CA junks money claims vs Philodrill


The Court of Appeals (CA) has dismissed the money claims complaint against Philodrill Corp. for lack of jurisdiction and merit.

The decision, penned by Associate Justice Ma. Luisa Quijano-Padilla on 10 August, dismissed the complaints filed by former company president Francisco Navarro asking for more than P20 million additional retirement benefits.

Padilla also overturned the earlier ruling by the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) on 28 December 2017 as well as Navarro’s motion for reconsideration filed on 26 April.

“The Court agrees with Philodrill’s position that public respondent NLRC has no jurisdiction to entertain Navarro’s case since the matter is not a simple money claim against the employer but is one involving an intra-corporate dispute. Since Navarro was the president of the corporation, therefore a corporate officer, his complaint for the payment of the alleged special retirement benefit is an intra-corporate controversy, and thus falls under the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court and not the Labor Tribunals,” the decision said.

In his complaint, Navarro was seeking P19.893 million worth of special retirement benefits, a 2016 profit share of P1.391 million and litigation expenses of at least P2.128 million. The complainant retired as president of the oil exploration company on 31 December 2016.

But the CA said Navarro was not entitled to any special retirement benefit.

The claim for special retirement benefit was based only on the marginal note made by the company’s former president in 2014.

Andrew Malihan

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