PH high court recalls ruling on union retrenchment


The Philippine Supreme Court (SC) has recalled on a technicality an earlier decision declaring with finality the illegal retrenchment of some 1,400 flight attendants of Philippine Airlines (PAL).

In a decision dated October 4, the SC said it should have been the court’s 3rd division that handed down the decision, not the 2nd division.

SC based its decision on a letter by PAL counsel Estelito Mendoza questioning the composition of the second division.

“The Court En Banc resolves to accept G.R. No. 178083 (Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines [FASAP] v. Philippine Airlines, Inc. [PAL], Patria Chiong, et al.) and to take cognizance thereof. The Court En Banc further resolves to recall the resolution dated September 7, 2011 issued by the Second Division in this case,” the SC said.

“The court further resolved to re-raffle the case to a new member-in-charge.”

The September 7, 2011 decision handed down by the SC second division denied with finality the second motion for reconsideration filed by PAL and further resolved that no further pleadings shall be entertained.

In addition, the second division decided that PAL failed to observe proper procedures of a valid retrenchment, upheld the July 22, 2008 decision in favor of FASAP, and ordered the reinstatement with full back wages of 1,400 flight attendants retrenched by PAL at the height of a pilots’ strike in 1998.

FASAP president Bob Anduiza said the group was shocked by the SC decision and called it a “travesty of justice”.

Anduiza added it was “mind-boggling and deeply disturbing” how a letter from the PAL counsel prompted the court to recall a decision reached “with finality”.

“The Filipino public should stand witness to this travesty of justice. The law is being mocked in this case. It sends a very shocking and shameful message to the world that in our country, workers do not stand a chance against the rich and influential businessmen,” Anduiza said. “This is really very, very dangerous.”


Photo by KeithBurtis