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G.R. No.

L-31195 June 5, 1973


PHILIPPINE
BLOOMING
MILLS EMPLOYMENT
NICANOR
TOLENTINO,
FLORENCIO,
PADRIGANO
RUFINO,
ROXAS
MARIANO DE
LEON, ASENCION
PACIENTE, ORGANIZATION,
BONIFACIO VACUNA,
BENJAMIN
PAGCU
and RODULFO
MUNSOD,
petitioners,
vs.
PHILIPPINE BLOOMING MILLS CO., INC. and COURT OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS, respondents.
L.S. Osorio & P.B. Castillo and J.C. Espinas & Associates for petitioners.
Demetrio B. Salem & Associates for private respondent.

MAKASIAR, J.:
The
petitioner
Philippine
Blooming Mills
Employees
Organization
(hereinafter
to asNicanor
PBMEO)
is a legitimate
labor
union composed
of
the
employees
of the respondent
Philippine
Blooming
Mills Co.,
Inc., and referred
petitioners
Tolentino,
Florencio
Padrigano,
Rufino
Roxas,
Mariano
petitioner
Union.de Leon, Asencion Paciente, Bonifacio Vacuna, Benjamin Pagcu and Rodulfo Munsod are officers and members of the
Petitioners
claimofthat
on
March
1, 1969,
they
decided to stage
a mass demonstration
at Malacaang
on to
March
4, 1969,
protest
against
alleged abuses
the
Pasig
police,
to be
participated
by the
first respectively);
shift
(from 6 and
A.M.
P.M.)
as wellinthe
as
those
in the
regular
second
and
third
shifts
(from
7 A.M.
to 4 P.M.inand
fromworkers
8 A.M. in
to the
5 P.M.,
that 2they
informed
respondent
Company
of their
proposed
demonstration.
The
questioned
order
1969, of
following
stipulation
of dated
facts ofSeptember
the parties15,
parties
Associate Judge Joaquin M. Salvador of the respondent Court reproduced the
3.
That on
March
2, 1969
complainant
company learned
of the
projectedby
mass
demonstration
at
Malacaang
in protest
against
alleged
abuses
of the
the
Pasig Police
to 4:00
be
participated
the
shift
(6:00
AM-2:00
PM)ofworkers
well as those
working
in
regular
shiftsDepartment
(7:00 A.M. to
PM and 8:00
AM first
to 5:00
PM)
in the
morning
March as
4,
1969;
4.
That a meeting
was
by the Company
on March
3, (2)
1969
at S.
about
11:00
A.M.
at the
Company's canteen,
and
those
for called
the Company:
(1)
Mr. Arthur
Ang
Atty.
deMariano
Leon,
Jr.,
and
all
and section
heads.present
For
thewere:
PBMEO
Florencio
Padrigano,
(2)L.Rufino
Roxas,
(3)
de(3)Leon,
(4)department
Asencion Paciente,
(5)
Bonifacio
Vacuna
and (6) (1)
Benjamin
Pagcu.
5.
That4,
the
Company
asked
the union panel
to confirm
or deny
said projected
mass
demonstration
at Malacaang
on
March
1969.
PBMEO
thru
Pagcu
who rally
acted
as spokesman
of the
union
confirmed
the planned
demonstration
and
stated
that Benjamin
thefurther
demonstration
cannot
behas
cancelled
because
it panel,
hasthe
already
been agreed
upon
in
the has
meeting.
Pagcu
that theordemonstration
nothing
to do with
Company
because
the
union
no quarrel
orexplained
dispute with
Management;
6.
That
Management,
Atty.
C.S.guaranteed
de Leon, Company
personnel manager,
informedhowever,
PBMEO that
that any
the demonstration
is
inalienable
rightthru
of
the
union
the Constitution
but
emphasized,
demonstration
foran
that
matter
should
not
unduly
prejudice
thebynormal
operation
of
the
Company.
which
reason,
theshifts,
Company,
thru
Atty.
C.S. de
Leon of
warned
theapproved
PBMEO
representatives
that
workers
who
belong
toFor
the
first and
regular
who
without
previous
leave
absence
by
the
Company,
particularly
,
the
officers
present
who
are the
organizers
of the demonstration,
shall fail
to existing
report for
work
following
morning
(March 4,
shall
be dismissed,
because
such failure is who
a violation
of the
CBA
and,the
therefore,
would
be amounting
to 1969)
an illegal
strike;
7.
ThatJr.at The
about
5:00 panel
P.M. on
March
3, 1969,
another
meeting
wasRodolfo
convoked
Company
represented
byand
Atty.Florencio
C.S. de
Leon,
was
composed
of:
Nicanor
Tolentino,
Munsod,
Benjamin
Pagcuto
Padrigano.
In Union
this
afternoon
meeting
of join
March
3, 1969,
Company
reiterated
and
appealed
the
PBMEO
representatives
that
while
all workers
may
the Malacaang
demonstration,
the workers
forwork;
the first
and
regular
shift
of
March
4,
1969
should
be
excused
from
joining
the
demonstration
and
should
report
for
and
thus
utilize
the workersinNO
the STRIKE'.
2nd and All
3rd those
shifts who
in order
not
violate
thewarning
provisions
of the
CBA, particularly
Article XXIV:
NO
LOCKOUT
willofficers
not to
follow
this
of liable
the
Company
shall
be dismiss;
De mass
Leon
reiterated
the
Company's
warning
that
the
shall
be
primarily
being
the
organizers
of
the
demonstration.
The union will
panel
countered
that itmorning;
was rather
Malacaang
demonstration
be held
the following
and too late to change their plans inasmuch as the
8.
That
a certain
Mr. the
Wilfredo
Ariston,
adviser
of PBMEO
sent a cablegram
to the Company
which was received 9:50
A.M.,
March
4, 1969,
contents
of which
are(Pars.
as
follows:
'REITERATING
REQUEST
JOINING
DEMONSTRATION
MARCH
4, 1969.'
3-8, Annex
"F", pp. 42-43,
rec.) EXCUSE DAY SHIFT EMPLOYEES
Because
the
petitioners
and their
members
numbering
about 400
proceeded
with
the demonstration
despite
the
pleas in
of the
the second
respondent
Company
that
the first
shift
workers
not be required
participate
theMarch
demonstration
and that
theCompany
workers
third shifts
should
beonutilized
for
theshould
demonstration
from 6 to
A.M.
toa2charge
P.M.inon
4, 1969, respondent
prior
notice of and
the
mass
demonstration
March
4,
1969,
with
the respondent
Court,
against
petitioners
andasother
employees
who
composed
the
first
shift,
charging
them
with
a
"violation
of
Section
4(a)-6
in
relation
to
Sections
13
and
14,
as
well
Section
15,
all
of
Republic
Actjoint
No.
875, andofofArthur
the CBA
providing
for 'No Strike
andJr.
No(Annex
Lockout.'
(Annex
"A",rec.).
pp. 19-20,
rec.).a The
charge wascomplaint
accompanied
the
affidavit
L. Ang
and Cesareo
de Antonio
Leon,
"B","Acting
pp.
21-24,
Thereafter,
corresponding
was by
filed,
dated
April 18, 1969, by Acting
Chief
Prosecutor
T. Tirona and
Prosecutor
Linda P. Ilagan
(Annex "C", pp.
25-30, rec.)
In their answer,
dated May
9, mass
1969, demonstration
herein petitioners
they did
notthe
violate
existing
CBA because
they
gaveexercise
the respondent
Company
priorfreedom
notice
of
on claim
Marchthat
4,
that
said the
mass
demonstration
wasdemonstration
a valid
of not
their
constitutional
of the
speech
the alleged
of 1969;
some firm
Pasig
policemen;
and
that rec.)
their mass
was
a
declaration of strike
because
it wasagainst
not directed
againstabuses
the respondent
(Annex
"D", pp.
31-34,
After considering
thefound
aforementioned
stipulation
of guilty
facts of
submitted
by in
the
parties,
Judge
Joaquin
M. Salvador,
in
an order Rufino
dated
September
15, 1969,
herein petitioner
PBMEO
bargaining
bad
faithNicanor
and
herein
petitioners
Florencio
Padrigano,
Roxas,
Mariano
de Leon,
Asencion
Paciente,
Bonifacio
Vacuna,
Benjamin
Pagcu,
Tolentino
andlost
Rodulfo
Munsod
directly
responsible
for perpetrating
the said"F",
unfair
labor
practice
and were,
as a consequence,
considered
to have
their status
as as
employees
of
the respondent
Company (Annex
pp. 42-56,
rec.)
Herein
petitioners
claim that
received
on September
23,
1969,
the aforesaid
order (p. 11,ofrec.);
that
they filed on September
1969,
because
September
28,they
1969
fell
on Sunday
(p. 59,
rec.),
motion
for reconsideration
said and
order
dated
1969,29,
on
the
ground
it is 17
contrary
to
lawof
and
evidence,
as well
asaasked
(10) rec.
days) within which
to file
theirSeptember
arguments15,
pursuant
to
Sections
15,that
16 and
of the Rules
thethe
CIR,
as amended
(Annex
"G", for
pp. ten
57-60,
In
its opposition
dated 22,
October
1969,
on October 11,
1969
(p. be
63,September
rec.), respondent
Company
averred
that15
herein
received
on
1969,7,
the
orderfiled
dated
17
(should
15), 1969;
that
under
Section
of thepetitioners
amended
Rules
of
theSeptember
Court
of Industrial
Relations,
herein1September
petitioners
had
fivetheir
(5) days
from
September
22,
1969
until
September
27,
1969,
within
which
to file their
motion for
reconsideration;
and that because
motion
for
reconsideration
was or
two
(2) five-day
days
late,
it should
be
accordingly
dismissed,
invoking
Bien
vs. Castillo,
among
others,
thatelapses
a motion
for extension
of the
period
for the
filing
of a motion
for reconsideration
should
be filed which
before held
the said
five-day
period
(Annex
"M", pp. 61-64,
rec.).
Subsequently,
petitioners
filed on
October 14, 1969 their written arguments dated October 11, 1969, in support of their motion for
reconsiderationherein
(Annex
"I", pp. 65-73,
rec.).
In a resolution
dated
Octoberthe
9, 1969, the respondent
en banc dismissed
the(Annex
motion"J",
for pp.
reconsideration
herein
petitioners
for being
pro
forma
as it was
filed(pp.
beyond
period prescribed
by its Rules
74-75, rec.), of
which
herein
petitioners
received
on October
28, 196
12 & 76,reglementary
rec.).
At the
bottom
of 75-76,
the notice
of the
order
dated
October 9,of1969,
which
was
released
on
24,of1969
addressed
to theofcounsels
of
the
parties
(pp.
rec.),
appear
the
requirements
Sections
15,
16
and
17,receipt
asOctober
amended,
the and
Rules
ofand
the that
Court
Industrial
Relations,
that
a motionor
fororder
reconsideration
be en
filed
within
fivebe
(5)
days
from
its days
decision
order
appeal
the decision,
resolution
of the C.I.R.,shall
sitting
banc,
shall
perfected
within
tenof(10)
fromorreceipt
thereof
(p.an
76,
rec.). from
On October
1969,
herein
petitioners
filedfor
with
the respondent
petition
relief from
the orderand
dated
October
9, 1969,
on the
ground
that 31,
their
to file
their
motion
reconsideration
oncourt
time a
was
due toforexcusable
negligence
honest
mistake
committed
by
the(Annexes
president
offailure
the petitioner
Union
clerk
"K",
"K-1"
and "K-2",
rec.).and of the office clerk of their counsel, attaching thereto the affidavits of the said president and
Without
waiting
for any resolution
on their
petition(Annex
for relief
the order
dated October 9, 1969, herein petitioners filed on November 3,
1969, with
the Supreme
Court, a notice
of appeal
"L",from
pp. 88-89,
rec.).
I
There is need of briefly restating basic concepts and principles which underlie the issues posed by the case at bar.
(1) In
a democracy,
thefaith
preservation
and enhancement
of the
dignity2 and
worth
human must
personality
is the central
core aspossible
well as
the
cardinal
of
of his
ourbeliefs
civilization.
inviolable
character
of man
as of
an the
individual
be "protected
to the largest
extent
in his article
thoughts
and in
as theThe
citadel
of his person."

(2) The Bill ofofthe


Rights
is designed
preserve
the ideals
of liberty, equality
security
"against
assaults
of opportunism,
the
3
expediency
hour, thetoerosion
of small
encroachments,
and the and
scorn
and derision
of the
those
who have
no patience with
general principles."passing
In
the pithyoflanguage
of Mr. Justice
Robert
Jackson,
the
purpose
of the Billand
of officials,
Rights isand
to withdraw
"certain
subjects
from the
vicissitudes
political
controversy,
to place
beyond
the
reach to
of majorities
to establish
them as
legal
principles
to
be
applied
by the
courts.
rights
to
life,them
liberty
property,
freeon
speech,
or free press,
freedom
of4 worship
and
assembly,
and
other
fundamental
rights One's
may not
submitted
to aand
vote;
theythe
depend
the
outcome
of no elections."
Laski
proclaimed
that "the
5 criterion
happiness
of the
thebe
well-being
of the
State,
was
by which
its behaviour
was to be
judged.
His interests,
not
its
power, set
the individual,
limits to thenot
authority
it was entitled
to exercise."
(3)
The freedoms
of the
expression
and of assembly
as well
as the
right tothe
petition
are included
among
immunities
reserved
6 by the
sovereign
people,
in
rhetorical
ofthe
Justice
Holmes,
to protect
ideas
that
we
abhor
ormajority
hate the
more
than
the to
ideas
we cherish;
or as Socrates
insinuated,
not onlyaphorism
protect
minority
to talk,
but
also
to liberties
benefit
the
who
refuse
listen.
And as
7
Justice
Douglas
cogently
stresses
it,tothe
liberties
of one arewho
thewant
liberties
of all;
and
the
of one
are not
safe
unless
the liberties
of
all are protected.
(4) his
Thelife,
rights
of free
expression,
free
assembly
and
petition,
are not only
civil
rights
but also
political
rights participate
essential tonot
man's
enjoyment
of
to his
happiness
andgovernment
to his
full and
complete
Thru
these
freedoms
the
citizens
merely
in the
periodic
establishment
of the
through
theirfulfillment.
suffrage
but
also
inhethe
of can
public affairs
as well
as in
the
disciplinefor
of redress
abusive and
public
officers.
The
citizen
accorded
these
so
that
canadministration
appeal
to public
the appropriate
governmental
agencies
protection
as
well
as foristhe
imposition
ofrights
the lawful
sanctions
on
erring
officers and
employees. officers or
8
(5)
While the
Bill
of Rights
also protectsasproperty
rights, the precious
primacy in
of our
human
rights
over
property
rights
is recognized.
Because
these
freedoms
are
"delicate
and
vulnerable,
well
as
supremely
society"
and
the
"threat
of
sanctions
may deterregulation
their exercise
9 actual
almost
as
potently
as
the
application
of
sanctions,"
they
"need
breathing
space
to
survive,"
permitting
government
only
"with narrow specificity."

Property
and
property
rights
can
lost thru
prescription;
but human
rights
are imprescriptible.
Ifand
human
rights
arean
extinguished
the
passage
of
time,
then
the Bill
of be
Rights
is aof
useless
attempt
to limit
the power
government
ceases
to be
efficacious by
shield
against the
tyranny
of officials,
of
majorities,
the influential
and
powerful,
and ofof
oligarchs
political,
economic
or otherwise.
In
the hierarchy
civil liberties,
rights
of free
expression10and
assembly
occupy
preferred
position
as theyand
are the
essential
to the
11 the
preservation
and of
vitality
of our civil
and
political
institutions;
andofsuch
priority
"gives athese
liberties
the sanctity
sanction
not
permitting dubious
intrusions."
The superiority
ofby
these
freedoms
over
property
rights isunderscored
byisthe
fact that a merenor
reasonable
or rational
relation
between
the
means
employed
the which
law and
its
object
or purpose
the12law
neither
discriminatory
nor
oppressive
human
would
suffice
to
validate
a law
restricts
or namely
impairs
propertythat
rights.
On
other arbitrary
hand,
a constitutional
or valid
infringement
of
rightstorequires
a So
more
stringent
criterion,
existence
of
grave
andthe
immediate
danger
of a substantive
evil
the State
has
the
13
right
prevent.
it has
been
stressed
in the main
opinion
ofaMr.
Mr.
Justice
Fernando
in
Gonzales
vs.
Comelecsupra,
andwhich
reiterated
by the
writer
14
of
the
opinion
in
Imbong
vs.
Ferrer.
It
should
be
added
that
Justice
Barredo
in
Gonzales
vs.
Comelec,
like
Justices
Douglas,
Black
Goldberg
in N.Y. of
Times
Co. vs. are
Sullivan,
believes
that theagainst
freedoms
of speech
andorof"when
the press
as well
of peaceful
15
16
and ofand
petition
for
redress
grievances
absolute
when directed
public
officials
exercised
inas
relation
to test.
ourassembly
right
to
choose
the
men
and
women
by
whom
we
shall
be
governed,"
even
as
Mr.
Justice
Castro
relies
on
the
balancing-of-interests
Chief
17
Justice
Vinson
is improbability,
partial to the justifies
improbable
danger
ruleofformulated
by Chief
Learned
Hand,
whether
the gravity of the evil,
discounted
by its
such
invasion
free expression
as isJudge
necessary
to avoid
theviz.
danger.
II
The
respondent
Court
Industrial
Relations,
after opining
that of
the
massherein
demonstration
was
not
a declaration
ofin
strike,
concluded
that
by
their
"concerted
actof
and
the occurrence
temporary
stoppage
work,"
petitioners
are
guilty
bad faith
hence
violated
the
collective
bargaining
agreement
with private
respondent
Philippine
Blooming
Mills
Co.,bargaining
inc.. Set
andand
tested
by
foregoing
principles
governing
a democratic
society,
suchofconclusion
cannot
be sustained.
The
demonstration
heldagainst
petitioners
on
March
4,
1969
before
Malacaang
was
against
alleged
abuses
some
Pasig
policemen,
not
against
their
employer,
herein
private
respondent
firm, said
was purely
completely
an
exercise ofgovernmental
their freedomagency,
expression
in general
and of
theirthe
right
of assembly
petition
fordemonstrate
redress
of grievances
in and
particular
before
appropriate
the protection
Chief
Executive,
again
police
officers
of and
the
municipality
of
Pasig.
They
exercise
their
civil
and
political
rights
for
their
mutual
aid
from
what
they
believe
were
police
excesses. As of
matter
of fact,officers.
it was the
duty
herein
private
respondent
firm to protect
herein
petitioner
Union
members
fro the
harassment
localsopolice
Itreport
was
totoof
the
interest
herein
private respondent
firm
to
rally
defense
of, and
and its
take
up the
cudgels
for,
employees,
that
they can
work
from
harassment,
vexation
or peril
andtoasthe
consequence
perform
more
efficiently
theiritsrespective
tasks
enhance
its productivity
as free
well
as
profits.
respondent
employer
not even
offer
tobyintercede
its
employees
with the
local
police.
Was
it securing
peace
for
itself
at theHerein
expenses
of
its
workers?
Wasdid
it also
intimidated
the
local for
police
or
did
it
encourage
the
local
police
to
terrorize
or
vex
its
workers?
Its
failure
to
defend
its
own
employees
all
the
more
weakened
positionindignities.
of its laborers the alleged oppressive police who might have been all the more emboldened thereby subject its lowly employeesthe
to
further
In
seeking sanctuary
behind
their
freedom
of expression
as their firm
rightwere
of assembly
and
of petition
against alleged
persecution
of local
officialdom,
thebyemployees
and
laborers
ofuntrammelled
herein
privatewell
respondent
fighting
forrights.
their
very
utilizing
only the weapons
afforded
them
Constitution
the
enjoyment
of their
basic
human
The survival,
pretension
of in
their
that it
would
loss the
or damage
by of
reason
of
the absence
its employees
fromloss
6 o'clock
in the
morning
to 2the
o'clock
theemployer
afternoon,
a
plea death
forsuffer
theofpreservation
merely
their
property
rights.of
Such
apprehended
or
damage
would
not spell
difference
between
theis
life
and
the
firm
or
its
owners
or
its
management.
The
employees'
pathetic
situation
was
a
stark
reality

abused,
harassment
and
persecuted
as
they
believed
they
were
by
the
peace
officers
of
the
municipality.
As
above
intimated,
the
condition
in
which
the
employees
foundfamilies.
themselves
vis-a-vis
thecan
local
police
of Pasig,
was a matter
that vitallyThe
affected
their right
to individual
existence
as in
well
as that
of
their
Material
loss
be
repaired
or
adequately
compensated.
debasement
of
the
human
being
broken
morale
and
brutalized
inhe
spirit-can
never be for
fully
evaluated denial
in monetary
terms.
The
wounds
fester
and thetissues.
scars remain to humiliate him to his dying
day, even as
cries in anguish
retribution,
of which
is like
rubbing
salt
on bruised
18
As over
heretofore
stated,
the primacy
of human rights
freedom
of expression,
of peaceful
and
of petition
for the
redress
of and
grievances

property
been
sustained.
Emphatic
reiteration
ofideal
this basic
tenet
asassembly
a coveted
boon
becomes
at once
armor
of
the
dignity
andrights
worthhas
of the
human
the all-consuming
of
ourproduce
enlightened
civilization

Ourshield
duty,
if freedom
and
social
justice
have
any
meaning
atpersonality,
allpolice
for him
who
toils
that capital
can
economic
thatincan
generate
happiness
for
all.
To
regard
the
demonstration
against
officers,
notso
against
thethe
employer,
as from
evidence
of goods
bad faith
collective
bargaining
and
hence
a
violation
of
the
collective
bargaining
agreement
and
a
cause
for
dismissal
employment
of
the
demonstrating
employees,
19
stretches
unduly
the compass
of the
collective bargaining
agreement,
is "a potentofmeans
of assembly
inhibitingand
speech"
and therefore inflicts a
moral
as well
as mortal
wound on
the constitutional
guarantees
of free expression,
peaceful
of petition.

The
collective
bargaining
agreement
which fixes
the working
shifts of
the employees,hours."
according
the construction
respondent Court
Relations,
in effect
imposes
on the workers
the
"duty
...the
to workers
observe
regular
The to
strain
ofabuses
theIndustrial
Court
of
Industrial
Relations
that a stipulated
workingover
shifts
deny
the
right working
toand
stage
mass demonstration
against police
during
working
hours,
constitutes
a virtual
the
mind
and life the
workers
deserves
severe condemnation.
Renunciation
of the
freedom should
not be predicated
on tyranny
such a slender
ground.
20 an
The mass would
demonstration
staged
bythe
thefreedom
employees
on March
4, workers,
1969 could
not
have been
legally
enjoined
by any court,
such
injunction
be
upon
expression
the
evenmass
if it legally
appears
to be
illegal
picketing
or strike.
The
respondent
Court
of trenching
Industrial
Relations
in the
case
at there
bar of
concedes
that act
the
not
a declaration
a strike
"as
the same
rooted
in
any industrial
dispute
although
is concerted
and thedemonstration
occurrence of was
a temporary
stoppage of
work."
(Annex
"F",
p. 45,not
rec.).

The
respondent
firmthe
claims and
that regular
there was
nofrom
need6 for
alltoits
employees
toreport
participate
in in
theorder
demonstration
that to
they
suggested
to
the
Union
that
only
shift
2 P.M.
should
for work
that union,
loss orand
damage
the
firm will
be
averted.
This
stand
failedfirst
the sine
qua
non A.M.
of an
effective
demonstration
a labor
namely
the
complete
unity
of
the Union
members
asappreciate
wellimmediately
as their
total
presence
atpart
the
demonstration
site especially
in
order tobygenerate
the
maximum
sympathy
for
the
21
validity
of
their
cause
but
also
action
on
the
of
the
corresponding
government
agencies
with
jurisdiction
over
the
issues
they raised
against
the local
police. Circulation
is one raised
of the by
aspects
of freedom of is
expression.
IfThe
demonstrators
are reducedthe
bymore
onethird,
then
by
that
much
the
the
issues
the
demonstration
diminished.
more
participants,
persons
can
apprised
thecirculation
purpose
of of
the
rally.
Moreover,
the
absence
of one-third
of
theiralleged
members
willpersecution.
bethe
regarded
as a
substantial
indication
of be
disunity
in of
their
ranks
will
enervate
their
position
and
abet continued
police
At
any
rate, the
Union
notified
the company
two
dayswhich
in
advance
of their
projected
demonstration
and
the company
could
have madeinarrangements
to
counteract
or
prevent
whatever
losses
it
might
sustain
by
reason
of
the
absence
of
its
workers
for
one
day,
especially
this
case
when
the Union in
requested
it to excuse
only
the
join the
demonstration
on March
4,
1969
request the
Union
reiterated
their
telegram
received
by
theday-shift
companyemployees
at 9:50
inwho
the will
morning
of March
4,
1969,
the
day of
the
masswhich
demonstration
(pp.
4243,
rec.).
There
was
a
lack
of
human
understanding
or
compassion
on
the
part
of
the
firm
in
rejecting
the
request
of
the
Union
for
excuse
from work for held
the day
shifts
order
to carry
out itsthe
mass
demonstration.
And to regard
ground
foremployer,
dismissalwhich
the mass
demonstration
against
the in
Pasig
police,
not against
company,
is gross vindictiveness
onas
thea part
of the
is as
unchristian as it is unconstitutional.
III
The respondent
companytois join
the one
of
unfair labor practice.
Becausepolice
the refusal
the the
partsubsequent
of the respondent
firm of
to permit
all (8)
its
employees
and workers
the guilty
massan
demonstration
against
alleged
abuseson
separation
the eight
petitioners
theofservice
constituted
unconstitutional
restraint
on the
freedom
ofand
expression,
freedom
of assembly
and
freedom
petition
for from
redress
grievances,
the
respondent
committed
anAct.
unfair
labor
defined
Section
4(a-1)
into
relation
to Section
3
of
Republic
Act No.
875,
otherwise
known
asmutual
thefirm
Industrial
Peace
Section
3practice
of Republic
Actin
No.
8 guarantees
thepractice
employees
the
right
"to
engage
in
concert
activities
for
...
aid
or
protection";
while
Section
4(a-1)
regards
as
an
unfair
labor
for
an
employer interfere with, restrain or coerce employees in the exercise their rights guaranteed in Section Three."
We
repeat
thataid
theand
obvious
purpose
of thealleged
mass demonstration
staged
workers
of the respondent
firm
on March
was
for
their
mutual
against
police
abuses,
denial by
of the
which
wasalleged
interference
with or
restraint
on 4,
the1969,
right
ofpart
the
employees
to engage
in protection
suchthe
common
action
to better
shield
themselves
against
policeinindignities.
The insistence
on
the
22 such
of
the respondent
firm
that
workers
the
morning
regular
shift
should
not participate
the mass demonstration,
under
pain
of dismissal,
was as
heretofore
stated,
"a for
potent
means
of and
inhibiting
speech."
Such
apublicity
concerted
action
for
their 23mutual
helpbank
and protectionwith
deserves
at leastnepotism,
equal protection
as thediscrimination
concerted action
of employees
in
giving
toban
a letter
complaint
charging
immorality,
favoritism
in the
appointment
and
promotion
of
employees.
We
further
ruledpresident
in theon
Republic
Savings
Bank
case,
thatan
for the
employees
within the
24 to come
protective
mantle
of Section
in relation
to as
Section
4(a-1)
Republic
Act No.
875,
"itfurtherance
is supra,
not necessary
that
union activity
be involved
or
that collective
bargaining
be 3
contemplated,"
long as
the concerted
activity
is for
the
of their
interests.
As stated "while
clearlyexpressly
in the stipulation
of facts
embodied
in the questioned
order of right
respondent
Court guaranteed
dated September
1969, the
company,
acknowledging,
that
the
is an not
inalienable
of the
Union
by
the 15,
Constitution,"
nonetheless
emphasized
that
"any demonstration
fordemonstration
thatbelong
matter to
should
unduly
prejudice
thewho
normal
operation
of the
company"
and
"warned the
PBMEO
representatives
that
who
the
and regular
shifts,
without
previous
of for
absence
approved
by the
Company,
particularly
the workers
officers
present
who aresuch
the first
organizers
ofviolation
the demonstration,
who
shall
failtherefore,
toleave
report
work
the
following
morning
(March
4,
1969)
shall
be
dismissed,
because
failure
is
a
of
the
existing
CBA
and,
would
be
amounting to anHowever,
illegal strike
(;)" (p.that
III, petitioner's
brief).
Such
threatthe
of dismissal
tended
to
coerce
the employees
from
joining
the
mass
demonstration.
the
issues
the
employees
raised
against
local
police,
were
more
important
to
them
because
they
had
the
courage
to proceed
withabsence
the demonstration,
such
threat
of dismissal.
The
most
that
could
happen
to themmore
was especially
to lose a day's
wageaby
reason
of
their
from
work
ondespite
thetoday
of the
demonstration.
One
day's
pay
means
much
to a laborer,
ifthe
he
has
family
to
support.
Yet,
they
were
willing
forego
their
one-day
salary
hoping
that
their
demonstration
would
bring
about
desired
reliefassembly
from police
management
was adamant in refusing to recognize the superior legitimacy of their right of free
speech, free
andabuses.
the rightBut
to petition
for redress.
Because
the
company
ostensibly
did notconcedes
find it necessary
demand from
the workers
proof
of the
truth be
of the alleged abuses
inflicted
on respondent
them
by the
local police,
it thereby
that and
theto evidence
of such
abuses may
should
properly
corresponding
authorities
having
jurisdiction
tothe
whom
be referred
by thesubmitted
President to
of the
the
Philippines
for proper
investigation
and action over
with their
a viewcomplaint
to disciplining
local such
policecomplaint
officers involved.

On the other
hand,
while the respondent
Court
of Industrial
Relations
foundRelations
that the did
demonstration
"paralyzed
to a
extent
the
operations
of the
complainant
the
respondent
Court
Industrial
any
finding
to large
the fact
of loss
actually
sustained
bytothe
firm. company,"
This
significant
circumstance
can of
only
mean that
the
firm didnot
notmake
sustain
any
lossoras
orthat
damage.
It did
not
present from
evidence
whether
it lost
expected
profits
failure
purchase
orders
on
that
day;
penalties
were
exacted
itby
byas
customers
whose
orders
could
not
befor
filled
that to
daycomply
ofthat
the with
demonstration;
or that
purchase
orders
were
cancelled
by
the
customers
reason
of
its
failure
to
deliver
the
materials
ordered;
or
its
own
equipment
or
materials
or
products
were
damaged
due to absence
of its cost
workers
on water
Marchand
4, 1969.
Onconsumption
the contrary,
theday.
company
saved acould
sizable
amount
in
the form of for
wages
for its
hundreds
of
workers,
of
fuel,
electric
that
Such
savings
have
amply
compensated
unrealized
profits or damages it might have sustained by reason of the absence of its workers for only one day.
IV
Apart
from violating
the constitutional
guarantees
ofoffree
speech
and
assembly
as with
well the
as the
right to petition
redress of grievances
of
the
employees,
the dismissal
of the
eight
(8) leaders
the
workers
proceeding
demonstration
and for
consequently
absent
from
constitutes
a denial
of social
justice
likewise
assured
byfor
the
fundamental
these lowly
employees.
Section
5being
of all
Article
II
of thework,
Constitution
imposes
upon
the State
"theother
promotion
of in
social
justice
insurelaw
theto
well-being
and
economic
security
of
of the
people,"
which
guarantee
is emphasized
by
the
directive
Section
6 oftoof
Article
XIV
of
the Constitution
that
"the
State
shall
afford
protection
to
labor
...".
Respondent
Court
of
Industrial
Relations
as
an
agency
the
State
is
under
obligation
at
all
times
to
give
meaning
and substance
to these constitutional
guarantees
in
favorthe
of Industrial
the working
man;
forthe
otherwise
these
constitutional
safeguards
would
be
merely
a
lot
of
"meaningless
constitutional
patter."
Under
Peace
Act,
Court
of
Industrial
Relations
is
enjoined
to
effect
the
policy of the law
"to
the
causes ofbargaining
industrial and
unrest
protectingsocial
the exercise
by employees
of their
right
to
self-organization
forcase
theeliminate
purpose
of collective
for by
theencouraging
promotion the
ofand
their
and economic
well-being."
Itfailed
is most
unfortunate
in the
at
bar that
respondent
Court
of Industrial
very moral,
governmental
designed
therefor,
to
implement this
policy
and
failed
to keep
faith with
its avowed
missionRelations,
its raison d'etre

as ordained agency
and directed
by the
Constitution.
V
It has been
likewise
established
that no
a violation
of a from
constitutional
right
divestssecured
the court
of sacrifice
jurisdiction;
and as a consequence
its
judgment
is through
null
andhabeas
void and
confers
rights. even
Relief
a criminal
conviction
atThus,
the
of constitutional
liberties,
may
be
proceedings
longjudgment
after
the finality
ofathe
judgment.
habeasviolated
corpus
is the
remedy
to obtain
25corpus
theobtained
release
of an individual,
by right
final
confession,
constitutional
27
against
self-incrimination;
orwho
whoisisconvicted
denied
the
tosentence
present through
evidence
inforced
hisyears.
defense
as a which
deprivation
of his
his liberty
withoutright
due
process of
law, 26even after the
accused
has already
served
for
twenty-two
Both
theaccord
respondents
Court
Industrial
Relations
and private
firm trenched
upon
constitutionalclaimed
immunities
petitioners.
Both
failed
preference
to of
such
rights and
aggravated
the inhumanity
to which
thethese
aggrieved
they of
had
been subjected
by
thetomunicipal
police.
Having
violated
these
basic
human
rights
the
the Courtworkers
ofand
Industrial Relations
itselfare
of
jurisdiction
and
questioned
orders
itthe
issued
in28the
instant
caseofare
alaborers,
nullity.
Recognition
of enjoyment
suchousted
freedoms
imperative
on
all the
public
offices
including
courts
as well
as Court
private
citizens
and
corporations,
theaprotection
exercise
and
of power,
which
must
not
be
nullified
by
mere
procedural
rule
promulgated
by
the
Industrial
Relations
exercising
purely
delegate
legislative
when
even
a
law
enacted
by
Congress
must
yield
to
the
untrammelled
enjoyment
of
these
human
rights.
There
is
no
time
limit
to
the
exercise
of the freedoms.
The
right to enjoy
them isto
not
exhaustedand
by the
delivery
of one
speech,
printingwhenever
of one article
orare
theerrors
staging
of
one demonstration.
It
a continuing
immunity
exercised
when
exigent
andthe
expedient
there
to
be
abuses to prescribing
beisdenounced,
inhumanities
tobe
beinvoked
condemned.
Otherwise
these
guarantees
in theforBill
of Rights
would
be
by rectified,
rule on
procedure
thethe
period
for
appeal.
The battle
then
be
reduced
a race
time.
And in
suchcan
a vitiated
contest
between
an
and
its laborer,
latter
eventually
loses
because
he would
cannot
employ
the to
best
an which
dedicated
counsel
who
defend
28 employer
his
interest
with
the
required
diligence
and
zeal,
bereft
as
he
is
of
the
financial
resources
with
to
pay
for
competent
legal
services. -a
VI
The
Court
of Industrial
Relations
rule prescribes
motion
for reconsideration
of itsten
order
writfrom
should filed
five
days
from
notice
thereof
and that
the
arguments
supportthat
of these
said
motion
be filed within
(10)ordays
datewithin
of filing
of (5)
such
motion
29 in intimated,
for reconsideration
(Sec.
16).
As above
rules shall
of procedure
were promulgated
by thethe
Court
of
Industrial
Relations
pursuant
to a legislative
delegation.
The
motion15,
for 1969
reconsideration
was late.
filed Petitioners
on September
29,that
1969,
orcould
sevenhave
(7) days
on September
order dated
September
or two (2) days
claim
they
filed from
it on notice
September
28, 1969, 22,
but1969
it wasofathe
Sunday.
Does theand
mere
fact that does
the motion
for reconsideration
was
filed two
(2)
days late
defeat
the rights
of the petitioning
employees?
Or more
directly
concretely,
inadvertent
omission
to
comply
with
a mere
Court
of Industrial
Relations
procedural
rule governing
the
period
for filing
a motion
forthe
reconsideration
or appeal
inlight
labor
cases,
promulgated
to
a legislative
delegation,
prevail
constitutional
rights?
The answer
should
be
obvious
in the
of by
thethe
aforecited
cases. pursuant
To
accord
supremacy
to the
foregoing
rules
ofover
the
Court
of Industrial
Relations
over
basic
human
rights
sheltered
Constitution,
is rules
not
only
incompatible
with
thedoes
basic
tenet
of
constitutional
government
that
the
Constitution
is
superior
to
any
statute
or
subordinate
and
regulations,
but
also
violence
to
natural reason
and
logic. The
dominance
and superiority
of the
constitutional
rightrule
over
the
aforesaid
Court
Industrial
Relations
procedural
rule
of necessity
should
be affirmed.
Such a Court
of Industrial
Relations
asthe
applied
in
this
case of
does
not implement
or
reinforce
or
strengthen
the
constitutional
rights
affected,'
but
instead
constrict
the
same
to
point
of
nullifying
the
enjoyment
thereof
by the petitioning
employees.
Said
Court
ofauthority
Industrial
Relations
rule,
promulgated
asthe
it was
pursuant
to five
a mere
legislative
delegation,
is
unreasonable
and
therefore
is
beyond
the
granted
by
the
Constitution
and
law.
A
period
of
(5)
days
within
which
to
file
a
motion for
reconsideration
is case
too short,
for the and
aggrieved
workers,Court,
who usually
do
have
the
ready
funds
to meet
the
necessary
therefor.
In
of the especially
Court of(See.
Appeals
the
Supreme
a period
of not
fifteen
(15)
days
has
been
fixed
for
the
filing
of filing
theexpenses
motion
for
re hearing
or reconsideration
10, Rule
51;
Sec.
1, Rule
52;
Sec.
1, Rule
56,
Revised
Rules
ofSunday.
Court).
The
delay
in
the
of
the
motion
for
reconsideration
could
have
been
only
one
day
if
September
28,
1969
was
not
a
This
fact
accentuates the unreasonableness of the Court of Industrial are concerned.
It
should be stressed
here
that the motion
for
dated
September
27, 1969,
is based
onlikewise
the ground
that
the
order sought
to
be
"is
not
in
with
law,reconsideration
evidence
and facts
adduced
during
hearing,"
prays
for
an extension
of "G",
ten
(10)reconsidered
days within
which
to accordance
file
arguments
pursuant
to Sections
15,the
16herein
and 17
of thethe
Rules
ofOctober
the and
Court
Industrial
Relations
(Annex
pp.
57-60,
rec.);
although
the
arguments
were
actually
filed
by
petitioners
onfrom
14, of
1969
(Annex
"I",
pp.
70-73,
rec.),
long
after
the
10-day
period
required
for
the
filing
of
such
supporting
arguments
counted
the
filing
of
the
motion
for
reconsideration.
Hereinpro
petitioners
received
October
1969 the resolution
dated
October
9, 1969
being
forma since
it wasonly
filedon
beyond
the 28,
reglementary
period (Annex
"J",
pp. 74-75,
rec.)dismissing the motion for reconsideration for
It
is true that
Webeyond
ruled in
that where
a motion
to reconsider
filed out
of time, orRelations
where the
arguments
in suppf
such
29 filed
motion
theseveral
10 daycases
reglementary
period
provided
for by theisCourt
of Industrial
rules,
the order
or decision
subject are
ofand
-a petition
reconsideration
assembly
were notbecomes
involved.final and unappealable. But in all these cases, the constitutional rights of free expression, free
It
is a procedural
rule
that of
generally
all defense
causes of
action
and
defenses
presently
must beHowever,
specifically
raised in the issue
complaint
or
answer;
so time,
that even
any
cause
action
or
not
raised
in that
suchthe
pleadings,
is available
deemed
a constitutional
can be
raised
for
the
first
time
on appeal,
if itthe
appears
determination
of
thewaived.
constitutional
issue
is necessary
to a decision
30
of
the any
case,
the
very
lis that
mota
ofprocedural
the case
without
resolution
of which
no final
and
complete
determination
ofright.
the dispute
can be
made.
It
is
thus
seen
a
rule
of
Congress
or
of
the
Supreme
Court
gives
way
to
a
constitutional
In
the
instant
case, thebyprocedural
rule of the
Industrial
Relations,
a creature
of Congress,
must
likewise
yield
invoked
herein petitioners
evenCourt
beforeofthe
institution
of the unfair
labor practice
charged
against
them
and to
in the
theirconstitutional
defense to therights
said
charge.
30
In
the case of
at abar,
enforcement
of the
basic human
freedoms
sheltered
less byrights.
the organic
application
Court
of Industrial
Relations
rule which
impinges
on suchnohuman
-a law, is a most compelling reason to deny
30
30
It
isoperation,
an accepted
principle
that
the Supreme
has the
power
to "suspend
its own rules
or toinexcept
a particular
case from
its
whenever
the
purposes
of justiceCourt
require."
-b inherent
Mr. Justice
Barredo
in his concurring
opinion
Estrada
vs. Sto. Domingo.
c reiterated
this
principle
and
added that

Under
authority,
thisthe
Court
is to
enabled
to cove
with case,
all situations
without
concerning
itself
aboutthat
procedural
niceties
that
dothis
not
need
do justice,
in
any
without
further
loss
of time,appeal
provided
the right
the
parties
to
a square
fullwords,
daywith
inwhen
court all
is
not
impaired.
Thus,
thisrecords
Court
may
as
a certiorari
andofviceversa. In
other
the substantially
material
facts
spread
in the
beforetreat
Us, an
and
all the
parties
have render
been
duly
heard,
it matters
little that
the error
of
the court
a are
quo
is
of judgment
or ofas
jurisdiction.
We can
then
and
there
the
appropriate
judgment.
Is
within
the
contemplation
of
this
doctrine
that
it
is
perfectly
legal
and
within
the
power
of
this Court it
tocannot
strike be
down
in anthe
appeal
acts
without
or ininexcess
of jurisdiction
committed
with grave
abuseany
of
discretion,
beyond
admit
of its
authority,
appropriate
cases,
to or
reverse
in athere
certain
error
of a court
quo which
exactly
categorized
as
a flaw
jurisdiction.
canproceed
beAppeals
any in
doubt,
whichofof
I judgment
do
not entertain,
onanullities
whether
or cannot
not thebe
errors
this
Court
has
found
in of
the
decision
ofIfthe
Court
of
are
short
being
jurisdiction
or
excesses,
this
Court
would
still
be
on
firm
legal
grounds
should
it
choose
to
reverse
said decision
here andsonow
even
if such
errors can be return
considered as mere mistakes of judgment or only as faults
in pursuing
the exercise
jurisdiction,
to
avoid
the
unnecessary
of
theofordinary
course as
of an
appeal.
(Emphasis
supplied). 30of-dthis case to the lower court for the sole purpose
Insistence
on
the application
of thewhich
questioned
Court
Relations
rule whose
in this basic
particular
case
at bar would
an unreasoning
adherence
to "Procedural
niceties"
denies
justiceindustrial
to the ofherein
laborers,
human
freedoms,
including
thethis
right to
survive, must
beas
according
supremacy
over
the material
property
rights
their
firm as
which
has
beeninflicted
given
a on
fullits
hearing
on
especially
when,
in the case
at bar, no
actual
damage
has
be employer
demonstrated
having
been
property
rights.case,
If
We can
disregard Relations
our own rules
whenclash
justice
requires
it, obedience
to the Constitution
renders
more
imperative
the suspension
of a
Court
of Industrial
rule law.
that
with
the
human
sanctioned
with
resolution
by ofthe
specific
guarantees
outlined
in upon
the organic
It should
befirm
stressed
thatrights
the application
inand
the shielded
instant
case
Section
15 ofconcern
the
Court
Industrial
Relations
rules
relied
bypetitioning
herein respondent
is unreasonable
therefore
such application
unconstitutional
it
subverts the
human
rights of
labor union
and
workers in theand
light
of the peculiar
facts and becomes
circumstances
revealed byasthe
record.
The
suspension
the application of Section
15 the
of the
Court
of Industrial
Relations
rules
with
toRelations
the case at
alsoaccording
authorized
by
Section
ofofCommonwealth
No.of103,
C.I.R.
charter,
enjoins
the
of reference
Industrial
to is"act
to
justice
and 20
equity
and substantial Act
merits
the case,
without
regardwhich
to technicalities
orCourt
legal forms
..."
30
On
several occasions,
We emphasized
of Kapisanan,
etc. vs. Hamilton,
etc., et.this
al., doctrine
-e thus:which was re-stated by Mr. Justice Barredo, speaking for the Court, in the 1970 case

As
to theterm
point
the evidence
being
by thefor
petitioners
in the
motion
for
new
trial
is not
"newly
as such
is that
understood
in the
rules offered
ofUnder
procedure
the
ordinary
courts,
We Act
hold
that
such
criterion
isofdiscovered,"
not
binding
upon
the Court
of Industrial
Relations.
Section
20such
of Commonwealth
No.
103,
'The
Court
Industrial
Relations
adopt
its, rules
or procedure
and shall
have
other powers of
as any
generally
pertain
to
a court
of justice:
Provided, shall
however,
That
in
the
hearing,
investigation
andshall
determination
question
or
controversy
and in
exercising
any
duties
and
power
under
this
Act,
the
Court
act
according
to
justice
and
equity
and
substantial
merits
of
the
case,
without
regard
to
technicalities
or
legal
forms
and
shall
not
be
bound
by
any
technical
rules
of legal
evidence
but may inform
its rigidity
mind inofsuch
manner as itapplicable
may deemtojust
and equitable.'
Bycourt
this is
provision
the
industrial
court
is disengaged
from the
the but
technicalities
ordinary
courts.
Said
not
even
restricted
to
the
specific
relief
demanded
by
the
parties
may
issue
such
orders
as
may
be
deemed
necessary
or
expedient
forG.R.
the
purpose
of settling
the
dispute
or dispelling
any
doubts
that
may
give rise
to future
disputes.
(Ang
TibayWe
v. believe
C.I.R.,
No.
46496,
Feb.
17,
1940;
Manila
Trading
&
Supply
Co.
v.
Phil.
Labor,
71
Phil.
124.)
For
these
reasons,
that
this
provision
is
ample
enough
to
have
enabled
the
respondent
court
to
consider
whether
or
not
its
previous
ruling
that
petitioners...constitute
minority
on fact,
regard
the578).
technical
meaning
of newly discovered
evidence.
(Alonso v. a
Villamor,
16was
Phil.founded
315; Chua
Kiongwithout
v. Whitaker,
46to
Phil.
(emphasis
supplied.)
To
apply Section
of the Court
of Industrial
rules
"pedantic
rigor"
in the instant
casefreedoms
is to rulesecured
in effect
workers,
who can15ill-afford
an alert
competentRelations
lawyer, can
nowith
longer
seek the
sanctuary
of human
to that
themthe
bypoor
the

fundamental
law, simply
counsel
erroneously
believing that
he received
copy which
of the decision
on is
September
instead
of September
22,because
1969
-their
filed
motion
for reconsideration
September
29, a1969,
practically
only one23,
day1969,
late
considering
that September
28, 1969
washis
a Sunday.
Many rules
a time, thisbeen
Courtdevised.
deviatedSummarizing
from procedure
when
they score,
ceasedMr.
to be
instruments
of justice,
for the
attainment
of which
such
thetechnicalities
jurisprudence
on this
Justice
Fernando,
speaking
for a
unanimous
Court
in Palma vs.have
Oreta, 30-f Stated:
As
was
so approval
aptly expressed
by Justice
Moreland
in
Alonso
v. Villamor
(16 [1949];
Phil. 315
[1910]. The
Villamor
decision 104
was
cited
with
of Deeds
v. 30,
Phil.1961,
Nat.
Bank,
Phil.decided
600
v. Court
of Appeals,
Phil.
156
[1958]
andin
UyRegister
v.as
Uy,an
14243,
June
2
SCRA84
675.),
as farPotenciano
back
1910,
"technicality.
when
it
deserts
its
proper-office
aid
to
justice
and
becomes
its great
hindrance
and as
chief
enemy,
deserves
scant
consideration
from courts."
(Ibid.,
p, 322.)
To that
norm,
this
Court
has
remained
committed.
The
late Justice
Recto
in
Blanco
v.
Bernabe,
(63
Phil.
124
[1936])
was
of
a
similar
mind.
For
him
the
interpretation
of
procedural
rule
should
never
"sacrifice
the
ends
justice."
While
"procedural
laws
are
no
other
than
technicalities"
view
them
in
their
entirety,
'they were
adoptedtonot
as realization
ends themselves
for the compliance
with
courts
organized
and
but as
means
conducive
the
the administration
of theFelix,
law which
and
justicehave
(Ibid.,
p.,128).rights
Wefunction,
have
remained
steadfastly
opposed, in
the highly rhetorical
language Justice
to
"a of
sacrifice
substantial
of a litigant
altar of sophisticated
with
impairment
of Justice
the sacred
principles
ofof"should
justice."
(Potenciano
Court in
of
Appeals,
104 Phil.
156,technicalities
161
[1958]). L-15379,
As
succinctly
put
by
Makalintal,
they
give
way decision
to thev.realities
of
the
situation."
(Urbayan
v.
Caltex,
Aug.
31,
1962,
5
SCRA
1016,
1019).
In
the
latest
in
point
promulgated
in
1968, was
(Udan
v. Amon,
23 SCRA citing
McEnteeLabrador
v. Manotok,
L-14968,
Oct. 27, 1961,
303 SCRA
272.)
Justice
Zaldivar
partial
to an(1968,
earlier
Justice
thatjustice."
rules of(Ibid.,
procedure
"are
applied
in a very
rigid, technical
sense";
but
are formulation
intended "to of
help
secure substantial
p. 843)
... not
-g to be
Even
if the questioned
Court eight
of Industrial
Relations
orders is
and
rule for
were
to be given
effect,
thework.
dismissal
or termination
ofitself
the
employment
of the petitioning
(8) leaders
the
harsh
a one-day
absence
from
Theare
respondent
Court
recognized
the
of such
sanction
when itofdid
notUnion
include
the
dismissal
the other
393 upon
employees
who
members
of
the same
Union
whoseverity
participated
in athe
demonstration
against
the Pasig
police.
aofUnion
matter
of fact,
the intercession
of were
the Secretary
of
Labor, and
the
Union
members
who
are not
officers,
were
not dismissed
and
onlyAs
the
itself
and
its thirteen
(13) officers
specifically
named
as
respondents
in
the
unfair
labor
practice
charge
filed
against
them
by
the
firm
(pp.
16-20,
respondent's
Brief;
Annexes
"A",
"B"
and
"C", pp.
20-30,only
rec.).
Counsel
for
respondent
firm(13)
insinuates
that
all the 400
or so in
employee
participated
in the demonstration,
for which
reason
the
Union
and
its
thirteen
officers
werenot
specifically
named
the unfair
labor
practice
charge
(p.that,
20,
respondent's
brief).
If
that
were
so,
then
many,
if
not
all,
of
the
morning
and
regular
shifts
reported
for
work
on
March
4,
1969
and
as a consequence, the firm continued in operation that day and did not sustain any damage.
The appropriate
penalty
toif dismiss
it deserves
any penalty
at all
should
have
beenissimply
charge
said one-day
againstUnion
their
vacation
or sick on
leave.
But
the eight
(8) leaders
of well
the
petitioner
a mosttofamilies
cruel
penalty,
sincethe
as absence
aforestated
leaders
depend
their
wages
for their
sustenance
as
as that
of Union
their
aside
from
fact that it the
is a lethal
blow to unionism,
while
at
the same
timedaily
strengthening
the
oppressive
hand
of therespective
petty tyrants
in the
localities.
Mr. Justice Douglas articulated this pointed reminder:
The
challengebut
to from
our men
liberties
comesfrequently
from
who consciously
destroy
of
Government,
of goodwill
good men not
who
allow those
their proper
concerns to seek
blind to
them
to theour
fact system
that what
they propose to
accomplish
involves
an impairment
of
liberty.
... Thenot
Motives
of these
men are
often commendable.
Whatthe
wesame
must effect
remember,
however,
is thatpreservation
of liberties
does
depend
motives.
A suppression
of liberty
whether
theinfractions
suppress
orofbe
a reformer
or an
outlaw.
The
only on
protection
against
misguided
zeal has
isof aliberty
constant
alertness
of of
the
the
guarantees
of
libertysurrender.
contained
in
our
Constitution.
surrender
the
demands
the moment makes
easier
another,
larger
The
battle
over the Bill Each
of Rights
is a never
endingtoone.
... The liberties of any person are the liberties of all of us.
... In short, the Liberties of none are safe unless the liberties of all are protected.
... But even
if we should sense
no danger
to our
own
liberties,
even
feel
because
to a that
group
is
31
important
wemust
must
our Bill
of Rights
isifa we
code
of secure
fair play
for the we
lessbelong
fortunate
wethat
in all
honor andand
goodrespected,
conscience
berecognize
observe. that
The case at bar is worse.
Management
has
shown
not only
lack of good-will
or
intention,
a
complete
lack
of sympathetic
understanding
of the
plight of its
laborersorwho
claim
that
are
subjected
togood
indignities
by but
the
local
police,
It was
more expedient
for the
firm
toofconserve
its
income
profits
than
to they
assist
itsbeing
employees
in their
fight for
their
freedoms
and security
against
alleged petty
tyrannies
local police
officers.
This
opportunism.
Suchand
opportunism
expediency
resorted
and welfare
ofisitssheer
employees.
It was pure
implementand
selfishness,
if not
greed. to by the respondent company assaulted the immunities
32
Of happy
relevance
is the 1967
case of Republic
Savings
Bank
C.I.R.,
where
the petitioner
Bank dismissed
eight (8) of
employees for
having
written
and
published
"a
patently
libelous
letteras...discrimination
to
the vs.
Bank
president
demanding
resignation
on the
grounds
nepotism
the
appointment
and
favoritism
as well
in the promotion
ofhis
bank
employees."
Therein,
thru immorality,
Mr. Justice
Castro,
Weinruled:

It
will availcapacities
the Bank when
none to
gloat
overthe
thisletter-charge
admission of
thewere
respondents.
Assuming
thatforthe
latter
acted
in their
individual
they
wrote
they
nonetheless
protected
they
engaged
in
concerted activity,
in3 the
exercise
of their
right
of ...)
selfThis
organization
that
includes
concerted
activity
forwere
mutual
aidbeen
and
protection,
(Section
ofinthe
Industrial
Peace
Act
is thegroup
view
of
some
members
of
this
Court.
For,
as
has
aptly
stated,
the
joining
protests
or
demands,
even
by
a
small
of
employees,
if
in
furtherance
of
their
interests
as
such, is abargaining
concerted activity
protected by
the Industrial
Act.
It is not necessary that union activity be involved or that
collective
be contemplated.
(Annot.,
6 A.L.R.Peace
2d 416
[1949]).
xxx xxx xxx
Instead of stifling criticism, the Bank should have allowed the respondents to air their grievances.
xxx xxx xxx
The Banktodefends
its action byToinvoking
its
for whatofitemployees
calls the is
respondents'
libel
in givingAviation
undue
publicity
their324
letter-charge.
be sure,
theright
righttoof
ofdiscipline
self-organization
not unlimited
(Republic
Corp.
NLRB
U.S. 793 [1945]),
as the
right
the
employer
to discharge
for cause
(Philippine
Education
Co.the
v.
Union vs.
ofexercise
Phil.
Educ.
April
29, 1960)
is undenied.
The
Industrial
Peace
does
not
touch
normal
ofright
theEmployees,
right
of theL-13773,
employer
to
select
his employees
or to
discharge
them.
It Dodge
isAct
directed
solely
against
the
abuse
of
that
by
interfering
with
the
countervailing
right
of
self
organization
(Phelps
Corp.
v.
NLRB
313
U.S. 177 [1941])...
xxx xxx xxx
In
the final right
sum of
and
substance, thisorCourt
in unanimity
thatand/or
the Bank's
conduct,
as
an interference
with the
employees'
self-organization
as a is
retaliatory
action,
as a4(a)
refusal
toidentified
bargain
collectively,
constituted
an
33 practice
unfair labor
within the meaning
and intendment
of section
of the
Industrial
Peace Act.
(Emphasis
supplied.)
If
free expression
was morality
accordedand
recognition
and
to fortify less,
laborsuch
unionism
in the Republic
Savings
case,
supra,
the
complaint
assailed
integrity
theprotection
bank president
free
speech,
freewhere
assembly
and right
petitionthe
are
the moreofjustifiable
and more no
imperative
in recognition
the case at and
bar, protection
where the for
mass
demonstration
was not
against
thetocompany
nor rendered
any of itsall
officers.
WHEREFORE, judgement is hereby rendered:
(1) setting aside as null and void the orders of the respondent Court of Industrial Relations dated September 15 and October 9, 1969; and
(2) directing
the re
instatement
of pay
the herein
eight (8)earnings
petitioners,
full
back
pay from
the
datesources
of theirduring
separation
the service
until
re instated,
minus
one day's
and whatever
theywith
might
have
realized
from
other
their from
separation
from
the service.
With costs against private respondent Philippine Blooming Company, Inc.