Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Prepared by: Arnel D. Mateo

Petitioner was the Assistant General Manager for Finance/Administration and Comptroller of private respondent Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) from 1996 until April 1997. Upon assumption of Emiliano Templo as the IBC President, petitioner was forced to retire. Templo refused to pay him his retirement benefits. Hence, in 1997, petitioner filed with the Labor Arbiter a complaint for illegal dismissal and non-payment of benefits.

IBC alleged that the Labor Arbiter had no jurisdiction over the case, that the petitioner was a corporate officer who was duly elected by the Board of Directors of IBC; hence, the case qualifies as an intra-corporate dispute falling within the jurisdiction of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Petitioner argues that he is not a corporate officer of the IBC but an employee thereof since he had not been elected nor appointed as Comptroller and Assistant Manager by the IBC's Board of Directors. He pointed out that he had actually been appointed on January 11, 1995 by the IBC's General Manager, Ceferino Basilio.


Whether or not the Labor Arbiter had jurisdiction over the case for illegal dismissal and non-payment of benefits filed by petitioner.


Dismissal or non-appointment of a corporate officer is clearly an intra-corporate matter and jurisdiction over the case properly belongs to the SEC, not to the NLRC. Under Presidential Decree No. 902-A (the Revised Securities Act), Controversies in the election or appointment of directors, trustees, officers, or managers of such corporations, partnerships or associations fall under the exclusive of the SEC. Two elements are to be considered in determining whether the SEC has jurisdiction over the controversy, to wit: (1) the status or relationship of the parties; and (2) the nature of the question that is the subject of their controversy.
Since complainant's appointment was approved unanimously by the Board of Directors of the corporation, he is therefore considered a corporate officer and his claim of illegal dismissal is a controversy that falls under the jurisdiction of the SEC as contemplated by Section 5 of P.D. 902-A. That the position of Comptroller is not expressly mentioned among the officers of the IBC in the By-Laws is of no moment, because the IBC's Board of Directors is empowered under Section 25 of the Corporation Code and under the corporation's By-Laws to appoint such other officers as it may deem necessary.

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