G. R. No. 159010 - November 19, 2004
NIPPON PAINT EMPLOYEES UNION-OLALIA in behalf of ADONIS GUANSING, Petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, NIPPON PAINT PHILS., INC. and HON. VOLUNTARY ARBITRATOR BERNARDINO M. VOLANTE, Respondents.
D E C I S I O N
Before us is a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court to review the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No.76501 dated 25 April 2003.
Petitioner Nippon Paint Employees Union (NPEU) is a labor union duly organized under the laws of the Philippines. Respondent Nippon Paint Phils., Inc. (NPPI) is a corporation duly organized under the laws of the Philippines engaged in the manufacture and sale of car paint.
The undisputed facts are as follows.
NPEU and NPPI were engaged in collective bargaining negotiations.1 These negotiations ended in a deadlock, prompting NPEU to file a notice of strike with the National Conciliation and Mediation Board.2 While the said labor dispute was pending, NPEU Secretary Adonis Guansing was interviewed by a reporter of the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI).3 The interview was subsequently published in the PDI in its issue dated 1 April 2002. Its pertinent portions state, viz:
On 2 April 2002, NPPI issued a memorandum to Mr. Guansing, ordering him to explain why he should not be penalized for violation of company rules and regulations, which state:
After the submission of Mr. Guansings reply and unsuccessful efforts by NPPI to organize a conference between them, the latter issued a memorandum on 16 May 2002 terminating the formers employment effective 20 May 2002.6 Thereafter, Mr. Guansing, represented by NPEU, filed a complaint for illegal dismissal with the National Labor Relations Commission. Both parties agreed to submit the dispute to voluntary arbitration. On 18 December 2002, Voluntary Arbitrator Bernardino Volante promulgated a decision in favor of NPPI declaring Mr. Guansings dismissal as legally effected but awarding P40,000.00 to the latter in the name of "compassionate justice." NPEU, acting on behalf of Mr. Guansing, challenged the said decision in the Court of Appeals by filing a Rule 65 petition for certiorari on 14 April 2003.7 The Court of Appeals dismissed NPEUs petition in its decision dated 25 April 2003.8 Hence, the present petition for certiorari.
NPEU asks this Court to rule on an issue of law whether the Court of Appeals properly dismissed its petition for certiorari under Rule 65 for being an improper mode of appeal. It is the view of the Court of Appeals that NPEU should have appealed the voluntary arbitrators decision by petition for review under Rule 43 instead of Rule 65.
In the case of Luzon Development Bank vs. Association of Luzon Development Bank Employees,9 this Court ruled that a voluntary arbitrator partakes of the nature of a "quasi-judicial instrumentality" and is within the ambit of Section 9(3) of the Judiciary Reorganization Act, as amended, which provides:
As such, the decisions of a voluntary arbitrator fall within the exclusive appellate jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals. Indeed, this Court took this decision into consideration in approving the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, the pertinent provision of which states as follows:
It is elementary in remedial law that the use of an erroneous mode of appeal is cause for dismissal of the petition for certiorari12 and it has been repeatedly stressed that a petition for certiorari is not a substitute for a lost appeal.13 This is due to the nature of a Rule 65 petition for certiorari which lies only where there is "no appeal," and "no plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law."14 As previously ruled by this Court:
The fact that the NPEU used the Rule 65 modality as a substitute for a lost appeal is made plainly manifest by: a) its filing the said petition 45 days after the expiration of the 15-day reglementary period for filing a Rule 43 appeal;16 and b) its petition which makes specious allegations of "grave abuse of discretion" but asserts the failure of the voluntary arbitrator to properly appreciate facts and conclusions of law.17
This salutary rule has been disregarded on occasion by this Court in instances where valid and compelling circumstances warrant.18 However, NPEU has not provided this Court any compelling reason why it must disregard the mandate of the Rules of Court.
IN VIEW WHEREOF, the decision of the Court of Appeals dated 25 April 2003 is hereby AFFIRMED and the instant Petition DISMISSED.
Austria-Martinez, Callejo, Sr., Tinga, and Chico-Nazario, JJ., concur.
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