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AGG Trucking and/or Alex Ang Gaeid, Petitioners, vs. MELANIO B.

YUAG, Respondent
FACTS:
Respondent Melanio Yuag worked for petitioner Alex Ang Gaeid as a driver in his trucking business. On
December 4, 2004, the respondent was assigned to deliver bags of sugar from CDO to the Coca-Cola
Bottlers Plant, along with other drivers. The Coca-Cola Plant later reported that the delivery he made
had an enormous amount of shortage. When the goods were subsequently weighed on December 9, it
was found out that there was a shortage of 111 bags of sugar equivalent to P166, 000.00. When the
respondent reported for work on December 6, the petitioner confronted respondent who remained
quiet. As a result, the petitioner told the respondent to take a rest, which the respondent construed
as a dismissal.
The respondent filed a case of illegal dismissal on the very day of confrontation with the Labor Arbiter.
The LA ruled in favor of the respondent, ruling that the respondent was illegally dismissed and
ordered payment of his separation pay and proportionate 13th month pay. The LA stated that the
petitioner failed to prove the alleged shortages committed by the respondent and to afford him due
process before he was terminated.
The NLRC reversed the ruling of the LA, dismissing the complaint for illegal dismissal. The NLRC
stated that the respondent had the burden of proving that he was dismissed from his job by the
petitioner, which he failed to do, as there was no proof showing any overt act subsequently done by
the petitioner that would suggest he carried out the intention of dismissing the respondent when he
said, Pahulay naka! (You take a rest). Instead, the respondent was merely considered on leave of
absence without pay pending his new assignment. It also held that the respondent was not
entitled to the payment of 13th month pay as he was paid on a commission basis, which was an
exception under PD 851 (the law requiring employers to pay their employees 13 th month pay.)
The respondent filed a Motion for Reconsideration 25 days after the period to file had already elapsed.
The NLRC denied the MR for being filed out of time hence, the respondent filed a Petition for a Writ of
Certiorari under Rule 65 before the CA.
The CA reversed the NLRC ruling, brushing aside the technicality issues and proceeding to resolve
the substantive issues, such as the existence of an e-e relationship between the petitioner and
respondent, and the legality of the dismissal of the latter. It ordered the payment of full backwages to
the respondent, separation pay in lieu of reinstatement, temperate damages and exemplary damages.
Hence this petition.
ISSUES:
1. Whether the Court of Appeals committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction in its reversal of the NLRC decision
2. Whether the respondent was illegally dismissed
RULING:
1. YES.
First, in its decision, the CA proceeded to review the records of the case and to rule on issues
that were no longer disputed during the appeal to the NLRC, such as the existence of an
employer-employee relationship. The issue before the NLRC, which was whether the
petitioners telling the respondent to take a break was an overt act of dismissal was not
discussed by the CA.
Second, there were patent errors in the decision of the CA, such as its ruling that the NLRC
refused to grant the award of separation pay because the respondent had not been found to
be a regular employee, when the NLRC made no such ruling. The refusal by the NLRC to grant
separation pay was merely consistent with its ruling that there was no dismissal.

Third, the CA entertained the Petition for Certiorari by the respondent despite the prescribed
Motion for Reconsideration with the NLRC. Since the respondent failed to file the MR within the
reglementary period provided by law, the Resolution of the NLRC has already become final and
could no longer be modified by the CA (see notes). An MR filed out of time could not reopen a
final and executory judgment by the NLRC. Since the CA could no longer modify the NLRC
Resolution, the modification of the award cannot be done either (see notes). The NLRC
Resolution had become final and executoy 25 days before the respondent filed his
MR, thus, subsequent proceedings and modifications are not allowed and are
deemed null and void.
2.

No. As ruled by the NLRC which has already become final and executory, the respondent was
not dismissed, much less illegally dismissed.