515 Phil. 779
CARPIO MORALES, J.:
|Year||Deduction for Income Tax||Deduction for Savings|
COMPLAINANT IS NOT ENTITLEDReacting to Divina's Position Paper, Sunace filed on April 25, 2000 an ". . . answer to complainant's position paper" alleging that Divina's 2-year extension of her contract was without its knowledge and consent, hence, it had no liability attaching to any claim arising therefrom, and Divina in fact executed a Waiver/Quitclaim and Release of Responsibility and an Affidavit of Desistance, copy of each document was annexed to said ". . . answer to complainant's position paper."
FOR THE REFUND OF HER 24 MONTHS
COMPLAINANT IS NOT ENTITLED
- Complainant could not anymore claim nor entitled for the refund of her 24 months savings as she already took back her saving already last year and the employer did not deduct any money from her salary, in accordance with a Fascimile Message from the respondent SUNACE's employer, Jet Crown International Co. Ltd., a xerographic copy of which is herewith attached as ANNEX "2" hereof;
TO REFUND OF HER 14 MONTHS TAX
AND PAYMENT OF ATTORNEY'S FEES
- There is no basis for the grant of tax refund to the complainant as the she finished her one year contract and hence, was not illegally dismissed by her employer. She could only lay claim over the tax refund or much more be awarded of damages such as attorney's fees as said reliefs are available only when the dismissal of a migrant worker is without just valid or lawful cause as defined by law or contract.
The rationales behind the award of tax refund and payment of attorney's fees is not to enrich the complainant but to compensate him for actual injury suffered. Complainant did not suffer injury, hence, does not deserve to be compensated for whatever kind of damages.
Hence, the complainant has NO cause of action against respondent SUNACE for monetary claims, considering that she has been totally paid of all the monetary benefits due her under her Employment Contract to her full satisfaction.
- Furthermore, the tax deducted from her salary is in compliance with the Taiwanese law, which respondent SUNACE has no control and complainant has to obey and this Honorable Office has no authority/jurisdiction to intervene because the power to tax is a sovereign power which the Taiwanese Government is supreme in its own territory. The sovereign power of taxation of a state is recognized under international law and among sovereign states.
- That respondent SUNACE respectfully reserves the right to file supplemental Verified Answer and/or Position Paper to substantiate its prayer for the dismissal of the above case against the herein respondent. AND BY WAY OF -
x x x x (Emphasis and underscoring supplied)
We reject Sunace's submission that it should not be held responsible for the amount withheld because her contract was extended for 2 more years without its knowledge and consent because as Annex "B" shows, Sunace and Edmund Wang have not stopped communicating with each other and yet the matter of the contract's extension and Sunace's alleged non-consent thereto has not been categorically established.The Labor Arbiter rejected too Sunace's argument that it is not liable on account of Divina's execution of a Waiver and Quitclaim and an Affidavit of Desistance. Observed the Labor Arbiter:
What Sunace should have done was to write to POEA about the extension and its objection thereto, copy furnished the complainant herself, her foreign employer, Hang Rui Xiong and the Taiwanese broker, Edmund Wang.
And because it did not, it is presumed to have consented to the extension and should be liable for anything that resulted thereform (sic). (Underscoring supplied)
Should the parties arrive at any agreement as to the whole or any part of the dispute, the same shall be reduced to writing and signed by the parties and their respective counsel (sic), if any, before the Labor Arbiter.He accordingly decided in favor of Divina, by decision of October 9, 2000, the dispositive portion of which reads:
The settlement shall be approved by the Labor Arbiter after being satisfied that it was voluntarily entered into by the parties and after having explained to them the terms and consequences thereof.
A compromise agreement entered into by the parties not in the presence of the Labor Arbiter before whom the case is pending shall be approved by him, if after confronting the parties, particularly the complainants, he is satisfied that they understand the terms and conditions of the settlement and that it was entered into freely voluntarily (sic) by them and the agreement is not contrary to law, morals, and public policy.
And because no consideration is indicated in the documents, we strike them down as contrary to law, morals, and public policy.
Wherefore, judgment is hereby rendered ordering respondents SUNACE INTERNATIONAL SERVICES and its owner ADELAIDA PERGE, both in their personal capacities and as agent of Hang Rui Xiong/Edmund Wang to jointly and severally pay complainant DIVINA A. MONTEHERMOZO the sum of NT91,950.00 in its peso equivalent at the date of payment, as refund for the amounts which she is hereby adjudged entitled to as earlier discussed plus 10% thereof as attorney's fees since compelled to litigate, complainant had to engage the services of counsel.On appeal of Sunace, the NLRC, by Resolution of April 30, 2002, affirmed the Labor Arbiter's decision.SO ORDERED. (Underescoring supplied)
The petition for certiorari faces outright dismissal.Its Motion for Reconsideration having been denied by the appellate court by Resolution of January 14, 2004, Sunace filed the present petition for review on certiorari.
The petition failed to allege facts constitutive of grave abuse of discretion on the part of the public respondent amounting to lack of jurisdiction when the NLRC affirmed the Labor Arbiter's finding that petitioner Sunace International Management Services impliedly consented to the extension of the contract of private respondent Divina A. Montehermozo. It is undisputed that petitioner was continually communicating with private respondent's foreign employer (sic). As agent of the foreign principal, "petitioner cannot profess ignorance of such extension as obviously, the act of the principal extending complainant (sic) employment contract necessarily bound it." Grave abuse of discretion is not present in the case at bar.
ACCORDINGLY, the petition is hereby DENIED DUE COURSE and DISMISSED.
(Emphasis on words in capital letters in the original; emphasis on words in small letters and underscoring supplied)
Regarding to Divina, she did not say anything about her saving in police station. As we contact with her employer, she took back her saving already last years. And they did not deduct any money from her salary. Or she will call back her employer to check it again. If her employer said yes! we will get it back for her.The finding of the Court of Appeals solely on the basis of the above-quoted telefax message, that Sunace continually communicated with the foreign "principal" (sic) and therefore was aware of and had consented to the execution of the extension of the contract is misplaced. The message does not provide evidence that Sunace was privy to the new contract executed after the expiration on February 1, 1998 of the original contract. That Sunace and the Taiwanese broker communicated regarding Divina's allegedly withheld savings does not necessarily mean that Sunace ratified the extension of the contract. As Sunace points out in its Reply filed before the Court of Appeals,Thank you and best regards.
As can be seen from that letter communication, it was just an information given to the petitioner that the private respondent had t[aken] already her savings from her foreign employer and that no deduction was made on her salary. It contains nothing about the extension or the petitioner's consent thereto.Parenthetically, since the telefax message is dated February 21, 2000, it is safe to assume that it was sent to enlighten Sunace who had been directed, by Summons issued on February 15, 2000, to appear on February 28, 2000 for a mandatory conference following Divina's filing of the complaint on February 14, 2000.
As agent of its foreign principal, [Sunace] cannot profess ignorance of such an extension as obviously, the act of its principal extending [Divina's] employment contract necessarily bound it,it too is a misapplication, a misapplication of the theory of imputed knowledge.
Contracts take effect only between the parties, their assigns, and heirs, except in case where the rights and obligations arising from the contract are not transmissible by their nature, or by stipulation or by provision of law.Furthermore, as Sunace correctly points out, there was an implied revocation of its agency relationship with its foreign principal when, after the termination of the original employment contract, the foreign principal directly negotiated with Divina and entered into a new and separate employment contract in Taiwan. Article 1924 of the New Civil Code reading
The agency is revoked if the principal directly manages the business entrusted to the agent, dealing directly with third persons.thus applies.