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G.R. No.

89609 January 27, 1992


NATIONAL CONGRESS OF UNIONS IN THE SUGAR INDUSTRY OF THE
PHILIPPINES (NACUSIP)-TUCP,petitioner,
vs.
HON. PURA FERRER-CALLEJA, in her capacity as Director of the Bureau of
Labor Relations; and the NATIONAL FEDERATION OF SUGAR WORKERS
(NFSW)-FGT-KMU, respondents.
Zoilo V. De la Cruz, Jr., Beethoven R. Buenaventura and Pedro E. Jimenez for petitioner.
Manlapao, Drilon, Ymballa and Chavez for private respondent.

MEDIALDEA, J.:
This is a petition for certiorari seeking the nullification of the resolution issued by the
respondent Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations Pura Ferrer-Calleja dated June 26,
1989 setting aside the order of the Med-Arbiter dated February 8, 1989 denying the
motion to dismiss the petition and directing the conduct of a certification election among
the rank and file employees or workers of the Dacongcogon Sugar and Rice Milling Co.
situated at Kabankalan, Negros Occidental.
The antecedent facts giving rise to the controversy at bar are as follows:
Petitioner National Congress of Unions in the Sugar Industry of the Philippines
(NACUSIP-TUCP) is a legitimate national labor organization duly registered with the
Department of Labor and Employment. Respondent Honorable Pura Ferrer-Calleja is
impleaded in her official capacity as the Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations of the
Department of Labor and Employment, while private respondent National Federation of
Sugar Workers (NFSW-FGT-KMU) is a labor organization duly registered with the
Department of Labor and Employment.
Dacongcogon Sugar and Rice Milling Co., Inc. (Dacongcogon) based in Kabankalan,
Negros Occidental employs about five hundred (500) workers during milling season and
about three hundred (300) on off-milling season.
On November 14, 1984, private respondent NFSW-FGT-KMU and employer
Dacongcogon entered into a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) for a term of three
(3) years, which was to expire on November 14, 1987.
When the CBA expired, private respondent NFSW-FGT-KMU and Dacongcogon
negotiated for its renewal. The CBA was extended for another three (3) years with
reservation to negotiate for its amendment, particularly on wage increases, hours of work,
and other terms and conditions of employment.

However, a deadlock in negotiation ensued on the matter of wage increases and optional
retirement. In order to obviate friction and tension, the parties agreed on a suspension to
provide a cooling-off period to give them time to evaluate and further study their
positions. Hence, a Labor Management Council was set up and convened, with a
representative of the Department of Labor and Employment, acting as chairman, to
resolve the issues.
On December 5, 1988, petitioner NACUSIP-TUCP filed a petition for direct certification
or certification election among the rank and file workers of Dacongcogon.
On January 27, 1989, private respondent NFSW-FGT-KMU moved to dismiss the
petition on the following grounds, to wit:
I
The Petition was filed out of time;
II
There is a deadlocked (sic) of CBA negotiation between forced intervenor and
respondent-central. (Rollo, p. 25)
On February 6, 1989, Dacongcogon filed an answer praying that the petition be
dismissed.
By an order dated February 8, 1989, the Med-Arbiter denied the motion to dismiss filed
by private respondent NFSW-FGT-KMU and directed the conduct of certification
election among the rank and file workers of Dacongcogon, the dispositive portion of
which provides as follows:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Motion to Dismiss the present petition is, as it
is hereby DENIED. Let therefore a certification election among the rank and file
employees/workers of the Dacongcogon Sugar and Rice Milling Co., situated at
Kabankalan, Neg. Occ., be conducted with the following choices:
(1) National Congress of Unions in the Sugar Industry of the Philippines (NACUSIPTUCP);
(2) National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW);
(3) No Union.
The designated Representation Officer is hereby directed to call the parties for a preelection conference to thresh out the mechanics of the election and to conduct and
supervise the same within twenty (20) days from receipt by the parties of this Order. The
latest payroll shall be used to determine the list of qualified voters.

SO ORDERED. (Rollo, p. 34)


On February 9, 1989, private respondent filed a motion for reconsideration and/or appeal
alleging that the Honorable Med-Arbiter misapprehended the facts and the law applicable
amounting to gross incompetence. Hence, private respondent prayed that the order of the
Med-Arbiter be set aside and the motion to dismiss be reconsidered.
On February 27, 1989, petitioner filed its opposition to the motion for reconsideration
praying that the motion for reconsideration and/or appeal be denied for lack of merit.
On June 26, 1989, respondent Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations rendered a
resolution reversing the order of the Med-Arbiter, to wit:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Order of the Med-Arbiter dated 8 February
1989 is hereby set aside and vacated, and a new one issued dismissing the above-entitled
petition for being filed out of time.
SO ORDERED. (Rollo, p. 46)
Hence, this petition raising four (4) issues, to wit:
I. RESPONDENT HON. PURA FERRER-CALLEJA, IN HER CAPACITY AS
DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR RELATIONS, COMMITTED GRAVE
ABUSE OF DISCRETION IN RENDERING HER RESOLUTION DATED 26 JUNE
1989 REVERSING THE ORDER DATED FEBRUARY 8, 1989 OF MED-ARBITER
FELIZARDO SERAPIO.
II. THAT THE AFORESAID RESOLUTION DATED 26 JUNE 1989 OF
RESPONDENT PURA FERRER-CALLEJA IS CONTRARY TO LAW AND
JURISPRUDENCE.
III. THAT THE AFORESAID RESOLUTION DATED 26 JUNE 1989 OF
RESPONDENT DIRECTOR PURA FERRER-CALLEJA DENIES THE RANK AND
FILE EMPLOYEES OF THE DACONGCOGON SUGAR & RICE MILLING
COMPANY, AND THE HEREIN PETITIONER NACUSIP-TUCP, THEIR LEGAL
AND CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS.
IV. THAT RESPONDENT DIRECTOR PURA FERRER-CALLEJA, IN RENDERING
HER SAID RESOLUTION DATED 26 JUNE 1989 WAS BIASED AGAINST
PETITIONER
NACUSIP-TUCP.
(Rollo,
p. 2)
The controversy boils down to the sole issue of whether or not a petition for certification
election may be filed after the 60-day freedom period.

Petitioner maintains that respondent Director Calleja committed grave abuse of discretion
amounting to excess of jurisdiction in rendering the resolution dated June 26, 1989
setting aside, vacating and reversing the order dated February 8, 1989 of Med-Arbiter
Serapio, in the following manner:
1) by setting aside and vacating the aforesaid Order dated February 8, 1989 of MedArbiter Felizardo Serapio and in effect dismissing the Petition for Direct or Certification
Election of Petitioner NACUSIP-TUCP (Annex "A" hereof) without strong valid, legal
and factual basis;
2) by giving a very strict and limited interpretation of the provisions of Section 6, Rule V,
Book V of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Labor Code, as amended,
knowing, as she does, that the Labor Code, being a social legislation, should be liberally
interpreted to afford the workers the opportunity to exercise their legitimate legal and
constitutional rights to self-organization and to free collective bargaining;
3) by issuing her questioned Resolution of June 26, 1989 knowing fully well that upon
the effectivity of Rep. Act No. 6715 on 21 March 1989 she had no longer any appellate
powers over decisions of Med-Arbiters in cases of representation issues or certification
elections;
4) by ignoring intentionally the applicable ruling of the Honorable Supreme Court in the
case ofKapisanan ng Mga Manggagawa sa La Suerte-FOITAF vs. Noriel, L-45475, June
20, 1977;
5) by clearly failing to appreciate the significance (sic) of the fact that for more than four
(4) years there has been no certification election involving the rank and file workers of
the Company; and,
6) by frustrating the legitimate desire and will of the workers of the Company to
determine their sole and exclusive collective bargaining representative through secret
balloting. (Rollo, pp. 9-10)
However, the public respondent through the Solicitor General stresses that the petition for
certification election was filed out of time. The records of the CBA at the Collective
Agreements Division (CAD) of the Bureau of Labor Relations show that the CBA
between Dacongcogon and private respondent NFSW-FGT-KMU had expired on
November 14, 1987, hence, the petition for certification election was filed too late, that is,
a period of more than one (1) year after the CBA expired.
The public respondent maintains that Section 6 of the Rules Implementing Executive
Order No. 111 commands that the petition for certification election must be filed within
the last sixty (60) days of the CBA and further reiterates and warns that any petition filed
outside the 60-day freedom period "shall be dismissed outright." Moreover, Section 3,
Rule V, Book V of the Rules Implementing the Labor Code enjoins the filing of a
representation question, if before a petition for certification election is filed, a bargaining

deadlock to which the bargaining agent is a party is submitted for conciliation or


arbitration.
Finally, the public respondent emphasizes that respondent Director has jurisdiction to
entertain the motion for reconsideration interposed by respondent union from the order of
the Med-Arbiter directing a certification election. Public respondent contends that Section
25 of Republic Act No. 6715 is not applicable, "(f)irstly, there is as yet no rule or
regulation established by the Secretary for the conduct of elections among the rank and
file of employer Dacongcogon; (s)econdly, even the mechanics of the election which had
to be first laid out, as directed in the Order dated February 8, 1989 of the Med-Arbiter,
was aborted by the appeal therefrom interposed by respondent union; and (t)hirdly,
petitioner is estopped to question the jurisdiction of respondent Director after it filed its
opposition to respondent union's Motion for Reconsideration (Annex
'F,' Petition) and without, as will be seen, in any way assailing such jurisdiction. . . ."
(Rollo, p.66)
We find the petition devoid of merit.
A careful perusal of Rule V, Section 6, Book V of the Rules Implementing the Labor
Code, as amended by the rules implementing Executive Order No. 111 provides that:
Sec. 6. Procedure . . .
In a petition involving an organized establishment or enterprise where the majority status
of the incumbent collective bargaining union is questioned by a legitimate labor
organization, the Med-Arbiter shall immediately order the conduct of a certification
election if the petition is filed during the last sixty (60) days of the collective bargaining
agreement. Any petition filed before or after the sixty-day freedom period shall be
dismissed outright.
The sixty-day freedom period based on the original collective bargaining agreement shall
not be affected by any amendment, extension or renewal of the collective bargaining
agreement for purposes of certification election.
xxx xxx xxx
The clear mandate of the aforequoted section is that the petition for certification election
filed by the petitioner NACUSIP-TUCP should be dismissed outright, having been filed
outside the 60-day freedom period or a period of more than one (1) year after the CBA
expired.
It is a rule in this jurisdiction that only a certified collective bargaining agreement i.e.,
an agreement duly certified by the BLR may serve as a bar to certification elections.
(Philippine Association of Free Labor Unions (PAFLU) v. Estrella, G.R. No. 45323,
February 20, 1989, 170 SCRA 378, 382) It is noteworthy that the Bureau of Labor
Relations duly certified the November 14, 1984 collective bargaining agreement. Hence,

the contract-bar rule as embodied in Section 3, Rule V, Book V of the rules implementing
the Labor Code is applicable.
This rule simply provides that a petition for certification election or a motion for
intervention can only be entertained within sixty days prior to the expiry date of an
existing collective bargaining agreement. Otherwise put, the rule prohibits the filing of a
petition for certification election during the existence of a collective bargaining
agreement except within the freedom period, as it is called, when the said agreement is
about to expire. The purpose, obviously, is to ensure stability in the relationships of the
workers and the management by preventing frequent modifications of any collective
bargaining agreement earlier entered into by them in good faith and for the stipulated
original period. (Associated Labor Unions (ALU-TUCP) v. Trajano, G.R. No. 77539,
April 12, 1989, 172 SCRA 49, 57 citing Associated Trade Unions (ATU v. Trajano, G.R.
No. L-75321, 20 June 1988, 162 SCRA 318, 322-323)
Anent the petitioner's contention that since the expiration of the CBA in 1987 private
respondent NFSW-FGT-KMU and Dacongcogon had not concluded a new CBA, We
need only to stress what was held in the case of Lopez Sugar Corporation v. Federation
of Free Workers, Philippine Labor Union Association (G.R. No. 75700-01, 30 August
1990, 189 SCRA 179, 191) quoting Article 253 of the Labor Code that "(i)t shall be the
duty of both parties to keep the status quo and to continue in full force and effect the
terms and conditions of the existing agreement during the 60-day period and/or until a
new agreement is reached by the parties." Despite the lapse of the formal effectivity of
the CBA the law still considers the same as continuing in force and effect until a new
CBA shall have been validly executed. Hence, the contract bar rule still applies.
Besides, it should be emphasized that Dacongcogon, in its answer stated that the CBA
was extended for another three (3) years and that the deadlock was submitted to the Labor
Management Council.
All premises considered, the Court is convinced that the respondent Director of the
Bureau of Labor Relations did not commit grave abuse of discretion in reversing the
order of the Med-Arbiter.
ACCORDINGLY, the petition is DENIED and the resolution of the respondent Director
of the Bureau of Labor Relations is hereby AFFIRMED.
G.R. Nos. 94929-30 March 18, 1992
PORT WORKERS UNION OF THE PHILIPPINES (PWUP), petitioner,
vs.
THE HONORABLE UNDERSECRETARY OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT
BIENVENIDO E. LAGUESMA, ATTY. ANASTACIO L. BACTIN, MEDARBITER NCR-DOLE, Public Respondents; INTERNATIONAL CONTAINER
TERMINAL SERVICES, INC., (ICTSI) and ASSOCIATED PORT CHECKERS
AND WORKERS UNION (APCWU), Private Respondents; SANDIGAN NG

MANGGAGAWA SA DAUNGAN (SAMADA) and PORT EMPLOYEES


ASSOCIATION AND LABOR UNION (PEALU), Nominal Private
Respondents, respondents.

CRUZ, J.:
There was muffled excitement among the workers of the International Container Terminal
Services, Inc. (ICTSI) because its collective bargaining agreement with private
respondents Associate Port Checkers and Workers Union (APCWU), the incumbent
union, was due to expire on April 14, 1990. Other unions were seeking to represent the
laborers in the negotiation of the next CBA and were already plotting their moves.
The first challenge to APCWU was hurled on March 14, 1990, when the Sandigan ng
Manggagawa sa Daungan (SAMADA) filed a petition for certification election. The
consent signatures of at least 25% of the employees in the bargaining unit were submitted
on March 26, 1990, or eleven days after the petition.
On April 2, 1990, herein petitioner Port Workers Union of the Philippines (PWUP) filed a
petition for intervention.
Still another petition for certification election was filed by the Port Employees
Association and Labor Union (PEALU), on April 6, 1990. The consent signatures were
submitted on May 11, 1990, or thirty-five days after the filing of the petition.
The petitions of SAMADA and PEALU were consolidated for joint decision. On April
26, 1990, APCWU filed a motion to dismiss them on the ground that they did not comply
with the requirement set forth in Section 6, Rule V, Book V of the Implementing Rules,
quoted in part as follows:
In a petition involving an organized establishment or enterprise where the majority status
of the incumbent collective bargaining union is questioned through a verified petition by
a legitimate labor organization, the Med-Arbiter shall immediately order the certification
election by secret ballot if the petition is filed during the last sixty (60) days of the
collective bargaining agreement and supported by the written consent of at least twentyfive percent (25%) of all the employees in the bargaining unit. Any petition filed before
or after the sixty-day freedom period shall be dismissed outright. The twenty-five percent
(25%) requirement shall be satisfied upon the filing of the petition, otherwise the petition
shall be dismissed. (Emphasis supplied.)
Specifically, APCWU faulted both petitions for non-compliance with the requirement for
the 25% consent signatures at the time of filing. This contention was upheld by the MedArbiter in an order dated June 5, 1990, dismissing the consolidated petitions. 1

PWUP appealed to the Secretary of Labor on June 28, 1990, arguing that Article 256 of
the Labor Code did not require the written consent to be submitted simultaneously with
the petition for certification election. The principal petitioners did not appeal. On August
21, 1990, DOLE Undersecretary Bienvenido Laguesma affirmed the order of the MedArbiter and dismissed PWUP's appeal. 2
Thereafter, ICTSI and APCWU resumed negotiations for a new collective bargaining
agreement, which was concluded on September 28, 1990. This was ratified on October 7,
1990, by a majority of the workers in the bargaining unit, i.e., 910 out of the 1,223
members, and subsequently registered with the DOLE.
PWUP is now before us, claiming grave abuse of discretion on the part of the public
respondent in the application of Article 256 of the Labor Code. The article provides in
part as follows:
Art. 256. Representation issue in organized establishments. In organized
establishments, when a verified petition questioning the majority status of the incumbent
bargaining agent is filed before the Department of Labor and Employment within the
sixty-day period before the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement, the MedArbiter shall automatically order an election by secret ballot when the verified petition is
supported by the written consent of at least twenty-five (25%) percent of all the
employees in the bargaining unit to ascertain the will of the employees in the appropriate
bargaining unit. . . .
The petitioner argues that under this article, the Med-Arbiter should automatically order
election by secret ballot when the petition is supported by at least 25% of all employees
in the bargaining unit. SAMADA and PEALU substantially complied with the law when
they submitted the required consent signatures several days after filing the petition. The
petitioner complains that the dismissal of the petitions for certification election, including
its own petition for intervention, had the effect of indirectly certifying APCWU as the
sole and exclusive bargaining representative of the ICTSI employees.
Private respondent ICTSI maintains that the dismissal was based on Article 256 of the
Labor Code as implemented by Section 6, Rule V, Book V of the Implementing Rules,
quoted above. Moreover, under Section 10, Rule V, Book V of the Implementing Rules,
decisions of the Secretary in certification election cases shall be final and unappealable.
ICTSI also cites the following ruling of this Court in Tupas v. Inciong: 3
We find no merit in the petition. As observed by the Solicitor General, while the petition
of TUPAS for a certification election may have the written support of 30 per cent of all
the workers of the bargaining unit, it is also an undisputed fact that UMI (the rival union
of TUPAS) has a clear majority of the said workers, as shown by the fact that 499
workers out of the total working force of 641 have not only ratified the collective
bargaining agreement concluded between UMI and LUSTEVECO, but also affirmed their

membership in UMI so that there is no more need for holding a certification election.
(Emphasis supplied.)
For its part, APCWU questions PWUP's personality in these proceedings in view of the
lack of consent signatures in its petition, and argues as well that the petitioner has no
authority to represent SAMADA or PEALU, which had not appealed. The private
respondent also invokes Tupas and maintains that the ratification of the new CBA by the
majority of the workers was an affirmation of their membership in the union that
negotiated that agreement.
In his own Comment, the Solicitor General agrees with the petitioner that there has been
substantial compliance with the requirements of the law. He submits that Article 256
should be liberally interpreted pursuant to Article 4 of the Labor Code, stating as follows:
Art. 4. Construction in favor of labor. All doubts in the implementation and
interpretation of the provisions of this Code including its implementing rules and
regulations, shall be resolved in favor of labor.
The Court has deliberated on the arguments of the parties in their respective pleadings
and finds for the petitioner.
We have held that pursuant to the constitutional provision guaranteeing workers the right
to self-organization and collective bargaining, "the constant and unwavering policy of
this Court" has been "to require a certification election as the best means of ascertaining
which labor organization should be the collective bargaining representative." 4
The certification election is the most democratic and expeditious method by which the
laborers can freely determine the union that shall act as their representative in their
dealings with the establishment where they are working. 5 As we stressed in Belyca
Corporation vs. Ferrer-Calleja, 6 the holding of a certification election is a statutory
policy that should not be circumvented.
This Court also held in Western Agusan Workers Union-Local 101 of the United Lumber
and General Workers of the Philippines vs. Trajano: 7
. . . it has long been settled that the policy of the Labor Code is indisputably partial to the
holding of a certification election so as to arrive in a manner definitive and certain
concerning the choice of the labor organization to represent the workers in a collective
bargaining unit. Conformably to said basic concept, this Court recognized that the Bureau
of Labor Relations in the exercise of sound discretion, may order a certification election
notwithstanding the failure to meet the 30% requirement. (Scout Ramon V. Albano
Memorial College v. Noriel, 85 SCRA 494 [1978]; Vicmico Industrial Wokers Asso. v.
Noriel, 131 SCRA 569 [1984])
In line with the policy, we feel that the administrative rule requiring the simultaneous
submission of the 25% consent signatures upon the filing of petition for certification

election should not be strictly applied to frustrate the determination of the legitimate
representative of the workers. Significantly, the requirement in the rule is not found in
Article 256, the law it seeks to implement. This is all the more reason why the regulation
should at best be given only a directory effect. Accordingly, we hold that the mere filing
of a petition for certification election within the freedom period is sufficient basis for the
issuance of an order for the holding of a certification election, 8 subject to the submission
of the consent signatures within a reasonable period from such filing.
This interpretation is consonant with Philippine Association of Free Labor Unions v.
Bureau of Labor Relations, 9where we declared:
. . . even conceding that the statutory requirement of 30% of the labor force asking for a
certification election had not been strictly complied with, respondent Director is still
empowered to order that it be held precisely for the purpose of ascertaining which (of the
contending labor organizations) shall be the exclusive collective bargaining
representative. (National Mines and Allied Workers Union v. Luna, et al., 83 SCRA 607)
It is not denied that the petition to intervene filed by PWUP did not carry the 25%
consent signatures, but that the requirement is in fact not applicable to a petition in
intervention. We so held in PAFLU v. Ferrer-Calleja thus: 10
It is crystal clear from the said provisions that the requisite written consent of at least
20% of the workers in the bargaining unit applies to petitioners for certification election
only and not to motions for intervention. . . . As long as the motion for intervention has
been properly and timely filed and the intervention would not cause any injustice to
anyone, it should not be denied and this is so even if the eventual purpose of the Motion
for Intervention is to participate in the Certification Election. After all, the original
applicant had already met the 20% requirement.
The contention that the petitioners had no right to represent the principal petitioners
which had not appealed the dismissal order is also not acceptable. We repeat that the
certification election is not litigation but a mere investigation of a non-adversary
character where the rules of procedure are not strictly applied. 11 Technical rules and
objections should not hamper the correct ascertainment of the labor union that has the
support of confidence of the majority of the workers and is thus entitled to represent them
in their dealings with management.
The above-quoted decision affirms the right of PWUP to call for the holding of the
election although it was initially only an intervenor. That recognition should not be
defeated by the circumstance that the other petitioning unions have not seen fit to appeal
the dismissal of their petitions even if such dismissal was questionable and is in fact
being reversed here. The petition for intervention was viable at the time it was filed
because the principal petitions had complied with the requirement for the consent
signatures as specified by Article 256. Hence, its intervention should not be disallowed
simply because of the withdrawal or failure to appeal of SAMADA and PEALU.

It is correct to say that as a matter of strict procedure, a petition for intervention should be
deemed automatically dismissed where the principal petition itself fails. However, that
technical rule should be allowed to prevent a correct determination of the real
representative of the workers in line with their constitutional rights to self-organization
and collective bargaining.
Regarding the invocation of Inciong by the private respondents, the Court has modified
that decision inAssociated Labor Unions vs. Calleja, 12 where we held:
Finally, the petitioner assails the decision of the respondent Director on the ground that
"the ratification of the collective bargaining agreement renders the certification election
moot and academic."
This contention finds no basis in law.
The petitioner was obviously referring to the contract-bar rule where the law prohibits the
holding of certification elections during the lifetime of the collective bargaining
agreement. Said agreement was hastily and prematurely entered into apparently in an
attempt to avoid the holding of a certification election.
Deviation from the contract-bar rule is justified only where the need for industrial
stability is clearly shown to be imperative. 13 Subject to this singular exception, contracts
where the identity of the authorized representative of the workers is in doubt must be
rejected in favor of a more certain indication of the will of the workers. As we stated
inPhilippine Association of Free Labor Union vs. Estrella, 14 any stability that does not
establish the type of industrial peace contemplated by the law must be subordinated to the
employees' freedom to choose their real representative.
The private respondents contend that the overwhelming ratification of the CBA is an
affirmation of their membership in the bargaining agent, rendering the representation
issue moot and academic and conclusively barring the holding of a certification election
thereon. That conclusion does not follow. Even Tupas did not say that the mere
ratification of the CBA by the majority of the workers signified their affirmation of
membership in the negotiating union. That case required, first, ratification of the CBA,
the second, affirmation of membership in the negotiating union. The second requirement
has not been established in the case at bar as the record does not show that the majority of
the workers, besides ratifying the new CBA, have also formally affiliated with APCWU.
Section 4, Rule V, Book V of the Omnibus Rules implementing the Labor Code provides
that the representation case shall not be adversely affected by a collective agreement
submitted before or during the last 60 days of a subsisting agreement or during the
pendency of the representation case. As the new CBA was entered into at the time when
the representation case was still pending, it follows that it cannot be recognized as the
final agreement between the ICTSI and its workers.

On the allegation that the decision of the Secretary of Labor on certification election is
final and inappealable, this Court held in San Miguel Corp. v. Secretary of Labor 15 that:
It is generally understood that as to administrative agencies exercising quasi-judicial or
legislative power there is an underlying power in the courts to scrutinize the acts of such
agencies on questions of law and jurisdiction even though no right of review is given by
statute. (73, C.J.S. 506, note 56). . . . judicial review is proper in case of lack of
jurisdiction, grave abuse of discretion. error of law, fraud or collusion (Timbancaya v.
Vicente, 82 O.G. 9424; Macatangay v. Secretary of Public Works and Communication, 63
O.G. 11236; Ortua v. Singson Encarnacion, 59 Phil. 440).
There was indeed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on
the part of public respondents when they dismissed the petitions for certification election
because the consent signatures had not been submitted simultaneously with the petition.
The issue of majority representation thus remains open and awaits settlement. Following
the rulings above-quoted, we hereby declare that the newly-concluded CBA cannot
constitute a bar to the holding of a certification election.
It is possible that the APCWU will prevail in the certification election, in which event the
new CBA it concluded with ICTSI will be upheld and recognized. It is also possible that
another union will be chosen, in which event it will have to enter into its own
negotiations with ICTSI that may result in the adoption of a new CBA. In the meantime,
however, the old CBA having expired, it is necessary to lay down the rules regulating the
relations of the workers with the management. For this reason, the Court hereby orders
that the new CBA concluded by ICTSI and APCWU shall remain effective between the
parties, subject to the result and effects of the certification election to be called.
The certification election is the best method of determining the will of the workers on the
crucial question of who shall represent them in their negotiations with the management
for a collective bargaining agreement that will best protect and promote their interests. It
is essential that there be no collusion against this objective between an unscrupulous
management and a union covertly supporting it while professing its loyalty to labor, or at
least that the hopes of labor be not frustrated because of its representation by a union that
does not enjoy its approval and support. It is therefore sound policy that any doubt
regarding the real representation of the workers be resolved in favor of the holding of the
certification election. This is preferable to the suppression of the voice of the workers
through the prissy observance of technical rules that will exalt procedure over substantial
justice.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The challenged order dated August 21, 1990,
is REVERSED and SET ASIDE and the public respondent is DIRECTED to schedule
and hold certification election among the workers of the International Container Terminal
Services, Inc., this to be done with all possible dispatch. No costs.
G.R. No. 96635 August 6, 1992

ATLANTIC, GULF AND PACIFIC COMPANY OF MANILA, INC., petitioner,


vs.
HON. BIENVENIDO E. LAGUESMA, UNDERSECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF
LABOR & EMPLOYMENT; HON. TOMAS F. FALCONITIN MED-ARBITER,
BUREAU OF LABOR RELATIONS, DEPT. OF LABOR & EMPLOYMENT;
LAKAS NG MANGGAGAWA SA AG & P-SMSG-NATIONAL FEDERATION OF
LABOR (LAKAS-NFL), respondents.
Herrera, Laurel, De los Reyes, Roxas & Teehankee for petitioners.
Jose C. Espinas for private respondent.

NOCON, J.:
This is a petition for certiorari and prohibition with a prayer for the issuance of a writ of
preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining order to annul and set aside the Order
dated December 11, 1990 of the Department of Labor and Employment affirming its
Resolution dated November 22, 1990 and the Order of the Med-Arbiter in ordering that a
certification election among the regular project employees of the herein petitioner
Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Company of Manila, Inc. at its Steel and Marine Structures
Group (AG&P-SMSG) be conducted immediately.
The antecedent facts of the case are as follows:
Petitioner Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Company of Manila, Inc. is engaged in the
construction and fabrication business and conducts its construction business in different
construction sites here and abroad while its fabrication operations are conducted by its
Steel and Marine Structures Group at its Batangas Marine and Fabrication Yard
("BMFY," for brevity) in Bauan, Batangas where the steel structures and other heavy
marine works are fabricated.
In the exercise of its management prerogative, petitioner has adopted the practice of
hiring project employees when existing fabrication capacity cannot absorb increases in
job orders for steel structures and other heavy construction works. Said project employees
are covered by the Project Worker/Reliever Employment Agreements which indicate the
specific projects to which they are assigned and the duration of their employment. Upon
the expiration of their contracts/agreements, the employment of these employees is
automatically terminated unless the projects to which they are assigned have not yet been
completed, in which case, they are rehired for the remainder of the project. The positions
occupied by the regular rank-and-file employees and the project employees are basically
similar in nature and are directly related to the main line of petitioner's business.
On June 8, 1990, petitioner executed a Collective Bargaining Agreement with the AG&P
United Rank & File Association ("URFA," for brevity) which is the sole and exclusive

bargaining agent of all the regular rank-and-file employees of the petitioner. 1 Said
Collective Bargaining Agreement was subsequently registered on July 9, 1990 with the
Bureau of Labor Relations and Certificate of Registration No. BLR-90-0131 was issued.
On June 29, 1990, private respondent Lakas ng Manggagawa sa AG&P-SMSG-National
Federation of Labor ("LAKAS-NFL," for brevity) filed a Petition for Certification
Election with the Med-Arbitration Unit to be certified as the sole and exclusive
bargaining agent of the regular non-project employees of the Steel and Marine Structure
at the BMFY representing approximately 1,000 employees or that a certification be
conducted among said employees. 2
On September 25, 1990, public respondent Med-Arbiter Tomas F. Falconitin of the
Department of Labor and Employment issued an Order, the dispositive portion of which
reads:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, it is hereby ordered that certification election
among the regular "Project Workers"/employees of Atlantic Gulf and Pacific Company of
Manila, Inc. at its Steel and Marine Structures Group (AG&P-SMSG) be conducted
immediately. The Representation Officer is hereby directed to conduct the usual preelection conference in connection thereof with the following choices to consider:
1 Lakas Ng Manggagawa Sa AG&P-SMSG National Federation of Labor (LAKASNFL); and
2 No Union.
SO ORDERED. 3
On October 11, 1990, petitioner filed an appeal with the Department of Labor and
Employment. 4
On October 26, 1990, 691 alleged project employees sought to be represented by private
respondent LAKAS-NFL were formally issued regular employment appointments by the
petitioner effective November 1, 1990 which were accepted by said project employees.
Thereafter, in a Resolution dated November 22, 1990, public respondent Undersecretary
of the Department of Labor and Employment Bienvenido E. Laguesma denied petitioner's
appeal for lack of merit.
On November 28, 1990, petitioner's project employees at its SMSG site who were not
given regular employment appointment on October 26, 1990 went on strike and
completely paralyzed petitioner's operations in Bauan, Batangas. Said strike was settled
in a conciliation conference convened by the National Conciliation and Mediation Board
on December 8, 1990 when an Agreement was reached by the petitioner and private
respondent LAKAS-NFL wherein petitioner agreed to formally regularize all the
remaining alleged project employees with at least one year of service pending the final

outcome of the certification election case. 5 Thereafter, 686 additional regular project
employees were regularized effective December 1, 1990 in pursuance to said Agreement.
On December 6, 1990, petitioner received a letter from URFA informing the former about
the admission into URFA of the membership of 410 regular project employees who were
formally regularized by the petitioner effective November 1, 1990.
On that same date, petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration on the Resolution dated
November 22, 1990 alleging that the employees sought to be represented by the private
respondent LAKAS-NFL are regular employees of the petitioner and are deemed
included in the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement of the regular rank-and-file
employees of the petitioner which motion was subsequently denied by the public
respondent Undersecretary Laguesma in an Order dated December 11, 1990.
Hence, this petition assailing said Order and Resolution on the following grounds:
I. RESPONDENT UNDERSECRETARY ACTED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF
DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OF JURISDICTION IN ISSUING THE
RESOLUTION DATED 22 NOVEMBER 1990 AND THE ORDER DATED 11
DECEMBER 1990 IN THAT THEY FAILED TO HOLD THAT THE CONTRACT-BAR
RULE APPLIES TO THE INSTANT CASE
II. RESPONDENT UNDERSECRETARY ACTED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF
DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OF JURISDICTION IN ISSUING THE
RESOLUTION DATED 22 NOVEMBER 1990 AND THE ORDER DATED 11
DECEMBER 1990 IN THAT THEY FAILED TO CONSIDER THE SUPERVENING
FACT THAT THE BARGAINING UNIT OF THE ALLEGED REGULAR PROJECT
WORKERS HAS CEASED TO EXIST BY VIRTUE OF THE REGULARIZATION OF
ALL THE ALLEGED PROJECT WORKERS WITH AT LEAST ONE YEAR OF
SERVICE 6
The contentions of the petitioner are meritorious.
Section 1 of Article II of petitioner's Collective Bargaining Agreement with URFA
defined appropriate bargaining unit as follows:
ARTICLE II
SCOPE
Sec. 1. Appropriate Bargaining Unit The appropriate bargaining unit covered by this
Agreement consists of those regular rank-and-file employees of the COMPANY who
have remained as such up to the date of execution of this Agreement, as well as those
who may hereafter acquire the same status. It is hereby understood and agreed that the
following are not within the appropriate bargaining unit and, therefore, this Agreement is
not applicable to them, to wit:

a Executives, division department and section heads, staff members, managerial


employees, and executive secretaries;
b Workers hired by the COMPANY as project employees as contemplated by existing
laws including relievers of regular employees who are sent abroad are not covered by this
Contract. Provided, however, that regular employees who are assigned as relievers shall
continue to be covered by this Contract, and provided further that relievers who are
assigned to regular positions which may become vacant shall be duly considered for such
regular positions after attaining the six months probationary period.
c Security personnel. 7
Although the aforementioned definition does not include petitioner's regular project
employees in the coverage of the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement between
petitioner and the URFA, the regularization of all the regular project employees with at
least one year of service and the subsequent membership of said employees with the
URFA mean that the alleged regular project employees whom respondent LAKAS-NFL
seeks to represent are, in fact, regular employees by contemplation of law and included in
the appropriate bargaining unit of said Collective Bargaining Agreement consequently,
the bargaining unit which respondent LAKAS-NFL seeks to represent has already ceased
to exist.
The Labor Code provides:
Art. 232. Prohibition on Certification Election. The Bureau shall not entertain any
petition for certification election or any other action which may disturb the administration
of duly registered existing collective bargaining agreements affecting the parties except
under Articles 253, 253-A and 256 of this Code.
Paragraph 2 of Section 3, Rule V, Book V of the Implementing Rules and Regulations
likewise provides:
If a collective bargaining agreement has been duly registered in accordance with Article
231 of the Code, a petition for certification election or a motion for intervention can only
be entertained within sixty (60) days prior to the expiry date of such agreement.
Consequently, the existence of a duly registered Collective Bargaining Agreement
between the petitioner and URFA, which is the sole and exclusive bargaining
representative of all the regular rank-and-file employees of the petitioner including the
regular project employees with more than one year of service, bars any other labor
organization from filing a petition for certification election except within the 60-day
period prior to the expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
To rule otherwise would negate the legislative intent in the enactment of Article 232 of
the Labor Code which was designed to ensure industrial peace between the employer and
its employees during the existence of the collective bargaining agreement.

WHEREFORE, finding the petition meritorious, the assailed Resolution of November 22,
1990 and the Order dated December 11, 1990 are hereby annuled and set aside. This
temporary restraining order issued is made permanent. Costs against respondents.

[G.R. No. 135806. August 8, 2002]

TOYOTA
MOTORS
PHILIPPINES
CORPORATION
LABOR
UNION, petitioner, vs. TOYOTA MOTOR PHILIPPINES CORPORATION
EMPLOYEES
AND
WORKERS
UNION,
TOYOTA MOTOR
PHILIPPINES CORPORATION, and THE SECRETARY OF LABOR AND
EMPLOYMENT, respondents.
DECISION
BELLOSILLO, J.:
This is a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, as amended,
seeking to set aside the Resolution of 5 June 1998 and the Order of 10 August 1998 both
issued by respondent Secretary of Labor and Employment in OS-A-5-58-98 (NCR-ODM-9704-0311) which affirmed the decision of the Med-Arbiter dated 24 February
1998. The assailed decision dismissed both the Petition for Certification Election filed
by respondent Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. Employees and Workers Union
(TMPCEWU) and the Petition-in-Intervention filed by petitioner Toyota Motor
Philippines Corp. Labor Union (TMPCLU).
On 24 April 1997 respondent TMPCEWU filed a Petition for Certification
Election before the Med-Arbitration Unit of the DOLE-National Capital Region (DOLENCR) seeking to represent the rank-and-file employees of the manufacturing division
from Levels 1 to 4 of Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. (TMPC).
On 13 May 1997, while the case was pending hearing, petitioner TMPCLU claiming
to be the legitimate labor organization, filed a Motion to Intervene with Opposition to the
Certification Election praying that it be allowed to intervene and, thereafter, the petition
by TMPCEWU be denied for lack of merit. It claimed that the petition was premature
due to an earlier resolution by the Secretary of Labor ordering the conduct of a
certification election among the rank-and-file employees of TMPC represented by
petitioner which was the subject of certiorari proceedings before the Supreme Court and
still awaiting final resolution at the time; and, that the collective bargaining unit which
respondent TMPCEWU sought to represent violated the "single or employer" unit policy
since it excluded the rank-and-file employees in the other divisions and departments in
respondent TMPC.[1]
In its motion petitioner TMPCLU outlined the antecedent events prior to the
TMPCEWU's filing of its Petition for Certification Election on 24 April 1997 thus -

1. On 26 November 1992 it (TMPCLU) filed a petition for certification election before


Med-Arbiter Paterno D. Adap, docketed as NCR-OD-M-9211-053;
2. On 8 March 1993 Med-Arbiter Adap dismissed TMPCLU's petition on the ground that
the labor organization's membership was composed of supervisory and rank-and-file
employees in violation of Art. 245 of the Labor Code, and that at the time of the filing of
its petition, TMCPLU had not even acquired legal personality yet;
3. On appeal, the Secretary of Labor, in a Resolution dated 9 November 1993 signed by
Undersecretary Bienvenido E. Laguesma, set aside the Med-Arbiter's Order and directed
the holding of a certification election among the regular rank-and-file employees of
TMPC. In setting aside the assailed order, the Office of the Secretary argued that:
Contrary to the allegation of herein respondent-appellee, petitioner-appellant was already
a legitimate labor organization at the time of the filing of the petition on 26 November
1992. Records show that on 24 November 1992 or two (2) days before the filing of the
said petition, it was issued a certificate of registration.
4. Acting on TMPC's motion for reconsideration the Secretary of Labor set aside his
earlier resolution and ordered the remand of the case to the Med-Arbiter concluding that
the issues raised by TMPC both on appeal and its motion for reconsideration were factual
issues requiring further hearing and production of evidence;
5. Pursuant to the order above-mentioned, the Med-Arbiter on 28 September 1994
dismissed TMPCLU's petition for certification election for failure of petitioner to acquire
legal personality at the time of the filing of the said petition;
6. The motion for reconsideration filed by TMPCLU before the Secretary of Labor, which
was treated as an appeal from the order of the Med-Arbiter dated 28 September 1994,
was granted and the said order was set aside. In lieu thereof, a new order was issued
giving due course to the petition and directing the conduct of a certification election
among the rank-and-file employees of TMPC;
7. The Secretary of Labor, in his order dated 14 July 1995, denied for lack of merit the
motion for reconsideration filed by TMPC;
8. On 20 April 1996 the Secretary of Labor issued a new resolution directing the conduct
of a certification election among the rank-and-file employees of TMPC; and
9. TMPC lodged a special civil action for certiorari before the Supreme Court assailing
the 20 April 1996 Resolution of the Secretary of Labor; and on 19 February 1997, the
Supreme Court[2] set aside the assailed Resolution of the Secretary of Labor and reinstated
the Order of the Med-Arbiter dated 28 September 1994. In its decision, the Supreme
Court ruled that since TMPCLU's membership list contained the names of at least twentyseven (27) supervisory employees in Level Five positions, "the union could not, prior to
purging itself of its supervisory employee members, attain the status of a legitimate labor

organization. Not being one, it cannot possess the requisite personality to file a petition
for certification election."
At the time respondent TMPCEWU filed its Petition for Certification Election on 24
April 1997 the decision of the Supreme Court had not ripened into a final and executory
judgment. Thus petitioner invoked as among the grounds for opposition thereto in
its Motion to Intervene with Opposition to the Petition for Certification Election that the
"pending proceeding before the Supreme Court may be said to be a pre-judicial question
which should be resolved first before the instant petition can prosper."[3]
TMPC also filed a similar comment on 9 June 1997. Hence, on 2 July 1997, the
Med-Arbiter ordered the provisional dismissal of TMPCEWU's Petition for Certification
Election pending a final ruling by the Supreme Court on the Petition for Certification
Election.
On 3 June 1997 the decision of the Supreme Court dated 19 February 1997 became
final and executory.
In view of respondent TMPCEWU's revival of its Petition for Certification Election,
petitioner also filed on 30 October 1997 its Petition-in-Intervention[4] alleging that (a) it
was representing only the rank-and-file employees; (b) it enjoys the support of the
regular rank-and-file workers at large in TMPC, an unorganized establishment, and not
only among the rank-and-file employees in the manufacturing division thereof; (c) while
respondent TMPCEWU professed itself as a legitimate labor organization, there was
serious doubt on such claim inasmuch as there was a pending petition for the cancellation
of its certification of registration on the ground of fraud; (d) respondent TMPCEWU's
representation of the rank-and-file employees, Levels 1 to 4, within the manufacturing
division only to the exclusion of those in the other departments and divisions violated
the "single or employer" unit policy; and, (e) the establishment of the proposed
bargaining unit in the manufacturing division composed of employees from Levels 1 to 4,
should respondent's petition be allowed, would induce the proliferation of unions in a
single employer.[5]
On 24 February 1998 the Med-Arbiter rendered a decision dismissing for lack of
merit TMPCEWU's Petition for Certification Election, since it failed to include all rankand-file employees from Levels 1 to 4 in other departments of TMPC in violation of
the "one-union in one-company" policy and likewise dismissing TMPCLU's Petition-inIntervention for lack of legal personality.[6] Anent the issue on whether TMPCLU has the
legal personality to file the Petition-in-Intervention, the Med-Arbiter explained thus The uncontroverted fact in this case is that at the time intervenor TMPCLU filed its
application for registration and subsequently thereafter was issued a certificate of
registration on November 24, 1992 (Annex A, Intervenor's petition-in-intervention), its
union membership is (sic) composed of supervisory and rank-and-file employees.
From this we could infer that the registration certificate issued by the Department of
Labor and Employment is void ab initio because at the time of the issuance the
constitution of intervenor union TMPCLU is (sic) a mixture of supervisory and rank-and-

file employees as per finding of fact of Med-Arbiter Paterno Adap in his Order dated
March 8, 1993 (Annex A, respondent's Answer to Petition-in-Intervention).
On 14 March 1998, dissatisfied with the unfavorable decision, petitioner appealed to
the Secretary of Labor contending that contrary to the finding of the Med-Arbiter it had
the legal personality to intervene in the certification election proceedings as shown by its
Certificate of Registration No. NCR-UR-11-996-92.
In a Resolution dated 5 June 1998, the Secretary of Labor justified his affirmance of
the Med-Arbiter's decision in this wise -[7]
On the first ground raised on appeal, it is true that the employer is a mere by-stander
during the conduct of a certification election. Prior to the election, however, the
employer is not precluded from ascertaining the legitimacy of the union in order that it
can be assured that the union it will be dealing with is a duly registered labor organization
which legally represents the bargaining unit sought to be represented. There is therefore
no error in allowing the employer to question the status of appellant as in the case at bar.
On the second issue, it had earlier been finally ruled by the Supreme Court (G.R. No
121084) involving herein employer and appellant that since the bargaining unit of the
rank-in-file which TMPCLU is seeking to represent is a mixture of supervisory
employees which is prohibited under Article 245 of the Labor Code, as amended, the
union prior to purging itself of supervisory employees-members, had not attained the
status of a legitimate labor organization. Appellant now simply asserts that it has purged
its membership of supervisory employees and therefore is now a legitimate labor
organization of the rank-and-file employees. Appellant has not however shown that it
registered anew because admittedly some of its officers are supervisory employees. The
need to register anew is necessary and the purging by itself of its officers who are holding
supervisory position is imperative. One of the requirements for registration is the
submission of the list of officers. Under the circumstances obtaining, appellant has not as
yet attained the status of a legitimate labor organization. It has therefore no legal
authority to oppose the instant petition.
On 10 August 1998 the Secretary issued an Order denying petitioner's motion for
reconsideration; hence, petitioner now comes to us assailing the aforementioned
Resolution and Order of the Secretary of Labor arguing that First. At the time it filed its Petition-in-Intervention on 30 October 1997 it was
clothed with legal personality as a bona fide labor union. Petitioner contended that when
it filed the Motion to Intervene with Opposition to the Petition for Certification
Election filed by TMPCEWU and its Petition-in-Intervention, it did have a Certificate of
Registration No. NCR-UR-1199692 which was based on its compliance with the
requisites for union registration. Hence, it had the legal personality when it filed
the Petition-in-Intervention and had all the rights as well as obligations of a legitimate
labor organization. There was therefore no necessity for petitioner to register anew when
it was already a registered labor organization.

Second. The Med-Arbiter had no authority to declare that petitioner's certificate of


registration was void ab initio in a certification election proceeding; neither was the
representation proceedings before the Med-Arbiter the appropriate remedy to ventilate
such issue.
To buttress its stance, petitioner drew attention to the fact that the Implementing
Rules of the Labor Code of the Philippines, particularly Book V, Rule 1, Sec. 1 (kk)
thereof, and the Med-Arbiter's authority were limited to hearing, conciliating, mediating
and deciding representation cases, internal union and intra-union disputes. Considering
that the case before the Med-Arbiter was a Petition for Certification Election by
respondent TMPCEWU, the only task of the Med-Arbiter was to determine the
employees' choice of their bargaining representative, and nothing more.
Third. The Supreme Court in Toyota Motor Philippines v. Toyota Motor
Corporation Philippines Labor Union and Secretary of Labor,[8] limited the finding of
petitioner's lack of personality only to the time when it filed its Petition for Certification
Election.
In this regard, petitioner decries the decision of the Secretary of Labor affirming that
of the Med-Arbiter on the basis of the ruling in the aforecited case. It must be stressed,
according to petitioner, that contrary to the interpretation given by the Med-Arbiter as
affirmed by the Secretary of Labor, the Supreme Court's ruling that it did not have legal
personality was limited to the time when it filed its Petition for Certification Election on
26 November 1992. Neither did the Supreme Court, in that case, rule on the validity of
the certificate of registration.
More importantly, according to petitioner, it was erroneous for the Secretary to
assume that inasmuch as petitioner failed to purge itself of its supervisory employeemembers when it filed its previous Petition for Certification Election on 26 November
1992, it could not have possessed the appropriate legal personality when it filed
its Petition-in-Intervention on 30 October 1997. The truth of the matter is that with the
purging completed, absent any finding of the Supreme Court or any other court or
tribunal declaring the invalidity of the certificate of registration, petitioner possessed the
legal personality when it filed its Petition-in-Intervention.
This Court is called upon to resolve the issue of whether petitioner had legal
personality on 30 October 1997 when it filed its Petition-in-Intervention. Corollary
thereto, should petitioner register anew despite its alleged purging of the supervisory
employee-members as directed by this Court in Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation v.
Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation Labor Union[9] and the issuance in its favor of a
certificate of registration after it was found to have violated Art. 245 of the Labor Code?
To find solution to the question in the instant case, we need only refer to the earlier
case of Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation v. Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation
Labor Union and the Secretary of Labor and Employment,[10] which sprang from
a Petition for Certification Election filed by TMPCLU among the rank-and-file
employees of TMPC. On 8 March 1993, however, its petition was dismissed by the MedArbiter for the reason that the labor organization's membership was composed of
supervisory and rank-and-file employee-members. On appeal, the Secretary of Labor

remanded the case to the Med-Arbiter upon his finding that factual issues remained
unresolved. Pursuant to the order of the Secretary of Labor, the Med-Arbiter, in his
decision dated 28 September 1994, dismissed TMPCLU's Petition for Certification
Election on the basis of the following factual findings:
(T)he (in)controvertible fact is that petitioner could not have been issued its Certificate of
Registration on November 24, 1992 when it applied for registration only on November
23, 1992 as shown by the official receipt of payment of filing fee. As Enrique Nalus,
Chief LEO, this office, would attest in his letter dated September 8, 1994 addressed to
Mr. Porfirio T. Reyes, Industrial Relations Officer of Respondent company, in response
to a query posed by the latter, it is unlikely that an application for registration is
approved on the date that it is filed or the day thereafter as the processing course had to
pass through routing, screening, and assignment, evaluation, review and initialing, and
approval/disapproval procedure, among others, that a 30-day period is provided for under
the Labor Code for this purpose, let alone opposition thereto by interested parties which
must be also given due course."
Another evidence which petitioner presented is the "Union Registration 1992
Logbook of IRD" and the entry date 25 November 1992 as allegedly the date of the
release of its registration certificate. On the other hand, respondent company presented a
certified true copy of an entry on page 265 of the Union Registration Logbook showing
the pertinent facts about petitioner but which did not show that petitioner's registration
was issued on or before 26 November 1992.
The Med-Arbiter also found that TMPCLU had not acquired legal personality for the
reason that its composition, being a mixture of supervisory and rank-and-file employees,
was in direct violation of Art. 245 of the Labor Code.[11]
Although there is a divergence of factual backdrops between Toyota Motor
Philippines Corporation v. Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation Labor Union and the
Secretary of Labor and Employment[12] and the instant petition in the sense that in the
former the filing of a Petition for Certification Election by petitioner gave rise to the
controversy while the present case arose from the filing of a Petition-in-Intervention, the
bottom-line issue in both cases nonetheless involves the legitimacy of petitioner
TMPCLU to file petitions.
We recall that in the first Toyota case, although there was no categorical
pronouncement on the validity of petitioner's certificate of registration considering that
we deemed it entirely irrelevant in the light of the finding that petitioner was not entirely
a rank-and-file labor organization, we sustained however in the same decision the entire
factual findings of the Med-Arbiter when we observed The foregoing discussion, therefore, renders entirely irrelevant the technical issue raised
as to whether or not respondent union was in possession of the status of a legitimate labor
organization at the time of filing, when, as petitioner vigorously claims, the former was
still at the stage of processing of its application for recognition as a legitimate labor
organization. The union's composition being in violation of the Labor Code's prohibition
of unions composed of supervisory and rank-and-file employees, it could not possess the

requisite personality to file for recognition as a legitimate labor organization. In any


case, the factual issue, albeit ignored by the public respondents assailed Resolution, was
adequately threshed out in the Med-Arbiters September 28, 1994 Order (underscoring
supplied).
In effect therefore, we already impressed our stamp of approval on the factual
findings of the Med-Arbiter in his 28 September 1994 decision, i.e., that petitioner had no
valid certificate of registration and therefore no legal personality to file the Petition for
Certification Election and in the absence of any attempt on its part to rectify the legal
infirmity, likewise the disputedPetition-in-Intervention.
It is thus fatuous on petitioner's part to resurrect the issue of legitimacy in the instant
case notwithstanding our earlier ruling sustaining the factual findings of the Med-Arbiter.
We cannot also accede to petitioner's submission that the issuance of a certificate of
registration in its favor is an adequate and unassailable proof that it possesses the
requisite legal personality to file a Petition for Certification Election. Not
necessarily. As we emphasized in Progressive Development Corp. - Pizza Hut v.
Laguesma,[13] if a labor organizations application for registration is vitiated by
falsification and serious irregularities, a labor organization should be denied recognition
as a legitimate labor organization. And if a certificate of registration has been issued, the
propriety of its registration could be assailed directly through cancellation of registration
proceedings in accordance with Arts. 238 and 239 of the Labor Code, or indirectly, by
challenging its petition for the issuance of an order for certification election. We believe
the procedural requirements to impugn the registration by petitioner were more than
adequately complied with as shown in the 1997 case of Toyota Motor Philippines
Corporation v. Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation Labor Union.[14]
There is no reason to belabor the primordial importance of strictly complying with
the registration requirements of the Labor Code. As we have explained in a long line of
cases, the activities of labor organizations, associations and unions are impressed with
public interest, hence, must be protected.
WHEREFORE the petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit. Accordingly, the
assailed Resolution dated 5 June 1998 and Order dated 10 August 1998 of the Secretary
of Labor and Employment affirming the decision of the Med-Arbiter dated 24 February
1998 which dismissed both the Petition for Certification Election filed by respondent
Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. Employees and Workers Union (TMPCEWU) and
the Petition-in-Intervention of petitioner Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. Labor Union
(TMPCLU) are AFFIRMED.

[G.R. No. 152094. July 22, 2004]

DHL PHILIPPINES CORPORATION UNITED RANK AND FILE ASSOCIATIONFEDERATION


OF
FREE
WORKERS
(DHL-URFA-

FFW), petitioner, vs.BUKLOD


NG
MANGGAGAWA
PHILIPPINES CORPORATION, respondent.

NG

DHL

DECISION
PANGANIBAN, J.:
False statements made by union officers before and during a certification election -that the union is independent and not affiliated with a national federation -- are material
facts likely to influence the election results. This principle finds application in the
present case in which the majority of the employees clearly wanted an independent union
to represent them. Thus, after the members learned of the misrepresentation, and after a
majority of them disaffiliated themselves from the union and formed another one, a new
certification election should be held to enable them to express their true will.
The late filing of the Petition for a new election can be excused under the peculiar
facts of this case, considering that the employees concerned did not sleep on their rights,
but promptly acted to protect their prerogatives. Petitioner should not be permitted to use
legal technicalities to perpetrate the betrayal foisted by its officers upon the majority of
the employees. Procedural technicalities should not be allowed to suppress the welfare of
labor.
The Case
Before us is a Petition for Review [1] under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, seeking to
annul the December 17, 1999 Decision[2] and the January 30, 2002 Resolution[3] of the
Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-GR SP No. 53270. The assailed Decision disposed as
follows:
WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby given due course. Accordingly, the decision of
Rosalinda Dimapilis-[B]aldoz, Undersecretary of Labor, in behalf of [the] Secretary of
Labor and Employment, is hereby ANNULED and SET ASIDE and DECLARED to
have NO EFFECT whatsoever.
Public respondent and its representatives are hereby enjoined to refrain and desist from
implementing the said decision.[4]
The challenged Resolution denied petitioners Motion for Reconsideration.
The Facts
On November 25, 1997, a certification election was conducted among the regular
rank and file employees in the main office and the regional branches of DHL Philippines
Corporation. The contending choices were petitioner and no union.

On January 19, 1998, on the basis of the results of the certification election, with
petitioner receiving 546 votes and no union garnering 348 votes, the election officer
certified the former as the sole and exclusive bargaining agent of the rank and file
employees of the corporation.[5]
Meanwhile, on December 19, 1997, Respondent Buklod ng Manggagawa ng DHL
Philippines Corporation (BUKLOD) filed with the Industrial Relations Division of the
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) a Petition for the nullification of the
certification election. The officers of petitioner were charged with committing fraud and
deceit in the election proceedings, particularly by misrepresenting to the voter-employees
that it was an independent union, when it was in fact an affiliate of the Federation of Free
Workers (FFW).
This misrepresentation was supposedly the basis for their selection of petitioner in
the certification election. Allegedly supporting this claim was the fact that those whom it
had misled allegedly withdrew their membership from it and subsequently formed
themselves into an independent union. The latter union, BUKLOD, was issued a
Certificate of Registration by DOLE on December 23, 1997.
On May 18, 1998, Med-Arbiter Tomas F. Falconitin nullified the November 25,
1997 certification election and ordered the holding of another one with the following
contending choices: petitioner, respondent, and no choice.
Setting aside the Decision of Med-Arbiter Falconitin, DOLE Undersecretary
Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz held on appeal that the issue of representation had already
been settled with finality in favor of petitioner, and that no petitions for certification
election would be entertained within one year from the time the election officer had
issued the Certification Order.
Ruling of the Court of Appeals
The CA held that the withdrawal of a great majority of the members of petitioner -704 out of 894 of them -- provided a compelling reason to conduct a certification election
anew in order to determine, once and for all, which union reflected their choice. Under
the circumstances, the issue of representation was not put to rest by the mere issuance of
a Certification Order by the election officer.
According to the appellate court, broader considerations should be accorded the
disaffiliating member-employees and a new election held to finally ascertain their will,
consistent with the constitutional and labor law policy of according full protection to
labors right to self-organization. The CA added that the best forum to determine the
veracity of the withdrawal or retraction of petitioners former members was another
certification election.
The appellate court also held that the election officers issuance of a Certification
Order on January 19, 1998 was precipitate because, prior thereto, respondent had filed
with the med-arbiter a Petition for nullification of the election. Furthermore, the
Certification was not in accordance with Department Order No. 9 (DO 9), Series of 1997.

The charges of fraud and deceit, lodged immediately after the election by petitioners
former members against their officers, should have been treated as protests or issues of
eligibility within the meaning of Section 13 of DO 9.
Hence, this Petition.[6]
Issues
In its Memorandum, petitioner submits the following issues for our consideration:
I
Whether or not the Court of Appeals seriously erred and committed grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack and/or excess of jurisdiction when it annul[l]ed, set aside,
and declared to have no effect whatsoever, the Decision of Undersecretary Rosalinda
Dimapilis-Baldoz, which in effect, reinstated and affirmed the Decision of the MedArbiter, nullifying the result of the certification election as well as ordering the conduct
of a new certification election at DHL Philippines Corporation, considering that:
(A)
The Court of Appeals, as well as the Med-Arbiter, ignored the undisputed fact
that petitioner a quo (herein respondent) has not yet existed before, during and shortly
after the conduct of certification election on November 25, 1997, and not yet even
registered at the time of the filing of its Petition a quo on December 19, 1997, therefore,
has no legal personality to institute an action.
(B)
The Court of Appeals, as well as the Med-Arbiter ignored and unjustifiably
refused to apply Section 13, Rule XII of Department Order No. 9, there being no protest
nor challenge raised before, during and even after five (5) days have lapsed from the
conduct of the certification election on November 25, 1997, as the Petition a quo was
only filed on December 19, 1997 a week before herein respondent was able to obtain its
Certificate of Registration.
(C)
The Court of Appeals ignored and unjustifiably refused to apply Section 3, Rule
V of Department Order No. 9, or commonly know[n] as the Certification-Year Rule,
which means that no certification election should be entertained within one (1) year from
the time the Election Officer issued the Certification Order.
II
Whether or not the Court of Appeals seriously erred and committed grave abuse of
discretion, amounting to lack and/or excess of jurisdiction in rendering the assailed
Decision promulgated on December 17, 1999, as the same was rendered without the
[Office of the] Solicitor General having filed its comment on the Petition a quo, despite
having filed a Manifestation with Motion to the effect of not having received the Petition
filed by petitioner a quo, which [h]as remained unacted upon; as well as the Resolution
promulgated on January 30, 2002, which denied herein petitioners Motion for

Reconsideration, which was rendered without the required comment thereon by the
Petitioner a quo, thus, due process was violated.
III
Whether or not the Court of Appeals seriously erred and committed grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack and/or excess of jurisdiction in holding that the resignation,
withdrawal, retraction of the great majority of the former members of United DHL should
be treated as disaffiliation from such union.
IV
Whether or not, the Court of Appeals seriously erred and committed grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack and/or excess of jurisdiction in declaring that x x x while in
the February 28, 1996 x x x decision of Med-Arbiter Tomas Falconitin provides for a
certification election among two (2) specific choices: the private respondent (then as
petitioner), and No Union as the contending choices, what was conducted on November
25, 1996 (sic) was a referendum on a choice of yes or no and not certification order of the
Election Officer reflecting the results in the number of yes votes and no votes, without
indicating the name of the contending choices.
V
Whether or not the Court of Appeals placed both parties in Limbo, as the dispositive
portion of the Decision or the fallo, which x x x actually constitutes the judgment or
resolution of the court, failed to specify what should be done by the parties after the
rendition of the said Decision and Resolution, thus, there can be no subject of
execution.[7]
In simpler terms, the issues being raised are as follows: 1) the validity of the CA
Decision and Resolution; and 2) the validity of the certification election.
The Courts Ruling
The Petition lacks merit.
First Issue:
Validity of the CA Decision and Resolution
Petitioner assails the validity of the CA Decision for having
been rendered without receipt of the required comment of the
Office of the Solicitor General (OSG)
on
respondents Petition;
and
the

CA Resolution for having been issued without receipt of respondents comment on


petitioners Motion for Reconsideration.
This contention is untenable.
The applicable provision is Section 8 of Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, which
provides:
SECTION 8. Proceedings after comment is filed. -- After the comment or other
pleadings required by the court are filed, or the time for the filing thereof has expired, the
court may hear the case or require the parties to submit memoranda. If after such hearing
or submission of memoranda or the expiration of the period for the filing thereof the court
finds that the allegations of the petition are true, it shall render judgment for the relief
prayed for or to which the petitioner is entitled. x x x. (Italics supplied)
From the foregoing provision, it is clear that the Petition may be resolved,
notwithstanding the failure of the adverse party to file a comment. Its failure to do so
despite due notice is its own lookout. Indeed, when a respondent fails to file its comment
within the given period, the court may decide the case on the basis of the records before
it, specifically the petition and its attachments.[8]
Petitioner insists that the failure of the OSG to receive a copy of the Petition filed
before the CA was the reason for the OSGs failure to file a Comment thereon. Be that as
it may, as correctly pointed out by respondent, petitioner is not the proper party to invoke
such failure.
At any rate, it is the duty of petitioner to defend its position, as well as those that
upheld it -- the tribunal, the board and the officer -- because it is the party that is
ultimately interested in sustaining the correctness of the disposition or the validity of the
proceedings.[9]
Petitioner further assails the validity of the CA Decision, on the ground that its
dispositive portion or fallo failed to specify what should be done by the parties after its
promulgation.
All that the law requires is that the judgment must be definitive. That is, the rights of
the parties must be stated with finality by the decision itself, which must thus specifically
deny or grant the remedy sought by the action. [10] For review by the CA was
Undersecretary Dimapilis-Baldozs Resolution reversing the Decision of Med-Arbiter
Falconitin.
Parenthetically, the ultimate question presented before the appellate court was
whether a new certification election should be conducted among the employees of DHL
Philippines Corporation. As correctly pointed out by respondent, in reversing the
undersecretarys Resolution, the CA necessarily reinstated the med-arbiters earlier
Decision to conduct a new certification election.
A judgment is not confined to what appears on the face of the decision; it
encompasses matters necessarily included in or are necessary to such judgment. [11] The
Decision of Med-Arbiter Falconitin and Undersecretary Dimapilis-Baldoz should be read

in the context of and in relation to the assailed Decision of the CA. The setting aside of
the undersecretarys Resolution necessarily implies the holding of a new certification
election by the med-arbiter upon receipt of the records of the case and the motion of the
interested party.
Second Issue:
Validity of the Certification Election
Under Section 13 of the Rules Implementing Book V (Labor Relations) of the Labor
Code,[12] as amended, the election officers authority to certify the results of the election is
limited to situations in which there has been no protest filed; or if there has been any, it
has not been perfected or formalized within five days from the close of the election
proceedings.
Further, Section 14 of the same Rules provides that when a protest has been
perfected, only the med-arbiter can proclaim and certify the winner. Clearly, this rule is
based on the election officers function, which is merely to conduct and supervise
certification elections.[13] It is the med-arbiter who is authorized to hear and decide
representation cases.[14]Consequently, the decision whether to certify the results of an
election or to set them aside due to incidents occurring during the campaign is within the
med-arbiters discretion.
Petitioner argues that the CA gravely erred in rendering its assailed Decision,
considering that no protest or challenge had been formalized within five days, or raised
during the election proceedings and entered in the minutes thereof. Petitioner adds that
respondent did not file any protest, either, against the alleged fraud and misrepresentation
by the formers officers during the election.
We disagree. When the med-arbiter admitted and gave due course to respondents
Petition for nullification of the election proceedings, the election officer should have
deferred issuing the Certification of the results thereof. Section 13 of the Implementing
Rules cannot strictly be applied to the present case.
Respondents contention is that a number of employees were lured by their officers
into believing that petitioner was an independent union. Since the employees had long
desired to have an independent union that would represent them in collective bargaining,
they voted yes in favor of petitioner. Having been misled, a majority of them
eventually disaffiliated themselves from it and formed an independent union, respondent
herein, which thereafter protested the conduct of the election. Having been formed just
after such exercise by the defrauded employees who were former members of petitioner,
respondent could not have reasonably filed its protest within five days from the close of
the election proceedings.
Notably, after it had applied for registration with the Bureau of Labor Relations
(BLR), respondent filed its Petition to nullify the certification election. Petitioner
insistently opposed the Petition, as respondent had not yet been issued a certificate of
registration at the time. Because such certificate was issued in favor of the latter four

days after the filing of the Petition, onDecember 23, 1997, the misgivings of the former
were brushed aside by the med-arbiter. Indeed, the fact that respondent was not yet a
duly registered labor organization when the Petition was filed is of no moment, absent
any fatal defect in its application for registration.
The circumstances in the present case show that the employees did not sleep on their
rights. Hence, their failure to follow strictly the procedural technicalities regarding the
period for filing their protest should not be taken against them. Mere technicalities
should not be allowed to prevail over the welfare of the workers. [15] What is essential is
that they be accorded an opportunity to determine freely and intelligently which labor
organization shall act on their behalf.[16] Having been denied this opportunity by the
betrayal committed by petitioners officers in the present case, the employees were
prevented from making an intelligent and independent choice.
False Statements of Union Officers
The making of false statements or misrepresentations that interfere with the free
choice of the employees is a valid ground for protest. A certification election may be set
aside for misstatements made during the campaign, where 1) a material fact has been
misrepresented in the campaign; 2) an opportunity for reply has been lacking; and 3) the
misrepresentation has had an impact on the free choice of the employees participating in
the election.[17] A misrepresentation is likely to have an impact on their free choice, if it
comes from a party who has special knowledge or is in an authoritative position to know
the true facts. This principle holds true, especially when the employees are unable to
evaluate the truth or the falsity of the assertions.[18]
The fact that the officers of petitioner especially its president, misrepresented it to the
voting employees as an independent union constituted a substantial misrepresentation of
material facts of vital concern to those employees. The materiality of such
misrepresentation is self-evident. The employees wanted an independent union to
represent them in collective bargaining, free from outside interference. Thus, upon
knowing that petitioner was in fact an affiliate of the FFW, the members disaffiliated
from petitioner and organized themselves into an independent union. Additionally, the
misrepresentation came from petitioners recognized representative, who was clearly in a
position to hold himself out as a person who had special knowledge and was in an
authoritative position to know the true facts.
We are not easily persuaded by the argument of petitioner that the employees had
sufficient time between the misrepresentation and the election to check the truth of its
claims. They could hardly be expected to verify the accuracy of any statement regarding
petitioner, made to them by its officers. No less than its president stated that it was an
independent union. At the time, the employees had no reason to doubt him.
We sustain the following findings of Med-Arbiter Falconitin:
x x x It must be noted at the outset that [respondent] has charged [petitioners] officers,
agents and representative with fraud or deception in encouraging its members to form or

join and vote for DHL Philippines Corporation United Rank-and-File Association which
they represented as an independent labor union not affiliated with any labor federation or
national union. Such serious allegations, supported with affidavits under oath executed
by no less than seven hundred four (704) DHL Philippines Corporations employees
nationwide, cannot just be ignored.
x x x

xxx

xxx

Notwithstanding the fact that [petitioner] union was duly furnished copy of the petition
and the affidavits as its attachments, it surprisingly failed to question, much less contest,
the veracity of the allegations contained in such affidavits, more than just harping in
general terms that the allegations are simply incredible and [interposing] vehement
denial. Being unassailed and unrefuted, the allegations in the
affidavits which are considered as x x
x official documents must be given weight and consideration by this
Office. Furthermore, with the failure of [petitioner] to rebut the affidavits, more than just
denying the allegations, they give rise to the presumption that [petitioner] has admitted
such allegations in the affidavit and with the admission, it is inescapable that indeed there
was fraud or machination committed by the [petitioner] that seriously affected the validity
and legitimacy of the certification election conducted on November 25, 1997 which gives
rise to a ground to annul or void the said election, having been marred by fraud,
deceptions and machinations.[19]
This finding of fact of a quasi-judicial agency of DOLE is persuasive upon the
courts.[20]
Although petitioner won in the election, it is now clear that it does not represent the
majority of the bargaining employees, owing to the affiliation of its members with
respondent. The present uncertainty as to which union has their support to represent them
for collective bargaining purposes is a salient factor that this Court has seriously
considered.
The bargaining agent must be truly representative of the employees. [21] At the time
of the filing by respondent of the Petition for nullification, allegiances and loyalties of the
employees were like shifting sands that radically affected their choice of an appropriate
bargaining representative. The polarization of a good number of them followed their
discovery of the fraud committed by the officers of petitioner. At any rate, the claim that
704 of the employees are affiliated with respondent is not sufficiently rebutted by any
evidence on record.
The purpose of a certification election is precisely to ascertain the majority of the
employees choice of an appropriate bargaining unit -- to be or not to be represented by a
labor organization and, in the affirmative case, by which one.[22]
Once disaffiliation has been demonstrated beyond doubt, a certification election is
the most expeditious way of determining which union should be the exclusive bargaining
representative of the employees.[23]

WHEREFORE,
the
Petition
is DENIED,
Decision AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner.

and

the

assailed

G.R. No. 106830 November 16, 1993


R. TRANSPORT CORPORATION, petitioner,
vs.
HON. BIENVIENIDO E. LAGUESMA. in his capacity as Undersecretary of the
Department of Labor and Employment, CHRISTIAN LABOR ORGANIZATION
OF THE PHILIPPINES (CLOP), NATIONAL FEDERATION OF LABOR
UNIONS (NAFLU), and ASSOCIATED LABOR UNIONS (ALUTUCP), respondents.
Gaspar V. Tagalo for petitioner.
Jose Torregoza for Christian Labor Organization of the Philippines.
Joji Barrios for intervenor ALU-TUCP.
Villy Cadiz for National Federation of Labor Unions.

QUIASON, J.:
This is a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court which seeks to set
aside the Resolutions of the Undersecretary of the Department of Labor and Employment
(DOLE) dated July 22, 1992, affirming the order of the Med-Arbiter calling for the
conduct of the certification election, and August 25, 1992, denying petitioner's motion for
reconsideration.
On January 4, 1991, respondent Christian Labor Organization of the Philippines (CLOP),
filed with the Med-Arbitration Unit of the DOLE a petition for certification election
among the rank and file employees of the petitioner (NCR-OD-M-91-01-002).
On April 8, 1991, Med-Arbiter A. Dizon dismissed the petition on the ground that the
bargaining unit sought to be represented by respondent did not include all the eligible
employees of petitioner but only the drivers, conductors and conductresses to the
exclusion of the inspectors, inspectresses, dispatchers, mechanics and washerboys.
On May 10, 1991, respondent. CLOP rectified its mistake and filed a second petition for
certification election,which included all the rank and file employees of the company, who
hold non-managerial. and non-supervisorial positions.
Petitioner filed a motion to dismiss the second petition and contended that the dismissal
of the first petition constituted res judicata. Petitioner argued that respondent CLOP

should have interposed an appeal to the dismissal of the first petition and its failure to do
so barred it from filing another petition for certification election.
On July 3, 1991, Med-Arbiter R. Parungo rendered a decision, which ordered that a
certification election among the regular rank and file workers of petitioner company be
conducted (Rollo, pp. 87-91).
On October 16, 1991, the Associated Labor Unions (ALU-TUCP) filed a motion for
intervention (NCR OD-M-91-01-002) and alleged that it has members in the proposed
bargaining unit. Subsequently, the National Federation of Labor Unions (NAFLU) filed a
separate petition for certification election (NCR-OD-M-91-10-058) and a motion to
consolidate related cases to avoid confusion.
Dissatisfied with the Decision dated July 3, 1991 rendered by Med-Arbiter R. Parungo,
petitioner appealed to the DOLE Secretary, who, through Undersecretary Bienvenido E.
Laguesma, affirmed the Med-Arbiter in its Resolution dated July 22, 1992 calling for the
conduct of the certification election (Rollo, pp. 25-28). The Resolution, in pertinent part,
reads as follows:
xxx xxx xxx
The defense of res judicata is not obtaining in the present petition for certification
election. It is settled that for res judicata to apply there must be a final judgment on the
merits on matters put in issue. In the instant case, it could not be said that there is a final
judgment on the merits of the petition simply because the composition of the present
proposed bargaining unit is different from that in the first petition. Moreover, there are
now other parties involved, and therefore, it would not be correct to say that the parties
in the said two cases are identical.
xxx xxx xxx
With regard however, to the question on propriety of consolidation, there is merit in the
argument of respondent-appellant on the need to consolidate the separate petitions for
certification election because they involve the same bargaining unit. Case No. NCR-ODM-91-10-058 should be consolidated with that of Case No. NCR- OD-M-91-05-062,
where the petition of NAFLU should be treated as an intervention and resolved by the
Med-Arbiter together with the intervention of ALU-TUCP.
PREMISES CONSIDERED, the Order of the Med-Arbiter calling for the conduct of the
certification election is hereby affirmed subject to the resolution of the Med-Arbiter of
the motions for intervention aforementioned (Rollo, pp. 27-28; emphasis supplied).
On July 31, 1992, petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration, again stressing the
principle of res judicata. Petitioner further argued that the second petition for a
certification election by respondent CLOP, NAFLU and ALU-TUCP were barred at least
for a period of one year from the time the first petition of CLOP was dismissed pursuant

to Section Rule V, Book V of the Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code as
amended.
On August 25, 1991, Undersecretary Laguesma denied the motion for reconsideration
(Rollo, pp. 32-34).
On September 3, 1992, petitioner filed a Motion to Suspend Proceedings based on
Prejudicial Questions as an Addendum to the Motion for Reconsideration filed on July
31, 1992. Petitioner argued that the present case must be indefinitely suspended until the
following cases are resolved by the NLRC and the Supreme Court: a) NLRC-NCR Case
No. 00-08-04708-91 entitled "R". Transport Corporation v. Jose S. Torregaza, et.
al., wherein Labor Arbiter de Castro declared the strike staged by respondent CLOP
illegal and ordered the strikers to pay petitioner the amount of P10,000.00 as exemplary
damages; b) NLRC-NCR Case No. 06-03415092 filed by respondent CLOP and its
members for illegal dismissal; and NLRC-NCR Case No. 00-08-04389-92 filed by
respondent CLOP in behalf of its affected members for illegal dismissal (Rollo, pp. 139145).
On September 29, 1992, Undersecretary Laguesma in a resolution denied the motion to
suspend the conduct of the certification election. The pertinent portion of said resolution
reads as follows:
The pendency of NLRC-NCR Cases Nos. 00-08- 04708-91, 06-03415092 and 00-0804389-92 before the NLRC is not a valid ground for the suspension of the already stalled
petition for certification election which must be resolved with dispatch.
This must be so, because the employees subject of the pending cases before the NLRC
legally remain as employees of respondent until the motion to declare them as having lost
their employment status by reason of the illegal strike or their complaint for illegal
dismissal is finally resolved. (Rollo, pp. 181-182; emphasis supplied)
On October 14, 1992, petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration of the Resolution dated
September 29, 1992 which was subsequently denied by Undersecretary Laguesma on
October 29, 1992 (Rollo, pp. 29-31).
Petitioner filed a Comment and Objection to the Order dated October 29, 1992 with
Urgent Motion to Dismiss the Petition for Certification Election. Without waiting for the
resolution of the motion to dismiss, petitioner resorted to this Court by way of the instant
special civil action.
This petition is without merit.
Before the principle of res judicata can be operative, the following requisites must be
present: a) the former judgment or order must be final; b) it must be a judgment ororder
on the merits; c) it must have been rendered by a court having jurisdiction over the

subject-matter and the parties; and d) there must be, between the first and second actions,
identity of parties (Nabus v. Court of Appeals, 193 SCRA 732 [1991]).
In the case at bench, it cannot be said that the parties in the first and second actions were
identical. The first action was dismissed by the Med-Arbiter because it excluded parties
essential to the bargaining unit such as inspectors, inspectresses, dispatchers and washer
boys. The second petition included all the employees who were excluded in the first
petition. Therefore, the Med-Arbiter was correct when he gave due course to the second
petition for certification election after respondent CLOP corrected its mistake.
Likewise untenable is petitioner's contention that the second petition for certification
election should have been filed after one year from the dismissal of the first petition
certification election under Section 3, Rule V, Book V of the Omnibus Rules
Implementing the Labor Code as amended. Said section provides as follows:
When to file In the absence of collective bargaining agreement duly registered in
accordance with Article 231 of the Code, a petition for certification election may be filed
any time. However, no certification election may be held within one year from the date of
the issuance of a final certification election result (Emphasis supplied).
Apparently, petitioner misread the above-mentioned provision of law. The phrase "final
certification election result" means that there was an actual conduct of election i.e. ballots
were cast and there was a counting of votes. In this case, there was no certification
election conducted precisely because the first petition was dismissed, on the ground of a
defective petition which did not include all the employees who should be properly
included in the collective bargaining unit.
Devoid of merit is petitioner's contention that the employment status of the members of
respondent CLOP who joined the strike must first be resolved before a certification
election can be conducted.
As held in the case of Philippine Fruits and Vegetables Industries, Inc. v. Torres, 211
SCRA 95 (1992):
At any rate, it is now well-settled that employees who have been improperly laid-off but
who have a present, unabandoned right to or expectation of re-employment, are eligible
to vote in certification elections (Rothenberg on Labor Relations, p. 548). Thus, and to
repeat, if the dismissal is under question, as in the case now at bar whereby a case of
illegal dismissal and/or unfair labor practices was filed, the employees concerned could
still qualify to vote in the elections.
Therefore, the employees of petitioner who participated in the strike, legally remain as
such, until either the motion to declare their employment status legally terminated or their
complaint for illegal dismissal is resolved by the NLRC.

It should be noted that it is the petitioner, the employer, which has offered the most
tenacious resistance to the holding of a certification election. This must not be so for the
choice of a collective bargaining agent is the sole concern of the employees. The
employer has no right to interfere in the election and is merely regarded as a bystander
(Divine Word University of Tacloban v. Secretary of Labor and Employment, 213 SCRA
759 [1992]).
Finally, petitioner's Comment and Objection to the Order dated October 29, 1992 with
Urgent Motion to Dismiss the Petition for Certification Election is still pending with the
Undersecretary of Labor. The resort to judicial action by petitioner is premature. Hence, it
is also guilty of forum-shopping in pursuing the same cause of action involving the same
issue, parties and subject matter before two different fora.
WHEREFORE, the Court Resolved to DISMISS the petition.
G.R. No. L-67485 April 10, 1992
NATIONAL CONGRESS OF UNIONS IN THE SUGAR INDUSTRY OF THE
PHILIPPINES (NACUSIP)-TUCP,petitioner,
vs.
DIR. CRESENCIANO B. TRAJANO, Bureau of Labor Relations, Ministry of
Labor and Employment, Manila, FEDERATION OF UNIONS OF RIZAL (FUR)TUCP, and CALINOG REFINERY CORPORATION (NASUREFCO), respondents.

MEDIALDEA, J.:
This petition for certiorari seeks to annul and set aside the decision rendered by the
respondent Director Cresenciano B. Trajano of the Bureau of Labor Relations, Ministry
of Labor and Employment, dated November 18, 1983 affirming the order of Med-Arbiter
Demetrio Correa dated May 2, 1983 giving due course to the petition for certification
election filed by private respondent Federation of Unions of Rizal (FUR)-TUCP; and the
order dated March 21, 1984 denying the motion for reconsideration for lack of merit.
The antecedent facts are as follows:
Petitioner National Congress of Unions in the Sugar Industry of the Philippines
(NACUSIP)-TUCP is the certified exclusive bargaining representative of the rank and file
workers of Calinog Refinery Corporation. Private respondent Federation of Unions of
Rizal (FUR)-TUCP is a labor organization duly registered with the Department of Labor
and Employment while private respondent Calinog Refineries Employees Union
(CREU)-NACUSIP is the certified exclusive bargaining representative of the rank and
file workers of the private respondent Calinog Refinery Corporation by virtue of the
certification election held on March 30, 1981.

On June 21, 1982, petitioner union filed a petition for deadlock in collective bargaining
with the Ministry of Labor and Employment (now Department of Labor and
Employment). In order to obviate friction and tension, the parties agreed to submit the
petition for deadlock to compulsory arbitration on July 14, 1982 and was docketed as
RAB Case No. VI-0220-82.
On July 21, 1982, private respondent FUR-TUCP filed with the Regional Office No. VI,
MOLE (now DOLE), Iloilo City a petition for certification election among the rank and
file employees of private respondent company, alleging that: (1) about forty-five percent
(45%) of private respondent company's employees had disaffiliated from petitioner union
and joined private respondent union; (2) no election had been held for the past twelve
(12) months; and (3) while petitioner union had been certified as the sole collective
bargaining agent, for over a year it failed to conclude a collective bargaining agreement
with private respondent company. Petitioner union filed a motion to intervene in the
petition for certification election filed by private respondent union.
By order dated July 23, 1982, the Acting Med-Arbiter Pacifico V. Militante dismissed the
petition for certification election for lack of merit since the petition is barred by a pending
bargaining deadlock.
On August 25, 1982, private respondent union filed an appeal to the Bureau of Labor
Relations, Manila.
The Bureau of Labor Relations through respondent Director Cresenciano B. Trajano
rendered a decision on September 30, 1982 setting aside the order of the Acting MedArbiter and remanding the case to Regional Office VI, Iloilo City for hearing and
reception of evidence.
On May 2, 1983, Honorable Med-Arbiter Demetrio Correa issued an order in LRD Case
No. 4293 giving due course to the petition of private respondent FUR-TUCP and ordering
that an election be held within 20 days from receipt of the order.
From the order of Med-Arbiter Correa, petitioner interposed an appeal to the Bureau of
Labor Relations.
During the pendency of the appeal or on September 10, 1983, a collective bargaining
agreement was entered and executed by the management of the National Sugar Refineries
Co., Inc. and petitioner union and was subsequently ratified by a majority of the rank and
file employees. On the basis of the concluded CBA, the Honorable Executive Labor
Arbiter Celerino Grecia II issued an award dated September 12, 1983 adopting the
submitted agreement as the CBA between the parties.
On November 18, 1983, respondent Director Trajano rendered a decision affirming with
qualification the order of Med-Arbiter Correa dated May 2, 1983, the pertinent portions
of which provide as follows:

It appears that the Calinog Refinery Employees, Union-NACUSIP-TUCP no longer


commands the support of the majority of the employees. This observation is buttressed by
the fact that more than seventy five percent (75%) of the workers have disaffiliated from
the intervenor and joined the ranks of the petitioner. Thus, intervenor's status as sole and
exclusive bargaining representative is now of doubtful validity.
For the above-mentioned reason, we stand obliged to resort to the most expeditious,
practical and democratic option open to us, that is, the conduct of a certification election.
Through this forum, the true sentiments of the workers as to which labor organization
deserves their loyalty can be fairly ascertained. In any event, it is our view that the 10
September 1983 collective agreement should be respected by the union that shall prevail
in the election not only because it is an arbitration award but also because substantial
benefits are provided thereunder. Otherwise stated, the winning union shall administer
said agreement. In passing, it may be pointed out that CAREFCO has been included as
one of the contending parties in the election. We feel that it is error for the acting MedArbiter to do so considering that the company is a mere bystander in this representation
dispute.
WHEREFORE, as above qualified, the Order dated 2 May 1983 is affirmed.
SO DECIDED. (Rollo, pp. 40-41)
From the decision of respondent Director Trajano, petitioner filed a motion for
reconsideration dated December 6, 1983.
The respondent Director in his order dated March 21, 1984 denied the motion for
reconsideration for lack of merit and affirmed the Bureau's decision of November 18,
1983.
Hence, this petition.
This Court in a resolution dated December 10, 1984 resolved to grant the urgent motion
of petitioner for the issuance of a restraining order and issued a temporary restraining
order enjoining the respondents from conducting and holding the certification election on
December 17, 1984 among the rank and file employees of respondent company
(see Rollo, p. 99).
Petitioner maintains that respondent Director Trajano committed grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction when it rendered a decision affirming the
order of Med-Arbiter Correa finding that the deadlock is "nothing but a mere subterfuge
to obstruct the exercise of the workers of their legitimate right to self-organization, a last
minute maneuver to deny the workers the exercise of their constitutional rights" (Rollo, p.
28) and ordering a certification election among the rank and file workers of respondent
company.

Furthermore, petitioner stresses that the finding that the contract (deadlock) bar rule has
no room for application in the instant case, runs counter to the provision of Section 3 of
the Rules Implementing Batas Pambansa Blg. 130 which prohibits the filing of a petition
for certification election during the pendency of a bargaining deadlock.
In conformity with the petitioner's contentions, the Solicitor General insists that the
respondent Director has acted arbitrarily in issuing the assailed decision and order. In
addition, it argues that the CBA concluded on September 10, 1983 has a life span of three
(3) years and constitutes a bar to the petition for certification election pursuant to Section
3 of the Rules Implementing Batas Pambansa Blg. 130.
The pivotal issue therefore, is whether or not a petition for certification election may be
filed during the pendency of a bargaining deadlock submitted to arbitration or
conciliation.
After a careful review of the records of this case, the Court finds the petition meritorious
and holds that the respondent Director gravely abused his discretion when he affirmed the
order of Med-Arbiter Correa calling for a certification election among the rank and file
workers of private respondent company.
The law on the matter is Section 3, Book V, Rule V of the Omnibus Rules Implementing
the Labor Code, to wit:
Sec. 3. When to file. In the absence of a collective bargaining agreement duly
registered in accordance with Article 231 of the Code, a petition for certification election
may be filed at any time. However, no certification election may be held within one year
from the date of issuance of a final certification election result. Neither may a
representation question be entertained if, before the filing of a petition for certification
election, a bargaining deadlock to which an incumbent or certified bargaining agent is a
party had been submitted to conciliation or arbitration or had become the subject of valid
notice or strike or lockout.
If a collective bargaining agreement has been duly registered in accordance with Article
231 of the Code, a petition for certification election or a motion for intervention can only
be entertained within sixty (60) days prior to the expiry date of such agreement.
The clear mandate of the aforequoted section is that a petition for certification election
may be filed at any time, in the absence of a collective bargaining agreement. Otherwise
put, the rule prohibits the filing of a petition for certification election in the following
cases:
(1) during the existence of a collective bargaining agreement except within the freedom
period;
(2) within one (1) year from the date of issuance of declaration of a final certification
election result; or

(3) during the existence of a bargaining deadlock to which an incumbent or certified


bargaining agent is a party and which had been submitted to conciliation or arbitration or
had become the subject of a valid notice of strike or lockout.
The Deadlock Bar Rule simply provides that a petition for certification election can only
be entertained if there is no pending bargaining deadlock submitted to conciliation or
arbitration or had become the subject of a valid notice of strike or lockout. The principal
purpose is to ensure stability in the relationship of the workers and the management.
In the case at bar, a bargaining deadlock was already submitted to arbitration when
private respondent FUR-TUCP filed a petition for certification election. The same
petition was dismissed for lack of merit by the Acting Med-Arbiter in an order dated July
23, 1982 on the sole ground that the petition is barred by a pending bargaining deadlock.
However, respondent Director set aside the same order and subsequently affirmed an
order giving due course to the petition for certification election and ordering that an
election be held.
The law demands that the petition for certification election should fail in the presence of a
then pending bargaining deadlock.
A director of the Bureau of Labor Relations, by the nature of his functions, acts in a
quasi-judicial capacity. We find no reason why his decision should be beyond this Court's
review. Administrative officials, like the director of the Bureau of Labor Relations are
presumed to act in accordance with law but this Court will not hesitate to pass upon their
work where there is a showing of abuse of authority or discretion in their official acts or
when their decisions or orders are tainted with unfairness or arbitrariness.
Noteworthy is the fact that a certification was issued by Executive Labor Arbiter Celerino
Grecia II on October 21, 1982 certifying that the petition for deadlock in RAB Case No.
VI-0220-82 was forwarded to the Executive Labor Arbiter for compulsory arbitration
(see Rollo, p. 19). The respondent Director erred in finding that the order issued by the
Med-Arbiter dismissing the petition for certification election was irregular and was
merely based on information.
All premises considered, the Court is convinced that the assailed decision and order of the
respondent Director is tainted with arbitrariness that would amount to grave abuse of
discretion.
ACCORDINGLY, the petition is GRANTED; the decision dated November 18, 1983 and
order dated March 21, 1984 of the respondent Director Cresenciano B. Trajano are hereby
nullified and the order of Med-Arbiter Militante dated July 23, 1982 dismissing the
petition for certification election is hereby reinstated.
G.R. No. 75810 September 9, 1991

KAISAHAN NG MANGGAGAWANG PILIPINO (KAMPILKATIPUNAN), petitioner,


vs.
HON. CRESENCIANO B. TRAJANO in his capacity as Director, Bureau of Labor
Relations, and VIRON GARMENTS MFG., CO., INC., respondents.
Esteban M. Mendoza for petitioner.

R E S O LU T I O N

NARVASA, J.:p
The propriety of holding a certification election is the issue in the special civil action
of certiorari at bar.
By virtue of a Resolution of the Bureau of Labor Relations dated February 27, 1981, the
National Federation of Labor Unions (NAFLU) was declared the exclusive bargaining
representative of all rank-and-file employees of Viron Garments Manufacturing Co., Inc.
(VIRON).
More than four years thereafter, or on April 11, 1985, another union, the Kaisahan ng
Manggagawang Pilipino KAMPIL Katipunan filed with the Bureau of Labor Relations a
petition for certification election among the employees of VIRON. The petition allegedly
counted with the support of more than thirty percent (30%) of the workers at VIRON.
NAFLU opposed the petition, as might be expected. The Med-Arbiter however ordered,
on June 14, 1985, that a certification election be held at VIRON as prayed for, after
ascertaining that KAMPIL had complied with all the requirements of law and that since
the certification of NAFLU as sole bargaining representative in 1981, no collective
bargaining agreement had been executed between it and VIRON.
NAFLU appealed. It contended that at the time the petition for certification election was
filed on April 11, 1985, it was in process of collective bargaining with VIRON; that there
was in fact a deadlock in the negotiations which had prompted it to file a notice of strike;
and that these circumstances constituted a bar to the petition for election in accordance
with Section 3, Rule V, Book V of the Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor
Code, 1 reading as follows:
SEC. 3. When to file. In the absence of a collective bargaining agreement submitted in
accordance with Article 231 of the Code, a petition for certification election may be filed
at any time. However, no certification election may be held within one year from the date
of issuance of declaration of a final certification election result. Neither may a

representation question be entertained if, before the filing of a petition for certification
election, a bargaining deadlock to which an incumbent or certified bargaining agent is a
party had been submitted to conciliation or arbitration or had become the subject of a
valid notice of strike or lockout.
If a collective bargaining agreement has been duly registered in accordance with Article
231 of the Code, a petition for certification election or a motion for intervention can only
be entertained within sixty (60) days prior to the expiry date of such agreement.
Finding merit in a NAFLU's appeal, the Director of Labor Relations rendered a
Resolution on April 30, 1986 setting aside the Med-Arbiter's Order of June 14, 1985 and
dismissing KAMPIL's petition for certification election. This disposition is justified in the
Resolution as follows:
... While it may be true that the one-year period (mentioned in Section 3 above quoted)
has long run its course since intervenor NAFLU was certified on February 27, 1981, it
could not be said, however, that NAFLU slept on its right to bargain collectively with the
employer. If a closer look was made on the history of labor management relations in the
company, it could be readily seen that the delay in the negotiations for and conclusion of
a collective agreement the object of the one-year period could be attributed first, on
the exhaustion of all legal remedies in the representation question twice initiated in the
company before the filing of the present petition and second, to management who had
been resisting the representations of NAFLU in collective bargaining.
The one-year period therefore, should not be applied literally to the present dispute,
especially considering that intervenor had to undergo a strike to bring management to the
negotiation table. ...
KAMPIL moved for reconsideration, and when this was denied, instituted in this Court
the present certiorari action.
It is evident that the prohibition imposed by law on the holding of a certification election
"within one year from the date of issuance of declaration of a final certification election
result' in this case, from February 27, 1981, the date of the Resolution declaring
NAFLU the exclusive bargaining representative of rank-and-file workers of VIRON
can have no application to the case at bar. That one-year period-known as the
"certification year" during which the certified union is required to negotiate with the
employer, and certification election is prohibited 2 has long since expired.
Thus the question for resolution is whether or not KAMPIL's petition for certification
election is barred because,before its filing, a bargaining deadlock between VIRON and
NAFLU as the incumbent bargaining agent, had been submitted to conciliation or
arbitration or had become the subject of a valid notice of strike or lockout, in accordance
with Section 3, Rule V, Book V of the Omnibus Rules above quoted.

Again it seems fairly certain that prior to the filing of the petition for election in this case,
there was no such "bargaining deadlock ... (which) had been submitted to conciliation or
arbitration or had become the subject of a valid notice of strike or lockout." To be sure,
there are in the record assertions by NAFLU that its attempts to bring VIRON to the
negotiation table had been unsuccessful because of the latter's recalcitrance and
unfulfilled promises to bargain collectively; 3 but there is no proof that it had taken any
action to legally coerce VIRON to comply with its statutory duty to bargain collectively.
It could have charged VIRON with unfair labor practice; but it did not. It could have gone
on a legitimate strike in protest against VIRON's refusal to bargain collectively and
compel it to do so; but it did not. There are assertions by NAFLU, too, that its attempts to
bargain collectively had been delayed by continuing challenges to the resolution
pronouncing it the sole bargaining representative in VIRON; but there is no adequate
substantiation thereof, or of how it did in fact prevent initiation of the bargaining process
between it and VIRON.
The stark, incontrovertible fact is that from February 27, 1981 when NAFLU was
proclaimed the exclusive bargaining representative of all VIRON employees to April
11, 1985 when KAMPIL filed its petition for certification election or a period of more
than four (4) years, no collective bargaining agreement was ever executed, and no
deadlock ever arose from negotiations between NAFLU and VIRON resulting in
conciliation proceedings or the filing of a valid strike notice.
The respondents advert to a strike declared by NAFLU on October 26, 1986 for refusal of
VIRON to bargain and for violation of terms and conditions of employment, which was
settled by the parties' agreement, and to another strike staged on December 6, 1986 in
connection with a claim of violation of said agreement, a dispute which has since been
certified for compulsory arbitration by the Secretary of Labor &
Employment. 4 Obviously, however, these activities took place after the initiation of the
certification election case by KAMPIL, and it was grave abuse of discretion to have
regarded them as precluding the holding of the certification election thus prayed for.
WHEREFORE, it being apparent that none of the proscriptions to certification election
set out in the law exists in the case at bar, and it was in the premises grave abuse of
discretion to have ruled otherwise, the contested Resolution of the respondent Director of
the Bureau of Labor Relations dated April 30, 1986 in BLR Case No. A-7-139-85
(BZEO-CE-04-004-85) is NULLIFIED AND SET ASIDE. Costs against private
respondent.
G.R. No. 118915 February 4, 1997
CAPITOL MEDICAL CENTER OF CONCERNED EMPLOYEES-UNIFIED
FILIPINO SERVICE WORKERS, (CMC-ACE-UFSW), petitioners,
vs.
HON. BIENVENIDO E. LAGUESMA, Undersecretary of the Department of Labor
and Employment; CAPITOL MEDICAL CENTER EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION-

ALLIANCE OF FILIPINO WORKERS AND CAPITOL MEDICAL CENTER


INCORPORATED AND DRA. THELMA CLEMENTE, President, respondents.

HERMOSISIMA, JR., J.:


This petition for certiorari and prohibition seeks to reserves and set aside the Order dated
November 18, 1994 of public respondent Bienvenido E. Laguesma, Undersecretary of the
Department of Labor and Employment in Case No. OS.-A-136-94 1 which dismissed the
petition for certification election filed by petitioner for lack of merit and further directed
private respondent hospital to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement with
respondent union, Capitol Medical Center Employees Association-Alliance of Filipino
Workers.
The antecedent facts are undisputed.
On February 17, 1992, Med-Arbiter Rasidali C. Abdullah issued an Order which granted
respondent union's petition for certification election among the rank-and-file employees
of the Capitol Medical Center. 2 Respondent CMC appealed the Order to the Office of the
Secretary by questioning the legal status of respondent union's affiliation with the
Alliance of Filipino Workers (AFW). To correct any supposed infirmity in its legal status,
respondent union registered itself independently and withdrew the petition which had
earlier been granted. Thereafter, it filed another petition for certification election.
On May 29, 1992, Med-Arbiter Manases T. Cruz issued an order granting the petition for
certification election. 3Respondent CMC again appealed to the Office of the Secretary
which affirmed 4 the Order of the Med-Arbiter granting the certification election.
On December 9, 1992, elections were finally held with respondent union garnering 204
votes, 168 in favor of no union and 8 spoiled ballots out of a total of 380 votes cast.
Thereafter, on January 4, 1993, Med-Arbiter Cruz issued an Order certifying respondent
union as the sole and exclusive bargaining representative of the rank and file employees
at CMC. 5
Unsatisfied with the outcome of the elections, respondent CMC again appealed to the
Office of the Secretary of Labor which appeal was denied on February 26, 1993. 6 A
subsequent motion for reconsideration filed by respondent CMC was likewise denied on
March 23, 1993. 7
Respondent CMC's basic contention was the supposed pendency of its petition for
cancellation of respondent union's certificate of registration in Case No. NCR-OD-M92211-028. In the said case, Med-Arbiter Paterno Adap issued an Order dated February 4,
1993 which declared respondent union's certificate of registration as null and
void. 8 However, this order was reversed on appeal by the Officer-in-Charge of the Bureau
of Labor Relations in her Order issued on April 13, 1993. The said Order dismissed the

motion for cancellation of the certificate of registration of respondent union and declared
that it was not only a bona fide affiliate or local of a federation (AFW), but a duly
registered union as well. Subsequently, this case reached this Court in Capitol Medical
Center, Inc. v. Hon. Perlita Velasco, G.R. No. 110718, where we issued a Resolution
dated December 13, 1993, dismissing the petition of CMC for failure to sufficiently show
that public respondent committed grave abuse of discretion. 9 The motion for
reconsideration filed by CMC was likewise denied in our Resolution dated February 2,
1994. 10 Thereafter, on March 23, 1994, we issued an entry of judgment certifying that the
Resolution dated December 13, 1993 has become final and executory. 11
Respondent union, after being declared as the certified bargaining agent of the rank-andfile employees of respondent CMC by Med-Arbiter Cruz, presented economic proposals
for the negotiation of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA). However, respondent
CMC contended that CBA negotiations should be suspended in view of the Order issued
on February 4, 1993 by Med-Arbiter Adap declaring the registration of respondent union
as null and void. In spite of the refusal of respondent CMC, respondent union still
persisted in its demand for CBA negotiations, claiming that it has already been declared
as the sole and exclusive bargaining agent of the rank-and-file employees of the hospital.
Due to respondent CMC's refusal to bargain collectively, respondent union filed a notice
of strike on March 1, 1993. After complying with the other legal requirements,
respondent union staged a strike on April 15, 1993. On April 16, 1993, the Secretary of
Labor assumed jurisdiction over the case and issued an order certifying the same to the
National Labor Relations Commission for compulsory arbitration where the said case is
still pending. 12
It is at this juncture that petitioner union, on March 24, 1994, filed a petition for
certification election among the regular rank-and-file employees of the Capitol Medical
Center Inc. It alleged in its petition that: 1) three hundred thirty one (331) out of the four
hundred (400) total rank-and-file employees of respondent CMC signed a petition to
conduct a certification election; and 2) that the said employees are withdrawing their
authorization for the said union to represent them as they have joined and formed the
union Capitol Medical Center Alliance of Concerned Employees (CMC-ACE). They also
alleged that a certification election can now be conducted as more that 12 months have
lapsed since the last certification election was held. Moreover, no certification election
was conducted during the twelve (12) months prior to the petition, and no collective
bargaining agreement has as yet been concluded between respondent union and
respondent CMC despite the lapse of twelve months from the time the said union was
voted as the collective bargaining representative.
On April 12, 1994, respondent union opposed the petition and moved for its dismissal. It
contended that it is the certified bargaining agent of the rank-and-file employees of the
Hospital, which was confirmed by the Secretary of Labor and Employment and by this
Court. It also alleged that it was not remiss in asserting its right as the certified bargaining
agent for it continuously demanded the negotiation of a CBA with the hospital despite the
latter's avoidance to bargain collectively. Respondent union was even constrained to

strike on April 15, 1993, where the Secretary of Labor intervened and certified the
dispute for compulsory arbitration. Furthermore, it alleged that majority of the signatories
who supported the petition were managerial and confidential employees and not members
of the rank-and-file, and that there was no valid disaffiliation of its members, contrary to
petitioner's allegations.
Petitioner, in its rejoinder, claimed that there is no legal impediment to the conduct of a
certification election as more than twelve (12) months had lapsed since respondent union
was certified as the exclusive bargaining agent and no CBA was as yet concluded. It also
claimed that the other issues raised could only be resolved by conducting another
certification election.
In its surrejoinder, respondent union alleged that the petition to conduct a certification
election was improper, immoral and in manifest disregard of the decisions rendered by
the Secretary of Labor and by this Court. It claimed that CMC employed "legal
obstructionism's" in order to let twelve months pass without a CBA having been
concluded between them so as to pave the way for the entry of petitioner union.
On May 12, 1994, Med-Arbiter Brigida Fadrigon, issued an Order granting the petition
for
certification
election
among
the
rank
and
file
employees. 13 It ruled that the issue was the majority status of respondent union. Since no
certification election was held within one year from the date of issuance of a final
certification election result and there was no bargaining deadlock between respondent
union and the employees that had been submitted to conciliation or had become the
subject of a valid notice of strike or lock out, there is no bar to the holding of a
certification election. 14
Respondent union appeared from the said Order, alleging that the Med-Arbiter erred in
granting the petition for certification election and in holding that this case falls under
Section 3, Rule V Book V of the Rules Implementing the Labor Code. 15 It also prayed
that the said provision must not be applied strictly in view of the facts in this case.
Petitioner union did not file any opposition to the appeal.
On November 18, 1994, public respondent rendered a Resolution granting the
appeal. 16 He ratiocinated that while the petition was indeed filed after the lapse of one
year form the time of declaration of a final certification result, and that no bargaining
deadlock had been submitted for conciliation or arbitration, respondent union was not
remiss on its right to enter into a CBA for it was the CMC which refused to bargain
collectively. 17
CMC and petitioner union separately filed motions for reconsideration of the said Order.
CMC contended that in certification election proceedings, the employer cannot be
ordered to bargain collectively with a union since the only issue involved is the
determination of the bargaining agent of the employees.

Petitioner union claimed that to completely disregard the will of the 331 rank-and-file
employees for a certification election would result in the denial of their substantial rights
and interests. Moreover,it contended that public respondent's "indictment" that petitioner
"capitalize (sic) on the ensuing delay which was caused by the Hospital, . . ." was
unsupported by the facts and the records.
On January 11, 1995, public respondent issued a Resolution which denied the two
motions for reconsideration hence this petition. 18
The pivotal issue in this case is whether or not public respondent committed grave abuse
of discretion in dismissing the petition for certification election, and in directing the
hospital to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement with the said respondent union.
Petitioner alleges that public respondent Undersecretary Laguesma denied it due process
when it ruled against the holding of a certification election. It further claims that the
denial of due process can be gleaned from the manner by which the assailed resolution
was written, i.e., instead of the correct name of the mother federation UNIFIED, it was
referred to as UNITED; and that the respondent union's name CMCEA-AFW was
referred to as CMCEA-AFLO. Petitioner maintains that such errors indicate that the
assailed resolution was prepared with "indecent haste."
We do not subscribe to petitioner's contention.
The errors pointed to by petitioner can be classified as mere typographical errors which
cannot materially alter the substance and merit of the assailed resolution.
Petitioner cannot merely anchor its position on the aforementioned erroneous' names just
to attain a reversal of the questioned resolution. As correctly observed by the Solicitor
General, petitioner is merely "nit-picking vainly trying to make a monumental issue out
of a negligible error of the public respondent." 19
Petitioner also assails public respondents' findings that the former "capitalize (sic) on the
ensuing delay which was caused by the hospital and which resulted in the non-conclusion
of a CBA within the certification year.'' 20 It further argues that the denial of its motion fro
a fair hearing was clear case of denial of its right to due process.
Such contention of petitioner deserves scant consideration.
A perusal of the record shows that petitioner failed to file its opposition to oppose the
grounds for respondent union's appeal.
It was given an opportunity to be heard but lost it when it refused to file an appellee's
memorandum.
Petitioner insists that the circumstances prescribed in Section 3, Rule V, Book V Of the
Rules Implementing the Labor Code where a certification election should be

conducted, viz: (1) that one year had lapsed since the issuance of a final certification
result; and (2) that there is no bargaining deadlock to which the incumbent or certified
bargaining agent is a party has been submitted to conciliation or arbitration, or had
become the subject of a valid notice of strike or lockout, are present in this case. It further
claims that since there is no evidence on record that there exists a CBA deadlock, the law
allowing the conduct of a certification election after twelve months must be given effect
in the interest of the right of the workers to freely choose their sole and exclusive
bargaining agent.
While it is true that, in the case at bench, one year had lapsed since the time of
declaration of a final certification result, and that there is no collective bargaining
deadlock, public respondent did not commit grave abuse of discretion when it ruled in
respondent union's favor since the delay in the forging of the CBA could not be attributed
to the fault of the latter.
A scrutiny of the records will further reveal that after respondent union was certified as
the bargaining agent of CMC, it invited the employer hospital to the bargaining table by
submitting its economic proposal for a CBA. However, CMC refused to negotiate with
respondent union and instead challenged the latter's legal personality through a petition
for cancellation of the certificate of registration which eventually reached this Court. The
decision affirming the legal status of respondent union should have left CMC with no
other recourse but to bargain collectively; but still it did not. Respondent union was left
with no other recourse but to file a notice of strike against CMC for unfair labor practice
with the National Conciliation and Mediation Board. This eventually led to a strike on
April 15, 1993.
Petitioner union on the other hand, after this Court issued an entry of judgment on March
23, 1994, filed the subject petition for certification election on March 24, 1994, claiming
that twelve months had lapsed since the last certification election.
Was there a bargaining deadlock between CMC and respondent union, before the filing of
petitioner of a petition for certification election, which had been submitted to conciliation
or had become the subject of a valid notice of strike or lockout?
In the case of Divine Word University of Tacloban v. Secretary of Labor and
Employment, 21 we had the occasion to define what a deadlock is, viz:\
A "deadlock" is . . . the counteraction of things producing entire stoppage; . . . . There is a
deadlock when there is a complete blocking or stoppage resulting from the action of
equal and opposed forces . . . . The word is synonymous with the word impasse, which . .
"presupposes reasonable effort at good faith bargaining which, despite noble intentions,
does not conclude in agreement between the parties."
Although there is no "deadlock" in its strict sense as there is no "counteraction" of forces
present in this case nor "reasonable effort at good faith bargaining," such can be attributed
to CMC's fault as the bargaining proposals of respondent union were never answered by

CMC. In fact, what happened in this case is worse than a bargaining deadlock for CMC
employed all legal means to block the certification of respondent union as the bargaining
agent of the rank-and-file; and use it as its leverage for its failure to bargain with
respondent union. Thus, we can only conclude that CMC was unwilling to negotiate and
reach an agreement with respondent union. CMC has not at any instance shown
willingness to discuss the economic proposals given by respondent union. 22
As correctly ratiocinated by public respondent, to wit:
For herein petitioner to capitalize on the ensuing delay which was caused by the hospital
and which resulted in the non-conclusion of a CBA within the certification year, would be
to negate and render a mockery of the proceedings undertaken before this Department
and to put an unjustified premium on the failure of the respondent hospital to perform its
duty to bargain collectively as mandated in Article 252 of the Labor Code, as amended,
which states".
"Article 252. Meaning of duty to bargain collectively the duty to bargain collectively
means the performance of a mutual obligation to meet and convene promptly and
expeditiously in good faith for the purpose of negotiating an agreement with respect to
wages, hours of work and all other terms and conditions of employment including
proposals for adjusting any grievance or questions arising under such agreement and
executing a contract incorporating such agreements if requested by either party but such
duty does not compel any party to agree to a proposal or to make any concession."
The duly certified bargaining agent, CMCEA-AFW, should not be made to further bear
the brunt flowing from the respondent hospital's reluctance and thinly disguised refusal to
bargain. 23
If the law proscribes the conduct of a certification election when there is a bargaining
deadlock submitted to conciliation or arbitration, with more reason should it not be
conducted if, despite attempts to bring an employer to the negotiation table by the "no
reasonable effort in good faith" on the employer certified bargaining agent, there was to
bargain collectively.
In the case of Kaisahan ng Manggagawang Pilipino vs. Trajano 201 SCRA 453 (1991),
penned by Chief Justice Andres R. Narvasa, the factual milieu of which is similar to this
case, this Court allowed the holding of a certification election and ruled that the one year
period known as the "certification year" has long since expired. We also ruled, that:
. . . prior to the filing of the petition for election in this case, there was no such
"bargaining deadlock . . (which) had been submitted to conciliation or arbitration or had
become the subject of a valid notice of strike or lockout." To be sure, there are in the
record assertions by NAFLU that its attempts to bring VIRON to the negotiation table
had been unsuccessful because of the latter's recalcitrance, and unfulfilled promises to
bargain collectively; but there is no proof that it had taken tiny action to legally coerce
VIRON to comply with its statutory duty to bargain collectively. It could have charged

VIRON with unfair labor practice; but it did not. It could have gone on a legitimate strike
in protest against VIRON's refusal to bargain collectively and compel it to do so; but it
did not. There are assertions by NAFLU, too, that its attempts to bargain collectively had
been delayed by continuing challenges to the resolution pronouncing it the sole
bargaining representative in VIRON; but there is no adequate substantiation thereof, or
of how it did in fact prevent initiation of the bargaining process between it and VIRON. 24
Although the statements pertinent to this case are merely obiter, still the fact remains that
in the Kaisahan case, NAFLU was counselled by this Court on the steps that it should
have undertaken to protect its interest, but which it failed to do so.
This is what is strikingly different between the Kaisahan case and the case at bench for in
the latter case, there was proof that the certified bargaining agent, respondent union, had
taken an action to legally coerce the employer to comply with its statutory duty to bargain
collectively, i.e., charging the employer with unfair labor practice and conducting a strike
in protest against the employer's refusal to bargain. 25 It is only just and equitable that the
circumstances in this case should be considered as similar in nature to a "bargaining
deadlock" when no certification election could be held. This is also to make sure that no
floodgates will be opened for the circumvention of the law by unscrupulous employers to
prevent any certified bargaining agent from negotiating a CBA. Thus, Section 3, Rule V,
Book V of the Implement Rules should be interpreted liberally so as to include a
circumstance, e.g. where a CBA could not be concluded due to the failure of one party to
willingly perform its duty to bargain collectively.
The order for the hospital to bargain is based on its failure to bargain collectively with
respondent union.
WHEREFORE, the Resolution dated November 18, 1994 of public respondent Laguesma
is AFFIRMED and the instant petition is hereby DISMISSED.