CASE DIGEST: Yokohama Tire v. Yokohama Employees

G.R. No. 163532: March 10, 2010

YOKOHAMA TIRE PHILIPPINES, INC., Petitioner, v. YOKOHAMA EMPLOYEES UNION, Respondent.

CARPIO,J.:

FACTS:


Respondent YEU is the labor organization of the rank-and-file employees of petitioner YTPI. YEU was registered as a legitimate labor labor union on 10 September 1999.

YEU filed before the Regional Office a petition for certification election.YTPI filed before the Regional Office a petition on 24 January 2000 for the revocation of YEUs registration alleging among other matters that YEU violated Article 239(a) of the Labor Code for committing fraud or misrepresentation for fraudulently including the signature of a certain Ronald O. Pineda in the organizational documents.

The Regional Office granted the petition and ruled that YEU committed misrepresentation: (1) YEU failed to remove Pinedas signature from the organizational documents despite instructions to do so; and (2) YEU declared that it conducted an election of union officers when, in truth, it did not.

On appeal, the BLR reversed the decision of the Regional Office. The BLR also held among other matters that (1) YTPI was estopped from questioning the fact that theSama-Samang Pahayagwas an unsworn document since it filed the 24 January 2000 petition for the revocation of YEUs registration based on unsworn documents; (2) the fact that there was no express mention of an election of union officers in theSama-Samang Pahayagdid not necessarily mean that no election occurred; (3) there was an organizational meeting and an organizational meeting may include an election of union officers; (4) any infirmity in the election of union officers may be remedied under the last paragraph of Article 241 of the Labor Code and under Rule XIV of DOLE Department Order No. 9; and (5) cancellation of union registration must be done with great caution.

YTPI filed a motion for reconsideration but the same was denied the motion for lack of merit. On its appeal for certiorari, the CA denied the petition and held that the BLR did not commit grave abuse of discretion.

Hence, this petition.
ISSUES: 
Whether or not petitioner had the burden of proof that YEU committed fraud and misrepresentation?
HELD:

The petition is denied.

LABOR LAW


As correctly held by the Court of Appeal, the cancellation of union registration at the employers instance, while permitted, must be approached with caution and strict scrutiny in order that the right to belong to a legitimate labor organization and to enjoy the privileges appurtenant to such membership will not be denied to the employees.As the applicant for cancellation, the petitioner naturally had the burden to present proof sufficient to warrant the cancellation.The petitioner was thus expected to satisfactorily establish that YEU committed misrepresentations, false statements or fraud in connection with the election of its officers, or with the minutes of the election of officers, or in the list of votes, as expressly required in Art. 239, (c),Labor Code.But, as the respondent BLR Director has found and determined, the petitioner simply failed to discharge its burden.

YTPI, being the one which filed the petition for the revocation of YEUs registration, had the burden of proving that YEU committed fraud and misrepresentation.YTPI had the burden of proving the truthfulness of its accusations that YEU fraudulently failed to remove Pinedas signature from the organizational documents and that YEU fraudulently misrepresented that it conducted an election of officers.

REMEDIAL LAW

A petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court should include only questions of law, questions of fact are not reviewable.A question of law exists when the doubt centers on what the law is on a certain set of facts, while a question of fact exists when the doubt centers on the truth or falsity of the alleged facts.There is a question of law if the issue raised is capable of being resolved without need of reviewing the probative value of the evidence.Once the issue invites a review of the evidence, the question is one of fact.

Whether YEU committed fraud and misrepresentation in failing to remove Pinedas signature from the list of employees who supported YEUs application for registration and whether YEU conducted an election of its officers are questions of fact.They are not reviewable.

Factual findings of the Court of Appeals are binding on the Court.Absent grave abuse of discretion, the Court will not disturb the Court of Appeals factual findings. InEncarnacion v. Court of Appeals (G.R. No. 101292, 8 June 1993), the Court held that, unless there is a clearly grave or whimsical abuse on its part, findings of fact of the appellate court will not be disturbed.The Supreme Court will only exercise its power of review in known exceptions such as gross misappreciation of evidence or a total void of evidence.YTPI failed to show that the Court of Appeals gravely abused its discretion.

CA AFFIRMED.

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