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Faelnar, Sheena Rhea T.

M5 - Agrarian Law
Case Digests for Finals
G.R. NO. 168111 : July 4, 2008
Petitioners Antonio Tan, Danilo Domingo and Robert Lim were officers of Footjoy
Industrial Corporation (Footjoy), a domestic corporation engaged in the business
of manufacturing shoes and other kinds of footwear, prior to the cessation of its
operations sometime in February 2001.
On 19 March 2001, respondent Amelito Ballena, and one hundred thirty-nine
(139) other employees of Footjoy, filed a Joint Complaint-Affidavit before the
Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Bulacan against the company and
petitioners Tan and Domingo in their capacities as owner/president and
administrative officer, respectively.
The Complaint-Affidavit alleged that the company did not regularly report the
respondent employees for membership at the Social Security System (SSS) and
that it likewise failed to remit their SSS contributions and payment for their SSS
loans, which were already deducted from their wages.
According to respondents, these acts violated Sections 9, 10, 22 and 24,
paragraph (b) of Republic Act No. 1161, as amended by Republic Act No.
8282; as well as Section 28, paragraphs (e), (f), and (h) thereof, in relation to
Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code, the pertinent portions of which read:
Whether or not the Court of Appeals committed grievous error and acted without
jurisdictions when it gave due course to the respondents petition for certiorari
despite the fact that it was filed out time.
Whether or not the Court of Appeals committed grievous error when it gave due
course to the respondents petition for certiorari despite the fact that the two (2)
signatories threat were not able to show that they were duly authorized by the
other petitioners to file the petition on their behalf.
Whether or not the Court of Appeals committed serious error when it reversed
the resolution of the DOJ which found out that the petitioners could not be
indicted for any violation of the SSS Law for want of probable cause.
As held by the Court of Appeals, the claims of good faith and absence of criminal
intent for the petitioners' acknowledged non-remittance of the respondents'
contributions deserve scant consideration. The violations charged in this case
pertain to the SSS Law, which is a special law. As such, it belongs to a class of
offenses known as mala prohibita.

The law has long divided crimes into acts wrong in themselves called acts mala
in se; and acts which would not be wrong but for the fact that positive law
forbids them, called acts mala prohibita. This distinction is important with
reference to the intent with which a wrongful act is done. The rule on the subject
is that in acts mala in se, the intent governs; but in acts mala prohibita, the only
inquiry is, has the law been violated? When an act is illegal, the intent of the
offender is immaterial.
Thus, the petitioners' admission in the instant case of their violations of the
provisions of the SSS Law is more than enough to establish the existence of
probable cause to prosecute them for the same.
WHEREFORE, in light of the foregoing, the Petition for Review under Rule 45 of
the Rules of Court is hereby DENIED.
The assailed Decision dated 30 September 2004 of the Court of Appeals in CAG.R. SP No. 79101 and the Resolution dated 9 May 2005 are hereby AFFIRMED.
Costs against petitioners.

GR 170735: 12/17/07
Petitioner Immaculada L. Garcia, Eduardo de Leon, Ricardo de Leon, Pacita
Fernandez, and Consuelo Villanueva were directors of Impact Corporation. The
corporation was engaged in the business of manufacturing aluminum tube
containers and operated two factories. One was a "slug" foundry-factory located
in Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija, while the other was an Extrusion Plant in Cainta, Metro
Manila, which processed the "slugs" into aluminum collapsible tubes and similar
containers for toothpaste and other related products.
On 8 May 1985, the union of Impact Corporation filed a Notice of Strike with the
Ministry of Labor which was followed by a declaration of strike on 28 July 1985.
Subsequently, the Ministry of Labor certified the labor dispute for compulsory
arbitration to the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) in an Order dated
25 August 1985. The Ministry of Labor, in the same Order, noted the inability of
Impact Corporation to pay wages, 13th month pay, and SSS remittances due to
cash liquidity problems.
On 3 July 1985, the Social Security System (SSS), through its Legal and
Collection Division (LCD), filed a case before the SSC for the collection of
unremitted SSS premium contributions withheld by Impact Corporation from its
employees. The case which impleaded Impact Corporation as respondent was
docketed as SSC Case No. 10048.
Impact Corporation was compulsorily covered by the SSS as an employer
effective 15 July 1963 and was assigned Employer I.D. No. 03-2745100-21.
1. Whether or not Sec. 28 of the SSS Law provides that a managing head,
director or partner is liable only for the penalties of the employer corporation
and not for unpaid SSS contributions of the employer corporation.
2. Where or not under the SSS Law, it is the managing heads, directors or
partners who shall be liable together with the corporation. In this case, the
petitioner has ceased to be a stockholder of Impact Corporation in 1982. Even
while she was a stockholder, she never participated in the daily operations of
Impact Corporation.
3. Whether or not under Sec. 31 of the Corporation Code, only directors, trustees
or officers who participate in unlawful acts or are guilty of gross negligence and
bad faith shall be personally liable otherwise, being a mere stockholder, she is
liable only to the extent of her subscription.
Taking a cue from the above provision, a corporate director, a trustee or an
officer, may be held solidarily liable with the corporation in the following
1. When directors and trustees or, in appropriate cases, the officers of
a corporation-(a) vote for or assent to patently unlawful acts of the corporation;

(b) act in bad faith or with gross negligence in directing the

corporate affairs;
(c) are guilty of conflict of interest to the prejudice of the
corporation, its stockholders or members, and other persons.
2. When a director or officer has consented to the issuance of watered
stocks or who, having knowledge thereof, did not forthwith file with the
corporate secretary his written objection thereto.
3. When a director, trustee or officer has contractually agreed or
stipulated to hold himself personally and solidarily liable with the
4. When a director, trustee or officer is made, by specific provision of law,
personally liable for his corporate action. 32
The aforesaid provision states:
SEC. 31. Liability of directors, trustees or officers. - Directors or trustees
who willfully and knowingly vote for or assent to patently unlawful acts of
the corporation or who are guilty of gross negligence or bad faith in
directing the affairs of the corporation or acquire any personal or
pecuniary interest in conflict with their duty as such directors, or trustees
shall be liable jointly and severally for all damages resulting therefrom
suffered by the corporation, its stockholders or members and other
The situation of petitioner, as a director of Impact Corporation when said
corporation failed to remit the SSS premium contributions falls exactly under the
fourth situation. Section 28(f) of the Social Security Law imposes a civil liability
for any act or omission pertaining to the violation of the Social Security Law, to
(f) If the act or omission penalized by this Act be committed by an
association, partnership, corporation or any other institution, its managing
head, directors or partners shall be liable to the penalties provided in this
Act for the offense.
In fact, criminal actions for violations of the Social Security Law are also provided
under the Revised Penal Code. The Social Security Law provides, in Section 28
thereof, to wit:
(h) Any employer who, after deducting the monthly contributions or loan
amortizations from his employees compensation, fails to remit the said
deductions to the SSS within thirty (30) days from the date they became
due shall be presumed to have misappropriated such contributions or loan
amortizations and shall suffer the penalties provided in Article Three
hundred fifteen of the Revised Penal Code.
(i) Criminal action arising from a violation of the provisions of this Act may
be commenced by the SSS or the employee concerned either under this
Act or in appropriate cases under the Revised Penal Code: x x x.
WHEREFORE, pursuant to the foregoing, the Decision of the Court of Appeals
dated 2 June 2005 in CA-G.R. SP No. 85923 is hereby AFFIRMED WITH FINALITY.
Petitioner Immaculada L. Garcia, as sole surviving director of Impact Corporation
is hereby ORDERED to pay for the collected and unremitted SSS contributions of

Impact Corporation. The case is REMANDED to the SSS for computation of the
exact amount and collection thereof.
Ynares-Santiago, Chairperson, Austria-Martinez, Nachura, Reyes, JJ., concur.


GR 160265: 07/13/09
On July 3, 2001, petitioner filed a motion to quash the Information, arguing that
the facts alleged in the Information did not constitute an offense because
respondent spouses were not her employees. In support of her motion, petitioner
cited the ruling of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) on the issue
of whether petitioner and respondent spouses had an employer-employee
relationship with her or her company.
Prior to this, on March 27, 2000 (before the filing of the Information), respondent
spouses had filed a labor case for illegal dismissal and nonpayment of overtime
pay, holiday pay, holiday premium pay, service incentive leave and 13 th month
pay against Ever-Ready Phils., Inc. [7] and its officers Joseph Thomas Co, William
Co, Wilson Co and petitioner.[8]
On September 29, 2000, labor arbiter (LA) Ernesto S. Dinopol rendered a
decision dismissing the complaint for lack of merit. He held that respondent
spouses had voluntarily left the company as shown by the deeds of release and
quitclaim they executed. They were also not entitled to their monetary claims
under Article 82 of the Labor Code because they were field personnel of the
Aggrieved, both parties appealed to the NLRC. In a resolution dated May 31,
2001, it affirmed the decision of the LA and ruled that the respondent spouses,
as sales representatives, were independent contractors. [10] Therefore, there was
no employer-employee relationship between the parties. This NLRC resolution
attained finality on December 20, 2001.[11]
Notwithstanding the NLRC ruling on the lack of employer-employee relationship
between petitioner and respondent spouses, Judge Percival Mandap Lopez of the
RTC denied petitioners motion to quash (the Information charging violation of the
SSS law) in a resolution dated November 12, 2001. [12] On March 8, 2002,
petitioner filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition against Judge Lopez in the
CA seeking to set aside the November 12, 2001 RTC resolution denying her
motion to quash.
In a resolution dated January 13, 2003, the CA required petitioner to implead the
People of the Philippines, SSS, Office of the Solicitor General and respondent
spouses.[13] For petitioners failure to comply with this order, the CA dismissed the
petition on May 15, 2003 and denied reconsideration on October 6,
2003. According to the CA, petitioner was bound by the negligence of her former
Petitioner maintains that the factual finding in the illegal dismissal case
that respondent spouses were not her employees is binding in this case. There
being no employer-employee relationship, respondent spouses were not entitled

to coverage under RA 1161, as amended, and petitioner should not be penalized

under said law.
Whether or notthere existed an employee-employer relationship at the
time of the occurrence of the acts complained of both in SSC Case No.
2453 and NLRC Case No. RO-VII-153.

It is well to note that the said issue was adjudged with finality in G.R. No.
L-44620, through this Court's resolutions dated 26 January 1977 and 14
March 1977. The dismissal of the petition of the herein private
respondents in G.R. No. L-44620, though contained in a minute resolution,
was an adjudication on the merits of the case.
The present controversy, therefore, squarely falls under the umbrage
of res judicata, particularly, under the rule on "conclusiveness of
judgment." Following this rule, as stated in Bienvenida Machoca Arcadio
vs. Carriaga, Jr., we hold that the judgment in G.R. No. L-44620 bars SSC
Case No. 2453, as the relief sought in the latter case is inextricably related
to the ruling in G.R. No. L-44620 to the effect that private respondents, are
not employees of petitioner.
The reasons for establishing the principle of "conclusiveness of judgment"
are founded on sound public policy, and to grant this petition would have
the effect of unsettling this well-settled doctrine. It is allowable to reason
back from a judgment to the basis on which it stands, upon the obvious
principle that where a conclusion is indisputable, and could have been
drawn only from certain premises, the premises are equally indisputable
with the conclusion. When a fact has been once determined in the course
of a judicial proceeding, and a final judgment has been rendered in
accordance therewith, it cannot be again litigated between the same
parties without virtually impeaching the correctness of the former
decision, which, from motives of public policy, the law does not permit to
be done.[28]
Res judicata has two concepts. The first is bar by prior judgment under
Rule 39, Section 47 (b), and the second is conclusiveness of judgment
under Rule 39, Section 47 (c). Both concepts are founded on the principle
of estoppel, and are based on the salutary public policy against
unnecessary multiplicity of suits. Like the splitting of causes of action, res
judicata is in pursuance of such policy. Matters settled by a Court's final
judgment should not be litigated upon or invoked again. Relitigation of
issues already settled merely burdens the Courts and the taxpayers,
creates uneasiness and confusion, and wastes valuable time and energy
that could be devoted to worthier cases.
To sum up, the final and executory NLRC decision (to the effect that respondent
spouses were not the employees of petitioner) was binding on this criminal case
for violation of RA 1161, as amended. Accordingly, the RTC committed grave
abuse of discretion when it refused to grant petitioners motion to quash the
Information. Simply said, any conviction for violation of the SSS law based on the
erroneous premise of the existence of an employer-employee relationship would
be a transgression of petitioners constitutional rights.
WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby GRANTED. Criminal Case No. Q-0197619 is ORDERED dismissed.

No costs.


GR 183891: 08/03/10
That sometime during the month of August 1998 to July 1999, in
the City of Iligan, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable
Court, the said accused, being then the proprietor of Summa Alta Tierra
Industries, Inc., duly registered employer with the Social Security System
(SSS), did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously fail and/or
refuse to remit the SSS premium contributions in favor of its employees
amounting to P421, 151.09 to the prejudice of his employees.
Contrary to and in violation of Sec. 22(a) and (d) in relation to Sec.
28 of Republic Act No. 8282, as amended
Whether or not Ricardo Mendoza be ordered to pay the SSS unpaid
premium contributions of his employees including the penalties in the sum
of P421, 151.09
Remittance of contribution to the SSS under Section 22(a) of the Social Security
Act is mandatory. United Christian Missionary Society v. Social Security
Commission[12] explicitly explains:
No discretion or alternative is granted respondent Commission in
the enforcement of the laws mandate that the employer who fails to
comply with his legal obligation to remit the premiums to the
System within the prescribed period shall pay a penalty of three 3%
per month. The prescribed penalty is evidently of a punitive
character, provided by the legislature to assure that employers do
not take lightly the States exercise of the police power in the
implementation of the Republics declared policy to develop,
establish gradually and perfect a social security system which shall
be suitable to the needs of the people throughout the Philippines
and (to) provide protection to employers against the hazards of
disability, sickness, old age and death.[Section 2, Social Security

Act; Roman Catholic Archbishop v. Social Security Commission, 1

SCRA 10, January 20, 1961] In this concept, good faith or bad faith
is rendered irrelevant, since the law makes no distinction between
an employer who professes good reasons for delaying the
remittance of premiums and another who deliberately disregards
the legal duty imposed upon him to make such remittance. From
the moment the remittance of premiums due is delayed, the
penalty immediately attaches to the delayed premium payments by
force of law. (emphasis and underscoring supplied)
Failure to comply with the law being malum prohibitum, intent to commit
it or good faith is immaterial.[13]
WHEREFORE, the Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR
No. 27630 are AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. Petitioner is sentenced to an
indeterminate prison term of four (4) years and two (2) months
of prision correccional, as minimum, to twenty (20) years of reclusion temporal,
as maximum.

GR 125837: 10/06/04
On 20 August 1985, private respondents Andres Paguio, Pablo Canale, Ruel
Pangan, Aurelio Paguio, Rolando Trinidad, Romeo Tapang and Carlos Maliwat
(hereinafter referred to as respondents) filed a Petition4 with the SSC for SSS
coverage and contributions against petitioner Reynaldo Chua, owner of Prime
Mover Construction Development, claiming that they were all regular employees
of the petitioner in his construction business. 5
Private respondents claimed that they were assigned by petitioner in his various
construction projects continuously in the following capacity, since the period
indicated, and with the corresponding basic salaries, 6 to wit:
Andres Paguio



P 42/day

Pablo Canale




Ruel Pangan




Aurelio Paguio

Fine grading



Romeo Tapang

Fine grading



Rolando Trinidad


1983 (Jan.)


Carlos Maliwat




Private respondents alleged that petitioner dismissed all of them without

justifiable grounds and without notice to them and to the then Ministry of Labor
and Employment. They further alleged that petitioner did not report them to the
SSS for compulsory coverage in flagrant violation of the Social Security Act. 7
On 01 February 1995, the SSC issued its Order11 which ruled in favor of private
respondents. The SSC, relying on NLRC Case No. RAB-III-8-2373-85, 12 declared

private respondents to be petitioners regular employees. 13 It ordered petitioner

to pay the SSS the unpaid SS/EC and Medicare contributions plus penalty for the
delayed remittance thereof, without prejudice to any other penalties which may
have accrued.14 The SSC denied theMotion for Reconsideration15 of petitioner for
lack of merit.16
(1) whether private respondents were regular employees of petitioner, and
whether their causes of action as such are barred by prescription or laches;
(2) if so, whether petitioner is now liable to pay the SSS contributions and
penalties during the period of employment. 25

The Court of Appeals, citing Article 280 of the Labor Code, 26 declared that private
respondents were all regular employees of the petitioner in relation to certain
activities since they all worked either as masons, carpenters and fine graders in
petitioners various construction projects for at least one year, and that their
work was necessary and desirable to petitioners business which involved the
construction of roads and bridges.27 It cited the case ofMehitabel Furniture
Company, Inc. v. NLRC,
The Social Security Act was enacted pursuant to the policy of the government
"to develop, establish gradually and perfect a social security system which shall
be suitable to the needs of the laborers throughout the Philippines, and shall
provide protection against the hazards of disability, sickness, old age and
death."35 It provides for compulsory coverage of all employees not over sixty
years of age and their employers.36
Well-settled is the rule that the mandatory coverage of Republic Act No. 1161, as
amended, is premised on the existence of an employer-employee relationship,
the essential elements of which are: (a) selection and engagement of the
employee; (b) payment of wages; (c) the power of dismissal; and (d) the power
of control with regard to the means and methods by which the work is to be
accomplished, with the power of control being the most determinative factor. 37
WHEREFORE, the Petition is DENIED. The Decision and Resolution of the Court of
Appeals promulgated on 6 March 1996 and 30 July 1996 respectively,
are AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner.


GR 117936-37: 05/20/98

Petitioners and private respondents presented conflicting versions of the
circumstances which led to the severance of petitioners employment.
Petitioners alleged that in 1981, they were hired as carpenters by Dynasty
Steel Works owned by respondent Dy. Dynasty was engaged in the business of
making steel frames, windows, doors and other construction works. It was
contracted by Solmac Marketing to construct its building in Balintawak, Caloocan
On November 25, 1982, petitioners went to the Social Security System (SSS)
office to inquire about their benefits under the system. They were informed that
they were not reported as employees either by Dynasty or by respondent Dy.
Petitioners filed a complaint against Dynasty and respondent Dy for violation of
SSS laws and regulations.
On December 20, 1982, petitioners were prohibited from entering the work
site at the Solmac compound. The security guard showed them an order/notice
dated December 18, 1982 issued by respondent Dy instructing him not to allow
petitioners to enter the premises as they were already dismissed from
work. Petitioners sought the help of P/Cpl. Alexander Licuan of the Caloocan
Police Department. P/Cpl. Licuan accompanied petitioners to the work site and
inquired about the reason for the prohibition. Respondent Amurao who
introduced himself as supervisor told P/Cpl. Licuan that petitioners services were
terminated upon the order of respondent Dy.

Traversing petitioners allegations, respondent Dy claimed in his comment

that petitioners were not his employees but that of respondent Amurao whom he
sub-contracted to provide manpower for his construction project at the Solmac
Respondent Dy also denied that he terminated the services of petitioners. He
alleged that sometime in December 1982, the owner of Solmac building caught
petitioners drinking inside the company premises. Because of this, the owner
sought the dismissal or transfer of petitioners. Heeding the owners demand,
respondent Amurao transferred petitioners to another project. Petitioners refused
and instead filed a complaint for illegal dismissal against respondent Dy.
Respondent Amurao also filed his own comment stating that he and
respondent Dy entered into a sub-contracting agreement whereby he undertook
to supply the manpower for respondent Dys construction project at Solmac
building. To comply with his obligation, respondent Amurao engaged the services
of about thirty men which include petitioners. Respondent Amurao stated that he
had complete discretion in the selection, hiring and dismissal of said workers;
that he had direct controls and supervision over the performance of their work;
and that any complaint against them were coursed through him.
Respondent Amurao, however, submitted that petitioners were project
employees. Hence, they were no longer entitled to reinstatement because the
project for which they were hired as long been completed.

Whether or not petitioners were employees of respondent Dy
Whether or not petitioners were illegally dismissed

The records reveal that there existed an employer-employee relationship
between petitioners and respondent Dy. The individual Premium Certifications
issued by the SSS on April 11, 1983 show that Dynasty Steel Works declared
petitioners as its employees for the purpose of paying their premium. Dynasty
paid petitioners premium from August 1981 to November 1982. [12] Also, the
payroll of Dynasty included petitioners. [13] These pieces of evidence sufficiently
prove that petitioners were employees of respondent Dy. It would be
preposterous for respondent Dy to report petitioners as employees of Dynasty,
pay their SSS premium as well as their wages if it were not true that they were
his employees.
We reject respondent Amuraos submission that petitioners were project
employees. The principal test for determining whether an employee is a project
employee or a regular employee is whether or not the project employee was
assigned to carry out a specific project or undertaking, the duration and scope of
which were specified at the time the employee was engaged for that project.
In the case at bar, it does not appear that respondent Dy informed petitioners

at the time of their engagement about the specific project or undertaking for
which they were hired, as well as the duration and scope of such project.
Besides, the records show that petitioners, as carpenters, were performing
activities necessary or desirable in respondent Dys business of making steel
frames, windows, doors and other construction works. Petitioners should
therefore be considered as regular employees under Article 280 of the Labor
Code which states:
Art. 280. Regular and Casual Employment. -- The provisions of written
agreement to the contrary notwithstanding and regardless of the oral
agreement of the parties, an employment shall be deemed to be regular
where the employee has been engaged to perform activities which are
usually necessary or desirable in the usual business or trade of the
employer, except where the employment has been fixed for a specific
project or undertaking the completion or termination of which has been
determined at the time of the engagement of the employee or where the
work or services to be performed is seasonal in nature and the
employment is for the duration of the season.
The records shows that Dynasty Steel Works ceased operating in May 1985.
The closure of Dynasty rendered impossible the reinstatement of
petitioners. Hence, in lieu of reinstatement, respondent Dy should pay
petitioners their separation pay in addition to their backwages computed from
the time of their separation until the date of Dynastys closure. [22]

All the other money claims of petitioners are dismissed for lack of sufficient
evidence to support the same. We note the finding of Labor Arbiter Garduque:
With respect to the claim of overtime, the same has not been established
by clear and convincing evidence, and not even included in the
computation of the then socio economic staff of this office, and in the
first decision dated February 28, 1993.
The remaining claims of legal holiday pay and premium pay for holiday
and rest day cannot also be granted although unrefuted by respondent
but from Annex H to complainants reply/comment to respondents
position paper, it discloses that complainants only worked up to six (6)
days in a week.[23]
We find no cogent reason to disturb such finding as it is sustained by the
evidence on record.


IN VIEW WHEREOF, the assailed resolution and order of the NLRC are SET
ASIDE. Private respondent Lorenzo Dy is hereby ordered to pay petitioners their


GR 169357: 11/30/05
Bonifacio S. Dycaico became a member of the SSS on January 24, 1980. In his
self-employed data record (SSS Form RS-1), he named the petitioner, Elena P.
Dycaico, and their eight children as his beneficiaries. At that time, Bonifacio and
Elena lived together as husband and wife without the benefit of marriage.
In June 1989, Bonifacio was considered retired and began receiving his monthly
pension from the SSS. He continued to receive the monthly pension until he
passed away on June 19, 1997. A few months prior to his death, however,
Bonifacio married the petitioner on January 6, 1997.
Whether or not Elena P. Dycaico is a primary beneficiary entitled to receive the
husbands monthly pension.
Even as the proviso as of the date of his retirement in Section 12-B(d) is
nullified, the enumeration of primary beneficiaries for the purpose of entitlement
to survivors pension is not substantially affected since the following persons are
considered as such under Section 8(k) of Rep. Act No. 8282:
(1) The dependent spouse until he or she remarries; and
(2) The dependent legitimate, legitimated or legally adopted, and
illegitimate children.
In relation thereto, Section 8(e) thereof qualifies the dependent spouse and
dependent children as follows:
(1) The legal spouse entitled by law to receive support from the
(2) The legitimate, legitimated or legally adopted, and illegitimate
child who is unmarried, not gainfully employed and has not
reached twenty-one years (21) of age, or if over twenty-one (21)
years of age, he is congenitally or while still a minor has been
permanently incapacitated and incapable of self-support,
physically or mentally.
Finally, the Court concedes that the petitioner did not raise the issue of the
validity of the proviso as of the date of his retirement in Section 12-B(d) of Rep.
Act No. 8282. The rule is that the Court does not decide questions of a
constitutional nature unless absolutely necessary to a decision of the case.
However, the question of the constitutionality of the proviso is absolutely
necessary for the proper resolution of the present case. Accordingly, the Court
required the parties to present their arguments on this issue and proceeded to
pass upon the same in the exercise of its equity jurisdiction and in order to

render substantial justice to the petitioner who, presumably in her advanced age
by now, deserves to receive forthwith the survivors pension accruing upon the
death of her husband.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The Decision dated April 15, 2003 and
Resolution dated December 15, 2003 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No.
69632 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The proviso as of the date of his retirement
in Section 12-B(d) of Rep. Act No. 8282 is declared VOID for being contrary to the
due process and equal protection clauses of the Constitution. The Social Security
System cannot deny the claim of petitioner Elena P. Dycaico for survivors
pension on the basis of this invalid proviso.

GR 161234: 04/27/07
The case involves several complaints for violation of Sections 18, 5 19,6 and 207 of
Presidential Decree No. 1519,8as amended, for the non-deduction and nonremittance of petitioners contributions to the Social Security System (SSS)
covering the period from January 1999 to November 2000. The complaints filed
by petitioner on August 13, 2001 were docketed as Criminal Cases Nos. 7479,
7483 and 7484 in the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of San Jose, Antique. Except for
the months of July and August of 1999, in which Criminal Cases Nos. 7483 and
7484 were allegedly committed, the three informations filed against Marietta E.
Laguardia and Silverio "Eric" Lozana, 9 for violations of Sections 18, 19, and 20 of
P.D. No. 1519, are similarly worded as in Criminal Case No. 7479
Whether or not in 1999 and 2000 in the province of antique nobody could be
criminally prosecuted for non-payment of Medicare contributions.
Whether or not the trial court on any ground could dismiss an amended
complaint, which it ordered to amend
Whether or not a petitioner could appeal his cases without written conformity of
the prosecutor
Whether or not the petition filed with the Court of Appeal/s conform to the
requirements of the Rules of Court.

Conformably with the Musa v. Amor ruling, we hold that in the present case,
there was substantial compliance. Considering the distance between the Court of
Appeals and the Province of Antique where the petition was posted, a written
explanation why service was not done personally might have been superfluous.
In the interest of substantial justice, a rigid application of Section 11, Rule 13
could be relaxed in this case.
Moreover, Section 6, Rule 1 of the 1997 Revised Rules of Civil Procedure states
the following:
SEC. 6. Construction. - These Rules shall be liberally construed in order to
promote their objective of securing a just, speedy and inexpensive disposition of
every action and proceeding.
Mindful of the aforecited rule, we find the explanation of petitioner acceptable.
At least it could be conceded that petitioner apparently did not ignore the rule. 26
With regard to the issue of non-attachment of pleadings, petitioner states that
the complaints mentioned, while not attached to the petition, were quoted in the
text of the petition itself. Respondents, however, state that there was a violation
of Section 2, Rule 42, which requires that the petition be accompanied by such
other pleadings and material portions of the records as should support the
allegations of the petition. The Court of Appeals said that the petition did not
append the several criminal complaints for violation of Rep. Act No. 7875 and the
attachments stated in paragraph 3 of the motion to dismiss.
Dismissal of appeals purely on technical grounds is frowned upon. 27 In the
exercise of its equity jurisdiction, we may even stay an order of such kind of
dismissal, especially in this case where petitioners appeal appears worthy of the
Court of Appeals full consideration prima facie on the merits.28 Here, the Court
of Appeals could have easily required the parties to submit additional documents
as might have been necessary in the interest of substantial justice. 29
In brief, under the circumstances of this case, it was wrong for the Court of
Appeals to peremptorily dismiss the petition for failure to explain why registered
mail was resorted to, and for failure of the petitioner to attach to the petition
other pleadings and material portions of the records.
Well established is the doctrine that every party litigant must be afforded the
amplest opportunity for the proper and just determination of his cause, free from
the constraints of technicalities. 30
Finally, on the issues of nonpayment of medicare contributions as a criminal
offense and the need for the conformity of the prosecutor to appeal a case, we
note that these two issues are raised as issues before the Court of Appeals. 31 We
shall not preempt the appellate court on these.
WHEREFORE, the challenged Resolutions dated July 31, 2002 and November 5,
2003 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 71764 are REVERSED and SET
ASIDE. The Court of Appeals is DIRECTED to reinstate the petition and continue
without delay the proceedings as the facts and the law would warrant.

No pronouncement as to costs.

GR 164947: 01/31/06
Sonia Maceda (Sonia)
and Bonifacio Macatangay (Macatangay)
contracted marriage on July 26, 1964.[1] The union bore one child,
petitioner GemmaMacatangay (Gemma), on March 27, 1965.[2]
The couple separated not long after the marriage.
In 1967, the couple executed a Kasunduan[3] whereby they agreed to live
Macatangay soon lived with Carmen Jaraza (Carmen).
After the death on December 7, 1998 of Macatangay who was a member
of the Social Security System (SSS) or on December 14, 1998, his common-law
wife Carmen filed a death benefit application before the SSS Lucena Branch. The
SSS denied[4] her application, it ruling that it is Macatangays wife who is his
primary beneficiary.
On January 9, 1999, petitioner Sonia filed before the SSS a death benefit
Macatangays children with his common-law wife Carmen, namely Jay,
Elena, and Joel, aged 27, 31, and 29 years old, respectively, also filed in
1999[5] separate applications for death benefits following the SSS denial of their
mothers application.
On September 10, 1999, the SSS denied Macatangays illegitimate
childrens claim on the ground that under Republic Act 8282, THE SOCIAL
SECURITY ACT OF 1997, it is the dependent spouse, until he or she remarries,
who is the primary beneficiary of the deceased member. [6]

Petitioner Sonias application for death benefit was approved on December

20, 1999. She received a lump sum amount of P33,000 representing
pensions [7] from the SSS.
2000, Macatangays mother,
respondent Encarnacion de Guzman, filed a petition before the Social Security
Commission (SSC) in MakatiCity[8] against herein petitioners Sonia and Gemma,
for the grant to her of social security benefits, she claiming that her son
designated her and his three illegitimate children as his beneficiaries under the
SSS;[9] she was made to sign a document regarding the distribution of benefits
of Macatangay by SSS Lucena Branch Chief Atty. Corazon M. Villamayor who,
however, did not furnish her a copy thereof nor inform her of its nature; [10] and
after she signed the document, the three illegitimate children received notices
denying their application for death benefits. [11]

Whether or not Sonia or Sonialita Maceda was not dependent upon the
late member for support and therefore cannot be considered as his
primary beneficiary
Petitioners, on the other hand, hinged their claim on Section 8(e) and (k) of The
Social Security Act of 1997. Thus they argued:
Section 8 (e) and (k) of Republic Act 8282 is crystal clear on
who should be Bonifacio De Guzman Macatangays beneficiary,
(e) Dependents The dependents shall be the
(1) The legal spouse entitled by law to receive
support from the member;
(2) The legitimate, legitimated or legally
adopted, and illegitimate child who is unmarried, not
gainfully employed and has not reached twenty-one
years (21) of age, or if over twenty-one (21) years of
age, he is congenitally or while still a minor has been
permanently incapacitated and incapable of selfsupport, physically or mentally, and
(3) The parent who is receiving regular support
from the member.
(k) Beneficiaries The dependent spouse until he
or she remarries, the dependent legitimate,
legitimated or legally adopted, and illegitimate
children, who shall be the primary beneficiaries of the
member; Provided, That the dependent illegitimate
children shall be entitled to fifty percent (50%) of the
share of the legitimate, legitimated or legally adopted
children: Provided, further, That in the absence of the
dependent legitimate, legitimated or legally adopted
children of the member, his/her dependent illegitimate
children shall be entitled to one hundred percent
(100%) of the benefits. In their absence, the

dependent parents who shall be the second

beneficiaries of the member. In the absence of all the
foregoing, any other person designated by the
(Underscoring and emphasis in the original) [14]

As this Court held in Tan v. Court of Appeals,[42] liberal construction of a

rule of procedure has been allowed where, among other cases, the injustice to
the adverse party is not commensurate with the degree of his thoughtlessness in
not complying with the procedure prescribed.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The Resolutions of the Court of
Appeals dated October 21, 2002 and August 4, 2004 in CA G.R. No. 73038 are
Let the records of the case be REMANDED to the Court of Appeals which
is DIRECTED to take appropriate action on petitioners petition for review in light
of the foregoing discussions. SO ORDERED.
GR 173846: GR 02/02/11
On October 15, 2004, Jose Marcel Panlilio, Erlinda Panlilio, Nicole Morris and
Marlo Cristobal (petitioners), as corporate officers of Silahis International Hotel,
Inc. (SIHI), filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila, Branch 24, a
petition for Suspension of Payments and Rehabilitation [4] in SEC Corp. Case No.
On October 18, 2004, the RTC of Manila, Branch 24, issued an Order
staying all claims against SIHI upon finding the petition sufficient in form and
At the time, however, of the filing of the petition for rehabilitation, there
were a number of criminal charges [7] pending against petitioners in Branch 51 of
the RTC of Manila. These criminal charges were initiated by respondent Social
Security System (SSS) and involved charges of violations of Section 28 (h) [8] of
Republic Act 8282, or the Social Security Act of 1997 (SSS law), in relation to
Article 315 (1) (b)[9] of the Revised Penal Code, or Estafa. Consequently,
petitioners filed with the RTC of Manila, Branch 51, a Manifestation and Motion to
Suspend Proceedings.[10] Petitioners argued that the stay order issued by Branch
24 should also apply to the criminal charges pending in Branch 51. Petitioners,
thus, prayed that Branch 51 suspend its proceedings until the petition for
rehabilitation was finally resolved.
This Court rules in the negative.
In Rosario v. Co[24] (Rosario), a case of recent vintage, the issue resolved by this
Court was whether or not during the pendency of rehabilitation proceedings,
criminal charges for violation of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 should be suspended,
was disposed of as follows:
Rosario is at fours with the case at bar. Petitioners are charged with violations of
Section 28 (h) of the SSS law, in relation to Article 315 (1) (b) of the Revised

Penal Code, or Estafa. The SSS law clearly criminalizes the non-remittance of SSS
contributions by an employer to protect the employees from unscrupulous
employers. Therefore, public interest requires that the said criminal acts be
immediately investigated and prosecuted for the protection of society.
The rehabilitation of SIHI and the settlement of claims against the corporation is
not a legal ground for the extinction of petitioners criminal liabilities. There is no
reason why criminal proceedings should be suspended during corporate
rehabilitation, more so, since the prime purpose of the criminal action is to
punish the offender in order to deter him and others from committing the same
or similar offense, to isolate him from society, reform and rehabilitate him or, in
general, to maintain social order. [26] As correctly observed in Rosario,[27] it would
be absurd for one who has engaged in criminal conduct could escape
punishment by the mere filing of a petition for rehabilitation by the corporation
of which he is an officer.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is DENIED. The April 27,
2006 Decision and August 2, 2006 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R.
SP No. 90947 are AFFIRMED. The Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 51,
is ORDERED to proceed with the criminal cases filed against petitioners.