The Department Labor and Employment (Dole)-Bureau of Labor Relations denied the motion for reconsideration of Executive Board of Ceneco Union of Rational Employees (Cure) and affirmed the order dated March 27, 2023, of Dole Region 6 mediator-arbiter Divine Grace Gabunas for the
reinstatement of Marbie Cabardo as vice president of Cure.
It also ordered that Cabardo shall perform the obligations and responsibilities of acting president pursuant to Section 1 in relation to Section 2, Article VI Constitution and By-Laws of Central Negros Electric Cooperative Union of Rational Employees until a union president has been elected and qualified; and
a special local election to fill up the vacant position of Union President shall be conducted based on Article and By-Laws of Cure which shall be supervised by Dole Regional Office of origin.
In a resolution dated December 5, 2023, Atty. Maria Consuelo Bacay, Director IV of DOLE-BLR stated that Cure alleged that Dole committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it invalidated or nullified Board Resolution No. 010-10, s. 2022, declaring Stefanie Montaner to have resigned and finding that Cabardo was denied due process. Board Resolution No. 010-10, s. 2022 impeached Cabardo and appointed Romwel Jerex as acting president, calling for a special election of the president, vice president, and treasurer positions.
Moreover, Cure argues that this office went beyond its power by overruling the general assembly's decision to impeach Cabardo. In addition, Cure alleges that Cabardo was removed as a union member in an undated union resolution, which is raised in this motion for reconsideration for the first time, the resolution stated.
Grave abuse of discretion as a ground for an appeal or a motion cannot be invoked gratuitously. It must be supported by specific facts and legal grounds. A mere reiteration of grounds earlier raised and passed upon will not suffice, it further stated.
It added, "Firstly, this Office observed that Resolution No. 030-06, s. 2023 General Assembly Resolution Approving the Special Election of CURE President while Retaining the Current Positions of the Elected and Appointed Cure officers was held on June 29, 2023, in a way to preempt our Resolution dated August 23, 2023. Subsequently, Cabardo was removed as a union member pending of this instant case."
On the removal of Cabardo as union member, although it is the Mediator-Arbiter who has the original jurisdiction to pass upon in an appropriate petition brought by Cabardo whether or not she (Cabardo) was removed as a union member based on procedural and substantive due process, this Office, nonetheless, cannot relegate its power to decide the issues brought on appeal of the Mediator-Arbiter's Order dated March 27, 2023 and the motion for reconsideration assailing our Resolution dated August 23, 2023, the resolution said.
As such, this Office finds the removal of Cabardo as union member as a mere afterthought in as much as it was only raised in this motion for reconsideration, it added.
To the mind of this office, Cabardo's removal as a union member speaks of ill will in order to defeat our finding that Cabardo was removed as union officer without procedural and substantive due process and ordering the conduct of a special local election for union president of Cure, it said.
“It is true that union affairs are exclusive to the union free from interference and anti-union discrimination from management and even government actors, it must, however, be emphasized that union affairs must be performed with justice, giving everyone his due, and observe honesty and good faith. Impeachment of union officers must be differed from expulsion of union member,” it said.
Impeachment, as applied in labor laws in relation to unionism, is defined as an inquest into the conduct of an officer of a labor organization. Its object is to ensure that union officers have, and maintain to have, the moral fitness and integrity to fulfill their mandate and responsibility. The impeachment of a union officer does not usually result to expulsion as a union member, the resolution said.*