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Cris filed a complaint for illegal dismissal against Baker Company. The Labor Arbiter dismissed the complaint but awarded Cris financial assistance. Only the company appealed from the Labor Arbiter’s ruling. It confined its appeal solely to the question of whether financial assistance could be awarded. The NLRC, instead of ruling solely on the appealed issue, fully reversed the Labor Arbiter’s decision; it found Baker Company liable for illegal dismissal and ordered the payment of separation pay and full backwages.
Through a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, Baker Company challenged the validity of the NLRC ruling. It argued that the NLRC acted with grave abuse of discretion when it ruled on the illegal dismissal issue, when the only issue brought on appeal was the legal propriety of the financial assistance award.
Cris countered that under Article 218(c) of the Labor Code, the NLRC has the authority to “correct, amend, or waive any error, defect or irregularity whether in substance or in form” in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction.
Decide the case. (8%)