Timeline: FASAP-PAL case

Purple S. Romero
Key events relating to the case between the Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines and the Philippine Airlines

MANILA, Philippines – In the Articles of Impeachment lodged against him before the Senate, Chief Justice Renato Corona is charged with culpable violation of the constitution and betrayal of public trust for failing to meet and observe the stringent standards under Art. VIII, Section 7 (3) of the Constitution, which provides that “a member of the judiciary must be a person of proven competence, integrity, probity, and independence.”

Specific issues Corona is charged with include his role in supposedly allowing the Supreme Court “to act on mere letters filed by a counsel which caused the issuance of a flip-flopping decision in final and executory cases.”

These cases include the row between the Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines (FASAP) and the Philippine Airlines (PAL).

Below are key events relating to this case:

June 15, 1998 – Philippine Airlines (PAL) retrenches 5,000 employees, including 1,400 cabin crew personnel as a cost-cutting measure. PAL said it incurred P90-B in liabilities during the 1997 Asian financial crisis. The retrenchment takes effect on July 15. 

June 22, 1998 – The Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines (FASAP) files a complaint against PAL and Patria Chiong, the Assistant Vice President for Cabin Services of PAL, for illegal retrenchment at the National Labor Relations Commission.

July 23, 1998 – The labor arbiter rules in favor of FASAP and issues a preliminary injunction stopping PAL from implementing retrenchment program. He also  orders the parties to issue a position paper. 

Sept. 4, 1998 – PAL chairman Lucio Tan dangles shares of stock to employees and 3 seats in its board of directors, but, in exchange, the collective bargaining agreement would be suspended for 10 years. The employees dismiss the offer. 

Sept. 23, 1998 – PAL stops operations and terminates employees.

November 1998 – March 1999 – PAL starts to recall the cabin crew personnel it retrenched. PAL says it recalled 820 personnel already.  FASAP says it only recalled 80. 

Sept. 28, 1999–  FASAP files position paper with the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC).

Nov. 8, 1999– PAL files position paper

July 21, 2000 – Labor arbiter Jovencio Mayor rules in favor of FASAP and orders PAL to reinstate retrenched employees. PAL appeals the decision.

May 31, 2004 – NLRC reverses decision due to lack of merit. FASAP elevates case to the Court of Appeals.

Aug, 23, 2006 – The Court of Appeals affirms NLRC’s decision, saying PAL doesn’t have to consult FASAP for its criteria on retrenchment program. FASAP files motion for reconsideration.

May 29, 2007 – CA stands by its earlier ruling. FASAP goes to the Supreme Court.

July 22, 2008 – The SC special third division, in a decision penned by Justice Consuelo Ynares-Santiago, rules in favor of FASAP and orders PAL to reinstate retrenched employees. Justices who concurred with this decision are Justices Alicia Austria-Martinez, Minita Chico-Nazario, Antonio Eduardo Nachura and Ruben Reyes. 

Aug. 20, 2008 – PAL files motion for reconsideration.

Oct. 2, 2009 – SC special third division affirms 2008 decision with finality. Decision is penned by Ynares-Santiago. Concurring are Justices Nachura, Diosdado Peralta, Nazario and Lucas Bersamin. 

Nov. 3. 2009 – PAL files motion for leave to file, and to admit motion for reconsideration for 2009 decision and second motion for reconsideration for 2008 decision.

Jan. 20, 2010 – The SC third division, then chaired by Associate Justice Renato Corona, grants PAL’s motion. Corona inhibits from the case.

June 3, 2010 – Chief Justice Renato Corona (he was named Chief Justice in May 2010) orders a revamp of SC divisions. Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales is new chair of third division, with members including Associate Justices Arturo Brion, Bersamin and Villarama.  

The FASAP case is raffled off to SC second division because members of the Special third division have retired. 

Sept. 7, 2011 –  The SC second division dismisses PAL’s second motion for reconsideration  

Sept. 13, 2011 – PAL lawyer Estelito Mendoza writes the Clerk of Court and asks for an update on the Court’s action regarding the case and asks who is the ponente assigned to it.

Sept. 16, 2011 – Mendoza writes a second letter, reiterating request for update.

Sept. 20, 2011 – Mendoza writes another letter, saying they received copy of the Sept. 7 resolution on Sept. 19. He asks for voting pn the details on the resolution. The Sept. 7 resolution dismissses PAL’s second motion for reconsideration.

Sept. 22, 2011 – Mendoza writes a fourth letter, asking the Clerk of Court to direct queries to Justices Carpio, Arturo Brion, Jose Perez, Diosdado Peralta, Jose Mendoza, Bersamin, if necessary.

Oct. 4, 2011 – The SC en banc orders the recall of Sept. 7 resolution.

Oct. 16, 2011 – In an interview with Move.ph on this day, Mendoza said the SC erred because their motion for reconsideration was decided by the second division, when what the SC should have done was to form a special third division in light of the retirement of certain members of the the third division, which originally handled the FASAP case. 

Oct. 17, 2011 – FASAP files a motion for reconsideration asking the Court to set aside its Oct. 4, 2011 resolution. – Rappler.com