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117 Phil. 341

[ G. R. No. L-16602, February 28, 1963 ]




This is a petition for certiorari to annul the order of the Honorable Baltazar M. Villanueva of the Court of Industrial Relations and the resolution of that Court en banc denying a motion to dismiss filed by petitioner as respondent in Case No. 13-V-Pang., entitled "Jacinto Arcilla, et al., petitioners, vs. Sergio F. Naguiat, respondent."

It appears that respondents were former employees of petitioner, in his construction business in Angeles, Pampanga. On January 8, 1959, they sued petitioner in the the Court of Industrial Eelations for the recovery of basic and extra compensation for work done on Sundays and holidays under Section 4 of the Eight-Hour Labor Law (Commonwealth Act No. 444, as amended) during the period 1956-1957.

In his answer, petitioner, among other things, questioned the jurisdiction of the Court of Indusrtial Relations and raised the issue anew in a motion to dismiss which he subsequently filed, but the Honorable Baltazar M. Villanueva upheld his jurisdiction over the case in an order dated September 19, 1959, relying on our ruling in Monares vs. CNS Enterprises, et al., G. R. No. L-11749, May 29, 1959. Petitioner moved for reconsideration of the order but the Court, sitting en banc, affirmed the disputed, order in a resolution dated December 1, 1959. Hence, this petition, petitioner contending, among other things, that the Court of Industrial Relations had no jurisdiction over the case.

While this case was pending, this Court clarified its previous rulings on the jurisdiction of the Court of Industrial Relations and held in Price Stabilization Corp. vs. Court of Industrial Relations, et al., G. R. No. L-13206, May 23, 1960 that-

"Analyzing these cases, the underlying principle, it will be noted in all of them, though not stated in express terms, is that where the employer-employee relationship is still existing or is sought to be reestablished because of its wrongful severance (as where the employee seeks reinstatement), the Court of Industrial Relations has jurisdiction over all claims arising out of, or in connection with the employment, such as those related to the Minimum Wage Law and the Eight-Hour Labor Law. After the termination of their relationship and no reinstatement is sought, such claims become mere money claims, and come within the jurisdiction of the regular courts.

"We are aware that in 2 cases, some statements implying a different view have been made, but we now hold and declare the principle set forth in the next preceding paragraph as the one governing all cases of this nature."

Since, at the time of the filing of the complaint, the employer-employee relationship of the parties had been terminated and there being no petition for reinstatement, the claims of respondents Jacinto Arcilla, et al. did not come within the jurisdiction of the Court of Industrial Relations.

In their memorandum in lieu of oral argument, however, respondents ask that we re-examine the doctrine of the Frisco case. They contend that the Court of Industrial Relations was created to afford, protection to labor and that Section 1 of Commonwealth Act No. 103 confers broad powers on the Court of Industrial Relations "to consider, investigate, decide, and settle all questions, matters, controversies, or disputes arising between and/or affecting employers and employees or laborers * * * and regulate the relations between them" regardless of the existence of employer-employees relationship between the parties.

There is no merit in the contention. Even Section 1 of the law, which respondents invoke, negates their stand. This section makes it plain that the broad grant of powers to the Court of Industrial Relations refers only to matters, controversies or disputes "arising between, and/or affecting employers and employees."

We find no reason to depart from the ruling in the Prisco case. The doctrine of the Prisco case has been reiterated in a long line of decisions.[1] It is now the rule on the matter. A restatement of this doctrine is found in Campos, et al. vs. Manila Railroad Co., et al., G. R. No. L-17905, May 25, 1962, in which We held that for the jurisdiction of the Court of Industrial Relations to come into play, the following requisites must be complied with: (a) there must exist between the parties an employer-employee relationship or the claimant must seek his reinstatement; and (b) the controversy must relate to a case certified by the President of the Court of Industrial Relations as one involving national interest, or must have a bearing on an unfair labor practice charge, or must arise either under the Eight-Hour Labor, Law or under the Minimum Wage Law. In default of any of these circumstances, the claim becomes a mere, money claim that comes under the jurisdiction of the regular courts.

Wherefore, the Order of September 19, 1959 and the resolution of December 1, 1959 of the Court of Industrial Relations are hereby set aside, without pronouncement as to costs.

Bengzon, C. J., Padilla, Bautista Angelo, Labrador, Concepcion, Reyes, J. B. L., Paredes, Dizon and Makalintal, JJ., concur.


[1] National Development Co. vs. Court of Industrial Relations et al., G. R. No. L-15422, Nov. 30, 1962; Board of Liquidators, et al. vs. Court of Industrial Relations, et al., G. R. No. L-14366, Oct. 31, 1962; Cagalawan vs. Customs Canteen, et al., G. R. No. L-16031, Oct. 31, 1961; Sy Huan vs. Bautista, et al., G. R. No. L-16115, Aug. 29, 1961; Cuison vs. Gaite, G. R. No. L-16611, March 25, 1961; Elizalde Paint & Oil Factory, Inc. vs. Bautista, 110 Phil., 49; Sampaguita Pictures Inc., et al. vs. Court of Industrial Relations, et al., 109 Phil., 816; Ajax International Corp. vs. Saguritan, et al., 109 Phil., 813; New Angat-Manila Transp. Co., et al. vs. CIR, et al. 110 Phil., 319.