1. WORKMEN’S COMPENSATION; COMPENSABILITY OF CLAIM; DEATH WHILE ON LEAVE OF ABSENCE; NO PRESUMPTION OF COMPENSABILITY. — The presumption of the law that the claim is deemed to be valid unless the contrary is shown does not apply where the employee was on leave of absence at the time he was killed by a co-employee.
2. ID.; ID.; CONDITIONS FOR REQUIREMENT THAT DEATH OCCUR WHILE IN THE COURSE OF OR ARISING OUT OF EMPLOYMENT. — The requirement that to be compensable the death must occur while the worker is performing some work in the course of or arising out of his employment require three things to concur: the injury must be received during the period covered by the employment, the worker must be shown to have been injured at the time and place where the performance of his work requires him to be, but was at the time presiding a meeting of a labor and not doing something in association pursuance of his work.
3. ID.; ID.; DEATH WHILE PRESIDING MEETING OF LABOR ASSOCIATION NOT COMPENSABLE; CASE AT BAR. — Facts: the deceased when assaulted was not performing any work in pursuance of his duties and was neither in the place where his work required him to be, but was at the time presiding a meeting of a labor association the internal affairs of which are entirely independent of the company where he was then employed. Held: Not compensable because the requirements that death must arise out of or in the course of employment are not present.
4. ID.; ID.; PRESCRIPTION FILING CLAIM FIVE MONTHS AFTER DEATH. — Where the claim for compensation was filed nearly five months after the death of the deceased employee it was held barred by prescription under Section 24 of Act 3428, there being no proof that the employer has voluntarily given some compensation to the employee’s heirs.
5. WORKMEN’S COMPENSATION; APPEALS; FAILURE TO FILE NOTICE OF APPEAL WITH COMMISSION FATAL. — The Supreme Court does not acquire jurisdiction over an appeal from a decision of the Workmen’s Compensation Commission where the appellant failed to properly perfect its appeal because it did not file any notice of appeal with said Commission as required by Section 1, Rule 43, of the New Rules of Court.
On April 4, 1961, Josefa Baluis Vda. de Jacob filed with the regional office of the Department of Labor in Naga City a claim for compensation against the A. L. Ammen Transportation Co., Inc., alleging, among others, that on October 11, 1960, at about 3:00 o’clock p.m., her deceased husband Agripino Jacob, who was then employed by said company as a line inspector, was attacked by a co-employee with a bolo causing his death on October 12, 1960. The company, upon being informed of Jacob’s death, filed within the reglementary period the required employer’s report of accident stating therein that it would oppose any claim for death compensation that may be filed by any party in interest on the ground that the death of Agripino Jacob did not arise out of or in the course of his employment but it occurred while he was on leave of absence.
The hearing officer to which the case was assigned received the evidence and rendered decision dismissing the complaint on the ground advanced by the company. Not satisfied with this decision, the complainant moved to have it reconsidered, and the same having been denied, the hearing officer elevated the case to the Workmen’s Compensation Commission for review. On July 3, 1962, the Commission, thru Chairman N. Baens del Rosario, reversed the decision declaring the claim compensable. Hence, it ordered the company to pay the claimant P4,000.00 as compensation, P200.00 as funeral expenses, P300.00 as attorney’s fees, and P46.00 as docket fee under Section 55 of the Workmen’s Compensation Act. In due time, the company filed the present petition for review.
The stipulation of facts shows that the deceased Agripino Jacob was employed as a line inspector by petitioner with a salary of P165.00 a month. He was at the time of his death the incumbent president of the Bicol Transportation Employees Mutual Aid Association, BITEMAA for short, an organization which is entirely independent of the company and wherein the latter had nothing to do with its internal affairs. He was then on leave of absence thru a request duly approved by the company and when on October 11, 1960 at about 3:00 p.m. he attended a meeting of the board of directors and officers of BITEMAA he was attacked by a co-employee with a bolo causing his death on the next day.
Upon the foregoing facts, respondent Commission found Agripino Jacob’s death compensable even if it did not actually arise out of his employment. The factors that were considered by it, are: the deceased at the time of his aggression was still in the employ of the company though he was then on leave of absence. One of the purposes of the BITEMAA was to promote better understanding between the employer and its employees and anything taken up in the meeting would in the long run inure to the welfare of the company’s business. The meeting was with the approval of the company. While it appears that the purpose of the meeting was to consider the lifting of the expulsion of one Simeon Vellez from its board of directors, there is nothing in the record to show any motive that could have been the cause of the hacking of the deceased. However, since Agripino Jacob had the role of working for the benefit of the employees as well as promoting good relations with the management it is possible that what precipitated his assault was a matter taken up by him which in the eyes of the members was a move in favor of the management. It is, therefore, fair to consider Jacob’s death as one arising out of or in the course of his employment.
Considering the philosophy behind the requirement that to be compensable the death must occur while the worker is performing some work in the course of his employment or doing something arising out of his employment, the authorities are to the effect that to come within the purview of such requirement three things must concur: the injury must be received during the period covered by the employment, the worker must be shown to have been injured at the time and place where the performance of his work requires him to be, and the worker must have been doing something in pursuance of his work. 1 And so it has been held that a wound received by a worker outside the performance of his duties and in a place other than where the performance of his work requires him to be is injury not "arising out of or in the course of his employment" (Sunga v. City of Manila, 57 Phil., 869).
Here these requirements are not present for admittedly the deceased when assaulted was not performing any work in pursuance of his duties and was neither in the place where his work required him to be, but was at the time presiding a meeting of a labor association the internal affairs of which are entirely independent of the company where he was then employed.
It is true that at the time of his assault the deceased was still an employee of the company for he has not yet severed his employment with it, but the fact that he was then on leave of absence is clear proof that he was not then performing his usual duties as inspector, nor doing anything in relation thereto, to come within the purview of the phrase "arising out of and in the course of employment." The presumption, therefore, of the law that the claim is deemed to be valid unless the contrary is shown does not here apply, mainly for the reason that the deceased’s leave of absence takes this case out of its purview.
The finding of respondent Commission that since the deceased was then the president of an association whose purpose is to promote better understanding between the employer and its employees it is reasonable to suppose that what precipitated the attack is a matter taken up by him which appears in the eyes of the members as a move in favor of the management, not only does not find support in the evidence, but is easily refuted by the fact that the avowed purpose of the meeting was to take up the expulsion of one Simeon Vellez from its board of directors. No other matter appears in the agenda for discussion, nor is there any inkling as to what had motivated the hacking of the deceased. While the modern trend of progressive labor legislation tends to foster harmonious relations between unions and management, — a matter which should be encouraged, — we are not prepared to relax the rule that would open the door to abuse and extreme liberalism. A happy medium should be sought which would be fair to both management and labor without doing violence to the law. The conclusion we have reached is in line with this point of view.
Another factor that argues against respondent’s claim is that it was filed nearly five months after the death of the deceased contrary to Section 24 of Act 3428, which requires that a claim for compensation should be filed within three months after death. This can only be offset by proof that the employer has voluntarily given some compensation to the employee in relation to the injury, a situation which does not here obtain. Verily, this claim has already prescribed. 2
WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is reversed. No costs.
, Concepcion, Reyes, J.B.L., Paredes, Dizon, Regala, Makalintal, Bengzon, J. P. and Zaldivar, JJ.
, took no part.
1. Batangas Transportation Company v. Rivera, Et Al., L-7658, May 8, 1956; citing Larson, Workmen’s Compensation Law, (1952) p. 193; Murillo v. Mendoza, 66 Phil., 689.
2. Luzon Stevedoring Co., Inc. v. Workmen’s Compensation Commission, Et Al., L-19742, January 31, 1964; Manila Railroad Company v. Workmen’s Compensation Commission, Et Al., L-18388, June 23, 1963; Luzon Stevedoring Company v. De Leon, Et Al., L-9521, November 28, 1958.