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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
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
July-1997 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 96649-50 July 1, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LYNDON V. MACOY

  • G.R. No. 109660 July 1, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO NELL

  • G.R. No. 124914 July 2, 1997 - JESUS UGADDAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123074 July 4, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FERNANDO M. FERNANDEZ

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-94-1017 July 7, 1997 - OSCAR B. LAMBINO v. AMADO A. DE VERA

  • Adm. Matter No. P-97-1245 July 7, 1997 - BENIGNO G. GAVIOLA v. NOEL NAVARETTE

  • G.R. No. 105760 July 7, 1997 - PNB v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107193 July 7, 1997 - EUGENIO TENEBRO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112006 July 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERTO S. DE VERA

  • G.R. No. 114275 July 7, 1997 - IÑIGO F. CARLET v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116962 July 7, 1997 - MARIA SOCORRO CACA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 118940-41 & 119407 July 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GREGORIO MEJIA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119872 July 7, 1997 - REMEDIOS NAVOA RAMOS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122206 July 7, 1997 - RAFAEL ARCEGA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 105284 July 8, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. IGNACIO ZUMIL

  • G.R. No. 106099 July 8, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AGUSTIN SOTTO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109814 July 8, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FERNANDO MAALAT

  • G.R. No. 112797 July 8, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NIDA ALEGRO

  • G.R. No. 114265 July 8, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GREGORIO MAGALLANES

  • G.R. No. 115307 July 8, 1997 - MANUEL LAO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115703 July 8, 1997 - EPIFANIO L. CASOLITA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117501 July 8, 1997 - SOLID HOMES, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122308 July 8, 1997 - PURITA S. MAPA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. SC-96-1 July 10, 1997 - DAMASO S. FLORES v. BERNARDO P. ABESAMIS

  • Adm. Matter No. P-97-1236 July 11, 1997 - MADONNA MACALUA v. DOMINGO TIU, JR.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-97-1249 July 11, 1997 - PACITA SY TORRES v. FROILAN S. CABLING

  • G.R. No. 104865 July 11, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICTORIANO PONTILAR, JR.

  • G.R. Nos. 113511-12 July 11, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO SINOC

  • G.R. No. 115033 July 11, 1997 - PONCIANO T. MATANGUIHAN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123204 July 11, 1997 - NATIONWIDE SECURITY AND ALLIED SERVICES, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-95-1158 July 14, 1997 - EUFEMIA BERCASIO v. HERBERTO BENITO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106153 July 14, 1997 - FLORENCIO G. BERNARDO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108838 July 14, 1997 - PAGCOR v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 116528-31 July 14, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIETO ADORA

  • G.R. No. 108492 July 15, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NOEL BANIEL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118078 July 15, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. OSCAR VILLANUEVA

  • G.R. No. 123379 July 15, 1997 - BAROTAC SUGAR MILLS, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 115439-41 July 16, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 120437-41 July 16, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARMANDO ALVARIO

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-97-1382 July 17, 1997 - REXEL M. PACURIBOT v. RODRIGO F. LIM, JR.

  • G.R. No. 105002 July 17, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DIARANGAN DANSAL

  • G.R. No. 108634 July 17, 1997 - ANTONIO P. TAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111165 July 17, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGELIO MERCADO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113257 July 17, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOHNNY LASCOTA

  • G.R. No. 114742 July 17, 1997 - CARLITOS E. SILVA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118860 July 17, 1997 - ROLINDA B. PONO v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120262 July 17, 1997 - PAL, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125195 July 17, 1997 - SAMAHAN NG MGA MANGGAGAWA SA BANDOLINO, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-96-1362 July 18, 1997 - DSWD, ET AL. v. ANTONIO M. BELEN, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-95-1283 July 21, 1997 - DAVID C. NAVAL, ET AL. v. JOSE R. PANDAY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108488 July 21, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODENCIO NARCA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111002 July 21, 1997 - PACIFIC MARITIME SERVICES, INC., ET AL. v. NICANOR RANAY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117402 July 21, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROLLIE L. ALVARADO

  • G.R. No. 119184 July 21, 1997 - HEIRS OF FELICIDAD CANQUE v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121768 July 21, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DOMINGO CASTILLO, JR.

  • G.R. Nos. 122250 & 122258 July 21, 1997 - EDGARDO C. NOLASCO v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124347 July 21, 1997 - CMS STOCK BROKERAGE, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125510 July 21, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENATO LISING

  • G.R. No. 111933 July 23, 1997 - PLDT v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 112429-30 July 23, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO P. CAYETANO

  • G.R. Nos. 118736-37 July 23, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TANG WAI LAN

  • Adm. Matter No. P-96-1205 July 24, 1997 - OSCAR P. DE LOS REYES v. ESTEBAN H. ERISPE, JR.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-97-1383 July 24, 1997 - JOSE LAGATIC v. JOSE PEÑAS, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 104663 July 24, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DAVID SALVATIERRA

  • G.R. No. 105004 July 24, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DIONISIO MAROLLANO

  • G.R. No. 107723 July 24, 1997 - EMS MANPOWER & PLACEMENT SERVICES v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111211 July 24, 1997 - ABS-CBN EMPLOYEES UNION, ET AL., v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113235 July 24, 1997 - VICTORINA MEDINA, ET AL. v. CITY SHERIFF, MANILA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 113366-68 July 24, 1997 - GREGORIO ISABELO, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116635 July 24, 1997 - CONCHITA NOOL, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116736 July 24, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENJAMIN ORTEGA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118458 July 24, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RICKY DELA CRUZ

  • G.R. No. 120276 July 24, 1997 - SINGA SHIP MANAGEMENT PHILS., INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121075 July 24, 1997 - DELTA MOTORS CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121867 July 24, 1997 - SMITH KLINE & FRENCH LAB., LTD. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127262 July 24, 1997 - HUBERT WEBB, ET AL. v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL., ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter Nos. 95-6-55-MTC & P-96-1173 July 28, 1997 - REPORT ON AUDIT IN THE MTC OF PEÑARANDA, NUEVA ECIJA

  • G.R. No. 102858 July 28, 1997 - DIRECTOR OF LANDS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 103209 July 28, 1997 - APOLONIO BONDOC, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110823 July 28, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROCHEL TRAVERO

  • G.R. No. 112323 July 28, 1997 - HELPMATE, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113344 July 28, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ATANACIO LUTO

  • G.R. No. 116668 July 28, 1997 - ERLINDA A. AGAPAY v. CARLINA V. PALANG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116726 July 28, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEONARDO P. DE LA CRUZ

  • G.R. No. 118822 July 28, 1997 - G.O.A.L., INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119000 July 28, 1997 - ROSA UY v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119649 July 28, 1997 - RICKY GALICIA, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119868 July 28, 1997 - PAL, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120072 July 28, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORENTINO I. MESA

  • G.R. No. 123361 July 28, 1997 - TEOFILO CACHO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126556 July 28, 1997 - NELSON C. DAVID v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117742 July 29, 1997 - GEORGE M. TABERRAH v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • SBC Case No. 519 July 31, 1997 - PATRICIA FIGUEROA v. SIMEON BARRANCO, JR.

  • G.R. No. 97369 July 31, 1997 - P.I. MANPOWER PLACEMENTS, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 99030 July 31, 1997 - PLDT v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106582 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUPERTO BALDERAS

  • G.R. No. 107802 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JASON NAREDO

  • G.R. No. 108399 July 31, 1997 - RAFAEL M. ALUNAN III, ET AL. v. ROBERT MIRASOL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108619 July 31, 1997 - EPIFANIO LALICAN v. FILOMENO A. VERGARA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113689 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIPE SANGIL, SR.

  • G.R. No. 113958 July 31, 1997 - BANANA GROWERS COLLECTIVE, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116060 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLEMENTE DE LA PEÑA

  • G.R. No. 116292 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JIMMY PEÑERO

  • G.R. No. 119068 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANTE CASTRO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121027 July 31, 1997 - CORAZON DEZOLLER TISON, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121157 July 31, 1997 - HEIRS OF SEGUNDA MANINGDING, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123561 July 31, 1997 - DELIA R. NERVES v. CSC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124678 July 31, 1997 - DELIA BANGALISAN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  •  





     
     

    G.R. Nos. 113366-68   July 24, 1997 - GREGORIO ISABELO, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [G.R. Nos. 113366-68. July 24, 1997.]

    GREGORIO ISABELO, VIRGILIO LABADIA, ANTONIO MENDOZA, Petitioners, v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION (FIFTH DIVISION), UNITED COCOA PLANTATION, INC., DEMOSTHENES REVIL and CAYETANO SALES, Respondents.

    Padilla Law Office, for Petitioners.

    Delos Reyes, Bonifacio, Delos Reyes for Private Respondents.

    SYNOPSIS


    Petitioners were working at the cocoa plantation of United Cocoa Plantation, Inc. (UCPI) in Balabagan, Lanao del Sur when they and other workers were requested by management to transfer to its other project sites at Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat which were undermanned. For this purpose, they received three memoranda which they, however, ignored on the around that the transfers were a ploy by UCPI to interfere with the right of the workers to self-organization. Because of their continued refusal to accept their new assignments, petitioners were given another memorandum considering them to have abandoned their employment. The Court concurred with the finding of insubordination but not with the finding of abandonment. Hence, the NLRC was upheld in dismissing petitioners complaint for unfair labor practice, denying their prayers’ for reinstatement, backwages and damages, and denying their motion for reconsideration of said decision.


    SYLLABUS


    1. LABOR AND SOCIAL LEGISLATION; LABOR RELATIONS; TRANSFER OF WORKERS FROM ONE WORKSITE TO ANOTHER; A VALID EXERCISE OF MANAGEMENT PREROGATIVE; CASE AT BAR. — The transfer and hiring of workers is clearly the prerogative of the employer. Petitioners were merely being asked to transfer to other project sites in order to augment the work force therein. In fact, UCPI even offered, as a matter of policy, to grant them relocation allowances, to shoulder all expenses of their transfer and of their family, if necessary, and to provide them with living quarters at the transfer site. It is not even disputed that these offers of management were accepted by petitioners when they signed their employment contracts, where they specifically authorized their employer to re-assign them to other positions or locations without the necessity of securing their prior written consent. As we held in Philippine Japan Active Carbon Corp. v. NLRC, "It is the employer’s prerogative, based on its assessment and perception of its employees’ qualifications, aptitudes, and competence, to move them around in the various areas of its business operations in order to ascertain where they will function with maximum benefit to the company. An employee’s right to security of tenure does not give him such a vested right in his position as would deprive the company of its prerogative to change his assignment or transfer him where he will be most useful."cralaw virtua1aw library

    2. ID.; ID.; ID.; RIGHT TO SELF-ORGANIZATION WAS NOT VIOLATED IN CASE AT BAR. — Petitioners’ right to self-organization was never violated by their planned transfer as they were never prevented from forming, organizing and joining a labor union which they, in fact, did with the formation and registration of the UCPI Workers Union as a legitimate labor union as early as September 26, 1988. They were even able to hold a certification election on December 22, 1988, two days after the issuance of the third transfer order, even if it resulted in a "no union" vote.

    3. ID.; TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT; SERIOUS MISCONDUCT OR WILLFUL DISOBEDIENCE; ESTABLISHED IN CASE AT BAR. — Under Article 282(a) of the Labor Code, as amended, an employment may be terminated for "serious misconduct or willful disobedience by the employee of the lawful orders of his employer or representative in connection with his work." In the recent case of Stolt-Nielsen Marine Services (Phils.), Inc. v. NLRC, the Court cited the requisite conditions before insubordination may be a valid or just cause for dismissal, viz.: that the employee’s assailed conduct must have been willful or intentional, the willfulness being characterized by a ‘wrongful and perverse attitude’; and the order violated must have been reasonable, lawful, made known to the employee and must pertain to the duties which he had been engaged to discharge." In the case at bar, the willfulness of petitioners’ insubordination was best exemplified by their continued refusal to transfer to the project sites beyond Balabagan under the guise of fear of curtailment of their right to self-organization. The filing of the complaints for unfair labor practice further showed their willingness to abide by their employer’s orders. Said transfer orders were made by UCPI in the exercise of its right to transfer or relocate its employees within reasonable limits as a management prerogative, bolstered by the fact that such right was made known to, and was recognized and accepted by, the employees concerned when they signed their employment contracts. They were also aware that they would be performing at the new sites essentially the same duties and functions that they were already doing at the Balabagan project. With these undisputed facts, ELA Cueto’s conclusion that petitioners were insubordinate clearly passed muster.

    4. ID.; ID.; ABANDONMENT; WHEN PETITIONERS FILED THE COMPLAINT FOR UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICE, THEY WERE MERELY QUESTIONING THEIR TRANSFER; SAID ACTION COULD HARDLY BE INTERPRETED AS "A CLEAR INTENTION TO SEVER THE EMPLOYER-EMPLOYEE RELATIONSHIP; CASE AT BAR. — While we concur with the labor arbiter’s finding of insubordination, however, we disagree with his finding of abandonment. For a valid finding of abandonment, two factors must be present, viz.:" (1) the failure to report for work or absence without valid or justifiable reason; (2) a clear intention to sever the employer-employee relationship." To be sure, petitioners failed to report for work at the new sites, but there is nothing in the records which would show that they did not continue reporting for work at Balabagan. Moreover, when they filed the complaint for unfair labor practice, they were merely questioning their transfer. This action could hardly be interpreted as "a clear intention to sever the employer-employee relationship."


    D E C I S I O N


    ROMERO, J.:


    Is the transfer of workers from one work site to another a valid exercise of management prerogative?

    This petition for certiorari is seeking the nullification of the decision of public respondent National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) dated January 27, 1993, dismissing petitioners’ complaint for unfair labor practice against herein private respondents and denying their prayer for reinstatement, back wages and damages, as well as its resolution of October 5, 1993, denying their motion for reconsideration of said decision.

    The following facts are undisputed.

    Petitioners were working at the cocoa plantation of private respondent United Cocoa Plantation, Inc. (UCPI) in Balabagan, Lanao Lanao del Sur when they, along with several other workers, were requested by management to transfer to its other project sites at Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat which were undermanned. For this purpose, they received three similar memoranda dated October 28, November 15, and December 20, 1988, which they, however, ignored on the ground that the transfers were a ploy by UCPI to interfere with the right of the workers to self-organization. Because of their continued refusal to accept their new assignments, petitioners received on January 4, 1989, another memorandum considering them to have abandoned their employment.

    Much earlier, on September 26, 1988, the UCPI Workers Union (the Union) was formed and it filed a petition for certification election on November 18, 1988. The Union, however, did not emerge as the sole bargaining unit at UCPI for failure to garner the necessary number of votes during the certification election held on December 22, 1988.

    After the issuance of the second transfer memorandum on November 15, 1988, nine of the workers whose transfer was requested, all Union officers, including herein petitioners, each filed a complaint on November 24, 1988, before the Regional Office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) against UCPI for unfair labor practice and nonpayment of wages. Six of the original complainants reached an amicable settlement with UCPI and accordingly withdrew their complaints. The remaining complaints of petitioners were consolidated and later resolved by Executive Labor Arbiter Quintin B. Cueto III (ELA Cueto) on October 18, 1989.

    In his decision, 1 ELA Cueto dismissed the complaint for lack of merit but ordered UCPI to pay petitioners a total of P12,717.00 as separation pay "in order to serve the ends of social and compassionate justice."cralaw virtua1aw library

    On appeal, the NLRC, in its resolution dated September 30, 1992, 2 reversed and set aside ELA Cueto’s decision.

    UCPI filed a motion for reconsideration of said NLRC resolution, which was granted in the decision dated January 27, 1993. 3 Consequently, the resolution of September 30, 1992, was vacated and the October 18, 1989, decision of ELA Cueto was reinstated. From this resolution, petitioners filed their own motion for reconsideration, but it was denied for lack of merit by the NLRC in its resolution of October 5, 1993. 4 Hence, this petition.

    At the outset, the Court observes that the issues raised in this petition are factual, and on this score, we defer to the findings of the labor arbiter and the NLRC. 5 A perusal of the records of this case convinces us further of the correctness of the challenged decisions.

    Petitioners contend that the transfer orders were illegal because even as nine of the workers were being re-assigned to other project sites, UCPI was hiring twenty-four new workers for its Balabagan plantation.

    This argument fails to persuade us.

    The transfer and hiring of workers is clearly the prerogative of the employer. Petitioners were merely being asked to transfer to other project sites in order to augment the work force therein. In fact, UCPI, even offered, as a matter of policy, to grant them relocation allowances, to shoulder all expenses of their transfer and of their family, if necessary, and to provide them with living quarters at the transfer site. It is not even disputed that these offers of management were accepted by petitioners when they signed their employment contracts, where they specifically authorized their employer to re-assign them to other positions or locations without the necessity of securing their prior written consent. 6 As we held in Philippine Japan Active Carbon Corp. v. NLRC. 7

    "It is the employer’s prerogative, based on its assessment and perception of its employees’ qualifications, aptitudes, and competence, to move them around in the various areas of its business operations in order to ascertain where they will function with maximum benefit to the company. An employee’s right to security of tenure does not give him such a vested right in his position as would deprive the company of its prerogative to change his assignment or transfer him where he will be most useful."cralaw virtua1aw library

    It is also argued that said orders, having been addressed to Union officers, "was patent harassment calculated to demoralize the rest of the Union members and discourage continued membership" therein.

    This is flawed if not specious logic. Petitioner’s right to self-organization was never violated by their planned transfer as they were never prevented from forming, organizing and joining a labor union which they, in fact, did with the formation and registration of the UCPI Workers Union as a legitimate labor union as early as September 26, 1988. They were even able to hold a certification election on December 22, 1988, two days after the issuance of the third transfer order, even if it resulted in a "no union" vote.

    Finally, petitioners deny the labor arbiter’s finding that they were insubordinate and that they abandoned their work, which are just and valid grounds for their dismissal.

    Under Article 282(a) of the Labor Code, as amended, an employment may be terminated for "serious misconduct or willful disobedience by the employee of the lawful orders of his employer or representative in connection with his work." In the recent case of Stolt-Nielsen Marine Services (Phils.), Inc. v. NLRC, 8 the Court cited the requisite conditions before insubordination may be a valid or just cause for dismissal, viz.: that "the employee’s assailed conduct must have been willful or intentional, the willfulness being characterized by a ‘wrongful and perverse attitude’; and the order violated must have been reasonable, lawful, made known to the employee and must pertain to the duties which he had been engaged to discharge." 9 (Emphasis supplied).chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    In the case at bar, the willfulness of petitioner’s insubordination was best exemplified by their continued refusal to transfer to the project sites beyond Balabagan under the guise of fear of curtailment of their right to self-organization. The filing of the complaints for unfair labor practice further showed their unwillingness to abide by their employer’s orders. Said transfer orders were made by UCPI in the exercise of its right to transfer or re-locate its employees within reasonable limits as a management prerogative, bolstered by the fact that such right was made known to, and was recognized and accepted by, the employees concerned when they signed their employment contracts. They were also aware that they would be performing at the new sites essentially the same duties and functions that they were already doing at the Balabagan project. With these undisputed facts, ELA Cueto’s conclusion that petitioners were insubordinate clearly passed muster.

    While we concur with the labor arbiter’s finding of insubordination, however, we disagree with his finding of abandonment. For a valid finding of abandonment, two factors must be present, viz.:" (1) the failure to report for work or absence without valid or justifiable reason; and (2) a clear intention to sever the employer-employee relationship." 10 To be sure, petitioners failed to report for work at the new sites, but there is nothing in the records which would show that they did not continue reporting for work at Balabagan. Moreover, when they filed the complaint for unfair labor practice, they were merely questioning their transfer. This action could hardly be interpreted as "a clear intention to sever the employer-employee relationship."cralaw virtua1aw library

    WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DISMISSED. The assailed January 27, 1993, decision and October 5, 1993, resolution of the National Labor Relations Commission are hereby AFFIRMED, except as modified above. No pronouncement as to costs.

    SO ORDERED.

    Regalado, Puno and Mendoza, JJ., concur.

    Torres Jr., J., is on leave.

    Endnotes:



    1. Rollo, pp. 79-99.

    2. Ibid., pp. 38-46.

    3. Id., pp. 25-28.

    4. Id., pp. 30-31.

    5. Radio Communications Philippines, Inc. v. NLRC, 258 SCRA 211 (1996).

    6. Rollo, p. 26.

    7. 171 SCRA 164 (1989).

    8. 258 SCRA 643 (1996).

    9. Citing Gold City Integrated Port Services, Inc. v. NLRC, 189 SCRA 811 (1990). See also AHS/Philippines, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 257 SCRA 319 (1996), citing Mañebo v. NLRC, 229 SCRA 240 (1994).

    10. Balayan Colleges v. NLRC, 255 SCRA 1 (1996).

    G.R. Nos. 113366-68   July 24, 1997 - GREGORIO ISABELO, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.


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