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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
 

   
August-2014 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.M. No. P-14-3222 (Formerly A.M. OCA IPI NO. 11-3609-P), August 12, 2014 - PRESIDING JUDGE JOSE B. LAGADO AND CLERK OF COURT II JOSEFINA C. EMPUESTO, BOTH OF THE MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT, MAHAPLAG, LEYTE, Complainants, v. CLERK II BRYAN ANTONIO C. LEONIDO,, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 204729, August 06, 2014 - LOURDES SUITES (CROWN HOTEL MANAGEMENT CORPORATION), Petitioner, v. NOEMI BINARAO,, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 203775, August 05, 2014 - ASSOCIATION OF FLOOD VICTIMS AND JAIME AGUILAR HERNANDEZ, Petitioners, v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ALAY BUHAY COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION, INC., AND WESLIE TING GATCHALIAN,, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 196117, August 13, 2014 - KRYSTLE REALTY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, REPRESENTED BY CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD, WILLIAM C. CU, Petitioner, v. DOMINGO ALIBIN, AS SUBSTITUTED BY HIS HEIRS, NAMELY: BEATRIZ A. TORZAR, VIRGINIA A. TARAYA, ROSARIO A. MARCO, JESUS A. ALIBIN, AND JAY ALIBIN, AS SUBSTITUTED BY HIS CHILDREN, NAMELY: JAYNES ALIBIN, JAY ALIBIN, AND JESUS ALIBIN, JR., Respondents.; [G.R. NO. 196129] - CARIDAD RODRIGUEZA, AS SUBSTITUTED BY RUFINO RODRIGUEZA, Petitioner, v. DOMINGO ALIBIN, AS SUBSTITUTED BY HIS HEIRS, NAMELY: BEATRIZ A. TORZAR, VIRGINIA A. TARAYA, ROSARIO A. MARCO, JESUS A. ALIBIN, AND JAY ALIBIN, AS SUBSTITUTED BY HIS CHILDREN, NAMELY: JAYNES ALIBIN, JAY ALIBIN, AND JESUS ALIBIN, JR., Respondents.

  • A.C. No. 7766, August 05, 2014 - JOSE ALLAN TAN, Complainant, v. PEDRO S. DIAMANTE, Respondent.

  • A.C. No. 8000, August 05, 2014 - CHAMELYN A. AGOT, Complainant, v. ATTY. LUIS P. RIVERA, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 171212, August 20, 2014 - INDOPHIL TEXTILE MILLS, INC., Petitioner, v. ENGR. SALVADOR ADVIENTO, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 193681, August 06, 2014 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff, MALAYAN INSURANCE COMPANY, INC. AND HELEN Y. DEE, Private Complainants-Petitioners, v. PHILIP PICCIO, MIA GATMAYTAN, MA. ANNABELLA RELOVA SANTOS, JOHN JOSEPH GUTIERREZ, JOCELYN UPANO, JOSE DIZON, ROLANDO PAREJA, WONINA BONIFACIO, ELVIRA CRUZ, CORNELIO ZAFRA, VICENTE ORTUOSTE, VICTORIA GOMEZ JACINTO, JUVENCIO PERECHE, JR., RICARDO LORAYES, PETER SUCHIANCO, AND TRENNIE MONSOD,, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 189629, August 06, 2014 - DR. PHYLIS C. RIO, Petitioner, v. COLEGIO DE STA. ROSA-MAKATI AND/OR SR. MARILYN B. GUSTILO, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 193652, August 05, 2014 - INFANT JULIAN YUSAY CARAM, REPRESENTED BY HIS MOTHER, MA. CHRISTINA YUSAY CARAM, Petitioner, v. ATTY. MARIJOY D. SEGUI, ATTY. SALLY D. ESCUTIN, VILMA B. CABRERA, CELIA C. YANGCO, AND OFFICE OF THE SOLICITOR GENERAL, Respondents.

  • A.M. No. P-14-3232 (Formerly: A.M. No. 14-4-46-MTCC), August 12, 2014 - Re: REPORT OF JUDGE RODOLFO D. VAPOR, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT IN CITIES [MTCC], TANGUB CITY, MISAMIS OCCIDENTAL, ON THE HABITUAL ABSENTEEISM OF FILIGRIN E. VELEZ, JR., PROCESS SERVER, SAME COURT.

  • G.R. No. 200746, August 06, 2014 - BENSON INDUSTRIES EMPLOYEES UNION-ALU-TUCP AND/OR VILMA GENON, EDISA HORTELANO, LOURDES ARANAS, TONY FORMENTERA, RENEBOY LEYSON, MA. ALONA ACALDO, MA. CONCEPCION ABAO, TERESITA CALINAWAN, NICIFORO CABANSAG, STELLA BARONGO, MARILYN POTOT, WELMER ABANID, LORENZO ALIA, LINO PARADERO, DIOSDADO ANDALES, LUCENA ABESIA, AND ARMANDO YBAÑEZ, Petitioners, v. BENSON INDUSTRIES, INC., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 204911, August 06, 2014 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. MIKE STEVE Y BASMAN AND RASHID MANGTOMA Y NONI, Accused-Appellants.

  • G.R. No. 201111, August 06, 2014 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ALFREDO CERDON Y SANCHEZ, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 200250, August 06, 2014 - UPSI PROPERTY HOLDINGS, INC., Petitioner, v. DIESEL CONSTRUCTION CO., INC., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 182908, August 06, 2014 - HEIRS OF FRANCISCO I. NARVASA, SR., ANDHEIRS OF PETRA IMBORNAL AND PEDRO FERRER,REPRESENTED BY THEIR ATTORNEY-IN-FACT, MRS. REMEDIOS B. NARVASA-REGACHO, Petitioners, v. EMILIANA, VICTORIANO, FELIPE, MATEO, RAYMUNDO, MARIA,AND EDUARDO, ALL SURNAMED IMBORNAL, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 204651, August 06, 2014 - OUR HAUS REALTY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. ALEXANDER PARIAN, JAY C. ERINCO, ALEXANDER CANLAS, BERNARD TENEDERO AND JERRY SABULAO, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 207376, August 06, 2014 - AIDA PADILLA, Petitioner, v. GLOBE ASIATIQUE REALTY HOLDINGS CORPORATION, FILMAL REALTY CORPORATION, DELFIN S. LEE AND DEXTER L. LEE, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 201483, August 04, 2014 - CONRADO A. LIM, Petitioner, v. HMR PHILIPPINES, INC., TERESA SANTOS-CASTRO, HENRY BUNAG AND NELSON CAMILLER, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 191015, August 06, 2014 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, v. JOSE C. GO, AIDA C. DELA ROSA, AND FELECITAS D. NECOMEDES, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 210619, August 20, 2014 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. CHARLES REYES Y MARASIGAN, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 184982, August 20, 2014 - LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, v. JOSE T. LAJOM, REPRESENTED BY PORFIRIO RODRIGUEZ, FLORENCIA LAJOM GARCIA-DIAZ, FRANCISCO LAJOM GARCIA, JR., FERNANDO LAJOM RODRIGUEZ, TOMAS ATAYDE, AUGUSTO MIRANDA, JOSEFINA ATAYDE FRANCISCO, RAMON L. ATAYDE, AND BLESILDA ATAYDE RIOS, Respondents.; [G.R. NO. 185048] - JOSE T. LAJOM, REPRESENTED BY PORFIRIO RODRIGUEZ, FLORENCIA LAJOM GARCIA-DIAZ, FRANCISCO LAJOM GARCIA, JR., FERNANDO LAJOM RODRIGUEZ, TOMAS ATAYDE, AUGUSTO MIRANDA, JOSEFINA ATAYDE FRANCISCO, RAMON L. ATAYDE, AND BLESILDA ATAYDE RIOS, Petitioners, v. LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 170139, August 05, 2014 - SAMEER OVERSEAS PLACEMENT AGENCY, INC., Petitioner, v. JOY C. CABILES, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 206368, August 06, 2014 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. LEONARDO BATTAD, Accused-Appellant, MARCELINO BACNIS, Accused.

  • G.R. No. 181541, August 18, 2014 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. MARISSA MARCELO, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 208469, August 13, 2014 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. SAMUEL “TIW-TIW” SANICO, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 205870, August 13, 2014 - LEI SHERYLL FERNANDEZ, Petitioner, v. BOTICA CLAUDIO REPRESENTED BY GUADALUPE JOSE, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 194390, August 13, 2014 - VENANCIO M. SEVILLA, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 198367, August 06, 2014 - OSG SHIPMANAGEMENT MANILA, INC., MERCEDES M. RAVANOPOLOUS, OSG SHIPMANAGEMENT (UK) LTD. & M/T DELPHINA, Petitioners, v. JOSELITO B. PELLAZAR, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 192304, August 13, 2014 - ANCHOR SAVINGS BANK (now EQUICOM SAVINGS BANK), Petitioner, v. PINZMAN REALTY AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, MARYLIN MAÑALAC AND RENATO GONZALES, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 177845, August 20, 2014 - GRACE CHRISTIAN HIGH SCHOOL, REPRESENTED BY ITS PRINCIPAL, DR. JAMES TAN, Petitioner, v. FILIPINAS A. LAVANDERA, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 200191, August 20, 2014 - LOURDES C. FERNANDEZ, Petitioner, v. NORMA VILLEGAS AND ANY PERSON ACTING IN HER BEHALF INCLUDING HER FAMILY, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 206366, August 13, 2014 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Appellee, v. EDUARDO BALAQUIT Y BALDERAMA, Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 192993, August 11, 2014 - WALLEM MARITIME SERVICES, INC., AND REGINALDO OBEN/WALLEM SHIPMANAGEMENT LIMITED, Petitioners, v. DONNABELLE PEDRAJAS AND SEAN JADE PEDRAJAS, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 181723, August 11, 2014 - ELIZABETH DEL CARMEN, Petitioner, v. SPOUSES RESTITUTO SABORDO AND MIMA MAHILUM-SABORDO, Respondents.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-14-2390 (Formerly OCA I.P.I. No. 12-3923-RTJ), August 13, 2014 - JOSEPHINE JAZMINES TAN, Petitioner, v. JUDGE SIBANAH E. USMAN, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 28, CATBALOGAN CITY, SAMAR, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 212689, August 11, 2014 - ECE REALTY AND DEVELOPMENT, INC., Petitioner, v. HAYDYN HERNANDEZ,, Respondent.

  • G.R. Nos. 208828-29, August 13, 2014 - RICARDO C. SILVERIO, SR., Petitioner, v. RICARDO S. SILVERIO, JR., CITRINE HOLDINGS, INC., MONICA P. OCAMPO AND ZEE2 RESOURCES, INC., Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 171626, August 06, 2014 - OLONGAPO CITY, Petitioner, v. SUBIC WATER AND SEWERAGE CO., INC., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 162230, August 12, 2014 - ISABELITA C. VINUYA, VICTORIA C. DELA PEÑA, HERMINIHILDA MANIMBO, LEONOR H. SUMAWANG, CANDELARIA L. SOLIMAN, MARIA L. QUILANTANG, MARIA L. MAGISA, NATALIA M. ALONZO, LOURDES M. NAVARO, FRANCISCA M. ATENCIO, ERLINDA MANALASTAS, TARCILA M. SAMPANG, ESTER M. PALACIO, MAXIMA R. DELA CRUZ, BELEN A. SAGUM, FELICIDAD TURLA, FLORENCIA M. DELA PEÑA, EUGENIA M. LALU, JULIANA G. MAGAT, CECILIA SANGUYO, ANA ALONZO, RUFINA P. MALLARI, ROSARIO M. ALARCON, RUFINA C. GULAPA, ZOILA B. MANALUS, CORAZON C. CALMA, MARTA A. GULAPA, TEODORA M. HERNANDEZ, FERMIN B. DELA PEÑA, MARIA DELA PAZ B. CULALA, ESPERANZA MANAPOL, JUANITA M. BRIONES, VERGINIA M. GUEVARRA, MAXIMA ANGULO, EMILIA SANGIL, TEOFILA R. PUNZALAN, JANUARIA G. GARCIA, PERLA B. BALINGIT, BELEN A. CULALA, PILAR Q. GALANG, ROSARIO C. BUCO, GAUDENCIA C. DELA PEÑA, RUFINA Q. CATACUTAN, FRANCIA A. BUCO, PASTORA C. GUEVARRA, VICTORIA M. DELA CRUZ, PETRONILA O. DELA CRUZ, ZENAIDA P. DELA CRUZ, CORAZON M. SUBA, EMERINCIANA A. VINUYA, LYDIA A. SANCHEZ, ROSALINA M. BUCO, PATRICIA A. BERNARDO, LUCILA H. PAYAWAL, MAGDALENA LIWAG, ESTER C. BALINGIT, JOVITA A. DAVID, EMILIA C. MANGILIT, VERGINIA M. BANGIT, GUILERMA S. BALINGIT, TERECITA PANGILINAN, MAMERTA C. PUNO, CRISENCIANA C. GULAPA, SEFERINA S. TURLA, MAXIMA B. TURLA, LEONICIA G. GUEVARRA, ROSALINA M. CULALA, CATALINA Y. MANIO, MAMERTA T. SAGUM, CARIDAD L. TURLA, et al. in their capacity and as members of the “Malaya Lolas Organizations,” Petitioners, v. THE HONORABLE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY ALBERTO G. ROMULO, THE HONORABLE SECRETARY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS DELIA DOMINGO-ALBERT, THE HONORABLE SECRETARY OF JUSTICE MERCEDITAS N. GUTIERREZ, AND THE HONORABLE SOLICITOR GENERAL ALFREDO L. BENIPAYO,, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 173082, August 06, 2014 - PALM AVENUE HOLDING CO., INC., AND PALM AVENUE REALTY AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, Petitioners, v. SANDIGANBAYAN 5TH DIVISION, REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, REPRESENTED BY THE PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON GOOD GOVERNMENT (PCGG), Respondent.; [G.R. No. 195795] - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, REPRESENTED BY THE PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON GOOD GOVERNMENT, Petitioner, v. HON. SANDIGANBAYAN, PALM AVENUE REALTY AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION AND PALM AVENUE HOLDING COMPANY, INC., Respondents.

  • G.R. Nos. 212536-37, August 27, 2014 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE AND COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS, Petitioners, v. PHILIPPINE AIRLINES, INC., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 212953, August 05, 2014 - JOSE TAPALES VILLAROSA, Petitioner, v. ROMULO DE MESA FESTIN AND COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS,, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 211049, August 06, 2014 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ROMEO CLOSA Y LUALHATI, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 177616, August 27, 2014 - HEIRS OF SPOUSES JOAQUIN MANGUARDIA and SUSANA MANALO, namely: DANILO MANGUARDIA, ALMA MANGUARDIA, GEMMA MANGUARDIA, RODERICK MANGUARDIA, MADELINE MANGUARDIA, joined by her husband, RODRIGO VILLARANTE, ALAN MANGUARDIA, ROSE MANGUARDIA, joined by her husband, LEOPOLDO ADRID, JR., RONALD MANGUARDIA, JOEBERT MANGUARDIA, and RANDY MANGUARDIA; HEIRS OF SPOUSES LEONARDO ARAZA and REBECCA ARROYO, namely: MARY MAGDALENA ARAZA,* joined by her husband CARLITO VILLANUEVA, NENITA ARAZA, joined by her husband, LEONARDO BADE, ANTONIO ARAZA, and the children of ENECITA ARAZA- VARGAS, namely: GADFRY VARGAS, GINA VARGAS, JOEL VARGAS, MARY GRACE VARGAS, ANA MAE VARGAS, and the minor JUNAR VARGAS, represented by his guardian ad litem MAGDALENA ARAZA-VILLANUEVA, and THE REGISTER OF DEEDS OF CAPIZ, Petitioners, v. HEIRS OF SIMPLICIO VALLES and MARTA VALLES, represented by GRACIANO VALLES, SULPICIO VALLES, TERESITA VALLES, joined by her husband, LEOPOLDO ALAIR, and PRESENTACION CAPAPAS-VALLES, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 193791, August 02, 2014 - PRIMANILA PLANS, INC., HEREIN REPRESENTED BY EDUARDO S. MADRID, Petitioner, v. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 198342, August 13, 2014 - REMEDIOS O. YAP, Petitioner, v. ROVER MARITIME SERVICES CORPORATION, MR. RUEL BENISANO AND/OR UCO MARINE CONTRACTING W.L.L., Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 208170, August 20, 2014 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. PETRUS YAU A.K.A. “JOHN” AND “RICKY” AND SUSANA YAU Y SUMOGBA A.K.A. “SUSAN”, Accused-Appellants.

  • G.R. No. 207992, August 11, 2014 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ROBERTO HOLGADO Y DELA CRUZ AND ANTONIO MISAREZ Y ZARAGA, Accused-Appellants.

  • G.R. No. 171836, August 11, 2014 - DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM, REPRESENTED BY HON. NASSER C. PANGANDAMAN, IN HIS CAPACITY AS DAR-OIC SECRETARY, Petitioner, v. SUSIE IRENE GALLE, RESPONDENT., G.R. NO. 195213 - LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, v. SUSIE IRENE GALLE, SUBSTITUTED BY HER HEIRS, NAMELY HANS PETER, CARL OTTO, FRITZ WALTER, AND GEORGE ALAN, ALL SURNAMED REITH, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 196040, August 26, 2014 - FE H. OKABE, Petitioner, v. ERNESTO A. SATURNINO, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 203048, August 13, 2014 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. RUSTY BALA, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 213181, August 19, 2014 - FRANCIS H. JARDELEZA, Petitioner, v. CHIEF JUSTICE MARIA LOURDES P. A. SERENO, THE JUDICIAL AND BAR COUNCIL AND EXECUTIVE SECRETARY PAQUITO N. OCHOA, JR., Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 200987, August 20, 2014 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. RONALDO BAYAN Y NERI, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 207348, August 20, 2014 - ROWENA R. SOLANTE, Petitioner, v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT, CHAIRPERSON MA. GRACIA PULIDO-TAN, COMMISSIONER JUANITO G. ESPINO, JR., COMMISSIONER HEIDI L. MENDOZA, AND FORTUNATA M. RUBICO, DIRECTOR IV, COA COMMISSION SECRETARIAT, in their official capacities, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 166944, August 18, 2014 - JUANITO MAGSINO, Petitioner, v. ELENA DE OCAMPO AND RAMON GUICO, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 175689, August 13, 2014 - GEORGE A. ARRIOLA, Petitioner, v. PILIPINO STAR NGAYON, INC. AND/OR MIGUEL G. BELMONTE, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 189061, August 06, 2014 - MIDWAY MARITIME AND TECHNOLOGICAL FOUNDATION, REPRESENTED BY ITS CHAIRMAN/PRESIDENT PHD IN EDUCATION DR. SABINO M. MANGLICMOT, Petitioner, v. MARISSA E. CASTRO, ET AL., Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 199420, August 27, 2014 - PHILNICO INDUSTRIAL CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. PRIVATIZATION AND MANAGEMENT OFFICE, Respondent.; G.R. NO. 199432 - PRIVATIZATION AND MANAGEMENT OFFICE, Petitioner, v. PHILNICO INDUSTRIAL CORPORATION, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 195432, August 27, 2014 - EDELINA T. ANDO, Petitioner, v. DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 200645, August 20, 2014 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. WENDEL OCDOL Y MENDOVA, EDISON TABIANAN, AND DANTE BORINAGA, ACCUSED. WENDEL OCDOL Y MENDOVA, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 172404, August 13, 2014 - PEOPLE’S TRANS-EAST ASIA INSURANCE CORPORATION, A.K.A. PEOPLE'S GENERAL INSURANCE CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. DOCTORS OF NEW MILLENNIUM HOLDINGS, INC., Respondent.

  • A.M. No. P-06-2227 [Formerly A.M. No. 06-6-364-RTC], August 19, 2014 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR, Complainant, v. ATTY. MARIO N. MELCHOR, JR., FORMER CLERK OF COURT VI, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 16, NAVAL, BILIRAN (NOW PRESIDING JUDGE, MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURT, CALUBIAN-SAN ISIDRO, LEYTE), Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 207253, August 20, 2014 - CRISPIN B. LOPEZ, Petitioner, v. IRVINE CONSTRUCTION CORP. AND TOMAS SY SANTOS, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 200538, August 13, 2014 - CITY OF DAVAO, Petitioner, v. COURT OF APPEALS AND BENJAMIN C. DE GUZMAN, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 188289, August 20, 2014 - DAVID A. NOVERAS, Petitioner, v. LETICIA T. NOVERAS, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 203655, August 13, 2014 - SM LAND, INC., Petitioner, v. BASES CONVERSION AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY AND ARNEL PACIANO D. CASANOVA, ESQ., IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS PRESIDENT AND CEO OF BCDA, Respondents.

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    G.R. No. 192993, August 11, 2014 - WALLEM MARITIME SERVICES, INC., AND REGINALDO OBEN/WALLEM SHIPMANAGEMENT LIMITED, Petitioners, v. DONNABELLE PEDRAJAS AND SEAN JADE PEDRAJAS, Respondents.

      G.R. No. 192993, August 11, 2014 - WALLEM MARITIME SERVICES, INC., AND REGINALDO OBEN/WALLEM SHIPMANAGEMENT LIMITED, Petitioners, v. DONNABELLE PEDRAJAS AND SEAN JADE PEDRAJAS, Respondents.

    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    G.R. No. 192993, August 11, 2014

    WALLEM MARITIME SERVICES, INC., AND REGINALDO OBEN/WALLEM SHIPMANAGEMENT LIMITED, Petitioners, v. DONNABELLE PEDRAJAS AND SEAN JADE PEDRAJAS, Respondents.

    D E C I S I O N

    PERALTA, J.:

    Before this Court is a Petition for Review on Certiorari, assailing the Decision1 and Resolution2 of the Court of Appeals (CA), dated February 11, 2010 and July 20, 2010, respectively, in CA-G.R. SP No. 102499, which affirmed the Decision and Resolution of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), dated October 31, 2007 and January 30, 2008, respectively, in NLRC OFW Case No. (M) 04-08-02209-00/NLRC NCR CA NO. 049636-06, awarding death benefits to respondents.

    The antecedents are as follows:cralawlawlibrary

    Petitioner Wallem Maritime Services, Inc. is a domestic corporation licensed to engage in the manning business.  Petitioner Wallem Maritime Ship Management is a foreign corporation which is the principal of Wallem Maritime Services, Inc., while Reginaldo Oben is the President of Wallem Maritime Services, Inc. In 2004, petitioner Wallem Maritime Services, Inc. and Hernani Pedrajas (Hernani) entered into a contract of employment wherein Hernani was hired as Engine Boy on board the M/V Crown Jade. In March 2005, during the effectivity of his employment contract and while the vessel was in Italy, Hernani was found hanging on the Upper Deck B of the vessel with a rope tied to his neck. Hernani's spouse and herein respondent, Donnabelle Pedrajas (Donnabelle), was informed that Hernani hanged himself and was found dead in the vessel. She was also informed that investigations were being conducted by the Italian Government relative to Hernani's death.  His body was repatriated back to the Philippines in April 2005.

    Suspecting foul play, Donnabelle sought the assistance of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory to conduct a forensic examination on the remains of Hernani and to investigate the cause of his death.  Donnabelle also requested the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate the incident. After the investigation, the PNP Crime Laboratory and the NBI concluded that homicide cannot be totally ruled out. Due to the foregoing, in June 2005, Donnabelle, as beneficiary of Hernani, filed a claim for death compensation benefits under the POEA Standard Employment Contract and the Associates Marine Officer's and Seafarer's Union of the Philippines Collective Bargaining Agreement (AMOSUP-CBA). She also demanded attorney's fees, moral, and exemplary damages.

    Petitioners’ claim that they have no obligation to pay death benefits to the heirs of Hernani because the latter's death was self-inflicted and therefore exempted from the coverage of death benefits under the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency-Standard Employment Contract (POEA-SEC) and the AMOSUP-CBA.  Petitioners argued that Hernani was involved in a drug smuggling activity and fearing that he would be arrested and would bring shame to his family, he committed suicide. To support their claim, petitioners attached an authenticated Forensic Report3  released by the Medical Examiner in Italy which stated that Hernani committed suicide by hanging himself. The same report indicated that during the course of the autopsy, Hernani was found positive for cocaine.4 When his lifeless body was found hanging, two suicide notes were found by the Italian authorities. One was addressed to his wife and the other to the vessel's crew. The suicide note addressed to his wife stated that he committed suicide because he was implicated in a drug syndicate and he did not want to be jailed for the rest of his life. The second suicide note led to the arrest of Deck Boy Joseph Harder, who admitted his participation in the drug dealing operation. It also pointed the Italian authorities to where the remaining cocaine and the proceeds from its illegal sale were being hidden on-board the vessel.

    On March 31, 2006, the Labor Arbiter (LA) ruled in favor of petitioners and denied the respondents' claim for death benefits.5 The LA sustained petitioners' claim that Hernani committed suicide, giving credence to the Forensic Report submitted by the Italian authorities concluding that his death was self-inflicted.

    Respondents appealed to the NLRC.  On October 31, 2007, the NLRC reversed the LA's decision and ruled that Hernani's death was not proven to be self-inflicted.6  Hence, it awarded death compensation and attorney's fees to the respondents.

    Aggrieved, petitioners filed a petition for certiorari before the CA.  On February 11, 2010, the CA denied the petition and held that the Forensic Report issued by the Public Prosecutors Office in Livorno, Italy was "weakened" by the findings of the PNP and the NBI, which did not totally rule out homicide.7  The CA further did not give credence to the photocopies of the alleged suicide notes presented by the petitioners for its failure to prove that the suicide notes were written by Hernani. Hence, it found that petitioners failed to discharge its burden of proving that Hernani committed suicide, so as to evade its liability for death benefits. A Motion for Reconsideration was filed by petitioners, but was denied in a Resolution8 dated July 20, 2010.

    Petitioners are now before this Court, raising the following issues:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary

    I

    WHETHER THE COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED IN FAILING TO ABIDE BY THE EXPRESS MANDATE OF THE GOVERNING POEA-SEC AND PERTINENT CBA THAT DEATH ARISING FROM A WILLFUL ACT IS NOT COMPENSABLE AND WILL BAR THE SEAMAN'S HEIRS FROM RECEIVING DEATH BENEFITS.

    II

    WHETHER THE COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED IN FAILING TO CONSIDER AND GIVE CREDENCE TO THE SEVERAL PIECES OF EVIDENCE AND CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH WOULD ALL CONCLUSIVELY POINT TO THE FACT THAT THE SEAMAN COMMITTED SUICIDE.

    III

    WHETHER THE COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED IN FAILING TO CONSIDER THAT NO PROOF WHATSOEVER WAS PRESENTED TO SHOW THAT THE DEATH OF THE SEAMAN IS RELATED IN ANY MANNER TO HIS WORK ON-BOARD THE VESSEL.9

    The main issue for resolution is whether Hernani committed suicide during the term of his employment contract which would exempt petitioners from paying Hernani's death compensation benefits to his beneficiaries.

    The petition is meritorious.

    Section 20 (D) of the POEA-SEC provides:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary

    No compensation and benefits shall be payable in respect of any injury, incapacity, disability or death of a seafarer resulting from his willful or criminal act or intentional breach of his duties x x x.chanrobleslaw

    The death of a seaman during the term of his employment makes the employer liable to the former's heirs for death compensation benefits.10  This rule, however, is not absolute.  The employer may be exempt from liability if it can successfully prove that the seaman's death was caused by an injury directly attributable to his deliberate or willful act.11  Hence, respondents' entitlement to any death benefit depends on whether petitioners' evidence suffices to prove that Hernani committed suicide, and the burden of proof rests on his employer.12cralawred

    In the case at bar, the Italian Medical Examiner found that:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary

    During the necroscopic investigation, no other forms of injuries were noted on the body of Pedrajas and his viscera; this allows us to retain that Pedrajas suffered no physical violence before the hanging and that he hung himself, in order to commit suicide, of his own accord. The presence of flakes of white paint on the palms of both hands, the same as on the gangway, the banister and the pipe where the rope was fixed, is an element which goes to confirm - even if of lesser value - the theory that Pedrajas himself tied the rope to the metal pipe.

    x x x x

    Therefore no elements at all have emerged such as would lead us to believe that third parties may have intervened in causing the death, and the way in which Mr. Pedrajas died, as described, conforms to suicide.13

    The Italian Medical Examiner further concluded that:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary

    x x x There are no elements which may lead one to suppose/assume the direct intervention of third parties in causing the death of the young seaman.

    In other words, beyond all reasonable doubt, everything points to Pedrajas having hung himself in order to commit suicide.14

    In the case at bar, the CA did not give credit to the report and findings made by the Medical Examiner appointed by the Italian Court who conducted the autopsy on the body of Hernani.  The CA held that the Forensic Report of the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Livorno, Italy was “weakened” by the findings of the PNP Crime Laboratory and the NBI.  The PNP Crime Laboratory, in its report, stated thus:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary

    Unfortunately, my knowledge of the case is limited by the fact that I have no police report and autopsy report done in Italy. I have no pictures of the following: crime scene, cord/rope, type of knot, position of the body when it was found. In this case, I only have the body and the verbal information disclosed to me by the wife and sister of the victim. x x x

    To be able to determine if the strangulation is “suicide or homicide,” it should not be only limited to the autopsy, but it must be based on several aspects like knowledge of the “crime scene, victim’s behavior and other things related to it. x x x

    x x x x

    Based on the following information and physical findings, I cannot totally rule-out homicide.15chanrobleslaw

    The NBI, on the other hand, did not conduct any autopsy of the body of Hernani and just based their opinion on documents submitted to them and information coming solely from his relatives. The Medico-Legal Officer of the NBI found that:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary

    In view of the above facts and observations, it is the opinion of the undersigned that HOMICIDE cannot be totally ruled out.

    This compliance was merely to render an opinion and should not be construed as judgment.16

    From the foregoing, it is more logical to rely on the findings of the Italian Medical examiner.  In Maritime Factors, Inc. v. Hindang,17 the Court gave credence to the medical report made by the Saudi Arabian doctor, who immediately conducted an autopsy on the seafarer's body upon his death. The Court reasoned, thus:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary

    We give credence to Dr. Hameed's medical report establishing that Danilo committed suicide by hanging himself. Dr. Hameed conducted the autopsy of Danilo's remains immediately after the latter's death. He saw first-hand the condition of Danilo's body, which upon his examination led him to conclude that Danilo died by hanging himself. His report was comprehensive and more detailed. He, likewise, noted, that there were no signs of violence or resistance, or any external injuries except a very slight and artificial injury of nearly 5 cm among the toes of Danilo's right leg. 18chanrobleslaw

    Here, it should be noted that the Medical Examiner appointed by the Italian Court was not merely limited to the autopsy of the remains of Hernani.  The findings of the Italian Medical Examiner were made after he personally and carefully examined the place immediately after the incident. The medical examiner had the luxury of investigating the crime scene, the rope used for hanging, type of knot, temperature and position of the body when found. As aptly found by the LA:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary

    Moreover, this Office is more than convinced that the death of the seafarer is due to his hanging himself which would disqualify his heirs from entitlement to death benefits under the POEA Contract and the CBA. The forensic report issued by the Italian authorities proves this fact. In said forensic report issued by the Italian Medical Examiner from the Public Prosecutor's Office, it was found that the (sic) based on the evidence that he personally examined everything points to Mr. Pedrajas hanging himself to commit suicide. As sufficiently argued by the respondents (petitioners herein) the findings of the Medical Examiner appointed by the Italian Court was made after he personally and carefully examined the place of the incident immediately after the body of Mr. Pedrajas was found. x x x19

    Apparent from the foregoing, the report of the Italian Medical Examiner, which stated that Hernani committed suicide is more categorical and definite than the uncertain findings of the PNP Crime Laboratory and the NBI that homicide cannot be totally ruled out. Excerpts from the PNP and NBI reports  would disclose that both agencies were unsure if homicide or suicide was the underlying cause of Hernani's death. Hence, the Court agrees with the findings of the LA and his judgment to give weight and credence  to the evidence submitted by the petitioners proving that Hernani committed suicide.

    Anent the suicide notes left by Hernani to his wife and to the vessel's crew, the CA did not appreciate the notes due to the petitioner's alleged failure to prove that the notes were written by Hernani. On their part, the respondents alleged that since the original copies of the notes were not presented, but mere photocopies, the same should not be considered by the Court. We cannot find merit in respondents' protestations against the documentary evidence submitted by petitioners because they were mere photocopies.

    It is settled that proceedings before the NLRC are not covered by the technical rules of evidence and procedure as observed in the regular courts.20 The LA and the NLRC are directed to use every and all reasonable means to ascertain the facts in each case speedily and objectively, without regard to technicalities of law and procedure all in the interest of substantial justice.21 In this light, the LA need not resort to the technical rules of evidence, in order to ascertain whether the notes were written by Hernani. In the present case, the LA found that:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary

    x x x The handwriting and the terminologies used in the suicide notes (Annex “1” and “2” of respondents’ reply) and that presented by the complainants as Annex “D” of their position paper are identical which would lead to the conclusion that the author of both are [one and] the same. Mr. Pedrajas wrote two suicide notes where he admitted his participations as a lookout in the operation in Spain and implicated Deck Boy Harder who eventually confessed as to his participation in the operations and eventually led the Italian authorities to where the other cocaine [were] being hidden on-board the vessel. x x x 22

    Since the Labor Arbiter had, after comparing the suicide notes and the letters presented by the respondents, concluded and determined that the letters were of the handwriting of Hernani, the CA should have considered these pieces of evidence, in determining whether Hernani committed suicide, as it explained the reason why Hernani took his life. Further, the petitioners were able to explain why the original copies of the documents were not presented during the proceedings before the LA. The reason for its non-production is that the notes were in the possession of the Italian Authorities as part of the evidence in their investigation and will not be released until such time as a final determination in said proceedings is made.23  Petitioners' failure to submit the original copy of the suicide notes is, thus, not a ground for disregarding such note.

    Moreover, the credibility and authenticity of Hernani's suicide notes are also beyond doubt.  In fact, the statements contained in the notes led to the investigation and arrest of Deck Boy Harder, who confessed as to his participation in the drug operations which eventually led the Italian authorities to where the remaining cocaine and proceeds thereof were being hidden on-board the vessel. Since the information in the notes proved to be informative and useful to the Italian authorities, it would only lend more credence to its genuineness and truthfulness.  Verily, it could only lead to the conclusion that the notes were written by no other person except Hernani.

    Since the petitioners were able to prove that Hernani committed suicide, Hernani’s death is not compensable and his heirs are not entitled to any compensation or benefits. It is settled that when the death of a seaman resulted from a deliberate or willful act on his own life, and it is directly attributable to the seaman, such death is not compensable.24cralawred

    WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED.  The Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA G.R. SP No. 102499, dated February 11, 2010, and the Resolution dated July 20, 2010,  are REVERSED and SET ASIDE.  The Labor Arbiter’s Decision dated March 31, 2006 is REINSTATED.

    SO ORDERED.

    Velasco, Jr., (Chairperson), Peralta, Villarama, Jr.,* Mendoza, and Leonen, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:


    * Designated Acting Member, per Special Order No. 1691 dated May 22, 2014, in view of the vacancy in the Third Division.

    1 Penned by Associate Justice Elihu A. Ybañez, with Associate Justices Amelita G. Tolentino and Arturo G. Tayag, concurring; rollo, pp. 11-33.

    2Rollo, pp. 34-35.

    3 CA rollo, pp. 131-139.

    4 Id. at 135.

    5 Id. at 185-192.

    6 Id. at 41-53.

    7 Rollo, pp. 11-33.

    8 Id. at 34-35.

    9 Id. at 47-48.

    10NFD Int”l. Manning Agents v, NLRC, 348 Phil. 264, 273 (1998).

    11 Id.

    12Lapid v. NLRC, 366 Phil. 10, 17 (1999).

    13 CA rollo, p. 137. (Emphasis ours)

    14 Id. at 137-138. (Emphasis ours)

    15 Id. at 157-158. (Emphasis ours)

    16 Id. at 183. (Emphasis ours)

    17 G.R. No. 151993, October 19, 2011, 659 SCRA 526.

    18Maritime Factors, Inc. v. Hindang, supra, at 534.

    19 CA rollo, p. 190.

    20 Maritime Factors, Inc. v. Hindang, supra note 17, at 534.

    21 Id.

    22 CA rollo, p. 191.

    23Rollo, pp. 173-174.

    24Mabuhay Shipping Services, Inc. v. NLRC (1st Div.), 271 Phil. 142, 146 (1991).

    G.R. No. 192993, August 11, 2014 - WALLEM MARITIME SERVICES, INC., AND REGINALDO OBEN/WALLEM SHIPMANAGEMENT LIMITED, Petitioners, v. DONNABELLE PEDRAJAS AND SEAN JADE PEDRAJAS, Respondents.


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