October 19 2017
The Fourth Division of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) in Quezon City ruled in favor of GMA Network, Inc. on two labor complaints filed by former talents against the broadcast company.
In the resolution penned by Commissioner Bernardino B. Julve dated August 31, 2017, the NLRC denied for lack of merit the Motion for Reconsideration filed by former GMA talents Christian Cabaluna and 14 others, who were validly terminated for cause by GMA. The NLRC also junked the illegal dismissal complaint filed by 35 other complainants for their failure to present evidence that they were actually dismissed from service by the Network.
The Commission, after a thorough evaluation of the complainants’ reiterations, found “no sufficient basis to reverse” its previous decision as the arguments were mere rehash of what the complainants presented during appeal. It reiterated that whether complainants are regular employees or not, their unauthorized absences can be considered as both serious breach of their Talent Agreements and, assuming that they are regular employees, gross and habitual neglect of duty under Art. 282 of the Labor Code, as amended. And complainants did not present new evidence to sufficiently rebut GMA’s denial that it terminated them. The Commission also noted that the complainants still kept mum about GMA’s contention that they have already been employed by other broadcasting or production companies.
On the part of the 35 complainants, inasmuch as there was no dismissal made by GMA, the Commission ruled that they should return to work under the same terms and conditions of their respective Talent Agreements “exclusive of the provision that limits their tenure to a fixed period.”
In another case, the NLRC upheld its previous decision dated June 29, 2017 on the illegal suspension complaint filed by former GMA talents Edmalynne A. Remillano, Carmela E. Pamiloza, Winchele V. Ochoa, Nyorly Gail S. Montero, Maria Evrheene J. Balbuena, and Vianca Legarce Vega.
In the resolution penned by Commissioner Julve dated September 13, 2017, the NLRC denied the Motion for Reconsideration filed by the said complainants and reiterated that it was the complainants’ “own act and deed of failing to report to work that led to the break in their relations with GMA.”