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PCI LEASING & FINANCE, INC., v. SPOUSES GEORGE M. did not press any demand for such deficiency judgment in said
DAI and DIVINA DAI case and instead filed this present suit for deficiency judgment
539 SCRA 9 (2007), 2ND DIVISION long after the trial court rendered judgment in the earlier case.
It cannot, however, evade the application of res judicata by
Spouses George and Divina Dai, (Spouses Dai) obtained a varying the form of its action herein since the causes of action
loan from PCI Leasing and Finance, Inc., (PCI) for the sum of in the first case and in the present suit are clearly identical.
P3,352,892 payable in monthly installments of P152,265 for
the financing of a vessel-fishing boat. To secure the payment GO V. SUNBANUN
of the loan, Spouses Dai executed a chattel mortgage over the G.R. NO. 168240; FEBRUARY 9, 2011
vessel in favor of PCI Leasing.
FACTS: Respondents filed a suit for damages against Aurora,
Both the promissory note and the chattel mortgage provided her husband Yiu Wai Sang, and Yiu-Go Employment Agency
that, in case of failure to pay the installments or interest due for breach of warranty in the fire insurance policies that the
thereon, the entire amount remaining unpaid shall immediately respondents made involving the property rented by petitioner.
become due and payable. Spouses Dai failed to pay the
second and third installments. This prompted PCI a complaint The RTC rendered judgment finding only Aurora liable and
of replevin before the Regional Trial Court (RTC). In their ordering her to pay moral damages, attorney’s fees, litigation
Answer, Spouses Dai claimed that, the possession of the expenses and costs.
vessel including its registration certificate had been
surrendered to PCI before the filing of the complaint. Spouses Aurora filed her Motion for Reconsideration on the last day to
Dai thus prayed for the award of damages and attorney‘s fees file her appeal. The court in its April 27, 2004 Order denied
by way of Counterclaim. said motion.

The RTC of Cebu resolved both issues but did not award any Atty. Ycong received the notice of denial with a day left to file
damages for both parties. No appeal was filed by either parties her appeal. Explaining that Aurora has been busy campaigning
making the decision final and executory. After more than a for the local elections as she was running for the position of
year, PCI filed another complaint for deficiency judgement town mayor in Calubian, Leyte and that he and his client have
and/or collection of sum of money before the Cebu RTC. In its yet to discuss the pros and cons of appealing the case, Atty.
complaint PCI alleged that there is still a deficiency of Ycong sought for the relaxation of the procedural rules by filing
P961,000.00 as of January of 1995 and prayed for other an extension of 15 days to file Aurora’s notice of appeal. The
damages. RTC denied the notice of appeal thereafter filed.

ISSUE: For non-compliance with the formal requirements of a petition,

the Court of Appeals (CA) dismissed the certiorari petition filed
Whether or not the PCI LEASING INC. can still file a claim for by petitioner. The CA dismissed the petition for being
deficiency of payment after a previous decision of the same procedurally flawed, viz: the Verification/Certification of Non-
facts and evidence has already been decided Forum Shopping is signed by only one petitioner without a
Special Power of Attorney/Secretary’s Certificate authorizing
HELD: her to represent the two (2) other petitioners; the Affidavit of
Service shows that respondents were personally served copies
For res jusdicata to apply, four requisites must be met: (1) the of the petition but lacks explanation why service of the petition
former judgment or order must be final; (2) it must be a with this Court was not done personally; counsel for petitioners
judgment or an order on the merits; (3) it must have been failed to indicate his PTR and IBP numbers; certified true
rendered by a court having jurisdiction over the subject matter copies of the assailed decision dated January 26, 2004
and the parties; and (4) there must be, between the first and attached to the petition is a mere photocopy of a certified true
second actions, identity of parties, of subject matter and cause copy; the copies of pleadings and other relevant documents
of action. referred to in the petition which would support the allegations
therein are not attached.
Replevin, broadly understood, is both a form of principal
remedy and of a provisional relief. It may refer either to the ISSUE: May the formal deficiencies in the petition before the
action itself, i.e., to regain the possession of personal chattels CA be relaxed in the interest of justice?
being wrongfully detained from the plaintiff by another, or to the
provisional remedy that would allow the plaintiff to retain the HELD: The signatures/authorizations of Sang and Yiu-Go
thing during the pendency of the action and hold it pendente Employment Agency in the verification and certification on non-
lite. The action is primarily possessory in nature and generally forum shopping are not necessary. The signatures may be
determines nothing more than the right of possession. Replevin dispensed with as these parties are not involved in the petition.
is so usually described as a mixed action, being partly in rem
and partly in personam — in rem insofar as the recovery of Non-submission of certified true copy of the January 26, 2004
specific property is concerned, and in personam as regards to Decision and copies of the Complaint and Answer is not fatal.
damages involved. As an “action in rem,” the gist of the Not all pleadings and parts of case records are required to be
replevin action is the right of the plaintiff to obtain possession attached, but only those which are material and pertinent that
of specific personal property by reason of his being the owner they may provide the basis for a determination of a prima facie
or of his having a special interest therein. case for abuse of discretion.

PCI after realizing the amount of P2,000,000.00 from the Failure to indicate PTR and IBP Official Receipt Numbers are
proceeds of the foreclosure sale, could have prayed for a not fatal. The failure of petitioner’s former counsel, Atty. Ycong,
deficiency judgment in the same action as in fact it pursued its to indicate in the petition before the CA his PTR and IBP
claim for attorney’s fees and liquidated damages therein, which numbers for the year 2004 was obviously an oversight.
claim was however, dismissed by the trial court. PCI, however,
However, whenever practicable, personal service and personal his omnibus motion. He then filed his notice of appeal. But this
filing of pleadings are always the preferred modes of service. was likewise dismissed ― for having been filed out of time.
Should one deviate from the general rule, it is mandatory for The court a quo ruled that petitioner should have appealed
him/her to submit a written explanation why the pleading was within 15 days after the dismissal of his complaint since this
not personally filed/served. Otherwise, the court has the was the final order that was appealable under the Rules. The
discretion to consider the paper as not filed. Therefore, there SC reversed the trial court and declared that it was the denial
was no grave abuse on the part of the CA in exercising its of the motion for reconsideration of an order of dismissal of a
discretion to dismiss Aurora’s petition. complaint which constituted the final order as it was what
ended the issues raised there. This pronouncement was
Nevertheless, in spite of petitioner’s error, the ‘fresh period reiterated in the more recent case of Apuyan v. Haldeman et
rule’ amendment as held in Neypes v. Court of Appeals will be al. where the SC again considered the order denying
applied to her benefit. petitioner’s motion for reconsideration as the final order which
finally disposed of the issues involved in the case. Based on
GRANTED. the aforementioned cases, the SC sustained petitioners’ view
that the order dated July 1, 1998 denying their motion for
DOMINGO NEYPES, ET AL. vs. COURT OF APPEALS, ET reconsideration was the final order contemplated in the Rules.
G.R. No. 141524 (September 14, 2005) (2) YES. To standardize the appeal periods provided in the
Rules and to afford litigants fair opportunity to appeal their
FACTS: cases, the Court deems it practical to allow a fresh period of 15
Petitioners filed an action for annulment of judgment and titles days within which to file the notice of appeal in the RTC,
of land and/or reconveyance and/or reversion with preliminary counted from receipt of the order dismissing a motion for a new
injunction before the RTC against the private respondents. trial or motion for reconsideration. Henceforth, this “fresh
Later, in an order, the trial court dismissed petitioners’ period rule” shall also apply to Rule 40, Rule 42, Rule 43 and
complaint on the ground that the action had already prescribed. Rule 45. The new rule aims to regiment or make the appeal
Petitioners allegedly received a copy of the order of dismissal period uniform, to be counted from receipt of the order denying
on March 3, 1998 and, on the 15th day thereafter or on March the motion for new trial, motion for reconsideration (whether full
18, 1998, filed a motion for reconsideration. On July 1, 1998, or partial) or any final order or resolution.
the trial court issued another order dismissing the motion for The SC thus held that petitioners seasonably filed their notice
reconsideration which petitioners received on July 22, 1998. of appeal within the fresh period of 15 days, counted from July
Five days later, on July 27, 1998, petitioners filed a notice of 22, 1998 (the date of receipt of notice denying their motion for
appeal and paid the appeal fees on August 3, 1998. reconsideration). This pronouncement is not inconsistent with
On August 4, 1998, the court a quo denied the notice of Rule 41, Section 3 of the Rules which states that the appeal
appeal, holding that it was filed eight days late. This was shall be taken within 15 days from notice of judgment or final
received by petitioners on July 31, 1998. Petitioners filed a order appealed from. The use of the disjunctive word “or”
motion for reconsideration but this too was denied in an order signifies disassociation and independence of one thing from
dated September 3, 1998. Via a petition for certiorari and another. It should, as a rule, be construed in the sense in which
mandamus under Rule 65, petitioners assailed the dismissal of it ordinarily implies. Hence, the use of “or” in the above
the notice of appeal before the CA. In the appellate court, provision supposes that the notice of appeal may be filed within
petitioners claimed that they had seasonably filed their notice 15 days from the notice of judgment or within 15 days from
of appeal. They argued that the 15-day reglementary period to notice of the “final order,” which we already determined to refer
appeal started to run only on July 22, 1998 since this was the to the July 1, 1998 order denying the motion for a new trial or
day they received the final order of the trial court denying their reconsideration.
motion for reconsideration. When they filed their notice of
appeal on July 27, 1998, only five days had elapsed and they Neither does this new rule run counter to the spirit of Section
were well within the reglementary period for appeal. On 39 of BP 129 which shortened the appeal period from 30 days
September 16, 1999, the CA dismissed the petition. It ruled to 15 days to hasten the disposition of cases. The original
that the 15-day period to appeal should have been reckoned period of appeal (in this case March 3-18, 1998) remains and
from March 3, 1998 or the day they received the February 12, the requirement for strict compliance still applies. The fresh
1998 order dismissing their complaint. According to the period of 15 days becomes significant only when a party opts
appellate court, the order was the “final order” appealable to file a motion for new trial or motion for reconsideration. In
under the Rules. this manner, the trial court which rendered the assailed
decision is given another opportunity to review the case and, in
ISSUES: the process, minimize and/or rectify any error of judgment.
(1) Whether or not receipt of a final order triggers the start of While we aim to resolve cases with dispatch and to have
the 15-day reglmentary period to appeal, the February 12, judgments of courts become final at some definite time, we
1998 order dismissing the complaint or the July 1, 1998 order likewise aspire to deliver justice fairly.
dismissing the Motion for Reconsideration.
(2) Whether or not petitioners file their notice of appeal on time. To recapitulate, a party litigant may either file his notice of
appeal within 15 days from receipt of the RTC’s decision or file
HELD: it within 15 days from receipt of the order (the “final order”)
(1) The July 1, 1998 order dismissing the motion for denying his motion for new trial or motion for reconsideration.
reconsideration should be deemed as the final order. In the Obviously, the new 15-day period may be availed of only if
case of Quelnan v. VHF Philippines, Inc., the trial court either motion is filed; otherwise, the decision becomes final and
declared petitioner non-suited and accordingly dismissed his executory after the lapse of the original appeal period provided
complaint. Upon receipt of the order of dismissal, he filed an in Rule 41, Section 3. Petitioners here filed their notice of
omnibus motion to set it aside. When the omnibus motion was appeal on July 27, 1998 or five days from receipt of the order
filed, 12 days of the 15-day period to appeal the order had denying their motion for reconsideration on July 22, 1998.
lapsed. He later on received another order, this time dismissing
Hence, the notice of appeal was well within the fresh appeal SEC. 10. Entry of judgments and final resolutions. If no appeal
period of 15 days, as already discussed. or motion for new trial or reconsideration is filed within the time
provided in these Rules, the judgment or final resolution shall
NOTE: forthwith be entered by the clerk in the book of entries of
The “FRESH PERIOD RULE” do not apply to Rule 64 (Review judgments. The date when the judgments or final resolution
of Judgments and Final Orders or Resolutions of the becomes executory shall be deemed as the date of its entry.
Commission on Elections and the Commission on Audit) The record shall contain the dispositive part of the judgment or
because Rule 64 is derived from the Constitution. It is likewise final resolution and shall be signed by the clerk, with a
doubtful whether it will apply to criminal cases. certificate that such judgment or final resolution has become
final and executory.
G.R. No. 136368; 16 Jan. 2002 SEC.11. Execution of judgment. Except where the judgment or
final order or resolution, or a portion thereof, is ordered to be
immediately executory, the motion for its execution may only
FACTS: be filed in the proper court after its entry.
On January 22, 1981, Tan, for a consideration of P59,200
executed a deed of absolute sale over the property in question The 1997 Revised Rules of Civil Procedure, however,
in favor of spouses Jose Magdangal and Estrella Magdangal. amended the rule on finality of judgment by providing in section
Simultaneous with the execution of this deed, the same 1, Rule 39 as follows:
contracting parties entered into another agreement whereunder
Tan was given one (1) year within which to redeem or Section 1. Execution upon judgments or final orders. Execution
repurchase the property. Tan failed to redeem the property shall issue as a matter of right, on motion, upon a judgment or
until his death on January 4, 1988. On May 2, 1988, Tan's order that disposes of the action or proceeding upon the
heirs filed before the RTC at Davao City a suit against the expiration of the period to appeal therefrom if no appeal has
Magdangals for reformation of instrument alleging that while been duly perfected.
Tan and the Magdangals denominated their agreement as
deed of absolute sale, their real intention was to conclude an If the appeal has been duly perfected and finally resolved, the
equitable mortgage. execution may forthwith be applied for in the court of origin, on
motion of the judgment obligee, submitting therewith certified
RTC rendered judgment finding for Tan, portion of which reads: true copies of the judgment or judgments or final order or
orders sought to be enforced and of the entry thereof, with
1) The Deed of Absolute Sale is, in accordance with the true notice to the adverse party.
intention of the parties, hereby declared and reformed an
equitable mortgage; The appellate court may, on motion in the same case, when
the interest of justice so requires, direct the court of origin to
2) The plaintiff is ordered to pay the defendants within 120 issue the writ of execution.
days after the finality of this decision P59,200 plus interest at
the rate of 12% per annum from May 2, 1988, the date the SC hold that section 1, Rule 39 of the 1997 Revised Rules of
complaint was filed, until paid; Procedure should not be given retroactive effect in this case as
it would result in great injustice to the petitioner. Undoubtedly,
3)xxx. petitioner has the right to redeem the subject lot and this right
is a substantive right. Petitioner followed the procedural rule
On Sept. 28, 1995, CA affirmed the decision of the RTC in toto. then existing as well as the decisions of this Court governing
Both parties received the decision of the appellate court on the reckoning date of the period of redemption when he
Oct. 5, 1995. On March 13, 1996, the clerk of court of the redeemed the subject lot. Unfortunately for petitioner, the rule
appellate court entered in the Book of Entries of Judgement the was changed by the 1997 Revised Rules of Procedure which if
decision xxx and issued the corresponding Entry of Judgment applied retroactively would result in his losing the right to
which, on its face, stated that the said decision has on Oct. 21, redeem the subject lot. It is difficult to reconcile the retroactive
1995 become final and executory. application of this procedural rule with the rule of fairness.
Petitioner cannot be penalized with the loss of the subject lot
Magdangals filed in the RTC a Motion for Consolidation and when he faithfully followed the laws and the rule on the period
Writ of Possession alleging that the 120-day period of of redemption when he made the redemption.
redemption of the petitioner has expired.

On June 10, 1996, the RTC allowed the petitioner to redeem ATIENZA V BOARD OF MEDICINE
the lot in question. It ruled that the 120-day redemption period G.R. No. 177407 | February 9, 2011 | J. Nachura
should be reckoned from the date of Entry of Judgment in the
CA or from March 13, 1996. The redemption price was FACTS:
deposited on April 17, 1996. 1. Due to her lumbar pains, private respondent Editha Sioson
went to Rizal Medical Center (RMC) for check-up on February
ISSUE: 1995.
What rule should govern the finality of judgment favorably 2. Sometime in 1999, due to the same problem, she was
obtained in the trial court by the petitioner? referred to Dr. Pedro Lantin III of RMC who, accordingly,
ordered several diagnostic laboratory tests. She underwent
HELD: kidney operation after the tests revealed that her left kidney is
From 1991-1996, the years relevant to the case at bar, the rule non-functioning and non-visualizing.
that governs finality of judgment is Rule 51 of the Revised 3. Private respondent’s husband Romeo Sioson then filed a
Rules of Court. Its sections 10 and 11 provide: complaint for gross negligence and/or incompetence before the
Board of Medicine for the removal of Editha’s fully functional
right kidney, instead of the left, against the doctors who established through a belated ultrasound or x-ray of her
allegedly participated in the kidney operation, namely: Dr. Judd abdominal area.
dela Vega, Dr. Pedro Lantin, III, Dr. Gerardo Antonio Florendo
and petitioner Rico Rommel Atienza. Contrary to the assertion of petitioner, the best evidence rule is
4. After Romeo Sioson presented his evidence, Editha filed her also inapplicable. Section 3 of Rule 130 provides:
formal offer of documentary evidence, which consisted of
certified photocopies of X-Ray request forms where 1. Best Evidence Rule
interpretation of the ultrasound results were written, for the Sec. 3. Original document must be produced; exceptions. –
purpose of proving that her kidneys were both in their proper When the subject of inquiry is the contents of a document, no
anatomical locations at the time she was operated. evidence shall be admissible other than the original document
5. Petitioner filed his comments/objections to Editha’s formal itself, except in the following cases:
offer of exhibits, alleging that said exhibits are inadmissible (a) When the original has been lost or destroyed, or cannot be
because the same are mere photocopies, not properly produced in court, without bad faith on the part of the offeror;
identified and authenticated, intended to establish matters (b) When the original is in the custody or under the control of
which are hearsay, and incompetent to prove the purpose for the party against whom the evidence is offered, and the latter
which they are offered. fails to produce it after reasonable notice;
6. The formal offer of documentary exhibits of private (c) When the original consists of numerous accounts or other
respondent was admitted by the BOM. Petitioner moved for documents which cannot be examined in court
reconsideration of the Order, which was denied on the ground without great loss of time and the fact sought to be established
that BOM should first admit the evidence being offered so that from them is only the general result of the whole; and
it can determine its probative value when it decides the case, (d) When the original is a public record in the custody of a
and later on determine whether the evidence is relevant or not. public officer or is recorded in a public office.
7. Disagreeing with the BOM, Atienza filed a petition for
certiorari with the CA. The CA dismissed the petition for The subject of inquiry in this case is whether respondent
certiorari for lack of merit. Hence, the present petition for doctors before the BOM are liable for gross negligence in
review on certiorari. removing the right functioning kidney of Editha instead of the
left non-functioning kidney, not the proper anatomical locations
ISSUE: of Editha’s kidneys. As previously discussed, the proper
W/N the exhibits are inadmissible in evidence anatomical locations of Editha’s kidneys at the time of her
operation at the RMC may be established not only through the
HELD: exhibits offered in evidence.
No. Petition denied. To begin with, it is well-settled that the In fact, the introduction of secondary evidence, such as copies
rules of evidence are not strictly applied in proceedings before of the exhibits, is allowed, especially as one of the witnesses
administrative bodies such as the BOM. Although trial courts testified that the Records Office of RMC no longer had the
are enjoined to observe strict enforcement of the rules of originals of the exhibits “because [it] transferred from the
evidence, in connection with evidence which may appear to be previous building, x x x to the new building” and ultimately, the
of doubtful relevancy, incompetency, or admissibility, we have originals cannot be produced.
held that, “it is the safest policy to be liberal, not rejecting them
on doubtful or technical grounds, but admitting them unless
plainly irrelevant, immaterial or incompetent, for the reason that
G.R. No. 153660; June 10, 2003
their rejection places them beyond the consideration of the
court, if they are thereafter found relevant or competent; on the
other hand, their admission, if they turn out later to be DOCTRINE:
irrelevant or incompetent, can easily be remedied by The Rules of Court, specifically on Rules of Evidence does not
completely discarding them or ignoring them.” strictly apply to an administrative body performing quasi-judicial
Admissibility of evidence refers to the question of whether or functions.
not the circumstance (or evidence) is to be considered at all. The failure of the affiants to appear in court for purposes of
On the other hand, the probative value of evidence refers to cross-examination shall not render their affidavits inadmissible
the question of whether or not it proves an issue. as it will negate the rationale and purpose of the nature of
Second, petitioner’s insistence that the admission of Editha’s summary proceedings.
exhibits violated his substantive rights leading to the loss of his Strict observance of the rules with respect to Verification and
medical license is misplaced in light of Section 20, Article I of Certification of Non-Forum Shopping allows an exception upon
the Professional Regulation Commission Rules of Procedure. showing of reasonable cause for failure to observe the same.
As pointed out by the appellate court, the admission of the A waiver and quitclaim which is contrary to public policy may
exhibits did not prejudice the substantive rights of petitioner be recognized as valid and binding if the agreement is
because, at any rate, the fact sought to be proved thereby, that voluntarily entered into and represents a reasonable
the two kidneys of Editha were in their proper anatomical settlement. Where a person making the waiver did so
locations at the time she was operated on, is presumed under voluntarily, with full understanding of what he was doing, and
Section 3, Rule 131 of the Rules of Court on Disputable the consideration of the quitclaim is credible and reasonable,
presumptions. the transaction shall be valid and binding.
The exhibits are certified photocopies of X-ray Request Forms
filed in connection with Editha’s medical case, which contained FACTS:
handwritten entries interpreting the results of the examination. 62 employees of the Coca-Cola (the company) filed a
The fact sought to be established by the admission of Editha’s complaint for unfair labor practice.
exhibits, that her “kidneys were both in their proper anatomical Allegedly, the employees, in the performance of their duties as
locations at the time” of her operation, need not be proved as it route helpers, bottle segregators, and others, where replaced
is covered by mandatory judicial notice. These exhibits do not and prevented from entering the company premises.
constitute hearsay evidence of the anatomical locations of Such act by the employer is deemed an illegal dismissal.
Editha’s kidneys because the position and removal may still be
The company averred that there was no employer-employee the new premises had been completed and the same resumed
relationship thus the Labor Arbiter has no jurisdiction. its operation. This is clearly dismissal – or the permanent
The Labor Arbiter then rendered a decision in favor of the severance or complete separation of the worker from the
employees and ordering the company to reinstate the service on the initiative of the employer regardless of the
complainants to their former posistions with all the rights, reasons therefor.
privileges and benefits due regular employees, and to pay their Article 286 of the Labor Code is clear — there is termination of
full back wages. employment when an otherwise bona fide suspension of work
Coca-Cola then appealed the decision to the NLRC which exceeds six (6) months. The cessation of employment for more
sustained the findings of the Labor Arbiter. than six months was patent and the employer has the burden
Then, the company elevated the matter to the Court of Appeals of proving that the termination was for a just or authorized
which affirmed the existence of an employer-employee cause.
relationship but set aside the favorable decision of 7
employees for lack of sufficient evidence. While we recognize the right of the employer to terminate the
According to the CA, the affidavits of the 7 employees should services of an employee for a just or authorized cause, the
not have been given probative value for their failure to affirm dismissal of employees must be made within the parameters of
the contents thereof and to undergo cross-examination. law and pursuant to the tenets of fair play. And in termination
Only those 3 employees where declared regular employees disputes, the burden of proof is always on the employer to
since they were the only ones subjected to cross-examination. prove that the dismissal was for a just or authorized cause.
Where there is no showing of a clear, valid and legal cause for
ISSUE: termination of employment, the law considers the case a
WON the affidavits should be given probative value despite the matter of illegal dismissal.
failure of the affiants to affirm their contents and undergo test
of cross-examination. If doubts exist between the evidence presented by the
employer and the employee, the scales of justice must be tilted
HELD: in favor of the latter — the employer must affirmatively show
The Rules of Evidence are not strictly observed in proceedings rationally adequate evidence that the dismissal was for a
before administrative bodies like the NLRC where decisions justifiable cause. It is a time-honored rule that in controversies
may be reached on the basis of position papers only. Citing between a laborer and his master, doubts reasonably arising
Rase v. NLRC, tt was not necessary for the affiants to appear from the evidence, or in the interpretation of agreements and
and testify and be cross-examined as it would negate the writing should be resolved in the former's favor. The policy is to
rationale and purpose of the summary nature of the extend the doctrine to a greater number of employees who can
proceedings mandated by the Rules and to make mandatory avail of the benefits under the law, which is in consonance with
the application of the technical rules of evidence. the avowed policy of the State to give maximum aid and
protection of labor.
ROLANDO ADANA, et al. 2. Money claims
G.R. No. 157634 May 16, 2005
The Supreme Court reinstated the award of monetary claims
FACTS: granted by the Labor Arbiter.
Petitioner Mayon Hotel & Restaurant (MHR) hired herein 16
respondents as employees in its business in Legaspi City. Its The cost of meals and snacks purportedly provided to
operation was suspended on March 31, 1997 due to the respondents cannot be deducted as part of respondents'
expiration and non-renewal of the lease contract for the space minimum wage. As stated in the Labor Arbiter's decision.
it rented. While waiting for the completion of the construction of Even granting that meals and snacks were provided and
its new site, MHR continued its operation in another site with 9 indeed constituted facilities, such facilities could not be
of the 16 employees. When the new site constructed and MHR deducted without compliance with certain legal requirements.
resumed its business operation, none of the 16 employees was As stated in Mabeza v. NLRC, the employer simply cannot
recalled to work. deduct the value from the employee's wages without satisfying
the following: (a) proof that such facilities are customarily
MHR alleged business losses as the reason for not reinstating furnished by the trade; (b) the provision of deductible facilities
the respondents. On various dates, respondents filed is voluntarily accepted in writing by the employee; and (c) the
complaints for underpayment of wages, money claims and facilities are charged at fair and reasonable value. The law is
illegal dismissal. clear that mere availment is not sufficient to allow deductions
from employees' wages.
1. Whether or not respondents were illegally dismissed by As for petitioners repeated invocation of serious business
petitioner; losses, suffice to say that this is not a defense to payment of
2. Whether or not respondents are entitled to their money labor standard benefits. The employer cannot exempt himself
claims due to underpayment of wages, and nonpayment of from liability to pay minimum wages because of poor financial
holiday pay, rest day premium, SILP, COLA, overtime pay, and condition of the company. The payment of minimum wages is
night shift differential pay. not dependent on the employer's ability to pay.

1. Illegal Dismissal: claim for separation pay

Since April 1997 until the time the Labor Arbiter rendered its
decision in July 2000, or more than three (3) years after the
supposed “temporary” lay-off, the employment of all the
respondents with petitioner had ceased, notwithstanding that
Ong Chia vs. Republic of the Philippines decision. Further, appealed to the SC, hence, this petition.
G.R. No. 127240. March, 27, 2000 Sasan et al are employed by Helpmate, Inc (HI), a janitorial
and messengerial service provider, and assigned to E PCI
FACTS: Bank in Gorordo Branch, Cebu City. Their services were cut off
when EPCI decided to bid out the janitorial and messengerial
The trial court granted the petition and admitted petitioner to jobs to two other service providers. Sasan et al then filed an
Philippine citizenship. The State, however, through the Office action for illegal dismissal alleging that they are regular
of the Solicitor General, among others for having failed to state employees of PCI, and HI has no authority to dismiss them.
all his former placer of residence in violation of C.A. No. 473, After submission of legal positions to the Labor Arbiter, it
§7 and to support his petition with the appropriate documentary concluded that HI is engaged in labor on contracting as it
evidence. Petitioner admits that he failed to mention said operates without substantial capital as required by the Labor
address in his petition, but argues that since the Immigrant Code, declaring PCI as the principal employer and awarding
Certificate of Residence containing it had been fully published, money claims to the employees for their illegal dismissal.
with the petition and the other annexes, such publication PCI and Hi appealed the LA's decision to the NLRC and
constitutes substantial compliance with §7. submitted for the first time photocopy of documents proving
that they have sufficient capital to operate as an independent
ISSUE: contractor. The NLRC modified the LA's decision taking into
Whether or not the documents annexed by the State to its consideration the documentary evidence submitted by HI.
appelant’s brief without having been presented and formally On charges of illegal dismissal, the NLRC ruled that the
offered as evidence under Rule 132, Section 34 of the Revised complaint for illegal dismissal was prematurely filed, furhter,
Rules on Evidence justified the reversal of of the Trial Court’s deleted the award of backwages and separation pay, but
decision. affirmed the award of 13th month pay and attorneys' fee.

HELD: The petitioners appeal to CA, which affirmed the NLRC's

YES. Decision of the Court of Appeals was affirmed. Petition decision. Further, appealed to the SC, hence, this petition.
was denied.
RATIO: WON the NLRC is allowed to received evidence and give merit
It is settled that naturalization laws should be rigidly enforced with the same introduced for the first time during appeal?
and strictly construed in favor of the government and against
the applicant. [T]he rule of strict application of the law in HELD:
naturalization cases defeat petitioner’s argument of “substantial The submission of new evidence before the NLRC is not
compliance” with the requirement under the Revised prohibited by its new Rules of Procedure. Rules of evidence
Naturalization Law. prevailing in in courts of law or equity are not controlling in
labor cases. The NLRC and labor arbiters are directed to use
[T]he reason for the rule prohibiting the admission of evidence every and all reasonable means to ascertain the facts in each
which has not been formally offered is to afford the opposite case speedily and objectively, without regard to technicalities
party the chance to object to their admissibility. Petitioner of law and procedure all in the interest of substantial justice.
cannot claim that he was deprived of the right to object to the The court further ruled that the petitioners were not illegally
authenticity of the documents submitted to the appellate court dismissed by HI. Upon the termination of the Contract of
by the State. Service between HI and EPCI , the petitioners cannot insist to
continue work for the latter. Their pull-out from EPCI did not
SASAN vs NLRC constitute illegal dismissal.
G.R. No 176240; 17 Oct. 2008
WON the NLRC is allowed to received evidence and give merit
with the same introduced for the first time during appeal?
Sasan et al are employed by Helpmate, Inc (HI), a janitorial The submission of new evidence before the NLRC is not
and messengerial service provider, and assigned to E PCI prohibited by its new Rules of Procedure. Rules of evidence
Bank in Gorordo Branch, Cebu City. Their services were cut off prevailing in in courts of law or equity are not controlling in
when EPCI decided to bid out the janitorial and messengerial labor cases. The NLRC and labor arbiters are directed to use
jobs to two other service providers. Sasan et al then filed an every and all reasonable means to ascertain the facts in each
action for illegal dismissal alleging that they are regular case speedily and objectively, without regard to technicalities
employees of PCI, and HI has no authority to dismiss them. of law and procedure all in the interest of substantial justice.
After submission of legal positions to the Labor Arbiter, it The court further ruled that the petitioners were not illegally
concluded that HI is engaged in labor on contracting as it dismissed by HI. Upon the termination of the Contract of
operates without substantial capital as required by the Labor Service between HI and EPCI , the petitioners cannot insist to
Code, declaring PCI as the principal employer and awarding continue work for the latter. Their pull-out from EPCI did not
money claims to the employees for their illegal dismissal. constitute illegal dismissal.
PCI and Hi appealed the LA's decision to the NLRC and
submitted for the first time photocopy of documents proving
Pinga vs Santiago
that they have sufficient capital to operate as an independent
G.R. No. 170354; June 30, 2006
contractor. The NLRC modified the LA's decision taking into
consideration the documentary evidence submitted by HI.
On charges of illegal dismissal, the NLRC ruled that the FACTS:
complaint for illegal dismissal was prematurely filed, furhter, Petitioner Eduardo Pinga was named as one of two defendants
deleted the award of backwages and separation pay, but in a complaint for injunction filed by respondent Heirs of
affirmed the award of 13th month pay and attorneys' fee. German Santiago, represented by Fernando Santiago. The
The petitioners appeal to CA, which affirmed the NLRC's Complaint alleged that petitioner and co-defendant Vicente
Saavedra had been unlawfully entering the coco lands of the
respondent, cutting wood and bamboos and harvesting the strike on Sept. 1990. The teachers also violated the return-to-
fruits of the coconut trees. work order issued by the DECS. Respondents failed to explain
to the DECS despite the 5 day period given. Hence they were
Petitioner and his co-defendant disputed respondents' found guilty as charged, and subsequently dismissed from
ownership of the properties in question, asserting that office by Sec. Carino of the DECS. The Civil Service
petitioner's father, Edmundo Pinga, from whom defendants Commission, upon appeal, found the teachers guilty of conduct
derived their interest in the properties, had been in possession prejudicial to the best interest of service, and imposed upon
thereof since the 1930s. They alleged that as far back as 1968, them the reduced penalty of six month’s suspension. However
respondents had already been ordered ejected from the in view of the length of time that the teachers had been out of
properties after a complaint for forcible entry was filed by the service due to the dismissal issued by Sec. Carino, the CSC
heirs of Edmundo Pinga. likewise ordered their immediate reinstatement without back
Respondents, as plaintiffs, had failed to present their evidence
and failed to prosecute the case for an unreasonable length of ISSUE
time. On that ground, the complaint was dismissed. At the
same time, the RTC allowed defendants "to present their 1. Whether the teachers’ conducts are prejudicial to the best
evidence ex-parte." interest of service.

Respondents filed a Motion for Reconsideration and prayed 2. Whether or not the teachers are entitled to back wages for
that the entire action be dismissed and petitioner be disallowed the period of 3 years pending their appeal deducting the 6
from presenting evidence ex-parte. Respondents claimed that months’ suspension eventually meted out to them.
the order of the RTC allowing petitioner to present evidence
ex-parte was not in accord with established jurisprudence. HELD
They cited cases, particularly City of Manila v. Ruymann and
Domingo v. Santos, which noted those instances in which a 1. YES, the mass actions amounted to a prohibited strike of
counterclaim could not remain pending for independent civil service servants. Although the right to peaceably
adjudication. assemble and petition the government for redress of
grievances is guaranteed by the Constitution, this liberty must
ISSUE: Whether the dismissal of the complaint necessarily be exercised within reasonable limits. The public school
carries the dismissal of the compulsory counterclaim. teachers committed acts prejudicial to the interest of the
service by staging the mass protests on regular school days,
HELD: abandoning their classes and failing to return despite the return
The constitutional faculty of the Court to promulgate rules of to work order.
practice and procedure necessarily carries the power to 2. NO, they are not entitled to backwages. The teachers were
overturn judicial precedents on points of remedial law through neither exonerated nor unjustifiably suspended, the 2
the amendment of the Rules of Court. One of the notable circumstances necessary for the grant of backwages in
changes introduced in the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure is the administrative disciplinary cases.
explicit proviso that if a complaint is dismissed due to fault of
the plaintiff, such dismissal is "without prejudice to the right of
the defendant to prosecute his counterclaim in the same or in a
separate action." The innovation was instituted in spite of
previous jurisprudence holding that the fact of the dismissal of
the complaint was sufficient to justify the dismissal as well of
the compulsory counterclaim.

In granting this petition, the Court recognizes that the former

jurisprudential rule can no longer stand in light of Section 3,
Rule 17 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.

We hold that under Section 3, Rule 17 of the 1997 Rules of

Civil Procedure, the dismissal of the complaint due to the fault
of plaintiff does not necessarily carry with it the dismissal of the
counterclaim, compulsory or otherwise. In fact, the dismissal of
the complaint is without prejudice to the right of defendants to
prosecute the counterclaim.

The doctrine that the complaint may not be dismissed if the

counterclaim cannot be independently adjudicated is not
available to, and was not intended for the benefit of, a plaintiff
who prevents or delays the prosecution of his own complaint.



Petitioners are public school teachers who were

simultaneously charged, preventively suspended, and
eventually dismissed by Sec. Carino in Oct. 1990. It was
alleged that the teachers participated in the mass action/ illegal