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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
 

   
January-2000 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 123951 January 10, 2000 - ROMEO RANOLA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-00-1360 January 18, 2000 - ELISEO SOREÑO v. RHODERICK MAXINO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114683 January 18, 2000 - JESUS C. OCAMPO v. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 118441-42 January 18, 2000 - ARMANDO JOSE, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119594 January 18, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENZON ONG

  • G.R. No. 125994 January 18, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENJAMIN ANDALES

  • G.R. No. 127135 January 18, 2000 - EASTERN ASSURANCE AND SURETY CORP. (EASCO) v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129846 January 18, 2000 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130944 January 18, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICENTE ALIB, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131675 January 18, 2000 - PEDRO C. LAMEYRA v. GEORGE S. PANGILINAN

  • G.R. No. 132378 January 18, 2000 - ROGELIO JUAN v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 132767 January 18, 2000 - PHIL. VETERANS BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134854 January 18, 2000 - FELIZARDO S. OBANDO, ET AL. v. EDUARDO F. FIGUERAS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139465 January 18, 2000 - SECRETARY OF JUSTICE v. RALPH C. LANTION, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1245 January 19, 2000 - ANTONIO YU-ASENSI v. FRANCISCO D. VILLANUEVA

  • A.M. No. MTJ-97-1129 January 19, 2000 - FLAVIANO B. CORTES v. FELINO BANGALAN

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1513 January 19, 2000 - ALFREDO B. ENOJAS v. EUSTAQUIO Z. GACOTT

  • G.R. No. 107320 January 19, 2000 - A’ PRIME SECURITY SERVICES v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 113666-68 January 19, 2000 - GOLDEN DONUTS, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114761 January 19, 2000 - ALEMAR’S SIBAL & SONS v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119217 January 19, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MIGUEL S. LUCBAN

  • G.R. No. 122104 January 19, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEPITO ORBITA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 122297-98 January 19, 2000 - CRESCENTE Y. LLORENTE v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122739 January 19, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE M. PANTORILLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123655 January 19, 2000 - ANGEL BAUTISTA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123183 January 19, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUBEN SISON

  • G.R. No. 126516 January 19, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SHIRLEY ALAO

  • G.R. No. 127572 January 19, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SALVADOR VILLAR

  • G.R. No. 129072 January 19, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANTONIO ABUBU

  • G.R. No. 130957 January 19, 2000 - VH MANUFACTURING v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132152 January 19, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EUGENIO ADRALES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132248 January 19, 2000 - ERLINDA C. PEFIANCO v. MARIA LUISA C. MORAL

  • G.R. No. 132657 January 19, 2000 - WILLIAM DIU, ET AL. v. DOMINADOR IBAJAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 132779-82 January 19, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DONATO BERNALDEZ

  • G.R. No. 134003 January 19, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERT NAGUM

  • G.R. No. 134329 January 19, 2000 - VERONA PADA-KILARIO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134535 January 19, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALEJANDRO MAGNO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137560 January 19, 2000 - MARIA G. CRUZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 4749 January 20, 2000 - SOLIMAN M. SANTOS, JR. v. FRANCISCO R. LLAMAS

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-00-1241 January 20, 2000 - NAPOLEON S. VALENZUELA v. REYNALDO B. BELLOSILLO

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1242 January 20, 2000 - DANIEL DUMO, ET AL. v. ROMEO V. PEREZ

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1522 January 20, 2000 - ROMULO SJ TOLENTINO v. POLICARPIO S. CAMANO

  • G.R. No. 76371 January 20, 2000 - MARIANO TURQUESA, ET AL. v. ROSARIO VALERA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 87134 January 20, 2000 - PHIL. REGISTERED ELECTRICAL PRACTITIONERS, ET AL. v. JULIO FRANCA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 100718-19 January 20, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FREDDIE JUAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106282 January 20, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. QUINCIANO RENDOQUE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108067 January 20, 2000 - CYANAMID PHIL., INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109376 January 20, 2000 - PANFILO O. DOMINGO v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110807 January 20, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REYNALD T. NARVASA

  • G.R. No. 110929 January 20, 2000 - ABELARDO LOPEZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119652 & A.M. No. P-00-1358 January 20, 2000 - VENTURA O. DUCAT v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123860 January 20, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDWIN NAAG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125451 January 20, 2000 - MARCIANA MUÑOZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126151 January 20, 2000 - MANILA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY, ET AL. v. SERGIO D. MABUNAY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128887 January 20, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILS. v. EDGARDO AQUINO

  • G.R. No. 130713 January 20, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GABRIEL FLORES

  • G.R. No. 130986 January 20, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICTOR PAILANCO

  • G.R. No. 131512 January 20, 2000 - LAND TRANSPORTATION OFFICE [LTO] v. CITY OF BUTUAN

  • G.R. No. 132368 January 20, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PACITO GARCES, JR.

  • G.R. No. 133775 January 20, 2000 - FIDEL DABUCO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 131894-98 January 20, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILS. v. JESUS DOCENA

  • G.R. No. 134167 January 20, 2000 - NASSER IMMAM v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125965 January 21, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PATRICIO GOZANO

  • G.R. No. 133477 January 21, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENJAMIN RAFALES

  • G.R. No. 135904 January 21, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALVIN TAN

  • G.R. Nos. 89591-96 January 24, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BONIFACIO SANZ MACEDA

  • G.R. No. 100518 January 24, 2000 - ASSOCIATION OF TRADE UNIONS (ATU), ET AL. v. OSCAR N. ABELLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 101932 January 24, 2000 - FRANCISCO H. ESCAÑO, JR., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111285 January 24, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICENTE VALLA

  • G.R. No. 116066 January 24, 2000 - NUEVA ECIJA I ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124715 January 24, 2000 - RUFINA LUY LIM v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125031 January 24, 2000 - PERMEX INC., ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129693 January 24, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUDY CORTES

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1525 January 25, 2000 - MARTIN D. PANTALEON v. TEOFILO L. GUADIZ, JR.

  • G.R. No. 80129 January 25, 2000 - GERARDO RUPA, SR. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL

  • G.R. No. 102706 January 25, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEON LUMILAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107427 January 25, 2000 - JAMES R. BRACEWELL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113518 January 25, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ESTEBAN ARLEE

  • G.R. No. 113684 January 25, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARMANDO GALLARDO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116332 January 25, 2000 - BAYNE ADJUSTERS AND SURVEYORS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119595 January 25, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOVITO BARONA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120267 January 25, 2000 - CLARA ESPIRITU BORLONGAN, ET AL. v. CONSUELO MADRIDEO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121439 January 25, 2000 - AKLAN ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE INCORPORATED (AKELCO) v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129246 January 25, 2000 - GREENFIELD REALTY CORP., ET AL. v. LORETO CARDAMA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 131633-34 January 25, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CRESENCIANO ENOLVA

  • G.R. No. 133132 January 25, 2000 - ALEXIS C. CANONIZADO, ET AL. v. ALEXANDER P. AGUIRRE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135874 January 25, 2000 - SECURITY BANK CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 99-12-192-MTC January 26, 2000 - HOLD DEPARTURE ORDER ISSUED BY ACTING JUDGE ANICETO L. MADRONIO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1524 January 26, 2000 - LUCIA F. LAYOLA v. BASILIO R. GABO, JR.

  • G.R. No. 107395 January 26, 2000 - TOURIST DUTY FREE SHOPS v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126115 January 26, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALFONSO BALGOS

  • G.R. No. 131374 January 26, 2000 - ABBOTT LABORATORIES PHIL. v. ABBOTT LABORATORIES EMPLOYEES UNION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133842 January 26, 2000 - FEDERICO S. SANDOVAL v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133969 January 26, 2000 - NEMESIO GARCIA v. NICOLAS JOMOUAD, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 102961-62, 107625 & 108759 January 27, 2000 - JESUS P. LIAO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117040 January 27, 2000 - RUBEN SERRANO v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130843 January 27, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ZOILO BORROMEO

  • Adm. Case No. 1474 January 28, 2000 - CRISTINO G. CALUB v. ABRAHAM SULLER

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1246 January 28, 2000 - HEIRS OF JUAN and NATIVIDAD GERMINANDA v. RICARDO SALVANERA

  • A.M. No. MTJ-99-1211 January 28, 2000 - ZENAIDA S. BESO v. JUAN DAGUMAN

  • A.M. No. P-93-985 January 28, 2000 - MARTA BUCATCAT v. EDGAR BUCATCAT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112177 January 28, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TITO ZUELA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112329 January 28, 2000 - VIRGINIA A. PEREZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115824 January 28, 2000 - RAFAEL M. ALUNAN III, ET AL. v. MAXIMIANO C. ASUNCION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125279 January 28, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS TANAIL

  • G.R. No. 124129 January 28, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DOMINGO BRIGILDO

  • G.R. Nos. 124384-86 January 28, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMENCIANO "OMENG" RICAFRANCA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125671 January 28, 2000 - CONDO SUITE CLUB TRAVEL v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125865 January 28, 2000 - JEFFREY LIANG (HUEFENG) v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 126802 January 28, 2000 - ROBERTO G. ALARCON v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127568 January 28, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROLANDO BACULE

  • G.R. Nos. 129756-58 January 28, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JULIAN DEEN ESCAÑO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131520 January 28, 2000 - ESTELITA AGUIRRE v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131778 January 28, 2000 - HERMAN TIU LAUREL v. PRESIDING JUDGE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132138 January 28, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILS. v. ROMEO LLAMO

  • G.R. No. 133486 January 28, 2000 - ABS-CBN BROADCASTING CORP. v. COMELEC

  • G.R. No. 133987 January 28, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOHNNY BARTOLOME

  • G.R. No. 136805 January 28, 2000 - DIESEL CONSTRUCTION COMPANY INC. v. JOLLIBEE FOODS CORP.

  • G.R. No. 137537 January 28, 2000 - SMI DEVT. CORP. v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 137718 January 28, 2000 - REYNALDO O. MALONZO, ET AL. v. RONALDO B. ZAMORA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139545 January 28, 2000 - MAIMONA H. N. M. S. DIANGKA v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-99-1226 January 31, 2000 - GLORIA LUCAS v. AMELIA A. FABROS

  • G.R. Nos. 88521-22 & 89366-67 January 31, 2000 - HEIRS OF EULALIO RAGUA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 105827 January 31, 2000 - J.L. BERNARDO CONSTRUCTION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112139 January 31, 2000 - LAPANDAY AGRICULTURAL DEVT. CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115045 January 31, 2000 - UNIVERSITY PHYSICIANS SERVICES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116729 January 31, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARLON LERIO

  • G.R. No. 120706 January 31, 2000 - RODRIGO CONCEPCION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123094 January 31, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LUISITO PAGLINAWAN

  • G.R. No. 125440 January 31, 2000 - GENERAL BANK AND TRUST CO., ET AL. v. OMBUDSMAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127797 January 31, 2000 - ALEJANDRO MILLENA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128536 January 31, 2000 - ROQUE G. GALANG v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128607 January 31, 2000 - ALFREDO MALLARI SR., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129071 January 31, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERTO MILLIAM, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 129505 & 133359 January 31, 2000 - OCTAVIO S. MALOLES II v. PACITA DE LOS REYES PHILLIPS

  • G.R. No. 130104 January 31, 2000 - ELIZABETH SUBLAY v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130666 January 31, 2000 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CASIMIRO JOSE

  • G.R. No. 134437 January 31, 2000 - NATIONAL STEEL CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139758 January 31, 2000 - LUCIEN TRAN VAN NGHIA v. RUFUS B. RODRIGUEZ, ET AL.

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    G.R. No. 130104   January 31, 2000 - ELIZABETH SUBLAY v. NLRC, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 130104. January 31, 2000.]

    ELIZABETH SUBLAY, Petitioner, v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, EURO-SWISS FOOD INC., WERDENBERG INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION and WERNER BERGER, Respondents.

    D E C I S I O N


    BELLOSILLO, J.:


    This is a special civil action for certiorari to set aside the Decision of the National Labor Relations Commission dated 23 June 1997 1 dismissing petitioner’s appeal from the decision of the Labor Arbiter on the ground that it was filed beyond the ten (10)-day reglementary period.chanrobles.com : red

    On 16 May 1991 petitioner Elizabeth Sublay was employed by private respondent Euro-Swiss Food Inc. (EURO-SWISS) as its Chief Accountant until her termination from the service on 31 December 1994. On the first day of December 1994 petitioner received a letter from private respondent Werner Berger, President of EURO-SWISS, informing her of his decision to abolish the position of Chief Accountant thus terminating her services effective 31 December 1994. The reason advanced for the abolition of her position and her consequent termination was that the computerization of the accounting system as well as the burning down of its factory significantly reduced the company’s operations hence, according to Werner Berger, he could perform his functions with "minimal assistance from the encoder and the accounting clerks." 2

    Petitioner, in filing a case for illegal dismissal and non-payment of her 13th month pay against EURO-SWISS and/or Werner Berger, maintained that she was unjustly dismissed as there was no just and valid cause for her dismissal under Arts. 282, 283 and 284 of the Labor Code. The Labor Arbiter however was of a different opinion — 3

    The admitted facts and the adduced evidence show that the complainant was justly dismissed for "installation of labor saving devices and redundancy." Respondent Werner Berger informed the complainant that Euro-Swiss Food, Inc., would abolish the position of chief accountant that the complainant held for as much as with the computerization of the Accounting system there was for him only minimal assistance from the encoder and the accounting clerks. Added to this was the burning of the factory building which reduced the respondent company’s operations, and the respondents thus did not feel the need anymore of the complainant’s services.

    The complainant conceded that with the computer operational systems that she helped set up for the Accounting Department "only a push of a finger of a knowledgeable employee is needed and the reports needed by management could then be generated." . . It therefore appears that the complainant’s dismissal was an accomplished and admitted fact; she made final arrangement as to the payment of her last compensation, benefits, and separation pay; and she turned over documents in her custody to her employer.

    The Labor Arbiter ordered private respondent EURO-SWISS to pay petitioner her separation pay equivalent to one (1) month for every year of service or a total of P50,400.00.

    On 9 December 1996 petitioner appealed the decision of the Labor Arbiter to the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC).

    On the basis of the facts established by the NLRC, petitioner’s counsel of record Atty. Gabriel Marquez received the Labor Arbiter’s decision on 21 November 1996, hence, she had until 2 December 1996 (1 December 1996 being a Sunday) within which to appeal. However, petitioner through Atty. Raymond Paolo Alikpala filed her appeal only on 9 December 1996 or seven (7) days late; consequently, the NLRC dismissed her appeal. 4

    Petitioner is now before us ascribing grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction to the NLRC in denying outright her appeal on a mere "technicality." In her sole assignment of error, she bewailed the NLRC’s egregious error when it summarily dismissed her appeal for having been filed out of time, thus totally ignoring the facts and circumstances of the case for the sake of expediency. 5 To justify her procedural lapse, petitioner revealed that she received a copy of the Labor Arbiter’s decision on 2 December 1996 upon which she immediately called up Atty. Alikpala, a collaborating counsel 6 who, she learned, was not sent a copy of the decision. Atty. Alikpala however was horrified to discover that co-counsel Atty. Marquez had already been furnished a copy of the decision on 21 November 1996 so that by 2 December 1996 the ten (10)-day reglementary period had already lapsed, the tenth (10th) day from 21 November 1996 being 1 December 1996, a Sunday.

    While petitioner acknowledges that "procedural rules are not to be disdained as mere technicalities that may be ignored at will to suit the convenience of a party," 7 she contends that efficiency and order should not be the system’s primordial values, taking over the places on the pedestal once occupied by justice and equity. To fortify her stand, she invokes the judicial policy of allowing appeals, although filed late, when the interest of substantial justice so requires. She cites Firestone and Rubber Co. of the Phils. v. Lariosa 8 where this Court overlooked the late filing of appeal because the Notice of Decision received by the employee’s counsel advised him that the appeal could be filed within ten (10) "working" days which should properly have been ten (10) "calendar" days. In that case we discarded the stringent rule on the perfection of appeal in view of the sheer absence of any culpability on the part of respondent’s counsel. The procedural lapse was solely attributable to his mistaken reliance on the notice which wrongly interpreted the ten (10) day reglementary period. Again in City Fair Corporation v. NLRC 9 where the NLRC was brought to task for allowing the appeal of the employees filed a day late, we ruled that a greater injustice would occur if appeal was not given due course than when the reglementary period to appeal was to be strictly followed.

    Petitioner contends that as in the aforecited cases, the facts and circumstances of her case justify the setting aside of the procedural requirement on the perfection of appeals. She remains steadfast in her belief that the NLRC erred in sending a notice of the Labor Arbiter’s decision only to her lead counsel, Atty. Marquez, but failed to furnish Atty. Alikpala, her "active" counsel, with a copy thereof and ignoring the latter’s request in his Entry of Appearance filed on 13 May 1996 that they (referring to the law office Saguisag and Associates to which Atty. Alikpala belonged) "be served and furnished with courtesy copies of all motions, orders, judgment, and other papers in the said case." 10

    It is doctrinally well-entrenched that the perfection of appeal within the statutory or reglementary period is not only mandatory but also jurisdictional and failure to do so renders the questioned decision final and executory, and deprives the appellate court or body of the legal authority to alter the final judgment, much less to entertain, the appeal. As pointed out by petitioner, this Court has time and again sidestepped the rule on the statutory or reglementary period for filing an appeal. We have resorted to this extraordinary measure even at the expense of sacrificing order and efficiency if only to serve the higher ideals of justice and equity. Yet we cannot respond with alacrity to every clamor of injustice and bend the rules to placate a vociferous protestor crying and claiming to be a victim of a wrong. It is only in highly meritorious cases that this Court opts not to strictly apply the rules and thus prevent a grave injustice from being done. Such does not obtain in this case.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    It is undisputed that petitioner was represented by two (2) lawyers, Atty. Marquez as lead counsel, and Atty. Alikpala as collaborating counsel. She alleged that Atty. Marquez to whom a copy of the Labor Arbiter’s decision was given, failed to file the appeal and to notify her of the adverse decision resulting in its late filing and subsequent dismissal by the NLRC. She reasoned that had Atty. Alikpala been likewise served a copy of the decision she would not be in this distressing situation.

    The rule is that when a party is represented by two (2) or more lawyers, notice to one (1) suffices as a notice to the party represented by him. Hence, the Labor Arbiter was not in error when he served a copy of the decision only on Atty. Marquez who after all was still the counsel of record when the decision was rendered. Likewise petitioner cannot claim that although Atty. Marquez was not asked to formally withdraw he has for all intents and purposes withdrawn because, by failing to actively represent petitioner, he virtually relinquished his responsibility over the case to Atty. Alikpala.

    The unbroken stream of judicial dicta is that clients are bound by the action of their counsel in the conduct of their case. Otherwise, if the lawyer’s mistake or negligence was admitted as a reason for the opening of a case, there would be no end to litigation so long as counsel had not been sufficiently diligent or experienced or learned. Besides, without formally withdrawing his appearance, Atty. Marquez continued to be the counsel of petitioner. Courts may not presume that the counsel of record has been substituted by a second counsel merely from the filing of a formal appearance by the latter. In the absence of compliance with the essential requirements for valid substitution of counsel of record, 11 the court can safely presume that he continuously and actively represents his client.

    Lastly, petitioner’s claim for judicial relief in view of her counsel’s alleged negligence is incongruous, to say the least, considering that she was represented by more than one (1) lawyer. Although working merely as a collaborating counsel who entered his appearance for petitioner as early as May 1996, i.e., more or less six (6) months before the termination of the proceedings a quo, Atty. Alikpala had the bounden duty to monitor the progress of the case. A lawyer has the responsibility of monitoring and keeping track of the period of time left to file an appeal. He cannot rely on the courts to appraise him of the developments in his case and warn him against any possible procedural blunder. Knowing that the lead counsel was no longer participating actively in the trial of the case several months before its resolution, Atty. Alikpala who alone was left to defend petitioner should have put himself on guard and thus anticipated the release of the Labor Arbiter’s decision. Petitioner’s lead counsel might have been negligent but she was never really deprived of proper representation. This fact alone militates against the grant of this petition.

    Once again we remind the members of the legal profession that every case they handle deserves their full and undivided attention, diligence, skill and competence, regardless of its importance and whether they accept it for a fee or for free keeping in mind that not only the property but also the life and liberty of their clients may be at stake.

    WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED for failure of petitioner Elizabeth Sublay to sufficiently establish that public respondent National Labor Relations Commission, in its assailed Decision committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction in denying the appeal of petitioner for having been filed beyond the ten (10)-day reglementary period. No cost.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    SO ORDERED.

    Mendoza, Quisumbing, Buena and De Leon, Jr., JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Decision penned by Commissioner Vicente S.E. Veloso, concurred in by Commissioners Bartolome S. Carale (on official leave) and Alberto R. Quimpo.

    2. See Original Records, p. 37.

    3. Decision, dated 18 November 1996, by Labor Arbiter Potenciano Cañizares JR., NLRC NCR Arbitration Branch, Quezon City; Rollo, pp. 45-46.

    4. Rollo, p. 38.

    5. Original Records, p. 3.

    6. It was before Labor Arbiter Cañizares Jr. that Atty. Raymond Paolo A. Alikpala filed his Entry of Appearance dated 13 May 1996 for petitioner in collaboration with Atty. Marquez.

    7. Rollo, p. 18.

    8. G.R. No. 70479, 27 February 1987, 148 SCRA 187.

    9. G.R. No. 95711, 21 April 1995, 243 SCRA 1995.

    10. Rollo, p. 24.

    11. The essential requisites of valid substitution of counsel are: 1) there must be a written request for substitution; 2) it must be filed with the written consent of the client; 3) it must be with the written consent of the attorney to be substituted; and 4) in case the consent of the attorney to be substituted cannot be obtained, there must be at least a proof of notice that the motion for substitution was served on him in the manner prescribed by the Rules of Court. See Nacuray v. NLRC, G.R. Nos. 114924-27, 18 March 1997, 270 SCRA 9.

    G.R. No. 130104   January 31, 2000 - ELIZABETH SUBLAY v. NLRC, ET AL.


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