REMAssigned-Cases.docx - Legend[xxx Corrected Rule 46 Sec 2 G.R No 130866 ST MARTIN FUNERAL HOME petitioner vs NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION and

REMAssigned-Cases.docx - Legend[xxx Corrected Rule 46 Sec 2...

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Legend: [xxx] - Corrected
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Rule 46 Sec. 2 G.R. No. 130866 September 16, 1998 ST. MARTIN FUNERAL HOME, petitioner, vs. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION and BIENVENIDO ARICAYOS, respondents. REGALADO, J.: The present petition for certiorari stemmed from a complaint for illegal dismissal filed by herein private respondent before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), Regional Arbitration Branch No. III, in San Fernando, Pampanga. Private respondent alleges that he started working as Operations Manager of petitioner St. Martin Funeral Home on February 6, 1995. However, there was no contract of employment executed between him and petitioner nor was his name included in the semi-monthly payroll. On January 22, 1996, he was dismissed from his employment for allegedly misappropriating P38,000.00 which was intended for payment by petitioner of its value added tax (VAT) to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). 1 Petitioner on the other hand claims that private respondent was not its employee but only the uncle of Amelita Malabed, the owner of petitioner St. Martin's Funeral Home. Sometime in 1995, private respondent, who was formerly working as an overseas contract worker, asked for financial assistance from the mother of Amelita. Since then, as an indication of gratitude, private respondent voluntarily helped the mother of Amelita in overseeing the business. In January 1996, the mother of Amelita passed away, so the latter then took over the management of the business. She then discovered that there were arrears in the payment of taxes and other government fees, although the records purported to show that the same were already paid. Amelita then made some changes in the business operation and private respondent and his wife were no longer allowed to participate in the management thereof. As a consequence, the latter filed a complaint charging that petitioner had illegally terminated his employment. 2 Based on the position papers of the parties, the labor arbiter rendered a decision in favor of petitioner on October 25, 1996 declaring that no employer-employee relationship existed between the parties and, therefore, his office had no jurisdiction over the case. 3 Not satisfied with the said decision, private respondent appealed to the NLRC contending that the labor arbiter erred (1) in not giving credence to the evidence submitted by him; (2) in holding that he worked as a "volunteer" and not as an employee of St. Martin Funeral Home from February 6, 1995 to January 23, 1996, or a period of about one year; and (3) in ruling that there was no employer-employee relationship between him and petitioner. 4 On June 13, 1997, the NLRC rendered a resolution setting aside the questioned decision and remanding the case to the labor arbiter for immediate appropriate proceedings. 5 Petitioner then filed a motion for reconsideration which was denied by the NLRC in its resolution dated August 18, 1997 for lack of merit, 6 hence the present petition alleging that the NLRC committed grave abuse of discretion.
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