CONCHITA J. RACELIS vs. UNITED PHILIPPINE LINES, INC. and/or HOLLAND AMERICA LINES, INC.,*and FERNANDO T. LISING, G.R. No. 198408, November 12, 2014
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Records show that respondents’ sole evidence to disprove that Rodolfo’s illness is work-related was the medical opinion of Dr. Abaya, wherein it was explained that Rodolfo’s ailment is a congenital malformation of blood vessels in the brain that may be due to familial strains.60 However, as correctly observed by the LA, the document presented cannot be given probative value as it was a mere print out of an e-mail that was not signed or certified to by the doctor.61 Moreover, records reveal that Rodolfo was attended by Dr. Legaspi from the time he was admitted at the Medical City on February 20, 2008 up to his death on March 2, 200862 and not by Dr. Abaya whose qualifications to diagnose such kind of illness was not even established. Likewise, the medical opinion was not backed up by any medical findings to substantiate the claim that Rodolfo’s ailment was congenital in origin or that there were traces of the disease in Rodolfo’s family history. Under the foregoing premises, the unsubstantiated and unauthenticated medical findings of Dr. Abaya are therefore highly suspect and cannot be considered as substantial evidence to support respondents’ postulation. Thus, with no substantial evidence on the part of the employer and given that no other cogent reason exists to hold otherwise, the presumption under Section 20 (B) (4) should stand. Accordingly, the Court is constrained to pronounce that Rodolfo’s death, which appears to have been proximately caused by his Brainstem (pontine) Cavernous Malformation, was work-related, in satisfaction of the first requirement of compensability under Section 20 (A) (1) of the 2000 POEA-SEC.
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