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Heirs of Nala v.

Cabansag

FACTS: Artemio bought a 50-square meter


property from spouses Eugenio and Felisa, part
of a 400-square meter lot registered in the
name of the Gomez spouses.. In October, 1991,
he
received
a
demand
letter
from
Atty.
Alexander demanding payment for rentals from
1987 to 1991 until he leaves the premises, as
said property is owned by Purisima; failing
which, civil and criminal charges will be
brought against him. This demand letter was
followed by another demand letter. According to
Artemio, the demand letter caused him damages
prompting him to file a complaint for damages
against Purisima and Atty. Alexander. In their
defense, Atty. Alexander alleged that he merely
acted in behalf of his client Purisima, who
contested the ownership of the lot by Artemio.
Purisima alleged that the lot was pat of an
800-sq. meter property owned by her late
husband, Eulogio, which was divided into two
parts. The 400-square meter lot was conveyed to
the spouses Gomez by virtue of a fictitious
deed of sale, with the agreement that it will
be held in trust by the Gomezes in behalf of
their (Eulogio and Purisima) children. Artemio
is only renting the property which he occupies.
She only learned of the deed of sale by the
Gomez spouses to Artemio when the latter filed
the case for damages against her and Atty.
Alexander.
ISSUE: Whether or not Artemio and Atty.
Alexander and Purisima liable for damages,
which the Court of Appeals affirmed.
HELD: In order to be liable for damages
under the abuse of rights principle, the
following requisites must concur: (a) the
existence of a legal right or duty; (b) which
is exercised in bad faith; and (c) for the sole
intent of prejudicing or injuring another
In the present case, there is nothing on record
which will prove that Nala and her counsel,
Atty. Del Prado, acted in bad faith or malice
in sending the demand letters to respondent. In
the first place, there was ground for Nalas
actions since she believed that the property
was owned by her husband Eulogio Duyan and that
respondent was illegally occupying the same.
She had no knowledge that spouses Gomez
violated the trust imposed on them by Eulogio
and surreptitiously sold a portion of the
property to respondent. It was only after
respondent filed the case for damages against
Nala that she learned of such sale.
Nala was acting well within her rights when she
instructed Atty. Del Prado to send the demand
letters. She had to take all the necessary

legal steps to enforce her legal/equitable


rights
over
the
property
occupied
by
respondent. One who makes use of his own legal
right does no injury. Thus, whatever damages
are suffered by respondent should be borne
solely by him.

Bernardo et al v. NLRC & FEBTC


GR No. 122917, 12 July 1999
Facts: The
dismissed
complainants,
numbering 43, are deaf-mutes who were hired on
various periods from 1988 to 1993 by respondent
Far East Bank and Trust Co. as Money Sorters
and
Counters
through
a
uniformly
worded
agreement
called
"Employment
Contract
for
Handicapped
Workers".
Disclaiming
that
complainants were regular employees, respondent
Far East Bank and Trust Company maintained that
complainants were hired temporarily under a
special employment arrangement which was a
result of overtures made by some civic and
political personalities to the respondent Bank;
that
complainant[s]
were
hired
due
to
"pakiusap"; that the tellers themselves already
did the sorting and counting chore as a regular
feature and integral part of their duties; that
through the "pakiusap" of Arturo Borjal, the
tellers were relieved of this task of counting
and sorting bills in favor of deaf-mutes
without creating new positions as there is no
position either in the respondent or in any
other bank in the Philippines which deals with
purely counting and sorting of bills in banking
operations.
The LA &, on appeal, the NLRC
ruled against petitioners, holding that they
could not be deemed regular employees since
they were hired as an accommodation to the
recommendation of civic oriented personalities
whose employments were covered by Employment
Contracts w/ special provisions on duration of
contract as specified under Art. 80.
Hence,
the terms of the contract shall be the law
between the parties.
Issue: Whether
regular employees

petitioners

have

become

Held: Only the employees, who worked for


more than six months and whose contracts were
renewed
are
deemed
regular.
Hence,
their
dismissal from employment was illegal. The
facts, viewed in light of the Labor Code and
the
Magna
Carta
for
Disabled
Persons,
indubitably show that the petitioners, except
sixteen of them, should be deemed regular
employees.
The
uniform
employment
contracts
of
the
petitioners stipulated that they shall be
trained for a period of one month, after which
the employer shall determine whether or not

they should be allowed to finish the 6-month


term of the contract. Furthermore, the employer
may terminate the contract at any time for a
just and reasonable cause. Unless renewed in
writing by the employer, the contract shall
automatically expire at the end of the term.
The stipulations in the employment contracts
indubitably conform with Art. 80 LC w/c
provides for the requisites in the employment
agreement between an employer who employs
handicapped workers. Succeeding events and the
enactment of RA No. 7277 (the Magna Carta for
Disabled Persons), 13 however, justify the
application of Article 280 of the Labor Code.
Respondent bank entered into the aforesaid
contract with a total of 56 handicapped workers
and renewed the contracts of 37 of them.
Verily, the renewal of the contracts of the
handicapped workers and the hiring of others
lead to the conclusion that their tasks were
beneficial and necessary to the bank. More
important, these facts show that they were
qualified to perform the responsibilities of
their
positions.
In
other
words,
their
disability did not render them unqualified or
unfit for the tasks assigned to them.
In this light, the Magna Carta for Disabled
Persons mandates that a qualified disabled
employee should be given the same terms and
conditions of employment as a qualified ablebodied person.
The fact that the employees were qualified
disabled
persons
necessarily
removes
the
employment contracts from the ambit of Article
80. Since the Magna Carta accords them the
rights of qualified able-bodied persons, they
are thus covered by Article 280 of the Labor
Code.

Without a doubt, the task of counting and


sorting bills is necessary and desirable to the
business of respondent bank. With the exception
of sixteen of them, petitioners performed these
tasks for more than six months. Thus, the
twenty-seven
petitioners
should
be
deemed
regular employees.
The contract signed by petitioners is akin to a
probationary employment, during which the bank
determined the employees' fitness for the job.
When the bank renewed the contract after the
lapse of the six-month probationary period, the
employees thereby became regular employees. 16
No
employer
is
allowed
to
determine
indefinitely the fitness of its employees.
Moreover, it must be emphasized that a contract
of
employment
is
impressed
with
public
interest.
Provisions of applicable statutes
are deemed written into the contract, and the
"parties are not at liberty to insulate
themselves and their relationships from the
impact of labor laws and regulations by simply
contracting with each other."
Clearly, the
agreement of the parties regarding the period
of
employment
cannot
prevail
over
the
provisions of the Magna Carta for Disabled
Persons, which mandate that petitioners must be
treated as qualified able-bodied employees.
An employee is regular because of the nature of
work and the length of service, not because of
the mode or even the reason for hiring them.

maemae <3