Almirante: Interpretaion words-A A +A
Labor case Digest
Friday, September 13, 2013
RESPONDENT Kampilan Security and Detective Agency hired petitioner Luciano Cañedo as a security guard on Nov. 20, 1996 and assigned him at the Naga Power Barge 102 of the National Power Corp. (NPC) at Sigpit Load Ends, Lutopan, Toledo City.
For not wearing proper uniform while on duty per report of an NPC personnel, the petitioner was suspended for a month effective May 8, 2002.
On June 17, 2003, Cañedo requested Ramoncito L. Arquiza, the respondent’s general manager, to issue a certification in connection with his intended retirement effective that month. Arquiza issued a certification dated June 25, 2003 the pertinent portion of which reads: “This is to certify that Mr. Luciano Paragoso Cañedo, whose address is at Lower Bunga, Toledo City was employed by this agency from Nov. 20, 1996 up to May 7, 2003 as security guard assigned at NPC, Sigpit Substation. He was terminated from his employment by this agency on May 7, 2003 as per client’s request.”
Five days after the issuance of the certification, the petitioner filed a complaint for illegal dismissal, illegal suspension and non-payment of monetary benefits against respondents. He insisted that the certification states in unequivocal language that he was terminated from the service. Is there merit to the contention?
The Supreme Court said: “Petitioner cannot simply rely on this document since the fact of dismissal must be evidenced by positive and overt acts of an employer indicating an intention to dismiss. Here, aside from this single document, petitioner proffered no other evidence showing that he was dismissed from employment.”
It added: “At any rate, upon a close reading of the June 25, 2003 certification, this Court is of the opinion that the petitioner was not dismissed from service. The import of the said certification is that petitioner was assigned in NPC from Nov. 20, 1996 up to May 7, 2003 and that on May 7, 2003, respondents terminated his assignment to NPC
upon the latter’s request.
“This is the correct interpretation based on the true intention of the parties as shown by their contemporaneous and subsequent acts and the other evidence on record as discussed above. Section 12 of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court states that in the construction and interpretation of a document, the intention of the parties must be pursued. Section 13 of the same Rule further instructs that the circumstances under which a document was made may be shown in order to ascertain the correct interpretation of a document.”
To recap, petitioner was suspended effective May 8, 2003. On June 2, 2003, NPC requested for his replacement. He then intimated his desire to retire from service on June 17, 2003. These circumstances negate petitioner’s claim that his services were terminated on May 7, 2003. Clearly, there is no dismissal to speak of in this case.
(Luciano P. Cañedo vs. Kampilan Security and Detective Agency and Ramoncito L. Arquiza, G.R. No. 179326, Aug. 7, 2013).
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 14, 2013.