More than 3,000 employees of the National Power Corp. (NPC) stand to get a total of P60 billion in backwages and increments plus interest upon execution of a recent Supreme Court (SC) order that resolved a more than a decade-old labor case filed against the state-owned firm.
The SC also ordered reinstatement of the workers, according to Cornelio Aldon, the complainants’ lawyer.
The case stemmed from the termination of services of the more than 3,000 employees belonging to the NPC Drivers and Mechanics Association and the NPC Employees and Workers Union in 2003.
It contended that the workers’ dismissal, which the NPC said was due to the state-owned firm’s reorganization and restructuring, was illegal.
The SC sided with the employees, saying Resolutions 2002-124 and 125 issued by the NPC Board to carry out the termination were without legal effect.
According to the tribunal, records showed that pleadings filed by the NPC bore the state-owned firm’s admission that the two resolutions covered the separation of all NPC personnel.
It pointed out that “if it had been otherwise, the NPC would not have claimed a huge amount of monetary liability if the subject [board]resolutions had to be nullified.”
The NPC also claimed, the SC said, that its monetary liability under the court’s orders would be P4,701,354,073 only.
The court said “the refusal by the NPC to comply with [its resolutions]implementing our final rulings constitutes contumacious conduct for being unjustified and without legal factual basis.”
It added that non-compliance by the state-owned firm and the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) with its final orders was attended “with bad faith and utter lack of sincerity to abide by our resolutions.”
“The constumacious conduct was demonstrated by the filing of dilatory pleadings raising arguments already barred by estoppel and contrary to the principle of immutability of judgment.”
In its July 23, 2014 ruling, the SC further ordered to penalize the NPC and the OSG for indirect contempt for defying the court rulings penned by Associate Justice Arturo Brion and concurred in by Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Lucas Bersamin, Martin Villarama Jr. and Marvic Leonen,