CA junks ABS-CBN plea on labor case

By Benjamin Pulta

February 11, 2021, 11:33 am

MANILA – The Court of Appeals (CA) has turned down a petition filed by broadcast network ABS-CBN Corporation in a labor case involving two of its employees.

In a 15-page decision dated February 4, the appellate court's Special Ninth Division, through Associate Justice Rafael Antonio Santos, "denied for lack of merit" the petition for certiorari filed by the broadcasting firm.

Associate Justice Elihu A. Ybanez and Raymond Lauigan concurred in the decision.

The case involved employees Ellen N. Lagat and Simonette C. Soriano who filed a complaint for illegal dismissal, non-payment of overtime pay, 13th-month pay, incentive leave pay, holiday pay, as well as attorney's fees against the firm.

On Feb. 15, 2012, the labor arbiter rendered a decision finding that the broadcasting firm had indeed illegally dismissed the two and that Lagat and Soriano have become regular employees by operation of law.

On Feb. 27, 2013, the labor arbiter issued a writ of execution pending appeal for the payment of accrued salaries from March 26, 2012, to February 26, 2013, amounting to PHP245,150 inclusive of 10 percent attorney's fees, execution fee, and deposit fee.

The firm then appealed the case which eventually reached the Supreme Court where it is now pending.

In 2018, the labor arbiter issued an execution order for the payment noting that there is no temporary restraining order issued by the CA or the SC and therefore no legal impediment exists for the execution of the earlier decision.

In turning down the firm's appeal, the CA also said the broadcasting firm "failed to discharge its burden of proving that the National Labor Relations Commission committed grave abuse of discretion" and denied the petition for lack of merit. (PNA)