or controlling his actions. This element runs through standards of PAL show its effort to comply with the exacting
all just causes under Article 282, whether they be in the nature obligations imposed upon it by law by virtue of being a
of a wrongful action or omission. Gross and habitual neglect, a common carrier.
recognized just cause, is considered voluntary although it lacks
the element of intent found in Article 282(a), (c), and (d)."54 The business of PAL is air transportation. As such, it has
committed itself to safely transport its passengers. In order to
II. The dismissal of petitioner can be predicated on the bona achieve this, it must necessarily rely on its employees, most
fide occupational qualification defense. particularly the cabin flight deck crew who are on board the
aircraft. The weight standards of PAL should be viewed as
Employment in particular jobs may not be limited to persons of imposing strict norms of discipline upon its employees.
a particular sex, religion, or national origin unless the employer
can show that sex, religion, or national origin is an actual In other words, the primary objective of PAL in the imposition of
qualification for performing the job. The qualification is called a the weight standards for cabin crew is flight safety. It cannot be
bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ).55 In the United gainsaid that cabin attendants must maintain agility at all times
States, there are a few federal and many state job in order to inspire passenger confidence on their ability to care
discrimination laws that contain an exception allowing an for the passengers when something goes wrong. It is not
employer to engage in an otherwise unlawful form of prohibited farfetched to say that airline companies, just like all common
discrimination when the action is based on a BFOQ necessary carriers, thrive due to public confidence on their safety records.
to the normal operation of a business or enterprise.56 People, especially the riding public, expect no less than that
airline companies transport their passengers to their respective
Petitioner contends that BFOQ is a statutory defense. It does destinations safely and soundly. A lesser performance is
not exist if there is no statute providing for it.57 Further, there is unacceptable.
no existing BFOQ statute that could justify his dismissal.58
The task of a cabin crew or flight attendant is not limited to
Both arguments must fail. serving meals or attending to the whims and caprices of the
passengers. The most important activity of the cabin crew is to
care for the safety of passengers and the evacuation of the
First, the Constitution,59 the Labor Code,60 and RA No. aircraft when an emergency occurs. Passenger safety goes to
727761 or the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons62 contain the core of the job of a cabin attendant. Truly, airlines need
provisions similar to BFOQ. cabin attendants who have the necessary strength to open
emergency doors, the agility to attend to passengers in
Second, in British Columbia Public Service Employee cramped working conditions, and the stamina to withstand
Commission (BSPSERC) v. The British Columbia Government grueling flight schedules.
and Service Employees Union (BCGSEU),63 the Supreme
Court of Canada adopted the so-called "Meiorin Test" in On board an aircraft, the body weight and size of a cabin
determining whether an employment policy is justified. Under attendant are important factors to consider in case of
this test, (1) the employer must show that it adopted the emergency. Aircrafts have constricted cabin space, and narrow
standard for a purpose rationally connected to the performance aisles and exit doors. Thus, the arguments of respondent that
of the job;64 (2) the employer must establish that the standard "[w]hether the airlines flight attendants are overweight or not
is reasonably necessary65 to the accomplishment of that work- has no direct relation to its mission of transporting passengers
related purpose; and (3) the employer must establish that the to their destination"; and that the weight standards "has
standard is reasonably necessary in order to accomplish the nothing to do with airworthiness of respondents airlines," must
legitimate work-related purpose. Similarly, in Star Paper fail.
Corporation v. Simbol,66 this Court held that in order to justify a
BFOQ, the employer must prove that (1) the employment
qualification is reasonably related to the essential operation of The rationale in Western Air Lines v. Criswell76 relied upon by
the job involved; and (2) that there is factual basis for believing petitioner cannot apply to his case. What was involved there
that all or substantially all persons meeting the qualification were two (2) airline pilots who were denied reassignment as
would be unable to properly perform the duties of the job.67 flight engineers upon reaching the age of 60, and a flight
engineer who was forced to retire at age 60. They sued the
airline company, alleging that the age-60 retirement for flight
In short, the test of reasonableness of the company policy is engineers violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act
used because it is parallel to BFOQ.68 BFOQ is valid "provided of 1967. Age-based BFOQ and being overweight are not the
it reflects an inherent quality reasonably necessary for same. The case of overweight cabin attendants is another
satisfactory job performance."69 matter. Given the cramped cabin space and narrow aisles and
emergency exit doors of the airplane, any overweight cabin
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

attendant would certainly have difficulty navigating the We are not unmindful that findings of facts of administrative
cramped cabin area. agencies, like the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC, are accorded
respect, even finality.83 The reason is simple: administrative
In short, there is no need to individually evaluate their ability to agencies are experts in matters within their specific and
perform their task. That an obese cabin attendant occupies specialized jurisdiction.84 But the principle is not a hard and fast
more space than a slim one is an unquestionable fact which rule. It only applies if the findings of facts are duly supported by
courts can judicially recognize without introduction of substantial evidence. If it can be shown that administrative
evidence.77 It would also be absurd to require airline bodies grossly misappreciated evidence of such nature so as
companies to reconfigure the aircraft in order to widen the to compel a conclusion to the contrary, their findings of facts
aisles and exit doors just to accommodate overweight cabin must necessarily be reversed. Factual findings of
attendants like petitioner. administrative agencies do not have infallibility and must be set
aside when they fail the test of arbitrariness.85
The biggest problem with an overweight cabin attendant is the
possibility of impeding passengers from evacuating the aircraft, Here, the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC inexplicably
should the occasion call for it. The job of a cabin attendant misappreciated evidence. We thus annul their findings.
during emergencies is to speedily get the passengers out of
the aircraft safely. Being overweight necessarily impedes To make his claim more believable, petitioner invokes the
mobility. Indeed, in an emergency situation, seconds are what equal protection clause guaranty86 of the Constitution.
cabin attendants are dealing with, not minutes. Three lost However, in the absence of governmental interference, the
seconds can translate into three lost lives. Evacuation might liberties guaranteed by the Constitution cannot be
slow down just because a wide-bodied cabin attendant is invoked.87 Put differently, the Bill of Rights is not meant to be
blocking the narrow aisles. These possibilities are not remote. invoked against acts of private individuals.88 Indeed, the United
States Supreme Court, in interpreting the Fourteenth
Petitioner is also in estoppel. He does not dispute that the Amendment,89 which is the source of our equal protection
weight standards of PAL were made known to him prior to his guarantee, is consistent in saying that the equal protection
employment. He is presumed to know the weight limit that he erects no shield against private conduct, however
must maintain at all times.78 In fact, never did he question the discriminatory or wrongful.90 Private actions, no matter how
authority of PAL when he was repeatedly asked to trim down egregious, cannot violate the equal protection guarantee.91
his weight. Bona fides exigit ut quod convenit fiat. Good faith
demands that what is agreed upon shall be done. Kung ang IV. The claims of petitioner for reinstatement and wages
tao ay tapat kanyang tutuparin ang napagkasunduan. are moot.

Too, the weight standards of PAL provide for separate weight As his last contention, petitioner avers that his claims for
limitations based on height and body frame for both male and reinstatement and wages have not been mooted. He is entitled
female cabin attendants. A progressive discipline is imposed to to reinstatement and his full backwages, "from the time he was
allow non-compliant cabin attendants sufficient opportunity to illegally dismissed" up to the time that the NLRC was reversed
meet the weight standards. Thus, the clear-cut rules obviate by the CA.92
any possibility for the commission of abuse or arbitrary action
on the part of PAL. At this point, Article 223 of the Labor Code finds relevance:

III. Petitioner failed to substantiate his claim that he was In any event, the decision of the Labor Arbiter reinstating a
discriminated against by PAL. dismissed or separated employee, insofar as the reinstatement
aspect is concerned, shall immediately be executory, even
Petitioner next claims that PAL is using passenger safety as a pending appeal. The employee shall either be admitted back to
convenient excuse to discriminate against him.79 We are work under the same terms and conditions prevailing prior to
constrained, however, to hold otherwise. We agree with the CA his dismissal or separation or, at the option of the employer,
that "[t]he element of discrimination came into play in this case merely reinstated in the payroll. The posting of a bond by the
as a secondary position for the private respondent in order to employer shall not stay the execution for reinstatement
escape the consequence of dismissal that being overweight provided herein.
entailed. It is a confession-and-avoidance position that
impliedly admitted the cause of dismissal, including the The law is very clear. Although an award or order of
reasonableness of the applicable standard and the private reinstatement is self-executory and does not require a writ of
respondents failure to comply."80It is a basic rule in evidence execution,93 the option to exercise actual reinstatement or
that each party must prove his affirmative allegation.81 payroll reinstatement belongs to the employer. It does not
belong to the employee, to the labor tribunals, or even to the
Since the burden of evidence lies with the party who asserts an courts.
affirmative allegation, petitioner has to prove his allegation with
particularity. There is nothing on the records which could Contrary to the allegation of petitioner that PAL "did everything
support the finding of discriminatory treatment. Petitioner under the sun" to frustrate his "immediate return to his previous
cannot establish discrimination by simply naming the supposed position,"94 there is evidence that PAL opted to physically
cabin attendants who are allegedly similarly situated with him. reinstate him to a substantially equivalent position in
Substantial proof must be shown as to how and why they are accordance with the order of the Labor Arbiter.95 In fact,
similarly situated and the differential treatment petitioner got petitioner duly received the return to work notice on February
from PAL despite the similarity of his situation with other 23, 2001, as shown by his signature.96
employees.
Petitioner cannot take refuge in the pronouncements of the
Indeed, except for pointing out the names of the supposed Court in a case97 that "[t]he unjustified refusal of the employer
overweight cabin attendants, petitioner miserably failed to to reinstate the dismissed employee entitles him to payment of
indicate their respective ideal weights; weights over their ideal his salaries effective from the time the employer failed to
weights; the periods they were allowed to fly despite their reinstate him despite the issuance of a writ of execution"98 and
being overweight; the particular flights assigned to them; the ""even if the order of reinstatement of the Labor Arbiter is
discriminating treatment they got from PAL; and other relevant reversed on appeal, it is obligatory on the part of the employer
data that could have adequately established a case of to reinstate and pay the wages of the employee during the
discriminatory treatment by PAL. In the words of the CA, "PAL period of appeal until reversal by the higher court."99 He failed
really had no substantial case of discrimination to meet."82 to prove that he complied with the return to work order of PAL.
Neither does it appear on record that he actually rendered
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

services for PAL from the moment he was dismissed, in order CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES
to insist on the payment of his full backwages. Associate Justice
Acting Chairperson
In insisting that he be reinstated to his actual position despite
being overweight, petitioner in effect wants to render the issues C E R T I F I C AT I O N
in the present case moot. He asks PAL to comply with the
impossible. Time and again, the Court ruled that the law does Pursuant to Section 13, Article VIII of the Constitution, and the
not exact compliance with the impossible.100 Division Chairpersons Attestation, I certify that the conclusions
in the above decision had been reached in consultation before
V. Petitioner is entitled to separation pay. the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the
Courts Division.
Be that as it may, all is not lost for petitioner.
REYNATO S. PUNO
Normally, a legally dismissed employee is not entitled to Chief Justice
separation pay. This may be deduced from the language of
Article 279 of the Labor Code that "[a]n employee who Footnotes
1
Rollo, p. 136; Annex "A" of Annex "G."
is unjustly dismissed from work shall be entitled to The Cabin Crew Administration Manual of PAL provides:
reinstatement without loss of seniority rights and other "C. A cabin crew one (1) to four (4) pounds over his/her weight maximum shall be
privileges and to his full backwages, inclusive of allowances, given a verbal warning and a two (2)-week period in which to meet weight
and to his other benefits or their monetary equivalent standards.
1. A record of the verbal warning shall be maintained in the cabin crews
computed from the time his compensation was withheld from permanent file.
him up to the time of his actual reinstatement." Luckily for 2. A cabin crew who fails to progress shall be given a written letter and an
petitioner, this is not an ironclad rule. additional two (2)-week period to meet weight standards.
3. A cabin crew who fails to reach the prescribed weights standard as required
shall be removed from schedule.
Exceptionally, separation pay is granted to a legally dismissed a. A cabin crew who has been removed from schedule shall report to his/her
assigned Check Cabin Crew for a weight check every two (2) weeks and will be
employee as an act "social justice,"101 or based on required to lose two (2) pounds per week.
"equity."102 In both instances, it is required that the dismissal (1) b. A cabin crew who fails to reach his/her required weight standard within a
was not for serious misconduct; and (2) does not reflect on the maximum period of ninety (90) days shall be terminated.
moral character of the employee.103 c. A cabin crew will return to active flight duty when he/she has reduced to his/her
maximum weight requirement.
1. A cabin crew who returns to active flight duty after being removed from
Here, We grant petitioner separation pay equivalent to one-half schedule and within the following three (3) months exceeds the maximum weight
standard will be removed from schedule until he/she reached his/her maximum
(1/2) months pay for every year of service.104 It should include allowable standard.
regular allowances which he might have been receiving.105 We D. A cabin crew who is five (5) pounds or more over his/her weight maximum will
are not blind to the fact that he was not dismissed for any be given a written letter and a two (2) week period to show substantial weight
reduction to meet standards. At the end of the initial two (2) weeks period, a
serious misconduct or to any act which would reflect on his cabin crew who has shown progress will continue on weight check until he/she
moral character. We also recognize that his employment with reached his/her maximum allowable standard.
PAL lasted for more or less a decade. 1. Cabin crew who fails to show substantial weight reduction shall be removed
from schedules.
a. Refer to letter C above for discipline guideline.
WHEREFORE, the appealed Decision of the Court of Appeals 2. A cabin crew who is ten (10) pounds or more over his/her weight maximum
shall be removed from schedule immediately."
is AFFIRMED but MODIFIED in that petitioner Armando G.
MEN
Yrasuegui is entitled to separation pay in an amount equivalent HEIGHT SMALL MEDIUM LARGE FRAME
to one-half (1/2) months pay for every year of service, which FEET FRAME FRAME
should include his regular allowances. inches w/o
shoes
128-137 134-147 142-161
SO ORDERED. 8 132-141 138-152 147-166
9 136-145 142-156 151-170
RUBEN T. REYES 10 140-150 146-160 155-174
11 144-154 150-165 159-179
Associate Justice
Six 0 148-158 154-170 164-184
1 152-162 158-175 168-189
WE CONCUR: 2 156-167 162-180 173-194
3 160-171 167-185 178-199
4 164-175 172-190 180-204
CONSUELO YNARES-SANTIAGO
WOMEN
Associate Justice<brchairperson< p=""> HEIGHT SMALL MEDIUM LARGE FRAME
FEET FRAME FRAME
inches w/o
MA. ALICIA AUSTRIA- MINITA V. CHICO- shoes
MARTINEZ NAZARIO Five 2 102-110 107-119 115-131
Associate Justice Associate Justice 3 105-113 110-122 118-134
4 108-116 113-126 121-138
5 111-119 116-130 125-142
</brchairperson<>
6 114-123 120-135 129-146
7 118-127 124-139 133-150
ANTONIO EDUARDO B. NACHURA 8 122-131 128-143 137-154
Associate Justice 9 126-135 132-147 141-158
10 130-140 136-151 145-163
11 134-144 144-159 153-173
2
Annex "C" of Annex "G."
3
Annex "D" of Annex "G."
4
Rollo, p. 139.
5
Annex "E" of Annex "G."
AT T E S TAT I O N
6
Annex "F" of Annex "G."
7
Annex "G" of Annex "G."
8
Annex "H" of Annex "G."
9
I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision had been Annex "J" of Annex "G."
10
Annex "K" of Annex "G."
reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the 11
Annex "M" of Annex "G."
writer of the opinion of the Courts Division. 12
Annex "N" of Annex "G."
13
Rollo, pp. 94-99; Annex "E." NLRC NCR Case No. 00-05-03078-96-A,
promulgated on November 18, 1998.
14
Id. at 99.
15
Id. at 96.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

16
Id. at 96-98. or other selection criteria are shown to be related for the position in question and
17
Id. at 98. are consistent with business necessity;
18
Id. c) Utilizing standards, criteria, or methods of administration that:
19
Annexes "N" and "O." 1) have the effect of discrimination on the basis of disability; or
20
Annex "Q." 2) perpetuate the discrimination of others who are the subject to common
21
Annex "U." administrative control.
22
Annex "R." d) Providing less compensation, such as salary, wage or other forms of
23
Annex "V." remuneration and fringe benefits, to qualified disabled employee, by reason of
24
Rollo, pp. 76-88; Annex "C." NLRC NCR Case No. 019725-99, promulgated on his disability, than the amount to which a non-disabled person performing the
June 23, 2000. Penned by Commissioner Alberto R. Quimpo and concurred in by same work is entitled;
Commissioner Vicente S.E. Veloso. e) Favoring a non-disabled employee over a qualified disabled employee with
25
Id. at 87-88. respect to promotion, training opportunities, study and scholarship grants, solely
26
Id. at 83. on account of the latters disability;
27
Id. f) Re-assigning or transferring a disabled employee to a job or position he cannot
28
Id. at 83-86. perform by reason of his disability;
29
Annex "E." g) Dismissing or terminating the services of a disabled employee by reason of his
30
Annex "BB." disability unless the employer can prove that he impairs the satisfactory
31
Rollo, 46-64; Annex "A." CA-G.R. SP No. 63027, promulgated on August 31, performance of the work involved to the prejudice of the business
2004. Penned by Associate Justice Arturo D. Brion (now a member of this Court), entity; Provided, however, That the employer first sought to provide reasonable
with Associate Justices Delilah Vidallon-Magtolis and Eliezer R. De los Santos, accommodations for the disabled persons;
concurring. h) Failing to select or administer in the most effective manner employment tests
32
Id. at 64. which accurately reflect the skills, aptitude or other factor of the disabled
33
Id. at 60. applicant or employee that such test purports to measure, rather than the
34
Id. at 61. impaired sensory, manual or speaking skills of such applicant or employee, if
35
Id. any; and
36
Id. i) Excluding disabled persons from membership in labor unions or similar
37
Id. organizations.
38 63
Id. at 62. 3 SCR 3 (1999).
39
Id. 64
The focus is not on the validity of the particular standard but rather on the
40
Id. validity of its more general purpose.
41
Annex "B." 65
To show that the standard is reasonably necessary, it must be demonstrated
42
Rollo, p. 70. that it is impossible to accommodate individual employees sharing the
43
Id. at 659-660. characteristics of the claimant without imposing undue hardship on the employer.
44 66
Termination by employer. An employer may terminate an employment for any G.R. No. 164774, April 12, 2006, 487 SCRA 228.
of the following causes. 67
Star Paper Corporation v. Simbol, id. at 242-243, citing Flood, R.G. and Cahill,
a) Serious misconduct or willful disobedience by the employee of the lawful K.A., The River Bend Decision and How It Affects Municipalities Personnel Rule
orders of his employer or representative in connection with his work; and Regulations (June 1993), Illinois Municipal Review, p. 7.
68
b) Gross and habitual neglect by the employee of his duties; Id. at 243.
c) Fraud or willful breach by the employee of the trust reposed in him by his 69
Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Company v. National Labor Relations
employer or duly authorized representative; Commission, G.R. No. 118978, May 23, 1997, 272 SCRA 596, 613.
d) Commission of a crime or offense by the employee against the person of his 70
G.R. No. 162994, September 17, 2004, 438 SCRA 343.
71
employer or any immediate member of his family or his duly authorized Rollo, p. 96. "In light of the nature of complainants function as a cabin flight
representatives; and crew member, the setting of weight standard by company policy finds relevance,
e) Other causes analogous to the foregoing. and in fact, reasonableness. But in judging what is reasonably set for a cabin
45
Id. at 60-61. crew member to comply should not be viewed in isolation from its obvious
46
Id. at 663. ultimate objective, which is to maintain agility at all time while on flight, especially
47
G.R. No. L-17780, August 24, 1962, 5 SCRA 879. in time of emergencies, effect to grooming merely secondary. x x x"
48 72
Nadura v. Benguet Consolidated, Inc., id. at 881-882. Id. at 84. "Observe that the reasonableness of the rule [i.e., the weight
49
Rollo, p. 153. standards of PAL] was already established with his [i.e., the Labor Arbiter] finding
50
Id. to which we agree that the aim thereof is to maintain their agility to as to
51
Id. at 137. assure the air safety of passengers, as well by his finding of the parties unanimity
52
10 F. 3d 17, 20 (Ist Cir. 1993). in the correctness of the weight range that should be observed by complainant as
53
(a) Promulgation of rules and regulations prescribed in the rule. x x x"
73
No otherwise qualified individual with handicaps in the United States, as defined Id. at 61-62. "While the private respondent disputes in his position paper the
in section 706(8) of this title, shall, solely by reason of her or his handicap, be reasonableness of PALs weight standards, the NLRCs assailed decision finds
excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to the weight standard to be valid and reasonable. In our view, this is a fair and
discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial correct assessment as the weight limits are not whimsical standards. They are
assistance or under any program or activity conducted by any Executive agency standards put in place by an air carrier for reasons of safety in order to comply
or by the United States Postal Service. The head of each such agency shall with the extraordinary diligence in the care of passengers that the law exacts. x x
promulgate such regulations as may be necessary to carry out the amendments x"
to this section made by the Rehabilitation, Comprehensive Services, and 74
Civil Code, Art. 1733.
75
Developmental Disabilities Act of 1978. Copies of any proposed regulation shall Id., Art. 1755. Thus, in case of death or injuries to passengers, a common
be submitted to appropriate authorizing committees of the Congress, and such carrier is presumed to have been at fault or to have acted negligently, unless it
regulation may take effect no earlier than the thirtieth day after the date on which proves that it observed extraordinary diligence. (Id., Art. 1756)
such regulation is so submitted to such committees. Not only that. The responsibility of a common carrier for the safety of passengers
54
Id. at 71. cannot be dispensed with or lessened by stipulation, by the posting of notices, by
55
Blacks Law Dictionary, 6th ed. statements on tickets, or otherwise. (Id., Art. 1757) So much so that when a
56
45A Am. Jur. 2d, Job Discrimination, 269. passenger is carried gratuitously, a stipulation limiting the liability for negligence
57
Rollo, p. 669. of a common carrier is valid, but not for willful acts or gross negligence. (Id., Art.
58
Id. at 670. 1758) Even a reduction of fare does not justify any limitation of the liability of the
59
Constitution (1987), Art. XIII, Sec. 3. The State shall afford full protection to common carrier. (Id.)
labor, local and overseas, organized and unorganized, and promote full The burden that the law imposes on a common does not stop there. A common
employment and equality of employment opportunities for all. carrier is liable for the death or injuries to passengers through the negligence or
It shall guarantee the rights of all workers to self-organization, collective willful acts of its employees. (Id., Art. 1759) This liability attaches although such
bargaining and negotiations, and peaceful concerted activities, including the right employees may have acted beyond the scope of their authority or in violation of
to strike in accordance with law. They shall be entitled to security of tenure, the orders of the common carrier. (Id.) Truly, the requirement of the law is very
humane conditions of work, and a living wage. They shall also participate in strict in that the liability of a common carrier for the death of or injuries to
policy and decision-making processes affecting their rights and benefits as may passengers does not cease upon proof that it exercised all the diligence of a
be provided by law. good father of a family in the selection and supervision of its employees. (Id.) The
The State shall promote the principle of shared responsibility between workers liability of a common carrier cannot be eliminated or limited by stipulation, by the
and employers and the preferential use of voluntary modes in settling disputes, posting of notices, by statements on the tickets or otherwise. (Id., Art. 1760)
including conciliation, and shall enforce their mutual compliance therewith to Although the passenger must observe the diligence of a good father of a family to
foster industrial peace. avoid injury to himself (id., Art. 1761), the contributory negligence of the
The State shall regulate the relations between workers and employers, passenger does not bar recovery of damages for his death or injuries, if the
recognizing the right of labor to its just share in the fruits of production and the proximate cause is the negligence of the common carrier. (Id., Art. 1762) In such
right of enterprises to reasonable returns to investments, and to expansion and case, the amount of damages shall only be equitably reduced. (Id.) It does not
growth. totally excuse the common carrier.
60
ART. 3. Declaration of Basic Policy. The State shall afford protection to labor, Lastly, a common carrier is responsible for injuries suffered by a passenger on
promote full employment, ensure equal work opportunities regardless of sex, the account of the willful acts or negligence of the other passengers or of
race or creed, and regulate the relations between workers and employers. The strangers, if the employees of the common carrier through the exercise of the
State shall assure the rights of workers to self-organization, collective bargaining, diligence of a good father of a family could have prevented or stopped the act or
security of tenure, and just and humane conditions of work. omission. (Id., Art. 1763)
61
Approved on March 24, 1992. 76
472 US 400 (1985).
62 77
Sec. 32. Discrimination of Employment. No entity, whether public or private Rules of Court, Rule 129, Sec. 2.
shall discriminate against a qualified disabled person by reason of disability in 78
See Duncan Association of Detailman-PTGWO v. Glaxo Wellcome Philippines,
regard to job application procedures, the hiring, promotion, or discharge of Inc., G.R. No. 162994, September 17, 2004, 438 SCRA 343, 356.
employees compensation, job training and other terms, conditions and privileges 79
Rollo, p. 673.
80
of employment. The following constitute acts of discrimination: Id. at 63.
a) Limiting, segregating or classifying a disabled job applicant in such a manner 81
Jimenez v. National Labor Relations Commission, G.R. No. 116960, April 2,
that adversely affects his work opportunities; 1996, 256 SCRA 84, 89.
b) Using qualification standards, employment tests or other selection criteria that 82
Rollo, p. 63.
83
screen out or tend to screen out a disabled person unless such standards, tests Zarate, Jr. v. Olegario, G.R. No. 90655, October 7, 1996, 263 SCRA 1.
84
Id.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

85
Philippine Airlines, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Commission, G.R. No.
117038, September 25, 1997, 279 SCRA 445.
86
Constitution (1987), Art. III, Sec. 1. "No person shall be deprived of life, liberty,
or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal
protection of the laws."
87
People v. Marti, G.R. No. 81561, January 18, 1991, 193 SCRA 57, 65.
88
Id. at 67. The Court, in buttressing its ruling also cited the Sponsorship Speech
of Commissioner Bernas in the Bill of Rights; Record of the Constitutional
Commission, Vol. 1, p. 674; July 17, 1986, viz.:
"First, the general reflections. The protection of the fundamental liberties in the
essence of constitutional democracy. Protection against whom? Protection
against the state. The Bill of Rights governs the relationship between the
individual and the state. Its concern is not the relation between individuals,
between a private individual and other individuals. What the Bill of Rights does is
to declare some forbidden zones in the private sphere inaccessible to any power
holder."
89
United States Constitution, Fourteenth Amendment (ratified July 9, 1868), Sec.
1. "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the
jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein
they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the
privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State
deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor
deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
90
16B Am. Jur. 2d, Constitutional Law, 799 citing District of Columbia v. Carter,
409 US 418, 93 S. Ct. 602, 34 L. Ed. 2d 613 (1973), rehg denied, 410 US 959,
93 S. Ct. 1411, 35 L. Ed. 2d 694 (1973) and on remand to, 489 F. 2d 1272 (D.C.
Cir. 1974); Moose Lodge No. 107 v. Irvis, 407 US 163, 92 S. Ct. 1965, 32 L. Ed.
2d 627 (1972); Equality Foundation of Greater Cincinnati, Inc. v. City of
Cincinnati, 54 F. 3d 261, 67 Fair Empl. Prac. Cas. (BNA) 1290, 66 Empl. Prac.
Dec. (CCH) 43542, 1995 FED App. 147P (6th Cir. 1995), cert. granted,
judgment vacated on other grounds, 116 S. Ct. 2519, 135 L. Ed. 2d 1044, 71 Fair
Empl. Prac. Cas. (BNA) 64 (US 1996), ON REMAND TO, 128 F. 3d 289, 75 Fair
Empl. Prac. Cas. (BNA) 115, 1997 FED App. 318P (6th Cir. 1997); Gallagher v.
Neil Young Freedom Concert, 49 F. 3d 1442, 98 Ed. Law Rep. 639 (10th Cir.
1995); Mahoney v. Babbitt, 105 F. 3d 1452 (DC Cir. 1997), rehg denied, 113 F.
3d 219 (DC Cir. 1997).
91
Id., citing Medical Institute of Minnesota v. National Assn of Trade and
Technical Schools, 817 F. 2d 1310, 39 Ed. Law Rep. 62 (8th Cir. 1987); First Nat.
Bank of Kansas City v. Danforth, 523 S.W. 2d 808 (Mo. 1975), cert. denied, 421
US 992, 95 S. Ct. 1999, 44 L. Ed. 2d 483 (1975) and cert. denied, 421 US 1016,
95 S. Ct. 2424, 44 L. Ed. 2d 685 (1975).
92
Rollo, p. 687.
93
Pioneer Texturizing Corporation v. National Labor Relations Commission, G.R.
No. 118651, October 16, 1997, 280 SCRA 806.
94
Rollo, p. 684.
95
Id. at 648. Petitioner was informed that:
"In connection with our manifestation dated 25 January 2001 you are hereby
directed to physically return to work effective 01 March 2001. You are to report to
the Office of the Vice-President-Airport Services.
Pending appeal you are going to be assigned to a substantially equivalent
position in accordance with the 18 November 1998 Decision of Labor Arbiter
Ramon Valentin Reyes as modified by the 23 June Resolution of the National
Labor Relations Commission.
Failure on your part to heed this order may be a ground to administratively
charge you in accordance with the Company Code of Discipline, policy, rules and
regulations.
CESAR B. LAMBERTE"
96
Id.
97
Roquero v. Philippine Airlines, Inc., G.R. No. 152329, April 22, 2003, 401
SCRA 424.
98
Id. at 430.
99
Id.
100
Pizza Inn/Consolidated Foods Corporation v. National Labor Relations
Commission, G.R. No. L-74531, June 28, 1988, 162 SCRA 773; Philippine
Engineering Corporation v. Court of Industrial Relations, G.R. No. L-27880,
September 30, 1971, 41 SCRA 89.
101
San Miguel Corporation v. Lao, 433 Phil. 890, 898 (2002); Philippine Long
Distance Telephone Company v. National Labor Relations Commission, G.R. No.
L-80609, August 23, 1988, 164 SCRA 671, 682.
102
Aparente, Sr. v. National Labor Relations Commission, 387 Phil. 96, 107
(2000).
103
San Miguel Corporation v. Lao, supra at 898; Aparente, Sr. v. National Labor
Relations Commission, id.; Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company v.
National Labor Relations Commission, supra at 682.
104
Aparente, Sr. v. National Labor Relations Commission, supra at 108.
105
Planters Products, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Commission, G.R. No.
78524, January 20, 1989, 169 SCRA 328; Insular Life Assurance Co., Ltd. v.
National Labor Relations Commission, G.R. No. L-74191, December 21, 1987,
156 SCRA 740; Soriano v. National Labor Relations Commission, G.R. No. L-
75510, October 27, 1987, 155 SCRA 124.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

Republic of the Philippines performed an autopsy on the embalmed body of Jennifer. The
SUPREME COURT result of his examination of the victim's genitalia indicated that
Manila the child's hymen had been completely lacerated on the right
side. Based on this finding, SPO4 Carpizo amended the
EN BANC criminal complaint against accused-appellant to rape with
homicide. Subsequently, the following information was filed: 4

That on or about the 17th day of October,


G.R. No. 130612 May 11, 1999 1996, in the afternoon, in barangay Guilig,
Municipality of Malasiqui, province of
Pangasinan, Philippines and within the
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the
vs.
above-named accused, with lewd design and
BERNARDINO DOMANTAY, @ "JUNIOR OTOT," accused-
armed with a bayonnete, did then and there,
appellant.
wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously have
sexual intercourse with Jennifer Domantay, a
minor of 6 years old against her will and
consent, and on the same occasion, the said
MENDOZA, J.: accused with intent to kill, then and there,
wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously stab with
This case is here on appeal from the decision 1 of the Regional the use of a bayonnete, the said Jennifer
Trial Court of Dagupan City (Branch 57), finding accused- Domantay, inflicting upon her multiple stab
appellant guilty of rape with homicide and sentencing him to wounds, which resulted to her death, to the
death, and to indemnify the heirs of the victim in the amount of damage and prejudice of her heirs.
P480,000.00, and to pay the costs.
At the trial, the prosecution presented seven witnesses,
The facts hark back to the afternoon of October 17, 1996, at namely, Edward, Jiezl, Lorenzo, all surnamed Domantay,
around 4 o'clock, when the body of six-year old Jennifer Joselito Mejia, Antonio Espinoza, Celso Manuel, and Dr.
Domantay was found sprawled amidst a bamboo grove in Ronald Bandonill, to establish its charge that accused-
Guilig, Malasiqui, Pangasinan. The child's body bore several appellant had raped and killed Jennifer Domantay.
stab wounds. Jennifer had been missing since lunch time.
Edward Domantay testified that in the morning of October 17,
The medical examination conducted the following day by Dr. 1996, accused-appellant and his two brothers-in-law, Jaime
Ma. Fe Leticia Macaranas, the rural health physician of Caballero and Daudencio Macasaeb, had a round of drinks in
Malasiqui, showed that Jennifer died of multiple organ failure front of the latter's house in Guilig, Malasiqui, Pangasinan.
and hypovolemic shock secondary to 38 stab wounds at the Edward Domantay said that he was in front of Macasaeb's
back. Dr. Macaranas found no lacerations or signs of house, tending to some pigeons in his yard.5 After the group
inflammation of the outer and inner labia and the vaginal walls had consumed several bottles of San Miguel gin, accused-
of the victim's genitalia, although the vaginal canal easily appellant gave money to Edward Domantay and asked him to
admitted the little finger with minimal resistance. Noting buy two bottles of gin and a bottle of Sprite. 6 Edward said he
possible commission of acts of lasciviousness, Dr. Macaranas joined the group and sat between Daudencio Macasaeb and
recommended an autopsy by a medico-legal expert of the accused-appellant. 7 Edward said that accused-appellant, who,
NBI. 2 apparently had one too many then, rolled up his shirt and said:
"No diad Antipolo tan L[i]pa et walay massacre, diad Guilig
The investigation by the Malasiqui police pointed to accused- wala, walay massacren kod dia, walay onakis-akis" ("In
appellant Bernardino Domantay, a cousin of the victim's Antipolo and Lipa, there were massacres; here in Guilig, there
grandfather, as the lone suspect in the gruesome crime. At will also be a massacre. I will massacre somebody here, and
around 6:30 in the evening of that day, police officers they will cry and cry"). Edward Domantay saw that tucked in
Montemayor, de la Cruz, and de Guzman of the Malasiqui the left side of accused-appellant's waistline was a bayonet
Philippine National Police (PNP) picked up accused-appellant without a cover handle. 8 It was not the first time that Edward
at the Malasiqui public market and took him to the police had seen accused-appellant with the knife as the latter usually
station where accused-appellant, upon questioning by SPO1 carried it with him. 9
Antonio Espinoza, confessed to killing Jennifer Domantay. He
likewise disclosed that at around 3:30 that afternoon, he had Jiezl Domantay, 10, likewise testified. She said that, at about 2
given the fatal weapon used, a bayonet, to Elsa and Jorge o'clock in the afternoon on October 17, 1996, she and four
Casingal, his aunt and uncle respectively, in Poblacion Sur, other children were playing in front of their house in Guilig,
Bayambang, Pangasinan. The next day, October 18, 1996, Malasiqui, Pangasinan. Jiezl saw accused-appellant and
SPO1 Espinoza and another policeman took accused- Jennifer Domantay walking towards the bamboo grove of
appellant to Bayambang and recovered the bayonet from a Amparo Domantay where Jennifer's body was later found.
tricycle belonging to the Casingal spouses. The police officers Accused-appellant was about two meters ahead of Jennifer.
executed a receipt to evidence the confiscation of the The bamboo grove was about 8 to 10 meters from the house of
weapon. 3 Jiezl Domantay. 10

On the basis of the post-mortem findings of Dr. Macaranas, Lorenzo Domantay, a relative of the victim, corroborated Jiezl's
SPO4 Juan Carpizo, the Philippine National Police chief testimony that accused-appellant had gone to Amparo
investigator at Malasiqui, filed, on October 21, 1996, a criminal Domantay's bamboo grove in the afternoon of October 17,
complaint for murder against accused-appellant before the 1996. Lorenzo said that afternoon, on his way to his farm, he
Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of Malasiqui. On October 25, saw accused-appellant about 30 meters away, standing at the
1996, Dr. Ronald Bandonill, medico-legal expert of the NBI, spot in the bamboo grove where Jennifer's body was later
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

found. Accused-appellant appeared restless and worried as he "Ibig mo bang sabihin Jun, ikaw ang pumatay kay Jennifer?",
kept looking around. However, as Lorenzo was in a hurry, he "Ako nga po" The [l]ast part of my interview, "Kung nakikinig
ang mga magulang ni Jennifer, ano ang gusto mong
did not try to find out why accused-appellant appeared to be iparating?", "kung gusto nilang makamtan ang hustisya ay
nervous. 11 tatanggapin ko". That is what he said, and I also asked Junior
Otot, what was his purpose, and he said, it was about the
boundary dispute, and he used that little girl in his revenge.
Prosecution witness Joselito Mejia, a tricycle driver, said that, On cross-examination, Manuel explained that the interview
in the afternoon of October 17, 1996, he was about to take his was conducted in the jail, about two to three meters away from
lunch at home in Alacan, a neighboring barangay about half a the police station. An uncle of the victim was with him and the
kilometer from Guilig, when accused-appellant implored Mejia nearest policemen present were about two to three meters
to take him to Malasiqui at once. Mejia told accused-appellant from him, including those who were in the radio room. 18 There
that he was going to take his lunch first, but the latter pleaded was no lawyer present. Before interviewing accused-appellant,
with him, saying they will not be gone for long. Mejia, therefore, Manuel said he talked to the chief of police and asked
agreed. Mejia noticed that accused-appellant was nervous and permission to interview accused-appellant. 19 On questioning
afraid. Accused-appellant later changed his mind. Instead of by the court, Manuel said that it was the first time he had been
going to the town proper, he alighted near the Mormon's called to testify regarding an interview he had conducted. 20 As
church, outside Malasiqui. 12 in the case of the testimony of SPO1 Espinoza, the defense
objected to the admission of Manuel's testimony, but the lower
In addition, the prosecution presented SPO1 Antonio Espinoza court allowed it.
and Celso Manuel who testified that, on separate occasions,
accused-appellant had confessed to the brutal killing of Dr. Bandonill, the NBI medico-legal who conducted an autopsy
Jennifer Domantay. of the victim on October 25, 1996, testified that Jennifer
Domantay died as a result of the numerous stab wounds she
SPO1 Espinoza testified that he investigated accused- sustained on her back, 21 the average depth of which was six
appellant after the latter had been brought to the Malasiqui inches. 22 He opined that the wounds were probably caused by
police station in the evening of October 17, 1996. Before he a "pointed sharp-edged instrument." 23 He also noted on the
commenced his questioning, he apprised accused-appellant of aforehead, neck, and breast bone of the victim. 24 As for the
his constitutional right to remain silent and to have competent results of the genital examination of the victim, Dr. Bandonill
and independent counsel, in English, which was later said he found that the laceration on the right side of the hymen
translated into Pangasinense. 13 According to SPO1 Espinoza, was caused within 24 hours of her death. He added that the
accused-appellant agreed to answer the questions of the genital area showed signs of inflammation. 25
investigator even in the absence of counsel and admitted
killing the victim. Accused-appellant also disclosed the location Pacifico Bulatao, the photographer who took the pictures of the
of the bayonet he used in killing the victim. 14 On cross- scene of the crime and of the victim after the latter's body was
examination, Espinoza admitted that at no time during the brought to her parents' house, identified and authenticated the
course of his questioning was accused-appellant assisted by five pictures (Exhibits A, B, C, D, and E) offered by the
counsel. Neither was accused-appellant's confession reduced prosecution.
in writing. 15 Espinoza's testimony was admitted by the trial
court over the objection of the defense.
The defense then presented accused-appellant as its lone
witness. Accused-appellant denied the allegation against him.
Celso Manuel, for his part, testified that he is a radio reporter of He testified he is an uncle of Jennifer Domantay (he and her
station DWPR, an AM station based in Dagupan City. He grandfather are cousins) and that he worked as a janitor at the
covers the third district of Pangasinan, including Malasiqui. Malasiqui Municipal Hall. He said that at around 1 o'clock in the
Sometime in October 1996, an uncle of the victim came to afternoon of October 17, 1996, he was bathing his pigs outside
Dagupan City and informed the station about Jennifer in the house of his brother-in-law Daudencio Macasaeb in
Domantay's case. 16 On October 23, 1996, Manuel went to Guilig, Malasiqui, Pangasinan. He confirmed that Daudencio
Malasiqui to interview accused-appellant who was then was then having drinks in front of his (Macasaeb's) house.
detained in the municipal jail. He described what transpired Accused-appellant claimed, however, that he did not join in the
during the interview thus: 17 drinking and that it was Edward Domantay, whom the
prosecution had presented as witness, and a certain Jaime
PROS. QUINIT: Caballero who joined the party. He also claimed that it was he
Q Did you introduce yourself as a media practitioner?
A Yes, sir. whom Macasaeb had requested to buy some more liquor, for
Q How did you introduce yourself to the accused? which reason he gave money to Edward Domantay so that the
A I showed to Bernardino Domantay alias "Junior Otot" my I.D. latter could get two bottles of gin, a bottle of Sprite, and a pack
card and I presented myself as a media practitioner with my of cigarettes. 26 He denied Edward Domantay's claim that he
tape recorder [in] my hand, sir.
Q What was his reaction to your request for an interview? (accused-appellant) had raised his shirt to show a bayonet
A He was willing to state what had happened, sir. tucked in his waistline and that he had said he would massacre
Q What are those matters which you brought out in that someone in Guilig. 27
interview with the accused Bernardino Domantay alias "Junior
Otot"?
A I asked him what was his purpose for human interest's sake Accused-appellant also confirmed that, at about 2 o'clock in the
as a reporter, why did he commit that alleged crime. And I afternoon, he went to Alacan passing on the trail beside the
asked also if he committed the crime and he answered "yes."
bamboo grove of Amparo Domantay. But he said he did not
That's it.
xxx xxx xxx know that Jennifer Domantay was following him. He further
PROS. QUINIT: confirmed that in Alacan, he took a tricycle to Malasiqui. The
Q You mentioned about accused admitting to you on the tricycle was driven by Joselito Mejia. He said he alighted near
commi[ssion] of the crime, how did you ask him that?
A I asked him very politely. the Mormon church, just outside of the town proper of
Q More or less what have you asked him on that particular Malasiqui to meet his brother. As his brother did not come,
matter? accused-appellant proceeded to town and reported for work.
A I asked "Junior Otot," Bernardino Domantay, "Kung That night, while he was in the Malasiqui public market, he was
pinagsisisihan mo ba ang iyong ginawa?" "Opo" sabi niya,
picked up by three policemen and brought to the Malasiqui
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

police station where he was interrogated by SPO1 Espinoza (3) Any confession or admission obtained in
regarding the killing of Jennifer Domantay. He denied having violation of this section or section 17 hereof
owned to the killing of Jennifer Domantay to SPO1 Espinoza. shall be inadmissible in evidence.
He denied he had a grudge against the victim's parents
because of a boundary dispute. 28 With respect to his This provision applies to the stage of custodial investigation,
extrajudicial confession to Celso Manuel, he admitted that he that is, "when the investigation is no longer a general inquiry
had been interviewed by the latter, but he denied that he ever into an unsolved crime but starts to focus on a particular
admitted anything to the former. 29 person as a suspect." 34 R.A. No. 7438 has extended the
constitutional guarantee to situations in which an individual has
As already stated, the trial court found accused-appellant guilty not been formally arrested but has merely been "invited" for
as charged. The dispositive portion of its decision reads: 30 questioning. 35

WHEREFORE, in light of all the foregoing, Decisions 36 of this Court hold that for an extrajudicial
the Court hereby finds the accused, confession to be admissible, it must satisfy the following
Bernardino Domantay @ "Junior Otot" guilty requirements: (1) it must be voluntary; (2) it must be made with
beyond reasonable doubt with the crime of the assistance of competent and independent counsel; (3) it
Rape with Homicide defined and penalized must be express; and (4) it must be in writing.
under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code
in relation and as amended by Republic Act In the case at bar, when accused-appellant was brought to the
No. 7659 and accordingly, the Court hereby Malasiqui police station in the evening of October 17,
sentences him to suffer the penalty of death 1996, 37 he was already a suspect, in fact the only one, in the
by lethal injection, and to indemnify the heirs brutal slaying of Jennifer Domantay. He was, therefore, already
of the victim in the total amount of Four under custodial investigation and the rights guaranteed in Art.
Hundred Eighty Thousand Pesos III, 12(1) of the Constitution applied to him. SPO1 Espinoza
(P480,000.00), 31 and to pay the costs. narrated what transpired during accused-appellant's
interrogation: 38
SO ORDERED.
[I] interrogated Bernardino Domantay, prior
In this appeal, accused-appellant alleges that: 32 to the interrogation conducted to him, I
informed him of his constitutional right as
I follows; that he has the right to remain silent;
that he has the right to a competent lawyer
THE COURT A QUO ERRED IN of his own choice and if he can not afford [a
APPRECIATING THE EXTRAJUDICIAL counsel] then he will be provided with one,
CONFESSION[S] MADE BY THE and further informed [him] that all he will say
ACCUSED-APPELLANT. will be reduced into writing and will be used
the same in the proceedings of the case, but
he told me that he will cooperate even in the
II
absence of his counsel; that he admitted to
me that he killed Jennifer Domantay, and he
THE COURT A QUO ERRED IN revealed also the weapon used [and] where
CONVICTING THE ACCUSED DESPITE he gave [it] to.
FAILURE OF THE PROSECUTION TO
PROVE HIS GUILT BEYOND
But though he waived the assistance of counsel, the waiver
REASONABLE DOUBT.
was neither put in writing nor made in the presence of counsel.
For this reason, the waiver is invalid and his confession is
First. Accused-appellant contends that his alleged confessions inadmissible. SPO1 Espinoza's testimony on the alleged
to SPO1 Antonio Espinoza and Celso Manuel are inadmissible confession of accused-appellant should have been excluded
in evidence because they had been obtained in violation of Art. by the trial court. So is the bayonet inadmissible in evidence,
III, 12(1) of the Constitution and that, with these vital pieces being, as it were, the "fruit of the poisonous tree." As explained
of evidence excluded, the remaining proof of his alleged guilt, in People v. Alicando: 39
consisting of circumstantial evidence, is inadequate to
establish his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. 33
. . . According to this rule, once the primary
source (the "tree") is shown to have been
Art. III, 12 of the Constitution in part provides: unlawfully obtained, any secondary or
derivative evidence (the "fruit") derived from
(1) Any person under investigation for the it is also inadmissible. Stated otherwise,
commission of an offense shall have the illegally seized evidence is obtained as a
right to be informed of his right to remain direct result of the illegal act, whereas the
silent and to have competent and "fruit of the poisonous tree" is at least once
independent counsel preferably of his own removed from the illegally seized evidence,
choice. If the person cannot afford the but it is equally inadmissible. The rule is
services of counsel, he must be provided based the principle that evidence illegally
with one. These rights cannot be waived obtained by the State should not be used to
except in writing and in the presence of gain other evidence because the originally
counsel. illegal obtained evidence taints all evidence
subsequently obtained.
xxx xxx xxx
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

We agree with the Solicitor General, however, that accused- sufficient ground for conviction, unless
appellant's confession to the radio reporter, Celso Manuel, is corroborated by evidence of corpus delicti.
admissible. In People v.
Andan, 40 the accused in a rape with homicide case confessed 4. Evidence necessary in treason cases.
to the crime during interviews with the media. In holding the No person charged with treason shall be
confession admissible, despite the fact that the accused gave convicted unless on the testimony of two
his answers without the assistance of counsel, this Court witnesses to the same overt act, or on
said: 41 confession in open court.

[A]ppellant's [oral] confessions to the Accused-appellant argues that it was improbable for a brutal
newsmen are not covered by Section 12(1) killing to have been committed without the children who were
and (3) of Article III of the Constitution. The playing about eight to ten meters from Amparo Domantay's
Bill of Rights does not concern itself with the grove, where the crime took place, having heard any
relation between a private individual and commotion. 45 The contention has no merit. Accused-appellant
another individual. It governs the relationship could have covered the young child's mouth to prevent her
between the individual and the State. The from making any sound. In fact, Dr. Bandonill noted a five by
prohibitions therein are primarily addressed two inch (5" x 2") contusion on the left side of the victim's
to the State and its agents. forehead, which he said could have been caused by a hard
blunt instrument or by impact as her head hit the
Accused-appellant claims, however, that the atmosphere in the ground. 46 The blow could have rendered her unconscious,
jail when he was interviewed was "tense and intimidating" and thus precluding her from shouting or crying.
was similar to that which prevails in a custodial
investigation. 42 We are not persuaded. Accused-appellant was Accused-appellant also contends that the testimony of Jiezl
interviewed while he was inside his cell. The interviewer stayed Domantay contradicts that of Lorenzo Domantay because
outside the cell and the only person besides him was an uncle while Jiezl said she had seen accused-appellant walking
of the victim. Accused-appellant could have refused to be towards the bamboo grove, followed by the victim, at around 2
interviewed, but instead, he agreed. He answered questions o'clock in the afternoon on October 17, 1996. Lorenzo said he
freely and spontaneously. According to Celso Manuel, he said saw accused-appellant standing near the bamboo grove at
he was willing to accept the consequences of his act. about the same time.

Celso Manuel admitted that there were indeed some police These witnesses, however, did not testify concerning what they
officers around because about two to three meters from the jail saw exactly the same time. What they told the court was what
were the police station and the radio room. 43 We do not think they had seen "at around" 2 o'clock in the afternoon. There
the presence of the police officers exerted any undue pressure could have been a between difference in time, however little it
or influence on accused-appellant and coerced him into giving was, between the time Jiezl saw accused-appellant and the
his confession. victim walking and the time Lorenzo saw accused-appellant
near the place where the victim's body was later found. Far
Accused-appellant contends that "it is . . . not altogether from contradicting each other, these witnesses confirmed what
improbable for the police investigators to ask the police each had said each one saw. What is striking about their
reporter (Manuel) to try to elicit some incriminating information testimonies is that while Jiezl said she saw accused-appellant
from the accused." 44 This is pure conjecture. Although he going toward the bamboo grove followed by the victim "at
testified that he had interviewed inmates before, there is no around" 2 o'clock in the afternoon on October 17, 1996,
evidence to show that Celso was a police beat reporter. Even Lorenzo said he had seen accused-appellant near the bamboo
assuming that he was, it has not been shown that, in grove "at around" that time. He described accused-appellant
conducting the interview in question, his purpose was to elicit as nervous and worried. There is no reason to doubt the claim
incriminating information from accused-appellant. To the of these witnesses. Lorenzo is a relative of accused-appellant.
contrary, the media are known to take an opposite stance There is no reason he would testified falsely against the latter.
against the government by exposing official wrongdoings. Jiezl, on the other hand, is also surnamed Domantay and could
also be related to accused-appellant and has not been shown
Indeed, there is no showing that the radio reporter was acting to have any reason to testify falsely against accused-appellant.
for the police or that the interview was conducted under At the time of the incident, she was only 10 years old.
circumstances where it is apparent that accused-appellant
confessed to the killing our of fear. As already stated, the For the foregoing reasons, the Court is convinced of accused-
interview was conducted on October 23, 1996, 6 days after appellant's guilt with respect to the killing of the child. It is clear
accused-appellant had already confessed to the killing to the that the prosecution has proven beyond reasonable doubt that
police. accused-appellant is guilty of homicide. Art. 249 of the Revised
Penal Code provides:
Accused-appellant's extrajudicial confession is corroborated by
evidence of corpus delicti, namely, the fact of death of Jennifer Any person who, not falling within the
Domantay. In addition, the circumstantial evidence furnished provisions of Article 246 [parricide] shall kill
by the other prosecution witnesses dovetails in material points another without the attendance of any of the
with his confession. He was seen walking toward the bamboo circumstances enumerated in the next
grove, followed by the victim. Later, he was seen standing near preceding article [murder], shall be deemed
the bamboo grove where the child's body was found. Rule 133 guilty of homicide and be punished
of the Revised Rules on Evidence provides: by reclusion temporal.

3. Extrajudicial confession, not sufficient The killing was committed with the generic aggravating
ground for conviction. An extrajudicial circumstance of abuse of superior strength. The record shows
confession made by an accused, shall not be that the victim, Jennifer Domantay, was six years old at the
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

time of the killing. She was a child of small build, 46" in that the latter had lost her virginity. Consequently, standing
height. 47 It is clear then that she could not have put up much of alone, a physician's finding that the hymen of the alleged victim
a defense against accused-appellant's assault, the latter being was lacerated does not prove rape. It is only when this is
a fully grown man of 29 years. Indeed, the physical evidence corroborated by other evidence proving carnal knowledge that
supports a finding of abuse of superior strength: accused- rape may be deemed to have been established. 57
appellant had a weapon, while the victim was not shown to
have had any; there were 38 stab wounds; and all the knife This conclusion is based on the medically accepted fact that a
wounds are located at the back of Jennifer's body. hymenal tear may be caused by objects other than the male
sex organ 58 or may arise from other causes. 59 Dr. Bandonill
But we think the lower court erred in finding that the killing was himself admitted this. He testified that the right side of the
committed with cruelty. 48 The trial court appears to have been victim's hymen had been completely lacerated while the
led to this conclusion by the number of wounds inflicted on the surrounding genital area showed signs of inflammation. 60 He
victim. But the number of wounds is not a test for determining opined that the laceration had been inflicted within 24 hours of
whether there was circumstance. 49 "The rest . . . is whether the victim's death and that the inflammation was due to a
the accused deliberately and sadistically augmented the trauma in that area. 61 When asked by the private prosecutor
victim's suffering thus . . . there must be proof that the victim whether the lacerations of the hymen could have been caused
was made to agonize before the [the accused] rendered the by the insertion of a male organ he said this was possible. But
blow which snuffed out [her] life." 50 In this case, there is no he also said when questioned by the defense that the
such proof of cruelty. Dr. Bandonill testified that any of the lacerations could have been caused by something blunt other
major wounds on the victim's back could have caused her than the male organ. Thus, he testified: 62
death as they penetrated her heart, lungs and liver, kidney and
intestines. 51 PROS. F. QUINIT:
Q Now, what might have caused the complete laceration of
the right side of the hymen, doctor?
Second. There is, however, no sufficient evidence to hold A Well, sir, if you look at my report there is a remark and it
accused-appellant guilty of raping Jennifer Domantay. Art. 335. says there; findings at the genital area indicated the
of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, in part provides: probability of penetration of that area by a hard rigid
instrument.
Q Could it have been caused by a human organ?
Art. 335. When and how rape is committed. A If the human male organ is erect, fully erect and hard then
Rape is committed by having carnal it is possible, sir.
xxx xxx xxx
knowledge of a woman under any of the
ATTY. VALDEZ:
following circumstances. Q In your remarks; finding at the genital area indicates the
probability of penetration of that area by a hard rigid
instrument, this may have also been caused by a dagger used
1. By using force or intimidation; in the killing of Jennifer Domantay is that correct?
A Well, sir when I say hard rigid instrument it should not be
2. When the woman is deprive of reason or sharp pointed and share rigid, it should be a hard bl[u]nt
instrument.
otherwise unconscious; and Q Do you consider a bolo a bl[u] instrument, or a dagger?
A The dagger is a sharp rigid but it is not a bl[u]nt instrument,
3. When the woman is under twelve years of sir.
Q This Genital Examination showed a complete laceration of
age or is demented. the right side of the hymen, this may have been possibly
caused by a dagger, is it not?
As the victim here was six years old, only carnal A No, sir. I won't say that this would have been caused by a
dagger, because a dagger would have made at its incision . . .
knowledge had to be proved to establish rape. Carnal not a laceration, sir.
knowledge is defined as the act of a man having Q But this laceration may also have been caused by other
sexual intercourse or sexual bodily connections with a factors other the human male organ, is that correct?
A A hard bl[u]nt instrument, sir could show.
woman. 52 For this purpose, it is enough if there was
Q My question is other than the human male organ?
even the slightest contact of the male sex organ with A Possible, sir.
the labia of the victim's genitalia. 53 However, there xxx xxx xxx
must be proof, by direct or indirect evidence, of such COURT:
Q You mentioned that the hymen was lacerated on the right
contact. side?
A Yes, your Honor.
Dr. Ronald Bandonill's report on the genital examination he had Q And if there is a complete erection by a human organ is this
possible that the laceration can only be on the right side of
performed on the deceased reads: 54 the hymen?
A Yes, your Honor, its possible.
GENITAL EXAMINATION; showed a Q How about if the penetration was done by a finger, was it
the same as the human organ?
complete laceration of the right side of the A Well, it defends on the size of the finger that penetrat[es]
hymen. The surrounding genital area shows that organ, if the finger is small it could the superficial
signs of inflammation. laceration, and if the finger is large then it is possible your
honor.
Q How about two fingers?
xxx xxx xxx A Possible, sir.
To be sure, this Court has sustained a number of convictions
REMARKS: 1) Findings at the genital area for rape with homicide based on purely circumstantial
indicate the probability of penetration of that evidence. In those instances, however, the prosecution was
area by a hard, rigid instrument. able to present other tell-tale signs of rape such as the location
and description of the victim's clothings, especially her
undergarments, the position of the body when found and the
Hymenal laceration is not necessary to prove rape; 55 neither
like. 63 In People v. Macalino, 64 for instance, the Court affirmed
does its presence prove its commission. As held in People
a conviction for the rape of a two-year old child on the basis of
v. Ulili, 56 a medical certificate or the testimony of the physician
circumstantial evidence. 65
is presented not to prove that the victim was raped but to show
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

The Court notes that the testimony or homicide, both the rape and the homicide must be established
medical opinion of Dr. Gajardo that the fresh beyond reasonable doubt. 73
laceration had been produced by sexual
intercourse is corroborated by the testimony Third. The trial court ordered accused-appellant to pay the
given by complainant. Elizabeth that when heirs of Jennifer Domantay the amount of P30,000.00 as
she rushed upstairs upon hearing her actual damages. However, the list of expenses produced by
daughter suddenly cry out, she found the victim's father, Jaime Domantay, only totaled P28,430.00.
appellant Macalino beside the child buttoning Of this amount, only P12,000.00 was supported by a receipt.
his own pants and that she found some Art. 2199 of the Civil Code provides that a party may recover
sticky fluid on the child's buttocks and some actual or compensatory damages only for such loss as he has
blood on her private part.(Emphasis in the duly proved. Therefore, the award of actual damages should
original) be reduced to P12,000.00.

In contrast, in the case at bar, there is no circumstantial In addition, the heirs of Jennifer Domantay are entitled to
evidence from which to infer that accused-appellant sexually recover exemplary damages in view of the presence of the
abused the victim. The only circumstance from which such aggravating circumstance of abuse of superior strength. Art.
inference might be made is that accused-appellant was seen 2230 of the Civil Code provides for the payment of exemplary
with the victim walking toward the place where the girl's body damages when the crime is committed with one or more
was found. Maybe he raped the girl. Maybe he did not. Maybe aggravating circumstance. An amount of P25,000.00 is
he simply inserted a blunt object into her organ, thus causing deemed appropriate. 74
the lacerations in the hymen. Otherwise, there is no
circumstance from which it might reasonably be inferred that In accordance with our rulings in People
he abused her, e.g., that he was zipping up his pants, that v. Robles 75 and People v. Mengote, 76 the indemnity should be
there was spermatozoa in the girl's vaginal canal. fixed at P50,000.00 and the moral damages at P50,000.00. 77

Indeed, the very autopsy report of Dr. Bandonill militates WHEREFORE, the judgment of the trial court is SET ASIDE
against the finding of rape. In describing the stab wounds on and another one is rendered FINDING accused-appellant guilty
the body of the victim, he testified: 66 of homicide with the aggravating circumstance of abuse of
superior strength and sentencing him to a prison term of 12
[A]fter examining the body I took note that years of prision mayor, as minimum, to 20 years of reclusion
were several stab wounds . . . these were all temporal, as maximum, and ORDERING him to pay the heirs
found at the back area sir . . . extending from of Jennifer Domantay the amounts of P50,000.00, as
the back shoulder down to the lower back indemnity, P50,000.00, as moral damages, P25,000.00, as
area from the left to the right. exemplary damages, and P12,000.00, as actual damages, and
the costs.1wphi1.nt
Considering the relative physical positions of the
accused and the victim in crimes of rape, the usual SO ORDERED.
location of the external bodily injuries of the victim is
on the face, 67 neck, 68 and anterior portion 69 of her Davide, Jr., C.J., Romero, Bellosillo, Melo, Puno, Vitug,
body. Although it is not unnatural to find contusions on Kapunan, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Pardo, Gonzaga-Reyes
the posterior side, these are usually caused by the and Ynares-Santiago, JJ., concur.
downward pressure on the victim's body during the
sexual assault. 70 It is unquestionably different when,
Purisima and Buena, JJ., no took part.
as in this case, all the stab wounds (except for a
minor cut in the lower left leg) had their entry points at
#Footnotes
the back running from the upper left shoulder to the
1 Per Judge Bienvenido R. Estrada.
lower right buttocks. 2 Records, p. 15. Dr. Macaranas was not presented as a witness and
her post-mortem report was not offered in evidence by either party.
3 Folder of Exhibits, p. 5; Exh. G.
It is noteworthy that the deceased was fully clothed in blue 4 Records, p. 1.
shorts and white shirt when her body was immediately after it 5 TSN, pp. 3-4, March 4, 1997.
was found. 71 Furthermore, there is a huge bloodstain in the 6 Id., pp. 8, 13.
7 Id., p. 19.
back portion of her shorts. 72 This must be because she
8 Id., pp. 13-15 (Translation by the trail court).
wearing this piece of clothing when the stab wounds were 9 Id., pp. 20-21.
inflicated or immediately thereafter, thus allowing the blood to 10 TSN, pp. 4-7, 13, March 3, 1997.
seep into her shorts to such an extent. As accused-appellant 11 TSN, pp. 4-5, 13, April 3, 1997.
12 TSN, pp. 4-7, March 13, 1997.
would naturally have to pull down the girl's lower garments in 13 TSN, p. 6, Feb. 28, 1997.
order to consummate the rape, then, he must have, regardless 14 TSN, p. 4, Feb. 25, 1997.
of when the stab wounds were inflicted, pulled up the victim's 15 TSN, p. 8, Feb. 28, 1997.
16 TSN, p. 14, April 10, 1997.
shorts and undergarments after the alleged rape, otherwise, 17 Id., pp. 6-9.
the victim's shorts would not have been stained so extensively. 18 TSN, p. 10, April 10, 1997.
Again, this is contrary to ordinary human experience. 19 Id., p. 13.
20 Id., p. 15.
21 Records, p. 20.
Even assuming that Jennifer had been raped, there is no 22 TSN, pp. 12-13, April 8, 1997.
sufficient proof that it was accused-appellant who had raped 23 Id., p. 16.
24 Id., pp. 10-11.
her. He did not confess to having raped the victim. 25 Records, p. 20.
26 TSN, pp. 8-11, April 15, 1997.
From the foregoing, we cannot find that accused-appellant also 27 Id., p. 26-27.
28 Id., pp. 17-18, 27-29.
committed rape. In the special complex crime of rape with 29 Id., p. 31.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

30 Rollo, p. 32; Decision, p. 14.


31 Broken down as follows: P200,000.00 as moral damages;
P200,000.00 as exemplary damages; P50,000.00 as civil indemnity;
and P30,000.00 for funeral and related expenses.
32 Rollo, p. 50; Appellant's Brief, p. 1.
33 Id., pp. 54-60; Id., pp. 5-11.
34 People v. Andan, 269 SCRA 95 (1997).
35 Sanchez v. Demetriou, 227 SCRA 627 (1993).
36 People v. Deniega, 251 SCRA 626 (1995); People v. Espaola, 271
SCRA 689 (1997); People v. Cabiles, 284 SCRA 199 (1998); People v.
Tan, 286 SCRA 207, 214 (1998) citing cases.
37 Accused-appellant was picked up by the police without any warrant
of arrest, although his case did not fall under any of the three instances
where warrantless arrests are authorized under Rule 113, 5 of the
Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure.
38 TSN, p. 4, Feb. 25, 1995.
39 251 SCRA 293, 314 (1995).
40 269 SCRA 95 (1997).
41 Id., at 314. Reiterated in People v. Cabiles, 284 SCRA 199 (1998).
42 Rollo, p. 59; Appellant's Brief, p. 10.
43 TSN, p. 10, April 10, 1997.
44 Rollo, p. 59; Appellant's Brief, p. 10.
45 Rollo, pp. 62-63, Appellant's Brief, pp. 13-14.
46 TSN, pp. 10-11, April 18, 1997.
47 Records, p, 13.
48 Rollo, p, 32; Decision, p. 14.
49 People v. Tonog, 205 SCRA 772 (1992); People v. Manzano, 58
SCRA 250 (1974).
50 People v. Ferrer, 255 SCRA 19, 36 (1996), citing People v. Lacao,
60 SCRA 89 (1974).
51 TSN, p. 16, April 8, 1997.
52 People v. Alib, 222 SCRA 517 (1993); People v. Orita, 184 SCRA
105 (1990).
53 People v. Evangelista, 282 SCRA 37 (1997); People v. Orita, supra.
54 Records, p. 20.
55 People v. Butron, 272 SCRA 352 (1997); People v. Gabris, 258
SCRA 663 (1996); People v. Alimon, 257 SCRA 658 (1996); People v.
Lazaro, 249 SCRA 234 (1995); People v. Salinas, 232 SCRA 274
(1994).
56 225 SCRA 594 (1993).
57 See People v. Macalino, 209 SCRA 788, 795 (1992).
59 HERZOG, MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE, 617 (1931).
60 Records, p. 20.
61 TSN, p. 20, April 8, 1997.
62 TSN, pp. 15-19, April 8, 1997 (emphasis added).
63 See People v. Develles, 208 SCRA 101 (1992); People v. Magana,
259 SCRA 380 (1996).
64 209 SCRA 788 (1992).
65 Id., at 797.
66 TSN, pp. 12-13, April 8, 1997.
67 People v. Advincula, 96 SCRA 875, 878 (1980); People v. Lood, 117
SCRA 467, 471 (1982); People v. Aguirre, 143 SCRA 572, 578 (1986);
People v. Gecomo, 254 SCRA 82, 92 (1996).
68 People v. Garcia, 89 SCRA 440, 448 (1979); People v. Saligan, 101
SCRA 264, 269 (1980); People v. Vizcarra, 115 SCRA 743, 746 (1982);
People v. Umali, 116 SCRA 23, 32 (1982); People v. Aguirre, supra.;
People v. Dawandawan, 184 SCRA 264, 269 (1990); People v.
Magana, supra.
69 People v. Saligan, supra; People v. Empleo, 226 SCRA 454, 459
(1993).
70 See People v. Madridano, 227 SCRA 363, 363 (1993); People v.
Emplo, supra.; People v. Garcia, supra.
71 Exh. C.
72 Ehx. B.
73 See People v. Dino, 160 SCRA 197, 209 (1988).
74 People v. Espanola, 271 SCRA 689 (1997).
75 G.R. No. 124300, March 25, 1999.
76 G.R. No. 130491, March 25, 1999.
77 Supra note 74.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

Republic of the Philippines Whether or not Respondent is guilty of unfair labor


SUPREME COURT practice.
Manila
Thereafter, the case was heard. On April 30, 1993, the Labor
EN BANC Arbiter rendered a decision finding petitioner to have been
illegally dismissed. He ruled that private respondent failed to
G.R. No. 117040 January 27, 2000 establish that it had retrenched its security section to prevent
or minimize losses to its business; that private respondent
failed to accord due process to petitioner; that private
RUBEN SERRANO, petitioner, respondent failed to use reasonable standards in selecting
vs. employees whose employment would be terminated; that
NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION and private respondent had not shown that petitioner and other
ISETANN DEPARTMENT STORE, respondents. employees in the security section were so inefficient so as to
justify their replacement by a security agency, or that "cost-
MENDOZA, J.: saving devices [such as] secret video cameras (to monitor and
prevent shoplifting) and secret code tags on the merchandise"
This is a Petition seeking review of the resolutions, dated could not have been employed; instead, the day after
March 30, 1994 and August 26, 1994, of the National Labor petitioner's dismissal, private respondent employed a safety
Relations Commission (NLRC) which reversed the decision of and security supervisor with duties and functions similar to
the Labor Arbiter and dismissed petitioner Ruben Serrano's those of petitioner.1wphi1.nt
complaint for illegal dismissal and denied his motion for
reconsideration. The facts are as follows: Accordingly, the Labor Arbiter ordered:6

Petitioner was hired by private respondent Isetann Department WHEREFORE, above premises considered, judgment is
Store as a security checker to apprehend shoplifters and hereby decreed:
prevent pilferage of merchandise.1 Initially hired on October 4,
1984 on contractual basis, petitioner eventually became a (a) Finding the dismissal of the complainant to be
regular employee on April 4, 1985. In 1988, he became head of illegal and concomitantly, Respondent is ordered to
the Security Checkers Section of private respondent.2 pay complainant full backwages without qualification
or deduction in the amount of P74,740.00 from the
Sometime in 1991, as a cost-cutting measure, private time of his dismissal until reinstatement. (computed till
respondent decided to phase out its entire security section and promulgation only) based on his monthly salary of
engage the services of an independent security agency. For P4,040.00/month at the time of his termination but
this reason, it wrote petitioner the following memorandum:3 limited to (3) three years;

October 11, 1991 (b) Ordering the Respondent to immediately reinstate


the complainant to his former position as security
MR. RUBEN SERRANO section head or to a reasonably equivalent
supervisorial position in charges of security without
loss of seniority rights, privileges and benefits. This
PRESENT order is immediately executory even pending appeal;

Dear Mr. Seranno, (c) Ordering the Respondent to pay complainant


unpaid wages in the amount of P2,020.73 and
In view of the retrenchment program of the proportionate 13th month pay in the amount
company, we hereby reiterate our verbal of P3,198.30;
notice to you of your termination as Security
Section Head effective October 11, 1991. (d) Ordering the Respondent to pay complainant the
amount of P7,995.91, representing 10% attorney's
Please secure your clearance from this fees based on the total judgment award
office. of P79,959.12.

Very truly yours, All other claims of the complainant whether monetary
or otherwise is hereby dismissed for lack of merit.
[Sgd.] TERESITA A. VILLANUEVA
Human Resources Division Manager SO ORDERED.

The loss of his employment prompted petitioner to file a Private respondent appealed to the NLRC which, in its
complaint on December 3, 1991 for illegal dismissal, illegal resolution of March 30, 1994; reversed the decision of the
layoff, unfair labor practice, underpayment of wages, and Labor Arbiter and ordered petitioner to be given separation pay
nonpayment of salary and overtime pay.4 equivalent to one month pay for every year of service, unpaid
salary, and proportionate 13th month pay. Petitioner filed a
motion for reconsideration, but his motion was denied.
The parties were required to submit their position
papers, on the basis of which the Labor Arbiter
defined the issues as follows:5 The NLRC held that the phase-out of private respondent's
security section and the hiring of an independent security
agency constituted an exercise by private respondent of "[a]
Whether or not there is a valid ground for the
legitimate business decision whose wisdom we do not intend
dismissal of the complainant.
to inquire into and for which we cannot substitute our
judgment"; that the distinction made by the Labor Arbiter
Whether or not complainant is entitled to his monetary between "retrenchment" and the employment of cost-saving
claims for underpayment of wages, nonpayment of devices" under Art. 283 of the Labor Code was insignificant
salaries, 13th month pay for 1991 and overtime pay. because the company official who wrote the dismissal letter
apparently used the term "retrenchment" in its "plain and
ordinary sense: to layoff or remove from one's job, regardless
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

of the reason therefor"; that the rule of "reasonable criteria" in essential for its operation. To it belongs the ultimate
the selection of the employees to be retrenched did not apply determination of whether services should be performed by its
because all positions in the security section had been personnel or contracted to outside agencies . . . [While there]
abolished; and that the appointment of a safety and security should be mutual consultation, eventually deference is to be
supervisor referred to by petitioner to prove bad faith on private paid to what management decides."11Consequently, absent
respondent's part was of no moment because the position had proof that management acted in a malicious or arbitrary
long been in existence and was separate from petitioner's manner, the Court will not interfere with the exercise of
position as head of the Security Checkers Section. judgment by an employer.12

Hence this petition. Petitioner raises the following issue: In the case at bar, we have only the bare assertion of petitioner
that, in abolishing the security section, private respondent's
IS THE HIRING OF AN INDEPENDENT SECURITY real purpose was to avoid payment to the security checkers of
AGENCY BY THE PRIVATE RESPONDENT TO the wage increases provided in the collective bargaining
REPLACE ITS CURRENT SECURITY SECTION A agreement approved in 1990.13 Such an assertion is not
VALID GROUND FOR THE DISMISSAL OF THE sufficient basis for concluding that the termination of
EMPLOYEES CLASSED UNDER THE LATTER?7 petitioner's employment was not a bona fide decision of
management to obtain reasonable return from its investment,
which is a right guaranteed to employers under the
Petitioner contends that abolition of private respondent's Constitution.14 Indeed, that the phase-out of the security
Security Checkers Section and the employment of an section constituted a "legitimate business decision" is a factual
independent security agency do not fall under any of the finding of an administrative agency which must be accorded
authorized causes for dismissal under Art. 283 of the Labor respect and even finality by this Court since nothing can be
Code. found in the record which fairly detracts from such finding.15

Petitioner Laid Off for Cause Accordingly, we hold that the termination of petitioner's
services was for an authorized cause, i.e., redundancy. Hence,
Petitioner's contention has no merit. Art. 283 provides: pursuant to Art. 283 of the Labor Code, petitioner should be
given separation pay at the rate of one month pay for every
Closure of establishment and reduction of personnel. The year of service.
employer may also terminate the employment of any employee
due to the installation of labor-saving devices, redundancy, Sanctions for Violations of the Notice Requirement
retrenchment to prevent losses or the closing or cessation of
operations of the establishment or undertaking unless the Art. 283 also provides that to terminate the employment of an
closing is for the purpose of circumventing the provisions of employee for any of the authorized causes the employer must
this Title, by serving a written notice on the, workers and the serve "a written notice on the workers and the Department of
Department of Labor and Employment at least one (1) month Labor and Employment at least one (1) month before the
before the intended date thereof. In case of termination due to intended date thereof." In the case at bar, petitioner was given
the installation of labor-saving devices or redundancy, the a notice of termination on October 11, 1991. On the same day,
worker affected thereby shall be entitled to a separation pay his services were terminated. He was thus denied his right to
equivalent to at least one (1) month pay or to at least one (1) be given written notice before the termination of his
month pay for every year of service, whichever is higher. In employment, and the question is the appropriate sanction for
case of retrenchment to prevent losses and in cases of closure the violation of petitioner's right.
or cessation of operations of establishment or undertaking not
due to serious business losses or financial reverses, the
separation pay shall be equivalent to at least one (1) month To be sure, this is not the first time this question has arisen.
pay or at least one-half (1/2) month pay for every year of In Subuguero v. NLRC,16 workers in a garment factory were
service, whichever is higher. A fraction of at least six (6) temporarily laid off due to the cancellation of orders and a
months shall be considered as one (1) whole year. garment embargo. The Labor Arbiter found that the workers
had been illegally dismissed and ordered the company to pay
separation pay and backwages. The NLRC, on the other hand,
In De Ocampo v. National Labor Relations Commission,8 this found that this was a case of retrenchment due to business
Court upheld the termination of employment of three losses and ordered the payment of separation pay without
mechanics in a transportation company and their replacement backwages. This Court sustained the NLRC's finding.
by a company rendering maintenance and repair services. It However, as the company did not comply with the 30-day
held: written notice in Art. 283 of the Labor Code, the Court ordered
the employer to pay the workers P2,000.00 each as indemnity.
In contracting the services of Gemac Machineries, as
part of the company's cost-saving program, the The decision followed the ruling in several cases involving
services rendered by the mechanics became dismissals which, although based on any of the just causes
redundant and superfluous, and therefore properly under Art. 282,17 were effected without notice and hearing to
terminable. The company merely exercised its the employee as required by the implementing rules.18 As this
business judgment or management prerogative. And Court said: "It is now settled that where the dismissal of one
in the absence of any proof that the management employee is in fact for a just and valid cause and is so proven
abused its discretion or acted in a malicious or to be but he is not accorded his right to due process, i.e., he
arbitrary manner, the court will not interfere with the was not furnished the twin requirements of notice and
exercise of such prerogative.9 opportunity to be heard, the dismissal shall be upheld but the
employer must be sanctioned for non-compliance with the
In Asian Alcohol Corporation v. National Labor Relations requirements of, or for failure to observe, due process."19
Commission,10 the Court likewise upheld the termination of
employment of water pump tenders and their replacement by The rule reversed a long standing policy theretofore followed
independent contractors. It ruled that an employer's good faith that even though the dismissal is based on a just cause or the
in implementing a redundancy program is not necessarily put termination of employment is for an authorized cause, the
in doubt by the availment of the services of an independent dismissal or termination is illegal if effected without notice to
contractor to replace the services of the terminated employees the employee. The shift in doctrine took place in 1989
to promote economy and efficiency. in Wenphil Corp. v. NLRC.20 In announcing the change, this
Court said:21
Indeed, as we pointed out in another case, the "[management
of a company] cannot be denied the faculty of promoting
efficiency and attaining economy by a study of what units are
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

The Court holds that the policy of ordering the require an employer to keep in his service one who is guilty, for
reinstatement to the service of an employee without example, of an attempt on the life of the employer or the latter's
loss of seniority and the payment of his wages during family, or when the employer is precisely retrenching in order
the period of his separation until his actual to prevent losses.
reinstatement but not exceeding three (3) years
without qualification or deduction, when it appears he The need is for a rule which, while recognizing the employee's
was not afforded due process, although his dismissal right to notice before he is dismissed or laid off, at the same
was found to be for just and authorized cause in an time acknowledges the right of the employer to dismiss for any
appropriate proceeding in the Ministry of Labor and of the just causes enumerated in Art. 282 or to terminate
Employment, should be re-examined. It will be highly employment for any of the authorized causes mentioned in
prejudicial to the interests of the employer to impose Arts. 283-284. If the Wenphil rule imposing a fine on an
on him the services of an employee who has been employer who is found to have dismissed an employee for
shown to be guilty of the charges that warranted his cause without prior notice is deemed ineffective in deterring
dismissal from employment. Indeed, it will demoralize employer violations of the notice requirement, the remedy is
the rank and file if the undeserving, if not undesirable, not to declare the dismissal void if there are just or valid
remains in the service. grounds for such dismissal or if the termination is for an
authorized cause. That would be to uphold the right of the
xxx xxx xxx employee but deny the right of the employer to dismiss for
cause. Rather, the remedy is to order the payment to the
However, the petitioner must nevertheless be held to employee of full backwages from the time of his dismissal until
account for failure to extend to private respondent his the court finds that the dismissal was for a just cause. But,
right to an investigation before causing his dismissal. otherwise, his dismissal must be upheld and he should not be
The rule is explicit as above discussed. The dismissal reinstated. This is because his dismissal is ineffectual.
of an employee must be for just or authorized cause
and after due process. Petitioner committed an For the same reason, if an employee is laid off for any of the
infraction of the second requirement. Thus, it must be causes in Arts. 283-284, i.e., installation of a labor-saving
imposed a sanction for its failure to give a formal device, but the employer did not give him and the DOLE a 30-
notice and conduct an investigation as required by day written notice of termination in advance, then the
law before dismissing petitioner from employment. termination of his employment should be considered ineffectual
Considering the circumstances of this case petitioner and he should be paid backwages. However, the termination of
must indemnify the private respondent the amount of his employment should not be considered void but he should
P1,000.00. The measure of this award depends on simply be paid separation pay as provided in Art. 283 in
the facts of each case and the gravity of the omission addition to backwages.
committed by the employer.
Justice Puno argues that an employer's failure to comply with
The fines imposed for violations of the notice requirement have the notice requirement constitutes a denial of the employee's
varied from P1,000.0022 to P2,000.0023 to P5,000.0024 to right to due process. Prescinding from this premise, he quotes
P10,000.00.25 the statement of Chief Justice Concepcion Vda. de Cuaycong
v. Vda. de Sengbengco26 that "acts of Congress, as well as of
Need for Reexamining the Wenphil Doctrine the Executive, can deny due process only under the pain of
nullity, and judicial proceedings suffering from the same flaw
are subject to the same sanction, any statutory provision to the
Today, we once again consider the question of appropriate contrary notwithstanding." Justice Puno concludes that the
sanctions for violations of the notice experience during the last dismissal of an employee without notice and hearing, even if
decade or so with the Wenphil doctrine. The number of cases for a just cause, as provided in Art. 282, or for an authorized
involving dismissals without the requisite notice to the cause, as provided in Arts. 283-284, is a nullity. Hence, even if
employee, although effected for just or authorized causes, just or authorized cause exist, the employee should be
suggest that the imposition of fine for violation of the notice reinstated with full back pay. On the other hand, Justice
requirement has not been effective in deterring violations of the Panganiban quotes from the statement in People v.
notice requirement. Justice Panganiban finds the monetary Bocar27 that "[w]here the denial of the fundamental right of due
sanctions "too insignificant, too niggardly, and sometimes even process is apparent, a decision rendered in disregard of that
too late." On the other hand, Justice Puno says there has in right is void for lack of jurisdiction."
effect been fostered a policy of "dismiss now; pay later" which
moneyed employers find more convenient to comply with than
the requirement to serve a 30-day written notice (in the case of Violation of Notice Requirement Not a Denial of Due Process
termination of employment for an authorized cause under Arts.
283-284) or to give notice and hearing (in the case of The cases cited by both Justices Puno and Panganiban refer,
dismissals for just causes under Art. 282). however, to the denial of due process by the State, which is not
the case here. There are three reasons why, on the other hand,
For this reason, they regard any dismissal or layoff without the violation by the employer of the notice requirement cannot be
requisite notice to be null and void even though there are just considered a denial of due process resulting in the nullity of the
or authorized cause for such dismissal or layoff. Consequently, employee's dismissal or layoff.
in their view, the employee concerned should be reinstated and
paid backwages. The first is that the Due Process Clause of the Constitution is a
limitation on governmental powers. It does not apply to the
Validity of Petitioner's Layoff Not Affected by Lack of Notice exercise of private power, such as the termination of
employment under the Labor Code. This is plain from the text
of Art. III, 1 of the Constitution, viz.: "No person shall be
We agree with our esteemed colleagues, Justices Puno and deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. .
Panganiban, that we should rethink the sanction of fine for an . ." The reason is simple: Only the State has authority to take
employer's disregard of the notice requirement. We do not the life, liberty, or property of the individual. The purpose of the
agree, however, that disregard of this requirement by an Due Process Clause is to ensure that the exercise of this
employer renders the dismissal or termination of employment power is consistent with what are considered civilized
null and void. Such a stance is actually a reversion to the methods.
discredited pre-Wenphil rule of ordering an employee to be
reinstated and paid backwages when it is shown that he has
not been given notice and hearing although his dismissal or The second reason is that notice and hearing are required
layoff is later found to be for a just or authorized cause. Such under the Due Process Clause before the power of organized
rule was abandoned in Wenphil because it is really unjust to society are brought to bear upon the individual. This is
obviously not the case of termination of employment under Art.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

283. Here the employee is not faced with an aspect of the that "Since the right of [an employee] to his labor is in itself a
adversary system. The purpose for requiring a 30-day written property and that the labor agreement between him and [his
notice before an employee is laid off is not to afford him an employer] is the law between the parties, his summary and
opportunity to be heard on any charge against him, for there is arbitrary dismissal amounted to deprivation of his property
none. The purpose rather is to give him time to prepare for the without due process of law." But here we are dealing with
eventual loss of his job and the DOLE an opportunity to dismissals and layoffs by employers alone, without the
determine whether economic causes do exist justifying the intervention of any grievance machinery. Accordingly
termination of his employment. in Montemayor v. Araneta University Foundation,32 although a
professor was dismissed without a hearing by his university,
Even in cases of dismissal under Art. 282, the purpose for the his dismissal for having made homosexual advances on a
requirement of notice and hearing is not to comply with Due student was sustained, it appearing that in the NLRC, the
Process Clause of the Constitution. The time for notice and employee was fully heard in his defense.
hearing is at the trial stage. Then that is the time we speak of
notice and hearing as the essence of procedural due process. Lack of Notice Only Makes Termination Ineffectual
Thus, compliance by the employer with the notice requirement
before he dismisses an employee does not foreclose the right Not all notice requirements are requirements of due process.
of the latter to question the legality of his dismissal. As Art. Some are simply part of a procedure to be followed before a
277(b) provides, "Any decision taken by the employer shall be right granted to a party can be exercised. Others are simply an
without prejudice to the right of the worker to contest the application of the Justinian precept, embodied in the Civil
validity or legality of his dismissal by filing a complaint with the Code,33 to act with justice, give everyone his due, and observe
regional branch of the National Labor Relations Commission." honesty and good faith toward one's fellowmen. Such is the
notice requirement in Arts. 282-283. The consequence of the
Indeed, to contend that the notice requirement in the Labor failure either of the employer or the employee to live up to this
Code is an aspect of due process is to overlook the fact that precept is to make him liable in damages, not to render his act
Art. 283 had its origin in Art. 302 of the Spanish Code of (dismissal or resignation, as the case may be) void. The
Commerce of 1882 which gave either party to the employer- measure of damages is the amount of wages the employee
employee relationship the right to terminate their relationship should have received were it not for the termination of his
by giving notice to the other one month in advance. In lieu of employment without prior notice. If warranted, nominal and
notice, an employee could be laid off by paying him moral damages may also be awarded.
a mesada equivalent to his salary for one month.28 This
provision was repealed by Art. 2270 of the Civil Code, which We hold, therefore, that, with respect to Art. 283 of the Labor
took effect on August 30, 1950. But on June 12, 1954, R.A. No. Code, the employer's failure to comply with the notice
1052, otherwise known as the Termination Pay Law, was requirement does not constitute a denial of due process but a
enacted reviving the mesada. On June 21, 1957, the law was mere failure to observe a procedure for the termination of
amended by R.A. No. 1787 providing for the giving of advance employment which makes the termination of employment
notice or the payment of compensation at the rate of one-half merely ineffectual. It is similar to the failure to observe the
month for every year of service.29 provisions of Art. 1592, in relation to Art. 1191, of the Civil
Code34 in rescinding a contract for the sale of immovable
The Termination Pay Law was held not to be a substantive law property. Under these provisions, while the power of a party to
but a regulatory measure, the purpose of which was to give the rescind a contract is implied in reciprocal obligations,
employer the opportunity to find a replacement or substitute, nonetheless, in cases involving the sale of immovable property,
and the employee the equal opportunity to look for another job the vendor cannot exercise this power even though the vendee
or source of employment. Where the termination of defaults in the payment of the price, except by bringing an
employment was for a just cause, no notice was required to be action in court or giving notice of rescission by means of a
given to the, employee.30 It was only on September 4, 1981 notarial demand.35 Consequently, a notice of rescission given
that notice was required to be given even where the dismissal in the letter of an attorney has no legal effect, and the vendee
or termination of an employee was for cause. This was made can make payment even after the due date since no valid
in the rules issued by the then Minister of Labor and notice of rescission has been given.36
Employment to implement B.P. Blg. 130 which amended the
Labor Code. And it was still much later when the notice Indeed, under the Labor Code, only the absence of a just
requirement was embodied in the law with the amendment of cause for the termination of employment can make the
Art. 277(b) by R.A. No. 6715 on March 2, 1989. It cannot be dismissal of an employee illegal. This is clear from Art. 279
that the former regime denied due process to the employee. which provides:
Otherwise, there should now likewise be a rule that, in case an
employee leaves his job without cause and without prior notice
to his employer, his act should be void instead of simply Security of Tenure. In cases of regular
making him liable for damages. employment, the employer shall not terminate the
services of an employee except for a just cause or
when authorized by this Title. An employee who
The third reason why the notice requirement under Art. 283 is unjustly dismissed from work shall be entitled to
can not be considered a requirement of the Due Process reinstatement without loss of seniority rights and other
Clause is that the employer cannot really be expected to be privileges and to his full backwages, inclusive of
entirely an impartial judge of his own cause. This is also the allowances, and to his other benefits or their
case in termination of employment for a just cause under Art. monetary equivalent computed from the time his
282 (i.e., serious misconduct or willful disobedience by the compensation was withheld from him up to the time of
employee of the lawful orders of the employer, gross and his actual reinstatement.37
habitual neglect of duties, fraud or willful breach of trust of the
employer, commission of crime against the employer or the
latter's immediate family or duly authorized representatives, or Thus, only if the termination of employment is not for any of the
other analogous cases). causes provided by law is it illegal and, therefore, the
employee should be reinstated and paid backwages. To
contend, as Justices Puno and Panganiban do, that even if the
Justice Puno disputes this. He says that "statistics in the DOLE termination is for a just or authorized cause the employee
will prove that many cases have been won by employees concerned should be reinstated and paid backwages would be
before the grievance committees manned by impartial judges to amend Art. 279 by adding another ground for considering a
of the company." The grievance machinery is, however, dismissal illegal. What is more, it would ignore the fact that
different because it is established by agreement of the under Art. 285, if it is the employee who fails to give a written
employer and the employees and composed of representatives notice to the employer that he is leaving the service of the
from both sides. That is why, in Batangas Laguna Tayabas Bus latter, at least one month in advance, his failure to comply with
Co. v. Court of Appeals,31 which Justice Puno cites, it was held the legal requirement does not result in making his resignation
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

void but only in making him liable for damages.38 This disparity should be paid full backwages if he has been laid off without
in legal treatment, which would result from the adoption of the written notice at least 30 days in advance.
theory of the minority cannot simply be explained by invoking
resident Ramon Magsaysay's motto that "he who has less in On the other hand, with respect to dismissals for cause under
life should have more in law." That would be a misapplication Art. 282, if it is shown that the employee was dismissed for any
of this noble phrase originally from Professor Thomas Reed of the just causes mentioned in said Art. 282, then, in
Powell of the Harvard Law School. accordance with that article, he should not be reinstated.
However, he must be paid backwages from the time his
Justice Panganiban cites Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. v. NLRC,39 in employment was terminated until it is determined that the
support of his view that an illegal dismissal results not only termination of employment is for a just cause because the
from want of legal cause but also from the failure to observe failure to hear him before he is dismissed renders the
"due process." The Pepsi-Cola case actually involved a termination of his employment without legal effect.
dismissal for an alleged loss of trust and confidence which, as
found by the Court, was not proven. The dismissal was, WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED and the resolution of
therefore, illegal, not because there was a denial of due the National Labor Relations Commission is MODIFIED by
process, but because the dismissal was without cause. The ordering private respondent Isetann Department Store, Inc. to
statement that the failure of management to comply with the pay petitioner separation pay equivalent to one (1) month pay
notice requirement "taints the dismissal with illegality" was for every year of service, his unpaid salary, and his
merely a dictum thrown in as additional grounds for holding the proportionate 13th month pay and, in addition, full backwages
dismissal to be illegal. from the time his employment was terminated on October 11,
1991 up to the time the decision herein becomes final. For this
Given the nature of the violation, therefore, the appropriate purpose, this case is REMANDED to the Labor Arbiter for
sanction for the failure to give notice is the payment of computation of the separation pay, backwages, and other
backwages for the period when the employee is considered not monetary awards to petitioner.
to have been effectively dismissed or his employment
terminated. The sanction is not the payment alone of nominal SO ORDERED.
damages as Justice Vitug contends.
Davide, Jr., C.J., Melo, Kapunan, Quisumbing, Purisima,
Unjust Results of Considering Dismissals/Layoffs Without Prior Pardo, Buena, Gonzaga-Reyes and De Leon, Jr., JJ., concur.
Notice As Illegal Bellosillo J., Please see Separate Opinion.
Puno, J., Please see Dissenting Opinion.
The refusal to look beyond the validity of the initial action taken Vitug, J., Please see Separate opinion.
by the employer to terminate employment either for an Panganiban J., Please see Separate Opinion.
authorized or just cause can result in an injustice to the Ynares-Santiago, J., I join the dissenting opinion of J. Puno.
employer. For not giving notice and hearing before dismissing
an employee, who is otherwise guilty of, say, theft, or even of Separate Opinions
an attempt against the life of the employer, an employer will be
forced to keep in his employ such guilty employee. This is BELLOSILLO, J., separate opinion;
unjust.
We point out at the outset that this Petition for Review which
It is true the Constitution regards labor as "a primary social was filed before the promulgation of St. Martin Funeral Home
economic force."40 But so does it declare that it "recognizes the v. National Labor Relations Commission,1 is not the proper
indispensable role of the private sector, encourages private means by which NLRC decisions are appealed to this Court.
enterprise, and provides incentives to needed Before St. Martin Funeral Home, it was only through a Petition
investment."41 The Constitution bids the State to "afford full for Certiorari under Rule 65 that NLRC decisions could be
protection to labor."42 But it is equally true that "the law, in reviewed and nullified by us on the ground of lack of
protecting the right's of the laborer, authorizes neither jurisdiction or grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
oppression nor self-destruction of the employer."43And it is excess of jurisdiction. After St. Martin Funeral Home, petitions
oppression to compel the employer to continue in employment like the one at bar are initially filed in the Court of Appeals for
one who is guilty or to force the employer to remain in proper adjudication.
operation when it is not economically in his interest to do so.
In the interest of justice, however, and in order to write finis to
In sum, we hold that if in proceedings for reinstatement under the instant case which has already dragged on for so long, we
Art. 283, it is shown that the termination of employment was shall treat the petition pro hac vice as one for certiorari under
due to an authorized cause, then the employee concerned Rule 65 although it is captioned Petition for Review
should not be ordered reinstated even though there is failure to on Certiorari; after all, it was filed within the reglementary
comply with the 30-day notice requirement. Instead, he must period for the filing of a petition for certiorari under Rule 65.
be granted separation pay in accordance with Art. 283, to wit:
Briefly, on 4 April 1985 private respondent Isetann Department
In case of termination due to the installation of labor- Store, Inc. (ISETANN), employed petitioner Ruben Serrano as
saving devices or redundancy, the worker affected Security Checker until his appointment as Security Section
thereby shall be entitled to a separation pay Head. On October 1991 ISETANN through its Human
equivalent to at least his one (1) month pay or to at Resource Division Manager Teresita A. Villanueva sent
least one month for every year of service, whichever Serrano a memorandum terminating his employment effective
is higher. In case of retrenchment to prevent losses immediately "in view of the retrenchment program of the
and in cases of closures or cessation of operations of company," and directing him to secure clearance from their
establishment or undertaking not due to serious office.2
business losses or financial reverses, the separation
pay shall be equivalent to one (1) month pay or at
least one-half (1/2) month pay for every year of Petitioner Serrano filed with the NLRC Adjudication Office a
service, whichever is higher. A fraction of at least six complaint for illegal dismissal and underpayment of wages
months shall be considered one (1) whole year. against ISETANN. Efforts at amicable settlement proved futile.
Ms. Cristina Ramos, Personnel Administration Manager of
ISETANN, testified that the security checkers and their section
If the employee's separation is without cause, instead of being head were retrenched due to the installation of a labor saving
given separation pay, he should be reinstated. In either case, device, i.e., the hiring of an independent security agency.
whether he is reinstated or only granted separation pay, he
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

Finding the dismissal to be illegal, the Labor Arbiter ordered case, this Court will step in.5Specifically, we held
the immediate reinstatement of Serrano to his former or to an in International Harvester Macleod, Inc. v. Intermediate
equivalent position plus payment of back wages, unpaid Appellate Court6 that the determination of whether to maintain
wages, 13th month pay and attorney's fees. or phase out an entire department or section or to reduce
personnel lies with management. The determination of the
On appeal the NLRC reversed the Labor Arbiter and ruled that need for the phasing out of a department as a labor and cost
ISETANN acted within its prerogative when it phased out its saving device because it is no longer economical to retain its
Security Section and retained the services of an independent services is a management prerogative.
security agency in order to cut costs and economize. Upon
denial of his motion for reconsideration3 Serrano filed the After having established that the termination of petitioner
instant petition imputing grave abuse of discretion on the part Ruben Serrano was for an authorized cause, we now address
of the NLRC. the issue of whether proper procedures were observed in his
dismissal.
Art. 282 of the Labor Code enumerates the just causes for the
termination of employment by the employer: (a) serious Since the State affords protection to labor under the
misconduct or willful disobedience by the employee of the Constitution,7 workers enjoy security of tenure and may only be
lawful orders of his employer or the latter's representative in removed or terminated upon valid reason and through strict
connection with the employee's work; (b) gross and habitual observance of proper procedure.8 Article 279 of the Labor
neglect by the employee of his duties; (c) fraud or willful breach Code specifically provides
by the employee of the trust reposed in him by his employer or
his duly authorized representative; (d) commission of a crime Art. 279. Security of Tenure. In cases of regular
or offense by the employee against the person of his employer employment, the employer shall not terminate the
or any immediate member of his family or his duly authorized services of an employee except for a just cause or
representative; and, (e) other causes analogous to the when authorized by this Title. An employee who is
foregoing. unjustly dismissed from work shall be entitled to
reinstatement without loss of seniority rights and other
On the other hand, Arts. 283 and 284 of the same Code privileges and to his full backwages, inclusive of
enumerate the so-called authorized causes: (a) installation of allowances, and to his other benefits or their
labor saving devices; (b) redundancy: (b) retrenchment to monetary equivalent computed from the time his
prevent losses; (d) closure or cessation of the establishment or compensation was withheld from him up to the time of
undertaking unless the closure or cessation is for the purpose his actual reinstatement.
of circumventing the provisions of the law; and, (e) disease.
Security of tenure however does not guarantee perpetual
The Just causes enumerated under Art. 282 of the Labor Code employment. If there exists a just or an authorized cause, the
are provided by the employee who causes the infraction. employer may terminate the services of an employee but
The authorized causes are provided by the employer either subject always to procedural requirements. The employer
because of outside factors such as the general decline in the cannot be legally compelled to have in its employ a person
economy or merely part of its long range plan for business whose continued employment is patently inimical to its interest.
profitability. Corollarily, in termination for a just cause, the The law, while affording protection to the employee, does not
employee is not entitled to separation pay unlike in termination authorize the oppression or destruction of his employer.9
for an authorized cause. In addition, the basis in computing the
amount of separation pay varies depending on whether the Subject then to the constitutional right of workers to security of
termination is due to the installation of a labor saving device, or tenure and to be protected against dismissal except for a just
redundancy, in which case, the employee is entitled to receive or authorized cause, and without prejudice to the requirement
separation pay equivalent to at least one (1) month pay or to at of notice under Art. 283 of the Labor Code, the employer shall
least one (1) month pay for every year of service. In case the furnish the worker whose employment is sought to be
termination is due to retrenchment in order to prevent losses or terminated a written notice containing a statement of the cause
in case of closure or cessation of operation of the of termination and shall afford the latter ample opportunity to
establishment or undertaking not due to serious business be heard and to defend himself with the assistance of his
losses or financial reverses, the separation pay is lower, i.e., representative, if he so desires, in accordance with company
equivalent to one (1) month pay or at least one-half month pay rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to guidelines set
for every year of service, whichever is higher. As may be by the DOLE.10
gleaned from the foregoing, where the cause of termination is
for the financial advantage or benefit of the employer, the basis
in computing for separation pay is higher compared to As specifically provided in Art. 283 of the Labor Code, the
termination dictated by necessity with no appreciable financial employer may terminate the employment of any employee due
advantage to the employer. to redundancy by serving a written notice on the worker and
the DOLE at least one (1) month before the intended date
thereof. In the instant case, ISETANN clearly violated the
In the instant case, we agree with the NLRC that the dismissal provisions of Art. 283 on notice.11 It did not send a written
of petitioner Serrano was for an authorized cause, i.e., notice to DOLE which is essential because the right to
redundancy, which exists where the services of an employee terminate an employee is not an absolute prerogative. The lack
are in excess of what are reasonably demanded by the actual of written notice denied DOLE the opportunity to determine the
requirements of the enterprise. A position is redundant where it validity of the termination.
is superfluous, and the superfluity may be the outcome of other
factors such as overhiring of workers, decreased volume of
other business, or dropping of a particular product line or The written notice ISETANN sent to Serrano was dated 11
service activity previously manufactured or undertaken by the October 1991 or on the same day the intended termination was
enterprise.4 to take effect. This obviously did not comply with the 30-day
mandatory requirement. Although the cause for discharge may
be just or authorized, it is still necessary and obligatory to
The hiring of an independent security agency is a business afford the employee concerned his basic and more important
decision properly within the exercise of management right to notice. Serrano was not given the chance to make the
prerogative. As such, this Court is denied the authority to delve needed adjustments brought about by his termination.
into its wisdom although it is equipped with the power to Significantly, the notice is intended to enable the employee not
determine whether the exercise of such prerogative is in only to prepare himself for the legal battle to protect his tenure
accordance with law. Consequently, the wisdom or soundness of employment, which can be long, arduous, expensive and
of the management decision is not subject to the discretionary complicated by his own standards, but also to find other means
review of the Labor Arbiter nor of the NLRC unless there is a of employment and ease the impact of the loss of his job and,
violation of law or arbitrariness in the exercise thereof, in which necessarily, has income.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

We are of the view that failure to send notice of termination to creditably as it is more practicable than oral
Serrano is not tantamount to violation of his constitutional right arguments, through pleadings. An actual hearing is
to due process but merely constitutes non-compliance with the not always an indispensable aspect of due process.
provision on notice under Art. 283 of the Labor Code. As long as a party was given the opportunity to
defend his interests in due course, he cannot be said
The legitimacy of a government is established and its functions to have been denied due process of law, for this
delineated in the Constitution. From the Constitution flows all opportunity to be heard is the very essence of due
the powers of government in the same manner that it sets the process.
limits for their proper exercise. In particular, the Bill of Rights
functions primarily as a deterrent to any display of arbitrariness From the foregoing, it is clear that the observance of due
on the part of the government or any of its instrumentalities. It process is demanded in governmental acts. Particularly in
serves as the general safeguard, as is apparent in its first administrative proceedings, due process starts with the tribunal
section which states, "No person shall be deprived of life, or hearing officer and not with the employer. In the instant
liberty or property without due process of law, nor shall any case, what is mandated of the employer to observe is the 30-
person be denied the equal protection of the day notice requirement. Hence, non-observance of the notice
laws."12 Specifically, due process is a requirement for the requirement is not denial of due process but merely a failure to
validity of any governmental action amounting to deprivation of comply with a legal obligation for which we strongly
liberty.13 It is a restraint on state action not only in terms of what recommend, we impose a disturbance compensation as
it amounts to but how it is accomplished. Its range thus covers discussed hereunder.
both the ends sough to be achieved by officialdom as well as
the means for their realization.14 In the instant case, we categorically declare that Serrano was
not denied his right to due process. Instead, his employer did
Substantive due process is a weapon that may be utilized to not comply with the 30-day notice requirement. However, while
challenge acts of the legislative body, whether national or local, Serrano was not given the required 30-day notice, he was
and presumably executive orders of the President and nevertheless given and, in fact, took advantage of every
administrative orders and regulations of a rule-making opportunity to be heard, first, by the Labor Arbiter, second, by
character. Procedural due process, on the other hand, is the NLRC, and third, by no less than this Court. Before the
available for the purpose of assailing arbitrariness or Labor Arbiter and the NLRC, petitioner had the opportunity to
unreasonableness in the administration of the law by executive present his side not only orally but likewise through proper
department or the judicial branch. Procedural due process pleadings and position papers.
likewise may aid those appearing before Congressional
committees if the proceedings are arbitrary or otherwise It is not correct therefore to say that petitioner was deprived of
unfair.13 his right to due process.

Procedural due process demands that governmental acts, We have consistently upheld in the past as valid although
more specifically so in the case of the judiciary, not be affected irregular the dismissal of an employee for a just or authorized
with arbitrariness.16 The same disinterestedness required of cause but without notice and have imposed a sanction on the
men on the bench must characterize the actuations of public erring employers in the form of damages for their failure to
officials, not excluding the President, to satisfy the comply with the notice requirement. We discussed the
requirements of procedural due process.17 rationale behind this ruling in Wenphil Corporation v.
NLRC20 thus
In his dissent Mr. Justice Puno states that "the new majority
opinion limiting violations of due process to government action The Court holds that the policy of ordering
alone is a throwback to a regime of law long discarded by more reinstatement to the service of an employee without
progressive countries." He opines that "today, private due loss of seniority and the payment of his wages during
process is a settled norm in administrative law," citing the period of his separation until his actual
Schwartz, an authority in administrative law. reinstatement but not exceeding three years without
qualification or deduction, when it appears he was not
We beg to disagree. A careful reading of Schwartz would afforded due process, although his dismissal was
reveal that requirements of procedural due process extended found to be for just and authorized cause in an
from governmental to private action only in instances where appropriate proceeding in the Ministry of Labor and
there is "sufficient governmental involvement" or "the private Employment should be re-examined. It will be highly
action was so saturated with governmental incidents." prejudicial to the interests of the employer to impose
on him the services of an employee who has been
The cardinal primary requirements of due process in shown to be guilty of the charges that warranted his
administrative proceedings were highlighted in Ang Tibay v. dismissal from employment. Indeed, it will demoralize
Court of Industrial Relations:18 (a) the right to a hearing, which the rank and file if the undeserving, if not undesirable,
includes the right to present one's case and submit evidence in remains in the service . . . . However, the petitioner
support thereof; (b) the tribunal must consider the evidence must nevertheless be held to account for failure to
presented; (c) the decision must have something to support extend to private respondent his right to an
itself; (d) the evidence must be substantial; (e) the decision investigation before causing his dismissal. The rule is
must be based on the evidence presented at the hearing, or at explicit as above discussed. The dismissal of an
least contained in the record and disclosed to the parties employee must be for just or authorized cause and
affected; (f) the tribunal or body or any of its judges must act after due process. Petitioner committed an infraction
on its own independent consideration of the law and facts of of the second requirement. Thus, it must be imposed
the controversy, and not simply accept the views of a a sanction for its failure to give a formal notice and
subordinate; (g) the board or body should, in all controversial conduct an investigation as required by law before
questions, render its decision in such manner that the parties dismissing petitioner from employment. Considering
to the proceeding may know the various issues involved, and the circumstances of this case petitioner must
the reason for the decision rendered. indemnify private respondent the amount of
P1,000.00. The measure of this award depends on
the facts of each case and the gravity of the omission
Also in Lumiqued v. Exevea19 it was held committed by the employer (emphasis supplied).

In administrative proceedings, the essence of due In Sebuguero v. National Labor Relations Commission21 Mr.
process is simply the opportunity to explain one's Justice Davide Jr., now Chief Justice, made this clear
side. One may be heard, not solely by verbal pronouncement
presentation but also, and perhaps even more
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

It is now settled that where the dismissal of an only by the single act of not giving any notice to their workers.
employee is in fact for a just and valid cause and is so It cannot be gainfully said that the infraction in one case is
proven to be but he is not accorded his right to due heavier than in the other as the non-observance constitutes
process, i.e. he was not furnished the twin one single act. Thus, if the dismissal is illegal, i.e. there is no
requirements of notice and the opportunity to be just or authorized cause, a disturbance compensation in the
heard, the dismissal shall be upheld but the employer amount of P10,000.00 may be considered reasonable. If the
must be sanctioned for non-compliance with the dismissal is for a just cause but without notice, a disturbance
requirements of or for failure to observe due process. compensation in the amount P5,000.00 may be given. In
The sanction, in the nature of indemnification or termination for an authorized cause and the notice requirement
penalty, depends on the facts of each case and the was not complied with, we distinguish further: If it is to save the
gravity of the omission committed by the employer. employer from imminent bankruptcy or business losses, the
disturbance compensation to be given is P5,000.00. If the
This ruling was later ably amplified by Mr. Justice Puno in Nath authorized cause was intended for the employer to earn more
v. National Labor Relations Commission22 where he wrote profits, the amount of disturbance compensation is
P10,000.00. This disturbance compensation, again we strongly
recommend, should be given to the dismissed employee at the
The rules require the employer to furnish the worker first instance, the moment it is shown that his employer has
sought to be dismissed with two written notices before committed the infraction of not complying with the 30-day
termination of employment can be legally effected: (1) written notice requirement to tide him over during his
notice which apprises the employee of the particular economic dislocation.
acts or omissions for which his dismissal is sought;
and (2) the subsequent notice which informs the
employee of the employer's decision to dismiss him. The right of the laborers to be informed of their impending
In the instant case, private respondents have failed to termination cannot be taken lightly, and the award of any
furnish petitioner with the first of the required two (2) amount below P5,000.00 may be too anemic to satisfy the
notices and to state plainly the reasons for the fundamental protection especially accorded to labor and the
dismissal in the termination letter. Failure to comply workingman. In fact, it is hardly enough to sustain a family of
with the requirements taints the dismissal with three; more so if the employee has five or more children, which
illegality. seems to be the average size of a Filipino family.

Be that as it may, private respondent can dismiss Henceforth, if the dismissal is for a just cause but without
petitioner for just cause . . . . We affirm the finding of observance of the 30-day notice requirement, the dismissal is
the public respondent that there was just cause to deemed improper and irregular. If later the dismissal is
dismiss petitioner, a probationary ascertained to be without just cause, the dismissed employee
employee (emphasis supplied). is entitled to reinstatement, if this be feasible, otherwise to
separation pay and back wages plus disturbance
compensation of P10,000.00 and moral damages, if warranted.
Also, in Camua v. National Labor Relations Commission23 this On the other hand, if the dismissal is ascertained to be with
Court through Mr. Justice Mendoza decreed just cause, the dismissed employee is entitled nevertheless to
a disturbance compensation of P5,000.00 if the legal
In the case at bar, both the Labor Arbiter and the requirement of the 30-day notice to both employee and DOLE
NLRC found that no written notice of the charges had has not been complied with.
been given to petitioner by the respondent company. .
. . Accordingly, in accordance with the well-settled In instances where there is obviously a ground for dismissal,
rule, private respondents should pay petitioner as when the employee has become violent and his presence
P1,000.00 as indemnity for violation of his right to due would cause more harm to his co-workers and the security and
process . . . . Although an employee validy dismissed serenity of the workplace, the employee may be suspended in
for cause he may nevertheless be given separation the meantime until he is heard with proper observance of the
pay as a measure of social justice provided the cause 30-day notice requirement. Likewise, if the dismissal is for an
is not serious misconduct reflecting on his moral authorized cause but without the required notice, the dismissal
character (emphasis supplied). is improper and irregular and the employee should be paid
separation pay, back wages and disturbance compensation of
Non-observance of this procedural requirement before would P5,000.00 or P10,000.00.00 depending on the cause. As
cause the employer to be penalized by way of paying damages already intimated, if the authorized cause is for the purpose of
to the employee the amounts of which fluctuated through the saving the employer from imminent bankruptcy or business
years. Thus, for just cause the indemnity ranged from losses, the disturbance compensation should be P5,000.00;
P1,000.00 to P10,000.00.24 For authorized cause, as otherwise, if the authorized cause is for the employer, in the
distinguished from just cause, the award ranged from exercise of management prerogative, to save and earn more
P2,000.00 to P5,000.00.25 profits, the disturbance compensation should be P10,000.00.

This Court has also sanctioned the ruling that a dismissal for a In the instant case, Serrano was given his walking papers only
just or authorized cause but without observance of the on the very same day his termination was to take effect. DOLE
mandatory 30-day notice requirement was valid although was not served any written notice. In other words, there was
considered irregular. The Court ratiocinated that employers non-observance of the 30-day notice requirement to both
should not be compelled to keep in their employ undesirable Serrano and the DOLE. Serrano was thus terminated for an
and undeserving laborers. For the irregularity, i.e., the failure to authorized cause but was not accorded his right to 30-day
observe the 30-day notice of termination, the employer was notice. Thus, his dismissal being improper and irregular, he is
made to pay a measly sum ranging from P1,000.00 to entitled to separation pay and back wages the amounts of
P10,000.00. which to be determined by the Labor Arbiter, plus P10,000.00
as disturbance compensation which, from its very nature, must
With regard to the indemnity or penalty, which we prefer be paid immediately to cushion the impact of his economic
seriously to be referred to as "disturbance compensation," the dislocation.
Court has awarded varying amounts depending on the
circumstances of each case and the gravity of the commission. One last note. This Separate Opinion is definitely not
We now propose that the amount of the award be uniform and advocating a new concept in imposing the so-called
rational and not arbitrary. The reason for the proposal or "disturbance compensation." Since Wenphil Corporation v.
modification is that in their non-compliance with the 30-day NLRC 26 this Court has already recognized the necessity of
notice requirement the erring employers, regardless of the imposing a sanction in the form of indemnity or even damages,
peculiar circumstances of each case, commit the infraction when proper, not specifically provided by any law, upon
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

employers who failed to comply with the twin-notice (c) Fraud or willful breach by the employee
requirement. At the very least, what is being proposed to be of the trust reposed in him by his employer
adopted here is merely a change in the terminology used, i.e., or duly authorized representative;
from "sanction," "indemnity," "damages" or "penalty," to
"disturbance compensation" as it is believed to be the more (d) Commission of the crime or offense by
appropriate term to accurately describe the lamentable the employee against the person of his
situation of our displaced employees. employer or any immediate member of his
family or his duly authorized representative;
Indeed, from the time the employee is dismissed from the and
service without notice in this case since 11 October 1991
to the termination of his case, assuming it results in his (e) Other causes analogous to the foregoing.
reinstatement, or his being paid his back wages and separation
pay, as the case may be, how long must he be made to suffer
emotionally and bear his financial burden? Will reinstating him The long established jurisprudence2 is that to justify dismissal
and/or paying his back wages adequately make up for the of an employee for a just cause, he must be given two kinds of
entire period that he was indistress for want of any means of notice by his employer, viz: (1) notice to apprise the employee
livelihood? Petitioner Serrano has been deprived of his only of the particular acts or omissions for which the dismissal is
source of income his employment for the past eight (8) sought, and (2) subsequent notice to inform him of the
years or so. Will his reinstatement and/or the payment of his employer's decision to dismiss him. Similarly, deeply ingrained
back wages and separation pay enable him to pay off his debts is our ruling that these pre and post notice requirements are
incurred in abject usury to which he must have succumbed not mere technicalities but are requirements of due process.3
during his long period of financial distress? Will it be
adequate? Will it be just? Will it be fair? Thus, do we really and Then came the case of Wenphil Corporation vs. NLRC and
truly render justice to the workingman by simply awarding him Mallare in 1989.4 It is the majority view that Wenphil reversed
full back wages and separation pay without regard for the long the long standing policy of this Court on dismissal. This is too
period during which he was wallowing in financial difficulty? broad a reading of Wenphil. A careful statement of the facts of
Wenphil and the ruling of this Court is thus proper.
FOR ALL THE FOREGOING, the Decision of respondent
National Labor Relations Commission should be MODIFIED. First, the facts. The private respondent Roberto Mallare is the
The termination of petitioner RUBEN SERRANO being based assistant head of the backroom department of petitioner
on an authorized cause should be SUSTAINED AS VALID Wenphil Corporation. At about 2:30 pm on May 20, 1985,
although DECLARED IRREGULAR for having been effected Mallare had an altercation with his co-employee, Job
without the mandatory 30-day notice. Barrameda, about tending the Salad Bar. He slapped
Barrameda's cap, stepped on his foot, picked up an ice
ISETANN DEPARTMENT STORE INC. should PAY petitioner scooper and brandished it against the latter. He refused to be
SERRANO back wages and separation pay the amounts of pacified by another employee who reported the incident to
which to be determined by the Labor Arbiter, plus P10,000.00 Delilah Hermosura, assistant manager. Hermosura summoned
as disturbance compensation which must be paid immediately. Mallare but the latter refused to see the former. It took a
Consequently, except as regards the disturbance security guard to bring Mallare to Hermosura. Instead of
compensation, the case should be REMANDED to the Labor making an explanation, Mallare shouted profane words against
Arbiter for the immediate computation and payment of the back Hermosura. He declared that their altercation should only be
wages and separation pay due petitioner. settled by him and Barrameda.

EXCEPT as herein stated, I concur with the majority. The following morning, Mallare was suspended. In the
afternoon, he was dismissed from the service. He received an
official notice of his dismissal four (4) days later.
PUNO, J., dissenting opinion;
Mallare filed with the Labor Arbiter a complaint for illegal
The rule of audi alteram partem hear the other side, is the suspension, illegal dismissal and unfair labor practice. No
essence of procedural due process. That a "party is not to hearing was conducted in view of the repeated absence of the
suffer in person or in purse without an opportunity of being counsel of Mallare. The parties submitted their respective
heard" is the oldest established principle in administrative position papers. On December 3, 1986, the Arbiter denied the
law.1 Today, the majority is relies that the all important right of complaint as he found Mallare guilty of grave misconduct and
an employee to be notified before he is dismissed for a just or insubordination, which are just causes for dismissal. The
authorized cause is not a requirement of due process. This is a Arbiter also ruled that Mallare was not denied due process. On
blow on the breadbasket of our lowly employees, a appeal, the NLRC reversed. It held that Mallare was denied
considerable erosion of their constitutional right to security of due process before he was dismissed. It ordered Mallare's
tenure, hence this humble dissenting opinion. reinstatement and the payment of his one (1) year backwages.

A review of our law on dismissal is in order. On certiorari to this Court, we reversed the NLRC and
reinstated the decision of the Arbiter with the modification that
I. DISMISSAL DUE TO JUST CAUSE petitioner should pay to Mallare an indemnity of P1,000.00 for
dismissing Mallare without any notice and hearing. We held:
The law allowing dismissal of an employee due to a just cause
is provided in Article 282 of the Labor Code: Petitioner insists that private respondent was afforded
due process but he refused to avail of his right to the
Art. 282. Termination by employer. An employer same; that when the matter was brought to the labor
may terminate an employment for any of the following arbiter he was able to submit his position paper
causes: although the hearing cannot proceed due to the non-
appearance of his counsel; and that the private
respondent is guilty of serious misconduct in
(a) Serious misconduct or willful threatening or coercing a co-employee which is a
disobedience by the employee of the lawful ground for dismissal under Article 283 of the Labor
orders of his employer or representative in Code.
connection with his work;
The failure of petitioner to give private respondent the
(b) Gross and habitual neglect by the benefit of a hearing before he was dismissed
employee of his duties; constitutes an infringement of his constitutional right
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

to due process of law and equal protection of the and the [Department] of Labor and Employment at
laws. The standards of due process in judicial as well least one (1) month before the intended date thereof.
as administrative proceedings have long been In case of termination due to the installation of labor-
established. In its bare minimum due process of law saving devices or redundancy, the worker affected
simply means giving notice and opportunity to be thereby shall be entitled to a separation pay
heard before judgment is rendered. equivalent to at least his one (1) month pay or to at
least one (1) month pay for every year of service,
The claim of petitioner that a formal investigation was whichever is higher. In case of retrenchment to
not necessary because the incident, which gave rise prevent losses and in cases of closures or cessation
to the termination of private respondent, was of operations of establishment or undertaking not due
witnessed by his co-employees and supervisors, is to serious business losses or financial reverses, the
without merit. The basic requirement of due process separation pay shall be equivalent to one (1) month
is that which hears before it condemns, which pay or at least one-half (1/2) month pay for every year
proceeds upon inquiry and renders judgment only of service, whichever is higher. A fraction of at least
after trial. six (6) months shall be considered one (1) whole year.

However, it is a matter of fact that when the private In Sebuguero v. NLRC,5 we held thru our esteemed Chief
respondent filed a complaint against petitioner, he Justice Davide that "the requirement of notice to both the
was afforded the right to an investigation by the labor employees concerned and the Department of Labor and
arbiter. He presented his position paper as did the Employment (DOLE) is mandatory and must be written and
petitioner. If no hearing was had, it was the fault of given at least one month before the intended date of
private respondent as his counsel failed to appear at retrenchment." We explained that the "notice to the DOLE is
the scheduled hearings. The labor arbiter concluded essential because the right to retrench is not an absolute
that the dismissal of private respondent was for just prerogative of an employer but is subject to the requirement of
cause. He was found guilty of grave misconduct and law that retrenchment be proved to prevent losses. The DOLE
insubordination. This is borne by the sworn is the agency that will determine whether the planned
statements of witnesses. The Court is bound by this retrenchment is justified and adequately supported by
finding of the labor arbiter. fact."6 Nonetheless, we ruled:

By the same token, the conclusion of the public The lack of written notice to the petitioners and to the
respondent NLRC on appeal that private respondent DOLE does not, however, make the petitioners'
was not afforded due process before he was retrenchment illegal such that they are entitled to the
dismissed is binding on this Court. Indeed, it is well payment of back wages and separation pay in lieu of
taken and supported by the records. However, it can reinstatement as they contend. Their retrenchment,
not justify a ruling that private respondent should be for not having been effected with the required notices,
reinstated with back wages as the public respondent is merely defective. In those cases where we found
NLRC so decreed. Although belatedly, private the retrenchment to be illegal and ordered the
respondent was afforded due process before the employees' reinstatement and the payment of
labor arbiter wherein the just cause of his dismissal backwages, the validity of the cruse for retrenchment,
had been established. With such finding, it would be that is the existence of imminent or actual serious or
arbitrary and unfair to order his reinstatement with substantial losses, was not proven. But here, such a
back wages. cause is present as found by both the Labor Arbiter
and the NLRC. There is only a violation by GTI of the
procedure prescribed in Article 283 of the Labor Code
Three member of the Court filed concurring and dissenting in effecting the retrenchment of the
opinions. Madam Justice Herrera opined that: (a) Mallare was petitioners.1wphi1.nt
dismissed for cause, hence, he is not entitled to reinstatement
and backwages; (b) he was not denied due process; and (c) he
has no right to any indemnity but to separation pay to cushion It is now settled that where the dismissal of an employee is in
the impact of his loss of employment Mr. Justice Padilla took fact for a just and valid cause and is so proven to be but he is
the view that: (1) Mallare was not entitled to reinstatement and not accorded his right to due process, i.e., he was not
backwages as he was guilty of grave misconduct and furnished the twin requirements of notice and the opportunity to
insubordination; (2) he was denied administrative due process; be heard, the dismissal shall be upheld but the employer must
and (3) for making such denial, Wenphil should pay be sanctioned for non-compliance with the requirements of or
"separation pay (instead of indemnity) in the sum of for failure to observe due process. The sanction, in the nature
P1,000.00." Madam Justice Cortes held that: (1) Mallare was of indemnification or penalty, depends on the facts of each
not illegally dismissed; (2) he was not denied due process; (3) case and the gravity of the omission committed by the
he was not entitled to indemnity; and (4) if P1,000.00 was to be employer and has ranged from P1,000.00 as in the cases
imposed on Wenphil as an administrative sanction, it should of Wenphil vs. National Labor Relations
form part of the public fund of the government. Commission, Seahorse Maritime Corp. v. National Labor
Relations Commission, Shoemart, Inc. vs. National Labor
Relations Commission, Rubberworld (Phils.) Inc. vs. National
I shall discuss later that Wenphil did not change our ruling that Labor Relations Commission, Pacific Mills, Inc. vs. Alonzo,
violation of the pre-dismissal notice requirement is an and Aurelio vs. National Labor Relations Commission to
infringement of due process. P10,000.00 in Reta vs. National Labor Relations
Commission and Alhambra Industries, Inc. vs. National Labor
II. DISMISSAL DUE TO AUTHORIZED CAUSE Relations Commission. More recently, in Worldwide
Papermills, Inc. vs. National Labor Relations Commission, the
The applicable law on dismissal due to authorized cause is sum of P5,000.00 was awarded to the employee as
Article 283 of the Labor Code which provides: indemnification for the employer's failure to comply with the
requirements of procedural due process.

Art. 283. Closure of establishment and reduction of


personnel. The employer may also terminate the Accordingly, we affirm the deletion by the NLRC of the award
employment of any employee due to the installation of of back wages, But because the required notices of the
labor serving devices, redundancy, retrenchment to petitioners' retrenchment were not served upon the petitioners
prevent losses or the closing or cessation of operation and the DOLE, GTI must be sanctioned for such failure and
of the establishment or undertaking unless the closing thereby required to indemnify each of the petitioners the sum
is for the purpose of circumventing the provisions of of P20,000.00 which we find to be just and reasonable under
this Title, by serving a written notice on the workers the circumstances of this case.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

III. RE-EXAMINATION OF THE WENPHIL DOCTRINE: As the Wenphil indemnity doctrine has proved to be highly
inimical to the interest of our employees, I humbly submit a
FROM BAD TO WORSE return to the pre-Wenphil rule where a reasonless violation of
the pre-dismissal notice requirement makes the dismissal of an
employee illegal and results in his reinstatement. In fine, we
The minority of the Court has asked for a re-examination of should strike down as illegal the dismissal of an employee
Wenphil because as the majority correctly observed, "the even if it is for a justified end if it is done thru unjustified means
number of cases involving dismissals without the requisite for we cannot be disciples of the Machiavellian doctrine of the
notice to the employee although effected for just or authorized end justifies the means. With due respect, the majority decision
causes suggests that the imposition of fine for violation of the comes too near this mischievous doctrine by giving emphasis
notice requirement has not been effective in deterring on the end and not the means of dismissal of employees. What
violations of the notice requirement." grates is that the majority today espouses a doctrine more
pernicious than Wenphil for now it announces that a violation
We must immediately set Wenphil in its proper perspective as of the pre-dismissal notice requirement does not even concern
it is a very exceptional case. Its doctrine must be limited to its due process. The reasons relied upon by the majority for this
distinct facts. Its facts therefore ought to be carefully examined new ruling against the job security of employees cannot inspire
again. In Wenphil, it was clearly established that the employee assent.
had a violent temper, caused trouble during office hours and
even defied his superiors as they tried to pacify him. The FIRST. I would like to emphasize that one undesirable effect of
employee was working for a fast food chain that served the Wenphil is to compel employees to seek relief against illegal
public and where violence has no place. These facts were dismissals with the DOLE whereas before, a remedy can be
established only in the proceedings before the Labor Arbiter sought before the employer. In shifting this burden, an
after the employee filed a complaint for illegal dismissal. There employee's uneven fight against his employer has become
were no formal investigation proceedings before the employer more uneven. Now, an illegally dismissed employee often goes
as the employment was dismissed without any notice by the to the DOLE without an exact knowledge of the cause of his
employer. Given these facts, we ruled that the pre-dismissal dismissal. As a matter of strategy, some employers today
notice requirement was part of due process; nonetheless, we dismiss employees without notice. They know that it is more
held that the employee was given due process as he was advantageous for them to litigate with an employee who has no
heard by the Labor Arbiter; we found that the proceedings knowledge of the cause of dismissal. The probability is that
before the Labor Arbiter proved that the employer was guilty of said employee will fail to prove the illegality of his dismissal. All
grave misconduct and insubordination; we concluded with the that he can prove is that he was dismissed without notice and
rule that it would be highly prejudicial to the interest of the the penalty for the omission is a mere fine, a pittance.
employer to reinstate the employee, but the employer must
indemnify the employee the amount of P1,000.00 for
dismissing him without notice. We further held that "the The case at bar demonstrates how disastrous Wenphil has
measure of this award depends on the facts or each case and been to our helpless employees. In holding that the petitioner
the gravity of the omission committed by the employer."7 failed to prove his cause of action, the majority held ". . . we
have only the bare assertion of petitioner that, in abolishing the
security section, private respondent's real purpose was to
At the outset, I wish to emphasize that Wenphil itself held, and avoid payment to the security checkers of the wage increases
repeatedly held that "the failure of petitioner to give private provided in the collective bargaining agreement approved in
respondent the benefit of a hearing before he was dismissed, 1990." The bare assertion of the petitioner is understandable.
constitutes an infringement of his constitutional right to due The notice given to him spoke of a general ground
process of law and equal protection of the laws. The standards retrenchment. No details were given about the employer's
of due process of law in judicial as well as administrative sudden retrenchment program. Indeed, the employee was
proceedings have long been established. In its bare minimum dismissed on the day he received the notice in violation of the
due process of law simply means giving notice and opportunity 30-day requirement. He was given no time, no opportunity to
to be heard before judgment is rendered."8 The Court then ascertain and verify the real cause of his dismissal. Thus, he
satisfied itself with this bare minimum when it held that the post filed with the DOLE a complaint for illegal dismissal with a hazy
dismissal hearing before the Labor Arbiter was enough knowledge of its real cause. Heretofore, it is the employer
compliance with demands of due process and refused to whom we blame and penalize if he does not notify his
reinstate an eminently undesirable employee. Heretofore, the employee of the cause of his dismissal. Today, the majority
Court was far from satisfied with this bare minimum as it strictly puts the blame on the employee for not knowing why he was
imposed on an employer compliance with the requirement of dismissed when he was not given any notice of dismissal. In
pre-dismissal notice, violation of which resulted in orders of truth, the suspicion of the petitioner in the case at bar that he
reinstatement of the dismissed employee. This is the only was dismissed to avoid payment of their wage increases is not
wrinkle wrought by Wenphil in our jurisprudence on dismissal. without basis. The DOLE itself found that petitioner has unpaid
Nonetheless, it should be stressed that the Court still punished wages which were ordered to be paid by the employer. The
Wenphil's violation of the pre-dismissal notice requirement as it majority itself affirmed this finding.
was ordered to pay an indemnity of P1,000.00 to the
employee. The indemnity was based on the iterated and
reiterated rule that "the dismissal of an employee must be for What hurts is that while the majority was strict with the
just or authorized cause and after due process."9 petitioner-employee, it was not so with the employer ISETANN.
Immediately, it validated the finding of the NLRC that petitioner
was dismissed due to the redundancy of his position. This is
Our ten (10) years experience with Wenphil is not a happy one. inconsistent with the finding of the Labor Arbiter that the
Unscrupulous employers have abused the Wenphil ruling. employer failed to prove retrenchment, the ground it used to
They have dismissed without notice employees including those dismiss the petitioner. A perusal of the records will show that
who are not as eminently undesirable as the Wenphil Ms. Cristina Ramos, Personnel Administration Manager of the
employee. They dismissed employees without notice as a employer ISETANN testified on the cause of dismissal of the
general rule when it should be the exception. The purpose of petitioner. She declared that petitioner was retrenched due to
the pre-dismissal notice requirement was entirely defeated by the installation of a labor saving device. Allegedly, the labor
employers who were just too willing to pay an indemnity for its saving device was the hiring of an independent security
violation. The result, as the majority concedes, is that the agency, thus:10
indemnity we imposed has not been effective to prevent unjust
dismissals employees. To be sure, this is even a supreme
xxx xxx xxx
understatement. The ugly truth is that Wenphil is the mother of
Atty. Perdigon:
many unjust and unauthorized dismissals of employees who You said that your company decided to phase out the position
are too weak to challenge their powerful employees. of security checkers . . .
Ms. Ramos:
Yes Sir.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

Q: And instead hired the services of a security agency? notice before dismissal. It is disquieting, however, that the
A: Yes, sir. majority re-arranged this balance of right by tilting it more in
xxx xxx xxx favor of the employer's right to dismiss. Thus, instead of
Q: Did you not retrench the position of security checkers? weakening a bit the right to dismiss of employers, the majority
A: We installed a labor saving device.
Q: So you did not retrench?
further strengthens it by insisting that a dismissal without prior
A: No. sir. notice is merely "ineffectual" and not illegal.
Q: How about the position of Section Head of Security
Department? The stubborn refusal of the majority to appreciate the
A: It was abolished in 1991. importance of pre-dismissal notice is difficult to understand. It
xxx xxx xxx
is the linchpin of an employee's right against an illegal
Q: Are you aware of the retrenchment program of the
company as stated in this letter? dismissal. The notice tells him the cause of his dismissal. It
A: Actually it's not a retrenchment program. It's an installation gives him a better chance to contest his dismissal in an
of a labor saving device. appropriate proceeding as laid down in the parties' collective
Q: So you are telling this Court now that there was no bargaining agreement or the rules of employment established
retrenchment program? by the employer, as the case may be. In addition, it gives to
A: It was actually an installation of a labor saving both the employee and employer more cooling time to settle
device (emphasis supplied). their differences amicably. In fine, the prior notice requirement
xxx xxx xxx and the hearing before the employer give an employee a
Q: . . . What (is) this labor saving device that you are referring distinct, different and effective first level of remedy to protect
to?
A: The labor saving device is that the services of a security
his job. In the event the employee is dismissed, he can still file
agency were contracted to handle the services of the security a complaint with the DOLE with better knowledge of the cause
checkers of our company. of his dismissal, with longer time to prepare his case, and with
Q: Are you sure of what labor saving means, Madam witness? greater opportunity to take care of the financial needs of his
A: Yes, sir. family pendente lite. The majority has taken away from
Q: You said you installed a labor saving device, and you employees this effective remedy. This is not to say that the pre-
installed a security agency as a labor saving device? dismissal notice requirement equalizes the fight between an
A: We hired the services of a security agency. employee and an employer for the fight will remain unequal.
Q: So according to you . . . a security agency is a labor saving This notice requirement merely gives an employee a fighting
device?
chance but that fighting chance is now gone.
Atty. Salonga:
Already answered, your Honor.
It is equally puzzling why the majority believes that restoring
Obviously, Ms. Ramos could not even distinguish between the employee's right to pre-dismissal notice will negate the
retrenchment and redundancy. The Labor Arbiter thus ruled right of an employer to dismiss for cause. The pre-Wenphil rule
that petitioner's dismissal was illegal. The NLRC, however, simply requires that before the right of the employer to dismiss
reversed. The majority affirmed the NLRC ruling that can be exercised, he must give prior notice to the employee of
ISETANN's phase out of its security employees is a legitimate its cause. There is nothing strange nor difficult about this
business decision, one that is necessary to obtain reasonable requirement. It is no burden to an employer. He is bereft of
return from its investment. To use the phrase of the majority, reason not to give the simple notice. If he fails to give notice,
this is a "bare assertion." Nothing in the majority decision he can only curse himself. He forfeits his right to dismiss by
shows how the return of ISETANN's investment has been failing to follow the procedure for the exercise of his right.
threatened to justify its so-called business decision as Employees in the public sector cannot be dismissed without
legitimate. prior notice. Equal protection of law demands similar treatment
of employees in the private sector.
SECOND. The majority holds that "the need is for a rule which,
while recognizing the employee's right to notice before he is THIRD. The case at bar specifically involves Article 283 of the
dismissed or laid off, at the same time acknowledges the right Labor Code which lays down four (4) authorized causes for
of the employer to dismiss for any of the just causes termination of employment.11 These authorized causes are: (1)
enumerated in Art. 282 or to terminate employment for any of installation of labor-saving devices; (2) redundancy; (3)
the authorized causes mentioned in Arts. 283-284. If the retrenchment to prevent losses; and (4) closing or cessation of
Wenphil rule imposing a fine on an employer who is found to operation of the establishment or undertaking unless the
have dismissed an employee for cause without prior notice is closing is for the purpose of circumventing the law. It also
deemed ineffective in deterring employer violations of the provides that prior to the dismissal of an employee for an
notice requirement, the remedy is not to declare the dismissal authorized cause, the employer must send two written notices
void if there are just or valid grounds for such dismissal or if the at least one month before the intended dismissal one notice
termination is for an authorized cause. That would be to uphold to the employee and another notice to the Department of Labor
the right of the employee but deny the right of the employer to and Employment (DOLE). We have ruled that the right to
dismiss for cause. Rather, the remedy is to consider the dismiss on authorized causes is not an absolute prerogative of
dismissal or termination to be simply ineffectual for failure of an employer.12 We explained that the notice to the DOLE is
the employer to comply with the procedure for dismissal or necessary to enable it to ascertain the truth of the cause of
termination. termination.13 The DOLE is equipped with men and machines
to determine whether the planned closure or cessation of
business or retrenchment or redundancy or installation of labor
With due respect, I find it most difficult to follow the logic of the saving device is justified by economic facts.14 For this reason
majority. Before Wenphil, we protected employees with the too, we have held that notice to the employee is required to
ruling that dismissals without prior notice are illegal and the enable him to contest the factual bases of the management
illegally dismissed employee must be reinstated with decision or good faith of the retrenchment or redundancy
backwages. Wenphil diluted that rule when it held that due before the DOLE.15 In addition, this notice requirement gives
process is satisfied if the employee is given the opportunity to an employee a little time to adjust to his joblessness.16
be heard by the Labor Arbiter. It further held that an employee
cannot be reinstated if it is established in the hearing that his
dismissal is for a just cause. The failure of the employer to give The majority insists that if an employee is laid off for an
a pre-dismissal notice is only to be penalized by payment of an authorized cause under Article 283 in violation of the prior
indemnity. The dilution of the rule has been abused by notice requirement, his dismissal should not be considered
unscrupulous employers who then followed the "dismiss now, void but only ineffectual. He shall not be reinstated but paid
pay later" strategy. This evil practice of employers was what I separation pay and some backwages. I respectfully submit that
expected the majority to address in re-examining the Wenphil an employee under Article 283 has a stronger claim to the right
doctrine. At the very least, I thought that the majority would to a pre-dismissal notice and hearing. To begin with, he is an
restore the balance of rights between an employee and an innocent party for he has not violated any term or condition of
employer by giving back the employee's mandatory right to his employment. Moreover, an employee in an Article 283
situation may lose his job simply because of his employer's
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

desire for more profit. Thus, the installation of a labor saving to check whether the dismissal of petitioner was really for an
device is an authorized cause to terminate employment even if authorized cause. All these because ISETANN did not follow
its non-installation need not necessarily result in an over-all the notice and hearing requirement of due process.
loss to an employer possessed by his possessions. In an
Article 283 situation, it is easy to see that there is a greater FOURTH. The majority has inflicted a most serious cut on the
need to scrutinize the allegations of the employer that he is job security of employees. The majority did nothing to restore
dismissing an employee for an authorized cause. The acts the pre-Wenphil right of employees but even expanded the
involved here are unilateral acts of the employer. Their nature right to dismiss of employer by holding that the pre-dismissal
requires that they should be proved by the employer himself. notice requirement is not even a function of due process. This
The need for a labor saving device, the reason for redundancy, seismic shift in our jurisprudence ought not to pass.
the cause for retrenchment, the necessity for closing or
cessation of business are all within the knowledge of the
employer and the employer alone. They involve a constellation The key to the new majority ruling is that the "due process
of economic facts and factors usually beyond the ken of clause of the Constitution is a limitation on governmental
knowledge of an ordinary employee. Thus, the burden should powers. It does not apply to the exercise of private power such
be on the employer to establish and justify these authorized as the termination of employment under the Labor Code." The
causes. Due to their complexity, the law correctly directs that main reason alleged is that "only the State has authority to take
notice should be given to the DOLE for it is the DOLE more the life, liberty, or property of the individual. The purpose of the
than the lowly employee that has the expertise to validate the Due Process Clause is to ensure that the exercise of this
alleged cause in an appropriate hearing. In fine, the DOLE power is consistent with settled usage of civilized society."
provides the equalizer to the powers of the employer in an
Article 283 situation. Without the equalizing influence of DOLE, There can be no room for disagreement on the proposition that
the employee can be abused by his employer. the due process clause found in the Bill of Rights of the
Constitution is a limitation on governmental powers. Nor can
Further, I venture the view that the employee's right to security there be any debate that acts of government violative of due
of tenure guaranteed in our Constitution calls for a pre- process are null and void. Thus, former Chief Justice Roberto
dismissal notice and hearing rather than a post facto dismissal Concepcion emphasized in Cuaycong v. Senbengco 17 that
hearing. The need for an employee to be heard before he can ". . . acts of Congress as well as those of the Executive, can
be dismissed cannot be overemphasized. As aforestated, in deny due process only under pain of nullity, and judicial
the case at bar, petitioner was a regular employee of proceedings suffering from the same flaw are subject to the
ISETANN. He had the right to continue with his employment. same sanction, any statutory provision to the contrary
The burden to establish that this right has ceased is with notwithstanding." With due respect to the majority, however, I
ISETANN, as petitioner's employer. In fine, ISETANN must be part ways with the majority in its new ruling that the due
the one to first show that the alleged authorized cause for process requirement does not apply to the exercise of private
dismissing petitioner is real. And on this factual issue, power. This overly restrictive majority opinion will sap the due
petitioner must be heard. Before the validity of the alleged process right of employees of its remaining utility. Indeed, the
authorized cause is established by ISETANN, the petitioner new majority opinion limiting violations of due process to
cannot be separated from employment. This is the simple government action alone is a throwback to a regime of law long
meaning of security of tenure. With due respect, the majority discarded by more progressive countries. Today, private due
opinion will reduce this right of our employees to a mere process is a settled norm in administrative law. Per Schwartz, a
illusion. It will allow the employer to dismiss an employee for a known authority in the field, viz:18
cause that is yet to be established. It tells the employee that if
he wants to be heard, he can file a case with the labor arbiter, Private Due Process
then the NLRC, and then this Court. Thus, it unreasonably
shifts the burden to the employee to prove that his dismissal is As already stressed, procedural due process has
for an unauthorized cause. proved of an increasingly encroaching nature.
Since Goldberg v. Kelly, the right to be heard has
The pernicious effects of the majority stance are self-evident in been extended to an ever-widening area, covering
the case at bar. For one, petitioner found himself immediately virtually all aspects of agency action, including those
jobless and without means to support his family. For another, previously excluded under the privilege concept. The
petitioner was denied the right to rely on the power of DOLE to expansion of due process has not been limited to the
inquire whether his dismissal was for a genuine authorized traditional areas of administrative law. We saw how
cause. This is a valuable right for all too often, a lowly procedural rights have expanded into the newer field
employee can only rely on DOLE's vast powers to check of social welfare, as well as that of education. But due
employer abuses on illegal dismissals. Without DOLE, poor process expansion has not been limited to these
employees are preys to the claws of powerful employers. Last fields. The courts have extended procedural
but not the least, it was the petitioner who was forced to file a protections to cases involving prisoners and parolees,
complaint for illegal dismissal. To a jobless employee, filing a as well as the use of established adjudicatory
complaint is an unbearable burden due to its economic cost. procedures. Important Supreme Court decisions go
He has to hire a lawyer and defray the other expenses of further and invalidate prejudgment wage
litigation while already in a state of penury. At this point, the garnishments and seizures of property under replevin
hapless employee is in a no win position to fight for his right. To statutes where no provision is made for notice and
use a local adage, "aanhin pa ang damo kung patay na ang hearing. But the Court has not gone so far as to lay
kabayo." down an inflexible rule that due process requires an
adversary hearing when an individual may be
In the case at bar, the job of the petitioner could have been deprived of any possessory interest, however brief the
saved if DOLE was given notice of his dismissal. The records dispossession and however slight the monetary
show that petitioner worked in ISETANN as security checker interest in the property. Due process is not violated
for six (6) years. He served ISETANN faithfully and well. where state law requires, as a precondition to
Nonetheless, in a desire for more profits, and not because of invoking the state's aid to sequester property of a
losses, ISETANN contracted out the security work of the defaulting debtor, that the creditor furnish adequate
company. There was no effort whatsoever on the part of security and make a specific showing of probable
ISETANN to accommodate petitioner in an equivalent position. cause before a judge.
Yet there was the position of Safety and Security Supervisor
where petitioner fitted like a perfect T. Despite petitioner's long In addition, there has been an extension of procedural
and loyal service, he was treated like an outsider, made to due process requirements from governmental to
apply for the job, and given a stringent examination which he private action. In Section 5.16 we saw that Goldberg
failed. Petitioner was booted out and given no chance to v. Kelly has been extended to the eviction of a tenant
contest his dismissal. Neither was the DOLE given the chance from a public housing project. The courts have not
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

limited the right to be heard to tenants who have enacted on August 21, 1981 amended Articles 283 and 284,
governmental agencies as landlords. Due process which today are cited as Arts. 282 and 283 of the Labor
requirements also govern acts by "private" landlords Code.24
where there is sufficient governmental involvement in
the rented premises. Such an involvement exists in On March 2, 1989, Republic Act No. 6715 was approved which
the case of housing aided by Federal Housing amended, among others, Article 277 of the Labor Code.
Administration financing and tax advantages. A tenant Presently, Article 277 (b) reads:
may not be summarily evicted from a building
operated by a "private" corporation where the
corporation enjoyed substantial tax exemption and Art. 277. Miscellaneous provisions. (a) . . . .
had obtained an FHA-insured mortgage, with
governmental subsidies to reduce interest payments. (b) Subject to the constitutional right of
The "private" corporation was so saturated with workers to security of tenure and their right
governmental incidents as to be limited in its practices to be protected against dismissal except for
by constitutional process. Hence, it could not a just or authorized cause and without
terminate tenancies without notice and an opportunity prejudice to the requirement of notice under
to be heard. Article 283 of this Code, the employer shall
furnish the worker whose employment is
But we need nor rely on foreign jurisprudence to repudiate the sought to be terminated a written notice
new majority ruling that due process restricts government containing a statement of the causes for
alone and not private employers like ISETANN. This Court has termination and shall afford the latter ample
always protected employees whenever they are dismissed for opportunity to be heard and to defend
an unjust cause by private employers. We have consistently himself with the assistance of his
held that before dismissing an employee for a just cause, he representative if he so desires in accordance
must be given notice and hearing by his private employer. with company rules and regulations
In Kingsize Manufacturing Corporation vs. NLRC,19 this Court, promulgated pursuant to the guidelines set
thru Mr. Justice Mendoza, categorically ruled: by the Department of Labor and
Employment. Any decision taken by the
employer shall be without prejudice to the
. . . (P)etitioners failure to give notice with warning to right of the worker to contest the validity or
the private respondents before their services were legality of his dismissal by filing a complaint
terminated puts in grave doubt petitioners' claim that with the regional branch of the National
dismissal was for a just cause. Section 2 Rule XIV of Labor Relations Commission. The burden of
the Rules implementing the Labor Code provides: proving that the termination was for a valid or
authorized cause shall rest on the
An employer who seeks to dismiss a worker employer. . . . .
shall furnish him a written notice stating the
particular acts or omission constituting the Previous to the amendment, Article 277 (b) read:
ground for dismissal. In case of
abandonment of work, the notice shall be
served on the worker's last known address. Art. 277. Miscellaneous provisions. (a) . . . .

The notice required, . . ., actually consists of two parts (b) With or without a collective agreement,
to be separately served on the employee, to wit: (1) no employer may shut down his
notice to apprise the employee of the particular acts establishment or dismiss or terminate the
or omissions for which the dismissal is sought; and (2) employment of employees with at least one
subsequent notice to inform him of the employer's year of service during the last two years,
decision to dismiss him. whether such service is continuous or
broken, without prior written authority issued
in accordance with the rules and regulations
This requirement is not a mere technicality but a as the Secretary may promulgate.
requirement of due process to which every employee
is entitled to insure that the employer's prerogative to
dismiss or lay off is not abused or exercised in an Rule XIV, Book V of the 1997 Omnibus Rules Implementing the
arbitrary manner. This rule is clear and unequivocal . . Labor Code provides:
. .20
Termination of Employment
In other words, we have long adopted in our decisions the
doctrine of private due process. This is as it ought to be. The Sec. 1. Security of tenure and due process. No
1987 Constitution guarantees the rights of workers, especially worker shall be dismissed except for a just or
the right to security of tenure in a separate article section 3 authorized cause provided by law and after due
of Article XIII entitled Social Justice and Human Rights. Thus, a process.
20-20 vision of the Constitution will show that the more specific
rights of labor are not in the Bill of Rights which is historically Sec. 2. Notice of dismissal. Any employer who
directed against government acts alone. Needless to state, the seeks to dismiss a worker shall furnish him a written
constitutional rights of labor should be safeguarded against notice stating the particular acts or omissions
assaults from both government and private parties. The constituting the grounds for his dismissal. . . .
majority should not reverse our settled rulings outlawing
violations of due process by employers in just causes cases.
xxx xxx xxx
To prop up its new ruling against our employees, the majority
relates the evolution of our law on dismissal starting from Sec. 5. Answer and hearing. The worker may
Article 302 of the Spanish Code of Commerce, to the New Civil answer the allegations stated against him in the
Code of 1950, to R.A. No. 1052 (Termination Pay Law), then to notice of dismissal within a reasonable period from
R.A. No. 1787. To complete the picture, let me add that on May receipt of such notice. The employer shall afford the
1, 1974, the Labor Code (PD 442) was signed into law by worker ample opportunity to be heard and to defend
former President Marcos. It took effect on May 1, 1974 or six himself with the assistance of his representative, if he
months after its promulgation. The right of the employer to so desires.
terminate the employment was embodied in Articles
283,21 284,22 and 285.23 Batas Pambansa Blg. 130 which was
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

These laws, rules and regulations should be related to our reasonable opportunity within which to
decisions interpreting them. Let me therefore emphasize our explain his side;
rulings holding that the pre-dismissal notice requirement is part
of due process. In Batangas Laguna Tayabas Bus (b) A hearing or conference during which the
Co. vs. Court of Appeals,25 which was decided under the employee concerned, with the assistance of
provisions of RA No. 1052 as amended by RA No. 1787, this counsel if the employee so desires, is given
Court ruled that "the failure of the employer to give the opportunity to respond to the charge, present
[employee] the benefit of a hearing before he was dismissed his evidence or rebut the evidence presented
constitute an infringement on his constitutional right to due against him; and
process of law and not to be denied the equal protection of the
laws. . . . Since the right of [an employee] to his labor is in itself
a property and that the labor agreement between him and [his (c) A written notice of termination served on
employer] is the law between the parties, his summary and the employee indicating that upon due
arbitrary dismissal amounted to deprivation of his property consideration of all the circumstance,
without due process." Since then, we have consistently held grounds have been established to justify his
that before dismissing an employee for a just cause, he must termination.
be given notice and hearing by his private employer as a
matter of due process. In case of termination, the foregoing notices shall be
served on the employee's last known address.
I respectfully submit that these rulings are more in accord with
the need to protect the right of employees against illegal II. For termination of employment as based on
dismissals. Indeed, our laws and our present Constitution are authorized causes defined in Article 283 of the Code,
more protective of the rights and interests of employees than the requirements of due process shall be deemed
their American counterpart. For one, to justify private due complied with upon service of a written notice to the
process, we need not look for the factors of "sufficient employee and the appropriate Regional Office of the
governmental involvement" as American courts do. Article 1700 Department at least thirty (30) days before the
of our Civil Code explicitly provides: effectivity of the termination, specifying the ground or
grounds for termination.
Art. 1700. The relation between capital and labor are
not merely contractual. They are so impressed with The new ruling of the majority is not in consonance with this
public interest that labor contracts must yield to the Rule XXIII.
common good. Therefore, such contracts are subject
to the special laws on labor unions, collective If we are really zealous of protecting the rights of labor as
bargaining, strikes and lockouts, closed shop, wages, called for by the Constitution, we should guard against every
working conditions, hours of labor and similar violation of their rights regardless of whether the government
subjects. or a private party is the culprit. Section 3 of Article XIII of the
Constitution requires the State to give full protection to labor.
Nor do we have to strain on the distinction made by American We cannot be faithful to this duty if we give no protection to
courts between property and privilege and follow their ruling labor when the violator of its rights happens to be private
that due process will not apply if what is affected is a mere parties like private employers. A private person does not have
privilege. It is our hoary ruling that labor is property within the a better right than the government to violate an employee's
contemplation of the due process clause of the Constitution. right to due process. To be sure, violation of the particular right
Thus, in Philippine Movie Pictures Workers Association of employees to security of tenure comes almost always from
vs. Premiere Productions, Inc.,26 private respondent-employer their private employers. To suggest that we take mere geriatric
filed with the Court of Industrial Relations (CIR) a petition steps when it comes to protecting the rights of labor from
seeking authority to lay off forty-four of its employees. On the infringement by private parties is farthest from the intent of the
date of the hearing of the petition, at the request of the counsel Constitution. We trivialize the right of the employee if we adopt
of the private respondent, the judge of the CIR conducted an the rule allowing the employer to dismiss an employee without
ocular inspection in the premises of the employer. He any prior hearing and say let him be heard later on. To a
interrogated fifteen laborers. On the basis of the ocular dismissed employee that remedy is too little and too late. The
inspection, the judge concluded that the petition for lay off was new majority ruling is doubly to be regretted because it comes
justified. We did not agree and we ruled that "the right of a at a time when deregulation and privatization are buzzwords in
person to his labor is deemed to he property within the the world being globalized. In such a setting, the new gods will
meaning of constitutional guarantees. That is his means of not be governments but non-governmental corporations. The
livelihood. He can not be deprived of his labor or work without greater need of the day therefore is protection from illegal
due process of law. . . . (T)here are certain cardinal primary dismissals sans due process by these non-governmental
rights which the Court of Industrial Relations must respect in corporations.
the trial of every labor case. One of them is the right to a
hearing which includes the right of the party interested to The majority also holds that the "third reason why the notice
present his own case and to submit evidence in support requirement under Art. 283 is not a requirement of due process
thereof." is that the employer cannot really be expected to be entirely an
impartial judge of his own cause. This is also the case in
I wish also to stress that the 1999 Rules and Regulations termination of employment for a just cause under Art. 282."
implementing the Labor Code categorically characterize this Again, with due respect, I beg to disagree. In an Article 283
pre-dismissal notice requirement as a requirement of due situation, dismissal due to an authorized cause, the employer
process. Rule XXIII provides: is not called upon to act as an impartial judge. The employer is
given the duty to serve a written notice on the worker and the
Sec. 2. Standards of due process: requirements of DOLE at least one month before the intended date of lay-off. It
notice. In all cases of termination of employment, is the DOLE, an impartial agency that will judge whether or not
the following standards of due process shall be the employee is being laid off for an authorized caused.27 It is
substantially observed. not the employer who will adjudge whether the alleged
authorized cause for dismissing the employee is fact or fiction.
On the other hand, in an Article 282 situation, dismissal for a
I. For termination of employment based on just just cause, it is also incorrect to hold that an employer cannot
causes as defined in Article 282 of the Code: be an impartial judge. Today, the procedure on discipline and
dismissal of employees is usually defined in the parties'
(a) A written notice served on the employee collective bargaining agreement or in its absence, on the rules
specifying the ground or grounds for and regulations made by the employer himself. This procedure
termination, and giving to said employee is carefully designed to be bias free for it is to the interest of
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

both the employee and the employer that only a guilty make the dismissal of an employee illegal. Quoting Article 279
employee is disciplined or dismissed. Hence, where the charge which provides:
against an employee is serious, it is standard practice to
include in the investigating committee an employee Security of Tenure. In cases of regular
representative to assure the integrity of the process. In employment, the employer shall not terminate the
addition, it is usual practice to give the aggrieved employee an services of an employee except for a just cause or
appellate body to review an unfavorable decision. Stated when authorized by this Title. An employee who is
otherwise, the investigators are mandated to act impartially for unjustly dismissed from work shall be entitled to
to do otherwise can bring havoc less to the employee but more reinstatement without loss of seniority rights and other
to the employer. For one, if the integrity of the grievance privileges and to his full backwages, inclusive of
procedure becomes suspect, the employees may shun it and allowances, and to his other benefits or their
instead resort to coercive measures like picketing and strikes monetary equivalent computed from the time his
that can financially bleed employers. For another, a wrong, compensation was withheld from him up to the time of
especially a biased judgment can always be challenged in the his actual reinstatement.
DOLE and the courts and can result in awards of huge
damages against the company. Indeed, the majority ruling that
an employer cannot act as an impartial judge has no empirical it is then rationalized that "to hold that the employer's failure to
evidence to support itself. Statistics in the DOLE will prove the give notice before dismissing an employee . . . results in the
many cases won by employees before the grievance nullity of the dismissal would, in effect, be to amend Article 279
committees manned by impartial judges of the company. by adding another ground, for considering a dismissal illegal."
With due respect, the majority has misread Article 279. To start
with, the article is entitled "Security of Tenure" and therefore
Next, the majority holds that "the requirement to hear an protects an employee against dismissal not only for an unjust
employee before he is dismissed should be considered simply cause but also for an unauthorized cause. Thus, the phrase
as an application of the Justinian precept, embodied in the Civil "unjustly dismissed" refers to employees who are dismissed
Code, to act with justice, give everyone his due, and observe without just cause and to employees who are laid off without
honesty and good faith toward one's fellowmen." It then rules any authorized cause. As heretofore shown, we have
that violation of this norm will render the employer liable for interpreted dismissals without prior notice as illegal for violating
damages but will not render his act of dismissal void. Again, I the right to due process of the employee. These rulings form
cannot join the majority stance. The faultline of this ruling lies part of the law of the land and Congress was aware of them
in the refusal to recognize that employer-employee relationship when it enacted the Labor Code and when its implementing
is governed by special labor laws and not by the Civil Code. rules and regulations were promulgated especially the rule
The majority has disregarded the precept that relations ordering employers to follow due process when dismissing
between capital and labor are impressed with public interest. employees. Needless to state, it is incorrect for the majority to
For this reason, we have the Labor Code that specially urge that we are in effect amending Article 279.
regulates the relationship between employer-employee
including dismissals of employees. Thus, Article 279 of the
Labor Code specifically provides that "in cases of regular In further explication of its ruling, the majority contends "what is
employment, the employer shall not terminate the services of more, it would ignore the fact that under Art. 285, if it is the
an employee except for a just cause or when authorized by this employee who fails to give a written notice to the employer that
Title. An employee who is unjustly dismissed from work shall he is leaving the service of the latter, at least one month in
be entitled to instatement without loss of seniority rights and advance, his failure to comply with the legal requirement does
other privileges and to his full backwages, inclusive of not result in making his resignation void but only in making him
allowances, and to his other benefits or their monetary liable for damages." Article 285(a) states: "An employee may
equivalent computed from the time his compensation was terminate without just cause the employee-employer
withheld from him up to the time of his actual reinstatement." relationship by serving a written notice on the employer at least
This provision of the Labor Code clearly gives the remedies one (1) month in advance. The employer upon whom no such
that an unjustly dismissed employee deserves. It is not the notice was served may hold the employee liable for damages."
Civil Code that is the source of his remedies.
In effect, the majority view is that its new ruling puts at par both
The majority also holds that lack of notice in an Article 283 the employer and the employee under Article 285, the
situation merely makes an employee dismissal "ineffectual" but failure of an employee to pre-notify in writing his employer that
not illegal. Again, the ruling is sought to be justified by analogy he is terminating their relationship does not make his walk-out
and our attention is called to Article 1592, in relation to Article void; under its new ruling, the failure of an employer to pre-
1191 of the Civil Code. It is contended that "under these notify an employee before his dismissal does not also render
provisions, while the power to rescind is implied in reciprocal the dismissal void. By this new ruling, the majority in a short
obligations, nonetheless, in cases involving the sale of stroke has rewritten the law on dismissal and tampered its pro-
immovable property, the vendor cannot rescind the contract employee philosophy. Undoubtedly, Article 285 favors the
even though the vendee defaults in the payment of the price, employee as it does not consider void his act of terminating his
except by bringing an action in court or giving notice of employment relationship before giving the required notice. But
rescission by means of a notarial demand." The analogy of the this favor given to an employee just like the other favors in the
majority cannot be allowed both in law and in logic. The legal Labor Code and the Constitution are precisely designed to
relationship of an employer to his employee is not similar to level the playing field between the employer and the employee.
that of a vendor and a vendee. An employee suffers from a It cannot be gainsaid that employees are the special subject of
distinct disadvantage in his relationship with an employer, solicitous laws because they have been and they continue to
hence, the Constitution and our laws give him extra protection. be exploited by unscrupulous employers. Their exploitation has
In contrast, a vendor and a vendee in a sale of immovable resulted in labor warfare that has broken industrial peace and
property are at economic par with each other. To consider an slowed down economic progress. In the exercise of their
employer-employee relationship as similar to a sale of wisdom, the founding fathers of our 1935, 1973 and 1987
commodity is an archaic abomination. An employer-employee Constitutions as well as the members our past and present
relationship involves the common good and labor cannot be Congresses, have decided to give more legal protection and
treated as a mere commodity. As well-stated by former better legal treatment to our employees in their relationship
Governor General Leonard Wood in his inaugural message with their employer. Expressive of this policy is President
before the 6th Philippine Legislature on October 27, 1922, "it is Magsaysay's call that "he who has less in life should have
opportune that we strive to impress upon all the people that more in law." I respectfully submit that the majority cannot
labor is neither a chattel nor a commodity, but human and must revise our laws nor shun the social justice thrust of our
be dealt with from the standpoint of human interests." Constitution in the guise of interpretation especially when its
result is to favor employers and disfavor employees. The
majority talks of high nobility but the highest nobility it to stoop
Next, the majority holds that under the Labor Code, only the down to reach the poor.
absence of a just cause for the termination of employment can
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

IV. NO UNJUST RESULTS OF CONSIDERING the violation of the orders" and later, Commonwealth
DISMISSALS WITHOUT PRIOR NOTICE AS Act No. 213, entitled "An Act to define and regulate
ILLEGAL legitimate labor organizations."28

The majority further justifies its new ruling by holding: This ingrained social philosophy favoring employees has now
been weakened by the new ruling of the majority. For while this
The refusal to look beyond the validity of the initial Court has always considered lack of pre-dismissal notice as
action taken by the employer to terminate unjust to employees, the new ruling of the majority now
employment either for an authorized or just cause can declares it is unjust to employers as if employers are the ones
result in an injustice to the employer. For not having exploited by employees. In truth, there is nothing unjust to
been given notice and hearing before dismissing an employers by requiring them to give notice to their employees
employee, who is otherwise guilty of, say, theft, or before denying them their jobs. There is nothing unjust to the
even of an attempt against the life of the employer, an duty to give notice for the duty is a reasonable duty. If the duty
employer will be forced to keep in his employ such is reasonable, then it is also reasonable to demand its
guilty employee. This is unjust. compliance before the right to dismiss on the part of an
employer can be exercised. If it is reasonable for an employer
to comply with the duty, then it can never be unjust if non-
It is true the Constitution regards labor as "a primary compliance therewith is penalized by denying said employer
social economic force." But so does it declare that it his right to dismiss. In fine, if the employer's right to dismiss an
"recognizes the indispensable role of the private employee is forfeited for his failure to comply with this simple,
sector, encourages private enterprise, and provides reasonable duty to pre-notify his employee, he has nothing to
incentives to needed investment." The Constitution blame but himself. If the employer is estopped from litigating
bids the State to "afford full protection to labor." But it the issue of whether or not he is dismissing his employee for a
is equally true that "the law, in protecting the rights of just or an authorized cause, he brought the consequence on to
the laborer, authorizes neither oppression nor self- himself. The new ruling of the majority, however, inexplicably
destruction of the employer." And it is oppression to considers this consequence as unjust to the employer and it
compel the employer to continue in employment one merely winks at his failure to give notice.
who is guilty or to force the employer to remain in
operation when it is not economically in his interest to
do so. V. A LAST WORD

With due respect, I cannot understand this total turn around of The new ruling of the majority erodes the sanctity of the most
the majority on the issue of the unjustness of lack of pre- important right of an employee, his constitutional right to
dismissal notice to an employee. Heretofore, we have always security of tenure. This right will never be respected by the
considered this lack of notice as unjust to the employee. Even employer if we merely honor the right with a price tag. The
under Article 302 of the Spanish Code of Commerce of 1882 policy of "dismiss now and pay later" favors monied employers
as related by the majority, an employer who opts to dismiss an and is a mockery of the right of employees to social justice.
employee without any notice has to pay a mesada equivalent There is no way to justify this pro-employer stance when the
to his salary for one month because of its unjustness. This 1987 Constitution is undeniably more pro-employee than our
policy was modified by our legislators in favor of a more liberal previous fundamental laws. Section 18 of Article II (State
treatment of labor as our country came under the influence of Policies) provides that "the State affirms labor as a primary
the United States whose major labor laws became the matrix social economic force. It shall protect the rights of workers and
of our own laws like R.A. 875, otherwise known as the promote their welfare." Section 1, Article XIII (Social Justice
Industrial Peace Act. In accord with these laws, and as and Human Rights) calls for the reduction of economic
aforediscussed, we laid down the case law that dismissals inequalities. Section 3, Article XIII (Labor) directs the State to
without prior notice offend due process. This is the case law accord full protection to labor and to guaranty security of
when the Labor Code was enacted on May 1, 1974 and until tenure. These are constitutional polestars and not mere works
now despite its amendments. The 1935 and the 1973 of cosmetology. Our odes to the poor will be meaningless
Constitutions did not change this case law. So with the 1987 mouthfuls if we cannot protect the employee's right to due
Constitution which even strengthened the rights of employees, process against the power of the peso of employers.
especially their right to security of tenure. Mr. Justice Laurel in
his usual inimitable prose expressed this shift in social policy in To an employee, a job is everything. Its loss involves terrible
favor of employees as follows: repercussions stoppage of the schooling of children,
ejectment from leased premises, hunger to the family, a life
It should be observed at the outset that our without any safety net. Indeed, to many employees, dismissal
Constitution was adopted in the midst of surging is their lethal injection. Mere payment of money by way of
unrest and dissatisfaction resulting from economic separation pay and backwages will not secure food on the
and social distress which was threatening the stability mouths of employees who do not even have the right to
of governments the world over. Alive to the social and choose what they will chew.
economic forces at work, the framers of our
Constitution boldly met the problems and difficulties I vote to grant the petition.
which faced them and endeavored to crystallize, with
more or less fidelity, the political, social and economic VITUG, J., separate (concurring and dissenting) opinion;
propositions of their age, and this they did, with the
consciousness that the political and philosophical
aphorism of their generation will, in the language of a The lawful severance by an employer of an employer-
great jurist, "be doubted by the next and perhaps employee relationship would require a valid cause. There are,
entirely discarded by the third." (Chief Justice under the Labor Code, two groups of valid causes, and these
Winslow in Gorgnis v. Falk Co., 147 Wis., 327; 133 N. are the just causes under Article 2821 and the authorized
W., 209). Embodying the spirit of the present epoch, causes under Article 2832 and Article 284.3
general provisions were inserted in the Constitution
which are intended to bring about the needed social An employee whose employment is terminated for a just cause
and economic equilibrium between component is not entitled to the payment of separation
elements of society through the application of what benefits.4 Separation pay would be due, however, when the
may be termed as the justitia communis advocated by lay-off is on account of an authorized cause. The amount of
Grotius and Leibnitz many years ago to be secured separation pay would depend on the ground for the termination
through the counter-balancing of economic and social of employment. A lay-off due to the installation of a labor
forces and employers or landlords, and employees or saving device, redundancy (Article 283) or disease (Article
tenants, respectively; and by prescribing penalties for 284), entitles the worker to a separation pay equivalent to "one
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

(1) month pay or at least one (1) month pay for every year of Art. 2222. The court may award nominal damages in
service, whichever is higher." When the termination of every obligation arising from any source enumerated
employment is due to retrenchment to prevent losses, or to in article 1157, or in every case where any property
closure or cessation of operations of an establishment or right has been invaded.
undertaking not due to serious business losses or financial
reverses, the separation pay is only an equivalent of "one (1) Art. 2223. The adjudication of nominal damages shall
month pay or at least one-half (1/2) month pay for every year preclude further contest upon the right involved and
of service, whichever is higher." In the above instances, a all accessory questions, as between the parties to the
fraction of at least six (6) months is considered as one (1) suit, or their respective heirs and assigns.
whole year.
There is no fixed formula for determining the precise amount of
Due process of law, in its broad concept, is a principle in our nominal damages. In fixing the amount of nominal damages to
legal system that mandates due protection to the basic rights, be awarded, the circumstances of each case should thus be
inherent or accorded, of every person against harm or taken into account, such as, to exemplify, the
transgression without an intrinsically just and valid law, as well
as an opportunity to be heard before an impartial tribunal, that
can warrant such an impairment. Due process guarantees (a) length of service or employment of the dismissed
against arbitrariness and bears on both substance and employee;
procedure. Substantive due process concerns itself with the
law, its essence, and its concomitant efficacy; procedural due (b) his salary or compensation at the time termination
process focuses on the rules that are established in order to of employment vis-a-vis the capability of the employer
ensure meaningful adjudications appurtenant thereto. to pay;

In this jurisdiction, the right to due process is constitutional and (c) question of whether the employer has deliberately
statutory. violated the requirements for termination of
employment or has attempted to comply, at least
Due process in the context of a termination of employment, substantially, therewith; and/or
particularly, would be two-fold, i.e., substantive due process
which is complied with when the action of the employer is (d) reasons for the termination of employment.
predicated on a just cause or an authorized cause, and
procedural due process which is satisfied when the employee I might stress the rule that the award of nominal damages is
has the opportunity to contest the existence of the ground not for the purpose of indemnification for a loss but for the
invoked by the employer in terminating the contract of recognition and vindication of a right. The degree of recovery
employment and to be heard thereon. I find it difficult to ascribe therefor can depend, on the one hand, on the constitution of
either a want of wisdom or a lack of legal basis to the early the right, and, upon the other hand, on the extent and manner
pronouncements of this Court that sanction the termination of by which that right is ignored to the prejudice of the holder of
employment when a just or an authorized cause to warrant the that right.
termination is clearly extant. Regrettably, the Court in some of
those pronouncements has used, less than guarded in my
view, the term "due process" when referring to the notices In fine7
prescribed in the Labor Code5 and its implementing rules6 that
could, thereby, albeit unintendedly and without meaning to, A. A just cause or an authorized cause and a written
confuse the latter with the notice requirement in adjudicatory notice of dismissal or lay-off, as the case may be, are
proceedings. It is not seldom when the law puts up various required concurrently but not really equipollent in their
conditions in the juridical relations of parties; it would not be consequence, in terminating an employer-employee
accurate to consider, I believe, an infraction thereof to ipso- relationship.
facto raise a problem of due process. The mere failure of
notice of the dismissal or lay-off does not foreclose the right of
B. Where there is neither just cause nor authorized
an employee from disputing the validity, in general, of the
cause, the reinstatement of the employee and the
termination of his employment, or the veracity, in particular, of
payment of back salaries would be proper and should
the cause that has been invoked in order to justify that
be decreed. If the dismissal or lay-off is attended by
termination. In assailing the dismissal or lay-off, an employee
bad faith or if the employer acted in wanton or
is entitled to be heard and to be given the corresponding due
oppressive manner, moral and exemplary damages
notice of the proceedings. It would be when this right is
might also be a warded. In this respect, the Civil Code
withheld without cogent reasons that, indeed, it can rightly be
provides:
claimed that the fundamental demands of procedural due
process have been unduly discarded.
Art. 2220. Willful injury to property may be a
legal ground for awarding moral damages if
I do appreciate the fact that the prescribed notices can have
the court should find that, under the
consequential benefits to an employee who is dismissed or laid
circumstances, such damages are just due.
off, as the case may be; its non-observance by an employer,
The same rule applies to breaches of
therefore, can verily entitle the employee to an award of
contract where the defendant acted
damage but, to repeat, not to the extent of rendering outrightly
fraudulently or in bad faith.
illegal that dismissal or lay-off predicated on valid grounds. I
would consider the indemnification to the employee not a
penalty or a fine against the employer, the levy of either of Art. 2232. In contracts and quasi-contracts,
which would require an appropriate legislative enactment; the court may award exemplary damages if
rather, I take the grant of indemnity as justifiable as an award the defendant acted in a wanton, fraudulent,
of nominal damages in accordance with the provisions of reckless, oppressive, or malevolent manner
Articles 2221-2223 of the Civil Code, viz: (Civil Code).

Art. 2221. Nominal damages are adjudicated in order Separation pay can substitute for reinstatement if
that a right of the plaintiff, which has been violated or such reinstatement is not feasible, such as in case of
invaded by the defendant, may be vindicated or a clearly strained employer-employee relationship
recognized, and not for the purpose of indemnifying (limited to managerial positions and contracts of
the plaintiff for any loss suffered by him. employment predicated on trust and confidence) or
when the work or position formerly held by the
dismissed employee plainly has since ceased to be
available.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

C. Where there is just cause or an authorized cause employment merely ineffectual." In short, he believes that (1)
for the dismissal or lay-off but the required written the 30-day notice requirement finds basis only in the Labor
notices therefor have not been properly observed by Code, and (2) the sanction for its violation is only "full back
an employer, it would neither be light and justifiable wages."
nor likely intended by law to order either the
reinstatement of the dismissed or laid-off employee or With due respect, I submit the following counter-arguments:
the payment of back salaries to him simply for the
lack of such notices if, and so long as, the employee
is not deprived of an opportunity to contest that (1) The notice requirement finds basis not only in the
dismissal or lay-off and to accordingly be heard Labor Code but, more important, in the due process
thereon. In the termination of employment for an clause of the Constitution.
authorized cause (this cause being attributable to the
employer), the laid-off employee is statutorily entitled (2) Consequently, when the employee is dismissed
to separation pay, unlike a dismissal for a just cause without due process, the legal effect is an illegal
(a cause attributable to an employee) where no dismissal and the appropriate sanction is full back
separation pay is due. In either case, if an employer wages plus reinstatement, not merely full back wages.
fails to comply with the requirements of notice in It is jurisprudentially settled, as I will show presently,
terminating the services of the employee, the that when procedural due process is violated, the
employer must be made to pay, as so hereinabove proceedings in this case, the dismissal will be
expressed, corresponding damages to the employee. voided, and the parties will have to be returned to
their status quo ante; that is, the employee will have
WHEREFORE, I vote to hold (a) that the lay-off in the case at to be given back his old job and paid all benefits as if
bar is due to redundancy and that, accordingly, the separation he were never dismissed.
pay to petitioner should be increased to one month, instead of
one-half month, pay for every year of service, and (b) that (3) In any event, contrary to Mr. Justice Mendoza's
petitioner is entitled to his unpaid wages, proportionate 13th- premise, even the Labor Code expressly grants the
month pay, and an indemnity of P10,000.00 in keeping with the dismissed employee not only the right to be notified
nature and purpose of, as well as the rationale behind, the but also the right to be heard.
grant of nominal damages.
In short, when an employee is dismissed without notice and
PANGANIBAN, J., separate opinion; hearing, the effect is an illegal dismissal and the appropriate
reliefs are reinstatement and full back wages. In ruling that the
In the case before us, the Court is unanimous in at least two dismissal should be upheld, the Court majority has virtually
findings: (1) petitioner's dismissal was due to an authorized rendered nugatory the employee's right to due process as
cause, redundancy; and (2) petitioner was notified of his mandated by law and the Constitution. It implicitly allows the
dismissal only on the very day his employment was terminated. employer to simply ignore such right and to just pay the
The contentious issue arising out of these two findings is as employee. While it increases the payment to "full back wages,"
follows: What is the legal effect and the corresponding sanction it doctrinally denigrates his right to due process to a mere
for the failure of the employer to give the employee and the statutory right to notice.
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) the 30-day
notice of termination required under Article 283 of the Labor Let me explain the foregoing by starting with a short
Code? background of our jurisprudence on the right to due process.

During the last ten (10) years, the Court has answered the Without Due Process, the Proceedings Are Illegal
foregoing question by ruling that the dismissal should be
upheld although the employee should be given "indemnity or In the past, this Court has untiringly reiterated that there are
damages" ranging from P1,000 to P10,000 depending on the two essential requisites for an employer's valid termination of
circumstances. an employee's services: (1) a just5 or authorized6 cause and (2)
due process.7 During the last ten years, the Court has been
The present ponencia of Mr. Justice Mendoza holds that "the quite firm in this doctrinal concept, but it has been less than
termination of his employment should be considered ineffectual consistent in declaring the illegality of a dismissal when due
and the [employee] should be paid back wages" from the time process has not been observed. This is particularly noticeable
of his dismissal until the Court finds that the dismissal was for in the relief granted. Where there has been no just or
a just cause. authorized cause, the employee is awarded reinstatement or
separation pay, and back wages.8 If only the second requisite
Reexamination of the "Indemnity Only" Rule (due process) has not been fulfilled, the employee, as earlier
stated, is granted indemnity or damages amounting to a
measly P1,000 up to P10,000.9
I am grateful that the Court has decided to reexamine our ten-
year doctrine on this question and has at least, in the process,
increased the monetary award that should go to the dismissed I respectfully submit that illegal dismissal results not only from
employee from a nominal sum in the concept "indemnity or the absence of a legal cause (enumerated in Arts. 282 to 284
damages" to "full back wages." Shortly after my assumption of of the Labor Code), but likewise from the failure to observe due
office on October 10, 1995, I already questioned this practice process. Indeed, many are the cases, labor or otherwise, in
of granting "indemnity only" to employees who were dismissed which acts violative of due process are unequivocally voided or
for cause but without due process.1 I formally registered declared illegal by the Supreme Court. In Pepsi-Cola Bottling
reservations on this rule in my ponencia in MGG Marine Co. v. NLRC,10 the Court categorically ruled that the failure of
Services v. NLRC2 and gave it full discussion in my Dissents management to comply with the requirements of due process
in Better Buildings v. NLRC3 and in Del Val v. NLRC.4 made its judgment of dismissal "void and non-existent."

Without in any way diminishing my appreciation of this This Court in People v. Bocar 11 emphatically made the
reexamination and of the more financially-generous treatment following pronouncement, which has been reiterated in several
the Court has accorded labor, I write to take issue with the cases:12
legal basis of my esteemed colleague, Mr. Justice Mendoza, in
arriving at his legal conclusion that "the employer's failure to The cardinal precept is that where there is a violation
comply with the notice requirement does not constitute a denial of basis constitutional rights, courts are ousted of their
of due process but a mere failure to observe a procedure for jurisdiction. Thus the violation of the State's right to
the termination of employment which makes the termination of due process raises a serious jurisdictional issue
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

(Gumabon vs. Director of the Bureau of Prisons, L- administrative body that heard the charges against them had
30026, 37 SCRA 420 [Jan. 30, 1971]) which cannot not afforded them their right to procedural due process. The
be glossed over or disregarded at will. Where the proceedings were declared void, and the orders for their
denial of the fundamental right of due process is dismissal set aside. We unqualifiedly reinstated the
apparent, a decision rendered in disregarded of the schoolteachers, to whom we awarded all monetary benefits
right is void for lack of jurisdiction (Aducayen vs. that had accrued to them during the period of their unjustified
Flores, L-30370, [May 25, 1973] 51 SCRA 78; Shell suspension or dismissal.
Co. vs. Enage, L-30111-12, 49 SCRA 416 [Feb. 27,
1973]). Any judgment or decision rendered In People v. San Diego,18 People v. Sola,19 People
notwithstanding such violation may be regarded as a v. Dactrdao,20 People v. Calo Jr.21 and People v. Burgos,22 this
"lawless thing, which can be treated as an outlaw and Court similarly voided the trial court's grant of bail to the
slain at sight, or ignored wherever it exhibits its head" accused upon a finding that the prosecution had been deprived
(Aducayen vs. Flores, supra). of procedural due process.

In the earlier case Bacus v. Ople,13 this Court also nullified the In People v. Sevilleno,23 the Court noted that the trial judge
then labor minister's clearance to terminate the employment of "hardly satisfied the requisite searching inquiry" due the
company workers who had supposedly staged an illegal strike. accused when he pleaded guilty to the capital offense he had
The reason for this ruling was the denial of sufficient been charged with. We thus concluded that "the accused was
opportunity for them to present their evidence and prove their not properly accorded his fundamental right to be informed of
case. The Court explained:14 the precise nature of the accusation leveled against him."
Because of the nonobservance of "the fundamental
A mere finding of the illegality of a strike should not be requirements of fairness and due process," the appealed
automatically followed by a wholesale dismissal of the Decision was annulled and set aside, and the case was
strikers from their employment. What is more, the remanded for the proper arraignment and trial of the accused.
finding of the illegality of the strike by respondent
Minister of Labor and Employment is predicated on Recently, the Court vacated its earlier Decision24 in People v.
the evidence ascertained through an irregular Parazo25 upon realizing that the accused "a deaf-mute, a
procedure conducted under the semblance of mental retardate, whose mental age [was] only seven (7) years
summary methods and speedy disposition of labor and nine (9) months, and with low IQ of 60 only" had not
disputes involving striking employees. been ably assisted by a sign language expert during his
arraignment and trial. Citing People v. Crisologo,26 we ruled
While it is true that administrative agencies exercising that the accused had been deprived of "a full and fair trial and
quasi-judicial functions are free from the rigidities of a reasonable opportunity to defend himself." He had in effect
procedure, it is equally well-settled in this jurisdiction been denied his fundamental right to due process of law.
that avoidance of such technicalities of law or Hence, we set aside the trial proceedings and granted the
procedure in ascertaining objectively the facts in each accused a re-arraignment and a retrial.
case should not, however, cause a denial of due
process. The relative freedom of the labor arbiter from Of late, we also set aside a Comelec Resolution disallowing
the rigidities of procedure cannot be invoked to evade the use by a candidate of a certain nickname for the purpose of
what was clearly emphasized in the landmark case her election candidacy. The Resolution was issued pursuant to
of Ang Tibay v. Court of Industrial Relations that all a letter-petition which was passed upon by the Comelec
administrative bodies cannot ignore or disregard the without affording the candidate the opportunity to explain her
fundamental and essential requirements of due side and to counter the allegations in said letter-petition. In
process. invalidating the said Resolution, we again underscored the
necessity of the observance of the twin requirements of notice
In the said case, the respondent company was ordered to and hearing before any decision can be validly rendered in a
reinstate the dismissed workers, pending a hearing "giving case.27
them the opportunity to be heard and present their evidence."
Clearly deducible from our extant jurisprudence is that the
In Philippine National Bank v. Apalisok,15 Primitivo Virtudazo, denial of a person's fundamental right to due process amounts
an employee of PNB, was served a Memorandum stating the to the illegality of the proceedings against him. Consequently,
finding against him of a prima facie case for dishonesty and he is brought back to his status quo ante, not merely awarded
violation of bank rules and regulations. He submitted his nominal damages or indemnity.
Answer denying the charges and explaining his defenses.
Our labor force deserves no less. Indeed, the State recognizes
Later, two personnel examiners of the bank conducted a fact- it as its primary social economic force,28 to which it is
finding investigation. They stressed to him that a formal constitutionally mandated to afford full protection.29 Yet,
investigation would follow, in which he could confront and refusing to declare the illegality of dismissals without due
examine the witnesses for the bank, as well as present his process, we have continued to impose upon the erring
own. What followed, however, was a Memorandum notifying employer the simplistic penalty of paying indemnity only.
him that he had been found guilty of the charges and that he Hence, I submit that it is time for us to denounce these
was being dismissed. After several futile attempts to secure a dismissals as null and void and to grant our workers these
copy of the Decision rendered against him, he instituted proper reliefs: (1) the declaration that the termination or
against PNB a Complaint for illegal dismissal and prayed for dismissal is illegal and unconstitutional and (2) the
reinstatement and damages. reinstatement of the employee plus full back wages. The
present ruling of the Court is manifestly inconsistent with
The trial court held that Virtudazo had been deprived of his existing prudence which holds that proceedings held without
rights to be formally investigated and to cross-examine the notice and hearing are null and void, since they amount to a
witnesses. This Court sustained the trial court, stating violation of due process, and therefore bring back the parties to
resolutely: "The proceedings having been conducted without the status quo ante.
according to Virtudazo the "cardinal primary rights of due
process" guaranteed to every party in an administrative or Exception: When Due Process Is Impractical and Futile
quasi-judicial proceeding, said proceedings must be
pronounced null and void."16 I am fully aware that in a long line of cases starting
with Wenphil v. NLRC,30 the Court has held: where there is just
Also in Fabella v. Court of Appeals,17 this Court declared the cause for the dismissal of an employee but the employer fails
dismissal of the schoolteachers illegal, because the to follow the requirements of procedural due process, the
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

former is not entitled to back wages, reinstatement (or modified to enable the judiciary to cope with these new
separation pay in case reinstatement is no longer feasible) or paradigms and to continue protecting the people from new
other benefits. Instead, the employee is granted an indemnity forms of abuses.34-a
(or penalty or damages) ranging from P1,00031 to as much as
P10,000,32 depending on the circumstances of the case and Indeed the employee is entitled to due process not because of
the gravity of the employer's omission. Since then, Wenphil the Labor code, but because of the Constitution. Elementary is
has perfunctorily been applied in most subsequent the doctrine that constitutional provisions are deemed written
cases33 involving a violation of due process (although just into every statute, contract or undertaking. Worth noting is that
cause has been duly proven), without regard for the peculiar "[o]ne's employment, profession, trade or calling is a property
factual milieu of each case. Indemnity or damages has become right within the protection of the constitutional guaranty of due
an easy substitute for due process. process of law."35

Be it remembered, however, that the facts in Wenphil clearly In a long line of cases involving judicial, quasi-judicial and
showed the impracticality and the futility of observing the administrative proceedings, some of which I summarized
procedure laid down by law and by the Constitution for earlier, the Court has held that the twin requirements of notice
terminating employment. The employee involved therein and hearing (or, at the very least, an opportunity to be heard)
appeared to have exhibited a violent temper and caused constitute the essential elements of due process. In labor
trouble during office hours. In an altercation with a co- proceedings, both are the conditio sine qua non for a dismissal
employee, he "slapped [the latter's] cap, stepped on his foot to be validly effected.36 The perceptive Justice Irene Cortes has
and picked up the ice scooper and brandished it against [him]." aptly stated: "One cannot go without the other, for otherwise
When summoned by the assistant manager, the employee the termination would, in the eyes of the law, be illegal."37
"shouted and uttered profane words" instead of giving an
explanation. He was caught virtually in flagrante delicto in the
presence of many people. Under the circumstances action was Even the Labor Code Grants the Right to a Hearing
necessary to preserve order and discipline, as well as to
safeguard the customers' confidence in the employer's Besides, it is really inaccurate to say that the Labor Code
business a fastfood chain catering to the general public grants "notice alone" to employees being dismissed due to an
where courtesy is a prized virtue. authorized cause. Article 277 (b)38 of the said Code explicitly
provides that the termination of employment by the employer is
However, in most of the succeeding cases, including the "subject to the constitutional right of workers to security of
present one before us in which the petitioner was dismissed on tenure[;] . . . without prejudice to the requirement of notice
the very day he was served notice, there were ample under Article 283 of this Code, the employer shall furnish the
opportunities for the employers to observe the requisites of due worker whose employment is sought to be terminated a written
process. There were no exigencies that called for immediate notice containing a statement of the causes for termination and
response. And yet, Wenphil was instantly invoked and due shall afford the latter ample opportunity to be heard . . . ."
process brushed aside. Significantly, the provision requires the employer "to afford [the
employee] ample opportunity to be heard" when the
termination is due to a "just and authorized cause." I submit
I believe that the price that the Court has set for the that this provision on "ample opportunity to be heard" applies
infringement of the fundamental right to due process is too to dismissals under Articles 282, 283 and 284 of the Labor
insignificant, too niggardly, and sometimes even too late. I Code.
believe that imposing a stiffer sanction is the only way to
emphasize to employers the extreme importance of the right to
due process in our democratic system. Such right is too sacred In addition, to say that the termination is "simply ineffectual" for
to be taken for granted or glossed over in a cavalier fashion. To failure to comply with the 30-day written notice and, at the
hold otherwise, as by simply imposing an indemnity or even same time, to conclude that it has "legal effect" appears to be
"full back wages," is to allow the rich and powerful to virtually contradictory. Ineffectual means "having no legal force."39 If a
purchase and to thereby stifle a constitutional right granted to dismissal has no legal force or effect, the consequence should
the poor and marginalized. be the reinstatement of the dismissed employee and the grant
of full back wages thereto, as provided by law not the latter
only. Limiting the consequence merely to the payment of full
It may be asked: If the employee is guilty anyway, what back wages has no legal or statutory basis. No provision in the
difference would it make if he is fired without due process? By Labor Code or any other law authorizes such limitation of
the same token, it may be asked: If in the end, after due sanction, which Mr. Justice Mendoza advocates.
hearing, a criminal offender is found guilty anyway, what
difference would it make if he is simply penalized immediately
without the trouble and the expense of trial? The absurdity of The majority contends that it is not fair to reinstate the
this argument is too apparent to deserve further discourse.34 employee, because the employer should not be forces to
accommodate an unwanted worker. I believe however that it is
not the Court that forces the employer to rehire the worker. By
Worker's Right to Notice Is Constitutional, Not Merely Statutory violating the latter's constitutional right to due process, the
former brings this sanction upon itself. Is it unfair to imprison a
According to the ponencia of Mr. Justice Mendoza, the criminal? No! By violating the law, one brings the penal
"violation of the notice requirement cannot be considered a sanction upon oneself. There is nothing unfair or unusual about
denial of due process resulting in the nullity of the employee's this inevitable chain of cause and effect, of crime and
dismissal or lay-off." He argues that the due process clause of punishment, of violation and sanction.
the Constitution may be used against the government only.
Since the Labor Code does not accord employees the right to Due Process Begins With Each of Us
a hearing, ergo, he concludes, they do not have the right to
due process.
To repeat, due process begins with the employer, not with the
labor tribunals. An objective reading of the Bill of Rights clearly
I disagree. True, as pointed out by Mr. Justice Mendoza, shows that the due process protection is not limited to
traditional doctrine holds that constitutional rights may be government action alone. The Constitution does not say that
invoked only against the State. This is because in the past, the right cannot be claimed against private individuals and
only the State was in a position to violate these rights, entities. Thus, in PNB v. Apalisok, which I cited earlier, this
including the due process clause. However, with the advent of Court voided the proceedings conducted by petitioner bank
liberalization, deregulation and privatization, the State tended because of its failure to observe Apalisok's right to due
to cede some of its powers to the "market forces." Hence, process.
corporate behemoths and even individuals may now be
sources of abuses and threats to human rights and liberties. I
believe, therefore, that such traditional doctrine should be
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

4
Truly, justice is dispensed not just by the courts and quasi- Records, p. 2.
5
judicial bodies like public respondent here. The administration Decision, dated April 30, 1993, of Labor Arbiter Pablo C. Espiritu.
of justice begins with each of us, in our everyday dealings with Petition, Annex A; Rollo, p. 30.
6
Id., pp. 35-36.
one another and, as in this case, in the employers' affording 7
Petition, p. 10; id., p. 16.
their employees the right to be heard. If we, as a people and as 8
21 SCRA 652 (1992).
individuals, cannot or will not deign to act with justice and 9
Id., at 662.
render unto everyone his or her due in little, everyday things, 10
G.R. No. 131108, March 25, 1999.
can we honestly hope and seriously expect to do so when 11
Shell Oil Workers Union v. Shell Company of the Philippines, Ltd., 39
monumental, life-or-death issues are at stake? Unless each SCRA 276, 284-285 (1971).
12
one is committed to a faithful observance of day-to-day Asian Alcohol Corporation v. National Labor Relations Commission,
fundamental rights, our ideal of a just society can never be G.R. No. 131108, March 25, 1999.
13
TSN, p. 61, April 24, 1992.
approximated, not to say attained. 14
CONST., ART. XIII, 3.
15
E.g., Aurora Land Projects Corporation v. NLRC., 266 SCRA 48
In the final analysis, what is involved here is not simply the (1997).
16
amount of monetary award, whether insignificant or 248 SCRA 532 (1995).
17
substantial; whether termed indemnity, penalty or "full back This provision reads:
Termination by employer. An employer may terminate an
wages." Neither is it merely a matter of respect for workers'
employment for any of the following causes.
rights or adequate protection of labor. The bottom line is really (a) Serious misconduct or willful disobedience by the employee of the
the constitutionally granted right to due process. And due lawful orders of his employer or representative in connection with his
process is the very essence of justice itself. Where the rule of work:
law is the bedrock of our free society, justice is its very (b) Gross and habitual neglect by the employee of his duties;
lifeblood. Denial of due process is thus no less than a denial of (c) Fraud or willful breach by the employee of the trust reposed in him
justice itself. by his employer or duly authorized representative;
(d) Commission of a crime or offense by the employee against the
person of his employer or any immediate member of his family or his
In Addition to Reinstatement and Back Wages, Damages May duly authorized representative; and
Be Awarded (e) Other causes analogous to the foregoing.
18
Bk. VI, Rule 1, of the Omnibus Rules and Regulations to Implement
the Labor Code provides in pertinent parts:
One last point. Justice Vitug argues in his Separate Opinion Sec. 2. Security of tenure . . . .
that the nonobservance of the prescribed notices "can verily (d) In all cases of termination of employment, the following standards
entitle the employee to an award of damages but . . . not to the of due process shall be substantially observed.
extent of rendering outrightly illegal that dismissal or lay- For termination of employment based on just causes as defined in
off . . . ." I, of course, disagree with him insofar as he denies Article 282 of the Labor Code:
the illegality of the dismissal, because as I already explained, a (i) A written notice served on the employee specifying the ground or
termination without due process is unconstitutional and illegal. grounds for termination, and giving said employee reasonable
opportunity within which to explain his side.
But I do agree that, where the employee proves the presence (ii) A hearing or conference during which the employee concerned, with
of facts showing liability for damages (moral, exemplary, etc.) the assistance of counsel if he so desires, is given opportunity to
as provided under the Civil Code, the employee could be respond to the charge, present his evidence, or rebut the evidence
entitled to such award in addition to reinstatement and back presented against him.
wages. For instance, where the illegal dismissal has caused (iii) A written notice of termination served on the employee, indicating
the employee "physical suffering, mental anguish, fright, that upon due consideration of all the circumstances, grounds have
serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded feelings, been established to justify his termination.
moral shock, social humiliation and similar injury" due to the For termination of employment as defined in Article 283 of the Labor
Code, the requirement of due process shall be deemed complied with
bad faith of the employer, an award for moral damages would upon service of a written notice to the employee and the appropriate
be proper, in addition to reinstatement and back wages. Regional Office of the Department of Labor and Employment at least
thirty days before effectivity of the termination, specifying the ground or
Summary grounds for termination . . .
xxx xxx xxx
19
Sebuguero v. NLRC, 248 SCRA at 547.
To conclude, I believe that even if there may be a just or an 20
170 SCRA 69 (1989).
21
authorized cause for termination but due process is absent, the Id., at 75-76.
22
dismissal proceedings must be declared null and void. The E.g., Aurelio v. NLRC, 221 SCRA 432 (1993) (dismissal of a
dismissal should still be branded as illegal. Consequently, the managerial employee for breach of trust); Rubberworld (Phils.), Inc. v.
NLRC, 183 SCRA 421 (1990) (dismissal for absenteeism, leaving the
employee must be reinstated and given full back wages.
work place without notice, tampering with machines); Shoemart, Inc. v.
NLRC, 176 SCRA 385 (1989) (dismissal for abandonment of work).
23
On the other hand, there is an exception. The employer can Sebuguero v. NLRC, 248 SCRA 536 (1995) (termination of
adequately prove that under the peculiar circumstances of the employment due to retrenchment).
24
case, there was no opportunity to comply with due process E.g., Worldwide papermills, Inc. v. NLRC, 244 SCRA 125 (1995)
(dismissal for gross and habitual neglect of duties).
requirements; or doing so would have been impractical or 25
E.g., Reta v. NLRC, 232 SCRA 613 (1994) (dismissal for negligence
gravely adverse to the employer, as when the employee is and insubordination).
caught in flagrante delicto. Under any of these circumstances, 26
110 Phil. 113, 118 (1960).
the dismissal will not be illegal and no award may properly be 27
138 SCRA 166, 170 (1985).
granted. Nevertheless, as a measure of compassion, the 28
Art. 302 of the Code of Commerce provided:
employee may be given a nominal sum depending on the In cases in which no special time is fixed in the contracts of service,
circumstances, pursuant to Article 2221 of the Civil Code. any one of the parties thereto may dissolve it, advising the other party
thereof one month in advance.
The factory or shop clerk shall be entitled, in such case, to the salary
Depending on the facts of each case, damages as provided due for said month.
under applicable articles of the Civil Code may additionally be 29
R.A. No. 1052, as amended by R.A. No. 1787, provide:
awarded. Sec. 1. In cases of employment without a determine period, in a
commercial, industrial, or agricultural establishment or enterprises, the
employer or the employee may terminate at any time the employment
WHEREFORE, I vote to GRANT the petition. Ruben Serrano with just cause; or without just cause in the case of an employee by
should be REINSTATED and PAID FULL BACK WAGES from serving written notice on the employer at least one month in advance,
date of termination until actual reinstatement, plus all benefits or in the case of an employer by serving such notice to the employee
he would have received as if he were never dismissed. at least one month in advance or one-half month for every year of
service of the employee, whichever is longer, a fraction of at least six
months being considered as one whole year.
Footnotes The employer, upon whom no such notice was served in case of
1
TSN of testimony of petitioner, pp. 24, 76-78, April 24, 1992. termination of employment without just cause shall be entitled to
2
Petitioner's Position Paper, Annex C; Records, p. 19. compensation from the date of termination of his employment in an
3
Id., Annex B; id., p. 21.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

amount equivalent to his salaries or wages corresponding to the P1,000.00; Aurelio v. NLRC, G.R. No. 99034, 12 April 1993, 221 SCRA
required period of notice. 432 The managerial employee breached the trust and confidence of
30
Abe v. Foster Wheeler Corp. 110 Phil. 198 (1960); Malate Taxicab his employer but for failure to observe the notice requirement the
and Garage, Inc. v. CIR, 99 Phil. 41 (1956). company was fined P1,000.00; Worldwide Papermills Inc. v. NLRC,
31
71 SCRA 470, 480 (1976). G.R. No. 113081, 12 May 1995, 244 SCRA 125 The employee was
32
77 SCRA 321 (1977). found guilty of gross and habitual neglect of his duties and of
33
CIVIL CODE, ART. 19. excessive absences. For failure to comply with the notice requirement
34
Art. 1191: "The power to rescind obligations is implied in reciprocal the company was fined P5,000.00; Reta v. NLRC, G.R. No. 112100, 27
ones, in case one of the obligors should not comply with what is May 1994, 232 SCRA 613 The employee was guilty of inefficiency
incumbent upon him. . . . . negligence and insubordination but the company was fined P10,000.00
Art. 1592: "In the sale of immovable property, even though it may have for failure to observe the notice requirement.1wphi1.nt
25
been stipulated that upon failure to pay the price at the time agreed Sebuguero v. NLRC, G.R. No. 115394, 27 September 1995, 248
upon the rescission of the contract shall of right take place, the vendee SCRA 532 The employees were retrenched in order to prevent
may pay, even after the expiration of the period, as long as no demand further losses but the company failed to observe the notice
for rescission of the contract has been made upon him either judicially requirement, hence was fined P2,000.00 for each employee;
or by a notarial act. After the demand, the court may not grant him a Balbalec et al. v. NLRC, G.R. No. 107756, 19 December 1995, 251
new term. SCRA 398 The employees were retrenched to prevent business
35
De la Cruz v. Legaspi, 98 Phil. 43 (1955); Taguba v. Vda. de Leon, losses but the company was fined P5,000.00 for each employee for
132 SCRA 722 (1984). failure to observe the notice requirement.
36 26
See Maximo v. Fabian, G.R. No. L-8015, December 23, 1955, See Note 21.
(unpub.), 98 Phil. 989. PUNO, J., dissenting opinion;
37 1
Emphasis added. Schwartz, Administrative Law, 1991 ed., p. 224 citing Painter v.
38
Art. 285 reads: Liverpool Gas Co., 3 Ad. & E I. 433, 449, 11 Eng. Rep. 478 (K. B.
Termination by employee. (a) An employee may terminate without 1836).
2
just cause the employee-employer relationship by serving a written Kingsize Manufacturing Corp. vs. NLRC, 238 SCRA 349 (1994).
3
notice on the employer at least one (1) month in advance. The Ibid.
4
employer upon whom no such notice was served may hold the 170 SCRA 69.
5
employee liable for damages. 248 SCRA 532, 545 (1995).
6
(b) An employee may put an end to the relationship without serving any Ibid., p. 546.
7
notice on the employer for any of the following just causes: Op cit., p. 76.
8
1. Serious insult by the employer of his representative on the honor Op cit., pp. 74-75.
9
and person of the employee; Op cit., p. 76.
10
2. Inhuman and unbearable treatment accorded the employee by the TSN, August 4, 1992, pp. 30, 37-38, 42-49.
11
employer or his representative; A fifth authorized cause is "disease of the employee" provided in
3. Commission of a crime or offense by the employer or his Article 284 of the Code.
12
representative against the person of the employee or any of the Sebuguero, supra.
13
immediate members of his family; and International Hardware, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Commission,
4. Other causes analogous to any of the foregoing. 176 SCRA 256, 259 (1989).
39 14
210 SCRA 277 (1992). Sebuguero v. NLRC, supra.
40 15
Art, II, 18. Wiltshire File Co. v. NLRC, 193 SCRA 665, 676 (1991).
41 16
Id., 20. Balbalec v. NLRC, 251 SCRA 398, 406 (1995).
42 17
Art. XIII, 3. 110 Phil 113 (1960).
43 18
Manila Trading and Supply Co. v. Zulueta, 69 Phil, 485, 487 (1940) Schwartz, op cit., pp. 273-274.
19
(per Laurel, J.) Accord, Villanueva v. NLRC, 293 SCRA 259 (1998); DI Supra.
20
Security and General Services, Inc. v. NLRC, 264 SCRA 458 (1996); See also JGB and Associates, Inc. vs. NLRC, 254 SCRA 457 (1996);
Flores v. NLRC, 256 SCRA 735 (1996); San Miguel Corporation v. Philippine Savings Bank v. NLRC, 261 SCRA 409 (1996); Pasudeco
NLRC, 218 SCRA 293 (1993); Colgate Palmolive Philippines, Inc. v. Inc. vs. NLRC, 272 SCRA 737 (1997); P.I. Manpower, Inc. vs. NLRC,
Ople, 163 SCRA 323 (1988). 267 SCRA 451 (1997); Canura v. NLRC, 279 SCRA 45 (1997);
International Pharmaceuticals, Inc. vs. NLRC, 287 SCRA 213 (1998);
BELLOSILLO, J., separate opinion; Mabuhay Development Industries vs. NLRC, 288 SCRA 1 (1998),
1
G.R. No. 130866 16 September 1998, 295 SCRA 494. all ponencias of Mr. Justice Mendoza.
2 21
Exh. "B," Records, p. 21. Art. 283. Termination by employer. An employer may terminate an
3
Rollo, p. 63. employment without a definite period for any of the following just
4
Sebuguero v. National Labor Relations Commission, G.R. No. causes:
115395, 27 September 1995, 248 SCRA 536; Almodiel v. National (a) The closing or cessation of operation of the establishment or
Labor Relations Commission, G.R. No. 100641, 14 June 1993, 223 enterprise, or where the employer has to reduce his work force by
SCRA 341. more then one-half (1/2) due to serious business reverses, unless the
5
De Ocampo v. National Labor Relations Commission, G.R. No. closing is for the purpose of circumventing the provisions of this
101539, 4 September 1992, 213 SCRA 652, 662. chapter;
6
G.R. No. 73287, 18 May 1987, 149 SCRA 641. (b) Serious misconduct or willful disobedience by the employee of the
7
Art. XIII, Sec. 3, 1987 Constitution, reiterated in Art. 3, Labor Code. orders of his employer or representative in connection with his work;
8
Art. 3, Labor Code. (c) Gross and habitual neglect by the employee of his duties;
9
Alcantara, Samson S., Reviewer in Labor and Social Legislation, (d) Fraud or willful breach by the employee of the trust reposed in him
1993 Ed., p. 347. by his employer or representative;
10
Art. 227, Labor Code. (e) Commission of a crime or offense by the employee against the
11
Art. 283. Closure of establishment and reduction of personnel. person of his employer or any immediate member of his family or
The employer may also terminate the employment of any employee representative; and
due to the installation of labor saving devices, redundancy, (f) Other causes analogous to the foregoing.
22
retrenchment to prevent losses or the closing or cessation of operation Art. 284. Reduction of personnel. The termination of employment
of the establishment or undertaking . . . by serving a written notice on of any employee due to the installation of labor saving devices,
the worker and the Ministry of Labor and employment at least one (1) redundancy, retrenchment to prevent losses, and other similar causes,
month before the intended date thereof. . . . shall entitle the employee affected thereby to separation pay . . . .
12 23
Sec. 1. Art. III, 1987 Constitution. Art. 285. Disease as a ground for termination. An employer may
13
Fernando, Enrique M., The Bill of Rights, 1972, ed., p. 71. terminate the services of an employee who have been found to be
14
Id., p. 78. suffering from any disease and whose continued employment is
15
Id., pp. 80-81. prohibited by law or is prejudicial to his health as well as to the health
16
Id., p. 94. of his co-employees . . . .
17 24
Id., p. 96. The adjustment of the numbering of the Articles is due to the fact that
18
69 Phil. 635 (1940). there are two (2) Article 238.
19 25
G.R. No. 117565, 18 November 1997, 282 SCRA 146-147. 71 SCRA 470 (1976).
20 26
G.R. No. 80587, 8 February 1989, 170 SCRA 69. 92 Phil. 843 (1953).
21 27
G.R. No. 115394, 27 September 1995, 248 SCRA 535. International Hardware, Inc. vs. NLRC, 176 SCRA 256 (1989);
22
G.R. No. 122666, 19 June 1997, 274 SCRA 379. Sebuguero v. NLRC, supra.
23 28
G.R. No. 116473, 12 September 1997, 279 SCRA 45. Concurring opinion in Ang Tibay et al. vs. Court of Industrial
24
Shoemart, Inc. v. NLRC, G.R. No. 74229, 11 August 1989, 176 Relations, et al., 69 Phil. 635 (1940).
SCRA 385 The employee was found to have abandoned his job but VITUG, J., separate (concurring and dissenting) opinion;
1
for failure to observe the notice requirement, the employer was fined Art. 282. Termination by employer. An employer may terminate an
P1,000.00; Pacific Mills, Inc. v. Alonzo, G.R. No. 78090, 26 July 1991, employment for any of the following causes:
199 SCRA 617 The employee violated company rules and
regulations but because of procedural lapse the company was fined
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

(a) Serious misconduct or willful disobedience by the employee of the (b) Gross and habitual neglect by the employee of his duties;
lawful orders of his employer or representative in connection with his (c) Fraud or willful breach by the employee of the trust reposed in him
work; by his employer or duly authorized representative;
(b) Gross and habitual neglect by the employee of his duties; (d) Commission of a crime or offense by the employee against the
(c) Fraud or willful breach by the employee of the trust reposed in him person of his employer or any immediate member of his family or his
by his employer or duly authorized representative; duly authorized representative; and
(d) Commission of a crime or offense by the employee against the (e) Other causes analogous to the foregoing.
6
person of his employer or any immediate member of his family or his Arts. 283 & 284 provide:
duly authorized representative; and Art. 283. Closure of establishment and reduction of personnel. The
(e) Other causes analogous to the foregoing. employer may also terminate the employment of any employee due to
2
Art. 283. Closure of establishment and reduction of personnel. The the installation of labor saving devices, redundancy, retrenchment to
employer may also terminate the employment of any employee due to prevent losses or the closing or cessation or operation of the
the installation of labor saving devices, redundancy, retrenchment to establishment or undertaking unless the closing is for the purpose of
prevent losses or the closing or cessation of operation of the circumventing the provisions of this Title, by serving a written notice on
establishment or undertaking unless the closing is for the purpose of the workers and the [Department] of Labor and Employment at least
circumventing the provisions of this Title, by serving a written notice on one (1) month before the intended date thereof. In case of termination
the workers and the Ministry of Labor and Employment at least one (1) due to the installation of labor saving devices or redundancy, the
month before the intended date thereof. In case of termination due to worker affected thereby shall be entitled to a separation pay equivalent
the installation of labor saving devices or redundancy, the worker to at least his one (1) month pay or to at least one (1) month pay for
affected thereby shall be entitled to a separation pay equivalent to at every year of service whichever is higher. In case of retrenchment to
least his one (1) month pay or to at least one (1) month pay for every prevent losses and in cases of closures or cessation of operations of
year of service, whichever is higher. In case of retrenchment to prevent establishments or undertaking not due to serious business losses or
losses and in cases of closures or cessation of operations of financial reverses, the separation pay shall be equivalent to one (1)
establishment or undertaking not due to serious business losses or month pay or to as least one-half (1/2) month pay for every year of
financial reverses, the separation pay shall be equivalent to one (1) service, whichever is higher. A fraction of at least six (6) months shall
month pay or at least one-half (1/2) month pay for every year of be considered one (1) whole year.
service, whichever is higher. A fraction of at least six (6) months shall Art. 284. Disease as a ground for termination. An employer may
be considered one (1) whole year. terminate the services of an employee who has been found to be
3
Art. 284. Disease as ground for termination. An employer may suffering from any disease and whose continued employment is
terminate the services of an employee who has been found to be prohibited by law or is prejudicial to his health as well as to the health
suffering from any disease and whose continued employment is of his co-employees: Provided, That he is paid separation pay
prohibited by law or is prejudicial to his health as well as to the health equivalent to at least one (1) month salary or to one-half (1/2) month
of his co-employees: Provided, That he is paid separation pay salary for every year of service, whichever is greater a fraction of at
equivalent to at least one (1) month salary or to one-half (1/2) month least six (6) months being considered as one (1) whole year.
7
salary for every year of service, whichever is greater, a fraction of at Mapalo v. NLRC, 233 SCRA 266, June 17, 1994; Ala Mode
least six (6) months being considered as one (1) whole year. Garments, Inc. v. NLRC, 268 SCRA 497, February 17, 1997; Pizza
4
See San Miguel Corporation vs. NLRC, 255 SCRA 580. Section 7, Hut/Progressive Development Corp. v. NLRC, 252 SCRA 531, January
Rule I, Book VI, of the Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code 29, 1996; MGG Marine Services, Inc. v. NLRC, 259 SCRA 664, July
provides: 29, 1996; Ranises v. NLRC, 262 SCRA 671, September 24, 1996.
8
Sec. 7. Termination of employment by employer. The just causes for Conti v. NLRC, 271 SCRA 114, April 10, 1997; Alhambra Industries,
terminating the services of an employee shall be those provided in Inc. v. NLRC, 238 SCRA 232, November 18, 1994; JBG and
Article 282 of the Code. The separation from work of an employee for a Associates, Inc. v. NLRC, 254 SCRA 457, March 7, 1996; Samillano v.
just cause does not entitle him to the termination pay provided in Code, NLRC, 265 SCRA 788, December 23, 1996.
9
without prejudice, however, to whatever rights, benefits and privileges Alhambra Industries, Inc. v. NLRC, ibid.; Segismundo v. NLRC, 239
he may have under the applicable individual or collective bargaining SCRA 167, December 13, 1994; Sebuguero v. NLRC, 248 SCRA 532,
agreement with the employer or voluntary employer policy or practice. September 27, 1995; Wenphil Corp. v. NLRC, 170 SCRA 69, February
5
See Footnote 2. 8, 1989.
6 10
Sec. 1, Rule XXIII, of the Rules Implementing the Labor Code clearly 210 SCRA 277, 286, June 23, 1992, per Gutierrez Jr., J.
11
states that "(i)n cases of regular employment, the employer shall not 138 SCRA 166, 170-171, August 16, 1985, per Makasiar, CJ.
12
terminate the services of an employee except for just or authorized Among those are Galman v. Sandiganbayan, 144 SCRA 43, 87,
causes as provided by law, and subject to the requirements of due September 12, 1986; People v. Albano, 163 SCRA 511, July 26, 1988;
process. Saldana v. Court of Appeals, 190 SCRA 396, 403, October 11, 1990;
Sec. 2, I, of the same Rule provides that in case of termination of Paulin v. Gimenez, 217 SCRA 386, 392, January 21, 1993.
13
employment based on just causes under Article 282 of the Labor Code, 132 SCRA 690, October 23, 1984, per Cuevas, J.
14
is it required that there be Ibid., p. 703.
15
(a) A written notice served on the employee specifying the ground or 199 SCRA 92, July 12, 1991, per Narvasa, J., (later CJ).
16
grounds for termination, and giving to said employee reasonable Ibid., p. 101.
17
opportunity within which to explain his side; 282 SCRA 256, November 28, 1997.
18
(b) A hearing or conference during which the employee concerned, 26 SCRA 252, December 24, 1968.
19
with the assistance of counsel if the employee so desires, is given 103 SCRA 393, March 17, 1981.
20
opportunity to respond to the charge, present his evidence or rebut the 170 SCRA 489, February 21, 1989.
21
evidence presented against him; and 186 SCRA 620, June 18, 1990.
22
(c) A written notice of termination served on the employee indicating 200 SCRA 67, August 2, 1991.
23
that upon due consideration of all the circumstances, grounds have G.R. No. 129058, March 29, 1999, per Bellosillo, J.
24
been established to justify his termination. G.R. No, 121176, May 14, 1997.
25
In cases of termination based on authorized causes under Article 283 July 8, 1999 Resolution on the Motion for Reconsideration, per
of the Labor Code, Section 2, II, of the same Rule mandates that there Purisima, J.
26
be "a written notice to the employee and the appropriate Regional 150 SCRA 653, 656, June 17, 1987, per Padilla, J.
27
Office of the Department (of Labor and Employment) at least thirty Villasora v. Comelec, G.R. No. 133927, November 29, 1999.
28
days before the effectivity of the termination," specifying the ground/s 18, Art II, 1987 Constitution.
29
therefor. 3, Art. XIII, ibid.
7 30
See MGG Marine Services, Inc. vs. NLRC, 259 SCRA 664. 170 SCRA 69, February 8, 1989, per Gancayco, J.
31
In Wenphil Corp. v. NLRC, ibid.; Sampaguita Garments Corp. v.
NLRC, 233 SCRA 260, June 17, 1994; Villarama v. NLRC, 236 SCRA
PANGANIBAN, J., separate opinion;
280, September 2, 1994; Rubberworld (Phils.), Inc. v. NLRC, 183
SCRA 421, March 21, 1990; Kwikway Engineering Works v. NLRC,
1
See Panganiban, Battles in the Supreme Court, 1998 ed., p. 155 et 195 SCRA 526, March 22, 1991, and several other cases.
32
seq. In Reta v. NLRC, 232 SCRA 613, May 27, 1994; and Alhambra
2
259 SCRA 665, July 29, 1996. Industries, Inc. v. NLRC, 238 SCRA 232, November 18, 1994.
33
3
283 SCRA 242, December 15, 1997. In that case, I proposed to grant Seahorse Maritime Corp. v. NLRC, 173 SCRA 390, May 15, 1989;
separation pay in lieu of reinstatement because, by the employee's Rubberworld (Phils.), Inc. v. NLRC, supra; Cario v. NLRC, 185 SCRA
acts, he had made reinstatement improper, a fact not present in the 177, May 8, 1990; Great Pacific Life Assurance Corp. v. NLRC, 187
instant case. SCRA 694, July 23, 1990; Cathedral School of Technology v. NLRC,
4
296 SCRA 283, September 28, 1998. 214 SCRA 551, October 13, 1992; Aurelio v. NLRC, 221 SCRA 432,
5
Art. 282 of the Labor Code provides: April 12, 1993; Sampaguita Garments Corp. v. NLRC, 233 SCRA 260,
Art. 282. Termination by employer. An employer may terminate an June 17, 1994; Villarama v. NLRC, supra.
34
employment for any of the following causes: See Concurring and Dissenting Opinion in Better Buildings, Inc. v.
(a) Serious misconduct or willful disobedience by the employee of the NLRC, 283 SCRA 242, 256, December 15, 1997.
34-a
lawful orders of his employer or representative in connection with his See Panganiban, Leadership by Example, 1999 ed., pp. 60-61.
work;
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

35
Wallem Maritime Services, Inc. v. NLRC, 263 SCRA 174, October
15, 1996; per Romero, J. Bernas, The 1987 Constitution of the
Republic of the Philippines: A Commentary, 1996 ed., p. 101.
36
RCPI v. NLRC, 223 SCRA 656, June 25, 1993; Samillano v. NLRC,
265 SCRA 788, December 23, 1996.
37
San Miguel Corporation v. NLRC, 173 SCRA 314, May 12, 1989.
Art. 277. . . .
(b) Subject to the constitutional right of workers to security of tenure
and their right to be protected against dismissal except for a just and
authorized cause and without prejudice to the requirement of notice
under Article 283 of this Code the employer shall furnish the worker
whose employment is sought to be terminated a written notice
containing a statement of the causes for termination and shall afford
the latter ample opportunity to be heard and to defend himself with the
assistance of his representative if he so desires in accordance with
company rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to guidelines set
by the Department of Labor and Employment. Any decision taken by
the employer shall be without prejudice to the right of the worker to
contest the validity or legality of his dismissal by filing a complaint with
the regional branch of the National Labor Relations Commission. The
burden of proving that the termination was for a valid or authorized
cause shall rest on the employer. The Secretary of the Department of
Labor and Employment may suspend the effects of the termination
pending resolution of the dispute in the event of a prima facie finding
by the appropriate official of the Department of Labor and Employment
before whom such dispute is pending that the termination may cause a
serious labor dispute or is in implementation of a mass lay-off.
39
The New World Dictionary, Second College Ed (1974), defines
effectual as "having legal force; valid." Thus, ineffectual, being its
opposite, means having no legal force or not valid.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

Republic of the Philippines In January 1999, Tecsons superiors informed him that his
SUPREME COURT marriage to Bettsy gave rise to a conflict of interest. Tecsons
Manila superiors reminded him that he and Bettsy should decide
which one of them would resign from their jobs, although they
SECOND DIVISION told him that they wanted to retain him as much as possible
because he was performing his job well.
G.R. No. 162994 September 17, 2004
Tecson requested for time to comply with the company policy
DUNCAN ASSOCIATION OF DETAILMAN-PTGWO and against entering into a relationship with an employee of a
PEDRO A. TECSON, petitioners, competitor company. He explained that Astra, Bettsys
vs. employer, was planning to merge with Zeneca, another drug
GLAXO WELLCOME PHILIPPINES, INC., Respondent. company; and Bettsy was planning to avail of the redundancy
package to be offered by Astra. With Bettsys separation from
her company, the potential conflict of interest would be
RESOLUTION
eliminated. At the same time, they would be able to avail of the
attractive redundancy package from Astra.
TINGA, J.:
In August 1999, Tecson again requested for more time resolve
Confronting the Court in this petition is a novel question, with the problem. In September 1999, Tecson applied for a transfer
constitutional overtones, involving the validity of the policy of a in Glaxos milk division, thinking that since Astra did not have a
pharmaceutical company prohibiting its employees from milk division, the potential conflict of interest would be
marrying employees of any competitor company. eliminated. His application was denied in view of Glaxos
"least-movement-possible" policy.
This is a Petition for Review on Certiorari assailing
the Decision1 dated May 19, 2003 and the Resolution dated In November 1999, Glaxo transferred Tecson to the Butuan
March 26, 2004 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. City-Surigao City-Agusan del Sur sales area. Tecson asked
62434.2 Glaxo to reconsider its decision, but his request was denied.

Petitioner Pedro A. Tecson (Tecson) was hired by respondent Tecson sought Glaxos reconsideration regarding his transfer
Glaxo Wellcome Philippines, Inc. (Glaxo) as medical and brought the matter to Glaxos Grievance Committee.
representative on October 24, 1995, after Tecson had Glaxo, however, remained firm in its decision and gave Tescon
undergone training and orientation. until February 7, 2000 to comply with the transfer order. Tecson
defied the transfer order and continued acting as medical
Thereafter, Tecson signed a contract of employment which representative in the Camarines Sur-Camarines Norte sales
stipulates, among others, that he agrees to study and abide by area.
existing company rules; to disclose to management any
existing or future relationship by consanguinity or affinity with During the pendency of the grievance proceedings, Tecson
co-employees or employees of competing drug companies and was paid his salary, but was not issued samples of products
should management find that such relationship poses a which were competing with similar products manufactured by
possible conflict of interest, to resign from the company. Astra. He was also not included in product conferences
regarding such products.
The Employee Code of Conduct of Glaxo similarly provides
that an employee is expected to inform management of any Because the parties failed to resolve the issue at the grievance
existing or future relationship by consanguinity or affinity with machinery level, they submitted the matter for voluntary
co-employees or employees of competing drug companies. If arbitration. Glaxo offered Tecson a separation pay of one-half
management perceives a conflict of interest or a potential () month pay for every year of service, or a total
conflict between such relationship and the employees of P50,000.00 but he declined the offer. On November 15,
employment with the company, the management and the 2000, the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB)
employee will explore the possibility of a "transfer to another rendered its Decision declaring as valid Glaxos policy on
department in a non-counterchecking position" or preparation relationships between its employees and persons employed
for employment outside the company after six months. with competitor companies, and affirming Glaxos right to
transfer Tecson to another sales territory.
Tecson was initially assigned to market Glaxos products in the
Camarines Sur-Camarines Norte sales area. Aggrieved, Tecson filed a Petition for Review with the Court of
Appeals assailing the NCMB Decision.
Subsequently, Tecson entered into a romantic relationship with
Bettsy, an employee of Astra Pharmaceuticals3(Astra), a On May 19, 2003, the Court of Appeals promulgated
competitor of Glaxo. Bettsy was Astras Branch Coordinator in its Decision denying the Petition for Review on the ground that
Albay. She supervised the district managers and medical the NCMB did not err in rendering its Decision. The appellate
representatives of her company and prepared marketing court held that Glaxos policy prohibiting its employees from
strategies for Astra in that area. having personal relationships with employees of competitor
companies is a valid exercise of its management prerogatives.4
Even before they got married, Tecson received several
reminders from his District Manager regarding the conflict of Tecson filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the appellate
interest which his relationship with Bettsy might engender. Still, courts Decision, but the motion was denied by the appellate
love prevailed, and Tecson married Bettsy in September 1998. court in its Resolution dated March 26, 2004.5
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

Petitioners filed the instant petition, arguing therein that (i) the Glaxo likewise insists that Tecsons reassignment to another
Court of Appeals erred in affirming the NCMBs finding that the sales area and his exclusion from seminars regarding
Glaxos policy prohibiting its employees from marrying an respondents new products did not amount to constructive
employee of a competitor company is valid; and (ii) the Court dismissal.
of Appeals also erred in not finding that Tecson was
constructively dismissed when he was transferred to a new It claims that in view of Tecsons refusal to resign, he was
sales territory, and deprived of the opportunity to attend relocated from the Camarines Sur-Camarines Norte sales area
products seminars and training sessions.6 to the Butuan City-Surigao City and Agusan del Sur sales area.
Glaxo asserts that in effecting the reassignment, it also
Petitioners contend that Glaxos policy against employees considered the welfare of Tecsons family. Since Tecsons
marrying employees of competitor companies violates the hometown was in Agusan del Sur and his wife traces her roots
equal protection clause of the Constitution because it creates to Butuan City, Glaxo assumed that his transfer from the Bicol
invalid distinctions among employees on account only of region to the Butuan City sales area would be favorable to him
marriage. They claim that the policy restricts the employees and his family as he would be relocating to a familiar territory
right to marry.7 and minimizing his travel expenses.15

They also argue that Tecson was constructively dismissed as In addition, Glaxo avers that Tecsons exclusion from the
shown by the following circumstances: (1) he was transferred seminar concerning the new anti-asthma drug was due to the
from the Camarines Sur-Camarines Norte sales area to the fact that said product was in direct competition with a drug
Butuan-Surigao-Agusan sales area, (2) he suffered a which was soon to be sold by Astra, and hence, would pose a
diminution in pay, (3) he was excluded from attending seminars potential conflict of interest for him. Lastly, the delay in
and training sessions for medical representatives, and (4) he Tecsons receipt of his sales paraphernalia was due to the mix-
was prohibited from promoting respondents products which up created by his refusal to transfer to the Butuan City sales
were competing with Astras products.8 area (his paraphernalia was delivered to his new sales area
instead of Naga City because the supplier thought he already
In its Comment on the petition, Glaxo argues that the company transferred to Butuan).16
policy prohibiting its employees from having a relationship with
and/or marrying an employee of a competitor company is a The Court is tasked to resolve the following issues: (1)
valid exercise of its management prerogatives and does not Whether the Court of Appeals erred in ruling that Glaxos policy
violate the equal protection clause; and that Tecsons against its employees marrying employees from competitor
reassignment from the Camarines Norte-Camarines Sur sales companies is valid, and in not holding that said policy violates
area to the Butuan City-Surigao City and Agusan del Sur sales the equal protection clause of the Constitution; (2) Whether
area does not amount to constructive dismissal.9 Tecson was constructively dismissed.

Glaxo insists that as a company engaged in the promotion and The Court finds no merit in the petition.
sale of pharmaceutical products, it has a genuine interest in
ensuring that its employees avoid any activity, relationship or The stipulation in Tecsons contract of employment with Glaxo
interest that may conflict with their responsibilities to the being questioned by petitioners provides:
company. Thus, it expects its employees to avoid having
personal or family interests in any competitor company which
may influence their actions and decisions and consequently
deprive Glaxo of legitimate profits. The policy is also aimed at
10. You agree to disclose to management any existing
preventing a competitor company from gaining access to its
or future relationship you may have, either by
secrets, procedures and policies.10
consanguinity or affinity with co-employees or
employees of competing drug companies. Should it
It likewise asserts that the policy does not prohibit pose a possible conflict of interest in management
marriage per se but only proscribes existing or future discretion, you agree to resign voluntarily from the
relationships with employees of competitor companies, and is Company as a matter of Company policy.
therefore not violative of the equal protection clause. It
maintains that considering the nature of its business, the
17
prohibition is based on valid grounds.11

The same contract also stipulates that Tescon agrees to abide


According to Glaxo, Tecsons marriage to Bettsy, an employee
by the existing company rules of Glaxo, and to study and
of Astra, posed a real and potential conflict of interest. Astras
become acquainted with such policies.18 In this regard, the
products were in direct competition with 67% of the products
Employee Handbook of Glaxo expressly informs its employees
sold by Glaxo. Hence, Glaxos enforcement of the foregoing
of its rules regarding conflict of interest:
policy in Tecsons case was a valid exercise of its management
prerogatives.12 In any case, Tecson was given several months
to remedy the situation, and was even encouraged not to 1. Conflict of Interest
resign but to ask his wife to resign form Astra instead.13
Employees should avoid any activity, investment relationship,
Glaxo also points out that Tecson can no longer question the or interest that may run counter to the responsibilities which
assailed company policy because when he signed his contract they owe Glaxo Wellcome.
of employment, he was aware that such policy was stipulated
therein. In said contract, he also agreed to resign from Specifically, this means that employees are expected:
respondent if the management finds that his relationship with
an employee of a competitor company would be detrimental to a. To avoid having personal or family interest,
the interests of Glaxo.14 financial or otherwise, in any competitor supplier or
other businesses which may consciously or
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

unconsciously influence their actions or decisions acting under color of its authority.24 Corollarily, it has been held
and thus deprive Glaxo Wellcome of legitimate profit. in a long array of U.S. Supreme Court decisions that the equal
b. To refrain from using their position in Glaxo
Wellcome or knowledge of Company plans to protection clause erects no shield against merely private
advance their outside personal interests, that of their conduct, however, discriminatory or wrongful.25 The only
relatives, friends and other businesses. exception occurs when the state29 in any of its manifestations
c. To avoid outside employment or other interests for
or actions has been found to have become entwined or
income which would impair their effective job
performance. involved in the wrongful private conduct.27 Obviously, however,
d. To consult with Management on such activities or the exception is not present in this case. Significantly, the
relationships that may lead to conflict of interest. company actually enforced the policy after repeated requests
1.1. Employee Relationships to the employee to comply with the policy. Indeed, the
application of the policy was made in an impartial and even-
Employees with existing or future relationships either by handed manner, with due regard for the lot of the employee.
consanguinity or affinity with co-employees of competing drug
companies are expected to disclose such relationship to the In any event, from the wordings of the contractual provision
Management. If management perceives a conflict or potential and the policy in its employee handbook, it is clear that Glaxo
conflict of interest, every effort shall be made, together by does not impose an absolute prohibition against relationships
management and the employee, to arrive at a solution within between its employees and those of competitor companies. Its
six (6) months, either by transfer to another department in a employees are free to cultivate relationships with and marry
non-counter checking position, or by career preparation toward persons of their own choosing. What the company merely
outside employment after Glaxo Wellcome. Employees must seeks to avoid is a conflict of interest between the employee
be prepared for possible resignation within six (6) months, if no and the company that may arise out of such relationships. As
other solution is feasible.19 succinctly explained by the appellate court, thus:

No reversible error can be ascribed to the Court of Appeals The policy being questioned is not a policy against marriage.
when it ruled that Glaxos policy prohibiting an employee from An employee of the company remains free to marry anyone of
having a relationship with an employee of a competitor his or her choosing. The policy is not aimed at restricting a
company is a valid exercise of management prerogative. personal prerogative that belongs only to the individual.
However, an employees personal decision does not detract
Glaxo has a right to guard its trade secrets, manufacturing the employer from exercising management prerogatives to
formulas, marketing strategies and other confidential programs ensure maximum profit and business success. . .28
and information from competitors, especially so that it and
Astra are rival companies in the highly competitive The Court of Appeals also correctly noted that the assailed
pharmaceutical industry. company policy which forms part of respondents Employee
Code of Conduct and of its contracts with its employees, such
The prohibition against personal or marital relationships with as that signed by Tescon, was made known to him prior to his
employees of competitor companies upon Glaxos employees employment. Tecson, therefore, was aware of that restriction
is reasonable under the circumstances because relationships when he signed his employment contract and when he entered
of that nature might compromise the interests of the company. into a relationship with Bettsy. Since Tecson knowingly and
In laying down the assailed company policy, Glaxo only aims to voluntarily entered into a contract of employment with Glaxo,
protect its interests against the possibility that a competitor the stipulations therein have the force of law between them
company will gain access to its secrets and procedures. and, thus, should be complied with in good faith."29 He is
therefore estopped from questioning said policy.
That Glaxo possesses the right to protect its economic
interests cannot be denied. No less than the Constitution The Court finds no merit in petitioners contention that Tescon
recognizes the right of enterprises to adopt and enforce such a was constructively dismissed when he was transferred from
policy to protect its right to reasonable returns on investments the Camarines Norte-Camarines Sur sales area to the Butuan
and to expansion and growth.20 Indeed, while our laws City-Surigao City-Agusan del Sur sales area, and when he was
endeavor to give life to the constitutional policy on social excluded from attending the companys seminar on new
justice and the protection of labor, it does not mean that every products which were directly competing with similar products
labor dispute will be decided in favor of the workers. The law manufactured by Astra. Constructive dismissal is defined as a
also recognizes that management has rights which are also quitting, an involuntary resignation resorted to when continued
entitled to respect and enforcement in the interest of fair play.21 employment becomes impossible, unreasonable, or unlikely;
when there is a demotion in rank or diminution in pay; or when
As held in a Georgia, U.S.A case,22 it is a legitimate business a clear discrimination, insensibility or disdain by an employer
practice to guard business confidentiality and protect a becomes unbearable to the employee.30 None of these
competitive position by even-handedly disqualifying from jobs conditions are present in the instant case. The record does not
male and female applicants or employees who are married to a show that Tescon was demoted or unduly discriminated upon
competitor. Consequently, the court ruled than an employer by reason of such transfer. As found by the appellate court,
that discharged an employee who was married to an employee Glaxo properly exercised its management prerogative in
of an active competitor did not violate Title VII of the Civil reassigning Tecson to the Butuan City sales area:
Rights Act of 1964.23 The Court pointed out that the policy was
applied to men and women equally, and noted that the . . . In this case, petitioners transfer to another place of
employers business was highly competitive and that gaining assignment was merely in keeping with the policy of the
inside information would constitute a competitive advantage. company in avoidance of conflict of interest, and thus valid
Note that [Tecsons] wife holds a sensitive supervisory position
The challenged company policy does not violate the equal as Branch Coordinator in her employer-company which
protection clause of the Constitution as petitioners erroneously requires her to work in close coordination with District
suggest. It is a settled principle that the commands of the equal Managers and Medical Representatives. Her duties include
protection clause are addressed only to the state or those monitoring sales of Astra products, conducting sales drives,
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

establishing and furthering relationship with customers, 2


Duncan Association of Detailman-PTGWO and Pedro A. Tecson, petitioners, v.
Glaxo Wellcome Philippines, Inc., respondent.
collection, monitoring and managing Astras inventoryshe 3
Now Astra Zeneca Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
therefore takes an active participation in the market war 4
Rollo, pp. 28-32.
5
Id. at 55.
characterized as it is by stiff competition among 6
Id. at 9.
pharmaceutical companies. Moreover, and this is significant, 7
8
Id. at 9-11.
Id. at 14-17.
petitioners sales territory covers Camarines Sur and 9
Id. at 96-112.
Camarines Norte while his wife is supervising a branch of her 10
Id. at 99-100.
11
Id. at 101-102.
employer in Albay. The proximity of their areas of responsibility, 12
Id. at 102-103.
all in the same Bicol Region, renders the conflict of interest not 13
Id. at 102-104.
14
Id. at 104-105.
only possible, but actual, as learning by one spouse of the 15
Id. at 64.
others market strategies in the region would be inevitable. 16
Id. at 106-110.
17
See Decision of the Court of Appeals; Rollo, pp. 23-24.
[Managements] appreciation of a conflict of interest is 18
Item No. 6 of Tecsons employment contract cited by the Court of Appeals in its
therefore not merely illusory and wanting in factual basis31 Decision, Id.
19
Excerpt of Glaxos Employee Handbook, Annex "A" of respondents
Comment, Id. at 114.
In Abbott Laboratories (Phils.), Inc. v. National Labor Relations 20
Section 3, Article XIII of the Constitution provides:
The State shall regulate the relations between workers and employers,
Commission,32 which involved a complaint filed by a medical recognizing the right of labor to its just share in the fruits of production and the
representative against his employer drug company for illegal right of enterprises to reasonable returns on investments, and to expansion and
growth.
dismissal for allegedly terminating his employment when he 21
Sta. Catalina College v. National Labor Relations Commission, G.R. No.
refused to accept his reassignment to a new area, the Court 144483, November 19, 2003.
22
Emory v. Georgia Hospital Service Association (1971), DC Ga., 4 CCH EPD
upheld the right of the drug company to transfer or reassign its 7785, 4 BNA FEP Cas 891, affd (CA5) 446 F2d 897, 4 CCH EPD 7786; Cited
employee in accordance with its operational demands and 45 Am Jr 2d Sec. 469.
23
42 USCS 2000e2002e17. Title VII prohibits certain employers,
requirements. The ruling of the Court therein, quoted employment agencies, labor organizations, and joint labor-management training
hereunder, also finds application in the instant case: committees from discriminating against applicants and employees on the basis of
race or color, religion, sex, national origin, or opposition to discriminatory
practices.
By the very nature of his employment, a drug salesman or There is no similar legislation in the Philippines.
24
Avery v. Midland County, 390 US 474, 20 L. Ed 2d 45, 88 S Ct 1114, on
medical representative is expected to travel. He should remand (Tex) 430 SW2d 487; Cooper v. Aaron, 358 US 1, 3 L Ed 2d 5, 78 S Ct
anticipate reassignment according to the demands of their 1401.
25
District of Columbia v. Carter, 409 US 418, 34 L.Ed.2d 613, 93 S. Ct. 602, 35
business. It would be a poor drug corporation which cannot L.Ed.2d 694, 93 S. Ct. 1411; Moose Lodge No. 107 v. Irvis, 407 US 163, 32
even assign its representatives or detail men to new markets L.Ed.2d 627, 92 S. Ct. 1965; United States v. Price, 383 US 787, 16 L.Ed. 2d
267, 86 S. Ct. 1152; Burton v. Wilmington Parking Authority, 365 US 715, 6
calling for opening or expansion or to areas where the need for L.Ed.2d 45, 81 S. Ct. 856; Shelley v. Kraemer, 334 US 1, 92 L.Ed.1161, 68 S. Ct.
pushing its products is great. More so if such reassignments 836, 3 ALR2d 441; United States v. Classic, 313 US 299, 85 L.Ed 1368, 61 S. Ct.
1031, 86 L.Ed 565, 62 S. Ct. 51; Nixon v. Condon, 286 US 73, 76 L.Ed. 984, 52
are part of the employment contract.33 S. Ct. 484, 88 ALR 458; Iowa-Des Moines Nat. Bank v. Bennet, 284 US 239, 76
L.Ed 265, 52 S. Ct. 133; Corrigan v. Buckley, 271 US 323, 70 L.Ed. 969, 46 S. Ct.
521; U.S. Adickes v. S. H. Kress & Co., N.Y., 90 S. Ct. 1598, 398 U.S. 144, 26
As noted earlier, the challenged policy has been implemented L. Ed. 2d 142.
26
by Glaxo impartially and disinterestedly for a long period of The equal protection clause contained in the Fourteenth Amendment of the
U.S. Constitution is a restriction on the state governments and operates
time. In the case at bar, the record shows that Glaxo gave exclusively upon them. It does not extend to authority exercised by the
Tecson several chances to eliminate the conflict of interest Government of the United States. 16 A Am Jur 2d 742.
27
Gilmore v. Montgomery, 417 US 556, 41 L Ed 2d 304, 94 S Ct 2416; Evans v.
brought about by his relationship with Bettsy. When their Newton, 382 US 296, 15 L Ed 2d 373, 86 S Ct 486; Anderson v. Martin, 375 US
relationship was still in its initial stage, Tecsons supervisors at 399, 11 L Ed 2d 430, 84 S Ct 454; Peterson v. Greenville, 373 US 244, 10 L Ed
2d 323, 83 S Ct 1119; Burton v. Wilmington Parking Authority, supra note 25.
Glaxo constantly reminded him about its effects on his 28
Decision of the Court of Appeals, Rollo, p. 28.
employment with the company and on the companys interests. 29
Article 1159, Civil Code. See National Sugar Trading and/or the Sugar
Regulatory Administration v. Philippine National Bank, G.R. No. 151218, January
After Tecson married Bettsy, Glaxo gave him time to resolve 18, 2003, 396 SCRA 528; Pilipinas Hino, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No.
the conflict by either resigning from the company or asking his 126570, August 18, 2000, 338 SCRA 355.
30
Leonardo v. National Labor Relations Commission, et al., G.R. Nos. 125303,
wife to resign from Astra. Glaxo even expressed its desire to and 126937, June 16, 2000, 333 SCRA 589.
retain Tecson in its employ because of his satisfactory 31
Rollo, pp. 30-31.
32
G.R. No. L-76959, October 12, 1987, 154 SCRA 713.
performance and suggested that he ask Bettsy to resign from 33
Id. at 719.
her company instead. Glaxo likewise acceded to his repeated 34
Decision of the Court of Appeals, Rollo, pp. 24-27.
requests for more time to resolve the conflict of interest. When
the problem could not be resolved after several years of
waiting, Glaxo was constrained to reassign Tecson to a sales
area different from that handled by his wife for Astra. Notably,
the Court did not terminate Tecson from employment but only
reassigned him to another area where his home province,
Agusan del Sur, was included. In effecting Tecsons transfer,
Glaxo even considered the welfare of Tecsons family. Clearly,
the foregoing dispels any suspicion of unfairness and bad faith
on the part of Glaxo.34

WHEREFORE, the Petition is DENIED for lack of merit. Costs


against petitioners.

SO ORDERED.

Puno, Austria-Martinez, Callejo, Sr., and Chico-Nazario*,


JJ., concur.

Footnotes
1
Penned by Associate Justice Rosmari D. Carandang and concurred in by
Justices Conrado M. Vasquez, Jr. and Mercedes Gozo-Dadole. Rollo,pp. 22-32.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

Republic of the Philippines demonstration has nothing to do with the Company because
SUPREME COURT the union has no quarrel or dispute with Management;
6. That Management, thru Atty. C.S. de Leon, Company
Manila personnel manager, informed PBMEO that the demonstration
is an inalienable right of the union guaranteed by the
EN BANC Constitution but emphasized, however, that any
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 first and
regular shifts, who without previous leave of absence
G.R. No. L-31195 June 5, 1973 approved by the Company, particularly , the officers present
who are the organizers of the demonstration, who shall fail to
report for work the following morning (March 4, 1969) shall be
PHILIPPINE BLOOMING MILLS EMPLOYMENT dismissed, because such failure is a violation of the existing
ORGANIZATION, NICANOR TOLENTINO, FLORENCIO, CBA and, therefore, would be amounting to an illegal strike;
PADRIGANO RUFINO, ROXAS MARIANO DE LEON, 7. That at about 5:00 P.M. on March 3, 1969, another meeting
was convoked Company represented by Atty. C.S. de Leon, Jr.
ASENCION PACIENTE, BONIFACIO VACUNA, BENJAMIN The Union panel was composed of: Nicanor Tolentino, Rodolfo
PAGCU and RODULFO MUNSOD, petitioners, Munsod, Benjamin Pagcu and Florencio Padrigano. In this
vs. afternoon meeting of March 3, 1969, Company reiterated and
PHILIPPINE BLOOMING MILLS CO., INC. and COURT OF appealed to the PBMEO representatives that while all workers
may join the Malacaang demonstration, the workers for the
INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS, respondents. first and regular shift of March 4, 1969 should be excused
from joining the demonstration and should report for work;
L.S. Osorio & P.B. Castillo and J.C. Espinas & Associates for and thus utilize the workers in the 2nd and 3rd shifts in order
not to violate the provisions of the CBA, particularly Article
petitioners. XXIV: NO LOCKOUT NO STRIKE'. All those who will not follow
this warning of the Company shall be dismiss; De Leon
reiterated the Company's warning that the officers shall be
Demetrio B. Salem & Associates for private respondent.
primarily liable being the organizers of the mass
demonstration. The union panel countered that it was rather
too late to change their plans inasmuch as the Malacaang
demonstration will be held the following morning; and
8. That a certain Mr. Wilfredo Ariston, adviser of PBMEO sent a
MAKASIAR, J.: cablegram to the Company which was received 9:50 A.M.,
March 4, 1969, the contents of which are as follows:
'REITERATING REQUEST EXCUSE DAY SHIFT EMPLOYEES
The petitioner Philippine Blooming Mills Employees JOINING DEMONSTRATION MARCH 4, 1969.' (Pars. 3-8, Annex
Organization (hereinafter referred to as PBMEO) is a legitimate "F", pp. 42-43, rec.)
labor union composed of the employees of the respondent Because the petitioners and their members numbering about
Philippine Blooming Mills Co., Inc., and petitioners Nicanor 400 proceeded with the demonstration despite the pleas of the
Tolentino, Florencio Padrigano, Rufino Roxas, Mariano de respondent Company that the first shift workers should not be
Leon, Asencion Paciente, Bonifacio Vacuna, Benjamin Pagcu required to participate in the demonstration and that the
and Rodulfo Munsod are officers and members of the workers in the second and third shifts should be utilized for the
petitioner Union. demonstration from 6 A.M. to 2 P.M. on March 4, 1969,
respondent Company prior notice of the mass demonstration
Petitioners claim that on March 1, 1969, they decided to stage on March 4, 1969, with the respondent Court, a charge against
a mass demonstration at Malacaang on March 4, 1969, in petitioners and other employees who composed the first shift,
protest against alleged abuses of the Pasig police, to be charging them with a "violation of Section 4(a)-6 in relation to
participated in by the workers in the first shift (from 6 A.M. to 2 Sections 13 and 14, as well as Section 15, all of Republic Act
P.M.) as well as those in the regular second and third shifts No. 875, and of the CBA providing for 'No Strike and No
(from 7 A.M. to 4 P.M. and from 8 A.M. to 5 P.M., respectively); Lockout.' " (Annex "A", pp. 19-20, rec.). The charge was
and that they informed the respondent Company of their accompanied by the joint affidavit of Arthur L. Ang and Cesareo
proposed demonstration. de Leon, Jr. (Annex "B", pp. 21-24, rec.). Thereafter, a
corresponding complaint was filed, dated April 18, 1969, by
Acting Chief Prosecutor Antonio T. Tirona and Acting
The questioned order dated September 15, 1969, of Associate
Prosecutor Linda P. Ilagan (Annex "C", pp. 25-30, rec.)
Judge Joaquin M. Salvador of the respondent Court
reproduced the following stipulation of facts of the parties
parties In their answer, dated May 9, 1969, herein petitioners claim
that they did not violate the existing CBA because they gave
the respondent Company prior notice of the mass
3. That on March 2, 1969 complainant company learned of the
projected mass demonstration at Malacaang in protest demonstration on March 4, 1969; that the said mass
against alleged abuses of the Pasig Police Department to be demonstration was a valid exercise of their constitutional
participated by the first shift (6:00 AM-2:00 PM) workers as freedom of speech against the alleged abuses of some Pasig
well as those working in the regular shifts (7:00 A.M. to 4:00
PM and 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM) in the morning of March 4, 1969;
policemen; and that their mass demonstration was not a
4. That a meeting was called by the Company on March 3, declaration of strike because it was not directed against the
1969 at about 11:00 A.M. at the Company's canteen, and respondent firm (Annex "D", pp. 31-34, rec.)
those present were: for the Company: (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) Rufino Roxas, (3) After considering the aforementioned stipulation of facts
Mariano de Leon, (4) Asencion Paciente, (5) Bonifacio Vacuna submitted by the parties, Judge Joaquin M. Salvador, in an
and (6) Benjamin Pagcu. order dated September 15, 1969, found herein petitioner
5. That the Company asked the union panel to confirm or
deny said projected mass demonstration at Malacaang on PBMEO guilty of bargaining in bad faith and herein petitioners
March 4, 1969. PBMEO thru Benjamin Pagcu who acted as Florencio Padrigano, Rufino Roxas, Mariano de Leon,
spokesman of the union panel, confirmed the planned Asencion Paciente, Bonifacio Vacuna, Benjamin Pagcu,
demonstration and stated that the demonstration or rally
Nicanor Tolentino and Rodulfo Munsod as directly responsible
cannot be cancelled because it has already been agreed upon
in the meeting. Pagcu explained further that the for perpetrating the said unfair labor practice and were, as a
consequence, considered to have lost their status as
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

employees of the respondent Company (Annex "F", pp. 42-56, (1) In a democracy, the preservation and enhancement of the
rec.) dignity and worth of the human personality is the central core
as well as the cardinal article of faith of our civilization. The
Herein petitioners claim that they received on September 23, inviolable character of man as an individual must be "protected
1969, the aforesaid order (p. 11, rec.); and that they filed on to the largest possible extent in his thoughts and in his beliefs
September 29, 1969, because September 28, 1969 fell on as the citadel of his person." 2
Sunday (p. 59, rec.), a motion for reconsideration of said order
dated September 15, 1969, on the ground that it is contrary to (2) The Bill of Rights is designed to preserve the ideals of
law and the evidence, as well as asked for ten (10) days within liberty, equality and security "against the assaults of
which to file their arguments pursuant to Sections 15, 16 and opportunism, the expediency of the passing hour, the erosion
17 of the Rules of the CIR, as amended (Annex "G", pp. 57-60, of small encroachments, and the scorn and derision of those
rec. ) who have no patience with general principles." 3

In its opposition dated October 7, 1969, filed on October 11, In the pithy language of Mr. Justice Robert Jackson, the
1969 (p. 63, rec.), respondent Company averred that herein purpose of the Bill of Rights is to withdraw "certain subjects
petitioners received on September 22, 1969, the order dated from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them
September 17 (should be September 15), 1969; that under beyond the reach of majorities and officials, and to establish
Section 15 of the amended Rules of the Court of Industrial them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One's
Relations, herein petitioners had five (5) days from September rights to life, liberty and property, to free speech, or free press,
22, 1969 or until September 27, 1969, within which to file their freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental
motion for reconsideration; and that because their motion for rights may not be submitted to a vote; they depend on the
reconsideration was two (2) days late, it should be accordingly outcome of no elections." 4 Laski proclaimed that "the
dismissed, invoking Bien vs. Castillo, 1 which held among happiness of the individual, not the well-being of the State, was
others, that a motion for extension of the five-day period for the the criterion by which its behaviour was to be judged. His
filing of a motion for reconsideration should be filed before the interests, not its power, set the limits to the authority it was
said five-day period elapses (Annex "M", pp. 61-64, rec.). entitled to exercise." 5

Subsequently, herein petitioners filed on October 14, 1969 their (3) The freedoms of expression and of assembly as well as the
written arguments dated October 11, 1969, in support of their right to petition are included among the immunities reserved by
motion for reconsideration (Annex "I", pp. 65-73, rec.). the sovereign people, in the rhetorical aphorism of Justice
Holmes, to protect the ideas that we abhor or hate more than
In a resolution dated October 9, 1969, the respondent en the ideas we cherish; or as Socrates insinuated, not only to
banc dismissed the motion for reconsideration of herein protect the minority who want to talk, but also to benefit the
petitioners for being pro forma as it was filed beyond the majority who refuse to listen. 6 And as Justice Douglas cogently
reglementary period prescribed by its Rules (Annex "J", pp. 74- stresses it, the liberties of one are the liberties of all; and the
75, rec.), which herein petitioners received on October 28, 196 liberties of one are not safe unless the liberties of all are
(pp. 12 & 76, rec.). protected. 7

At the bottom of the notice of the order dated October 9, 1969, (4) The rights of free expression, free assembly and petition,
which was released on October 24, 1969 and addressed to the are not only civil rights but also political rights essential to
counsels of the parties (pp. 75-76, rec.), appear the man's enjoyment of his life, to his happiness and to his full and
requirements of Sections 15, 16 and 17, as amended, of the complete fulfillment. Thru these freedoms the citizens can
Rules of the Court of Industrial Relations, that a motion for participate not merely in the periodic establishment of the
reconsideration shall be filed within five (5) days from receipt of government through their suffrage but also in the
its decision or order and that an appeal from the decision, administration of public affairs as well as in the discipline of
resolution or order of the C.I.R., sitting en banc, shall be abusive public officers. The citizen is accorded these rights so
perfected within ten (10) days from receipt thereof (p. 76, rec.). that he can appeal to the appropriate governmental officers or
agencies for redress and protection as well as for the
On October 31, 1969, herein petitioners filed with the imposition of the lawful sanctions on erring public officers and
respondent court a petition for relief from the order dated employees.
October 9, 1969, on the ground that their failure to file their
motion for reconsideration on time was due to excusable (5) While the Bill of Rights also protects property rights, the
negligence and honest mistake committed by the president of primacy of human rights over property rights is
the petitioner Union and of the office clerk of their counsel, recognized. 8 Because these freedoms are "delicate and
attaching thereto the affidavits of the said president and clerk vulnerable, as well as supremely precious in our society" and
(Annexes "K", "K-1" and "K-2", rec.). the "threat of sanctions may deter their exercise almost as
potently as the actual application of sanctions," they "need
Without waiting for any resolution on their petition for relief breathing space to survive," permitting government regulation
from the order dated October 9, 1969, herein petitioners filed only "with narrow specificity." 9
on November 3, 1969, with the Supreme Court, a notice of
appeal (Annex "L", pp. 88-89, rec.). Property and property rights can be lost thru prescription; but
human rights are imprescriptible. If human rights are
I extinguished by the passage of time, then the Bill of Rights is a
useless attempt to limit the power of government and ceases
to be an efficacious shield against the tyranny of officials, of
There is need of briefly restating basic concepts and principles
majorities, of the influential and powerful, and of oligarchs
which underlie the issues posed by the case at bar.
political, economic or otherwise.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

In the hierarchy of civil liberties, the rights of free expression In seeking sanctuary behind their freedom of expression well
and of assembly occupy a preferred position as they are as their right of assembly and of petition against alleged
essential to the preservation and vitality of our civil and political persecution of local officialdom, the employees and laborers of
institutions; 10 and such priority "gives these liberties the herein private respondent firm were fighting for their very
sanctity and the sanction not permitting dubious intrusions." 11 survival, utilizing only the weapons afforded them by the
Constitution the untrammelled enjoyment of their basic
The superiority of these freedoms over property rights is human rights. The pretension of their employer that it would
underscored by the fact that a mere reasonable or rational suffer loss or damage by reason of the absence of its
relation between the means employed by the law and its object employees from 6 o'clock in the morning to 2 o'clock in the
or purpose that the law is neither arbitrary nor discriminatory afternoon, is a plea for the preservation merely of their property
nor oppressive would suffice to validate a law which restricts rights. Such apprehended loss or damage would not spell the
or impairs property rights. 12 On the other hand, a constitutional difference between the life and death of the firm or its owners
or valid infringement of human rights requires a more stringent or its management. The employees' pathetic situation was a
criterion, namely existence of a grave and immediate danger of stark reality abused, harassment and persecuted as they
a substantive evil which the State has the right to prevent. So it believed they were by the peace officers of the municipality. As
has been stressed in the main opinion of Mr. Justice Fernando above intimated, the condition in which the employees found
in Gonzales vs. Comelec and reiterated by the writer of the themselves vis-a-vis the local police of Pasig, was a matter
opinion in Imbong vs. Ferrer. 13 It should be added that Mr. that vitally affected their right to individual existence as well as
Justice Barredo in Gonzales vs. Comelec, supra, like Justices that of their families. Material loss can be repaired or
Douglas, Black and Goldberg in N.Y. Times Co. vs. adequately compensated. The debasement of the human
Sullivan, 14 believes that the freedoms of speech and of the being broken in morale and brutalized in spirit-can never be
press as well as of peaceful assembly and of petition for fully evaluated in monetary terms. The wounds fester and the
redress of grievances are absolute when directed against scars remain to humiliate him to his dying day, even as he
public officials or "when exercised in relation to our right to cries in anguish for retribution, denial of which is like rubbing
choose the men and women by whom we shall be salt on bruised tissues.
governed," 15 even as Mr. Justice Castro relies on the
balancing-of-interests test. 16 Chief Justice Vinson is partial to As heretofore stated, the primacy of human rights freedom
the improbable danger rule formulated by Chief Judge Learned of expression, of peaceful assembly and of petition for redress
Hand, viz. whether the gravity of the evil, discounted by its of grievances over property rights has been
improbability, justifies such invasion of free expression as is sustained. 18 Emphatic reiteration of this basic tenet as a
necessary to avoid the danger. 17 coveted boon at once the shield and armor of the dignity
and worth of the human personality, the all-consuming ideal of
II our enlightened civilization becomes Our duty, if freedom
and social justice have any meaning at all for him who toils so
The respondent Court of Industrial Relations, after opining that that capital can produce economic goods that can generate
the mass demonstration was not a declaration of strike, happiness for all. To regard the demonstration against police
concluded that by their "concerted act and the occurrence officers, not against the employer, as evidence of bad faith in
temporary stoppage of work," herein petitioners are guilty collective bargaining and hence a violation of the collective
bargaining in bad faith and hence violated the collective bargaining agreement and a cause for the dismissal from
bargaining agreement with private respondent Philippine employment of the demonstrating employees, stretches unduly
Blooming Mills Co., inc.. Set against and tested by foregoing the compass of the collective bargaining agreement, is "a
principles governing a democratic society, such conclusion potent means of inhibiting speech" and therefore inflicts a
cannot be sustained. The demonstration held petitioners on moral as well as mortal wound on the constitutional guarantees
March 4, 1969 before Malacaang was against alleged abuses of free expression, of peaceful assembly and of petition. 19
of some Pasig policemen, not against their employer, herein
private respondent firm, said demonstrate was purely and The collective bargaining agreement which fixes the working
completely an exercise of their freedom expression in general shifts of the employees, according to the respondent Court
and of their right of assembly and petition for redress of Industrial Relations, in effect imposes on the workers the
grievances in particular before appropriate governmental "duty ... to observe regular working hours." The strain
agency, the Chief Executive, again the police officers of the construction of the Court of Industrial Relations that a
municipality of Pasig. They exercise their civil and political stipulated working shifts deny the workers the right to stage
rights for their mutual aid protection from what they believe mass demonstration against police abuses during working
were police excesses. As matter of fact, it was the duty of hours, constitutes a virtual tyranny over the mind and life the
herein private respondent firm to protect herein petitioner workers and deserves severe condemnation. Renunciation of
Union and its members fro the harassment of local police the freedom should not be predicated on such a slender
officers. It was to the interest herein private respondent firm to ground.
rally to the defense of, and take up the cudgels for, its
employees, so that they can report to work free from The mass demonstration staged by the employees on March 4,
harassment, vexation or peril and as consequence perform 1969 could not have been legally enjoined by any court, such
more efficiently their respective tasks enhance its productivity an injunction would be trenching upon the freedom expression
as well as profits. Herein respondent employer did not even of the workers, even if it legally appears to be illegal picketing
offer to intercede for its employees with the local police. Was it or strike. 20 The respondent Court of Industrial Relations in the
securing peace for itself at the expenses of its workers? Was it case at bar concedes that the mass demonstration was not a
also intimidated by the local police or did it encourage the local declaration of a strike "as the same not rooted in any industrial
police to terrorize or vex its workers? Its failure to defend its dispute although there is concerted act and the occurrence of a
own employees all the more weakened the position of its temporary stoppage work." (Annex "F", p. 45, rec.).
laborers the alleged oppressive police who might have been all
the more emboldened thereby subject its lowly employees to The respondent firm claims that there was no need for all its
further indignities. employees to participate in the demonstration and that they
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

suggested to the Union that only the first and regular shift from bank president with immorality, nepotism, favoritism an
6 A.M. to 2 P.M. should report for work in order that loss or discrimination in the appointment and promotion of ban
damage to the firm will be averted. This stand failed appreciate employees. 23 We further ruled in the Republic Savings Bank
the sine qua non of an effective demonstration especially by a case, supra, that for the employees to come within the
labor union, namely the complete unity of the Union members protective mantle of Section 3 in relation to Section 4(a-1) on
as well as their total presence at the demonstration site in Republic Act No. 875, "it is not necessary that union activity be
order to generate the maximum sympathy for the validity of involved or that collective bargaining be contemplated," as long
their cause but also immediately action on the part of the as the concerted activity is for the furtherance of their
corresponding government agencies with jurisdiction over the interests. 24
issues they raised against the local police. Circulation is one of
the aspects of freedom of expression. 21 If demonstrators are As stated clearly in the stipulation of facts embodied in the
reduced by one-third, then by that much the circulation of the questioned order of respondent Court dated September 15,
issues raised by the demonstration is diminished. The more 1969, the company, "while expressly acknowledging, that the
the participants, the more persons can be apprised of the demonstration is an inalienable right of the Union guaranteed
purpose of the rally. Moreover, the absence of one-third of their by the Constitution," nonetheless emphasized that "any
members will be regarded as a substantial indication of demonstration for that matter should not unduly prejudice the
disunity in their ranks which will enervate their position and normal operation of the company" and "warned the PBMEO
abet continued alleged police persecution. At any rate, the representatives that workers who belong to the first and regular
Union notified the company two days in advance of their shifts, who without previous leave of absence approved by the
projected demonstration and the company could have made Company, particularly the officers present who are the
arrangements to counteract or prevent whatever losses it might organizers of the demonstration, who shall fail to report for
sustain by reason of the absence of its workers for one day, work the following morning (March 4, 1969) shall be dismissed,
especially in this case when the Union requested it to excuse because such failure is a violation of the existing CBA and,
only the day-shift employees who will join the demonstration on therefore, would be amounting to an illegal strike (;)" (p. III,
March 4, 1969 which request the Union reiterated in their petitioner's brief). Such threat of dismissal tended to coerce the
telegram received by the company at 9:50 in the morning of employees from joining the mass demonstration. However, the
March 4, 1969, the day of the mass demonstration (pp. 42-43, issues that the employees raised against the local police, were
rec.). There was a lack of human understanding or compassion more important to them because they had the courage to
on the part of the firm in rejecting the request of the Union for proceed with the demonstration, despite such threat of
excuse from work for the day shifts in order to carry out its dismissal. The most that could happen to them was to lose a
mass demonstration. And to regard as a ground for dismissal day's wage by reason of their absence from work on the day of
the mass demonstration held against the Pasig police, not the demonstration. One day's pay means much to a laborer,
against the company, is gross vindictiveness on the part of the more especially if he has a family to support. Yet, they were
employer, which is as unchristian as it is unconstitutional. willing to forego their one-day salary hoping that their
demonstration would bring about the desired relief from police
III abuses. But management was adamant in refusing to
recognize the superior legitimacy of their right of free speech,
The respondent company is the one guilty of unfair labor free assembly and the right to petition for redress.
practice. Because the refusal on the part of the respondent firm
to permit all its employees and workers to join the mass Because the respondent company ostensibly did not find it
demonstration against alleged police abuses and the necessary to demand from the workers proof of the truth of the
subsequent separation of the eight (8) petitioners from the alleged abuses inflicted on them by the local police, it thereby
service constituted an unconstitutional restraint on the freedom concedes that the evidence of such abuses should properly be
of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom petition for submitted to the corresponding authorities having jurisdiction
redress of grievances, the respondent firm committed an unfair over their complaint and to whom such complaint may be
labor practice defined in Section 4(a-1) in relation to Section 3 referred by the President of the Philippines for proper
of Republic Act No. 875, otherwise known as the Industrial investigation and action with a view to disciplining the local
Peace Act. Section 3 of Republic Act No. 8 guarantees to the police officers involved.
employees the right "to engage in concert activities for ...
mutual aid or protection"; while Section 4(a-1) regards as an On the other hand, while the respondent Court of Industrial
unfair labor practice for an employer interfere with, restrain or Relations found that the demonstration "paralyzed to a large
coerce employees in the exercise their rights guaranteed in extent the operations of the complainant company," the
Section Three." respondent Court of Industrial Relations did not make any
finding as to the fact of loss actually sustained by the firm. This
We repeat that the obvious purpose of the mass demonstration significant circumstance can only mean that the firm did not
staged by the workers of the respondent firm on March 4, sustain any loss or damage. It did not present evidence as to
1969, was for their mutual aid and protection against alleged whether it lost expected profits for failure to comply with
police abuses, denial of which was interference with or purchase orders on that day; or that penalties were exacted
restraint on the right of the employees to engage in such from it by customers whose orders could not be filled that day
common action to better shield themselves against such of the demonstration; or that purchase orders were cancelled
alleged police indignities. The insistence on the part of the by the customers by reason of its failure to deliver the
respondent firm that the workers for the morning and regular materials ordered; or that its own equipment or materials or
shift should not participate in the mass demonstration, under products were damaged due to absence of its workers on
pain of dismissal, was as heretofore stated, "a potent means of March 4, 1969. On the contrary, the company saved a sizable
inhibiting speech." 22 amount in the form of wages for its hundreds of workers, cost
of fuel, water and electric consumption that day. Such savings
Such a concerted action for their mutual help and protection could have amply compensated for unrealized profits or
deserves at least equal protection as the concerted action of damages it might have sustained by reason of the absence of
employees in giving publicity to a letter complaint charging its workers for only one day.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

IV would be vitiated by rule on procedure prescribing the period


for appeal. The battle then would be reduced to a race for time.
Apart from violating the constitutional guarantees of free And in such a contest between an employer and its laborer, the
speech and assembly as well as the right to petition for redress latter eventually loses because he cannot employ the best an
of grievances of the employees, the dismissal of the eight (8) dedicated counsel who can defend his interest with the
leaders of the workers for proceeding with the demonstration required diligence and zeal, bereft as he is of the financial
and consequently being absent from work, constitutes a denial resources with which to pay for competent legal services. 28-a
of social justice likewise assured by the fundamental law to
these lowly employees. Section 5 of Article II of the VI
Constitution imposes upon the State "the promotion of social
justice to insure the well-being and economic security of all of The Court of Industrial Relations rule prescribes that motion for
the people," which guarantee is emphasized by the other reconsideration of its order or writ should filed within five (5)
directive in Section 6 of Article XIV of the Constitution that "the days from notice thereof and that the arguments in support of
State shall afford protection to labor ...". Respondent Court of said motion shall be filed within ten (10) days from the date of
Industrial Relations as an agency of the State is under filing of such motion for reconsideration (Sec. 16). As above
obligation at all times to give meaning and substance to these intimated, these rules of procedure were promulgated by the
constitutional guarantees in favor of the working man; for Court of Industrial Relations pursuant to a legislative
otherwise these constitutional safeguards would be merely a delegation. 29
lot of "meaningless constitutional patter." Under the Industrial
Peace Act, the Court of Industrial Relations is enjoined to effect The motion for reconsideration was filed on September 29,
the policy of the law "to eliminate the causes of industrial 1969, or seven (7) days from notice on September 22, 1969 of
unrest by encouraging and protecting the exercise by the order dated September 15, 1969 or two (2) days late.
employees of their right to self-organization for the purpose of Petitioners claim that they could have filed it on September 28,
collective bargaining and for the promotion of their moral, 1969, but it was a Sunday.
social and economic well-being." It is most unfortunate in the
case at bar that respondent Court of Industrial Relations, the
Does the mere fact that the motion for reconsideration was
very governmental agency designed therefor, failed to
filed two (2) days late defeat the rights of the petitioning
implement this policy and failed to keep faith with its avowed
employees? Or more directly and concretely, does the
mission its raison d'etre as ordained and directed by the
inadvertent omission to comply with a mere Court of Industrial
Constitution.
Relations procedural rule governing the period for filing a
motion for reconsideration or appeal in labor cases,
V promulgated pursuant to a legislative delegation, prevail over
constitutional rights? The answer should be obvious in the light
It has been likewise established that a violation of a of the aforecited cases. To accord supremacy to the foregoing
constitutional right divests the court of jurisdiction; and as a rules of the Court of Industrial Relations over basic human
consequence its judgment is null and void and confers no rights sheltered by the Constitution, is not only incompatible
rights. Relief from a criminal conviction secured at the sacrifice with the basic tenet of constitutional government that the
of constitutional liberties, may be obtained through habeas Constitution is superior to any statute or subordinate rules and
corpus proceedings even long after the finality of the judgment. regulations, but also does violence to natural reason and logic.
Thus, habeas corpus is the remedy to obtain the release of an The dominance and superiority of the constitutional right over
individual, who is convicted by final judgment through a forced the aforesaid Court of Industrial Relations procedural rule of
confession, which violated his constitutional right against self- necessity should be affirmed. Such a Court of Industrial
incrimination; 25 or who is denied the right to present evidence Relations rule as applied in this case does not implement or
in his defense as a deprivation of his liberty without due reinforce or strengthen the constitutional rights affected,' but
process of law, 26 even after the accused has already served instead constrict the same to the point of nullifying the
sentence for twenty-two years. 27 enjoyment thereof by the petitioning employees. Said Court of
Industrial Relations rule, promulgated as it was pursuant to a
Both the respondents Court of Industrial Relations and private mere legislative delegation, is unreasonable and therefore is
firm trenched upon these constitutional immunities of beyond the authority granted by the Constitution and the law. A
petitioners. Both failed to accord preference to such rights and period of five (5) days within which to file a motion for
aggravated the inhumanity to which the aggrieved workers reconsideration is too short, especially for the aggrieved
claimed they had been subjected by the municipal police. workers, who usually do not have the ready funds to meet the
Having violated these basic human rights of the laborers, the necessary expenses therefor. In case of the Court of Appeals
Court of Industrial Relations ousted itself of jurisdiction and the and the Supreme Court, a period of fifteen (15) days has been
questioned orders it issued in the instant case are a nullity. fixed for the filing of the motion for re hearing or
Recognition and protection of such freedoms are imperative on reconsideration (See. 10, Rule 51; Sec. 1, Rule 52; Sec. 1,
all public offices including the courts 28 as well as private Rule 56, Revised Rules of Court). The delay in the filing of the
citizens and corporations, the exercise and enjoyment of which motion for reconsideration could have been only one day if
must not be nullified by mere procedural rule promulgated by September 28, 1969 was not a Sunday. This fact accentuates
the Court Industrial Relations exercising a purely delegate the unreasonableness of the Court of Industrial are concerned.
legislative power, when even a law enacted by Congress must
yield to the untrammelled enjoyment of these human rights. It should be stressed here that the motion for reconsideration
There is no time limit to the exercise of the freedoms. The right dated September 27, 1969, is based on the ground that the
to enjoy them is not exhausted by the delivery of one speech, order sought to be reconsidered "is not in accordance with law,
the printing of one article or the staging of one demonstration. evidence and facts adduced during the hearing," and likewise
It is a continuing immunity to be invoked and exercised when prays for an extension of ten (10) days within which to file
exigent and expedient whenever there are errors to be arguments pursuant to Sections 15, 16 and 17 of the Rules of
rectified, abuses to be denounced, inhumanities to be the Court of Industrial Relations (Annex "G", pp. 57-60, rec.);
condemned. Otherwise these guarantees in the Bill of Rights although the arguments were actually filed by the herein
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

petitioners on October 14, 1969 (Annex "I", pp. 70-73, rec.), return of this case to the lower court for the sole purpose of
long after the 10-day period required for the filing of such pursuing the ordinary course of an appeal. (Emphasis
supporting arguments counted from the filing of the motion for supplied). 30-d
reconsideration. Herein petitioners received only on October
28, 1969 the resolution dated October 9, 1969 dismissing the Insistence on the application of the questioned Court industrial
motion for reconsideration for being pro forma since it was filed Relations rule in this particular case at bar would an
beyond the reglementary period (Annex "J", pp. 74-75, rec.) unreasoning adherence to "Procedural niceties" which denies
justice to the herein laborers, whose basic human freedoms,
It is true that We ruled in several cases that where a motion to including the right to survive, must be according supremacy
reconsider is filed out of time, or where the arguments in suppf over the property rights of their employer firm which has been
such motion are filed beyond the 10 day reglementary period given a full hearing on this case, especially when, as in the
provided for by the Court of Industrial Relations rules, the order case at bar, no actual material damage has be demonstrated
or decision subject of 29-a reconsideration becomes final and as having been inflicted on its property rights.
unappealable. But in all these cases, the constitutional rights of
free expression, free assembly and petition were not involved. If We can disregard our own rules when justice requires it,
obedience to the Constitution renders more imperative the
It is a procedural rule that generally all causes of action and suspension of a Court of Industrial Relations rule that clash
defenses presently available must be specifically raised in the with the human rights sanctioned and shielded with resolution
complaint or answer; so that any cause of action or defense concern by the specific guarantees outlined in the organic law.
not raised in such pleadings, is deemed waived. However, a It should be stressed that the application in the instant case
constitutional issue can be raised any time, even for the first Section 15 of the Court of Industrial Relations rules relied upon
time on appeal, if it appears that the determination of the by herein respondent firm is unreasonable and therefore such
constitutional issue is necessary to a decision of the case, the application becomes unconstitutional as it subverts the human
very lis mota of the case without the resolution of which no final rights of petitioning labor union and workers in the light of the
and complete determination of the dispute can be made. 30 It is peculiar facts and circumstances revealed by the record.
thus seen that a procedural rule of Congress or of the
Supreme Court gives way to a constitutional right. In the The suspension of the application of Section 15 of the Court of
instant case, the procedural rule of the Court of Industrial Industrial Relations rules with reference to the case at is also
Relations, a creature of Congress, must likewise yield to the authorized by Section 20 of Commonwealth Act No. 103, the
constitutional rights invoked by herein petitioners even before C.I.R. charter, which enjoins the Court of Industrial Relations to
the institution of the unfair labor practice charged against them "act according to justice and equity and substantial merits of
and in their defense to the said charge. the case, without regard to technicalities or legal forms ..."

In the case at bar, enforcement of the basic human freedoms On several occasions, We emphasized this doctrine which was
sheltered no less by the organic law, is a most compelling re-stated by Mr. Justice Barredo, speaking for the Court, in the
reason to deny application of a Court of Industrial Relations 1970 case of Kapisanan, etc. vs. Hamilton, etc., et. al., 30-
rule which impinges on such human rights. 30-a e thus:

It is an accepted principle that the Supreme Court has the As to the point that the evidence being offered by the
inherent power to "suspend its own rules or to except a petitioners in the motion for new trial is not "newly discovered,"
particular case from its operation, whenever the purposes of as such term is understood in the rules of procedure for the
justice require." 30-b Mr. Justice Barredo in his concurring ordinary courts, We hold that such criterion is not binding upon
opinion in Estrada vs. Sto. Domingo. 30-c reiterated this the Court of Industrial Relations. Under Section 20 of
principle and added that Commonwealth Act No. 103, 'The Court of Industrial Relations
shall adopt its, rules or procedure and shall have such other
Under this authority, this Court is enabled to cove with all powers as generally pertain to a court of justice: Provided,
situations without concerning itself about procedural niceties however, That in the hearing, investigation and determination
that do not square with the need to do justice, in any case, of any question or controversy and in exercising any duties and
without further loss of time, provided that the right of the power under this Act, the Court shall act according to justice
parties to a full day in court is not substantially impaired. Thus, and equity and substantial merits of the case, without regard to
this Court may treat an appeal as a certiorari and vice-versa. technicalities or legal forms and shall not be bound by any
In other words, when all the material facts are spread in the technical rules of legal evidence but may inform its mind in
records before Us, and all the parties have been duly heard, it such manner as it may deem just and equitable.' By this
matters little that the error of the court a quo is of judgment or provision the industrial court is disengaged from the rigidity of
of jurisdiction. We can then and there render the appropriate the technicalities applicable to ordinary courts. Said court is
judgment. Is within the contemplation of this doctrine that as it not even restricted to the specific relief demanded by the
is perfectly legal and within the power of this Court to strike parties but may issue such orders as may be deemed
down in an appeal acts without or in excess of jurisdiction or necessary or expedient for the purpose of settling the dispute
committed with grave abuse of discretion, it cannot be beyond or dispelling any doubts that may give rise to future disputes.
the admit of its authority, in appropriate cases, to reverse in a (Ang Tibay v. C.I.R., G.R. No. 46496, Feb. 17, 1940; Manila
certain proceed in any error of judgment of a court a quo which Trading & Supply Co. v. Phil. Labor, 71 Phil. 124.) For these
cannot be exactly categorized as a flaw of jurisdiction. If there reasons, We believe that this provision is ample enough to
can be any doubt, which I do not entertain, on whether or not have enabled the respondent court to consider whether or not
the errors this Court has found in the decision of the Court of its previous ruling that petitioners constitute a minority was
Appeals are short of being jurisdiction nullities or excesses, founded on fact, without regard to the technical meaning of
this Court would still be on firm legal grounds should it choose newly discovered evidence. ... (Alonso v. Villamor, 16 Phil. 315;
to reverse said decision here and now even if such errors can Chua Kiong v. Whitaker, 46 Phil. 578). (emphasis supplied.)
be considered as mere mistakes of judgment or only as faults
in the exercise of jurisdiction, so as to avoid the unnecessary
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

To apply Section 15 of the Court of Industrial Relations rules shifts reported for work on March 4, 1969 and that, as a
with "pedantic rigor" in the instant case is to rule in effect that consequence, the firm continued in operation that day and did
the poor workers, who can ill-afford an alert competent lawyer, not sustain any damage.
can no longer seek the sanctuary of human freedoms secured
to them by the fundamental law, simply because their counsel The appropriate penalty if it deserves any penalty at all
erroneously believing that he received a copy of the should have been simply to charge said one-day absence
decision on September 23, 1969, instead of September 22, against their vacation or sick leave. But to dismiss the eight (8)
1969 - filed his motion for reconsideration September 29, 1969, leaders of the petitioner Union is a most cruel penalty, since as
which practically is only one day late considering that aforestated the Union leaders depend on their wages for their
September 28, 1969 was a Sunday. daily sustenance as well as that of their respective families
aside from the fact that it is a lethal blow to unionism, while at
Many a time, this Court deviated from procedure technicalities the same time strengthening the oppressive hand of the petty
when they ceased to be instruments of justice, for the tyrants in the localities.
attainment of which such rules have been devised.
Summarizing the jurisprudence on this score, Mr. Justice Mr. Justice Douglas articulated this pointed reminder:
Fernando, speaking for a unanimous Court in Palma vs.
Oreta, 30-f Stated: The challenge to our liberties comes frequently not from those
who consciously seek to destroy our system of Government,
As was so aptly expressed by Justice Moreland in Alonso v. but from men of goodwill good men who allow their proper
Villamor (16 Phil. 315 [1910]. The Villamor decision was cited concerns to blind them to the fact that what they propose to
with approval in Register of Deeds v. Phil. Nat. Bank, 84 Phil. accomplish involves an impairment of liberty.
600 [1949]; Potenciano v. Court of Appeals, 104 Phil. 156
[1958] and Uy v. Uy, 14243, June 30, 1961, 2 SCRA 675.), ... The Motives of these men are often commendable. What we
decided as far back as 1910, "technicality. when it deserts its must remember, however, is that preservation of liberties does
proper-office as an aid to justice and becomes its great not depend on motives. A suppression of liberty has the same
hindrance and chief enemy, deserves scant consideration from effect whether the suppress or be a reformer or an outlaw. The
courts." (Ibid., p, 322.) To that norm, this Court has remained only protection against misguided zeal is a constant alertness
committed. The late Justice Recto in Blanco v. Bernabe, (63 of the infractions of the guarantees of liberty contained in our
Phil. 124 [1936]) was of a similar mind. For him the Constitution. Each surrender of liberty to the demands of the
interpretation of procedural rule should never "sacrifice the moment makes easier another, larger surrender. The battle
ends justice." While "procedural laws are no other than over the Bill of Rights is a never ending one.
technicalities" view them in their entirety, 'they were adopted
not as ends themselves for the compliance with which courts
... The liberties of any person are the liberties of all of us.
have organized and function, but as means conducive to the
realization the administration of the law and of justice (Ibid.,
p.,128). We have remained steadfastly opposed, in the highly ... In short, the Liberties of none are safe unless the liberties of
rhetorical language Justice Felix, to "a sacrifice of substantial all are protected.
rights of a litigant in altar of sophisticated technicalities with
impairment of the sacred principles of justice." (Potenciano v. ... But even if we should sense no danger to our own liberties,
Court of Appeals, 104 Phil. 156, 161 [1958]). As succinctly put even if we feel secure because we belong to a group that is
by Justice Makalintal, they "should give way to the realities of important and respected, we must recognize that our Bill of
the situation." (Urbayan v. Caltex, L-15379, Aug. 31, 1962, 5 Rights is a code of fair play for the less fortunate that we in all
SCRA 1016, 1019). In the latest decision in point promulgated honor and good conscience must be observe. 31
in 1968, (Udan v. Amon, (1968, 23 SCRA citing McEntee v.
Manotok, L-14968, Oct. 27, 1961, 3 SCRA 272.) Justice The case at bar is worse.
Zaldivar was partial to an earlier formulation of Justice
Labrador that rules of procedure "are not to be applied in a Management has shown not only lack of good-will or good
very rigid, technical sense"; but are intended "to help secure intention, but a complete lack of sympathetic understanding of
substantial justice." (Ibid., p. 843) ... 30-g the plight of its laborers who claim that they are being
subjected to indignities by the local police, It was more
Even if the questioned Court of Industrial Relations orders and expedient for the firm to conserve its income or profits than to
rule were to be given effect, the dismissal or termination of the assist its employees in their fight for their freedoms and
employment of the petitioning eight (8) leaders of the Union is security against alleged petty tyrannies of local police officers.
harsh for a one-day absence from work. The respondent Court This is sheer opportunism. Such opportunism and expediency
itself recognized the severity of such a sanction when it did not resorted to by the respondent company assaulted the
include the dismissal of the other 393 employees who are immunities and welfare of its employees. It was pure and
members of the same Union and who participated in the implement selfishness, if not greed.
demonstration against the Pasig police. As a matter of fact,
upon the intercession of the Secretary of Labor, the Union Of happy relevance is the 1967 case of Republic Savings
members who are not officers, were not dismissed and only Bank vs. C.I.R., 32 where the petitioner Bank dismissed eight
the Union itself and its thirteen (13) officers were specifically (8) employees for having written and published "a patently
named as respondents in the unfair labor practice charge filed libelous letter ... to the Bank president demanding his
against them by the firm (pp. 16-20, respondent's Brief; resignation on the grounds of immorality, nepotism in the
Annexes "A", "B" and "C", pp. 20-30, rec.). Counsel for appointment and favoritism as well as discrimination in the
respondent firm insinuates that not all the 400 or so employee promotion of bank employees." Therein, thru Mr. Justice
participated in the demonstration, for which reason only the Castro, We ruled:
Union and its thirteen (13) officers were specifically named in
the unfair labor practice charge (p. 20, respondent's brief). If
It will avail the Bank none to gloat over this admission of the
that were so, then many, if not all, of the morning and regular
respondents. Assuming that the latter acted in their individual
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

capacities when they wrote the letter-charge they were Makalintal, C.J, took no part.
nonetheless protected for they were engaged in concerted
activity, in the exercise of their right of self organization that Separate Opinions
includes concerted activity for mutual aid and protection,
(Section 3 of the Industrial Peace Act ...) This is the view of BARREDO, J., dissenting:
some members of this Court. For, as has been aptly
stated, the joining in protests or demands, even by a small
I bow in respectful and sincere admiration, but my sense of
group of employees, if in furtherance of their interests as such,
duty compels me to dissent.
is a concerted activity protected by the Industrial Peace Act. It
is not necessary that union activity be involved or that
collective bargaining be contemplated. (Annot., 6 A.L.R. 2d 416 The background of this case may be found principally in the
[1949]). stipulation of facts upon which the decision under review is
based. It is as follows:
xxx xxx xxx
1. That complainant Philippine Blooming Mills, Company, Inc.,
is a corporation existing and operating under and by virtue of
Instead of stifling criticism, the Bank should have allowed the the laws of the Philippines with corporate address at 666
respondents to air their grievances. Muelle de Binondo, Manila, which is the employer of
respondent;
2. That Philippine Blooming Mills Employees Organization
xxx xxx xxx PBMEO for short, is a legitimate labor organization, and the
respondents herein are either officers of respondent PBMEO or
members thereof;
The Bank defends its action by invoking its right to discipline 3. That on March 2, 1969 complainant company learned of the
for what it calls the respondents' libel in giving undue publicity projected mass demonstration at Malacaang in protest
to their letter-charge. To be sure, the right of self-organization against alleged abuses of the Pasig Police Department to be
participated by the first shift (6:00 AM 2:00 PM workers as
of employees is not unlimited (Republic Aviation Corp. vs. well as those working in the regular shifts (7:00 A.M. to 4:00
NLRB 324 U.S. 793 [1945]), as the right of the employer to PM and 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM in the morning of March 4, 1969;
discharge for cause (Philippine Education Co. v. Union of Phil. 4. That a meeting was called by the Company on March 3,
1969 at about 11:00 A.M. at the Company's canteen, and
Educ. Employees, L-13773, April 29, 1960) is undenied. The
those present were: for the Company: (1) Mr. Arthur L. Ang,
Industrial Peace Act does not touch the normal exercise of the (2) Atty. Cesareo S. de Leon, Jr. (3) and all department and
right of the employer to select his employees or to discharge section heads. For the PBMEO (1) Florencio Padrigano, (2)
them. It is directed solely against the abuse of that right by Rufino Roxas, (3) Mariano de Leon, (4) Asencion Paciente, (5)
Bonifacio Vacuna and (6) Benjamin Pagcu.
interfering with the countervailing right of self organization 5. That the Company asked the union panel to confirm or
(Phelps Dodge Corp. v. NLRB 313 U.S. 177 [1941])... deny said projected mass demonstration at Malacaang on
March 4, 1969. PBMEO thru Benjamin Pagcu who acted as the
spokesman of the union panel, confirmed the planned
xxx xxx xxx demonstration and stated that the demonstration or rally
cannot be cancelled because it has already been agreed upon
In the final sum and substance, this Court is in unanimity that in the meeting. Pagcu explained further that the
demonstration has nothing to do with the Company because
the Bank's conduct, identified as an interference with the the union has no quarrel or dispute with Management;
employees' right of self-organization or as a retaliatory 6. That Management, thru Atty. C.S. de Leon, Company
action, and/or as a refusal to bargain collectively, constituted personnel manager, informed PBMEO that the demonstration
an unfair labor practice within the meaning and intendment of is an inalienable right of the union guaranteed by the
Constitution but emphasized, however, that any
section 4(a) of the Industrial Peace Act. (Emphasis supplied.) 33 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
If free expression was accorded recognition and protection to
representatives that workers who belong to the first and
fortify labor unionism in the Republic Savings case, supra, regular shifts, who without previous leave of absence
where the complaint assailed the morality and integrity of the approved by the Company, particularly the officers present
bank president no less, such recognition and protection for free who are the organizers of the demonstration, who shall fail to
report for work the following morning (March 4, 1969) shall be
speech, free assembly and right to petition are rendered all the dismissed, because such failure is a violation of the existing
more justifiable and more imperative in the case at bar, where CBA and, therefore, would be amounting to an illegal strike;
the mass demonstration was not against the company nor any 7. That at about 5:00 P.M. on March 3, 1969, another meeting
of its officers. was convoked. Company represented by Atty. C.S. de Leon, Jr.
The Union panel was composed of: Nicanor Tolentino, Rodulfo
Munsod, Benjamin Pagcu and Florencio Padrigano. In this
WHEREFORE, judgement is hereby rendered: afternoon meeting of March 3, 1969, Company reiterated and
appealed to the PBMEO representatives that while all workers
may join the Malacaang demonstration, the workers for the
(1) setting aside as null and void the orders of the respondent first and regular shift of March 4, 1969 should be excused
Court of Industrial Relations dated September 15 and October from joining the demonstration and should report for work;
and thus utilize the workers in the 2nd and 3rd shifts in order
9, 1969; and
not to violate the provisions of the CBA, particularly Article
XXIV "NO LOCKOUT NO STRIKE". All those who will not
(2) directing the re instatement of the herein eight (8) follow this warning of the Company shall be dismissed; De
Leon reiterated the Company's warning that the officers shall
petitioners, with full back pay from the date of their separation
be primarily liable being the organizers of the mass
from the service until re instated, minus one day's pay and demonstration. The union panel countered that it was rather
whatever earnings they might have realized from other sources too late to change their plans inasmuch as the Malacaang
during their separation from the service. demonstration will be held the following morning; and
8. That a certain Mr. Wilfredo Ariston, adviser of PBMEO sent a
cablegram to the Company which was received 9:50 A.M.,
With costs against private respondent Philippine Blooming March 4, 1969, the contents of which are as follows:
Company, Inc. 'REITERATING REQUEST EXCUSE DAY SHIFT EMPLOYEES
JOINING DEMONSTRATION MARCH 4, 1969.
Additionally, the trial court found that "the projected
Zaldivar, Castro, Fernando and Esguerra, JJ., concur. demonstration did in fact occur and in the process paralyzed to
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

a large extent the operations of the complainant company". (p. August 6, 1963. Petitioner received a copy of the decision of
5, Annex F). the then Associate Judge Arsenio I. Martinez, the dispositive
part of which was set forth earlier in this opinion.
August 12, 1963. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration.
Upon these facts the Prosecution Division of the Court of No arguments were advanced in support thereof.
Industrial Relations filed with said court a complaint for Unfair August 21, 1963. Petitioner moved for additional time to file
its arguments in support of its motion to reconsider.
Labor Practice against petitioners charging that: . August 27, 1963. Petitioner filed its arguments in support of
its aforesaid motion seeking reconsideration.
September 16, 1963. CIR en banc resolved to dismiss the
3. That on March 4, 1969, respondents (petitioners herein)
motion for reconsideration. Ground therefor was that the
particularly those in the first shift, in violation of the existing arguments were filed out of time.
collective bargaining agreement and without filing the October 3, 1963. Petitioner filed its notice of appeal and at the
necessary notice as provided for by law, failed to report for same time lodged the present petition with this Court.
Upon respondent Perlado's return and petitioner's brief
work, amounting to a declaration of strike; (respondents did not file their brief), the case is now before us
for resolution.
4. That the above acts are in violation of Section 4(a) 1. That the judgment appealed from is a final judgment not
merely an interlocutory order there is no doubt. The fact
subparagraph 6, in relation to Sections 13, 14 and 15 of that there is need for computation of respondent Perlado's
Republic Act No. 875, and of the collective bargaining overtime pay would not render the decision incomplete. This
agreement. (Pars. 3 and 4, Annex C.) in effect is the holding of the Court in Pan American World
Airways System (Philippines) vs. Pan American Employees
Association, which runs thus: 'It is next contended that in
After due hearing, the court rendered judgment, the dispositive ordering the Chief of the Examining Division or his
part of which read's: representative to compute the compensation due, the
Industrial Court unduly delegated its judicial functions and
thereby rendered an incomplete decision. We do not believe
IN VIEW HEREOF, the respondent Philippine Blooming Mills so. Computation of the overtime pay involves a mechanical
Employees Organization is found guilty of bargaining in bad function, at most. And the report would still have to be
submitted to the Industrial Court for its approval, by the very
faith and is hereby ordered to cease and desist from further
terms of the order itself. That there was no specification of the
committing the same and its representatives namely: amount of overtime pay in the decision did not make it
respondent Florencio Padrigano, Rufino Roxas, Mariano de incomplete, since this matter should necessarily be made
Leon, Asencion Paciente, Bonifacio Vacuna, Benjamin Pagcu, clear enough in the implementation of the decision (see
Malate Taxicab & Garage, Inc. vs. CIR, et al.,
Nicanor Tolentino and Rodulfo Monsod who are directly L-8718, May 11, 1956).
responsible for perpetrating this unfair labor practice act, are 2. But has that judgment reached the stage of finality in the
hereby considered to have lost their status as employees of sense that it can no longer, be disturbed?
the Philippine Blooming Mills, Inc. (p. 8, Annex F.) CIR Rules of Procedure, as amended, and the jurisprudence of
this Court both answer the question in the affirmative.
Section 15 of the CIR Rules requires that one who seeks to
Although it is alleged in the petition herein that petitioners were reconsider the judgment of the trial judge must do so within
five (5) days from the date on which he received notice of the
notified of this decision on September 23, 1969, there seems
decision, subject of the motion. Next follows Section 16 which
to be no serious question that they were actually served says that the motion must be submitted with arguments
therewith on September 22, 1969. In fact, petitioners admitted supporting the same. But if said arguments could not be
this date of notice in paragraph 2 of their Petition for Relief submitted simultaneously with the motion, the same section
commands the 'the movant shall file the same within ten (10)
dated October 30, 1969 and filed with the industrial court on days from the date of the filing of his motion for
the following day. (See Annex K.) reconsideration.' Section 17 of the same rules admonishes a
movant that "(f)ailure to observe the above-specified periods
shall be sufficient cause for dismissal of the motion for
It is not controverted that it was only on September 29, 1969, reconsideration or striking out of the answer and/or the
or seven (7) days after they were notified of the court's supporting arguments, as the case may be".
decision, that petitioners filed their motion for reconsideration Not that the foregoing rules stand alone. Jurisprudence has
with the industrial court; as it is also not disputed that they filed since stabilized the enforceability thereof. Thus, in Bien vs.
Castillo, (97 Phil. 956) we ruled that where a pro forma motion
their "Arguments in Support of the Respondents' Motion for for reconsideration was filed out of time its denial is in order
Reconsideration" only on October 14, 1969. (See Annex I.) In pursuant to CIR rules, regardless of whether the arguments in
other words, petitioners' motion for reconsideration was filed support of said motion were or were not filed on time.
Pangasinan Employees Laborers & Tenants Association (PELTA)
two (2) days after the lapse of the five (5) day period provided
vs. Martinez, (L-13846, May 20, 1960) pronounced that where
for the filing thereof in the rules of the Court of Industrial a motion to reconsider is filed out of time, the order or
Relations, whereas the "Arguments" were filed five (5) days decision subject of reconsideration comes final. And so also,
after the expiration of the period therefor also specified in the where the arguments in support of the motion for
reconsideration are filed beyond the ten-day reglementary
same rules. period, the pre forma motion for reconsideration although
seasonably filed must nevertheless be denied. This in essence
Accordingly, the first issue that confronts the Court is the one is our ruling in Local 7, Press & Printing Free Workers (FFW)
vs. Tabigne. The teaching in Luzon Stevedoring Co., Inc. vs.
raised by respondent private firm, namely, that in view of the Court of Industrial Relations, is that where the motion for
failure of petitioners to file not only their motion for reconsideration is denied upon the ground that the arguments
reconsideration but also their arguments in support thereof in support thereof were filed out of time, the order or decision
within the periods respectively fixed in the rules therefor, the subject of the motion becomes "final and unappealable".
We find no difficulty in applying the foregoing rules and
Court of Industrial Relations acted correctly and within the law pronouncements of this Court in the case before us. On
in rendering and issuing its impugned order of October 9, 1969 August 6, petitioner received a copy of the judgment of Judge
dismissing petitioners' motion for reconsideration. Arsenio I. Martinez aforesaid. Petitioner's motion to reconsider
without arguments in support thereof of August 12 was
filed on time. For, August 11, the end of the five-day
Respondent's contention presents no problem. Squarely reglementary period to file a motion for reconsideration, was a
applicable to the facts hereof is the decision of this Court Sunday. But, actually, the written arguments in support of the
said motion were submitted to the court on August 27. The
in Elizalde & Co. Inc. vs. Court of Industrial Relations 1 wherein period from August 12 to August 27, is a space of fifteen (15)
it was ruled that: days. Surely enough, said arguments were filed out of time
five (5) days late. And the judgment had become final.
3. There is, of course, petitioner's motion of August 21, 1963
seeking extension of time within which to present its
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

arguments in support of its motion. Counsel in his petition proposition that "relief from a criminal conviction secured at the
before this Court pleads that the foregoing motion was sacrifice of constitutional liberties, may be obtained through
grounded on the 'extremely busy and difficult schedule of
counsel which would not enable him to do so within the stated habeas corpus proceedings even after the finality of the
ten-day reglementary period. The arguments were only filed judgment". And, of course, Chavez is correct; as is also Abriol
on August 27 five (5) days late, as aforesaid. vs. Homeres 2 which, in principle, served as its precedent, for
The foregoing circumstances will not avail petitioner any. It is
the very simple reason that in both of those cases, the accused
to be noted that the motion for expansion of time was filed
only on August 21, that is, one day before the due date which were denied due process. In Chavez, the accused was
is August 22. It was petitioner's duty to see to it that the court compelled to testify against himself as a witness for the
act on this motion forthwith or at least inquire as to the fate prosecution; in Abriol, the accused was denied his request to
thereof not later than the 22nd of August. It did not. It merely
filed its arguments on the 27th.
be allowed to present evidence to establish his defense after
To be underscored at this point is that "obviously to speed up his demurrer to the People's evidence was denied.
the disposition of cases", CIR "has a standing rule against the
extension of the ten-day period for filing supporting
arguments". That no-extension policy should have placed As may be seen, however, the constitutional issues involved in
petitioner on guard. It should not have simply folded its arms, those cases are a far cry from the one now before Us. Here,
sit by supinely and relied on the court's generosity. To petitioners do not claim they were denied due process. Nor do
compound petitioner's neglect, it filed the arguments only on they pretend that in denying their motion for reconsideration,
August 27, 1953, knowing full well that by that time the
reglementary period had expired. "the respondent Court of Industrial Relations and private firm
Petitioner cannot complain against CIR's ruling of September trenched upon any of their constitutional immunities ...,"
16, 1963 dismissing the motion for reconsideration on the contrary to the statement to such effect in the main opinion.
ground that the supporting arguments were filed out of time.
Indeed, neither in the petition herein nor in any of the other
That ruling in effect denied the motion for extension.
We rule that CIR's judgment has become final and pleading of petitioners can any direct or indirect assertion be
unappealable. We may not review the same. found assailing the impugned decision of the respondent court
Notwithstanding this unequivocal and unmistakable precedent, as being null and void because it sanctioned a denial of a
which has not been in any way modified, much less revoked or valued constitutional liberty.
reversed by this Court, the main opinion has chosen not only to
go into the merits of petitioners' pose that the respondent court In their petition, petitioners state the issue for Our resolution as
erred in holding them guilty of bargaining in bad faith but also follows:
to ultimately uphold petitioners' claim for reinstatement on
constitutional grounds.
Petitioners herein humbly submit that the issue to be resolved
is whether or not the respondent Court en banc under the
Precisely because the conclusions of the main opinion are facts and circumstances, should consider the Motion for
Reconsideration filed by your petitioners.
predicated on an exposition of the constitutional guarantees of
Petitioners, therefore, in filing this petition for a writ of
freedoms of speech and peaceful assembly for redress of certiorari, humbly beg this Honorable Court to treat this
grievances, so scholarly and masterful that it is bound to petition under Rule 43 and 65 of the Rules of Court.
overwhelm Us unless We note carefully the real issues in this xxx xxx xxx
The basic issue therefore is the application by the Court en
case, I am constrained, over and above my sincere admiration banc of the strict and narrow technical rules of procedure
for the eloquence and zeal of Mr. Justice Makasiar's brilliant without taking into account justice, equity and substantial
dissertation, to dutifully state that as presented by petitioners merits of the case.
themselves and in the light of its attendant circumstances, this On the other hand, the complete argument submitted by
petitioners on this point in their brief runs thus:
case does not call for the resolution of any constitutional issue. III
Admittedly, the invocation of any constitutional guarantee, ISSUES
particularly when it directly affects individual freedoms 1. Does the refusal to heed a warning in the exercise of a
fundamental right to peaceably assemble and petition the
enshrined in the bill of rights, deserves the closest attention of
government for redress of grievances constitute bargaining in
this Court. It is my understanding of constitutional law and bad faith? and,
judicial practices related thereto, however, that even the most Do the facts found by the court below justify the declaration
valuable of our constitutional rights may be protected by the and conclusion that the union was guilty of bargaining in bad
faith meriting the dismissal of the persons allegedly
courts only when their jurisdiction over the subject matter is responsible therefore?
unquestionably established and the applicable rules of 2. Was there grave abuse of discretion when the respondent
procedure consistent with substantive and procedural due court refused to act one way or another on the petition for
process are observed. No doubt no constitutional right can be relief from the resolution of October 9, 1969?
IV
sacrificed in the altar of procedural technicalities, very often ARGUMENT
fittingly downgraded as niceties but as far as I know, this The respondent Court erred in finding the petition union guilty
principle is applied to annul or set aside final judgments only in of bargaining in bad faith and consequently dismissing the
persons allegedly responsible therefor, because such
cases wherein there is a possible denial of due process. I have
conclusion is country to the evidence on record; that the
not come across any instance, and none is mentioned or cited dismissal of leaders was discriminatory.
in the well-documented main opinion, wherein a final and As a result of exercising the constitutional rights of freedom to
executory judgment has been invalidated and set aside upon assemble and petition the duly constituted authorities for
redress of their grievances, the petitioners were charged and
the ground that the same has the effect of sanctioning the then condemned of bargaining in bad faith.
violation of a constitutional right, unless such violation amounts The findings that petitioners were guilty of bargaining in bad
to a denial of due process. faith were not borne out by the records. It was not even
alleged nor proven by evidence. What has been alleged and
which the respondent company tried to prove was that the
Without support from any provision of the constitution or any demonstration amounted to a strike and hence, a violation of
law or from any judicial precedent or reason of principle, the the provisions of the "no-lockout no strike" clause of the
main opinion nudely and unqualifiedly asserts, as if it were collective bargaining agreement. However, this allegation and
proof submitted by the respondent company were practically
universally established and accepted as an absolute rule, that resolved when the respondent court in the same decision
the violation of a constitutional right divests the court of stated categorically:
jurisdiction; and as a consequence its judgment is null and void 'The company alleges that the walkout because of the
demonstration is tantamount to a declaration of a strike. We
and confers no rights". Chavez vs. Court of Appeals, 24 SCRA
do not think so, as the same is not rooted in any industrial
663, which is mentioned almost in passing, does uphold the dispute although there is a concerted act and the occurrence
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

of a temporary stoppage of work.' (Emphasis supplied, p. 4, should have been absolved of the charges against them.
5th paragraph, Decision.) Nevertheless, the same respondent court disregarding, its
The respondent court's findings that the petitioner union own findings, went out of bounds by declaring the petitioners
bargained in bad faith is not tenable because: as having "bargained in faith." The stand of the respondent
First, it has not been alleged nor proven by the respondent court is fallacious, as it follows the principle in logic as "non-
company; . siquitor";
Second, before the demonstration, the petitioner union and 2) That again respondents wanted to impress that the
the respondent company convened twice in a meeting to freedom to assemble peaceably to air grievances against the
thresh out the matter of demonstration. Petitioners requested duly constituted authorities as guaranteed in our Constitution
that the employees and workers be excused but the is subject to the limitation of the agreement in the Collective
respondent company instead of granting the request or even Bargaining Agreement. The fundamental rights of the
settling the matter so that the hours of work will not be petitioners to free speech and assembly is paramount to the
disrupted, immediately threatened the employees of mass provision in the Collective Bargaining Agreement and such
dismissal; attempt to override the constitutional provision would be null
Third, the refusal of the petitioner union to grant the request and void. These fundamental rights of the petitioners were not
of the company that the first shift shall be excluded in the taken into consideration in the deliberation of the case by the
demonstration is not tantamount to bargaining in bad faith respondent court;
because the company knew that the officers of the union Thus, it is clear from the foregoing contentions that petitioners
belonged to the first shift, and that the union cannot go and are not raising any issue of due process. They do not posit that
lead the demonstration without their officers. It must be
stated that the company intends to prohibit its officers to lead the decision of the industrial court is null and void on that
and join the demonstration because most of them belonged to constitutional ground. True it is that they fault the respondent
the first shift; and court for having priced the provisions of the collective
Fourth, the findings of the respondent court that the
bargaining agreement herein involved over and above their
demonstration if allowed will practically give the union the
right to change the working conditions agreed in the CBA is a constitutional right to peaceably assemble and petition for
conclusion of facts, opinionated and not borne by any redress of their grievances against the abuses of the Pasig
evidence on record. The demonstration did not practically police, but in no sense at all do they allege or contend that
change the terms or conditions of employment because it was
only for one (1) day and the company knew about it before it
such action affects its jurisdiction in a manner that renders the
went through. We can even say that it was the company who proceedings a nullity. In other words, petitioners themselves
bargained in bad faith, when upon representation of the consider the alleged flaw in the court's action as a mere error
Bureau of Labor not to dismiss the employees demonstrating, of judgment rather than that of jurisdiction which the main
the company tacitly approved the same and yet while the
demonstration was in progress, the company filed a ULP opinion projects. For this Court to roundly and indignantly
Charge and consequently dismissed those who participated. condemn private respondent now for the grievous violation of
Records of the case show that more or less 400 members of the fundamental law the main opinion sees in its refusal to
the union participated in the demonstration and yet, the
allow all its workers to join the demonstration in question, when
respondent court selected the eight officers to be dismissed
from the union thus losing their status as employees of the that specific issue has not been duly presented to Us and
respondent company. The respondent court should have taken properly argued, is to my mind unfair and unjust, for the simple
into account that the company's action in allowing the return reason that the manner this case was brought to Us does not
of more or less three hundred ninety two (392)
employees/members of the union is an act of condonation and
afford it the opportunity to be heard in regard to such supposed
the dismissal of the eight (8) officers is an act of constitutional transgression.
discrimination (Phil. Air Lines Inc., vs. Phil. Air Lines
Employees Association, G.R. No. L-8197, Oct. 31, 1958).
Seemingly, from the opinion stated in the decision by the To be sure, petitioners do maintain, that respondent court
court, while there is a collective bargaining agreement, the committed an error of jurisdiction by finding petitioners guilty of
union cannot go on demonstration or go on strike because it bargaining in bad faith when the charge against them alleged
will change the terms and conditions of employment agreed in in the complaint was for having conducted a mass
the CBA. It follows that the CBA is over and above the
constitutional rights of a man to demonstrate and the demonstration, which "amounted to a strike", in violation of the
statutory rights of a union to strike as provided for in Republic Collective Bargaining Agreement, but definitely, this
Act 875. This creates a bad precedent because it will appear jurisdictional question has no constitutional color. Indeed, We
that the rights of the union is solely dependent upon the CBA.
can even assume for the sake of argument, that the trial judge
One of the cardinal primary rights which must be respected in
proceedings before the Court of Industrial Relations is that did err in not giving preferential importance to the fundamental
"the decision must be rendered on the evidence presented at freedoms invoked by the petitioners over the management and
the hearing, or at least contained in the record and disclosed proprietary attributes claimed by the respondent private firm
to the parties affected." (Interstate Commerce Commission vs.
L & N R. Co., 227 U.S. 88, 33 S. Ct. 185, 57 Law ed. 431.) Only still, We cannot rightly hold that such disregard of petitioners'
by confining the administrative tribunal to the evidence priceless liberties divested His Honor of jurisdiction in the
disclosed to the parties, can the latter be protected in their premises. The unbending doctrine of this Court is that
rights to know and meet the case against them. (Ang Tibay "decisions, erroneous or not, become final after the period
vs. CIR, G.R. No. L-45496, February 27, 1940.)
The petitioners respectfully and humbly submit that there is fixed by law; litigations would be endless, no questions would
no scintilla of evidence to support the findings of the be finally settled; and titles to property would become
respondent court that the petitioner union bargained in bad precarious if the losing party were allowed to reopen them at
faith. Corollary therefore, the dismissal of the individual
any time in the future". 3
petitioners is without basis either in fact or in law.
Additionally, in their reply they also argued that:
I only have to add to this that the fact that the error is in the
1) That respondent court's finding that petitioners have been interpretation, construction or application of a constitutional
guilty of bargaining in bad faith and consequently lost their precept not constituting a denial of due process, should not
status as employees of the respondent company did not meet make any difference. Juridically, a party cannot be less injured
the meaning and comprehension of "substantial merits of the
case." Bargaining in bad faith has not been alleged in the by an overlooked or erroneously sanctioned violation of an
complaint (Annex "C", Petition) nor proven during the hearing ordinary statute than by a misconstrued or constitutional
of the can. The important and substantial merit of the case is injunction affecting his individual, freedoms. In both instances,
whether under the facts and circumstances alleged in there is injustice which should be intolerable were it not for the
respondent company's pleadings, the demonstration done by
the petitioners amounted to on "illegal strike" and therefore in more paramount considerations that inform the principle of
violation of the "no strike no lock out" clause of the immutability of final judgments. I dare say this must be the
Collective Bargaining Agreement. Petitioners respectfully reason why, as I have already noted, the main opinion does
reiterate and humbly submit, that the respondent court had
not cite any constitutional provision, law or rule or any judicial
altogether opined and decided that such demonstration does
not amount to a strike. Hence, with that findings, petitioners doctrine or principle supporting its basic holding that
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

infringement of constitutional guarantees, other than denial of as changeable as the members themselves are changed, I
due process, divests courts of jurisdiction to render valid cannot conceive of anything more pernicious and destructive to
judgments. a trustful administration of justice than the idea that, even
without any showing of denial of due process or want of
In this connection, it must be recalled that the teaching of jurisdiction of the court, a final and executory judgment of such
Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities vs. court may still be set aside or reopened in instances other than
Secretary of Education, 4 following Santiago vs. Far Eastern those expressly allowed by Rule 38 and that of extrinsic fraud
Broadcasting, 5 is that "it is one of our (the Supreme Court's) under Article 1146(1) of the Civil Code. 7 And just to emphasize
decisional practices that unless a constitutional point is the policy of the law of respecting judgments once they have
specifically raised, insisted upon and adequately argued, the become final, even as this Court has ruled that final decisions
court will not consider it". In the case at bar, the petitioners are mute in the presence of fraud which the law abhors, 8 it is
have not raised, they are not insisting upon, much less have only when the fraud is extrinsic and not intrinsic that final and
they adequately argued the constitutional issues so extendedly executory judgments may be set aside, 9 and this only when
and ably discussed in the main opinion. the remedy is sought within the prescriptive period. 10

Indeed, it does not seem wise and sound for the Supreme Apropos here is the following passage in Li Kim Those vs. Go
Court to hold that the erroneous resolution by a court of a Sin Kaw, 82 Phil. 776:
constitutional issue not amounting to a denial of due process
renders its judgment or decision null and void, and, therefore, Litigation must end and terminate sometime and somewhere,
subject to attack even after said judgment or decision has and it is essential to an effective and efficient administration
of justice that once a judgment has become final, the winning
become final and executory. I have actually tried to bring party be not, through a mere subterfuge, deprived of the
myself into agreement with the views of the distinguished and fruits of the verdict. Courts must therefore guard against any
learned writer of the main opinion, if only to avoid dissenting scheme calculated to bring about that result. Constituted as
they are to put an end to controversies, courts should frown
from his well prepared thesis, but its obvious incongruity with
upon any attempt to prolong them.
settled jurisprudence always comes to the fore to stifle my Likewise the stern admonition of Justice George Malcolm in Dy
effort. Cay v. Crossfield, 38 Phil. 521, thus:
... Public policy and sound practice demand that, at the risk of
occasional errors, judgments of courts should become final at
As a matter of fact, for a moment, it appeared to me as if I some definite date fixed by law. The very object for which
could go along with petitioners under the authority of our courts were instituted was to put an end to controversies. To
constitutionally irreducible appellate jurisdiction under Section fulfill this purpose and to do so speedily, certain time limits,
more or less arbitrary, have to be set up to spur on the
2(5) of Article VII of the Philippines 6 (reenacted slothful. 'If a vacillating, irresolute judge were allowed to thus
practically ipssisimis verbis in Section 5(2) of the 1973 keep causes ever within his power, to determine and
Constitution), only to realize upon further reflection that the redetermine them term after term, to bandy his judgments
very power granted to us to review decisions of lower courts about from one party to the other, and to change his
conclusions as freely and as capriciously as a chamelon may
involving questions of law(and these include constitutional change its hues, then litigation might become more
issues not affecting the validity of statutes, treaty, executive intolerable than the wrongs it is intended to redress.' (See
agreement, etc.) is not unqualified but has to be exercised only Arnedo vs. Llorente and Liongson (1911), 18 Phil., 257.).
in the manner provided in the law of the Rules of Court. In My disagreement with the dissenters in Republic vs. Judge de
other words, before We can exercise appellate jurisdiction over los Angeles, L-26112, October 4, 1971, 41 SCRA 422, was not
constitutional issues, no matter how important they may be, as to the unalterability and invulnerability of final judgments but
there must first be a showing of compliance with the applicable rather on the correct interpretation of the contents of the
procedural law or rules, among them, those governing appeals judgment in question therein. Relevantly to this case at bar, I
from the Court of Industrial Relations involved herein. said then:
Consequently, if by law or rule, a judgment of the industrial
court is already final and executory, this Court would be devoid The point of res adjudicata discussed in the dissents has not
escaped my attention. Neither am I overlooking the point of
of power and authority to review, much less alter or modify the the Chief Justice regarding the dangerous and inimical
same, absent any denial of due process or fatal defect of implications of a ruling that would authorize the revision,
jurisdiction. It must be borne in mind that the situation amendment or alteration of a final and executory judgment. I
confronting Us now is not merely whether or not We should want to emphasize that my position in this opinion does not
detract a whit from the soundness, authority and binding force
pass upon a question or issue not specifically raised by the of existing doctrines enjoining any such modifications. The
party concerned, which, to be sure, could be enough reason to public policy of maintaining faith and respect in judicial
dissuade Us from taking pains in resolving the same; rather, decisions, which inform said doctrines, is admittedly of the
highest order. I am not advocating any departure from them.
the real problem here is whether or not We have jurisdiction to
Nor am I trying to put forth for execution a decision that I
entertain it. And, in this regard, as already stated earlier, no believe should have been rather than what it is. All I am doing
less than Justice Conrado Sanchez, the writer of is to view not the judgment of Judge Tengco but the decision
Chavez, supra., which is being relied upon by the main of this Court in G.R. No. L-20950, as it is and not as I believe it
should have been, and, by opinion, I would like to guide the
opinion, already laid down the precedent in Elizalde vs. court a quo as to what, in my own view, is the true and correct
Court, supra, which for its four-square applicability to the facts meaning and implications of decision of this Court, not that of
of this case, We have no choice but to follow, that is, that in Judge Tengco's.
view of reconsideration but even their argument supporting the The main opinion calls attention to many instant precisely
same within the prescribed period, "the judgment (against involving cases in the industrial court, wherein the Court
them)has become final, beyond recall". refused to be constrained by technical rules of procedure in its
determination to accord substantial justice to the parties I still
Indeed, when I consider that courts would be useless if the believe in those decisions, some of which were penned by me.
finality and enforceability of their judgments are made I am certain, however, that in none of those precedents did this
contingent on the correctness thereof from the constitutional Court disturb a judgment already final and executory. It too
standpoint, and that in truth, whether or not they are correct is obvious to require extended elucidation or even reference any
something that is always dependent upon combined opinion of precedent or authority that the principle of immutability of final
the members of the Supreme Court, which in turn is naturally judgments is not a mere technicality, and if it may considered
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

to be in a sense a procedural rule, it is one that is founded on In truth, such a pro-forma motion has to effect of just advising
public policy and cannot, therefore, yield to the ordinary plea the court and the other party that the movant does not agree
that it must give priority to substantial justice. with the judgment due to fundamental defects stated in brief
and general terms. Evidently, the purpose of this requirement
Apparently vent on looking for a constitutional point of due is to apprise everyone concerned within the shortest possible
process to hold on, the main opinion goes far as to maintain time that a reconsideration is to sought, and thereby enable the
that the long existing and constantly applied rule governing the parties concerned to make whatever adjustments may be
filing of motions for reconsideration in the Court of Industrial warranted by the situation, in the meanwhile that the litigation
Relations, "as applied in this case does not implement on is prolonged. It must borne in mind that cases in the industrial
reinforce or strengthen the constitutional rights affected, but court may involve affect the operation of vital industries in
instead constricts the same to the point of nullifying the which labor-management problems might require day-to-day
enjoyment thereof by the petitioning employees. Said Court on solutions and it is to the best interests of justice and concerned
Industrial Relations Rule, promulgated as it was pursuant to that the attitude of each party at every imports juncture of the
mere legislative delegation, is unreasonable and therefore is case be known to the other so that both avenues for earlier
beyond the authority granted by the Constitution and the law. A settlement may, if possible, be explored.
period of five (5) days within which to file a motion for
reconsideration is too short, especially for the aggrieve There can be no reason at all to complain that the time fixed by
workers, who usually do not have the ready funds to meet the the rule is short or inadequate. In fact, the motion filed
necessary expenses therefor. In case of the Court of Appeal petitioners was no more than the following:
and the Supreme Court, a period of fifteen (15) days has been
fixed for the filing of the motion for re-hearing or MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION
reconsideration (Sec. 10, Rule 51; Sec. 1, Rule 52; Sec. 1, COME NOW movant respondents, through counsel, to this
Honorable Court most respectfully moves for the
Rule 56, Revised Rules of Court). The delay in the filing of the
RECONSIDERATION of the Order of this Honorable Court dated
motion for reconsideration could have been only one day if September 17, 1969 on the ground that the same is not in
September 28, 1969 was not a Sunday. This fact accentuates accordance with law, evidence and facts adduced during the
the unreasonableness of the Court of Industrial Relations Rule hearing of the above entitled case.
Movant-respondents most respectfully move for leave to file
insofar as circumstances of the instant case are concerned." their respective arguments within ten (10) days pursuant to
Section 15, 16 & 17 as amended of the Rules of Court.
I am afraid the zeal and passion of these arguments do not WHEREFORE, it is respectfully prayed that this Motion for
Reconsideration be admitted.
justify the conclusion suggested. Viewed objectively, it can Manila, September 27, 1969.
readily be seen that there can hardly be any factual or logical To say that five (5) days is an unreasonable period for the
basis for such a critical view of the rule in question. Said rule filing of such a motion is to me simply incomprehensible.
provides: What worse in this case is that petitioners have not even
taken the trouble of giving an explanation of their inability to
comply with the rule. Not only that, petitioners were also late
MOTIONS FOR RECONSIDERATION five (5) days in filing their written arguments in support of
Sec. 15. The movant shall file the motion, in six their motion, and, the only excuse offered for such delay is
copies, within five (5) days from the date on which he that both the President of the Union and the office clerk who
receives notice of the order or decision, object of the took charge of the matter forgot to do what they were
motion for reconsideration, the same to be verified instructed to do by counsel, which, according to this Court, as
under oath with respect to the correctness of the I shall explain anon "is the most hackneyed and habitual
allegations of fact, and serving a copy thereof, subterfuge employed by litigants who fail to observe the
personally or by registered mail, on the adverse procedural requirements prescribed by the Rules of Court".
party. The latter may file an answer, in six (6) copies, (Philippine Airlines, Inc. vs. Arca, infra). And yet, very
duly verified under oath. indignantly, the main opinion would want the Court to
Sec. 16. Both the motion and the answer shall be overlook such nonchalance and indifference.
submitted with arguments supporting the same. If In this connection, I might add that in my considered opinion,
the arguments can not be submitted simultaneously the rules fixing periods for the finality of judgments are in a
with said motions, upon notice Court, the movant
shall file same within ten (10) days from the date of sense more substantive than procedural in their real nature, for
the filing of his motion for reconsideration. The in their operation they have the effect of either creating or
adverse party shall also file his answer within ten terminating rights pursuant to the terms of the particular
(10) days from the receipt by him of a copy of the judgment concerned. And the fact that the court that rendered
arguments submitted by the movant.
Sec. 17. After an answer to the motion is registered, such final judgment is deprived of jurisdiction or authority to
or after ten (10) days from the receipt of the alter or modify the same enhances such substantive character.
arguments in support of said motion having been Moreover, because they have the effect of terminating rights
filed, the motion shall be deemed submitted for
and the enforcement thereof, it may be said that said rules
resolution of the Court in banc, unless it is considered
necessary to bear oral arguments, in which case the partake of the nature also of rules of prescription, which again
Court shall issue the corresponding order or notice to are substantive. Now, the twin predicates of prescription are
that effect. inaction or abandonment and the passage of time or a
Failure to observe the above-specified periods shall
be sufficient cause for dismissal of the motion for prescribed period. On the other hand, procrastination or failure
reconsideration or striking out of the answer and/or to act on time is unquestionably a form of abandonment,
the supporting arguments, as the case may be. (As particularly when it is not or cannot be sufficiently explained.
amended April 20, 1951, Court of Industrial The most valuable right of a party may be lost by prescription,
Relations.).
As implemented and enforced in actual practice, this rule, as and be has no reason to complain because public policy
everyone acquainted with proceedings in the industrial court demands that rights must be asserted in time, as otherwise
well knows, precisely permits the party aggrieved by a they can be deemed waived.
judgment to file no more than a pro-forma motion for
reconsideration without any argument or lengthy discussion I see no justification whatsoever for not applying these self-
and with barely a brief statement of the fundamental ground or evident principles to the case of petitioners. Hence, I feel
grounds therefor, without prejudice to supplementing the same disinclined to adopt the suggestion that the Court suspend, for
by making the necessary exposition, with citations laws and the purposes of this case the rules aforequoted of the Court of
authorities, in the written arguments the be filed (10) days later. Industrial Relations. Besides, I have grave doubts as to
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

whether we can suspend rules of other courts, particularly that demonstration is an inalienable right of the union guaranteed'
is not under our supervisory jurisdiction, being administrative by the Constitution" and the union up to the day of the
agency under the Executive Department Withal, if, in order to demonstration pleaded by cablegram to the company to
hasten the administration of substance justice, this Court did excuse the first shift and allow it to join the demonstration in
exercise in some instances its re power to amend its rules, I accordance with their previous requests.
am positively certain, it has done it for the purpose of reviving a
case in which the judo has already become final and Neither could there be, in law, a willful violation of the collective
executory. bargaining agreement's "no-strike" clause as would warrant the
union leaders' dismissal, since as found by respondent court
Before closing, it may be mentioned here, that as averred their itself the mass demonstration was not a declaration of a strike,
petition, in a belated effort to salvage their Petitioners filed in there being no industrial dispute between the protagonists, but
the industrial court on October 31, 1969 a Petition for relief merely the occurrence of a temporary stoppage of work" to
alleging that their failure to file "Arguments in Support of their enable the workers to exercise their constitutional rights of free
Motion for Reconsideration within the reglementary period or expression, peaceable assembly and petition for redress of
five (5), if not seven (7), days late "was due to excusable grievance against alleged police excesses.
negligence and honest mistake committed by the President of
the respondent Union and on office clerk of the counsel for Respondent court's en banc resolution dismissing petitioners'
respondents as shown attested in their respective affidavits", motion for reconsideration for having been filed two days late,
(See Annexes K, and K-2) which in brief, consisted allegedly of after expiration of the reglementary five-day period fixed by its
the President's having forgotten his appointment with his rules, due to the negligence of petitioners' counsel and/or the
lawyer "despite previous instructions and of the said office union president should likewise be set aside as a manifest act
employee having also coincidentally forgotten "to do the work of grave abuse of discretion. Petitioners' petition for relief from
instructed (sic) to (him) by Atty. Osorio" because he "was busy the normal adverse consequences of the late filing of their
with clerical jobs". No sympathy at all can be evoked these motion for reconsideration due to such negligence which
allegations, for, under probably more justification was not acted upon by respondent court should have been
circumstances, this Court ruled out a similar explanation granted, considering the monstrous injustice that would
previous case this wise: otherwise be caused the petitioners through their summary
dismissal from employment, simply because they sought in
We find merit in PAL's petition. The excuse offered respondent good faith to exercise basic human rights guaranteed them by
Santos as reason for his failure to perfect in due time appeal the Constitution. It should be noted further that no proof of
from the judgment of the Municipal Court, that counsel's clerk
forgot to hand him the court notice, is the most hackneyed actual loss from the one-day stoppage of work was shown by
and habitual subterfuge employed by litigants who fail to respondent company, providing basis to the main opinion's
observe procedural requirements prescribed by the Rules of premise that its insistence on dismissal of the union leaders for
Court. The uncritical acceptance of this kind of common place
having included the first shift workers in the mass
excuses, in the face of the Supreme Court's repeated rulings
that they are neither credible nor constitutive of excusable demonstration against its wishes was but an act of arbitrary
negligence (Gaerlan vs. Bernal, L-4039, 29 January 1952; vindictiveness.
Mercado vs. Judge Domingo, L-19457, December 1966) is
certainly such whimsical exercise of judgment to be a grave
abuse of discretion. (Philippine Air Lines, Inc. Arca, 19 SCRA Only thus could the basic constitutional rights of the individual
300.) petitioners and the constitutional injunction to afford protection
For the reason, therefore, that the judgment of the industrial to labor be given true substance and meaning. No person may
court sought to be reviewed in the present case has already be deprived of such basic rights without due process which
become final and executory, nay, not without the fault of the is but "responsiveness to the supremacy of reason, obedience
petitioners, hence, no matter how erroneous from the to the dictates of justice. Negatively put, arbitrariness is ruled
constitutional viewpoint it may be, it is already beyond recall, I out and unfairness avoided ... Due process is thus hostile to
vote to dismiss this case, without pronouncement as to costs. any official action marred by lack of reasonableness. Correctly
it has been identified as freedom from arbitrariness." 2
TEEHANKEE, J., concurring:
Accordingly, I vote for the setting aside of the appealed orders
For having carried out a mass demonstration at Malacaang of the respondent court and concur in the judgment for
on March 4, 1969 in protest against alleged abuses of the petitioners as set forth in the main opinion.
Pasig police department, upon two days' prior notice to
respondent employer company, as against the latter's Separate Opinions
insistence that the first shift 1should not participate but instead
report for work, under pain of dismissal, the industrial court BARREDO, J., dissenting:
ordered the dismissal from employment of the eight individual
petitioners as union officers and organizers of the mass
I bow in respectful and sincere admiration, but my sense of
demonstration.
duty compels me to dissent.

Respondent court's order finding petitioner union guilty on


The background of this case may be found principally in the
respondent's complaint of bargaining in bad faith and unfair
stipulation of facts upon which the decision under review is
labor practice for having so carried out the mass
based. It is as follows:
demonstration, notwithstanding that it concededly was not a
declaration of strike nor directed in any manner against
1. That complainant Philippine Blooming Mills, Company, Inc.,
respondent employer, and ordering the dismissal of the union
is a corporation existing and operating under and by virtue of
office manifestly constituted grave abuse of discretion in fact the laws of the Philippines with corporate address at 666
and in law. Muelle de Binondo, Manila, which is the employer of
respondent;
2. That Philippine Blooming Mills Employees Organization
There could not be, in fact, bargaining in bad faith nor unfair PBMEO for short, is a legitimate labor organization, and the
labor practice since respondent firm conceded that "the
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

respondents herein are either officers of respondent PBMEO or Organization is found guilty of bargaining in
members thereof; bad faith and is hereby ordered to cease and
3. That on March 2, 1969 complainant company learned of the
projected mass demonstration at Malacaang in protest desist from further committing the same and
against alleged abuses of the Pasig Police Department to be its representatives namely: respondent
participated by the first shift (6:00 AM 2:00 PM workers as Florencio Padrigano, Rufino Roxas, Mariano
well as those working in the regular shifts (7:00 A.M. to 4:00
de Leon, Asencion Paciente, Bonifacio
PM and 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM in the morning of March 4, 1969;
4. That a meeting was called by the Company on March 3, Vacuna, Benjamin Pagcu, Nicanor Tolentino
1969 at about 11:00 A.M. at the Company's canteen, and and Rodulfo Monsod who are directly
those present were: for the Company: (1) Mr. Arthur L. Ang, responsible for perpetrating this unfair labor
(2) Atty. Cesareo S. de Leon, Jr. (3) and all department and
section heads. For the PBMEO (1) Florencio Padrigano, (2)
practice act, are hereby considered to have
Rufino Roxas, (3) Mariano de Leon, (4) Asencion Paciente, (5) lost their status as employees of the
Bonifacio Vacuna and (6) Benjamin Pagcu. Philippine Blooming Mills, Inc. (p. 8, Annex
5. That the Company asked the union panel to confirm or F.)
deny said projected mass demonstration at Malacaang on
March 4, 1969. PBMEO thru Benjamin Pagcu who acted as the
spokesman of the union panel, confirmed the planned Although it is alleged in the petition herein that petitioners were
demonstration and stated that the demonstration or rally notified of this decision on September 23, 1969, there seems
cannot be cancelled because it has already been agreed upon
in the meeting. Pagcu explained further that the to be no serious question that they were actually served
demonstration has nothing to do with the Company because therewith on September 22, 1969. In fact, petitioners admitted
the union has no quarrel or dispute with Management; this date of notice in paragraph 2 of their Petition for Relief
6. That Management, thru Atty. C.S. de Leon, Company
dated October 30, 1969 and filed with the industrial court on
personnel manager, informed PBMEO that the demonstration
is an inalienable right of the union guaranteed by the the following day. (See Annex K.)
Constitution but emphasized, however, that any
demonstration for that matter should not unduly prejudice the
normal operation of the Company. For which reason, the
It is not controverted that it was only on September 29, 1969,
Company, thru Atty. C.S. de Leon, warned the PBMEO or seven (7) days after they were notified of the court's
representatives that workers who belong to the first and decision, that petitioners filed their motion for reconsideration
regular shifts, who without previous leave of absence with the industrial court; as it is also not disputed that they filed
approved by the Company, particularly the officers present
who are the organizers of the demonstration, who shall fail to their "Arguments in Support of the Respondents' Motion for
report for work the following morning (March 4, 1969) shall be Reconsideration" only on October 14, 1969. (See Annex I.) In
dismissed, because such failure is a violation of the existing other words, petitioners' motion for reconsideration was filed
CBA and, therefore, would be amounting to an illegal strike;
two (2) days after the lapse of the five (5) day period provided
7. That at about 5:00 P.M. on March 3, 1969, another meeting
was convoked. Company represented by Atty. C.S. de Leon, Jr. for the filing thereof in the rules of the Court of Industrial
The Union panel was composed of: Nicanor Tolentino, Rodulfo Relations, whereas the "Arguments" were filed five (5) days
Munsod, Benjamin Pagcu and Florencio Padrigano. In this after the expiration of the period therefor also specified in the
afternoon meeting of March 3, 1969, Company reiterated and
appealed to the PBMEO representatives that while all workers
same rules.
may join the Malacaang demonstration, the workers for the
first and regular shift of March 4, 1969 should be excused Accordingly, the first issue that confronts the Court is the one
from joining the demonstration and should report for work;
and thus utilize the workers in the 2nd and 3rd shifts in order raised by respondent private firm, namely, that in view of the
not to violate the provisions of the CBA, particularly Article failure of petitioners to file not only their motion for
XXIV "NO LOCKOUT NO STRIKE". All those who will not reconsideration but also their arguments in support thereof
follow this warning of the Company shall be dismissed; De within the periods respectively fixed in the rules therefor, the
Leon reiterated the Company's warning that the officers shall
be primarily liable being the organizers of the mass Court of Industrial Relations acted correctly and within the law
demonstration. The union panel countered that it was rather in rendering and issuing its impugned order of October 9, 1969
too late to change their plans inasmuch as the Malacaang dismissing petitioners' motion for reconsideration.
demonstration will be held the following morning; and
8. That a certain Mr. Wilfredo Ariston, adviser of PBMEO sent a
cablegram to the Company which was received 9:50 A.M., Respondent's contention presents no problem. Squarely
March 4, 1969, the contents of which are as follows: applicable to the facts hereof is the decision of this Court
'REITERATING REQUEST EXCUSE DAY SHIFT EMPLOYEES
JOINING DEMONSTRATION MARCH 4, 1969.
in Elizalde & Co. Inc. vs. Court of Industrial Relations 1 wherein
Additionally, the trial court found that "the projected it was ruled that:
demonstration did in fact occur and in the process paralyzed to
a large extent the operations of the complainant company". (p. August 6, 1963. Petitioner received a copy of the decision of
the then Associate Judge Arsenio I. Martinez, the dispositive
5, Annex F).
part of which was set forth earlier in this opinion.
August 12, 1963. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration.
Upon these facts the Prosecution Division of the Court of No arguments were advanced in support thereof.
August 21, 1963. Petitioner moved for additional time to file
Industrial Relations filed with said court a complaint for Unfair
its arguments in support of its motion to reconsider.
Labor Practice against petitioners charging that: . August 27, 1963. Petitioner filed its arguments in support of
its aforesaid motion seeking reconsideration.
3. That on March 4, 1969, respondents (petitioners herein) September 16, 1963. CIR en banc resolved to dismiss the
particularly those in the first shift, in violation of the existing motion for reconsideration. Ground therefor was that the
collective bargaining agreement and without filing the arguments were filed out of time.
necessary notice as provided for by law, failed to report for October 3, 1963. Petitioner filed its notice of appeal and at the
work, amounting to a declaration of strike; same time lodged the present petition with this Court.
4. That the above acts are in violation of Section 4(a) Upon respondent Perlado's return and petitioner's brief
subparagraph 6, in relation to Sections 13, 14 and 15 of (respondents did not file their brief), the case is now before us
Republic Act No. 875, and of the collective bargaining for resolution.
agreement. (Pars. 3 and 4, Annex C.) 1. That the judgment appealed from is a final judgment not
merely an interlocutory order there is no doubt. The fact
After due hearing, the court rendered judgment, the dispositive that there is need for computation of respondent Perlado's
part of which read's: overtime pay would not render the decision incomplete. This
in effect is the holding of the Court in Pan American World
Airways System (Philippines) vs. Pan American Employees
IN VIEW HEREOF, the respondent Association, which runs thus: 'It is next contended that in
Philippine Blooming Mills Employees ordering the Chief of the Examining Division or his
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

representative to compute the compensation due, the ground that the supporting arguments were filed out of time.
Industrial Court unduly delegated its judicial functions and That ruling in effect denied the motion for extension.
thereby rendered an incomplete decision. We do not believe We rule that CIR's judgment has become final and
so. Computation of the overtime pay involves a mechanical unappealable. We may not review the same.
function, at most. And the report would still have to be Notwithstanding this unequivocal and unmistakable precedent,
submitted to the Industrial Court for its approval, by the very which has not been in any way modified, much less revoked or
terms of the order itself. That there was no specification of the
amount of overtime pay in the decision did not make it reversed by this Court, the main opinion has chosen not only to
incomplete, since this matter should necessarily be made go into the merits of petitioners' pose that the respondent court
clear enough in the implementation of the decision (see erred in holding them guilty of bargaining in bad faith but also
Malate Taxicab & Garage, Inc. vs. CIR, et al.,
to ultimately uphold petitioners' claim for reinstatement on
L-8718, May 11, 1956).
2. But has that judgment reached the stage of finality in the constitutional grounds.
sense that it can no longer, be disturbed?
CIR Rules of Procedure, as amended, and the jurisprudence of
Precisely because the conclusions of the main opinion are
this Court both answer the question in the affirmative.
Section 15 of the CIR Rules requires that one who seeks to predicated on an exposition of the constitutional guarantees of
reconsider the judgment of the trial judge must do so within freedoms of speech and peaceful assembly for redress of
five (5) days from the date on which he received notice of the grievances, so scholarly and masterful that it is bound to
decision, subject of the motion. Next follows Section 16 which
says that the motion must be submitted with arguments overwhelm Us unless We note carefully the real issues in this
supporting the same. But if said arguments could not be case, I am constrained, over and above my sincere admiration
submitted simultaneously with the motion, the same section for the eloquence and zeal of Mr. Justice Makasiar's brilliant
commands the 'the movant shall file the same within ten (10) dissertation, to dutifully state that as presented by petitioners
days from the date of the filing of his motion for
reconsideration.' Section 17 of the same rules admonishes a themselves and in the light of its attendant circumstances, this
movant that "(f)ailure to observe the above-specified periods case does not call for the resolution of any constitutional issue.
shall be sufficient cause for dismissal of the motion for Admittedly, the invocation of any constitutional guarantee,
reconsideration or striking out of the answer and/or the
particularly when it directly affects individual freedoms
supporting arguments, as the case may be".
Not that the foregoing rules stand alone. Jurisprudence has enshrined in the bill of rights, deserves the closest attention of
since stabilized the enforceability thereof. Thus, in Bien vs. this Court. It is my understanding of constitutional law and
Castillo, (97 Phil. 956) we ruled that where a pro forma motion judicial practices related thereto, however, that even the most
for reconsideration was filed out of time its denial is in order
pursuant to CIR rules, regardless of whether the arguments in valuable of our constitutional rights may be protected by the
support of said motion were or were not filed on time. courts only when their jurisdiction over the subject matter is
Pangasinan Employees Laborers & Tenants Association (PELTA) unquestionably established and the applicable rules of
vs. Martinez, (L-13846, May 20, 1960) pronounced that where procedure consistent with substantive and procedural due
a motion to reconsider is filed out of time, the order or
decision subject of reconsideration comes final. And so also, process are observed. No doubt no constitutional right can be
where the arguments in support of the motion for sacrificed in the altar of procedural technicalities, very often
reconsideration are filed beyond the ten-day reglementary fittingly downgraded as niceties but as far as I know, this
period, the pre forma motion for reconsideration although
principle is applied to annul or set aside final judgments only in
seasonably filed must nevertheless be denied. This in essence
is our ruling in Local 7, Press & Printing Free Workers (FFW) cases wherein there is a possible denial of due process. I have
vs. Tabigne. The teaching in Luzon Stevedoring Co., Inc. vs. not come across any instance, and none is mentioned or cited
Court of Industrial Relations, is that where the motion for in the well-documented main opinion, wherein a final and
reconsideration is denied upon the ground that the arguments
in support thereof were filed out of time, the order or decision executory judgment has been invalidated and set aside upon
subject of the motion becomes "final and unappealable". the ground that the same has the effect of sanctioning the
We find no difficulty in applying the foregoing rules and violation of a constitutional right, unless such violation amounts
pronouncements of this Court in the case before us. On to a denial of due process.
August 6, petitioner received a copy of the judgment of Judge
Arsenio I. Martinez aforesaid. Petitioner's motion to reconsider
without arguments in support thereof of August 12 was Without support from any provision of the constitution or any
filed on time. For, August 11, the end of the five-day
law or from any judicial precedent or reason of principle, the
reglementary period to file a motion for reconsideration, was a
Sunday. But, actually, the written arguments in support of the main opinion nudely and unqualifiedly asserts, as if it were
said motion were submitted to the court on August 27. The universally established and accepted as an absolute rule, that
period from August 12 to August 27, is a space of fifteen (15) the violation of a constitutional right divests the court of
days. Surely enough, said arguments were filed out of time
five (5) days late. And the judgment had become final.
jurisdiction; and as a consequence its judgment is null and void
3. There is, of course, petitioner's motion of August 21, 1963 and confers no rights". Chavez vs. Court of Appeals, 24 SCRA
seeking extension of time within which to present its 663, which is mentioned almost in passing, does uphold the
arguments in support of its motion. Counsel in his petition proposition that "relief from a criminal conviction secured at the
before this Court pleads that the foregoing motion was
grounded on the 'extremely busy and difficult schedule of sacrifice of constitutional liberties, may be obtained through
counsel which would not enable him to do so within the stated habeas corpus proceedings even after the finality of the
ten-day reglementary period. The arguments were only filed judgment". And, of course, Chavez is correct; as is also Abriol
on August 27 five (5) days late, as aforesaid.
vs. Homeres 2 which, in principle, served as its precedent, for
The foregoing circumstances will not avail petitioner any. It is
to be noted that the motion for expansion of time was filed the very simple reason that in both of those cases, the accused
only on August 21, that is, one day before the due date which were denied due process. In Chavez, the accused was
is August 22. It was petitioner's duty to see to it that the court compelled to testify against himself as a witness for the
act on this motion forthwith or at least inquire as to the fate
thereof not later than the 22nd of August. It did not. It merely
prosecution; in Abriol, the accused was denied his request to
filed its arguments on the 27th. be allowed to present evidence to establish his defense after
To be underscored at this point is that "obviously to speed up his demurrer to the People's evidence was denied.
the disposition of cases", CIR "has a standing rule against the
extension of the ten-day period for filing supporting
arguments". That no-extension policy should have placed As may be seen, however, the constitutional issues involved in
petitioner on guard. It should not have simply folded its arms, those cases are a far cry from the one now before Us. Here,
sit by supinely and relied on the court's generosity. To petitioners do not claim they were denied due process. Nor do
compound petitioner's neglect, it filed the arguments only on
August 27, 1953, knowing full well that by that time the they pretend that in denying their motion for reconsideration,
reglementary period had expired. "the respondent Court of Industrial Relations and private firm
Petitioner cannot complain against CIR's ruling of September trenched upon any of their constitutional immunities ...,"
16, 1963 dismissing the motion for reconsideration on the
contrary to the statement to such effect in the main opinion.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

Indeed, neither in the petition herein nor in any of the other Second, before the demonstration, the petitioner union and the
pleading of petitioners can any direct or indirect assertion be respondent company convened twice in a meeting to thresh
found assailing the impugned decision of the respondent court out the matter of demonstration. Petitioners requested that the
as being null and void because it sanctioned a denial of a employees and workers be excused but the respondent
valued constitutional liberty. company instead of granting the request or even settling the
matter so that the hours of work will not be disrupted,
In their petition, petitioners state the issue for Our resolution as immediately threatened the employees of mass dismissal;
follows:
Third, the refusal of the petitioner union to grant the request of
Petitioners herein humbly submit that the issue to be resolved the company that the first shift shall be excluded in the
is whether or not the respondent Court en banc under the demonstration is not tantamount to bargaining in bad faith
facts and circumstances, should consider the Motion for because the company knew that the officers of the union
Reconsideration filed by your petitioners.
Petitioners, therefore, in filing this petition for a writ of belonged to the first shift, and that the union cannot go and
certiorari, humbly beg this Honorable Court to treat this lead the demonstration without their officers. It must be stated
petition under Rule 43 and 65 of the Rules of Court. that the company intends to prohibit its officers to lead and join
xxx xxx xxx
the demonstration because most of them belonged to the first
The basic issue therefore is the application by the Court en
banc of the strict and narrow technical rules of procedure shift; and
without taking into account justice, equity and substantial
merits of the case.
On the other hand, the complete argument submitted by
Fourth, the findings of the respondent court that the
petitioners on this point in their brief runs thus: demonstration if allowed will practically give the union the right
III to change the working conditions agreed in the CBA is a
ISSUES conclusion of facts, opinionated and not borne by any evidence
1. Does the refusal to heed a warning in the exercise of a
fundamental right to peaceably assemble and petition the on record. The demonstration did not practically change the
government for redress of grievances constitute bargaining in terms or conditions of employment because it was only for one
bad faith? and, (1) day and the company knew about it before it went through.
Do the facts found by the court below justify the declaration
We can even say that it was the company who bargained in
and conclusion that the union was guilty of bargaining in bad
faith meriting the dismissal of the persons allegedly bad faith, when upon representation of the Bureau of Labor not
responsible therefore? to dismiss the employees demonstrating, the company tacitly
2. Was there grave abuse of discretion when the respondent approved the same and yet while the demonstration was in
court refused to act one way or another on the petition for
relief from the resolution of October 9, 1969?
progress, the company filed a ULP Charge and consequently
IV dismissed those who participated.

ARGUMENT Records of the case show that more or less 400 members of
the union participated in the demonstration and yet, the
respondent court selected the eight officers to be dismissed
The respondent Court erred in finding the petition union guilty
from the union thus losing their status as employees of the
of bargaining in bad faith and consequently dismissing the
respondent company. The respondent court should have taken
persons allegedly responsible therefor, because such
into account that the company's action in allowing the return of
conclusion is country to the evidence on record; that the
more or less three hundred ninety two (392)
dismissal of leaders was discriminatory.
employees/members of the union is an act of condonation and
the dismissal of the eight (8) officers is an act of discrimination
As a result of exercising the constitutional rights of freedom to
(Phil. Air Lines Inc., vs. Phil. Air Lines Employees Association,
assemble and petition the duly constituted authorities for
G.R. No. L-8197, Oct. 31, 1958). Seemingly, from the opinion
redress of their grievances, the petitioners were charged and
stated in the decision by the court, while there is a collective
then condemned of bargaining in bad faith.
bargaining agreement, the union cannot go on demonstration
or go on strike because it will change the terms and conditions
The findings that petitioners were guilty of bargaining in bad of employment agreed in the CBA. It follows that the CBA is
faith were not borne out by the records. It was not even alleged over and above the constitutional rights of a man to
nor proven by evidence. What has been alleged and which the demonstrate and the statutory rights of a union to strike as
respondent company tried to prove was that the demonstration provided for in Republic Act 875. This creates a bad precedent
amounted to a strike and hence, a violation of the provisions of because it will appear that the rights of the union is solely
the "no-lockout no strike" clause of the collective bargaining dependent upon the CBA.
agreement. However, this allegation and proof submitted by
the respondent company were practically resolved when the
One of the cardinal primary rights which must be respected in
respondent court in the same decision stated categorically:
proceedings before the Court of Industrial Relations is that "the
decision must be rendered on the evidence presented at the
'The company alleges that the walkout because of the hearing, or at least contained in the record and disclosed to the
demonstration is tantamount to a declaration of a strike. We do parties affected." (Interstate Commerce Commission vs. L & N
not think so, as the same is not rooted in any industrial dispute R. Co., 227 U.S. 88, 33 S. Ct. 185, 57 Law ed. 431.) Only by
although there is a concerted act and the occurrence of a confining the administrative tribunal to the evidence disclosed
temporary stoppage of work.' (Emphasis supplied, p. 4, 5th to the parties, can the latter be protected in their rights to know
paragraph, Decision.) and meet the case against them. (Ang Tibay vs. CIR, G.R. No.
L-45496, February 27, 1940.)
The respondent court's findings that the petitioner union
bargained in bad faith is not tenable because: The petitioners respectfully and humbly submit that there is no
scintilla of evidence to support the findings of the respondent
First, it has not been alleged nor proven by the respondent court that the petitioner union bargained in bad faith. Corollary
company; . therefore, the dismissal of the individual petitioners is without
basis either in fact or in law.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

Additionally, in their reply they also argued that: still, We cannot rightly hold that such disregard of petitioners'
priceless liberties divested His Honor of jurisdiction in the
1) That respondent court's finding that petitioners have been premises. The unbending doctrine of this Court is that
guilty of bargaining in bad faith and consequently lost their "decisions, erroneous or not, become final after the period
status as employees of the respondent company did not meet fixed by law; litigations would be endless, no questions would
the meaning and comprehension of "substantial merits of the be finally settled; and titles to property would become
case." Bargaining in bad faith has not been alleged in the precarious if the losing party were allowed to reopen them at
complaint (Annex "C", Petition) nor proven during the hearing any time in the future". 3
of the can. The important and substantial merit of the case is
whether under the facts and circumstances alleged in I only have to add to this that the fact that the error is in the
respondent company's pleadings, the demonstration done by interpretation, construction or application of a constitutional
the petitioners amounted to on "illegal strike" and therefore in precept not constituting a denial of due process, should not
violation of the "no strike no lock out" clause of the make any difference. Juridically, a party cannot be less injured
Collective Bargaining Agreement. Petitioners respectfully by an overlooked or erroneously sanctioned violation of an
reiterate and humbly submit, that the respondent court had ordinary statute than by a misconstrued or constitutional
altogether opined and decided that such demonstration does injunction affecting his individual, freedoms. In both instances,
not amount to a strike. Hence, with that findings, petitioners there is injustice which should be intolerable were it not for the
should have been absolved of the charges against them. more paramount considerations that inform the principle of
Nevertheless, the same respondent court disregarding, its own immutability of final judgments. I dare say this must be the
findings, went out of bounds by declaring the petitioners as reason why, as I have already noted, the main opinion does
having "bargained in faith." The stand of the respondent court not cite any constitutional provision, law or rule or any judicial
is fallacious, as it follows the principle in logic as "non-siquitor"; doctrine or principle supporting its basic holding that
infringement of constitutional guarantees, other than denial of
2) That again respondents wanted to impress that the freedom due process, divests courts of jurisdiction to render valid
to assemble peaceably to air grievances against the duly judgments.
constituted authorities as guaranteed in our Constitution is
subject to the limitation of the agreement in the Collective In this connection, it must be recalled that the teaching of
Bargaining Agreement. The fundamental rights of the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities vs.
petitioners to free speech and assembly is paramount to the Secretary of Education, 4 following Santiago vs. Far Eastern
provision in the Collective Bargaining Agreement and such Broadcasting, 5 is that "it is one of our (the Supreme Court's)
attempt to override the constitutional provision would be null decisional practices that unless a constitutional point is
and void. These fundamental rights of the petitioners were not specifically raised, insisted upon and adequately argued, the
taken into consideration in the deliberation of the case by the court will not consider it". In the case at bar, the petitioners
respondent court; have not raised, they are not insisting upon, much less have
they adequately argued the constitutional issues so extendedly
Thus, it is clear from the foregoing contentions that petitioners and ably discussed in the main opinion.
are not raising any issue of due process. They do not posit that
the decision of the industrial court is null and void on that Indeed, it does not seem wise and sound for the Supreme
constitutional ground. True it is that they fault the respondent Court to hold that the erroneous resolution by a court of a
court for having priced the provisions of the collective constitutional issue not amounting to a denial of due process
bargaining agreement herein involved over and above their renders its judgment or decision null and void, and, therefore,
constitutional right to peaceably assemble and petition for subject to attack even after said judgment or decision has
redress of their grievances against the abuses of the Pasig become final and executory. I have actually tried to bring
police, but in no sense at all do they allege or contend that myself into agreement with the views of the distinguished and
such action affects its jurisdiction in a manner that renders the learned writer of the main opinion, if only to avoid dissenting
proceedings a nullity. In other words, petitioners themselves from his well prepared thesis, but its obvious incongruity with
consider the alleged flaw in the court's action as a mere error settled jurisprudence always comes to the fore to stifle my
of judgment rather than that of jurisdiction which the main effort.
opinion projects. For this Court to roundly and indignantly
condemn private respondent now for the grievous violation of As a matter of fact, for a moment, it appeared to me as if I
the fundamental law the main opinion sees in its refusal to could go along with petitioners under the authority of our
allow all its workers to join the demonstration in question, when constitutionally irreducible appellate jurisdiction under Section
that specific issue has not been duly presented to Us and 2(5) of Article VII of the Philippines 6 (reenacted
properly argued, is to my mind unfair and unjust, for the simple practically ipssisimis verbis in Section 5(2) of the 1973
reason that the manner this case was brought to Us does not Constitution), only to realize upon further reflection that the
afford it the opportunity to be heard in regard to such supposed very power granted to us to review decisions of lower courts
constitutional transgression. involving questions of law(and these include constitutional
issues not affecting the validity of statutes, treaty, executive
To be sure, petitioners do maintain, that respondent court agreement, etc.) is not unqualified but has to be exercised only
committed an error of jurisdiction by finding petitioners guilty of in the manner provided in the law of the Rules of Court. In
bargaining in bad faith when the charge against them alleged other words, before We can exercise appellate jurisdiction over
in the complaint was for having conducted a mass constitutional issues, no matter how important they may be,
demonstration, which "amounted to a strike", in violation of the there must first be a showing of compliance with the applicable
Collective Bargaining Agreement, but definitely, this procedural law or rules, among them, those governing appeals
jurisdictional question has no constitutional color. Indeed, We from the Court of Industrial Relations involved herein.
can even assume for the sake of argument, that the trial judge Consequently, if by law or rule, a judgment of the industrial
did err in not giving preferential importance to the fundamental court is already final and executory, this Court would be devoid
freedoms invoked by the petitioners over the management and of power and authority to review, much less alter or modify the
proprietary attributes claimed by the respondent private firm same, absent any denial of due process or fatal defect of
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

jurisdiction. It must be borne in mind that the situation L-26112, October 4, 1971, 41 SCRA 422, was not as to the
confronting Us now is not merely whether or not We should unalterability and invulnerability of final judgments but rather on
pass upon a question or issue not specifically raised by the the correct interpretation of the contents of the judgment in
party concerned, which, to be sure, could be enough reason to question therein. Relevantly to this case at bar, I said then:
dissuade Us from taking pains in resolving the same; rather,
the real problem here is whether or not We have jurisdiction to The point of res adjudicata discussed in the dissents has not
entertain it. And, in this regard, as already stated earlier, no escaped my attention. Neither am I overlooking the point of the
less than Justice Conrado Sanchez, the writer of Chief Justice regarding the dangerous and inimical implications
Chavez, supra., which is being relied upon by the main of a ruling that would authorize the revision, amendment or
opinion, already laid down the precedent in Elizalde vs. alteration of a final and executory judgment. I want to
Court, supra, which for its four-square applicability to the facts emphasize that my position in this opinion does not detract a
of this case, We have no choice but to follow, that is, that in whit from the soundness, authority and binding force of existing
view of reconsideration but even their argument supporting the doctrines enjoining any such modifications. The public policy of
same within the prescribed period, "the judgment (against maintaining faith and respect in judicial decisions, which inform
them)has become final, beyond recall". said doctrines, is admittedly of the highest order. I am not
advocating any departure from them. Nor am I trying to put
Indeed, when I consider that courts would be useless if the forth for execution a decision that I believe should have been
finality and enforceability of their judgments are made rather than what it is. All I am doing is to view not the judgment
contingent on the correctness thereof from the constitutional of Judge Tengco but the decision of this Court in G.R. No. L-
standpoint, and that in truth, whether or not they are correct is 20950, as it is and not as I believe it should have been, and, by
something that is always dependent upon combined opinion of opinion, I would like to guide the court a quo as to what, in my
the members of the Supreme Court, which in turn is naturally own view, is the true and correct meaning and implications of
as changeable as the members themselves are changed, I decision of this Court, not that of Judge Tengco's.
cannot conceive of anything more pernicious and destructive to
a trustful administration of justice than the idea that, even The main opinion calls attention to many instant precisely
without any showing of denial of due process or want of involving cases in the industrial court, wherein the Court
jurisdiction of the court, a final and executory judgment of such refused to be constrained by technical rules of procedure in its
court may still be set aside or reopened in instances other than determination to accord substantial justice to the parties I still
those expressly allowed by Rule 38 and that of extrinsic fraud believe in those decisions, some of which were penned by me.
under Article 1146(1) of the Civil Code. 7 And just to emphasize I am certain, however, that in none of those precedents did this
the policy of the law of respecting judgments once they have Court disturb a judgment already final and executory. It too
become final, even as this Court has ruled that final decisions obvious to require extended elucidation or even reference any
are mute in the presence of fraud which the law abhors, 8 it is precedent or authority that the principle of immutability of final
only when the fraud is extrinsic and not intrinsic that final and judgments is not a mere technicality, and if it may considered
executory judgments may be set aside, 9 and this only when to be in a sense a procedural rule, it is one that is founded on
the remedy is sought within the prescriptive period. 10 public policy and cannot, therefore, yield to the ordinary plea
that it must give priority to substantial justice.
Apropos here is the following passage in Li Kim Those vs. Go
Sin Kaw, 82 Phil. 776: Apparently vent on looking for a constitutional point of due
process to hold on, the main opinion goes far as to maintain
Litigation must end and terminate sometime and somewhere, that the long existing and constantly applied rule governing the
and it is essential to an effective and efficient administration of filing of motions for reconsideration in the Court of Industrial
justice that once a judgment has become final, the winning Relations, "as applied in this case does not implement on
party be not, through a mere subterfuge, deprived of the fruits reinforce or strengthen the constitutional rights affected, but
of the verdict. Courts must therefore guard against any scheme instead constricts the same to the point of nullifying the
calculated to bring about that result. Constituted as they are to enjoyment thereof by the petitioning employees. Said Court on
put an end to controversies, courts should frown upon any Industrial Relations Rule, promulgated as it was pursuant to
attempt to prolong them. mere legislative delegation, is unreasonable and therefore is
beyond the authority granted by the Constitution and the law. A
Likewise the stern admonition of Justice George Malcolm in Dy period of five (5) days within which to file a motion for
Cay v. Crossfield, 38 Phil. 521, thus: reconsideration is too short, especially for the aggrieve
workers, who usually do not have the ready funds to meet the
... Public policy and sound practice demand that, at the risk of necessary expenses therefor. In case of the Court of Appeal
occasional errors, judgments of courts should become final at and the Supreme Court, a period of fifteen (15) days has been
some definite date fixed by law. The very object for which fixed for the filing of the motion for re-hearing or
courts were instituted was to put an end to controversies. To reconsideration (Sec. 10, Rule 51; Sec. 1, Rule 52; Sec. 1,
fulfill this purpose and to do so speedily, certain time limits, Rule 56, Revised Rules of Court). The delay in the filing of the
more or less arbitrary, have to be set up to spur on the slothful. motion for reconsideration could have been only one day if
'If a vacillating, irresolute judge were allowed to thus keep September 28, 1969 was not a Sunday. This fact accentuates
causes ever within his power, to determine and redetermine the unreasonableness of the Court of Industrial Relations Rule
them term after term, to bandy his judgments about from one insofar as circumstances of the instant case are concerned."
party to the other, and to change his conclusions as freely and
as capriciously as a chamelon may change its hues, then I am afraid the zeal and passion of these arguments do not
litigation might become more intolerable than the wrongs it is justify the conclusion suggested. Viewed objectively, it can
intended to redress.' (See Arnedo vs. Llorente and Liongson readily be seen that there can hardly be any factual or logical
(1911), 18 Phil., 257.). basis for such a critical view of the rule in question. Said rule
provides:
My disagreement with the dissenters in Republic vs. Judge de
los Angeles, MOTIONS FOR RECONSIDERATION
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

Sec. 15. The movant shall file the motion, in six copies, within Movant-respondents most respectfully move for leave to file
five (5) days from the date on which he receives notice of the their respective arguments within ten (10) days pursuant to
order or decision, object of the motion for reconsideration, the Section 15, 16 & 17 as amended of the Rules of Court.
same to be verified under oath with respect to the correctness
of the allegations of fact, and serving a copy thereof, WHEREFORE, it is respectfully prayed that this Motion for
personally or by registered mail, on the adverse party. The Reconsideration be admitted.
latter may file an answer, in six (6) copies, duly verified under
oath. Manila, September 27, 1969.

Sec. 16. Both the motion and the answer shall be submitted To say that five (5) days is an unreasonable period for the filing
with arguments supporting the same. If the arguments can not of such a motion is to me simply incomprehensible. What
be submitted simultaneously with said motions, upon notice worse in this case is that petitioners have not even taken the
Court, the movant shall file same within ten (10) days from the trouble of giving an explanation of their inability to comply with
date of the filing of his motion for reconsideration. The adverse the rule. Not only that, petitioners were also late five (5) days in
party shall also file his answer within ten (10) days from the filing their written arguments in support of their motion, and, the
receipt by him of a copy of the arguments submitted by the only excuse offered for such delay is that both the President of
movant. the Union and the office clerk who took charge of the matter
forgot to do what they were instructed to do by counsel, which,
Sec. 17. After an answer to the motion is registered, or after according to this Court, as I shall explain anon "is the most
ten (10) days from the receipt of the arguments in support of hackneyed and habitual subterfuge employed by litigants who
said motion having been filed, the motion shall be deemed fail to observe the procedural requirements prescribed by the
submitted for resolution of the Court in banc, unless it is Rules of Court". (Philippine Airlines, Inc. vs. Arca, infra). And
considered necessary to bear oral arguments, in which case yet, very indignantly, the main opinion would want the Court to
the Court shall issue the corresponding order or notice to that overlook such nonchalance and indifference.
effect.
In this connection, I might add that in my considered opinion,
Failure to observe the above-specified periods shall be the rules fixing periods for the finality of judgments are in a
sufficient cause for dismissal of the motion for reconsideration sense more substantive than procedural in their real nature, for
or striking out of the answer and/or the supporting arguments, in their operation they have the effect of either creating or
as the case may be. (As amended April 20, 1951, Court of terminating rights pursuant to the terms of the particular
Industrial Relations.). judgment concerned. And the fact that the court that rendered
such final judgment is deprived of jurisdiction or authority to
As implemented and enforced in actual practice, this rule, as alter or modify the same enhances such substantive character.
everyone acquainted with proceedings in the industrial court Moreover, because they have the effect of terminating rights
well knows, precisely permits the party aggrieved by a and the enforcement thereof, it may be said that said rules
judgment to file no more than a pro-forma motion for partake of the nature also of rules of prescription, which again
reconsideration without any argument or lengthy discussion are substantive. Now, the twin predicates of prescription are
and with barely a brief statement of the fundamental ground or inaction or abandonment and the passage of time or a
grounds therefor, without prejudice to supplementing the same prescribed period. On the other hand, procrastination or failure
by making the necessary exposition, with citations laws and to act on time is unquestionably a form of abandonment,
authorities, in the written arguments the be filed (10) days later. particularly when it is not or cannot be sufficiently explained.
In truth, such a pro-forma motion has to effect of just advising The most valuable right of a party may be lost by prescription,
the court and the other party that the movant does not agree and be has no reason to complain because public policy
with the judgment due to fundamental defects stated in brief demands that rights must be asserted in time, as otherwise
and general terms. Evidently, the purpose of this requirement they can be deemed waived.
is to apprise everyone concerned within the shortest possible
time that a reconsideration is to sought, and thereby enable the I see no justification whatsoever for not applying these self-
parties concerned to make whatever adjustments may be evident principles to the case of petitioners. Hence, I feel
warranted by the situation, in the meanwhile that the litigation disinclined to adopt the suggestion that the Court suspend, for
is prolonged. It must borne in mind that cases in the industrial the purposes of this case the rules aforequoted of the Court of
court may involve affect the operation of vital industries in Industrial Relations. Besides, I have grave doubts as to
which labor-management problems might require day-to-day whether we can suspend rules of other courts, particularly that
solutions and it is to the best interests of justice and concerned is not under our supervisory jurisdiction, being administrative
that the attitude of each party at every imports juncture of the agency under the Executive Department Withal, if, in order to
case be known to the other so that both avenues for earlier hasten the administration of substance justice, this Court did
settlement may, if possible, be explored. exercise in some instances its re power to amend its rules, I
am positively certain, it has done it for the purpose of reviving a
There can be no reason at all to complain that the time fixed by case in which the judo has already become final and
the rule is short or inadequate. In fact, the motion filed executory.
petitioners was no more than the following:
Before closing, it may be mentioned here, that as averred their
MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION petition, in a belated effort to salvage their Petitioners filed in
the industrial court on October 31, 1969 a Petition for relief
COME NOW movant respondents, through counsel, to this alleging that their failure to file "Arguments in Support of their
Honorable Court most respectfully moves for the Motion for Reconsideration within the reglementary period or
RECONSIDERATION of the Order of this Honorable Court five (5), if not seven (7), days late "was due to excusable
dated September 17, 1969 on the ground that the same is not negligence and honest mistake committed by the President of
in accordance with law, evidence and facts adduced during the the respondent Union and on office clerk of the counsel for
hearing of the above entitled case. respondents as shown attested in their respective affidavits",
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

(See Annexes K, and K-2) which in brief, consisted allegedly of Respondent court's en banc resolution dismissing petitioners'
the President's having forgotten his appointment with his motion for reconsideration for having been filed two days late,
lawyer "despite previous instructions and of the said office after expiration of the reglementary five-day period fixed by its
employee having also coincidentally forgotten "to do the work rules, due to the negligence of petitioners' counsel and/or the
instructed (sic) to (him) by Atty. Osorio" because he "was busy union president should likewise be set aside as a manifest act
with clerical jobs". No sympathy at all can be evoked these of grave abuse of discretion. Petitioners' petition for relief from
allegations, for, under probably more justification the normal adverse consequences of the late filing of their
circumstances, this Court ruled out a similar explanation motion for reconsideration due to such negligence which
previous case this wise: was not acted upon by respondent court should have been
granted, considering the monstrous injustice that would
We find merit in PAL's petition. The excuse offered respondent otherwise be caused the petitioners through their summary
Santos as reason for his failure to perfect in due time appeal dismissal from employment, simply because they sought in
from the judgment of the Municipal Court, that counsel's clerk good faith to exercise basic human rights guaranteed them by
forgot to hand him the court notice, is the most hackneyed and the Constitution. It should be noted further that no proof of
habitual subterfuge employed by litigants who fail to observe actual loss from the one-day stoppage of work was shown by
procedural requirements prescribed by the Rules of Court. The respondent company, providing basis to the main opinion's
uncritical acceptance of this kind of common place excuses, in premise that its insistence on dismissal of the union leaders for
the face of the Supreme Court's repeated rulings that they are having included the first shift workers in the mass
neither credible nor constitutive of excusable negligence demonstration against its wishes was but an act of arbitrary
(Gaerlan vs. Bernal, L-4039, 29 January 1952; Mercado vs. vindictiveness.
Judge Domingo, L-19457, December 1966) is certainly such
whimsical exercise of judgment to be a grave abuse of Only thus could the basic constitutional rights of the individual
discretion. (Philippine Air Lines, Inc. Arca, 19 SCRA 300.) petitioners and the constitutional injunction to afford protection
to labor be given true substance and meaning. No person may
For the reason, therefore, that the judgment of the industrial be deprived of such basic rights without due process which
court sought to be reviewed in the present case has already is but "responsiveness to the supremacy of reason, obedience
become final and executory, nay, not without the fault of the to the dictates of justice. Negatively put, arbitrariness is ruled
petitioners, hence, no matter how erroneous from the out and unfairness avoided ... Due process is thus hostile to
constitutional viewpoint it may be, it is already beyond recall, I any official action marred by lack of reasonableness. Correctly
vote to dismiss this case, without pronouncement as to costs. it has been identified as freedom from arbitrariness." 2

TEEHANKEE, J., concurring: Accordingly, I vote for the setting aside of the appealed orders
of the respondent court and concur in the judgment for
For having carried out a mass demonstration at Malacaang petitioners as set forth in the main opinion.
on March 4, 1969 in protest against alleged abuses of the
Pasig police department, upon two days' prior notice to Footnotes
1 L-7428, May 24, 1955.
respondent employer company, as against the latter's 2 American Com. vs. Douds, 339 U.S. 382, 421.
insistence that the first shift 1should not participate but instead 3 Justice Cardoso, Nature of Judicial Process, 90-93; Tanada
report for work, under pain of dismissal, the industrial court and Fernando, Constitution of the Philippines, 1952 ed., 71.
ordered the dismissal from employment of the eight individual 4 West Virginia State Board of Education vs. Barnette, 319
U.S. 624, 638, Emphasis supplied.
petitioners as union officers and organizers of the mass 5 Laski, The State in Theory and Practice, 35-36.
demonstration. 6 See Chafee on Freedom of Speech and Press, 1955, pp. 13-
14.
7 Justice Douglas, A Living Bill of Rights (1961), p. 64, cited by
Respondent court's order finding petitioner union guilty on Justice Castro in Chavez v. Court of Appeals, 24 SCRA, 663,
respondent's complaint of bargaining in bad faith and unfair 692.
labor practice for having so carried out the mass 8 March vs. Alabama, 326 U.S. 501, 509; Tucker vs. Texas, 326
U.S. 517, 519-520.
demonstration, notwithstanding that it concededly was not a 9 NACCP vs. Button (Jan. 14, 1963), 371 U.S. 415, 433, 9 L.
declaration of strike nor directed in any manner against Ed. 2nd 405, 418.
respondent employer, and ordering the dismissal of the union 10 Terminiello vs. Chicago, 337 U.S. 1.
office manifestly constituted grave abuse of discretion in fact 11 Thomas vs. Collins (1945), 323 U.S., 516, 530, cited by Mr.
Justice Castro in his concurring opinion in Gonzales vs.
and in law. Comelec, April 18, 1969, 27 SCRA 835, 895.
12 Edu vs. Ericta, L-32096, Oct. 24, 1970, 35 SCRA 481, 489;
There could not be, in fact, bargaining in bad faith nor unfair Ichong vs. Hernandez, 101 Phil. 1155, 1165-66, 1175.
13 L-27833, April 18, 1969, 27 SCRA 835; L-32432, Sept. 11,
labor practice since respondent firm conceded that "the 1970, 35 SCRA 28; Ignacio vs. Ela (1965), 99 Phil. 346;
demonstration is an inalienable right of the union guaranteed' Primicias vs. Fugoso (1948), 80 Phil. 71; Terminiello vs.
by the Constitution" and the union up to the day of the Chicago, 337 U.S. 1; Virginia State Board of Education vs.
Barnette, 319 U.S. 624, 639; 87 Law. Ed. 1628, 1638.
demonstration pleaded by cablegram to the company to
14 March 9, 1964, 376 U.S. 254, 270; Greenbelt, etc. vs.
excuse the first shift and allow it to join the demonstration in Bresler (May 18, 1970), 398 U.S. 6, 20; see also Justice
accordance with their previous requests. Fernando, Bill of Rights, 1970 Ed., pp. 78-81, 96-113.
15 Gonzales vs. Comelec, supra.
16 Gonzales vs. Comelec, supra.
Neither could there be, in law, a willful violation of the collective 17 Dennis vs. U.S. (1951), 341 U.S. 494.
bargaining agreement's "no-strike" clause as would warrant the 18 March vs. Alabama, 326 U.S. 501; Tucker vs. Texas, 326
union leaders' dismissal, since as found by respondent court U.S. 517.
19 Pickering vs. Board of Education 391 U.S. 563, 574, (1968).
itself the mass demonstration was not a declaration of a strike, 20 Security Bank Employees Union-NATU vs. Security Bank
there being no industrial dispute between the protagonists, but and Trust Co., April 30, 1968, 23 SCRA 503, 515; Caltex vs.
merely the occurrence of a temporary stoppage of work" to Lucero, April 28, 1962, 4 SCRA 1196, 1198-99; Malayang
Manggagawa sa ESSO vs. ESSO July 30, 1965, 14 SCRA
enable the workers to exercise their constitutional rights of free
801,806, 807, De Leon vs. National Labor Union, 100 Phil.,
expression, peaceable assembly and petition for redress of 792; PAFLU vs. Barot, 99 Phil. 1008 Continental Manufacturing
grievance against alleged police excesses.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

Employees Assoc., et. al. vs. C.I.R., et al., L-26849, Sept. 30,
1970, 35 SCRA 204.
21 Sotto vs. Ruiz, 41 Phil. 468; Shuttleworth vs. Birmingham
(1969), 394 U.S. 147; Largent vs. Texas, 318 U.S. (1943) 418;
Jamison vs. Texas, (1943) 318 U.S. 413; Lovell vs. Griffin
(1938) 303 U.S. 444; Grosjean vs. American Press Co. (1936)
297 U.S. 233; Subido vs. Ozaeta, 80 Phil., 393; Justice
Fernando, Bill of Rights, 1970 Ed., pp. 90-93.
22 Pickering vs. Board of Education, 391 U.S. 563, 574, 20 L.
Ed. 2nd, 811, 820.
23 Republic Savings Bank vs. C.I.R. et. al., Sept. 27, 1967, 21
SCRA 226, 232, 233, 661, 662, 663-664, 211 21 SCRA 233.
25 Justice Sanchez in Chavez vs. Court of Appeals, 24 SCRA
663, 692, Aug. 19, 1968; see also concurring opinion of Justice
Castro; Camasura vs. Provost Marshall, 78 Phil. 131.
26 Abriol vs. Homeres, 84 Phil. 525, 1949.
27 Fay vs. Noia 372 U.S. 391 (1963).
28 West Virginia State Board of Education vs. Barnette, supra.
28-a Victorias Milling Co., Inc. vs. W.C.C. L-25665, May 22,
1969, 28 SCRA 285-298.
29 Sec. 20, Com. Act No. 103, as amended.
29a Elizalde & Co., Inc. vs. C.I.R., et. al., September 23, 1968,
25 SCRA 58, 61-63; Bien vs. Castillo, 97 Phil. 956; Pangasinan
Employees, etc. vs. Martinez, May 20, 1960, 108 Phil. 89,
Local 7, etc. vs. Tabigne, Nov. 29, 1960, 110 Phil. 276; Luzon
Stevedoring vs. C.I.R., July 26, 1963, 8 SCRA, 447; Manila
Metal, etc. vs. C.I.R., July 31, 1963, 8 SCRA 552.
30 People vs. Vera, 65 Phil. 56, 82; Mercado vs. Go Bio, 48
O.G. 5360.
30-a See Workmen's Ins. Co., Inc. vs. Augusto, L-31060, July
29, 1971, 40 SCRA 123, 127.
30-b Ronquillo vs. Marasigan, L-11621, May 31, 1962, 5 SCRA
304, 312, 312; Ordoveza vs. Raymundo, 63 Phil. 275.
30-c L-30570, July 29, 1969, 28 SCRA 890, 933-34.
30-d 28 SCRA 933-934.
30-e L-28714, June 13, 1970, 33 SCRA 887, 907-908.
30-f L-27807, Aug. 31, 1970, 34 SCRA 738, 742-3.
30-g 34 SCRA 742-743.
31 A Living Bill of Rights (1961), pp. 61, 62, 64; 24 SCRA, 690-
692; Emphasis supplied.
32 21 SCRA 226-241. Sept. 27, 1967.
33 21 SCRA 232-237.
BARREDO, dissenting:
1 25 SCRA 58.
2 86 Phil. 525.
3 Daquis vs. Bustos, 94 Phil. 913, reiterated in Maramba vs.
Lozano, 20 SCRA 474. See also Vicente vs. Lucas, 95 Phil. 716.
4 97 Phil. 806, at p. 816.
5 73 Phil. 408.
6 Under which this case was filed.
7 Mauricio vs. Villanueva, 106 Phil. 1159, cited by Moran in
Vol. 11, p. 246 (1970 ed.).
8 Garchitorena vs. Sotelo, 74 Phil. 25.
9 Amuran vs. Aquino, 38 Phil. 29; Javier vs. Parades, 52 Phil.
910; Domingo vs. David, 68 Phil. 134.
10 Quion v. Claridad, 74 Phil. 100.
TEEHANKEE, concurring:
1 The first shift comprised the workers from 6 A.M. to 2 P.M.
Respondent company had no objection to the two regular
shifts workers (7 A.M. to 4 P.M. and 8 A.M. to 5 P.M.) being
excused from work for the mass demonstration.
2 Ermita-Malate Hotel Operators Ass'n. vs. City Mayor, 20
SCRA 849(1967), per Fernando, J.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

Republic of the Philippines having been given mail. The court, upon this occasion, found
SUPREME COURT that the indebtedness of the defendant amounted to P249,355.
Manila 32, with interest from March 31, 1908. Accordingly it was
ordered that the defendant should, on or before July 6, 1908,
EN BANC deliver said amount to the clerk of the court to be applied to the
satisfaction of the judgment, and it was declared that in case of
the failure of the defendant to satisfy the judgment within such
G.R. No. L-11390 March 26, 1918 period, the mortgage property located in the city of Manila
should be exposed to public sale. The payment contemplated
EL BANCO ESPAOL-FILIPINO, plaintiff-appellant, in said order was never made; and upon July 8, 1908, the court
vs. ordered the sale of the property. The sale took place upon July
VICENTE PALANCA, administrator of the estate of 30, 1908, and the property was bought in by the bank for the
Engracio Palanca Tanquinyeng, defendant-appellant. sum of P110,200. Upon August 7, 1908, this sale was
confirmed by the court.
Aitken and DeSelms for appellant.
Hartigan and Welch for appellee. About seven years after the confirmation of this sale, or to the
precise, upon June 25, 1915, a motion was made in this cause
STREET, J.: by Vicente Palanca, as administrator of the estate of the
original defendant, Engracio Palanca Tanquinyeng y
Limquingco, wherein the applicant requested the court to set
This action was instituted upon March 31, 1908, by "El Banco aside the order of default of July 2, 1908, and the judgment
Espanol-Filipino" to foreclose a mortgage upon various parcels rendered upon July 3, 1908, and to vacate all the proceedings
of real property situated in the city of Manila. The mortgage in subsequent thereto. The basis of this application, as set forth
question is dated June 16, 1906, and was executed by the in the motion itself, was that the order of default and the
original defendant herein, Engracio Palanca Tanquinyeng y judgment rendered thereon were void because the court had
Limquingco, as security for a debt owing by him to the bank. never acquired jurisdiction over the defendant or over the
Upon March 31, 1906, the debt amounted to P218,294.10 and subject of the action.
was drawing interest at the rate of 8 per centum per annum,
payable at the end of each quarter. It appears that the parties
to this mortgage at that time estimated the value of the At the hearing in the court below the application to vacate the
property in question at P292,558, which was about P75,000 in judgment was denied, and from this action of the court Vicente
excess of the indebtedness. After the execution of this Planca, as administrator of the estate of the original defendant,
instrument by the mortgagor, he returned to China which has appealed. No other feature of the case is here under
appears to have been his native country; and he there died, consideration than such as related to the action of the court
upon January 29, 1810, without again returning to the upon said motion.
Philippine Islands.
The case presents several questions of importance, which will
As the defendant was a nonresident at the time of the be discussed in what appears to be the sequence of most
institution of the present action, it was necessary for the convenient development. In the first part of this opinion we
plaintiff in the foreclosure proceeding to give notice to the shall, for the purpose of argument, assume that the clerk of the
defendant by publication pursuant to section 399 of the Code Court of First Instance did not obey the order of the court in the
of Civil Procedure. An order for publication was accordingly matter of mailing the papers which he was directed to send to
obtained from the court, and publication was made in due form the defendant in Amoy; and in this connection we shall
in a newspaper of the city of Manila. At the same time that the consider, first, whether the court acquired the necessary
order of the court should deposit in the post office in a stamped jurisdiction to enable it to proceed with the foreclosure of the
envelope a copy of the summons and complaint directed to the mortgage and, secondly, whether those proceedings were
defendant at his last place of residence, to wit, the city of conducted in such manner as to constitute due process of law.
Amoy, in the Empire of China. This order was made pursuant
to the following provision contained in section 399 of the Code The word "jurisdiction," as applied to the faculty of exercising
of Civil Procedure: judicial power, is used in several different, though related,
senses since it may have reference (1) to the authority of the
In case of publication, where the residence of a court to entertain a particular kind of action or to administer a
nonresident or absent defendant is known, the judge particular kind of relief, or it may refer to the power of the court
must direct a copy of the summons and complaint to over the parties, or (2) over the property which is the subject to
be forthwith deposited by the clerk in the post-office, the litigation.
postage prepaid, directed to the person to be served,
at his place of residence The sovereign authority which organizes a court determines
the nature and extent of its powers in general and thus fixes its
Whether the clerk complied with this order does not competency or jurisdiction with reference to the actions which it
affirmatively appear. There is, however, among the papers may entertain and the relief it may grant.
pertaining to this case, an affidavit, dated April 4, 1908, signed
by Bernardo Chan y Garcia, an employee of the attorneys of Jurisdiction over the person is acquired by the voluntary
the bank, showing that upon that date he had deposited in the appearance of a party in court and his submission to its
Manila post-office a registered letter, addressed to Engracio authority, or it is acquired by the coercive power of legal
Palanca Tanquinyeng, at Manila, containing copies of the process exerted over the person.
complaint, the plaintiff's affidavit, the summons, and the order
of the court directing publication as aforesaid. It appears from Jurisdiction over the property which is the subject of the
the postmaster's receipt that Bernardo probably used an litigation may result either from a seizure of the property under
envelope obtained from the clerk's office, as the receipt legal process, whereby it is brought into the actual custody of
purports to show that the letter emanated from the office. the law, or it may result from the institution of legal proceedings
wherein, under special provisions of law, the power of the court
The cause proceeded in usual course in the Court of First over the property is recognized and made effective. In the
Instance; and the defendant not having appeared, judgment latter case the property, though at all times within the potential
was, upon July 2, 1908, taken against him by default. Upon power of the court, may never be taken into actual custody at
July 3, 1908, a decision was rendered in favor of the plaintiff. In all. An illustration of the jurisdiction acquired by actual seizure
this decision it was recited that publication had been properly is found in attachment proceedings, where the property is
made in a periodical, but nothing was said about this notice seized at the beginning of the action, or some subsequent
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

stage of its progress, and held to abide the final event of the the purpose of the proceedings is to subject the property to
litigation. An illustration of what we term potential jurisdiction that lien. If a lien already exists, whether created by mortgage,
over the res, is found in the proceeding to register the title of contract, or statute, the preliminary seizure is not necessary;
land under our system for the registration of land. Here the and the court proceeds to enforce such lien in the manner
court, without taking actual physical control over the property provided by law precisely as though the property had been
assumes, at the instance of some person claiming to be owner, seized upon attachment. (Roller vs. Holly, 176 U. S., 398, 405;
to exercise a jurisdiction in rem over the property and to 44 L. ed., 520.) It results that the mere circumstance that in an
adjudicate the title in favor of the petitioner against all the attachment the property may be seized at the inception of the
world. proceedings, while in the foreclosure suit it is not taken into
legal custody until the time comes for the sale, does not
In the terminology of American law the action to foreclose a materially affect the fundamental principle involved in both
mortgage is said to be a proceeding quasi in rem, by which is cases, which is that the court is here exercising a jurisdiction
expressed the idea that while it is not strictly speaking an over the property in a proceeding directed essentially in rem.
action in rem yet it partakes of that nature and is substantially
such. The expression "action in rem" is, in its narrow Passing now to a consideration of the jurisdiction of the Court
application, used only with reference to certain proceedings in of First Instance in a mortgage foreclosure, it is evident that the
courts of admiralty wherein the property alone is treated as court derives its authority to entertain the action primarily from
responsible for the claim or obligation upon which the the statutes organizing the court. The jurisdiction of the court,
proceedings are based. The action quasi rem differs from the in this most general sense, over the cause of action is obvious
true action in rem in the circumstance that in the former an and requires no comment. Jurisdiction over the person of the
individual is named as defendant, and the purpose of the defendant, if acquired at all in such an action, is obtained by
proceeding is to subject his interest therein to the obligation or the voluntary submission of the defendant or by the personal
lien burdening the property. All proceedings having for their service of process upon him within the territory where the
sole object the sale or other disposition of the property of the process is valid. If, however, the defendant is a nonresident
defendant, whether by attachment, foreclosure, or other form and, remaining beyond the range of the personal process of
of remedy, are in a general way thus designated. The judgment the court, refuses to come in voluntarily, the court never
entered in these proceedings is conclusive only between the acquires jurisdiction over the person at all. Here the property
parties. itself is in fact the sole thing which is impleaded and is the
responsible object which is the subject of the exercise of
In speaking of the proceeding to foreclose a mortgage the judicial power. It follows that the jurisdiction of the court in such
author of a well known treaties, has said: case is based exclusively on the power which, under the law, it
possesses over the property; and any discussion relative to the
jurisdiction of the court over the person of the defendant is
Though nominally against person, such suits are to entirely apart from the case. The jurisdiction of the court over
vindicate liens; they proceed upon seizure; they treat the property, considered as the exclusive object of such action,
property as primarily indebted; and, with the is evidently based upon the following conditions and
qualification above-mentioned, they are substantially considerations, namely: (1) that the property is located within
property actions. In the civil law, they are styled the district; (2) that the purpose of the litigation is to subject the
hypothecary actions, and their sole object is the property by sale to an obligation fixed upon it by the mortgage;
enforcement of the lien against the res; in the and (3) that the court at a proper stage of the proceedings
common law, they would be different in chancery did takes the property into custody, if necessary, and expose it to
not treat the conditional conveyance as a mere sale for the purpose of satisfying the mortgage debt. An
hypothecation, and the creditor's right ass an obvious corollary is that no other relief can be granted in this
equitable lien; so, in both, the suit is real action so far proceeding than such as can be enforced against the property.
as it is against property, and seeks the judicial
recognition of a property debt, and an order for the
sale of the res. (Waples, Proceedings In Rem. sec. We may then, from what has been stated, formulated the
607.) following proposition relative to the foreclosure proceeding
against the property of a nonresident mortgagor who fails to
come in and submit himself personally to the jurisdiction of the
It is true that in proceedings of this character, if the defendant court: (I) That the jurisdiction of the court is derived from the
for whom publication is made appears, the action becomes as power which it possesses over the property; (II) that jurisdiction
to him a personal action and is conducted as such. This, over the person is not acquired and is nonessential; (III) that
however, does not affect the proposition that where the the relief granted by the court must be limited to such as can
defendant fails to appear the action is quasi in rem; and it be enforced against the property itself.
should therefore be considered with reference to the principles
governing actions in rem.
It is important that the bearing of these propositions be clearly
apprehended, for there are many expressions in the American
There is an instructive analogy between the foreclosure reports from which it might be inferred that the court acquires
proceeding and an action of attachment, concerning which the personal jurisdiction over the person of the defendant by
Supreme Court of the United States has used the following publication and notice; but such is not the case. In truth the
language: proposition that jurisdiction over the person of a nonresident
cannot be acquired by publication and notice was never clearly
If the defendant appears, the cause becomes mainly understood even in the American courts until after the decision
a suit in personam, with the added incident, that the had been rendered by the Supreme Court of the United States
property attached remains liable, under the control of in the leading case of Pennoyer vs. Neff (95 U. S. 714; 24 L.
the court, to answer to any demand which may be ed., 565). In the light of that decision, and of other decisions
established against the defendant by the final which have subsequently been rendered in that and other
judgment of the court. But, if there is no appearance courts, the proposition that jurisdiction over the person cannot
of the defendant, and no service of process on him, be thus acquired by publication and notice is no longer open to
the case becomes, in its essential nature, a question; and it is now fully established that a personal
proceeding in rem, the only effect of which is to judgment upon constructive or substituted service against a
subject the property attached to the payment of the nonresident who does not appear is wholly invalid. This
defendant which the court may find to be due to the doctrine applies to all kinds of constructive or substituted
plaintiff. (Cooper vs. Reynolds, 10 Wall., 308.) process, including service by publication and personal service
outside of the jurisdiction in which the judgment is rendered;
In an ordinary attachment proceeding, if the defendant is not and the only exception seems to be found in the case where
personally served, the preliminary seizure is to, be considered the nonresident defendant has expressly or impliedly
necessary in order to confer jurisdiction upon the court. In this consented to the mode of service. (Note to Raher vs. Raher,
case the lien on the property is acquired by the seizure; and
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

35 L. R. A. [N. S. ], 292; see also 50 L .R. A., 585; 35 L. R. A. accordingly not surprising that the modes of expression which
[N. S.], 312 had already been molded into legal tradition before that case
was decided have been brought down to the present day. But it
The idea upon which the decision in Pennoyer vs. Neff (supra) is clear that the legal principle here involved is not effected by
proceeds is that the process from the tribunals of one State the peculiar language in which the courts have expounded
cannot run into other States or countries and that due process their ideas.
of law requires that the defendant shall be brought under the
power of the court by service of process within the State, or by We now proceed to a discussion of the question whether the
his voluntary appearance, in order to authorize the court to supposed irregularity in the proceedings was of such gravity as
pass upon the question of his personal liability. The doctrine to amount to a denial of that "due process of law" which was
established by the Supreme Court of the United States on this secured by the Act of Congress in force in these Islands at the
point, being based upon the constitutional conception of due time this mortgage was foreclosed. (Act of July 1, 1902, sec.
process of law, is binding upon the courts of the Philippine 5.) In dealing with questions involving the application of the
Islands. Involved in this decision is the principle that in constitutional provisions relating to due process of law the
proceedings in rem or quasi in rem against a nonresident who Supreme Court of the United States has refrained from
is not served personally within the state, and who does not attempting to define with precision the meaning of that
appear, the relief must be confined to the res, and the court expression, the reason being that the idea expressed therein is
cannot lawfully render a personal judgment against him. applicable under so many diverse conditions as to make any
(Dewey vs. Des Moines, 173 U. S., 193; 43 L. ed., 665; attempt ay precise definition hazardous and unprofitable. As
Heidritter vs. Elizabeth Oil Cloth Co., 112 U. S., 294; 28 L. ed., applied to a judicial proceeding, however, it may be laid down
729.) Therefore in an action to foreclose a mortgage against a with certainty that the requirement of due process is satisfied if
nonresident, upon whom service has been effected exclusively the following conditions are present, namely; (1) There must be
by publication, no personal judgment for the deficiency can be a court or tribunal clothed with judicial power to hear and
entered. (Latta vs. Tutton, 122 Cal., 279; Blumberg vs. Birch, determine the matter before it; (2) jurisdiction must be lawfully
99 Cal., 416.) acquired over the person of the defendant or over the property
which is the subject of the proceeding; (3) the defendant must
It is suggested in the brief of the appellant that the judgment be given an opportunity to be heard; and (4) judgment must be
entered in the court below offends against the principle just rendered upon lawful hearing.
stated and that this judgment is void because the court in fact
entered a personal judgment against the absent debtor for the Passing at once to the requisite that the defendant shall have
full amount of the indebtedness secured by the mortgage. We an opportunity to be heard, we observe that in a foreclosure
do not so interpret the judgment. case some notification of the proceedings to the nonresident
owner, prescribing the time within which appearance must be
In a foreclosure proceeding against a nonresident owner it is made, is everywhere recognized as essential. To answer this
necessary for the court, as in all cases of foreclosure, to necessity the statutes generally provide for publication, and
ascertain the amount due, as prescribed in section 256 of the usually in addition thereto, for the mailing of notice to the
Code of Civil Procedure, and to make an order requiring the defendant, if his residence is known. Though commonly called
defendant to pay the money into court. This step is a constructive, or substituted service of process in any true
necessary precursor of the order of sale. In the present case sense. It is merely a means provided by law whereby the
the judgment which was entered contains the following words: owner may be admonished that his property is the subject of
judicial proceedings and that it is incumbent upon him to take
such steps as he sees fit to protect it. In speaking of notice of
Because it is declared that the said defendant this character a distinguish master of constitutional law has
Engracio Palanca Tanquinyeng y Limquingco, is used the following language:
indebted in the amount of P249,355.32, plus the
interest, to the 'Banco Espanol-Filipino' . . . therefore
said appellant is ordered to deliver the above amount . . . if the owners are named in the proceedings, and
etc., etc. personal notice is provided for, it is rather from
tenderness to their interests, and in order to make
sure that the opportunity for a hearing shall not be lost
This is not the language of a personal judgment. Instead it is to them, than from any necessity that the case shall
clearly intended merely as a compliance with the requirement assume that form. (Cooley on Taxation [2d. ed.], 527,
that the amount due shall be ascertained and that the evidence quoted in Leigh vs. Green, 193 U. S., 79, 80.)
of this it may be observed that according to the Code of Civil
Procedure a personal judgment against the debtor for the
deficiency is not to be rendered until after the property has It will be observed that this mode of notification does not
been sold and the proceeds applied to the mortgage debt. involve any absolute assurance that the absent owner shall
(sec. 260). thereby receive actual notice. The periodical containing the
publication may never in fact come to his hands, and the
chances that he should discover the notice may often be very
The conclusion upon this phase of the case is that whatever slight. Even where notice is sent by mail the probability of his
may be the effect in other respects of the failure of the clerk of receiving it, though much increased, is dependent upon the
the Court of First Instance to mail the proper papers to the correctness of the address to which it is forwarded as well as
defendant in Amoy, China, such irregularity could in no wise upon the regularity and security of the mail service. It will be
impair or defeat the jurisdiction of the court, for in our opinion noted, furthermore, that the provision of our law relative to the
that jurisdiction rest upon a basis much more secure than mailing of notice does not absolutely require the mailing of
would be supplied by any form of notice that could be given to notice unconditionally and in every event, but only in the case
a resident of a foreign country. where the defendant's residence is known. In the light of all
these facts, it is evident that actual notice to the defendant in
Before leaving this branch of the case, we wish to observe that cases of this kind is not, under the law, to be considered
we are fully aware that many reported cases can be cited in absolutely necessary.
which it is assumed that the question of the sufficiency of
publication or notice in a case of this kind is a question The idea upon which the law proceeds in recognizing the
affecting the jurisdiction of the court, and the court is efficacy of a means of notification which may fall short of actual
sometimes said to acquire jurisdiction by virtue of the notice is apparently this: Property is always assumed to be in
publication. This phraseology was undoubtedly originally the possession of its owner, in person or by agent; and he may
adopted by the court because of the analogy between service be safely held, under certain conditions, to be affected with
by the publication and personal service of process upon the knowledge that proceedings have been instituted for its
defendant; and, as has already been suggested, prior to the condemnation and sale.
decision of Pennoyer vs. Neff (supra) the difference between
the legal effects of the two forms of service was obscure. It is
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

It is the duty of the owner of real estate, who is a process of law, on the other hand, it is clearly unnecessary to
nonresident, to take measures that in some way he be so rigorous. The jurisdiction being once established, all that
shall be represented when his property is called into due process of law thereafter requires is an opportunity for the
requisition, and if he fails to do this, and fails to get defendant to be heard; and as publication was duly made in
notice by the ordinary publications which have usually the newspaper, it would seem highly unreasonable to hold that
been required in such cases, it is his misfortune, and failure to mail the notice was fatal. We think that in applying the
he must abide the consequences. (6 R. C. L., sec. requirement of due process of law, it is permissible to reflect
445 [p. 450]). upon the purposes of the provision which is supposed to have
been violated and the principle underlying the exercise of
It has been well said by an American court: judicial power in these proceedings. Judge in the light of these
conceptions, we think that the provision of Act of Congress
declaring that no person shall be deprived of his property
If property of a nonresident cannot be reached by without due process of law has not been infringed.
legal process upon the constructive notice, then our
statutes were passed in vain, and are mere empty
legislative declarations, without either force, or In the progress of this discussion we have stated the two
meaning; for if the person is not within the jurisdiction conclusions; (1) that the failure of the clerk to send the notice
of the court, no personal judgment can be rendered, to the defendant by mail did not destroy the jurisdiction of the
and if the judgment cannot operate upon the property, court and (2) that such irregularity did not infringe the
then no effective judgment at all can be rendered, so requirement of due process of law. As a consequence of these
that the result would be that the courts would be conclusions the irregularity in question is in some measure
powerless to assist a citizen against a nonresident. shorn of its potency. It is still necessary, however, to consider
Such a result would be a deplorable one. (Quarl vs. its effect considered as a simple irregularity of procedure; and
Abbett, 102 Ind., 233; 52 Am. Rep., 662, 667.) it would be idle to pretend that even in this aspect the
irregularity is not grave enough. From this point of view,
however, it is obvious that any motion to vacate the judgment
It is, of course universally recognized that the statutory on the ground of the irregularity in question must fail unless it
provisions relative to publication or other form of notice against shows that the defendant was prejudiced by that irregularity.
a nonresident owner should be complied with; and in respect to The least, therefore, that can be required of the proponent of
the publication of notice in the newspaper it may be stated that such a motion is to show that he had a good defense against
strict compliance with the requirements of the law has been the action to foreclose the mortgage. Nothing of the kind is,
held to be essential. In Guaranty Trust etc. Co. vs. Green Cove however, shown either in the motion or in the affidavit which
etc., Railroad Co. (139 U. S., 137, 138), it was held that where accompanies the motion.
newspaper publication was made for 19 weeks, when the
statute required 20, the publication was insufficient.
An application to open or vacate a judgment because of an
irregularity or defect in the proceedings is usually required to
With respect to the provisions of our own statute, relative to the be supported by an affidavit showing the grounds on which the
sending of notice by mail, the requirement is that the judge relief is sought, and in addition to this showing also a
shall direct that the notice be deposited in the mail by the clerk meritorious defense to the action. It is held that a general
of the court, and it is not in terms declared that the notice must statement that a party has a good defense to the action is
be deposited in the mail. We consider this to be of some insufficient. The necessary facts must be averred. Of course if
significance; and it seems to us that, having due regard to the a judgment is void upon its face a showing of the existence of
principles upon which the giving of such notice is required, the a meritorious defense is not necessary. (10 R. C. L., 718.)
absent owner of the mortgaged property must, so far as the
due process of law is concerned, take the risk incident to the
possible failure of the clerk to perform his duty, somewhat as The lapse of time is also a circumstance deeply affecting this
he takes the risk that the mail clerk or the mail carrier might aspect of the case. In this connection we quote the following
possibly lose or destroy the parcel or envelope containing the passage from the encyclopedic treatise now in course of
notice before it should reach its destination and be delivered to publication:
him. This idea seems to be strengthened by the consideration
that placing upon the clerk the duty of sending notice by mail, Where, however, the judgment is not void on its face,
the performance of that act is put effectually beyond the control and may therefore be enforced if permitted to stand
of the plaintiff in the litigation. At any rate it is obvious that so on the record, courts in many instances refuse to
much of section 399 of the Code of Civil Procedure as relates exercise their quasi equitable powers to vacate a
to the sending of notice by mail was complied with when the judgement after the lapse of the term ay which it was
court made the order. The question as to what may be the entered, except in clear cases, to promote the ends of
consequences of the failure of the record to show the proof of justice, and where it appears that the party making
compliance with that requirement will be discussed by us the application is himself without fault and has acted
further on. in good faith and with ordinary diligence. Laches on
the part of the applicant, if unexplained, is deemed
The observations which have just been made lead to the sufficient ground for refusing the relief to which he
conclusion that the failure of the clerk to mail the notice, if in might otherwise be entitled. Something is due to the
fact he did so fail in his duty, is not such an irregularity, as finality of judgments, and acquiescence or
amounts to a denial of due process of law; and hence in our unnecessary delay is fatal to motions of this
opinion that irregularity, if proved, would not avoid the character, since courts are always reluctant to
judgment in this case. Notice was given by publication in a interfere with judgments, and especially where they
newspaper and this is the only form of notice which the law have been executed or satisfied. The moving party
unconditionally requires. This in our opinion is all that was has the burden of showing diligence, and unless it is
absolutely necessary to sustain the proceedings. shown affirmatively the court will not ordinarily
exercise its discretion in his favor. (15 R. C. L., 694,
695.)
It will be observed that in considering the effect of this
irregularity, it makes a difference whether it be viewed as a
question involving jurisdiction or as a question involving due It is stated in the affidavit that the defendant, Engracio Palanca
process of law. In the matter of jurisdiction there can be no Tanquinyeng y Limquingco, died January 29, 1910. The
distinction between the much and the little. The court either mortgage under which the property was sold was executed far
has jurisdiction or it has not; and if the requirement as to the back in 1906; and the proceedings in the foreclosure were
mailing of notice should be considered as a step antecedent to closed by the order of court confirming the sale dated August
the acquiring of jurisdiction, there could be no escape from the 7, 1908. It passes the rational bounds of human credulity to
conclusion that the failure to take that step was fatal to the suppose that a man who had placed a mortgage upon property
validity of the judgment. In the application of the idea of due worth nearly P300,000 and had then gone away from the
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

scene of his life activities to end his days in the city of Amoy, foreclosure proceedings. (Yangco vs. Cruz Herrera and Wy
China, should have long remained in ignorance of the fact that Piaco, 11 Phil. Rep., 402; Banco-Espaol Filipino vs.
the mortgage had been foreclosed and the property sold, even Donaldson, Sim and Co., 5 Phil. Rep., 418.) In both the cases
supposing that he had no knowledge of those proceedings here cited the property was purchased at the foreclosure sale,
while they were being conducted. It is more in keeping with the not by the creditor or mortgagee, but by a third party. Whether
ordinary course of things that he should have acquired the same rule should be applied in a case where the
information as to what was transpiring in his affairs at Manila; mortgagee himself becomes the purchaser has apparently not
and upon the basis of this rational assumption we are been decided by this court in any reported decision, and this
authorized, in the absence of proof to the contrary, to presume question need not here be considered, since it is evident that if
that he did have, or soon acquired, information as to the sale of any liability was incurred by the bank by purchasing for a price
his property. below that fixed in the stipulation, its liability was a personal
liability derived from the contract of mortgage; and as we have
The Code of Civil Procedure, indeed, expressly declares that already demonstrated such a liability could not be the subject
there is a presumption that things have happened according to of adjudication in an action where the court had no jurisdiction
the ordinary habits of life (sec. 334 [26]); and we cannot over the person of the defendant. If the plaintiff bank became
conceive of a situation more appropriate than this for applying liable to account for the difference between the upset price and
the presumption thus defined by the lawgiver. In support of this the price at which in bought in the property, that liability
presumption, as applied to the present case, it is permissible to remains unaffected by the disposition which the court made of
consider the probability that the defendant may have received this case; and the fact that the bank may have violated such an
actual notice of these proceedings from the unofficial notice obligation can in no wise affect the validity of the judgment
addressed to him in Manila which was mailed by an employee entered in the Court of First Instance.
of the bank's attorneys. Adopting almost the exact words used
by the Supreme Court of the United States in Grannis vs. In connection with the entire failure of the motion to show
Ordeans (234 U. S., 385; 58 L. ed., 1363), we may say that in either a meritorious defense to the action or that the defendant
view of the well-known skill of postal officials and employees in had suffered any prejudice of which the law can take notice,
making proper delivery of letters defectively addressed, we we may be permitted to add that in our opinion a motion of this
think the presumption is clear and strong that this notice kind, which proposes to unsettle judicial proceedings long ago
reached the defendant, there being no proof that it was ever closed, can not be considered with favor, unless based upon
returned by the postal officials as undelivered. And if it was grounds which appeal to the conscience of the court. Public
delivered in Manila, instead of being forwarded to Amoy, China, policy requires that judicial proceedings be upheld. The
there is a probability that the recipient was a person sufficiently maximum here applicable is non quieta movere. As was once
interested in his affairs to send it or communicate its contents said by Judge Brewer, afterwards a member of the Supreme
to him. Court of the United States:

Of course if the jurisdiction of the court or the sufficiency of the Public policy requires that judicial proceedings be
process of law depended upon the mailing of the notice by the upheld, and that titles obtained in those proceedings
clerk, the reflections in which we are now indulging would be be safe from the ruthless hand of collateral attack. If
idle and frivolous; but the considerations mentioned are technical defects are adjudged potent to destroy such
introduced in order to show the propriety of applying to this titles, a judicial sale will never realize that value of the
situation the legal presumption to which allusion has been property, for no prudent man will risk his money in
made. Upon that presumption, supported by the circumstances bidding for and buying that title which he has reason
of this case, ,we do not hesitate to found the conclusion that to fear may years thereafter be swept away through
the defendant voluntarily abandoned all thought of saving his some occult and not readily discoverable defect.
property from the obligation which he had placed upon it; that (Martin vs. Pond, 30 Fed., 15.)
knowledge of the proceedings should be imputed to him; and
that he acquiesced in the consequences of those proceedings In the case where that language was used an attempt was
after they had been accomplished. Under these circumstances made to annul certain foreclosure proceedings on the ground
it is clear that the merit of this motion is, as we have already that the affidavit upon which the order of publication was based
stated, adversely affected in a high degree by the delay in erroneously stated that the State of Kansas, when he was in
asking for relief. Nor is it an adequate reply to say that the fact residing in another State. It was held that this mistake did
proponent of this motion is an administrator who only qualified not affect the validity of the proceedings.
a few months before this motion was made. No disability on
the part of the defendant himself existed from the time when
the foreclosure was effected until his death; and we believe In the preceding discussion we have assumed that the clerk
that the delay in the appointment of the administrator and failed to send the notice by post as required by the order of the
institution of this action is a circumstance which is imputable to court. We now proceed to consider whether this is a proper
the parties in interest whoever they may have been. Of course assumption; and the proposition which we propose to establish
if the minor heirs had instituted an action in their own right to is that there is a legal presumption that the clerk performed his
recover the property, it would have been different. duty as the ministerial officer of the court, which presumption is
not overcome by any other facts appearing in the cause.
It is, however, argued that the defendant has suffered prejudice
by reason of the fact that the bank became the purchaser of In subsection 14 of section 334 of the Code of Civil Procedure
the property at the foreclosure sale for a price greatly below it is declared that there is a presumption "that official duty has
that which had been agreed upon in the mortgage as the upset been regularly performed;" and in subsection 18 it is declared
price of the property. In this connection, it appears that in that there is a presumption "that the ordinary course of
article nine of the mortgage which was the subject of this business has been followed." These presumptions are of
foreclosure, as amended by the notarial document of July 19, course in no sense novelties, as they express ideas which
1906, the parties to this mortgage made a stipulation to the have always been recognized. Omnia presumuntur rite et
effect that the value therein placed upon the mortgaged solemniter esse acta donec probetur in contrarium. There is
properties should serve as a basis of sale in case the debt therefore clearly a legal presumption that the clerk performed
should remain unpaid and the bank should proceed to a his duty about mailing this notice; and we think that strong
foreclosure. The upset price stated in that stipulation for all the considerations of policy require that this presumption should be
parcels involved in this foreclosure was P286,000. It is said in allowed to operate with full force under the circumstances of
behalf of the appellant that when the bank bought in the this case. A party to an action has no control over the clerk of
property for the sum of P110,200 it violated that stipulation. the court; and has no right to meddle unduly with the business
of the clerk in the performance of his duties. Having no control
over this officer, the litigant must depend upon the court to see
It has been held by this court that a clause in a mortgage that the duties imposed on the clerk are performed.
providing for a tipo, or upset price, does not prevent a
foreclosure, nor affect the validity of a sale made in the
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

Other considerations no less potent contribute to strengthen clerk; and no such affidavit appears. The record is therefore
the conclusion just stated. There is no principle of law better silent where it ought to speak. But the very purpose of the law
settled than that after jurisdiction has once been required, in recognizing these presumptions is to enable the court to
every act of a court of general jurisdiction shall be presumed to sustain a prior judgment in the face of such an omission. If we
have been rightly done. This rule is applied to every judgment were to hold that the judgment in this case is void because the
or decree rendered in the various stages of the proceedings proper affidavit is not present in the file of papers which we call
from their initiation to their completion (Voorhees vs. United the record, the result would be that in the future every title in
States Bank, 10 Pet., 314; 35 U. S., 449); and if the record is the Islands resting upon a judgment like that now before us
silent with respect to any fact which must have been would depend, for its continued security, upon the presence of
established before the court could have rightly acted, it will be such affidavit among the papers and would be liable at any
presumed that such fact was properly brought to its moment to be destroyed by the disappearance of that piece of
knowledge. (The Lessee of Grignon vs. Astor, 2 How., 319; 11 paper. We think that no court, with a proper regard for the
L. ed., 283.) security of judicial proceedings and for the interests which
have by law been confided to the courts, would incline to favor
In making the order of sale [of the real state of a such a conclusion. In our opinion the proper course in a case
decedent] the court are presumed to have adjudged of this kind is to hold that the legal presumption that the clerk
every question necessary to justify such order or performed his duty still maintains notwithstanding the absence
decree, viz: The death of the owners; that the from the record of the proper proof of that fact.
petitioners were his administrators; that the personal
estate was insufficient to pay the debts of the In this connection it is important to bear in mind that under the
deceased; that the private acts of Assembly, as to the practice prevailing in the Philippine Islands the word "record" is
manner of sale, were within the constitutional power used in a loose and broad sense, as indicating the collective
of the Legislature, and that all the provisions of the mass of papers which contain the history of all the successive
law as to notices which are directory to the steps taken in a case and which are finally deposited in the
administrators have been complied with. . . . The archives of the clerk's office as a memorial of the litigation. It is
court is not bound to enter upon the record the a matter of general information that no judgment roll, or book of
evidence on which any fact was decided. (Florentine final record, is commonly kept in our courts for the purpose of
vs. Barton, 2 Wall., 210; 17 L. ed., 785.) Especially recording the pleadings and principal proceedings in actions
does all this apply after long lapse of time. which have been terminated; and in particular, no such record
is kept in the Court of First Instance of the city of Manila. There
Applegate vs. Lexington and Carter County Mining Co. (117 U. is, indeed, a section of the Code of Civil Procedure which
S., 255) contains an instructive discussion in a case analogous directs that such a book of final record shall be kept; but this
to that which is now before us. It there appeared that in order provision has, as a matter of common knowledge, been
to foreclose a mortgage in the State of Kentucky against a generally ignored. The result is that in the present case we do
nonresident debtor it was necessary that publication should be not have the assistance of the recitals of such a record to
made in a newspaper for a specified period of time, also be enable us to pass upon the validity of this judgment and as
posted at the front door of the court house and be published on already stated the question must be determined by examining
some Sunday, immediately after divine service, in such church the papers contained in the entire file.
as the court should direct. In a certain action judgment had
been entered against a nonresident, after publication in But it is insisted by counsel for this motion that the affidavit of
pursuance of these provisions. Many years later the validity of Bernardo Chan y Garcia showing that upon April 4, 1908, he
the proceedings was called in question in another action. It sent a notification through the mail addressed to the defendant
was proved from the files of an ancient periodical that at Manila, Philippine Islands, should be accepted as affirmative
publication had been made in its columns as required by law; proof that the clerk of the court failed in his duty and that,
but no proof was offered to show the publication of the order at instead of himself sending the requisite notice through the mail,
the church, or the posting of it at the front door of the court- he relied upon Bernardo to send it for him. We do not think that
house. It was insisted by one of the parties that the judgment this is by any means a necessary inference. Of course if it had
of the court was void for lack of jurisdiction. But the Supreme affirmatively appeared that the clerk himself had attempted to
Court of the United States said: comply with this order and had directed the notification to
Manila when he should have directed it to Amoy, this would be
The court which made the decree . . . was a court of conclusive that he had failed to comply with the exact terms of
general jurisdiction. Therefore every presumption not the order; but such is not this case. That the clerk of the
inconsistent with the record is to be indulged in favor attorneys for the plaintiff erroneously sent a notification to the
of its jurisdiction. . . . It is to be presumed that the defendant at a mistaken address affords in our opinion very
court before making its decree took care of to see that slight basis for supposing that the clerk may not have sent
its order for constructive service, on which its right to notice to the right address.
make the decree depended, had been obeyed.
There is undoubtedly good authority to support the position
It is true that in this case the former judgment was the subject that when the record states the evidence or makes an
of collateral , or indirect attack, while in the case at bar the averment with reference to a jurisdictional fact, it will not be
motion to vacate the judgment is direct proceeding for relief presumed that there was other or different evidence respecting
against it. The same general presumption, however, is the fact, or that the fact was otherwise than stated. If, to give
indulged in favor of the judgment of a court of general an illustration, it appears from the return of the officer that the
jurisdiction, whether it is the subject of direct or indirect attack summons was served at a particular place or in a particular
the only difference being that in case of indirect attack the manner, it will not be presumed that service was also made at
judgment is conclusively presumed to be valid unless the another place or in a different manner; or if it appears that
record affirmatively shows it to be void, while in case of direct service was made upon a person other than the defendant, it
attack the presumption in favor of its validity may in certain will not be presumed, in the silence of the record, that it was
cases be overcome by proof extrinsic to the record. made upon the defendant also (Galpin vs. Page, 18 Wall., 350,
366; Settlemier vs. Sullivan, 97 U. S., 444, 449). While we
believe that these propositions are entirely correct as applied
The presumption that the clerk performed his duty and that the to the case where the person making the return is the officer
court made its decree with the knowledge that the who is by law required to make the return, we do not think that
requirements of law had been complied with appear to be it is properly applicable where, as in the present case, the
amply sufficient to support the conclusion that the notice was affidavit was made by a person who, so far as the provisions of
sent by the clerk as required by the order. It is true that there law are concerned, was a mere intermeddler.
ought to be found among the papers on file in this cause an
affidavit, as required by section 400 of the Code of Civil
Procedure, showing that the order was in fact so sent by the The last question of importance which we propose to consider
is whether a motion in the cause is admissible as a proceeding
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

to obtain relief in such a case as this. If the motion prevails the might possibly be something in this. Where a judgment or
judgment of July 2, 1908, and all subsequent proceedings will judicial order is void in this sense it may be said to be a lawless
be set aside, and the litigation will be renewed, proceeding thing, which can be treated as an outlaw and slain at sight, or
again from the date mentioned as if the progress of the action ignored wherever and whenever it exhibits its head.
had not been interrupted. The proponent of the motion does
not ask the favor of being permitted to interpose a defense. His But the judgment in question is not void in any such sense. It is
purpose is merely to annul the effective judgment of the court, entirely regular in form, and the alleged defect is one which is
to the end that the litigation may again resume its regular not apparent upon its face. It follows that even if the judgment
course. could be shown to be void for want of jurisdiction, or for lack of
due process of law, the party aggrieved thereby is bound to
There is only one section of the Code of Civil Procedure which resort to some appropriate proceeding to obtain relief. Under
expressly recognizes the authority of a Court of First Instance accepted principles of law and practice, long recognized in
to set aside a final judgment and permit a renewal of the American courts, a proper remedy in such case, after the time
litigation in the same cause. This is as follows: for appeal or review has passed, is for the aggrieved party to
bring an action to enjoin the judgment, if not already carried
SEC. 113. Upon such terms as may be just the court into effect; or if the property has already been disposed of he
may relieve a party or legal representative from the may institute suit to recover it. In every situation of this
judgment, order, or other proceeding taken against character an appropriate remedy is at hand; and if property has
him through his mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or been taken without due process, the law concedes due
excusable neglect; Provided, That application thereof process to recover it. We accordingly old that, assuming the
be made within a reasonable time, but in no case judgment to have been void as alleged by the proponent of this
exceeding six months after such judgment, order, or motion, the proper remedy was by an original proceeding and
proceeding was taken. not by motion in the cause. As we have already seen our Code
of Civil Procedure defines the conditions under which relief
against a judgment may be productive of conclusion for this
An additional remedy by petition to the Supreme Court is court to recognize such a proceeding as proper under
supplied by section 513 of the same Code. The first paragraph conditions different from those defined by law. Upon the point
of this section, in so far as pertinent to this discussion, provides of procedure here involved, we refer to the case of People vs.
as follows: Harrison (84 Cal., 607) wherein it was held that a motion will
not lie to vacate a judgment after the lapse of the time limited
When a judgment is rendered by a Court of First by statute if the judgment is not void on its face; and in all
Instance upon default, and a party thereto is unjustly cases, after the lapse of the time limited by statute if the
deprived of a hearing by fraud, accident, mistake or judgment is not void on its face; and all cases, after the lapse
excusable negligence, and the Court of First Instance of such time, when an attempt is made to vacate the judgment
which rendered the judgment has finally adjourned so by a proceeding in court for that purpose an action regularly
that no adequate remedy exists in that court, the party brought is preferable, and should be required. It will be noted
so deprived of a hearing may present his petition to taken verbatim from the California Code (sec. 473).
the Supreme Court within sixty days after he first
learns of the rendition of such judgment, and not The conclusions stated in this opinion indicate that the
thereafter, setting forth the facts and praying to have judgment appealed from is without error, and the same is
judgment set aside. . . . accordingly affirmed, with costs. So ordered.

It is evident that the proceeding contemplated in this section is Arellano, C.J., Torres, Carson, and Avancea, JJ., concur.
intended to supplement the remedy provided by section 113;
and we believe the conclusion irresistible that there is no other
means recognized by law whereby a defeated party can, by a Separate Opinions
proceeding in the same cause, procure a judgment to be set
aside, with a view to the renewal of the litigation. MALCOLM, J., dissenting:

The Code of Civil Procedure purports to be a complete system I dissent. It will not make me long to state my reasons. An
of practice in civil causes, and it contains provisions describing immutable attribute the fundamental idea of due process
with much fullness the various steps to be taken in the conduct of law is that no man shall be condemned in his person or
of such proceedings. To this end it defines with precision the property without notice and an opportunity of being heard in his
method of beginning, conducting, and concluding the civil defense. Protection of the parties demands a strict and an
action of whatever species; and by section 795 of the same exact compliance with this constitutional provision in our
Code it is declared that the procedure in all civil action shall be organic law and of the statutory provisions in amplification.
in accordance with the provisions of this Code. We are Literally hundreds of precedents could be cited in support of
therefore of the opinion that the remedies prescribed in these axiomatic principles. Where as in the instant case the
sections 113 and 513 are exclusive of all others, so far as defendant received no notice and had no opportunity to be
relates to the opening and continuation of a litigation which has heard, certainly we cannot say that there is due process of law.
been once concluded. Resultantly, "A judgment which is void upon its face, and which
requires only an inspection of the judgment roll to demonstrate
The motion in the present case does not conform to the its want of vitality is a dead limb upon the judicial tree, which
requirements of either of these provisions; and the should be lopped off, if the power so to do exists. It can bear
consequence is that in our opinion the action of the Court of no fruit to the plaintiff, but is a constant menace to the
First Instance in dismissing the motion was proper. defendant." (Mills vs. Dickons, 6 Rich [S. C.], 487.)

If the question were admittedly one relating merely to an


irregularity of procedure, we cannot suppose that this
proceeding would have taken the form of a motion in the
cause, since it is clear that, if based on such an error, the came
to late for relief in the Court of First Instance. But as we have
already seen, the motion attacks the judgment of the court as
void for want of jurisdiction over the defendant. The idea
underlying the motion therefore is that inasmuch as the
judgment is a nullity it can be attacked in any way and at any
time. If the judgment were in fact void upon its face, that is, if it
were shown to be a nullity by virtue of its own recitals, there
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

Republic of the Philippines existence and functions of which are illegal. (281 U.S., 548,
SUPREME COURT petitioner's printed memorandum, p. 25.)
Manila
5. That in the exercise by the laborers of their rights to
EN BANC collective bargaining, majority rule and elective representation
are highly essential and indispensable. (Sections 2 and 5,
G.R. No. L-46496 February 27, 1940 Commonwealth Act No. 213.)

ANG TIBAY, represented by TORIBIO TEODORO, manager 6. That the century provisions of the Civil Code which had
and propietor, and been (the) principal source of dissensions and continuous civil
NATIONAL WORKERS BROTHERHOOD, petitioners, war in Spain cannot and should not be made applicable in
vs. interpreting and applying the salutary provisions of a modern
THE COURT OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS and NATIONAL labor legislation of American origin where the industrial peace
LABOR UNION, INC., respondents. has always been the rule.

Office of the Solicitor-General Ozaeta and Assistant Attorney 7. That the employer Toribio Teodoro was guilty of unfair labor
Barcelona for the Court of Industrial Relations. practice for discriminating against the National Labor Union,
Antonio D. Paguia for National Labor Unon. Inc., and unjustly favoring the National Workers' Brotherhood.
Claro M. Recto for petitioner "Ang Tibay".
Jose M. Casal for National Workers' Brotherhood. 8. That the exhibits hereto attached are so inaccessible to the
respondents that even with the exercise of due diligence they
LAUREL, J.: could not be expected to have obtained them and offered as
evidence in the Court of Industrial Relations.
The Solicitor-General in behalf of the respondent Court of
Industrial Relations in the above-entitled case has filed a 9. That the attached documents and exhibits are of such far-
motion for reconsideration and moves that, for the reasons reaching importance and effect that their admission would
stated in his motion, we reconsider the following legal necessarily mean the modification and reversal of the
conclusions of the majority opinion of this Court: judgment rendered herein.

1. Que un contrato de trabajo, asi individual como colectivo, sin The petitioner, Ang Tibay, has filed an opposition both to the
termino fijo de duracion o que no sea para una determinada, termina o
motion for reconsideration of the respondent National Labor
bien por voluntad de cualquiera de las partes o cada vez que ilega el
plazo fijado para el pago de los salarios segun costumbre en la Union, Inc.
localidad o cunado se termine la obra;
2. Que los obreros de una empresa fabril, que han celebrado contrato,
ya individual ya colectivamente, con ell, sin tiempo fijo, y que se han In view of the conclusion reached by us and to be herein after
visto obligados a cesar en sus tarbajos por haberse declarando paro
forzoso en la fabrica en la cual tarbajan, dejan de ser empleados u
stead with reference to the motion for a new trial of the
obreros de la misma; respondent National Labor Union, Inc., we are of the opinion
3. Que un patrono o sociedad que ha celebrado un contrato colectivo
de trabajo con sus osbreros sin tiempo fijo de duracion y sin ser para
that it is not necessary to pass upon the motion for
una obra determiminada y que se niega a readmitir a dichos obreros reconsideration of the Solicitor-General. We shall proceed to
que cesaron como consecuencia de un paro forzoso, no es culpable de dispose of the motion for new trial of the respondent labor
practica injusta in incurre en la sancion penal del articulo 5 de la Ley
No. 213 del Commonwealth, aunque su negativa a readmitir se deba a union. Before doing this, however, we deem it necessary, in the
que dichos obreros pertenecen a un determinado organismo obrero, interest of orderly procedure in cases of this nature, in interest
puesto que tales ya han dejado deser empleados suyos por
terminacion del contrato en virtud del paro. of orderly procedure in cases of this nature, to make several
The respondent National Labor Union, Inc., on the other hand, observations regarding the nature of the powers of the Court of
prays for the vacation of the judgement rendered by the Industrial Relations and emphasize certain guiding principles
majority of this Court and the remanding of the case to the which should be observed in the trial of cases brought before
Court of Industrial Relations for a new trial, and avers: it. We have re-examined the entire record of the proceedings
had before the Court of Industrial Relations in this case, and
1. That Toribio Teodoro's claim that on September 26, 1938, we have found no substantial evidence that the exclusion of
there was shortage of leather soles in ANG TIBAY making it the 89 laborers here was due to their union affiliation or activity.
necessary for him to temporarily lay off the members of the The whole transcript taken contains what transpired during the
National Labor Union Inc., is entirely false and unsupported by hearing and is more of a record of contradictory and conflicting
the records of the Bureau of Customs and the Books of statements of opposing counsel, with sporadic conclusion
Accounts of native dealers in leather. drawn to suit their own views. It is evident that these
statements and expressions of views of counsel have no
2. That the supposed lack of leather materials claimed by evidentiary value.
Toribio Teodoro was but a scheme to systematically prevent
the forfeiture of this bond despite the breach of his The Court of Industrial Relations is a special court whose
CONTRACT with the Philippine Army. functions are specifically stated in the law of its creation
(Commonwealth Act No. 103). It is more an administrative than
3. That Toribio Teodoro's letter to the Philippine Army dated a part of the integrated judicial system of the nation. It is not
September 29, 1938, (re supposed delay of leather soles from intended to be a mere receptive organ of the Government.
the States) was but a scheme to systematically prevent the Unlike a court of justice which is essentially passive, acting
forfeiture of this bond despite the breach of his CONTRACT only when its jurisdiction is invoked and deciding only cases
with the Philippine Army. that are presented to it by the parties litigant, the function of the
Court of Industrial Relations, as will appear from perusal of its
organic law, is more active, affirmative and dynamic. It not only
4. That the National Worker's Brotherhood of ANG TIBAY is a
exercises judicial or quasi-judicial functions in the
company or employer union dominated by Toribio Teodoro, the
determination of disputes between employers and employees
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

but its functions in the determination of disputes between (1) The first of these rights is the right to a hearing, which
employers and employees but its functions are far more includes the right of the party interested or affected to present
comprehensive and expensive. It has jurisdiction over the his own case and submit evidence in support thereof. In the
entire Philippines, to consider, investigate, decide, and settle language of Chief Hughes, in Morgan v. U.S., 304 U.S. 1, 58 S.
any question, matter controversy or dispute arising between, Ct. 773, 999, 82 Law. ed. 1129, "the liberty and property of the
and/or affecting employers and employees or laborers, and citizen shall be protected by the rudimentary requirements of
regulate the relations between them, subject to, and in fair play.
accordance with, the provisions of Commonwealth Act No. 103
(section 1). It shall take cognizance or purposes of prevention, (2) Not only must the party be given an opportunity to present
arbitration, decision and settlement, of any industrial or his case and to adduce evidence tending to establish the rights
agricultural dispute causing or likely to cause a strike or which he asserts but the tribunal must consider the evidence
lockout, arising from differences as regards wages, shares or presented. (Chief Justice Hughes in Morgan v. U.S. 298 U.S.
compensation, hours of labor or conditions of tenancy or 468, 56 S. Ct. 906, 80 law. ed. 1288.) In the language of this
employment, between landlords and tenants or farm-laborers, court in Edwards vs. McCoy, 22 Phil., 598, "the right to adduce
provided that the number of employees, laborers or tenants of evidence, without the corresponding duty on the part of the
farm-laborers involved exceeds thirty, and such industrial or board to consider it, is vain. Such right is conspicuously futile if
agricultural dispute is submitted to the Court by the Secretary the person or persons to whom the evidence is presented can
of Labor or by any or both of the parties to the controversy and thrust it aside without notice or consideration."
certified by the Secretary of labor as existing and proper to be
by the Secretary of Labor as existing and proper to be dealth (3) "While the duty to deliberate does not impose the obligation
with by the Court for the sake of public interest. (Section to decide right, it does imply a necessity which cannot be
4, ibid.) It shall, before hearing the dispute and in the course of disregarded, namely, that of having something to support it is a
such hearing, endeavor to reconcile the parties and induce nullity, a place when directly attached." (Edwards vs.
them to settle the dispute by amicable agreement. (Paragraph McCoy, supra.) This principle emanates from the more
2, section 4, ibid.) When directed by the President of the fundamental is contrary to the vesting of unlimited power
Philippines, it shall investigate and study all industries anywhere. Law is both a grant and a limitation upon power.
established in a designated locality, with a view to
determinating the necessity and fairness of fixing and adopting
(4) Not only must there be some evidence to support a finding
for such industry or locality a minimum wage or share of
or conclusion (City of Manila vs. Agustin, G.R. No. 45844,
laborers or tenants, or a maximum "canon" or rental to be paid
promulgated November 29, 1937, XXXVI O. G. 1335), but the
by the "inquilinos" or tenants or less to landowners. (Section
evidence must be "substantial." (Washington, Virginia and
5, ibid.) In fine, it may appeal to voluntary arbitration in the
Maryland Coach Co. v. national labor Relations Board, 301
settlement of industrial disputes; may employ mediation or
U.S. 142, 147, 57 S. Ct. 648, 650, 81 Law. ed. 965.) It means
conciliation for that purpose, or recur to the more effective
such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind accept as
system of official investigation and compulsory arbitration in
adequate to support a conclusion." (Appalachian Electric
order to determine specific controversies between labor and
Power v. National Labor Relations Board, 4 Cir., 93 F. 2d 985,
capital industry and in agriculture. There is in reality here a
989; National Labor Relations Board v. Thompson Products, 6
mingling of executive and judicial functions, which is a
Cir., 97 F. 2d 13, 15; Ballston-Stillwater Knitting Co. v. National
departure from the rigid doctrine of the separation of
Labor Relations Board, 2 Cir., 98 F. 2d 758, 760.) . . . The
governmental powers.
statute provides that "the rules of evidence prevailing in courts
of law and equity shall not be controlling.' The obvious purpose
In the case of Goseco vs. Court of Industrial Relations et al., of this and similar provisions is to free administrative boards
G.R. No. 46673, promulgated September 13, 1939, we had from the compulsion of technical rules so that the mere
occasion to joint out that the Court of Industrial Relations et al., admission of matter which would be deemed incompetent inn
G. R. No. 46673, promulgated September 13, 1939, we had judicial proceedings would not invalidate the administrative
occasion to point out that the Court of Industrial Relations is order. (Interstate Commerce Commission v. Baird, 194 U.S.
not narrowly constrained by technical rules of procedure, and 25, 44, 24 S. Ct. 563, 568, 48 Law. ed. 860; Interstate
the Act requires it to "act according to justice and equity and Commerce Commission v. Louisville and Nashville R. Co., 227
substantial merits of the case, without regard to technicalities U.S. 88, 93 33 S. Ct. 185, 187, 57 Law. ed. 431; United States
or legal forms and shall not be bound by any technicalities or v. Abilene and Southern Ry. Co. S. Ct. 220, 225, 74 Law. ed.
legal forms and shall not be bound by any technical rules of 624.) But this assurance of a desirable flexibility in
legal evidence but may inform its mind in such manner as it administrative procedure does not go far as to justify orders
may deem just and equitable." (Section 20, Commonwealth Act without a basis in evidence having rational probative force.
No. 103.) It shall not be restricted to the specific relief claimed Mere uncorroborated hearsay or rumor does not constitute
or demands made by the parties to the industrial or agricultural substantial evidence. (Consolidated Edison Co. v. National
dispute, but may include in the award, order or decision any Labor Relations Board, 59 S. Ct. 206, 83 Law. ed. No. 4, Adv.
matter or determination which may be deemed necessary or Op., p. 131.)"
expedient for the purpose of settling the dispute or of
preventing further industrial or agricultural disputes. (section
(5) The decision must be rendered on the evidence presented
13, ibid.) And in the light of this legislative policy, appeals to
at the hearing, or at least contained in the record and disclosed
this Court have been especially regulated by the rules recently
to the parties affected. (Interstate Commence Commission vs.
promulgated by the rules recently promulgated by this Court to
L. & N. R. Co., 227 U.S. 88, 33 S. Ct. 185, 57 Law. ed. 431.)
carry into the effect the avowed legislative purpose. The fact,
Only by confining the administrative tribunal to the evidence
however, that the Court of Industrial Relations may be said to
disclosed to the parties, can the latter be protected in their right
be free from the rigidity of certain procedural requirements
to know and meet the case against them. It should not,
does not mean that it can, in justifiable cases before it, entirely
however, detract from their duty actively to see that the law is
ignore or disregard the fundamental and essential
enforced, and for that purpose, to use the authorized legal
requirements of due process in trials and investigations of an
methods of securing evidence and informing itself of facts
administrative character. There are primary rights which must
material and relevant to the controversy. Boards of inquiry may
be respected even in proceedings of this character:
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 2 COMPILED CASES (FULL-TEXT)

be appointed for the purpose of investigating and determining record of this case shall be remanded to the Court of Industrial
the facts in any given case, but their report and decision are Relations, with instruction that it reopen the case, receive all
only advisory. (Section 9, Commonwealth Act No. 103.) The such evidence as may be relevant and otherwise proceed in
Court of Industrial Relations may refer any industrial or accordance with the requirements set forth hereinabove. So
agricultural dispute or any matter under its consideration or ordered.
advisement to a local board of inquiry, a provincial fiscal. a
justice of the peace or any public official in any part of the Avancea, C. J., Villa-Real, Imperial, Diaz, Concepcion and
Philippines for investigation, report and recommendation, and Moran, JJ., concur.
may delegate to such board or public official such powers and
functions as the said Court of Industrial Relations may deem
necessary, but such delegation shall not affect the exercise of
the Court itself of any of its powers. (Section 10, ibid.)

(6) The Court of Industrial Relations or any of its judges,


therefore, must act on its or his own independent consideration
of the law and facts of the controversy, and not simply accept
the views of a subordinate in arriving at a decision. It may be
that the volume of work is such that it is literally Relations
personally to decide all controversies coming before them. In
the United States the difficulty is solved with the enactment of
statutory authority authorizing examiners or other subordinates
to render final decision, with the right to appeal to board or
commission, but in our case there is no such statutory
authority.

(7) The Court of Industrial Relations should, in all controversial


questions, render its decision in such a manner that the parties
to the proceeding can know the various issues involved, and
the reasons for the decision rendered. The performance of this
duty is inseparable from the authority conferred upon it.

In