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PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

EN BANC

[G.R. No. L-16025. March 27, 1961. ]

FOOKIEN TIMES COMPANY, INC., and GO PUAN SENG, Petitioners, v. THE HONORABLE COURT OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS and FLORA CRUZ GALLERO, Respondents.

Domingo de los Reyes, for Petitioners.

Vidal C. Magbanua and F. S. Falgui for Respondents.


SYLLABUS


1. COURTS; JURISDICTION; WHEN CLAIM FOR SEPARATION PAY AND OVERTIME PAY COGNIZABLE BY ORDINARY COURTS. — Since no claim is made in the complaint for unfair labor practice or for reinstatement, and there is no claim that the dismissed employee is a member of any labor labor organization which has secured contractual rights with respect to her claim against the company, the claim for separation and overtime compensation should be considered an ordinary claim for money, cognizable in the ordinary courts of Justice.


D E C I S I O N


LABRADOR, J.:


This is a petition for prohibition and certiorari against the Court of Industrial Relations and Flora Cruz Gallero, to enjoin the Court of Industrial Relations from taking cognizance of the claims of respondent Flora Cruz Gallero for separation pay and overtime compensation, on the ground that the respondent court has no jurisdiction to take cognizance of the said claims.

Flora Cruz Gallero filed the action in the Court of Industrial Relations against the Fookien Times Company, Inc. and Go Puan Seng for overtime pay during the period from 1952 to 1957, maternity pay on three occasions, namely, on July 16, 1954, October 8, 1955, and June 4, 1958, separation pay, and sick and vacation leave pay. She alleged that she started as employee in the respondent Fookien Times Company, Inc. on July 9, 1952 and was dismissed on September 5, 1958. The complaint was filed on November 13, 1958.

Upon being apprised of the petition, the respondents filed a motion to dismiss the action, alleging that the court has no jurisdiction to consider the claims for separation pay, sick and vacation leave pay, overtime wages, and maternity leave pay. In an order dated August 4, 1959, the court dismissed the claims for sick and vacation leave pay and maternity leave pay, but required the respondents to answer the claim for separation pay and overtime compensation.

It is claimed that the respondent court has no jurisdiction to take cognizance of said separation pay and overtime compensation. It is to be noted that no claim is made in the complaint for unfair labor practice or for reinstatement. Neither is there a claim that respondent is a member of any labor organization which has secured contractual rights with respect to her claim against the petitioner herein, respondent in the court below. The claim for separation pay and overtime compensation is therefore an ordinary claim for money, cognizable in the ordinary courts of Justice. To such effect are the decisions of this Court in the cases of Mindanao Bus Employees Labor Union v. The Mindanao Bus Company and the Court of Industrial Relations, G.R. No. L-9795, December 28, 1957; Aguilar v. Salumbides, G.R. No. L-10124, Dec. 28, 1957; Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila v. Yanson, Et Al., G.R. Nos. L-12341 and L-12345, April 30, 1958; Chua Workers’ Union v. City Automotive Co., Et Al., G.R. No. L-11655, April 29, 1959. In the said cases we held:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"Conformably to the above ruling, we have also held that as the law stands the Court of Industrial Relations has no authority to hear and determine petitions for payment of overtime wages (Mindanao Bus Employees Labor Union v. Mindanao Bus Co. Et. Al., G. R. No. L-9795, December 28, 1957), or for payment of wage differentials and separation pays (Aguilar v. Salumbides, G. R. No. L-10124, December 28, 1957)." (Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila v. Yanson, Et Al., supra.)

"The subject matter of the case at bar is, thus, identical to that of the foregoing cases, which are accordingly controlling on the issue before us. It should be noted, also, that the rule laid down in the two (2) cases above mentioned, was reiterated by this Court in Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila v. Hon. V. Jimenez Yanzon, Et. Al. (L-12341) and Elizalde & Co. v. Hon. V. Jimenez Yanson, Et. Al. (L- 12345), both decided on April 30, 1958. Inasmuch as the Court of Industrial Relations had no jurisdiction over the present case, a discussion of the other questions raised by appellants herein is unnecessary." (Chua Workers’ Union [NLU] v. City Automotive Co., Et. Al. supra.) .

In view of the above decisions, the writ is hereby granted and the respondent court enjoined from hearing the claims of respondent Flora Cruz Gallero. With costs against respondents.

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

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