State of Suspended Animation

Petitioner claims that the private respondents were only made to wait for the decision of the management pending investigation of the alleged "sabotage" or boycott. It will be noted, however, that the private respondents were already barred from entering the company as early as May 7, 1993. They filed their complaint on May 17 of the same year. Ten days had lapsed before the said complaints were filed. Within those ten days the private respondents were not allowed to work in the company and their status remained unclear. As aptly noted by the Solicitor General:

Even assuming ex gratia argumenti that there was a company investigation being then conducted, still petitioner should not have ordered private respondents to await its decision on the matter but instead imposed on the latter preventive suspension in conformity with Sections 3 and 4 of Rule XIV of Book V of the Implementing Rules of the Labor Code, considering that private respondents were accused of having sabotaged petitioner's operations which resulted in business losses, a clear example of a serious and imminent, if not actual, threat to petitioner's property. Hence, having been placed in suspended animation, so to speak, by petitioner, private respondents had every reason to believe that they were dismissed by the former, as they actually were, thereby warranting the filing of the complaints for illegal dismissal. (G.R. No. 122165; February 17, 1997)

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Now, in the instant case, petitioner not only voluntarily abandoned her domicile of choice (unless we assume that she entered into the marital state against her will) but, on top of that, such abandonment was further affirmed through her acquisition of a new domicile by operation of law. In fact, this is even a case of both voluntary and legal abandonment of a domicile of origin. With much more reason, therefore, should we reject the proposition that with the termination of her marriage in 1989, petitioner had supposedly per se and ipso facto reacquired her domicile of origin which she lost in 1954. Otherwise, this would be tantamount to saying that during the period of marital coverture, she was simultaneously in possession and enjoyment of a domicile of origin which was only in a state of suspended animation.

Thus, the American rule is likewise to the effect that while after the husband's death the wife has the right to elect her own domicile, she nevertheless retains the last domicile of her deceased husband until she makes an actual change. In the absence of affirmative evidence, to the contrary, the presumption is that a wife's domicile or legal residence follows that of her husband and will continue after his death. (G.R. No. 119976; September 18, 1995)

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