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disability benefits and sick wages. Moreover, petitioner was not entitled to sickness
allowance, damages, and attorney's fees in the absence of bad faith from respondent's
end.[6]
The VA Ruling
In a Decision[7] dated February 18, 2019, the Panel of Voluntary Arbitrators (VA)
denied petitioner's claim, rejecting his allegation that respondent asked him to seek
medical treatment subject to reimbursement. The VA found that the medical abstract
he submitted, which was dated two (2) years from the time of his disembarkation from
the vessel, revealed that he sought medical treatment almost a year after such
disembarkation, or around August 2017. Moreover, the VA ruled that petitioner cannot
claim medical reimbursement since he failed to submit any evidence of his medical
expenses. On the other hand, it found that respondent was able to prove through
substantial evidence that it was petitioner who actually refused to be referred to a
company-designated physician because he believed that his condition was already
cured.[8]
Aggrieved, petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration,[9] which was denied in a
Resolution[10] dated June 28, 2019. Petitioner, through counsel, received the copy of
the order of the denial of the MR on July 12, 2019. On July 22, 2019, petitioner
moved for a twenty (20)-day extension within which to file a petition for review before
the CA, or until August 11, 2019.[11] On August 9, 2019, petitioner filed a petition
for review under Rule 43 of the Rules (Rule 43 Petition) before the CA.[12]
The CA Ruling
In a Resolution[13] dated September 3, 2019, the CA dismissed the Rule 43 Petition
outright citing the following procedural infirmities: (a) it was filed two (2) days late,
and (b) the affidavit of service was inaccurate, since it stated that the service of the
copy of the petition upon the adverse parties was done personally, when in fact it was
served through registered mail. With respect to the first ground, the CA explained that
since petitioner received the VA's June 28, 2019 Decision denying his motion for
reconsideration on July 12, 2019, he only had until August 7, 2019, reckoned from
July 22, 2019 (or ten [10] days from July 12, 2019), within which to file the Rule 43
Petition before the CA. However, he belatedly filed the same on August 9, 2019 in
violation of Section 4, Rule 43 of the Rules of Court. Anent the second ground, the CA
ruled that the inaccuracy in the affidavit of service was in violation of Section 13, Rule
13 of the same Rules.[14]
Dissatisfied, petitioner moved for reconsideration.[15] He admitted that he had only
fifteen (15) days from July 12, 2019, or until July 27, 2019, within which to file the
Rule 43 Petition before the CA. However, believing that he had only ten (10) days to do
so, he opted to file a motion for extension of the period to file the Rule 43 Petition, thus
asking for an additional twenty (20) days or until August 11, 2019, to file the same. He
likewise admitted that he inadvertently stated in his explanation that the copy of the
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