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Vicente vs. ECC (G.R. No. 85024. January 23, 1991)

28 May

DOMINGO VICENTE, petitioner,
vs.
EMPLOYEES’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION, respondent.

Olandesca Law Offices for petitioner.

Ponente: SARMIENTO

FACTS:

[P]etitioner was formerly employed as a nursing attendant at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City. At the age of forty-five, and after having rendered more than twenty-five years of government service, he applied for optional retirement under the provisions of Section 12(c) of Republic Act No. 1616, giving as reason therefor his inability to continue working as a result of his physical disability. The petitioner likewise filed with the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) an application for “income benefits claim for payment” under Presidential Decree (PD) No. 626, as amended. Both applications were accompanied by the necessary supporting papers, among them being a “Physician’s Certification” issued by the petitioner’s attending doctor. The petitioner’s application for income benefits claim payment was granted but only for permanent partial disability (PPD) compensation or for a period of nineteen months

ISSUE:

Whether or not the petitioner suffers from permanent total disability.

HELD:

YES. The decision of the respondent Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) was set aside.

RATIO:

[T]he petitioner’s permanent total disability is established beyond doubt by several factors and circumstances. Noteworthy is the fact that from all available indications, it appears that the petitioner’s application for optional retirement on the basis of his ailments had been approved. Considering that the petitioner was only 45 years old when he retired and still entitled, under good behavior, to 20 more years in service, the approval of his optional retirement application proves that he was no longer fit to continue in his employment. For optional retirement is allowed only upon proof that the employee-applicant is already physically incapacitated to render sound and efficient service.

The sympathy of law on social security is towards its beneficiaries and the law by its own terms, requires a construction of utmost liberality in its favor.

 

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