On January 27, 1997, petitioner Jennifer Abraham filed a complaint for constructive dismissal against the herein respondent Philippine Institute of Technical Education (PITE) and its school administrator Jaime Magnanao before the Regional Arbitration Branch No. XI, Davao City. The complaint included claims for salary differentials, allowances under Wage Order No. 3, 13th month pay differential and- service incentive leave pay and was docketed as NLRC Case No. 01-000-83-97. 1 On February 26, 1998, Labor Arbiter Marian Libron-Barroso rendered a decision in favor of the petitioner the dispositive portion of which reads:chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary
"In view thereof, above-entitled case is hereby ordered dismissed for lack of merit.
SO ORDERED." 2
Petitioner appealed the decision to the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) and on September 30, 1999, the NLRC 3 rendered its Resolution 4 reversing the decision of the Labor Arbiter, viz:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"WHEREFORE, premises considered, the decision appealed from is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Respondent is hereby ordered to pay complainant the following:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
(1) Full backwages from the time of her dismissal on December 13, 1996 until the finality of this decision.
(2) Separation pay in lieu of reinstatement at one month salary per year of service, a fraction of six months being considered as one- whole year.
(3) Salary differentials
(4) 13th month pay
(5) Allowances under Wage Order No. 3
(6) Attorneys fees equivalent to 10% of the total award.
All the rest of the claims are dismissed for lack of merit. Remand the case to the arbitration branch of origin for the computation of the awards.
SO ORDERED." 5
Not satisfied with the NLRC Resolution, herein respondents moved for reconsideration thereof. 6 On January 10, 2000, the NLRC granted respondents’ motion and reversed its previous ruling as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"WHEREFORE, the foregoing considered, respondent’s Motion for Reconsideration is Granted and further the questioned Resolution dated September 30, 1999 is Set Aside. The decision dated February 26, 1998 is reinstated and Affirmed.
SO ORDERED." 7
Aggrieved by the adverse ruling of the NLRC, herein petitioner filed a Petition for Certiorari
with the Court of Appeals. 8
On April 26, 2000, the Court of Appeals 9 dismissed the petitioner’s petition on the ground that she failed to file a motion for reconsideration of the Resolution of the NLRC reconsidering its previous Resolution. The Court of Appeals ratiocinated that the filing of a motion for reconsideration is a condition sine qua non before a petition for certiorari
may be given due course. 10
Motion for Reconsideration of the Court of Appeals Resolution was denied hence this petition wherein the petitioner raises the following issues for our resolution:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
WHETHER OR NOT THE FILING OF A MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION BEFORE FILING A PETITION FOR CERTIORARI IS MANDATORY IN LIGHT OF THE AMENDMENT TO SECTION 4(B), RULE 65 OF THE 1997 RULES ON CIVIL PROCEDURE.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary
WHETHER OR NOT THE GRANTING OF PRIVATE RESPONDENTS’ MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION BY PUBLIC RESPONDENT NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION IS VALID/PROPER.
WHETHER OR NOT PETITIONER WAS CONSTRUCTIVELY DISMISSED.
WHETHER OR NOT PETITIONER IS ENTITLED TO HER MONEY CLAIMS. 11
In support of her petition, petitioner argues that under the amendment to Section 4 (B), Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules on Civil Procedure as amended by the En Banc Resolution of this Court dated July 21, 1998, 12 the requirement of filing a motion for reconsideration before the filing of a petition for certiorari
is optional. And even assuming that the filing of a motion for reconsideration is required before a petition for certiorari
may be given due course, petitioner argues that the present case falls under the exception that a motion for reconsideration is not required where special circumstances warrant immediate or more direct action. Petitioner maintains that since the NLRC reversed its previous ruling, she deemed it proper not to file a motion for reconsideration because in all likelihood, the NLRC would not reverse itself for a second time. Petitioner therefore prays that the Resolution of the Court of Appeals dismissing her Petition-for Certiorari
be reversed and set aside. Petitioner also seeks the reversal of the Resolution of the NLRC dismissing her complaint and prays that this court resolve the substantive merits of the case in her favor.
We grant the petition in part.
Petitions for certiorari
are governed by Rule 65 of the New Rules on Civil Procedure under Section 1 thereof:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"SECTION 1. Petition for certiorari
. — When any tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions has acted without or in excess of his jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of or excess of jurisdiction, and there is no appeal, or any plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of the law, a person aggrieved thereby may file a verified petition in the proper court, alleging the facts with certainty and praying the judgment be rendered annulling or modifying the proceedings of such tribunal, board or officer, and granting such incidental reliefs as law and justice may require.
The petition shall be accompanied by a certified true copy of the judgment, order or resolution subject thereof, copies of all pleadings and documents relevant and pertinent thereto, and a sworn certification of non-forum shopping as provided in the third paragraph of section 3, Rule 46."cralaw virtua1aw library
as a special civil action will not lie unless a motion for reconsideration is filed before the respondent tribunal to allow it an opportunity to correct its imputed errors. 13 However, the following have been recognized as exceptions to the rule:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
(a) where the order is a patent nullity, as where the court a quo has no jurisdiction;cralaw : red
(b) where the questions raised in the certiorari
proceedings have been duly raised and passed upon by the lower court, or are the same as those raised and passed upon in the lower court;
(c) where there is an urgent necessity for the resolution of the question and any further delay would prejudice the interests of the Government or of the petitioner or the subject matter of the action is perishable;
(d) where, under the circumstances, a motion for reconsideration would be useless;
(e) where petitioner was deprived of due process and there is extreme urgency for relief;
(f) where, in a criminal case, relief from an order of arrest is urgent and the granting of such relief by the trial court is improbable;
(g) where the proceedings in the lower court are a nullity for lack of due process;
(h) where the proceedings was ex parte or in which the petitioner had no opportunity to object; and
(i) where the issue raised is one purely of law or where public interest is involved. 14 (Emphasis supplied
We hold that the second and fourth exceptions are clearly in point.
The rationale for the requirement of first filing a motion for reconsideration before the filing of a petition for certiorari
is that the law intends to afford the tribunal, board, or office an opportunity to rectify the errors and mistakes it may have lapsed into before resort to the courts of justice can be had. 15 In the present case, the NLRC was already given the opportunity to review its ruling and correct itself when the respondent filed its motion for reconsideration of the NLRC’s initial ruling in favor of petitioner. In fact, it granted the motion for reconsideration filed by the respondent and reversed its previous ruling and reinstated the decision of the Labor Arbiter dismissing the complaint of the petitioner. It would be an exercise in futility to require the petitioner to file a motion for reconsideration since the very issues raised in the petition for certiorari
, i.e. whether or not the petitioner was constructively dismissed by the respondent and whether or not she was entitled to her money claims, were already duly passed upon and resolved by the NLRC. Thus the NLRC had more than one opportunity to resolve the issues of the case and in fact reversed itself upon a reconsideration. It is highly improbable or unlikely under the circumstances that the Commission would reverse or set aside its resolution granting a reconsideration.
We cannot, however, grant the petitioner’s prayer that this Court decide the substantive issues of the case inasmuch as the Court of Appeals has not yet passed upon the factual issues raised by the parties.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary
ACCORDINGLY, the instant petition is hereby GRANTED and the Resolution of the Court of Appeals dated April 6, 2000 dismissing the petition for certiorari
filed by herein petitioner and its Resolution dated June 21, 2000 denying petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration thereof are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The case is remanded to the Court of Appeals for further proceedings.
Melo, Vitug, Panganiban and Sandoval-Gutierrez, JJ.
1. See Annex "A", Rollo, 33.
2. Rollo, 65.
3. Fifth Division, Cagayan De Oro City composed of the ponente, Commissioner Leon G. Gonzaga, Jr., and the members, Presiding Commissioner Salio B. Dumarpa, and Commissioner Oscar N. Abella, concurring.
4. Rollo, 71.
5. Rollo, 78.
6. See Annex "K", Rollo, 80.
7. Rollo, 84-86.
8. Rollo, 87.
9. Third Division, composed of the ponente, J. Quirino D. Abad Santos, Jr., and the members, J. B.A. Adefuin-De La Cruz and J. Renato C. Dacudao, concurring.
10. Rollo, 107-109.
11. Petition, 9-10; Rollo, 19-20.
12. The amendment took effect September 1, 1998 and reads as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"If the petitioner had filed a motion for new trial or reconsideration in due time after notice of said judgment, order or resolution, the period herein fixed shall be interrupted. If the motion is denied, the aggrieved party may file the petition within the remaining period, but which shall not be less than five (5) days in any event, reckoned from notice of such denial. No extension of time to file the petition shall be granted except for the most compelling reason and in no case to exceed fifteen (15) days."cralaw virtua1aw library
*** Note that A.M. No. 00-2-03-SC dated August 1, 2000 which took effect on September 1, 2000 amended Section 4, Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure as amended by the Resolution dated July 21, 1998.
13. Marawi Marantao General Hospital, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 141008, January 16, 2001, 11-12; Reyes v. Court of Appeals, 321 SCRA 368 .
14. Marawi Marantao General Hospital, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, Supra; Tan, Jr. v. Sandiganbayan, 292 SCRA 452, 457-458 ; Tan v. Court of Appeals, 275 SCRA 568, 574-575 .
15. Alcosero v. National Labor Relations Commission, 288 SCRA 129, 137-138 .