ISSUE: Whether or not the doctrine of non-suability of the State applies in the case.
FACTS: The case is regarding money claim against Department of Agriculture (DA) as filed and requested by National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC). Petitioner Department of Agriculture and Sultan Security Agency entered into a contract for security services to be provided by the latter to the said governmental entity. Pursuant to their arrangements, guards were deployed by Sultan Security Agency in the various premises of the DA. Thereafter, several guards filed a complaint for underpayment of wages, non-payment of 13th month pay, uniform allowances, night shift differential pay, holiday pay, and overtime pay, as well as for damages against the DA and the security agency. The Labor Arbiter rendered a decision finding the DA jointly and severally liable with the security agency for the payment of money claims of the complainant security guards. The DA and the security agency did not appeal the decision. Thus, the decision became final and executory. The Labor Arbiter issued a writ of execution to enforce and execute the judgment against the property of the DA and the security agency. Thereafter, the City Sheriff levied on execution the motor vehicles of the DA. The petitioner charges the NLRC with grave abuse of discretion for refusing to quash the writ of execution. The petitioner faults the NLRC for assuming jurisdiction over a money claim against the Department, which, it claims, falls under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Commission on Audit. More importantly, the petitioner asserts, the NLRC has disregarded the cardinal rule on the non-suability of the State. The private respondents, on the other hand, argue that the petitioner has impliedly waived its immunity from suit by concluding a service contract with Sultan Security Agency.
RATIO DECIDENDI: No. The rule does not say that the State may not be sued under any circumstances. The State may at times be sued. The general law waiving the immunity of the state from suit is found in Act No. 3083, where the Philippine government “consents and submits to be sued upon any money claims involving liability arising from contract, express or implied, which could serve as a basis of civil action between private parties.” n this case, The DA has not pretended to have assumed a capacity apart from its being a governmental entity when it entered into the questioned contract; nor that it could have, in fact, performed any act proprietary in character. But the claims of the complainant security guards clearly constitute money claims.