G.R. No. 201298, 5 February 2014
Cosare claimed that sometime in April 1993, he was employed as a salesman by Arevalo, who was then in the business of selling broadcast equipment needed by television networks and production houses. In December 2000, Arevalo set up the company Broadcom, still to continue the business of trading communication and broadcast equipment. Cosare was named an incorporator of Broadcom, having been assigned 100 shares of stock with par value of ₱1.00 per share.5 In October 2001, Cosare was promoted to the position of Assistant Vice President for Sales (AVP for Sales) and Head of the Technical Coordination
Sometime in 2003, Alex F. Abiog (Abiog) was appointed as Broadcom’s Vice President for Sales and thus, became Cosare’s immediate superior. On March 23, 2009, Cosare sent a confidential memo to Arevalo to inform him of the anomalies which were alledgedly being committed by Abiog against the company.
Apparently, Arevalo failed to act on Cosare’s accusations. Cosare claimed that he was instead called for a meeting by Arevalo on March 25, 2009, wherein he was asked to tender his resignation in exchange for “financial assistance” in the amount of ₱300,000.00. Cosare refused to comply with the directive.
On March 30, 2009, Cosare received from Roselyn Villareal (Villareal), Broadcom’s Manager for Finance and Administration, a memo signed by Arevalo, charging him of serious misconduct and willful breach of trust.
On April 1, 2009, Cosare was totally barred from entering the company premises, and was told to merely wait outside the office building for further instructions. On April 3, 2009, Cosare filed the subject labor complaint, claiming that he was constructively dismissed from employment by the respondents. In refuting Cosare’s complaint, the respondents argued that Cosare was neither illegally suspended nor dismissed from employment.
Whether or not the instant suit is an intra-corporate controversy, whereas such is within the jurisdiction of the RTC.
It is not an intra-corporate controversy. Settled jurisprudence, however, qualifies that when the dispute involves a charge of illegal dismissal, the action may fall under the jurisdiction of the LAs upon whose jurisdiction, as a rule, falls termination disputes and claims for damages arising from employer-employee relations as provided in Article 217 of the Labor Code. Consistent with this jurisprudence, the mere fact that Cosare was a stockholder and an officer of Broadcom at the time the subject controversy developed failed to necessarily make the case an intra-corporate dispute.
*Case Digest by Catherine C. Velasco, LLB-IV, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2019-2020