Case Study: The Contract for Services between HI and EPCI
Bank no longer renewed said contract with HI and, instead, belled out its janitorial requirements to two other Job contractors. Able Services and Puritan. HI designated petitioners to new work assignments, but the latter refused to comply with the same.
Thus, petitioners filed with the Arbitration Branch of the NELL in Zebu City separate complaints against E-Payback and HI for illegal dismissal, with claims for separation pay, service Incentive leave pay, allowances, damages, attorneys fees and costs.
Susan et. Al. ‘s contention is that they are regular employees of EPIC Bank. EPIC Bank, n the other hand, averred that it entered into a Contract for Services with HI, an independent job contractor which hired and assigned petitioners to the bank to perform Janitorial and managerial services thereat. HI, in its position paper, contend that It was an Independent Job contractor engaged In the business of providing Janitorial and related services to business establishments, and E-PC Bank was one of Its clients.
Petitioners were Its employees, part of Its pool of janitors/ messengers assigned to E-PC Bank. Labor Arbiter ruled in favor of Susan et. Al. Finding that HI was not a legitimate Job annotator on the ground that It did not possess the required substantial capital or investment to actually perform the Job, work, or service under Its own account and responsibility as required under the Labor Code. HI Is therefore a labor-only contractor and the real employer of petitioners is Backplane which is held liable to petitioners.
NELL modified the decision of the Labor Arbiter. It took into consideration the documentary evidence presented Day HI Tort ten TLS time on appeal and, on ten Dash thereof, declared HI as a highly capitalized venture with sufficient capitalization, which cannot be considered engaged in “labor-only contracting. ” It also held that the illegal dismissal is prematurely filed, thus, the award for packages and separation pay is deleted. Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the NELL.
Labor officials should use every reasonable means to ascertain the facts in each case speedily and objectively, without regard to technicalities of law or procedure, all in the interest of due process. The submission of additional evidence before the NELL is not prohibited by its New Rules of Procedure.
After all, rules of evidence prevailing in courts of law or equity are not controlling in labor cases. The NELL and labor arbiters are directed to use very and all reasonable means to ascertain the facts in each case speedily and objectively, without regard to technicalities of law and procedure all in the interest of substantial Justice.
In keeping with this directive, it has been held that the NELL may consider evidence, such as documents and affidavits, submitted by the parties for the first time on appeal. The submission of additional evidence on appeal does not prejudice the other party for the latter could submit counter-evidence. The above provision explicitly mandates that when the subject of inquiry is the intents of a document, no evidence shall be admissible other than the original document itself.
Notably, certified true copies of these documents, acceptable under the Rules of Court were furnished to the petitioners.
Even assuming that petitioners were given mere photocopies, again, we stress that proceedings before the NELL are not covered by the technical rules of evidence and procedure as observed in the regular courts. Technical rules of evidence do not apply if the decision to grant the petition proceeds from an examination of its sufficiency as well as a careful look into the arguments contained in position papers and other documents. Adduce vs.. Liquidation A.
M. NO. MET-05-1601 August 1 Liquidation, respondent, went to Toyota Dave for the repairs and replacement of parts that were damaged due to a vehicular mishap.
Upon being advised that her vehicle is ready for pick-up, respondent went to Toyota-Dave on June 23, 2001 at around 11:00 a.
M. She was met by Jason M. Garage, a service advisor, who told her that the vehicle would be released upon payment of deductible franchise. Respondent allegedly refused to pay insisting that the same will be paid by the insurance company. She then asked to speak with the manager, herein complainant, UT the latter was in a meeting.
At 3:00 p. M. , respondent was referred to Randy A. Saratoga, Toyota-Advance Administration and Marketing Head.
Saratoga claimed that he tried to explain to respondent that the payment of the deductible franchise was upon instruction of the insurance company but the latter got angry and raised her voice while demanding to see the manager.
She was eventually referred to Vaccine U. Yens, Service Department Manager, who alleged that respondent heatedly disagreed with him and shouted that she was a judge and insisted on seeing the manager. Upon being told that complainant was in meeting, respondent furiously replied that she should be given preferential treatment over said meeting.
At this point, respondent asked for a demand letter and upon presentation thereof, she paid the amount stated therein under protest. Thereafter, Saratoga required respondent to sign the Release of Claim with Subrogation but she again refused. She allegedly became enraged and said that as a judge, she knew better than to sign a blank form.
Yens offered to fill in the blanks but respondent curtly informed him that she will not sign Just the same. On March 4, 2002, complainant Mercedes G. Adduce charged[l] respondent Judge Lily Lydia A.
Liquidation of the Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Cabana-Carmen, North Catboat with grave misconduct, abuse of Judicial office and/or gross ignorance of the law. Investigating Justice of the Court of Appeals recommended the dismissal of the complaint for lack of merit, insufficiency of evidence and reasonable doubt. He observed that respondent’s refusal to pay the deductible franchise was not intended to violate the law.
No fault can be attributed on respondent for refusing to sign a blank form.
Had respondent grossly humiliated or berated Garage, Yens or Saratoga, hey would not have gone to her office, together with complainant and Lamina, to apologize. I en COCA opiate ten Investigating Justice’s recommendation Witt malcontent Tanat complainant Adduce be fined in the amount of PIP,OHO. O for filing this baseless harassment suit. The COCA opined that complainant’s insistence on pursuing her unsubstantiated charges despite lack of personal knowledge wasted the time and resources not only of respondent but also of the Investigating Justice and this Court.
Whether Judge Liquidation is guilty of grave misconduct, abuse of Judicial office ND/or gross ignorance of the law? If yes, what is the required quantum of evidence? No. In administrative proceedings, complainants have the burden of proving by substantial evidence the allegations in their complaints.  Administrative proceedings against Judges are by nature, highly penal in character and are to be governed by the rules applicable to criminal cases. The quantum of proof required to support the administrative charges should thus be more substantial and they must be proven beyond reasonable doubt.
To constitute gross ignorance of the law, the acts complained of must not only be monetary to existing law and Jurisprudence but were motivated by bad faith, fraud, dishonesty and corruption.
Respondent’s refusal to pay the deductible franchise was justified. Her insistence that the demand to pay be in writing, together with her refusal to affix her signature in the blank form, did not amount to grave misconduct, abuse of Judicial office or gross ignorance of the law. She was only exercising her legal right.
Had respondent signed the blank form, she would be deemed to have waived her earlier protest and would have lost the right to claim for refund. The Coca’s recommendation that complainant be sanctioned for filing this unfounded complaint is correct.
Indeed, no person should be penalized for the exercise of the right to litigate. This right, however, must be exercised in good faith. During the formal investigation, she admitted that she was absent when the event transpired on June 23, 2001, which means that she has no personal and direct knowledge of the incident.
Yet, in the verification portion of the complaint, she claimed that all the allegations therein were true and correct of her own knowledge and belief. Significantly, she also went to respondent’s office and apologized. Human nature dictates that redress for a wrong done is ordinarily sought by the aggrieved with zeal.
Yet, it appears that it was more than eight (8) months after the incident that complainant and Toyota-Dave filed this complaint against an alleged “erring” member of the bench. Verily, the delay militates against the veracity of their allegations.
Moreover, complainant filed the instant administrative case after Toyota- Dave lost possession of the vehicle in favor of respondent and after she refused to settle ten repelled slut seen Tale gallant teem. More specifically, ten Instant complaint was filed only on March 4, 2002 or about eight (8) months after respondent filed the reprieving case and secured the writ on July 4, 2001. As the Investigating Justice fittingly observed, “the timing couldn’t be worse. ” The filing of the instant administrative complaint was not done in good faith.
In complainant’s letter dated January 21, 2002, she informed this Court about a similar complaint filed before the Judicial and Bar Council “for the purpose of objecting to (respondent’s) application for appointment as Regional Trial Court in Midday’s, North Catboat or elsewhere”. Clearly, this administrative case was filed not for the purpose of obtaining Justice to the aggrieved persons, however mistaken it may be, but for the sole purpose of degrading respondent’s reputation and exposing her to public ridicule. This should not be countenanced.