G.R. No. 196036, 23 October 2013
Respondents Simeon Dejero and Teodoro Permejo filed separate Complaints for illegal dismissal, nonpayment of salaries and overtime pay, refund of transportation expenses, damages, and attorney’s fees against PRO Agency Manila, Inc., and Abdul Rahman Al Mahwes.
Labor Arbiter issued decision finding Pro Agency Manila, Inc., and Abdul Rahman Al Mahwes jointly and severally liable to pay in favor of the complainants. Pursuant to this Decision, the Labor Arbiter issued a Writ of Execution but the same was returned unsatisfied.
Respondents then filed a Motion to Implead Respondent Pro Agency Manila, Inc.’s Corporate Officers and Directors as Judgment Debtors. The instant motion was granted with the petitioner included as the Vice-President/Stockholder/Director of PRO Agency, Manila, Inc.
Petitioner, in response filed a Motion to Quash the Writ of Execution. Petitioner alleged that apart from not being made aware that she was impleaded as one of the parties to the case, the dispositive portion of the 7 May 1997 Decision (1997 Decision) did not hold her liable in any form whatsoever.
Whether or not petitioner may be held jointly and severally liable with PRO Agency Manila, Inc. in accordance with Section 10 of R.A. 8042, despite not having been impleaded in the Complaint and named in the Decision.
No.Petitioner may not be held jointly and severally liable.
In Sto. Tomas v. Salac, the key issue that Gumabay, et al. presents is whether or not the 2nd paragraph of Section 10, R.A. 8042, which holds the corporate directors, officers, and partners of recruitment and placement agencies jointly and solidarily liable for money claims and damages that may be adjudged against the latter agencies, is unconstitutional.
x x x
But the Court has already held, pending adjudication of this case, that the liability of corporate directors and officers is not automatic. To make them jointly and solidarily liable with their company, there must be a finding that they were remiss in directing the affairs of that company, such as sponsoring or tolerating the conduct of illegal activities.
Hence, for petitioner to be found jointly and solidarily liable, there must be a separate finding that she was remiss in directing the affairs of the agency, resulting in the illegal dismissal of respondents. Examination of the records would reveal that there was no finding of neglect on the part of the petitioner in directing the affairs of the agency. In fact, respondents made no mention of any instance when petitioner allegedly failed to manage the agency in accordance with law, thereby contributing to their illegal dismissal.
*Case Digest by Nikki P. Ebillo, JD-4, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2019-2020