Esperanza Escorpizo vs University of Baguio

G.R. No. 121962 – 306 SCRA 497 – Remedial Law – Civil procedure – Petition for Certiorari – Rule 65

Labor Law – Jurisdiction and Reliefs – NLRC Rules – Decisions of the NLRC; when subject to certiorari

Esperanza Escorpizo was a high school teacher in UB contracted to be a probationary teacher from 1989-1991. She failed to pass the board exam for teachers so UB did not renew her contract. She sued UB for illegal dismissal before the Labor Arbiter but she lost. She appealed to the NLRC but the NLRC affirmed the decision of the Labor Arbiter. Instead of filing for a motion for reconsideration, she filed a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 before the Supreme Court.

ISSUE: Whether or not the action should prosper.

HELD: No. The precipitate filing of petition for certiorari under Rule 65 without first moving for reconsideration of the assailed resolution warrants the outright dismissal of the case. A motion for reconsideration is indispensable for it affords the NLRC an opportunity to rectify errors or mistakes it might have committed before resort to the courts can be had.

It is settled that certiorari will lie only if there is no appeal or any other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law against acts of public respondents. In the case at bar, the plain and adequate remedy expressly provided by law was a motion for reconsideration of the impugned resolution, based on palpable or patent errors, to be made under oath and filed within ten (10) days from receipt of the questioned resolution of the NLRC, a procedure which is jurisdictional. Hence, original action of certiorari, as in this case, will not prosper.  Further, it should be stressed that without a motion for reconsideration seasonably filed within the ten-day reglementary period, the questioned order, resolution or decision of NLRC, becomes final and executory after ten (10) calendar days from receipt thereof. Consequently, the merits of the case can no longer be reviewed to determine if the public respondent had committed any grave abuse of discretion.

Read full text

Read the labor standards version of this digest here.