In 2003, several employees of Coca Bottlers Philippines, Inc., Philippines filed before the Labor Arbiter a complaint for illegal dismissal.
The LA dismissed the complaint on the ground of lack of jurisdiction.
On appeal, the NLRC affirmed the LA’s Decision.
Then, the employees, except Monterona and five others, filed a petition for certiorari before the CA.
The Court of Appeals reversed the ruling of the NLRC. While the decision of the CA favors the complaining employees, the CA held that Monterona et. al. should not benefit them because they were not impleaded as petitioners in the petition for certiorari.
The tables having been turned against Coca-Cola, it appealed to the Supreme Court. However, the Court dismissed the appeal for being the wrong mode of appeal. The decision of the Court attained finality on July 28, 2008.
Meanwhile, Monterona et. al. filed a second case for illegal dismissal before the LA.
Just like the first illegal dismissal case, the case reached the Supreme Court.
The Highest Court of the land held that Monterona et. al. are precluded by instituting another illegal dismissal case pursuant to the doctrine of res judicata.
“Matters settled by a Court’s final judgment should not be litigated upon or invoked again. Relitigation of issues already settled merely burdens the Courts and the taxpayers, creates uneasiness and confusion, and wastes valuable time and energy that could be devoted to worthier causes. As the Roman maxim goes, Non bis in edem.”
– explained theCourt in its Decision.
See [CASE BrieF No. 2019-0018] Monterona et. al. vs. Coca Bottling, Inc. Philippines