Burden of proof in contractor's status

In Petron v. Caberte et al.[1], Petron contends that the CA erred in ruling that ABC is a labor-only contractor since respondents failed to prove that ABC is not an independent contractor. The contention, however, is incorrect. The law presumes a contractor to be a labor-only contractor and the employees are not expected to prove the negative fact that the contractor is a labor-only contractor.[2] Thus, it is not respondents but Petron which bears the burden of establishing that ABC is not a labor-only contractor but a legitimate independent contractor. As held in Alilin v. Petron Corporation,[3] "where the principal is the one claiming that the contractor is a legitimate contractor, the burden of proving the supposed status of the contractor rests on the principal."

[1] G.R. No. 182255, June 15, 2015.

[2] 7K Corporation v. National Labor Relations Commission, 537 Phil. 664, 678-679 (2006).

[3] G.R. No. 177592, June 9, 2014.

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