The Court of Appeals (CA) has affirmed the Order and Resolution of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to mete penalties against Bison Management Corporation (BMC), a recruitment agency which have been found guilty of breaching recruitment laws.
In an 11-page Decision sent to the Legal Representation Division (LRD) of DOLE-Legal Service, the appellate court’s Fifth Division upheld the Order and Resolution of DOLE finding the recruitment agency liable for violation of Section 2 (e) and (I), Rule I, Part VI of the 2002 POEA Rules and Regulations.
“The Court sustained the Order and Resolution of DOLE, stating that as found by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), and affirmed by the Labor Secretary, there is ample evidence to prove the breach of recruitment laws,” said DOLE-Legal Service Director Romeo Montefalco on the appellate court’s ruling.
The case stemmed from a complaint for recruitment violations filed by Reynaldo and Rodelio Lapuz upon their return to the Philippines on 22 May 2009 against the Bison Management Corporation, on the grounds of misrepresentation and for substitution or alteration of their employment contracts without the approval of the POEA.
On 7 August 2009, the POEA Administrator found the BMC guilty for the imputed violations and meted the penalty of suspension of license for four months, or in lieu thereof, pay the penalty of P40, 000.00 for each of the two charges.
Consequently, the recruitment agency filed its Notice of Appeal, contending that the POEA erred in suspending its license, considering that the respondents have already executed an Affidavit of Desistance, Release, Waiver and Recantation in its favor.
The DOLE, in its Order dated 9 January 2012, denied the BMC’s appeal and affirmed the POEA’s order based on the POEA rules that explicitly allows the POEA Administrator to proceed with the investigation on the imputed violation, and resolve the case based on the merits despite the execution of an affidavit of desistance by the respondents.
Pursuing its desire to seek favourable judgment, the BMC filed a Motion for Reconsideration which was denied by DOLE on 5 November 2012. Hence, the filing of the foregoing petition to the CA, was also denied for lack of merit.
“The Court’s decision finds no reason to deviate from the decision of the DOLE as petitioner failed to prove that the DOLE committed acts tantamount to grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it affirmed the decision of the POEA Administrator,” Montefalco added.
END/Tim Laderas with a report from Legal Service