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vs. vs.
Court of First Instance of Zambales & Olongapo AGUSTIN, accused. NELLY D. AGUSTIN, accused-
City, Branch III and SERAPIO ABUG, respondents. appellant.

FACTS: FACTS : on January 12, 1988, an information for illegal

recruitment committed by a syndicateand in large
On January 9, 1981, four information were filed in the scale, punishable under Articles 38 and 39 of the Labor
in the Court of First Instance (CFI) of Zambales and Code (Presidential DecreeNo. 442) as amended by
Olongapo City alleging that herein private respondent Section 1(b) of Presidential Decree No. 2018, was led
Serapio Abug, "without first securing a license from the againstspouses Dan and Loma Goce and herein
Ministry of Labor as a holder of authority to operate a accused-appellant Nelly Agustin, alleging that in
fee-charging employment agency, did then and there orabout during the period comprised between May
wilfully, unlawfully and criminally operate a private fee 1986 and June 25, 1987, both dates inclusivein the
charging employment agency by charging fees and City of Manila, the accused conspired and represent
expenses (from) and promising employment in Saudi themselves to have the capacity torecruit Filipino
Arabia" to four separate individuals. Abug filed a workers for employment abroad.According to one of
motion to quash contending that he cannot be charged the witnesses, Agustin, representing herself as the
for illegal recruitment because according to him, Article manager of the CloverPlacement Agency, showed him
13(b) of the Labor Code says there would be illegal a job order as proof that he could readily be deployed
recruitment only "whenever two or more persons are in foroverseas employment. Salado learned that he had
any manner promised or offered any employment for a to pay P5,000.00 as processing fee, whichamount he
fee. gave sometime in April or May of the same year. He
was issued the correspondingreceipt. Also, Salado,
Denied at first, the motion to quash was reconsidered accompanied by ve other applicants who were his
and granted by the Trial Court in its Orders dated June relatives, went to theoce of the placement agency at
24, 1981, and September 17, 1981. In the instant case, Nakpil Street, Ermita, Manila where he saw Agustin
the view of the private respondents is that to constitute and metthe spouses Dan and Loma Goce, owners of
recruitment and placement, all the acts mentioned in the agency. He submitted his bio-data and learnedfrom
this article should involve dealings with two or more Loma Goce that he had to give P12,000.00, instead of
persons as an indispensable requirement. On the other the original amount of P5,000.00 forthe placement fee.
hand, the petitioner argues that the requirement of two Although surprised at the new and higher sum, they
or more persons is imposed only where the recruitment subsequently agreed aslong as there was an
and placement consists of an offer or promise of assurance that they could leave for abroad. Thereafter,
employment to such persons and always in a receipt wasissued in the name of the Clover
consideration of a fee. Placement Agency showing that Salado and his
aforesaid co-applicants each paid P2,000.00, instead
ISSUE: Whether or not Article 13(b) of the Labor Code of the P5,000.00 which each of them actually
provides for the innocence or guilt of the private paid.Several months passed but Salado failed to leave
respondent of the crime of illegal recruitment for the promised overseas employment.
COURT RULING: The Supreme Court reversed the ISSUE: WON there is proof that Agustin oered or
CFIs Orders and reinstated all four information filed promised overseas employment to thecomplainants.
against private respondent.
HELD: YES, the testimonial evidence hereon show that
The Article 13(b) of the Labor Code was merely she indeed further committed actsconstitutive of illegal
intended to create a presumption, and not to impose a recruitment.
condition on the basic rule nor to provide an exception
thereto. RATIO: All four prosecution witnesses testied that it
was Agustin whom they initiallyapproached regarding
Where a fee is collected in consideration of a promise their plans of working overseas. It was from her that
or offer of employment to two or more prospective they learned aboutthe fees they had to pay, as well as
workers, the individual or entity dealing with them shall the papers that they had to submit. It was after they
be deemed to be engaged in the act of recruitment and hadtalked to her that they met the accused spouses
placement. The words "shall be deemed" create the who owned the placement agency.There is illegal
said presumption. recruitment when one gives the impression of having
the ability to send a workerabroad." 29 It is undisputed
that appellant gave complainants the distinct
impression that shehad the power or ability to send
people abroad for work such that the latter were
convinced togive her the money she demanded in Petitioners employment contract was for a period of 12
order to be so employed. months or from March 19, 1998 up to March 19, 1999,
but at the time of his repatriation on May 26, 1998, he
had served only two (2) months and seven (7) days of
IMELDA DARVIN, petitioner, vs. HON. COURT OF his contract, leaving an unexpired portion of nine (9)
APPEALS and PEOPLE OF THE months and twenty-three (23) days.
PHILIPPINES, respondents.
Petitioner filed with the Labor Arbiter (LA) a Complaint
FACTS: against respondents for constructive dismissal and for
Maria Toledo convinced by the petitioner that she has payment of his money claims in the total amount of
the authority to recruit workers for abroad and that she US$26,442.73.
can facilitate the necessary papers, gave Darvin
Php150,000 for airfare and US visa. However, she was The LA rendered a Decision dated July 15, 1999,
not given a work permit to validly work in the US. declaring the dismissal of petitioner illegal and
awarding him monetary benefits, to wit:
Issue: Whether or not the petitioner is guilty of illegal
recruitment? WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is
hereby rendered declaring that the dismissal of the
Held: There is lack of evidence that accused offered complainant (petitioner) by the respondents in the
Toledo a job. Procuring of an airfare ticket and a US above-entitled case was illegal and the respondents
visa does not qualify illegal recruitment. are hereby ordered to pay the complainant [petitioner],
jointly and severally, in Philippine Currency, based on
the rate of exchange prevailing at the time of payment,
representing the complainants salary for three (3)
By way of Petition for Review under Rule 45 of the months of the unexpired portion of the aforesaid
Rules of Court, petitioner assails the Decision and contract of employment.
Resolution of the Court of Appeals (CA).
The claims of the complainant for moral and exemplary
FACTS: damages are hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit.

Petitioner was hired by Gallant Maritime Services, Inc. In awarding petitioner a lump-sum salary of
and Marlow Navigation Co., Ltd. (respondents) under a US$8,770.00, the LA based his computation on the
Philippine Overseas Employment Administration salary period of three months only rather than the
(POEA)-approved Contract of Employment with the entire unexpired portion of nine months and 23 days of
following terms and conditions: petitioners employment contract applying the subject
clause. However, the LA applied the salary rate of
Duration of contract 12 months US$2,590.00, consisting of petitioners [b]asic salary,
US$1,400.00/month + US$700.00/month, fixed
Position Chief Officer overtime pay, + US$490.00/month, vacation leave pay
= US$2,590.00/compensation per month.
Basic monthly salary US$1,400.00
Respondents appealed to the National Labor Relations
Hours of work 48.0 hours per week Commission (NLRC) to question the finding of the LA
that petitioner was illegally dismissed.
Overtime US$700.00 per month
The NLRC modified the LA Decision and corrected the
Vacation leave with pay 7.00 days per month LAs computation of the lump-sum salary awarded to
petitioner by reducing the applicable salary rate from
On March 19, 1998, the date of his departure, US$2,590.00 to US$1,400.00 because R.A. No. 8042
petitioner was constrained to accept a downgraded does not provide for the award of overtime pay, which
employment contract for the position of Second Officer should be proven to have been actually performed, and
with a monthly salary of US$1,000.00, upon the for vacation leave pay.
assurance and representation of respondents that he
would be made Chief Officer by the end of April 1998. Petitioner filed a Motion for Partial Reconsideration, but
this time he questioned the constitutionality of the
Respondents did not deliver on their promise to make subject clause. The NLRC denied the motion.
petitioner Chief Officer. Hence, petitioner refused to
stay on as Second Officer and was repatriated to the Petitioner filed a Petition for Certiorari with the CA,
Philippines on May 26, 1998. reiterating the constitutional challenge against the
subject clause. After initially dismissing the petition on
a technicality, the CA eventually gave due course to it, Arguments of the Petitioner
as directed by this Court in its Resolution which
granted the petition for certiorari,filed by petitioner. For Antonio Serrano (petitioner), a Filipino seafarer,
the last clause in the 5th paragraph of Section 10,
The CA affirmed the NLRC ruling on the reduction of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 8042, violates the OFWs
the applicable salary rate; however, the CA skirted the constitutional rights in that it impairs the terms of their
constitutional issue raised by petitioner. contract, deprives them of equal protection and denies
them due process.
His Motion for Reconsideration having been denied by
the CA, petitioner brings his cause to this Court on the The Arguments of Respondents
following grounds:
Respondents contend that the constitutional issue
The Court of Appeals and the labor tribunals have should not be entertained, for this was belatedly
decided the case in a way not in accord with applicable interposed by petitioner in his appeal before the CA,
decision of the Supreme Court involving similar issue and not at the earliest opportunity, which was when he
of granting unto the migrant worker back wages equal filed an appeal before the NLRC.40
to the unexpired portion of his contract of employment
instead of limiting it to three (3) months. The Arguments of the Solicitor General

Even without considering the constitutional limitations The Solicitor General (OSG)41 points out that as R.A.
[of] Sec. 10 of Republic Act No. 8042, the Court of No. 8042 took effect on July 15, 1995, its provisions
Appeals gravely erred in law in excluding from could not have impaired petitioners 1998 employment
petitioners award the overtime pay and vacation pay contract. Rather, R.A. No. 8042 having preceded
provided in his contract since under the contract they petitioners contract, the provisions thereof are deemed
form part of his salary. part of the minimum terms of petitioners employment,
especially on the matter of money claims, as this was
The Court now takes up the full merit of the petition not stipulated upon by the parties.
mindful of the extreme importance of the constitutional
question raised therein. The Courts Ruling:

ISSUES: First Issue

Whether Section 10 (par 5) of RA 8042 is Does the subject clause violate Section 1, Article III of
unconstitutional the Constitution, and Section 18, Article II and Section
3, Article XIII on Labor as protected sector?
Proper computation of the Lump-sum salary to be
awarded to petitioner by reason of his illegal dismissal The answer is in the affirmative.
Whether the overtime and leave pay should form part
of the salary basis in the computation of his monetary Section 1, Article III of the Constitution guarantees:
No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property
The unanimous finding of the LA, NLRC and CA that without due process of law nor shall any person be
the dismissal of petitioner was illegal is not disputed. denied the equal protection of the law.
Likewise not disputed is the salary differential of
US$45.00 awarded to petitioner in all three fora. Section 18, Article II and Section 3, Article XIII accord
all members of the labor sector, without distinction as
Applying the subject clause, the NLRC and the CA to place of deployment, full protection of their rights
computed the lump-sum salary of petitioner at the and welfare.
monthly rate of US$1,400.00 covering the period of
three months out of the unexpired portion of nine To Filipino workers, the rights guaranteed under the
months and 23 days of his employment contract or a foregoing constitutional provisions translate to
total of US$4,200.00. economic security and parity: all monetary benefits
should be equally enjoyed by workers of similar
Impugning the constitutionality of the subject clause, category, while all monetary obligations should be
petitioner contends that, in addition to the US$4,200.00 borne by them in equal degree; none should be denied
awarded by the NLRC and the CA, he is entitled to the protection of the laws which is enjoyed by, or
US$21,182.23 more or a total of US$25,382.23, spared the burden imposed on, others in like
equivalent to his salaries for the entire nine months circumstances.
and 23 days left of his employment contract, computed
at the monthly rate of US$2,590.00.31
Imbued with the same sense of obligation to afford Third Issue
protection to labor, the Court in the present case also
employs the standard of strict judicial scrutiny, for it Petitioner contends that his overtime and leave pay
perceives in the subject clause a suspect classification should form part of the salary basis in the computation
prejudicial to OFWs. of his monetary award, because these are fixed
benefits that have been stipulated into his contract.
Upon cursory reading, the subject clause appears
facially neutral, for it applies to all OFWs. However, a Petitioner is mistaken.
closer examination reveals that the subject clause has
a discriminatory intent against, and an invidious impact The word salaries in Section 10(5) does not include
on OFWs overtime and leave pay. For seafarers like petitioner,
DOLE Department Order No. 33, series 1996, provides
The subject clause does not state or imply any a Standard Employment Contract of Seafarers, in
definitive governmental purpose; and it is for that which salary is understood as the basic wage,
precise reason that the clause violates not just exclusive of overtime, leave pay and other bonuses;
petitioners right to equal protection, but also her right whereas overtime pay is compensation for all work
to substantive due process under Section 1, Article III performed in excess of the regular eight hours, and
of the Constitution. holiday pay is compensation for any work performed
on designated rest days and holidays.
Second Issue
In the same vein, the claim for the days leave pay for
It is plain that prior to R.A. No. 8042, all OFWs, the unexpired portion of the contract is unwarranted
regardless of contract periods or the unexpired since the same is given during the actual service of the
portions thereof, were treated alike in terms of the seamen.
computation of their monetary benefits in case of illegal
dismissal. Their claims were subjected to a uniform WHEREFORE, the Court GRANTS the Petition. The
rule of computation: their basic salaries multiplied by subject clause or for three months for every year of
the entire unexpired portion of their employment the unexpired term, whichever is less in the 5th
contracts. paragraph of Section 10 of Republic Act No. 8042 is
The enactment of the subject clause in R.A. No. 8042 December 8, 2004 Decision and April 1, 2005
introduced a differentiated rule of computation of the Resolution of the Court of Appeals are MODIFIED to
money claims of illegally dismissed OFWs based on the effect that petitioner is AWARDED his salaries for
their employment periods, in the process singling out the entire unexpired portion of his employment contract
one category whose contracts have an unexpired consisting of nine months and 23 days computed at the
portion of one year or more and subjecting them to the rate of US$1,400.00 per month
peculiar disadvantage of having their monetary awards
limited to their salaries for 3 months or for the
unexpired portion thereof, whichever is less, but all the
while sparing the other category from such prejudice, THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-
simply because the latters unexpired contracts fall appellee, vs. ENGINEER RODOLFO DIAZ, accused-
short of one year. appellant.

Prior to R.A. No. 8042, a uniform system of FACTS: Three women (Navarro, Fabricante, and
computation of the monetary awards of illegally Ramirez) were enrolled at the Henichi Techno
dismissed OFWs was in place. This uniform system Exchange Cultural Foundation in Davao City, studying
was applicable even to local workers with fixed-term Niponggo, when they were informed by their teacher,
employment. Mrs. Aplicador, that she knew of a Mr. Paulo Lim who
also knew of one Engineer Erwin Diaz who was
The subject clause does not state or imply any recruiting applicants for Brunei.
definitive governmental purpose; and it is for that
precise reason that the clause violates not just Accompanied by Mrs. Aplicador, the three women went
petitioners right to equal protection, but also her right to Mr. Lim who told them that his children had already
to substantive due process under Section 1, Article III applied with Engr. Diaz. The four women were then
of the Constitution. accompanied by Mr. Lim to the CIS Detention Center
where Engr. Diaz was already being detained. After
The subject clause being unconstitutional, petitioner is Navarro and Ramirez had already given 20k as
entitled to his salaries for the entire unexpired period of placement fee, Fabricante went to the office of the
nine months and 23 days of his employment contract, POEA and found out the Engr. Diaz was not licensed.
pursuant to law and jurisprudence prior to the Fabricante informed the two women about her
enactment of R.A. No. 8042.
discovery and they all withdrew their applications. private respondent work abroad. What is established,
Engr. Diaz refunded their payments. however, is that the private respondent gave accused-
appellant P150,000.By themselves, procuring a
The trial court held Engr. Diaz guilty of illegal passport, airline tickets and foreign visa for another
recruitment in large scale. individual, without more, can hardly qualify as
recruitment activities. Aside from the testimony of
ISSUE: WON Diaz was engaged in illegal recruitment. private respondent, there is nothing to show that
appellant engaged in recruitment activities.
HELD: YES. Diaz was neither a licensee nor a holder
of authority to qualify him to lawfully engage in At best, the evidence proffered by the
recruitment and placement activity. Appellant told the prosecution only goes so far as to create a suspicion
three women that he was recruiting contract workers that appellant probably perpetrated the crime charged.
for abroad, particularly Brunei, and promised them job But suspicion alone is insufficient, the required
opportunities if they can produce various amounts of quantum of evidence being proof beyond reasonable
money for expenses and processing of documents. He doubt. When the Peoples evidence fail to indubitably
manifestly gave the impression to the three women prove the accuseds authorship of the crime of which
that he had the ability to send workers abroad. he stand accused, then it is the Courts duty, and the
Misrepresenting himself as a recruiter of workers for accuseds right, to proclaim his innocence.
Brunei, he promised them work for a fee and
convinced them to give their money for the purpose of
getting an employment overseas.
G.R. No. 125044 OSCAR IRINEO, respondents.
July 13, 1998
FACTS: Private respondent Dr. Fabros was employed
FACTS: Imelda Darvin was convicted of simple illegal as flight surgeon at petitioner company. He was
recruitment under the Labor Code by the RTC. It assigned at the PAL Medical Clinic and was on duty
stemmed from a complaint of one Macaria Toledo who from 4:00 in the afternoon until 12:00 midnight.
was convinced by the petitioner that she has the On Feb.17, 1994, at around 7:00 in the evening, Dr.
authority to recruit workers for abroad and can facilitate FAbros left the clinic to have his dinner at his
the necessary papers in connection thereof. In view of residence, which was abou t5-minute drive away. A
this promise, Macaria gave her P150,000 supposedly few minutes later, the clinic received an emergency call
intended for US Visa and air fare. from the PAL Cargo Services. One of its
employeeshad suffered a heart attack. The nurse on
On appeal, the CA affirmed the decision of the trial duty, Mr. Eusebio, called private respondent at home
court in toto, hence this petition. to inform him of the emergency. The patient arrived at
the clinic at 7:50 in the evening and Mr. Eusebio
ISSUE:WON appellant is guilty beyond reasonable immediately rushed him to the hospital. When Dr.
doubt of illegal recruitment. Fabros reached the clinic at around 7:51 in the
evening, Mr. Eusebio had already left with the patient
HELD: Art. 38 of the Labor Code provides: to the hospital. The patient died the following day.
Upon learning about the incident, PAL Medical Director
a.)Any recruitment activities, including the prohibited ordered the Chief Flight Surgeon to conduct an
practices enumerated under Article 43 of the Labor investigation. In his explanation, Dr. Fabros asserted
Code, to be undertaken by non-licensees or non- that he was entitled to a thirty-minute meal break; that
holders of authority shall be deemed illegal and he immediately left his residence upon being informed
punishable under Article 39 of the Labor Code. by Mr. Eusebio about the emergency and he arrived at
the clinic a few minutes later; that Mr. Eusebio
Applied to the present case, to uphold the conviction of panicked and brought the patient to the hospital
accused-appellant, two elements need to be shown: without waiting for him.
(1) the person charged with the crime must have
undertaken recruitment activities: and (2) the said
person does not have a license or authority to do so. Finding private respondents explanation unacceptable,
the management charged private respondent with
In the case, the Court found no sufficient abandonment of post while on duty. He denied that he
evidence to prove that accused-appellant offered a job abandoned his post on February 17, 1994. He said that
to private respondent. It is not clear that accused gave he only left the clinic to have his dinner at home. In
the impression that she was capable of providing the fact, he returned to the clinic at 7:51 in the evening
upon being informed of the emergency.
After evaluating the charge as well as the answer of regular office hours for eight (8) hours a day, for five
private respondent, he was given a suspension for (5) days a week, exclusive of time for meals, except
three months effective December 16, 1994. where the exigencies of the service require that such
personnel work for six (6) days or forty-eight (48)
hours, in which case they shall be entitled to an
Private respondent filed a complaint for illegal additional compensation of at least thirty per cent
suspension against petitioner. (30%) of their regular wage for work on the sixth day.
For purposes of this Article, health personnel shall
include: resident physicians, nurses, nutritionists,
On July 16, 1996, the Labor Arbiter rendered a
dieticians, pharmacists, social workers, laboratory
decision declaring the suspension of private
technicians, paramedical technicians, psychologists,
respondent illegal. It also ordered petitioner to pay
midwives, attendants and all other hospital or clinic
private respondent the amount equivalent to all the
personnel. (emphasis supplied) Art. 85. Meal periods.
benefits he should have received during his period of
Subject to such regulations as the Secretary of
suspension plus P500,000.00 moral damages.
Labor may prescribe, it shall be the duty of every
employer to give his employees not less than sixty (60)
Petitioner appealed to the NLRC. minutes time-off for their regular meals. Sec. 7, Rule I,
Book III of the Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor
Code further states: Sec. 7. Meal and Rest Periods.
The NLRC, however, dismissed the appeal after Every employer shall give his employees, regardless of
finding that the decision of the Labor Arbiter is sex, not less than one (1) hour time-off for regular
supported by the facts on record and the law on the meals, except in the following cases when a meal
matter. The NLRC likewise denied petitioners motion period of not less than twenty (20) minutes may be
for reconsideration. given by the employer provided that such shorter meal
period is credited as compensable hours worked of the
employee; (a) Where the work is non-manual work in
Hence, this petition. nature or does not involve strenuous physical exertion;
(b) Where the establishment regularly operates not
less than sixteen hours a day; (c) In cases of actual or
impending emergencies or there is urgent work to be
1. WON the nullifying of the 3-month suspension by the
performed on machineries, equipment or installations
NLRC erroneous.
to avoid serious loss which the employer would
otherwise suffer; and (d) Where the work is necessary
2. WON the awarding of moral damages is proper. to prevent serious loss of perishable goods. Rest
periods or coffee breaks running from five (5) to twenty
(20) minutes shall be considered as compensable
HELD: The petition is PARTIALLY GRANTED. The working time. Thus, the eight-hour work period does
portion of the assailed decision awarding moral not include the meal break. Nowhere in the law may it
damages to private respondent is DELETED. All other be inferred that employees must take their meals within
aspects of the decision are AFFIRMED the company premises. Employees are not prohibited
from going out of the premises as long as they return
1. The legality of private respondents suspension: Dr. to their posts on time. Private respondents act,
Fabros left the clinic that night only to have his dinner therefore, of going home to take his dinner does not
at his house, which was only a few minutes drive away constitute abandonment. 2. The award of moral
from the clinic. His whereabouts were known to the damages: Not every employee who is illegally
nurse on duty so that he could be easily reached in dismissed or suspended is entitled to damages. As a
case of emergency. Upon being informed of Mr. rule, moral damages are recoverable only where the
Acostas condition, private respondent immediately left dismissal or suspension of the employee was attended
his home and returned to the clinic. These facts belie by bad faith or fraud, or constituted an act oppressive
petitioners claim of abandonment. Petitioner argues to labor, or was done in a manner contrary to morals,
that being a full-time employee, private respondent is good customs or public policy In the case at bar, there
obliged to stay in the company premises for not less is no showing that the management of petitioner
than eight (8) hours. Hence, he may not leave the company was moved by some evil motive in
company premises during such time, even to take his suspending private respondent. It suspended private
meals. We are not impressed. Art. 83 and 85 of the respondent on an honest, albeit erroneous, belief that
Labor Code read: Art. 83. Normal hours of work. private respondents act of leaving the company
The normal hours of work of any employee shall not premises to take his meal at home constituted
exceed eight (8) hours a day. Health personnel in cities abandonment of post which warrants the penalty of
and municipalities with a population of at least one suspension. Under the circumstances, we hold that
million (1,000,000) or in hospitals and clinics with a bed private respondent is not entitled to moral damages.
capacity of at least one hundred (100) shall hold
Article 13 (b) of the Labor Code defines
ROSA C. RODOLFO recruitment and placement as [a]ny act of
VS canvassing, enlisting, contracting, transporting,
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES utilizing, hiring or procuring workers, and includes
498 SCRA 377 (2006) referrals, contract services, promising or advertising for
employment, locally or abroad, whether for profit or
Promises or offers for a fee employment is sufficient not.
to warrant conviction for illegal recruitment.
That the first element is present in the case at bar,
Petitioner Rosa C. Rodolfo approached private there is no doubt. Jose Valeriano, Senior Overseas
complainants Necitas Ferre and Narciso Corpus Employment Officer of the Philippine Overseas
individually and invited them to apply for overseas Employment Administration, testified that the records
employment in Dubai. Rodolfo, being their neighbor, of the POEA do not show that Rodolfo is authorized to
Ferre and Corpus agreed and went to the formers recruit workers for overseas employment. A
office. The office bore the business name Bayside Certification to that effect was in fact issued by
Manpower Export Specialist. In that office, Ferre gave Hermogenes C. Mateo, Chief of the Licensing Division
P1,000.00 as processing fee and another P4,000.00. of POEA.
Likewise, Corpus gave Rodolfo P7,000.00. Rodolfo
then told Ferre and Corpus that they were scheduled to The second element is doubtless also present.
leave for Dubai. However, private complainants and all The act of referral, which is included in recruitment, is
the other applicantswere not able to depart on the the act of passing along or forwarding of
scheduled date as their employer allegedly did not an applicant for employment after an initial interview of
arrive. Thus, their departure was rescheduled, but the a selected applicant for employment to a selected
result was the same. Suspecting that they were being employer, placement officer or bureau.
hoodwinked, Ferre and Corpus demanded of Rodolfo Rodolfos admission that she brought private
to return their money. Except for the refund of complainants to the agency whose owner she knows
P1,000.00 to Ferre, Rodolfo was not able to return and her acceptance of fees including those for
Ferres and Corpus money. Ferre, Corpus and three processing betrays her guilt.
others then filed a case for illegal recruitment in large
scale with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) against Rodolfo issued provisional receipts indicating that the
Rodolfo. amounts she received from the private complainants
were turned over to Luzviminda Marcos and Florante
The RTC rendered judgement against Rodolfo but in Hinahon does not free her from liability. For
imposing the penalty, the RTC took note of the fact that the act of recruitment may be for profit or not. It is
while the information reflected the commission of sufficient that the accused promises or offers for a
illegal recruitment in large scale, only the complaint of fee employment to warrant conviction for
two (Ferre and Corpus) of the five complainants was illegal recruitment. Parenthetically, why Rodolfo
proven. Rodolfo appealed to the Court of Appeals accepted the payment of fees from the private
(CA). The CA dismissed the petition but modified the complainants when, in light of her claim that she
penalty imposed by the trial court. The CA also merely brought them to the agency, she could have
dismissed Rodolfos Motion for Reconsideration. advised them to directly pay the same to the agency,
she proferred no explanation.
Whether or not Rodolfo is guilty of illegal recruitment in On Rodolfos reliance on Seoron, true, the Court held
large scale that issuance of receipts for placement fees does not
make a case for illegal recruitment. But it went on to
HELD: state that it is rather the undertaking
The elements of the offense of illegal recruitment, of recruitment activities without the necessary license
which must concur, are: (1) that the offender has no or authority that makes a case for illegal recruitment.
valid license or authority required by law to lawfully
engage in recruitment and placement of workers; and
(2) that the offender undertakes any activity within the
meaning of recruitment and placement under Article
13(b), or any prohibited practices enumerated under SAMEER OVERSEAS PLACEMENT AGENCY, INC.,
Article 34 of the Labor Code. If another element is Petitioner,
present that the accused commits the act against three vs.
or more persons, individually or as a group, it becomes JOY C. CABILES, Respondent.
an illegal recruitment in a large scale.
TOPIC: Section 10 of RA 8042 vis-a-vis Section 7 of
RA 10022
FACTS: exercise its powers in any manner inconsistent with the
Constitution, regardless of the existence of any law
Petitioner, Sameer Overseas that supports such exercise. The Constitution cannot
Placement Agency, Inc., is a recruitment and be trumped by any other law. All laws must be read in
placement agency. light of the Constitution. Any law that is inconsistent
with it is a nullity.
Respondent Joy Cabiles was hired thus
signed a one-year employment contract for a monthly Thus, when a law or a provision of law is
salary of NT$15,360.00. Joy was deployed to work for null because it is inconsistent with the
Taiwan Wacoal, Co. Ltd. (Wacoal) on June 26, 1997. Constitution, the nullity cannot be cured by
She alleged that in her employment contract, reincorporation or reenactment of the same or a
she agreed to work as quality control for one year. In similar law or provision. A law or provision of law that
Taiwan, she was asked to work as a cutter. was already declared unconstitutional remains as such
unless circumstances have so changed as to warrant a
reverse conclusion.
Sameer claims that on July 14, 1997,
a certain Mr. Huwang from Wacoal informed Joy,
without prior notice, that she was terminated and that The Court observed that the reinstated
she should immediately report to their office to get her clause, this time as provided in Republic Act. No.
salary and passport. She was asked to prepare for 10022, violates the constitutional rights to equal
immediate repatriation. Joy claims that she was told protection and due process.96 Petitioner as well as the
that from June 26 to July 14, 1997, she only earned a Solicitor General have failed to show any compelling
total of NT$9,000.15 According to her, Wacoal change in the circumstances that would warrant us to
deducted NT$3,000 to cover her plane ticket to Manila. revisit the precedent.

On October 15, 1997, Joy filed a complaint The Court declared, once again, the clause,
for illegal dismissal with the NLRC against petitioner or for three (3) months for every year of the unexpired
and Wacoal. LA dismissed the complaint. NLRC term, whichever is less in Section 7 of
reversed LAs decision. CA affirmed the ruling of the Republic Act No. 10022 amending Section 10 of
National Labor Relations Commission finding Republic Act No. 8042 is declared unconstitutional
respondent illegally dismissed and awarding her three and, therefore, null and void.
months worth of salary, the reimbursement of the cost
of her repatriation, and attorneys fees

ISSUE: Whether or not Cabiles was entitled to the

unexpired portion of her salary due to illegal dismissal.

HELD: YES. The Court held that the award of the

three-month equivalent of respondents salary should
be increased to the amount equivalent to the unexpired
term of the employment contract. In Serrano v. Gallant
Maritime Services, Inc. and Marlow Navigation Co.,
Inc., this court ruled that the clause or for three (3)
months for every year of the unexpired term, whichever
is less is unconstitutional for violating the equal
protection clause and substantive due process. A
statute or provision which was declared
unconstitutional is not a law. It confers no rights; it
imposes no duties; it affords no protection; it creates
no office; it is inoperative as if it has not
been passed at all. The Court said that they
are aware that the clause or for three (3) months for
every year of the unexpired term, whichever is less
was reinstated in Republic Act No. 8042 upon
promulgation of Republic Act No. 10022 in 2010.

Ruling on the constitutional issue

In the hierarchy of laws, the Constitution is

supreme. No branch or office of the government may
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, shown that Karl Reichl signed a document marked as
vs. Exhibit "C" where he promised to refund the payments
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ (at large), KARL given by private complainants for the processing of
REICHL, and YOLANDA GUTIERREZ DE their papers. We are not inclined to believe Mr. Reichl's
REICHL, accused, claim that he was forced by Francisco Hernandez to
KARL REICHL and YOLANDA GUTIERREZ DE sign said document. There is no showing, whether in
REICHL, accused-appellants his testimony or in that of his wife, that private
complainants threatened to harm them if he did not
FACTS: In April 1993, eight (8) informations for sign the document. Mr. Reichl is an educated man and
syndicated and large scale illegal recruitment and eight it cannot be said that he did not understand the
(8) informations for estafa were filed against accused- contents of the paper he was signing. When he affixed
appellants, spouses Karl and Yolanda Reichl, together his signature thereon, he in effect acknowledged his
with Francisco Hernandez. Only the Reichl spouses obligation to ensure the departure of private
were tried and convicted by the trial court as Francisco complainants and to provide them gainful employment
Hernandez remained at large.1wphi1.nt abroad. Such obligation arose from the promise of
overseas placement made by him and his co-accused
to private complainants. The admission made by
ISSUE: Whether or not the respondents are guilty of
accused-appellants in Exhibit "J" that they promised to
illegal recruitment.
obtain Austrian visas for private complainants does not
negate the fact that they also promised to procure for
HELD: In the case at bar, the prosecution was able to them overseas employment. In fact, in Exhibit "J",
prove beyond reasonable doubt that accused- accused-appellants admitted that each of the private
appellants engaged in activities that fall within the complainants paid the amount of P50,000.00.
definition of recruitment and placement under the However, in Exhibit "C", which was executed on a later
Labor Code. The evidence on record shows that they date, accused-appellants promised to refund to each
promised overseas employment to private complainant an amount exceeding P150,000.00. This
complainants and required them to prepare the is an acknowledgment that accused-appellants
necessary documents and to pay the placement fee, received payments from the complainants not only for
although they did not have any license to do so. There securing visas but also for their placement abroad.
is illegal recruitment when one who does not possess
the necessary authority or license gives the impression
of having the ability to send a worker abroad. Accused- Accused-appellants' defense of denial and alibi fail to
impress us. The acts of recruitment were committed
appellants assert that they merely undertook to secure
from June 1992 until January 1993 in Batangas City.
Austrian visas for private complainants, which act did
Karl Reichl was in Manila from July 29, 1992 until
not constitute illegal recruitment. They cite the
September 19, 1992, and then he returned to the
document marked at Exhibit "J" stating that they
promised to obtain Austrian tourist visas for private Philippines and stayed in Batangas from October 21,
complainants. We are not convinced. Private 1992. Yolanda Reichl, on the other hand, claimed that
he was in Manila on the dates alleged in the various
complainants Narcisa Hernandez, Leonora Perez and
informations. It is of judicial notice that Batangas City is
Charito Balmes categorically stated that Karl and
only a few hours' drive from Manila. Thus, even if the
Yolanda Reichl told them that they would provide them
spouses were staying in Manila, it does not prevent
overseas employment and promised them that they
would be able to leave the country on a specified date. them from going to Batangas to engage in their
recruitment business. Furthermore, it appears that the
We do not see any reason to doubt the truthfulness of
three accused worked as a team and they conspired
their testimony. The defense has not shown any ill
and cooperated with each other in recruiting domestic
motive for these witnesses to falsely testify against
helpers purportedly to be sent to Italy. Francisco
accused-appellants if it were not true that they met with
the Reichl spouses and the latter represented Hernandez introduced Karl and Yolanda Reichl to the
themselves to have the capacity to secure gainful job applicants as his business partners. Karl and
Yolanda Reichl themselves gave assurances to private
employment for them abroad. The minor lapses in the
complainants that they would seek employment for
testimony of these witnesses pointed out by accused-
them in Italy. Francisco Hernandez remitted the
appellants in their brief do not impair their credibility,
payments given by the applicants to the Reichl
especially since they corroborate each other on the
material points, i.e., that they met with the three spouses and the latter undertook to process the
accused several times, that the three accused applicants' papers. There being conspiracy, each of
the accused shall be equally liable for the acts of his
promised to give them overseas employment, and that
co-accused even if he himself did not personally take
they paid the corresponding placement fee but were
part in its execution.
not able to leave the country. It has been held that
truth-telling witnesses are not always expected to give
error-free testimonies considering the lapse of time and
the treachery of human memory. Moreover, it was