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SUNIO V NLRC (1984)

EM Ramos & Co., Inc (EMRACO) and


Cabugao Ice Plant, Inc. (CIPI), sister
corporations, sold an ice plant to Rizal
Development and Finance, Corp. (RDFC).
To secure RDFC’s payment of the purchase
price, the ice plant was mortgaged to
EMRACO-CIPI. Because of the sale,
EMRACO-CIPI terminated all of theire
employees, including private respondents.
Later, RDFC sold the ice plant, subject to
the mortgage in favor of EMRACO-CIPI, to
petitioner Ilocos Commercial Corp. (ICC).
When RDFC and ICC defaulted on the
payment of the balance of the purchase
price, EMRACO-CIPI extrajudicially
foreclosed the ice plant. It then sold it to
Nilo Villanueva, subject to RDFC’s right of
redemption. Nilo Villanueva rehired private
respondents.
When RDFC redeemend the ice plant,
private respondents were again dismissed.
Thus, the latter filed complaints against the
petitioner corporation, and its President
and General manager, Alberto Sunio, for
illegal dismissal.
The Assistance Regional Director of the
Ministry of Labor and Employment ordered
petitioners to reinstate private
respondents. NLRC affirmed. Petitioner
Sunio, who owned ½ of ICC, was made
jointly and severally liable with ICC and CIPI
for the payment of backwages.

RATIO: A corporation is invested by law


with a personaloty separate and
distinct from those of the persons
composing it as well as from that of
any other legal entity to which it may
be related. Mere ownership by a
single stockholder or by anotehr
coporation of all or nearly all of the
capital stock of a corporation is not
tiself sufficient ground for
disregarding the separate corporate
personality. Therefore, Sunio should not
have been made personally liable for the
payment of backwages to private
respondents.