G.R. No. 232125. August 16, 2017

[G.R. No. 232125, August 16, 2017]. QUALFON PHILIPPINES, INC. VS. KRISTINE JUMUNONG ERNIE.

The Court resolves to GRANT petitioner's Motion for Extension of Time to File Petition for Review on Certiorari of thirty (30) days from the expiration of the reglementary period on June 6, 2017 within which to file the said petition for review on certiorari and NOTE petitioner's Manifestation with Compliance of the Efficient Use of Paper Rule.

The Court, after a judicious appraisal of the allegations and arguments raised in the instant Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, further resolves to DENY the same for failure of the petitioner to show any reversible error on the part of the Court of Appeals (CA) in issuing the assailed Decision and Resolution dated September 23, 2016 and May 9, 2017, respectively, in CA G.R. SP No. 09233-CEB.

Petitioner asserts that respondent's acts constitute Time Fraud and that such offense can be considered as gross misconduct, thus justifying the latter's dismissal.

The Court is unconvinced. "The Court is not unmindful of the rule in labor cases that the employer has the burden of proving that the termination was for a valid or authorized cause."[1] Petitioner failed to persuade the Court that the common finding of the Labor Arbiter (LA), the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), and Court of Appeals (CA) that respondent's acts can hardly be considered as serious misconduct is erroneous. The offense (i.e. Time Fraud) allegedly committed by respondent was not intelligibly demarcated in the company's code of conduct. It was not established that respondent intended to defraud the company or that the latter was miserably prejudiced.

Moreover, the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in cases brought before it from the CA via Rule 45 of the Rules of Court is limited to reviewing errors of law. The Court is not the proper venue to consider a factual issue as it is not a trier of facts.[2] Unlike the LA and the NLRC, this Court will not go back to the roots and re-examine the facts of the case from ground up unless there is enough basis to do so. The common findings of the LA and NLRC as affirmed by the CA are viewed not only with great respect but even clothed with finality and deemed binding on this Court as long as they are supported by substantial evidence.

ACCORDINGLY, the Court hereby resolves to AFFIRM the Decision and Resolution dated September 23, 2016 and May 9, 2017 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 09233-CEB.

SO ORDERED.

[1] Tri-C General Services v. Matuto, 770 Phil. 251, 262 (2015).
[2] Ting Trucking v. Makilan, G.R. No. 216452, June 20,2016

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