358 Phil. 30
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, Prime Marine Services, Inc., R & R Management Services, Int’l and Arabian Gulf Mechanical Services and Contracting Co. Ltd., are hereby ordered, jointly and severally, to pay complainant the following in Philippines Currency at the prevailing rate of exchange at the time of payment:Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration with the National Labor Relations Commission which the latter treated as an appeal. In its decision, dated February 21, 1991, the NLRC affirmed in toto the POEA’s decision. On March 26, 1991, it denied petitioner’s motion for reconsideration. Hence, this petition containing the following assignment of errors:
SR 33,750.00 - representing salaries for the unexpired portion of the contract for 15 months at SR 2,250.00 a month;
350.00 - representing salary differential;
5% percent Attorney’s fees of the award.
Furthermore, R & R Management Services International is referred to the Anti-illegal Recruitment Branch of this Office for appropriate action.
Finally, the cross claim of Prime Marine Services, Inc. against R & R Management Services International is dismissed for lack of merit.
I. Public respondent NLRC and/or POEA committed grave abuse of discretion when they ignored existing jurisprudence.As to its first assignment of error, petitioner contends that the ruling of the NLRC goes against this Court’s decision in Ilas v. NLRC.
II.Dismissal of the cross-claim (against private respondent R & R Management) constitutes also grave abuse of discretion.
All evidence indicate that private respondent [All Seasons Manpower International Services] cannot be held liable for the claims of petitioners.In contrast, both the POEA and the NLRC found that petitioner and R & R Management acted jointly in recruiting and deploying private respondent abroad, to wit:
Firstly, petitioners applied for overseas deployment with CBT/Shiek International through spouses Francisco and Corazon Ngoho, Eddie Sumaway and Erlinda Espeno. They never transacted their business with the office of private respondent.
Secondly, when they worked at Doha, Qatar, their employer was CBT/Shiek International who failed to pay their wages.
Thirdly, in the TEPS provided by Espeno to enable them to travel, it was made to appear that private respondent was their agency/contractor of petitioners and Yacoub Trading Est. is their foreign employer. They were signed by petitioners knowing that private respondent was not their recruiter. Apparently, Espeno conspired with petitioners and Ngoho to enable petitioners to travel to the Middle East, ostensibly under the name of private respondent as agent/recruiter.
Fourthly, it turned our that petitioners were recruited for Mabeco Trading and Contracting Establishment, as the foreign principal and not Yacoub Trading Est., which is the principal of private respondent.
Fifthly, in the very compliant filed by petitioners against private respondent they admitted that they applied for overseas employment with the CBT/Shiek International under the management of the Ngohos.
This contention cannot be sustained. The records show that while complainant applied with respondent R & R, he was however deployed by herein movant Prime Marine and this was not rebutted during the proceedings below. Consequently, We find no sufficient reason to disturb the questioned decision. We, therefore, quote with approval and adopt as Our own the following findings of the POEA Deputy Administrator.Although petitioner denied before the POEA and the NLRC any part in the processing of private respondent’s papers, it now admits that its general manager after all took part in the deployment of private respondent. However, it claims that its general manager was not authorized to do so and that she was in collusion with private respondent.
We find respondent R & R and prime Marine jointly and severally liable with complainant’s foreign employer, Arabian Gulf Mechanical Services and Contracting Co. Ltd. R & R is the recruiting agency while Prime Marine is the deploying agency. Complainant alleged that he applied with R & R and the latter admitted that it "has facilitated and contributed efforts in conjunction with Prime Marine in sending the applicant complainant abroad under a contract." Prime Marine did not rebut this allegation. It did not even explain or touch on the matter why it appeared as the deploying agent in the Crew Agreement exhibited by complainant. The foregoing leads us to the inevitable conclusion that there is a collusion between R & R and Prime Marine with respect to complainant’s application and deployment. Thus, its cross claim against R & R must necessarily fail because it is held jointly and severally liable with R & R and the foreign employer.
No rule is more settled than that this Court is not a trier of facts and that the findings of facts of administrative bodies, as public respondent, shall not disturbed on appeal unless it is shown that it committed a grave abuse of discretion or otherwise acted without jurisdiction or in excess of its jurisdiction. In this case, petitioners failed to discharge their burden to warrant a departure from this rule.It should be pointed out that petitioner belatedly claims that its general manager acted without authority and in collusion with private respondent apparently to bring this case within the ambit of Ilas which held that a recruitment agency is not liable for the unauthorized acts of its agents. This transparent effort to make the present case fit the ruling in Ilas is done without specifying the alleged evidence supporting such claim of collusion. Neither does petitioner even attempt to controvert the express finding of both the POEA and the NLRC that it failed to rebut R & R Management’s allegation that both of these firms jointly processed private respondent’s employment.
d. A verified undertaking stating that the applicant:WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED.
. . . .
(3) shall assume joint and solidary liability with the employer for all claims and liabilities which may arise in connection with the implementation of the contract of employment;