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Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT
Manila
FIRST DIVISION

G.R. No. 107225 June 2, 1995
ARCHILLES MANUFACTURING CORPORATION, ALBERTO U !n" A#RIAN U,
petitioners,
vs.
NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, GERONIMO MANUEL, ARNULFO
#IA$, JAIME CARUNUNGAN !n" BENJAMIN RIN#ON, respondents.

BELLOSILLO, J.:
There are three issues to be resolved in this special civil action for certiorari under Rule
! of the Revised Rules of "ourt, na#el$% &a' (hether a (rit of e)ecution is still
necessar$ to enforce the *abor +rbiter,s order of i##ediate reinstate#ent pendin-
appeal. &b' (hether dis#issal for cause results in the forfeiture of the e#plo$ee,s ri-ht
to a /0th #onth pa$. and, &c' (hether the a(ard of attorne$,s fees is proper in the
instant case.
+rchilles Manufacturin- "orporation &+R"1I**2S for brevit$', +lberto 3u and +drian 3u
are the petitioners, the latter t(o &4' bein- the "hair#an and the Vice5President of
+R"1I**2S, respectivel$. Private respondents 6eroni#o Manuel, +rnulfo Dia7, 8ai#e
"arunun-an and 9en:a#in Rindon (ere e#plo$ed b$ +R"1I**2S as laborers in its
steel factor$ located in 9aran-a$ Panda$an, Me$caua$an, 9ulacan, each receivin- a
dail$ (a-e of P;.<<.
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+R"1I**2S (as #aintainin- a bun=house in the (or= area (hich served as restin-
place for its (or=ers includin- private respondents. In /;>> a #aulin- incident nearl$
too= place involvin- a relative of an e#plo$ee. +s a result +R"1I**2S prohibited its
(or=ers fro# brin-in- an$ #e#ber of their fa#il$ to the bun=house. 9ut despite this
prohibition, private respondents continued to brin- their respective fa#ilies to the
bun=house, causin- anno$ance and disco#fort to the other (or=ers.
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This (as brou-ht
to the attention of +R"1I**2S.
On // Ma$ /;;< the #ana-e#ent ordered private respondent to re#ove their fa#ilies
fro# the bun=house and to e)plain their violation of the co#pan$ rule. Private
respondents re#ove their fa#ilies fro# the pre#ises but failed to report to the
#ana-e#ent as re?uired. instead, the$ absented the#selves fro# /@ to /> Ma$ /;;<.
"onse?uentl$, on /> Ma$ /;;<, +R"1I**2S ter#inated their e#plo$#ent for
abandon#ent and for violation of the co#pan$ rule re-ardin- the use of the bun=house.
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Private respondents filed a co#plaint for ille-al dis#issal. On /< 8ul$ /;;/ the *abor
+rbiter found the dis#issal of private respondents ille-al and ordered their
reinstate#ent as (ell as the pa$#ent to the# the bac=(a-es, proportionate /0th #onth
pa$ for the $ear /;;< and attorne$,s
fees.
&
+R"1I**2S appealed.
On /< Septe#ber /;;/ private respondent filed (ith public respondent National *abor
Relations "o##ission a #otion for the issuance of a (rit of e)ecution for their
i##ediate reinstate#ent, pendin- appeal, either ph$sicall$ or in the co#pan$ pa$roll.
On /; Septe#ber /;;/ +R"1I**2S opposed the #otion.
Since no action (as ta=en b$ N*R" on the #otion of /< Septe#ber /;;/, private
respondents filed a si#ilar #otion on /! 8ul$ /;;4. 9oth #otions ho(ever have
re#ained unresolved.
On // +u-ust /;;4 N*R" vacated and set aside the decision of the *abor +rbiter and
ruled that the dis#issal of private respondents (as valid since the$ (ilfull$ disobe$ed a
la(ful order of their e#plo$er re?uirin- the# to e)plain their infraction of a co#pan$
rule. In the dispute part of its decision, ho(ever, N*R" ordered +R"1I**2S to pa$
private respondents their A(ithheldA salaries fro# /; Septe#ber /;;/ (hen it filed its
opposition to the #otion for issuance of a (rit of e)ecution until the pro#ul-ation of the
N*R" Decision &// +u-ust /;;4' on the -round that the order of reinstate#ent of the
*abor +rbiter (as i##ediatel$ e)ecutor$, even pendin- appeal. +nd since +R"1I**2S
in its opposition alle-ed that actual reinstate#ent (as no lon-er possible as it (ould
affect the peace and order situation in the steel factor$, clearl$, +R"1I**2S had opted
for pa$roll reinstate#ent of private respondents. N*R" also ordered +R"1I**2S to pa$
their proportionate /0th #onth pa$ for /;;< and P/4,0!/.0< representin- /<B of the
total :ud-#ent a(ard of P/40,!/0.<< as attorne$,s fees.
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Their #otion for partial reconsideration havin- been denied b$ public respondent in its
resolution of > Septe#ber /;;4, petitioners filed the instant petition pra$in- that the
?uestioned N*R" decision of // +u-ust /;;4 as (ell as its resolution of > Septe#ber
/;;4 be partiall$ annulled in connection (ith the a(ard of A(ithheldA salaries,
proportionate /0th #onth pa$ and attorne$,s fees.
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+s re-ards the first issue, i.e., (hether a (rit of e)ecution is still necessar$ to enforce
the *abor +rbiter,s order of i##ediate reinstate#ent even (hen pendin- appeal, (e
a-ree (ith petitioners that it is necessar$. The third para-raph of +rt. 440 of the *abor
"ode provides C
In an$ event, the decision of the *abor +rbiter reinstatin- a dis#issed
or separated e#plo$ee, insofar as the reinstate#ent aspect is
concerned, shall be i##ediatel$ e)ecutor$, even pendin- appeal. The
e#plo$ee shall either be ad#itted bac= to (or= under the sa#e ter#s
and conditions prevailin- prior to his dis#issal or separation or, at the
option of the e#plo$er, #erel$ reinstated in the pa$roll. The postin- of
the bond b$ the e#plo$er shall not sta$ the e)ecution for
reinstate#ent provided herein.
De have full$ e)plained the le-al basis for this conclusion in Maranaw Hotel Resort
Corporation (Century Park Sheraton Manila) v. NLRC and Gina G. Castro
'
thus C
It #ust be stressed, ho(ever, that althou-h the reinstate#ent aspect
of the decision is iediately e!ecutory, it does not follo( that it is
sel"#e!ecutory. There #ust be a (rit of e)ecution (hich #a$ be
issued otu proprio or on #otion of an interested part$. +rticle 44@ of
the *abor "ode provides%
+rt. 44@. 2)ecution of decisions, orders or a(ards.
C &a' The Secretar$ of *abor and 2#plo$#ent or
an$ Re-ional Director, the "o##ission or an$
*abor +rbiter, or #ed5+rbiter or voluntar$ arbitrator
#a$, otu proprio or on otion o" any interested
party, issue a (rit of e)ecution on a :ud-#ent (ithin
five &!' $ears fro# the date it beco#es final and
e)ecutor$ . . . .
The second para-raph of Section /, Rule EVIII of the Ne( Rules of
Procedure of the N*R" also provides%
The *abor +rbiter, PO2+ +d#inistrator, or the Re-ional Director, or
his dul$ authori7ed hearin- officer of ori-in shall, otu proprio or
upon otion o" any interested party, issue a (rit of e)ecution on a
:ud-#ent onl$ (ithin five &!' $ears fro# the date it beco#es final and
e)ecutor$ . . . . No #otion for e)ecution shall be entertained nor a (rit
be issued unless the *abor +rbiter is in possession of the records of
the case (hich shall include an entr$ of :ud-#ent.
In the absence . . . of an order for the issuance of a (rit of e)ecution
on the reinstate#ent aspect of the decision of the *abor +rbiter, the
petitioner (as under no le-al obli-ation to ad#it bac= to (or= the
private respondent under the ter#s and conditions prevailin- prior to
her dis#issal or, at the petitioner,s option, to #erel$ reinstate her in
the pa$roll. +n option is a ri-ht of election to e)ercise a privile-e, and
the option in +rticle 440 of the *abor code is e)clusivel$ -ranted to
the e#plo$er. The event that -ives rise for its e)ercise is not the
reinstate#ent decree of the *abor +rbiter, but the (rit for its e)ecution
co##andin- the e#plo$er to reinstate the e#plo$ee, (hile the final
act (hich co#pels the e#plo$er to e)ercise the option is the service
upon it of the (rit of e)ecution (hen, instead of ad#ittin- the
e#plo$ee bac= to his (or=, the e#plo$ee chooses to reinstate the
e#plo$ee in the pa$roll onl$. If the e#plo$er does not e)ercise this
option, it #ust forth(ith ad#it the e#plo$ee bac= to (or=, other(ise it
#a$ be punished for conte#pt.
In the case at bench, there (as no occasion for petitioners to e)ercise their option
under +rt. 440 of the *abor "ode in connection (ith the reinstate#ent aspect of the
decision of the *abor +rbiter. The #otions of private respondents for the issuance of a
(rit of e)ecution (ere not acted upon b$ N*R". It (as not sho(n that respondent
e)erted efforts to have their #otions resolved. The$ are dee#ed to have abandoned
their #otions for e)ecution pendin- appeal. The$ cannot no( as= that the (rit of
e)ecution be issued since their dis#issal (as found to be for cause.
On the second issue, (hich refers to the propriet$ of the a(ard of a /0th #onth pa$,
para-raph of the Revised 6uidelines on the I#ple#entation of the /0th Month Pa$
*a( &P. D. >!/' provides that A&a'n e#plo$ee (ho has resi-ned or (hose services (ere
ter#inated at an$ ti#e before the pa$#ent of the /0th #onth pa$ is entitled to this
#onetar$ benefit in proportion to the len-th of ti#e he (or=ed durin- the $ear, rec=oned
fro# the ti#e he started (or=in- durin- the calendar $ear up to the ti#e of his
resi-nation or ter#ination fro# the
service . . . The pa$#ent of the /0th #onth pa$ #a$ be de#anded b$ the e#plo$ee
upon the cessation of e#plo$er5e#plo$ee relationship. This is consistent (ith the
principle of e?uit$ that as the e#plo$er can re?uire the e#plo$ee to clear hi#self of all
liabilities and propert$ accountabilit$, so can the e#plo$ee de#and the pa$#ent of all
benefits due hi# upon the ter#ination of the relationship.A
Further#ore, Sec. @ of the ori-inal I#ple#entin- Rules of P.D. >!/ #andates
e#plo$ers to pa$ their e#plo$ees a /0th #onth pa$ not later than the 4@th of Dece#ber
ever$ $ear provided that the$ have (or=ed for at least one &/' #onth durin- a calendar
$ear. In effect, this statutor$ benefit is auto#aticall$ vested in the e#plo$ee (ho has at
least (or=ed for one #onth durin- the calendar $ear. +s correctl$ stated b$ the Solicitor
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6eneral, such benefit #a$ not be lost or forfeited even in the event of the e#plo$ee,s
subse?uent dis#issal for cause (ithout violatin- his propert$ ri-hts.
Dith respect to the third issue, the disputed attorne$,s fees can onl$ be assessed in
cases of unla(ful (ithholdin- of (a-es.
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It cannot be said that petitioners (ere -uilt$ of
unla(full$ (ithholdin- private respondents, salaries since, as earlier discussed, the
occasion never arose for the# to e)ercise that option under +rt. 440 of the *abor "ode.
"learl$, the a(ard of attorne$,s fees is baseless.
D12R2FOR2, the instant petition is partl$ -ranted. The challen-ed Decision of the
National *abor Relations "o##ission dated // +u-ust /;;4 is MODIFI2D b$ deletin-
that portion orderin- petitioners to pa$ private respondents their salaries fro# /;
Septe#ber /;;/ to 4< Septe#ber /;;4 as (ell as that portion a(ardin- /<B of the
total :ud-#ent a(ard as attorne$,s fees for lac= of le-al and factual basis. In other
respects, the Decision is +FFIRM2D.
SO ORD2R2D.
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