Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Cosmos Foundry Shop Workers Union (CFSWU) and Filemon Alvarez v. Lo Bu and Court of Appeals No. L-40136, March 25, 1975, 63 SCRA 321

Facts: After Cosmos Foundry Shop was burned , Ong Ting established Century Foundry Shop where he and his family resided in the premises. After several attempts to settle a pending unfair labor practice case proved unsuccessful, Ong Ting sold all his business, including equipment and rights in the New Century Foundry Shop to his compadre Lo Bu, for Php20,000. 

On Jan 16, 1973, petitioner CFSWU obtained from the Court of Industrial Relations the third alias writ of execution for the satisfaction and enforcement of the judgment in its favor. Thereafter, writ was served January 17 and 18, 1973, levying on the personal properties of the Cosmos Foundry Shop or the New Century Foundry Shop for the purpose of conducting the public auction sale. 

Respondent Lo Bu filed an urgent motion to recall writ of execution, asserting lack of jurisdiction of the Court of Industrial Relations (CIR). The CIR, in its order dated Feb 23, 1973, denied his motion. So likewise was the motion for reconsideration. 

Lo Bu appealed by certiorari but the Court denied this petition in its resolution dated July 17, 1993. In the meanwhile, there was a replevin suit by Lo Bu in the Court of First Instance (CFI) Manila covering the same properties. 

Upon receipt of order from the Court denying certiorari, petitioner Labor Union filed a second motion to dismiss complaint. After the complaint was dismissed by the lower court, decision was elevated to the Court of Appeals. 

Issues: 

(1) Whether or not petitioner Labor union has made out a case for certiorari and prohibition. 

(2) Whether or not counsel Atty Busmente performed his obligation as an officer of the court while sustaining the dignity of the profession while acting as counsel for Lo Bu. 

Held: 

Writ of certiorari is granted and the order of Respondent CA reinstating appeal is nullified and set aside. 

The writ of prohibition is likewise granted, respondent CA being perpetually restrained from taking any further action in such appeal, except that of dismissing it. 

Courts should dismiss a suit which has all the earmarks of a subterfuge that was resorted to for the purpose of frustrating the execution of a judgment in an unfair labor controversy. There was a replevin suit by the same vendee in bad faith, Lo Bu, which was dismissed by the CFI Manila. What is worse, private respondent Lo Bu certainly cannot plead ignorance , as he himself was the petitioner in the certiorari proceedings before this Court. He was a prinicipal in the nefarious scheme to frustrate the award in favor of the petitioner labor union. 

Rule that certiorari will not be granted where petitioners have plain and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law will not be enforced where it would result in further delay in satisfaction of judgment that ought to have been enforced years ago. It is about time that a halt be called to the schemes utilized by respondent Lo Bu in his far-from-commendable efforts to defeat labor’s just claim. 

A legal counsel is expected to defend a client’s cause but not at the expense of truth and in defiance of the clear purpose of labor laws. For even such case, Atty Busmente had not exculpated himself. He ought to remember that his obligation as an officer of the court, no less than the dignity of the profession, requires that should not act like an errand-boy at the beck and call of his client, ready and eager to do his every bidding. If he fails to keep that admonition in mind, then he puts into serious question his good standing in the bar.

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