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Prof. Joselito Guianan Chan's The Labor Code of the Philippines, Annotated Labor Standards & Social Legislation Volume I of a 3-Volume Series 2019 Edition (3rd Revised Edition)
 

 
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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
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March-1996 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 91935 March 4, 1996 - RODOLFO QUIAMBAO v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106043 March 4, 1996 - CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY LANDLESS RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109645 March 4, 1996 - ORTIGAS AND COMPANY LIMITED PARTNERSHIP v. TIRSO VELASCO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115365 March 4, 1996 - ESMENIO MADLOS v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118126 March 4, 1996 - TRANS-ASIA SHIPPING LINES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-94-921 March 5, 1996 - AMPARO A. LACHICA v. ROLANDO A. FLORDELIZA

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-94-1009 March 5, 1996 - ALBERTO NALDOZA v. JUAN LAVILLES, JR.

  • G.R. No. 111501 March 5, 1996 - PHIL. FUJI XEROX CORPORATION, ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION

  • G.R. No. 113930 March 5, 1996 - PAUL G. ROBERTS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115548 March 5, 1996 - STATE INVESTMENT HOUSE INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • Adm. Matter No. P-94-1039 March 6, 1996 - FE ALBANO MADRID v. RAYMUNDO RAMIREZ

  • G.R. Nos. 112858-59 March 6, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RALPHY ALCANTARA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120193 March 6, 1996 - LUIS MALALUAN v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Case No. CBD-174 March 7, 1996 - GIOVANI M. IGUAL v. ROLANDO S. JAVIER

  • G.R. No. 66555 March 7, 1996 - LEONCIO MEJARES, ET AL. v. JUAN Y. REYES, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 95353-54 March 7, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PAULINO PAT

  • G.R. No. 109390 March 7, 1996 - JGB and ASSOCIATES v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112445 March 7, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CARLOS V. PATROLLA, JR.

  • G.R. No. 113710 March 7, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FERDINAND V. JUAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116011 March 7, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RHODESA B. SILAN

  • G.R. No. 117650 March 7, 1996 - SULPICIO LINES v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120905 March 7, 1996 - RENATO U. REYES v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 95260 March 8, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILFREDO C. PRADO

  • G.R. No. 110983 March 8, 1996 - REYNALDO GARCIA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Case No. 2024 March 11, 1996 - SALVADOR T. CASTILLO v. PABLO M. TAGUINES

  • G.R. No. 108625 March 11, 1996 - ALLIANCE OF DEMOCRATIC FREE LABOR ORGANIZATION v. BIENVENIDO LAGUESMA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113194 March 11, 1996 - NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119381 March 11, 1996 - MARCOPPER MINING CORPORATION v. JOSE BRILLANTES

  • G.R. No. 96882 March 12, 1996 - EUTIQUIANO PAGARA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109800 March 12, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILFREDO N. BAUTISTA

  • G.R. No. 114388 March 12, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DOMINGO TRILLES, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-94-4-156 March 13, 1996 - IN RE: FERNANDO P. AGDAMAG

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-96-1344 March 13, 1996 - VERONICA GONZALES v. LUCAS P. BERSAMIN

  • G.R. No. 101332 March 13, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLARO BERNAL

  • G.R. No. 101699 March 13, 1996 - BENJAMIN A. SANTOS v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 104088-89 March 13, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICENTE JAIN, ET AL

  • G.R. No. 108743 March 13, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARNALDO B. DONES

  • G.R. No. 112193 March 13, 1996 - JOSE E. ARUEGO, JR., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112546 March 13, 1996 - NORTH DAVAO MINING CORPORATION, ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119073 March 13, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERTO DIAZ

  • G.R. No. 120223 March 13, 1996 - RAMON Y. ALBA v. DEPUTY OMBUDSMAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 101070 March 14, 1996 - BALAYAN COLLEGES, ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 102062 March 14, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CAMILO FERRER, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 104685 March 14, 1996 - SABENA BELGIAN WORLD AIRLINES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119706 March 14, 1996 - PHILIPPINE AIRLINES, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 73592 March 15, 1996 - JOSE CUENCO BORROMEO v. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 94494 March 15, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DIONISIO C. LAPURA

  • G.R. No. 103695 March 15, 1996 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 105819 March 15, 1996 - MARILYN L. BERNARDO v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 106229-30 March 15, 1996 - LEOVIGILDO ROSALES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108001 March 15, 1996 - SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION, ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111651 March 15, 1996 - OSMALIK S. BUSTAMANTE, ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115106 March 15, 1996 - ROBERTO L. DEL ROSARIO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114988 March 18, 1996 - CATALINO BONTIA, ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION

  • G.R. No. 117667 March 18, 1996 - INLAND TRAILWAYS v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • Adm. Matter No. 94-5-42-MTC March 20, 1996 - QUERY OF JUDGE DANILO M. TENERIFE

  • G.R. No. 102360 March 20, 1996 - ROSITA DOMINGO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111656 March 20, 1996 - MANUEL MANAHAN, JR. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116665 March 20, 1996 - MELQUIADES D. AZCUNA, JR. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. 95-1-07-RTC March 21, 1996 - JDF ANOMALY IN THE RTC OF LIGAO, ALBAY

  • Adm. Matter No. 95-10-06-SCC March 27, 1996 - IN RE: DEMASIRA M. BAUTE

  • Adm. Matter No. P-94-1071 March 28, 1996 - ELIZABETH ASUMBRADO v. FRANCISCO R. MACUNO

  • G.R. No. 104386 March 28, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. OSCAR L. LEVISTE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121424 March 28, 1996 - IN RE: MAURO P. MAGTIBAY v. VICENTE VINARAO

  • G.R. No. 90215 March 29, 1996 - ERNESTO ZALDARRIAGA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 94594 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO REDULOSA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 96178-79 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDUARDO ESMAQUILAN

  • G.R. No. 97785 March 29, 1996 - PHILIPPINE COMMERCIAL INTERNATIONAL BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 99259-60 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EMILIO D. SANTOS

  • G.R. No. 103525 March 29, 1996 - MARCOPPER MINING CORPORATION v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 104296 March 29, 1996 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. Nos. 106083-84 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. QUINTIN T. GARRAEZ

  • G.R. No. 106600 March 29, 1996 - COSMOS BOTTLING CORPORATION v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109312 March 29, 1996 - PLACIDO MIRANDA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 109614-15 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ADRONICO GREGORIO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112346 March 29, 1996 - EVELYN YONAHA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 112457-58 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO CARTUANO, JR.

  • G.R. No. 112678 March 29, 1996 - EDUARDO M . ESPEJO v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 112708-09 March 29, 1996 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112718 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VLADIMIR L. CANUZO

  • G.R. Nos. 113519-20 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO F. PANLILIO

  • G.R. Nos. 114263-64 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOHN JENN PORRAS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115988 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEO V. LIAN

  • G.R. No. 116734 March 29, 1996 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LARRY B. LAURENTE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116792 March 29, 1996 - BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117055 March 29, 1996 - SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION

  • G.R. No. 117618 March 29, 1996 - VIRGINIA MALINAO v. LUISITO REYES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118509 March 29, 1996 - LIMKETKAI SONS MILLING INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118870 March 29, 1996 - NERISSA Z. PEREZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119193 March 29, 1996 - NEMENCIO GALVEZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120715 March 29, 1996 - FERNANDO R. SAZON v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121527 March 29, 1996 - MARCELO L. ONGSITCO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

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    G.R. No. 117650   March 7, 1996 - SULPICIO LINES v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    FIRST DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 117650. March 7, 1996.]

    SULPICIO LINES, Petitioner, v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION AND JAIME CAGATAN, Respondents.

    Public Attorney’s Office, Espina and Hontanosas for Petitioner.

    The Solicitor General for Respondents.


    SYLLABUS


    1. REMEDIAL LAW; CIVIL PROCEDURE; VENUE; QUESTION OF VENUE ESSENTIALLY TOUCHES MORE UPON THE CONVENIENCE OF THE PARTIES RATHER THAN UPON THE SUBSTANCE AND MERITS OF THE CASE. — As early as 1911, this Court held that the question of venue essentially relates to the trial and touches more upon the convenience of the parties, rather than upon the substance and merits of the case. Our permissive rules underlying provisions on venue are intended to assure convenience for the plaintiff and his witnesses and to promote the ends of justice. This axiom all the more finds applicability in cases involving labor and management because of the principle, paramount in our jurisdiction, that the State shall afford full protection to labor. In the case at bench, it is not denied that while petitioner maintains its principal office in Cebu City, it retains a major booking and shipping office in Manila from which it earns considerable revenue, and from which it hires and trains a significant number of its workforce. Its virulent insistence on holding the proceedings in the NLRC’s regional arbitration branch in Cebu City is obviously a ploy to inconvenience the private respondent, a mere steward who resides in Metro Manila, who would obviously not be able to afford the frequent trips to Cebu City in order to follow up his case.

    2. LABOR LAW; NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION; NLRC RULES OF PROCEDURE ON VENUE; SECTION 1, RULE IV OF SAID RULES USES THE WORD "MAY" ALLOWING A DIFFERENT VENUE WHEN THE INTERESTS OF SUBSTANTIAL JUSTICE DEMAND A DIFFERENT ONE. — Section 1, Rule IV of the NLRC Rules of Procedures on Venue, provides that a: Section 1. Venue — (a) All cases in which Labor Arbiters have authority to hear and decide may be filed in the Regional Arbitration Branch having jurisdiction over the workplace of the complainant/petitioner. This provision is obviously permissive for the said section uses the word "may," allowing a different venue when the interests of substantial justice demand a different one. In any case, as stated earlier, the Constitutional protection accorded to labor is a paramount and compelling factor, provided the venue chosen is not altogether oppressive to the employer. Moreover, Section 1, Rule IV of the 1990 NLRC Rules additionally provides that, "for purposes of venue, workplace shall be understood as the place or locality where the employee is regularly assigned when the cause of action arose." Since the private respondent’s regular place of assignment is the vessel MV Cotabato Princess which plies the Manila-Estancia-Iloilo-Zamboanga-Cotabato route, we are of the opinion that Labor Arbiter Arthur L. Amansec was correct in concluding that Manila could be considered part of the complainant’s territorial workplace.


    D E C I S I O N


    KAPUNAN, J.:


    Petitioner Sulpicio Lines, Inc., owner of MV Cotabato Princes, on January 15, 1992 dismissed private respondent Jaime Cagatan, a messman of the said vessel, allegedly for being absent without leave for a "prolonged" period of six (6) months.

    As a result of his dismissal, the private respondent filed a complaint for illegal dismissal before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) through its National Capital Region Arbitration Branch in Manila, docketed as NLRC-NCR Case No. 00-06-3163-92. 1

    Responding to the said complaint, Petitioner, on June 25, 1992, filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground of improper venue, stating, among other things, that the case for illegal dismissal should have been lodged with the NLRC’s Regional Branch No. VII (Cebu), as its main office was located in Cebu City. 2

    In an Order dated August 21, 1992 Labor Arbiter Arthur L. Amansec of the NLRC-NCR denied petitioner’s Motion to Dismiss, holding that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Considering that the complainant is a ship steward, traveled on board respondent’s ship along the Manila-Enstancia-Iloilo-Zamboanga-Cotabato vice-versa route, Manila Can be said to be part of the complainant’s territorial workplace. 3

    The aforequoted Order was seasonably appealed to the NLRC by petitioner. On February 28, 1994, respondent NLRC found petitioner’s appeal unmeritorious and sustained the Labor Arbiter’s August 21, 1992 ruling, explaining that "under the New NLRC Rules, the Commission or the Labor Arbiter before whom the case is pending may order a change of venue." 4 Finding no grave abuse of discretion in the Labor Arbiter’s assailed Order, respondent NLRC emphasized that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    [T]he complainant instituted the Action in Manila where the resides. Hence, we see no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the labor arbiter in denying the respondent’s Motion to Dismiss as We find support in the basic principle that the State shall afford protection to labor and that the NLRC is not bound by strict technical rules of procedure. 5

    Undaunted, petitioner sought a reconsideration of the above Order which the public respondent denied in its Resolution dated July 22, 1994. 6 Consequently, petitioner comes to this Court for relief, in form of a Special Civil Action for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, contending that public respondent NLRC acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it issued its assailed rulings. 7

    It is petitioner’s principal contention that a ship or vessel as workplace is an extension of its homeport or principal place of business, and that "being part of the territory of the homeport, (such) vessel in governed to a large extent by the laws and is under the jurisdiction of the homeport. 8 Based on this submission, petitioner avers that its vessel-as-workplace is "under the territorial jurisdiction of the Regional Arbitration branch where (its) . . . principal office is located," which is Branch VII located in Cebu City. 9

    We disagree.

    As early as 1911, this Court held that the question of venue essentially relates to the trial and touches more upon the convenience of the parties, rather than upon the substance and merits of the case. 10 Our permissive rules underlying provisions on venue are intended to assure convenience for the plaintiff and his witnesses and to promote the ends of justice. this axiom all the more finds applicability in cases involving labor and management because of the principle, paramount in our jurisdiction, that the State shall afford full protection to labor. 11

    Even in cases where venue has been stipulated by the parties by contract, this Court has not hesitated to set aside agreements on venue if the same would lead to a situation so grossly inconvenient to one party as to virtually negate his claim. In Sweet Lines v. Teves, 12 involving a contract of adhesion, we held that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    An agreement will not be held valid where it practically negates the action of the claimants, such as the private respondents herein. The philosophy underlying the provisions on transfer of venue of actions is the convenience of the plaintiffs as well as his witnesses and to promote the ends of justice. Considering the expense and trouble a passenger residing outside Cebu City would incur to prosecute a claim in the City of Cebu, he would most probably decide not to file the action at all. The condition will thus defeat, instead of enhance, the ends of justice. Upon the other hand, petitioner had branches or offices in the respective ports of call of the vessels and can afford to litigate in any of these places. Hence, the filing of the suit in the CFI of Misamis Oriental, as was done in the instant case will not cause inconvenience to, much less prejudice petitioner. 13

    In the case at bench, it is not denied that while petitioner maintains its principal office in Cebu City, it retains a major booking and shipping office in Manila from which it earns considerable revenue, and from which it hires and trains a significant number of its workforce. Its virulent insistence on holding the proceedings in the NLRC’s regional arbitration branch in Cebu City is obviously a ploy to inconvenience the private respondent, a mere steward who resides in Metro Manila, who would obviously not be able to afford the frequent trips to Cebu City in order to follow up his case.

    Even the provisions cited by petitioner in support of its contention that venue of the illegal dismissal case lodged by private respondent is improperly laid, would not absolutely support his claim that respondent NLRC with grave abuse of discretion in allowing the private respondent to file his case with the NCR arbitration branch.

    Section 1, Rule IV of the NLRC Rules of Procedure on Venue, provides that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Section 1. Venue — (a) All cases in which Labor Arbiters have authority to hear and decide may be filed in the Regional Arbitration Branch having jurisdiction over the workplace of the complainant/petitioner.

    This provision is obviously permissive, for the said section uses the word "may," allowing a different venue when the interests of substantial justice demand a different one. In any case, as stated earlier, the Constitutional protection accorded to labor is a paramount and compelling factor, provided the venue chosen is not altogether oppressive to the employer.

    Moreover, Section 1, Rule IV of the 1990 NLRC Rules additionally provides that, "for purposes of venue, workplace shall be understood as the place or locality where the employee is regularly assigned when the cause of action arose." Since the private respondent’s regular place of assignment is the vessel V Cotabato Princes which plies the Manila-Estancia-Iloilo-Zamboanga-Cotabato route, we are of the opinion that Labor Arbiter Arthur L. Amansec was correct in concluding that Manila could be considered part of the complainant’s territorial workplace. Respondent NLRC, therefore, committed no grave abuse of discretion in sustaining the labor arbiter’s denial of herein petitioner’s Motion to Dismiss.

    WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant petition is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit.

    SO ORDERED.

    Padilla, Bellosillo, Vitug and Hermosisima, Jr., JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Rollo, p. 13.

    2. Petitioner’s basis is Section 1, Rules IV of the 1990 NLRC Rules of Procedure which states the following:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Section 1.F Venue. — (a) All cases which Labor Arbiters have authority to hear and decide may be filed in the Regional Arbitration Branch having jurisdiction over the workplace of the complainant/petitioner.

    For purposes of venue, workplace shall be understood as the place or locality where the employee is regularly assigned when the cause of action arose. It shall include the place where the employee is supposed to report back after temporary detail, assignment or travel.

    3. Rollo, p. 17.

    4. Id., at 19.

    5. Id., at 19-20.

    6. Id., at 23.

    7. Id., at 5.

    8. Id., at 7.

    9. Id., at 8.

    10. Manila Railroad Company v. Attorney General, 20 Phil. 523 (1911). See also Philippine Banking Corporation v. Tensuan, 228 SCRA 385, at 396 (1993).

    11. Const., art. XIII, sec. 3.

    12. 83 SCRA 361 (1978).

    13. Sweet Lines, Inc. v. Teves, 83 SCRA 361 (1978).

    G.R. No. 117650   March 7, 1996 - SULPICIO LINES v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.




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