Republic of the Philippines


G.R. No. L-16611             March 25, 1961

ROMAN CUISON, plaintiff-appellant,
SIMPLICIO GOITE, defendant-appelle.

Pedro V. Ibañez for plaintiff-appellant.
Enrique F. Marino for defendant-appellee.

BENGZON, Actg. C.J.:

On May 7, 1959, Roman Cuison sued Simplicio Goite to recover, on six causes of action, the total sum of P7,839.37 plus P5,000.00 as damages, P1,000.00 as attorneys fees and costs.

The complaint alleged that defendant had employed plaintiff as watchman from July 1956 up to March 2, 1959, when defendant for no cause, dismissed plaintiff without giving him one-month notice nor separation pay; that the compensation paid to him during his employment was lower than the levels fixed by the Minimum Wage Law; that he worked overtime even on Sundays and holidays, but was not paid therefor, in violation of the Eight-Hour Law; that plaintiff was never given vacation or sick leave, and that he suffered damages.

During the hearing in the Negros Occidental court of first instance, and while the plaintiff was testifying, the defendant raised the question of jurisdiction of the court, contending that the matter should be submitted to the Court of Industrial Relations. Memoranda and arguments were filed; and the court by its order of October 19, 1959, dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction, as contended by the defendant.

Hence this appeal, which we deem to be meritorious. Inasmuch as Cuison was no longer in the employ of Goite, and demanded no reinstatement, his action was merely a money claim that may be, and should be submitted to the court of first instance not the Court of Industrial Relations.

Analyzing these cases, the underlying principle, it will be noted in all of them, though not stated in express terms, is that where the employer-employee relationship is still existing or is sought to be reestablished because of its wrongful severance (as where the employee seeks reinstatement), the Court of Industrial Relations has jurisdiction over all claims arising out of or in connection with employment, such as those related to the Minimum Wage Law and the Eight-Hour Labor Law. After the termination of that relationship and no reinstatement is sought, such claims become mere money claims, and come within the jurisdiction of the regular courts.

We are aware that in 2 cases,1 some statements implying a different view have been made, but we now hold and declare the principle set forth in the next preceding paragraph as the one governing all cases of this nature. (Price Stabilization Corp. v. C.I.P. & Prisco Workers' Union, et al., May 23, 1960).

Accordingly, the record is hereby remanded to the court a quo for further proceedings. So ordered.

Padilla, Bautista Angelo, Labrador, Concepcion, Reyes J.B.L., Barrera, Paredes and Dizon, JJ., concur.


1 Mindanao Bus Employees Labor Union (PLUM) v. Mindanao Bus Co., et al., G.R. No. 9795, promulgated December 28, 1957; Gomez v. North Camarines Lumber Co., Inc., G.R. L-11945, promulgated August 18, 1958.

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