G.R. No. 187122 Negros Slashers, Inc., et al. v. Teng February 22, 2012

Facts:

Respondent Alvin Teng is a professional basketball player who started his career as such in the Philippine Basketball Association and then later on played in the Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA).

Some time in one of his games, particularly Game Number 4 of the MBA Championship Round for the year 2000 season, Teng had a below-par playing performance.  Because of this, the coaching staff decided to pull him out of the game.  Teng then sat on the bench, untied his shoelaces and donned his practice jersey.  On the following game, Game Number 5 of the Championship Round, Teng called-in sick and did not play.

On March 16, 2001, because of what happened, the management of Negros Slashers came up with a decision, and through its General Manager, petitioner Rodolfo Alvarez, wrote Teng informing him of his termination from the team.

Issue:

Whether or not Teng’s dismissal from the Negros Slashers Team was unjustified and too harsh considering his misconduct.

Ruling:

Yes. As ruled in Sagales v. Rustan’s Commercial Corporation, while the employer has the inherent right to discipline, including that of dismissing its employees, this prerogative is subject to the regulation by the State in the exercise of its police power.

In this regard, it is a hornbook doctrine that infractions committed by an employee should merit only the corresponding penalty demanded by the circumstance. The penalty must be commensurate with the act, conduct or omission imputed to the employee and must be imposed in connection with the disciplinary authority of the employer.

In the case at bar, the penalty handed out by the petitioners was the ultimate penalty of dismissal.  There was no warning or admonition for respondent’s violation of team rules, only outright termination of his services for an act which could have been punished appropriately with a severe reprimand or suspension.

G.R. No. 117169 PhilTread Workers Union, et al. v. Confesor, et al. March 12, 1997

Facts:

Petitioner PTWU filed a notice of strike on grounds of unfair labor practice, more specifically union busting and violation of CBA. On the other hand, private respondent Philtread Tire and Rubber Corporation filed a notice of lockout. It also filed a petition to declare illegal the work slowdowns staged by the petitioner Union. Both cases were then consolidated. Several conciliation meetings were conducted but the parties failed to settle their dispute.

At some time, the National Labor Relations Commission declared the slowdowns illegal. Thereafter, private respondent corporation requested the Secretary of Labor to assume jurisdiction over the labor dispute. Secretary Confesor then issued an order, which, among other things, certified the dispute for compulsory arbitration. Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration of the order but the same was denied for lack of merit.

Petitioners questioned the constitutionality of Article 263 (g) of the Labor Code on the ground that the Secretary of Labor’s intervention violates the workers’ constitutional right to strike, and alleged that he acted with grave abuse of discretion in issuing the order since his power to certify a dispute for compulsory arbitration is strictly restricted to cases involving industries that are indispensable to national interest.

Issues:

  1. Whether or not Article 263 (g) of the Labor Code is unconstitutional; and
  2. Whether or not public respondent acted with grave abuse of discretion in issuing the questioned order.

Ruling:

  1. No. Article 263 (g) of the Labor Code does not interfere with the workers’ right to strike but merely regulates it, when in the exercise of such right, national interests will be affected. The rights granted by the Constitution are not absolute. They are still subject to control and limitation to ensure that they are not exercised arbitrarily. The interests of both the employers and employees are intended to be protected and not one of them is given undue preference. The assumption of the Secretary of Labor of jurisdiction is in the nature of police power measure. This is done for the promotion of the common good considering that a prolonged strike or lockout can be inimical to the national economy. The Secretary of Labor acts to maintain industrial peace. As articulated in International Pharmaceuticals, Inc. vs. Secretary of Labor, it is fundamental that a statute is to be read in a manner that would breathe life into it, rather than defeat it.
  2. No. Grave abuse of discretion implies capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment. The respondent company is indispensable to national interest considering that the tire industry has already been liberalized. Philtread supplies 22% of the tire products in the country. As observed by the Secretary of Labor, “the Company is one of the tire manufacturers in the country employing more or less 700 workers. Any work disruption thereat, as a result of a labor dispute will certainly prejudice the employment and livelihood of its workers and their dependents. Furthermore, the labor dispute may lead to the possible closure of the Company and loss of employment to hundreds of its workers. This will definitely aggravate the already worsening unemployment situation in the country and discourage foreign and domestic investors from further investing in the country.”

Persons who may be adopted

Under Sec. 8 of Republic Act No. 8552 or Domestic Adoption Act:

(a) Any person below eighteen (18) years of age who has been administratively or judicially declared available for adoption;

(b) The legitimate son/daughter of one spouse by the other spouse;

(c) An illegitimate son/daughter by a qualified adopter to improve his/her status to that of legitimacy;

(d) A person of legal age if, prior to the adoption, said person has been consistently considered and treated by the adopter(s) as his/her own child since minority;

(e) A child whose adoption has been previously rescinded; or

(f) A child whose biological or adoptive parent(s) has died: Provided, That no proceedings shall be initiated within six (6) months from the time of death of said parent(s).


Under Sec. 8 of Republic Act No. 8043 or Inter-Country Adoption Act:

Only a legally free child may be the subject of inter-country adoption.

However, in order that such child may be considered for placement, the following documents must be submitted to the Board:

(a)Child study;

(b)Birth certificate/foundling certificate;

(c)Deed of voluntary commitment/decree of abandonment/death certificate of parents

(d)Medical evaluation /history;

(e)Psychological evaluation, as necessary; and

(f)Recent photo of the child.

Persons who may adopt

Under Sec. 7 of Republic Act No. 8552 or Domestic Adoption Act:

(a) Any Filipino citizen of legal age, in possession of full civil capacity and legal rights, of good moral character, has not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude, emotionally and psychologically capable of caring for children, at least sixteen (16) years older than the adoptee, and who is in a position to support and care for his/her children in keeping with the means of the family. The requirement of sixteen (16) year difference between the age of the adopter and adoptee may be waived when the adopter is the biological parent of the adoptee, or is the spouse of the adoptee’s parent;

(b) Any alien possessing the same qualifications as above stated for Filipino nationals: Provided, That his/her country has diplomatic relations with the Republic of the Philippines, that he/she has been living in the Philippines for at least three (3) continuous years prior to the filing of the application for adoption and maintains such residence until the adoption decree is entered, that he/she has been certified by his/her diplomatic or consular office or any appropriate government agency that he/she has the legal capacity to adopt in his/her country, and that his/her government allows the adoptee to enter his/her country as his/her adopted son/daughter: Provided, Further, That the requirements on residency and certification of the alien’s qualification to adopt in his/her country may be waived for the following:

(i) a former Filipino citizen who seeks to adopt a relative within the fourth (4th) degree of consanguinity or affinity; or

(ii) one who seeks to adopt the legitimate son/daughter of his/her Filipino spouse; or

(iii) one who is married to a Filipino citizen and seeks to adopt jointly with his/her spouse a relative within the fourth (4th) degree of consanguinity or affinity of the Filipino spouse; or

(c) The guardian with respect to the ward after the termination of the guardianship and clearance of his/her financial accountabilities.


Under Sec. 9 of Republic Act No. 8043 or Inter-Country Adoption Act:

An alien or a Filipino citizen permanently residing abroad may file an application for inter-country adoption of a Filipino child if he/she:

(a) is at least twenty-seven (27) years of age and at least sixteen (16) years older than the child to be adopted, at the time of application unless the adopter is the parent by nature of the child to be adopted or the spouse of such parent:

(b) if married, his/her spouse must jointly file for the adoption;

(c) has the capacity to act and assume all rights and responsibilities of parental authority under his national laws, and has undergone the appropriate counseling from an accredited counselor in his/her country;

(d) has not been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude;

(e) is eligible to adopt under his/her national law;

(f) is in a position to provide the proper care and support and to give the necessary moral values and example to all his children, including the child to be adopted;

(g) agrees to uphold the basic rights of the child as embodied under Philippine laws, the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, and to abide by the rules and regulations issued to implement the provisions of this Act;

(h) comes from a country with whom the Philippines has diplomatic relations and whose government maintains a similarly authorized and accredited agency and that adoption is allowed under his/her national laws; and

(i) possesses all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications provided herein and in other applicable Philippine laws.

G.R. No. 94147 Republic v. Toledano, et. al. June 8, 1994

Facts:

A verified petition was filed before the RTC of Iba, Zambales by spouses Alvin A. Clouse and Evelyn A. Clouse, both aliens, seeking to adopt the minor, Solomon Joseph Alcala, the younger brother of Evelyn who has been under their care and custody for quite a time.

Alvin is a natural born US citizen. He married Evelyn, a Filipino, who thereafter became a naturalized citizen of the US in Guam. They are physically, mentally, morally, and financially capable of adopting Solomon, a twelve (12) year old minor.

Solomon gave his consent to the adoption, and so did his mother Nery Alcala, a widow, due to poverty and inability to support and educate her son.

Mrs. Nila Corazon Pronda, the social worker assigned to conduct the Home and Child Study, favorably recommended the granting of the petition for adoption.

Consequently, respondent judge rendered a decision granting the petition for adoption and decreeing that said minor be considered as their child by adoption. To this effect, the Court gives the minor the rights and duties as the legitimate child of the petitioners. Also, it dissolves parental authority bestowed upon his natural parents and vests parental authority to the spouses and makes him their legal heir.

Petitioner, through the OSG appealed for relief via a Petition for review on certiorari of the decision  of the lower court, contending that it erred in granting the petition for adoption because spouses Clouse are not qualified to adopt under Philippine law.

Both spouses are American citizens at the time of the filing of petition for adoption.

Issues:

  1. Whether or not the spouses, both aliens, have the right or are qualified to adopt under Philippine law.
  2. Whether or not joint adoption by spouses is mandatory.

Ruling:

Under Articles 184 and 185 of E.O. No. 209, otherwise known as “The Family Code of the Philippines”, spouses Clouse are clearly barred from adopting Solomon.

Article 184, paragraph (3) of E.O. No. 209 expressly enumerates the persons who are not qualified to adopt, viz.:

(3) An alien, except:

(a) A former Filipino citizen who seeks to adopt a relative by consanguinity;

(b) One who seeks to adopt the legitimate child of his or her Filipino spouse; or

(c) One who is married to a Filipino citizen and seeks to adopt jointly with his or her spouse a relative by consanguinity of the latter.

Aliens not included in the foregoing exceptions may adopt Filipino children in accordance with the rules on inter-country adoption as may be provided by law.

There can be no question that Alvin is not qualified to adopt Solomon under any of the exceptional cases in the aforequoted provision. Firstly, he is not a former Filipino citizen but a natural born US citizen . Secondly, Solomon is neither his relative by consanguinity nor the legitimate child of his spouse. Lastly, when spouses Clouse jointly filed the petition to adopt Solomon, Evelyn was no longer a Filipino citizen. She lost her Filipino citizenship when she was naturalized as a US citizen.

Evelyn on the other hand, may appear to qualify pursuant to paragraph 3(a) of Article 184 of E.O. 209. She was a former Filipino citizen. She sought to adopt her younger brother. Unfortunately, the petition for adoption cannot be granted in her favor alone without violating Article 185 which mandates a joint adoption by the husband and wife. It reads:

Article 185. Husband and wife must jointly adopt, except in the following cases:

(1) When one spouse seeks to adopt his own illegitimate child; or

(2) When one spouse seeks to adopt the legitimate child of the other.

Article 185 requires a joint adoption by the husband and wife, a condition that must be read along together with Article 184.

Today, this case is applicable only insofar as the mandatory nature of a joint adoption by husband and wife is concerned. As to the qualification or non-qualification of an alien adopter, RA 8552 (enacted on February 25, 1998) is applicable.

Section 21(a) of the IRR of R.A. No. 9165 – Rule on the Chain of Custody; Exception

The apprehending officer/team having initial custody and control of the drugs shall, immediately after seizure and confiscation, physically inventory and photograph the same in the presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized, or his/her representative or counsel, a representative from the media and the Department of Justice (DOJ), and any elected public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereof; Provided, that the physical inventory and photograph shall be conducted at the place where the search warrant is served; or at the nearest police station or at the nearest office of the apprehending officer/team, whichever is practicable, in case of warrantless seizures; Provided, further, that non-compliance with these requirements under justifiable grounds, as long as the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items are properly preserved by the apprehending officer/team, shall not render void and invalid such seizures of and custody over said items.

G.R. No. 192284 Tionco v. People March 11, 2015

Facts:

In an Amended Information dated September 4, 2002, petitioner was charged with violation of Section 11(3), Article II of R.A. 9165. Petitioner entered a plea of not guilty to the charge upon his arraignment on December 9,2002.

During trial, it was proved that after petitioner was arrested and the suspected shabu was confiscated from him by PO1 Sta. Maria, the latter immediately brought the item to the police station where he marked the plastic sachet with petitioner’s initials “ATO,” and turned it over to the investigator POl Garcia. The latter, together with POl Sta. Maria, then forwarded the said plastic sachet marked with “ATO” ‘and the letter request for laboratory examination to the WPD Crime Laboratoiy. Forensic Chemist P/Insp. Macapagal personally received the same from POl Garcia and after conducting qualitative examination on the contents thereof, found the same to be positive for methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu. When the prosecution presented as evidence in court the plastic sachet marked with “ATO,” POl Sta. Maria in no uncertain terms positively identified it as the one he confiscated from petitioner. Also proved was the fact that there was no physical inventory conducted on and photograph taken of the seized item.

The RTC, in its Amended Decision of August 29, 2008, convicted petitioner.

On appeal, the CA affirmed the amended decision where it upheld the integrity and evidentiary value of the confiscated item after observing that its chain of custody was duly established. Petitioner, on the other hand, filed a Motion for Reconsideration, which was denied in a Resolution dated May 13, 2010. Hence, this Petition for Review on Certiorari, where petitioner attempts to raise doubts on the identity of the item confiscated from him. He asserts that there was failure on the part of the police officers to preserve the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized item as no physical inventory thereof was conducted, or photograph of it taken, immediately upon seizure, in violation of the procedures provided by law.

Issue:

Whether or not the CA was correct in giving full weight and credence to the prosecution’s evidence (the seized item) despite lack of physical inventory on and photograph taken of the same.

Ruling:

Yes.

  • Procedural: It is significant to note that the defense did not question the admissibility of the seized item as evidence during trial. In no instance did he intimate before the trial court that there were lapses in the handling and safekeeping of the item that might affect its admissibility, integrity and evidentiary value. It was only during the appeal to the CA that he questioned the same. Settled is the rule that no question will be entertained on appeal unless it had been raised in the court below as enunciated in People v. Sta. Maria and reiterated in subsequent cases.
  • Substantive: [W]hile there was indeed no physical inventory conducted and no photograph of the seized item was taken, the Court has already ruled in several cases that the failure of the arresting officers to strictly comply with the law is not fatal and will not render an accused’s arrest illegal or the items seized/confiscated from him inadmissible. “What is of utmost importance is the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items, as the same would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused.”