G.R. No. L- 13119, 22 September 1959
Sometime in June, 1951, members of the Kaisahan ng mga Manggagawa sa La Campana, a labor union to which were affiliated workers in the La Campana Starch Factory and La Campana Coffee Factory, two separate entities but under the one management, presented demands for higher wages, and more privileges and benefits in connection with their work. When the management failed and refused to grant the demands, the Department of Labor intervened; but failing to settle the controversy, it certified the dispute to the Court of Industrial Relations on July 17, 1951, where it was docketed as Case No. 584-V. On the theory that the laborers presenting the demands were only the ones working in the coffee factory, said company filed through the management a motion to dismiss claiming that inasmuch as there were only 14 of them in said factory, the Court of Industrial Relations had no jurisdiction to entertain and decide the case. The motion was denied by the Court of Industrial Relations. The order of denial was appealed to the Supreme Court through certiorari.
Petitioner, however, contends that in G.R. No. L-5677, we “pierced the veil of corporate existence”, and held that the La Campana Starch and Coffee Factory and its owner, Ramon Tantongco, were one; so that with the death of Ramon, the La Campana entities ceased to exist, resulting in the loss of jurisdiction of the CIR to enforce its order against said entities.
Whether the Doctrine of Piercing the veil of corporate existence applies given that the two corporations are operating under one single management.
NO. The Supreme Court still believe that although the family of Ramon Tantongco was practically the owner of both the coffee factory and the starch factory, nevertheless these entities are separate from the personality of Ramon Tantongco.
The coffee factory is a stock corporation and the shares are owned not only by Ramon but also by others, such as petitioner Ricardo who not only is a stockholder and director and treasurer but also the management of the same Furthermore, petitioner is now estopped from claiming that the two entities in question and Ramon are one.
In conclusion, we find and hold that the La Campana Starch and Food Products Company which stands for the La Campana Starch and Coffee Factory are entities distinct from the personality of Ramon Tantongco; that after the death of Ramon these two entities continued to exist and to operate under the management of petitioner and that consequently he is the proper person and official to which the orders of the CIR are addressed and who is in duty bound to comply with the same. We further find that the CIR acted with in its jurisdiction in issuing its order of September 30, 1957 and in requiring petitioner to appear to give his evidence if any in relation with the contempt proceedings instituted against him.
*Case digest by Earl M. Acoymo, Refresher, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2019-2020