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Republic of the Philippines

Department of Labor and Employment


NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION
National Capital Region
Quezon City
ALEXANDER B. ACERO,
Complainant,
- versus

NLRC CASE NO. NCR-06065596-15


LABOR ARBITER ERIC V.

CHUANICO
STAPLE RICE SUPPLY AND
LUCITA
DELA
CRUZ
SERMONIA,
Respondents.
x---------------------------------------------x

POSITION PAPER
Complainant, ALEXANDER B. ACERO, by counsel, to
this Honorable Office, most respectfully submits this Position
Paper in support of his Complaint as follows:
PREFATORY STATEMENT
It is the policy of the state to assure the
right of workers to "security of tenure"
(Article XIII, Sec. 3 of the New Constitution,
Section 9, Article II of the 1973 Constitution).
The guarantee is an act of social justice.
When a person has no property, his job may
possibly be his only possession or means of
livelihood. Therefore, he should be protected
against any arbitrary deprivation of his job.
Article 280 of the Labor Code has
construed security of tenure as meaning that
"the employer shall not terminate the
services of an employee except for a just
cause or when authorized by the Code.
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(Gatus v. Quality House Inc., G.R. No.


156766, April 16, 2009).
The Court has invariably affirmed that it
will not hesitate to tilt the scales of justice to
the labor class for no less than the
Constitution dictates that the State . . . shall
protect the rights of workers and promote
their welfare. It is committed to this policy
and has always been quick to rise to defense
in the rights of labor, as in this case. (Lopez
vs. Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage
System, 462 SCRA 428).
STATEMENT OF THE CASE
This is a case for illegal dismissal; non-payment of
salaries and wages, overtime pay, holiday pay, holiday pay
and rest day pay premiums, service incentive leave, 13 th
month pay, ECOLA and night shift differential; illegal
suspension; regularization; moral and exemplary damages;
attorneys fees; and litigation expenses and costs of suit.
As reliefs, complainant seeks for his immediate
reinstatement to his former position without loss of seniority
rights and other privileges under the law and the payment of
his full backwages, inclusive of allowances, and to other
benefits or their monetary equivalent, computed from the
time his compensation was withheld from him up to time
that he is actually reinstated.
Furthermore, complainant seeks that he will be
compensated for other money claims, moral and exemplary
damages, ten percent (10%) attorneys fees, computed from
the total monetary award, and other related litigation costs
and expenses.
PARTIES
Complainant, ALEXANDER B. ACERO (hereinafter
referred to as the complainant) is of legal age, married,
Filipino and a resident of 19 G. De Jesus Street, Bagong
Barrio, Caloocan City. He is an employee of Staple Rice
Supply and he has worked therein for more than four (4)
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years prior to his illegal dismissal. He may be served with


summonses and other legal processes through the
undersigned counsel at Room 212, Jiao Bldg., No. 2 Timog
Avenue, Quezon City.
Respondent STAPLE RICE SUPPLY (hereinafter
referred to as respondent Staple Rice) is a rice trading
enterprise organized and existing under the laws of the
Philippines with business address at 33-C Gen. Tirona Street,
Bagong Barrio, Caloocan City. Respondent LUCITA DELA
CRUZ SERMONIA (hereinafter referred to as respondent
Sermonia) is the owner of the aforesaid rice trading
business. They may be served with summonses and other
legal processes through their business address as stated
above.
FACTS OF THE CASE
1.
Complainant was recruited, hired and deployed by
respondent Staple Rice Supply to perform the jobs of a
caretaker and delivery boy at the latters warehouse located
in Bagong Barrio, Caloocan City. His job is necessary,
desirable and directly related to the main business of the
aforementioned respondent;
2.
The circumstances
surrounding the illegal
dismissal of herein complainant was clearly established and
narrated by him in his own SINUMPAANG SALAYSAY,
marked as ANNEX A hereof, and quoted hereunder for the
appreciation of the Honorable Labor Arbiter, to wit:
AKO, si ALEXANDER B. ACERO, nasa hustong

gulang, nakatira sa 19 G. De Jesus St. Bagong Barrio


Caloocan City, pagkatapos manumpa alinsunod sa
ipinag-uutos ng batas, ay malaya at kusang loob na
nagsasaad ng mga sumusunod:

1.
Ako ay regular na manggagawa ng Staple
Rice Supply na matatagpuan sa De Jesus St.,
Bagong Barrio, Caloocan City;
2.
Ako ay nagsimulang magtrabaho
naturang kumpanya noong March 03, 2011;

sa

3.
Bilang isang caretaker o taga-bantay ng
mga trailer trucks na may mga lamang bigas, ako ay
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pinapasahod ng halagang Dalawang Daang Piso


(Php200.00) kada araw;
4.
Bukod sa arawang sahod ako ay binibigyan
din ng kalahating sakong bigas kada buwan. Bilang
patunay ay nakalakip dito bilang ANNEX A
hanggang ANNEX H ang mga resibo sa mga
natanggap kong rice subsidies;
5.
Bukod sa pagbabantay ng mga trailer
trucks, taga-deliver din po ako ng mga bigas sa mga
tindahan at minsan naman ay taga-tubos ng
lisensiya ng mga drivers;
6.
Ang Staple Rice Supply ay pagmamay-ari ni
Ginang Lucita dela Cruz Sermonia;
7.
Ang aking pasok sa trabaho ay magmula
ala-sais ng gabi (6:00 p.m.) hanggang ala-sais ng
umaga (6:00 a.m.). Labindalawang oras (12 hours)
akong nagtra-trabaho araw-araw. Wala po akong
day-off. Pati araw ng Linggo po ay pumapasok ako;
8.
Sa akin pong pagtra-trabaho ay hindi po ako
binabayaran ng night shift differential, overtime pay,
rest day pay at holiday pay. Hindi rin po ako
binabayaran ng 13th month pay at ng service
incentive leave pay. Pati po sa coverage ng S.S.S.,
Pag-ibig, at Philhealth ay hindi ako ibinilang ng aking
amo;
9.
Dahil sa nahahalata ko na walang
pinapipirmahan sa aking papel na nagsasabi na ako
ay regular na empleyado na ng Staple Rice Supply,
sa kabila ng mahigit isang taon ng panunungkulan sa
kumpanya, minsan ay tinanong ko po si Madam
Lucita Dela Cruz Sermonia ukol dito. Tinanong ko rin
po siya tungkol sa umento sa aking sahod. Sinagot
po ako ni Ginang Sermonia na magsipag lang po ako
sa trabaho at tataasan niya ang aking sahod at ireregular niya na ako;
10. Ako naman po ay umasa sa kanyang sinabi
kaya lalo po akong nagsipag at nagsumikap sa aking
trabaho. Kaya tumagal po ako ng apat (4) na taon sa
kumpanya. Ang paglilingkod ko dito ay pinutol
lamang ng isang hindi katanggap-tanggap na
dahilan;

11. Noong March 10, 2015, matapos maayos


ang gate ng Staple Rice Supply, bigla na lamang
akong pinagsabihan ni Bb. Rowena Fabianes, office
staff ng Staple Rice Supple, na huwag na daw ako
pumasok sa Staple Rice Supply dahil wala na akong
trabaho mula ng araw na iyon;
12. Biglaan po ang pagkakatanggal sa akin.
Wala po akong natanggap na anumang notice na ako
ay may nagawang paglabag sa mga alintuntunin ng
kumpanya. Wala din ibinigay sa akin na kalatas na
nagsasaad ukol sa akin pagkaka-tanggal;
13.
Hindi ko po matanggap na sa loob ng
mahigit apat (4) na taong panunungkulan, gamit ang
aking lakas-paggawa, ay ganun na lamang ang
gagawin ng kumpanya sa akin. Nanlumo ako sa
aking nalaman. Sa kabila ng aking pagsisikap at
pagpupuyat gabi-gabi, sa loob ng apat (4) na taon,
ay ganito lang aking napala;
14. Dahil sa aking biglaang pagkakatanggal sa
trabaho, ako at ang aking pamilya ay dumanas ng dibirong hirap dahil ako lamang ang lubos na
inaasahan ng aking asawa at mga anak;
15. Hindi ako mapagkatulog, walang ganang
kumain, laging balisa, nakaranas ng pagkapahiya,
insulto at iba pa;
16. Dahil sa aking hindi magandang karanasan
sa kamay ng pamunuan ng Staple Food Supply, ako
ay napilitang magsampa ng kaso sa Department of
Labor National-Labor Relations Commission (DOLENLRC) at kumuha ng abogado para mahinusay at
maayos kong malitis at maipagtanggol ang aking
sarili sa kasong ito;
17. Ginawa ko po ang Sinumpaang Salaysay na
ito para patunayan ang lahat na nakasaad sa itaas.
BILANG PATOTOO, ay inilalagda ko sa ibaba ang
aking pangalan ngayong ika-7 ng Agosto dito sa
Lungsod ng Quezon.

3.
Due to the failure of the parties to amicably
resolve their issues during the mandatory conference, the

parties are directed to submit their respective position


papers.
4.

Hence, the submission of this position paper.


ISSUES
I.
WHETHER OR NOT COMPLAINANT IS A
REGULAR EMPLOYEE OF RESPONDENT
STAPLE RICE SUPPLY
II.

WHETHER OR NOT COMPLAINANT WAS


ILLEGALLY DISMISSED.

III.

WHETHER OR NOT COMPLAINANT WAS


DENIED DUE PROCESS.

IV.

WHETHER OR NOT RESPONDENTS ARE


LIABLE FOR ALL THE MONEY CLAIMS
HEREIN CLAIMED INCLUDING DAMAGES,
ATTORNEYS FEES, LITIGATION AND THE
LIKE EXPENSES AND THE COST OF SUIT.

DISCUSSION/ARGUMENTS

COMPLAINANT
IS
A
REGULAR
EMPLOYEE OF RESPONDENT STAPLE
RICE SUPPLY

Complainant is a regular employee of Staple Rice


Supply. It cannot be gainsaid that complainant was recruited,
engaged, and assigned as a caretaker and delivery boy at
the respondents warehouse and was tasked to look after the
delivery trucks containing sacks of rice already sorted and
prepared for delivery. He was likewise assigned to the
delivery thereof to specified or designated buyers. He is
made to perform jobs which are usually necessary or
desirable in the usual business or trade of Staple Rice
Supply. Complainant has been performing his assigned tasks
continuously with the respondents as early as 03 March
2011.

Article 280 of the Labor Code is very explicit, to wit:

Art.
280.
Regular
and
casual
employment. The provisions of written agreement
to the contrary notwithstanding and regardless of
the oral agreement of the parties, an employment
shall be deemed to be regular where the employee
has been engaged to perform activities which are
usually necessary or desirable in the usual business
or trade of the employer, except where the
employment has been fixed for a specific project or
undertaking the completion or termination of which
has been determined at the time of the engagement
of the employee or where the work or service to be
performed is seasonal in nature and the employment
is for the duration of the season.

An employment shall be deemed to be casual if it


is not covered by the preceding paragraph: Provided,
that any employee who has rendered at least one
year of service, whether such service is continuous
or broken, shall be considered a regular employee
with respect to the activity in which he is employed
and his employment shall continue while such
activity exists.

Hence, having been in the continuous employ of the


respondents for more than four (4) years, prior to his illegal
dismissal, complainant, by the mandate of law, has already
attained a regular status in the company and, undoubtedly,
must enjoy his security of tenure.

COMPLAINANTS
CLEARLY ILLEGAL

DISMISSAL

IS

Complainant was illegally dismissed. Being a regular


employee as defined by Article 280 of the Labor Code, he
cannot be dismissed except for just or authorized causes
provided for by the Labor Code. Definitely, he cannot be
dismissed on the mere whims and caprices of the
respondents as adverted to above. This is so plain to be
mistaken.

COMPLAINANT WAS DENIED DUE PROCESS.


Assuming, for the sake of argument, that respondents
have grounds to dismiss the complainant, still, complainant
was denied due process.
He was just instantly and
summarily terminated right then and there. He was not even
afforded his right to explain and defend his side against
charges hurled against him. In fact, he was just plainly been
forced to leave his job. This is a classic example of an
exceedingly brutal denial of due process. The facts are so
weighty to be overlooked.
As can be clearly deduced from complainants
Sinumpaang Salaysay, respondents did not even properly
charge him for a violation of a particular company rule or
regulation. Respondents did not conduct a single hearing so
that the complainant could defend himself or air his side on
the charges the former are imputing against him.
The Court, in Alert Security and Investigation
Agency vs. Pasawilan et. Al. G.R. No. 182397,
September 14, 2011, categorically pronounced:
As a rule, employment cannot be terminated by
an employer without any just or authorized
cause. No less than the 1987 Constitution in Section
3, Article 13 guarantees security of tenure for
workers and because of this, an employee may only
be terminated for just or authorized causes that
must
comply
with
the
due
process
requirements mandated by law. Hence, employers
are barred from arbitrarily removing their workers
whenever and however they want. The law sets the
valid grounds for termination as well as the proper
procedure to take when terminating the services of
an employee.
In De Guzman,
Jr.
v.
Commission
on
Elections, the Court, speaking of the Constitutional
guarantee of security of tenure to all workers, ruled:
x x x It only means that an employee cannot be
dismissed (or transferred) from the service for
causes other than those provided by law and after
due process is accorded the employee. What it
seeks to prevent is capricious exercise of the
power to dismiss. x x x

Although we recognize the right of employers to


shape their own work force, this management
prerogative must not curtail the basic right of
employees to security of tenure. There must be a
valid and lawful reason for terminating the
employment of a worker. Otherwise, it is illegal and
would be dealt with by the courts accordingly.
As stated in Bascon v. Court of Appeals:
x x x The employers power to dismiss must be
tempered with the employees right to security of
tenure. Time and again we have said that the
preservation of the lifeblood of the toiling laborer
comes
before
concern
for
business
profits. Employers must be reminded to exercise the
power to dismiss with great caution, for the State will
not hesitate to come to the succor of workers
wrongly
dismissed
by
capricious
employers.
(Emphasis Supplied).

COMPLAINANT
IS
CLEARLY
ENTITLED TO ALL THE MONEY
CLAIMS
HEREIN
CLAIMED
INCLUDING DAMAGES, ATTORNEYS
FEES, LITIGATION AND THE LIKE
EXPENSES INCLUDING COST OF THE
SUIT.

A simple perusal of the Complaint and the Sinumpaang


Salaysay of herein complainant reveals that respondents
have violated different labor standard laws. Considering that
the complainant is seeking herein the satisfaction of simple
money claims, respondents are obligated to submit proofs of
payment of such claims. Otherwise, as a consequence of
respondents failure to present or submit proofs of payment,
complainants claim of non-payment of money due him will
become unquestionable.

Besides, in this jurisdiction, it is settled that, in cases of


money claims asserted by its employees, the burden of proof
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is shifted to the employer, bearing in mind that it possesses


all the necessary pieces of evidence to prove payment of
such claims. What is required of the complainant-employee
is merely the execution of a sworn affidavit attesting to the
non-payment of the same. With the submission of herein
complainants affidavit, he has more than complied of what
is expected of him.
As a proximate result of respondents unlawful acts as
clearly adverted to above, complainant suffered untold
miseries brought about by the sudden deprivation of his only
means of livelihood.
He, being the bread winner of his
family, was unceremoniously left without a source of income.
He was thrown out of the job he faithfully performed for
years because Respondents felt so powerful that they could
just, at anytime, undermine complainants security of tenure.
All the illegal and improvident acts of the respondents
discussed above, which are part and parcel of their
malevolent and anti-workers inclination and attitudes, were
motivated by ill-will and illicit intentions and committed with
wilful and evident bad faith.
Verily, the complainant is entitled to moral damages as
provided for under Articles 2217 and 2219 in relation to
Article 21 and paragraph 6 of Article 32 of the Civil Code of
the Philippines.
The foregoing provisions read as follows:
Article 2217. Moral damages include physical
suffering, mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety,
besmirched reputation, wounded feelings, moral
shock, social humiliation, and similar injury. Though
incapable of pecuniary computation, moral damages
may be recovered if they are the proximate result of
the defendants wrongful act or omission.
(Emphasis supplied).
Article 2219. Moral damages may be recovered
in the following and analogous cases:
xxx
(10) Acts and actions referred to in Articles 21,
26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 32, 34 and 35.
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Article 21. Any person who wilfully causes loss or


injury to another in a manner that is contrary to
morals, good customs or public policy shall
compensate the latter for the damage.
Article 32. Any public officer or employee, or any
private individual, who directly or indirectly
obstructs, defeats, violates or in any manner
impedes or impairs any of the following rights and
liberties of another person shall be liable to the latter
for damages:
xxx
(6) The right against deprivation of property
without due process of law.

Since it is clear that the complainant is entitled to moral


damages, perforce, he is likewise entitled to exemplary
damages, pursuant to Article 2229 of the Civil Code of the
Philippines which provides:
Article 2229. Exemplary or corrective damages
are imposed, by way of example or correction for the
public good, in addition to the moral, temperate,
liquidated or compensatory damages.

The award of moral and exemplary damages is proper


when an illegally dismissed employee had been harassed
and arbitrarily terminated by the employer, as when the
latter committed an anti-social and oppressive abuse of its
right to investigate and dismiss an employee. (Sagum vs.
CA, G.R. No. 158759, May 26, 2005).
Complainant was dismissed from his job out of mere
whims and caprices of herein respondents. Such
respondents actuation, without a doubt, is done in bad faith.
Out of necessity, therefore, respondents must pay herein
complainant moral and exemplary damages as rightful
compensations for the sufferings he does not deserve.
Finally, having been compelled to engage the services
of a counsel to vindicate his rights, complainant is further
entitled to attorneys fees equivalent to ten (10) percent of
the total judgment amount that may be awarded herein. As

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the Supreme Court held in Philippine National


Construction Corporation vs. NLRC, 277 SCRA 91:
It is settled that in actions for recovery of wages
or where an employee was forced to litigate and,
thus, incur expenses to protect his rights and
interests, the award of attorneys fees is legally and
morally justifiable.

PRAYER
WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, it is most
respectfully prayed for that after due consideration, a
DECISION BE RENDERED in favor of the Complainant as
follows:
1.
DECLARING
complainant
EMPLOYEE of the respondents;

as

REGULAR

2.
DECLARING
complainant
to
have
been
ILLEGALLY DISMISSED and was DENIED DUE PROCESS;
3.
DIRECTING
respondents
to
immediately
REINSTATE the complainant to his former position without
loss of seniority rights and other privileges under the law and
the payment of his FULL BACKWAGES , inclusive of
allowances, and to other benefits or their monetary
equivalent computed from the time his compensation was
withheld from him up to the time of his actual reinstatement;
4.
HOLDING respondents SOLIDARILY LIABLE for
other monetary claims herein demanded as well as
DAMAGES in the amount of ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND
(P100,000.00)
PESOS as moral damages and TWO
HUNDRED
THOUSAND
(P200,000.00)
PESOS
as
exemplary damages; and
5. DECLARING respondents SOLIDARILY LIABLE to
reimburse complainant all his litigation and other related
expenses, including attorneys fees equivalent to ten (10%)
percent of the total monetary award.

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OTHER RELIEFS deemed just and equitable under the


premises are likewise prayed for.
Quezon City, 07 August 2015.
LAWIN
(Legal Advocates for Workers INterest)
Counsel for the Complainant
Room 206, Jiao Building
2 Timog Avenue, Quezon City
Email address: lawin2setufree@yahoo.com
Telefax (02) 373-18-44

ERNESTO R. ARELLANO
PTR No. 0560896; 01-05-15; Q.C.
IBP No. 0981335; 01-05-15; CALMANA
ROLL No. 22660
MCLE No. IV-0017780; 22 April 2013

JASPER C. BALBOA
PTR No. 0595301; 01-06-15; Q.C.
IBP No. 0982982; 01-06-15; MANILA I
ROLL No. 63288
MCLE Compliance until April 14, 2016
Admitted to the Bar on 07 May 2014
Copy furnished: by hand and during hearing
STAPLE
RICE
SUPPLY
AND
LUCITA DELA CRUZ SERMINIA
Respondents
33-C Gen. Tirona Street, Bagong
Barrio, Caloocan City

VERIFICATION
AND CERTIFICATION ON NON-FORUM
SHOPPING
14

I, ALEXANDER B. ACERO, of legal age, married,


Filipino, and a resident of 19 G. De Jesus Street, Bagong
Barrio, Caloocan City, after being duly sworn, depose and
say:
1.

That I am the complainant in the above-entitled case; I


have caused the preparation and filing of the foregoing
position paper; I have read the contents of the same; and
that I affirm them as true and correct to the best of my own
personal knowledge and based on authentic records;

2.

That I have not commenced any other action or


proceeding involving the same issue in the Court of Appeals,
Supreme Court or its different divisions, or any tribunal or
agency and that to the best of my own knowledge, no such
action or proceeding is pending in any of the Courts or
agencies mentioned;

3.

That if I should thereafter learn that a similar action or


proceeding has been filed or pending before the Supreme
Court, the Court of Appeals, or any other tribunal or agency,
I will undertake to report the fact within five (5) days
therefrom to this Honorable Court or agency wherein the
original pleading and sworn certification contemplated
herein has been filed.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I hereunto affixed my own


signature this 7th day of August 2015 here in Quezon City.

ALEXANDER B. ACERO
Affiant
S.S.S. I.D .No. 33-1646221-6

15

SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me this 7th day


of August 2015 here in Quezon City. Affiant exhibited to me
his government-issued I.D. with the number indicated above
for the purpose of establishing his personal identity.
Doc. No. _____;
Page No. _____;
Book No. _____;
Series of 2015.

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