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Sevilla vs CA
G..R. No. L-41182-3
April 16, 1988
The petitioners invoke the provisions on human relations of the Civil Code in this appeal by certiorari.
Mrs. Segundina Noguera, party of the first part; the Tourist World Service, Inc., represented by Mr. Eliseo Canilao as party of the second part, and hereinafter referred to as appellants, the Tourist World Service, Inc. leased the premises belonging to the party of the first part at Mabini St., Manila for the former-s use as a branch office. In the said contract the party of the third part held herself solidarily liable with the party of the part for the prompt payment of the monthly rental agreed on. When the branch office was opened, the same was run by the herein appellant Una 0. Sevilla payable to Tourist World Service Inc. by any airline for any fare brought in on the efforts of Mrs. Lina Sevilla, 4% was to go to Lina Sevilla and 3% was to be withheld by the Tourist World Service, Inc.
On November 24, 1961 the Tourist World Service, Inc. appears to have been informed that Lina Sevilla was connected with a rival firm, the Philippine Travel Bureau, and, since the branch office was anyhow losing, the Tourist World Service considered closing down its office.
On June 17,1963, appellant Lina Sevilla refiled her case against the herein appellees and after the issues were joined, the reinstated counterclaim of Segundina Noguera and the new complaint of appellant Lina Sevilla were jointly heard following which the court ordered both cases dismiss for lack of merit.
In her appeal, Lina Sevilla claims that a joint bussiness venture was entered into by and between her and appellee TWS with offices at the Ermita branch office and that she was not an employee of the TWS to the end that her relationship with TWS was one of a joint business venture appellant made declarations.
Whether or not the padlocking of the premises by the Tourist World Service, Inc. without the knowledge and consent of the appellant Lina Sevilla entitled the latter to the relief of damages prayed for and whether or not the evidence for the said appellant supports the contention that the appellee Tourist World Service, Inc. unilaterally and without the consent of the appellant disconnected the telephone lines of the Ermita branch office of the appellee Tourist World Service, Inc.?
The trial court held for the private respondent on the premise that the private respondent, Tourist World Service, Inc., being the true lessee, it was within its prerogative to terminate the lease and padlock the premises. It likewise found the petitioner, Lina Sevilla, to be a mere employee of said Tourist World Service, Inc. and as such, she was bound by the acts of her employer. The respondent Court of Appeal rendered an affirmance.
In this jurisdiction, there has been no uniform test to determine the evidence of an employer-employee relation. In general, we have relied on the so-called right of control test, "where the person for whom the services are performed reserves a right to control not only the end to be achieved but also the means to be used in reaching such end." Subsequently, however, we have considered, in addition to the standard of right-of control, the existing economic conditions prevailing between the parties, like the inclusion of the employee in the payrolls, in determining the existence of an employer-employee relationship.
the Decision promulgated on January 23, 1975 as well as the Resolution issued on July 31, 1975, by the respondent Court of Appeals is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The private respondent, Tourist World Service, Inc., and Eliseo Canilao, are ORDERED jointly and severally to indemnify the petitioner, Lina Sevilla, the sum of 25,00.00 as and for moral damages, the sum of P10,000.00, as and for exemplary damages, and the sum of P5,000.00, as and for nominal and/or temperate damages.