THE Court of Appeals (CA) dismissed a petition from ABS-CBN Corp. to overturn a ruling by the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) which had ordered the network to pay compensation to two dismissed employees.

The NLRC in 2018 had ordered the network to pay two former employees, Ellen N. Lagat and Simonette C. Soriano, a total of P697,000 as compensation for their illegal dismissal in 2012.

In its petition, ABS-CBN alleged that the NLRC had committed “grave abuse of discretion” for issuing the order, as the company was still awaiting the decision of the Supreme Court (SC) on a motion for reconsideration.

The CA’s decision, issued on Feb. 4, called ABS-CBN’s claim “devoid of merit” because the SC had not issued a restraining order, which would have barred the NLRC from issuing its order.

The CA added that the principle of judicial courtesy that ABS-CBN’s petition referred to does not apply in this case because the CA and the SC have consistently upheld NLRC decisions on ABS-CBN labor cases.

It added that even if the SC later rules in favor of ABS-CBN, the company could still move for restitution or request a refund of the compensation payout.

The CA noted that NLRC’s February 2012 ruling of illegal dismissal against ABS-CBN became final and executory in April 2013 when NLRC denied ABS-CBN’s motion for reconsideration. — Bianca Angelica D. Añago