CASE BRIEF 2019-0015

CASE: Edgar Torillos vs. Eastgate Maritime Corporation (January 10, 2019)

PONENTE:  DEL CASTILLO, J.:

FACTS: 

Torillos was employed as chief cook by Eastgate Maritime Corporation (Eastgate ). Sometime in 2011, while in the performance of his duties, Torillos experienced pain in his right leg radiating to his lower extremities which caused his repatriation.

Torillos claimed for permanent total disability benefits (PTDB) under the CBA.

In a Decision dated October 29, 2012, the Labor Arbiter found Torillos entitled to permanent total disability benefits under the CBA. The dispositive portion of the Decision reads:

“WHEREFORE, foregoing premises considered, respondents CORDIAL SHIPPING, INC. and CAPT. DEVER BESANA are hereby directed to pay jointly and severally complainant ANANIAS F. DANA Y the amount of ONE HUNDRED EIGHTEEN THOUSAND AND EIGHT HUNDRED US DOLLARS (US$118,800.00) representing permanent total disability benefits, or its peso equivalent at the time of actual payment.”

Eastgate appealed to the NLRC. In its Memorandum of Appeal, Eastgate, among others, emphasized that the case was decided based on facts and evidence pertaining to another case as revealed by the Labor Arbiter’s erroneous citation of the parties’ names in the dispositive portion of the decision (..Blame it to “copy-pasting”.. 😀 lol ). Subsequently, the Labor Arbiter corrected the disparity by issuing a new Decision dated January 3, 2013, which reflected the correct names of the parties in the dispositive portion thereof. Thus:

“WHEREFORE, foregoing premises considered, respondents EASTGATE MARITIME CORPORATION and/or EMMANUEL L. REGIO are hereby directed to pay jointly and severally complainant EDGAR L. TORILLOS the amount of ONE HUNDRED EIGHTEEN THOUSAND AND EIGHT HUNDRED US DOLLARS (US$118,800.00) representing permanent total disability benefits, or its peso equivalent at the time of actual payment.”

From the Labor Arbiter’s Decision dated January 3, 2013, Torillos filed a Memorandum of Partial Appeal with the NLRC, questioning the Labor Arbiter’s failure to award him attorney’s fees.

In its Comment,  Eastgate moved for the denial of Torillos’ partial appeal, contending that it was filed out of time. It argued that the period for filing the appeal should be reckoned from the date of receipt of the October 29, 2012 Decision and not from the date of receipt of the January 3, 2013 Decision.

RULING:

The reglementary period should be counted from the receipt of the October 29, 2012 Decision and not from the January 3, 2013 Decision. The January 3, 2013 Decision was only an amendment to the October 29, 2012 Decision to correct a mere clerical error, i.e., to correct the names of the parties in the dispositive portion of the decision, and thus, was not a new judgment. As such, the period for filing the appeal should still be counted from the receipt of the original judgment.

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THINGS DECIDED:

A Decision issued to correct a mere clerical error is not a new judgement. Thus, the period for filing the appeal should still be counted from the receipt of the original judgement.

‘Stand by things decided.’~ Stare Decisis

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