PBM Employees Org. vs. PBM Co., Inc., G.R. No. L-31195, June 5, 1973 51 SCRA 189 (1973)

Fact: Petitioners claim that on they decided to stage a mass demonstration at Malacañang in protest against alleged abuses of the Pasig police, to be participated in by the workers. That company learned of the projected mass. That a meeting was called by the Company and asked the union panel to confirm or deny said projected mass demonstration. Petitioners confirmed the planned demonstration and stated that the demonstration or rally cannot be cancelled because it has already been agreed upon in the meeting. Company personnel manager, informed PBMEO that the demonstration is an inalienable right of the union guaranteed by the Constitution but emphasized, however, that any demonstration for that matter should not unduly prejudice the normal operation of the Company. For which reason, the Company warned the PBMEO representatives that workers who belong to the first and regular shifts, who without previous leave of absence approved by the Company, particularly , the officers present who are the organizers of the demonstration, who shall fail to report for work the following morning shall be dismissed. Because the petitioners and their members numbering about 400 proceeded with the demonstration despite the pleas of the respondent Company a charge against petitioners with a “violation of the CBA providing for ‘No Strike and No Lockout.’ After considering the aforementioned stipulation of facts submitted by the parties, Judge Salvador found herein petitioner PBMEO guilty of bargaining in bad faith as directly responsible for perpetrating the said unfair labor practice and were, as a consequence, considered to have lost their status as employees of the respondent Company

Issue: Whether Civil and Political Rights is treated with the same weight as Property Rights

Held: No, While the Bill of Rights also protects property rights, the primacy of human rights over property rights is recognized. Because these freedoms are “delicate and vulnerable, as well as supremely precious in our society” and the “threat of sanctions may deter their exercise almost as potently as the actual application of sanctions,” they “need breathing space to survive,” permitting government regulation only “with narrow specificity.” Property and property rights can be lost thru prescription; but human rights are imprescriptible. If human rights are extinguished by the passage of time, then the Bill of Rights is a useless attempt to limit the power of government and ceases to be an efficacious shield against the tyranny of officials, of majorities, of the influential and powerful, and of oligarchs — political, economic or otherwise. In the hierarchy of civil liberties, the rights of free expression and of assembly occupy a preferred position as they are essential to the preservation and vitality of our civil and political institutions; and such priority “gives these liberties the sanctity and the sanction not permitting dubious intrusions

 

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