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Manolito Barles vs.

Benedicto Ernesto Bitonio


G.R. No. 120270
June 16, 1999
Facts:
Petitioners Manolito Barles, Patricio Elomina and Juan Sayo were elected president, treasurer
and auditor, respectively, of Ilaw Buklod ng Manggagawas IBM Local Chapter. Private respondents
Joresty Oquendo and Juanito Ragasa also ran for the positions of president and secretary in the same
election but they lost to petitioners. The new Executive Board passed a Resolution increasing union
dues, thus private respondents filed with the BLR a petition for the immediate audit and examination of
union funds. There was an order issued directing one of its staff to proceed with the conduct of the
audit. The order was appealed to the Office of the Secretary, and later on, it was set aside on the
ground that it is a duplication of the complaint earlier filed by the private respondents with the Office
of the Regional Director. The case was forwarded to the Regional Office.
Issue: Whether or not the BLR has jurisdiction to review decisions of the DOLE Regional Director
endorsed to it (BLR) by the Secretary of Labor.
Ruling:
Yes. Appellate authority over decisions of the Regional Director involving examinations of
union accounts is expressly conferred on the BLR under the Rules of Procedure on MediationArbitration. SEC. 3. Jurisdiction of the Regional Director. the Regional Director shall exercise
original and exclusive jurisdiction over application for union registration, petitions for cancellation of
union registration and complaints for examination of unions books of accounts. SEC. 4. Jurisdiction of
the Bureau.- (b) The Bureau shall exercise appellate jurisdiction over all cases originating from the
Regional Director involving union registration or cancellation of certificates of union registration and
complaints for examination of union books of accounts. It is clear then that the DOLE Secretary has no
appellate jurisdiction over decisions of Regional Directors involving petitions for examinations of
union accounts. Petitioners argument that the DOLE Secretary delegated or even abdicated his
appellate powers deserves scant consideration. He does not possess such power hence he cannot
delegate, much more, abdicate powers which he does not own. The fallacy in petitioners' argument
arose from their equally erroneous proposition that since this case stemmed from a petition to audit
union funds/accounts an internal union dispute the procedure for appeals outlined in Article 259 and
Section 5 of Rule VIII of the Implementing Rules apply. Under these provisions, it is the DOLE
Secretary who has appellate jurisdiction. Article 259 however governs appeals on petitions for
certification elections. As the Solicitor General correctly assessed, a certification election is a dispute
between unions; it is not an internal union dispute. Article 259 is clearly inapplicable.

Kapisanan ng Manggagawang Pinagyakap vs. Hon. Cresenciano Trajano


G.R. No. L-62306 January 21, 1985
Facts:
A written request for accounts examination of the financial status of KMP Labor Union was
filed by private respondent Catalino Silvestre and thirteen (13) other employees, who are also members
of the said Union. The Union Account Examiner of the Ministry of Labor and Employment conducted
the necessary investigation. Based on the foregoing revelations, private respondents filed with the
Regional Office a petition for the expulsion of the union officers on the ground that they committed
gross violation of the Labor Code, specifically paragraphs (a), (b), (g), (h), (j) and (k) of Article 242;
and, the constitution and by-laws of the Union. In their Answer, the union officers denied the
imputation and argued that the disallowed expenditures were made in good faith; that the same
conduced to the benefit of the members; and, that they are willing to reimburse the same from their
own personal funds. They likewise asserted that they should not be held accountable for the nonproduction of the books of accounts of the Union for the years when they were not officers then. The
Med-Arbiter ordered the holding of a referendum, to be conducted under the supervision of the Bureau
of Labor Relations, to decide on the issue of whether to expel or suspend the union officers from their
respective positions. Petitioners appealed the said order of Med-Arbiter Cabibihan to herein public
respondent Director Trajano of the Bureau of Labor Relations who dismissed both appeals of
petitioners and private respondents and affirmed in toto the order of Med-Arbiter Cabibihan.
Issue: Whether or not union officers should be expelled for acts done prior to their present term of
office.
Ruling:
The Court should never remove a public officer for acts done prior to his present term of office.
To do otherwise would be to deprive the people of their right to elect their officers. When the people
have elected a man to office, it must be assumed that they did this with knowledge of his life and
character, and that they disregarded or forgave Ms faults or misconduct, if he had been guilty of any. It
is not for the court, by reason of such faults or misconduct to practically overrule the will of the people.

Plum Federation of Industrial and Agrarian Workers vs. Director Carmelo Noriel
G.R. No. L-48007 December 15, 1982
Facts:
Plum Federation of Industrial and Agrarian Workers filed a petition, praying that it be certified
as the sole and exclusive bargaining agent of the rank-and-file workers of Manila Jockey Club, Inc. The
Manila Jockey Club Race Day Operation Employees Labor Union-PTGWO filed a motion to intervene
and opposition to said petition and alleged among other things, that it is the recognized collective
bargaining representative of all the employees of the company and that it is in the process of
negotiating a modification of the collective bargaining agreement. Petitioner PLUM filed an appeal to
the Bureau of Labor Relations predicated on the ground that TUCP has no authority in law to grant or
deny election under the Labor Code which mandated the secret ballot to elect the true union
representative. The Bureau Director issued a resolution' dismissing the appeal.
Issue: Whether or not the Bureau Director is empowered to call for certification election there was no
abuse of discretion.
Ruling:
Yes. However, in the case at bar, instead of ordering an election, respondent Director dismissed
the appeal of PLUM based on the decision of the TUCP, which the Court considers an impairment of
the freedom of the workers to voice out their choice of the union to represent them. If there is any
doubt as to the required number having met, there would be no better way than the holding of a
certification election to ascertain which union really commands the allegiance of the rank-and-file
employees. 5 If the desired goal is for the execution of a collective bargaining contract to protect the
workers, then certification election is the most appropriate means to attain said end.
Since there has been no certification election for the past three (3) years as well as a certified
collective bargaining agreement which should govern the economic and working conditions of the
workers, a certification election should immediately be ordered. This Court had repeatedly made it
clear that in labor controversies, time is of the essence.

Litex Employees Association vs. George Eduvala


G.R. No. L-41106 September 22, 1977
Fact:
The Federation of Free Workers filed with the BLR against petitioner labor Union to hold a
referendum among the members of the union for the of determining whether they desired to be
affiliated with such Federation. It was alleged that a "great majority" of the members of the union
desired such affiliaion, but that its President was opposed. The contention of petitioner Union acting
through its counsel was that only about 700 out of more than 2,200 employees of the company had
manifested their desire to affliate with the Federation and that a substantial number of such had since
then repudiated their signatures. It also raised the point that what was sought was a certification
election which was not proper as there was a certified collective bargaining agreement between the
union and the company. The Compulsory Arbitrator, after a careful study of the pleadings, reached the
conclusion that the truth of the matter could best be assertained by a referendum election. Respondent
as Officer-in-Charge of the Bureau of labor Relations affirmed.
Issue: Whether or not an Officer-in-Charge of the BLR can require a memorandum election be held
among the members of a union.
Ruling:
Article 226 of the New Labor Code cannot be misread to signify that the authority conferred on
the Secretary of labor and the officials of the Department is limited in character. On the contrary, even a
cursory reading thereof readily yields the conclusion that in the interest of industrial peace and for the
promotion of the salutary constitutional objectives of social justice and protection to labor, the
competence of the governmental entrusted with supervision over disputes involving employers and
employees as well as "inter-union and intra-union conflicts," is broad and expensive. Thereby its
purpose becomes crystal-clear. As is quite readily discernible where it concerns the promotion of social
and economy rights, the active participation in the implementation of the codal objective is entrusted to
the executive department. There is no support for any allegation of jurisdictional infirmity, considering
that the language employed is well-nigh inclusive with the stress on its "and exclusive authority to act."
If it were otherwise, its policy might be rendered futile. That is to run counter to a basic postulate in the
canons of statutory interpretation.

Miguel Villaor vs. Hon. Cresenciano Trajano


G.R. No. L-69188 September 23, 1986
Facts:
The Philippine Air Lines Employees' Association is the bargaining agent of the workers in the
Philippine Air Lines. The union has the president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer and 17 directors
elected for a term of three (3) years by members in "good standing" on the last Thursday of February of
the election year; as well as a Commission on Election whose members sit for a term of three (3) years.
At present, the COMELEC is composed of herein respondents. The then incumbent president and vicepresident were herein respondents as well. PALEA held its election for National Officers. Herein
petitioner Villaor won the election over respondent for the presidency, and petitioner Bautista won for
the position of vice-president. Hence, defeated candidates filed election protests with the PALEA
COMELEC. The issue was resolved in favor of respondents.
Thus, petitioners filed a motion with the Med-Arbiter to cite COMELEC members for
contempt, to suspend them from office, and to annul their Resolution "for being issued without
jurisdiction."
Issue: Whether or not the decision of public respondent Bureau of Labor Relations Director issued was
promulgated with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction.
Ruling:
ART. 226. Bureau of Labor Standards.-The Bureau of labor Relations and the Labor Code
relations divisions of the regional offices of the Department of Labor (now the Ministry of Labor and
Employment) shall have original and exclusive authority to act, at their own initiative or upon request
of either or both parties, on all inter-union and intra-union conflicts and all disputes arising from or
affecting labor-management relations in all workplaces whether agricultural or non-agricultural, except
those arising from the implementation of collective bargaining agreements which shall be the subject of
grievance procedure and/or voluntary arbitration.
From the aforequoted provisions, it is safe to conclude that the freedom of the unions from
interference from the government presupposes that there is no inter-union or intra-union conflict. In the
instant case, there is no question that there is an intra-union conflict.

La Tondea Workers Union vs. Secretary of Labor and Employment


G.R. No. 96821
December 9, 1994
Facts:
LTWU lost its certification election to the Ilaw at Buklod ng Manggagawa because members of
petitioner petitioned the DOLE for an audit or examination of the funds and financial records of the
union. Accordingly an audit was ordered, and the acting auditing examiner found Ramon de la Cruz
and Norma Marin accountable for union dues remitted by La Tondea Inc. to LTWU.
De la Cruz and Marin appealed to then DOLE Secretary, complaining that they had not been
heard before the report was made. The case was indorsed to the respondent Director of the Bureau of
Labor Relations directed to forward to the BLR the records of the case. The BLR Director found that
indeed De la Cruz and Marin had not been heard before they were held liable for union funds. For this
reason she set aside the findings and recommendations and ordered another audit/examination to be
conducted.
Issue: Whether or not under the law the power to examine the books of accounts is vested in the
Secretary of Labor and Employment or in the Bureau of Labor Relations.
Ruling:
The Labor Code, as amended by RA 6715, authorizes the BLR to decide intra-union disputes.
This includes the examinations of accounts. Thus, Art. 226 of the Code provides:
Art. 226.Bureau of Labor Relations. The Bureau of Labor Relations and the Labor Relations
Divisions in the regional offices of the Department of Labor shall have original and exclusive authority
to act, at their own initiative or upon request of either or both parties, on all
inter-union and intra-union conflicts, and all disputes, grievances or problems arising from or affecting
labor-management relations in all workplaces whether agricultural or non-agricultural, except those
arising from the implementation or interpretation of collective bargaining agreements which shall be
the subject of grievance procedure and/or voluntary arbitration.
The Bureau shall have fifteen (15) working days to act on labor cases before it, subject to
extension by agreement of the parties.

LABOR RELATIONS
Case Digests

1. Manolito Barles vs. Benedicto Ernesto Bitonio, G.R. No. 120270, June 16, 1999
2. Kapisanan ng Manggagawang Pinagyakap vs. Hon. Cresenciano Trajano, G.R. No. L-62306,
January 21, 1985
3. Plum Federation of Industrial and Agrarian Workers vs. Director Carmelo Noriel, G.R. No. L48007, December 15, 1982
4. Litex Employees Association vs. George Eduvala, G.R. No. L-41106, September 22, 1977
5. Miguel Villaor vs. Hon. Cresenciano Trajano, G.R. No. L-69188, September 23, 1986
6. La Tondea Workers Union vs. Secretary of Labor and Employment, G.R. No. 96821,
December 9, 1994

Submitted by: Celina May R. Tang, Block A


Professor: Atty Mila Raquid-Arroyo