Former senator is TUCP president: appellate court

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Monday, June 30, 2014


THE Court of Appeals (CA) has affirmed its ruling declaring former senator Ernesto Herrera as president of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), the country’s biggest labor federation.

In an eight-page resolution promulgated last June 16, it held that Herrera, who was ousted during a power struggle in 2011, is the federation head until 2017.

It said he should remain as a holdover president until the labor group elects a new set of officers.

The CA also ordered Democrito Mendoza, who is recognized by the Department of Labor and Employment as the TUCP president, “to desist or refrain from doing any act” that will go against the court’s ruling.

Background

On Oct. 20, 2013, the CA ruled that Herrera, then TUCP secretary-general, “validly succeeded as TUCP president when Mendoza voluntarily resigned from his post.”

“There is simply no evidence that the resignation of Mendoza was whimsical, arbitrary, capricious or uncertain. Hence, on such date, the TUCP presidency became vacant,” read the decision penned by Associate Justice Noel Tijam.

Mendoza served as president of the TUCP for 32 years until his resignation from the TUCP executive board, effective Nov. 1, 2011.

But Mendoza still performed functions of president and prevented Herrera and his supporters from entering the TUCP central office in Quezon City.

Herrera’s group later filed a case in the labor department’s Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR), which in turn, ordered a status quo and conducted a special convention of TUCP members aimed to resolve the leadership row.

The CA ruled that Herrera “validly assumed office” when Mendoza resigned and such principle also applies to the rest of the elective members of the TUCP’s executive board.

Section 9 of the TUCP Constitution stipulates that “in the event of vacancy in the office of the president by reason of death, permanent disability, resignation or removal from office, the general-secretary shall succeed the latter and shall serve for the unexpired term.”

In the resolution, the CA directed the union’s general council to elect Herrera’s replacement as general secretary who will serve in a holdover capacity, pending the holding of regular elections in 2017.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 01, 2014.

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