Sunday, October 23, 2011

Tiangco v Uniwide (2009)

Tiangco v Uniwide (2009)
Petitioners Tiangco and Manego were employees of Uniwide Sales Warehouse Club as group merchandising manager and senior category head. Both filed separate complaints for illegal dismissal, payment of separation pay as well as award for moral and exemplary damages In the NLRC.
The respondents filed a motion for suspension on the petitions due to the ground that Uniwide had been placed in a suspension of payments by the SEC as early as April 11, 2000and a receivership committee had been appointed. The labor arbiter suspended the proceedings until further orders from the SEC.
In 2004, the petitioners filed a motion to reopen the case on the ground that the sec had already approved the second amendment to the rehabilitation plan of Uniwide. Uniwide opposed the motion.
On June 16, 2004, the Labor Arbiter ordered both parties to file their memoranda with the comment that without the memoranda, the cases would be ordered submitted for decision after the lapse of the period for filing.
The respondents filed a petition for certiorari with a prayer for a TRO in the CA regarding the Labor Arbiter’s abuse of discretion. The CA reversed the decision of the Labor Arbiter and held that the cases be suspended until further orders.
WON the consolidated illegal dismissal cases can be reopened at this point of the SEC proceedings for Uniwide’s rehabilitation.
Relevant law was PD 902 –A which stipulated in Section 6 thatupon appointment of a management committee, rehabilitation receiver, board or body pursuant to this Decree, all actions for claims against corporations under management or receivership pending before any court shall be suspended accordingly.
The claim here refers to debts or demands of a pecuniary nature or an assertion of rights for the payment of money. Petitioners have pecuniary claims such as separation pay and moral and exemplary damages.
In Rubberworld V nlrc, the SC held that a labor claim is a claim within the contemplation of PD 902 –A as defined in the Interim Rules as “including all claims or demands of whatever nature or character against a debtor or its property, whether for money or otherwise.”
Thus labor claims are included. In Rubberworld, the court said that the law stipulated that in the creation of a receivership committee, all claims for actions should be suspended accordingly and that no exception in favor of labor claims is mentioned in the law.
DOCTRINE: Where the law doesn’t distinguish, the courts do not. (Referring the aforementioned sentence)
Why so? Allowing labor cases to proceed clearly defeats the purpose of the automatic stay and encumbers the management committees’ time and resources. Labor cases would ultimately hinder the rescue of the debtor company.
Petition denied.

No comments:

Post a Comment