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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 Malacañang
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
Malacañang
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 Malacañang
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 Malacañang
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 workers—inNO
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
Malacañang
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."

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. 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. "itfurtherance is supra. restrain or coerce employees in the exercise their rights guaranteed in Section Three. 1969) shall be dismissed. equal protection as thediscrimination concerted action of employees in giving toban a letter complaint charging immorality. 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.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. Rights isand to withdraw "certain subjects from the vicissitudes political controversy." Such apublicity concerted action for their 23mutual helpbank and protectionwith deserves at leastnepotism. discounted by its such invasion free expression as isJudge necessary to avoid theviz. Ferrer. favoritism in the appointment and promotion of employees. not necessary that union activity be involved or that collective bargaining be 3 contemplated. Justice Fernando in Gonzales vs. 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. the1969.not rec. 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. was as heretofore stated. it has been stressed in the main opinion ofaMr. thatan for the employees within the 24 to come protective mantle of Section in relation to as Section 4(a-1) Republic Act No. Such threatthe of dismissal tended to coerce the employees from joining the mass demonstration. the company. and other fundamental rights One's may not submitted to aand vote. rights to life. theythe depend the outcome of no elections. the rightBut to petition for redress. As above intimated. scars remain to humiliate him to his dying day. 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. vs. and the of one are not safe unless the liberties of all are protected. partial to the justifies improbable danger ruleofformulated by Chief Learned Hand." (Annex "F". 875.them liberty property. 8 guarantees thepractice employees the right "to engage in concert activities for . freeon speech. vexation or peril andtoasthe consequence perform more efficiently theiritsrespective tasks enhance its productivity as free well as profits. Set andand tested by foregoing principles governing a democratic society. Circulation is one raised of the by aspects of freedom of is expression." permitting government only "with narrow specificity. the precious primacy in of our human rights over property rights is recognized. thetoerosion of small encroachments. To regard the demonstration against officers. to protect ideas that we abhor ormajority hate the more than the to ideas we cherish. themselves vis-a-vis thecan local police of Pasig. III The respondent companytois join the one of unfair labor practice. herein private respondent firm. One day's pay means much to a laborer. but also to liberties benefit the who refuse listen.M. p. Because these freedoms are "delicate and vulnerable. 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. 4243. to place beyond the reach to of majorities to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. Moreover. His interests. 1969 before Malacañang was against alleged abuses some Pasig policemen. ourassembly right to choose the men and women by whom we shall be governed. The demonstration heldagainst petitioners on March 4. who shall failtherefore." long as the concerted activity is for the of their interests.)" (p." (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. constitutes a virtual the mind and life the workers deserves severe condemnation. freedom of4 worship and assembly. notso against thethe employer. expression in general and of theirthe right of assembly petition fordemonstrate redress of grievances in and particular before appropriate the protection Chief Executive. loss orand damage the firm will be averted. II The respondent Court Industrial Relations. free assembly and petition. 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. andwhich reiterated by the writer 14 of the opinion in Imbong vs. 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. and ofof oligarchs — political. Black Goldberg in N. 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. suffrage but also inhethe of can public affairs as well as in the disciplinefor of redress abusive and public officers. 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 constitutional or valid infringement of rightstorequires a So more stringent criterion. andofsuch priority "gives athese liberties the sanctity sanction not permitting dubious intrusions. Ifand human rights arean extinguished the passage of time. are Sullivan. ifthe he has family to support. In the hierarchy civil liberties. 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.). respondent employer not even offer tobyintercede its employees with the local police. and the and scorn and derision of the those who have no patience with general principles. Justice Castro relies on the balancing-of-interests Chief 17 Justice Vinson is improbability. right ofpart the employees to engage in protection suchthe common action to better shield themselves against policeinindignities. allpolice for him who toils that capital can economic thatincan generate happiness for all. 20 an The mass would demonstration staged bythe thefreedom employees on March 4. of which is like rubbing salt on bruised 18 As over heretofore stated. especially this case when the Union in requested it to excuse only the join the demonstration on March 4. unfair labor defined Section 4(a-1) into relation to Section 3 of Republic Act No.. bethe regarded as a substantial indication of be disunity in of their ranks will enervate their position and abet continued police At any rate. is "a potentofmeans of assembly inhibitingand speech" and therefore inflicts a moral as well as mortal wound on the constitutional guarantees of free expression. 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. IfThe demonstrators are reducedthe bymore onethird. their very utilizing only the weapons afforded them Constitution — the enjoyment of their basic human The survival. 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. and and its take up the cudgels for. a plea death forsuffer theofpreservation merely their property rights. the influential and powerful. 1969 request the Union reiterated their telegram received by theday-shift companyemployees at 9:50 inwho the will morning of March 4.tothe liberties of one arewho thewant liberties of all. thebyemployees and laborers ofuntrammelled herein privatewell respondent fighting forrights. that they can work from harassment. would be amounting to anHowever. employees.bargaining inc." Laski proclaimed that "the 5 criterion happiness of the thebe well-being of the State. limits to thenot authority it was entitled to exercise." The superiority ofby these freedoms over property rights is—underscored 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. freedom of assembly and freedom petition for from redress grievances. of majorities. — whether the gravity of the evil. of peaceful and of petition for the redress of and grievances — property been sustained." Property and property rights can lost thru prescription. dismissalwhich the mass demonstration against the in Pasig police. should for work that union. It should be added that Justice Barredo in Gonzales vs.Y. after opining that of the massherein demonstration was not a declaration ofin strike. Comelecsupra. acknowledging. The insistence on the 22 such of the respondent firm that workers the morning regular shift should not participate the mass demonstration. the 3 expediency hour. equality security "against assaults of opportunism. otherwise known asmutual thefirm Industrial Peace Section 3practice of Republic Actin No. in effect imposes on the workers the "duty . the primacy of human rights — freedom of expression. persons can apprised thecirculation purpose of of the rally." according the construction respondent Court Relations. such threat of dismissal. On other arbitrary hand. 1969 could not have been legally enjoined by any court. is gross vindictiveness onas thea part of the is as unchristian as it is unconstitutional.. . Mr.officers. officers or 8 (5) While the Bill of Rights also protectsasproperty rights. 875. Constitution. the respondent committed anAct." they "need breathing space to survive.(2) The Bill ofofthe Rights is designed preserve the ideals of liberty. again police officers of and the municipality of Pasig. harassment and persecuted as they believed they were by the peace officers of the municipality. or as Socrates insinuated. even as cries in anguish retribution.that III. The wounds fester and thetissues.. the condition in which the employees foundfamilies. The collective bargaining agreement which fixes the working shifts of the employees. or free press. under pain of dismissal. 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.. rec. 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. Renunciation of the freedom should not be predicated on tyranny such a slender ground. 45. petitioner's brief)..M. the purpose of the Billand of officials. And to regard ground foremployer.of Such apprehended or damage would not spell difference between theis life and the firm or its owners or its management. such injunction be upon expression the evenmass if it legally appears to be illegal picketing or strike. 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. Comelec. was by which its behaviour was to be judged. peaceful of petition. then by that much the the issues the demonstration diminished. 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. because failure is a of the existing CBA and. said was purely completely an exercise ofgovernmental their freedomagency. debasement of the human being broken morale and brutalized inhe spirit-can never be for fully evaluated denial in monetary terms. particularly the workers officers present who aresuch the first organizers ofviolation the demonstration. toleave report work the following morning (March 4. suchofconclusion cannot be sustained. 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. We further ruledpresident in theon Republic Savings Bank case. Justice Robert Jackson."passing In the pithyoflanguage of Mr. that the is an not inalienable of the Union by the 15. rights of free expression. And as 7 Justice Douglas cogently stresses it. the absence of one-third of theiralleged members willpersecution. denial by of the which wasalleged interference with or restraint on 4." petitioners are guilty bad faith hence violated the collective bargaining agreement with private respondent Philippine Blooming Mills Co.hours. the day of the masswhich demonstration (pp. if freedom and social justice have any meaning atpersonality. more participants. They exercise their civil and political rights for their mutual aid from what they believe were police excesses. not onlyaphorism protect minority to talk. 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. concluded that by their "concerted actof and the occurrence temporary stoppage work. were more important to them because they had the courage to proceed withabsence the demonstration. economic or otherwise. like Justices Douglas. Yet. 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. but human rights are imprescriptible. 1969. set the individual.). (4) his Thelife." 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. This stand failedfirst the sine qua non A. illegal strike (. "a for potent means of and inhibiting speech. 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." 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. not its power. well as supremely society" and the "threat of sanctions may deterregulation their exercise 9 actual almost as potently as the application of sanctions. As stated "while clearlyexpressly in the stipulation of facts embodied in the questioned order of right respondent Court guaranteed dated September 1969. danger.. existence of grave andthe immediate danger of a substantive evil the State has the 13 right prevent. the issues the employees raised against local police. free andabuses. workers. in rhetorical ofthe Justice Holmes. 19 stretches unduly the compass of the collective bargaining agreement. of Times Co. aid or protection". As of matter of fact." even as Mr. while Section 4(a-1) regards as an unfair labor for an employer interfere with. The employees' pathetic situation was a stark reality — abused. without previous of for absence approved by the Company. not against their employer. not against company.

the 16herein and 17 of thethe Rules ofOctober the and Court Industrial Relations (Annex pp. 1969. That in the hearing. that even any cause action or not raised in that suchthe pleadings. it matters little that the error of the court a are quo is of judgment or ofas jurisdiction. long after the 10-day period required for the filing of such supporting arguments counted the filing of the motion for reconsideration. the order or decision subject are ofand -a petition reconsideration assembly were notbecomes involved. charter. human freedoms. 'The Court Industrial Relations adopt its.R.Court. so time. The right to enjoy them isto not exhaustedand by the delivery of one speech. specifically raised in the issue complaint or answer. rec. rules or procedure and shall have other powers of as any generally pertain to a court of justice: Provided." not binding upon the Court of Industrial Relations. Section 5being of all Article II of thework.. bereft as he is of the financial resources with to pay for competent legal services.reconsideration evidence and facts adduced during hearing.case. rec. 74-75. must beas according supremacy over the material property rights their firm as which has beeninflicted given a on fullits hearing on especially when. et. In of the especially Court of(See. 124.On the other hand. pursuant To accord supremacy to the foregoing rules ofover the Court of Industrial Relations over basic human rights sheltered Constitution. defense as a which deprivation of his his liberty withoutright due process of law. without regardwhich to technicalities orCourt legal forms . that this provision is ample enough to have enabled the respondent court to consider whether or not its previous ruling that petitioners. in any without further loss of time. daywith inwhen court all is not impaired. of 1969 (Annex "I". 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.I." 30 On several occasions. 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. 46to Phil. 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. by right final confession.. 30 In the case of at abar. 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. Rule 52.' Bycourt this is provision the industrial court is disengaged from the the but technicalities ordinary courts. thisrecords Court may as a certiorari andofviceversa. Constitution imposes upon the State "theother promotion of in social justice insurelaw theto well-being and economic security of of the people. Sec. Sec. Justice Barredo. thebyprocedural rule of the Industrial Relations. As above rules shall of procedure were promulgated by thethe Court of Industrial Relations pursuant to a legislative delegation. printingwhenever of one article orare theerrors staging of one demonstration. vs. is based onlikewise the ground that the order sought to be "is not in with law. Rule 56. No. V It has been likewise established that no a violation of a from constitutional right divestssecured the court of sacrifice jurisdiction. 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." prays for an extension of "G". etc. company. if itthe appears determination of thewaived. enforcement of the basic human freedoms sheltered less byrights. the purpose of settling the dispute or dispelling any doubts that may give rise to future disputes. although the arguments were actually filed by petitioners onfrom 14. 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.)dismissing the motion for reconsideration for It is true that Webeyond ruled in that where a motion to reconsider filed out of time. appropriate cases. orwho whoisisconvicted denied the tosentence present through evidence inforced hisyears. and as a consequence its judgment is through null andhabeas void and confers rights. investigation andshall determination question or controversy and in exercising any duties and power under this Act.. the of constitutional liberties. 71 Phil. theday. for reconsideration (Sec.' but instead constrict the same to point of nullifying the enjoyment thereof by the petitioning employees. 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. The motion15. who can15ill-afford an alert competentRelations lawyer.I. reglementary period (Annex "J". filed Petitioners on September 29. in the case at bar. Both failed preference to of such rights and aggravated the inhumanity to which thethese aggrieved they of had been subjected by thetomunicipal police. c reiterated this principle and added that Under authority. 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. obedience to the Constitution renders more imperative the suspension of a Court of Industrial rule law. is unreasonable and therefore is beyond the granted by the Constitution and law.) To apply Section of the Court of Industrial rules "pedantic rigor" in the instant casefreedoms is to rulesecured in effect workers. 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. to implement this policy and failed to keep faith with its avowed missionRelations. but also violence to natural reason and logic. an and all the parties have render been duly heard... 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. It a continuing immunity exercised when exigent andthe expedient there to be abuses to prescribing beisdenounced. 46496. constitutional 27 against self-incrimination.. Hereinpro petitioners received October 1969 the resolution dated October 9. Having violated these basic human rights the the Courtworkers ofand Industrial Relations itselfare of jurisdiction and questioned orders itthe issued in28the instant caseofare alaborers.appeal provided the right the parties to a square fullwords. The dominance and superiority of the constitutional rightrule over the aforesaid Court Industrial Relations procedural rule of necessity should be affirmed. a creature of Congress. technical meaning of newly discovered evidence. 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. beyond admit of its authority. 17. 22. We Act hold that such criterion isofdiscovered. Section 20such of Commonwealth No... inhumanities tobe beinvoked condemned. theaprotection exercise and of power. company saved acould sizable amount in the form of for wages for its hundreds of workers. Justice Barredo in his concurring opinion Estrada vs.of103.R. 70-73. rule on procedure thethe period for appeal. Otherwise these guarantees in theforBill of Rights would be by rectified. is a most compelling reason to deny 30 30 It isoperation. the constitutional rights of free expression. whichofof I judgment do not entertain. orcould sevenhave (7) days on September order dated September or two (2) days claim they filed from it on notice September 28. C.R.) For these reasons. onanullities whether or cannot not thebe errors this Court has found in of the decision ofIfthe Court of are short being jurisdiction or excesses. If We can disregard Relations our own rules whenclash justice requires it. for the and aggrieved workers. A period of (5) days within which to file a motion for reconsideration is case too short. In other the substantially material facts spread in the beforetreat Us. prevail constitutional rights? The answer should be obvious in the of by thethe aforecited cases.constitute minority on fact. And in suchcan a vitiated contest between an and its laborer.that 1969. Said not even restricted to the specific relief demanded by the parties may issue such orders as may be deemed necessary or expedient forG. enjoins the of reference Industrial to is"act to justice and 20 equity and substantial Act merits the case. 1969. Whitaker. is rules not only incompatible with thedoes basic tenet of constitutional government that the Constitution is superior to any statute or subordinate and regulations.". promulgated asthe it was pursuant to five a mere legislative delegation. 57-60. rec. speaking for the Court. Phil. Feb. (Alonso v. Such a Court of Industrial Relations asthe applied in this case of does not implement or reinforce or strengthen the constitutional rights affected. v. 1. all situations without concerning itself aboutthat procedural niceties that dothis not need do justice. etc. believe C. orRelations where the arguments in suppf such 29 filed motion theseveral 10 daycases reglementary period provided for by theisCourt of Industrial rules. thisthe Court is to enabled to cove with case. penalties were exacted itby byas customers whose orders could not befor filled that to daycomply ofthat the with demonstration. Labor. Onconsumption the contrary. a Villamor. pp. Sto. governmental designed therefor. (emphasis supplied. 1969 was not a This fact accentuates the unreasonableness of the Court of Industrial are concerned. Hamilton.founded 315. who usually do have the ready funds to meet the necessary therefor. or that purchase orders were cancelled by the customers reason of its failure to deliver the materials ordered. forthe otherwise these constitutional safeguards would be merely a lot of "meaningless constitutional patter. the dispute can be made. (Ang TibayWe v. no actual damage has be employer demonstrated having been property rights. The delay in the of the motion for reconsideration could have been only one day if September 28. Thus. Domingo. Recognition of enjoyment suchousted freedoms imperative on all the public offices including courts as well as Court private citizens and corporations. 26even after the accused has already served for twenty-two Both theaccord respondents Court Industrial Relations and private firm trenched upon constitutionalclaimed immunities petitioners. It did not present from evidence whether it lost expected profits failure purchase orders on that day. of fuel.." which guarantee is emphasized by the directive Section 6 oftoof Article XIV of the Constitution that "the State shall afford protection to labor . doctrine -e thus:which was re-stated by Mr. Revised Rules ofSunday. constitutional issue is necessary to a decision 30 of the any case. canproceed beAppeals any in doubt. 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. can nowith longer seek the sanctuary of human to that themthe bypoor the . but1969 it wasofathe Sunday. or its own equipment or materials or products were damaged due to absence of its cost workers on water Marchand 4. to avoid the unnecessary of theofordinary course as of an appeal." -b inherent Mr. Chua Kiongwithout v. including thethis right to survive. habeasviolated corpus is the remedy to obtain 25corpus theobtained release of an individual.final and unappealable." Under Peace Act. Said Court ofauthority Industrial Relations rule. promulgated to a legislative delegation. We emphasized of Kapisanan. 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. 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. 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.this al. 16)." Itfailed is most unfortunate in the at bar that respondent Court of Industrial very moral.). the very lis that mota ofprocedural the case without resolution of which no final and complete determination ofright. — its raison d'etre — as ordained agency and directed by the Constitution. 1940. The battle then be reduced a race time. free It is a procedural rule that of generally all defense causes of action and defenses presently must beHowever. 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. even Relief a criminal conviction atThus. ten (10)reconsidered days within which to accordance file arguments pursuant to Sections 15. We can then and there the appropriate judgment. pp. But in all these cases. (Emphasis supplied). It should be stressed here that the motion for dated September 27. It is thus seen a rule of Congress or of the Supreme Court gives way to a constitutional In the instant case. the Court act according to justice and equity and substantial merits of the case. for 1969 reconsideration was late. 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. may be proceedings longjudgment after the finality ofathe judgment. shall however. regard the578). 1. 1969 being forma since it wasonly filedon beyond the 28. to or reverse in athere certain error of a court quo which exactly categorized as a flaw jurisdiction. There is no time limit to the exercise of the freedoms.). Court). 103. Rule 51. 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. nullity. 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. Manila Trading & Supply Co. 1969. 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. 16was Phil." This significant circumstance can of only mean that the firm didnot notmake sustain any lossoras orthat damage. the organic application Court of Industrial Relations rule which impinges on suchnohuman -a law. is available deemed a constitutional can be raised for the first time on appeal. -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.

the joining protests or demands. 793 [1945]). As succinctly put by Makalintal.. The only on protection against misguided zeal has isof aliberty constant alertness of of the the guarantees of libertysurrender. the complaint assailed integrity theprotection bank president free speech. procedure "are applied in a very rigid. of the morning and regular shifts reported for work on March 4. the Bank should have allowed the respondents to air their grievances.S.technicalities 161 [1958]). 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. .. In the latest in point promulgated in 1968. 1019). L-15379. protection where the for mass demonstration was not against thetocompany nor rendered any of itsall officers. In short. to by the respondent company assaulted the immunities 32 Of happy relevance is the 1967 case of Republic Savings Bank C. minus one day's and whatever theywith might have realized from other their from separation from the service. Mr. April 29. is abargaining concerted activity protected by the Industrial Act. 156 [1958] andin UyRegister v. late considering that September 28. 322.as Uy. laborsuch unionism in the Republic Savings case. Bernabe. contained in our Constitution. (Annot.. NLRB 313 U. and (2) directing the re instatement of pay the herein eight (8)earnings petitioners. xxx xxx xxx In the final right sum of and substance. 1969 and as a consequence. If that were so. day1969.rights Wefunction. Caltex. . June 2 SCRA84 675... have remained steadfastly opposed. as a4(a) refusal toidentified bargain collectively. "technicality. the Liberties of none are safe unless the liberties of all are protected. deviatedSummarizing from procedure when they score. if not greed.discrimination to the vs. in3 the exercise of their right of . Villamor (16 [1949]. right of theL-13773. Educ. WHEREFORE. p. a1969.. 'they were adoptedtonot as realization ends themselves for the compliance with courts organized and but as means conducive the the administration of theFelix. earlier Justice thatjustice. 6 A. 1962. speaking for a unanimous Court in Palma vs. thework. But even if we should sense no danger to our own liberties. The late Justice Recto in Blanco v.1961. Phil. 1960) is undenied.S. be sure. 1961. . Bank president demanding resignation on the grounds nepotism the appointment and favoritism as well in the promotion ofhis bank employees. 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. respondent's brief). The Villamor decision 104 was cited with of Deeds v. . 23 SCRA citing McEnteeLabrador v. as an interference with the employees' self-organization as a is retaliatory action. 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. 16-20." rules of(Ibid. 1969. Union vs. Assuming thatforthe latter acted in their individual they wrote they nonetheless protected they engaged in concerted activity. employer to select his employees or to discharge them.Peace 2d 416 [1949]).) selfThis organization that includes concerted activity forwere mutual aidbeen and protection. 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.fundamental law. But the eight (8) leaders of well the petitioner a mosttofamilies cruel penalty. For...) Justice Zaldivar partial to an(1968. Oct. Justice Castro. Justice Douglas articulated this pointed reminder: The challengebut to from our men liberties comes—frequently from who consciously destroy of Government.L." Therein.. 315 [1910]. is thatpreservation of liberties does depend motives. conscience berecognize observe. practically only one23. Suchand opportunism expediency resorted and welfare ofisitssheer employees. pp.an 14243. 156. a complete lack of sympathetic understanding of the plight of its laborersorwho claim that are subjected togood indignities by but the local police. 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.). Weinruled: It will availcapacities the Bank when none to gloat overthe thisletter-charge admission of thewere respondents. when it deserts its proper-office aid to justice and becomes its great hindrance and as chief enemy. 27. and the Union members who are not officers. 124 [1936]) was of a similar mind. Phil. if in furtherance of their interests as such. ofexercise Phil. 104 Phil. Mr.). Many rules a time. 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..have Oreta. 30-f Stated: As was so approval aptly expressed by Justice Moreland in Alonso v. thisorCourt in unanimity thatand/or the Bank's conduct.R..128). then many. as farPotenciano back 1910.. (Section ofinthe Industrial Peace Act is thegroup view of some members of this Court. It Dodge isAct directed solely against the abuse of that by interfering with the countervailing right of self organization (Phelps Corp. (63 Phil. theright righttoof ofdiscipline self-organization not unlimited (Republic Corp.because 1969 -their filed motion for reconsideration September 29. Phil. thisbeen Courtdevised. 20-30.that. Nat. respondent's Brief. ceasedMr." While "procedural laws are no other than technicalities" view them in their entirety. simply counsel — erroneously believing that he received copy which of the decision on is September instead of September 22. "B" and "C".realities of the situation. It was pure implementand selfishness." (Ibid. xxx xxx xxx Instead of stifling criticism. 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. Annexes "A"..I. deserves scant consideration from courts. this Court has remained committed. was (Udan v. for which reason the Union and its thirteen officers werenot specifically named the unfair labor practice charge (p. A suppression of liberty whether theinfractions suppress orofbe a reformer or an outlaw. Whatthe wesame must effect remember. For him the interpretation of procedural rule should never "sacrifice the ends justice. Phil. while at the same timedaily strengthening the oppressive hand of therespective petty tyrants in the localities. larger The battle over the Bill Each of Rights is a never endingtoone.. if not all. 5 SCRA 1016.only rec. Management has shown not only lack of good-will or intention. technical sense". 30." (Urbayan v. they give way decision to thev. Amon.) To that norm. to be instruments of justice. but are formulation intended "to of help secure substantial p.the v. 1969 washis a Sunday.R... where the petitioner Bank dismissed eight (8) of employees for having written and published "a patently libelous letteras. even by a small of employees. 177 [1941]). The liberties of any person are the liberties of all of us. 20. 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. surrender the demands the moment makes easier another... 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. NLRB U. aofUnion matter of fact. xxx xxx xxx The Banktodefends its action byToinvoking its for whatofitemployees calls the is respondents' libel in givingAviation undue publicity their324 letter-charge. It is not necessary that union activity be involved or that collective be contemplated. that The case at bar is worse. p. 843) . 31. Thenot Motives of these men are often commendable. Bank. the firm continued in operation that day and did not sustain any damage. for the attainment of which such thetechnicalities jurisprudence on this Justice Fernando. the intercession of were the Secretary of Labor. thru immorality. . not -g to be Even if the questioned Court eight of Industrial Relations orders is and rule for were to be given effect. This opportunism.) If free expression was morality accordedand recognition and to fortify less. constituted an 33 practice unfair labor within the meaning and intendment of section of the Industrial Peace Act. full back pay from the datesources of theirduring separation the service until re instated. The Industrial Peace does not touch normal ofright theEmployees. law which and justicehave (Ibid. v.. as the right the employer to discharge for cause (Philippine Education Co.." (Potenciano Court in of Appeals. With costs against private respondent Philippine Blooming Company. supra.. Inc. Manotok. however. (Emphasis supplied.. as has aptly stated. 303 SCRA 272. Court of Appeals.decided 600 v. Counsel for respondent firm(13) insinuates that all the 400 or so in employee participated in the demonstration. Aug. L-14968. freewhere assembly and right petitionthe are the moreofjustifiable and more no imperative in recognition the case at and bar.