Almirante: Necessity of motion for reconsideration-A A +A
Saturday, January 5, 2013
Labor case digest
THE Court of Appeals (CA) dismissed the petition for certiorari filed by the petitioners Ma. Corina Jiao and several others for failure to file a motion for reconsideration of the adverse resolution of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC).
The petitioners claim that it was an error for the CA to have dismissed their petition on that sole basis. According to them, they had opted not to file a motion for reconsideration as the issues that they would have raised are those that the NLRC had already passed upon. They likewise invoked the liberal application of procedural rules. Does their justification find merit?
To begin with, the petitioners do not have the discretion or prerogative to determine the propriety of complying with procedural rules. The Supreme Court had repeatedly emphasized in various cases, involving the tedious attempts of litigants to relieve themselves of the consequences of their neglect to follow a simple procedural requirement for perfecting a petition for certiorari, that he who seeks a writ of certiorari must apply for it only in the manner and strictly in accordance with the provisions of the law and the Rules.
The petitioners may not arrogate to themselves the determination of whether a motion for reconsideration is necessary or not. To dispense with the requirement of filing a motion for reconsideration, the petitioners must show a concrete, compelling, and valid reason for doing so (Sim v. National Labor Relations Commission, G.R. No. 157376, October 2, 2007, 534 SCRA 515, 522-523, citing Cervantes v. Court of Appeals, 512 Phil. 210, 217 (2005)).
As the CA correctly noted, the petitioners did not bother to explain their omission and only did so in their motion for reconsideration of the dismissal of their petition. Aside from the fact that such belated effort will not resurrect their application for a writ of certiorari, the reason proffered by the petitioners does not fall under any of the recognized instances when the filing of a motion for reconsideration may be dispensed with. Whimsical and arbitrary deviations from the rules cannot be condoned in the guise of a plea for a liberal interpretation thereof.
We cannot respond with alacrity to every claim of injustice and bend the rules to placate vociferous protestors crying and claiming to be victims of a wrong (Ma. Corina C. Jiao, et. Al. vs. NLRC, et. al., G.R. No. 182331, April 18, 2012 quoting Sublay v. NLRC, G.R. No. 130104, Jan. 21, 2000, 324 SCRA 188.)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 05, 2013.