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3.

NORSE
G.R.

MANAGEMENT CO.
No.
L-54204,

(PTE)

v. NATIONAL
September

SEAMEN
30,

BOARD
1982

FACTS: Napoleon Abordo, the deceased husband of private respondent RestitutaAbordo, died
from an apoplectic stroke in the course of his employment with petitioner NORSE
MANAGEMENT. The M.T. "Cherry Earl," where he is an engineer, is a vessel of Singaporean
Registry. In her complaint for compensation and reliefs available in connection with the death of
Napoleon Abordo," filed before the National Seamen Board, Restituta alleged that the amount of
compensation due her from petitioners Norse Management and Pacific Seamen Services, Inc.,
principal and agent, respectively, should be based on the law where the vessel is registered. On
the other hand, petitioners contend that the law of Singapore should not be applied in this case
because the National Seamen Board cannot take judicial notice of the Workmen's Insurance Law
of Singapore.
ISSUE: Whether or not the law of Singapore ought to be applied in the case.
RULING: Yes. The "Employment Agreement" between Norse Management and the late
Napoleon Abordo states that, in the event of illness or injury to Employee arising out of and in
the course of his employment and not due to his own willful misconduct and occurring whilst on
board, the EMPLOYER will provide employee with free medical attention and until
EMPLOYEE's arrival at his point of origin; and if such illness or injury incapacitates the
EMPLOYEE compensation shall be paid to employee in accordance with and subject to the
limitations of the Workmen's Compensation Act of the Republic of the Philippines or the
Workmen's Insurance Law of registry of the vessel whichever is greater. In the aforementioned
"Employment Agreement" between petitioners and the late Napoleon B. Abordo, it is clear that
compensation shall be paid under Philippine Law or the law of registry of petitioners' vessel,
whichever is greater. Since private respondent Restituta C. Abordo was offered P30,000.00 only
by the petitioners, Singapore law was properly applied in this case. The National Seamen Board
is justified in taking judicial notice of and in applying that law.

4. SUZARA, et al. v. BENIPAYO and MAGSAYSAY


G.R. Nos. L-57999, 58143-53; G.R. Nos. L-64781-99, August 15, 1989

LINES,

INC.

FACTS: Petitioners are Filipino seamen who were declared by the defunct National Seamen
Board (NSB) guilty of breaching their employment contracts with the private respondent because
they demanded, upon the intervention and assistance of a third party, the International Transport
Worker's Federation (ITF), the payment of wages over and above their contracted rates without
the approval of the NSB.Petitioners joined M/V Grace River and arrived at the port of
Vancouver, Canada; that at this port they received additional wages under rates prescribed by the
ITF. Private respondent alleged that petitioners acting in concert with ITF, compelled them to pay
various sums through means of threats, coercion and intimidation. On the contrary, petitioners
denied the same and that the salary differentials paid to them were valid, invoking Section 18,
Rule VI, Book I of the Rules and Regulations Implementing the Labor Code which provides that
"the basic minimum salary of seamen shall not be less than the prevailing minimum rates
established by the International Labor Organization (ILO) or those prevailing in the country
whose flag the employing vessel carries, whichever is higher ..."
ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioners are entitled to the amounts they received from the private
respondent.
RULING: Yes. There is nothing in the public and private respondents' pleadings, to support the
allegations that the petitioners used force and violence to secure the special agreement signed in
Vancouver.They only prove that when ITF acted in petitioners' behalf for an increase in wages,
the latter manifested their support. This would be a logical and natural reaction for any worker in
whose benefit the ITF or any other labor group had intervened.The petitioners admit that while
they expressed their conformity to and their sentiments for higher wages by means of placards,
they, nevertheless, continued working and going about their usual chores. In other words, all they
did was to exercise their freedom of speech in a most peaceful way. As stated in Vir-Jen
Shipping: The seamen had done no act which under Philippine law or any other civilized law
would be termed illegal, oppressive, or malicious; whatever pressure existed, it was mild
compared to accepted and valid modes of labor activity.Under the facts and circumstances of
these petitions, the Court sees no reason to deprive the seamen of their right to freedom of
expression guaranteed by the Philippine Constitution and the fundamental law of Canada where
they happened to exercise it. Petition granted.