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Association of Small Landowners in the Philippines vs.

Honorable Secretary of Agrarian Reform


G.R. No. 78742

July 14, 1989

Petitioner: Association of Small Landowners in the Philippines


Respondent: Honorable Secretary of Agrarian Reform
Facts: These are consolidated cases which involve common legal, including serious
challenges to the constitutionality of the several measures such as P.D. No. 27, E.O.
No. 228, Presidential Proclamation No. 131, E.O. No. 229, and R.A. No. 6657.
G.R. No. 79777
The petitioners are questioning P.D. No. 27 and E.O. Nos. 228 and 229 on
grounds inter alia of separation of powers, due process, equal protection and
the constitutional limitation that no private property shall be taken for public
use without just compensation. G.R. No. 79310
G.R. No. 79310
This petition seeks to prohibit the implementation of Proc. No. 131 and E.O.
No. 229. They contend that taking must be simultaneous with payment of just
compensation as it is traditionally understood, i.e., with money and in full, but
no such payment is contemplated in Section 5 of the E.O. No. 229.
G.R. No. 79744
The petitioner argues that E.O. Nos. 228 and 229 are violative of the
constitutional provision that no private property shall be taken without due
process or just compensation.
G.R. No. 78742
Petitioners claim they cannot eject their tenants and so are unable to enjoy
their right of retention because the Department of Agrarian Reform has so far
not issued the implementing rules required under the above-quoted decree.
Issue: Whether agrarian reform is an exercise of police power or eminent domain
Ruling: There are traditional distinctions between the police power and the power
of eminent domain that logically preclude the application of both powers at the same
time on the same subject. Property condemned under the police power is noxious or
intended for a noxious purpose, such as a building on the verge of collapse, which
should be demolished for the public safety, or obscene materials, which should be
destroyed in the interest of public morals. The confiscation of such property is not
compensable, unlike the taking of property under the power of expropriation, which
requires the payment of just compensation to the owner.
The cases before us present no knotty complication insofar as the question of
compensable taking is concerned. To the extent that the measures under challenge
merely prescribe retention limits for landowners, there is an exercise of the police
power for the regulation of private property in accordance with the Constitution. But
where, to carry out such regulation, it becomes necessary to deprive such owners of
whatever lands they may own in excess of the maximum area allowed, there is
definitely a taking under the power of eminent domain for which payment of just
compensation is imperative. The taking contemplated is not a mere limitation of the
use of the land. What is required is the surrender of the title to and the physical

possession of the said excess and all beneficial rights accruing to the owner in favor
of the farmer-beneficiary. This is definitely an exercise not of the police power but of
the power of eminent domain

MELANIA A. ROXAS, petitioner, vs. THE HON. COURT OF APPEALS and ANTONIO M.
CAYETANO, respondents.
G.R. No. 92245, 26 June 1991.
PARAS, J.:
Petitioner Melania Roxas ("Melania") is married to Antonio Roxas ("Antonio"), although they are
already estranged and living separately.
Melania discovered that Antonio leased to Respondent Antonio Cayetano ("Mr. Cayetano") their
conjugal lot in Novaliches without her knowledge and consent.
Thus, Melanie filed a case before the RTC praying for the annulment of the contract of lease between
Antonio and Mr. Cayetano.
Mr. Cayetano moved to dismiss the complaint on the sole ground that the complaint states no cause
of action.
The RTC Judge resolved said Motion by dismissing Melania's complaint.
ISSUE: W/N a husband, may legally enter into a long-term contract of lease involving conjugal real
property without the consent of the wife.
Ruling: No. (Case remanded to the RTC by the SC)
Even if the husband is administrator of the conjugal partnership, administration does not include acts
of ownership. For while the husband can administer the conjugal assets unhampered, he cannot
alienate or encumber the conjugal realty.
As stated in Black's Law Dictionary, the word "alienation" means "the transfer of the property and
possession of lands, tenements, or other things from one person to another ... The act by which the
title to real estate is voluntarily assigned by one person to another and accepted by the latter, in the
form prescribed by law." While encumbrance "has been defined to be every right to, or interest in, the
land which may subsist in third persons, to the diminution of the value of the land, but consistent with
the passing of the fee by the conveyance; any (act) that impairs the use or transfer of property or real
estate..."
The pivotal issue in this case is whether or not a lease is an encumbrance and/or alienation.
Under Art. 1643 of the New Civil Code "In the lease of things, one of the parties binds himself to give
to another the enjoyment or use of a thing for a price certain, and for a period which may be definite or
indefinite...." Thus, lease is a grant of use and possession: it is not only a grant of possession.
In the contract of lease, the lessor transfers his right of use in favor of the lessee. The lessor's right of
use is impaired, therein. He may even be ejected by the lessee if the lessor uses the leased realty.

Therefore, lease is a burden on the land, it is an encumbrance on the land. The concept of
encumbrance includes lease, thus "an encumbrance is sometimes construed broadly to include not
only liens such as mortgages and taxes, but also attachment, LEASES, inchoate dower rights, water
rights, easements, and other RESTRICTIONS on USE."
Moreover, lease is not only an encumbrance but also a qualified alienation, with the lessee becoming,
for all legal intents and purposes, and subject to its terms, the owner of the thing affected by the
lease.
Thus, in case the wife's consent is not secured by the husband as required by law, the wife has the
remedy of filing an action for the annulment of the contract.

DIGEST OF AGRARIAN-RELATED SUPREME COURT RULINGS


(2000-2007)
JURISDICTION, THE ORIGINAL AND EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION TO
DECIDE JUST COMPENSATION CASES REMAINS WITH THE SPECIAL
AGRARIAN
COURT
WHILE
ONLY
THE
PRELIMINARY
DETERMINATION THEREOF IS VESTED WITH THE DARAB; RESORT
TO THE COURTS CANNOT BE FORECLOSED ON THE THEORY THAT
THE COURTS ARE THE GUARANTORS OF THE LEGALITY OF THE
ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION

Philippine Veterans Bank vs. Court of Appeals, The


Secretary of DAR, DARAB, Davao City and Land Bank
of the Philippines
G.R. No. 132767 (January 18, 2000)

Facts:

Petitioner Philippine Veterans Bank owned four parcels of land in


Tagum,Davao which were taken by the Department of Agrarian Reform for
distribution to landless farmers pursuant to the Comprehensive Agrarian
Reform Law (R.A. No. 6657). Dissatisfied with the valuation of the Land
Bank of the Philippines and the DARAB, petitioner filed a petition for
determination of the just compensation for its property with the Regional

Trial Court, Branch 2, Tagum, Davao on January 26, 1994. The RTC
dismissed the petition on the ground that it was filed beyond the 15-day
reglamentary period for filing appeals from the orders of the DARAB. The
Decision was affirmed by the Court of Appeals. Hence, this Petition for
Review.
Issue:

Whether or not the Special Agrarian Courts are considered appellate


courts in the determination of just compensation

Held:

No.
To implement the provisions of R.A. No. 6657, particularly Section 50
thereof, Rule XIII, Section 11 of the DARAB Rules of Procedure provides:
"Land Valuation and Preliminary Determination and Payment of Just
Compensation. The decision of the adjudicator on land valuation and
preliminary determination and payment of just compensation shall not be
appealable to the Board but shall be brought directly to the Regional Trial
Courts designated as Special Agrarian Courts within fifteen (15) days from
receipt of the notice thereof. Any party shall be entitled to only one motion for
reconsideration."

As we held in Republic vs. Court of Appeals, this Rule is an


acknowledgement by the DARAB that the power to decide just
compensation cases for the taking of lands under R.A. No. 6657 is vested
in the Courts. It is error to think that, because of Rule XIII, Sec. 11, the
original and exclusive jurisdiction given to the courts to decide petitions for
determination of just compensation has thereby been transformed into an
appellate jurisdiction. It only means that, in accordance with settled
principles of administrative law, primary jurisdiction is vested in the DAR as
an administrative agency to determine in a preliminary manner the
reasonable compensation to be paid for the lands taken under the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, but such determination is
subject to challenge in the courts.

The jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Courts is not any less "original and
exclusive" because the question is first passed upon by the DAR, as the
judicial proceedings are not a continuation of the administrative
determination. For that matter, the law may provide that the decision of the
DAR is final and unappealable. Nevertheless, resort to the courts cannot
be foreclosed on the theory that courts are the guarantors of the legality of
administrative action.

Accordingly, as the petition in the Regional Trial Court was filed beyond
the 15-day period provided in Rule XIII, 11 of the Rules of Procedure of the
DARAB, the trial court correctly dismissed the case and the Court of
Appeals correctly affirmed the order of dismissal.
ADMINISTRATOR/OVERSEER AT THE SAME TIME A TENANT, UNDER
COMMON USAGE IN THE LOCALITY, THE TERM ADMINISTRATOR IS
USED INTERCHANGEABLY WITH TENANCY

Gerardo Rupa Sr. vs. The Honorable Court of Appeals


and Magin Salipot
G.R. No. 80129 (January 25, 2000)
Facts:

The case at bar involves an action for redemption with damages filed by
Gerardo Rupa Sr. against Magin Salipot. Rupa claimed that he had been a
tenant of a parcel of coconut land formerly owned by Vicente Lim and
Patrocinia Yu Lim for more than twenty (20) years now, sharing the
harvests on a 50%-50% basis. Also, that he is the overseer over four
parcels of coconut land owned by the Lim spouses. However, without any
prior written notice, the land tenanted by the petitioner was sold to Magin
Salipot for P5,000.00 in January 1981. Petitioner averred that he only
learned of the sale on February 16, 1981, and that he sought assistance
with the local office of Agrarian Reform for the redemption of the
questioned property and even deposited the amount of P5,000.00 with the
trial court.

However, the Regional Trial Court of Masbate rendered a decision


dismissing the complaint on the ground that Rupa was not a tenant of the
subject property and thus, not entitled to a right of redemption over the
same. On appeal, the Court of Appeals finds, in substance, that there is no
clear and convincing evidence to show that plaintiff was a share tenant of
the spouses Lim and that Rupa is bound by his admission in Criminal Case
No. 532-U, entitled People of the Philippines. vs. Mariano Luzong filed six
months after the instant case wherein he admitted that he was the overseer
and administrator of the five parcels of land owned by the Lim spouses.
Thus, negating his claim of tenancy. The CA therefore affirmed on appeal
the decision of the lower court. Hence, this petition seeking the reversal of
the Decision of the Court of Appeals.

Issue:
Whether or not the petitioner is a lawful tenant of the land or a mere
overseer thereof.
Held:

In the case at bar, we find that there are compelling reasons for this
Court to apply the exception of non-conclusiveness of the factual findings
of the trial and appellate courts on the ground that the "findings of fact of
both courts is premised on the supposed absence of evidence but is in
actuality contradicted by evidence on record." A careful examination of the
record reveals that, indeed, both the trial court and the appellate court
overlooked and disregarded the overwhelming evidence in favor of Rupa
and instead relied mainly on the statements made in the decision in
another case.

A tenant is defined under Section 5 (a) of Republic Act No. 1199 as a


person who himself and with the aid available from within his immediate
farm household cultivates the land belonging to or possessed by another,
with the latter's consent, for purposes of production, sharing the produce
with the landholder under the share tenancy system, or paying to the
landholder a price certain or ascertainable in produce or in money or both
under the leasehold tenancy system. Briefly stated, for this relationship to
exist, it is necessary that:

1.

The parties are the landowner and the tenant;

2.

The subject is agricultural land;

3.

There is consent;

4.

The purpose is agricultural production;

5.

There is personal cultivation; and

6.

There is sharing of harvests.

Upon proof of the existence of the tenancy relationship, Rupa could


avail of the benefits afforded by R.A. No. 3844, as amended, particularly,
Section 12 thereof which reads:
"SECTION 12.
Lessee's right of redemption. In case the landholding is
sold to a third person without the knowledge of the agricultural lessee, the latter
shall have the right to redeem the same at a reasonable price and
consideration: Provided, That the entire landholding sold must be redeemed:
Provided, further, That where there are two or more agricultural lessees, each
shall be entitled to said right of redemption only to the extent of the area
actually cultivated by him. The right of redemption under this Section may be
exercised within two years from the registration of the sale, and shall have
priority over any other right of legal redemption."

As correctly pointed out by the CA, this right of redemption is validly


exercised upon compliance with the following requirements: a) the
redemptioner must be an agricultural lessee or share tenant; b) the land
must have been sold by the owner to a third party without prior written
notice of the sale given to the lessee or lessees and the DAR in
accordance with Section 11, RA 3844, as amended; c) only the area
cultivated by the agricultural lessee may be redeemed; d) the right of
redemption must be exercised within 180 days from notice; and e) there
must be an actual tender or valid consignation of the entire amount which
is the reasonable price of the land sought to be redeemed.

The statements made in the decision that "[Rupa] claimed that he was
made administrator by the Lim spouses of their five (5) parcels of land in
Armenia, Uson, Masbate" and that the "prosecution witnesses in that case,
namely, Pablito Arnilla and Antonieta Rongasan admitted that they were

hired laborers of Rupa in tilling the land in question" should not have been
relied upon by the CA to conclusively disprove the tenancy relationship.

First of all, we must look at the context in which these statements were
made. The admission made by Rupa as stated in the decision was made,
as mentioned earlier, in a criminal case for malicious mischief which Rupa
filed against one Mariano Luzong, son-in-law of Salipot, on the ground that
the latter destroyed the banana and cassava plants growing in Rupa's farm.
Said statement was apparently made to prove Rupa's standing to file the
complaint and to prove how he could have witnessed the destruction made
by said person.

Second, in claiming that he was administrator of the property, Rupa, a


farmer of limited education must have used the word "administrator" in a
loose sense to mean one taking care of a certain piece of property by
clearing and planting on the same. As aptly pointed out by counsel for
Rupa during the trial, with no objection from the counsel of Salipot, "under
common usage in the locality, the term administrator is used
interchangeably with tenancy.

Third, the CA did not bother to explain its finding on the "inherent
incompatibility" between being a tenant-farmer and an administrator or
overseer. According to Rupa, he was tenant of one parcel of land belonging
to the Lim spouses and administrator or overseer of the other four parcels
of land owned by the said spouses. Salipot and his witnesses had
interchangeably claimed Rupa to be an overseer and a copra agent or
copra buyer. As overseer, he may have been receiving a fixed salary. As
tenant under our legal definition, he may have been sharing the harvests
with the landowner. This may well lead a person to find an incompatibility
between the two. However, one could in fact be overseer of a parcel of
land, supervising the laborers therein and receiving a fixed salary for one's
services, and at the same time, act as tenant farmer in another
landholding.

Fourth, the testimony of the prosecution witnesses that they were "hired
laborers" should not have been given significant weight by the CA. The rule
is well-settled that the rights of a person cannot be prejudiced by the
declaration, act or omission of another, except as provided by the Rules of

Court in cases of admission by a co-partner, agent, conspirator and privies.


The said witnesses do not come under any of these exceptions.

As regards the certificate issued by the Office of the Treasurer to the


effect that Rupa was a copra buyer from May 19, 1978 to October 10,
1979, we find that this does not necessarily rule out Rupa's claim that he
was a tenant-farmer since 1962. Rupa has satisfactorily explained that
"pursuing two or three lines of work is nothing new. In coconut lands,
harvest seasons come far and in between, and the tenant can always
engage in the business of copra-buying in the interim." Moreover, the dates
indicated therein cover only a short period of time as against Rupa's claim
that he was tenant from 1963 until his ejectment sometime in 1981.

We are therefore constrained to overturn the appealed judgment insofar


as it ruled that the records do not establish Rupa's status as an agricultural
tenant. Indeed, the testimony of Rupa and his witnesses in open court, in
our view, had not been convincingly rebutted and we have no reason to
doubt the veracity of the testimonies of his witnesses. Certainly, the
passing statements contained in the decision in the criminal case for
malicious mischief cannot overcome the evidentiary value of the
testimonies of said witnesses. A meticulous review of the record would
have found overwhelming evidence in favor of Rupa. A scrutiny of the
entire evidence on hand would be in line with the State's policy of achieving
a dignified existence for the small farmers free from pernicious institutional
restraints and practices.
DECEIT/SQUATTING, RESPONDENT CANNOT IN GOOD FAITH
ALLEGE TO BE A LAWFUL TENANT ONE MOMENT AND BE AN
OWNER THE NEXT

Raymundo T. Magdaluyo vs. Atty. Enrique L. Nace


Adm. Case No. 3808 (February 2, 2000)
Facts:

Complainant accused respondent of acts amounting to deceit and gross


misconduct. Respondent was one of the squatters living in one of the

complainant's parcels of land situated in Antipolo, Rizal. Allegedly, when


complainant offered to relocate the squatters, the latter refused and instead
filed a complaint before the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board
(PARAB) claiming to be tenants therein.

Three months later, the squatters again including respondent also filed a
case before the Regional Trial Court of Antipolo for the annulment or
cancellation of complainant's land titles. This time, claiming to be owners
and not mere tenants of the land. They traced their alleged ownership to an
old Spanish title.

Because of the conflicting causes of action, both cases were dismissed.


Complainant filed a case against respondent accusing him of having
deliberately committed a falsehood and of forum-shopping praying that
proper disciplinary sanctions be imposed against the latter.

Held:

After referral of the matter to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP),
the findings of the former are as follows:
". . . while it may be true that different causes of action are indeed involved, it is
their total inconsistency, nay, total opposition with each other which raises
doubts about the respondent's sincerity. It escapes this Commission [on Bar
Discipline] how Respondent can, in good faith, allege to be a lawful tenant one
moment, and be an owner the next.
Respondent herein, as a lawyer, was remiss in his duty to correctly inform the
court of the law and the facts of this case. He failed to allege in his complaint
the fact that a prior dispute had been existing between the parties before the
PARAB, thus deceiving the court and giving it an inaccurate appreciation of
facts.
Lastly, respondent was delinquent in his duty as a lawyer to maintain only such
suits as appears to him to be just and such defenses only as he believes to be
honestly debatable. It has long been settled that Spanish titles cannot be used
as evidence of land ownership. Yet respondent dares raise the same in his
complaint to defeat Complainant's duly registered certificate of title. Any lawyer
should know that a Spanish title would have no legal leg to stand on in the face
of Transfer Certificate of Title over the same parcel of land."

The Court concurs with the IBP's findings and recommendations being
fully supported by evidence on record.

Clearly, respondent violated the prohibition in the Code of Professional


Responsibility against engaging in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful
conduct. He was indeed, less than sincere in asserting two conflicting
rights over a portion of land that, in all probability, he knew not to be his.

As a lawyer, respondent is bound by his oath not to do falsehood or


consent to its commission and to conduct himself as a lawyer according to
the best of his knowledge and discretion. The lawyers oath is a source of
obligations and violation thereof is a ground for suspension, disbarment or
other disciplinary action. Said acts are clearly in violation of his lawyer's
oath that the court will not tolerate.
RETENTION/EXEMPTION, AN APPLICATION FOR EXEMPTION AND
AN APPLICATION FOR RETENTION ARE DISTINCT REMEDIES IN
LAW. FINALITY OF JUDGMENT IN ONE DOES NOT PRECLUDE THE
SUBSEQUENT INSTITUTION OF THE OTHER

Eudosia Daez and/or Her heirs, Represented by Adriano


D. Daez vs. Court of Appeals, Macario Sorientes,
Apolonia Mediana, Rogelio Macatulad and Manuel
Umali
G.R. No. 133507 (February 17, 2000)
Facts:

Eudosia Daez applied for exemption of her 4.1685 hectare riceland in


Brgy. Lawa, Meycauayan, Bulacan being cultivated by the herein
respondents. DAR Undersecretary Jose C. Medina denied the application
for exemption upon finding that the subject land is covered under LOI 474,
the petitioner's total properties having exceeded the 7-hectare limit
provided by law.

The Secretary of DAR, Benjamin T. Leong, the Court of Appeals and the
Supreme Court all affirmed the said Order and disregarded an Affidavit
executed by the respondents stating that they are not the tenants of the
land. Their findings was that the Affidavit was merely issued under duress.
In the meantime, Emancipation Patents (EPs) were issued to the
respondents.

Undaunted, Daez next filed an application for retention of the same


riceland under R.A. No. 6657. DAR Region III OIC-Director Eugenio B.
Bernardo allowed her to retain the subject riceland but denied the
application of her children to retain three (3) hectares each for failure to
prove actual tillage or direct management thereof. This order was set aside
by the DAR Secretary Ernesto Garilao but reinstated on appeal by the
Office of the President. The Court of Appeals again reversed this Decision
and ordered the reinstatement of the previous Decision of DAR Secretary
Ernesto D. Garilao. Hence, this Appeal.

Issue:
Whether or not petitioner can still file a petition for retention of the
subject landholdings, despite the fact that a previous decision denying
the petition for exemption had long become final and executory
Held:

It is incorrect to posit that an application for exemption and an


application for retention are one and the same thing. Being distinct
remedies, finality of judgment in one does not preclude the subsequent
institution of the other. There was, thus, no procedural impediment to the
application filed by Eudosia Daez for the retention of the subject 4.1865
hectare riceland, even after her appeal for exemption of the same land was
denied in a decision that became final and executory.

The right of retention is a constitutionally guaranteed right, which is


subject to qualification by the legislature. It serves to mitigate the effects of
compulsory land acquisition by balancing the rights of the landowner and
the tenant by implementing the doctrine that social justice was not meant to
perpetrate an injustice against the landowner. A retained area as its name
denotes, is land which is not supposed to anymore leave the landowner's

dominion, thus, sparing the government from the inconvenience of taking


land only to return it to the landowner afterwards, which would be a
pointless process.

The issuance of EPs and CLOAs to beneficiaries does not absolutely


bar the landowner from retaining the area covered thereby. Under
Administrative Order No. 2, Series of 1994, an EP or CLOA may be
cancelled if the land covered is later found to be part of the landowner's
retained area.
TENANCY RELATIONSHIP CAN ONLY BE CREATED WITH THE
CONSENT OF THE TRUE AND LAWFUL LANDHOLDER WHO IS
EITHER THE OWNER, LESSEE, USUFRUCTUARY OR LEGAL
POSSESSOR OF THE LAND

Bayani Bautista vs. Patricia Araneta


G.R. No. 135829 (February 22, 2000)
Facts:

In essence, the plaintiff averred that he had been the lawful tenant of a
three (3) hectare parcel of land owned by Gregorio Araneta II since 1978.
In April 1991, a group of armed security guards, allegedly, were sent by
herein defendant Patricia Araneta, successor of Gregorio Araneta II and
warned plaintiff to vacate and to stop cultivating the subject landholding.
Plaintiff prayed for the issuance of a temporary restraining order to enjoin
the defendant from the continued employment of threats and harassments
against his person, for the issuance of a permanent preliminary injunction
during the pendency of the case, for the maintenance of status quo and for
the recognition of his right as tenant of the land.

Defendant to summarize, denied all the allegations of the plaintiff and


stated that the property belonged to Consuelo A. de Cuesta Auxilum
Christianorum Foundation Incorporated and leased to defendant for the
development of a bio-dynamic farm and ultimately for the establishment of
a training center for bio-dynamic agriculture in the Philippines and humid
tropics in Asia. The land also does not fall under CARL because it has

more than 18% slope. During an ocular inspection, defendant learned of


the presence of the plaintiff. The former invited the latter to join the project
but he declined and agreed to leave the premises. However, the plaintiff
changed his mind and refused to leave. Efforts at conciliation did not push
through and instead a Complaint for Peaceful Possession with prayer for
the issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order and Writ of Preliminary
Injunction was filed by the plaintiff.

The PARAD ruled in favor of the plaintiff (petitioner) and declared him as
a bonafide tenant. On appeal, the DARAB affirmed the said Decision.
However, the Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the DARAB.
Hence, this Appeal.

Petitioner contends that in 1978, he entered into an oral tenancy


agreement with Gregorio Araneta II whom he has known and believed as
the owner of the land. And that he regularly delivered to Gregorio forty (40)
cavans from the harvest through Lino Tocio. Petitioner, likewise relies on
the certification (ARPT and MARO) that he is a tenant on the landholding.

Issue:
Whether or not the petitioner is a lawful tenant of the subject
landholding
Held:

The Appeal lacks merit.

"His reliance on the certifications issued in his favor is misplaced


because they do not prove that the landowner made him his tenant. As the
Court of Appeals aptly observed, they only show that petitioner is in
possession of the land. The certifications do not disclose how and why he
became a tenant."

In sum, respondent and the landowner are not bound by the alleged
agricultural leasehold agreement between petitioner and Gregorio. In the
1961 case of Lastimoza vs. Blanco, we ruled that "tenancy relationship can
only be created with the consent of the true and lawful landholder who is
either the 'owner, lessee, usufructuary or legal possessor of the land' (sec.
5 [b], Rep. Act No. 1199), and not thru the acts of the supposed landholder

who has no right to the land subject of the tenancy. . . . To rule otherwise,
would be to pave the way for fraudulent collusions among the unscrupulous
to the prejudice of the true and lawful landholder."

Lastly, we can not sustain petitioner's argument that he is a tenant by


virtue of the factual finding of the DARAB. As discussed above, DARAB
mainly relied on the certifications issued in favor of petitioner in holding that
he is a tenant in the disputed landholding. In Oarde vs. Court of Appeals,
we held that certifications issued by administrative agencies or officers that
a certain person is a tenant are merely provisional and not conclusive on
the courts. This Court is not necessarily bound by these findings specially if
they are mere conclusions that are not supported by substantial evidence.
JURISDICTION/AGRARIAN DISPUTE/LEASEHOLD RELATIONSHIP,
NO AGRARIAN DISPUTE EXISTS IN THE CASE AT BAR. THE DARAB
HAS NO JURISDICTION OVER THE MAIN ISSUE. CLEARLY, IT
FOLLOWS THAT THE DARAB ALSO HAS NO JURISDICTION OVER
THE ANCILLARY MATTERS INCIDENT THERETO

Heirs of the Late Herman Rey Santos represented by his


widow, Arsenia Garcia vda. de Santos vs. Court of
Appeals, et al.
G.R. No. 109992 (March 7, 2000)
Facts:

The case involves a parcel of land in Parulan, Plaridel, Bulacan which


was levied on execution by the Municipal Trial Court of Plaridel, Bulacan
onOctober 24, 1989 and subsequently sold at public auction on September
20, 1990 with Herman Rey Santos now substituted by his heirs and
represented by his widow Arsenia Garcia vda. de Santos, as the sole
bidder for P34,532.50.

Private respondent Exequiel Garcia failed to exercise his right of


redemption within the reglementary period. On April 1, 1992, respondent
filed a Petition for Injunction and Damages with an application for the
issuance of a preliminary injunction with the Department of Agrarian

Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) docketed as DARAB Case No. 369BUL '92 praying that petitioner be enjoined from preventing private
respondent from gathering the mango fruits lest they "over-mature and
become useless".

The Provincial Adjudicator Erasmo SP. Cruz of the DARAB issued an


Order allowing the gathering of the mango fruits and directing that the
proceeds thereof be deposited with the Adjudication Board. Then on April
27, 1992, private respondent filed a Petition for Consignation before the
RTC of Bulacan, in an apparent attempt to redeem his land. The petition
was dismissed.

Meanwhile, one Pantaleon Antonio filed on May 18, 1992, a Motion to


intervene with the DARAB claiming that "he is affected in his rights and
interests as the party who tended and had the mango trees bear fruits this
season".

On May 7, 1992 private respondent filed a complaint for


Annulment/Cancellation of Sale and Document, Redemption with Damages
and Preliminary Writ of Injunction against Herman Rey Santos, the Deputy
Sheriff of Bulacan and the Register of Deeds of Bulacan.

The DARAB suspended the hearing on Pantaleon Antonio's motion for


intervention pending the resolution of the ownership issue. On July 8,
1992, intervenor this time filed with the DARAB, a motion to withdraw
intervenor's deposited share. The Motion was granted and intervenor was
allowed to withdraw P87,300.00 out of the P174,650.00 harvests proceeds
with intervenor Antonio being recognized as the duly constituted tenant of
the land. The Court of Appeals affirmed these orders of the DARAB.
Hence, the instant petition for review on Certiorari.

Issue:

Whether or not the PARAD/DARAB has jurisdiction to rule on ancillary


matters even when the question of ownership is pending resolution with the
Regional Trial Courts?

Held:

Rule II, Section 1 of the Revised Rules of Procedure of the DARAB,


provides:
SECTION 1.
Primary, Original and Appellate Jurisdiction. The
Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board shall have primary jurisdiction, both
original and appellate, to determine and adjudicate all agrarian disputes, cases,
controversies, and matters or incidents involving the implementation of the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program under Republic Act No. 6657,
Executive Order Nos. 229, 228 and 129-A, Republic Act No. 3844 as amended
by Republic Act No. 6389, P.D. No. 27 and other agrarian laws and their
implementing rules and regulations. (Emphasis supplied)

"Agrarian dispute" is defined under Section 3(d) of Republic Act No.


6657 (CARP Law), as:
(d)
Agrarian Dispute refers to any controversy relating to tenurial
arrangements, whether leasehold, tenancy, stewardship or otherwise, over
lands devoted to agriculture, including disputes concerning farmworkers
associations or representation of persons in negotiating, fixing, maintaining,
changing or seeking to arrange terms or conditions of such tenurial
arrangements.
It includes any controversy relating to compensation of lands acquired
under this Act and other terms and conditions of transfer of ownership from
landowners to farmworkers, tenants and other agrarian reform beneficiaries,
whether the disputants stand in the proximate relation of farm operator and
beneficiary, landowner and tenant, or lessor and lessee.

Clearly, no agrarian dispute is involved in this case. In fact, both are


contending parties for the ownership of the subject property.
In the case of Morta v. Occidental, et al., this Court held:

For DARAB to have jurisdiction over a case, there must


exist a tenancy relationship between the parties. In order for a tenancy
agreement to take hold over a dispute, it would be essential to
establish all its indispensable elements, to wit: 1) that the parties are
the landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee; 2) that the subject
matter of the relationship is an agricultural land; 3) that there is
consent between the parties to the relationship; 4) that the purpose of

the relationship is to bring about agricultural production; 5) that there is


personal cultivation on the part of the tenant or agricultural lessee; and
6) that the harvest is shared between the landowner and the tenant or
agricultural lessee. In Vda. de Tangub v. Court of Appeals (191 SCRA
885), we held that the jurisdiction of the Department of Agrarian
Reform is limited to the following: a) adjudication of all matters
involving implementation of agrarian reform; b) resolution of agrarian
conflicts and land tenure related problems; and c) approval and
disapproval of the conversion, restructuring or readjustment of
agricultural lands into residential, commercial, industrial, and other
non-agricultural uses.

Petitioners and private respondent have no tenurial, leasehold, or any


agrarian relations whatsoever that could have brought this controversy
under the ambit of agrarian reform laws. Consequently, the DARAB has no
jurisdiction over the controversy and should not have taken cognizance of
private respondent's petition for injunction in the first place.

The issue of who can harvest the mangoes and when they can be
harvested is an incident ancillary to the main petition for injunction. As
such, it is dependent on the main case. Inasmuch as the DARAB has no
jurisdiction to hear and decide the controversy between the parties,
necessarily, the motion for intervention loses the leg on which it can stand.
This issue, after all, can be resolved by the trial court, which has the
jurisdiction to order the gathering of the mango fruits and depositing the
proceeds with it, considering that an action has already been filed before it
on the specific issue of ownership.
VOLUNTARY SURRENDER/WAIVER OF RIGHTS/ABANDONMENT, THE
WAIVER OF RIGHTS IS NULL AND VOID FOR BEING CONTRARY TO
OUR AGRARIAN REFORM LAWS. HOWEVER, VOLUNTARY
SURRENDER OF THE LANDHOLDING IN FAVOR OF THE SAMAHANG
NAYON CONSTITUTES AS A VALID GROUND FOR THE
ABANDONMENT OF RIGHTS UNDER PD 27

Gavino Corpuz vs. Spouses Geronimo Grospe and


Hilaria Grospe
G.R. No. 135297 (June 8, 2000)
Facts:

Petitioner Gavino Corpuz was a farmer-beneficiary under the Operation


Land Transfer (OLT) Program of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR)
who, pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 27, was issued a Certificate of
Land Transfer (CLT) over two parcels of agricultural land (Lot Nos. 3017
and 012) with a total area of 3.3 hectares situated in Salungat, Sto.
Domingo, Nueva Ecija and formerly owned by a certain Florentino Chioco.

Petitioner mortgaged the subject land to pay for his wife's hospitalization
on January 20, 1982 in favor of Virginia de Leon. Upon the expiration of the
contract, he again mortgaged the property to respondent Hilaria Grospe
[wife of Geronimo Grospe] for a period of four years (from December 5,
1986 to December 5, 1990) to guarantee a loan of P32,500.00. The parties
even executed a "Kasunduan sa Pagpapahiram ng Lupang Sakahan"which
allowed the respondents to use and/or cultivate the land during the duration
of the mortgage. Petitioner instituted an action for recovery of possession
with the DARAB in Cabanatuan City (Region III) against the respondents
averring that the latter entered the disputed land by force and intimidation
on January 10 and 11, 1991 and destroyed the palay planted on the land.

Respondents in their answer, claimed that the petitioner himself allowed


them to take over the possession and cultivation of the property until the
latter has paid his loan. However, instead of paying his loan, petitioner had
allegedly executed on June 29, 1989, a "Waiver of Rights" over the
landholding in consideration in the amount of P54,394.00. Petitioner denied
waiving his rights and claimed that his and his children's signatures
appearing on the waiver were forgeries.

The PARAD ruled that petitioner abandoned and surrendered the


landholding to the Samahang Nayon ng Malaya, Sto. Domingo, Nueva
Ecija which in turn, had passed Resolution Nos. 16 and 27 recommending

the reallocation of the said lots to the respondent spouses who were the
"most qualified farmer(s)-beneficiaries".

The DARAB affirmed the Provincial Adjudicator's decision. Petitioner


moved for reconsideration but the same was denied. Likewise, petitioner's
appeal and subsequent reconsideration thereof were denied by the Court
of Appeals. Hence, this petition.

Issues:

Whether or not the appellate court was correct in finding that the
signatures of petitioner and his sons on the waiver were not forged?

Assuming arguendo that the signatures in the waiver were genuine, was
it (the waiver) null and void for being contrary to agrarian laws?
Did the petitioner abandon his rights as a beneficiary under PD 27?

Did he (petitioner), by voluntary surrender, forfeit his right as a


beneficiary?

Held:

As a rule, if the factual findings of the Court of Appeals coincide with


those of the DARAB an administrative body which has acquired
expertise on the matter such findings are accorded respect and will not
be disturbed on appeal. The presence or the absence of forgery was an
issue of fact that was convincingly settled by the agrarian and the appellate
tribunals. Petitioner utterly failed to convince us that the appellate court had
misapprehended the facts. Quite the contrary, its findings were wellsupported by the evidence.

We have already ruled that the sale or transfer of rights over a property
covered by a Certificate of Land Transfer is void except when the alienation
is made in favor of the government or through hereditary succession. This
ruling is intended to prevent a reversion to the old feudal system in which
the landowners reacquired vast tracts of land, thus, negating the
government's program of freeing the tenant from the bondage of the soil. In
Torres v. Ventura, the Court clearly held:

". . . As such [the farmer-beneficiary] gained the rights to possess, cultivate and
enjoy the landholding for himself. Those rights over that particular property
were granted by the government to him and to no other. To insure his continued
possession and enjoyment of the property, he could not, under the law, make
any valid form of transfer except to the government or by hereditary
succession, to his successors.
. . . [T]he then Ministry of Agrarian Reform issued the following Memorandum
Circular [No. 7, Series of 1979, April 23, 1979]:
"'Despite the above prohibition, however, there are reports that many farmerbeneficiaries of PD 27 have transferred the ownership, rights, and/or
possession of their farms/homelots to other persons or have surrendered the
same to their former landowners. All these transactions/surrenders are violative
of PD 27 and therefore, null and void."'

Abandonment requires (a) a clear and absolute intention to renounce a


right or claim or to desert a right or property; and (b) an external act by
which that intention is expressed or carried into effect. The intention to
abandon implies a departure, with the avowed intent of never returning,
resuming or claiming the right and the interest that have been abandoned.

The CA ruled that abandonment required (a) the tenant's clear intention
to sever the agricultural tenancy relationship; and (b) his failure to work on
the landholding for no valid reason. The CA also deemed the following as
formidable evidence of his intent to sever the tenancy relationship: (a) the
mortgage and (b) his express approval and conformity to the Samahang
Nayon Resolution installing the private respondents as tenants/farmersbeneficiaries of the landholding. We disagree.

As earlier shown, the Waiver was void. Furthermore, the mortgage


expired after four years. Thus, the private respondents were obligated to
return possession of the landholding to the petitioner. At bottom, we see on
the part of the petitioner no clear, absolute or irrevocable intent to abandon.
His surrender of possession did not amount to an abandonment because
there was an obligation on the part of private respondents to return
possession upon full payment of the loan.

However, the nullity of the Waiver does not save the case for him
because there is a clear showing that he voluntarily surrendered his

landholding to the Samahang Nayon which, under the present


circumstances, may qualify as a surrender or transfer, to the government,
of his rights under the agrarian laws.

PD 27 provides that title to land acquired pursuant to the land reform


program shall not be transferable except through hereditary succession or
to the government, in accordance with the provisions of existing laws and
regulations. Section 8 of R.A. No. 3844 also provides that "[t]he agricultural
leasehold relation . . . shall be extinguished by: . . . (2) [v]oluntary
surrender of the landholding by the agricultural lessee . . . ."

To repeat, the land was surrendered to the government, not transferred


to another private person. It was the government, through the DAR, which
awarded the landholding to the private respondents who were declared as
qualified beneficiaries under the agrarian laws. Voluntary surrender, as a
mode of extinguishment of tenancy relations, does not require court
approval as long as it is convincingly and sufficiently proved by competent
evidence.

Petitioner's voluntary surrender to the Samahang Nayon qualifies as a


surrender or transfer to the government because such action forms part of
the mechanism for the disposition and the reallocation of farmholdings of
tenant-farmers who refuse to become beneficiaries of PD 27. Under
Memorandum Circular No. 8-80 of the then Ministry of Agrarian Reform,
the Samahan shall, upon notice from the agrarian reform team leader,
recommend other tenant-farmers who shall be substituted to all rights and
obligations of the abandoning or surrendering tenant-farmer. Besides,
these cooperatives are established to provide a strong social and economic
organization to ensure that the tenant-farmers will enjoy on a lasting basis
the benefits of agrarian reform.
JURISDICTION/AGRARIAN DISPUTE/TENANCY RELATIONSHIP, FOR
PURPOSES OF DETERMINING WHETHER OR NOT THE MUNICIPAL
TRIAL COURT HAS JURISDICTION OVER THE CASE AND IN ORDER
TO DETERMINE THE EXISTENCE OF AN AGRARIAN DISPUTE, THE
TRIAL COURT SHOULD NOT HAVE DISREGARDED THE
DEFENDANT'S ANSWER FOR HAVING BEEN FILED OUT OF TIME

Jaime P. Corpin vs. Amor S. Vivar and the Honorable


Court of Appeals
G.R. No. 137350 (June 19, 2000)
Facts:

Petitioner filed a complaint for ejectment against the private respondent


with the Municipal Trial Court of Guiguinto, Bulacan. For failure to timely file
his Answer with Motion to Dismiss the court deemed the case submitted for
judgment and rendered a decision ordering private respondent to vacate
the land in dispute. Private respondent appealed the case to the Regional
Trial Court and submitted documents to support his claim that he is a
tenant of the petitioner's lot. The Regional Trial Court in turn, dismissed the
case for lack of jurisdiction. Subsequently, petitioner filed a Petition for
Review of the said Decision with the Court of Appeals. The latter upheld
the Regional Trial Court's finding and dismissed the petition for lack of
merit. Hence, this Petition.

Issues:

Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in the interpretation of


Section 7, Rule 40 of the Revised Rules of Court as it considered all the
documents submitted by the Private Respondent for the first time together
with the memorandum

Whether or not the Honorable Court of Appeals erred in ruling that there
was a landlord-tenant relationship between the parties

Held:

In the case of Bayog vs. Natino which the appellate court cited, we held
that the metropolitan circuit trial court, which dismissed defendant's Answer
for having been filed out of time and decided the case based on the
allegations in the complaint, should not have disregarded defendant's
Answer and should have heard and received the evidence for the purpose
of determining whether or not it had jurisdiction over the case.

What were presented to the municipal trial court were limited to the
following: (1) Pagtitibay dated February 21, 1996 signed by Angel Torres,
Chairman of the BARC of Tabang; (2) Affidavit of Dr. Teodoro Placido dated
April 22, 1996; (3) Sinumpaang Salaysay of Ambrosio T. Mendoza dated
April 22, 1996; and (4) Sinumpaang Salaysay of private respondent dated
April 22, 1996.

Considering the foregoing, it is clear that there is a need to conduct a


hearing whereby both parties may present evidence which may shed light
on the issue of the municipal trial court's jurisdiction over the case.

Consequently, the Regional Trial Court's finding that there exists a


landlord-tenant relationship between petitioner and respondent, which was
based on the documents attached by private respondent to his memoranda
in the Regional Trial Court only on appeal and were not previously
presented to the municipal trial court in the original case, must be set
aside.

The records of the case must be remanded to the Municipal Trial Court
and hear the issue of jurisdiction.
INTERVENTION/PARTIES-IN-INTEREST,
ASSUMING
THAT
THE
LANDS ARE "CARPABLE", IT IS NOT THE PETITIONER BUT THE
MEMBERS THEREOF WHO ARE THE PROPER PARTIES-IN-INTEREST
IN THE SUBJECT CONTROVERSY

Kooperatiba ng Sandigan ng Magsasakang Pilipino, Inc.


(KSMP) vs. Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication
Board, et al.
G.R. No. 139051 (June 26, 2000)
Facts:

The case stemmed from the Order dated May 27, 1975 by then DAR
Secretary Conrado Estrella granting the request for conversion of 1,837.30
hectares of agricultural land situated in Nasugbu, Batangas into residential,
commercial, industrial and other urban purposes. In essence, the Order
stated that the subject land is not economically suited for agricultural

cultivation and that if there are any tenant-tillers, disturbance compensation


should be paid to them in accordance with law.

Fifteen (15) occupants assisted by the Federation of Free Farmers


(FFF) claiming to be tenants of a forty-four (44) hectare portion filed a
motion for reconsideration of the said Order. But prior to such, former
President Ferdinand B. Marcos issued Proclamation No. 1520 on
November 27, 1975 declaring the Municipalities of Maragondon and
Ternate, Cavite and Nasugbu, Batangas as tourist zones more suitable for
residential, commercial, industrial and urban uses.

In December 1989, apparently unaware of the conversion orders and


presidential proclamation, then DAR Secretary Miriam Defensor-Santiago
issued Notices of Acquisition dated December 14-27, 1989. Private
respondents, Gonzalo Puyat and Sons, filed their objections to
theseSantiago notices.

Thereafter, on January 22, 1991, Secretary Benjamin T. Leong who


succeeded Secretary Santiago ruled on the validity of the questioned Order
issued on May 27, 1975 and denied the Motion for Reconsideration holding
that pursuant to Proclamation No. 1520, Maragondon, Ternate and
Nasugbu are declared as tourist zones.

Meanwhile, on May 14, 1991, the private respondents filed a Petition


with the DARAB docketed as DARAB Case No. 0335 for the purpose of
implementing the Conversion Orders which in effect suggested the manner
of invalidating the Santiago Notices as it was contrary to the Leong Order
of January 22, 1991.

Petitioner KSMP (Kooperatiba ng Sandigan ng Magsasakang Pilipino,


Inc.) filed a complaint-in-intervention on the aforementioned case. This was
dismissed by the DAR. Subsequently, KSMP filed a Petition for Certiorari
with the Court of Appeals docketed as G.R. No. 47813 imputing grave
abuse of discretion on the DARAB. The CA dismissed the same. Hence,
this Petition.

Held:

We find no error with the ruling of the CA that petitioner's cause is lost
considering that the Conversion Orders have long become final and
executory. There was, therefore, no more case to which it could intervene.
The complaint-in-intervention was, therefore, correctly dismissed pursuant
to the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.

Petitioner's insistence that there was no final disposition yet of the


conversion case, as in fact, DARAB Case No. 0335 was initiated by the
private respondents is untenable. A perusal of the records reveal that
DARAB Case No. 0335 was filed by the private respondents for the
purpose of implementing the Conversion Orders particularly the fixing of
the final disturbance compensation to the legitimate farmer-occupants. The
complaint-in-intervention, however, puts in issue petitioner's alleged
tenancy relationship and security of tenure which the DARAB does not
have any jurisdiction.

Furthermore, petitioner, a juridical entity, has no personality to file the


instant petition to intervene in the case as the real parties-in-interest are
the members thereof who were not even recognized as the rightful tenants
occupying the subject land. As observed by the DAR, "members of
petitioner are merely holding on to an expectancy that they will become the
beneficiaries assuming that the land is still CARPable." The fact, however,
remains that the land in question has already been excluded from the
purview of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL) by the
Estrella and Leong Orders which had long become final and executory.
TENANCY RELATIONSHIP/LEASEHOLD, BASICALLY, UNLESS THE
PETITIONERS CAN SHOW PROOF THAT THEY SHARED THE
HARVESTS WITH THE LANDOWNER, NO TENANCY RELATIONSHIP
CAN
EXIST
IN
THE
CASE
AT
BAR

Reynaldo Bejasa and Erlinda Bejasa vs. The Honorable


Court of Appeals, et al.
G.R. No. 108941 (July 6, 2000)
Facts:

Isabel Candelaria is the owner of two (2) parcels of land covered by TCT
No. T-58191 and TCT No. T-59172 measuring 16 hectares and 6 hectares,
more or less, situated in Barangay Del Pilar, Naiyan, Oriental Mindoro.

On October 20, 1974, Candelaria entered into a three-year lease


agreement on the land with Pio Malabanan. The contract stipulated that
Malabanan will clear, clean and cultivate the land, purchase and plant
calamansi, citrus and rambutan seeds and make the necessary harvests of
fruits. Sometime in 1973, Malabanan hired the Bejasas to plant on the land
and clear it.

On May 3, 1977, Candelaria gave Malabanan a six-year usufruct over


the land, modifying their first agreement. Malabanan was under no
obligation to share the harvests with Candelaria.

In 1983, Malabanan died.

On September 21, 1984, Candelaria constituted respondent Jaime


Dinglasan as her attorney-in-fact having powers of administration over the
disputed property.

On October 26, 1984, Candelaria entered into a new lease contract over
the land with Victoria Dinglasan, Jaime's wife, for a period of one year.
Meanwhile, the Bejasas agreed to pay rent to Victoria of P15,000.00 in
consideration of an "Aryenduhan" or "pakyaw na bunga" also for a term of
one year. The Bejasas were unable to pay the full amount of the
consideration. After the aryenduhan expired, despite Victoria's demand to
vacate the land, the Bejasas continued to stay on the land and did not give
any consideration for its use.

On April 7, 1987, Candelaria and the Dinglasan again entered into a


three-year lease agreement over the land. The special power of attorney in
favor of Jaime Dinglasan was also renewed by Candelaria on the same
date. Jaime filed a complaint before the Commission on the Settlement of
Land Problems (COSLAP), Calapan, Oriental Mindoro seeking the
ejectment of the Bejasas. COSLAP dismissed the case.

Sometime on June 1987, Jaime filed a complaint with the Regional Trial
Court, Calapan, Oriental Mindoro against the Bejasas for "Recovery of

Possession with Preliminary Mandatory Injunction and Damages". The


case was however referred to the DAR who in turn certified that the case
was not proper for trial before the civil courts. The trial court dismissed the
complaint including the Bejasas' counterclaim for leasehold and damages.

The Bejasas then filed with the Regional Trial Court a complaint for
"confirmation of leasehold and homelot with recovery of damages" against
Isabel Candelaria and Jaime Dinglasan. The Trial Court ruled in favor of
the Bejasas reasoning that a tenancy relationship was created between the
parties and that as bona-fide tenant-tillers, the Bejasas have security of
tenure.

Respondents appealed the aforementioned decision. On February 9,


1993, the Court of Appeals promulgated a decision reversing the trial
court's ruling. Hence, this Appeal.

Issue:

Whether or not there is a tenancy relationship created in favor of the


Bejasas?

Held:

The elements of a tenancy relationship are the following:


(1)

the parties are the landowner and the tenant;

(2)

the subject is agricultural land;

(3)

there is consent;

(4)

the purpose is agricultural production;

(5)

there is personal cultivation; and

(6)

there is sharing of harvests.

After examining the three relevant relationships in this case, we find that
there is no tenancy relationship between the parties.

Malabanan and the Bejasas. True, Malabanan (as Candelaria's


usufructuary) allowed the Bejasas to stay on and cultivate the land.

However, even if we assume that he had the authority to give consent to


the creation of a tenancy relation, still, no such relation existed.

There was no proof that they shared the harvests.

In Chico v. Court of Appeals, we faulted private respondents for failing to


prove sharing of harvests since "no receipt, or any other evidence was
presented." We added that "Self serving statements . . . are inadequate;
proof must be adduced."

Candelaria and the Bejasas. Between them, there is no tenancy


relationship. Candelaria as landowner never gave her consent.

The Bejasas admit that prior to 1984, they had no contact with
Candelaria. They acknowledge that Candelaria could argue that she did
not know of Malabanan's arrangement with them. True enough Candelaria
disavowed any knowledge that the Bejasas during Malabanan's lease
possessed the land. However, the Bejasas claim that this defect was cured
when Candelaria agreed to lease the land to the Bejasas for P20,000.00
per annum, when Malabanan died in 1983. We do not agree. In a tenancy
agreement, consideration should be in the form of harvest sharing. Even
assuming that Candelaria agreed to lease it out to the Bejasas for P20,000
per year, such agreement did not create a tenancy relationship, but a mere
civil law lease.

Dinglasan and the Bejasas. Even assuming that the Dinglasans had the
authority as civil law lessees of the land to bind it in a tenancy agreement,
there is no proof that they did.

Again, there was no agreement as to harvest sharing. The only


agreement between them is the "aryenduhan", which states in no uncertain
terms the monetary consideration to be paid, and the term of the contract.
COMPENSATION, RESPONDENT BANK WAS MANDATED TO PAY THE
PETITIONER IN THE MANNER SET FORTH IN REPUBLIC ACT NO.
6657. ITS COMPLIANCE WAS NOT AN UNDERTAKING TO PAY IN
CASH BECAUSE SUCH ACT WOULD HAVE BEEN A DEVIATION FROM
THE DICTUM OF THE FINAL JUDGMENT, TO WHICH THE EXECUTION

MUST CONFORM. PAYING IN CASH, AS PETITIONER DEMANDS, IS


NOT COMPATIBLE WITH SUCH JUDGMENT

Edgardo Santos represented by his Attorney-in-Fact,


Romeo L. Santos vs. Land Bank of the Philippines,
Jesus Diaz, Roberto Ong and Augusto Aquino
G.R. No. 137431 (September 7, 2000)
Facts:

Petitioners Edgardo Santos is the plaintiff in Agrarian Case No. RTC 943206. On August 12, 1997, the Regional Trial Court sitting as an Agrarian
Court fixed the amount of P49,241,876.00 as the just compensation for the
irrigated and unirrigated ricelands owned by the petitioner with areas of
36.4152 and 40.7874 hectares, respectively. The properties were taken by
the government pursuant to the Land Reform Program as provided in
Presidential Decree No. 27. A preliminary valuation in the amount of
P3,543,070.66 has been previously released by the Land Bank to the
petitioner in cash and bonds. Hence, the balance of P45,698,805.34 was
ordered by the Regional Trial Court to be paid in accordance with R.A. No.
6657.

The Land Bank released the amount of P3,621,023.01 in cash, Land


Bank No. AR-0002206 in the amount of P4,128,024.81 to the petitioner
and P948,857.52 to the Clerk of Court as commission fees. Petitioner filed
a motion for the issuance of an alias writ of execution before the Regional
Trial Court praying that payment of the compensation be in the proportion
of P8,629,179.36 in bonds and P32,499,745 in cash. Before the motion
could be resolved, petitioner moved to withdraw the same and instead filed
a motion for the release of the balance of the garnished amount in cash or
certified check, claiming that payment of the P41,128,024.81 in Land Bank
bonds was not acceptable. Land Bank opposed the motion contending that
the judgment amount had already been satisfied.

The Regional Trial Court issued an Order on March 20, 1998 for the
Land Bank to release the balance of P41,128,024.81 from the garnished

amount in cash or certified check. The Land Bank moved for


reconsideration. Petitioner on the other hand, filed a Motion to hold the
Land Bank in contempt for its refusal to release the balance of the
garnished amount in cash or certified check.

Respondent Regional Court was presided over by a new judge who


resolved the two motions in an Order dated April 24, 1998. To summarize,
the new judge ruled that the payment of just compensation must be
computed in the manner provided for in Section 18, Republic Act No. 6657
as follows:
Total land value per judgment
Amount payable in bonds:
70% (50 has)
75% (excess)
Amount payable in cash:
30% (50 has)
35% (excess)
Less:
Preliminary valuation:
Commissioner's Fee:
Payment to plaintiff on
12-24-97

P49,241,876.00
P22,323,932.75
13,012,907.41

35,336,840.16

P9,567,399.75
4,337,635.81

13,905,035.56

P3,543,070.66
948,857.52
3,621,023.01

P8,112,951.19

P5,792,084.37

The new judge further ruled that by implication, both the Order
datedMarch 20, 1997 and the Order dated December 22, 1997 should be
deemed reconsidered.

The CA upheld the questioned April 24, 1998 Order of the Trial Court.
Hence, this Petition.

Issue:

Basis of the determination of how much should be paid in cash and how
much should be paid in bonds. And in relation thereto, whether the April
24, 1998 Order of Judge Villegas-Llaguno was proper?

Held:

The April 24, 1998 Order was not an illegal amendment of the August
12, 1997 judgment which had become final and executory. The reason is
that the Order did not revise, correct, or alter the Decision. Rather, the
Order iterated and made clear the essence of the final judgment.

It is clear from the August 12, 1997 judgment that the compensation
was to be paid in the manner provided by RA 6657." Pursuant to Section
18 of the same law, payment was to be in cash and bonds, as indicated
below:
"Section 18.
Valuation and Mode of Compensation. The LBP shall
compensate the landowner in such amount as may be agreed upon by the
landowner and the DAR and LBP, in accordance with the criteria provided for in
Sections 16 and 17, and other pertinent provisions hereof, or as may be finally
determined by the court, as the just compensation for the land.
The compensation shall be paid in one of the following modes, at the
option of the landowner:

(1)

Cash payment, under the following terms and conditions

(a)

For lands above fifty (50)


hectares, insofar as the
excess hectarage is
concerned.

Twenty-five percent (25%)


cash, the balance to be paid
in government financial
instruments negotiable
at any time

(b)

For lands above twentyFour (24) hectares and


up to Fifty (50) hectares

Thirty-percent (30%) cash,


the balance to be paid in
government financial
instruments negotiable at
anytime."

Respondent bank was obliged to follow the mandate of the August 12,
1997 judgment. Hence, its compliance with the Writ of Execution and the
Notice of Garnishment ought to have been construed as an agreement to

pay petitioner in the manner set forth in Republic Act No. 6657. Its
compliance was not an undertaking to pay in cash because such act would
have been a deviation from the dictum of the final judgment, to which
execution must conform. Paying in cash, as petitioner demands, is not
compatible with such judgment.

Misplaced is petitioner's reliance on Section 9, Rule 39 of the Rules of


Court, because the final judgment decrees payment in cash and bonds.
Indeed, this provision must be taken in conjunction with R.A. No. 6657.
Since respondent bank had already given petitioner the entire adjudged
amount in the required proportion of cash and bonds, it must be deemed to
have complied with its duty under Rule 39.
EXEMPTION, SECTION 10 OF THE CARL IS CLEAR ON THIS POINT
WHEN IT PROVIDES THAT "ALL LANDS WITH EIGHTEEN PERCENT
(18%) SLOPE AND OVER, EXCEPT THOSE ALREADY DEVELOPED
SHALL BE EXEMPT FROM THE COVERAGE OF THIS ACT"

Republic of the Philippines Rep. by the Department of


Agrarian Reform vs. Hon. Court of Appeals and Green
City Estate Development Corporation
G.R. No. 139592 (October 5, 2000)
Facts:

The five (5) parcels of land in issue with a combined area of 112.0577
hectares situated at Barangay Punta, Municipality of JalaJala, Province ofRizal were acquired by private respondent through
purchase on May 26, 1994 from Marcela Borja vda. de Torres. The tax
declarations classified the properties as agricultural. On June 16, 1994,
petitioner DAR issued a Notice of Coverage of the subject parcels of land
under compulsory acquisition pursuant to Section 7, Chapter II of R.A. No.
6657 or the Comprehensive Land Reform Law of 1988 (CARL). Private
respondent filed with the DAR Regional Office an application for exemption
of the land from agrarian reform pursuant to DAR Administrative Order No.

6, series of 1994 and DOJ Opinion No. 44, series of 1990. The DAR
Regional Director recommended a denial of the said petition on the ground
that private respondent "ailed to substantiate their (sic) allegation that the
properties are indeed in the Municipality's residential and forest
conservation zone and that portions of the properties are not irrigated nor
irrigable".

Private respondent filed an Amended Petition for Exemption/Exclusion


from CARP coverage, this time alleging that the property is within the
residential and forest conservation zones and offering a portion of about 15
hectares of land (irrigated riceland) to sell to farmer beneficiaries or to
DAR. On October 19, 1995, the DAR Secretary issued an Order denying
the application for exemption. Private respondent moved for
reconsideration but the same was likewise denied. Appeal was made to the
Court of Appeals. The latter in turn created a commission to conduct ocular
inspection and survey. DAR likewise constituted its own team to conduct an
inspection and thereafter objected to the report filed by the commission.

On December 9, 1998, the Court of Appeals issued its Decision


reversing the Assailed DAR Orders and declaring the mountainous and
residential portions of the petitioner's land to be exempt from the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). Hence, this petition for
review.

Issue:

Whether or not the landholdings subject of this controversy are exempt


from CARL coverage?

Held:

There is no law or jurisprudence that holds that the land classification


embodied in the tax declarations is conclusive and final nor would
proscribe any further inquiry. Furthermore, the tax declarations are clearly
not the sole basis of the classification of the land. In fact, DAR
Administrative Order No. 6, Series of 1994 lists other documents, aside
from tax declarations, that must be submitted when applying for exemption
from CARP. In Halili vs. Court of Appeals, we sustained the trial court when

it ruled that the classification made by the Land Regulatory Board of the
land in question outweighed the classification stated in the tax declaration.
The classification of the Board in said case was more recent than that of
the tax declaration and was based on the present condition of the property
and the community thereat.

The commissioner's report on the actual condition of the properties


confirms the fact that the properties are not wholly agricultural. In essence,
the report of the commission showed that the land of private respondent
consists of a mountainous area with an average 28 degree slope
containing 66.5 hectares; a level, unirrigated area of 34 hectares of which 5
to 6 hectares are planted to palay; and a residential area of 8 hectares. The
finding that 66.5 hectares of the 112.0577 hectares of land of private
respondent have an average slope of 28 degrees provides another cogent
reason to exempt these portions of the properties from the CARL. Section
10 of the CARL is clear on this point when it provides that "all lands with
eighteen percent (18%) slope and over, except those already developed
shall be exempt from the coverage of this Act."

Petitioner DAR and the Office of the Solicitor-General (OSG) contest the
finding of the Court of Appeals that the subject parcels of land have a
mountainous slope on the ground that this conclusion was allegedly arrived
at in a manner not in accord with established surveying procedures. They
also bewail the consideration given by the Court of Appeals to the "slope"
issue since this matter was allegedly never raised before the DAR and the
Court of Appeals. Petitioner DAR and the OSG thus claim that laches had
already set in.

As pointed out earlier, the crux of the controversy is whether the subject
parcels of land in issue are exempt from the coverage of the CARL. The
determination of the classification and physical condition of the lands is
therefore material in the disposition of this case, for which purpose the
Court of Appeals constituted the commission to inspect and survey said
properties. Petitioner DAR did not object to the creation of a team of
commissioners when it very well knew that the survey and ocular
inspection would eventually involve the determination of the slope of the
subject parcels of land. It is the protestation of petitioner that comes at a
belated hour. The team of commissioners appointed by respondent court

was composed of persons who were mutually acceptable to the parties.


Thus, in the absence of any irregularity in the survey and inspection of the
subject properties, and none is alleged, the report of the commissioners
deserves full faith and credit and we find no reversible error in the reliance
by the appellate court upon said report.
CONVERSION/DISTURBANCE COMPENSATION, IN THE EVENT THAT
TENANTED LAND IS CONVERTED PURSUANT TO SECTION 36 OF
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 3844, THE ONLY RELIEF AVAILABLE TO THE
RESPONDENTS IS THE PAYMENT OF A DISTURBANCE
COMPENSATION EQUIVALENT TO FIVE TIMES THE AVERAGE OF
THE GROSS HARVESTS OF THE LANDHOLDING DURING THE LAST
FIVE PRECEDING CALENDAR-YEARS. IN THIS CASE, THE AWARD
OF A 75 SQUARE METER HOMELOT WAS MERELY MADE IN LIEU OF
THE
AFOREMENTIONED
DISTURBANCE
COMPENSATION

Ernesto Bunye vs. Lourdes Aquino, et al.


G.R. No. 138979 (October 9, 2000)
Facts:

Respondents Lourdes, Cita and Roberto, all surnamed Aquino are the
children of the late Bartolome Aquino who was instituted in 1967 as a
tenant over a 16,974.50 square meter lot located at Ilaya Street, Alabang,
Muntinlupa, Metro Manila belonging to Zoilo Bunye, the father of petitioner
Ernesto Bunye. Sometime in 1970, Zoilo Bunye told Bartolome Aquino to
stop cultivating 14,474.50 square meters of the land since the former was
going to devote the same to commercial uses. No disturbance
compensation was paid to Bartolome Aquino, but Zoilo Bunye permitted
Bartolome Aquino to continue cultivating the remaining 2,500 square
meters and promised him a homelot within the said area. Considering
himself aggrieved, Bartolome Aquino repaired to the Court of Agrarian
Relations (CAR) in order to seek judicial recognition of his tenancy status
over the remaining 2,500 square meters. The CAR rendered judgment
recognizing Bartolome Aquino as a tenant over 2,500 square meters of the
subject property with a fixed annual rental of P140.00. On November 5,

1976, the Court of Appeals affirmed the CAR's decision. Thus, Bartolome
Aquino continued in the possession and cultivation of 2,500 square meters
of Zoilo Bunye's land and he constructed his family home on a 500 square
meter area thereon.

The controversy arose when Ernesto Bunye's petition for conversion of


the remaining 2,500 square meters was approved by the Minister of
Agrarian Reform (MAR). Petitioner was able to eject the respondents from
the 2,000 square meters but not from the 500 square meters they
occupied. Respondents filed a complaint with the Office of the Regional
Agrarian Reform Adjudicator insisting that they are entitled to the
possession of the 500 square meters of land they occupied as homelot, it
being part of the compensation for the deprivation of the 16,974.50 square
meters of land originally tenanted by Bartolome Aquino.

The Regional Adjudicator held that no tenurial relations could exist


between the parties as the land ceased to be agricultural by virtue of its
conversion in 1986. However, petitioner was ordered to pay respondents
disturbance compensation for the latter's dispossession from the 2,500
square meters homelot to respondents but only as an alternative relief in
the event that the disturbance compensation could not be computed. This
Decision was affirmed by the DARAB and the Court of Appeals. However,
acting upon a motion for reconsideration filed by respondents, the Court of
Appeals modified its decision by increasing the size of the homelot to 500
square meters. Hence, this Appeal.

Issue:

The sole issue is with respect to the legality of the appellate court's
decision to increase the size of the homelot awarded to respondents to 500
square meters?

Held:

SECTION 36. Possession of Landholding; Exceptions.


Notwithstanding any agreement as to the period or future surrender of the
land, an agricultural lessee shall continue in the enjoyment and possession
of his landholding except when his dispossession has been authorized by

the Court in a judgment that is final and executory if after due hearing it is
shown that:
(1)
The landholding is declared by the department head upon
recommendation of the National Planning Commission to be suited for
residential, commercial, industrial or some other urban purposes: Provided,
That the agricultural lessee shall be entitled to disturbance compensation
equivalent to five times the average of the gross harvests on his landholding
during the last five preceding calendar years.

Neither petitioner nor respondents questioned the conversion decreed in


1986, which was a factual finding of both the Department of Agrarian
Reform and the Court of Appeals; therefore, it should be presumed that the
conversion was validly and legally done. Thus, even before Bartolome
Aquino died in 1988, tenurial relations had already been extinguished,
leaving respondents without any claim upon the homelot allegedly
promised by Zoilo Bunye to their father.

In the event that tenanted land is converted pursuant to section 36 of


Republic Act No. 3844, the only relief available to respondents is the
payment of disturbance compensation equivalent to five times the average
of the gross harvests on his landholding during the last five preceding
calendar years. The award of 75 square meters of land originally granted
by the Regional Adjudicator and subsequently affirmed by the DARAB was
made in lieu of disturbance compensation for the dispossession of
respondents of 2,500 square meters of land. Although the Court of Appeals
in its November 26, 1998 Decision affirmed the grant of 75 square meters
of land as reasonable, it simultaneously declared that respondents are
entitled to disturbance compensation for the entire 16,974.50 square
meters of land originally tenanted by Bartolome Aquino.

From 1976 until 1995, respondents never sought the payment of


disturbance compensation for the 14,474.50 square meters of land. Under
section 38 of Republic Act No. 3844, an action to enforce any cause of
action under such law shall be barred if not commenced within three years
after such cause of action accrued. Unquestionably, respondents' claim for
disturbance compensation for the 14,474.50 square meters of land of
which their father was dispossessed in 1970 has prescribed. Thus,

respondents are only entitled to disturbance compensation for their


dispossession of 2,500 square meters of land and we find that, in the
absence of adequate data on the land's harvests, the award of 75 square
meters is a fair and adequate alternative relief.
JURISDICTION, THE DAR IS VESTED WITH PRIMARY JURISDICTION
TO DETERMINE AND ADJUDICATE AGRARIAN REFORM MATTERS
AND SHALL HAVE THE EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION OVER ALL
MATTERS INVOLVING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE AGRARIAN
REFORM PROGRAM
ALSO,
PARTICIPATION
BY
CERTAIN
PARTIES
IN
THE
ADMINISTRATIVE
PROCEEDINGS
WITHOUT
RAISING
ANY
OBJECTION THERETO, BARS THEM FROM ANY JURISDICTIONAL
INFIRMITY AFTER AN ADVERSE DECISION IS RENDERED AGAINST
THEM

Cipriano Centeno, et al. vs. Ignacia Centeno


G.R. No. 140825 (October 13, 2000)
Facts:

The present case for maintenance of peaceful possession with prayer


for restraining order/preliminary injunction is a mere off-shoot of the suit for
cancellation of Certificate of Land Transfer (CLT) filed by herein respondent
against herein petitioners before the DARAB. That previous case
culminated in a decision upholding respondent's entitlement to an award of
the subject landholdings under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law.
The case at bar is for the maintenance of her peaceful possession of the
premises and to prevent the petitioners from further harassing her and
disturbing her possession and enjoyment thereof. The PARAD, the DARAB
and the Court of Appeals all rendered a decision in favor of the respondent
adverting to the Decision of the DAR recalling and canceling the CLTs
issued in favor of the petitioners.

The petitioners filed a Petition for Review assailing the jurisdiction of the
DARAB over the case for maintenance of peaceful possession averring

that there is no tenancy relationship nor any agrarian dispute present in the
case at bar which would place the case under the jurisdiction of the
DARAB.
Issue:

Whether or not the DARAB has jurisdiction over the instant case for
recovery of possession?

Held:

Under Section 50 of R.A 6657 (the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform


Law of 1988), the DAR is vested with primary jurisdiction to determine and
adjudicate agrarian reform matters and shall have the exclusive jurisdiction
over all matters involving the implementation of the agrarian reform
program. The rule is that the DARAB has jurisdiction to try and decide any
agrarian dispute or any incident involving the implementation of the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.

Section 1, Rule II of the Revised Rules of Procedure of the DARAB


provides:

Section 1. Primary, Original and Appellate Jurisdiction. The Agrarian


Reform Adjudication Board shall have primary jurisdiction, both original and
appellate, to determine and adjudicate all agrarian disputes, cases,
controversies, and matters or incidents involving the implementation of the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Programunder Republic Act No. 6657,
Executive Order Nos. 229, 228 and 129-A, Republic Act No. 3844 as
amended by Republic Act No 6389, Presidential Decree No. 27 and other
agrarian laws and their implementing rules and regulations.
Specifically, such jurisdiction shall extend over but not be limited to the
following:
xxx

xxx

xxx

f)
Cases involving the issuance of Certificate of Land Transfer (CLT),
Certificate of Landownership Award (CLOA) and Emancipation Patent (EP) and
the administrative correction thereof; (Emphasis added.)

Furthermore, petitioners are barred by estoppel from raising the issue of


jurisdiction of the DARAB. A perusal of the records will show that
petitioners participated in all stages of the instant case, setting up a
counterclaim and asking for affirmative relief in their answer. This Court has
ruled that participation by certain parties in the administrative proceedings
without raising any objection thereto, bars them from any jurisdictional
infirmity after an adverse decision is rendered against them.
RES JUDICATA, RES JUDICATA EXISTS IN THE CASE AT BAR. "AT
THE RISK OF OCCASIONAL ERRORS, JUDGMENTS OF COURTS
SHOULD BECOME FINAL AT SOME DEFINITE DATE FIXED BY LAW"

Ramon D. Ocho vs. Bernardino Calos, et al.


G.R. No. 137908 (November 22, 2000)
Facts:

The Caloses averred that their parents, Efipanio and Valentina were the
original owners of a parcel of land with an area of 23,7109 hectares located
in Valencia, Malaybalay, Bukidnon covered by OCT No. P-2066 and issued
by virtue of Homestead Patent No. V-42876. Pursuant to Presidential
Decree No. 27, the said land was placed under the Operation Land
Transfer and subsequently distributed to qualified farmer beneficiaries. The
original farmer-beneficiaries, however, allegedly unlawfully conveyed their
respective rights over the lands granted to them to third persons. The
amended complaint thus sought the nullification of the Emancipation
Patents and Transfer Certificates of Title issued to these third persons. The
PARAD rendered his decision ordering the revocation/cancellation of all
EPs, CLTs, TCTs and other titles involving OCT No. P-2066 for being null
and void ab initio. On appeal, the DARAB reversed the decision and upheld
the validity of the EPs and TCTs issued. This Decision was substantially
affirmed by the Court of Appeals except on the part of petitioner Ramon
Ocho and Vicente Polinar who were directed "to restore and surrender to
the government their landholdings". Petitioner filed a Motion for
Reconsideration which was denied for lack of merit. Hence, this petition for
review on certiorari on the basis of the resolution in a previous case

docketed as DAR Administrative Case No. 006-90 which the respondents


have purportedly allowed to lapse into finality.
Issue:
Whether or not res judicata exists in the case at bar?

Held:

There is no question that the issue of whether petitioner is the owner of


other agricultural lands had already been passed upon by the proper quasijudicial authority (the hearing officer of the DAR) in Adm. Case No. 006-90.
Said decision became final and executory when the Caloses failed to file
an appeal thereof after their motion for reconsideration was denied.
Applying the rule on conclusiveness of judgment, the issue of whether
petitioner is the owner of other agricultural lands may no longer be
relitigated.
As held in Legarda vs. Savellano:
. . . It is a general rule common to all civilized system of jurisprudence, that the
solemn and deliberate sentence of the law, pronounced by its appointed
organs, upon a disputed fact or a state of facts, should be regarded as a final
and conclusive determination of the question litigated, and should forever set
the controversy at rest. Indeed, it has been well said that this maxim is more
than a mere rule of law; more even than an important principle of public policy;
and that it is not too much to say that it is a fundamental concept in the
organization of every jural system. Public policy and sound practice demand
that, at the risk of occasional errors, judgments of courts should become final
at some definite date fixed by law. The very object for which courts were
constituted was to put an end to controversies.

The findings of the Hearing Officer in Adm. Case No. 006-90, which had
long attained finality, averring that petitioner is not the owner of any other
agricultural lands, foreclosed any inquiry on the same issue involving the
same parties and property. The CA thus erred in still making a finding that
petitioner is not qualified to be a farmer-beneficiary because he owns other
agricultural lands.

TENANCY RELATIONSHIP CANNOT EXIST ON THE MERE BASIS OF


AN "INSIDIOUS SALE" OR TRANSFER OF TENANCY RIGHTS MADE
BY
THE
FORMER
LESSEE

Angel Chico vs. Court of Appeals


G.R. No. 134735 (December 5, 2000)
Issue:

Whether or not a tenancy relationship can exist on the mere basis of an


"insidious" sale or transfer of tenancy right by the former lessee (Eugenia
Esguerra) to the petitioner (Angel Chico)?

Held:

No.
Jurisprudence has established pre-requisite conditions in order that an
agricultural leasehold relationship can be said to be extant; to wit:
(1)
The parties are the landowner and the tenant or agricultural
lessee;
(2)

The subject matter of the relationship is agricultural land;

(3)

There is consent between the parties to the relationship;

(4)
The purpose of the relationship is to bring about agricultural
production;
(5)
There is personal cultivation on the part of the tenant or
agricultural lessee; and
(6)
The harvest is shared between the landowner and the tenant or
agricultural lessee.

The matter of whether or not such an agreement exists between


petitioner and private respondents (the owners) over the parcel of land in
question is a factual question.

Each of the elements hereinbefore mentioned is essential to create a de


jure leasehold or tenancy relationship between the parties. This de jure
relationship, in turn, is the terra firma for a security of tenure between the
landlord and the tenant. The leasehold relationship is not brought about by
a mere congruence of facts but, being a legal relationship, the mutual will
of the parties to that relationship should be primordial.
RETENTION/DUE PROCESS, THE ESSENCE OF DUE PROCESS IS
SIMPLY AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD OR, AS APPLIED IN
ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDING, AN OPPORTUNITY TO SEEK A
RECONSIDERATION OF THE ACTION OR RULING COMPLAINED OF
ALSO, THE ISSUANCE OF AN EMANCIPATION PATENT DOES NOT
BAR THE LANDOWNER FROM RETAINING THE AREA COVERED
THEREBY

Lucia Mapa vda. de dela Cruz, et al. vs. Adjuto Abille


G.R. No. 130196 (February 26, 2001)
Facts:

To cut a long story short, Herminio Abille filed a Petition for Exemption
under Operation Land Transfer (OLT) of his landholdings alleging that he
had been deprived of his constitutional right to due process since DAR did
not notify him or his representatives of the OLT coverage of his lot.

On April 19, 1989, DAR Regional Director Antonio Nuesa, Region I, San
Fernando, La Union issued an Order denying the petition for exemption
and instead merely granted Herminio Abille a right of retention of not more
than seven (7) hectares. On July 24, 1989, Herminio Abille selected the
seven-hectare retention area which included the area covered by CLT No.
0-064711, hence, said CLT was automatically cancelled. Even the Tax
Declaration issued in the name of Balbino dela Cruz was cancelled and reissued in favor of Herminio Abille.

Meanwhile, petitioners who are the compulsory heirs of Balbino dela


Cruz filed with the DAR a petition for issuance of Emancipation Patent. In
his comment, respondent Adjuto Abille representing Herminio Abille prayed
for the dismissal of the petition by reason of the DAR Order dated April 19,

1989. On the basis of such, on October 21, 1992, Regional Director Eligio
P. Pacis issued an Order denying the petition for issuance of Emancipation
Patent. Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration praying that another
Order be issued declaring as null and void the Order dated April 19, 1989
on the basis of absence of due process of law. They sought the
reinstatement of CLT No. 0-064711 and the issuance of an emancipation
patent in their favor as compulsory heirs of the late Balbino dela Cruz.

The motion for reconsideration was treated as an Appeal and elevated


to the Secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform who rendered a
Decision dismissing the instant motion for lack of merit and instead ordered
the preparation of Certificates of Agricultural Leasehold (CALs) to the
tenants as lessees thereat. Petitioners moved for reconsideration but the
same was denied. They filed a petition for review with the Court of Appeals
which was also dismissed by the CA in a Decision promulgated
onDecember 5, 1996. Petitioners moved for reconsideration but the same
was denied. Hence, this petition.

Issue:

Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in denying the petition for
issuance of emancipation patent filed by the heirs of Balbino dela Cruz?

Held:

We agree with the Court of Appeals that although the petitioners were
not given the opportunity to be heard when Regional Director Antonio
Nuesa in his Order dated April 19, 1989 ordered the cancellation of
Certificate of Land Transfer No. 0-064711 on the retained area,
nevertheless, in their petition for issuance of an emancipation patent,
petitioners were given such opportunity as they raised in issue the validity
of the cancellation of the said CLT, which was resolved by DAR Regional
Director Eligio P. Pacis in his Order dated October 21, 1992, and also in
their (petitioners') motion for reconsideration, which was treated as an
appeal by the Secretary of Agrarian Reform and resolved in his Order
dated June 20, 1994. The essence of due process is simply an opportunity
to be heard or, as applied to administrative proceedings, an opportunity to

seek a reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of (emphasis


supplied).

In the case of Daez v. Court of Appeals, where the Certificates of Land


Transfer of farmer beneficiaries over some four (4) hectares of riceland
were issued without the landowner having been accorded her right to
choose what to retain among her landholdings, we held that the Transfer
Certificate of Title issued on the basis of Certificates of Land Transfer
issued to the farmer-beneficiaries cannot operate to defeat the right of the
heirs of the deceased landowner to retain the said riceland. Even the
issuance of an emancipation patent does not bar the landowner from
retaining the area covered thereby. Administrative Order No. 2, series of
1994 provides:
"Emancipation patents or certificates of land ownership award issued to
agrarian reform beneficiaries may be corrected and cancelled for violations of
agrarian laws, rules and regulations. This includes cases of lands which are
found to be exempted/excluded from P.D. No. 27/E.O. No. 228 of CARP
coverage, or part of the landowner's retained area." (emphasis supplied.)

The earlier cases of Locsin, et al. v. Valenzuela, et al. and Quiban v.


Butalid, which were cited by the petitioners, did not involve any issue of
retention rights of the landowner, hence, the said cases are not applicable
to the case at bar.

Where there is no showing, as in the case at bar, that there was fraud,
collusion, arbitrariness, illegality, imposition or mistake on the part of a
department head, in rendering his questioned decisions or of a total lack of
substantial evidence to support the same, such administrative decisions
are entitled to great weight and respect and will not be interfered with.
APPEAL, CERTIORARI CANNOT BE RESORTED TO AS A
SUBSTITUTE FOR THE LOST REMEDY OF APPEAL. AN APPEAL IS A
STATUTORY PRIVILEGE AND IT MAY ONLY BE EXERCISED IN THE
MANNER PROVIDED BY LAW

Roberto Mito vs. Honorable Court of Appeals, et al.


G.R. No. 126099 (March 12, 2001)
Facts:

In an Administrative transfer action in May 1985, the Gapan-Penaranda


Agrarian Reform Team Office No. 077, with station at Gapan, Nueva Ecija,
cancelled a Certificate of Land Transfer (CLT) in the name of Leonardo
Flores, now deceased. Subsequently, it was re-issued in the name of
petitioner, Roberto G. Mito. Private respondent Victorino Flores, brother of
Leonardo Flores, filed a letter-complaint with the Department of Agrarian
Reform (DAR) Region III, alleging that the transferred lot was actually his
and that its transfer to petitioner was unlawful.

DAR dismissed the claim of private respondent Flores, declared


petitionerMito as a tenant-beneficiary of the land and directed the MARO to
issue a CLT or an Emancipation Patent in favor of Mito.

Private respondent appealed to the DARAB, which promulgated a


decision reversing the order of the Regional Director. It ordered the DAR
Provincial Office to issue an Emancipation Patent in favor of private
respondent. Petitioner moved for reconsideration but the same was denied.
Aggrieved, petitioner filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals
which was dismissed due to petitioner's failure to utilize the correct remedy,
specifically a petition for review without necessarily impleading the agency
a quo and for violation of SC Revised Administrative Circular No. 1-95 on
the filing of certified true copies of the material portions of the record
referred to be submitted. Hence, this petition.

Issue:

Whether or not the Order dated January 4, 1990 of the Regional


Director of DAR is supported by substantial evidence?

Held:

We note that at the time of the promulgation of the DARAB decision


onJune 1, 1995, appeals from quasi-judicial agencies like the DAR were
governed by Supreme Court Administrative Circular No. 1-95 (Revised

Circular No. 1-91). As ruled by the Court of Appeals, the remedy should
have been a petition for review, filed by petitioner in seven legible copies,
without impleading the DARAB, the agency a quo, as required by Circular
No. 1-95. As found by the respondent court, not only did petitioner implead
the DARAB, all his annexes other than the assailed resolutions of the
DARAB were not certified true copies. In addition, it did not state the date
petitioner received a copy of each resolution, such that it could not be
determined if the appeal was filed on time. Petitioner's failure to comply
with the requirements for perfecting an appeal merited the dismissal of his
petition before the Court of Appeals.

Certiorari cannot be resorted to as a substitute for the lost remedy of


appeal. An appeal is a statutory privilege and it may only be exercised in
the manner provided by law.
CIVIL LAW LEASE, ALL THE REQUISITES OF A TENANCY
RELATIONSHIP MUST BE PRESENT, OTHERWISE, THERE IS NO
AGRICULTURAL LEASEHOLD EXISTING BETWEEN THE PARTIES
BUT A MERE CIVIL LAW LEASE

Anastacio Victorio vs. The Honorable Court of Appeals


and Dominador Fernandez
G.R. No. 110012 (March 28, 2001)
Facts:

Sometime in 1967, Alfredo Victorio (as lessee) and Tomas Fernandez


(as lessor), the fathers of herein petitioner Anastacio Victorio and private
respondent Dominador Fernandez, respectively entered into a lease
contract over a fishpond located in Brgy. Balangobon, Lingayen,
Pangasinan for a 10-year period. After the said contract expired in 1977,
the same was renewed, albeit verbally, for another 10 years until 1987 but
adopting the terms and conditions of the original contract. When the
second contract expired, private respondent repeatedly asked petitioner to
vacate the premises but the latter adamantly refused. Consequently, a
case for ejectment was filed by respondent against petitioner but was
consequently dismissed by the trial court on the ground of lack of
jurisdiction.

On appeal, the regional trial court revised the decision holding that the
lease contract is a civil law lease agreement and ordering petitioner to
vacate the fishpond in question and surrender peaceful possession thereof.

Petitioner having been rebuked on reconsideration, elevated the matter


to the Court of Appeals on a petition for certiorari. However, the Court of
Appeals turned down the appeal, in effect, ratiocinating that the court is
strongly convinced and hereby finds and holds that the agreement entered
into by the parties is a civil law contract of lease and not one under the
agricultural leasehold system as expressly termed under R.A. No. 3844, as
amended. The petitioner moved for reconsideration but the same was
denied. Hence, the instant petition.

Issue:

Whether or not petitioner is an agricultural lessee under Republic Act


No. 3844 and thus entitled to security of tenure over the fishpond in
question, or a mere civil lessee whose right over the subject premises
ceased upon the expiration of the contract of lease?

Held:

The essential requisites of a tenancy relationship are: (1) the parties are
the landowner and the tenant; (2) the subject is agricultural land; (3) there
is consent among the parties; (4) the purpose is agricultural production; (5)
there is personal cultivation; and (6) there is sharing of harvests. All these
requisites must concur in order to create a tenancy relationship between
the parties (Chico vs. Court of Appeals, 284 SCRA 33 [1198]; Oarde vs.
Court of Appeals, 280 SCRA 235 [1997]; Odsique vs. Court of Appeals,
233 SCRA 626 [1994]; see also Sintos vs. Court of Appeals, 246 SCRA
223 [1995).

Petitioner's right to the fishpond emanated from the lease contract


between his father and private respondent's father wherein petitioner's
father was designated as a "lessee" and not as a "tenant". Petitioner
cannot, therefore, be more than a lessee like his father because "the spring
cannot rise higher than its source". Secondly, there was no stipulation
regarding the sharing of the harvest, whether explicitly or implicitly. One of
the essential requisites for existence of tenancy relationship is sharing by

the landowner and tenant of the produce, and no proof of this fact has
been shown in this case. What the parties agreed upon, as established by
the evidence, was for the petitioner to pay private respondent a yearly
lease rental, with an advance payment of 3 years' rental. This is not the
case obtaining in a tenancy relationship where the parties share in the
produce of the land as this falls due, or as it becomes available, during
harvest time.
CERTIORARI/APPEAL/EXHAUSTION
OF
ADMINISTRATIVE
REMEDIES, IN THE CASE AT BAR, CERTIORARI WILL LIE IF THE
MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION BEFORE THE REGIONAL
DIRECTOR OR THE APPEAL TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRARIAN
REFORM WILL NOT PROVE TO BE A SPEEDY OR ADEQUATE
REMEDY

Heirs of Pedro Atega, represented by Veronica AtegaNable vs. Ernesto Garilao, et al.
G.R. No. 133806 (April 20, 2001)
Facts:

The land owned by the Heirs of Pedro Atega with an area of 129.4615
hectares was made the subject of compulsory acquisition and distribution
pursuant to R.A. No. 6657, otherwise known as the Comprehensive
Agrarian Reform Law. The Heirs protested to the MARO who ignored the
same considering that the PARO had already sent a Notice of Land
Acquisition and Valuation. Petitioners then filed an application for
exemption with the Regional Director who denied the application on the
basis of the lack of approval by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory
Board (HLURB) as required by DAR Administrative Order No. 6-94 and
Department of Justice Opinion No. 44-90.

Petitioners thereafter filed a Petition for Certiorari, Prohibition and


Mandamus with the Court of Appeals which was dismissed for prematurity
on the ground that the former failed to first exhaust all available
administrative remedies. Petitioners moved for reconsideration but the
motion was denied. Hence, this petition.

Issue:

Whether or not the dismissal of the petition on the ground of prematurity


(for failure to first file a motion for Reconsideration of the Resolution of
respondent Regional Director or an Appeal to the Secretary of Agrarian
Reform) was proper?

Held:

In sum, we rule that certiorari will lie because a motion for


reconsideration before the Regional Director or an appeal to the Secretary
of Agrarian Reform will not prove to be a speedy or adequate remedy.
However, we find that the Regional Director did not commit any grave
abuse of discretion in denying petitioners' application for Exemption of their
property from the CARP.

According to DAR Adm. Order No. 6-94 and Department of Justice


Opinion No. 44-90, an Application for Exemption from the coverage of
CARP filed before the Regional Director must be accompanied by a
certification from the HLURB that the pertinent zoning ordinance has been
approved by the Board prior to 15 June 1988, the date when the CARL
took effect. In the instant case, no such accompanying certification from
the HLURB was filed by petitioners.
EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES, THE PROCEDURAL
SHORT-CUT TAKEN BY THE PETITIONER FINDS NO JUSTIFICATION
BOTH IN LAW AND IN JURISPRUDENCE

Lilia Gonzalez vs. Court of Appeals, et al.


G.R. No. 106028 (May 09, 2001)
Facts:

Petitioner received two (2) orders from the DAR Regional Director
directing her to surrender the titles to her land and to submit the other
requirements of Land Bank for her to be paid the aggregate amount of
P55,690.74 as compensation for two parcels of land owned by her.

Petitioner filed a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition with Temporary


Restraining Order with the Court of Appeals to restrain the enforcement
and to annul the said two Orders of the DAR Regional Director on the
ground of lack or excess of jurisdiction. The former alleged that she never
filed a land transfer claim and that she was not notified, nor heard of in the
execution of the final survey plans and the valuation of her land.

After requiring the respondents to file a comment, the Court of Appeals


rendered a decision dismissing the petition for failure of the petitioners to
exhaust administrative remedies. The Court of Appeals held that Certiorari
cannot be used to substitute for Appeal. Hence, this Petition.

Issues:

Whether or not the Court of Appeals committed a reversible error of law


in dismissing the petition for failure to exhaust administrative remedies

Whether or not respondents DAR Director and LBP acted without or in


excess of jurisdiction in issuing the availed Orders dated November 27,
1990 and April 22, 1991

Held:

The thrust of the rule on exhaustion of administrative remedies is that


the courts must allow the administrative agencies to carry out their
functions and discharge their responsibilities within the specialized areas of
their respective competence. It is presumed that an administrative agency,
if afforded an opportunity to pass upon a matter, will decide the same
correctly, or correct any previous error committed in its forum. Furthermore,
reasons of law, comity and convenience prevent the courts from
entertaining cases proper for determination by administrative agencies.
Hence, premature resort to the courts necessarily becomes fatal to the
cause of action of the petitioner.

After a careful perusal of the records, we find the doctrine of exhaustion


of administrative remedies to be applicable in this case.

It may be reasonably concluded that the issuance of the assailed orders


pursuant to the operation land transfer and tenant emancipation program of

the government is within the authority and jurisdiction of the DAR Regional
Director. However, questions as to the propriety of the issuance could have
still been raised before the proper administrative forum. Instead of going
directly to the Court of Appeals on certiorari, the petitioner should have
sought redress in the DARAB, and the latter's officials should have been
given an opportunity to review the matter and resolve the controversy.

The petitioner raises the following exceptions to the doctrine of


Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies as applicable to the case at bar: (1)
where the questioned order is a patent nullity; (2) where there is a
deprivation of the petitioner's fundamental right to due process; and (3)
where the question involved is a purely legal one. We are not convinced
that any of the exceptions obtains here. As above stated, the Orders issued
by the Regional Director pursuant to law are not patent nullities, and the
alleged denial of the petitioner's right to due process is intertwined with the
question of notice upon the petitioner which raises basically a factual
matter, i.e., whether three notices were properly served upon petitioner.
This issue is not to be resolved by the Court of Appeals in the first instance
on certiorari. We do not see how the controversy raises a purely legal
question.

The proper procedure which the petitioner should have taken is to move
for a reconsideration of the orders of the Regional Director, or to go directly
to the DARAB, or to its executive adjudicator in the region, the Regional
Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (RARAD). Prior resort to these administrative
bodies will not only satisfy the rule on exhaustion of administrative
remedies, but may likewise prove advantageous to the parties as the
proceedings will be conducted by experts, and will not be limited by the
technical rules of procedure and evidence. From there, the petitioner has
yet another forum available the Special Agrarian Courts which are the
final determinants of cases involving land valuation or determination of just
compensation.

Thus, the procedural short-cut taken by the petitioner which finds no


justification both in law and in jurisprudence must be considered fatal to the
petitioner's cause of action. Accordingly, we rule that the Court of Appeals
committed no error in dismissing the Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition.

OLT COVERAGE OF A LAND SUBJECT OF UNREGISTERED DEED OF


DONATION, AN UNREGISTERED DEED OF DONATION CANNOT
OPERATE TO EXCLUDE THE SUBJECT LAND FROM THE COVERAGE
OF
THE OPERATION LAND TRANSFER
PROGRAM
OF
THE
GOVERNMENT

Ignacio Gonzales, et al. vs. Honorable Court of Appeals,


et al.
G.R. No. 110335 (June 18, 2001)
Facts:

The deceased spouses Ignacio and Marina Gonzales were the


registered owners of two (2) parcels of land denominated as Lot 551-C and
558-A containing 46.97 hectares and 37.5735 hectares, respectively.
Marina Gonzales died intestate. On the other hand, Ignacio Gonzales
executed a Deed of Donation on July 12, 1972 conveying his share of the
property, specifically Lot No. 551-C in favor of his 14 grandchildren.
However, the said donation was not registered. Thus, when Presidential
Decree No. 27 took effect on October 21, 1972, the landholdings of the
spouses were placed under Operation Land Transfer (OLT) and private
respondents were accordingly issued EPs and CLTs. On March 5, 1974,
the administratix Lilia Gonzales filed an application for retention with the
Ministry of Agrarian Reform requesting that their property be excluded from
the coverage of OLT. The application was initially denied but was finally
granted by DAR Secretary Benjamin Leong. Aggrieved, the private
respondents filed a petition for certiorari. The CA reversed the action of the
DAR and upheld the issuance of the certificates of land transfer and
emancipation patents. A motion for reconsideration was filed but the same
wad denied by the CA. Hence, this Appeal.

Issues:

Whether the property subject of the deed of donation which was not
registered when P.D. No. 27 took effect should be excluded from
theOperation Land Transfer Program?

Held:

Article 749 of the Civil code provides inter alia that "in order that the
donation of an immovable may be valid, it must be made in a public
document, specifying therein the property donated and the value of the
charges which the donee must satisfy." Corollarily, Article 709 of the same
Code explicitly states that "the titles of ownership, or other rights over
immovable property, which are not duly inscribed or annotated in the
Registry of Property shall not prejudice third persons."

It is actually the act of registration that operates to convey registered


land or affect title thereto. Thus, Section 50 of Act No. 496 (Land
Registration Act), as amended by Section 51 of P.D. No. 1529 (Property
Registration Decree), provides:
SECTION 51.
Conveyance and other dealings by registered owner . . .
But no deed, mortgage, lease, or other voluntary instrument, except a will
purporting to convey or affect registered land, shall take effect as a conveyance
or bind the land, but shall operate only as a contract between the parties and
as evidence of authority to the Register of Deeds to make registration.

The act of registration shall be the operative act to convey or affect the
land insofar as third persons are concerned.

Further, it is an entrenched doctrine in our jurisdiction that registration in


a public registry creates constructive notice to the whole world (Olizon vs.
Court of Appeals, 236 SCRA 148 [1994]). Thus, Section 51 of Act No. 496,
as amended by Section 52 of P.D. No. 1529, provides:
SECTION 52.
Constructive notice upon registration Every conveyance,
mortgage, lease, lien, attachment, order, judgment, instrument or entry
affecting registered land shall, if registered, filed or entered in the Office of the
Register of Deeds for the province or city where the land to which it relates lies,
be constructive notice to all persons from the time of such registering, filing or
entering.

The ineluctable conclusion drawn is that the unregistered deed of


donation cannot operate to exclude the subject land from the coverage of
the Operation Land Transfer of P.D. No. 27, which took effect on October
21, 1972. To rule otherwise would render ineffectual the rights and interests
that the tenants-farmers immediately acquired upon the promulgation of

P.D. No. 27, especially so because in the case at bar, they have been
cultivating the land even before World War II.
JURISDICTION OF THE DARAB, IN ORDER "TO ACHIEVE A JUST,
EXPEDITIOUS AND INEXPENSIVE DETERMINATION OF EVERY
ACTION OR PROCEEDING BEFORE IT", THE DAR IS MANDATED "TO
ADOPT A UNIFORM RULE OF PROCEDURE" (SECOND PARAGRAPH,
SECTION 50, R.A. NO. 6657), WHICH IS, AT PRESENT, THE DARAB
REVISED RULES
THERE IS A DISTINCT DELINEATION OF THE FUNCTIONS OF THE
DARAB/RARAD/PARAD AND THE DAR REGIONAL OFFICE, THUS,
THE THEORY OF CONCURRENT JURISDICTION MUST BE REJECTED

Victoria P. Cabral vs. The Honorable Court of Appeals,


et al.
G.R. No. 101974 (July 12, 2001)
Facts:

Petitioner alleged that she was the registered owner of several parcels
of land covered by Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. 0-1670 of the
Registry of Deeds of Bulacan among which is a parcel of land described
therein as Lot 4 of Plan Psu-164390. As early as July 1973, petitioner had
already purportedly applied for the reclassification or conversion of the land
for residential, commercial or industrial purposes with the Department of
Agrarian Reform (DAR). The application for conversion, however, was not
acted upon. Instead, on April 25, 1988, Emancipation Patents and
thereafter, Transfer Certificates of Title were issued in favor of private
respondents.

Petitioner sought the cancellation of the TCTs with the BARC


on January 16, 1990 and on January 19, 1990, filed another petition for the
cancellation of the said Emancipation Patents and Torrens Title.

The said petition was dismissed in an Order dated February 11, 1990 by
then Regional Director Eligio Pacis. Petitioner moved for reconsideration
but the same was denied. Consequently, petitioner filed a petition for
certiorari with the Court of Appeals questioning the jurisdiction of the

Regional Director and claiming denial of due process. The petition was
dismissed for lack of merit. Petitioner moved for reconsideration but the
same was denied prompting the petitioner to turn to the Supreme Court for
relief. Also, on April 21, 1993, petitioner filed with the Court an urgent
Motion for the issuance of a temporary restraining order alleging that
respondent Gregoria Adolfo had already conveyed the land awarded to her
to the Aqualand Development Corporation and the Sta. Rita Steel
Resources Corporation for the conversion of the land from agricultural to
commercial and industrial purposes. In a Resolution dated May 17, 1993,
the Court issued the temporary restraining order prayed for.
Issue:

Who has jurisdiction over the instant controversy, the Department of


Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) as contended by the
Petitioner or the Regional Director?

Held:

Petitioner is correct. Whatever jurisdiction the Regional Director may


have had over the cancellation of emancipation patents is lost with the
passage of subsequent laws.

Section 17 of Executive Order No. 229 (Providing for the Mechanism for
the Implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program)
granted DAR quasi-judicial powers to adjudicate agrarian reform matters, to
wit:
"SECTION 17.
Quasi-Judicial Powers of the DAR. The DAR is hereby
vested with quasi-judicial powers to determine and adjudicate agrarian reform
matters, and shall have exclusive original jurisdiction over all matters involving
implementation of agrarian reform, except those falling under the exclusive
jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of
Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)."

Executive Order No. 129-A (Modifying Executive Order No. 129


Reorganizing and Strengthening the Department of Agrarian Reform and
for other purposes) subsequently provided for the creation of the Agrarian

Reform Adjudicatory Board, granting it the powers and functions with


respect to the adjudication of agrarian reform cases:
"SECTION 13.
Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board. There is
hereby created an Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board under the Office
of the Secretary. The Board shall be composed of the Secretary as
Chairman, two (2) Undersecretaries as may be designated by the
Secretary, the Assistant Secretary for Legal Affairs, and three (3) others
to be appointed by the President upon recommendation of the Secretary
as members. A Secretariat shall be constituted to support the Board. The
Board shall assume the powers and functions with respect to the
adjudication of agrarian reform cases under Executive Order No. 229 and
this Executive Order. These powers and functions may be delegated to
the regional office of the Department in accordance with the rules and
regulations promulgated by the Board."

Congress substantially reiterated Section 17 of E.O. No. 229 in Republic


Act No. 6657, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Agrarian Law of
1988 (CARL). Section 50 thereof states:
"SECTION 50.
Quasi-Judicial Powers of the DAR. The DAR is
hereby vested with primary jurisdiction to determine and adjudicate
agrarian reform matters and shall have exclusive original jurisdiction over
all matters involving the implementation of agrarian reform, except those
falling under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture
(DA) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources
(DENR).

CARL took effect on June 15, 1988, after it was published in two
newspapers of general circulation.

In order "to achieve a just, expeditious and inexpensive determination of


every action or proceeding before it," the DAR is mandated "to adopt a
uniform rule of procedure" (Second par., Section 50, RA. No. 6657), which
is, at present, the DARAB Revised Rules. The Rules were promulgated
onDecember 26, 1988.

The Court of Appeals has underscored the fact that Section 13 of E.O.
No. 129-A authorizes the DARAB to delegate its powers and functions to
the regional office in accordance with the rules and regulations
promulgated by the Board. The authority purportedly provides additional
justification for the Regional Office's jurisdiction over the case. Precisely,
however, the DARAB, through its Revised Rules, has delegated such
powers and functions to the RARADs and the PARADs, which, under
Section 3 of the Rules, "are deemed to form part of the DAR Regional
Office where they are stationed."

It is evident from the foregoing that the DAR, like most administrative
agencies, is granted with a fusion of governmental powers, in this case, a
commingling of the quasi-judicial and the executive. The growing
complexity of modern life, the multiplication of the subjects of governmental
regulation and the increased difficulty of administering the laws have
impelled this constantly growing tendency toward such delegation.

In delegating these powers, it would hardly seem practical to allow a


duplication of functions between agencies. Duplication results in confusion
between the various agencies upon whom these powers are reposed, and
in the public that the agencies are supposed to serve. It divides the
agencies' resources and prevents them from devoting their energy to
similarly important tasks. The intention to avoid this very situation is evident
in the various laws' distinct delineation of the functions of the
DARAB/RARAD/PARAD and the DAR Regional Office. Accordingly, the
Court must reject the theory of concurrent jurisdiction between the former
and the latter. We hold that the DAR Regional Office has no jurisdiction
over the subject case.
INTERVENTION, FOR SUCH A MOTION FOR INTERVENTION TO BE
ENTERTAINED, TWO (2) REQUISITES MUST CONCUR: FIRST, THE
WOULD BE INTERVENOR MUST SHOW THAT HE HAS A
SUBSTANTIAL RIGHT OR INTEREST IN THE CASE AND THAT,
SECOND, IT CANNOT BE ADEQUATELY PURSUED AND PROTECTED
IN ANOTHER PROCEEDING

The Secretary of Agrarian Reform, et al. vs. Tropical


Homes Inc.
G.R. No. 136827 and 136799 (July 31, 2001)
Facts:

Carlos Iigo was the registered owner of four (4) parcels of land located
in Bago Iigo, Toril, Davao City with an aggregate area of more or less one
million five hundred thirty two thousand four hundred fifteen (1,532,415)
square meters. On July 17, 1971, Iigo and respondent Tropical Homes
Inc. (Tropical for brevity) entered into a Joint Venture Agreement for the
development of the property into a residential area which was later known
as the "Better Living Subdivision". Tropical even filed with the City Council
of Davao an application for reclassification of the area from agricultural to
residential. On October 2, 1972, the City Council of Davao, through
Resolution No. 558 declared the site of the Better Living Subdivision as a
residential area.

Carlos Iigo died. On February 14, 1975, the aforementioned properties


were divided among his heirs through a Deed of Extra-Judicial Partition.
The old titles were cancelled and new ones issued in the name of the heirs.
When the Joint Venture Agreement initiated by the late Carlos Iigo and
respondent Tropical pushed through with the Notice and Manifestation of
conformity of the Heirs, the new titles were again cancelled and replaced
by new titles all registered in the name of Tropical.

However, the DAR through its Davao Office subjected the


aforementioned properties under CARP coverage. DAR issued three (3)
Notices of Acquisition to Tropical covering one million thirty seven thousand
two hundred seventy two (1,037,272) square meters of the land.
Thereafter, TCT No. T-184249 was issued in the name of the Republic of
thePhilippines. Consequently, DAR through Certificate of Land Ownership
Award (CLOA) No. 301148 distributed the landholding to the identified
farmer beneficiaries.

Tropical filed a petition with the Provincial Adjudicator (PARAD) for the
cancellation of the CLOA on the ground that the landholding was outside

the coverage of the CARP. While the petition was pending, a Motion for
Intervention was filed by Rolando B. Bersamin, et al., alleging that they are
the bona fide residents of the landholding but were excluded in the CLOA.
The PARAD ruled in favor of Tropical and denied the Motion for
Intervention ruling that the issue in intervention can be threshed out in a
separate proceeding. Petitioners moved for reconsideration but the same
was denied. On appeal, the DARAB reversed the ruling of the PARAD.
OnDecember 11, 1997, Tropical filed a petition for review on certiorari with
the Court of Appeals and an urgent Motion for the issuance of a TRO. The
TRO was granted and later replaced by a Writ of Preliminary Injunction.
Later, the Court of Appeals rendered a Decision in favor of Tropical. Both
Petitioners and Petitioners-Appellants moved for reconsideration. The first
motion was denied for having been filed beyond the fifteen (15) day
reglementary period while the second motion was ordered expunged from
the rollo on the ground that they were not parties to the case and that at no
point in the legal process from the PARAD to the CA were they allowed to
intervene. Hence, the present petitions.
Issue:

Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in disregarding the Motions


for Reconsideration filed by petitioners/appellants?

Held:

Not having perfected their appeal in the manner and within the period
fixed by law, the decision of the Court of Appeals had become final and
executory. Such a failure carries with it the result that no court can exercise
appellate jurisdiction to review the case. However, it is true that we have
recognized certain exceptions to this rule. In Ramos v. Bagasao, we
excused the delay of four (4) days in the filing of a notice of appeal
because the questioned decision of the trial court was served upon
appellant at a time when her counsel of record was already dead. Her new
counsel could only file the appeal four (4) days after the prescribed
reglementary period was over. In Republic v. Court of Appeals, we allowed
the perfection of an appeal by the Republic despite the delay of six (6) days
to prevent a gross miscarriage of justice since it stood to lose hundreds of
hectares of land already titled in its name and had since then been devoted

for educational purposes. In Olacao v. National Labor Relations


Commission, we accepted a tardy appeal considering that the subject
matter in issue had theretofore been judicially settled, with finality, in
another case. The dismissal of the appeal would have had the effect of the
appellant being ordered twice to make the same reparation to the appellee.
Unfortunately, we find no reason to make this case an exception. Our ruling
in Habaluyas Enterprises, Inc. v. Japson has been in force for fifteen (15)
years. It is hard to believe that petitioners were not aware of this ruling, or
assuming that they were, their utter disregard of it is simply unacceptable.

The petitioners-appellants in G.R. No. 136799 likewise committed a


procedural error fatal to their cause of action. When they filed their Motion
for Intervention on November 25, 1996, the DARAB New Rules of
Procedure was already in effect. Rule IX, Sec. 3 thereof states
"SECTION 3.
Intervention. The filing of a motion for intervention shall
be discouraged. Such motion shall be entertained only upon a clear showing by
the would-be intervenor that he has a substantial right or interest in the case
that cannot be adequately pursued and protected in another proceeding."

Thus, for such a motion for intervention to be entertained, two (2)


requisites must concur. First, the would-be intervenor must show that he
has a substantial right or interest in the case and that, second, it cannot be
adequately pursued and protected in another proceeding. The absence of
even one requisite will warrant its denial. Acting on this provision, the
PARAD in fact denied the motion for intervention, ruling that "their
(petitioners-intervenors) rights over the property . . . can be properly
threshed out in a separate proceeding duly instituted for the purpose". In
Republic v. Sandiganbayan, we held that the discretion of a court (in this
case a quasi-judicial agency) to allow intervention, once exercised, cannot
be reviewed by certiorari nor controlled by mandamus save in instances
where such discretion has been exercised in an arbitrary or capricious
manner. Petitioners-appellants have not shown that the exercise of this
discretion was made in the manner above-described. Hence, it behooves
this Court to leave the denial of the motion for intervention to the wisdom of
the PARAD. Besides, the theory of petitioners-appellants that as bona fide
occupants of the landholding, they automatically acquire a substantial right
or interest in the case is unmeritorious. The right or interest here referred to

is generally required to be direct and not consequential, and one properly


determinable in the action in which intervention is sought. The issue of
whether or not they were improperly excluded from the CLOA is an issue
totally different from that in G.R. No. 136827, which is whether the City
Council of Davao, through Resolution No. 558, validly reclassified the
landholding from agricultural area to residential area, hence, rendering it
outside the coverage of the CARP. If indeed it was validly reclassified, then
there would be no CLOA to speak of. Petitioners-appellants would have
had no cause of action. Conversely, if the reclassification was invalid, then
the CLOA's legality would merely be affirmed. It must be borne in mind that
the alleged substantial right or interest of petitioners-appellants is based
not on the legality or illegality of the CLOA brought about by the supposed
questionable reclassification done by the City Council of Davao through
Resolution No. 558, rather, it is based on their claim that they were
improperly excluded from it. Thus, their interest is not one properly
determinable in the action in which intervention is sought. To further
complicate the case by adding parties who have totally separate interests
which can be the proper subject of a separate proceeding, will simply delay
the expeditious resolution thereof. It has been settled that the right to
intervene is not an absolute right, for the statutory rules or conditions for
the right to apply must be shown. As the two (2) requisites were not met,
petitioners-appellants have no standing to intervene. At this point, the
proper course of action was simply to have filed a separate proceeding
altogether.

It is indeed lamentable that the two (2) instant petitions must be denied
for failure to comply with the procedural requirements set forth in the Rules
of Court. While it is true that a litigation is not a game of technicalities, it is
equally true that every case must be prosecuted in accordance with the
prescribed procedure to ensure an orderly and speedy administration of
justice.
VESTED RIGHT, A PARTY CANNOT CLAIM THAT HE HAS A VESTED
RIGHT OVER THE SUBJECT PROPERTIES WHEN THERE IS CLEARLY
NON-COMPLIANCE WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE LAW

Graciano Palele vs. Hon. Court of Appeals (Fourth


Division) and Tomas Sobrevias
G.R. No. 138289 (July 31, 2001)
Facts:

The properties involved in this case form part of a larger tract of land
referred to as Lot No. 707 consisting of 9,939 meters in Dinalupihan,
Bataan. The original holder-cultivator of the lot was respondent Tomas
Sobrevias' father, Daniel who had worked on the lot as a tenant since the
1920s. Tomas succeeded to the possession of the said lot.

On May 2, 1962, private respondent filed an application with the


Department of Agrarian Reform for the purchase of Lot No. 707. He paid
the purchase price of P810.66 in five installments and completed full
payment on September 7, 1973, however, no deed of sale was issued to
him and the lot remained the property of the government. In 1981, the lot
was subdivided into four (4) parcels of lands. On September 23, 1990,
petitioner Graciano Palele applied for the purchase of two of the lots.
Subsequently, DAR issued two (2) CLOAs covering the two lots applied for.
Private respondent being unaware of these incidents continued paying the
real estate taxes on Lot No. 707 and upon learning of the issuance of the
CLOAs in favor of the petitioner, filed a petition for cancellation of the
certificates on August 18, 1992. On September 23, 1993, the PARAD
rendered judgment for the petitioner. This Decision was affirmed by the
DARAB. However, on appeal, the said Decision was reversed by the Court
of Appeals. The CLOAs were ordered recalled and cancelled. Hence, this
petition for review on certiorari.

Issue:

Whether or not private respondent has acquired a vested right on the


subject landholdings

Held:

At the time private respondent applied to purchase Lot No. 707 on May
2, 1962, the law in effect was R.A. No. 1199, otherwise known as the

Agricultural Tenancy Act of the Philippines, which took effect on August 30,
1954. Pursuant to the said law, the then Land Tenure Administration, the
implementing agency of the government, issued Administrative Order No.
2, which was approved on May 10, 1956. So far as pertinent to this case,
Sections 14 and 16 of the Order provided:
SECTION 14.
Persons Qualified to Purchase; Number of Lots
Granted. Subject to the provisions of Section 16 hereof, any private
individual who is qualified to acquire and own lands in the Philippines and who
will personally cultivate and/or occupy the lot or lots which may be sold to him,
may be allowed to purchase not more than one (1) home lot and/or farm lot
except that in case of farm lots with areas less than six (6) hectares, more than
one (1) lot may be purchased provided, however, that the total area of the lots
which may be sold to one person shall not exceed six (6) hectares.
The cultivation of a farm lot by the husband or wife of the purchaser thereof,
and by the members of the family of said purchaser who are dependent upon
him or her for support shall be considered as his or her cultivation for the
purpose of this section and of Sections 24 and 25 hereof.
Section 16. Right of Preference to Purchase of Bona-fide Tenant, Bona-fide
Occupant and Other Persons. The bona-fide tenant and in his absence or if
he fails to qualify under Section 14 hereof, the bona-fide occupant of a
subdivision lot in a private agricultural land acquired by the government shall
have the right of preference to purchase said lot. In the absence of the bonafide tenant and/or bona-fide occupant or in case said tenant and occupant fail
to qualify under Section 14 hereof and subject to the provision of said section,
the following persons shall be preferred in the purchase of a farm lot and/or
home lot, in the order in which they are named:
(1) A person who is the purchaser of a farm lot or lots in an agricultural land
acquired by the government, the production of which yields a net profit
insufficient to maintain a decent standard of living provided, however, that he
will be preferred only as to the portion of the farm lot applied for in the same
agricultural land which if added to the area of the lot or lots already sold to him
will not exceed six (6) hectares;
(2) A person who is a resident of the municipality where the lot applied for is
located.
These provisions clearly require that the applicant should personally cultivate
and/or occupy the land subject of the purchase. This requirement is reiterated
in Sections 23 and 24 of the same order.

It cannot be denied that private respondent had ceased to personally


occupy and cultivate Lot No. 707 at least on August 8, 1963. Only a year
after his application and before he had fully paid the purchase price of the
land, private respondent had already instituted tenants on the said lot. This
is clearly indicative of his circumvention of applicable agrarian reform laws.
The fact that in 1992 he was surprised to know that the lot had already
been subdivided into smaller parcels since 1981, and that two of which had
already been awarded to petitioner, indicates quite clearly that he was not
personally cultivating Lot No. 707. Thus, the Land Tenure Administration,
and later the Land Authority, was justified in refusing to issue a deed of
sale in favor of respondent even though he paid in full the purchase price of
the lot.

While it is true that due process protects vested rights, and this Court
would be the first to stress this basic principle, it is no less true that the
guarantee cannot be invoked when, as in the case at bar, no right has been
acquired at all because of non-compliance with the requirements of the
law.
SECURITY OF TENURE, THE PREVAILING PARTY IN A LAND
REGISTRATION CASE CANNOT DISPOSSESS ONE CLAIMING TO BE
AN AGRICULTURAL TENANT THEREIN AND WHOSE SECURITY
RIGHTS ARE STILL PENDING DETERMINATION BEFORE THE DARAB

Heirs of Roman Soriano vs. The Honorable Court of


Appeals, et al.
G.R. No. 128177 (August 15, 2001)
Issue:

May a winning party in a land registration case effectively eject the


possessor thereof, whose security of tenure rights are still pending
determination before the DARAB?

Held:

A judgment in a land registration case cannot be effectively used to oust


the possessor of the land whose security of tenure rights are still pending

determination before the DARAB. Stated differently, the prevailing party in a


land registration case cannot be placed in possession of the area while it is
being occupied by one claiming to be an agricultural tenant, pending a
declaration that the latter's occupancy was unlawful.
TENANCY RELATIONSHIP MAY BE ESTABLISHED EITHER VERBALLY
OR IN WRITING, EXPRESSLY OR IMPLIEDLY

Pevet Adalid Felizardo, et al. vs. Siegfredo Fernandez


G.R. No. 137509 (August 15, 2001)
Facts:

To summarize, the petitioners in the case at bar are the registered


owners of a parcel of land originally tilled by the father of the respondent.
Even during the lifetime of his father, respondent was already the one
doing the duties of a tenant until the latter's death in 1995. However,
petitioners would like to institute the elder sister of respondent as tenant of
the land despite the allegation of respondent that by virtue of successional
tenancy rights, he was already the declared tenant of the land.

Issue:

Whether Siegfredo has acquired the status of agricultural tenant which


would preclude petitioners from exercising their right to choose Asuncion
(elder sister of respondent) as Policarpio's successor after the latter's
death?

Held:

The undisputed fact, as found by the DARAB, is that respondent worked


on the land since 1981 because his father could no longer do so.
Respondent did not merely aid his father in the latter's farm work, but
completely took over that work since Policarpo was already very old and
incapable to continue farming. Section 5 (p) of R.A. No. 1199 defines
"incapacity" as any cause or circumstance which prevents the tenant from
fulfilling his contractual obligations. Respondent fully assumed his father's
leasehold obligations for 15 years precisely because Policarpo could no

longer perform his duties as petitioners' tenant and respondent is the only
member remaining of the original tenant's immediate farm household.

The Regional Adjudicator correctly took judicial notice of the fact that at
the age of 74, Policarpo was not able and could not reasonably be
expected to till the land anymore. Petitioners were not unaware of this
circumstance since they already dealt with and received the land's
proceeds from respondent. The incapacity of Policarpo to attend to farm
work had been evident to petitioners. The prevailing situation in the farm
and the length of time which had lapsed from the time respondent
assumed the tenancy work until his father's death amply support that
conclusion.

A tenancy relationship may be established either verbally or in writing,


expressly or impliedly, in accordance with Section 7 of R.A. No. 1199. As
aptly held by the Regional Adjudicator:
. . . the transfer and/or delegation of such tenancy obligations to herein
complainant [respondent] was in conformity to the general practice among
farmers, especially so in the case of complainant who had been assisting his
father in the farmworks (sic). When defendants failed to intervene or object to
this development, and continued to accept their shares as proffered by the new
cultivator, they have thereby impliedly consented to it giving rise to the new
tenancy relationship with the complainant.

Although petitioners did not expressly give their consent to a leasehold


relation with respondent, in our view petitioners consented to the tenancy
albeit impliedly by allowing respondent to cultivate the landholding in
question and by receiving from him the landowner's share of the harvest
over a considerable length of time.

While it is true that Section 9 of R.A. No. 3844 gives the


lessor/landowner the right to choose a tenant successor in case of death or
incapacity of the original tenant, in this case we agree that said right could
no longer be exercised by petitioners. Not only have they allowed the lapse
of a long period of time before attempting to exercise said right, it was also
found that the successor they had allegedly chosen, Asuncion Fernandez
Espinosa, was not qualified to succeed Policarpo because (a) she was no
longer a member of the latter's immediate farm household; and (b) she

could not and did not, at any time, personally cultivate the land as shown
by her unexplained absence during the harvests subsequent to
respondent's dispossession. Note also that in 1995, she was already 65
years old.
CARP COVERAGE, IN COMPLIANCE WITH DUE PROCESS, TWO
NOTICES ARE REQUIRED: FIRST, THE NOTICE OF COVERAGE AND
LETTER OF INVITATION TO A PRELIMINARY CONFERENCE AND,
SECOND, THE NOTICE OF ACQUISITION TO BE SENT TO THE
LANDOWNER
EXEMPTION, MORE THAN THE CLASSIFICATION OF THE SUBJECT
LAND AS PARK IS THAT SAID LAND FORMS A VITAL PART OF A
WATERSHED AREA AND HAS SLOPES OF 18% AND OVER WHICH
ARE EXEMPT UNDER SECTION 10 OF R.A. NO. 6657

Sta. Rosa Realty Development Corporation vs. Court of


Appeals, et al.
G.R. No. 112526 (October 12, 2001)
Facts:

Petitioner Sta. Rosa Realty Development Corporation (hereafter,


SRRDC) was the registered owner of two parcels of land situated at
Barangay Casile, Cabuyao, Laguna covered by Transfer Certificate of Title
(TCT) Nos. 81949 and 84891 with a total area of 254.6 hectares. According
to petitioner, the parcels of land are watersheds which provide clean
potable water to the Canlubang Community and ninety (90) light industries
located in the area.

Petitioner alleged that respondents usurped its rights over the property,
thereby destroying the ecosystem. Respondents filed a civil case with the
RTC of Laguna seeking an easement of a right of way to and from
Barangay Casile. Petitioner countered by seeking the ejectment of the
respondents and filed separate complaints for forcible entry against the
respondents before the Municipal Trial Court, Cabuyao, Laguna. After the
filing of the ejectment cases, respondents petitioned the DAR for the
compulsory acquisition of the SRRDC property under CARP.

Eventually, after a long and arduous process, the Secretary of Agrarian


Reform, Miriam Defensor Santiago sent two (2) notices of acquisition to
petitioner and placed the properties under the Comprehensive Agrarian
Reform Program despite the protest made by SRRDC that the property
was not appropriate for agricultural purposes. The area being rugged in
terrain with slopes of 18% or over and that the occupants of the land were
squatters not entitled to any land as beneficiaries. SRRDC further averred
that the properties were exempt from CARP coverage because it had been
classified as watershed area and were the subject of a pending petition for
land conversion. Later, the case was referred to the DARAB for summary
land valuation.

In the meantime, on January 20, 1992, the RTC of Laguna, Branch 24


rendered a Decision finding that the private respondents illegally entered
the SRRDC property and ordered them evicted.

On July 11, 1991, DAR Secretary Benjamin T. Leong issued a


Memorandum directing the Land Bank of the Philippines to open a trust
account in favor of SRRDC for P5,637,965.55 as valuation for the SRRDC
property.

On December 19, 1991, DARAB promulgated its Decision which,


among others, dismissed the petitioner's protest against compulsory
coverage for lack of merit, ordered the Land Bank of the Philippines to pay
SRRDC the amount of P7,841,997.64 for the landholdings covered by the
two titles and ordered the DAR through the MARO to take immediate
possession of the landholding after transfer of the titles in the name of the
Republic of the Philippines for the immediate issuance of Emancipation
Patents to farmer-beneficiaries.

On January 20, 1992, the RTC of Laguna, Branch 24 rendered a


Decision in Civil Case No. B-2333 ruling that private respondents were
builders in bad faith.

On February 6, 1992, petitioner filed with the Court of Appeals, a


petition for review of the DARAB decision. The CA promulgated a decision
affirming the Decision of the DARAB. Hence, this petition.

Issue:

Whether or not the property in question is covered by CARP considering


that it forms part of a watershed area and has slopes of 18% and over

Held:

First, under Republic Act No. 6657, there are two modes of acquisition
of private land, Compulsory and Voluntary.

In compulsory acquisition of private lands, the landholding, the


landowners and farmer beneficiaries must first be identified. After
identification, the DAR shall send a notice of acquisition to the landowner,
by personal delivery or registered mail, and post it in a conspicuous place
in the municipal building and barangay hall of the place where the property
is located.

Within thirty (30) days from receipt of the notice of acquisition, the
landowner, his administrator or representative shall inform the DAR of his
acceptance or rejection of the offer.

If the landowner accepts, he executes and delivers a deed of transfer in


favor of the government and surrenders the certificate of title. Within thirty
(30) days from the execution of the deed of transfer, the Land Bank of the
Philippines (LBP) pays the owner the purchase price. If the landowner
rejects the DAR's offer or fails to make a reply, the DAR conducts summary
administrative proceedings to determine just compensation for the land.
The landowner, the LBP representative and other interested parties may
submit evidence on just compensation within fifteen days from notice.
Within thirty days from submission, the DAR shall decide the case and
inform the owner of its decision and the amount of just compensation.

The DAR has made compulsory acquisition the priority mode of land
acquisition to hasten the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian
Reform Program (CARP). Under Sec. 16 of the CARL, the first step in
compulsory acquisition is the identification of the land, the landowners and
the farmer beneficiaries. However, the law is silent on how the identification
process shall be made. To fill this gap, on July 26, 1989, the DAR issued

Administrative Order No. 12, series of 1989, which set the operating
procedure in the identification of such lands.

Administrative Order No. 12, Series of 1989 requires that the Municipal
Agrarian Reform Officer (MARO) keep an updated master list of all
agricultural lands under the CARP in his area of responsibility containing all
the required information. The MARO prepares a Compulsory Acquisition
Case Folder (CACF) for each title covered by CARP. The MARO then
sends the landowner a "Notice of Coverage" and a "letter of invitation" to a
"conference/meeting" over the land covered by the CACF. He also sends
invitations to the prospective farmer-beneficiaries, the representatives of
the Barangay Agrarian Reform Committee (BARC), the Land Bank of the
Philippines (LBP) and other interested parties to discuss the inputs to the
valuation of the property and solicit views, suggestions, objections or
agreements of the parties. At the meeting, the landowner is asked to
indicate his retention area.

For a valid implementation of the CARP Program, two notices are


required: (1) the notice of coverage and letter of invitation to a preliminary
conference sent to the landowner, the representative of the BARC, LBP,
farmer-beneficiaries and other interested parties pursuant to DAR A.O. No.
12, series of 1989; and (2) the notice of acquisition sent to the landowner
under Section 16 of the CARL.

The importance of the first notice, that is, the notice of coverage and the
letter of invitation to a conference, and its actual conduct cannot be
understated. They are steps designed to comply with the requirements of
administrative due process. The implementation of the CARL is an exercise
of the State's police power and the power of eminent domain. To the extent
that the CARL prescribes retention limits to the landowners, there is an
exercise of police power for the regulation of private property in accordance
with the Constitution. But where, to carry out such regulation, the owners
are deprived of lands they own in excess of the maximum area allowed,
there is also a taking under the power of eminent domain. The taking
contemplated is not a mere limitation on the use of the land. What is
required is the surrender of the title to and physical possession of the
excess and all beneficial rights accruing to the owner in favor of the farmerbeneficiary.

In the case at bar, DAR has executed the taking of the property in
question. However, payment of just compensation was not in accordance
with the procedural requirement. The law required payment in cash or LBP
bonds, not by trust accounts as was done by DAR.

In Association of Small Landowners in the Philippines v. Secretary of


Agrarian Reform, we held that "The CARP Law, for its part, conditions the
transfer of possession and ownership of the land to the government on
receipt of the landowner of the corresponding payment or the deposit by
the DAR of the compensation in cash or LBP bonds with an accessible
bank. Until then, title also remains with the landowner. No outright change
of ownership is contemplated either."

Watersheds may be defined as "an area drained by a river and its


tributaries and enclosed by a boundary or divide which separates it from
adjacent watersheds." Watersheds generally are outside the commerce of
man, so why was the Casile property titled in the name of SRRDC? The
answer is simple. At the time of the titling, the Department of Environment
and Natural Resources had not declared the property as watershed area.
The parcels of land in Barangay Casile were declared as "PARK" by a
Zoning Ordinance adopted by the municipality of Cabuyao in 1979, as
certified by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board. On January 5,
1994, the Sangguniang Bayan of Cabuyao, Laguna issued Resolution 26
voiding the Zoning classification of the lands at Barangay Casile as Park
and declaring that the land was now classified as agricultural land.

The authority of the municipality of Cabuyao, Laguna to issue zoning


classification is an exercise of its police power, not the power of eminent
domain. "A zoning ordinance is defined as a local city or municipal
legislation which logically arranges, prescribes, defines and apportions a
given political subdivision into specific land uses as present and future
projection of needs."

In Natalia Realty, Inc. vs. Department of Agrarian Reform, we held that


lands classified as non-agricultural prior to the effectivity of the CARL, may
not be compulsorily acquired for distribution to farmer beneficiaries.

However, more than the classification of the subject land as PARK is the
fact that subsequent studies and survey showed that the parcels of land in
question form a vital part of a watershed area.

The definition does not exactly depict the complexities of a watershed.


The most important product of a watershed is water which is one of the
most important human necessity. The protection of watersheds ensures an
adequate supply of water for future generations and the control of
flashfloods that not only damage property but cause loss of lives.
Protection of watersheds is an "intergenerational responsibility" that needs
to be answered now.

Another factor that needs to be mentioned is the fact that during the
DARAB hearing, petitioner presented proof that the Casile property has
slopes of 18% and over, which exempted the land from the coverage of
CARL. R.A. No. 6657, Section 10, provides:
"Section 10.
Exemptions and Exclusions. Lands actually,
directly and exclusively used and found to be necessary for parks,
wildlife, forest reserves, reforestation, fish sanctuaries and breeding
grounds, watersheds and mangroves, national defense, school sites and
campuses including experimental farm stations operated by public or
private schools for educational purposes, seeds and seedlings research
and pilot production centers, church sites and convents appurtenant
thereto, communal burial grounds and cemeteries, penal colonies and
penal farms actually worked by the inmates, government and private
research and quarantine centers, and all lands with eighteen percent
(18%) slope and over, except those already developed shall be exempt
from coverage of this Act."

Hence, during the hearing at DARAB, there was proof showing that the
disputed parcels of land may be excluded from the compulsory acquisition
coverage of CARP because of its very high slopes.

To resolve the issue as to the nature of the parcels of land involved in


the case at bar, the Court directs the DARAB to conduct a re-evaluation of
the issue.

JURISDICTION OF THE DARAB IS LIMITED TO CASES INVOLVING


TENANCY
RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN
THE
PARTIES

Rodrigo Almuete and Ana Almuete vs. Marcelo Andres


and The Court of Appeals
G.R. No. 122276 (November 20, 2001)
Facts:

Petitioner Rodrigo Almuete was awarded a 72,587 square meter parcel


of land located at San Vicente, Angadanan, Isabela by the then National
Resettlement and Rehabilitation Administration (NARRA) on March 25,
1957. Since then, Almuete and his family farmed the subject property
peacefully and exclusively.

However, unknown to petitioner, an Agrarian Reform Technologist by the


name of Leticia Gragasin on August 17, 1979 filed false reports making it
appear that Almuete has waived his right as awardee and made it appear
that one Marcelo Andres was the actual occupant of the land from 1967 to
date. Said Gragasin further recommended that the award in favor of
petitioner Almuete be cancelled and the land be awarded to respondent
Marcelo.

Consequently, DAR issued OCT No. P-52521 in the name of


respondent who, in turn, accompanied by ten persons armed with bolos,
immediately entered the subject property claiming exclusive right of
ownership and possession. Almuete complained to the DAR and wasted no
time in filing an action for reconveyance and recovery of possession
against Marcelo Andres with the RTC of Cauayan, Isabela, Br. 20 docketed
as Civil Case No. Br-20-530. The Trial Court rendered a Decision in favor
of Almuete which became final and executory upon Marcelo Andres's
failure to appeal. The latter filed a petition for certiorari to prevent the
implementation of the writ of execution which was entertained by the Court
of Appeals. Hence, this Petition.

Issue:

Who between the petitioner and the respondent has a better right to the
subject property considering that both of them are awardees of the same
property?

Held:

No juridical tie of landowner and tenant was alleged between petitioners


and respondent, let alone that which would so characterize the relationship
as an agrarian dispute. In fact, petitioner and respondent were contending
parties for the ownership of the same parcel of land.

Rule II, Section 1 of the Revised Rules of Procedure of the DARAB,


provides:
"Section 1. Primary, Original and Appellate Jurisdiction. The Agrarian
Reform Adjudication Board shall have primary jurisdiction, both original
and appellate, to determine and adjudicate all agrarian disputes, cases,
controversies, and matters or incidents involving the implementation of
the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program under Republic Act No.
6657, Executive Order Nos. 229, 228 and 129-A, Republic Act No. 3844
as amended by Republic Act No. 6389, P.D. No. 27 and other agrarian
laws and their implementing rules and regulations.

"Agrarian dispute" is defined under Section 3(d) of Republic Act No


6657, as:
"(d) Agrarian Dispute refers to any controversy relating to tenurial
arrangements, whether leasehold, tenancy, stewardship or otherwise,
over lands devoted to agriculture, including disputes concerning
farmworkers associations or representation of persons in negotiating,
fixing, maintaining, changing or seeking to arrange terms or conditions of
such tenurial arrangements.
It includes any controversy relating to compensation of lands acquired
under this Act and other terms and conditions of transfer of ownership
from landowners to farmworkers, tenants and other agrarian reform
beneficiaries, whether the disputants stand in the proximate relation of
farm operator and beneficiary, landowner and tenant, or lessor and
lessee."

From the foregoing, it is clear that the jurisdiction of the DARAB is


limited to cases involving a tenancy relationship between the parties. The
following elements are indispensable to establish a tenancy relationship:
(1)
The parties are the landowner and the tenant or agricultural
lessee;
(2)

The subject matter of the relationship is an agricultural land;

(3)

There is consent between the parties to the relationship;

(4)
The purpose of the relationship is to bring about agricultural
production;
(5)
There is personal cultivation on the part of the tenant or
agricultural lessee; and
(6)
The harvest is shared between the landowner and the tenant or
agricultural lessee.

The Court of Appeals, therefore, gravely erred when it granted the


petition for certiorari and held that the trial court had no jurisdiction over the
subject matter of the action between petitioners and respondent. The
action filed by petitioners was cognizable by the regular courts.
Consequently, the Regional Trial Court of Cauayan, Isabela was competent
to try and decide Civil Case No. 20-530. Its decision was, thus, valid and
can no longer be disturbed, after having attained finality. Nothing more can
be done with the decision except to enforce it.
LEASEHOLD
TENANCY,
THE
QUESTION
REGARDING
RESPONDENT'S TENANCY STATUS IS FACTUAL IN NATURE AND
NORMALLY IS NOT PROPER IN A PETITION FOR REVIEW WHERE
ONLY QUESTIONS OF LAW MAY BE ENTERTAINED. HOWEVER, IN
CERTAIN INSTANCES, WHEN THERE APPEARS TO BE COMPELLING
REASONS TO MODIFY SUCH, THE SAID FACTUAL FINDINGS MAY BE
THE SUBJECT OF REVIEW

Felix Pascual vs. The Honorable Court of Appeals


and Victor Solis
G.R. No. 138781 (December 3, 2001)

Facts:

On March 5, 1992, petitioner brought an action for "Maintenance of


Peaceful Possession with Prayer for Restraining Order/Preliminary
Injunction" against respondent Victor Solis before the DARAB Region III in
Malolos, Bulacan. Petitioner alleged that respondent tried to enter into
possession and cultivation of the above described agricultural lots thus
disrupting petitioner's peaceful possession and personal cultivation of the
same.

Respondent in his answer averred that he is a lawful tenant of the lots


and insisted that as a legitimate tenant, he enjoyed security of tenure and
cannot be ejected from the land except upon authority of the court. To
substantiate his assertion, respondent presented two (2) agricultural
leasehold contracts as well as two (2) Certificates of Agricultural Leasehold
(CALs).

Petitioner countered by averring that respondent abandoned the first lot


and voluntarily surrendered the second lot upon payment of a disturbance
compensation of P18,000.00. Furthermore, as a consequence of the
voluntary surrender made by the respondent, petitioner was able to sell the
second lot to the spouses Jose Bernardo and Rosa Payumo as evidenced
by a "Kasulatan ng Bilihang Tuluyan" (Venta Absoluta) dated December 11,
1985. Thus, the issue of respondent's status as lessee should be properly
addressed to the new owners.

In due course, the Provincial Adjudicator rendered judgment in favor of


the plaintiff (petitioner) and against defendant (respondent) Victor Solis,
ruling that respondent was not a tenant of the disputed lots.

On appeal, the DARAB reversed the findings of the PARAD and


declared Victor Solis as a legitimate tenant and entitled to security of
tenure. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the DARAB.
Petitioner moved for reconsideration but the same was likewise denied.
Hence, this petition.

Issue:

Whether or not respondent was a tenant of the lands belonging to


petitioner and consequently entitled to security of tenure?

Held:

Initially, the question regarding respondent's tenancy status is factual in


nature which is not proper in a petition for review, where only questions of
law may be entertained. However, after a careful examination of the
evidence on record, there appears a compelling reason to modify the
factual findings below, since it appears that the appellate court and the
DARAB failed to take into account certain important considerations extant
in the records.

The appellate court and the DARAB erred in rendering judgment on the
assumption that these lots are one and the same. To repeat, the second
contract and CAL 022 do not pertain to Lot No. 2025. Hence, respondent
cannot be declared a tenant of Lot No. 2025. No lease agreement or
certificate was adduced to prove that Lot No. 2025 is the same lot
described in the second contract and CAL 022.

Furthermore, there is an apparent absence of the essential requisites of


an agricultural tenancy relationship between the parties over Lot No. 2025.
For this relationship to exist, it is necessary that: 1) the parties are the
landowner and the tenant; 2) the subject is agricultural land; 3) there is
consent; 4) the purpose is agricultural production; 5) there is personal
cultivation; and 6) there is sharing of harvest or payment of rental.

The findings of the Provincial Adjudicator and the ocular inspection


indicate that respondent did not personally cultivate the riceland portion of
Lot No. 2025 or share its harvest proceeds with petitioner. Petitioner did not
consent to a leasehold agreement with respondent over Lot No. 2025, as
shown by petitioner's filing of complaint below to enjoin respondent from
encroaching and planting thereon. Accordingly, respondent is not a de jure
tenant of Lot No. 2025, thus, he is not entitled to security of tenure relative
to this lot.

As to the 1.3-hectare land subject of the second contract and CAL No.
022, petitioner contends that this lot was already sold to the spouses

Payumo in 1985. Therefore, the issue of respondent's tenancy status over


the 1.3 hectare agricultural lot covered by the second contract and CAL
022 is not proper for disposition in this case. Petitioner is no longer the
owner of this lot and will not, thus, be benefited or prejudiced by any
declaration made herein, recognizing respondent as its bona fide tenant.
The claim of tenancy over this lot should be directed against the new
owners/vendees, who are subrogees to the rights and obligations of the
agricultural lessor/vendor.
JURISDICTION OF THE DARAB, THE TRIAL COURT CANNOT
ADJUDGE CIVIL MATTERS THAT RELATE TO THE AGRARIAN
RELATIONSHIP OF THE PARTIES. THESE ARE MATTERS BEYOND
ITS COMPETENCE AND JURISDICTION AND ARE EXCLUSIVELY
COGNIZABLE
BY
THE
DARAB

Leonarda L. Monsanto vs. Jesus and Teresita Zerna and


the Court of Appeals
G.R. No. 142501 (December 7, 2001)
Held:

The filing of a criminal case carries with it the civil liability arising from
the offense. However, the trial court cannot adjudge civil matters that are
beyond its competence and powers. Thus, while a court may have
authority to pass upon the criminal liability of the accused, it cannot make
any civil awards that relate to the agrarian relationship of the parties
because this matter is beyond its jurisdiction.

In the present case, the RTC had jurisdiction to decide the criminal case
against private respondents; however, it acted beyond its jurisdiction when
it effectively ruled on the agricultural tenancy relationship between the
parties. Private respondents had raised before it the issue of tenancy by
way of defense, and apparently interwoven with the agrarian dispute, were
the acts complained of by petitioner: the harvesting of the coconuts, their
conversion into copra and, later, the sale thereof. Thus, the RTC should
have confined itself to the determination of whether private respondents
were guilty of qualified theft, instead of automatically awarding the

proceeds of the copra sale to petitioner. Such matter, being an offshoot of


the agrarian dispute between the parties, is cognizable exclusively by the
DARAB.
PETITION FOR REVIEW, THE QUESTION OF WHETHER OR NOT THE
RESPONDENTS HEREIN ARE ENTITLED TO BE FARMERBENEFICIARIES/TENANTS OF THE LAND IS A QUESTION OF FACT
AND IS NOT THE PROPER SUBJECT OF A PETITION FOR REVIEW
UNDER RULE 45

Spouses Benny Calvo and Jovita S. Calvo vs. Spouses


Bernardito and Angelina Vergara, et al.
G.R. No. 134741 (December 19, 2001)
Facts:

Milagros Lebumfacil was the owner of several lots located in Matab-ang


Toledo City which were placed under the Operation Land Transfer (OLT)
Program of the DAR. Two of the tenant farmers therein, Egmidio Baguio
and Josefa Apan, due to poor health and senility waived their rights over
the said lots. This prompted the DAR to reallocate the same to other
beneficiaries including the herein respondents who were given a 750
square meter portion as their homelot.

Despite the coverage under OLT program, Lebumfacil still sold the land
to the herein petitioners who in turn filed a complaint for illegal detainer
praying for the eviction of the respondents from their homelots.

The MTC forwarded the case to the PARAD who upheld the validity of
the OLT program but declared the CLT Transfer Action No. CEB-VII-184-91
involving the reallocated lots as null and void. On appeal, the DARAB
modified the decision and upheld the validity and legality of the coverage of
the subject 750 square meters. The CA likewise affirmed the said Decision
of the DARAB. Hence, this petition.

Issue:

Whether private respondents are tenant-farmers and are thus qualified


as reallocatees of OLT areas under Memorandum Circular No. 8-80, series
of 1980 and are entitled to a homelot under Letter of Instruction No. 705

Held:

In Reyes vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 110207, 258 SCRA 651, 658
(1996), we distinguished between the two types of questions: there is a
question of law when the doubt or difference arises as to what the law is
pertaining to a certain state of facts, and there is a question of fact when
the doubt arises as to the truth or falsity of alleged facts. Being a question
of fact, it is beyond the office of this court in a petition for review under Rule
45 of the Revised Rules of Court, where only questions of law may be
raised. Although there are exceptions, petitioners did not show that this is
one of them.
LEASEHOLD TENANCY, ORDINARILY, TENANCY IS A FACTUAL
ISSUE WHICH MAY NOT BE REVIEWED ON CERTIORARI, BUT
BECAUSE OF THE CONFLICTING CLAIMS OF THE DARAB UPHELD
BY THE COURT OF APPEALS, AND THE PROVINCIAL AGRARIAN
REFORM ADJUDICATION BOARD (PARAB) ON THE ISSUE OF
TENANCY, THE SUPREME COURT IS OBLIGED TO REVIEW THE
FINDINGS OF THE COURT OF APPEALS

The Heirs of Jose Juanite, et al. vs. The Court of


Appeals, et al.
G.R. No. 138016 (January 30, 2002)
Facts:

The Spouses Edilberto Romero and Felisa Romero owned a piece of


agricultural land in Alegria, Surigao del Norte. On different dates, the
Romeros sold separate portions thereof to Efren Pania, Macario Sanchez
and Pio Yonson.

Claiming to be the agricultural tenants of the land in question, Jose


Juanite (now deceased) and his wife, Nicolasa O. Juanite, filed a complaint
with the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (PARAB),

Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), against the spouses Edilberto and


Felisa Romero and their vendees above-named for the cancellation of the
sales adverted to and for the Juanites to exercise their right of redemption
pursuant to R.A. No. 3844.

Edilberto Romero, et al. as defendants, in their answer alleged that the


Romeros, being the owners of the property, had the perfect right to sell any
portion thereof to any person. They also strongly denied the allegation of
the Juanites that the latter were their tenants.

The PARAD rendered a decision declaring the Juanite spouses as


tenants, directing the MARO to prepare the leasehold contract in their
favor, declaring the aforementioned Deed of Sale executed by the parties
null and void and directing the latter to vacate the premises.

On Appeal, the DARAB reversed the decision and declared that the
Juanites were not tenants of the land, hence, had no right of redemption.

Petitioners appealed the decision to the Court of Appeals which, in turn,


dismissed the petition. Hence, this Appeal.

Issue:

Whether or not the petitioners are tenants of the Romero spouses


(respondents) as to entitle them to the right of redemption

Held:

We agree with the Court of Appeals that the essential requisites of a


tenancy relationship are the following:
(2)

the parties are the landowner and the tenant;

(3)

the subject is agricultural land;

(4)

there is consent;

(5)

the purpose is agricultural production;

(6)

there is personal cultivation; and

(7)

there is sharing of harvests.

All these requisites must concur in order to create a tenancy


relationship between the parties. The absence of one does not make an
occupant of a parcel of land, or a cultivator thereof, or a planter thereon,
a de jure tenant. Unless a person has established his status as a de
juretenant, he is not entitled to security of tenure nor is he covered by the
Land Reform Program of the government under existing tenancy laws.

However, we agree with the petitioners that with the landowners'


admission that petitioners were tenants on the subject landholding, the
element of "sharing harvest" is assumed as a factual element in that
admission.

We note that petitioners alleged in the complaint filed with the PARAB
that:
"6. That in the year 1971, the herein defendants, informed plaintiffs
that the land which, Hermogena Mercado-Mondonedo and which is
hereto described, as follows, to wit:
xxx

xxx

xxx

and that the land was sold to her and husband, Edilberto Romero by
Hermogena Mercado-Mondonedo and that since then, plaintiffscontinued
in possession and cultivation of the land above described, as tenant and
sharing the fruits and products of the land to defendants, spouses
Edilberto and Felisa Romero."

In their answer to the complaint, respondents denied the tenant and


landlord relationship, but failed to rebut the evidence adduced by
petitioners that they were tenants.
BENEFICIARIES UNDER CARP, THE IDENTIFICATION AND
SELECTION OF CARP BENEFICIARIES ARE MATTERS INVOLVING
THE ADMINISTRATIVE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CARP, A MATTER
EXCLUSIVELY COGNIZABLE BY THE SECRETARY OF THE
DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM AND BEYOND THE
JURISDICTION OF THE DARAB

Lolihala Saberon Lercana vs. Porferio Jalandoni, et al.


G.R. No. 132286 (February 1, 2002)

Facts:

Gregorio Pajuelas, grandfather of petitioner Lolihala S. Lercana, was the


owner of an agricultural land with an estimated area of nineteen (19)
hectares, located in Barangay Salug, Siaton, Negros Oriental. It was
mortgaged by Lolihala's mother, Bruna Saberon, and was redeemed by
Rodolfo Aspilla, who planted sugarcane and hired respondent Porferio
Jalandoni, among other laborers, to work on the land. In 1976, Aspilla's
sugarcane production failed. Aspilla then appointed Jalandoni as overseer
and authorized him to install the other respondents as tenant-tillers who
devoted the property to corn production. Respondents gave Aspilla,
through Jalandoni, the owner's shares of the corn products in "tercio"
basis, in favor of the tenants. Jalandoni also gave to Aspilla the owner's
share from the copra produce on the same "tercio" basis. Aside from corn,
respondents planted auxiliary crops like cassava and other vegetables.

On August 21, 1972, Aspilla mortgaged the subject property to the


Philippine Veterans Bank (PVB) as security for a loan. Because Aspilla
failed to redeem the mortgage, it was foreclosed on October 25, 1978. On
June 26, 1980, the title covering the property was consolidated under TCT
No. HT-1906 in the name of PVB.

Not knowing about the ownership transfer, respondents continued to


give to Aspilla his share of the harvest until 1984, when Aspilla led for
Kuwait. Thereafter, the share was given to Aspilla's children, who visited
the property every harvest rime.

In August 1989, petitioner appeared, claimed ownership of the land for


allegedly having bought it from PVB and demanded from each of the
respondents the owner's share of the land produce. Not satisfied, petitioner
and her relatives eventually took over and cultivated the land.

Respondents as plaintiffs below were constrained to file a complaint for


reinstatement and damages against petitioner before the PARAD, Negros
Oriental. However, the case was dismissed.

Respondents appealed to the DARAB which reversed and set aside the
decision of the PARAD. The gist of the Decision by the Board is that the
disputed property has been offered to the DAR through CARP through the
VOS scheme. As such, it was not true that petitioner acquired ownership
thereof. Further, that application papers for potential CARP beneficiaries
have been processed since September 19, 1989.

Petitioner filed a Petition for Review with the Court of Appeals. However,
the Appellate Court resolved the issue in favor of the respondents. It
rendered a modified decision affirming the decision of the DARAB but
deleting the award of P20,000 as exemplary damages. Petitioner moved for
reconsideration but the same was denied. Hence, this petition.

Issues:

The issues concern (1) the occupation and tillage over the eastern
portion of the land by petitioner and her relatives; and (2) their qualification
as beneficiaries under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.

Held:

On the first issue, regarding respondents' tenancy, the Court of Appeals


affirmed the DARAB's finding that respondents were the actual occupants
and tillers of the entire subject landholding. This finding, according to
petitioner, is in complete variance with the PARAD's finding that
respondents were not tenants nor agricultural lessees on the disputed
property. Petitioner asserts that she and her relatives have always
remained on the one-half eastern portion of the land, cultivating the same
peacefully, openly and uninterruptedly, before and after the western portion
was mortgaged. This, according to petitioner, is supported by Jalandoni's
testimony that in 1976, when Aspilla gave Jalandoni the authority to install
tenants, Jalandoni occupied three (3) hectares while Mahinay, Mayorga
and Ege, the other installed tenants, occupied one hectare each. This
means that Aspilla occupied a total area of only 6 hectares, confirming

petitioner's contention that only one-half of the entire subject landholding


was mortgaged. Petitioner adds that respondents' submissive acceptance,
when told by petitioner that she had become the owner of the land, was a
manifestation of respondents' own doubt on their status. Lastly, DARAB
Sheriff Edwin L. Badon, who also actually conducted an ocular inspection
of the property, declared that an estimated area of 8 hectares, which
formed part of the entire 19 hectare-landholding, was under the tillage of
Lolihala and relatives. All these substantially prove, said petitioner, that she
and her relatives had remained on the eastern portion of the property.

Coming now to the present controversy, in our view, the finding of the
appellate court, affirming the DARAB's own findings, that respondents are
the tenants of the entire property in question, is supported by the evidence
on record. The testimony of Galoy Ezoy, petitioner's own witness and a
neighbor of the Pajuelas, shows that the disputed property was originally
owned by Gregorio Pajuelas and later on by Dodong Aspilla. Aspilla then
appointed Porferio Jalandoni and company to work on the land. Ezoy
further testified that petitioner and her relatives started to work on the land
only when the case was filed. His testimony was not refuted by petitioner.
Furthermore, the certifications of the Barangay Agrarian Reform Committee
(BARC) Chairman and Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer of Barangay
Salag, Siaton, Negros Oriental, state that petitioner and her relatives were
not the actual occupants and tillers on the subject landholding, and that
they only took over the property in 1990 when they entered and occupied it
by force and threats. These certifications carry the presumption of
regularity in their issuance, but petitioner did not show any evidence to
overcome that presumption. Also, the certification of DARAB Sheriff Edwin
L. Badon cited by petitioner to contradict the abovecited two certifications,
merely attest to the actual cultivation and occupation of petitioner and her
relatives at the time of the pendency of the case at the DARAB, but not of
the time when they actually started cultivating the land. Said certification
did not concern, much less corroborate, petitioner's allegation that she and
her relatives have always remained in the eastern portion of the property,
even after the mortgage. Thus, we conclude that the Court of Appeals'
finding, adopting that of the DARAB, was sufficiently supported by
evidence on record.

On the second issue tendered by the petition, it appears to us that the


proper administrative official must resolve first the question of beneficiaries
under CARP. The Court of Appeals, in adopting the findings of the DARAB,
did not declare respondents as beneficiaries under the Comprehensive
Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) in relation to the disputed landholding.
The DARAB, in the dispositive portion of its decision, left to the concerned
DAR Offices the determination of who are or should be the CARP
beneficiaries. At this juncture, petitioner ought to be reminded that the
identification and selection of CARP beneficiaries are matters involving
strictly the administrative implementation of the CARP, a matter exclusively
cognizable by the Secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform, and
beyond the jurisdiction of the DARAB.
JURISDICTION OVER ADMINISTRATIVE IMPLEMENTATION OF
AGRARIAN REFORM LAWS, P.D. NO. 946 PROVIDES THAT MATTERS
INVOLVING THE ADMINISTRATIVE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE
TRANSFER OF THE LAND TO THE TENANT-FARMER UNDER P.D. NO.
27 AND AMENDATORY AND RELATED DECREES, ORDERS,
INSTRUCTIONS,
RULES
AND
REGULATIONS
SHALL
BE
EXCLUSIVELY COGNIZABLE BY THE SECRETARY OF AGRARIAN
REFORM

Hon. Antonio M. Nuesa in his capacity as the Regional


Director of DAR Region III and Restituto Rivera vs. Hon.
Court of Appeals
G.R. No. 132048 (March 6, 2002)
Facts:

On May 25, 1972, the then Secretary of Agrarian Reform issued an


"Order of Award" in favor of Jose Verdillo over two (2) parcels of
agricultural land, Lots 1932 and 1904 of the Buena Vista Estate, San
Ildefonso, Bulacan, covering 14,496 and 19,808 square meters on
condition which substantially states that within a period of six (6) months
the awardee shall personally cultivate or otherwise develop at least one
fourth of the area, occupy and construct his/her house in case of residential
lot and pay at least the first installment xxxx failure on his/her part to

comply with this requirement shall be sufficient cause for cancellation of


this Order.

On August 26, 1993, or after twenty-one years, private respondent


(Jose Verdillo) filed with the Regional Office of the Department of Agrarian
Reform for the purchase of said lots claiming that he had complied with the
conditions of the said Order. Restituto Rivera, herein petitioner, filed a letter
protest against private respondent claiming that he is the one in possession
of the land and cultivating the same.

A representative of the DAR Regional Office undertook an investigation


on the conflicting claims and found that the subject landholdings were in
the possession/cultivation of other persons other than Jose Verdillo and
that it was crystal clear that Jose Verdillo had culpably violated the terms
and conditions of the Order of Award. On the basis of such, DAR Regional
Director Antonio Nuesa promulgated an Order canceling the Order of
Award in favor of Jose Verdillo, declaring the lots vacant and open for
disposition and allowing the processing of Restituto Rivera's application to
purchase the said lots.

Aggrieved, private respondent then filed a Petition with the PARAD.


Petitioners countered by filing a Motion to Dismiss the Petition instead of an
Answer on the ground that the proper remedy in the case at bar is to file an
Appeal to the Secretary of Agrarian Reform under DAR Memorandum
Circular No. 5-87 and not by a petition with the DARAB.

The PARAD chose to render a decision on the merits, denied the Motion
to Dismiss the Petition and reversed the Order of the Regional Director.

Petitioner Rivera filed a Motion for Reconsideration but it was denied.


He then interposed an appeal with the DARAB but the Board affirmed the
Decision of the PARAD.

Petitioners then filed a Petition for Review with the Court of Appeals but
it was denied due course and was ordered dismissed. Hence, this petition
for review.

Issue:

Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in denying petitioners' claims


that in this case, the Board (DARAB) acted in grave abuse of discretion
tantamount to lack or excess of jurisdiction?

Held:

We agree with petitioners that respondent Court of Appeals erred in


holding that the DARAB and its officials have not committed grave abuse of
discretion tantamount to excess or lack of jurisdiction in this case.

P.D. 946 provides that matters involving the administrative


implementation of the transfer of the land to the tenant-farmer under P.D.
No. 27 and amendatory and related decrees, orders, instructions, rules and
regulations, shall be exclusively cognizable by the Secretary of Agrarian
Reform, including: . . . (5) issuance, recall or cancellation of certificates of
land transfer in cases outside the purview of P.D. No. 816.

The revocation by the Regional Director of DAR of the earlier Order of


Award by the Secretary of Agriculture falls under the administrative
functions of the DAR. The DARAB and its provincial adjudicator or board of
adjudicators acted erroneously and with grave abuse of discretion in taking
cognizance of the case, then overturning the decision of the DAR Regional
Director and deciding the case on the merits without affording the petitioner
opportunity to present his case.

As held by this Court in Centeno vs. Centeno, "the DAR is vested with
the primary jurisdiction to determine and adjudicate agrarian reform matters
and shall have the exclusive jurisdiction over all matters involving the
implementation of the agrarian reform program." The DARAB has primary,
original and appellate jurisdiction "to determine and adjudicate all agrarian
disputes, cases, controversies, and matters or incidents involving the
implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program under
R.A. 6657, E.O. Nos. 229, 228 and 129-A, R.A. No. 3844 as amended by
R.A. No. 6389, P.D. No. 27 and other agrarian laws and their implementing
rules and regulations."

Under Section 3(d) of R.A. No. 6657 (CARP Law), "agrarian dispute" is
defined to include "(d) . . . any controversy relating to tenurial

arrangements, whether leasehold, tenancy, stewardship or otherwise over


lands devoted to agriculture, including disputes concerning farmworkers
associations or representation of persons in negotiating, fixing,
maintaining, changing or seeking to arrange terms or conditions of such
tenurial arrangements. It includes any controversy relating to compensation
of lands acquired under this Act and other terms and conditions of transfer
of ownership from landowners to farmworkers, tenants and other agrarian
reform beneficiaries, whether the disputants stand in the proximate relation
of farm operator and beneficiary, landowner and tenant, or lessor and
lessee."

In the case at bar, petitioner and private respondent had no tenurial,


leasehold, or any agrarian relations whatsoever that could have brought
this controversy between them within the ambit of the abovecited provision.
Consequently, the DARAB had no jurisdiction over the controversy and
should not have taken cognizance of private respondent's petition in the
first place.

While it bears emphasizing that findings of administrative agencies,


which have acquired expertise because their jurisdiction is confined to
specific matters are accorded not only respect but even finality by the
courts, due care should be taken that administrative actions are not done
without regard to the jurisdictional boundaries set by the enabling law for
each agency. In this case, respondent DARAB officials and boards,
provincial and central, had overstepped their legal boundaries in taking
cognizance of the controversy between petitioner Rivera and private
respondent Verdillo as to who should be awarded Lots 1932 and 1904 of
the Buenavista Estate. Respondent appellate court erred in sustaining
DARAB's unjustified action taken with grave abuse of discretion resulting in
lack or excess of its jurisdiction.
JURISDICTION (BELATED INVOCATION THEREOF), THE ENDS OF
JUSTICE AND EQUITY REQUIRE THAT PETITIONERS SHOULD NOT
BE ALLOWED TO DEFEAT THE TENANT'S RIGHT BY BELATEDLY
RAISING THE ISSUE OF JURISDICTION

Jose Oca, et al. vs. Court of Appeals and Sergio O.


Abalos
G.R. No. 144817 (March 7, 2002)
Facts:

Petitioners Jose Oca and Isabelo Oca are the co-owners of a fishpond
known in the locality as the "Purong" property situated in Bolosan,
Dagupan City. The four petitioners are the civil law lessees of another
called the "Salayog" property. Petitioner Jose Oca is also the sole and
exclusive owner of two fishponds commonly called the "Perew" and
the"Fabian" properties.

Respondent Sergio O. Abalos claims to be the "share tenantcaretaker" of the above fishponds, asserting that he had been in peaceful
possession, cultivation and care of the aforesaid fishponds from the time
he received the same from the petitioners Oca brothers until the first week
of May 1992 when he requested from them the share of the harvest and
instead of acceding, petitioners demanded that he vacate the lands.

A complaint for Peaceful Possession, Leasehold and Damages with


Motion for the Issuance of Interlocutory Order was filed by the respondent
against the petitioner with the PARAD.

Petitioners in their answer denied that the respondent is a


caretaker/tenant of the land. They acknowledged that the respondent is
merely an industrial partner who had waived his right as such, in
consideration of the amount of P140,000.00.

After due proceedings, the PARAD rendered a Decision in favor of the


respondent declaring him as a bona fide tenant of the subject fishponds.
The above Decision was appealed by the petitioners to the DARAB but the
Board affirmed in toto the Decision of the PARAD.

Petitioners sought relief with the Court of Appeals and filed a Petition for
Review on Certiorari. The Appellate Court modified the Decision ruling that
the private respondent cannot be a tenant of the "Salayog" property, he

having sold his share and interest and had consequently, waived any
interests he had thereon.

Hence, the instant petition, raising as a new argument the supposed


lack of jurisdiction of the PARAD over the subject fishponds.

Issue:

Can they (petitioners) be permitted to impugn for the first time the
jurisdiction of the Provincial Adjudicator at this stage of the case?

Held:

The well-entrenched rule is that jurisdiction over the subject matter is


determined exclusively by the Constitution and the law. It cannot be
conferred by the voluntary act or agreement of the parties; it cannot be
acquired through, or waived or enlarged or diminished by, their act or
omission; neither is it conferred by acquiescence of the court. Well to
emphasize, it is neither for the courts nor the parties to violate or disregard
the rule, this matter being legislative in character.

An error in jurisdiction over the subject matter can be objected to at any


instance, as the lack of it affects the very authority of the court to take
cognizance of the action. This kind of defense can be invoked even for the
first time on appeal or after final judgment. Such is understandable as this
kind of jurisdiction, to stress, is statutorily determined.

This rule on timing, however, is not absolute. In highly meritorious and


exceptional circumstances, estoppel or waiver may operate as a shield to
prevent a party from belatedly resorting to this form of defense. Thus, we
have held in the leading case of Tijam v. Sibonghanoy that a party may be
barred by estoppel by laches from invoking this plea for the first time on
appeal for the purpose of annulling everything done in the case with the
active participation of said party invoking the plea. We defined laches
as"failure or neglect for an unreasonable and unexplained length of time, to
do that which, by exercising due diligence, could or should have been done
earlier. It is negligence or omission to assert a right within a reasonable
time, warranting presumption that the party entitled to assert it has
abandoned it or has declined to assert it."

In the case at bar, we find the petitioners guilty of estoppel by laches. In


the first place, they never disputed the jurisdiction of the Provincial
Adjudicator at any stage of the proceeding: whether in the Provincial Office
level, the DARAB, or the Court of Appeals. Notwithstanding the presence
of numerous opportunities in the various stages of this case to contest the
adjudicator's exercise of jurisdiction, not once did they register a hint of
protest. Neither can they claim that they were prevented from contesting its
jurisdiction during the eight years this case was under litigation.

The ends of justice and equity require that petitioners should not be
allowed to defeat the tenant's right by belatedly raising the issue of
jurisdiction. Permitting petitioners to assail the jurisdiction of the Provincial
Adjudicator at this late stage of the case would mean rendering useless all
the proceedings held below. A great deal of time, effort and resources
would be put to waste both on the part of the litigants and of the State. This
is especially oppressive for the respondent, a tenant who cannot afford the
discomforts of a protracted litigation.
BENEFICIARIES UNDER CARP/SUFFICIENCY OF SERVICE, THE
APPELLATE COURT'S PRONOUNCEMENT THAT PETITIONERS ARE
NOT QUALIFIED BENEFICIARIES UNDER CARP IS JUST AN OBITER
DICTUM AND NOT NECESSARY IN THE RESOLUTION OF THE
ISSUES

Deogracias Musa, Romeo and Andro Musa as


represented by their Attorney-in-fact, Marilyn Musa vs.
Sylvia Amor
G.R. No. 141396 (April 9, 2002)
Facts:

This case involves an agricultural landholding with a total area of 9.9611


hectares located at Dancalan, Donsol, Sorsogon formerly owned by one
Antonio Dasig, two hectares of which are ricelands and the rest are
devoted to coconuts. When Antonio Dasig migrated to the United States,
his mother, Rosario Dasig, acted as administratrix of the said property.

On March 5, 1993, Rosario, representing her son, sold the subject


property to herein respondent Sylvia Amor for the total amount of
P300,000.00. This prompted petitioners, claiming to be tenants of the
landholding, to file a case for redemption against respondent and Rosario
Dasig with the Department of Agrarian Reform Regional Adjudicator. Later
on, respondent tried to eject petitioners from the property so the latter
withdrew the case for redemption and filed against respondent a complaint
for annulment of sale, reinstatement and damages with a prayer for
preliminary injunction, docketed as DARAB Case No. 05-154-S.

The RARAD ruled in favor of petitioners declaring them as tenants of


the landholding and nullifying the deed of absolute sale between Rosario
Dasig and respondent.

On Appeal, the DARAB modified the ruling and declared the petitioners
as bonafide tenants entitled to security of tenure. Not satisfied, respondent
brought the case on appeal to the Court of Appeals which in turn rendered
a decision modifying the DARAB's ruling only insofar as petitioners' status
is concerned and holding that they "should not be considered tenants of
the subject landholding". The decision of the DARAB was affirmed in all
other respects. Petitioners moved for reconsideration but the same was
denied. Hence, this petition.

Issue:

Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in declaring the petitioners


not tenants of the land and not qualified beneficiaries under the provision
of the CARP?

Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in dismissing respondents


petition before the forum for failure to cite an explanation as to the modes
of service?

Held:

It should be pointed out that identification of actual and potential


beneficiaries under CARP is vested in the DAR Secretary. Administrative
Order No. 10, Series of 1989 provides:

ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 10


Series of 1989
SUBJECT: RULES AND PROCEDURES GOVERNING THE
REGISTRATION OF BENEFICIARIES
I.

PREFATORY STATEMENT

Pursuant to Section 15, Chapter IV, of the Comprehensive


Agrarian Reform Law of 1988, the DAR, in coordination with the
Barangay Agrarian Reform Committee (BARC), as organized
pursuant to R.A. 6657, shall register all agricultural lessees,
tenants and farmworkers who are qualified beneficiaries of the
CARP. This Administrative Order provides the Implementing
Rules and Procedures for the said registration.
II.

OBJECTIVES.

A.

General

1.
Develop a data bank of potential and qualified
beneficiaries of the CARP for the effective implementation of the
program.
B.

Specific

1.
Identify the actual and potential farmer-beneficiaries of the
CARP. (Emphasis ours.)
xxx

xxx

xxx

It is significant to note that on September 3, 1993, the DAR Secretary


through the Municipal Agrarian Reform Office (MARO) issued a Notice of
Coverage placing the entire agricultural landholding, including the subject
property, under CARP. Such being the case, the appellate court's
pronouncement that petitioners are not qualified beneficiaries under CARP
is just an obiter dictum and not necessary in the resolution of the issues.

Petitioners also allege that the Court of Appeals should not have given
due course to the petition because the respondent failed to attach thereto a
written explanation why personal service was not done, thereby violating
Section 11, Rule 13, of the Rules of Court. The Court of Appeals found the
service of petition by registered mail sufficient notwithstanding the absence

of an explanation why service by mail was resorted to. Citing the case of
Reyes vs. Court of Appeals, it declared that "the Rules of Court shall not be
applicable in agrarian cases even in suppletory character."

The issue of sufficiency of service of pleadings pertains to the


proceedings of the Court of Appeals which are governed by the Rules of
Court. Section 11, Rule 13 of said Rules provides:
"SEC. 11. Priorities in modes of service and filing. Whenever
practicable, the service and filing of pleadings and other papers shall be
done personally. Except with respect to papers emanating from the court,
a resort to other modes must be accompanied by a written explanation
why the service or filing was not done personally. A violation of this Rule
may be cause to consider the paper as not filed."

As the above-quoted provision requires, service and filing of pleadings


must be done personally whenever practicable. The Court notes that in the
present case, personal service would not be practicable. Considering the
distance between the Court of Appeals and Donsol, Sorsogon where the
petition was posted, clearly, the service by registered mail was sufficient
notwithstanding the absence of an explanation why service by mail was
resorted to. A written explanation why service was not done personally
might have been superfluous. In any case, as the rule is so worded with the
use of "may," signifying permissiveness, a violation thereof gives the court
discretion whether or not to consider the paper as not filed. While it is true
that procedural rules are necessary to secure an orderly and speedy
administration of justice, rigid application of Section 11, Rule 13 may be
relaxed in this case in the interest of substantial justice.
CONSTITUTIONALITY AND VALIDITY OF P.D. NO. 27 AND DAR
MEMORANDUM
CIRCULAR
NO.
6,
SERIES
OF
1978

Rolando Sigre vs. Court of Appeals and Lilia Y.


Gonzales as co-administratrix of the Estate of Matias
Yusay
G.R. No. 109568 (August 8, 2002)

Land Bank of the Philippines vs. Court of Appeals and


Lilia Y. Gonzales as co-administratrix of the Estate of
Matias Yusay
G.R. No. 113454 (August 8, 2002)
Facts:

Private respondent Lilia Y. Gonzales as administratrix of the Estate of


the late Matias Yusay filed a petition for prohibition and mandamus
docketed as CA-GR SP No. 28906 seeking to prohibit the Land Bank of the
Philippines (LBP) from accepting the leasehold rentals from Ernesto Sigre
(predecessor of petitioner Rolando Sigre) and for LBP to turn over to
private respondent the rentals previously remitted to it by Sigre.

Ernesto Sigre is a tenant of the private respondent's irrigated riceland


located in Barangay Naga, Pototan, Iloilo. He was previously paying a
lease rental of sixteen (16) cavans per crop or thirty-two (32) cavans per
agricultural year. In the agricultural year 1991-1992, Sigre stopped paying
his rentals and instead remitted the same to the LBP pursuant to the
Department of Agrarian Reform's Memorandum Circular No. 6, Series of
1978 on the guidelines of the payment of lease rentals by farmerbeneficiaries under the land transfer program of P.D. No. 27.

According to private respondent, she had no notice that the DAR had
already fixed the 3-year production prior to October 1972 at an average of
119.32 cavans per hectare and pegged the value of the land at thirteen
thousand four hundred five pesos and sixty-seven centavos (P13,405.67).
Thus, the petition filed with the Court of Appeals assailing not only the
validity of Memorandum Circular No. 6 but also the constitutionality of P.D.
No. 27.

The appellate court in its decision dated March 22, 1993 declared
Memorandum Circular No. 6 null and void and directed LBP to return to
private respondent the lease rentals paid by Sigre. The latter was also
directed to pay the rentals directly to private respondent. The Appellate
Court ruled that the said Circular is in conflict with PD 816 and that PD 27

is unconstitutional in laying down the formula for determining the cost of the
land. It sets limitations on the judicial prerogative of determining just
compensation.

Hence, this present recourse, which is a consolidation of the separate


petitions for review filed by Rolando Sigre and by LBP.

Issue:

Validity of Memorandum Circular No. 6 and Constitutionality of


Presidential Decree No. 27.

Held:

The power of subordinate legislation allows administrative bodies to


implement the broad policies laid down in a statute by "filling in" the details.
All that is required is that the regulation should be germane to the objects
and purposes of the law and that the regulation be not in contradiction to
but in conformity with the standards prescribed by the law. One such
administrative regulation is DAR Memorandum Circular No. 6. As
emphasized in De Chavez v. Zobel, emancipation is the goal of P.D. 27.,
i.e., freedom from the bondage of the soil by transferring to the tenantfarmers the ownership of the land they are tilling.

The rationale for the Circular was, in fact, explicitly recognized by the
appellate court when it stated that "(T)he main purpose of the circular is to
make certain that the lease rental payments of the tenant-farmer are
applied to his amortizations on the purchase price of the land x x x x . The
circular was meant to remedy the situation where the tenant-farmer's lease
rentals to landowner were not credited in his favor against the determined
purchase price of the land, thus, making him a perpetual obligor for said
purchase price." Since the assailed Circular essentially sought to
accomplish the noble purpose of P.D. 27, it is therefore valid. Such being
the case, it has the force of law and is entitled to great respect.

The Court cannot see any "irreconcilable conflict" between P.D. No. 816
and DAR Memorandum Circular No. 6. Enacted in 1975, P.D. No. 816
provides that the tenant-farmer (agricultural lessee) shall pay lease rentals
to the landowner until the value of the property has been determined or

agreed upon by the landowner and the DAR. On the other hand, DAR
Memorandum Circular No. 6, implemented in 1978, mandates that the
tenant-farmer shall pay to LBP the lease rental after the value of the land
has been determined.

In Curso v. Court of Appeals, involving the same Circular and P.D. 816,
it was categorically ruled that there is no incompatibility between these two.

That P.D. 27 does not suffer any constitutional infirmity is a judicial fact
that has been repeatedly emphasized by this Court in a number of cases.
As early as 1974, in the aforecited case of De Chavez v. Zobel, P.D. 27
was assumed to be constitutional, and upheld as part and parcel of the law
of the land, viz.:
"There is no doubt then, as set forth expressly therein, that the goal is
emancipation. What is more, the decree is now part and parcel of the law
of the land according to the revised Constitution itself. Ejectment
therefore of petitioners is simply out of the question. That would be to set
at naught an express mandate of the Constitution. Once it has spoken,
our duty is clear; obedience is unavoidable. This is not only so because
of the cardinal postulate of constitutionalism, the supremacy of the
fundamental law. It is also because any other approach would run the
risk of setting at naught this basic aspiration to do away with all remnants
of a feudalistic order at war with the promise and the hope associated
with an open society. To deprive petitioners of the small landholdings in
the face of a presidential decree considered ratified by the new
Constitution and precisely in accordance with its avowed objective could
indeed be contributory to perpetuating the misery that tenancy had
spawned in the past as well as the grave social problems thereby
created. There can be no justification for any other decision then whether
predicated on a juridical norm or on the traditional role assigned to the
judiciary of implementing and not thwarting fundamental policy goals."

Thereafter, in Gonzales v. Estrella, which incidentally involves private


respondent and counsel in the case at bench, the Court emphatically
declared that "Presidential Decree No. 27 has survived the test of
constitutionality."

Then, in 1982, P.D. 27, once again, was stamped with judicial
imprimatur in Association of Rice & Corn Producers of the Philippines, Inc.
v. The National Land Reform Council, to wit:
". . . If as pointed out in the opening paragraph, the validity of Presidential
Decree No. 27 was assumed as early as 1974, on the first anniversary of
the present constitution, in De Chavez v. Zobel and specifically upheld in
Gonzales v. Estrella five years later, there cannot be any justification for
holding that it is unconstitutional on its face without any factual
foundation."

Lastly, in Association of Small Landowners in the Philippines, Inc. v.


Secretary of Agrarian Reform, involving the constitutionality of P.D. 27,
E.O. Nos. 228 and 229, and R.A. 6657, any other assault on the validity of
P.D. 27 was ultimately foreclosed when it was declared therein that "R.A.
No. 6657, P.D. No. 27, Proc. No. 131, and E.O. Nos. 228 and 229 are
SUSTAINED against all the constitutional objections raised in the herein
petition."
SUCCESSION
IN
AGRARIAN
FACTS/LEASEHOLD TENANCY

CASES/FINDINGS

OF

FIRST, THE APPELLATE COURT CANNOT MAKE ITS OWN FINDINGS


OF FACT AND SUBSTITUTE THE SAME FOR THE FINDINGS OF FACT
OF THE DARAB
SECOND, DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS SHOULD NOT CONFUSE THE
LAW ON SUCCESSION PROVIDED FOR IN THE CIVIL CODE OF THE
PHILIPPINES WITH SUCCESSION IN AGRARIAN CASES X X X X X IN
AGRARIAN LAWS, THE SECURITY OF TENURE OF THE DECEASED
TENANT SHALL PASS ON TO ONLY ONE (1) HEIR

Dionisia L. Reyes vs. Ricardo L. Reyes, et al.


G.R. No. 140164 (September 6, 2002)
Facts:

The instant case stemmed from a complaint for reinstatement with


damages filed with the DARAB Region III Office by Dionisia Reyes on April
22, 1991 against her four younger brothers, herein respondents. She

alleged that her father, the late Felizardo Reyes, was the tenant of a twohectare agricultural lot in Parulan, Plaridel, Bulacan, owned by Marciano
Castro. After her father's death on February 17, 1989, she and Marciano
Castro, through the latter's son and attorney-in-fact, Ramon R. Castro,
executed a leasehold contract naming her as the agricultural lessee of the
property. However, sometime before the start of the planting of the dry
season crop in 1989, herein respondents forcibly entered the area and
occupied a one-hectare portion of the property. They claimed to be the
tenants thereof. Respondents then paid rent to Castro's overseer, Armando
Duran, and continued to occupy half of the property to petitioner's damage
and prejudice.

Respondents in their answer averred that they inherited the lease rights
from their father and that petitioner was a woman who could not possibly
work or till the land by herself. Hence, petitioner's claim to be the lawful
agricultural lessee has no basis in fact and in law.

The PARAD rendered a decision in favor of the petitioner. Respondents


seasonably appealed the decision to the DARAB Central Office. In turn, the
DARAB affirmed the decision of the PARAD and dismissed the case for
lack of merit. Respondents elevated the case to the Court of Appeals which
in turn, reversed the decision of the DARAB ruling that an "implied tenancy"
existed between the respondents and the landowner. The Appellate Court
then went on to rule that by virtue of this "implied tenancy", the leasehold
contract between the Castros and the petitioner could only be made
effective on the one-hectare portion of the disputed property. Hence, the
instant petition.

Issued:

Did the Court of Appeals err in disregarding the substantial evidence


rule with respect to the DARAB findings?

Did the appellate court commit a reversible error of law in finding that
respondents has satisfactorily met the requirements of a tenancy
relationship?

Held:

In Malate vs. Court of Appeals, we held that:


In appeals in agrarian cases, the only function required of the
Court of Appeals is to determine whether the findings of fact of the Court
of Agrarian Relations are supported by substantial evidence. And
substantial evidence has been defined to be such relevant evidence as a
reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion and
its absence is not shown by stressing that there is contrary evidence on
record, direct or circumstantial, and where the findings of fact of the
agrarian court are supported by substantial evidence, such findings are
conclusive and binding on the appellate court.

Stated differently, the appellate court cannot make its own findings of
fact and substitute the same for the findings of fact of the DARAB.

A perusal of the assailed decision clearly shows that nowhere did the
Court of Appeals rule that the findings of fact of the DARAB Region III
Provincial Adjudicator or the DARAB-Central Office were unsupported by
substantial evidence. Nor did the appellate court hold that said findings
were made with grave abuse of discretion on the part of the agrarian quasijudicial agencies. An examination of the record categorically shows that the
findings of fact of the DARAB were supported by substantial evidence.
Perforce, the Malate ruling must apply to the instant case. The finding of
the DARAB that petitioner, by virtue of the contract of agricultural leasehold
entered into between her and the Castros, is the substitute tenant of the
latter in lieu of her deceased father, is binding upon the appellate court and
this Court. Equally conclusive upon the court a quo and this Court is the
finding by the DARAB that respondents were mere usurpers who failed to
present any proof as to the existence of a tenancy relationship between
them and the Castro family.

On the second issue, we find respondents contentions far from


persuasive.

The present dispute involves an agricultural leasehold. The governing


law is R.A. No. 3844, which, except for Section 35 thereof, was not
specifically repealed by the passage of the Comprehensive Agrarian
Reform Law of 1988 (R.A. No. 6657), but was intended to have suppletory

effect to the latter law. Under R.A. No. 3844, two modes are provided for in
the establishment of an agricultural leasehold relations: (1) by operation of
law in accordance with Section 4 of the said act; or (2) by oral or written
agreement, either express or implied. By operation of law simply means the
abolition of the agricultural share tenancy system and the conversion of
share tenancy relations into leasehold relations. The other method is the
agricultural leasehold contract, which may either be oral or in writing. In the
instant case, it is not disputed that an agricultural leasehold contract was
entered into between petitioner and Ramon Castro. Respondents, however,
insist that an agricultural leasehold contract over a one-hectare portion of
the landholding arose as a result of the actions of Ramon's overseer, who
must be viewed as the latter's agent. They conclude that because of his
implied leasehold, the application of the contract between petitioner and
the landowner should be limited to the remaining portion of the property.

Respondents' reasoning is flawed. While undoubtedly Duran was an


agent of Ramon, he was not a general agent of the latter with respect to
the landholding. The record shows that as overseer, Duran's duties and
responsibilities were limited to issuing receipt(s), selling mangoes and
bamboo trees and all other things saleable. Thus, by his own admission,
Duran was a special agent under Article 1876 of the Civil Code. Duran's
duties and responsibilities as a special agent do not include the
acceptance of rentals from persons other than the tenant so designated by
the landowner. Duran's authority as a special agent likewise excludes the
power to appoint tenants or successor-tenants. Clearly, Duran acted
beyond the limits of his authority as an agent. We cannot agree with the
Court of Appeals that since Duran had been the overseer of the Castros for
16 years, he had thereby made respondents believe he had full authority
from the Castro family relative to the administration of the subject property.
Regardless of the number of years that Duran had been the overseer of the
Castros, there is absolutely no showing that he was ever authorized to
appoint tenants or successor-tenants for the Castros, nor to accept rentals
from the persons he would appoint. Absent substantial evidence to show
Duran's authority from the Castros to give consent to the creation of a
tenancy relationship, his actions could not give rise to an implied tenancy.
In fact, Duran admitted that he was aware of the existence of the leasehold
contract between petitioner and the Castros, naming the former as the

successor-tenant to the property. Since an implied tenancy between the


same landowners and respondents is incompatible with this express and
written leasehold contract and given the absolute lack of substantial
evidence to support the existence of an implied tenancy, the express
tenancy contract must be maintained.

One final note. Respondents original stance before the DARAB that they
had inherited or succeeded to the tenancy rights of their late father is
likewise erroneous. As correctly found by the DARAB:
Defendants-Appellants should not confuse the law on succession
provided for in the Civil Code of the Philippines with succession in
agrarian cases. In the former, (the) statute spreads the estate of the
deceased throughout his heirs; while in agrarian laws, the security of
tenure of the deceased tenant shall pass on to only one (1) heir in the
manner provided for in Section 9 of R.A. No. 3844.
APPEAL/PETITION FOR REVIEW, THE PROPER MODE OF APPEAL
FOR THE DECISIONS RENDERED BY THE SPECIAL AGRARIAN
COURTS (SACs) IS BY WAY OF A PETITION FOR REVIEW AND NOT
BY
AN
ORDINARY
NOTICE
OF
APPEAL

Land Bank of the Philippines vs. Arlene de Leon and


Bernardo de Leon
G.R. No. 143275 (September 10, 2002)
Facts:

Petitioners-appellees Arlene de Leon and Bernardo de Leon are the


registered owners of a parcel of land situated at San Agustin, Concepcion,
Tarlac covered by TCT No. 163051 with a total area of 50.1171 hectares.
The property was voluntarily offered for sale to the government pursuant to
R.A. No. 6657 at P50,000.00 per hectare. However, the DAR only made a
counter-offer of P17,656.20 per hectare/total of P884,877.54 and later,
P1,565,369.35. In view of the petitioners-appellees' failure to respond to
the new offer made by DAR, the DARAB took cognizance of the case
pursuant to Section 16 (d) of R.A. No. 6657. Subsequently, the DARAB
issued an Order directing respondent-appellant LBP to recompute the

value of the subject property in accordance with DAR Administrative Order


No. 6, Series of 1992. An aggregate amount of P2,491,731.65 was arrived
at but this was again rejected by the petitioners-appellees.

In a Petition dated October 27, 1994, petitioners asked the Regional


Trial Court, Br. 63, Tarlac (the designated special agrarian court in the
area) to fix the just compensation of the property. The court rendered a
summary judgment on December 19, 1997, fixing the compensation of the
subject property at P1,260,000.00 for the 16.69 hectares of riceland and
P2,957,250.00 for the 30.4160 hectares of sugarland. Respondentappellant moved for reconsideration but the same was denied by the court.
DAR filed a petition for review with the Court of Appeals. Petitioner LBP
also filed a notice of appeal of the said decision. The Third Division of the
Appellate Court gave due course to the petition for review. The Fourth
Division of the Court of Appeals, on the other hand, dismissed petitioner
LBP's ordinary appeal for lack of merit reasoning that the mode of appeal
followed by petitioner LBP was erroneous. Considering that Sec. 60 of R.A.
No. 6657, also known as the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law
mandates that Appeals from Special Agrarian Courts should be by petition
for review. LBP filed a Motion for Reconsideration but the same was
denied. Hence, this petition questioning the resolution of the Fourth
Division of the Court of Appeals.

Issue:

What indeed is the proper mode of appeal from decisions of the


Regional Trial Courts, sitting as Special Agrarian Courts, in the
determination of just compensation an appeal by way of a petition for
review or an ordinary appeal?

Held:

Section 2 of Rule 41 of the 1997 Revised Rules of Civil Procedure


provides for three modes of appeal, to wit:
"Sec. 2.

Modes of Appeal.

(a) Ordinary appeal. The appeal to the Court of Appeals in cases


decided by the Regional Trial Court in the exercise of its original

jurisdiction shall be taken by filing a notice of appeal with the court which
rendered the judgment or final order appealed from and serving a copy
thereof upon the adverse party. No record on appeal shall be required
except in special proceedings and other cases or multiple or separate
appeals where the law or these Rules so require. In such cases, the
record on appeal shall be filed and served in like manner.
(b) Petition for Review. The appeal to the Court of Appeals in cases
decided by the Regional Trial Court in the exercise of its appellate
jurisdiction shall be by petition for review in accordance with Rule 42.
(c) Appeal by Certiorari. In all cases where only questions of law are
raised or involved, the appeal shall be to the Supreme Court by petition
for review on certiorari in accordance with Rule 45.

A petition for review, not an ordinary appeal, is the proper procedure in


effecting an appeal from decisions of the Regional Trial Courts acting as
Special Agrarian Courts in cases involving the determination of just
compensation to the landowners concerned. Section 60 of R.A. No. 6657
clearly and categorically states that the said mode of appeal should be
adopted. There is no room for a contrary interpretation. Where the law is
clear and categorical, there is no room for construction, but only
application.

The reference to the Rules of Court means that the specific rules for
petitions for review in the Rules of Court and other relevant procedures in
appeals filed before the Court of Appeals shall be followed in appealed
decisions of Special Agrarian Courts. Considering that R.A. No. 6657
cannot and does not provide the details on how the petition for review shall
be conducted, a suppletory application of the pertinent provisions of the
Rules of Court is necessary. In fact, Section 61 uses the word "review" to
designate the mode by which the appeal is to be effected. The reference
therefore by Section 61 to the Rules of Court only means that the
procedure under Rule 42 for petitions for review is to be followed for
appeals in agrarian cases.

As earlier mentioned, there is nothing in the Rules of Court that


categorically prohibits the adoption of the procedure for petitions for review

of decisions of Special Agrarian Courts. Section 60 of R.A. No. 6657 and


the provisions of the Rules of Court can be harmonized and can co-exist.

Moreover, the same Section 5(5), Article VIII, of the 1987 Philippine
Constitution quoted by the petitioner states that "(r)ules of procedure of
special courts and quasi-judicial bodies shall remain effective unless
disapproved by the Supreme Court." Section 60 is obviously a special
procedure. Contrary to the petitioner's contention, it cannot be otherwise
merely because it was formulated by the legislature and not by any special
body. As long as the said section provides for a particular process for the
governance of the special court concerned, the provision is accurately
classified as a special procedure. Subject to constitutional limitations, the
statutory enactment of a special procedure cannot be said to encroach on
the power of this Court to formulate rules of procedure for the reason that
we have not yet provided for a particular process specifically governing
agrarian courts.

Unlike an ordinary appeal, a petition for review dispenses with the filing
of a notice of appeal or completion of records as requisites before any
pleading is submitted. A petition for review hastens the award of fair
recompense to deprived landowners for the government-acquired property,
an end not foreseeable in an ordinary appeal. This is exemplified by the
case at bar in which the petition for review before the Special Third (3rd)
Division (CA-G.R. SP No. 47005) was disposed of way ahead of the
ordinary appeal filed before the Fourth (4th) Division (CA-G.R. CV No.
60365) in the Court of Appeals.

Inasmuch as the notice of appeal filed by petitioner LBP did not stop the
running of the reglementary period to file a petition for review, the time to
appeal the decision of the Special Agrarian Court has lapsed, rendering
the said decision final and executory.
SECURITY OF TENURE/LEASEHOLD TENANCY/RIGHT OF PREEMPTION, THE SALE EXECUTED BY THE BANK IN FAVOR OF THE
PETITIONER WAS IN VIOLATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF P.D. NO. 27
AND ITS IMPLEMENTING GUIDELINES AND MUST, THUS, BE
DECLARED NULL AND VOID

The Heirs of Guillermo A. Batongbacal vs. The Court of


Appeals, et al.
G.R. No. 125063 (September 24, 2002)
Facts:

Juana Luciano was the registered owner of an agricultural land planted


to rice and corn measuring 16,555 square meters, situated in Brgy.
Bolakan, Bocaue, Bulacan and covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No.
T-1338.

Luciano mortgaged the parcel of land to the Philippine Banking


Corporation and subsequently failed to redeem the same. Thus, the bank
became the absolute owner of the land and was issued Transfer Certificate
of Title No. T-123404. The bank sold the property to petitioner Guillermo
Batongbacal. It also executed an Affidavit of Non-Tenancy to enable the
petitioner to register the land under his name. However, when the petitioner
tried to register the Deed of Absolute Sale, he discovered that Certificate of
Land Transfer No. 0-025760 was already issued in the name of private
respondent Catalino Santos also covering the same property.

Petitioner filed a complaint with the DAR Team Office in Sta. Maria,
Bulacan which endorsed the case to the Adjudicator of Bulacan. After due
proceedings, the RARAD rendered a Decision in favor of Catalino Santos
(now represented by his son Severino Santos). Petitioner filed a Motion for
Reconsideration and Supplemental Motion for Reconsideration but both
were denied by the RARAD in an Order dated August 17, 1989. On appeal,
the DARAB affirmed the said Decision. Petitioner passed away and was
substituted by his heirs, Rosario Batongbacal, et al. The said heirs filed a
petition for review with the Court of Appeals. However, the Appellate Court
rendered judgment denying the petition. Petitioners moved for
reconsideration but the same was likewise denied. Hence, this petition.

Issue:

Who between the parties are lawfully entitled to the ownership and
possession of the subject landholding?

Held:

Section 7 of R.A. No. 3844 states that once the agricultural leasehold
relation is established, the same shall confer upon the lessee the right to
continue working on the landholding until such relation is extinguished, and
the agricultural lessee shall be entitled to security of tenure on his
landholding and cannot be ejected therefrom unless authorized by the
Court and for causes provided by law. It is worthy to note that the sale or
alienation of tenanted land is not among the causes of extinguishment of
the agricultural leasehold relation provided under the law.

In Endaya v. Court of Appeals, we held that, "Transactions involving


agricultural land over which an agricultural leasehold subsists resulting in
change of ownership will not terminate the rights of the agricultural
lessee."In Tanpingco v. Intermediate Appellate Court, we stated
that, "Security of tenure is a legal concession to agricultural lessees which
they value as life itself and deprivation of their landholdings is tantamount
to deprivation of their means of livelihood."

When P.D. 27 took effect on October 21, 1972, the land was already
owned by Philbanking, but the tenancy relations remained in force. By
virtue of this law, "tenant farmers are deemed owners of the land they till,
subject to the rules and regulations to be hereafter promulgated. Pursuant
to the mandate of P.D. 27, a Certificate of Land Transfer was issued to
private respondent Catalino Santos on January 22, 1981, and was
registered on February 1, 1981 with the Register of Deeds of Bulacan.

During all this time, private respondent continued tilling the land and
paying rentals to Juana Luciano, and after her death, to her
representatives. The sale between Philbanking and petitioner took place on
January 11, 1985. At about this time, Juana Luciano's representatives
began to refuse accepting the rentals from private respondent. Thus,
private respondent deposited the rentals with a certain Crispin Santiago, a
rice mill owner in nearby Tuvo, Bocaue, through the mediation of the
Barangay Captain. Under the circumstances, we find that private
respondent complied in good faith with the obligations incumbent upon him
as an agricultural lessee.

Philbanking, on the other hand, was remiss in its duties as an


agricultural lessor when it sold the subject land to a third person, without
giving notice to private respondent and giving him the opportunity to
exercise his right of preemption as an agricultural lessee.
Section 11 of R.A. 3844 provides:
"Section 11.
Lessee's Right of Preemption. In case the
agricultural lessor decides to sell the landholding, the agricultural lessee
shall have the preferential right to buy the same under reasonable terms
and conditions: Provided, That the entire landholding offered for sale
must be preempted by the Department of Agrarian Reform upon petition
of the lessee or of any of them: Provided, further, That where there are
two or more agricultural lessees, each shall be entitled to said
preferential right only to the extent of the area actually cultivated by him.
The right of preemption under this section may be exercised within one
hundred eighty days from notice in writing, which shall be served by the
owner on all lessees affected and the Department of Agrarian Reform."
(Emphasis provided)

Clearly, therefore, Philbanking committed a breach of obligation as an


agricultural lessor. As the records show, private respondent was not
informed about the sale between Philbanking and petitioner, and neither
was he privy to the transfer of ownership from Juana Luciano to
Philbanking. As an agricultural lessee, the law gives him the right to be
informed about matters affecting the land he tills, without need for him to
inquire about it.

Department Memorandum Circular No. 8, series of 1974, implementing


P.D. 27, provides:
4.
No act shall be done to undermine or subvert the intent and
provisions of Presidential Decrees, Letters of Instruction, Memoranda
and Directives, such as the following and/or similar acts:
xxx

xxx

xxx

f.) Transferring ownership of tenanted rice and/or corn lands after


October 21, 1972, except to the actual tenant-farmers or tillers but

in strict conformity with the provisions of Presidential Decree No. 27


and the requirements of the Department of Agrarian Reform . . . .

In other words, transfer of ownership over tenanted rice and/or corn


lands after October 21, 1972 is allowed only in favor of the actual tenanttillers thereon. Hence, the sale executed by Philbanking on January 11,
1985 in favor of petitioner was in violation of the aforequoted provision of
P.D. 27 and its implementing guidelines, and must thus be declared null
and void.
TENANCY RELATIONSHIP IS INCONSISTENT WITH THE ASSERTION
OF
OWNERSHIP
OF
BOTH
PARTIES

Rodolfo Arzaga and Francis Arzaga vs. Salvacion


Copias and Prudencio Calandria
G.R. No. 152404 (March 28, 2003)
Facts:

The case involves a complaint for recovery of possession and damages


filed by the petitioners as co-owners and purchasers of Lot No. 5198 in a
tax delinquency sale and against the respondents who assert that they are
amortizing owners of the same, having been issued Emancipation Patents
as tenant beneficiaries of one Caridad Fuentebella who was purported to
be the previous owner of the land. The case was filed in the RTC and
dismissed on the ground of lack of jurisdiction, the court ruling that the
case was cognizable by the DARAB because it involved possession and
ownership of agricultural lands as well as issuance of emancipation
patents. On appeal, the CA affirmed the said resolution.

Issue: Jurisdiction of the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board


(DARAB) over a dispute involving a parcel of land identified as Lot No. 5198
located at Inabasan, San Jose, Antique.
Held:

In Monsanto vs. Zerna (G.R. No. 142501, 07 December 2001), it was


held that for DARAB to have jurisdiction over a case, there must exist a

tenancy relationship between the parties. In order for a tenancy agreement


to take hold over a dispute, it would be essential to establish all its
indispensable elements, to wit: (1) the parties are the landowner and the
tenant or agricultural lessee; (2) subject matter of the relationship is an
agricultural land; (3) there is consent between the parties to the
relationship; (4) that the purpose of the relationship is to bring about
agricultural production; (5) there is personal cultivation on the part of the
tenant or agricultural lessee and (6) the harvest is shared between the
landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee.

In the case at bar, the element that the parties must be "the landowner
and the tenant or agricultural lessee", on which all other requisites of the
tenancy agreement depends, is absent. Tenancy relationship is
inconsistent with the assertion of ownership of both parties. Petitioners
claim to be the owners of the entire Lot No. 5198 by virtue of a Certificate
of Sale of Delinquent Real Property, while private respondents assert
ownership over Lot Nos. 5198-A, 5198-B and 5198-D on the basis of an
Emancipation Patent and Transfer Certificate of Title. Neither do the
records show any judicial tie or tenurial relationship between the parties'
predecessors-in-interest. The questioned lot is allegedly declared for
taxation purposes in the name of petitioners' father, Dalmacio Arzaga who
does not appear to have any connection with the private respondents nor
with their alleged predecessor-in-interest, Caridad Fuentebella.
xxx

xxx

xxx

The basic rule is that jurisdiction over the subject matter is determined
by the allegations in the complaint. Jurisdiction is not affected by the pleas
or the theories set up by the defendant in an answer or a motion to dismiss.
Otherwise, jurisdiction would become dependent almost entirely upon the
whims of the defendant. From the averments of the complaint in the instant
case, it is clear that the petitioners' action does not involve an agrarian
dispute but one for recovery of possession which is perfectly within the
jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Courts.
EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES (CARP COVERAGE),
IN SOME EXCEPTIONAL CASES OF COMPULSORY ACQUISITION
PROCEEDINGS, THE LANDOWNER NEED NOT EXHAUST ALL

ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES BEFORE SEEKING RELIEF BEFORE


THE COURTS

Department of Agrarian Reform vs. Apex Investment


and Financing Corporation
G.R. No. 149422 (April 10, 2003)
Facts:

Respondent Apex Investment and Financing Corporation (now SM


Investments Corp.) owns several lots located at Barangay Paliparan,
Dasmarias, Cavite covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) Nos. T72491, T-90474, T-90475, T-90476 and T-90477. The MARO initiated
compulsory acquisition proceedings over these lots but respondent denied
having received any such notice (because it was no longer holding office at
the address where the notice was sent). Respondent only learned of the
compulsory acquisition proceedings over TCT No. T-90476 in the
December 11, 1997 issue of BALITA. Respondent filed a Protest with the
PARO rejecting DAR's offered compensation of P229,014.33 for the 23,614
square meter property, asserting that the subject landholding had already
been classified as residential even prior to the effectivity of the law. In
support of the protest, respondent attached copies of its land titles, tax
declarations, location map and other supporting documents. It was only
after more than one year before the PARO forwarded to petitioner DAR the
said protest together with the records of the compulsory acquisition
proceedings. However, despite the pendency of the protest, the Register of
Deeds still cancelled one of its titles and issued a new one in the name of
the Republic of the Philippines and thereafter TCT No. CLOA-2473 was
issued in the name of one Angel Umali who is a farmer-beneficiary
allegedly occupying the land. Respondent filed a Petition for Certiorari and
prohibition praying that the compulsory acquisition proceedings be
declared null and void and for TCT No. CLOA-2473 issued to Angel Umali
to be cancelled. Petitioner opposed on the ground of failure to exhaust
administrative remedies. The Court of Appeals rendered a decision in favor
of the respondent. Petitioner moved for reconsideration but the same was
denied by the CA. Hence, this Appeal.

Issues:
a) That respondent Apex violated the principle of exhaustion of
administrative remedies; and
c) That the Court of Appeals erred in concluding that the subject parcels
of land are residential and not covered by R.A. No. 6657
Held:

On the first assigned error. This Court has consistently held that the
doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies is a relative one and is
flexible depending on the peculiarity and uniqueness of the factual and
circumstantial settings of a case. Among others, it is disregarded where, as
in this case: (a) there are circumstances indicating the urgency of judicial
intervention, and (b) the administrative action is patently illegal and
amounts to lack or excess of jurisdiction.
xxx

xxx

xxx

In Natalia Realty vs. Department of Agrarian Reform (G.R. No. 103302,


August 12, 1993, 225 SCRA 278), we held that the aggrieved landowners
were not supposed to wait until the DAR acted in their letter-protests (after
it had sat on them for almost a year) before resorting to judicial process.
Given the official indifference which, under the circumstances could have
continued forever, the landowners had to act to assert and protect their
interests. Thus, their petition for certiorari was allowed even though the
DAR had not yet resolved their protests. In the same vein, respondent here
could not be expected to wait for petitioner DAR to resolve its protest
before seeking judicial intervention. Obviously, petitioner might continue to
alienate respondent's lots during the pendency of its protest. Hence, the
Court of Appeals did not err in concluding that on the basis of the
circumstances of this case, respondent need not exhaust all administrative
remedies before filing its petition for certiorari and prohibition.

On the second assigned error. Respondent vehemently insists that its


lots have been classified as residential prior to June 15, 1988, the date of
effectivity of R.A. No. 6657. As earlier mentioned, Engineer Gregorio
Bermejo, Municipal Engineer and Deputized Zoning Administrator of
Dasmarias, Cavite, certified that respondent's lands are within the

residential zone of Dasmarias, based on the Land Use Plan of that


municipality duly approved by the HLURB in its Resolution No. R-42-A-3
dated February 11, 1981. We observe, however, that this factual issue was
never determined below. Thus, we cannot conclude that respondent's
parcels of land are residential.
CIVIL LAW LEASE, THE CIVIL LAW LESSEE, ALTHOUGH A LEGAL
POSSESSOR, MAY NOT INSTALL TENANTS ON THE PROPERTY
UNLESS EXPRESSLY AUTHORIZED BY THE LESSOR ESPECIALLY IF
THERE IS A SPECIFIC PROVISION IN THE CONTRACT OF LEASE
PROVIDING FOR SUCH

Victor G. Valencia vs. CA, et al.


G.R. No. 122363 (April 29, 2003)
Facts:

Victor Valencia is a government retiree who owns two parcels of land


situated at Barangay Linothangan, Canlaon City, Negros Oriental. One with
an area of 23.7279 hectares and covered by TCT No. H-T-137 and another
covering 6.4397 hectares under Homestead Application No. HA-231601.
Valencia entered into a ten-year civil law lease agreement with a certain
Glicerio Henson. And later, into a five-year civil law lease agreement with
Fr. Andres Flores. The agreement was subject to a prohibition against
subleasing or encumbering and against installing a leasehold tenant
without Valencia's consent.

Henson instituted Cresenciano Frias and Marciano Frias while Fr.


Andres Flores designated fourteen others together with the Friases to
cultivate the land. Of the farmworkers, twelve became recipients of CLTs.
Upon the expiration of the lease agreements, Valencia demanded that the
respondents vacate the premises but to no avail. Valencia wanted to gain
possession of his landholdings and had in fact designated Bernie Bautista
to be his overseer. Valencia filed a letter of protest but it was too late, the
property was placed under the Operation Land Transfer Program of the
government and the CLTs were issued to the respondents. Valencia again
protested but to no avail.

However, in February 1988, petitioner Valencia and Catalino Mantac


entered into a profit sharing agreement. No other respondent entered into
any kind of agreement with the petitioner, Henson or Fr. Flores. Twelve
years after the filing of the protest, an administrative investigation was
finally conducted. The report revealed that from 1975 to 1983, it was only
Bautista who received the shares in the produce. Respondents only
stopped paying when Bautista refused to issue a receipt for such. Valencia
did not receive a single cavan for the said years. to aggravate matters,
some of the respondents have even subleased their properties despite the
pending protest of Valencia. While all this was transpiring, Valencia and
Catalino Mantac entered into a leasehold contract over a 0.0425 hectare of
the 23.7279 hectares covered by TCT-H-T-137.

Valencia's protest was dismissed. The respondents were maintained in


the landholding, prompting Valencia to appeal to the Office of the
President. However, the Order was affirmed with the modification that the
Homestead be excluded from the coverage of P.D. No. 27.

Valencia appealed to the CA but it was dismissed for having been filed
out of time. His Motion for Reconsideration was also denied. Hence,
Valencia filed a Petition for Review or Certiorari under Rule 46 of the Rules
of Court.

Issue:

Can petitioner's civil law lessee, Fr. Flores, install tenants on the subject
premises without express authority to do so under Article 1649 of the Civil
Code, more so when the lessee is expressly prohibited from doing so, as in
the instant case?

Held:

A contract of civil law lease can prohibit a civil law lessee from
employing a tenant on the land subject matter of the lease agreement. An
extensive and correct discussion of the statutory interpretation of Section 6
of R.A. No. 3844, as amended, is provided by the minority view in Bernas
vs. Court of Appeals (G.R. No. 85041, 05 August 1993, 225 SCRA 119).

When Section 6 provides that the agricultural leasehold relations shall


be limited to the person who furnishes the landholding, either as owner,
civil law lessee, usufructuary, or legal possessor, and the person who
personally cultivates the same, it assumes that there is already an existing
agricultural leasehold relation, i.e., tenant or agricultural lessee already
works the land. The epigraph of Sec. 6 merely states who are "Parties to
Agricultural Leasehold Relations", which assumes that there is already a
leasehold tenant on the land; not until then.
xxx

xxx

xxx

From the foregoing discussion, it is reasonable to conclude that a civil


law lessee cannot automatically institute tenants on the property under
Section 6 of R.A. No. 3844. The correct view that must necessarily be
adopted is that the civil law lessee, although a legal possessor, may not
install tenants on the property unless expressly authorized by the lessor.
And if a prohibition exists or is stipulated in the contract of lease, the
occupants of the property are merely civil law sublessees whose rights
terminate upon the expiration of the civil law lease agreement.
TENDER OF PAYMENT, "CERTIFICATION TO FINANCE REDEMPTION
OF ESTATE UNDER RA NO. 3844, AS AMENDED" ISSUED BY THE
PRESIDENT OF THE LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES (LBP) DOES
NOT AMOUNT TO A VALID TENDER OF PAYMENT AS REQUIRED BY
OUR AGRARIAN LAWS

Sps. Eligio and Marcelina Mallari vs. Ignacio Arcega, et


al.
G.R. No. 106615 (January 15, 2004)
Ignacio Arcega, et al. vs. Hon. Norberto Ponce, RTC, et
al.
G.R. No. 108591 (January 15, 2004)
Sps. Eligio and Marcelina Mallari vs. Ignacio Arcega, et

al.
G.R. No. 109452 (January 15, 2004)
Sps. Eligio and Marcelina Mallari vs. Ignacio Arcega, et
al.
G.R. No. 109978 (January 15, 2004)
Sps. Eligio and Marcelina Mallari vs. Ignacio Arcega, et
al.
G.R. No. 139379 (January 15, 2004)
Facts:

The instant consolidated petitions involve a parcel of agricultural land


over which 14 tenants vigorously assert their right of redemption. Arcega,
et al. are agricultural lessees of landholdings planted to sugarcane
described as Lot 3364 of the San Fernando Cadastre. The lot was
originally owned by the spouses Roberto and Asuncion Wijangco under
TCT No. 27507-R and mortgaged to PNB to secure a loan. Eventually, for
their failure to pay their loan, the PNB foreclosed the mortgage. In the
auction sale that followed, PNB was the highest bidder. On July 10, 1980,
the spouses Eligio and Marcelina Mallari purchased the two lots from PNB
without any indication that the same was tenanted. The agreed purchase
price was P2,365,000.00 with P473,000.00 as 20% down-payment and the
balance payable in three installments.

On July 22, 1981, Arcega, et al., who were occupying portions of the
land, filed with the Court of Agrarian Relations, San Fernando, Pampanga
a Petition for Redemption against the spouses Wijangco, PNB and the
spouses Mallari. With the abolition of the CAR, the case was automatically
absorbed by the RTC, Br. 46 of San Fernando, Pampanga. Eligio Mallari
informed the tenants that they bought the lot from PNB. The tenants tried to
redeem their respective landholdings at P5,000.00 per hectare but the

spouses rejected the offer considering that they purchased the lot from
PNB at P18,000.00 per hectare.

To summarize, RTC ordered Arcega, et al. to show cause why the


petition should not be dismissed for the tenants' failure to make a tender of
payment and/or consignation of the redemption price. Instead of tendering
payment, Arcega, et al. presented a certification entitled "Certification to
Finance Redemption of Estate under R.A. No. 3844, As Amended". The
RTC dismissed the Petition ruling that: 1) Arcega, et al., failed to exercise
their right of redemption within the prescribed 180-day period; and 2) The
Land Bank certification does not constitute a valid tender of payment
and/or consignation of the redemption price. On appeal, the CA reversed
the decision of the RTC and remanded the case for further proceedings.
Aggrieved, the spouses Mallari filed a Petition for Review.

The Supreme Court ruled that the right of the tenants to redeem the
property has "not yet prescribed because no notice in writing of the sale
was ever given by the vendee upon (them) as agricultural lessees of the
land, as required by law". The only issue left to be resolved is as regards
the intrinsic or inherent validity of the Land Bank Certification.

Issue: Whether or not the tenants have validly tendered or consigned payment
of the redemption price for the purpose of exercising their right of redemption
under Section 12, Republic Act No. 3844, as amended through their
presentation of a document entitled, "Certification to Finance Redemption
of Estate Under R.A. No. 3844, as Amended" issued by the President of the
Land Bank of the Philippines.
Held:

First and foremost, paragraph 2 of Land Bank Circular No. 3 (Rules and
Regulations on the Financing by Land Bank of Acquisition of Landholdings
by Agricultural Lessees Through Pre-emption or Redemption under RA No.
3844, as Amended) has made it a mandatory requirement that "all
proposals for Land Bank financing of land acquisition through pre-emption
or redemption must carry the favorable indorsement of the Minister (now
Secretary) of Agrarian Reform". It is likewise required that the prescribed
form must indicate that the certification has been "issued pursuant to a

letter-request from the (DAR Secretary) to the Land Bank of the


Philippines".

Secondly, the questioned certification itself declares that the Land


Bank's undertaking to finance the redemption is conditional. The financing
will push through "if found in consonance with the provisions of Section 12,
Republic Act No. 3844, as amended and with the relevant policies and
procedures laid down by the Land Bank Board of Directors". Certainly, this
is contrary to the certification prescribed by Land Bank Circular Letter No. 3
dated February 25, 1980. Moreover, the challenged certification does not
set aside the specific compensation for the redemption of the landholding.
Hence, the Mallari spouses were not assured of the corresponding amount
and its payment by Arcega, et al.

The right of redemption under RA No. 3844, as amended is an essential


mandate of the agrarian reform legislation to implement the State's policy
of owner-cultivatorship and to achieve a dignified, self-reliant existence for
small farmers. Unfortunately, such laudable policy could not be effected in
favor of Ignacio Arcega, et al. since they failed to tender or consign
payment of the redemption price. Thus, spouses Mallari should be allowed
to continue enjoying their right over the subject property as purchasers
thereof, for the State's commendable agrarian reform policy is never
intended to unduly transgress the rights of innocent purchasers of lands.
MERITS OF THE CASE, CASES SHOULD BE DECIDED ON THE
MERITS RATHER THAN ON MERE TECHNICALITIES OR
PROCEDURAL IMPERFECTIONS

Paulina Diaz, Godelito Lapinid, Elecito Lapinid, Violeta


Zamora, Anastacia Lapinid, Evelyn Lapinid, Marivel
Lapinid and Carin Lapinid vs. Carlos Mesias, Jr.
G.R. No. 156345 (March 4, 2004)
Facts:

Petitioners are the owners of a 1.2 hectare riceland tilled by the father of
respondent. Respondent requested that he be granted a homelot. The
matter was brought to the BARC then to the MARO. The latter concluded

that the respondent was not a de jure tenant of the land, he being a mere
member of the immediate farm household of his father, Carlos Mesias. A
Petition was filed with the PARAD who dismissed the case. Appeal was
made to the DARAB who reversed the decision of the Adjudicator a quo. A
Motion for Reconsideration was filed but to no avail. The matter was then
elevated to the Court of Appeals where the latter dismissed the Petition on
the ground of defective certification of forum shopping and failure to attach
legible copies of the records and supporting documents under Rule 43. A
Motion for Reconsideration was filed but the Court of Appeals only
reconsidered insofar as the defective certification of forum shopping.
Hence, the instant petition for review on whether or not the petitioners
complied with the requirements set in Rule 43, Section 6 of the Rules of
Court.
Held:

We agree with the petitioners contention that the dismissal of the


petition on purely technical grounds was unwarranted. In denying due
course to the petition, the appellate court gave premium to form and failed
to consider the substantial rights of the parties

"Cases should be determined on the merits after all parties have been
given full opportunity to ventilate their causes and defenses rather than on
technicalities or procedural imperfections. Rules of Procedure are mere
tools designed to expedite the decision or resolution of cases and other
matters pending in court. A strict and rigid application of rules, resulting in
technicalities that tend to frustrate rather than promote substantial justice,
must be avoided. In fact, Rule 1, Section 6 of the Rules of Court state that
the Rules shall be liberally construed in order to promote their objective of
ensuring the just, speedy and inexpensive disposition of every action and
proceeding."
APPEAL, RULES OF PROCEDURE: A PARTY CANNOT CHANGE HIS
THEORY OF THE CASE OR HIS CAUSE OF ACTION ON APPEAL

Henry L. Mon vs. CA, Hon. Leopoldo Serrano, Jr.,


DARAB and Spouses Larry and Jovita Velasco
G.R. No. 118292 (April 14, 2004)

Facts:

Petitioner averred that he is the owner-administrator of a parcel of land


planted to rice and tobacco in Sitio Torite, Brgy. San Cristobal, Bangar, La
Union. The spouses Velasco who cultivated the land allegedly stole one
sack of palay from the land's harvest and subleased the land to a certain
Boy or Ensong Maala during the last tobacco season.

In the ensuing proceedings, the Regional Office found that Larry


Velasco subleased the land to a certain Francisco Maala which is a ground
for ejectment but on the other charge, there was no convincing evidence to
support this accusation. The respondent-spouses Velasco appealed and
the DARAB reversed the Order of the Regional Office. Petitioner appealed
to the CA who affirmed the decision of the DARAB, hence, the instant
petition.

Issue: Whether or not a party is entitled to a change of theory of his case


(i.e., dispute between an agricultural landlord and tenant).
Held:

The settled rule in this jurisdiction is that a party cannot change his
theory of the case or his cause of action on appeal. We have previously
held that"Courts of justice have no jurisdiction or power to decide a
question not in issue." A judgment that goes outside the issues and
purports to adjudicate something on which the court did not hear the
parties, is not only irregular but also extra-judicial and invalid. The rule
rests on the fundamental tenets of fair play. In the present case, the Court
must stick to the issue litigated in the DARAB and in the Court of Appeals,
which is whether petitioner has the right to eject the spouses Velasco from
the land under R.A. No. 3844.
EXEMPTION, PROPERTIES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
CULTURE AND SPORTS (DECS) LEASED AND USED NOT FOR
EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ARE NOT EXEMPT FROM CARP
COVERAGE

DAR as represented by its Secretary, Roberto M.


Pagdanganan vs. DECS
G.R. No. 158228 (April 27, 2004)
Facts:

The subject of this controversy are Lot Nos. 2509 and 871-D of
Hacienda Fe, Escalante, Negros Occidental with an area of 189.2462
hectares. The lands were donated by the late Esteban Jalandoni to
respondent DECS on October 21, 1921 and consequently transferred to
DECS under TCT No. 167175.

DECS in turn, leased the subject landholdings to Anglo Agricultural


Corporation for 10 agricultural crop years or from 1984-1985 to 1993-1994.
Subsequently, the lease was renewed for another 10 years from 1995-1996
until 2004-2005.

On June 10, 1993, Eugenio Alpar and several others, claiming to be


permanent and regular farmworkers therein filed a petition for Compulsory
Coverage. A "Notice of Coverage" was issued with the approval of the
Regional Director. DECS appealed to the Secretary of DAR who in turn
affirmed the Order of the Regional Director.

DECS filed a petition for review with the CA to set aside the Decision of
the DAR Secretary. However, the CA affirmed the aforementioned
Decision. Hence, this Appeal.

Issue: Whether or not the properties (owned by DECS) are exempt from the
coverage of Republic Act No. 6657, otherwise known as the Comprehensive
Agrarian Reform Law (CARL)
Held:

Section 10 of R.A. No. 6657 enumerates the types of land which are
exempted from the coverage of CARP as well as the purposes of their
exemption, viz.:
c)
Lands actually, directly and exclusively used and found to be
necessary for national defense, school sites and campuses, including

experimental farm stations operated by public or private schools for


educational purposes, x x x x x x shall be exempt from the coverage of
this Act

Clearly, a reading of the paragraph shows that, in order to be exempt


from the coverage: 1) the land must be "actually, directly, and exclusively
used and found to be necessary" and 2) the purpose is "for school sites
and campuses, including experimental farm stations operated by public or
private schools for educational purposes."

The importance of the phrase "actually, directly and exclusively used


and found to be necessary" cannot be understated, as what respondent
DECS would want us to do by not taking words in their literal and technical
definitions. The words of the law are clear and unambiguous. Thus,
the"plain meaning rule" or verba legis in statutory construction is applicable
in this case. Where the words of a statute are clear, plain and free from
ambiguity, it must be given its literal meaning and applied without
attempted interpretation.

The ruling in Central Mindanao University vs. DAR Adjudication Board is


inapplicable in the case at bar. First, in the CMU case, the land involved is
not alienable and disposable land of the public domain because it was
specifically reserved by the late President Carlos P. Garcia for the use of
Mindanao Agricultural College (CMU) under Proclamation No. 476.
Second, x x x x x
"The retention of the land was found to be necessary for the
present and future educational needs of CMU. On the other hand, the
lands in this case were not actually and exclusively utilized as school
sites and campuses, as they were leased to Anglo Agricultural
Corporation, not for educational purposes but for the furtherance of its
business. Also, as conceded by respondent DECS, it was the income
from the contract of lease and not the subject lands that was directly
used for the repairs and renovations of the schools in the locality."
APPEAL, THE PERFECTION THEREOF WITHIN THE STATUTORY OR
REGLEMENTARY PERIOD IS NOT ONLY MANDATORY BUT ALSO
JURISDICTIONAL

Florentino Zaragoza vs. Pedro Nobleza


G.R. No. 144560 (May 13, 2004)
Facts:

On November 15, 1983, petitioner and respondent entered an


Agricultural Leasehold Contract over a 1.18 hectare parcel of land situated
in Brgy. Banguit, Cabatuan, Iloilo. However, on February 6, 1991, petitioner
instituted a complaint for termination of leasehold relationship with
damages for violations purportedly committed by the respondent. The
PARAD dismissed the case for lack of merit. Petitioner appealed the case
up to the Court of Appeals. In a Motion for Extension, the CA gave the
former an "absolutely non-extendible period of fifteen (15) days from March
15, 2000 or until March 30, 2000 within which to file a petition for review".
Petitioner appears to have filed via registered mail his petition for review
only on April 12, 2000.

The Court of Appeals in a Resolution dated May 31, 2000 dismissed the
petition for being procedurally flawed. First, the petition was mailed thirteen
(13) days beyond the extended period to appeal and second, two of the
annexes to the petition (i.e., two informations) were "mere plain copies" in
violation of Section 6 (c) of Rule 43 of the Rules of Civil Procedure.

A Motion for Reconsideration was filed by petitioner manifesting that as


per June 14, 2000 certification issued by Registry Clerk E.P. Villaruel of the
Pasig Capital Office, Registry No. 7439 allegedly covering the petition for
review addressed to the CA, it was mailed on March 30, 2000. In the same
breath, petitioner pleaded for a liberal application of the Rules of Procedure
given the "overriding importance of the factual and legal issues" raised in
his petition. CA denied the motion.

Respondent filed a comment pointing out that like the CA, the petition
addressed to his counsel indicated that it was only mailed on April 12,
2000. Respondent also impugned the reliability of the certification of the
postal registry clerk, it not having been made under oath. Hence, this
Appeal.

Held:

The two informations attached to the petition filed before the CA need
not, as correctly argued by the petitioner, be certified true copies. Section 6
of Rule 43 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure should not be construed as
imposing the requirement that all supporting papers accompanying the
petition for review be certified true copies.

In accordance then with the established rule and practice, in view of the
absence of any of the recognized exceptions that would warrant a review of
the findings of facts of the appellate court, the issue raised by petitioner as
regards the date of the filing of the petition for review will not be considered
by this Court, the resolution thereon by the CA being final.

Since the perfection of an appeal within the statutory or reglementary


period is not only mandatory but also jurisdictional, the failure of petitioner
to so perfect his appeal rendered the questioned decision final and
executory. This rule is founded upon the principle that the right to appeal is
not part of due process of law but is a mere statutory privilege to be
exercised only in the manner and in accordance with the provisions of the
law.
RETENTION RIGHTS OF REDEMPTIONER-GRANDCHILDREN

Samahan ng Magsasaka sa San Josep represented by


Dominador Maglalang vs. Marietta Valisno, et al.
G.R. No. 158314 (June 3, 2004)
Facts:

Dr. Nicolas Valisno, Sr. is the registered owner of a 57-hectare property


situated in La Fuente, Sta. Rosa, Nueva Ecija under Transfer Certificate of
Title (TCT) No. NT-38406. Before the enactment of P.D. No. 27, the land
was the subject of an ejectment suit in 1971, wherein the Valisnos' tenants
(herein petitioners) were ejected from the property.

On October 20 and 21, 1972, Dr. Valisno mortgaged 12 hectares of his


property to Renato and Angelito Banting. Thereafter, the property was
subdivided into ten lots and on November 8, 1972, individual titles were
issued in the name of the eight children of Dr. Valisno to Angelito Banting
and to Renato Banting.

The mortgage on the 12 hectare portion was foreclosed and the


property sold at public auction. Four grandchildren of Dr. Valisno redeemed
the property namely Maria Cristina Valisno, Leonora Valisno Yujuico,
Benedicto Valisno Yujuico and Gregorio Valisno Yujuico. At the time of the
redemption, only Benedicto was of legal age, the others were only minors.
Redemption was made on October 25, 1973 but the titles were only
transferred to the redemptioners on November 26, 1998.

In 1994, Dominador Malalang in behalf of SMSP filed a petition for


coverage of the subject property. Originally, the petition was dismissed but
Secretary Garilao ultimately held that the property was covered by CARP
subject to the retention rights of the heirs of Nicolas, Sr. The Valisno heirs
specifically the 7 children and the 10 grandchildren including the 4
redemptioners filed a consolidated Application for Retention and Award
under R.A. No. 6657. The Regional Director approved the retention of the
Valisno children covering 35 hectares but placed the excess 19 hectares
under Compulsory Acquisition for distribution to qualified beneficiaries. The
request for the award to the grandchildren was denied for utter lack of
merit. The Secretary affirmed the Order. However, on review with the Court
of Appeals, the CA reversed the Order of the DAR Secretary and granted
the award of one hectare for each of the grandchildren and affirmed the
retention rights of three hectares for each of the redemptionergrandchildren or for a total of 12 hectares. Petitioners filed a Motion for
Reconsideration praying that the 12 hectares be placed under CARP
coverage. It was denied. Hence, this Appeal.

Issue: Whether or not the grandchildren of the landowner are still entitled to
retention rights?
Held:

The relevant laws governing the minors' redemption in 1973 are the
general Civil Code provisions on legal capacity to enter into contractual
relations. Article 1327 of the Civil Code provides that minors are incapable
of giving consent to a contract. Article 1390 provides that a contract where
one of the parties is incapable of giving consent is voidable or annullable.
Thus, the redemption made by the minors in 1973 was merely voidable or
annullable and was not void ab initio, as petitioners argue.

Any action for the annulment of the contracts thus entered into by the
minors would require that: 1) the plaintiff must have an interest in the
contract; and 2) the action must be brought by the victim and not the party
responsible for the defect. Thus, Article 1397 of the Civil Code provides in
part that "(t)he action for the annulment of contracts may be instituted by all
who are thereby obliged principally or subsidiarily. However, persons who
are capable cannot allege the incapacity of those with whom they
contracted". The action to annul the minors' redemption in 1973, therefore,
was one that could only have been initiated by the minors themselves, as
the victims or the aggrieved parties in whom the law itself vests the right to
file suit. This action was never initiated by the minors.

As owners in their own right, the redemptioner-grandchildren enjoyed


the right of retention granted to all the landowners. This right of retention is
a constitutionally guaranteed right, which is subject to qualification by
balancing the rights of the landowner and the tenant and by implementing
the doctrine that social justice was not meant to perpetrate an injustice
against the landowner. A retained area, as its name denotes, is land which
is not supposed to leave the landowner's dominion, thus, sparing the
government from the inconvenience of taking land only to return it to the
landowners afterwards, which would be a pointless process.
COVERAGE; ONLY AGRICULTURAL LANDS ARE COVERED BY CARP

Pasong Bayabas Farmers Association, Inc., et al. vs. The


Hon. Court of Appeals, et al.
G.R. No. 142359 (May 25, 2004)
Facts:

Petitions for review on certiorari of the Decision of the Court of Appeals,


in C.A.-G.R. SP No. 49363, which set aside and reversed the decision of
the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) and
reinstated the decision of the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudication
Board (PARAD) of Trece Martirez City, which, in turn, ordered the dismissal
of the complaint for Maintenance for Peaceful Possession and Cultivation
with Damages with Prayer for the Issuance of a Temporary Restraining
Order/Preliminary Injunction of petitioner Pasong Bayabas Farmers
Association, Inc. (PBFAI).

Sometime in 1964, Lakeview Development Corporation (LDC, for


brevity) bought a parcel of land with an area of 753,610 square meters
(75.3610 hectares) located at Barrio Kabilang-Baybay, Carmona, Cavite,
covered by Transfer Certificate of Titles (TCT) No. T- 91584 and T-91585.
On September 20, 1977, the aforesaid titles were cancelled by TCT No. T62972 issued to and in the name of the LDC's successor, the Credito
Asiatic, Incorporated (CAI). The property was subsequently subdivided into
two parcels of land, one of which was covered by TCT No. 116658, with an
area of 365,753 square meters, and the other covered by TCT No. 116659
with an area of 387,853 square meters.

The LDC/CAI undertook to develop its 75-hectare property into a


residential and industrial estate, where industrial sites and a low cost
housing project inceptually called the Tamanli Housing Project would be
established.

The property was subdivided into 728 residential lots per the
consolidation subdivision plan approved by the Bureau of Lands, each with
an average area of 240 square meters.

Considering the parcel of land to be not covered by P.D. 27, it being


untenanted and not devoted to the production of palay and/or corn as
reported by the Agrarian Reform Team Leader concerned and favorably
recommended for conversion by him and further, by the Regional Director
for Region IV, Pasig, Metro Manila, and considering further, that the parcel
of land subject hereof was found to be suitable for conversion to residential
subdivision by the Ministry of Local Government and Community
Development and considering finally, that the herein petitioner was issued
a locational clearance by the Human Settlements Regulatory Commission,
the instant request of the petitioner is hereby GRANTED pursuant to the
provisions of R.A. 3844, as amended, and P.D. 815.

On March 14, 1980, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan ng Cavite


(Provincial Board of Cavite) passed Resolution No. 40 declaring the
midland areas composed of Carmona, Dasmarias, parts of Silang and
Trece Martirez (where the subject property is situated) and parts of Imus,
as industrial areas.

In 1987, the CAI decided to continue with the development of its Hakone
Housing Project and contracted with E.M. Aragon Enterprises for the
bulldozing of the property. However, the project was stymied by a
Complaint for Damages with Prayer for Temporary Restraining Order and
Preliminary Injunction filed on May 22, 1987 against the CAI in the
Regional Trial Court of Cavite.

The civil case notwithstanding, the CAI decided to proceed with the third
phase of its project. It developed its eleven-hectare property into a
residential property called the Mandarin Homes. The CAI applied for and
was granted a separate Order of Conversion on January 2, 1990 by the
Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR). In 1991, the CAI started selling the
houses in its Mandarin Homes Project.

On October 27, 1995, Provincial Adjudicator Barbara P. Tan issued a


Temporary Restraining Order enjoining the defendant landowner and
any/all persons acting for and in its behalf or under its authority to cease
and desist from further bulldozing the premises in question and committing
acts of dispossession or tending to disturb the peaceful possession and
cultivation of the complainants of the landholdings in question.

On July 15, 1996, the DAR Region IV issued a Cease and Desist Order
against the respondents. The defendants, in a Letter dated July 16, 1996,
informed the DAR, Region IV Office, that the land subject of the cease and
desist order was also subject of DARAB Case No. 0285-95 and, as such,
was under the jurisdiction of PARAD Barbara Tan. The defendants,
likewise, raised the issue of forum shopping, per our ruling in Crisostomo v.
SEC.

After due hearings, PARAD Barbara P. Tan rendered a Decision on


August 8, 1996 in DARAB Case No. CA-0285-95 in favor of the
defendants. The PARAD held that the plaintiffs were bound by the order of
dismissal of the RTC in Civil Case No. BCV-87-13. It declared that the
plaintiffs in Civil Case No. BCV-87-13 were the kins, siblings or spouses of
the complainants in the case before it. Moreover, the complainants had
executed deeds of quitclaim or waiver covering the portions of the property
which they purportedly occupied. Thus, the complainants had already

waived their rights of possession and cultivation over the portions of the
property which they claimed to be occupying.

On March 15, 2000, the CA rendered a Decision reversing the decision


of the DARAB and reinstating the decision of the PARAD. The CA ruled
that under Section 10 of Rep. Act No. 6657, all lands with eighteen percent
(18%) slope and over, except those already developed, shall be exempt
from the coverage of the said Act.

Aggrieved, the PBFAI filed a petition for review under Rule 45 of the
Rules of Court on April 11, 2000 before this Court. For its part, DARAB
filed a motion for extension of time to file a petition for the reversal of the
decision in CA-GR SP No. 49363. The same was docketed as G.R. No.
142980. On May 11, 2000, the DARAB manifested that it was adopting as
its own the petition for review filed by PBFAI. In our Resolution dated June
28, 2000, we granted the motion of the DARAB and ordered the
consolidation of G.R. Nos. 142980 and 142359.

Issues:

Whether the property subject of the suit is covered by Rep. Act No.
6657, the Agrarian Reform Law (CARL)?

Whether the DARAB had original and appellate jurisdiction over the
complaint of the petitioner PBFAI against the private respondent?

Whether the petitioners-members of the PBFAI have a cause of action


against the private respondent for possession and cultivation of the
property in suit?

Whether the dismissal by the RTC of the complaint in Civil Case No.
BCV-87-13 is a bar to the complaint of the petitioners-members of the
PBFAI?

Whether the appellate court committed a reversible error in dismissing


the petition for review in CA-G.R. SP No. 49363.

Held:

The contention of the petitioners has no merit.

Under Section 3(c) of Rep. Act No. 6657, agricultural lands refer to
lands devoted to agriculture as conferred in the said law and not classified
as industrial land. Agricultural lands are only those lands which are arable
or suitable lands that do not include commercial, industrial and residential
lands. Section 4(e) of the law provides that it covers all private lands
devoted to or suitable for agriculture regardless of the agricultural products
raised or that can be raised thereon. Rep. Act No. 6657 took effect only on
June 15, 1988.

When Agrarian Reform Minister Conrado F. Estrella confirmed the


reclassification of the property by the Municipal Council of Carmona to nonagricultural land when he approved, on July 3, 1979, the application of the
private respondent/LDC for the conversion of 35.80 hectares of the
property covered by TCT No. 62972 into non-agricultural land, he did so
pursuant to his authority under Rep. Act No. 3844, as amended, by P.D.
No. 815 and P.D. No. 946.

It bears stressing that in his Order, the Agrarian Reform Minister


declared that the property was not tenanted and not devoted to the
production of palay and/or corn, and that the land was suitable for
conversion to a residential subdivision. The order of the Minister was not
reversed by the Office of the President; as such, it became final and
executory. By declaring, in its Decision of September 2, 1997, that the
property subject of the suit, was agricultural land, the petitioner DARAB
thereby reversed the Order of Agrarian Reform Minister Estrella, issued
almost eighteen (18) years before, and nullified Resolution No. 30 of the
Municipal Council of Carmona, approved twenty-one (21) years earlier, on
May 30, 1976, as well as the issuances of the NHA, the HSRC, the
HLURB, the Ministry of Local Government and the National Planning
Commission. Thus, the petitioner DARAB acted with grave abuse of its
discretion amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction.

With our finding that the property subject of the suit was classified as
residential land since 1976, the DARAB had no original and appellate
jurisdiction over the property subject of the action of the petitioner PBFAI
and its members. Consequently, the DARAB should have ordered the
dismissal of the complaint.

The jurisdiction of a tribunal or quasi-judicial body over the subject


matter is determined by the averments of the complaint/petition and the law
extant at the time of the commencement of the suit/complaint/petition. All
proceedings before a tribunal or quasi-judicial agency bereft of jurisdiction
over the subject matter of the action are null and void.

Since the members of the petitioner PBFAI were not the tenants of the
private respondent CAI, the petitioners and its members had no cause of
action against the private respondent for possession of the landholding to
maintain possession thereof and for damages. Besides, when the
complaint was filed, twenty-five (25) of the thirty-seven (37) members of the
petitioners had already executed separate deeds of quitclaim in favor of the
private respondent CAI over the portions of the landholding they
respectively claimed, after receiving from the private respondent CAI varied
sums of money. In executing the said deeds, the members of the petitioner
PBFAI thereby waived their respective claims over the property. Hence,
they have no right whatsoever to still remain in possession of the same.
JURISDICTION;
DAR
HAS
JURISDICTION
OVER
ALL
CONTROVERSIES INVOLVING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF AGRARIAN
REFORM PROGRAM

Department of Agrarian Reform vs. Roberto J. Cuenca


G.R. No. 154112 (September 23, 2004)
Facts:

Private respondent Roberto J. Cuenca is the registered owner of a


parcel of land designated as Lot No. 816-A and covered by TCT No. 1084,
containing an area of 81.6117 hectares, situated in Brgy. Haguimit, La
Carlota City and devoted principally to the planting of sugar cane.

On 21 September 1999, Noe Fortunado, Municipal Agrarian Reform


Officer (MARO) of La Carlota City issued and sent a NOTICE OF
COVERAGE to private respondent Cuenca placing the above-described
landholding under the compulsory coverage of R.A. 6657, otherwise known
as the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

On 29 September 1999, private respondent Cuenca filed with the


Regional Trial Court, Branch 63, La Carlota City, a complaint against Noe
Fortunado and Land Bank of the Philippines for 'Annulment of Notice of
Coverage and Declaration of Unconstitutionality of E.O. No. 405, Series of
1990, With Preliminary Injunction and Restraining Order.'

Private respondent Cuenca prayed that the Notice of Coverage be


declared null and void ab initio and Executive Order No. 405 dated 14 June
1990 be declared unconstitutional.

MARO Noe Fortunado filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on the


ground that the court a quo has no jurisdiction over the nature and subject
matter of the action, pursuant to R.A. 6657.

The respondent Judge issued a Temporary Restraining Order directing


MARO and LBP to cease and desist from implementing the Notice of
Coverage. In the same order, the respondent Judge set the hearing on the
application for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction on January
17 and 18, 2000.

In an order dated 16 February 2000, the respondent Judge denied


MARO Noe Fortunado's motion to dismiss and issued a Writ of Preliminary
Injunction directing Fortunado and all persons acting in his behalf to cease
and desist from implementing the Notice of Coverage, and the LBP from
proceeding with the determination of the value of the subject land.

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) thereafter filed before the


CA a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil
Procedure, assailing the writ of preliminary injunction issued by respondent
Judge on the ground of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of
jurisdiction.

Issue:

The Honorable Court of Appeals committed serious error by not taking


into cognizance that the issues raised in the complaint filed by the private
respondent, which seeks to exclude his land from the coverage of the
CARP, is an agrarian reform matter and within the jurisdiction of the DAR,
not with the trial court.

The Honorable Court of Appeals, with due respect, gravely abused its
discretion by sustaining the writ of injunction issued by the trial court, which
is a violation of Sections 55 and 68 of Republic Act No. 6657.

Held:

The Petition has merit. The issue involves the implementation of


agrarian reform, a matter over which the DAR has original and exclusive
jurisdiction, pursuant to Section 50 of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform
Law (R.A. No. 6657)

All controversies on the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian


Reform Program (CARP) fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of
Agrarian Reform (DAR), even though they raise questions that are also
legal or constitutional in nature. All doubts should be resolved in favor of
the DAR, since the law has granted it special and original authority to hear
and adjudicate agrarian matters

Having declared the RTCs to be without jurisdiction over the instant


case, it follows that the RTC of La Carlota City (Branch 63) was devoid of
authority to issue the assailed Writ of Preliminary Injunction. That Writ must
perforce be stricken down as a nullity. Such nullity is particularly true in the
light of the express prohibitory provisions of the CARP and this Court's
Administrative Circular Nos. 29-2002 and 38-2002. These Circulars enjoin
all trial judges to strictly observe Section 68 of RA 6657, which reads:
"Section 68.
Immunity of Government Agencies from Undue
Interference. No injunction, restraining order, prohibition or mandamus
shall be issued by the lower courts against the Department of Agrarian
Reform (DAR), the Department of Agriculture (DA), the Department of
Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of
Justice (DOJ) in their implementation of the program."
JURISDICTION; MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT NOT THE DARAB HAS
JURISDICTION ON ISSUE OF UNLAWFUL DETAINER AND FORCIBLE
ENTRY OVER RESIDENTIAL LANDHOLDING

Anicia U. Tecson, et al. vs. Dante Gutierrez


G.R. No. 152978 (March 4, 2005)

Facts:

The case at bar involved an actions for unlawful detainer and forcible
entry docketed as Civil Case No. 2287 filed by petitioner against
respondent before the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) on 21 August 1997.
Petitioners alleged that they were the owners of a residential lot covered by
Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. T-62466 and TCT No. T-62465,
which they leased to respondent for and in consideration of four cavans of
palay yearly under an oral lease agreement. The lots was to be used by the
respondent as the site of his dwelling. They declared that starting the year
1995, respondent failed to pay the yearly rental. Thus, they considered the
lease terminated and made oral and written demands on him to vacate the
property. Respondent, however, stubbornly refused to leave.

Petitioner charged him of occupying, since January 1997, a portion of


their residential lot under TCT No. T-62465, without their consent, this lot is
adjacent to the subject lot of Civil Case of Unlawful detainer. Respondent
averred that he was a farmer beneficiary of a homelot composed of the
subject parcels of land.

On August 21, 1998, the MTC decided the Forcible Entry in favor of
petitioners. It ruled that respondent cannot claim entitlement to acquire the
subject lot as his homelot for the following reasons: (1) respondent was not
a tenant-farmer of the petitioners; (2) the land was residential and not
agricultural, and the respondent was using it for purposes other than
agricultural; (3) the subject lot was far from respondent's farm; and (4) no
certification was issued by the Department of Agrarian Reform that the land
was respondent's homelot.

On August 24, 1998, the MTC likewise decided the Unlawful detainer
case in favor of petitioners based on the same reasons. The MTC ordered
the respondent to vacate the parcel of land and to pay petitioners four
cavans of palay or its equivalent per annum beginning 1995 and every year
thereafter until he vacates the subject land.

Respondent appealed the decisions to the Regional Trial Court (RTC)


but latter rendered decision affirming in toto the MTC decisions.

Respondent elevated the cases to the Court of Appeals in a


consolidated petition for review. The latter reversed the rulings of the RTC
and dismissed the complaint of Unlawful detainer and Forcible Entry. The
Court of Appeals ruled that the case involved agrarian reform matters
which should be resolved by the DARAB and not by the MTC. The Court of
Appeals also declared that the application of agrarian reform laws does not
depend on the existence of a tenancy relationship between the contending
parties and that an agrarian reform beneficiary is entitled to a homelot even
when the property where the homelot is located belongs to a person other
than his landlord.

Issue:

Whether or not the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board


(DARAB) has jurisdiction in cases of Unlawful Detainer and Forcible Entry.

Held:

We must point out that this appeal stemmed from ejectment suits
wherein the jurisdiction of the court is determined by the allegations in the
complaint and the character of the relief sought. In their complaint for
unlawful detainer, petitioners alleged that the respondent unlawfully
withheld possession of the land despite several demands on him to vacate
the premises, and that these demands were made after the latter failed to
pay the rent. Likewise, in their complaint for forcible entry, petitioners
averred that respondent deprived them of physical possession of the land
by means of stealth and strategy. Based on the averments in the complaint,
the Municipal Trial Court indeed properly acquired jurisdiction over the
cases below between herein petitioners and the respondent.

Although respondent impugned the validity of petitioners' title over the


property and claimed it to be his homelot, this assertion could not divest
the MTC of jurisdiction over the ejectment cases. The court could not be
divested of jurisdiction over the ejectment cases on the mere allegation that
the defendant asserts ownership over the litigated property. Moreover, a
pending action involving ownership of the same property does not bar the
filing or consideration of an ejectment suit, nor suspend the proceedings.
The ejectment cases can proceed independently of the DARAB case. The

underlying reason for this rule is to prevent the defendant from trifling with
the summary nature of an ejectment suit by the simple expedient of
asserting ownership over the disputed property.

It is settled that the only issue for resolution in ejectment suits is the
physical or material possession of the property involved, independent of
any claim of ownership by any of the party litigants. In forcible entry and
unlawful detainer cases, even if the defendant raises the question of
ownership in his pleadings and the question of possession cannot be
resolved without deciding the issue of ownership, the MTC, nonetheless,
has the undoubted competence to provisionally resolve the issue of
ownership for the sole purpose of determining the issue of possession.

Going to the issue of rightful possession now, our view, petitioners are
entitled to possess the parcels of land. For respondent failed to show that
the land had been awarded to him by the Department of Agrarian Reform
as his homelot. There is , instead, preponderance of evidence shown
before the trial court in favor of petitioners' claim. They were able to show
Transfer Certificate of Titles in their names, whereas the respondent had
none but bare assertions.
TENANCY RELATIONSHIP; EMANCIPATION PATENT BEYOND
ATTACK AND SCRUTINY; FORFEITURE OF AMORTIZATIONS IN
FAVOR OF GOVERNMENT

Liberty Ayo-Alburo vs. Uldarico Matobato


G.R. No. 155181 (April 15, 2005)
Facts:

The case involves private agricultural land devoted to rice with an area
of 1.787 hectares, owned by Dr. Victoria Marave-Tiu and located at Brgy.
San Pedro, Alangalang, Leyte.

The subject property was covered by Operation Land Transfer pursuant


to P.D. No. 27, and was eventually awarded to Estanislao Ayo, who was
also administrator of the property. However, as the latter was already old
and sickly at that time, he requested that it be instead registered in the
name of petitioner (Liberty Ayo-Alburo). Accordingly, CLT No. D-038564

covering the property was issues in petitioner's name on April 23, 1984.
And E.P. No. A-025173 with the corresponding TCT No. TE-775 covering
the property was subsequently issued in petitioners' favor on March 5,
1987.

Later, respondent (Uldarico Matobato) together with DAR, Region VIII


filed Petition dated April 2, 1996 before the Provincial Agrarian Reform
Adjudicator (PARAD) of Tanghas, Tolosa, Leyte for cancellation of the CLT
and EP issued in petitioner's favor and for the issuance of a new certificate
and patent in respondent's name. Respondent alleged that since 1966 until
the filing of the petition before the PARAD, he had been cultivating the
property and giving shares of the harvest as rentals to petitioner.

PARAD rendered a Decision dated Sept. 25, 1996 in favor of


respondents ordering cancellation of TCT No. TE-775 with EP No. A025173, the process of the reallocation in favor of Uldarico Matobato, the
issuance of new title, and the forfeiture of the land amortization payment
paid in the name of Liberty Ayo in favor of the reallocatee Uldarico
Matobato. DARAB affirmed in toto the PARAD Decision. Hence, this
petition for review oncertiorari.

Issues:

Whether or not private respondent was a bona fide tenant of the


property.

Whether or not the issuance of an emancipation patent put the


ownership of the agrarian reform beneficiary beyond attack and scrutiny.

Whether or not the amortization payments the petitioner (Liberty Ayo)


make to the land should be forfeited in favor of respondent (Matobato).

Held:

By admittedly allowing respondent to cultivate the property and viewing


the owner's share of the produce, petitioner implicitly recognized
respondent as tenant. There thus between them an implied contract of
tenancy.

A tenancy relationship may be established either verbally or in writing,


expressly or impliedly. Although petitioners did not expressly give their
consent to a leasehold relation with respondent, in our view petitioners
converted to the tenancy impliedly by allowing respondent to cultivate the
landholding in question and by reviewing from him the landowners share of
the harvest over a considerable length of time.

The mere issuances of an emancipation does not put the ownership of


the agrarian reform beneficiary beyond attack and scrutiny. Emancipation
Patents may be cancelled for violations of agrarian laws, rules and
regulations. Section 12 (g) of P.D. 946 (issued on June 17, 1976) vested
the then Court of Agrarian Relations with jurisdiction over cases involving
the cancellation of emancipation patents issued under P.D. 266. Exclusive
jurisdiction over such cases was later lodged with the DARAB under
Section 1 of Rule II of the DARAB Rules of Procedure.

While the DARAB has jurisdiction to order forfeiture of amortizations


paid by an agrarian reform beneficiary, forfeiture should be made in favor of
the government and not to the reallocatee of the landholding.
CERTIORARI; CERTIORARI LIES WHERE THERE IS NO APPEAL NOR
PLAIN, SPEEDY AND ADEQUATE REMEDY IN THE ORDINARY
COURSE OF LAW

Land Bank of the Philippines vs. Hon. Pepito Planta, et al.


G.R. No. 152324 (April 29, 2005)
Facts:

Respondent Faustino B. Tobia is the registered owner of a parcel of


agricultural land covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-24310
situated in Viga, Angadanan, Isabela, with an area of approximately
10.9044 hectares (subject property). He voluntarily offered to sell the
subject property to the Government under the Comprehensive Agrarian
Reform Law or Republic Act (R.A.) No. 6657. Pursuant to its mandate
under Executive Order No. 405, petitioner LBP determined the valuation of
the subject property at P107,962.83 per hectare or a total of
P1,145,075.41. Accordingly, the Government, through the Department of
Agrarian Reform (DAR) offered to buy the subject property at the purchase

price of P1,145,075.41 in accordance with petitioner LBP's valuation. As he


found the valuation too low, respondent Tobia rejected the offer.

In view of respondent Tobia's rejection of the offer, summary


administrative proceedings to determine the just compensation for the
subject property were conducted before respondent Pepito Planta, in his
capacity as the Provincial Adjudicator of the Department of Agrarian
Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB). After due proceedings, respondent
Provincial Adjudicator rendered the Decision dated November 14, 2000
setting aside petitioner LBP's valuation of the subject property and fixing
the same at P250,000.00 per hectare.

Petitioner LBP sought reconsideration of the said decision but


respondent Provincial Adjudicator, in the Order dated January 25, 2001,
denied its motion.

Subsequently, respondent Tobia filed a Manifestation and Motion dated


April 16, 2001 praying for the issuance of a writ of execution for failure of
petitioner LBP to appeal the Decision dated November 14, 2000. Petitioner
LBP opposed the same contending that the said decision has not attained
finality in view of its seasonable filing of a petition for judicial determination
of just compensation for the subject property.

Despite the pendency of A.C. No. 0634, respondent Provincial


Adjudicator issued the Writ of Execution dated June 27, 2001 which was
addressed to the DARAB Sheriff directing him to implement the Decision
dated November 14, 2000. Petitioner LBP received a copy of the writ of
execution on July 6, 2001 and forthwith filed a motion for the
reconsideration thereof. Respondent Provincial Adjudicator, in the Order
dated August 8, 2001, denied the said motion.

On August 30, 2001, petitioner LBP filed with the CA a motion for
extension of time to file a petition for certiorari to assail the Writ of
Execution dated June 27, 2001 issued by respondent Provincial
Adjudicator. In the said motion, petitioner LBP averred, among others, that
it received the Order dated August 8, 2001 denying its motion for
reconsideration on August 21, 2001.

Without acting directly on petitioner LBP's motion for extension of time


to file its petition for certiorari by either granting or denying it, the CA
denied due course to the petition for the reason that it was the wrong
remedy.

Petitioner LBP filed its Motion for Reconsideration and Admission of


Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition dated October 12, 2001 but the same
was denied by the CA in the assailed Resolution dated February 12, 2002.

Issue:

Whether or not the appellate court committed reversible error in


dismissing outright the petition for certiorari filed by petitioner LBP?

Held:

Contrary to the ratiocination of the appellate court, however, Rule 43


does not apply to an action to nullify a writ of execution because the same
is not a "final order" within the contemplation of the said rule. As this Court
fairly recently explained, "a writ of execution is not a final order or
resolution, but is issued to carry out the mandate of the court in the
enforcement of a final order or a judgment. It is a judicial process to
enforce a final order or judgment against the losing party." As such, an
order of execution is generally not appealable.

On the other hand, certiorari lies where there is no appeal nor plain,
speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. Section 11,
Rule XIII of the 1994 DARAB Rules of Procedure, which was then
applicable, expressly provided, in part, that "the decision of the Adjudicator
on land valuation and preliminary determination and payment of just
compensation shall not be appealable to the Board but shall be brought
directly to the RTCs designated as Special Agrarian Courts within fifteen
(15) days from receipt of the notice hereof." In relation to this provision,
Section 16(f) of R.A. No. 6657 prescribes that any party who does not
agree with the decision (in the summary administrative proceedings) may
bring the matter to the court for final determination of just compensation.

Thus, at the time of the filing of the petition for certiorari with the CA, the
remedy of appeal was not available to petitioner LBP either to question the

decision of respondent Provincial Adjudicator concerning the land valuation


of the subject property or to assail the writ directing the execution of the
said decision. Even granting arguendo that the remedy of appeal was then
available to petitioner LBP, the same would not have been a speedy and
adequate remedy against the execution of respondent Provincial
Adjudicator's decision.

Petitioner LBP, thus, properly availed of the remedy of certiorari to assail


the Writ of Execution dated June 27, 2001 issued by respondent Provincial
Adjudicator and the appellate court committed reversible error in dismissing
it outright.

Petitioner LBP urges the Court to reconcile the seeming inconsistency


between the period to file certiorari under Section 54 of R.A. No. 6657
(within fifteen days from receipt of copy of the decision, order, award or
ruling) and that under Section 4 of Rule 65 of the Revised Rules of Court
(sixty days from notice of judgment, order or resolution). The Court holds
that Section 54 of R.A. No. 6657 prevails since it is a substantive law
specially designed for agrarian disputes or cases pertaining to the
application, implementation, enforcement or interpretation of agrarian
reform laws. However, the fifteen-day period provided therein is extendible,
but such extension shall not extend the sixty-day period under Section 4,
Rule 65 of the Revised Rules of Court.

In this case, petitioner LBP filed its motion for extension to file petition
for certiorari with the CA on August 30, 2001. To recall, petitioner LBP
received a copy of the writ of execution on July 6, 2001 and forthwith filed a
motion for reconsideration thereof. It received on August 21, 2001
respondent Provincial Adjudicator's order denying reconsideration of the
writ of execution. Under Section 54 of R.A. No. 6657, respondent LBP had
fifteen days from the receipt of the order within which to file the petition for
certiorari with the CA. Petitioner LBP, thus, seasonably filed its motion for
extension of time to file a petition for certiorari.

However, instead of either granting or denying petitioner LBP's motion


for additional time to file a petition for certiorari, the CA dismissed outright
the petition for certiorari on the ground that it was the wrong remedy. The
CA committed reversible error in so doing not only because, as already

discussed petitioner LBP properly availed of the remedy of certiorari, but


also because the outright dismissal of the petition was precipitately made.
JURISDICTION IN DETERMINATION OF JUST COMPENSATION

Land Bank of the Philippines vs. Hon. Eli G. C. Natividad


G.R. No. 127198 (May 16, 2005)
Facts:

On May 14, 1993, private respondents filed a petition before the trial
court for the determination of just compensation for their agricultural lands
situated in Arayat, Pampanga, which were acquired by the government
pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 27 (PD 27). The petition named as
respondents the DAR and Land Bank. With leave of court, the petition was
amended to implead as co-respondents the registered tenants of the land.

After trial, the court rendered the assailed Decision the dispositive
portion of which reads:
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of petitioners and
against respondents, ordering respondents, particularly, respondents
Department of Agrarian Reform and the Land Bank of the Philippines, to
pay these lands owned by petitioners and which are the subject of
acquisition by the State under its land reform program, the amount of
THIRTY PESOS (P30.00) per square meter, as the just compensation
due for payment for same lands of petitioners located at San Vicente (or
Camba), Arayat, Pampanga.

DAR and Land Bank filed separate motions for reconsideration which
were denied by the trial court in its Order dated July 30, 1996 for being pro
formaas the same did not contain a notice of hearing. Thus, the
prescriptive period for filing an appeal was not tolled. Land Bank
consequently failed to file a timely appeal and the assailed Decision
became final and executory.

Land Bank then filed a Petition for Relief from Order Dated 30 July
1996,citing excusable negligence as its ground for relief. Attached to the

petition for relief were two affidavits of merit claiming that the failure to
include in the motion for reconsideration a notice of hearing was due to
accident and/or mistake. The affidavit of Land Bank's counsel of record
notably states that "he simply scanned and signed the Motion for
Reconsideration for Agrarian Case No. 2005, Regional Trial Court of
Pampanga, Branch 48, not knowing, or unmindful that it had no notice of
hearing" due to his heavy workload.

The trial court, in its Order of November 18, 1996, denied the petition for
relief because Land Bank lost a remedy in law due to its own negligence.

In the instant petition for review, Land Bank argues that the failure of its
counsel to include a notice of hearing due to pressure of work constitutes
excusable negligence and does not make the motion for
reconsiderationpro forma considering its allegedly meritorious defenses.
Hence, the denial of its petition for relief from judgment was erroneous.

According to Land Bank, private respondents should have sought the


reconsideration of the DAR's valuation of their properties. Private
respondents thus failed to exhaust administrative remedies when they filed
a petition for the determination of just compensation directly with the trial
court. Land Bank also insists that the trial court erred in declaring that PD
27 and Executive Order No. 228 (EO 228) are mere guidelines in the
determination of just compensation, and in relying on private respondents'
evidence of the valuation of the properties at the time of possession in
1993 and not on Land Bank's evidence of the value thereof as of the time
of acquisition in 1972.

Issue:

Whether or not the trial court erred in taking cognizance of the case as
the determination of just compensation is a function addressed to the Court
of Justice?

Held:

In Philippine Veterans Bank v. Court of Appeals, we declared that there


is nothing contradictory between the DAR's primary jurisdiction to
determine and adjudicate agrarian reform matters and exclusive original

jurisdiction over all matters involving the implementation of agrarian reform,


which includes the determination of questions of just compensation, and
the original and exclusive jurisdiction of regional trial courts over all
petitions for the determination of just compensation. The first refers to
administrative proceedings, while the second refers to judicial proceedings.

In accordance with settled principles of administrative law, primary


jurisdiction is vested in the DAR to determine in a preliminary manner the
just compensation for the lands taken under the agrarian reform program,
but such determination is subject to challenge before the courts. The
resolution of just compensation cases for the taking of lands under agrarian
reform is, after all, essentially a judicial function.

Thus, the trial did not err in taking cognizance of the case as the
determination of just compensation is a function addressed to the courts of
justice.

It would certainly be inequitable to determine just compensation based


on the guideline provided by PD 27 and EO 228 considering the DAR's
failure to determine the just compensation for a considerable length of time.
That just compensation should be determined in accordance with RA 6657,
and not PD 27 or EO 228, is especially imperative considering that just
compensation should be the full and fair equivalent of the property taken
from its owner by the expropriator, the equivalent being real, substantial,
full and ample.

In this case, the trial court arrived at the just compensation due private
respondents for their property, taking into account its nature as irrigated
land, location along the highway, market value, assessor's value and the
volume and value of its produce. This Court is convinced that the trial court
correctly determined the amount of just compensation due private
respondents in accordance with, and guided by, RA 6657 and existing
jurisprudence.
CONVERSION;
DISTINGUISHED
FROM
RECLASSIFICATION;
AUTHORITY
OF
DAR
TO
APPROVE
CONVERSION
OF
AGRICULTURAL LANDS COVERED BY REPUBLIC ACT NO. 6657 TO

NON-AGRICULTURAL USES HAS NOT BEEN PIERCED BY THE


PASSAGE OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE

Jose Luis Ros, Andoni F. Aboitiz, Xavier Aboitiz, Roberto E.


Aboitiz, Enrique Aboitiz, Matthias G. Mendezona, Cebu
Industrial Park Developers, Inc. and FBM Aboitiz Marine,
Inc. vs. DAR, Hon. Ernesto Garilao, in his capacity as DAR
Secretary, and Dir. Jose Llames, in his capacity as Director of
DAR-Regional 7
G.R. No. 132477 (August 31, 2005)
Facts:

The case stems from a denial of the application for conversion before
the Regional Office of DAR Region 7 disallowing the application for
conversion filed by petitioners, owners/developers of several parcels of
land located in Arpili, Balamban, Cebu. The application was based on
Municipal Ordinance No. 101 passed by the Mun. Council of Balamban,
Cebu which reclassified such lands as industrial lands. Said ordinance was
approved by the Provincial Board of Cebu on April 3, 1995. Because of
such disapproval, Petitioners filed with the RTC of Toledo City a complaint
for Injunction with application of TRO and a Writ of Preliminary Injunction.
RTC dismissed the complaint for lack of jurisdiction ruling that it is DAR
which has jurisdiction citing Section 20 of the Local Government Code.

Petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration, the Trial Court denied the
same. Hence, Petitioners filed before the Supreme Court a Petition for
Certiorari with application for Temporary Restraining Order and Writ of
Preliminary Injunction. The Supreme Court referred the petition to the
Court of Appeals thru a Resolution dated 11 November 1996. Petitioners
moved for a reconsideration of the said Resolution but the same was
denied thru Resolution dated 27 January 1997.

The Court of Appeals ordered the Public Respondents to file their


comments on the Petition. Two sets of comments from Public respondents,
one from DAR Provincial Office and another from the Office of the Solicitor
General, were submitted, to which petitioners filed their Consolidated

Reply. Court of Appeals rendered a decision affirming the Order of


Dismissal issued by the RTC. Petitioners Motion for Reconsideration was
denied in a Resolution dated 30 January 1998.

Petitioners claim that local grants have the power to reclassify portions
of their agricultural lands, subject to the conditions set forth in Section 20 of
the Local Government Code that if agricultural lands sought to be
reclassified by the local government is one which has already been brought
under the coverage of the CARL and/or which has been distributed to
ARBs, then such reclassification must be confirmed by the DAR pursuant
to its authority under Section 65 of the CARL, in order for the
reclassification to become effective, that if the land sought to be
reclassified is not covered by CARL and not distributed to ARBs, then no
confirmation from DAR is necessary.

Issues:

Whether or not the reclassification of the subject lands to industrial use


by the Municipality of Balamban, Cebu pursuant to its authority under
Section 20 (a) of Republic Act No. 7160 or the Local Government Code of
1991 (the "LGC") has the effect of taking such lands out of coverage of the
CARL and beyond the jurisdiction of the DAR?

Whether or not the Complaint for Injunction may be dismissed under the
doctrine of primary jurisdiction?

Whether or not the Complaint for Injunction is an appropriate remedy


against the order of the DAR enjoining development works on the subject
lands?

Whether or not the Regional Trial Court of Toledo City had authority to
issue a writ of injunction against the DAR?

Held:

The petition lacks merit.


After the passage of R.A. No. 6657, agricultural lands, through
reclassification, have to go through the process of conversion, jurisdiction

over which is vested in the DAR. However, agricultural lands already


reclassified before the effectivity of R.A. No. 6657 are exempted from
conversion.

Reclassification of lands does not suffice. In Alarcon vs. CA (405 SCRA


440) it was ruled that conversion is different from reclassification.
Conversion is the act of changing the current use of a piece of agricultural
land into some other use as approved by DAR. Reclassification is the act of
specifying how agricultural lands shall be utilized, for non-agricultural uses
such as residential, industrial, commercial, as embodied in the land use
plan, subject to the requirements and procedure for land use conversion.

R.A. No. 6657 took effect on 15 June 1988 and Municipal Ordinance
No. 101, which reclassified the subject land, was passed on 25 March
1992, and the Provincial Ordinance No. 95-8 of the Provincial Board of
Cebu, which adopted Municipal Ordinance No. 101 was passed on 03 April
1995, long after R.A. No. 6657 has taken effect. To further clarify any doubt
on its authority, DAR issued Administrative Order No. 12 dated October
1994 which provides for the consolidated and revised rules and procedures
governing conversion of agricultural lands to non-agricultural uses.

The authority of DAR to approve conversions of agricultural lands


covered by Republic Act No. 6657 to non-agricultural uses has not been
pierced by the passage of the Local Government Code. The code explicitly
provides that nothing in this section shall be construed as repealing or
modifying in any manner the provisions of Republic Act No. 6657.

It being settled that jurisdiction over conversion of land is vested in the


DAR, the complaint for injunction was correctly dismissed by the trial and
appellate courts under the doctrine of primary jurisdiction. This Court, in
Bautista v. Mag-isa vda. de Villena, found occasion to reiterate the doctrine
of primary jurisdiction.

The doctrine of primary jurisdiction precludes the courts from resolving


a controversy over which jurisdiction has initially been lodged with an
administrative body of special competence. For agrarian reform case,
jurisdiction is vested in the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR); more

specifically, in the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board


(DARAB).

Injunction is not the appropriate remedy against the order of the DAR
enjoining petitions in developing the subject land. Section 68 of R.A. No.
6657 provides:
"Section 68.
Immunity of Government Agencies from Undue
Interference. No injunction, restraining order, prohibition or mandamus
shall be issued by the lower courts against the Department of Agrarian
Reform (DAR), the Department of Agriculture (DAR), the Department of
Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and the Department of
Justice (DOJ) in their implementation of the program."
JURISDICTION; PARAD ADJUDICATOR HAS PRIMARY AND
EXCLUSIVE ORIGINAL JURISDICTION IN CASES INVOLVING THE
ISSUANCE, CORRECTION AND CANCELLATION OF CERTIFICATE OF
CLOAS

Esperanza vda. de Lopez, et al. vs. Hon. Court of Appeals, et


al.
G.R. No. 146035 (September 9, 2005)
Facts:

The case at bar involved a petition for review filed by petitioner to nullify
and set aside the decision of Court of Appeals. Subject of this litigation are
two parcels of agricultural land located at Sampaloc (Paligui) Apalit,
Pampanga, namely: Lot 847 and Lot 845, with the area of 1.0876 and
1.0632 hectares, respectively. Presently, these lots are covered by Transfer
Certificates of Title No. 4304 and 4305, registered in the name of
respondent Reynald M. Romero, who is the holder of Certificate of Land
Ownership Award (CLOA) Nos. 70690 and 70691 issued by the Secretary
of Agrarian Reform.

Formerly, the subject parcels of agricultural land were covered by a


CLOA in favor of farmer-beneficiary Leonardo Briones. In A.R. Case No.
0029 '94of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Regional

Office at Region III, Dolores, San Fernando, Pampanga herein petitioners


challenged the award of subject lots to Briones.

During the pendency of A.R. Case No. 0029 '94, Briones filed with the
Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (PARAB) at Region III, San
Fernando, Pampanga a petition for the cancellation of his CLOA because
he executed a "Waiver of Rights" in favor of one Erlinda Quintos. Before
this petition for cancellation could be resolved by the PARAB, Briones
executed another "Waiver of Rights" in favor of herein respondent to
facilitate the transfer of the two (2) parcels in question to respondent who
bought said lots from Briones for P2M, as evidenced by a Deed of Absolute
Sale executed by Briones in favor of respondent.

The PARAB Adjudicator Toribio E. Ilao, Jr. granted Briones' petition for
cancellation of his CLOA. Pursuant thereto, the DAR Secretary issued
CLOA Nos. 70690 and 70691 in favor of respondent Romero on the basis
of which TCT Nos. 4304 and 4305 were issued in the latter's name.
Meanwhile, in A.R. Case No. 0029 '94, the DAR Regional Office at Region
III issued an Order dated March 7, 1994.

However, considering that the subject parcels of land were already sold
and transferred, and titles thereto already issued in favor of respondent
Romero, the aforesaid Order of March 7, 1994 in A.R. Case No. 0029'94
was not enforced. Nevertheless, the DAR Regional Office at Region III
continued with its investigation. Then, on December 13, 1995, DAR Region
III Director Eugenio B. Bernardo, issued an Order dispositively reading, as
follows:
REWARDING Lot No. 847 with an area of 1.0376 hectares and a
portion of 1.0632 hectares of Lot No. 845 all at Sampaloc (Paligui),
Apalit, Pampanga in favor of Esperanza vda. de Lopez and Modesta vda.
de Asuncion, and the due issuance of CLOAs in their favor;
DIRECTING Esperanza vda. de Lopez and Modesta vda. de
Asuncion to institute appropriate action before the proper forum for the
cancellation of the CLOAs issued in the name of Reynald Marcelino
Romero; and

Upon knowledge of said Order, respondent Romero filed with


theDepartment of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) at
Region III, San Fernando, Pampanga a petition for "Maintenance of
Peaceful Possession and Annulment/Cancellation of Order dated
December 13, 1995 with Injunction".

Petitioners filed a Motion to Dismiss, arguing that the PARAB has no


jurisdiction to entertain Romero's aforementioned petition because the
questioned Order dated December 13, 1995 of DAR Region III Director
Eugenio Bernardo is administrative in nature and, therefore, should have
been appealed by Romero to the DAR Secretary. On appeal, Court of
Appeals dismissed petitioner's recourse as well as the motion for
reconsideration filed by petitioner.

PARAB Adjudicator Ilao, Jr., denied petitioners' Motion to


Dismiss.Therefrom, petitioner went to the Court Appeals via a petition
for certiorari.
Hence, this instant petition for review.

Issue:

Whether or not PARAB Adjudicator has jurisdiction over a case involving


the issuance, correction and cancellation of Certificates of Land Ownership
Award (CLOAS)

Held:

The pertinent and applicable Rule II, Section 1(a) clearly states that the
DARAB has "primary and exclusive original and appellate
jurisdiction"to determine and adjudicate all agrarian disputes involving:
(1) the implementation of the CARP under RA 6657, E.O. No. 228, and
129-A, RA No. 3844, as amended by RA No. 6389, PD No. 27 and other
agrarian laws and their implementing rules; and (2) the rights and
obligations of persons, whether natural or juridical where such person is
engaged in the management, cultivation and use of all agricultural
lands covered by CARP and other agrarian laws. Thus, inasmuch as the
peaceful possession of respondent Romero which is being disturbed by the
assailed December 13, 1995 Order of DAR Region III Director Eugenio

Bernardo pertains to an agrarian dispute, involving, as they do, the rights of


respondent Romero as an awardee of a CLOA over the subject parcels of
agricultural land, which are now registered in his name under TCT Nos.
4304 and 4305, we rule and so hold that the PARAD has the primary and
exclusive original and appellate jurisdiction over said order assailed
inDARAB Case No. 4098 P'96.

Simply put, we find no reversible error on the part of the Court of


Appeals in affirming the PARAD's denial of petitioners' motion to dismiss.
The Court of Appeals correctly ruled that PARAB Adjudicator Ilao, Jr. has
jurisdiction over DARAB Case No. 4098 P'96 under the afore-quoted Rule
II, Section 1(a) of the DARAB New Rules of Procedure.
Undoubtedly, DARAB Case No. 4098 P'96 is an agrarian dispute
involving rights of respondent Romero over the subject agricultural lands,
which rights were disturbed by the Order dated December 13, 1995 of
DAR Region III Director Eugenio Bernardo by disqualifying Romero as
farmer-beneficiary of the subject lots and directing petitioners to institute
appropriate action before the proper forum for the cancellation of the
CLOAs issued in the name of respondent Romero. With respect to
petitioners' contention that the aforesaid DAR orders had become final and
executory on account of respondent Romero's failure to appeal the same to
the DAR Secretary, suffice it to say that should the PARAD ultimately find
said orders to have been issued without jurisdiction, the PARAD is
sufficiently clothed with authority and definitely has the jurisdiction to
declare the same null and void under the time-honored principle that void
judgments never become final and executory and cannot be the source of
any right whatsoever.
COVERAGE; CARP COVERED PROPERTY DONATED
CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION FOR CHARITABLE PURPOSE

FOR

REPEALING LAW; P.D. NO. 27 AND REPUBLIC ACT NO. 6657


OTHERWISE KNOWN AS COMPREHENSIVE AGRARIAN REFORM
LAW REPEALED SPECIAL LAW SECTION 4 OF ACT NO. 3239
POLICE POWER; EXERCISE OF POLICE POWER PREVAILS OVER
OBLIGATION IMPOSED BY PRIVATE CONTRACT

Hospicio De San Jose de Barili, Cebu City vs. Department of


Agrarian Reform
G.R. No. 140847 (September 23, 2005)
Facts:

Petitioner Hospicio de San Jose de Barili ("Hospicio") is a charitable


organization created as a body corporate in 1925 by Act No. 3239. The law
was enacted in order to formally accept the offer made by Pedro Cui and
Benigna Cui to establish a home for the care and support, free of charge,
of indigent invalids and incapacitated and helpless persons.

The Department of Agrarian Reform Regional Office (DARRO) Region


VII issued an order ordaining that two parcels of land owned by the
Hospicio be placed under Operation Land Transfer in favor of twenty-two
(22) tillers thereof as beneficiaries. Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 27, a
land reform law, was cited as legal basis for the order. The Hospicio filed a
motion for the reconsideration of the order with the Department of Agrarian
Reform (DAR) Secretary, citing the aforementioned Section 4 of Act No.
3239. It argued that Act No. 3239 is a special law, which could not have
been repealed by P.D. No. 27, a general law, or by the latter's general
repealing clause.

The DAR Secretary rejected the motion for reconsideration in an Order


held that P.D. No. 27 was a special law, as it applied only to particular
individuals in the State, specifically the tenants of rice and corn lands.
Moreover, P.D. No. 27, which covered all rice and corn lands, provides no
exemptions based on the manner of acquisition of the land by the
landowner. The Order of the DAR Secretary was assailed in a Petition for
Certiorari filed with the Court of Appeals which the latter, the Court of
Appeals and hereby, the Court of Appeals affirmed the DAR Secretary's
issuance. It sustained the position of the Office of the Solicitor General
(OSG) position that Section 4 of Act No. 3239 was expressly repealed not
only by P.D. No. 27, but also by Republic Act No. 6657, otherwise known
as the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988, both laws being
explicit in mandating the distribution of agricultural lands to qualified
beneficiaries. The Court of Appeals further noted that the subject lands did
not fall among the exemptions provided under Section 10 of Rep. Act No.

6657. The appellate court brought into play the aims of land reform,
affirming as it did "the need to distribute and create an economic
equilibrium among the inhabitants of this land, most especially those with
less privilege in life, our peasant farmer."

Unsatisfied with the Court of Appeals' Decision, petitioner filed Petition


for Review.

Issues:

Whether or not provision in Section 4 of Act No. 3239 prohibiting the


sale of the properties donated to the charitable organization that was
incorporated by the same law bars the implementation of agrarian reform
laws as regards said properties?

Whether or not Act No. 3239 was repealed by P.D. No. 27 or Republic
Act No. 6657?

Whether or not P.D. No. 1808 impairs the constitutional guaranty of nonimpairment of obligation contract?

Held:

Under Section 4 of the CARL, place under coverage are all public and
private agricultural lands regardless of tenurial arrangement and
commodity produced, subject to the exempted lands listed in Section 10
thereof. We agree with the Court of Appeals that neither P.D. No. 27 nor
the CARL exempts the lands of the Hospicio or other charitable institutions
from the coverage of agrarian reform. Ultimately, the result arrived at in the
assailed issuances should be affirmed. Nonetheless, both the DAR
Secretary and the appellate court failed to appreciate what to this Court is
indeed the decisive legal dimension of the case.

Agrarian reform is justified under the State's inherent power of eminent


domain that enables it to forcibly acquire private lands intended for public
use upon payment of just compensation to the owner. It has even been
characterized as beyond the traditional exercise of eminent domain, but a
revolutionary kind of expropriation.

This characterization is warranted whether the expropriation is operative


under the CARL or P.D. No. 27, as both laws are keyed into the same
governmental objective. Moreover, under both laws, the landowner is
entitled to just compensation for the properties taken. The twin process of
expropriation of lands under agrarian reform and the payment of just
compensation is akin to a forced sale, which has been aptly described in
common law jurisdictions as "sale made under the process of the court,
and in the mode prescribed by law," and "which is not the voluntary act of
the owner, such as to satisfy a debt, whether of a mortgage, judgment, tax
lien, etc."

Thus, we can hardly characterize the acquisition of the subject


properties from the Hospicio for the benefit of the tenants as a sale, within
the contemplation of Section 4 of Act No. 3239. The transfer arises from
compulsion of law, and not the desire of any parties. Even if the Hospicio
had voluntarily offered to surrender its properties to agrarian reform, the
resulting transaction would not be considered as a conventional sale, since
the obligation is created not out of the mandate of the parties, but the will of
the law. Regrettably, the DAR Secretary and the Court of Appeals failed to
apply that sound principle, preferring to rely instead on the conclusion that
Section 4 was repealed by P.D. No. 27 and the CARL.

Nonetheless, even assuming for the nonce that Section 4 contemplates


even forced sales such as those through expropriation, we would agree
with the DAR Secretary and the Court of Appeals that Section 4 is deemed
repealed by P.D. No. 27 and the CARL.

The other arguments raised by the Hospicio are similarly bereft of merit.
It wants us to hold that P.D. No. 27 and the CARL, both enacted to
implement the urgently needed policy of agrarian reform, violate the nonimpairment of contracts clause under the Bill of Rights. Yet the broad
sweep of this argument ignores the nuances adopted by this Court in
interpreting Section 10 of Article III. We have held that the State's exercise
of police powers may prevail over obligations imposed by private contracts.

The rationale for holding that the properties of the Hospicio are covered
by P.D. No. 27 and Rep. Act No. 6657 is so well-grounded in law that it
obviates any resort to the sordid game of choosing which of the two

competing aspirations is nobler. The body which would have


unquestionable discretion in assigning hierarchical values on the modalities
by which social justice may be implemented is the legislature. Land reform
affords the opportunity for the landless to break away from the vicious cycle
of having to perpetually rely on the kindness of others. By refusing to
exempt properties owned by charitable institutions or maintained for
charitable purposes from agrarian reform, the legislature has indicated a
policy choice which the Court is bound to implement.
COVERAGE;
PRESIDENTIAL
PROCLAMATION
NO.
2052
JURISDICTION; DAR NOT THE COURT HAS THE JURISDICTION ON
ISSUE OF TENANCY

Department of Agrarian Reform, et al. vs. Paulino Franco


G.R. No. 147479 (September 26, 2005)
Facts:

In the case at bar it involved a petition for review of the Decision of the
Court of Appeals affirming the decision of the Department of Agrarian
Reform Adjudication Board ("DARAB") with modification by deleting the
disturbance compensation.

The Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer Patrocinia G. Mercado ("MARO


Mercado" of the Department of Agrarian Reform ("DAR") sent a letter to
Paulino Franco ("Franco") through Franco's attorney-in-fact, Plaridel Seno
("Seno") requesting Franco to attend a conference to discuss the terms and
conditions of bringing under the agricultural leasehold system Franco's
land located in Babag, Cebu City with an aggregate area of 36.8 hectares.
Franco failed to attend the meeting and merely sent a letter-reply to MARO
Mercado, objecting to the placement of his land under the coverage of
Republic Act No. 6657 ("RA 6657") or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform
Law of 1988.

MARO Mercado prepared the documentation folders for Provisional


Lease Rentals in favor of the private petitioners herein. Acting Provincial
Agrarian Reform Officer Buenaventura Pomida ("PARO Pomida") approved
the Provisional Lease Rentals recommended by MARO Mercado. Franco
filed with the DARAB, Region VII, Cebu City a petition to nullify the orders

of MARO Mercado and PARO Pomida. Franco alleged that the land could
not be placed under the agricultural leasehold system because
Proclamation No. 2052 dated 30 January 1981 and Letter of Instruction No.
1256 ("LOI No. 1256") dated 14 July 1982 had already classified the land
as non-agricultural.

The Agrarian Reform Adjudicator ("Adjudicator") ruled in favor of Franco,


declaring the assailed orders void. Citing Proclamation No. 2052, LOI No.
1256, and the Order dated 16 September 1992 of then DAR Secretary
Ernesto Garilao, the Adjudicator held that Franco's land is excluded from
the coverage of the Operation Land Transfer under Presidential Decree No.
27 and the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law under RA 6657.

On appeal, the DARAB rendered its Decision dated 23 July 1996


affirming the decision of the Adjudicator. The DARAB held that Franco's
land was not agricultural land at the time the questioned orders were
issued. The DARAB cited two reasons: (1) Franco's land is within the
tourism zone pursuant to Proclamation No. 2052, promulgated on 30
January 1981, and which preceded the enactment of RA 6657 which
became effective on 15 June 1988; and (2) the purpose of Proclamation
No. 2052 is manifested in the issuance of LOI No. 1256 which directed the
DAR Secretary to exempt the areas situated within the declared Tourist
Zone from the coverage of the Operation Land Transfer, and to suspend or
cancel all processing for coverage of these areas under the land reform
program.

In the Decision, one of the members of the DARAB, Lorenzo R. Reyes


("Reyes"), made a handwritten note under his signature stating: "Petitionerappellee [Franco] will still have to apply for conversion and if granted
appellants will be entitled to disturbance compensation."

Franco filed a Motion for Reconsideration. Thereafter, said Motion was


denied by DARAB for lack of merit. On appeal, the Court of Appeals
rendered decision affirming the DARAB decision with the modification that
private petitioners have no right to disturbance compensation.

Issues:

Whether or not the handwritten note made by one of the members of


DARAB under his signature form part of DARAB decision?

Whether or not the findings of Non-Tenancy as ruled by the Court of


Appeals is proper inspite of the fact the same has not been factually
determined in the Court a quo?

Held:

Obviously, the handwritten note of DARAB member Reyes does not


form part of the decision and cannot be the subject of a motion for
reconsideration. Thus, it was proper for the DARAB to dismiss the motion
for reconsideration, albeit the resolution denying the motion for
reconsideration failed to mention the impropriety of the issue raised in such
motion.

Again, Franco sought for review not the DARAB decision but the onesentence handwritten note of DARAB member Reyes, which is a mere
opinion of a lone member of the DARAB and has no binding effect. The
view expressed in the note is not the opinion of the DARAB and does not
form part of the DARAB decision. Certainly, the note does not form part of
the dispositive portion of the DARAB decision which could be subject to an
appeal. The Court reiterated that "A judgment must be distinguished from
an opinion. The latter is the informal expression of the views of the court
and cannot prevail against its final order or decision. While the two may be
combined in one instrument, the opinion forms no part of the judgment.

Indeed, the ruling of the appellate court that private petitioners have no
right to disturbance compensation because they have not proven that they
are tenants of Franco's land went beyond the DARAB decision being
appealed. The determination of entitlement to disturbance compensation is
still premature at this stage since this case originally involved only the issue
of nullity of the Provisional Lease Rental Orders. Further, it is the DAR that
can best determine and identify the legitimate tenants who have a right to
disturbance compensation.
TENANCY; ESSENTIAL REQUISITES OF TENANCY RELATIONSHIP;
AGRICULTURAL
TENANCY
AS
DEFINED
UNDER
THE
AGRICULTURAL TENANCY ACT OF THE PHILIPPINES; TENANCY

RELATIONS CANNOT BE BARGAINED AWAY EXCEPT FOR THE


STRONG
REASONS
PROVIDED
BY
LAW;
CHANGE
OF
LANDOWNERSHIP DOES NOT TERMINATE AGRICULTURAL
TENANCY RELATIONSHIP

LUDO & LUYM Development Corporation and/or CPC


Development Corporation vs. Vicente C. Barreto as
substituted by his heirs namely: Maxima L. Barreto,
Peregrina B. Uy, Rogelio L. Barreto, Violeta L. Barreto,
Florenda B. Templanza, Eduardo L. Barreto, Evelyn B.
Bersamin, Cecilia B. Aquino and Nelson Nilo L. Barreto
G.R. No. 147266 (September 30, 2005)
Facts:

The present petition stemmed from a complaint for "Opposition Against


the Application for Renewal of the Conversion Order/Claim for Payment of
Disturbance Compensation Plus Damages" filed on 30 April 1991 by
Vicente C. Barreto against herein petitioners LUDO and CPC before the
DARAB Regional Office in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte, involving a thirtysix-hectare land covered by TCT No. 18822-25, six hectares of which were
devoted for the planting of coconuts, while the remaining thirty hectares
had been planted with sugarcane.

In 1938, Vicente C. Barreto, as tenant of landowner Antonio Bartolome,


worked on and cultivated two hectares of land devoted to sugarcane
plantation. In 1956, Antonio Bartolome sold the entire estate to LUDO with
the latter absorbing all the farmworkers of the former. Vicente C. Barreto
was designated as a co-overseer with Bartolome on the six-hectare coco
land portion of the estate, pending the development of the entire estate into
a residential-commercial complex.

Pursuant to City Ordinance No. 1313, the subject landholding fell within
the Commercial-Residential Zone of the city. On 30 March 1978, the
Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) issued a conversion permit to
petitioner LUDO authorizing the conversion of the entire estate into a
residential/commercial lot. On 24 November 1988, petitioner CPC, the

developer of the subject property, requested for the renewal of the


conversion permit earlier issued to the LUDO. Vicente C. Barreto opposed
by filing a letter-complaint on 30 April 1991 before the DARAB Regional
Office in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte, on the ground that such act was one
of the prohibited acts enjoined by Section 73 of Republic Act No. 6657. The
DARAB rendered a decision, in favor of petitioners LUDO and CPC, finding
that there was no tenancy relationship existing between LUDO and Vicente
C. Barreto, thus, no disturbance compensation was due the latter for
having been dispossessed of the six-hectare landholding he had been
tilling. The DARAB Regional Office gave ample credence to the affidavit of
Antonio Bartolome, complainant's co-overseer and former owner of the
thirty-six-hectare landholding.

On appeal to DARAB Central Office, the latter affirmed the PARAD's


Decision which CA annulled and set aside through a resolution dated 12
August 1997, hence, the petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of
the Rules of Court.

Issue:

Whether or not there existed a tenancy relationship between petitioner


LUDO and Vicente C. Barreto?

Is the Statute of Limitation under R.A. No. 3844 applicable to bar


payment of disturbance compensation to a tenant?

Is deceased Vicente C. Barreto entitled to disturbance compensation for


his dispossession?

Held:

The findings of the Court of Appeals and the Boards a quo are,
generally, entitled to respect and non-disturbance. The Court found that
there was a compelling reason for it to apply the exception of nonconclusiveness of their factual findings on the ground that the findings of
facts of both courts contradict each other. An overwhelming evidence in
favor of the late Vicente C. Barreto was overlooked and disregarded.

In the case at bar, it bears emphasizing that no one has denied the
existence of the tenancy status of deceased Vicente C. Barreto over the
subject thirty-six-hectare landholding with respect to its former owner,
Antonio Bartolome. There being no waiver executed by Barreto, no less
than the law clarifies that the existence of an agricultural tenancy
relationship is not terminated by mere changes of ownership, in cases of
sale or transfer of legal possession as in lease. Section 10 of Rep. Act No.
3844 provides that the agricultural leasehold relation shall not be
extinguished by the sale, of the landholding. In case the agricultural lessor
sells, the purchaser shall be subrogated to the rights and substituted to the
obligations of the agricultural lessor.

For this reason, when petitioner LUDO became the owner of the subject
landholding, it became subrogated to the rights and obligations of its
predecessor-in-interest, Antonio Bartolome, his obligation under the law to
Barreto, continues and subsists until terminated as provided for by law.

A tenant has been defined under Section 5(a) of Rep. Act No. 1199 as a
person who, himself, and with the aid available from within his immediate
household, cultivates the land belonging to or possessed by another, with
the latter's consent for purposes of production, sharing the produce with
the landholder under the share tenancy system, or paying to the landholder
a price certain or ascertainable in produce or in money or both, under the
leasehold system. Applying the preceding to the case at bar, what became
apparent from the records is that though the late Vicente C. Barreto was
designated as a co-overseer of the subject landholding, he was also tilling
the land and had a sharing arrangement with petitioner LUDO and Antonio
Bartolome. What is glittering, therefore, is that the deceased also took on
the added duty of being the overseer of the petitioners. Nothing in law and
in the facts of the case at bar excludes one from the other.

Reclassification is very much different from conversion. The latter is the


act of changing the current use of a piece of agricultural land into some
other use as approved by the DAR. Reclassification, in contrast, is the act
of specifying how agricultural lands shall be utilized for non-agricultural
uses such as residential, industrial or commercial, as embodied in the land
use plan, subject to the requirements and procedure for land use
conversion. Accordingly, a mere reclassification of agricultural land does

not automatically allow a landowner to change its use and thus cause the
ejectment of the tenants. Parties can still continue with their tenurial
relationship even after such reclassification. He has to undergo the process
of conversion before he is permitted to use the agricultural land for other
purposes.

In the case at bar, though there appears to be no court proceeding


which took cognizance of the reclassification/application for conversion of
the subject landholding from agricultural to residential/commercial, the
permit issued by the DAR on 30 March 1978 was never assailed and thus,
attained finality. In the case of Bunye v. Aquino, the Court allowed the
payment of disturbance compensation because there was an order of
conversion issued by the DAR of the landholding from agricultural to
residential. The decree was never questioned and thus became final.
Consequently, the tenants were ejected from the land and were thus
awarded disturbance compensation. Hence, Barreto, who used to be a
tenant of petitioner LUDO at the time of the conversion of the subject
landholding, is entitled to disturbance compensation for his dispossession.
CONSTITUTIONALITY OF DAR ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 09,
SERIES OF 1993 WHICH PRESCRIBES A MAXIMUM RETENTION
LIMIT FOR OWNERS OF LAND DEVOTED TO LIVESTOCK RAISING;
RULE MAKING POWER OF DAR UNDER SECTION 49 OF THE CARL

Department of Agrarian Reform, represented by Secretary


Jose Mari B. Ponce (OIC) vs. Delia T. Sutton, Ella T. SuttonSoliman and Harry T. Sutton
G.R. No. 162070 (October 19, 2005)
Facts:

This is a petition for review filed by the Department of Agrarian Reform


(DAR) of the Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals, dated
September 19, 2003 and February 4, 2004, respectively, which declared
DAR Administrative Order (A.O.) No. 9, series of 1993, null and void for
being violative of the Constitution.

The case involves a land in Aroroy, Masbate, inherited by respondents


which has been devoted exclusively to cow and calf breeding. On October

26, 1987, pursuant to the then existing agrarian reform program of the
government, respondents made a voluntary offer to sell (VOS) their
landholdings to petitioner DAR to avail of certain incentives under the law.

On June 10, 1988, a new agrarian law, Republic Act (R.A.) No. 6657,
also known as the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL) of 1988,
took effect. It included in its coverage farms used for raising livestock,
poultry and swine.

On December 4, 1990, in an en banc decision in the case of Luz Farms


v. Secretary of DAR, the Court ruled that lands devoted to livestock and
poultry-raising are not included in the definition of agricultural land and
declared as unconstitutional certain provisions of the CARL insofar as they
included livestock farms in the coverage of agrarian reform. In view of this,
respondents filed with petitioner DAR a formal request to withdraw their
VOS as their landholding was devoted exclusively to cattle-raising and thus
exempted from the coverage of the CARL.

On December 21, 1992, the Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer of


Aroroy, Masbate, inspected respondents' land and found that it was
devoted solely to cattle-raising and breeding. He recommended to the DAR
Secretary that it be exempted from the coverage of the CARL.

On April 27, 1993, respondents reiterated to petitioner DAR the


withdrawal of their VOS and requested the return of the supporting papers
they submitted in connection therewith. Petitioner ignored such request.

On December 27, 1993, DAR issued A.O. No. 9, series of 1993, which
provided that only portions of private agricultural lands used for the raising
of livestock, poultry and swine as of June 15, 1988 shall be excluded from
the coverage of the CARL. In determining the area of land to be excluded,
the A.O. fixed the following retention limits, viz.: 1:1 animal-land ratio and a
ratio of 1.7815 hectares for livestock infrastructure for every 21 heads of
cattle shall likewise be excluded from the operations of the CARL.

On February 4, 1994, respondents wrote the DAR Secretary and


advised him to consider as final and irrevocable the withdrawal of their

VOS as, under the Luz Farms doctrine, their entire landholding is exempted
from the CARL.

On September 14, 1995, then DAR Secretary Ernesto D. Garilao issued


an Order partially granting the application of respondents for exemption
from the coverage of CARL. Applying the retention limits outlined in the
DAR A.O. No. 9, petitioner exempted 1,209 hectares of respondents' land
for grazing purposes, and a maximum of 102.5635 hectares for
infrastructure. Petitioner ordered the rest of respondents' landholding to be
segregated and placed under Compulsory Acquisition.

Respondents moved for reconsideration, contending that their entire


landholding should be exempted as it is devoted exclusively to cattleraising. Said motion was denied. Respondents filed a notice of appeal with
the Office of the President assailing: (1) the reasonableness and validity of
DAR A.O. No. 9, s. 1993, which provided for a ratio between land and
livestock in determining the land area qualified for exclusion from the
CARL, and (2) the constitutionality of DAR A.O. No. 9, s. 1993, in view of
the Luz Farms case which declared cattle-raising lands excluded from the
coverage of agrarian reform. The OP affirmed the impugned order. On
appeal to CA, the CA ruled in favor of respondents and declared A.O. No.
9, Series of 1993 as void.

Issue:

Whether or not DAR Administrative Order No. 09, Series of 1993 which
prescribes a maximum retention for owners of lands devoted to livestock
raising is constitutional?

Held:

The impugned A.O. is invalid as it contravenes the Constitution. The


A.O. sought to regulate livestock farms by including them in the coverage
of agrarian reform and prescribing a maximum retention limit for their
ownership. However, the deliberations of the 1987 Constitutional
Commission show a clear intent to exclude, inter alia, all lands exclusively
devoted to livestock, swine and poultry-raising. The Court clarified in the
Luz Farms case that livestock, swine and poultry-raising are industrial

activities and do not fall within the definition of "agriculture" or "agricultural


activity." The raising of livestock, swine and poultry is different from crop or
tree farming. It is an industrial, not an agricultural, activity. A great portion
of the investment in this enterprise is in the form of industrial fixed assets,
such as: animal housing structures and facilities, drainage, waterers and
blowers, feedmill with grinders, mixers, conveyors, exhausts and
generators, extensive warehousing facilities for feeds and other supplies,
anti-pollution equipment like bio-gas and digester plants augmented by
lagoons and concrete ponds, deepwells, elevated water tanks,
pumphouses, sprayers, and other technological appurtenance.

Petitioner DAR has no power to regulate livestock farms which have


been exempted by the Constitution from the coverage of agrarian reform. It
has exceeded its power in issuing the assailed A.O.

Moreover, it is a fundamental rule of statutory construction that the


reenactment of a statute by Congress without substantial change is an
implied legislative approval and adoption of the previous law. On the other
hand, by making a new law, Congress seeks to supersede an earlier one.
In the case at bar, after the passage of the 1988 CARL, Congress enacted
R.A. No. 7881 which amended certain provisions of the CARL. Specifically,
the new law changed the definition of the terms "agricultural activity" and
"commercial farming" by dropping from its coverage lands that are devoted
to commercial livestock, poultry and swine-raising. With this significant
modification, Congress clearly sought to align the provisions of our
agrarian laws with the intent of the 1987 Constitutional Commission to
exclude livestock farms from the coverage of agrarian reform.

It is doctrinal that rules of administrative bodies must be in harmony with


the provisions of the Constitution. They cannot amend or extend the
Constitution. To be valid, they must conform to and be consistent with the
Constitution. In case of conflict between an administrative order and the
provisions of the Constitution, the latter prevails. The assailed A.O. of
petitioner DAR was properly stricken down as unconstitutional as it
enlarges the coverage of agrarian reform beyond the scope intended by the
1987 Constitution.

TENANCY; TENANCY RELATIONSHIP CANNOT BE PRESUMED;


TENANCY RELATIONSHIP MUST EXIST BETWEEN THE LITIGANTS
BEFORE DARAB MAY TAKE COGNIZANCE; INDISPENSABLE
REQUISITES OF TENANCY RELATIONSHIP

Domingo C. Suarez vs. Leo B. Saul, Roger S. Brillo, Efrain S.


Brillo, Eleno S. Brillo and Ignacio G. Pelaez
G.R. No. 166664 (October 20, 2005)
Facts:

The case arose from a complaint for reinstatement with preliminary


mandatory injunction, recovery of possession and damages filed by
respondents against petitioner and T'boli Agro-Industrial Development, Inc.
(TADI) before the Office of the Provincial Adjudicator, Department of
Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB). Respondents claimed that
they were agricultural tenants in petitioner's land on a 25-75 sharing
agreement; petitioner voluntarily offered the land for sale to the government
under a Voluntary Offer to Sell (VOS) that they signed the documents for
the transfer of the land under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform
Program (CARP) as farmer-beneficiaries; that while the VOS was being
processed, they were summarily ejected from the property by TADI after
the latter entered into a Grower Agreement with Contract to Buy with
petitioner thereby depriving them of their landholdings.

Petitioner contended that respondents were installed as tenants, not by


him, but by Wennie Gonzaga of the DAR in Koronadal, South Cotabato. He
denied the existence of a grower's contract between him and TADI over the
subject land. The latter claimed that its grower's contract with petitioner
covered parcels of land different from those being claimed by respondents.

The Regional Adjudicator dismissed the complaint for lack of merit


finding that respondents failed to prove their alleged tenancy over
petitioner's land, and while they were identified as potential farmerbeneficiaries of the land subject of the VOS, they only have an "inchoate
right" to the land since its coverage under the CARP has yet to be
completed.

On appeal, the DARAB Central Office rendered a Decision reversing the


Regional Adjudicator declaring the respondents as bona-fide tenants; it
ordered the reinstatement of respondents in their respective original
landholdings after harvest, and ordered the MARO and other concerned
DAR officers to determine the disturbance compensation from the time of
actual ejectment to actual reinstatement. The Court of Appeals affirmed the
said DARAB Decision. Hence, the instant petition assailing the Court of
Appeals Decision.

Issues:

Whether or not the respondents are bona fide agricultural tenants under
the law?

Whether or not the petitioner illegally ejected respondents from their


landholdings?

Held:

The petitioner's admission that respondents were tenants in the land,


was qualified in paragraph 2 of petitioner's answer that it was Wennie
Gonzaga of DAR who installed them as such. Clearly, it was the DAR who
placed respondents in actual possession of the land upon petitioner's offer
to transfer the same to the government. Other than this supposed
admission, there is no evidence on record to prove the tenancy relations.
Respondents did not substantiate their claim with evidence to show that
they were agricultural tenants in petitioner's land. They did not allege actual
cultivation or specify the crop produced thereby. Neither did they mention
how much of the produce was delivered to petitioner or submit receipts to
prove the purported 25-75 sharing of harvests. They did not state, much
less prove, the circumstances of their agreement with petitioner as to the
alleged tenancy relationship. Thus, there is no basis to the claim that they
are agricultural tenants on the property.

In VHJ Construction and Development Corporation v. Court of


Appeals, it was held that a tenancy relationship cannot be presumed.
There must be evidence to prove the tenancy relations such that all its
indispensable elements must be established, to wit: (1) the parties are the

landowner and the tenant; (2) the subject is agricultural land; (3) there is
consent by the landowner; (4) the purpose is agricultural production; (5)
there is personal cultivation; and (6) there is sharing of the harvests. All
these requisites are necessary to create tenancy relationship, and the
absence of one or more requisites will not make the alleged tenant a de
facto tenant.

In this case, there is no showing that there exists a tenancy relationship


between petitioner and respondents. Likewise, respondents have no
tenancy relationship with TADI, against whom they principally have a cause
of action. The controversy is civil in nature since it involves the issue of
material possession, independent of any question pertaining to agricultural
tenancy. Hence, the case falls outside the jurisdiction of DARAB, it is
cognizable by the regular courts.
AUTHORITY TO APPEAR; IN BEHALF OF PETITIONER; WHO HAS
AUTHORITY TO FILE NOTICE OF APPEAL

Land Bank of the Philippines vs. Pamintuan Development


Co., represented by Mariano Pamintuan, Jr.
G.R. No. 167886 (October 25, 2005)
Facts:

This is a petition for review on certiorari assailing the April 15, 2005
Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 85843, which
dismissed Land Bank of the Philippines' (LANDBANK's) petition and
sustained the August 2, 2004 Order of the Department of Agrarian Reform
Adjudication Board (DARAB) which denied due course to the notice of
appeal and notice of entry of appearance filed by LANDBANK's counsels.

In DARAB case for Preliminary Determination of Just Compensation,


DARAB rendered a Decision dated April 27, 2004, fixing the just
compensation of respondent Pamintuan Development Company's
274.9037 hectare lot covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-4972
and located at San Vicente, Makilala, Cotabato, at P58,237,301.68.
Petitioner moved for reconsideration but was denied. On June 4, 2004,
Attys. Engilberto F. Montarde and Felix F. Mesa, filed a Notice of Entry of

Appearance in behalf of petitioner. Within the period to appeal, or on June


15, 2004, said counsels also filed a Notice of Appeal via registered mail.
Respondent filed an Opposition contending that the notice of appeal and
notice of entry of appearance should be denied due course because Attys.
Montarde and Mesa failed to show that their appearance was authorized by
petitioner. Said new counsels, on the other hand, asserted that they were
duly authorized, attaching to their Comment the Special Power of Attorney
(SPA) executed by Gilda E. Pico, Executive Vice President of petitioner,
authorizing Loreto B. Corotan to represent, and designating Attys.
Montarde and Mesa as counsels for LANDBANK.

On August 2, 2004, DARAB issued an order holding that Attys.


Montarde and Mesa are without authority to represent petitioner because
the latter failed to effect a valid substitution of their former counsel of
record. It added that the April 27, 2004 decision had become final and
executory because the notice of appeal filed by its purported new counsels
is a mere scrap of paper which did not toll the running of the reglementary
period to appeal.

Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration appending two memoranda


signed by Atty. Danilo B. Beramo, petitioner's Department Manager and
Head, Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) Legal Services
Department, confirming the authority of Atty. Montarde to file a notice of
appeal.

The DARAB, however, denied petitioner's motion for reconsideration.


Hence, a petition for certiorari was filed by petitioner with the Court of
Appeals, but the latter dismissed the petition. It sustained the DARAB's
finding that Attys. Montarde and Mesa were not clothed with authority to file
the notice of appeal.

Petitioner filed the instant petition with prayer for the issuance of a
temporary restraining order.

In a resolution dated June 6, 2005, the Court issued a temporary


restraining order enjoining the execution of the April 27, 2004 decision of
the DARAB.

Issue:

Who has the authority to file a Notice of Appeal on behalf of a


petitioner?

Held:

We find that the DARAB gravely abused its discretion in holding that
Attys. Montarde and Mesa lacked the authority to file a notice of appeal in
behalf of petitioner. Section 21, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court provides:
"SEC. 21. Authority of attorney to appear. An attorney is presumed
to be properly authorized to represent any cause in which he appears,
and no written power of attorney is required to authorize him to appear in
court for his client, but the presiding judge may, on motion of either party
and on reasonable grounds therefor being shown, require any attorney
who assumes the right to appear in a case to produce or prove the
authority under which he appears, and to disclose, whenever pertinent to
any issue, the name of the person who employed him, and may
thereupon make such order as justice requires. An attorney wilfully
appearing in court for a person without being employed, unless by leave
of the court, may be punished for contempt as an officer of the court who
has misbehaved in his official transactions."

The presumption in favor of the counsel's authority to appear in behalf


of a client is a strong one. A lawyer is not even required to present a written
authorization from the client. In fact, the absence of a formal notice of entry
of appearance will not invalidate the acts performed by the counsel in his
client's name. However, the court, on its own initiative or on motion of the
other party require a lawyer to adduce authorization from the client.

In the case at bar, the filing of a notice of entry of appearance by Attys.


Montarde and Mesa, gave rise to the presumption that they have the
authority to file the notice of appeal in behalf of petitioner. When their
authority was challenged, they presented the SPA executed by Gilda E.
Pico, Executive Vice President of LANDBANK authorizing them to
represent petitioner; and the two memoranda of Atty. Danilo B. Beramo,
Department Manager and Head, CARP Legal Services Department,

requesting Atty. Montarde to file a notice of appeal. These documents are


sufficient proof of their authority to represent petitioner's cause. The doubt
entertained by the DARAB as to when the SPA and memoranda were
executed is of no consequence in view of petitioner's vigorous assertion
that it authorized said lawyers to file a notice of appeal. Indeed, even an
unauthorized appearance of an attorney may be ratified by the client either
expressly or impliedly. Ratification retroacts to the date of the lawyer's first
appearance and validates the action taken by him.

The DARAB's assertion that Attys. Montarde and Mesa cannot validly
represent petitioner because there was no proper substitution of counsels,
lacks merit. Petitioner never intended to replace its counsel of record, the
law firm Piczon, Beramo & Associates. Though not specified in the notice,
Attys. Montarde and Mesa entered their appearance as collaborating
counsels.
TENANCY RELATIONSHIP; ELEMENTS

Alejandro Danan, et al. vs. The Hon. Court of Appeals and


Estrella Arrastia
G.R. No. 132759 (October 25, 2005)
The Court of Appeals and the DARAB vs. Estrella Arrastia
G.R. No. 132866 (October 25, 2005)
Facts:

Sometime in 1976, a certain Rustico Coronel leased the subject


property for a period of twelve (12) years or until the crop year 1987 to
1988. Then, persons claiming to be farmers and residents
of Barangay Lourdes andBarangay San Rafael signed a joint resolution as
members of the Aniban ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura ("AMA") to
enter and lease the subject property from the Arrastia heirs. They entered
the disputed land and planted various crops thereon. This culminated in a
violent confrontation on May 21, 1988 that led to the filing of criminal
charges against AMA members.

On June 2, 1988, the AMA filed a complaint with petitioner DARAB,


praying that respondent Arrastia be prevented from destroying standing
crops on the disputed property and from fencing said property and that
petitioners be allowed to continue with their farming thereon. On August 15,
1988, the DARAB ordered the DAR Regional Director to conduct an ocular
inspection on the disputed property. The inspection team submitted an
Ocular/Investigation Report stating that there were no substantially
significant plantings on the disputed property. The Municipal Agrarian
Reform Officer ("MARO") of Lubao, Pampanga also submitted a report
recommending the disqualification of private petitioners from availing of the
benefits under the CARP.

On October 5, 1988, the DARAB issued an order denying AMA's motion


for authority to cultivate and the order became final and executory on July
29, 1989.

Arrastia instituted an action against private petitioners for violation of


Section 73(b) of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 6657 on October 9, 1989 and the
trial court, sitting as a special agrarian court ("SAC"), issued a temporary
restraining order. Subsequently a preliminary injunction, both enjoining
private petitioners from entering and cultivating the disputed property was
issued to the latter.

On November 29, 1989, private petitioners filed a complaint for


injunction and damages before the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudication
Board ("PARAD") against Arrastia, alleging that they were actual tillers of
the disputed property who were forcibly evicted by Arrastia from their
tenanted lots through the use of armed men. The matter was referred to
BARC but the dispute could not be settled amicably per recommendation of
BARC Officials.

On the basis of the reports submitted by BARC officials and private


petitioners' affidavits, the hearing officer issued on December 9, 1990 an
order granting a preliminary injunction in favor of petitioners and the
PARAD also directed the MARO to act on the petition for the coverage of
the disputed property under the CARP.

On January 30, 1991, Arrastia filed an omnibus motion in DARAB Case


No. 0001, questioning the jurisdiction of the hearing officer to issue an
order of injunction. The DARAB denied said motion and subsequently
issued the writ of injunction on September 22, 1992.

Arrastia filed an answer in DARAB Regional Case No. 161-P' 89,


interposing the defense that the disputed land was not devoted to
agriculture and that private petitioners were not tenants thereof.

After due hearing, the PARAD rendered a decision in DARAB Regional


Case No. 161-P' 89 on May 13, 1993, declaring that the subject property is
covered by the CARP and that private petitioners are qualified beneficiaries
of the program. The adjudicator also issued an injunction prohibiting
Arrastia from disturbing private petitioners' occupation of the property.

Arrastia appealed the aforementioned decision to petitioner DARAB.


The appeal was docketed as DARAB Case No. 1551. On March 28, 1994,
the DARAB rendered its decision modifying the appealed judgment.

Aggrieved, Arrastia elevated the controversy to the Court of Appeals,


which reversed and set aside the decision of the DARAB.

Issue:

Whether or not private petitioners are qualified beneficiaries under the


CARP?

Held:

The Court affirms factual findings and conclusions of the Court of


Appeals.

The appellate court's conclusion that private petitioners committed


particular violations warranting their disqualification from the CARP is
based on the MARO report which has not been disputed by all the private
petitioners. The MARO who prepared the report enjoys the presumption of
regularity in the performance of her functions. Absent any showing that the
Court of Appeals committed grave abuse of discretion in giving evidentiary

weight to said report, said factual findings are generally deemed conclusive
on this Court, which is not a trier of facts.

Mere occupation or cultivation of an agricultural land does not


automatically convert a tiller or farmworker into an agricultural tenant
recognized under agrarian laws. The essential requisites of a tenancy
relationship are: (1) the parties are the landowner and the tenant; (2) the
subject is agricultural land; (3) there is consent among the parties; (4) the
purpose is agricultural production; (5) there is personal cultivation; and (6)
there is sharing of harvests. All these requisites must concur in order to
create a tenancy relationship between the parties. In the case at bar, it has
not been sufficiently established that private petitioners' occupation and
cultivation of the disputed property was with the consent of the landowners.

As borne by the case records, respondent Arrastia owns only 4.4630


hectares of the subject property, which is below the retention limit under
Section 6 of R.A. No. 6657 granting a right of retention of up to a maximum
of five (5) hectares of agricultural land in favor of a landowner whose
property may be acquired for distribution to agrarian reform beneficiaries.
Consequently, a landowner may keep his entire covered landholding if its
aggregate size does not exceed the retention limit of five (5) hectares. His
land will not be covered at all by the operation land transfer program
although all requisites for coverage are present.

The right of retention is a constitutionally guaranteed right, which is


subject to qualification by the legislature. It serves to mitigate the effects of
compulsory land acquisition by balancing the rights of the landowner and
the tenant and by implementing the doctrine that social justice was not
meant to perpetrate an injustice against the landowner. A retained area, as
its name denotes, is land which is not supposed to anymore leave the
landowner's dominion, thus sparing the government from the
inconvenience of taking land only to return it to the landowner afterwards,
which would be a pointless process. For as long as the area to be retained
is compact or contiguous and does not exceed the retention ceiling of five
(5) hectares, a landowner's choice of the area to be retained must prevail.
Moreover, Administrative Order No. 4, series of 1991, which supplies the
details for the exercise of a landowner's retention rights, likewise
recognizes no limit to the prerogative of the landowner, although he is

persuaded to retain other lands instead to avoid dislocation of farmers.


Therefore, there is no legal and practical basis to order the commencement
of the administrative proceedings for the placement of respondent
Arrastia's land under the CARP since her property's land area falls below
the retention limit of five (5) hectares.
TENANCY RELATIONSHIP; ESSENTIAL REQUISITES

Ester Deloso vs. Sps. Alfonso Marapao and Herminia P.


Marapao
G.R. No. 144244 (November 11, 2005)
Facts:

This Petition for Review on Certiorari assails the Decision of the Court
of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 48503 which reversed the decision of the
DARAB and declared that petitioners is not a tenant of respondents.

Petitioner filed a complaint with the Provincial Agrarian Reform


Adjudicator (PARAD) for the province of Agusan del Norte against
respondents praying that the latter be enjoined from interfering with her
tenurial rights, and that an order be issued fixing the sharing of the net
produce of the landholding between the parties and directing respondents
to account for the November 1994 harvest. Respondents, on the other
hand, maintained that Primitivo was not a tenant of the landholding but
merely an overseer paid for the work he rendered. After Primitivo's death,
his son, Alberto, was installed as overseer and paid as farmworker. On the
basis of the report of the ocular inspection and investigation, the MARO
found Alberto Temple to be the tenant of the landholding. The PARAD,
however, reversed the finding of the MARO and declared the petitioner as
tenant of the landholding. On appeal, the DARAB affirmed the findings of
the PARAD and ruled that the requisites of agricultural tenancy are present.

Issue:

Whether or not the petitioner is indeed a tenant of the subject


landholding?

Held:

In order to establish a tenancy relationship, the following essential


requisites must concur: 1) that the parties are the landowner and the tenant
or agricultural lessee; 2) that the subject matter of the relationship is an
agricultural land; 3) that there is consent between the parties to the
relationship; 4) that the purpose of the relationship is to bring about
agricultural production; 5) that there is personal cultivation on the part of
the tenant or agricultural lessee; and 6) that the harvest is shared between
the landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee.

Petitioner's evidence fails to establish the existence of all the requisites


of a tenancy relationship.

We, therefore, concur with the Court of Appeals that the DARAB relied
far too much on the pesadas and vales and overlooked compelling
evidence indicating the absence of a tenancy relationship between the
parties. In particular, the DARAB ignored the findings of the legal officer
who investigated the case and concluded that Alberto Temple, petitioners
son, is the tenant of the landholding.
LEASEHOLD/GROUNDS FOR EXTINGUISHMENT

Heirs of Enrique Tan, Sr., namely, Norma Tan, Jeanette Tan,


Julieta Tan, Rommel Tan, and Enrique Tan, Jr., All
represented by Rommel Tan vs. Reynalda Pollescas
G.R. No. 145568 (November 17, 2005)
Facts:

Petitioners are co-owners of a coconut farmland ("Land"). Esteban


Pollescas ("Esteban") was the original tenant of the Land. Upon Esteban's
death in 1991, his son Enrique Pollescas ("Enrique") succeeded him and
was appointed as tenant by the landowner Enrique Tan ("Tan").
Respondent Reynalda Pollescas ("Reynalda"), Esteban's surviving second
spouse, demanded that Tan recognized her as Esteban's successor. Tan
did not accede. Thus, Reynalda filed with the Department of Agrarian
Reform Adjudication Board of Ozamis City ("DARAB-Ozamis") a complaint

for Annulment of Compromise Agreement, Quieting of Tenancy


Relationship and damages.

The DARAB-Ozamis declared Reynalda as the lawful tenant of the land


in its Decision dated 28 April 1993. However, Reynalda failed to deliver to
the Tan Heirs 2/3 of the harvests amounting to P3,656.70. Consequently,
the Tan Heirs filed a complaint for estafa against Reynalda with the
Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Ozamis City, Branch 2. The trial court found
Reynalda guilty of Estafa. For Reynalda's continued failure to deliver their
share, the Tan Heirs filed with the DARAB, Misamis Occidental ("DARABMisamis Occidental") an ejectment case. On 18 September 1996, the
DARAB-Misamis Occidental ruled in favor of the Tan Heirs. Reynalda
appealed to the DARAB, Diliman, Quezon City which reversed the DARABMisamis Occidental. The Tan heirs appealed the decision of the DARAB to
the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the
DARAB ordering the Tan Heirs to respect Reynalda's possession and
cultivation of the Land. Hence, this petition.

A petition for review of the Decision of the Court of Appeals was filed
which affirmed the decision of the Department of Agrarian Reform
Adjudication Board ordering petitioners to respect respondent's possession
and cultivation of the land.

Issues:
Whether or not there is a ground for extinguishment of leasehold?

Whether or not the petitioners can validly dispossess respondent of the


landholding for non-payment of rental?

Held:

Section 7 of RA 3844 as amended provides that once there is a


leasehold relationship, as in the present case, the landowner cannot eject
the agricultural tenant from the land unless authorized by the court for
causes provided by law. RA 3844 as amended expressly recognizes and
protects an agricultural leasehold tenant's right to security of tenure.

Section 36 of RA 3844 as amended enumerates the grounds for


dispossession of the tenant's landholding. . . .

Section 34 of RA 3844 as amended mandates that "not . . . more than"


25% of the average normal harvest shall constitute the just and fair rental
for leasehold. In this case, the Tan Heirs demanded Reynalda to deliver 2/3
of the harvest as lease rental, which clearly exceeded the 25% maximum
amount prescribed by law. Therefore, the Tan Heirs cannot validly
dispossess Reynalda of the landholding for non-payment of rental precisely
because the lease rental claimed by the Tan Heirs is unlawful.

Reynalda and the Tan Heirs failed to agree on a lawful lease rental.
Accordingly, the DAR must first fix the provisional lease rental payable by
Reynalda to the Tan Heirs pursuant to the second paragraph of Section 34
of RA 3844 as amended. Until the DAR has fixed the provisional lease
rental, Reynalda cannot be in default in the payment of lease rental since
such amount is not yet determined. There can be no delay in the payment
of an undetermined lease rental because it is impossible to pay an
undetermined amount. That Reynalda is not yet in default in the payment of
the lease rental is a basic reason why she cannot be lawfully ejected from
the Land for non-payment of rental.
JURISDICTION
EP/CLOAS

OVER

THE

CANCELLATION

OF

REGISTERED

Heirs of Julian Dela Cruz and Leonora Talaro, as represented by Maximino


dela Cruz vs. Heirs of Alberto Cruz, as represented by Benedicto U. Cruz
G.R. No. 162890 (November 22, 2005)
Facts:

The Republic of the Philippines acquired the De Leon Estate in Nueva


Ecija for resale to deserving tenants and landless farmers, conformably
with Commonwealth Act No. 539, as amended by Republic Act No. 1400.
The property was under the administration of the Land Tenure
Administration and later the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR). In
1950, the DAR allocated a portion of the property in favor of Julian dela
Cruz who was a tenant thereon.

By virtue of an Agreement to Sell, the DAR issued Certificate of Land


Transfer (CLT) in his favor as the qualified allocatee of the landholding.
Julian bound and obliged himself to pay the amortizations over the land in
30 annual installments. He cultivated the property and made payments to
the government for a period of almost 20 years. He died in 1979 and was
survived by his wife, Leonora Talaro-dela Cruz and their 10 children,
including Mario and Maximino dela Cruz. Mario administered the
landholding, until their mother executed a private document declaring that,
with the consent of her children, she had sold the land in favor of Alberto
Cruz.

Alberto took possession of the landholding and cultivated it over a


period of 10 years without any protest from Leonora and her children. He
then filed an application to purchase the property with the DAR. The
Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer (MARO) recommended that the
landholding be declared vacant and disposable to a qualified applicant and
the approval of Alberto's application to purchase the property.

On November 16, 1990, the Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer (PARO)


issued an Order approving the recommendation of the MARO. He directed
the cancellation of Julian's CLT and declared that his rights be forfeited in
favor of the government under the agreement.

The PARO endorsed the Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA)


to the DAR Secretary, copy furnished the Regional Director. The DAR
Bureau of Land Acquisition and Distribution reviewed and evaluated the
records and recommended that the PARO's recommendation be affirmed.
On June 27, 1991, the DAR Secretary signed and issued CLOA over the
property in favor of Alberto Cruz, and the certificate was registered with the
Land Registration Authority (LRA).

Sometime in early 1996, Maximino, one of the surviving children of


Julian, discovered that the landholding had already been registered in the
name of Alberto Cruz. On October 10, 1996, Leonora and her 10 children,
with the assistance of the DAR Bureau of Legal Assistance, filed a petition
with the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (PARAD) for the
nullification of the order of the PARO, CLOA and TCT issued in favor of
Alberto Cruz. The petitioners declared, inter alia, that they were the

surviving heirs of Julian dela Cruz and had no knowledge of the sale by
Leonora and Mario of their right as beneficiaries of the property; not being
privies to the said sale, they were not bound by the private deed executed
by Leonora; and such sale, as well as the issuance of the CLOA and the
title over the property in favor of Alberto, was null and void, inasmuch as
they violated agrarian reform laws and DAR Memorandum Circular No. 8,
Series of 1980. They insisted that they were deprived of their rights as
heirs of the beneficiary without due process of law.

After due proceedings, the PARAD granted the petition in a Decision


declaring the petitioners as the rightful allocatees of the property, and
directed the MARO to cancel CLOA and issue another in favor of the
petitioners. Alberto was ordered to vacate the property. The PARAD also
directed the Register of Deeds of Nueva Ecija to cancel the said title and
issue a new one over the landholding in favor of the petitioners.

Alberto appealed the decision to the DARAB, which affirmed the ruling
of the PARAD.

Issues:

Whether or not the DARAB has jurisdiction over matters involving the
issuance, correction and cancellation of registered CLOAs.

Whether the petitioners were denied of their right to substantive and


procedural due process.

Held:

The petition is denied for lack of merit.


It is axiomatic that the jurisdiction of a tribunal, including a quasi-judicial
officer or government agency, over the nature and subject matter of a
petition or complaint is determined by the material allegations therein and
the character of the relief prayed for, irrespective of whether the petitioner
or complainant is entitled to any or all such reliefs. Jurisdiction over the
nature and subject matter of an action is conferred by the Constitution and
the law, and not by the consent or waiver of the parties where the court
otherwise would have no jurisdiction over the nature or subject matter of

the action. Nor can it be acquired through, or waived by, any act or
omission of the parties. Moreover, estoppel does not apply to confer
jurisdiction to a tribunal that has none over the cause of action. The failure
of the parties to challenge the jurisdiction of the DARAB does not prevent
the court from addressing the issue, especially where the DARAB's lack of
jurisdiction is apparent on the face of the complaint or petition. Indeed, the
jurisdiction of the court or tribunal is not affected by the defenses or
theories set up by the defendant or respondent in his answer or motion to
dismiss. Jurisdiction should be determined by considering not only the
status or the relationship of the parties but also the nature of the issues or
questions that is the subject of the controversy. If the issues between the
parties are intertwined with the resolution of an issue within the exclusive
jurisdiction of the DARAB, such dispute must be addressed and resolved
by the DARAB. The proceedings before a court or tribunal without
jurisdiction, including its decision, are null and void, hence, susceptible to
direct and collateral attacks.

However, the Court agrees with the ruling of the CA that the dispute
between the petitioners and the respondents over the validity of the
November 16, 1990 Order of the PARO, CLOA No. 51750, and TCT No.
CLOA-0-3035 and the cancellation thereof is not agrarian in nature.

The petitioners themselves categorically admitted in their pleadings that


there was no landlord-tenancy relationship between them and Alberto over
the landholding. Nor did they have any tenurial, leasehold, or agrarian
relations whatsoever when petitioners Leonora and her son Mario executed
the deed of sale in May 1980 in favor of Alberto, nor when the petitioners
filed their petition with the DARAB. The sole tenant-beneficiary over the
landholding was Julian dela Cruz. There is no showing that before the
execution of the deed of transfer/sale, Alberto was a tenant or farmer, or
that he was landless.

The Court agrees with the petitioners' contention that, under Section 2
(f), Rule II of the DARAB Rules of Procedure, the DARAB has jurisdiction
over cases involving the issuance, correction and cancellation of
CLOAs which were "registered" with the LRA. However, for the DARAB
to have jurisdiction in such cases, they must relate to an agrarian
disputebetween landowner and tenants to whom CLOAs have been

issued by the DAR Secretary. The cases involving the issuance, correction
and cancellation of the CLOAs by the DAR in
the administrativeimplementation of agrarian reform laws, rules and
regulations to parties who are not agricultural tenants or lessees are
within the jurisdiction of the DAR and not of the DARAB.

In the present case, the DAR Secretary approved CLOA No. 51750 in
the name of Alberto in the exercise of his administrative powers and in the
implementation of the agrarian reform laws. The approval was based on
the Report of the MARO, the November 16, 1990 Order of the PARO and
the recommendation of the DAR Director of the Bureau of Land Acquisition
and Distribution, over whom the DAR Secretary has supervision and
control. The DAR Secretary also had the authority to withdraw the CLOA
upon a finding that the same is contrary to law and DAR orders, circulars
and memoranda.

On the second issue, the DAR Secretary took into account, inter
alia,Administrative Order No. 3, Series of 1990.
As the Court ruled in Nuesa v. Court of Appeals:
P.D. 946 provides that matters involving the administrative
implementation of the transfer of the land to the tenant-farmer under
P.D. No. 27 and amendatory and related decrees, orders,
instructions, rules and regulations, shall be exclusively cognizable
by the Secretary of Agrarian Reform, including: . . . (5) issuance,
recall or cancellation of certificates of land transfer in cases outside
the purview of P.D. No. 816.
The revocation by the Regional Director of DAR of the earlier Order
of Award by the Secretary of Agriculture falls under the
administrative functions of the DAR. The DARAB and its provincial
adjudicator or board of adjudicators acted erroneously and with
grave abuse of discretion in taking cognizance of the case, then
overturning the decision of the DAR Regional Director and deciding
the case on the merits without affording the petitioner opportunity to
present his case.

DETERMINATION OF JURISDICTION OF THE REGULAR COURTS


AND THE DARAB

Norberto Rimasug, et al. vs. Melencio Martin, et al.


G.R. No. 160118 (November 22, 2005)
Facts:

The case at bar involves a petition for review on the implied tenancy
relationship. Petitioners were "either employees or relatives of some
employees" who were members of the San Miguel Cooperative Credit
Union (SMCCU) organized by the San Miguel Corporation (SMC) labor
force.

SMCCU acquired several parcels of land located at Pritil, Guiguinto,


Bulacan which it subdivided for residential purposes and sold to petitioners,
to which they were issued separate titles. Due to financial constraints,
petitioners were unable to construct houses on their respective lots. They
later came to know, however, that respondents had, without their
knowledge and consent, entered the lots on which they planted various
agricultural crops.

Petitioners thereupon put respondents on notice of their ownership,


brought the matter before barangay authorities but respondents were
"uncooperative . . ." In the meantime, petitioners who could not "come up
with the money to start a leg al battle with [respondents]" tolerated the
continued occupation of their lots until, by letter dated May 31, 1999, they
advised respondents of their intention to build their houses thereon and
accordingly asked them to vacate within fifteen (15) days from receipt of
the letter. Respondents refused to heed the demand, however, prompting
petitioners to file on June 28, 1999 a complaint for unlawful detainer
against them before the MTC of Guiguinto.

By their "Answer with Special and Affirmative Defenses with Motion to


Dismiss and Compulsory Counterclaim," respondents claimed that they are
the recognized and registered tenants of agricultural lands owned by the
SMC to which they paid corresponding lease rentals; petitioners failed to
comply with Sections 409(c) and 412 of Republic Act No. 7160 (Local

Government Code of 1991) requiring mandatory conciliation proceedings


before the lupon; and the MTC has no jurisdiction over the case, it falling
within the primary jurisdiction of the Department of Agrarian Reform
Adjudication Board (DARAB) in accordance with Sections 4 and 50 of
Republic Act No. 6657 (Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988).

On the merits, by Decision of March 12, 2002, the MTC held that
respondents failed to prove the existence of a landlord-tenant relationship
with petitioners who are the owners of the lots in question. Both parties
appealed to the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Malolos, Bulacan before
which petitioners assailed the MTC's failure to grant attorney's fees and
damages in the form of reasonable compensation for the use and
occupation of their lots. Respondents, on the other hand, again raised the
issue of jurisdiction and, in any event, assailed the MTC decision as not in
accordance with the facts and the evidence.

Respondents' Motion for Reconsideration of the decision having been


denied by the RTC by Order of January 27, 2003, they filed an "Urgent
Verified Motion for Immediate Issuance of a Temporary Restraining
Order/Writ of Injunction and Petition for Review" before the Court of
Appeals.

The appellate court reversed the RTC decision and dismissed


petitioner's complaint on the ground of lack of jurisdiction. It held that
respondents had satisfactorily proven that they are duly recognized
agricultural tenants ofSMCCU on the subject lots. And it belied petitioners'
claim of having tolerated respondents' occupation of the lots, it charging
petitioners "as former employees or workers of the previous landowner
company" with actual knowledge of respondents' tenancy.

Issue:

Whether or not there is an implied tenancy relationship over which the


DARAB has jurisdiction.

Held:

Section 33, paragraph 2 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as amended by


Republic Act. No. 7691, vests Metropolitan Trial Courts, MTCs, and

Municipal Circuit Trial Courts with exclusive original jurisdiction cases for
forcible entry and unlawful detainer. On the other hand, Section 50 of the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988 vests the Department of
Agrarian Reform (DAR) with primary jurisdiction over all agrarian reform
matters and exclusive jurisdiction over all matters involving the
implementation of agrarian reform.

Jurisdiction over the subject matter of an action is determined by the


material allegations of the complaint and the law at the time the action is
commenced, irrespective of whether the plaintiff is entitled to recover all or
some of the claims or reliefs sought therein. It cannot be made to depend
upon the defenses set up in the answer or upon a motion to dismiss,
otherwise, the question of jurisdiction would depend almost entirely on the
defendant.

A scrutiny of the following material allegations in petitioners' complaint


showed that it involves possession de facto, the only issue involved in
ejectment proceedings.

Section 10 of Republic Act No. 3844 (Code of Agrarian Reforms of the


Philippines) likewise provides:
SEC. 10. Agricultural Leasehold Relation Not Extinguished by
Expiration of Period, etc. The agricultural leasehold relation under this
Code shall not be extinguished by mere expiration of the term or period in
a leasehold contract nor by the sale, alienation or transfer of the legal
possession of the landholding. In case the agricultural lessor sells,
alienates or transfers the legal possession of the landholding, the
purchaser or transferee thereof shall be subrogated to the rights and
substituted to the obligations of the agricultural lessor. (Underscoring
supplied)

By their own admission, respondents were "informed" that the lots they
are tilling are "allegedly" owned by SMC because the one collecting the
payments was working at SMC, although the official receipts issued to
them were under the name of SMCCU. On that score alone, the claim of
the existence of a tenancy relationship fails, requirements No. 1 that the
parties are the landowner and the tenant is agricultural lessee, and No.

3 that there is consent between the parties not being present, for how
could respondents have contracted with a landowner whose identity they
are not even certain of? Such uncertainty becomes more pronounced
when note is taken that before the trial and appellate courts they
maintained that the lots are owned by SMC. Before this Court, however,
they now adopt the observation of the appellate court that the lots were
owned by SMCCU.

Unless a person establishes his status as a de jure tenant, he is not


entitled to security of tenure. In fine, respondents' occupancy and
continued possession of the subject lots, upon their "honest belief and
impression" that they are tenants of SMC or SMCCU, does not make
themde jure tenants.
TENANCY RELATIONSHIP; WHAT CONSTITUTES

Juan Padin, Juana Padin, Purita Padin and Gloria Padin vs.
Heirs of Vivencio Obias, namely: Heirs of Isidro Obias,
Santos Dolores, and Atty. Francisco Obias
G.R. No. 137337 (December 9, 2005)
Facts:

A complaint against the heirs of the late Vivencio Obias, herein


respondents, who are the owners of 36 hectares of agricultural land
situated in Barangays Minoro and Kinalasan, San Jose, Camarines Sur;
that in 1960, Cecilio Obias, then respondents' representative, designated
petitioner Juan Padin as tenant and farm administrator over the whole
property from 1960 until 1991; that after the death of Vivencio Obias in
1991, Atty. Francisco Obias, one of herein respondents, took over the
management of the property; that in August 1991, petitioners attempted to
register themselves with the DAR as agricultural tenants but respondents
interposed their opposition; and that respondents sold 204 cows without
giving Juan Padin his share. Petitioners thus prayed that they be declared
agricultural tenants; that Juan Padin be retained as administrator of the
entire property and as caretaker of the herd of cattle; and that his share
from the proceeds of the sale of the 204 cows be turned over to him.
Respondents, in their Answer, admitted that they allowed petitioners to

occupy and cultivate a portion of the subject agricultural land. However,


they denied any tenancy relationship with petitioners.

On April 19, 1995, the PARAD rendered a Decision dismissing


petitioners' complaint, holding that there was no tenancy relationship
between the parties. Juan Padin was only an administrator or overseer of
the Obias estate. On appeal by petitioners, the Department of Agrarian
Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB), reversed the PARAD Decision.
Respondents then filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for review. On
January 12, 1999, it rendered the assailed Decision affirming with
modification the DARAB Decision.

Issue:
Whether or not there was a tenancy relationship between the parties?

Held:

The issue of whether there was tenancy relationship between the


parties can no longer be raised by respondents before this Court since they
did not interpose an appeal from the Decision of the Court of Appeals.
Moreover, this issue is factual and is building upon this Court, the same
being supported by substantial evidence.

The Court of Appeals correctly ruled that the DARAB is without authority
to compel respondents to retain petitioner Juan Padin as farm administrator
of their property and as caretaker of their cattle. His services ended in
1991.

As to the claim of petitioner Juan Padin that he is entitled to one-half of


the amount realized from the sale of the cows, again, this is a factual issue.
This Court has no reason to disturb the Court of Appeals' finding that there
is no evidence to support such assertion.
TENANCY; ELEMENTS

Monico San Diego vs. Eufrocinio Evangelista


G.R. No. 163680 (January 24, 2006)
Facts:

Petitioner Monico San Diego has been an agricultural tenant in a parcel


of land located in barangay San Vicente, Sta. Maria, Bulacan, covered by
TCT Number 98.728 (M) in the name of Andres Evangelista. After Andres
Evangelista died in 1994, his son respondent Eufrocinio Evangelista
inherited the property which has a total area of three hectares, 21,000
square meters of which are planted with rice and the remaining 11,200
square meters with bamboo.

On June 6, 1996, petitioner filed a complaint before the Department of


Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) Region III Office, Malolos,
Bulacan against respondent for maintenance of peaceful possession,
enjoyment, and damages with respect to the bambooland portion of the
property. He complained that respondent and some unidentified
companions forcibly entered the bamboo-planted portion of the property
and without authority of law and by means of force and intimidation cut
down some of the bamboo trees which he had planted thereon, without
giving him his lawful share, and they threatened to continue cutting down
the remaining bamboo trees and tried to dispossess him as agricultural
tenant thereof.

Respondent countered that petitioner is a tenant only with respect to the


riceland portion of the property, the bambooland portion not being
tenanted. And he denied petitioner's claim of having planted the bamboo
trees, he claiming that they have been existing since 1937.

The DARAB Provincial Adjudicator dismissed petitioner's complaint by


decision of October 6, 1997, holding, inter alia, that only the riceland
portion of the landholding is actually covered by the contract of lease and
that the 33 cavans amount of rental per year during the wet seasons refers
to the riceland portion of the landholding.

On appeal, the DARAB, by decision of February 16, 2000, reversed that


of the Provincial Adjudicator holding the agricultural leasehold contract
executed between Plaintiff-Appellant and the late Andres Evangelista
covers the lot consisting of three (3) hectares as evidenced by an
Agricultural Leasehold Contract executed by herein parties on 4 September
1984. Apparently, Plaintiff-Appellant is a tenant on the 3-hectare land and

not on the 21,000 square meter area. Clearly, the bamboo land is part and
parcel of the 3-hectare land.

His motion for reconsideration having been denied by DARAB resolution


of January 12, 2001, respondent elevated the case via petition for review to
the Court of Appeals which reversed the DARAB decision and reinstated
that of the DARAB Provincial Adjudicator, by decision of December 18,
2003.
In reversing the DARAB decision, the Court of Appeals observed:

In the case of Monsanto v. Zerna, the Supreme Court laid down the
elements of a tenancy relationship, which are:
"(1) the parties are landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee; (2)
and subject matter of the relationship is an agricultural land; (3) there is
consent between the parties to the relationship; (4) that the purpose of
the relationship is to bring about agricultural production; (5) there is
personal cultivation on the part of the tenant or agricultural lessee; and
(6) the harvest is shared between the landowner and the tenant or
agricultural lessee."
Following the guidelines set forth in Monsanto case, the
Agricultural Leasehold Contract of private respondent with the late
Andres Evangelista excluded the bamboo land area, for the simple
reason that requisites 5 and 6 are wanting in the instant case.
Issue:

Whether or not the petitioner is a tenant of the entire landholding


including that portion planted with bamboo.

Held:

Private respondent is not a tenant in the subject bamboo land.


The wordings of the agricultural leasehold contract itself which pertains
only to the produce of rice belies private respondent's claim in paragraph 4
of his Complaint that ". . . the subject bamboo trees were planted by herein
plaintiff (now private respondent) when the latter started working as

agricultural tenant on the subject landholding." Thus, no evidence of


personal cultivation of bamboo trees was presented by private respondent
other than his bare allegations to this effect.

It was established in the Affidavits or "Sinumpaang Salaysay" of several


neighbors of petitioner, one of whom is a Barangay Chairman, that as early
as 1957, Andres Evangelista during his lifetime was the one in possession
of the bamboo land and actively administered the cutting of the bamboo
trees thereon, which upon the death of Andres Evangelista was carried on
by petitioner when he inherited the bamboo land in question.
"It is quite intriguing to one's conscience if there is any truth to the claim
of plaintiff that he was the one who planted the bamboo trees existing in
the landholding in question for it must be taken judicial notice of the fact
that during the recent years, specially so at the age of the plaintiff, that it
is no longer usual for a person of his age to claim that he was the one
who planted the bamboo trees on the bamboo land portion of the
landholding in question."

Moreover, Exhibit 6-A which is the annual payment of lease made by


private respondent, listed merely in a piece of paper, as kept by the late
Andres Evangelista during his lifetime, clearly showed that the said
payments corresponds only to the yield of rice over the portion of riceland
and not on the disputed bamboo land. Again, no mention was made about
the yield of the bamboo land as to how much per year was the harvest.
Absent the essential elements of consent and sharing between the
partiesno tenancy relationship can exist between them.

Acts contemporaneous and subsequent to the execution of the contract


show that the parties intended to establish a tenancy relationship only as
regards the rice-planted portion of the property.

Petitioner has been paying rentals in palay, not in bamboo. Annex "1" of
respondent's position paper submitted to the Provincial Adjudicator, which
is a handwritten list ("Listahan ng Ani [of petitioner]") made by respondent's
father-predecessor-in-interest, shows under the column "Bigay" that
petitioner was from 1981 up to 1994 paying annual rentals ranging from

"28" to "33," which figures are consistent with the earlier-quoted stipulation
in the contract for petitioner to pay rental of 33 cavans of palay per annum.

The evidence proffered by respondent on the other hand abundantly


shows that the bambooland portion of the property has always been
untenanted, which evidence has not been controverted by petitioner.

In fine, the contract, as well as the acts of both petitioner and


respondent contemporaneous and subsequent to the execution thereof,
shows that the parties established a tenancy relationship only with respect
to the riceland portion of the property.
AGRARIAN DISPUTE, OUTSIDE THE JURISDICTION OF MTC;
REQUISITES OF AGRICULTURAL TENANCY RELATIONSHIP

Valeriano Cano vs. Spouses Vicente and Susan Jumawan


G.R. No. 153860 (February 6, 2006)
Facts:

Respondents Vicente Jumawan and Susan Jumawan, are owners of


agricultural land with an area of about 24,025 square meters at Barangay
Malagos, Baguio District, Davao City and registered in their names under
Transfer Certificate of Title No. 185776 of Davao City Registry of Deeds.

On February 24, 1999, petitioner and respondents entered into a


notarized document entitled "Agreement," whereunder, for "humanitarian
consideration," the spouses, designated in said document as "OWNERS,"
allowed petitioner, therein referred to as "BUILDER," to construct a house
of light materials in an area of about twenty (20) square meters at the
eastern portion of their property. Good for a term of two (2) years starting
March 1, 1997 and terminating on March 1, 1999.

Following the expiration of the aforementioned "Agreement,"


respondents demanded the petitioner to vacate the area occupied by him
and to pay a rent of not less than P300.00 a month until he shall have
vacated the same. Petitioner refused. After conciliation proceedings before
the localbarangay lupon proved futile, respondents filed against petitioner a

complaint for unlawful detainer before the Municipal Circuit Trial Court
(MCTC) of Davao City on September 20, 1999.
On July 26, 2000, MCTC rendered judgment in favor of respondents.

An appeal to RTC, a decision was rendered reversing the appealed


judgment for lack of jurisdiction saying that MCTC should have dismissed
the case and allowed the DAR to resolve the agrarian case. CA reversed
and set aside that of the RTC and reinstated the judgment of MCTC.

With the CA's denial of his motion for reconsideration in its Resolution of
June 6, 2002, petitioner is now with this Court via the present recourse on
the lone issue of his own formulation.

Issue:

Whether or not the instant case involves agrarian dispute which falls
outside the jurisdiction of the Municipal Trial Court?

Held:

The basic rule is that the material averments in the complaint determine
the jurisdiction of a court. And jurisprudence dictates that a court does not
lose its jurisdiction over an ejectment suit by the simple expedient of a
party raising as a defense therein the alleged existence of a tenancy
relationship between the parties. The court continues to have the authority
to hear and evaluate the evidence, precisely to determine whether or not it
has jurisdiction, and, if, after hearing, tenancy is shown to exist, it shall
dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction.

Here, the allegation in respondent's complaint before the MCTC clearly


make out a case for unlawful detainer. Petitioner was allowed to construct
his house/shanty on a portion of respondents' property without paying
rental therefore but merely for "humanitarian consideration", pursuant to a
notarized agreement which explicitly imposes on the petitioner the
obligation to remorse his construction thereon and vacate the premises
upon the expiration of said agreement. The agreement had undoubtedly
expired but despite respondent' demand to vacate, petitioner refused. To
the MCTC, the agreement which petitioner admitted having signed clearly

negates the claim of tenancy relationship between the petitioner and the
respondents. For sure, the very pieces of evidence submitted by the
parties before the MCTC, consisting of annexes to their respective positive
papers, indubitably belie petitioner's claim of being a tenant of
respondents.

Case law teaches that the essential requisites of an agricultural tenancy


relationship are: (1) the parties are the landowner and the tenant; (2) the
subject is agricultural land; (3) there is consent; (4) the purpose is
agricultural production; (5) there is personal cultivation; and (6) there is
sharing of harvests. All these requisites must concur for a tenancy
relationship to exist. The absence of one does not make an occupant of a
parcel of land, or a cultivator thereof, or a planter thereon, a de jure tenant.
Unless a person establishes his status as de jure tenant, he is not entitled
to security of tenure nor covered by the land reform program of the
government under existing tenancy laws.
TENANCY; ITS ESSENTIAL REQUISITES

Hilaria Ramos vda. de Brigino vs. Dominador Ramos and


Filomena Ramos
G.R. No. 130260 (February 6, 2006)
Facts:

On 10 July 1992, petitioner and her spouse filed a petition for


Annulment and/or Cancellation of Agricultural Leasehold Contract against
herein respondents Dominador Ramos and Filomena Ramos before the
Provincial Adjudicator of Malolos, Bulacan. Petitioner and her spouse
alleged that they are the registered owners of the subject landholding with
an area of 11,451 square meters located at Malibong Bata, Pandi, Bulacan.
The petition further stated that petitioner is the sister of respondent
Dominador Ramos while respondent Filomena Ramos is the surviving
spouse of another brother named Pedro Ramos. The petition likewise
averred that in the early months of 1991, petitioner and her spouse
discovered that respondent Dominador and Pedro Ramos were able to
register with the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) two documents
both entitled,"Kasunduan ng Pamumuwisan" dated 29 June 1973, without
the knowledge and consent of the petitioner and her spouse as the

signature of petitioner in those documents were forged. Hence, petitioner


and her spouse prayed that said documents be declared void and the
subject land as untenanted.

On 31 August 1993, after attempts to amicably solve the dispute failed,


the DARAB Provincial Adjudicator ruled for respondents. Despite the
National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) finding that the signatures of
petitioner in the"Kasunduan ng Pamumuwisan" were forgeries, the
Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicators (PARAD) opined that the forgery
does not suffice to render said documents null and void inasmuch as
petitioner and her spouse are estopped from denying the existence of said
documents in view of the fact that petitioner's spouse had issued rental
receipts to respondents, which receipts strongly prove that they are
occupying the subject land in the concept of tenants and that implied
tenancy was, accordingly, perfectly established. The PARAD further
disposed that such being the case, security of tenure must be accorded
respondents in tune with Section 7 of Republic Act No. 3844.

Petitioner and her spouse appealed the PARAD's Decision with the
DARAB in DARAB Case No. 1968 which affirmed in toto the decision of the
PARAD.

Petitioner and her spouse elevated the matter to the Court of Appeals,
which on 25 January 1996, affirmed the ruling of the DARAB.

Issue:

Whether or not the respondents are bonafide tenants of the subject


landholding?

Held:

Republic Act No. 1199, also known as the Agricultural Tenancy Act of
the Philippines, defines "agricultural tenancy" as:
[T]he physical possession by a person of land devoted to agriculture
belonging to, or legally possessed by, another for the purpose of
production through the labor of the former and of the members of his
immediate farm household, in consideration of which the former agrees

to share the harvest with the latter, or to pay a price certain, either in
produce or in money, or in both.

The essential requisites of tenancy relationship based on the foregoing


definition, as cited in cases of recent vintage, are:
1) that the parties are the landowner and the tenant or agricultural
lessee; 2) that the subject matter of the relationship is an agricultural
land; 3) that there is consent between the parties to the relationship; 4)
that the purpose of the relationship is to bring about agricultural
production; 5) that there is personal cultivation on the part of the tenant
or agricultural lessee; and 6) that the harvest is shared between the
landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee.

In the present case, there is no dispute as to the presence of the


foregoing elements, but the conflict lies in the elements
of consent and sharing. To prove such sharing of harvests, a receipt or any
other evidence must be presented.

In fine, there exists substantial evidence on record to boost the findings


of the Boards and the Court of Appeals that petitioner and her husband
consented to respondents' cultivation of the land in the concept of tenants
and that the element of "sharing" is present, as shown by the receipts for
the period of 1991-1992. Indeed, tenancy is not a purely factual
relationship dependent on what the alleged tenant does upon the land. It is
also a legal relationship. Here, all the essential requisites of tenancy
relationship are obtaining.
EXEMPTION; EFFECT; FAILURE TO OBSERVE ADMINISTRATIVE
PROCEDURE FOR THE APPLICATION FOR EXEMPTION

Nicanor T. Santos Development Corporation vs. Hon.


Secretary, Department of Agrarian Reform, DAR
Adjudication Board & Municipal Agrarian Reform Office
(Andrea F. Dalmacio), Tuba, Benguet
G.R. No. 159654 (February 28, 2006)
Facts:

The case at bar involves a petition for mandamus filed by petitioner


against respondent officials of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).
Petitioner is a domestic corporation which owns a large tract of land known
as the Santos Farm situated in Tabaan Valley, Tuba, Benguet. Santos Farm
with an area of 103.8 hectares and is registered under Transfer Certificate
of Title No. 19305 in the name of petitioner.

The Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer (MARO) of Tuba, Benguet


informed petitioner through its counsel that a portion measuring 14
hectares of the Santos Farm would be placed under the coverage of the
comprehensive agrarian reform program (CARP) for acquisition and
distribution to prospective beneficiaries.

Petitioner sent letter to BLAD requesting exemption of the Santos Farm


from CARP coverage. The latter endorsed the matter to DAR Regional
Director for investigation and report. Petitioner also sent a letter to the DAR
Secretary reiterating its position that the Santos Farm should be excluded
from the CARP coverage.

Thereafter, respondent MARO Andrea F. Dalmacio sent petitioner a


Notice of Coverage and Field Investigation Report, to confirm that the
Santos Farm had been placed under the CARP. Petitioner sent a letter to
MARO Dalmacio expressing its position that the Santos Farm should be
exempt from CARP coverage. Petitioner also wrote the DAR Secretary
insisting that the Santos Farm is exempted from the coverage of the CARP.

DAR Regional Director Wilfredo B. Leano advised petitioner to pursue


the exemption of the Santos Farm in accordance with the mandates of
DAR Administrative Order (A.O.) No. 09, series of 1994 and DAR A.O. No.
06, series of 2000. Instead, petitioner filed a Protest with the DAR arguing
that the Santos Farm is exempted from the CARP coverage. Petitioner also
filed a Complaint before the DARAB importuning the Board to rule on the
protest. The DARAB ruled that it had no jurisdiction to resolve the issue on
petitioner's exemption. Thus, the DARAB referred the Complaint to the
DAR Regional Director. In a Memorandum, Provincial Agrarian Reform
Officer (PARO) Deogracias F. Almora dismissed the Complaint for being
time-barred and for failure to observe proper formalities.

Hence, the petitioner instituted a Petition for Mandamus with the Court
of Appeals to compel the DAR, DARAB, and MARO to act on its petition for
exemption of the Santos Farm from the CARP coverage. The Court of
Appeals rendered Decision dismissing the petition for lack of merit and for
being the improper remedy denying the petitioner's Motion for
Reconsideration.

Issues:

Whether or not the petitioner has complied with the administrative


procedure for the application for exemption?

Whether or not the petition for mandamus filed by petitioner with the
Court of Appeals is proper in view of the appellate court's conclusion that
petitioner failed to exhaust administrative remedies?

Held:

The records of the case, however, do not indicate that petitioner


complied with the administrative procedure for the application for
exemption. Under Administrative Order No. 13, series of 1990, the
application must be initiated before the MARO by submitting ownership
documents and other muniments of title and other evidence to support the
application. The endorsement letters from the DAR Secretary and the
BLAD Director only indicate that petitioner's application for exemption was
channeled to the wrong offices. Hence, the application was referred to the
DAR Regional Director. The records do not show, however, that after the
endorsement letters came out, petitioner pursued its application with the
proper DAR office. Besides, the endorsement to the appropriate DAR office
did not relieve petitioner of its duty to initiate the proper formal application
for exemption.

As a general rule, before a party may be allowed to invoke the


jurisdiction of the courts of justice, he is expected to have exhausted all
means of administrative redress. In the instant case, it is beyond dispute
that petitioner failed to resort to proper administrative recourse in resisting
the Notice of Coverage issued by respondent MARO. Unsuccessful in its
attempt to oppose the Notice of Coverage when it lodged its protest with

the incorrect administrative offices, petitioner resorted to a judicial remedy.


The petition for mandamus, which it filed, however, was correctly denied by
the Court of Appeals. Truly, a petition for mandamus is premature if there
are administrative remedies available to petitioner.

It is settled that mandamus is employed to compel the performance,


when refused, of a ministerial duty, this being its main objective. It is
essential to the issuance of a writ of mandamus that petitioner should have
a clear legal right to the thing demanded and it must be the imperative duty
of the respondent to perform the act required. It never issues in doubtful
cases. The writ will not issue to compel an official to do anything which is
not his duty to do or which is his duty not to do, or give to the applicant
anything to which he is not entitled by law. The writ neither confers powers
nor imposes duties. It is simply a command to exercise a power already
possessed and to perform a duty already imposed.

Suffice it to say that a petition for mandamus is not the proper remedy to
assail the Notice of Coverage. The administrative rules of the DAR also
provide for the appellate procedure to contest decisions and issuances of
the MARO. The mandatory recourse to the administrative appeals process
before any judicial remedy is invoked likewise falls within the ambit of the
principle of exhaustion of administrative remedies.
EJECTMENT; LANDOWNER RETAIN ITS RIGHT TO EJECT
UNLAWFUL POSSESSORS OF HIS LAND INSPITE OF THE ISSUANCE
OF NOTICE OF COVERAGE OVER HIS LAND
POTENTIAL AGRARIAN REFORM BENEFICIARY MAY BE EJECTED
BY LANDOWNER OVER HIS PROPERTY

Sps. Jesus and Evangeline Pasco vs. Pison-Arceo Agricultural


and Development Corporation
G.R. No. 165501 (March 28, 2006)
Facts:

The case at bar involved an action for unlawful detainer filed by


respondent herein against petitioner spouses Jesus and Evangeline Pasco.

Respondent, Pison-Arceo Agricultural and Development Corporation, is


the registered owner of a parcel of land containing more than 100 hectares.
Constructed on respondent's parcel of land are houses which are occupied
by its workers. Petitioners, among other workers, used to work for
respondent until 1987. They having ceased to be employed by respondent,
petitioners were asked to vacate the house they were occupying but they
refused, hence, respondent filed a complaint for unlawful detainer against
them before the MTCC in Talisay City. Petitioners claimed that, inter
alia,they built the house occupied by them at their own expense and their
stay on the land was upon the tolerance of respondent. However, the
MTCC of Talisay rendered judgment in favor of respondent upon the
findings that respondent provided housing facilities to every worker in its
hacienda without a requiring payment of rentals, however, with an implied
promise that the same be vacated upon their cessation from work. . . .

After the promulgation of the MTCC decision, the Municipal Agrarian


Reform Office (MARO) of Talisay City sent a Notice of Coverage and Field
Investigation (Notice of Coverage) advising respondent that its parcel of
land is now covered under Republic Act 6657.

The petitioners appealed the MTCC decision in the Unlawful Detainer


Case to the RTC, contending that respondent's hacienda is covered by the
CARL and they are qualified beneficiaries thereunder that the MTCC has
no jurisdiction yet to order their ejectment. The RTC of Bacolod City
affirmed the decision of MTCC Talisay, with modification. Petitioners moved
to reconsider the RTC decision, contending that the MTCC had no
jurisdiction over the complaint for unlawful detainer in view of the agrarian
dispute between them and respondent; and by Order petitioners' motion for
reconsideration was denied. Hence, they elevated the case to the Court of
Appeals. In the meantime, the MARO of Talisay City issued a Certification
that herein petitioner Jesus Pasco is registered as potential
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) beneficiary in the land
owned by respondent.

On appeal, the Court of Appeal finds that the only issue in ejectment
cases is the physical possession of the premises, independent of any claim
of ownership by the parties, and this must be so because the issue of
ownership cannot be definitely decided in an ejectment case. Considering

that the petitioners were in possession of the subject property by sheer


tolerance of its owners, they knew that their occupation of the premises
may be terminated any time.
Issues:

Whether or not one who has been identified by the Department of


Agrarian Reform (DAR) as potential agrarian reform beneficiary may be
ejected from the land where he is identified as such, by the landowner, who
has already been notified by the DAR of the coverage of his land by the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program of the government?

Whether or not the issuance of Notice of Coverage to respondent during


the pendency of the ejectment case will automatically considered as an
agrarian dispute?

Whether or not the issuance of Notice of Coverage to respondent will


prevents its right to eject unlawful possessors of his land?

Held:

In the case at bar, we find that the theory of petitioner before the MTCC
is different from that proffered before the RTC. Thus, before the MTCC,
they claimed that the house they are occupying was built at their own
expense. Before the RTC, they raised for the first time that, they being
qualified beneficiaries of the CARP. And, for the first time too, they assailed
the MTCC's lack of jurisdiction over the action due to prematurity, they
contending that respondent's right to eject them would accrue only after
they are reimbursed of their expenses in the repair of the house.

As a rule, a party who deliberately adopts a certain theory upon which


the case is tried and decided by the lower court will not be permitted to
change theory on appeal. Points of law, theories, issues and arguments not
brought to the attention of the lower court need not be, and ordinarily will
not be, considered by a reviewing court, as these cannot be raised for the
first time at such late stage. Basic considerations of due process underlie
this rule. The aforecited rule is not without exception, however. The
issuance during the pendency of the case of a Notice of Coverage to
respondent does not, however, automatically make the ejectment case an

agrarian dispute over which the Department of Agrarian Reform


Adjudication Board (DARAB) has jurisdiction. The issuance of a Notice of
Coverage is merely a preliminary step for the State's acquisition of the land
for agrarian reform purposes and it does not automatically vest title or
transfer the ownership of the land to the government. The purpose of a
Notice of Coverage is explained by this Court. The Notice of Coverage
shall also invite the landowner to attend the field investigation to be
scheduled at least two weeks from notice. The field investigation is for the
purpose of identifying the landholding and determining its suitability for
agriculture and its productivity. . . . The date of the field investigation shall
also be sent by the DAR Municipal Office to representatives of the L[and]
B[ank] [of the] P[hilippines], BARC, DENR and prospective farmer
beneficiaries. The field investigation shall be conducted on the date set
with the participation of the landowner and the various representatives. . . .
Should there be a variance between the findings of the DAR and the LBP
as to whether the land be placed under agrarian reform, the land's
suitability to agriculture, the degree or development of the slope, etc., the
conflict shall be resolved by a composite team of the DAR, LBP, DENR and
DA which shall jointly conduct further investigation.

Clearly then, the notice requirements under the CARL are not confined
to the Notice of Acquisition set forth in Section 16 of the law. They also
include the Notice of Coverage first laid down in DAR A.O. No. 12, Series
of 1989 and subsequently amended in DAR A.O. No. 9, Series of 1990 and
DAR A.O. No. 1, Series of 1993. This Notice of Coverage does not merely
notify the landowner that his property shall be placed under CARP and that
he is entitled to exercise his retention right; it also notifies him, pursuant to
DAR A.O. No. 9, Series of 1990, that a public hearing shall be conducted
where he and representatives of the concerned sectors of society may
attend to discuss the results of the field investigation, the land valuation
and other pertinent matters. Under DAR A.O. No. 1, Series of 1993, the
Notice of Coverage also informs the landowner that a field investigation of
his landholding shall be conducted where he and the other representatives
may be present.

As for the registration of petitioners as potential CARP beneficiaries, the


same does not help their cause. As "potential" CARP beneficiaries, they

are included in the list of those who may be awarded land under the CARP.
Nothing in the records of the case shows that the DAR has made an award
in favor of petitioners, hence, no rights over the land they occupy can be
considered to have vested in their favor in accordance with Section 24 of
the CARL which reads:

Section 24. Award to Beneficiaries. The rights and responsibilities of


the beneficiary shall commence from the time the DAR makes an award of
the land to him, which award shall be completed within one hundred eighty
(180) days from the time the DAR takes actual possession of the land.
Ownership of the beneficiary shall be evidenced by a Certificate of Land
Ownership Award, which shall contain the restrictions and conditions
provided for in this Act, and shall be recorded in the Register of Deeds
concerned and annotated on the Certificate of Title.
JURISDICTION; LAND CLASSIFICATION
TENANCY RELATIONSHIP; REQUISITES

Nolito D. Solmayor, et al. vs. Antonio L. Arroyo


G.R. No. 153817 (March 31, 2006)
Facts:

The case at bar involves a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule
45 of the Rules of Civil Procedure assailing the Decision of the Court of
Appeals which affirmed the Decision of the Office of the President
reversing the Order of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) which
dismissed herein respondent's appeal from the order of the Regional
Director of DAR Region XI dismissing the petition filed by Antonio Arroyo
for the cancellation of Certificates of Land Transfer (CLTs) issued to herein
petitioners.

Respondent Arroyo received a letter from the legal officer of the then
Ministry of Agrarian Reform (now DAR) informing him that his land with an
aggregate area of 9.8038 hectares situated at Matina, Davao City, was the
subject of Operation Land Transfer (OLT) under Presidential Decree No.
27. Likewise, he was advised that he could apply for the conversion of the
land to residential or other urban purposes in accordance with applicable
laws. Team Leader I of the Ministry of Agrarian Reform notified respondent

that based on the parcellary map sketching conducted by the Agrarian


Reform and the Bureau of Lands, the subject property was covered by the
OLT program since the area thereof, which was tenanted at that time, was
more than seven hectares.

Based on an Indorsement issued by the City Zoning and Development


Officer it certifies that the property is "partly zonified as Residential Class
'A' and 'B,' Commercial and Open Space . . . as per existing Zoning
Ordinance of Davao City," respondent applied for the conversion of the
land to residential subdivision. Series of conferences were conducted
between petitioners and respondent by DAR local officials for relocation
and disturbance compensation, however, no final agreement was reached.

Later, the then Ministry of Agrarian Reform issued CLTs in favor of


petitioners. Respondent filed a petition for the cancellation of said CLTs on
the ground that the subject land was, and still is, residential property and
thus, beyond the coverage of Presidential Decree No. 27. Furthermore,
respondent denies the existence of a tenancy relationship between him
and petitioners.

Respondent, through his attorney-in-fact, made a Voluntary Offer to Sell


his entire landholding, including the subject property, to the government in
accordance with the provisions of Republic Act 6657. As a consequence
thereof, the Regional Director of DAR Region XI issued an Order
dismissing respondent's petition for cancellation of CLTs. Respondent
appealed said Order to the Office of the Secretary of Agrarian Reform
praying that it be set aside and that the CLTs be cancelled. Meanwhile,
DAR issued Emancipation Patents to petitioners as the identified farmerbeneficiaries on the land.

Thereafter, in an Order, DAR Secretary Ernesto Garilao issued an order


dismissing respondent's appeal and upheld the validity of the Emancipation
Patents awarded to petitioners which states that this Office so holds that
the landholding in question are agricultural as of October 21, 1972 despite
the fact that the same have been declared for tax purposes as residential.
The Memorandum dated May 17, 1993 which contains the investigation
report of the DAR personnel who conducted the ocular inspection and
investigation explicitly shows that when Presidential Decree No. 27 took

effect the actual use of the land is agricultural. This fact is further
buttressed when petitioner, in his letter dated August 8, 1988 manifested
his desire to voluntarily offer to sell the properties in question to the
Department of Agrarian Reform, declaring that the subject landholdings are
productive and suitable to agricultural production.

Respondent's Motion for Reconsideration was subsequently denied in


an Order prompting respondent to file an appeal before the Office of the
President. The Office of the President reversed the order of the DAR
Secretary and declared the 9.8 hectares outside the coverage of
Presidential Decree No. 27, which states that exemption from coverage of
OLT lies if: (1) the land is not devoted to rice or corn crops even if it is
tenanted; or (2) the land is untenanted even though it is devoted to rice or
corn crops. That it is essential to determine whether or not tenancy
relationship exists between Mr. Arroyo and the appellees.

Aggrieved by the decision of the Office of the President, petitioners filed


a Petition for Review before the Court of Appeals, maintaining that the
Office of the President erred in finding that the subject landholding has
been classified as non-agricultural prior to the effectivity of Presidential
Decree No. 27 and not primarily devoted to rice or corn crops, and that the
farmer-beneficiaries are not tenants of respondent. Thereafter, the
appellate court denied petitioners' appeal and affirmed the decision of the
Office of the President. Hence, this petitioner seeking the reversal of the
Decision of the Court of appeal.

Issue:

Whether or not respondent property is an agricultural land devoted


primarily to rice and/or corn?

Whether or not there is a tenancy relationship between petitioner and


respondent?

Held:

In contrast, respondent offers for consideration several documents to


bolster its position that subject land is residential, namely: 1) copies of the
Declaration of Real Property (tax declaration) filed by respondent as early

as 1968 indicating therein that the subject property is residential; 2) a


Certification dated 3 July 1979 by the Bureau of Soils stating that the land
is suitable for urban use and for housing projects; 3) a copy of the
Preliminary Approval and Locational Clearance granted by the Human
Settlements Regulatory Commission dated 12 January 1982 indicating
therein that the land is primarily coco land and residential and suitable for
the proposed residential subdivision; 4) a Certification from the Office of
the Zoning Administrator of Davao City dated 10 December 1981 to the
effect that the property per Zonification Ordinance of Davao City is within a
Residential Zone Class "B"; 5) a Zoning Certification issued by the Housing
and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) dated 4 March 1991 certifying
that the land is within the Residential/Commercial Zones under zoning
ordinance of Davao City adopted through a Sangguniang Bayan Resolution
and ratified by the HLURB, through Board Resolution No. 39-4, s. of 1980,
dated 31 July 1980; 6) a Certification from the Office of the City Planning
and Development Coordinator, Office of the Zoning Administrator, dated 26
March 1991 to the effect that the subject land was classified as Major
Commercial Zone (C-2) and High Density Residential Zone (R-2) in the
City Ordinance No. 363, s. of 1982, or better known as Expanded Zoning
Ordinance of Davao City; 7) a Certification from the Office of the City
Planning and Development Coordinator of Davao City dated 16 February
1996 that per Official Zoning Map of the City of Davao adopted under
Resolution No. 711, Ordinance No. 281, Series of 1972, the subject
property is within two zones classification namely: Commercial Zone and
Residential Zone Class B; and 8) the Report of the DAR Provincial Task
Force on Illegal Conversion dated 2 June 2000, ruling out any act of illegal
conversion as the subject land is classified as commercial and residential
zones.

Although this Court will not disregard the evidence presented by


petitioners that the land is devoted to rice and corn crops in 1993, when the
ocular inspection by the DAR personnel was conducted, it must be noted
that around the time of the passage of Presidential Decree No. 27 up to
1978, when the subject property was placed under the coverage of
Operation Land Transfer, the available evidence issued and certified by the
different government agencies, closer in time to the mentioned time frame
will show that respondent's property has, indeed, been classified as within

the residential and commercial zones of Davao City. It cannot escape the
notice of this Court that more than a decade before the issuance of the
said ocular investigation report stating that the land is devoted to
agricultural production, government agencies equipped with the technical
expertise to determine the proper classification of the subject land have
already determined that the land is part of the residential and commercial
zones of Davao City making it suitable for other urban use. Therefore, it is
only reasonable to conclude, based on the certification of various executive
agencies issued when this controversy arose, that at the time of the
passage of Presidential Decree No. 27, respondent's property was not
agricultural.

. . . As to the issue of whether or not there exists a tenancy relationship


between petitioners and respondents, we sustain the findings of both the
Court of Appeals and the Office of the President that petitioners are not de
jure tenants of respondent. The essential requisites of a tenancy
relationship which must all concur in order to create a tenancy relationship
between parties, to wit:

The parties are the landowner and the tenant;

The subject is agricultural land;

There is consent;

The purpose is agricultural production;

There is personal cultivation; and

There is sharing of harvests.

The absence of one does not make an occupant of a parcel of land, or a


cultivator thereof, or a planter thereon, a de jure tenant. This is so because
unless a person has established his status as a de jure tenant, he is not
entitled to security of tenure nor is he covered by the Land Reform Program
of the Government under existing tenancy laws. The subject land not being
agricultural, the requirements for the creation of a tenancy relationship is
thus lacking. Moreover, the Court has had the occasion to state that the key
factor in ascertaining whether or not there is a landowner-tenant

relationship in this case is the nature of the disputed property. Accordingly,


having earlier concluded that the subject landholding is not agricultural, we
must conclude that petitioners are not de jure tenants of respondent and
are, therefore, not entitled to the benefits of Presidential Decree No. 27.
JURISDICTION; DARAB'S JURISDICTION ON JOINT PRODUCTION
AGREEMENT; A TYPE OF JOINT ECONOMIC ENTERPRISE;
AGRARIAN DISPUTE; DEFINITION

Islanders CARP-Farmers Beneficiaries Multi-Purpose


Cooperative, Inc. vs. Lapanday Agricultural and
Development Corporation
G.R. No. 159089 (May 3, 2006)
Facts:

This is a Petition for Review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court,


seeking to reverse the June 30, 2003 Decision of the Court of Appeals
(CA) in CA-GR CV No. 65498.

On March 8, 1993, a certain Ramon Cajegas entered into a Joint


Production Agreement for petitioner (Islanders CARP-Farmers
Beneficiaries Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Inc.) with respondent (Lapanday
Agricultural and Development Croporation). On April 2, 1996, petitioner,
represented by its alleged chairman, Manuel K. Asta, filed a complaint with
the RTC for Declaration of Nullity, Mandamus, Damages, with prayer for
Preliminary Injunction against respondent, the alleged . . . officers of
petitioner who entered into the agreement, and the Provincial Agrarian
Reform Office of Davao (hereinafter PARO), represented by Saturnino D.
Sibbaluca. Petitioner subsequently filed an amended complaint with leave
of court alleging that the persons, who executed the contract were not
authorized by it.

Respondent's filed a Motion to Dismiss alleging that the Department of


Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) has primary, exclusive, and
original jurisdiction; that petitioner failed to comply with the compulsory
mediation and conciliation proceedings at the barangay level; and for the
unauthorized institution of the complaint in behalf of petitioner. Respondent
also averred that petitioner was engaged in forum shopping because it also

filed a petition before the DAR praying for the disapproval of the Joint
Production Agreement. The PARO also filed a motion to dismiss on May
16, 1996.

On August 21, 1996, respondent then filed a case at the DARAB for
Breach of Contract, Specific Performance, Injunction with Restraining
Order, Damages and Attorney's Fees. On February 25, 1997, the DARAB
decided the case in favor of respondent declaring the Joint Production
Agreement as valid and binding and ordering petitioner to account for the
proceeds of the produce and to comply with the terms of the contract.
The RTC then issued its decision on October 18, 1999.

Issue:

Whether or not . . . the . . . Court of Appeals gravely erred in affirming


the dismissal of the case at bench by RTC of Tagum City on the ground
that it has no jurisdiction over the subject matter and nature of the suit.

Whether or not . . . the . . . Court of Appeals gravely erred in finding that


the Joint Production Agreement' is valid instead of declaring it as null and
void ab initio, its provisions, terms and condition, cause and purposes
being violative of the express mandatory provision of R.A. 6657.

Whether or not . . . the . . . Court of Appeals gravely erred in holding that


the 'Joint Production Agreement' is a leasehold contract and therefore
valid.

Whether or not . . . the . . . Court of Appeals gravely erred in interpreting


and applying the prevailing doctrines and jurisprudence delineating the
jurisdiction between the regular court and DARAB on the matter of
agricultural land and tenancy relationship.

Held:

Section 50 of Republic Act 6657 and Section 17 of Executive Order 229


vests in the DAR the primary and exclusive jurisdiction, both original and
appellate, to determine and adjudicate all matters involving the
implementation of agrarian reform. Through Executive Order 129-A, the

President of the Philippines created the DARAB and authorized it to


assume the powers and functions of the DAR pertaining to the adjudication
of agrarian reform cases.

The subject matter of the present controversy falls squarely within the
jurisdiction of the DARAB. In question are the rights and obligations of two
juridical persons engaged in the management, cultivation and use of
agricultural land acquired through the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform
Program (CARP) of the government.

To prove tenancy or an agricultural leasehold agreement, it


is normallynecessary to establish the following elements: 1) the parties are
the landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee; 2) the subject matter of
the relationship is a piece of agricultural land; 3) there is consent between
the parties to the relationship; 4) the purpose of the relationship is to bring
about agricultural production; 5) there is personal cultivation on the part of
the tenant or agricultural lessee; and 6) the harvest is shared between the
landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee.

In the present case, the fifth element of personal cultivation is clearly


absent. Petitioner is thus correct in claiming that the relationship between
the parties is not one of tenancy or agricultural leasehold. Nevertheless, we
believe that the present controversy still falls within the sphere of agrarian
disputes.

An agrarian dispute "refers to any controversy relating to tenurial


arrangements whether leasehold, tenancy, stewardship or otherwise
over lands devoted to agriculture. Such disputes include those concerning
farm workers' associations or representations of persons in negotiating,
fixing, maintaining, changing or seeking to arrange terms or conditions of
such tenurial arrangements. Also included is any controversy relating to the
terms and conditions of transfer of ownership from landowners to farm
workers, tenants and other agrarian reform beneficiaries whether the
disputants stand in the proximate relation of farm operator and beneficiary,
landowner and tenant, or lessor and lessee.

The assailed Joint Production Agreement is a type of joint economic


enterprise. Joint economic enterprises are partnerships or arrangements

entered into by Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) land


beneficiaries and investors to implement agribusiness enterprises in
agrarian reform areas.

Jurisdiction over the present controversy lies with the DARAB. As the
RTC had correctly dismissed the case on the ground of lack of jurisdiction,
it was superfluous for the trial court and the Court of Appeals for that
matter to have ruled further on the issue of the validity of the agreement.
JUST COMPENSATION; CANNOT BE PRESUMED, EXPROPRIATION
OF LANDHOLDING COVERED BY R.A. NO. 6657 TAKE PLACE, NOT
ON THE EFFECTIVITY OF THE ACT ON JUNE 15, 1988 BUT ON THE
PAYMENT OF JUST COMPENSATION
JURISDICTION;
RTC
AS
SPECIAL
AGRARIAN
COURTS
DISTINGUISHED FROM AGRARIAN ADJUDICATORS; DOCTRINE OF
PRIMARY JURISDICTION

Hon. Court of Appeals, Hon. DARAB, ARB Associations of


San Francisco, Gen. Trias, Cavite, Register of Deeds for the
Province of Cavite Heirs of Francisco R. Tantoco, Sr., Maria
R. Tantoco, Zosimo Tantoco, Margarita R. Tantoco, and
Pacita R. Tantoco vs The DAR Region IV Director
G.R. No. 149621 (May 5, 2006)
Facts:

The case involves an action for cancellation of TCT No. CLOA-1424 and
the reinstatement of TCT No. T-402203 with prayer for issuance of
preliminary injunction filed by petitioners before the DARAB Region IV on
November 11, 1994. Subject land was offered by Petitioner for sale under
the VOS scheme for 5M/hectare, title was cancelled and TCT CLOA 1424
was issued by the ROD in favor of ARBA. DARAB Region IV rendered a
decision declaring the subject property as covered under the CARP without
prejudice to the exercise of petitioners of their respective right of retention
upon proper application; voiding and annulling TCT CLOA 1424; directing
ROD of Cavite to effect the cancellation of TCT No. CLOA 1424 and
reinstatement of TCT No. T-402203 in the joint names of Petitoners/Co-

owners subject to its eventual coverage under CARP; and directing the
MARO to re-screen ARBs and generate individual CLOAs.

Both petitioners and respondent ARBA separately appealed to the


DARAB in Quezon City. Said appeal was consolidated. In resolving the
controversy, DARAB condensed the issue posed by respective parties by
addressing the question: Can a Collective Certificate of Land Ownership
Award validly issued pursuant to a Voluntary Offer to Sell scheme
acquisition of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) be
cancelled on the petition of the former owner on the mere suspicion that
some of the names listed therein are not really qualified farmerbeneficiaries?

DARAB rendered its Decision modifying the appealed decision of the


Regional Adjudicator by approving the validity and efficacy of TCT-CLOA
No. 1424. Petitioners' Motion for Reconsideration and Supplemental
Motion for Reconsideration was denied by DARAB for lack of merit. On
appeal to Court of Appeals. Petitioners appeal dismissed for lack of merit.
Petitioners moved for the reconsideration but was likewise denied. Hence,
this petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.

Issues:
1.
Whether or not the CLOA that had been issued by DAR to ARBA may
be cancelled on the following grounds:

The land in question is exempt from the coverage of CARP by reason of


its inclusion in the industrial zone of CALABARZON;

The DAR failed to conform strictly to the procedure for the acquisition of
private agricultural lands laid down in RA 6657, hence, violating due
process and consequently denying petitioners just compensation; and

ARBA and all its members have not paid the amortizations for the
landholdings awarded to them as required under RA 6657 and DAR
Administrative Order No. 6, Series of 1993.

2.
Whether or not DAR's failure to comply with the requisites prescribed
by law in the acquisition proceeding gives the courts the power to nullify the
CLOA issued to ARBA?

Held:

The Court accords respect to the findings of the Regional Adjudicator


who has the primary jurisdiction and competence to establish the
agricultural character of the land in question which is properly within the
coverage of CARP. It was not re-classified nor converted from agricultural
to non-agricultural use with the approval of the HLURB prior to the
effectivity of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL) on June 15,
1988.

The DAR officials or its employees failed to comply strictly with the
guidelines and operating procedures provided by law in acquiring the
property subject to CARP.

Firstly, there were certain inconsistencies in the manner of selection by


the DAR of the CARP beneficiaries who are members of ARBA.

Secondly, the TCT No. CLOA-1424 was directly issued by the DAR in
the name of ARBA without: (a) payment of just compensation; and, (b)
initial transfer of title to the land in the name of the Republic of the
Philippines, in contravention to Section 16(e) of R.A. No. 6657.

In the implementation of the CARP, the Special Agrarian Courts which


are the Regional Trial Courts, are given original and exclusive jurisdiction
over two categories of cases, to wit: (1) all petitions for the determination of
just compensation to landowners; and, (2) the prosecution of all criminal
offenses under R.A. No. 6657. What agrarian adjudicators are empowered
to do is only to determine in a preliminary manner the reasonable
compensation to be paid to the landowners, leaving to the courts the
ultimate power to decide the question.

The failure of the DAR to comply with the requisites prescribed by law in
the acquisition proceedings does not give this Court the power to nullify the
CLOA that had been issued to ARBA. To assume the power is to shortcircuit the administrative process, which has yet to run its regular course.
DAR must be given a chance to correct its administrative and procedural
lapses in the acquisition proceedings.

The resolution of this case by the DAR is to the best advantage of


petitioners since it is in a better position to resolve agrarian disputes, being
the administrative agency possessing the necessary expertise on the
matter and vested with primary jurisdiction to determine and adjudicate
agrarian reform controversies. Further, the proceedings therein are
summary and the department is not bound by technical rules of procedure
and evidence, to the end that agrarian reform disputes and other issues will
be adjudicated in a just, expeditious and inexpensive action or proceeding.
JURISDICTION; NULLIFICATION OF CLOA; DARAB'S JURISDICTION
CANNOT BE DEEMED TO DISAPPEAR THE MOMENT A CERTIFICATE
OF TITLE IS ISSUED; BENEFICIARIES; LANDOWNERS ARE WITHOUT
PERSONALITY TO QUESTION THE SELECTION OF BENEFICIARIES

Rodolfo Hermoso, et al. vs. C.L. Realty Corporation


G.R. No. 140319 (May 05, 2006)
Facts:

The case involves a petition filed by C.L. Realty filed with the DARABRegion III office a petition, docketed as DARAB Case No. 092-B-93,praying
for the cancellation of petitioners' CLOAs on the ground of irregular,
premature and anomalous issuance. C.L. Realty alleged, that the CLOA
recipients do not meet the basic farmer-beneficiary qualification
requirement and are not under the order of priority defined in Section 22 of
Republic Act (R.A.) No. 6657.

Respondent C.L. Realty Corp. is the registered owner of land with an


area of 46.1476 has. located at Brgy. Alas-asin, Mariveles, Bataan covered
by TCT No. T-60221. On 28 August 1991, respondent received Notice of
Acquisition of the said parcel of land followed by a Notice of Valuation
which the property in question was valued at 273,559.00 from the DAR
Region III. Respondent challenged the valuation.

Respondent requested then DAR Region III Director Antonio Nuesa that
the issuance of the CLOAs covering the property in question be held in
abeyance. Without requesting for the lifting of the land coverage,
respondent applied for conversion. Unknown to respondent, CLOAs were
already issued to petitioners and corresponding certificates of title were

thus issued. From then on, petitioners entered into possession of said land
and planted crops thereon.

PARAD rendered decision ordering the cancellation of the CLOAs


issued to petitioners finding that undue haste attended the processing and
issuance of the questioned CLOAs, and that they were not qualified as
farmer beneficiaries under Section 22 of R.A. No. 6657.

On appeal to DARAB proper, the assailed PARAD decision was


reversed and set aside and upheld the efficacy of the CLOAs predicating its
disposition on the premise that respondent failed to substantiate its
allegations respecting the lack of qualification of petitioners as farmer
beneficiaries, and had not overturned the presumption that official duty had
been duly performed.

Following the denial of its motion for reconsideration, C.L. Realty went
to the Court of Appeals (CA) by way of petition for review, thereat docketed
as CA-G.R. SP No. 43795. Court of Appeals set aside the DARAB proper
decision and reinstated the ruling of the PARAD.
Aggrieved, petitioners filed the instant petition.

Issues:

Whether or not the DARAB provincial adjudicator has jurisdiction to


nullify the CLOAs issued to petitioners, given that the corresponding TCTs
have been issued over the lands covered?

Whether or not the petition filed by C.L. Realty before the Office of the
Provincial Adjudicator should have been dismissed for non-joinder of
indispensable parties?

Whether or not the CA failed to take into account facts and


circumstances supportive of herein petitioners' cause, and, on the other
hand, accorded undue weight to the findings of the Provincial Adjudicator?

Held:

Petition is granted.

The DAR, through its adjudication arm, i.e., the DARAB and its regional
and provincial adjudication boards, exercises quasi-judicial functions and
jurisdiction on all matters pertaining to agrarian dispute or controversy and
the implementation of agrarian reform laws. In Nuesa vs. Court of
Appeals,the Court, citing the Revised Rules of Procedure of the DARAB,
stated that the DARAB has primary, original and appellate jurisdiction "to
determine and adjudicate all agrarian disputes, cases, controversies, and
matters or incidents involving the implementation of all the Comprehensive
Agrarian Reform Program [CARP] under R.A. 6657, E.O. Nos. 228, 229
and 129-A, R.A. 3844, as amended by R.A. 6389, P.D. No. 27 and other
agrarian laws and their implementing rules and regulations." The Court
made a similar pronouncement on the jurisdiction of DARAB in Bautista vs.
Mag-isa vda. de Villa. Under Section 1 (f) of the DARAB Rules of
Procedure, such jurisdiction of the DARAB includes cases involving "the
issuance, correction and cancellation of (CLOAs) and Emancipation
Patents (EPs) which are registered with the Land Registration Authority."
Surely, such jurisdiction cannot be deemed to disappear the moment a
certificate of title is issued. For, such certificates are not modes of transfer
of property but merely evidence of such transfer. Needless to state, there
can be no valid transfer of title should the CLOA on which it was grounded
is void.

The petitioners are in no position to question the jurisdiction of the DAR


and its adjudicative arm at this late junction of the proceedings. They are
already estopped at this stage to challenge the competency of the DARAB
and its provincial adjudicator to have taken cognizance of the case. This
disposition becomes all the more pressing considering the petitioners'
active participation in the proceedings below, and their having been the
recipients of a favorable decision dated August 21, 1996 of the DARAB
Proper. Decisional law frowns upon a jurisdictional challenge cast against
such a milieu.

Petitioners' thesis, under the second ground, that the DAR officials who
processed and approved the applications for issuance of CLOAs and the
Register of Deeds are indispensable parties cannot be given cogency.
Surely, a final determination of the petition for cancellation of CLOAs could
be had even without joining in such petition any of the officials adverted to.

And as a matter of long and recognized practice, a public respondent need


only to be impleaded in certiorari proceedings under Rule 65 of the Rules
of Court, but even then, the adjudicating judge, officer or tribunal would
only be considered a nominal party. In petitions for review on certiorari as a
mode of ordinary appeal under either Rule 43 or 45, only the private
parties to the case are to be impleaded.

The foregoing notwithstanding, the Court still rules for petitioners due to
compelling reasons ostensibly overlooked by the appellate court.
Respondent's standing to question the qualification of the petitioners as
CARP beneficiaries. As the DARAB Proper aptly observed: It is the
Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer (MARO) or the Provincial Agrarian
Reform Officer (PARO) together with the Barangay Agrarian Reform
Committee (BARC) who screen and select the possible agrarian
beneficiaries. The landowner, however, does not have the right to select
who the beneficiaries should be. Hence, other farmers who were not
selected and claimed they have a priority over those who have been
identified as such can file a written protest with the MARO or the PARO
who is currently processing the claim folder.

Section 22 of the CARP law provides merely for an order of priority in


the distribution of the land to beneficiaries. In the case at bar, there
appears to be no applicants other than the petitioners.
EXEMPTION
DECLARED

FROM

CARP
AS

COVERAGE OF A LANDHOLDING
A
SECURITY
ZONE

Department of Agrarian Reform rep. by Secretary Hernani A.


Braganza vs. Philippine Communications Satellite Corp.
G.R. No. 152640 (June 15, 2006)
Facts:

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) is seeking the nullification of


the Decision and Resolution, dated November 23, 2001 and March 7,
2002, respectively, of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 57435,
entitled "Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation (PHILCOMSAT)
v. DAR."

The controversy involves a parcel of land owned by respondent


PHILCOMSAT situated within the area which had been declared a security
zone under Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 1845, as amended by P.D. No.
1848, entitled "Declaring the Area within a Radius of Three Kilometers
surrounding the Satellite Earth Station in Baras, Rizal, a Security Zone,"
which is subjected to the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program of the
government. Pursuant to the decree, the Ministry of National Defense
promulgated the Revised Rules and Regulations to Implement P.D. No.
1845 dated 30 April 1982, as amended, Declaring the Philippine Earth
Station (PES) Security Zone. In view of this, the metes and bounds of
PHILCOMSAT's satellite earth station in Baras, Rizal, were delineated.

In 1992, a Notice of Coverage was sent to PHILCOMSAT by petitioner


DAR informing the former that the land in question shall be placed under
CARP's compulsory acquisition scheme. On January 28, 1994,
PHILCOMSAT wrote to DAR seeking an exemption of the subject property
from CARP coverage, insisting that the land will be utilized for the
expansion of its operations. Respondent's application for exemption from
CARP coverage was evaluated by DAR. During the pendency of the
application, then DAR Secretary Ernesto D. Garilao, in a letter dated March
21, 1994, suggested that respondent enter into a usufructuary agreement
with the occupants of the subject property until such time that it will have to
use the property for its planned expansion. The occupants, however,
refused to enter into such an agreement.

Meanwhile, the Sangguniang Bayan of Tanay, Rizal, in its Resolution


No. 65-94 that was endorsed to DAR, moved for the coverage of the 700hectare PHILCOMSAT property within the security zone under CARP. The
Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer of Teresa, Rizal further opined that
subjecting the surrounding agricultural area within the security zone under
CARP will not be detrimental to the operations of PHILCOMSAT.

An Order was issued by then Secretary Garilao rejecting


PHILCOMSAT's application for exemption from CARP. Having been denied,
PHILCOMSAT filed a Petition for Review with the Court of Appeals to which
the appellate court granted. Consequently, DAR moved for reconsideration
but the same was denied hence this petition.

Issue:

Whether or not the subject property of PHILCOMSAT which had been


declared a security zone under P.D. No. 1845m as amended by P.D. No.
1848, can be subjected to CARP.

Held:

P.D. No. 1845, as amended by P.D. No. 1848, was issued way before
the effectivity of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988. The
same was issued in 1982 pursuant to an exigency to create a security zone
in the surrounding areas of PHILCOMSAT's satellite earth station in order
to ensure its security and uninterrupted operation considering the vital role
of the earth station in the country's telecommunications and national
development. P.D. No. 1848, amending P.D. No. 1845, subjected the
security zone to the authority of the Ministry of National Defense,
consequently conferring on the Minister of National Defense the power and
authority to determine who can occupy the areas within the security zone,
and how the lands shall be utilized.

The area, however, should be exempt from CARP coverage by virtue of


P.D. No. 1845, as amended, which, as stated earlier, declared the area to
be a security zone under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of National
Defense. It is evident from the very wording of the law that the government
recognized the crucial role of PHILCOMSAT's operations to national
security, thereby necessitating the protection of its operations from
unnecessary and even anticipated disruption. Thus, every statute is
understood, by implication, to contain all such provisions as may be
necessary to effectuate its object and purpose, or to make effective rights,
powers, privileges or jurisdiction which it grants, including all such collateral
and subsidiary consequences as may be fairly and logically inferred from
its terms.

Section 10 of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law or R.A. No.


6657, as amended, provides that lands actually, directly and exclusively
used and found to be necessary for national defense shall be exempt from
the coverage of the Act. The determination as to whether or not the subject
property is actually, directly, and exclusively used for national defense

usually entails a finding of fact which this Court will not normally delve into
considering that, subject to certain exceptions, in a petition for certiorari
under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, the Court is called upon to review only
errors of law. Suffice it to state, however, that as a matter of principle, it
cannot seriously be denied that the act of securing a vital communication
facilities is an act of national defense. Hence, the law, by segregating an
area for purposes of a security zone for such facilities, in effect devoted
that area to national defense.
MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION MUST BE SOUGHT BEFORE
SEEKING RELIEF FOR CERTIORARI

Inocencio Alimboboyog vs. Hon. Court of Appeals and Paz


Noble-Noblefranca
G.R. No. 163655 (June 16, 2006)
Facts:

This case involves a Petition for Certiorari for the decision of the Court
of Appeals dated June 7, 2004, Inocencio Alimboboyog (Alimboboyog)
assailing the Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP. No. 73861
dated March 12, 2004 as it was allegedly rendered without jurisdiction,
there having been no prior valid service of pleadings and court orders upon
him.

Private respondent Paz Noble-Noblefranca (Noblefranca) instituted an


action before the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board
(DARAB) Office of the Provincial Adjudicator against Alimboboyog for
collection of rentals and ejectment with damages. The complaint was later
amended to reflect the correct technical description of the property.
Noblefranca prayed therein that Alimboboyog be directed to pay back
rentals representing her share as landowner amounting to 156 cavans of
palay or its money equivalent covering the period from 1988-1995.
Alimboboyog filed an answer claiming that he was no longer obliged to
remit the landowner's share because he had already acquired the property
by operation of law through the issuance of a Certificate of Land Transfer
(CLT) in the name of his father, Domingo Alimboboyog.

The Provincial Adjudicator rendered a decision in favor of petitioner,


ordering respondent to vacate the landholding, turn over its peaceful
possession to Noblefranca, and pay the latter back rentals consisting of
156 cavans of palay or its monetary equivalent.

Alimboboyog's Notice of Appeal was denied due course in an Order


dated April 7, 1997 for having been filed out of time. Subsequently, a writ of
execution was implemented and Noblefranca was placed in possession of
the land. Four (4) years later or on January 10, 2001, the DARAB Central
Office reversed the decision of the Provincial Adjudicator. The resolution
disposed of Noblefranca's motion for reconsideration, despite the fact that
Alimboboyog's Notice of Appeal was filed beyond the reglementary period,
it opted to relax the application of the rules and admit the appeal in order to
achieve agrarian justice. This was questioned on a petition for review with
the Court of Appeals. This decision is now the subject of the instant case.

Issue:
Whether or not the filing of a petition for certiorari was proper.

Held:

It is not proper. The unquestioned rule in this jurisdiction is that certiorari


will lie only if there is no appeal or any other plain, speedy and adequate
remedy in the ordinary course of law against the acts of respondent. In this
case, the plain and adequate remedy was a motion for reconsideration of
the assailed Decision and the resolution thereof, which was not only
expected to be but would actually have provided an adequate and more
speedy remedy than the present petition for certiorari.

The filing of a motion for reconsideration would have afforded the Court
of Appeals the opportunity to correct the errors attributed to it and allowed
Alimboboyog to ventilate his side. His failure to file such motion deprived
the appellate court of its right and opportunity to review and purge its
decision of any oversight.

In view of the fact that Alimboboyog failed to take advantage of the


procedural remedy of filing a motion for reconsideration without any
concrete, compelling and valid explanation, we cannot allow him to now

seek relief by certiorari. As a final note, we add that although the merits of
the case are not in issue in this petition, the same having been filed solely
to question Noblefranca's failure to serve a copy of the petition which she
filed with the Court of Appeals on Alimboboyog's counsel, we nonetheless
reviewed the substantive conclusions reached by the appellate court and
found them to be in accord with the facts of the case, law and pertinent
jurisprudence.
AGRICULTURAL
LEASEHOLD;
JURISDICTION;
TENANCY
RELATIONSHIP NOT EXTINGUISHED BY CHANGES BROUGHT
ABOUT BY A CONTRACT ENTERED INTO BY THE PARTIES

Sps. Proceso Amurao and Minerva Amurao vs. Sps. Jacinto


Villalobos and Herminigilda Villalobos
G.R. No. 157491 (June 20, 2006)
Facts:

Petitioners are owners of a parcel of land in Lemery, Batangas which


they bought from a certain Ruperto Endozo, the landlord of herein
respondents.

The parties then entered into a contract "Kasulatan Tungkol sa Lupang


Pagtatayuan ng Bahay" (KASULATAN) before the barangay officials
wherein respondents promised to surrender the possession of the land to
the petitioners should the latter need it for personal use and in turn the
petitioner will give 1,000 square meters upon surrender thereof. However,
the respondents refused to vacate when it was finally demanded. The
matter was then brought to the Barangay but no compromise was reached.
A complaint for ejectment was then filed with the MTC. In turn, respondents
filed an answer with motion to hear special and affirmative defenses
claiming that they were already occupying and working on the same as
agricultural tenants prior to petitioners acquisition. The controversy being
an agrarian dispute must be lodged with the Department of Agrarian
Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) and not the court which has
jurisdiction over the case.

The Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC) of Batangas disposed of the


case, ruling that it has jurisdiction over the case because respondents

spouses Jacinto Villalobos and Herminigilda ceased to be agricultural


tenants after they executed the "Kasulatan Tungkol sa Lupang Pagtatayuan
ng Bahay" ("Kasunduan" or "Kasulatan") where they expressly waived their
status as tenants after having been given one thousand (1000) square
meters of the land in question. It explained that theKasulatan is the law
between the parties.

Via a Notice of Appeal, respondents appealed the Decision to the


Regional Trial Court (RTC), where it rendered a Decision modifying the
ruling of the MTC. The RTC ruled that it has jurisdiction over the case and
that respondents are bonafide tenants in petitioners' land. It explained that
the MCTC anchored its decision on the assumption that respondents were
already occupying the 1,000 square meters of land embodied in
theKasulatan. It found that it was unclear whether the terms and conditions
contained in the Kasulatan have been observed and complied with by
petitioners because there was no documentary evidence showing that the
1,000 square meters of land have been transferred to the respondents. It
upheld the MCTC's finding that the Kasulatan is the law between the
parties, and to be binding, the parties should comply with its terms and
conditions. Thus, for the Kasulatan's enforcement, it found it necessary that
petitioners execute a document transferring full and absolute ownership
over the 1,000 square meters of land to the respondents.

A Motion for Reconsideration was filed by petitioners but was denied.


Aggrieved, petitioners appealed to the Court of Appeals by way of Petition
for Review under Rule 42 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. The Court
of Appeals dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction.

Issues:

Whether or not the court a quo erred in ruling that the judgment of the
Municipal Trial Court and the Regional Trial Court are null and void having
been rendered without jurisdiction?
Whether or not there is an agrarian dispute in the instant case?
Whether or not tenancy relationship has been terminated by the
KASULATAN.

Held:

In Teresita S. David v. Agustin Rivera, this Court held that:


Indeed, Section 21 of Republic Act No. 1199, provides that 'all cases
involving the dispossession of a tenant by the landlord or by a third party
and/or the settlement and disposition of disputes arising from the
relationship of landlord and tenant shall be under the original and
exclusive jurisdiction of the Court of Agrarian Relations.' This jurisdiction
does not require the continuance of the relationship of landlord and
tenant at the time of the dispute. The same may have arisen, and
often times arises, precisely from the previous termination of such
relationship. If the same existed immediately, or shortly, before the
controversy and the subject-matter thereof is whether or not said
relationship has been lawfully terminated, or if the dispute springs or
originates from the relationship of landlord and tenant, the litigation is
(then) cognizable by the Court of Agrarian Relations . . . .

We rule that there is. As defined under Section 3 (d) of Republic Act No.
6657, otherwise known as the "Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law," an
agrarian dispute refers to any controversy relating to tenurial arrangements,
whether leasehold, tenancy, stewardship or otherwise, over lands devoted
to agriculture, including disputes concerning farmworkers' associations or
representation of persons in negotiating, fixing, maintaining, changing or
seeking to arrange terms or conditions of such tenurial arrangements. It
includes any controversy relating to compensation of lands acquired under
this Act and other terms and conditions of transfer of ownership from
landowner to farmworkers, tenants and other agrarian reform beneficiaries,
whether the disputants stand in the proximate relation of farm operator and
beneficiary, landowner and tenant, or lessor and lessee. It refers to any
controversy relating to, inter alia, tenancy over lands devoted to agriculture.

The instant case undeniably involves a controversy involving tenurial


arrangements because the Kasulatan will definitely modify, nay, terminate
the same. Even assuming that the tenancy relationship between the parties
had ceased due to the Kasulutan, there still exists an agrarian dispute
because the action involves an incident arising from the landlord and
tenant relationship.

There being an agrarian dispute, the action is properly within the


jurisdiction of the DAR, through the DARAB.
JUST COMPENSATION; JURISDICTION OF SPECIAL AGRARIAN
COURT

Ernestina L. Crisologo-Jose vs. Land Bank of the Philippines


G.R. No. 167399 (June 22, 2006)
Facts:

Petitioner is the owner of 34.6960 hectares of land which used to form


part of a larger expanse situated in Talavera, Nueva Ecija and covered by
Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. NT-147218 of the land records of
North Nueva Ecija. She is also the owner of several parcels of land situated
in the same municipality with a total area of 27.09 hectares and covered by
twelve (12) separate titles, i.e., TCT Nos. 155604 -09, 155611, 155615,
245112-15. According to the petitioner, respondent Land Bank of the
Philippines (Land Bank) gave these landholdings which she inherited
from her uncle, Alejandro T. Lim a measly valuation of P9,000.00 per
hectare.

Excepting from the valuation purportedly thus given, petitioner filed on


September 25, 1997, a PETITION for determination of just compensation
respecting her landholdings aforementioned. In said petition, docketed as
AGR. CASE No. 962-G of the Regional Trial Court of Guimba, Nueva Ecija,
petitioner prayed that "the sum of P100,000.00 at least per hectare, or the
total sum of P6,178,600.00 be fixed as just compensation of the total area
of 61.7860 hectares," it being her allegation that her computation hewed
with the guidelines established under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform
Law and other related statutes.

On September 8, 1999, the trial court, after due proceedings, rendered


judgment fixing the fair market value of the 61.7860 hectares of the land in
question at P100,000.00 per hectare. But beyond value determination, the
trial court ordered the respondent to pay petitioner the total sum of
P6,178,600.00, subject to the usual rules and regulation regarding
payment.

Following the denial of its motion for reconsideration, respondent Land


Bank went on appeal to the CA whereat its recourse was docketed as CAG.R. CV No. 69463.

Eventually, the CA, in a decision dated October 15, 2004, reversed that
of the trial court.

In time, petitioner moved for reconsideration but the CA denied her


motion in its equally assailed resolution of January 24, 2005.

Hence, petitioner's present recourse on both procedural and substantive


grounds.

Issue:

Whether or not the Regional Trial Court sitting as Special Agrarian Court
is correct in rendering judgment fixing the just compensation of the subject
landholdings?

Held:

Just compensation, under the premises, presupposes the expropriation


or taking of agricultural lands for eventual distribution to agrarian reform
beneficiaries. In the case at bench, respondent has averred and the CA
has peremptorily determined that the tracts of land for which petitioner is
claiming just compensation have not actually been acquired by the
government.

With respect to the parcels of land with a total area of 27.09 hectares
and covered by TCT Nos. 155604, 155605, 155606, 155607, 155608,
155609, 155611 155615, 245112, 245113, 245114 and 245115, the
appellate court found that the claim folders therefor have not been
forwarded to the respondent bank for processing and eventual payment of
the transfer claims. This reality could only mean, so the CA correctly
concludes, that the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has not yet
expropriated the parcels in question for agrarian reform purposes. In other
words, ownership or at least control over the 27.09 hectares has not
passed from the registered owner to the expropriator. Petitioner could have
had proven but had not the fact of actual or symbolic compulsory

taking by presenting evidence to that effect, such as the required Notice of


Valuationwhich usually follows the Notice of Coverage, the letter of
invitation to a preliminary conference and the Notice of Acquisition that
DAR sends, pursuant to DAR administrative issuances, to the landowner
affected.

Just like the matter of the 27.09 hectares of land immediately referred to
above, petitioner has not discharged her burden of proving the acquisition
by the DAR of the other 34.6960 hectares of land once covered by TCT No.
NT-147218. But even if perhaps she wanted to, she could not have
possibly done so, that portion being either a school site, a creek or
residential area, ergo unsuitable for agricultural activities and, hence,
outside the scope of the agrarian reform program, be it under the CARL
law or the more exacting P.D. No. 27. It must be stressed, at this juncture,
that respondent had all along i.e., in its basic answer, its CA appeal brief
and finally in its Memorandum filed with the Court stuck to its position
that the 27.09-hectare area was never taken over by the DAR; and that no
claim for compensation therefor was ever processed, as is usual in
agrarian compulsory acquisition scheme, under the summary
administrative proceedings prescribed by governing DAR circulars. Yet, the
petitioner never attempted to prove the contrary. Significantly, save for
determining the fair market value of the landholdings in question, no
reference is also made in the decision of the trial court regarding the actual
expropriation of the specific parcels of land subject of this case, albeit,
quite strangely, it ordered payment of the value of the property in question.
EJECTMENT; DISPOSSESSION UNDER RA 3844; FAILURE TO PAY
AMORTIZATION NOT A GROUND FOR RECOVERY OF POSSESSION
AND OWNERSHIP

Cynthia V. Omadle and Angelito Alisen vs. Spouses Wilfredo


and Rogelia B. Casuno
G.R. No. 143362 (June 27, 2006)
Facts:

Cynthia V. Omadle, petitioner, is the daughter of the late Francisco Villa


owner of the lot 406, Pls-98 Ext., in Kalatugay, Base Camp, Maramag,
Bukidnon. Angelito Alisen, another petitioner, is Cynthia's farm worker.

Spouses Wilfredo and Rogelia B. Casuno, respondents, were once tenants


of Francisco Villa who were cultivating a portion of said lot which was later
on awarded to them by the DAR and an Emancipation Patent and Transfer
Certificate of Title was issued.

It turned out that respondents mortgaged the property. Cynthia then


redeemed the land and caused their eviction. Consequently, respondents
filed with the Office of the Regional Adjudicator, Department of Agrarian
Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB), Cagayan de Oro City, a Complaint
for Recovery of Possession and Ownership (with prayer for issuance of a
writ of preliminary mandatory injunction) against petitioners.

Petitioner Cynthia Omadle admitted that respondents were her father's


tenants. However, the DAR declared the area exempt from the coverage of
the land reform program, being within the retention limits. She claimed that
respondents paid their amortization only once. They mortgaged the lot to
several persons in violation of the terms of the Certificate of Land Transfer.
Moreover, their cause of action has prescribed because they filed their
complaint only after four years from their eviction.

In a Decision dated August 24, 1992, the DARAB Regional Adjudicator


dismissed the complaint. On appeal by respondents, the DARAB Central
Office reversed the Decision, holding that petitioners and her siblings
waived their right to retain seven (7) hectares, allowed under Presidential
Decree (P.D.) No. 27, and being grantees of the Emancipation Patent,
respondents could no longer be evicted. Petitioners then filed with the
Court of Appeals a petition for review. In its assailed Decision, the Court of
Appeals affirmed the DARAB judgment. Hence this instant petition.

Issues:

Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in declaring that respondents


are owners of the subject land considering that they failed to pay the Land
Bank of the Philippines (Land Bank) the required amortizations.

Whether or not petitioners' cause of action was barred by prescription


pursuant to Section 38 of R.A. 3844.

Whether or not respondents are disqualified for violating the terms and
conditions of their land title by not cultivating the area?

Held:

On petitioners' contention that respondents failed to pay the Land Bank


the required amortizations, SC agrees with the Court of Appeals that at the
time the patent and title were issued to respondents, petitioner Cynthia
Omadle had already been paid her just compensation. And granting that
she has not yet been compensated, her proper recourse is against the
Land Bank, not against respondents.

As to petitioners' claim that respondents' cause of action has


prescribed, let it be stressed that since respondents have been issued
Emancipation Patent No. A-042463 and TCT No. ET-5184 as early as
December 18, 1987, they can no longer be considered tenants or lessees,
but owners of the subject landholding. Obviously, Section 38 of R.A. No.
3844 on prescription finds no application to their case.

An emancipation patent, while it presupposes that the grantee thereof


shall have already complied with all the requirements prescribed under P.D.
No. 27, serves as a basis for the issuance of a TCT. It is the issuance of
this emancipation patent that conclusively entitles the farmer/grantee of the
rights of absolute ownership. In Pagtalunan v. Tamayo, SC held:
It is the emancipation patent which constitutes conclusive authority or the
issuance of an Original Certificate of Transfer, or a Transfer Certificate of
Title, in the name of the grantee . . . .
Clearly, it is only after compliance with the above conditions which
entitles a farmer/grantee to an emancipation patent that he acquires the
vested right of absolute ownership in the landholding a right which has
become fixed and established and is no longer open to doubt or
controversy.
EJECTMENT DUE TO NON-PAYMENT OF LEASE RENTALS;
TENANCY RELATIONSHIP, ONCE ESTABLISHED, ENTITLES THE
TENANT TO A SECURITY OF TENURE

Purificacion Perez-Rosario, et al. vs. Hon. Court of Appeals,


Adjudication Board of Agrarian Reform, Mercedes Resultay,
Basilio Cayabyab, Federico Baniqued, And Miguel Resultay
(deceased) Substituted by his heir, Arturo Resultay
G.R. No. 140796 (June 30, 2006)
Facts:

The petition originated from an action for ejectment filed with the
DARAB principally on the grounds of non-payment of lease rentals and
sub-leasing without the knowledge and consent of the owners of a parcel
of agricultural land, consisting of 2.2277 hectares, more or less, devoted to
rice and mango production, located at Barangay Obong, Basista,
Pangasinan and registered in the name of Nicolasa Tamondong vda. de
Perez, predecessor-in-interest of the petitioners, under Transfer Certificate
of Title (TCT) No. T-31822.

Respondents appealed to the DARAB. On June 10, 1994, the DARAB


promulgated its decision, declaring Miguel and Mercedes Resultay to be
agricultural tenants on the land they till and to fix the lease rental on the
land in accordance with pertinent agrarian laws, rules and regulations.

Petitioners filed a Petition for Review with the CA, the CA rendered the
assailed Decision which affirmed in toto the DARAB ruling.

Petitioners moved to reconsider, but the CA denied the motion through


its Resolution dated November 8, 1999, a copy of which was received by
the petitioners on November 15, 1999.

Twenty-two days later, or on December 7, 1999, petitioners filed the


instant Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65.

Issues:

Whether respondent Miguel and her wife Mercedes Resultay, is entitled


to remain as agricultural lessee of the land in question with respondent
Federico Baniqued as their hired farm worker?

Whether respondent Basilio Cayabyab is entitled to remain as an


agricultural lessee on the one-half hectare riceland portion of the
landholding in question?

Held:

While it is conceded in all quarters that respondent Baniqued is a hired


farm worker, from this fact alone, it cannot be inferred that respondent
Mercedes Resultay is not actually performing her obligations as an
agricultural tenant or, stated otherwise, that she did not cultivate the land in
person or through other members of the immediate household. Under
Section 37 of Republic Act No. 3844, as amended, and coupled with the
fact that the petitioners are the complainants themselves, the burden of
proof to show the existence of a lawful cause for the ejectment of an
agricultural lessee rests upon them, since they are the agricultural lessors.
This proceeds from the principle that a tenancy relationship, once
established, entitles the tenant to a security of tenure. She can only be
ejected from the agricultural landholding on grounds provided by law.
Section 36 of the same law enumerates the grounds for dispossession of
the tenant's landholding.

In the recent past, the Court has held that the employment of farm
laborers to perform some aspects of farm work does not preclude the
existence of an agricultural leasehold relationship, provided that an
agricultural lessee does not leave the entire process of cultivation in the
hands of hired helpers. Indeed, while the law explicitly requires the
agricultural lessee and his immediate family to work on the land, this Court
nevertheless has declared that the hiring of farm laborers by the tenant on
a temporary, occasional, or emergency basis does not negate the
existence of the element of "personal cultivation" essential in a tenancy or
agricultural leasehold relationship.

As correctly noted by the DARAB, it appears that the juridical


relationship of the parties is still governed by agricultural share tenancy.
The relationship should be converted into a leasehold. Sections 4 and 5 of
R.A. No. 3844 provide for the automatic conversion of share tenancy to
agricultural leasehold. The lease rental should be determined in

accordance with Section 12 of R.A. No. 6657 in relation to Section 34 of


R.A. No. 3844, as amended, and existing rules and regulations.

The instant petition is DENIED.


RETENTION RIGHT

Heirs of Juan Grio, Sr. represented by Remedios C. Grio


vs. Department of Agrarian Reform
G.R. No. 165073 (June 30, 2006)
Facts:

Grios 9.35 hectares land in Brgy. Gua-an, Leganes, Iloilo was placed
under the coverage of P.D. No. 27 on account of which Certificates of Land
Transfer (CLTs) covering a portion thereof were issued in favor of his
tenants. Grio later filed in the early 80's a letter-petition for the
cancellation of the above-said CLTs, contending that they were issued to
the tenants without giving him an opportunity to be heard, the area being a
little over 6 hectares. In lieu of the land covered by the CLTs, Grio offered
seven hectares for each of the tenants from his 50-hectare land in Brgy.
Tad-y, Sara, Iloilo (which is mortgaged to the DBP).

Grio, however, later ordered to the DBP his 50-hectare land via dacion
en pago to settle his obligation to it. On July 10, 1985, Grio died. He was
survived by his wife and seven children. On June 22, 1988, his wife also
passed away. On June 15 RA 6657 or the CARL took effect. DAR-RD
Antonio S. Malaya dismissed the said petition by Order of September 25,
1989, citing letter of instructions No. 474. The LBP later advised Grio
heirs, herein petitioners, by letter of June 6, 1996, of the DAR's submission
of Grios 9.35 hectare land transfer claim for payment under PD 27, its
approval on June 5, 1996, and the requirement for the parcels of the claim
to be released. Petitioners later filed with the DAR Regional Office an
application for retention dated 14 March 1997 of the 9.35 hectare land.
They likewise sought the exemption of the 9.35 hectare land for the
coverage of either PD 27 or the CARL. Emancipation Patents were issued
in favor of Grios 5 tenant on June 5 and 25, 1997. DAR Regional Director

Dominador B. Andres subsequently dismissed petitioners application for


retention, by Order dated April 27, 1998.

Petitioners moved to reconsider the April 27, 1998 Order of the DAR RD
but it was denied by Order of August 18, 1998. Petitioners appealed to the
DAR Secretary but it was denied by Order dated September 3, 2002 of
then Secretary Hernani A. Braganza. Petitioners elevated the case before
the Court of Appeals via petition for review. The appellate court affirmed
the September 3, 2002 Order of the DAR Secretary.

On challenge via petition for certiorari are the October 17, 2003
Decision and the June 21, 2004 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CAGR SP No. 73368, "Heirs of Juan Grio, Sr. represented by Remedios C.
Grio v. Department of Agrarian Reform."

Issue:
Whether the petitioners are entitled to right of retention?

Held:

Petitioners fault the appellate court for ignoring the "evidence" they
discovered when they had the opportunity to examine the records
forwarded by the DAR to the appellate court "that Grio was misled into
believing that [the] CLTs had been issued, when there were none, or that
the [September 25, 1989] Maraya Order denying Grio's petition for
cancellation of [the] CLTs was without legal effect because the (1) CLTs
were inexistent, (2) he was dead by the time the Order was rendered, and
the property had long passed on to his heirs, and (3) the heirs were never
notified of said order, and there is no showing that it was sent even to Juan
Grio, Sr.'s address of record either."

As the appellate court ruled, however, petitioners are guilty of laches in


their attempt to "resurrect the retention issue [seven and a half] years after
its denial was decreed and came to finality."

As the appellate court ruled too, the DAR cannot be faulted if no


substitution of parties took place when Grio died, it being the duty of the

heirs to attend to the estate of the deceased, which duty includes


notification to adjudicating tribunals the fact of death of the litigant.

At all events, these issues raised by petitioners, which substantially


reiterate those raised in their motion for reconsideration before the
appellate court, were as the appellate court observed, never raised in the
proceedings below nor in petitioners' petition for review before said court.
The petition is DISMISSED.
EMANCIPATION PATENTS; INDEFEASIBILITY OF TITLE

Samuel Estribillo, et al. vs. Department of Agrarian Reform


and Hacienda Maria, Inc.
G.R. No. 159674 (June 30, 2006)
Facts:

The petitioners, with the exception of two, are the recipients of


Emancipation Patents (EPs) over parcels of land located
at BarangayAngas, Sta. Josefa, Agusan del Sur. The parcels of land, the
subject matters in this Petition, were formerly part of a forested area which
have been denuded as a result of the logging operations of respondent
Hacienda Maria, Inc. (HMI). Petitioners, together with other persons,
occupied and tilled these areas believing that the same were public lands.
HMI never disturbed petitioners and the other occupants in their peaceful
cultivation thereof. HMI acquired such forested area from the Republic of
the Philippines through Sales Patent No. 2683 in 1956 by virtue of which it
was issued OCT No. P-3077-1661. The title covered three parcels of land
with a total area of 527.8308 hectares. HMI, through a certain Joaquin
Colmenares, requested that 527.8308 hectares of its landholdings be
placed under the coverage of Operation Land Transfer. Receiving
compensation therefor, HMI allowed petitioners and other occupants to
cultivate the landholdings so that the same may be covered under said law.

The RARAD rendered a Decision declaring as void the TCTs and EPs
The Decision was based on a 26 March 1998 report submitted by the
Hacienda Maria Action Team. Petitioners' TCTs and EPs were ordered
cancelled. Petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration, but the same was

denied. Petitioners appealed to the Department of Agrarian Reform


Adjudication Board (DARAB) which affirmed the RARAD Decision. After
the DARAB denied petitioners' Motion for Reconsideration, the latter
proceeded to the Court of Appeals with their Petition for Review
on Certiorari. The Court of Appeals denied the assailed Resolution:

The petition reveals that the Verification and Certification of Non-Forum


Shopping was executed by Samuel A. Estribillo who is one of the
petitioners, without the corresponding Special Power of Attorneys executed
by the other petitioners authorizing him to sign for their behalf in violation of
Section 5, Rule 7 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended.
Petitioners filed a "Motion for Reconsideration with Alternative Prayer with
Leave of Court for the Admission of Special Power of Attorney (SPA)
Granted to Petitioner Samuel Estribillo by his Co-Petitioners." The Court of
Appeals denied the motion. Petitioners now file this present Petition
contending that there had been compliance with Rule 7, Section 5 of the
1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. They further reiterate their argument that
the EPs are ordinary titles which become indefeasible one year after their
registration.

Issues:

Whether there was compliance with Rule 7, Section 5 of the 1997 Rules
of Civil Procedure; the certification against forum shopping?

Whether Certificates of Title issued pursuant to Emancipation Patents


are as indefeasible as TCTs issued in registration proceedings?

Held:

Rule 7, Section 5 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure was preceded by


Revised Circular No. 28-91 and Administrative Circular No. 04-94, which
required a certification against forum shopping to avoid the filing of multiple
petitions and complaints involving the same issues in the Supreme Court,
the Court of Appeals, and other tribunals and agencies. Stated differently,
the rule was designed to avoid a situation where said courts, tribunals and
agencies would have to resolve the same issues.

Petitioner Samuel A. Estribillo, in signing the Verification and


Certification Against Forum Shopping, falls within the phrase "plaintiff or
principal party" who is required to certify under oath the matters mentioned
in Rule 7, Section 5 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. Such was given
emphasis by this Court when we held in Mendigorin v.
Cabantog and Escorpizo v. University of Baguio that the certification of
non-forum shopping must be signed by the plaintiff or any of the principal
parties and not only by the legal counsel. In Condo Suite Club Travel, Inc.
v. National Labor Relations Commission.

The Court of Appeals merely said that the special circumstances


recognized by this Court that justify the relaxation of the rules on the
certification against forum shopping are not present in the case at bar,
without discussing the circumstances adduced by the petitioners in their
Motion for Reconsideration. Thus, assuming for the sake of argument that
the actuation of petitioners was not strictly in consonance with Rule 7,
Section 5 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, it should still be determined
whether there are special circumstances that would justify the suspension
or relaxation of the rule concerning verification and certification against
forum shopping, such as those which we appreciated in the ensuing cases.

Ybaez v. Intermediate Appellate Court, provides that certificates of title


issued in administrative proceedings are as indefeasible as certificates of
title issued in judicial proceedings:

The same confusion, uncertainty and suspicion on the distribution of


government-acquired lands to the landless would arise if the possession of
the grantee of an EP would still be subject to contest, just because his
certificate of title was issued in an administrative proceeding. The silence
of Presidential Decree No. 27 as to the indefeasibility of titles issued
pursuant thereto is the same as that in the Public Land Act.

After complying with the procedure, therefore, in Section 105 of


Presidential Decree No. 1529, otherwise known as the Property
Registration Decree (where the DAR is required to issue the corresponding
certificate of title after granting an EP to tenant-farmers who have complied
with Presidential Decree No. 27), the TCTs issued to petitioners pursuant to
their EPs acquire the same protection accorded to other TCTs. "The

certificate of title becomes indefeasible and incontrovertible upon the


expiration of one year from the date of the issuance of the order for the
issuance of the patent, . . . . Lands covered by such title may no longer be
the subject matter of a cadastral proceeding, nor can it be decreed to
another person."

The EPs themselves, like the Certificates of Land Ownership Award


(CLOAs) in Republic Act No. 6657 (the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform
Law of 1988), are enrolled in the Torrens system of registration. The
Property Registration Decree in fact devotes Chapter IX on the subject of
EPs. Indeed, such EPs and CLOAs are, in themselves, entitled to be as
indefeasible as certificates of title issued in registration proceedings.
DISTURBANCE COMPENSATION ON CASES OF CONVERSION

Melencio Berboso and Concepcion Berboso vs. Hon. Court of


Appeals, et al.
G.R. Nos. 141593-94 (July 12, 2006)
Facts:

The case at bar is a petition for review of the Decision involving the
confirmation of the order of conversion and the determination of the
amount of disturbance compensation filed with the DARAB by Belen and
Corazon Carlos.

On 29 November 1973, herein private respondents Belen and Corazon


Carlos, together with Manuel, Alberto, Antonio and Rafaelito, all surnamed
Carlos, filed with the Bureau of Land Acquisition, Distribution and
Development of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), a joint request
for the conversion of their parcel of land consisting of 48.2789 hectares of
unirrigated riceland situated at Calvario, Iba, and Camalig, Meycauayan,
Bulacan, and covered by TCTs No. 48182 and No. 48183 issued by the
Register of Deeds of Meycauayan, Bulacan.

On 22 January 1975, DAR Secretary Conrado F. Estrella issued an


Order declaring the said parcels of land suitable for residential,
commercial, industrial and other urban purposes.

Pursuant to the 22 January 1975 Order, respondents Carloses effected


the payment of the compensation due their agricultural tenants. However,
petitioners Melencio and Concepcion Berboso, successors-in-interest of
one of their original tenants, Macario Berboso, refused to vacate their
landholdings.

On 1 September 1989, private respondents Carloses filed with the


DARAB Region III a Petition for Confirmation of the Order of Conversion
and for the Determination of the Amount of Disturbance Compensation.
Private respondents Carloses and Emiliano Berboso, brother of herein
petitioners Berbosos and the named respondent in DARAB Case No. 101Bul '89, filed with the DARAB a Joint Motion to Determine the Amount of
Disturbance Compensation due to the respondent/tenant agreeing to abide
with the decision of the Board.

On 16 October 1989, private respondent Corazon Carlos executed a


Deed of Absolute Sale of Real Property in favor of their co-respondent
herein JKM which involves one parcel of land consisting of 20,186 square
meters covered by TCT No. T-225598 on even date, private respondent
Belen Carlos executed another Deed of Absolute Sale of Real Property
also in favor of JKM which involves one parcel of land consisting of 20,110
square meters covered by TCT No. T-58059.

In its Decision dated 18 December 1989, the DARAB ordered private


respondents Carloses to pay Emiliano Berboso the total amount of
P112,644.00 equivalent to five years disturbance compensation.

On 15 January 1990, Emiliano Berboso filed with the DARAB a Motion


to Set Aside the 18 December 1989 Decision of the DARAB assailing
therein the amount of disturbance compensation. He, together with the
other petitioners Berbosos, asserted that he is entitled to either the thirty
percent (30%) physical portion of the lot, or the equivalent value thereof in
cash, as disturbance compensation. He further asserted that petitioners
Berbosos, being tenants of the subject land, should have been included
also as parties in the Joint Motion filed in DARAB Case No. 101-Bul '89.

On 5 March 1990, Emiliano Berboso filed with the Court of Appeals a


Petition for Review of the 18 December 1989 Decision of the DARAB
docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 20147.

Meanwhile, on motion of private respondents Carloses, the DARAB


issued a Writ of Possession dated 13 September 1990 against Emiliano
Berboso.

On 26 December 1990, petitioners Berbosos filed an Action for


Maintenance of Peaceful Possession, Damages, and Injunction against
private respondents Carloses before the DARAB, docketed as DARAB
Case No. 217-Bul '90, alleging therein that the enforcement of the said Writ
of Possession would unjustly deprive them of possession of their land since
the land being tilled and tenanted by their brother Emiliano Berboso is
separate and distinct from the land they are tenanting from private
respondents Carloses, and that they have their own tenanted areas of
cultivation which are separate and distinct from that of their brother
Emiliano Berboso.

On 25 March 1992, petitioners Berbosos filed a Petition before the


DARAB, docketed as DARAB Case No. 368-Bul '92, seeking to exercise
their right of redemption under Republic Act No. 3844, as amended. They
similarly prayed for the reversion of the subject land to its original
agricultural use contending that private respondent JKM had already
started utilizing the said land by bulldozing it. Finally, they deposited with
the Regional Agrarian Reform Adjudicators (RARAD) the amount of
P1,000,000.00 as redemption money. DARAB Case No. 368-Bul '92 was
consolidated with DARAB Case No. 217-Bul '90.

On 26 March 1992, the Court of Appeals rendered a Decision in CAG.R. SP No. 20147, denying Emiliano Berboso's Petition for Review.

On 9 December 1992, petitioners Berbosos filed before the DAR


Secretary a Petition for the Cancellation of the Conversion Order dated 22
January 1975 of previous DAR Secretary Estrella.

On 9 February 1993, the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board


(PARAB) rendered a Decision dismissing the consolidated DARAB Cases
No. 217-Bul '90 and No. 368-Bul '92.

Petitioners Berbosos appealed the aforesaid Decision to the DARAB


Head Office at Quezon City, and on 5 January 1994, the DAR Secretary
Ernesto D. Garilao issued an Order granting the Motion for Cancellation of
the Conversion Order dated 22 January 1975.

Private respondents Carloses moved for the reconsideration of the


aforementioned Order of DAR Secretary Garilao but the same was denied.
Aggrieved, they filed an Appeal with the Office of the President which was
docketed as O.P. Case No. 5994.

On 24 October 1994, petitioners Berbosos filed before the DARAB Head


Office, Quezon City, a Manifestation with Motion to Withdraw Complaint for
Redemption in DARAB Case No. 368-Bul '92, since there was no more
need for resolution of the said case in light of the Order of DAR Secretary
Garilao dated 5 January 1994 finding the subject lands to be still
agricultural in use and tenanted by petitioners Berbosos.

On 1 March 1996, the Office of the President rendered a Decision


reversing and setting aside the Order of DAR Secretary Garilao dated 5
January 1994 and reinstating the Order of the former DAR Secretary
Estrella dated 22 January 1975.

On 25 June 1996, the DARAB Head Office, Quezon City, rendered a


Decision on DARAB Case No. 1283, dismissing the Appeal of petitioners
Berbosos and affirming the Decision of the DARAB Region III dated 18
December 1989.

On 21 August 1996, petitioners Berbosos filed before the Court of


Appeals a Petition for Review of the Decision dated 1 March 1996 of the
Office of the President in O.P. Case No. 5994.

On 29 December 1999, the Court of Appeals rendered a Decision


dismissing both Petitions for Review, and affirming the Decisions of the
Office of the President dated 1 March 1996 and the DARAB dated 25 June
1996.

Petitioners Berbosos invoked Presidential Decree No. 27. They argued


that, upon the promulgation of Presidential Decree No. 27 on 21 October
1972, they are automatically deemed owners of the land in question; that
TCTs No. EP-150-M and No. EP-149-M which cover the subject lands,
were issued in their favor by the DAR; and that said titles cannot be
cancelled by the Court of Appeals in the absence of a direct attack by
private respondents Carloses and JKM.

Issues:

The Court of Appeals erred in invalidating the Transfer Certificates of


Titles of the Petitioner Berbosos in the absence of direct attack.

The Court of Appeals erred in upholding the validity of the Conversion


Order of DAR Secretary Estrella dated 22 January 1975.

The Court of Appeals erred in ruling that the private respondent


Carlosses have complied with the requirements for conversion of their land
under Sec. 36 of R.A. No. 3844.

The Court of Appeals erred in ruling that there was observance of due
process in application and issuance of order of conversion.

The Court of Appeals erred in ruling that there was no violation of the
security of tenure of petitioner Berbosos as farmer-beneficiaries.

Held:

Petitioners Berbosos' arguments are without merit.

As to the issue of whether or not there was a direct attack on the validity
of the TCTs No. EP-149-M and No. EP-150-M of the petitioners Berbosos
by private respondents Carloses and JKM thus allowing for the cancellation
of said titles, we rule in the affirmative.

In the case of Mallilin, Jr. v. Castillo, we had an occasion to discuss the


issue of direct attack on the validity of titles, to wit:
A torrens title, as a rule, is conclusive and indefeasible. Proceeding from
this, P.D. No. 1529, Section 48, provides that a certificate of title shall not

be subject to collateral attack and cannot be altered, modified, or


cancelled except in a direct proceeding. When is an action an attack on a
title? It is when the object of the action or proceeding is to nullify the title,
and thus challenge the judgment pursuant to which the title was decreed.
The attack is direct when the object of an action or proceeding is to annul
or set aside such judgment, or enjoin its enforcement. On the other hand,
the attack is indirect or collateral when, in an action to obtain a different
relief, an attack on the judgment is nevertheless made as an incident
thereof.

It is well-settled that a judgment which had acquired finality becomes


immutable and unalterable, thus, may no longer be modified in any respect
except to clerical errors or mistakes, all the issues between the parties
being deemed resolved and laid to rest. Since the lawfulness of the
determination of the award of disturbance compensation was already
settled in the 26 March 1992 Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R.
SP No. 20147, we hold that the legality and validity of the 22 January 1975
Conversion Order is also settled because determination of disturbance
compensation necessarily follows the Conversion Order. Simply put, there
would be no determination of disturbance compensation without a
Conversion Order being first validly issued.

Well-settled is the rule that findings of administrative agencies which


have acquired expertise because their jurisdiction is confined only to
specific matters, is accorded not only respect but finality, particularly when
affirmed by the appellate tribunal.

Time and again, we ruled that what is repugnant to due process is the
absolute lack of opportunity to be heard. The essence of due process is
simply an opportunity to be heard or, as applied to administrative
proceedings, an opportunity to seek a reconsideration of the action or
ruling complained of. Due process is satisfied when the parties are
afforded fair and reasonable opportunity to explain their side of the
controversy or an opportunity to move for a reconsideration of the action or
ruling complained of.

Lastly, petitioners Berbosos also posited that their security of tenure as


farmers-beneficiaries under Presidential Decree No. 27 was violated.

According to them, the 18 December 1989 DARAB Decision fixing the


amount of disturbance compensation is binding only with respect to
Emiliano Berboso, and since they were never made parties therein, their
security of tenure cannot be affected.
TENANCY; ELEMENTS

Sps. Francisco G. Tuazon and Ruth A. Tuazon vs. Vicente G.


Tuazon and John L. Tuazon
G.R. No. 168438 (August 28, 2006)
Facts:

Petition for Review on Certiorari of the Decision and Resolution of the


Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 73617 dated July 28, 2004 and April
26, 2005, respectively, reversing the decision of the Regional Trial Court of
Naga City, Branch 21, in Civil Case No. RTC 2000-0027. The trial court
ruled that the case involves tenancy over which it lacks jurisdiction. The
appellate court found that the issue is mere possession and remanded the
case for further proceedings.

The instant case arose from a Complaint for Recovery of Possession


and Damages filed by respondents Vicente G. Tuazon and John L. Tuazon
against petitioner spouses Francisco G. Tuazon and Ruth A. Tuazon.
Respondents alleged in their Complaint that they are the absolute owners
of a 2.3119-hectare of land located at Gotob, San Agustin, Canaman,
Camarines Sur covered by Original Certificate of Title No. RP-298
(224241). They acquired the land by way of a Deed of Absolute Sale dated
June 14, 1985 from its original owner, the late Rosa G. Tuazon, who was
Vicente's mother. They further alleged that after the sale, Francisco Tuazon
(a brother of Vicente) filed with the Regional Trial Court of Naga City,
Branch 20, a complaint for Reconveyance of Property docketed as Civil
Case No. RTC '92-2568 against Vicente on the ground that their mother
Rosa ceded to him one hectare of the subject property. Rosa allegedly
gave Francisco the one hectare of land in exchange for the expenses which
he and his wife incurred in redeeming the subject property from Atty.
Ricardo Gonzales and in paying the disturbance compensation to Federico
Adriano, the former tenant of the subject property. They alleged that
Francisco's complaint was dismissed on February 28, 1994 and the validity

of the Deed of Sale between Vicente and Rosa was upheld. The decision
became final on March 27, 1999. Respondents then averred that despite
the finality of the decision and their repeated demands to vacate the
subject property, petitioners refused to turn over its possession.

Petitioners pleaded tenancy as a special and affirmative defense. They


alleged that in 1986, before respondents purchased the subject property,
Rosa instituted Ruth as legitimate tenant of the land. Ruth was instituted
tenant after she redeemed the subject property from Atty. Ricardo
Gonzales with her own money and paid the disturbance compensation to
the former tenants of the subject parcel.

The trial court conducted a preliminary hearing to receive evidence on


petitioners' defense of tenancy. During the hearing, Ruth presented two
certifications attesting that she is a tenant of the subject land. One was
issued by the Municipal Agrarian Reform Office (MARO) of Canaman,
Camarines Sur and the other by the Barangay Agrarian Reform Council
(BARC). Alex Tuazon also testified that he regularly received twenty-five
percent (25%) of the produce of the land as landowner's share after his
mother's death.

The trial court then ruled that the case involves an agrarian dispute
which is under the jurisdiction of the DARAB. Thus, on October 24, 2001, it
dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter.
Respondents' Motion for Reconsideration was denied for lack of merit,
hence, they filed an appeal with the Court of Appeals.

In a Decision dated July 28, 2004, the appellate court reversed the
ruling of the trial court.

Petitioners moved for reconsideration but their motion was denied by the
appellate court in its assailed Resolution dated April 26, 2005.

The appellate Court denied the petition.

Issues:

Whether or not the lower court (RTC) has jurisdiction over the complaint
filed by the respondents against the petitioners?

Whether or not petitioner is not a duly instituted tenant on the subject


land and that no tenancy relationship exists between her and the
respondent?

Held:

To determine whether a case involves a tenancy dispute, the following


essential requisites must be present: 1. the parties are the landowner and
the tenant; 2. the subject matter is agricultural land; 3. there is consent
between the parties; 4. the purpose is agricultural production; 5. there is
personal cultivation by the tenant; and, 6. there is sharing of the harvests
between the parties.
Not all of these requisites obtain in the case at bar.

Petitioners' contention that their previous claims of ownership over the


subject property are immaterial and do not negate the tenancy relationship
defies logic. Tenancy is established precisely when a landowner institutes a
tenant to work on his property under the terms and conditions of their
tenurial arrangement. Petitioners cannot anomalously insist to be both
tenants and owners of the subject land.

Even the documentary evidence on record the respective


certifications issued by the MARO and BARC officers do not constitute
proof that petitioner Ruth is a tenant of the subject land. It is settled that the
findings of or certifications issued by the Secretary of Agrarian Reform or
his authorized representative in a given locality concerning the presence or
absence of a tenancy relationship between the contending parties are
merely preliminary or provisional, not binding upon the courts, and could be
overturned by a showing of evidence to the contrary. The appellate court
correctly observed, viz.:
. . . . In fact, we even entertain doubts about their competence as
evidence of tenancy status in the absence of further evidence that the
MARO and BARC officers who made the certification investigated Ruth's
status and saw for themselves or knew for a fact that Ruth personally
cultivated the land and undertook the activities required from a tenant.

Petitioners also failed to prove that petitioner Ruth shared the produce
of the subject land with Rosa from 1987-1991. The certification of Alex that
there is sharing of harvest leaves much to be desired. Alex himself
admitted during his testimony that he was neither authorized by his mother,
Rosa, nor by his co-heirs, to act as administrator of the subject property.
ABANDONMENT;
LANDHOLDING?

WHEN

IS

THERE

ABANDONMENT

OF

Jovendo del Castillo vs. Abundio Orciga, et al.


G.R. No. 153850 (August 31, 2006)
Facts:

This is a Petition for Review on Certiorari filed by petitioner del Castillo


seeking the nullification of the November 26, 2002 Decision of the Court of
Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. SP No. 66122, ordering him to vacate the subject
landholding and directing the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication
Board (DARAB) to restore possession of the farm lot to respondents.

Petitioner Jovendo del Castillo is the son and administrator of Menardo


del Castillo, who previously owned a 1.3300-hectare riceland located at
Omabo, Polpog, Bula, Camarines Sur.

Eugenio Orciga was awarded Certificate of Land Transfer No. 0-070176


over the said landholding on April 3, 1981.

On August 1, 1988, Eugenio Orciga died. Prior to the final selection and
determination of the successor of the deceased tenant, on July 1, 1991,
the heirs agreed to rotate among themselves the cultivation of the riceland
covered by said CLT. After cultivating and harvesting the riceland from
1989 to 1991, Ronald Orciga abandoned the said farm on May 3, 1991 and
left the town.

On May 28, 1991, petitioner Del Castillo a member of the CAFGU


(Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit) forcibly entered the riceland
of the late Eugenio Orciga. He started to cultivate the said land over the
objection of the respondents, effectively ejecting them from their
possession and cultivation of the land.

Respondents filed a Complaint on June 10, 1991, with the Office of


Provincial Adjudicator, DARAB, Naga City. for Reinstatement with
Mandatory Injunction and Damages. Petitiner (Del Castillo), in his Answer,
averred that Orciga failed to give lessor's share and was advised by DAR
Para-legal Officer to take over the cultivation of the land denying ejectment
of respondents. He also claimed Orciga mortgaged portions of the farm.

PARAD rendered a Decision in favor of petitioner. A Motion for


Reconsideration was filed by respondents, but the same was denied.

Undaunted, Del Castillo, on July 18, 2001, interposed a petition for


review before the CA, which was docketed as CA G.R. SP No. 66122.

On petition for review, the appellate court concluded that petitioner Del
Castillo had no right to take possession of the farmland being disputed
even if the heirs had failed to deliver the agricultural lessor's share. It held
that when the beneficiary abandons the tillage or refuses to gain rights
accruing to the farmer-beneficiary under the law, it will be reverted to the
government and not to the farm lot owner.
Hence, this petition for review on certiorari.

Issue:

Who should be entitled to possess the disputed landholding under the


DAR Land Transfer Program the petitioner, as representative of the
former titled landowner, or the respondents, as successors of the
deceased beneficiary?

Held:

The Court holds respondents to be the rightful possessors of the


disputed farmland and at the same time, rejects the instant petition.

Undeniably, Eugenio Orciga, the original beneficiary and predecessorin-interest of respondents, was awarded Certificate of Land Transfer No.
0070176 over the contested land pursuant to PD No. 27. Therefore, for all
intents and purposes, he is the acknowledged owner of the contested land.

A Certificate of Land Transfer (CLT) is a document issued to a tenantfarmer, which proves inchoate ownership of an agricultural land primarily
devoted to rice and corn production. It is issued in order for the tenantfarmer to acquire the land. This certificate prescribes the terms and
conditions of ownership over said land and likewise describes the
landholding its area and its location. A CLT is the provisional title of
ownership over the landholding while the lot owner is awaiting full payment
of the land's value or for as long as the beneficiary is an "amortizing
owner."

In the case at bar, the petitioner has two options; first, to bring the
dispute on the non-payment of the land to the DAR and the Barangay
Committee on Land Production that will subsequently resolve said dispute
pursuant to Ministry of Agrarian Reform (MAR) Memorandum Circular No.
26, series of 1973 and other issuances; and, second, to negotiate with the
DAR and LBP for payment of the compensation claim pursuant to Section
2 of EO No. 228. Eventually, the scheme under EO No. 228 will result to
the full payment of the compensation of the value of the land to Menardo
del Castillo, petitioner's father and former landowner.

From the foregoing options, it is indubitably clear that the reconveyance


of the land to the former owner is not allowed. The policy is to hold such
lands under trust for the succeeding generations of farmers. The objective
is to prevent repetition of cases where the lands distributed to the tenantfarmers reverted to the former lot owners or even conveyed to land
speculators. Thus, possession of the land cannot be restored to petitioner
del Castillo although there was failure of the heirs to pay the landowner's
share or compensation. The transfer or conveyance of the riceland can
only be made to an heir of the beneficiary or to any other beneficiary who
shall in turn cultivate the land. In the case in hand, even if Ronald Orciga
has abandoned the land, the right to possess and cultivate the land legally
belongs to the other heirs of Eugenio Orciga. Undoubtedly, petitioner Del
Castillo is not a beneficiary of Eugenio Orciga the original beneficiary;
hence, petitioner has no legal right to the possession of the farmland.
RIGHT OF REDEMPTION; THE ISSUE ON REDEMPTION HAVING
ATTAINED FINALITY, PETITIONER'S EFFORT TO MODIFY THE SAME
IS BARRED BY RES JUDICATA

Alejandro Moraga vs. Sps. Julian and Felicidad Somo, et al.


G.R. No. 166781 (September 5, 2006)
Facts:

The property in dispute is a parcel of agricultural land consisting of


1.7467 hectares which is located in Pandayan, Meycauayan, Bulacan, and
covered under Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. T-5926 in the name of
Victoriano Ipapo who died on 6 June 1976. This property was tenanted by
Alejandro Moraga, the deceased father of petitioner Enrique Moraga.

On 7 March 1973, Victoriano Ipapo sold the landholding to his


daughters Felicidad, Carmelita, and Herminigilda, and their respective
spouses, Julian Somo, Reynaldo Fernandez and Gil San Diego
(respondents) for P10,000.00 per Bilihan Tuluyan of even date, with the
knowledge and consent of Alejandro Moraga as admitted in his affidavit.

On 22 July 1981, a Certificate of Land Transfer (CLT) No. 0-042737 was


issued in favor of Alejandro Moraga for the same parcel of agricultural land
and eventually, TCT No. EP-108 (m) was issued in his favor.

On 11 October 1993, respondents filed with the DARAB a complaint for


Cancellation of the Certificate of Land Transfer and the Emancipation
Patent and for Ejectment against Enrique and Mercedes Moraga
(Moragas), the surviving heirs of the late Alejandro Moraga who died on 25
August 1993. Mercedes Moraga is the surviving spouse of the deceased
Alejandro Moraga. The case was docketed as DARAB Case No. 567-Bul
'93.

Finding that the EP was issued not in accordance with Presidential


Decree No. 27 and that the Moragas violated their obligations as tenants of
the subject landholding, the Provincial Adjudicator, in a decision dated 30
June 1994, rendered a judgment in favor of respondents. The Moragas
filed a motion for reconsideration which was denied for lack of merit. The
Moragas then appealed to the Court of Appeals.

In the meantime, respondents filed an application for retention with the


Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) which was opposed by petitioner
Enrique Moraga. In an Order dated 22 February 1994, the Regional

Director of DAR Region III granted the application for retention by


respondents.

Petitioner appealed to the Secretary of Agrarian Reform who affirmed


the decision of the Regional Director in an Order dated 14 October 1994.

Unfazed, petitioner appealed the ruling of the Secretary of Agrarian


Reform to the Court of Appeals. Said appealed ruling of the Secretary of
Agrarian Reform was consolidated by the Court of Appeals with the
appealed decision of the DARAB in Case No. 567-Bul '93. The
consolidated cases were docketed as CA-G.R. No. SP No. 38445.

In a Decision dated 28 September 1995, the Court of Appeals


dismissed the two appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 38445, thus affirming the
rulings of the DARAB and the Secretary of Agrarian Reform. The decision
became final and executory since no either motion for reconsideration nor
appeal from the same were ever filed by any party.

While the CA-G.R. SP No. 38445 was still pending before the Court of
Appeals, petitioner and Mercedes Moraga, on 6 April 1995, filed before the
Provincial Adjudicator of Malolos, Bulacan, a complaint for Redemption
against respondents which was docketed as DARAB Case No. 927-Bul '95.

In a Decision dated 23 November 1995, the Provincial Adjudicator,


opined that the case for redemption has been rendered moot and
academic inasmuch as respondents, by virtue of the said ruling of the
Court of Appeals, had acquired vested rights over the subject property.

On appeal, the DARAB in Case No. 927-Bul '95 affirmed with


modification the decision of the Provincial Adjudicator. The DARAB, while
sustaining the Provincial Adjudicator's ruling that the Moragas' right to
redeem has prescribed, stated that the heirs of Alejandro Moraga shall
remain as tenants and are entitled to security of tenure. The Moragas filed
a motion for reconsideration of the foregoing decision denying their claim
for redemption. Respondents likewise filed a motion for reconsideration of
the said decision insofar as it decreed that Alejandro Moraga's heirs shall
"remain tenants entitled to security of tenure." Both motions were denied by
the DARAB.

Hence, both parties appealed to the Court of Appeals.

In a decision dated 29 January 2003, the Special Third Division of the


Court of Appeals rendered a judgment in CA-G.R. SP No. 63895
affirmingin toto the decision of the DARAB. Since no appeal was filed by
either party, this decision became final and executory.

On the other hand, the Sixth Division of the Court of Appeals, in


resolving the sole issue in CA-G.R. SP No. 70051 on whether or not the
DARAB is correct in ordering that the heirs of Alejandro Moraga remain as
tenants in the subject landholding, ruled for the respondents. It ratiocinated
that the DARAB committed palpable error in decreeing that Alejandro
Moraga's heir "shall remain as tenants entitled to security of tenure"
considering that the said ruling alters the already final and executory
decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 38445, enunciating
that the Moragas are not entitled to security of tenure for violating their
obligations as tenants.

Undeterred, petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration of the above


decision. The Court of Appeals did not budge from its stand and denied the
motion in a Resolution dated 11 January 2005.

Issues:

Whether or not petitioner shall remain as tenant of the landholding


entitled to security of tenure?

Whether or not the petitioner has a right of redemption over the


landholding subject of the instant case?
Whether or not petitioner is entitled to disturbance compensation?

Held:

Contrary to what petitioner believed, the said portion of the body of the
decision is merely an obiter dictum. In fact, the dispositive portion of the
decision categorically upholds the eviction of petitioner. If indeed, it was
pronounced in the said decision that petitioner were to remain as tenant,
then the dispositive portion of the same would not have upheld petitioner's

eviction. It should be remembered that while the body of a decision, order


or resolution might create some ambiguity regarding which way the court's
reasoning propenderates, it is the dispositive portion thereof that finally
invests rights upon the parties, sets conditions for the exercise of those
rights, and imposes the corresponding duties and obligations.

Since CA-G.R. SP No. 38445 resolved the issue of security of tenure


and ordered petitioner's eviction, this Court can no longer entertain
petitioner's attempt to re-litigate the same on the ground of res judicata. In
a zealous attempt to salvage his case for redemption, petitioner insisted
that the late Victoriano Ipapo failed to inform petitioner's deceased father in
writing and the DAR of the sale of the land in question in violation of
Section 12 of Republic Act No. 6389, amending Sections 11 and 12 of
Republic Act No. 3844. By raising this issue, petitioner is trying to
resuscitate the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 63895,
dated 29 January 2003, which has already attained finality. It must be
recalled that said decision declared that petitioner lost his right to redeem
the property on the grounds of prescription and that petitioner's father has
waived his right to redeem said property. Said issue on redemption having
attained finality, petitioner's effort to modify the same is barred by res
judicata.

Anent petitioner's claim of disturbance compensation, suffice it to state


that since this matter is brought up for the first time in this Petition for
Review, this Court cannot take cognizance of the same. The settled rule is
that matters or issues not raised below cannot be raised before this Court
for the first time.
CERTIORARI; PETITION FOR REVIEW ON CERTIORARI UNDER RULE
65; 60 DAY PERIOD MUST BE OBSERVED

Land Bank of the Philippines, Represented by Margarito B.


Teves, President and CEO, Leticia Lourdes Camara,
Department Head-Landowners Compensation Department II,
and Romeo V. Cadanial, Acting LVD Head, AOC XI vs. The
Honorable Bernardo V. Saludanes, in his capacity as
Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Branch 2, Tagum City,
Diosdado Cajes, in capacity as Deputy Sheriff, Regional Trial

Court, Branch 2, Tagum City, Soriano Fruits Corporation et


al.
G.R. No. 146581 (December 13, 2006)
Facts:

Petition for review on certiorari assailing the Resolutions dated


November 22, 2000 and January 9, 2001 of the Court of Appeals
(Seventeenth Division) in CA-G.R. SP No. 59492.

The instant case stemmed from twenty one (21) petitions for just
compensation filed on April 6, 1999 by several landowners with the
Regional Trial Court, Branch 2, Tagum City, sitting as a Special Agrarian
Court. The Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), herein petitioner, and the
Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) were impleaded as respondents.
The petitions involve several tracts of land forming part of a banana
plantation operated by the AMS Group of Companies, one of herein
respondents. Pursuant to the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program
(CARP), the landowners offered to sell these parcels of land to the
government.

The Special Agrarian Court consolidated the cases and named a panel
of Commissioners to receive and evaluate evidence on the amount of
compensation to be paid to the landowners. After trial, the Special Agrarian
Court admitted and approved the Appraisal Report of the Commissioners.
On February 7, 2000, the said court rendered its joint Decision fixing, as it
has judiciously determined, the just compensation for the landholdings and
the improvements of all the herein petitioners in all these above-captioned
docketed agrarian cases.

Petitioner LBP filed a motion for reconsideration but was denied by the
Special Agrarian Court. The LBP filed with the same court a Notice of
Appeal. A few days after. The DAR also filed its Notice of Appeal. Both
notices of appeal was denied by the SAC.

The LBP filed a motion for reconsideration of the Order dated but was
denied.

The joint Decision, having become final and executory, was entered in
the Book of Entries of Judgment of the Special Agrarian Court.
The LBP filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari.

In its Resolution the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition for having
been filed thirty-two (32) days beyond the sixty (60) day reglementary
period prescribed by Section 4, Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil
Procedure. A motion for reconsideration but it was denied by the Appellate
Court.

Issue:

Whether or not the untimely filing of the petition for certiorari be exempt
from the operation of Section 4, Rule 65 by reasons of justice and equity.

Held:

We deny the petition outright. Section 4, Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of


Civil Procedure, as amended, provides:
SEC. 4.
When and where petition filed. The petition may be
filednot later than sixty (60) days from notice of the judgment, order or
resolution. In case a motion for reconsideration or new trial is timely filed
or new trial is timely filed, whether such motion is required or not, the
sixty day period shall be counted notice of the denial of said motion.
The petition shall be filed in the Supreme Court or, if it relates to the act
or omission of a lower court or of a corporation, board, officer, or person,
in the Regional Trial Court exercising jurisdiction over the territorial area
as defined by the Supreme Court. It may also be filed in the Court of
Appeals whether or not the same is in aid of its appellate jurisdiction, or
in the Sandiganbayan if it is in aid of its appellate jurisdiction, if it involves
the acts or omissions of a quasi-judicial agency, and unless otherwise
provided by law or these rules, the petition shall be filed in and
cognizable only by the Court of Appeals.
No extension of time shall be granted except for compelling reasons and
in no case exceeding 15 days.

In Yutingco v. Court of Appeals, we held that the period of 60 days to file


a petition for certiorari is reasonable and sufficient. It provides for ample
time for a party to mull over and prepare a petition asserting grave abuse of
discretion by a lower court, tribunal, board, or officer, It was specifically set
to avoid any unreasonable delay that would violate the constitutional rights
of parties to a speedy disposition of their cases. Hence, the 60-day period
must be considered non-extendible, except where a good and sufficient
reason can be shown to warrant an extension.

COMMERCIAL FARM; DEFERMENT ORDER SERVES AS NOTICE OF


COVERAGE AFTER THE EXPIRATION OF THE DEFERMENT PERIOD
CONVERSION; REQUIREMENTS; DAR SHOULD REFER TO THE
COMPREHENSIVE LAND USE PLANS AND THE ORDINANCES OF
THE SANGGUNIAN IN ASSESSING LAND USE CONVERSION
APPLICATIONS

DAR, as represented by its Secretary, Rene C. Villa vs.


Sarangani Agricultural Co., Inc., Acil Corp, Nicasio
Alcantara and Tomas Alcantara
G.R. No. 165547 (January 24, 2007)
Facts:

Respondents are the owners of the lands in question which have been
reclassified from agricultural into non-agricultural uses by virtue of a
municipal zoning ordinance (MZO), and are included in the comprehensive
land use plan of the Municipality of Alabel, approved by the Sangguniang
Panlalawigan of Sarangani. A portion of the area involving 376.5424
hectares, however, was covered by the CARL commercial farms deferment
scheme.

On July 2, 1998, respondent Sarangani Agricultural Company, Inc.


(SACI) filed an application for land use conversion of various parcels of
land with an aggregate area of 1,005 hectares covering lot No. 1-C, 2, 3, 4,
5, 6, 7, 10, 2, 39, 53, 806 and 807. Meanwhile, members of the Sarangani
Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association, Inc. (SARBAI) sent a letterpetition to the DAR Secretary opposing the application for land use
conversion filed by SACI. They alleged that its members were merely

forced to sign the waiver of rights. Later, an "Urgent Petition for the Denial
of Land Use Conversion Application of Banana Commercial Farm of SACI"
was filed by SARBAI.

The PLUTC, recommended the disapproval of 158.0672 hectares


planted with bananas and coconuts. The committee noted that said portion
of the property was still viable for agriculture, irrigated, with Notice of
Coverage, and under protest or with opposition from SARBAI.

SACI contended among others that 1) the banana plantations will be


transformed into a socialized housing subdivision which will be made
available to the displaced workers and the other low income earners of
Alabel; 2) at the time the application for land use conversion was filed, no
Notice of Coverage was ever issued by DAR, and the subsequent issuance
of such notice was highly irregular because the same may be issued only
after the final resolution of the application for land use conversion; and 3)
the previous Order of Deferment cannot be a legal barrier to the filing of an
application for land use conversion.

DAR Secretary denied SACI's application for land use conversion. The
Office of the President dismissed the appeal and affirmed in toto the
challenged DAR Orders. Respondents' motion for reconsideration was
denied, elevated the case with the Court of Appeals on petition for review
raising substantially the same issues. The Court of Appeals rendered a
Decision granting the petition, the assailed Decision and Order of the
Office of the President, as well as the Orders of the DAR Secretary were
reversed and set aside insofar as the DAR directs the MARO of Alabel,
Sarangani to proceed with the distribution of the banana and coconut areas
subject of the June 16, 1998 Notice of Coverage. The Secretary of the
Department of Agrarian Reform was directed to issue a conversion order
covering the aforesaid area under the terms and conditions as provided in
pertinent guidelines of the department. As to the rest of the area applied for
conversion, action on which has been deferred, the DAR Regional Office
(DAR Region No. XI) is hereby DIRECTED to expedite the processing and
evaluation of petitioners' land use conversion application in accordance
with the provisions of DAR AO No. 7, Series of 1997, and DAR AO No. 0199 whenever the provisions of the latter issuance are made applicable to
those applications filed before its effectivity.

It also enjoined the DAR Secretary and all officers and employees
acting on his behalf from proceeding with the distribution of petitioners'
lands under compulsory acquisition provided in Sec. 16 of R.A. No. 6657.
Actions already taken in pursuance of the June 16, 1998 Notice of
Coverage under CARP are also nullified for DAR's failure to observe due
process therein.

Issues:

Whether or not the notice of coverage was illegal for failure of the DAR
to observe due process?

Whether or not DAR should use the Comprehensive Land Use Plans
and accompanying ordinance of the local sanggunian as primary reference
so as not to defeat the very purpose of the Local Government Unit (LGU)
concerned in reclassifying certain areas to achieve social and economic
benefits in pursuance to its mandate towards the general welfare?

Whether or not DAR failed to take into consideration the basic


provisions and principles of law with special attention to the requirements
or preconditions for land classification/conversion and the basic mandate of
the CARP?

Held:

On due process issue, a notice of coverage is not an indispensable


requirement before DAR can acquire the subject lots or commercial farms,
which are covered by a deferment period under the CARL or R.A. No 6657
upon its effectivity on June 15, 1998.

The process of acquisition of commercial farms by DAR is specifically


provided under Article III, Section 9 of A.O. 9, that in VOS and CA, the
Order of Deferment previously issued over the landholding shall serve,
upon the expiration of the deferment period of the subject commercial farm,
as the Notice of Coverage. It is unnecessary for petitioner to issue a notice
of coverage to respondents in order to place the properties in question
under CARP coverage. Hence, the contention by respondents that due
process was not duly observed by petitioner must fail. Accordingly, the
denial of the application for conversion must be upheld.

On the second issue, DAR Administrative Order No. 7, Series of 1997,


or the Omnibus Rules and Procedures Governing Conversion of
Agricultural Lands to Non-agricultural Uses prescribes the guidelines for
land use conversion. In connection thereto, Sec 20 of R.A. 7160, [the Local
Government Code of 1991], empowers the local government units to
reclassify agricultural lands.

Memorandum Circular No. 54 "Prescribing the Guidelines Governing


Section 20 of R.A. No. 7160 Otherwise Known as the Local Government
Code of 1991 Authorizing Cities and Municipalities to Reclassify
Agricultural Lands Into Non-Agricultural Uses" issued by President Fidel V.
Ramos on June 8, 1993 specified the scope and limitations on the power of
the cities and municipalities to reclassify agricultural lands into other uses.

With regard to agricultural lands that have been reclassified for nonagricultural uses by the local government unit concerned, the CA is correct
in declaring that DAR should refer to the comprehensive land use plans
and the ordinances of the Sanggunian in assessing land use conversion
applications.

The conversion of agricultural lands into non-agricultural uses shall be


strictly regulated and may be allowed only when the conditions prescribed
under R.A. No. 6657 are present. In this regard, the Court agrees with the
ratiocination of the CA that DAR's scope of authority in assessing land use
conversion applications is limited to examining whether the requirements
prescribed by law and existing rules and regulations have been complied
with. This holds true in the present case where, because of the creation of
the Province of Sarangani and in view of its thrust to urbanize, particularly
its provincial capital which is the Municipality of Alabel, the local
government has reclassified certain portions of its land area from
agricultural to non-agricultural. Thus, to reiterate, in accordance with E.O.
No. 72, Series of 1993, and subject to the limitations prescribed by law,
DAR should utilize the comprehensive land use plans in evaluating the land
use conversion application of respondents whose lands have already been
reclassified by the local government for non-agricultural uses.

The creation of the new Province of Sarangani, and the reclassification


that was effected by the Municipality of Alabel did not operate to supersede
the applicable provisions of R.A. No. 6657.

Moreover, Section 20 of the LGC of 1991 on the reclassification of lands


explicitly states that "[n]othing in this section shall be construed as
repealing, amending or modifying in any manner the provisions of R.A. No.
6657."

The petition is PARTLY GRANTED insofar as the issue on due process


is concerned. In connection with this, the denial by the Department of
Agrarian Reform (DAR) of respondents' application for conversion with
regard to the 154.622 [or 154.1622] hectares, the deferment period of
which has already expired, is AFFIRMED; and the Orders of the DAR,
directing the MARO of Alabel, Sarangani to proceed with the distribution of
the banana and coconut areas subject of the June 16, 1998 Notice of
Coverage, are REINSTATED.
TENANCY RELATIONSHIP; PERSONAL CULTIVATION AS ESSENTIAL
REQUISITE
REDEMPTION RIGHT; ONLY BONAFIDE TENANTS MAY AVAIL OF THE
RIGHT OF REDEMPTION

Gerardo Castillo vs. Court of Appeals, Nigaderio Pangilinan,


Tranquilino Cua and Juliana Francisco Pajota
G.R. No. 161959 (February 2, 2007)
Facts:

Juliana F. Pajota is the registered owner of an agricultural land situated


at Gapan, Nueva Ecija. On August 28, 1993, Pajota appointed Tranquilino
Cua as her attorney-in-fact to negotiate with the Philippine Deposit
Insurance Corporation for the cancellation of a real estate mortgage on the
land. On December 5, 1994, Pajota leased the land to petitioner as
evidenced by a Kasunduan Buwisan sa Sakahan.

On December 8, 1995, a Deed of Cancellation of Mortgage and a Deed


of Absolute Sale dated September 28, 1995, in favor of respondent

Nigaderio Pangilinan, were presented simultaneously before the ROD of


Nueva Ecija. Thereafter, a new TCT was issued in Pangilinan's name.

Petitioner alleged that when he visited the land, he was driven away by
Pangilinan and Cua and also discovered that the land was already fenced
with wooden posts and barbed wire. He reported the incident to the
Philippine National Police Station in Gapan, Nueva Ecija and also alleged
that upon learning of the sale, he sent two letters to Pangilinan demanding
to vacate the property, informing Pangilinan that he was exercising his right
of redemption. He also tendered a payment of P50,000 which he deposited
with Security Bank, Gapan Branch. The said money was consigned with
the Office of the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator in Cabanatuan
City.

Petitioner filed before the PARAD a Petition for Redemption and


Ejectment, who dismissed the case on the ground that Castillo had no
cause of action against Pangilinan since he was not the latter's tenant. On
reconsideration and after the impleaded Pajota and Cua, the PARAD
reversed his decision. He ruled that Castillo was a tenant entitled to
exercise the right of redemption under Section 12 of Republic Act No.
3844.

The respondents appealed to the DARAB which reversed the ruling of


the PARAD in a new judgment, declaring plaintiff-appellee not a bona
fidetenant over the property in suit and ineligible to avail of the right of
redemption granted under Sec 12 of R.A. No. 3844; and ordering the
maintenance of respondents-appellants in peaceful possession of the
landholding.

The DARAB ruled that only a bona fide tenant who cultivates the land
himself and with the aid available from his immediate farm household may
exercise the right of redemption granted by Sec 12 R.A. No. 3844. Based
on the records, Castillo was gainfully employed as a manager of Warner
Lambert Philippines during the period when he should have been
cultivating the land. Thus, he could not have cultivated the land himself as
his employment required him to report for office work regularly.

Petitioner moved for reconsideration but the DARAB denied the same.
Then petitioner filed a petition for review under Rule 43 of the Rules of
Court with the Court of Appeals, seeking to set aside the decision and
resolution of the DARAB. The appellate court dismissed the petition,
reiterating that only bona fide tenants may avail of the right of redemption.

Issue:

Whether or not petitioner is a bona fide tenant of Respondent Pajota,


and whether he can avail the right of redemption in a lease contract he
entered into?

Held:

The element of personal cultivation by the petitioner was not proven.


There is a dearth of evidence on record to show that the petitioner
personally cultivated the lands. Much less was it shown that he was
assisted by his sons in his farm work. This is fatal to the petitioner's cause
as without the element of personal cultivation, a person cannot be
considered a tenant even if he is so designated in the written agreement of
the parties.

The Kasunduan Buwisan sa Sakahan entered into by Pajota and the


petitioner can not by itself prove that the petitioner is a bona fide tenant. To
determine whether a tenancy relationship exists, the concurrence of all the
following essential requisites must be established by substantial evidence:
(1) the parties are the landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee; (2)
the subject matter of the relationship is an agricultural land; (3) there is
consent between the parties to the relationship; (4) the purpose of the
relationship is to bring about agricultural production; (5) there is personal
cultivation on the part of the tenant or agricultural lessee; and (6) the
harvest is shared between the landowner and the tenant or agricultural
lessee.

The petition fails to show that the petitioner is a bona fide tenant. Hence,
his petition cannot be granted.
JUST COMPENSATION; PAYMENT OF THE COMPENSATION MUST
BE WITHIN THE REASONABLE TIME FROM ITS TAKING

APO Fruits Corporation and Hijo Plantation, Inc. vs. The


Hon. Court of Appeals and Land Bank of the Philippines
G.R. No. 164195 (February 6, 2007)
Facts:

Apo Fruits Corporation (AFC) and Hijo Plantation, Inc. (HPI) are the
registered owners of five parcels of agricultural lands located in San Isidro,
Tagum, Davao Province.

On 12 October 1995, AFC and HPI voluntarily offered to sell the above
parcels of land to the government. On 16 October 1996, AFC and HPI
received separately from PARO of Davao province a notice of land
acquisition and valuation, informing AFC that the value of the properties
has been placed at P86,900,925.88 or P165,484.47 per hectare while
HPI's properties were valued at P164,478,178.14.

AFC rejected the valuation for both TCTs No. T-113366 and No. 113359,
and applied for the shifting of the mode of acquisition for TCT No. 113359
from Voluntary Offer to Sell (VOS) to Voluntary Land Transfer/Direct
Payment Scheme. HPI also rejected the valuation of its three parcels of
land covered by TCTs No. T-10361, No. T-10362 and No. T-10363.

Owing to the rejection by both AFC and HPI of LBP's valuation, the DAR
requested LBP to deposit the amounts equivalent to their valuations in the
names and for the accounts of AFC and HPI. AFC thereafter withdrew the
amount of P26,409,549.86, while HPI withdrew the amount of
P45,481,706.76, both in cash from LBP. The DAR PARO then directed the
Register of Deeds of Davao to cancel the TCTs of AFC and HPI to the said
properties and to issue a new one in the name of the Republic of the
Philippines.

After the issuance of the certificate of title in the name of the RP the
ROD of Davao, upon the request of the DAR, issued TCTs and Certificates
of Land Ownership Award to qualified farmer-beneficiaries.

On 14 February 1997, AFC and HPI filed separate complaints for


determination of just compensation with the DAR Adjudication Board
(DARAB). Despite the lapse of more than three years from the filing of the

complaints, the DARAB failed and refused to render a decision on the


valuation of the land. Hence, two complaints for determination and
payment of just compensation were filed by AFC and HPI before Branch 2
of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Tagum City (acting as a Special
Agrarian Court), which were subsequently consolidated.

The SAC rendered a decision dated 25 September 2001 fixing the just
compensation for the 1,388.6027 hectares of lands and its improvements
owned by the plaintiffs.

LBP filed a Motion for Reconsideration on 5 October 2001 on the


ground that the trial court based its valuation on the value of residential and
industrial lands in the area forgetting that the lands involved are
agricultural. On December 5, 2001, the trial court modified its decision
ordering the DAR to pay interest.

LBP filed a Notice of Appeal and was given due course in the Order of
the RTC dated 15 May 2002. In the same Order, the RTC set aside its
Order dated 5 December 2001 granting execution pending appeal.

On 28 March 2003, LBP filed a Petition for Certiorari before the Court of
Appeals assailing the 4 November 2002 and 12 February 2003 orders of
the trial court. The Court of Appeals granted said petition for being
meritorious.

AFC and HPI filed a joint Motion for Reconsideration which the Court of
Appeals denied in its Resolution dated 21 June 2004.

Earlier, on 23 January 2003, DAR filed its own separate petition before
the Court of Appeals by way of a Petition for Review. The Court of Appeals
dismissed the petition of the DAR for failure to state the material dates
under Rule 42, Section 2, of the Rules of Court.

The Decision of the Court of Appeals in the Petition filed by the DAR in
CA-G.R. SP No. 74879 became final and executory and entry of judgment
was issued by the appellate court on 7 May 2003.

On the other hand, from the decision of the Court of Appeals in the
Petition filed by LBP in CA-G.R. SP No. 76222, AFC and HPI filed the
present Petition for Review on Certiorari.

Issue:
Whether or not there is payment of Just Compensation?

Held:

The concept of just compensation embraces not only the correct


determination of the amount to be paid to the owners of the land, but also
the payment of the land within a reasonable time from its taking. Without
prompt payment, compensation cannot be considered "just" inasmuch as
the property owner is being made to suffer the consequences of being
immediately deprived of his land while being made to wait for a decade or
more before actually receiving the amount necessary to cope with his loss.
Just compensation is defined as the full and fair equivalent of the property
taken from its owner by the expropriator. It is not the taker's gain but the
owner's loss. The word "just" is used to intensify the meaning of the word
"compensation" to convey the idea that the equivalent to be rendered for
the property to be taken shall be real, substantial, full, and ample.

When the trial court arrived at the valuation of a landowner's property


taking into account its nature as irrigated land, location along the highway,
market value, assessor's value and the volume and value of its produce,
such valuation is considered in accordance with Republic Act No. 6657.

Conspicuously, the trial court did not merely rely solely on the appraisal
report submitted by the Commissioners. The trial court conducted hearings
for the purpose of receiving the parties' evidence.

The SAC, correctly determined the amount of just compensation due to


AFC and HPI.
JURISDICTION; RTC DOES NOT HAVE JURISDICTION OVER
PETITION FOR ANNULMENT OF DARAB DECISIONS; DARAB IS A
CO-EQUAL BODY WITH THE RTC AND ITS DECISIONS ARE BEYOND
THE RTC's CONTROL

Springfield Development Corporation, Inc. and Heirs of Petra


Capistrano Piit vs. Hon. Presiding Judge of Regional Trial
Court of Misamis Oriental, Branch 40, Cagayan de Oro City,
Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board
(DARAB), et al.
G.R. No. 142628 (February 6, 2007)
Facts:

Petra Capistrano Piit previously owned Lot No. 2291 located in Cagayan
de Oro City which measured 123,408 sq. m. under TCT No. T-62623.
Springfield Development Corporation, Inc. (Springfield) bought Lot No.
2291-C with an area of 68,732 sq. m., and Lot No. 2291-D with an area of
49,778 sq. m. Springfield developed these properties into a subdivision
project called Mega Heights Subdivision.

On May 4, 1990, the DAR, through its Municipal Agrarian Reform


Officer, issued a Notice of Coverage (NOC), placing the property under the
coverage of R.A. No. 6657. The heirs of Piit, opposed the NOC. On August
27, 1991, Provincial Adjudicator Abeto A. Salcedo, Jr. rendered a decision
declaring the nature of the property as residential and not suitable for
agriculture. The Regional Director filed a notice of appeal, which the
PARAD disallowed for being pro forma and frivolous. The decision became
final and executory and Springfield proceeded to develop the property.

The DAR Regional Director filed a petition for relief from judgment of the
PARAB Decision before the DARAB. In its Decision dated October 5, 1995,
the DARAB granted the petition and gave due course to the NOC. It also
directed the MARO to proceed with the documentation, acquisition, and
distribution of the property to the true and lawful beneficiaries.

On June 13, 1997, Springfield and the heirs of Piit (petitioners) filed with
the RTC of Cagayan de Oro City, Br. 40, a petition for annulment of the
DARAB Decision dated October 5, 1995 and all its subsequent
proceedings, contending that the DARAB decision was rendered without
affording petitioners any notice and hearing. The RTC issued an Order
dated June 25, 1997, dismissing the case for lack of jurisdiction.

On July 2, 1997, petitioners filed with the Court of Appeals (CA) a


special civil action for certiorari, mandamus, and prohibition with prayer for
the issuance of writ of preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining
order. Petitioners alleged that the RTC committed grave abuse of discretion
when it ruled that the annulment of judgment filed before it is actually an
action for certiorari in a different color; that what they sought before the
RTC is an annulment of the DARAB Decision and not certiorari,as the
DARAB Decision is void ab initio for having been rendered without due
process of law.

The CA dismissed the petition for lack of merit, ruling that the RTC does
not have jurisdiction to annul the DARAB Decision because it is a co-equal
body.

Issues:

Whether or not the RTC has jurisdiction to annul a final judgment of the
DARAB?

Whether the petition for annulment of the DARAB judgment could be


brought to the CA?

Held:

With the introduction of B.P. Blg. 129, the rule on annulment of


judgments was specifically provided in Section 9(2), which vested in the
then Intermediate Appellate Court (now the RTC) the exclusive original
jurisdiction over actions for annulment of judgments of RTCs. Sec. 9(3) of
B.P. Blg. 129 also vested the CA with "exclusive appellate jurisdiction over
all final judgments, decisions, resolutions, orders, or awards of Regional
Trial Courts and quasi-judicial agencies, instrumentalities, boards or
commissions, except those falling within the appellate jurisdiction of the
Supreme Court in accordance with the Constitution, the provisions of this
Act, and of sub-paragraph (1) of the third paragraph and subparagraph (4)
of the fourth paragraph of Section 17 of the Judiciary Act of 1948." As
provided in paragraph 16 of the Interim Rules and Guidelines implementing
B.P. Blg. 129, the quasi-judicial bodies whose decisions are exclusively

appealable to the CA are those, which under the law, R.A. No. 5434, or its
enabling acts, are specifically appealable to the CA.

The DARAB is a quasi-judicial body created by Executive Order Nos.


229 and 129-A. R.A. No. 6657 delineated its adjudicatory powers and
functions. The DARAB Revised Rules of Procedure adopted on December
26, 1988 specifically provides for the manner of judicial review of its
decisions, orders, rulings, or awards.

Given that DARAB decisions are appealable to the CA, the inevitable
conclusion is that the DARAB is a co-equal body with the RTC and its
decisions are beyond the RTC's control. The CA was therefore correct in
sustaining the RTC's dismissal of the petition for annulment of the DARAB
Decision dated October 5, 1995, as the RTC does not have any jurisdiction
to entertain the same.

Section 9(2) of B.P. Blg. 129 vested in the CA the exclusive original
jurisdiction over actions for annulment of judgments, but only those
rendered by the RTCs. It does not expressly give the CA the power to annul
judgments of quasi-judicial bodies.

Consequently, the silence of B.P. Blg. 129 on the jurisdiction of the CA


to annul judgments or final orders and resolutions of quasi-judicial bodies
like the DARAB indicates its lack of such authority.
EXEMPTION; DETERMINATION OF FACTUAL MATTERS; THE COURT
OF APPEALS HAVING THE JURISDICTION ON THE CONTROVERSY
MUST RE-EVALUATE THE FACTUAL ASPECTS OF THE CASE

Paulino Reyes, et al. vs. Fil-Estate Properties, Inc., and Court


of Appeals
G.R. No. 148967 (February 9, 2007)
Facts:

Petitioners are the tenants of the disputed portion of Hacienda Looc


which has been the subject of application for exclusion from CARP
coverage pursuant to Administrative Order No. 10, Series of 1994.

By virtue of Presidential Decree No. 27, a portion of the hacienda with


an aggregate area of 1,282.9767 hectares that were planted with rice and
corn were distributed to the farmers, and emancipation patents (EPs) were
accordingly issued.

The hacienda was acquired by the Development Bank of the Philippines


(DBP) from the Magdalena Estate, Inc. through a Deed of Cession in
Payment of Debt on May 19, 1971.

Pursuant to Executive Order No. 14 issued on February 3, 1987, certain


assets and liabilities of DBP were transferred to the Government of the
Republic of the Philippines. Among the properties that were transferred
was Hacienda Looc.

On February 27, 1987, DBP executed a Deed of Transfer of the


properties in favor of the Government. On the same date, a Trust
Agreement was entered into by the Government and the Asset Privatization
Trust (APT) whereby the latter was constituted trustee of Hacienda Looc.

On June 28, 1990, APT entered into a Memorandum of Agreement


(MOA) with the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Wherein APT
signified its intention to sell to DAR portions of the hacienda under the
Voluntary Offer to Sell (VOS) scheme of R.A. No. 6657 on the condition
that DAR will return to APT non-CARPable portions of the property.
Between 1991 and 1993, DAR generated 25 Certificates of Land
Ownership Awards (CLOAs) to the farmers of the hacienda.

On December 10, 1993, APT conducted a public bidding involving the


property in question. Bellevue Properties, Inc. tendered the highest cash
bid. It thereafter assigned the right to purchase the property to Manila
Southcoast Development Corporation (MSDC), subrogating to the latter all
its rights, claims and benefits under the DAR-APT MOA.

On March 7, 1995, MSDC filed an adverse claim over Hacienda Looc


before the Register of Deeds of Nasugbu, Batangas. In the same year,
MSDC was able to register the disputed ten parcels of land of the hacienda
with an aggregate area of 1,219.0133 hectares.

On April 10, 1995, MSDC filed a petition before the Department of


Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB), Region IV, for the
cancellation of the notices of acquisition issued by DAR; the cancellation of
the CLOAs; and the conversion of the property into non-agricultural uses.

On May 30, 1995, PARAD Antonio Cabili issued an Order stopping all
joint venture agreements in Hacienda Looc.

Between the months of January and June of 1996, the RARAD issued
three Partial Summary Judgments canceling the fifteen (15) CLOAs issued
to the farmers, including those covering the ten parcels of land. The
cancellation was grounded on the waiver allegedly executed by the farmerbeneficiaries who declared that the lands they were tilling were not suitable
for agriculture.

On October 4, 1996, private respondent, by virtue of a Joint Venture


Agreement with MSDC for the purpose of developing the area covered by
the ten cancelled CLOAs, filed a Petition for Exclusion of the subject lots
from CARP coverage on the ground that they had an average slope of
more than eighteen percent (18%), and the area "has no semblance of
agricultural development whatsoever."

Meanwhile, petitioners, along with the other farmer-beneficiaries


affected by the order, filed a complaint with the Office of the DAR Secretary
objecting to the cancellation of their respective CLOAs.

On December 26, 1996, the DAR Regional Director for Region IV issued
an Order granting the Petition for Exclusion filed by Fil-Estate pursuant to
Administrative Order (A.O.) No. 10, Series of 1994. As a result, the subject
ten parcels of land with an aggregate area of 1,219.0133 hectares were
exempted from CARP coverage.

On January 29, 1997, petitioners, aggrieved by the Order of Exclusion,


filed their appeal with the Office of the DAR Secretary, on the grounds that
1) there was no due process as they were not informed of the exemption
case or the proceedings thereof; 2) the cancellation of the CLOAs was
based on the waivers allegedly executed by the farmer-beneficiaries; and

3) the property was agriculturally developed and, therefore, covered by


CARP.

On March 25, 1998, the DAR Secretary issued an Order, ordering the
coverage of the agriculturally developed areas, re-documentation of the
same under CARP acquisition and awarded to individual beneficiaries
found to be qualified under the CARL. Petitioners filed Motion for
Reconsideration but the same was denied. Petitioner then filed an appeal
with the Office of the President but the same was denied. The OP affirmed
the Order of the Secretary.

Petitioners filed a petition for review under Rule 43 of the Rules of Court
with the Court of Appeals (CA) assailing the decision of the Executive
Secretary. The CA, in its resolution, dated September 4, 2000, denied the
petition.

Issue:

Whether or not the disputed ten parcels of land are exempt from CARP
coverage?

Held:

One of the reasons why petitioners are objecting to the cancellation of


their CLOAs and the exclusion of the ten parcels of land from CARP
coverage is because these lots are agricultural and developed. While it is
true that the DAR officials have generally found the lots to have an average
slope of 18%, the contention that the same have been cultivated and are
actually agriculturally developed so as to make them subject to CARP is a
factual matter that must be looked into.

Upon a review of the records, the Court agreed with petitioners that
there are factual matters that should be re-examined to properly resolve the
case. The Court is not a trier of facts. The CA, having the appellate
jurisdiction to rule on the controversy, must re-evaluate the factual aspects
of the case in order to prevent a miscarriage of justice.

While, generally, petitioners' failure to comply with the procedural


requirements prescribed under the Rules of Court would warrant the

dismissal of the petition, fundamental considerations of substantial justice


persuade the Court to have the present case decided on the merits rather
than dismissed on a technicality. It is settled that the rules of procedure are
not to be applied in a very strict and technical sense. These are used only
to help secure rather than override substantial justice. The stringent
application of the rules must yield to the demands of substantial justice.

The petition is GRANTED. The case is REMANDED to the Court of


Appeals for it to render a decision on the merits with DISPATCH.
EXEMPTION; EXEMPTION OF LIVESTOCK FROM CARP; CONDITIONS
THEREOF; RULES OF ADMINISTRATIVE BODIES MUST BE IN
HARMONY WITH THE CONSTITUTION

Department of Agrarian Reform vs. Vicente K. Uy


G.R. No. 169277 (February 9, 2007)
Facts:

This is a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Revised


Rules of Court of the Amended Decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) in
CA-G.R. SP No. 70541 and the Resolution of the appellate court denying
the motion for reconsideration thereof. The CA reversed and set aside the
Decision of the Office of the President (OP) which had affirmed the Order
of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) exempting only a portion
(219.50 hectares) of respondent Vicente K. Uy's 349.9996-ha landholding
from the coverage of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program
(CARP).

Some 44 farmers who occupied portions of the property owned by the


respondent filed petitions in the DAR, seeking to be declared as ownersbeneficiaries. The DAR issued a Notice of Coverage under the CARP over
the property. Respondent, in behalf of the co-owners, filed an Application
for Exclusion, through Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer (PARO) Durante
L. Ubeda citing the Luz Farms ruling as the property had been exclusively
used for livestock-raising for several years prior to June 15, 1988.

MARO Belen Babalcon made a Final Report, declaring that 346.000 ha,
more or less, is devoted to coconut and livestock farming; The MARO

declared that while a total of 429 livestock heads are being raised in the
property, "the total area for exclusion is undetermined because there are
portions occupied by tenants which should not be excluded from CARP
coverage."

Meanwhile, PARO Ubeda submitted a separate Report where he


declared the following: that the total number of Certificate[s] of Ownership
is 434 which is more than the actual headcount of 401; that the number of
cattle 7 years old and above totaled 134 heads with 13 males and 121
females as of date of certification; and that 300 cattles were of ages 6
years old and below with 76 males and 234 females.

The applicants, through Uy, wrote a letter to DAR Region IV Director


Percival C. Dalugdug, requesting for a reinvestigation of the Report of
PARO Ubeda. This request was reiterated in a letter where the applicants
requested, for the first time, the exclusion of another parcel of land
22.2639 ha and covered by TCT No. T-11948 which is contiguous to the
349.9996-ha lot covered by their earlier application.

The Regional Director issued an Order affirming the findings and


recommendation of PARO Ubeda. Respondent and his co-owners
appealed. Arguing that the properties have been devoted to livestockraising even prior to 1977. Thus, the landholdings should be excluded from
CARP coverage. They further argued that for purposes of determining the
area for exclusion under A.O. No. 9, the entire number of livestock should
be credited in applying the ratio of one head to one hectare and that the
landholdings totaled only 370 ha and there are 429 heads of livestock, they
have more than complied with A.O. No. 9, Series of 1993.

The DAR issued an Order suspending the processing and issuance of


Certificates of Land Ownership Awards to the farmers-beneficiaries of the
landholding covered by TCT No. 160988 pending the resolution of the
appeal. On October 7, 1996, the DAR issued an Order partially granting
the application for exclusion.

The applicants appealed the Order to the OP via an Appeal with Prayer
for Status Quo/Stay of Execution. The President, through then Deputy
Executive Secretary Renato C. Corona (now a member of the Court),

rendered a decision dismissing the appeal for lack of merit. Respondent


and his co-owners filed a Motion for Reconsideration, which was denied for
being devoid of substantial merit.

The OP, issued a Memorandum for DAR Secretary Morales referring the
case for the Secretary's final disposition, on the matter of exemption from
CARP coverage of the subject landholding.

Respondent for himself and in behalf of other owners then filed a


"Petition for Review with Application/Prayer for Status Quo and/or Stay of
Execution" before the CA, alleging that the OP committed errors. Judgment
was rendered affirming the decision of the OP and, consequently, the
October 7, 1996 DAR Order.

Respondent and his co-owners filed a motion for reconsideration of the


decision, praying that the entire 349.9996 has. be exempted from CARP
coverage. On May 24, 2004, the CA rendered an Amended Decision
reversing and setting aside its previous decision.

Issues:

Whether or not the 349.9996-hectare landholding of Vicente K. Uy used


in raising livestock, poultry and swine are exempted from the coverage
following the Luz Farms Doctrine?

Whether or not the second motion for reconsideration filed by


respondent tolled the reglementary period to appeal?

Whether or not the application of DAR Administrative Order No. 9,


Series of 1993 on the respondent's landholding of more or less 472 ha. is
valid in light of the ruling of this Court in Department of Agrarian Reform v.
Sutton, where DAR Administrative Order No. 9, Series of 1993 was
declared unconstitutional?

Held:

It must be shown that the entire landholding, and not just portions of it,
should be devoted to livestock raising. The words "regardless of age" in the
order should be interpreted to mean only those heads of cattle existing as

of June 15, 1988. Accordingly, the ratio of land to livestock should be


based on those livestock found existing in the landholding at the time R.A.
No. 6657 took effect on June 15, 1988. This is consistent with the intent of
the law to prevent fraudulent declaration of areas actually, directly and
exclusively used for livestock as well as to protect the rights of agrarian
beneficiaries therein.

It is clear then that only one motion for reconsideration is allowed to be


filed from a decision, resolution or order of the OP. However, the filing of a
second motion for reconsideration is not absolutely prohibited. A second
motion for reconsideration is allowed in exceptionally meritorious cases.

It is doctrinal that rules of administrative bodies must be in harmony with


the provisions of the Constitution. They cannot amend or extend the
Constitution. To be valid, they must conform to and be consistent with the
Constitution. In case of conflict between an administrative order and the
provisions of the Constitution, the latter prevails. The assailed A.O. of
petitioner DAR was properly stricken down as unconstitutional as it
enlarges the coverage of agrarian reform beyond the scope intended by the
1987 Constitution.

The instant petition is PARTIALLY GRANTED. The Amended Decision


of the CA in CA-GR SP No. 70541 exempting the parcel of land under TCT
No. T-160988 with an area of 349.9996 hectares from coverage of the
CARP is AFFIRMED. However, the Amended Decision exempting the
22.2639-hectare landholding covered by TCT No. 11948 from the coverage
of the CARP is REVERSED and SET ASIDE.
JUST COMPENSATION;
COMPENSABLE AREAS

DETERMINATION

AND

PAYMENT

OF

Land Bank of the Philippines vs. Juan H. Imperial


G.R. No. 157753 (February 12, 2007)
Facts:

Respondent Juan H. Imperial owned five parcels of land with a total


area of 156.1000 hectares, located in Barangay Pawa, Manito, Albay.
Pursuant to the Land Reform Program under Presidential Decree No. 27

and Executive Order No. 228, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR)
placed these lands under its Operation Land Transfer (OLT). On October
21, 1972, the lands were distributed to deserving farmer beneficiaries. On
July 20, 1994, Imperial filed a complaint for determination and payment of
just compensation in the Regional Trial Court.

During the course of the trial, the court created a commission to


examine, investigate and ascertain facts relevant to the dispute including
the lands' valuation. On June 21, 1996, the commission submitted a report
containing the following findings: (1) the lands were not first-class riceland;
(2) the irrigation came from a creek which depended on rains; (3) the
harvest was once a year; (4) about fifteen hectares were devoted to nonfruit bearing coconut trees; (5) approximately five hectares were upland
rice while the rest of the area was uncultivated; and (6) the lands were
rolling hills.

Using the formula under P.D. No. 27 and E.O. No. 228 for computing
the land value, the commission fixed the just compensation at
P2,012.50/hectare, for a total of P314,151.25. Imperial vigorously objected
to the valuation. Thus, the trial court referred the report back to the
commission for further reception of evidence.

The commission submitted another report, with the following


observations: (1) of the total land area of 156.1000 hectares, only
151.7168 hectares were compensable since 4.3832 hectares were either
used by Imperial or devoted to right of way, barrio site, or feeder road; (2)
the irrigated area was only 1,000 square meters; and (3) the lands were
generally devoted to upland rice.

After due proceedings, the trial court issued on August 4, 2000, a


judgment, fixing the compensable area of 151.7128 has. at P2,185,241.50.
It also declared as non-compensable 4.3832 hectares which were either
used by Imperial or devoted to right of way, barrio site, or feeder road. The
trial court fixed the just compensation at P14,375/hectare for unirrigated
area, and P57,500/hectare for irrigated area, for a total of P2,185,241.50.

The party appealed to the CA where on November 23, 2001, the CA set
aside the trial court's decision, and remanded it to the court of origin for reevaluation of the correct compensation.

Issues:

Whether a 6% annual interest should be included in computing the just


compensation?

Whether the areas used as feeder road, right of way, and barrio site
should be considered as compensable?

Held:

DAR A.O. No. 13 applies to all landowners: (1) whose lands are actually
tenanted as of October 21, 1972, or thereafter, and covered by the OLT; (2)
who opted for government-financing through the petitioner as the mode of
compensation; and (3) who have not yet been paid the value of their land.
It provides a formula for determining the land value and the additional
interests it would have earned.

The grant of six percent (6%) yearly interest compounded annually shall
be reckoned as Tenanted as of 21 October 1972 and covered under OLT
which is From 21 October 1972 up to the time of actual payment but not
later than December 2006; and Tenanted after 21 October 1972 and
covered under OLT: From the date when the land was actually tenanted (by
virtue of Regional Order of Placement issued prior to August 18, 1987) up
to the time of actual payment but not later than December 2006 (Emphasis
supplied.)

The taking of private lands under the agrarian reform program partakes
of the nature of an expropriation proceeding. Just compensation in
expropriation proceedings represents the full and fair equivalent of the
property taken from its owner by the expropriator.

The respondent should be compensated for what he actually lost and


that should include not only the areas distributed directly to the tenant
beneficiaries but also those areas used as feeder road, right of way, and
barrio site, which were undoubtedly diverted to the use of the public. The

only area that ought to be excluded is the portion or portions retained by


the respondent as owner-cultivator for his own use.
ANNULMENT OF JUDGMENT; PETITION FOR ANNULMENT OF FINAL
PARAD DECISION IS NOT ALLOWED UNDER THE RULES OF COURT

Valentin P. Fraginal, et al. vs. The Heirs of Toribia Belmonte


Paraal, represented by Pedro Paraal, et al.
G.R. No. 150207 (February 23, 2007)
Facts:

The heirs of Toribia Belmonte Paraal, filed with the Office of the
Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (PARAD) of the Department of
Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB), Camarines Sur, a
Complaint for Termination of Tenancy Relationship, Ejectment, and
Collection of Arrear Rentals and Damages, against Fraginal, et al.

Fraginal, et al. filed an Answer questioning the jurisdiction of the PARAD


on the ground that they are not tenants of the Heirs of Toribia Paraal, for
the land they are tilling is a 1.1408-hectare public agricultural land within
the exclusive jurisdiction of the Department of Environment and Natural
Resources.

The PARAD issued a Decision on October 8, 1998 ordering the


ejectment of Fraginal.

On April 5, 2001, two years from issuance of the PARAD Decision,


Fraginal, et al. filed with the CA a Petition for Annulment of Judgment with
Prayer for Issuance of Preliminary Injunction and/or Restraining Order.
They insisted that the PARAD Decision is void as it was issued without
jurisdiction. CA dismissed the Petition in its April 24, 2001 Resolution.
Likewise, CA also denied the Motion for Reconsideration of Fraginal, et al.
in the assailed Resolution dated September 3, 2001.

Issue:

Whether or not the Honorable Court of Appeals erred in holding that


Rule 47 of the Rules of Court pertains only to judgment or final orders and
resolutions in civil actions of the Regional Trial Court?

Held:

The Petition for Annulment of Judgment filed by Fraginal, et al. before


the CA failed to meet the conditions.

First, it sought the annulment of the PARAD Decision when Section 1 of


Rule 47 clearly limits the subject matter of petitions for annulment to final
judgments and orders rendered by Regional Trial Courts in civil actions.
Final judgments or orders of quasi-judicial tribunals or administrative
bodies such, in this case, the PARAD, are not susceptible to petitions for
annulment under Rule 47.

Second, Section 1, Rule 47 does not allow a direct recourse to a petition


for annulment of judgment if other appropriate remedies are available, such
as a petition for new trial, and a petition for relief from judgment or an
appeal.

The 1994 DARAB New Rules of Procedures, which was applicable at


the time the PARAD Decision was issued, provided for the mode of appeal:
Under Rule XIII Section 1 (b), it does not allow for a petition for annulment
of a final PARAD Decision. While the DARAB Rules provide for an appeal
to the DARAB from a decision of the PARAD, Fraginal, et al. did not avail of
this remedy.

Moreover, there is nothing in Rule XIII that allows a petition for


annulment of a final PARAD Decision. As held in Macalalag, there must be
a law granting such right, in the absence of which, Fraginals' petition for
annulment of judgment was correctly denied due course by the CA.
JURISDICTION; BARC CERTIFICATION IS NOT NECESSARY TO BE
PRESENTED TO ADJUDICATOR IF THE PARTIES ARE RESIDING IN
NON-ADJOINING BARANGAYS
ADMINISTRATIVE
AGENCIES
EXERCISING
QUASI-JUDICIAL
FUNCTIONS ARE NOT BOUND BY TECHNICAL RULES FOLLOWED IN
COURTS OF LAW

Espinosa vs. Quiboloy


G.R. No. 147525 (February 26, 2007)

Facts:

A complaint for ejectment was filed against petitioner by private


respondent Maria V. Quiboloy, as co-owner and administratrix of three (3)
parcels of land covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. 3676. She
alleged that petitioner had reneged on his obligations as tenant to pay the
rent and till the subject landholding. Petitioner filed his answer assailing
Quiboloy's personality to bring suit. Petitioner also offered unsubstantiated
denials of Quiboloy's charges. As his defense, he denied allegations of
non-payment of rents and non-tillage of the land for lack of knowledge and
information to form a belief as to the veracity thereof. The provincial
adjudicator was sufficiently convinced that Quiboloy's allegations were true
and correct. Accordingly, he decided the case against petitioner. Instead of
immediately appealing from the adjudicator's decision, petitioner allowed
the reglementary period to lapse. Thereafter, he filed a petition for certiorari
with the Court of Appeals. The appellate court dismissed the petition,
reiterating the well-settled rule that certiorari lies only in cases of errors of
jurisdiction and not errors of judgment. It stressed that certiorari cannot be
a substitute for a lost appeal.

Issue:

Whether or not the Provincial Adjudicator of Pampanga (PARAD) is


correct in proceeding with the case without first complying with the
jurisdictional requirements on BARC certification under the DARAB
Revised Rules of Procedure?

Held:

The PARAD did not err in entertaining the dispute notwithstanding the
absence of the BARC Certification. The 1989 DARAB Rules exempted
parties residing in non-adjoining barangays from presenting the BARC
Certification. Since it is undisputed that Quiboloy resided in San Nicolas
1st, Lubao, Pampanga while petitioner stayed in San Agustin, Lubao,
Pampanga, the former was not required to present the BARC certification
before the adjudicator taking cognizance of the agrarian dispute.

Under the law, administrative agencies exercising quasi-judicial


functions are not bound by technical rules. The adjudicator is given enough
latitude, subject to the essential requirements of administrative due
process, to be able to expeditiously ascertain the facts of the agrarian
dispute. The assailed acts of the adjudicator did not amount to a grave
abuse of discretion justifying a writ of certiorari. Considering the technical
flexibility afforded to agrarian adjudicators, the order may easily be
construed as a denial of the motion to dismiss. What would have been the
prudent recourse under the rules was to submit an answer immediately,
participate in the hearing and appeal an adverse decision. The petitioner
failed to do any of these. It is now too late for him to dispute the
adjudicator's decision.
The petition is DENIED.
APPEAL; THE MODE OF APPEAL FROM DECISIONS OR ORDERS OF
DAR AS QUASI-JUDICIAL BODY IS BY PETITION FOR REVIEW TO
THE CA

Robert Padua vs. The Hon. Court of Appeals, Atty. Delfin B.


Samson, Department of Agrarian Reform, and Mr. Teofilo
Inocencio
G.R. No. 153456 (March 2, 2007)
Facts:

Private respondents Pepito dela Cruz, et al. were tenants of Lot Nos. 68
and 90 of the Dolores Ongsiako Estate in Anao, Tarlac. In 1966, upon the
request of Anao Mayor Catalino Cruz (Mayor Cruz), Dela Cruz, et al.agreed
to donate said properties to the municipality on the condition that these be
used as school sites. The project did not materialize and, in 1977, Dela
Cruz, et al. asked that the properties be returned to them. However, they
found out that Mayor Cruz had distributed Lot No. 68 to Flor Labagnoy
(Labagnoy) and Lot No. 90 to Edwin Cruz (Cruz) who were each issued a
Certificate of Land Transfer (CLT).

Upon Petition for Cancellation of CLT filed by Dela Cruz, et


al., Department of Agrarian Reform Secretary Condrado Estrella issued an

Order dated April 19, 1982 (Estrella Order), cancelling the CLT issued to
Labagnoy and Cruz. The latter filed a Petition for Relief from Judgment for
lack of due process but the same was denied by Secretary Estrella in his
Order dated September 19, 1984. Labagnoy and Cruz appealed to the
Office of the President (OP) which dismissed the same in an Order dated
May 9, 1990. Said OP Order became final and the same was partially
executed with the restoration of Lot No. 68 in the possession of Dela
Cruz, et al.

During the pendency of the appeal before the OP, Cruz executed an
Affidavit of Waiver over his interest in Lot No. 90 on the basis of which DAR
Regional Office III issued an Order dated December 7, 1987 cancelling the
CLT of Cruz and declaring Lot No. 90 open for disposition. On November 7,
1989, then DAR Secretary Miriam Defensor Santiago issued an Order
awarding Lot No. 90 to herein petitioner Roberto Padua (Padua) who had
been occupying said property and paying the amortization thereon to the
Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP).

Aggrieved, Dela Cruz, et al., acting thru Anao Mayor Clemente Apuan,
filed with the DAR Secretary a Letter-Petition for Cancellation (LetterPetition) of the December 7, 1987 DAR Regional Office III Order and the
November 7, 1989 DAR Order, the same was granted in an Order by
Secretary Ernesto Garilao dated July 2, 1995.

Accordingly, DAR Regional Director Nestor Acosta issued a


Memorandum dated May 9, 2000, directing herein public respondent
Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer Teofilo Inocencio (PARO Inocencio) to
implement the Garilao Order. In turn, PARO Inocencio instructed Municipal
Agrarian Reform Officer Lino Mabborang (MARO Mabborang) to issue the
necessary documents to award Lot No. 90 to Dela Cruz, et al.

In justifying his recourse to a Petition for Annulment, Padua claims that


the DAR under Sec. 50 of Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL)
cannot take cognizance of the petition for cancellation because the matter
involved is a civil law issue relating to the validity of a contract of sale
executed by LBP and petitioner, not an agrarian reform matter; that
cancellation can only be ordered by a court of justice, not by an
administrative agency exercising only quasi-judicial powers.

Padua also claimed lack of due process in that he was allegedly never
impleaded as a party to the Petition for Cancellation of CLT nor furnished a
copy of the Letter-Petition but that he became aware of the Garilao Order
only when it was about to be implemented.

Padua filed with the CA a Petition for Annulment of Final and Executory
Order of the DAR Secretary on December 18, 2001. The CA issued
Decision dismissing the Petition for Annulment. Padua filed a Motion for
Reconsideration which the CA denied in its May 7, 2002 Resolution.

Issue:

Whether the Court of Appeals committed reversible error in not holding


that the Department of Agrarian Reform acted without jurisdiction?

Held:

Section 61 of R.A. No. 6657 provides that a DAR Decision or Order be


reviewable by the CA in accordance with the Rules of Court. In turn, the
Rules of Court, consistent with Supreme Court Administrative Circular No.
1-95 and R.A. No. 7902, prescribes under Rule 43 that the mode of appeal
from decisions or orders of DAR as a quasi-judicial agency is by petition for
review to the CA. Padua's recourse to a Petition for Annulment of the
Garilao Order, rather than a petition for review, was therefore fatally infirm.

The July 2, 1995 Order, then DAR Secretary Garilao Order was
therefore issued by Sec. Garilao in the exercise of his power under Section
50 of R.A. No. 6657 and Section 2 (b) of Administrative Order No. 06-00.

As Padua himself admitted that he is still paying amortization on Lot No.


90 to LBP, his status in relation to said property remains that of a mere
potential farmer-beneficiary whose eligibilities DAR may either confirm or
reject. In fact, under Section 2 (d) of Administrative Order No. 06-00, DAR
has authority to issue, recall, or cancel a CLT, CBC, EP, or CLOA issued to
potential farmer-beneficiaries but not yet registered with the Register of
Deeds.

As to the claim of Padua that he was not accorded due process in the
cancellation of the Santiago Order which awarded Lot No. 90 in his favor,

this is belied by his own Annex "A" in support of his Urgent Reiteration of
Application for Restraining Order or for Observance of Judicial Courtesy as
Mandated by Eternal Gardens versus Court of Appeals.

Thus, any defect in due process was cured by the fact that Padua had
filed a Motion for Reconsideration and an Appeal to the OP from the
Garilao Order.

The petition is DENIED for lack of merit. The Decision dated December
18, 2001 and Resolution dated May 7, 2002 of the Court of Appeals
areAFFIRMED.
TENANCY RELATIONSHIP; ALL REQUISITES MUST CONCUR IN
ORDER TO CREATE A TENANCY RELATIONSHIP

Heirs of Nicolas Jugalbot, et al. vs. Heirs of Virginia A. Roa,


et al.
G.R. No. 170346 (March 12, 2007)
Facts:

On September 28, 1997, an Emancipation Patent (EP) was issued to


Nicolas Jugalbot based on the latter's claim that he was the tenant of the
subject property located at Brgy. Lapasan, Cagayan de Oro City, registered
in the name of Virginia A. Roa under TCT No. T-11543. The property was
originally registered in the name of Marcelino Cabili from whom Virginia A.
Roa purchased the same sometime in 1966.

On August 10, 1998, the heirs of Virginia A. Roa, herein private


respondents, filed before the DARAB Provincial Office of Misamis Oriental
a Complaint for cancellation of title (TCT No. E-103), Recovery of
Possession and Damages against Nicolas Jugalbot.

On October 23, 1998, a Decision was rendered dismissing private


respondents' complaint and upholding the validity of the Emancipation
Patent. Private respondent filed a motion for reconsideration but was
denied.

On appeal, the DARAB Central Office affirmed the Provincial


Adjudicator's decision on the sole ground that private respondents' right to
contest the validity of Nicolas Jugalbot's title was barred by prescription.

On November 10, 2003, the DARAB denied private respondents' motion


for reconsideration, hence they filed a petition for review before the Court
of Appeals which was granted. The appellate court reversed the Decision
and Resolution of the DARAB Central Office on the following grounds: (1)
the absence of a tenancy relationship; (2) lack of notice to Virginia Roa by
the DAR; (3) the area of the property which was less than one hectare and
deemed swampy, rainfed and kangkong-producing: and (4) the
classification of the subject property as residential, which is outside the
coverage of P.D. No. 27.

Issues:
Whether or not a tenancy relationship exists?

Whether or not the petitioners are de jure tenants of private


respondents?

Held:

The petitioners are not de jure tenants of private respondents under P.D.
No. 27 due to the absence of the essential requisites that establish a
tenancy relationship between them.

There is no concrete evidence on record sufficient to establish that the


petitioners personally cultivated the property under question or that there
was sharing of harvests except for their self-serving statements. The fact of
sharing alone is not sufficient to establish a tenancy relationship.

The taking of subject property was done in violation of constitutional due


process. The CA was correct in pointing out that Virginia A. Roa was
denied due process because the DAR failed to send notice of the
impending land reform coverage to the proper party.

Likewise, the property under dispute is residential property and not


agricultural property. Zoning Certification No. 98-094 issued on September

3, 1998 clearly shows that the subject property is located within the
Residential 2 District in accordance with paragraph (b), Section 9, Article
IV of Zoning Ordinance No. 880, Series of 1979 issued by the City
Planning and Development Office of Cagayan de Oro City.
REAL PARTIES IN INTEREST; CERTIFICATION ALONE THAT CLOAs
WERE ALREADY GENERATED IN THE NAMES OF FARMERS DOES
NOT VEST ANY RIGHT AS AWARDEES THUS, CANNOT BE
CONSIDERED REAL PARTIES IN INTEREST

Samahang Magsasaka ng 53 Hektarya, represented by Elvira


M. Baladad vs. Wilfredo G. Mosquera, et al.
G.R. No. 152430 (March 22, 2007)
Facts:

Petitioner Samahang Magsasaka ng 53 Hektarya (Samahan) is an


association of farmer-beneficiaries duly recognized by the Department of
Agrarian Reform (DAR). Petitioner alleged that its members had been
cultivating the disputed land for many years prior to the effectivity of R.A.
6657, (Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law). Respondents are the
registered owners of three parcels of land covered by Transfer Certificate of
Title Nos. T-267409, T-267410, and T-267411, which have an aggregate
area of 53.1164 hectares located in Macabud, Rodriguez (formerly
Montalban), Rizal. The disputed land was previously owned by Philippine
Suburban Development Corporation which planned to develop it as a
residential subdivision, and was sold to Vinebel Realties, Inc. in 1979
through an extrajudicial foreclosure sale. Petitioner alleged that in 1994,
the landholding was sold to respondents without any DAR clearance, in
violation of Section 6-D of CARL.

On July 7, 1994, the Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer (MARO) of


Rodriguez, Rizal issued a Notice of Coverage to the disputed land. On
February 21, 1995, respondents applied for exemption from the coverage
of CARL based on Sec. 10, R.A. 6657.

On March 31 and August 7, 1995, the Regional Director of DAR-Region


IV denied respondents' application and Motion for Reconsideration,
respectively. Respondents appealed the two Orders of the Regional

Director to the DAR Secretary, which on April 19 and July 9, 1996, Sec.
Ernesto D. Garilao denied.

In his April 19, 1996 order, Garilao stated that: as for the apparently
conflicting certifications issued by the CENRO of Antipolo, Rizal, on
different dates, it is the view of this Office that there is actually no conflict
between the two certifications. The certification issued by Deputy Land
Inspector Ruben A. Cabreira on October 21, 1994 refers only to one of the
three lots subject of the instant petition while the other certification issued
pertains to all the lots subject of the instant petition, which were described
to be "partly rolling and agricultural in nature and planted to fruit-bearing
trees. Even assuming arguendo that they are in conflict, it is submitted that
between the two certifications, the second one should prevail since it is not
only the latest, [but] it is also more complete.

On appeal, Executive Secretary Ruben D. Torres set aside the DAR


Secretary's Orders and exempted the property from the CARL coverage
through his June 25, 1997 Resolution. Petitioner and the DAR
subsequently filed a Motion for Reconsideration.

In the meantime, the Department of Agriculture (DA), through the


Bureau of Soil and Water Management, sent two missions to conduct
fieldwork and validate the actual development in the disputed land.

In a report transmitted by DA to Pres. Fidel V. Ramos, it was


recommended that the disputed land be exempted from conversion since
the general area of the land, including areas with 18% slope, was
physically occupied and actively used for intensive and diversified farming.

On August 14, 1998, the OP denied petitioner's Motion for


Reconsideration. On September 23, 1998, petitioner, through Elvira M.
Baladad, and the DAR jointly filed a second Motion for Reconsideration
which was denied by the OP in its December 22, 2000 Resolution.

Petitioner appealed the Resolutions of the OP to the CA through Rule


43 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. The CA rules that the petitioner
was not a real party in interest and had no legal standing to sue.

On the exemption of the land from CARL, the CA found that the OP's
Resolution was supported by substantial evidence; hence, the CA did not
substitute the OP's findings of fact.

Issues:

Whether or not petitioners are real parties-in-interest in this case?

Whether or not the subject landholding may be exempted from the


coverage of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program?

Held:

Petitioner is not a real party-in-interest in this case. According to Sec. 2


of Rule 3 of the Rules of Court, a real party-in-interest is the party who
stands to be benefited or injured by the judgment in the suit or the party
entitled to the avails of the suit. We stand by the ruling in Fortich v.
Corona that farmer-beneficiaries, who are not approved awardees of
CARP, are not real parties-in-interest. In Fortich, the farmers who
intervened in the case were mere recommendees.

The peculiar circumstances of this case should be noted. This petition


originated from an application for exemption from CARP which was filed by
the respondents before the Regional Director of the DAR. Petitioner
entered the picture when the DAR's Orders were reversed by the OP.
Petitioner's lack of capacity to intervene in the case may not have been an
issue before the OP since in administrative cases, technical rules of
procedure are not strictly applied. In fact, Sec. 50 of R.A. 6657 expressly
allows farmer leaders to "represent themselves, their fellow farmers, or
their organization in any proceedings before the DAR." This right of
representation generally continues in appeals in congruence with the
provisions of Rule 3 of the Revised Rules of Court.

In the case at bar, members of petitioner Samahan are mere qualified


beneficiaries of CARP. The certification that CLOAs were already
generated in their names, but were not issued because of the present
dispute, does not vest any right to the farmers since the fact remains that
they have not yet been approved as awardees, actually awarded lands, or
granted CLOAs. Respondents cannot be considered estopped from

questioning petitioner's legal standing since petitioner appeared before the


OP after the latter decided in respondents' favor. When the petitioner
appealed the case to the CA, respondents duly questioned the petitioner's
capacity to sue.

Thus, having resolved that the respondents have no legal standing to


sue and are not the real parties-in-interest, we find no more necessity to
take up the other issues.
EXEMPTION; FACTUAL FINDINGS OF ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES
ARE GENERALLY ACCORDED RESPECT AND EVEN FINALITY BY
THE SUPREME COURT

Department of Agrarian Reform, rep. by OIC-Secretary


Nasser C. Pangandaman vs. Oroville Development Corp.,
rep. by Antonio H. Tiu and Waldo G. Rebolos
G.R. No. 170823 (March 27, 2007)
Facts:

On July 7, 1997, petitioner, Oroville applied with DAR Regional Office


No. X for exclusion of the subject property from CARP coverage pursuant
to DAR Administrative Order No. 06, s. of 1994. Petitioner alleged that the
property was reclassified into residential use prior to June 15, 1998, the
date of effectivity of RA 6557, per Town Plan and Zoning Ordinance No.
880, s. of 1979 of Cagayan de Oro City, as approved by the HLURB on
September 24, 1980.

On May 25, 1998, DAR Secretary Garilao issued an Order denying


petitioner's application, declaring it as agricultural and coverable under
CARP. Petitioners' MR was denied thru an Order issued by DAR Secretary
Braganza on June 20, 2002, affirming Sec. Garilao's order.

Petitioner elevated the DAR Orders to the Office of the President (OP).
OP rendered a Decision on June 27, 2003, affirming the two earlier
decisions of the DAR Secretaries. Petitioner's MR was denied by the OP in
its Resolution dated December 9, 2003.

On petition for review under Rule 43 of the Rules of Court, the Court of
Appeals was faced with the issue of whether the subject property is
classified as agricultural as found by the DAR Secretary and affirmed by
the OP, or residential as alleged by respondent Oroville.

CA initially declared in its Decision dated March 16, 2005 that the
subject property is agricultural on the basis of a later certification to this
effect dated February 10, 1997 issued by the City Development
Coordinator of the City Planning and Development Office which
superseded the Certification dated November 22, 1993 issued by the same
authority.

Upon Oroville's motion for reconsideration, however, the CA set aside its
earlier Decision and ruled that the subject property has been reclassified
as residential and therefore beyond the coverage of CARP. This time, the
appellate court gave credence to three (3) Zoning Certifications dated July
23, 2004 issued by the Assistant City Development Coordinator of the City
Planning and Development Office to the effect that the subject property is
within the city's potential growth areas for urban expansion. According to
the Court of Appeals, these certifications were not considered by the court
in the resolution of Oroville's petition because they were not yet in
existence when the petition was filed on February 24, 2004.

In its Petition for Review dated January 9, 2006, the DAR seeks the
reversal of the appellate court's Amended Decision, arguing that the latter
precipitately relied on the Zoning Certifications issued by the City Planning
and Development Office and erroneously assumed that a local government
unit such as Cagayan de Oro City has unconditional authority to classify
and reclassify lands within its territorial jurisdiction. The DAR points out that
the Assistant City Development Coordinator herself clarified, in a letter
dated December 2, 2005, that the zoning classification of the subject
property remains to be agricultural considering that the 1979 Zoning Code
of Cagayan de Oro City is still in force. Further, the Zoning Certifications do
not qualify as newly discovered evidence because the supposed basis for
these certifications, City Ordinance No. 7959, was already in effect in 2001,
years before the Court of Appeals rendered its original Decision in 2005.

The DAR maintains that the Certification dated February 10, 1997 to the
effect that the subject property is agricultural should be upheld because it
was based not only on a zoning ordinance but, more importantly, was
approved prior to the effectivity of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform
Law (CARL) in 1988. Oroville centers its comment on the argument that the
subject property had been classified as residential prior to the effectivity of
the CARL and the Local Government Code (LGC). Moreover, it avers that
the subject property has been consistently declared as residential land as
shown in previous tax declarations. The DAR asserts that tax declarations
are not conclusive of the nature of the property for zoning purposes.

In the Orders dated May 25, 1998 and June 20, 2002, the DAR declared
the property to be agricultural on the basis primarily of the Certification
dated February 10, 1997 prepared by the City Planning and Development
Office stating that it is within AGRICULTURAL DISTRICT per provision of
Section 22-A of the 1994 Certified Ordinance of the City of Cagayan de
Oro."

Issue:

Whether or not Certifications issued by the City Planning and


Development Office are conclusive in determining whether a landholding is
exempt from CARP coverage?

Held:

In order to be exempt from CARP coverage, the subject property must


have been classified as industrial/residential before June 15, 1988. In this
case, the DAR's examination of the zoning ordinances and certifications
pertaining to the subject property, as well as its field investigation,
disclosed that the same remains to be agricultural. The Zoning
Certifications to the effect that the land is within the city's potential growth
area for urban expansion are inconsequential as they do not reflect the
present classification of the land but merely its intended land use.

Factual findings of administrative agencies are generally accorded


respect and even finality by this Court, if such findings are supported by
substantial evidence, a situation that obtains in this case. The factual

findings of the Secretary of Agrarian Reform who, by reason of his official


position, has acquired expertise in specific matters within his jurisdiction,
deserve full respect and, without justifiable reason, ought not to be altered,
modified or reversed. More so, because the DAR's findings have gone up
the ladder of administrative process and have been affirmed by the Office
of the President.

Petition is GRANTED.
COVERAGE; COVERAGE AND ACQUISITION OF SUGARLANDS;
VALIDITY OF SECTION 16, R.A. NO. 6657

Confederation of Sugar Producers Association, Inc.,


(CONFED), et al. vs. Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR),
Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), Land Registration
Authority (LRA)
G.R. No. 169514 (March 30, 2007)
Facts:

A Prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction or temporary


restraining order filed by the Confederation of Sugar Producers
Association, Inc., et al. It seeks, inter alia, to enjoin the Department of
Agrarian Reform, the Land Bank of the Philippines, and the Land
Registration Authority from "subjecting the sugarcane farms of Petitioner
Planters to eminent domain or compulsory acquisition without filing the
necessary expropriation proceedings pursuant to the provisions of Rule 67
of the Rules of Court and/or without the application or conformity of a
majority of the regular farmworkers on said farms."

Petitioners CONFED, NFSP, UNIFED and PANAYFED claim that their


members own or administer private agricultural lands devoted to
sugarcane. They and their predecessors-in-interest have been planting
sugarcane on their lands allegedly since time immemorial. While their
petition is denominated as one for prohibition and mandamus, the
petitioners likewise seek to nullify paragraphs (d), (e) and (f) of Section 16
of Republic Act No. (RA) 6657, otherwise known as the Comprehensive
Agrarian Reform Law. In other words, their arguments, which will be

discussed shortly, are anchored on the proposition that these provisions


are unconstitutional.
Issue:

Whether or not DAR acted in excess of jurisdiction by exercising the


Power of Eminent Domain to Deprive Thousands of Landowners, including
the Member-Planters of Petitioner-Federations of their Private Agricultural
Lands, without Filing the Necessary Expropriation Proceedings pursuant to
Rule 67 of the Rules of Court in Gross Violation of the Bill of Rights of the
Constitution?

Held:

In Association of Small Landowners, the Court categorically passed


upon and upheld the validity of Section 16 of RA 6657, including
paragraphs (d), (e) and (f), which sets forth the manner of acquisition of
private agricultural lands and ascertainment of just compensation.

The foregoing disquisition is binding and applicable to the present case


following the salutary doctrine of stare decisis et non quieta movere which
means "to adhere to precedents, and not to unsettle things which are
established." Under the doctrine, when the Supreme Court has once laid
down a principle of law as applicable to a certain state of facts, it will
adhere to that principle, and apply it to all future cases, where facts are
substantially the same; regardless of whether the parties and property are
the same. The doctrine of stare decisis is based upon the legal principle or
rule involved and not upon the judgment which results therefrom.

Contrary to the petitioners' submission that the compulsory acquisition


procedure adopted by the DAR is without legal basis, it is actually based on
Section 16 of RA 6657. Under the said law, there are two modes of
acquisition of private agricultural lands: compulsory and voluntary. The
procedure for compulsory acquisition is that prescribed under Section 16 of
RA 6657.

The procedure prescribed in Section 16 of RA 6657 is a summary


administrative proceeding. As outlined in Roxas, the said procedure, taken
together with the pertinent administrative issuances of the DAR, ensures

compliance with the due process requirements of the law. More


importantly, this summary administrative proceeding does not preclude
judicial determination of just compensation. In fact, paragraph (e) of
Section 16 of RA 6657 is categorical on this point as it provides that "[a]ny
party who disagrees with the decision may bring the matter to the court of
proper jurisdiction for final determination of just compensation."

The petitioners' main objection to paragraphs (d), (e) and (f) of Section
16 of RA 6657 is that they are allegedly in complete disregard of the
expropriation proceedings prescribed under Rule 67 of the Rules of Court.
The petitioners' argument does not persuade. As declared by the Court
inAssociation of Small Landowners, we are not dealing here with
thetraditional exercise of the power of eminent domain, but
a revolutionarykind of expropriation:

Indeed, it is not within the power of the Court to pass upon or look into
the wisdom of the inclusion by Congress of the sugar lands in the coverage
of RA 6657. It is basic in our form of government that the judiciary cannot
inquire into the wisdom or expediency of the acts of the executive or the
legislative department, for each department is supreme and independent of
the others, and each is devoid of authority not only to encroach upon the
powers or field of action assigned to any of the other departments, but also
to inquire into or pass upon the advisability or wisdom of the acts
performed, measures taken or decisions made by the other departments.

Petition is dismissed.
SERVICE BY REGISTERED MAIL; WHAT IS REQUIRED IN SERVICE
BY REGISTERED MAIL

Land Bank of the Philippines vs. Heirs of Fernando Alsua,


namely: Clotilde S. Alsua, Roberto S. Alsua, Ma. Elena S.
Alsua and Ramon Alsua
G.R. No. 167361 (April 2, 2007)
Facts:

Respondents are the heirs of the late Fernando Alsua, who was the
registered owner of various parcels of agricultural land with an aggregate
area of approximately 50 hectares situated in Catomag, Guinobatan, Albay.

The Department of Agrarian Reform initiated proceedings to acquire


respondents' properties via the Compulsory Acquisition Scheme under the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law. Petitioner LBP valued the properties
at P2,361,799.91, which respondents rejected. Thus, the Department of
Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) commenced summary
administrative proceedings to determine the compensation for respondents'
lands which eventually came out with a decision fixing the value of the
properties at P4,806,109.05, to which respondents opposed.

On 11 April 2002, petitioner LBP filed a petition for the determination of


just compensation before the RTC, Branch 3, Legazpi City which issued an
Order dismissing the petition for failure to prosecute within reasonable
length of time.

Petitioner's counsel sought reconsideration of the order of dismissal,


however, the trial court denied the same because it was filed one day late
and lacked merit.

Petitioner elevated to the Court of Appeals the issue of the timeliness of


the filing of its motion for reconsideration. Petitioner insisted that the copy
of the order of dismissal should be deemed received upon delivery to
petitioner's counsel and not upon receipt by petitioner's guard on duty.

On 17 September 2004, the Court of Appeals promulgated the assailed


Decision, dismissing the petition for review. The Court of Appeals cited
Rule 13, Section 8 and Section 10 of the Rules of Court in disregarding
petitioner's proposition that the fifteen-day period for filing the motion for
reconsideration should be reckoned from its counsel's actual receipt of the
order of dismissal. It explained that the purpose of this rule on service by
registered mail is "to place the date of receipt of pleadings, judgments and
processes beyond the power of the party being served to determine at his
pleasure."

Issue:

What is required in service by registered mail?

Held:

All that the rules of procedure require in regard to service by registered


mail is to have the postmaster deliver the same to the addressee himself or
to a person of sufficient discretion to receive the same.

Thus, in prior cases, a housemaid, or a bookkeeper of the company, or


a clerk who was not even authorized to receive the papers on behalf of its
employer, was considered within the scope of "a person of sufficient
discretion to receive the registered mail." The paramount consideration is
that the registered mail is delivered to the recipient's address and received
by a person who would be able to appreciate the importance of the papers
delivered to him, even if that person is not a subordinate or employee of the
recipient or authorized by a special power of attorney.

In the instant case, the receipt by the security guard of the order of
dismissal should be deemed receipt by petitioner's counsel as well.

The instant petition for review on certiorari is DENIED.


TENANCY RELATIONSHIP; ESSENTIAL REQUISITES; TENANCY IS
NOT A PURELY FACTUAL RELATIONSHIP IT IS ALSO A LEGAL
RELATIONSHIP

Loreto Reyes vs. Spouses Honorio and Josefina B. Joson,


Dominador Masangkay, and Renato Robles
G.R. No. 143111 (June 7, 2007)
Facts:

Sometime in 1963, Hilarion Caragay hired Loreto Reyes, petitioner, as


caretaker/watcher of a fishpond situated in Doa Francisca, Balanga,
Bataan. Caragay was then leasing the fishpond from its owner, Apolonio
Aguirre. In 1973, Caragay's lease contract expired. Tomas Aguirre, son of
Apolonio Aguirre (deceased), leased the fishpond to Honorio Joson for the
period from 1973 to 1982. Upon the expiration of the lease in 1982, Tomas
Aguirre appointed Joson administrator of the fishpond.

As administrator of the fishpond, Joson, in June 1984, leased it to


Felizardo Malibiran for five years. The lease contract bears the signature of
petitioner as bantay palaisdaan. Malibiran then retained petitioner as
fishpond caretaker/watcher during the five-year lease period.

Upon the expiration of Malibiran's lease, possession of the fishpond


reverted to Joson who allowed petitioner to continue working as
caretaker/watcher. Sometime in November 1989, Caragay, the former
lessee, re-entered the fishpond and proceeded to harvest bangus and
prawns therefrom with the assistance of petitioner.

Caragay refused to vacate the premises, prompting Joson to file with the
Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of Balanga, Bataan a complaint for forcible
entry. Eventually, the parties reached a compromise agreement which was
approved by MTC in a decision dated March 4, 1990. However, Caragay
and his workers, including petitioner, failed to comply with the compromise
agreement, hence, the MTC issued a writ of execution.

Thereupon, petitioner filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch
3, Balanga, Bataan a petition for injunction with prayer for a temporary
restraining order (TRO) against spouses Honorio and Josefina Joson, et al.
The RTC rendered a Decision dismissing the petition for injunction for lack
of jurisdiction.

On October 1, 1990, petitioner filed with the Provincial Agrarian Reform


Adjudication Board (PARAD), San Fernando, Pampanga a complaint for
maintenance of peaceful possession with prayer for a TRO.

The Provincial Adjudicator rendered a Decision, declaring the plaintiff,


Loreto Reyes, the lawful tenant over the subject landholding, making the
temporary restraining order permanent, and ordering the respondent to
respect the peaceful possession and actual occupation of the plaintiff
Loreto Reyes. On appeal, the DARAB, affirmed the judgment of the
PARAD.

With the denial of their motion for reconsideration by the DARAB,


respondents filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for review, alleging in
that the DARAB erred in finding that petitioner is an agricultural tenant.

On March 13, 2000, the Court of Appeals rendered its Decision granting
respondents' petition and setting aside the DARAB's challenged Decision.

Issue:
Whether or not the petitioner is an agricultural tenant?

Held:

The principal factor in determining whether a tenancy relationship exists


isintent. Tenancy is not a purely factual relationship dependent on what the
alleged tenant does upon the land. It is also a legal relationship. The intent
of the parties, the understanding when the farmer is installed, their written
agreements, provided these are complied with and are not contrary to law,
are even more important.

The essential requisites to establish a tenancy relationship are: 1) that


the parties are the landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee; 2) that
the subject matter of the relationship is agricultural land; 3) that there is
consent between the parties to the relationship; 4) that the purpose of the
relationship is to bring about agricultural production; 5) that there is
personal cultivation on the part of the tenant or agricultural lessee; and 6)
that the harvest is shared between the landowner and the tenant or
agricultural lessee.

All the above elements must concur in order to create a tenancy


relationship. The absence of one does not make an occupant of a parcel of
land, a cultivator or a planter thereon, a de jure tenant. It is only when an
individual has established his status as a de jure tenant that he is entitled
to security of tenure and would thus come under the coverage of existing
tenancy laws.

Moreover, mere occupation or cultivation of an agricultural land does not


automatically convert a tiller or farm worker into an agricultural tenant
recognized under agrarian laws. Occupancy and continued possession do
not make one a de jure tenant. Tenancy status only arises if an occupant
has been given possession of an agricultural landholding for the primary
purpose of agricultural production which, in this case, is significantly

absent. Based on the records, petitioner was a mere fishpond


watcher/caretaker.

As correctly ruled by the Court of Appeals, there is no evidence to prove


petitioner's claim he is a tenant on the subject fishpond. His bare
assertions are insufficient. To prove a tenancy relationship, the requisite
quantum of evidence is substantial, defined as such relevant evidence as a
reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.
LAND VALUATION; VALUATION OF LAND COVERED UNDER P.D. 27

Land Bank of the Philippines vs. Sps. Vicente M. Estanislao


and Luz B. Hermosa
G.R. No. 166777 (July 10, 2007)
Facts:

Petitioner challenges, via petition for review, the Court of Appeals'


Decision affirming the valuation and determination of just compensation by
the Regional Trial Court of Balanga City, Branch I, sitting as a Special
Agrarian Court (SAC).

Spouses Vicente M. Estanislao and Luz B. Hermosa (respondents) are


the registered owners of eight parcels of land situated in Hermosa, Bataan
with a total land area of 10.8203 hectares covered by Transfer Certificates
of Titles.

Sometime in 1996, 1997 and 1999, 10.5321 hectares (subject lots) of


respondents' lands were awarded to tenant-beneficiaries pursuant to the
Operation Land Transfer Program (OLT) under Presidential Decree (P.D.)
No. 27. Applying Executive Order (E.O.) 228, petitioner, together with the
Department of Agrarian Reform, valued the subject lots at P97,895
orP1.075 per square meter.

The formula used by petitioner and the DAR to compute the amount
payable to respondents: is LV (land value) = AGP (average gross
production) x 2.5 x GSP (government support price)

Upon the request of the DAR, petitioner deposited the amount of


P237,089.02, in cash and in bond, in favor of respondents. Respondents

subsequently filed a complaint before the SAC, against the DAR, the
petitioner, and the OLT tenant-beneficiaries.

The SAC, which named a panel of Commissioners to receive and


evaluate evidence on the amount of compensation to be paid to
respondents, rendered a Decision on October 8, 2003, fixing the just
compensation atP20 per square meter.

Only petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration of the decision of the


SAC, which motion was denied, hence, petitioner appealed to the Court of
Appeals which affirmed the SAC decision, hence, this petition.

Issue:

What is the land valuation formula that can be utilized in fixing the just
compensation of landholding that is covered under P.D. 27?

Held:

This Court held in Land Bank of the Philippines v. Natividad that seizure
of landholdings or properties covered by P.D. No. 27 did not take place on
October 21, 1972, but upon the payment of just compensation. Taking into
account the passage in 1988 of R.A. No. 6657 pending the settlement of
just compensation, this Court concluded that it is R.A. No. 6657 which is
the applicable law, with P.D. No. 27 and E.O. 228 having only suppletory
effect.

Land Bank's contention that the property was acquired for purposes of
agrarian reform on October 21, 1972, the time of the effectivity of PD 27,
ergo just compensation should be based on the value of the property as of
that time and not at the time of possession in 1993, is likewise erroneous.
In Office of the President, Malacaang, Manila v. Court of Appeals, we
ruled that the seizure of the landholding did not take place on the date of
effectivity of PD 27 but would take effect on the payment of just
compensation.

Under the factual circumstances of this case, the agrarian reform


process is still incomplete as the just compensation to be paid private
respondents has yet to be settled. Considering the passage of Republic Act

No. 6657 (RA 6657) before the completion of this process, the just
compensation should be determined and the process concluded under the
said law. Indeed, RA 6657 is the applicable law, with PD 27 and EO 228
having only suppletory effect, conformably with our ruling in Paris v.
Alfeche.

It would certainly be inequitable to determine just compensation based


on the guideline provided by PD 27 and EO 228 considering the DAR's
failure to determine the just compensation for a considerable length of
time. That just compensation should be determined in accordance with RA
6657, and not PD 27 or EO 228, is especially imperative considering that
just compensation should be the full and fair equivalent of the property
taken from its owner by the expropriator, the equivalent being real,
substantial, full and ample.
JURISDICTION; DARAB HAS NO AUTHORITY TO REVERSE THE
ADMINISTRATIVE FINDINGS OF DAR ON QUALIFICATION OF FB's

Sonny B. Manuel vs. Department of Agrarian Reform


Adjudication Board (DARAB) and Pedro Tejada
G.R. No. 149095 (July 24, 2007)
Facts:

The estate of Juan C. Cojuangco at Bakal 1, Talavera, Nueva Ecija


(Cojuangco estate) was placed under Operation Land Transfer pursuant to
Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 27. A portion thereof was awarded to Pedro
Tejada (Tejada) as shown by Emancipation Patent (EP), issued in his
name.

Petitioner filed with the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board


(PARAB), Nueva Ecija, a Petition praying that the Municipal Agrarian
Reform Officer (MARO) of Talavera, Nueva Ecija and the Register of Deeds
of Nueva Ecija be directed to cancel EP issued in the name of Tejada and
to generate and register a new emancipation patent in his name.

PARAB rendered a Decision, on November 11, 1996 ordering the


MARO of Talavera, Nueva Ecija and/or the PARO of DAR North, Nueva
Ecija to cancel the EP issued to respondent Pedro Tejada and generate a

new EP in the name of petitioner Sonny Manuel and ordering the Register
of Deeds of Nueva Ecija to cancel EP 22205 issued in the name of
respondent Pedro Tejada and register the new EP thus generated by the
DAR in the name of Sonny Manuel.

On appeal by Tejada, the DARAB issued a Decision affirming the


cancellation of EP No. 22205 but, at the same time, denying petitioner's
application for EP.

Petitioner filed a Petition for Review with the CA which affirmed in toto
the DARAB Decision, adding that petitioner's employment as a Municipal
Engineer and his having established residence in a municipality different
from where the subject property is located constitute abandonment.
Petitioner's Motion for Reconsideration was also denied in CA Resolution.

Issues:

Whether or not the DARAB has incidental jurisdiction to resolve an


application for emancipation of patent in the exercise of its original
jurisdiction?

Whether or not DARAB may inquire into and reverse the finding of DAR
on the status of the applicants as an agrarian reform beneficiary?

Held:

Section 50 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 6657, reiterating Section 17,


Chapter IV of Executive Order (E.O.) No. 229, vested in DAR both quasijudicial authority to adjudicate agrarian reform issues and administrative
prerogative to determine matters involving implementation of agrarian laws.

Inherent in the power of DAR to undertake land distribution for agrarian


reform purposes is its authority to identify qualified agrarian reform
beneficiaries. Corollary to it is also the authority of DAR to select a
substitute to a previously designated beneficiary who may have
surrendered or abandoned his claim, and to reallocate the land awarded to
the latter in favor of the former.

Since the identification and selection of CARP beneficiaries are matters


involving strictly the administrative implementation of the CARP, it
behooves the courts to exercise great caution in substituting its own
determination of the issue, unless there is grave abuse of discretion
committed by the administrative agency.

It should also be equally binding on the DARAB for the simple reason
that the latter has no appellate jurisdiction over the former: the DARAB
cannot review much less reverse the administrative findings of DAR.
Instead, the DARAB would do well to defer to DAR expertise when it comes
to the identification and selection of beneficiaries.

In proceedings for issuance of registered emancipation patents to an


applicant who has been appointed substitute beneficiary by DAR, the
authority of the DARAB is limited to the examination of the applicant's fullfledged membership in a recognized farmers' cooperative, as evidenced by
a certification to that effect issued by the SN and a final reallocation order
issued by DAR. In said proceedings, the DARAB cannot review, much less
overturn, the administrative assessment made by DAR on the qualifications
of said applicant to be an agrarian reform beneficiary. However, if the
proceeding instituted is for cancellation of a registered emancipation
patent, then the DARAB has the authority to inquire into the qualifications
of the holder of the emancipation patent to determine whether the latter
committed misrepresentation as to his basic qualifications, which is one of
the grounds for cancellation of his emancipation patent.

It is clear that the DARAB and the CA went overboard when they
reversed the administrative finding of DAR on the qualifications of
petitioner. As the proceeding filed before the DARAB involved merely an
application for issuance of emancipation patent, it should have limited its
adjudication to these questions: a) whether petitioner has been appointed a
substitute beneficiary by virtue of a final reallocation order issued by DAR;
b) whether he is a full-fledged member of the SN; and c) whether he has
paid in full the amount of just compensation.
AGRICULTURAL TENANCY RELATIONSHIP; SECURITY OF TENURE
OF AGRICULTURAL LESSEE

Dolores Granada vs. Bormaheco, Inc., Represented by its


Branch Manager, Hernane Lozanes
G.R. No. 154481 (July 27, 2007)
Facts:

Petitioner filed a petition for Status Quo with Prayer for the Issuance of a
Preliminary Injunction, before the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator
(PARAD) in Bacolod City, wherein she sought to prevent respondent
Border Machinery and Heavy Equipment Co., Inc. (BORMAHECO) from
ejecting her from a parcel of land, with an area of 2.5 hectares and with
300 coconut trees growing on subject property.

Petitioner alleges that as early as 1950, her father, Alfredo Granada,


was the agricultural lessee of the subject property, which was then owned
by Augusto Villarosa. When Augusto Villarosa sold the subject property to
respondent in 1965, she claims that Alfredo Granada continued to occupy
the subject property as an agricultural lessee until his death in 1981.
Thereafter, petitioner succeeded to her father's rights as an agricultural
lessee. Since then, she had cultivated the subject property and paid all rent
due thereon.

On 1984, petitioner and respondent executed a Contract of Lease which


provided that the lease covered the coconut trees growing on the subject
property.

Meanwhile, in a Decision, the PARAD decreed that no agricultural


leasehold relationship existed between respondent and petitioner. It also
found that there was no showing that the purpose of the lease was for
agricultural production since rent was paid in terms of money and not
crops, and that the contract of lease signed by the parties did not stipulate
that the petitioner shall cultivate the subject property. It further ruled that
the subject property was not agricultural, but industrial or residential in
nature.

On appeal, the DARAB, in its Decision, reversed the PARAD Decision. It


pronounced that the subject land was agricultural in nature as evidenced
by the Certification issued by the Local Assessment Operations Officer,

stating that the same was officially classified as "cocoland." It further


declared that the written 1984 contract of lease, is not reflective of the true
intent of the parties. Even though the contract stipulated that only the
coconut trees were covered, the DARAB resolved that petitioner was in
actual possession of the land and cultivated the same.

Respondent then filed Petition for Certiorari at Court of Appeals where


the CA rendered decision dated 12 April 2002 reversing the DARAB and
upholding PARAD decision.

Petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration, which was subsequently


denied by the Court of Appeals.

Issue:

Whether or not the petitioner is an agricultural leasehold tenant entitled


to security of tenure?

Held:

The petition is meritorious.

The essential requisites of an agricultural tenancy relationship as


follows: (1) The parties are the landowner and the tenant or agricultural
lessee; (2) The subject matter of the relationship is agricultural land; (3)
There is consent between the parties to the relationship; (4) The purpose
of the relationship is to bring about agricultural production; (5) There is
personal cultivation on the part of the tenant or agricultural lessee; and (6)
The harvest is shared between the landowner and the tenant or agricultural
lessee.

The definition of cultivation is not limited merely to the tilling, plowing or


harrowing of the land. It includes the promotion of growth and the care of
the plants, or husbanding the ground to forward the products of the earth
by general industry. The raising of coconuts is a unique agricultural
enterprise. Unlike rice, the planting of coconut seedlings does not need
harrowing or plowing. Holes are merely dug on the ground of sufficient
depth and distance, the seedlings placed in the holes and the surface
thereof covered by soil. Some coconut trees are planted only every thirty to

a hundred years. The major work in raising coconuts begins when the
coconut trees are already fruit bearing. Then it is cultivated by smudging or
smoking the plantation, taking care of the coconut trees, applying fertilizer,
weeding and watering, thereby increasing the produce.

It is clear from the foregoing that the requirements of agricultural


leasehold tenancy are met in this case.
JUST COMPENSATION; BASIS FOR COMPUTATION OF THE FIXING
OF JUST COMPENSATION

Land Bank of the Philippines vs. Luz Lim and Purita Lim
Cabochan
G.R. No. 171941 (August 2, 2007)
Facts:

Pursuant to the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988, the


Department of Agrarian Reform compulsorily acquired 32.8363 hectares of
agricultural land situated in Patag, Irosin, Sorsogon (the property) owned
by respondents Luz Lim and Purita Lim Cabochan. Petitioner Land Bank of
the Philippines (LBP) computed the value of the property at P725,804.21.

Respondents rejected petitioner's valuation. Thus, pursuant to Section


16 (d) of RA 6657, a summary administrative proceeding was conducted
before the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (PARAD) to determine
the valuation of the property. The PARAD initially valued it at
P1,174,659.60 but later reduced the amount to P725,804.21 upon motion
of petitioner.

Dissatisfied with the PARAD's decision, respondents filed on January


26, 1998 a petition for determination of just compensation with the RTC of
Sorsogon where they prayed for a compensation of at least P150,000 per
hectare, or an aggregate amount of P4,925,445. The case proceeded to
trial, with the RTC appointing each party's nominee as commissioner.

On September 14, 2001, Branch 52 of the Sorsogon RTC renders


decision adopting the valuation submitted by respondents' commissioner
(P1,548,000). Both parties moved for reconsideration. On December 21,

2001 Order, the RTC reconsidered its earlier decision and increased the
valuation to P2,232,868.40.
Issue:

Whether the RTC erred in dispensing with the formula prescribed by


DAR Administrative Order No. 6, series of 1992, as amended by DAR
Administrative Order No. 11, series of 1994?

Held:

In Land Bank of the Philippines v. Spouses Banal, this Court


underscored the mandatory nature of Section 17 of RA 6657 and DAR AO
6-92, as amended by DAR AO 11-94. The amount of P2,232,868 adopted
by the RTC in its December 21, 2001 Order was not based on any of the
mandatory formulas prescribed in DAR AO 6-92, as amended by DAR AO
11-94, the Court of Appeals erred when it affirmed the valuation adopted
by the RTC.

The Court is thus compelled to remand the case for determination of the
valuation of the property by the RTC which is mandated to consider the
factors provided under above quoted Section 17 of RA 6657, as amended,
as translated into the formula prescribed in DAR AO 6-92, as amended by
DAR AO 11-94.
EMANCIPATION PATENT;
CANCELLATION OF EP

DARAB's

JURISDICTION

ON

THE

Heirs of Florencio Adolfo vs. Victoria P. Cabral, et al.


G.R. No. 164934 (August 14, 2007)
Facts:

The controversy involves two parcels of land consisting of 29,759


square meters and 957 square meters, respectively, situated in Barangay
Iba (now Pantok), Meycauayan, Bulacan.

Petitioners are the heirs of the late Florencio Adolfo, Sr. They alleged
that the parcels were included in the Operation Land Transfer program
under Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 27. Thus, their father applied with the

Ministry of Agrarian Reform (now Department of Agrarian Reform) for the


purchase of these parcels.

On April 25, 1988, he was issued Emancipation Patents (EPs) Nos. A117858 and A-117859-H, which became the basis for the issuance of
Transfer Certificates of Titles (TCTs) Nos. EP-003(M) and EP-004(M) on
October 24, 1989.

Respondent Victoria P. Cabral alleged that she is the lawful and


registered owner of the lands covered by petitioners' emancipation patents
and certificates of titles as evidenced by Original Certificate of Title of the
Registry of Deeds of Meycauayan, Bulacan, issued on January 6, 1960.
She also averred that petitioners' emancipation patents should be
cancelled since (1) these covered non-agricultural lands outside the
coverage of P.D. No. 27; (2) these were issued without due notice and
hearing; and (3) no Certificates of Land Transfer (CLTs) were previously
issued.

On August 26, 2003, respondent Cabral filed with the DARAB, Region
III, Branch II, Malolos City, Bulacan, a petition for the cancellation of
petitioners' emancipation patents and torrens titles and the revival of the
respondent's previous title.

Petitioner move to dismiss the petition due to (1) lack of jurisdiction (2)
lack of legal personality to sue (3) prescription.

On November 20, 2003, the PARAD denied the motion and upheld the
DARAB's jurisdiction to determine and adjudicate cases involving the
issuance, correction and cancellation of emancipation patents. Petitioners
moved for reconsideration but it was denied.

Petitioners then filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with the
Court of Appeals. On May 18, 2004, the appellate court dismissed the
petition due to petitioners' failure to exhaust administrative remedies since
the orders of the PARAD should have been elevated for review to the
DARAB.

Meanwhile, the PARAD rendered a Decision on June 18, 2004,


canceling petitioners' emancipation patents and ordering the Registry of

Deeds of Meycauayan, Bulacan, to revive respondent Cabral's OCT No. 01670 [now OCT No. 0-220(M)]. That decision is on appeal with the
DARAB.
Issue:

Does the DARAB have jurisdiction to hear and decide cases for the
cancellation of emancipation patents and certificates of titles?

Held:

Specific and general provisions of Rep. Act No. 6657 and its
implementing rules and procedure address the issue of jurisdiction. Section
50 of Rep. Act No. 6657 confers on the Department of Agrarian Reform
(DAR) quasi-judicial powers to adjudicate agrarian reform matters. In the
process of reorganizing the DAR, Executive Order No. 129-A created the
DARAB to assume the powers and functions with respect to the
adjudication of agrarian reform matters.

Section 1, Rule II of the DARAB 2003 Rules of Procedure enumerates


the cases falling within its primary and exclusive original jurisdiction.
Subparagraph 1.6 provides that the DARAB has jurisdiction over cases
involving the correction, partition, cancellation, secondary and subsequent
issuances of Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs) and
Emancipation Patents (EPs) which are registered with the Land
Registration Authority (the Registry of Deeds). Incidentally, under DAR
Memorandum Order No. 02, one of the grounds for the cancellation of
registered EPs is that the land is exempt or excluded from P.D. No. 27.

In respondent Cabral's petition before the DARAB, she sought the


cancellation of petitioners' emancipation patents and torrens titles. She
impugned the legality of the emancipation patents since (1) these covered
non-agricultural lands outside the coverage of P.D. No. 27, (2) these were
issued without due notice and hearing, and (3) no CLTs were previously
issued. Based on these material averments, it is crystal-clear that the
action was one for cancellation of emancipation patents on the ground of
exemption or exclusion from the coverage of P.D. No. 27. Indisputably,
jurisdiction is properly vested with the DARAB.

LAND VALUATION; FINALITY OF DARAB DECISION ON LAND


VALUATION

Land Bank of the Philippines vs. Raymunda Martinez


G.R. No. 169008 (August 14, 2007)
Facts:

After compulsory acquisition by the Department of Agrarian Reform, on


November 16, 1993, of respondent Martinez's 62.5369-hectare land
inBarangay Agpudlos, San Andres, Romblon, pursuant to Republic Act No.
6657, or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988 (CARL),
petitioner Land Bank of the Philippines offered P1,955,485.60 as just
compensation, for which respondent rejected. Thus, the Department of
Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board, through its Provincial Agrarian
Reform Adjudicator conducted summary administrative proceedings for the
preliminary determination of just compensation in accordance with Section
16 (d) of the CARL.

On September 4, 2002, PARAD Virgilio M. Sorita, rendered judgment


ordering the LBP to pay landowner-protestant RAYMUNDA MARTINEZ for
her property covered with the total amount of TWELVE MILLION ONE
HUNDRED SEVENTY NINE THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED NINETY
TWO and 50/100 Pesos (Php12,179,492.50).

A petition for the fixing of just compensation was then filed by LBP's
counsel before the Special Agrarian Court (SAC) of the Regional Trial
Court of Odiongan, Romblon.

Meanwhile, respondent, still asserting the finality of PARAD Sorita's


decision, filed before the Office of the PARAD a motion for the issuance of
a writ of execution, which was eventually granted on November 11, 2003.
The PARAD denied LBP's motion for reconsideration and ordered the
issuance of a writ of execution on February 23, 2004.

LBP, on March 12, 2004, moved to quash the said February 23, 2004
PARAD resolution. On April 6, 2004, even as the motion to quash was yet
unresolved, LBP instituted a petition for certiorari before the CA. The CA,
on September 28, 2004 dismissed the petition.

Issue:

Whether or not the PARAD, gravely abused its discretion when it issued
a writ of execution despite the pendency of LBP's petition for fixing of just
compensation with the SAC?

Held:

In this case, petitioner moved to quash the PARAD resolutions and at


the same time petitioned for their annulment via certiorari under Rule 65. In
both proceedings, the parties are identical and the reliefs prayed for are the
same. In the two actions, petitioner also has a singular stance: the PARAD
resolutions should not be executed in view of the pendency of the petition
for fixing of just compensation with the SAC. Thus a situation is created
where the two fora could come up with conflicting decisions. This is
precisely the evil sought to be avoided by the rule against forum-shopping.

We find petitioner not entitled to the grant of a writ of certiorari by the


appellate court because the Office of the PARAD did not gravely abuse its
discretion when it undertook to execute the September 4, 2002 decision.
Rule XIII, Section 11 of the DARAB Rules of Procedure.

In Philippine Veterans Bank v. Court of Appeals and in Department of


Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board v. Lubrica, we explained the
consequence of the said rule to the effect that the adjudicator's decision on
land valuation attains finality after the lapse of the 15-day period.
Considering therefore that, in this case, LBP's petition with the SAC for the
fixing of just compensation was filed 26 days after its receipt of the
PARAD's decision, or eleven days beyond the reglementary period, the
latter had already attained finality. The PARAD could very well issue the
writ of execution.
TENANCY RELATIONSHIP; TENANCY RELATIONSHIP CANNOT BE
PRESUMED

Marino Escariz y de los Santos vs. Genaro D. Revilleza


G.R. No. 155544 (August 24, 2007)
Facts:

This controversy involves a fruit orchard situated in San Isidro, Calauan,


Laguna with an area of 6,967 square meters. Respondent Genaro D.
Revilleza, bought the orchard from Jose Velasco and had the property
registered in his name under Transfer Certificate of Title Nos. T-98856 and
T-98857.

On December 17, 1993, Marino Escariz, petitioner, filed with the Office
of the Regional Agrarian Reform Adjudicator, Region IV a complaint for
"Recognition of Security of Tenure with Damages and Prayer for
Accounting and Depositing of Tenant's Share Pending Litigation" against
respondent, docketed as DARAB Case No. LA-0336-93.

In his answer, respondent denied any tenancy relationship with


petitioner, claiming that the latter is actually a tenant of the owner of a
neighboring riceland. He would occasionally hire petitioner to work on his
orchard on a piecework basis. Petitioner illegally entered the property by
erecting a shack where he lives. Respondent then prayed for the dismissal
of the complaint.

In a Decision dated October 11, 1994, the Office of the Regional


Agrarian Reform Adjudicator rendered its Decision in favor of petitioner.

On appeal by respondent, the DARAB, in its Decision, affirmed the


assailed judgment with modification permanently prohibiting the
respondent landowner from disturbing the complainant's peaceful
possession and cultivation of the subject premises as a legitimate
tenant/lessee thereon.

Respondent filed a motion for reconsideration but the DARAB denied


the same.

On appeal the Court of Appeals rendered its Decision on October 21,


1999 finding that none of the elements of a tenancy relationship exists.

Issue:

Held:

Whether or not the petitioner is a bona fide tenant?

Petitioner is not a bona fide tenant. A tenancy relationship cannot be


presumed. There must be evidence to prove that a tenancy relationship
exists. The following are the elements of tenancy relationship:
o

Parties are the landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee

Subject matter is an agricultural land

Consent of the parties

Purpose is agricultural production

Personal cultivation

Harvest is shared

In Caballes v. DAR, all elements must concur for a tenancy relationship


to exist. Absent such status as a de jure tenant, a person is not entitled to
security of tenure
There is no evidence on record of the following elements:
o

Consent of the parties

Sharing of harvest

Tenancy is a legal relationship. The principal factor in determining its


existence is the intent of the parties. Other than the self-serving statement
of petitioner that he is a tenant, there is no concrete evidence to show that
the parties agreed to establish such a relationship. To prove sharing of
harvests, a receipt or any other similar evidence must be presented, selfserving statements are inadequate.
Petition denied.
JURISDICTION; DARAB HAS JURISDICTION OVER THE ANNULMENT
OF REGISTERED CLOA's

Mariano Dao-Ayan vs. Department of Agrarian Reform


Adjudication Board (DARAB)
G.R. No. 172109 (August 29, 2007)
Facts:

Assailed via petition for review on certiorari is the decision of the Court
of Appeals affirming the Decision of the Department of Agrarian Reform
Adjudication Board (DARAB) which affirmed the decision of the Regional
Agrarian Reform Adjudicator of the DARAB, Region X, Malaybalay City
dismissing the complaint of herein petitioners-father and son Mariano Daoayan (Mariano) and Marjun Dao-ayan (Marjun) against respondents
Araneta Landless Agrarian Reform Farmers Association (ALARFA), the
Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer of Bukidnon, and the Register of Deeds
of Bukidnon, for Annulment and Cancellation of Certificate of Title of Land
Ownership Award (CLOA) No. 00371923 and TCT No. AT-9035.

After Lot No. 209 (the lot), which is located at Kahaponan, Valencia City,
Bukidnon belonging to the Agricultural Research Farm Incorporated, was
placed under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP),
Marjun filed an application before the Department of Agrarian Reform
(DAR) Regional Office No. 10 as a farmer-beneficiary thereof. It appears,
however, that Marjun's name as applicant was later delisted.

It turned out that ALARFA had filed a Petition for Disqualification of


Mariano as Farmer-Beneficiary under the CARP on the ground that he
already possessed substantial real properties to thus bar him from being a
farmer-beneficiary, and that acting on the petition for disqualification, DAR
Regional Director Rogelio Tamin disqualified Mariano as farmerbeneficiary, he having been found to be, among other things, already a
beneficiary under Operation Land Transfer of P.D. No. 27 of at least three
parcels of land totaling 2.2938 hectares.

The DAR Regional Director subsequently issued to ALARFA on October


20, 1997 the CLOA, on account of which the TCT was issued in ALARFA's
name, represented by Claudio A. Fuentes.

Petitioners filed a motion to stay execution of the award of the CLOA to


ALARFA, claiming that they were not given notice of the Petition for
Disqualification and of the Decision of the DAR Regional Director thereon.

In the meantime, the Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer (PARO), by


installation order, directed the MARO of Valencia, Bukidnon to install

ALARFA on the lot and to order the occupants-non beneficiary including


petitioner to vacate the same.

Petitioner thus filed the complaint subject of the present petition, for
annulment and cancellation of ALARFA's CLOA against ALARFA, the
PARO, the Register of Deeds of Bukidnon.

The DARAB, Regional Agrarian Reform Adjudication dismissed


petitioners complaint. The DARAB affirmed the dismissed as did the Court
of Appeals.

The DARAB affirmed the dismissal as did the Court of Appeals.

Issues:

Whether or not the DARAB has jurisdiction over the annulment of


registered CLOAs

Whether or not the decision of the DAR RD disqualifying petitioners and


the awarding of the CLOA to respondent ALARFA has already become final
and executory such that it may no longer be questioned in further
proceedings

Ruling on the 1st Issue:

DARAB has jurisdiction


Section 1, Rule II of the 1994 DARAB Rules enumerates the cases over
which the DARAB has exclusive original jurisdiction:
o
(f) those involving the issuance, correction and cancellation of
CLOAs and EPs which are registered with the Land Registration
Authority
o
Matters involving strictly the administrative implementation of R.A.
No. 6657, shall be the exclusive prerogative of and cognizable by the
Secretary of the DAR

Section 2 of DAR A.O. No. 06-00 (ALI Rules) enumerates the cases
over which the DAR Secretary has exclusive jurisdiction:

(d) issuance, recall or cancellation of EPs or CLOAs not yet registered


with the ROD

Prior to registration with the ROD, cases involving the issuance, recall or
cancellation of CLOAs or EPs are within the jurisdiction of the DAR

Since the complaint was for cancellation of a CLOA which had already
been registered, the DARAB correctly assumed jurisdiction over it

Ruling on the 2nd Issue:

The Regional Director's resolution has already become final and


executory
Section 15, Chapter 3 Book VII of Administrative Code of 1987 provides:
"Section 15.
Finality of Order. The decision of the agency shall
become final and executory fifteen (15) days after the receipt of a copy
thereof by the party adversely affected unless within that period an
administrative appeal or judicial review, if proper, has been perfected."

There is no proof that petitioners were given notice of the proceedings


before the DAR RD. Thus, the counting of the 15-day prescriptive period
commenced upon the registration of the CLOA on October 28, 1997 which
is considered constructive notice as against the whole world, or on
December 12, 1997, the date petitioners filed a motion to stay execution of
the DAR RD's resolution granting the CLOA to ALARFA

No appeal having been taken by petitioners within the 15-day


prescriptive period counted from any of said two dates, the assailed DAR
Regional Director's resolution had become final and executory long before
petitioners filed on June 22, 1998 the complaint for Annulment and
Cancellation of the CLOA.
RETENTION;
LANDOWNER'S
RIGHT
LANDHOLDING COVERED UNDER P.D. 27

TO

RETENTION

Josephine A. Taguinod and Vic A. Aguila vs. Court of


Appeals, et al.
G.R. No. 154654 (September 14, 2007)

ON

Facts:

Salud Alvarez Aguila was the registered owner of the disputed lots with
Transfer Certificates of Title (TCT) Nos. T-12368 and T-65348, with an
aggregate area of 10.4496 hectares, being 7.8262 hectares and 2.6234
hectares, respectively, both under the Registry of Deeds of Isabela,
Cagayan. TCT No. T-12368 emanated from Original Certificate of Title
(OCT) No. I-3423 which was issued on January 11, 1936 based on a
homestead patent issued on December 18, 1935. On the other hand, TCT
No. T-65348 was derived from TCT No. T-36200-A which cancelled OCT
No. I-2965. OCT No. I-2965 was issued on May 27, 1935 on the basis of a
homestead patent issued on June 27, 1935.

Subsequently, the 7.8262-hectare lot covered by TCT No. T-12368 was


transferred to and registered in the name of petitioner Vic A. Aguila (who
was then 14 years old) under TCT No. T-90872 dated January 19, 1976;
while the other 2.6234-hectare lot under TCT No. T-65348 was transferred
to petitioner Josephine A. Taguinod. Both disputed lots were placed under
the coverage of the OLT pursuant to PD 27.

Petitioner Vic A. Aguila, Salud Aguila, on behalf of then minor petitioner


Aguila, filed a notarized application for retention on January 26, 1976.

On October 24, 1984, when he was already of age, petitioner Aguila


filed a letter-protest for exclusion or exemption from the OLT of his
landholding covered by TCT No. T-90872. Similarly, after acquiring the
subject lot covered by TCT No. T-65384, petitioner Taguinod filed her June
24, 1988 letter-protest with the Team Leader of the DAR, Santiago, Isabela,
seeking exclusion or exemption from the OLT of her landholding.

On June 23, 1989, the DAR Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer (MARO)
of San Fermin, Cauayan, Isabela sent a letter to the Provincial Agrarian
Reform Officer (PARO), recommending approval of the applications of
Salud A. Aguila/Vic A. Aguila and Josephine A. Taguinod for retention of
rights over the two subject lots.

On August 3, 1990, taking into consideration the MARO's


recommendation, the PARO issued a Resolution granting the application

for retention of petitioners and plac[ing] under OLT coverage the excess of
seven (7) hectares.

Respondents-farmer-beneficiaries filed an Opposition to and CounterProtest over Resolution dated August 3, 1990 of the PARO and a Motion
for Reconsideration to Set Aside Resolution dated August 3, 1990 at DAR
Regional Director. On August 21, 1991, the Regional Director of the DAR,
Region 02, issued an Order, affirming the August 3, 1990 PARO
Resolution.

Private respondents filed their motion for reconsideration on August 21,


1991, where they contended, inter alia, that landowner Salud Aguila was
not entitled to a seven (7)-hectare retention over the subject lots, as she
was the owner of several other landholdings, specifically 11 parcels of land,
at the time the subject lots were placed under the coverage of the OLT
program pursuant to PD 27.

Petitioner Taguinod filed her September 16, 1991 appeal from the
August 21, 1991 Order of the Regional Director with the DAR Secretary.
On September 28, 1992, the DAR Secretary issued an Order affirming the
August 21, 1991 Order of the Regional Director and denying petitioner
Taguinod's appeal.

On January 6, 1993, the DAR Secretary issued an Order granting


private respondents' Motion for Reconsideration finding that Salud Aguila
was disqualified to retain seven (7), as she owned several landholdings
other than the subject lots.

Petitioners appealed before the OP. OP rendered a Decision reversing


the January 6, 1993 Order of the DAR Secretary and reinstating the latter's
September 28, 1992 Order with a modification that subject landholdings
are not covered by the OLT program of the government pursuant to P.D.
No. 27. Private respondents filed a Motion for Reconsideration on the
Decision, but same was denied

Respondents filed before the CA a Petition for Review under Rule 43.
CA sustained private respondents' position affirming the Order of the
Secretary of Agrarian Reform. Petitioners interposed a Motion for

Reconsideration where on August 7, 2007 resolution said motion was


rejected by the CA.
Issue:
Whether or not petitioner is entitled to retention?

Held:

Settled in this jurisdiction is the rule that the rights of a holder of a


homestead patent are superior over the rights of the tenants guaranteed by
the Agrarian Reform Law.

LOI No. 474 mandates the DAR Secretary to "undertake to place under
the Land Transfer Program of the Government pursuant to Presidential
Decree No. 27, all tenanted rice/corn lands with areas of seven (7)
hectares or less belonging to landowners who own other agricultural lands
of more than seven (7) hectares in aggregate areas or lands used for
residential, commercial, industrial or other urban purposes from which they
derive adequate income to support themselves and their families."
Considering her other eleven (11) landholdings and the application of LOI
No. 474, we agree with the DAR Secretary and CA's holding that Salud
Aguila is not entitled to retention over the subject lots.

Moreover, considering the seemingly simulated transfers made by Salud


Aguila over the subject properties, we agree with the DAR Secretary and
CA that these were done to circumvent the intent and application of PD 27
and the OLT of the Government.

Premised on said grounds, the issue on petitioners' right to retention


over the subject lots is answered in the negative as they are not the
owners, and consequently are not small landowners who are accorded the
right of retention.
JUST COMPENSATION; ORIGINAL AND EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION
OF RTC; VALUATION OF PROPERTY IN EMINENT DOMAIN IS
ESSENTIALLY A JUDICIAL FUNCTION

Land Bank of the Philippines vs. Federico C. Suntay,


Represented by his Assignee, Josefina Lubrica
G.R. No. 157903 (October 11, 2007)
Facts:

Federico Suntay (married to Cristina Aguinaldo-Suntay), herein


respondent, represented by his assignee, Josefina Lubrica, is the
registered owner of a parcel of land with a total area of 3,682.0285
hectares situated in Sta. Lucia, Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro, covered by
TCT No. T-31 of the Registry of Deeds of Mamburao.

Sometime in 1972, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), pursuant


to the government's land reform program under PD No. 27, expropriated
948.1911 hectares of respondent's property. The portion expropriated
consisted mostly of lowland and non-irrigated riceland.

The Land Bank of the Philippines (Land Bank), herein petitioner, and the
DAR fixed the value of the expropriated land at P4,251,141.68 or
P4,497.50 per hectare.

Respondent rejected petitioner's valuation as being unconscionably low


and tantamount to taking his property without due process. He then filed
with the Office of the Regional Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (RARAD),
Region IV, Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB), a
petition for the determination of just compensation against petitioner and
the DAR.

On January 24, 2001, the RARAD rendered a decision fixing the just
compensation for the expropriated land at P157,541,941.30 and directing
petitioner to pay respondent the said amount.

Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but it was denied by the


RARAD in an Order dated March 14, 2001.

On April 20, 2001, petitioner filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC),
Branch 46, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, sitting as a Special Agrarian
Court, a Petition for Judicial Determination of Just Compensation against
respondent and the RARAD.

On May 22, 2001, the RARAD, upon respondent's motion, issued an


Order in DARAB Case No. V-0405-0001-00 declaring that the Decision of
January 24, 2001 had become final and executory. Petitioner moved for
reconsideration. However, the RARAD denied the same in an Order dated
July 10, 2001.

On July 18, 2001, the RARAD issued a writ of execution directing the
sheriff of DARAB-Region IV to implement the Decision.

Before the RTC, Executive Judge Ernesto P. Pagayatan issued an Order


dated August 6, 2001, dismissing the Land Bank's petition for being late.
Petitioner promptly filed a motion for reconsideration. However, in an Order
dated August 31, 2001, the RTC denied the motion.

On September 10, 2001, petitioner filed with the RTC a Notice of


Appeal. The court issued an Order dismissing the Notice of Appeal.
Petitioner's motion for reconsideration was likewise denied by the RTC.
Petitioner filed with the CA a petition for certiorari. On July 19, 2002, the
CA rendered its Decision (1) granting the petition for certiorari.

Respondent filed a motion for reconsideration. The CA finding merit in


respondent's motion for reconsideration, rendered an Amended Decision
dated February 5, 2003 dismissing the petition for certiorari. Petitioner filed
a motion for reconsideration but it was denied.

Issue:

Whether the RTC erred in dismissing the LBP's petition for the
determination of just compensation?

Held:

The RTC erred in dismissing the Land Bank's petition.


The petition is not an appeal from the RARAD's final Decision but
an original action for the determination of the just compensation over
which the RTC has original and exclusive jurisdiction.

Section 50 (Quasi-Judicial Powers of the DAR) must be construed in


harmony with Section 57 by considering cases involving the determination
of just compensation and criminal cases for violations of R.A. No. 6657
asexcepted from the plenitude of power conferred upon the DAR.

Valuation of property in eminent domain is essentially a judicial


functionwhich cannot be vested in administrative agencies.

It is clear from Section 57 that the original and exclusive jurisdiction to


determine such cases is in the RTC. Any effort to transfer such jurisdiction
to the adjudicators and to convert the original jurisdiction of the RTCs into
appellate jurisdiction would be contrary to Section 57 and therefore would
be void.

What adjudicators are empowered to do is only to determine in a


preliminary manner the reasonable compensation to be paid to
landowners, leaving to the courts the ultimate power to decide this
question.

The petition is granted.


COVERAGE; COVERABILITY OF P.D. 27 LANDS THROUGH WAIVER,
INTENTIONAL AND VOLUNTARY SURRENDER OF RIGHT OF THE
LANDOWNER
TRANSFERABILITY; TRANSFERABILITY OF P.D. 27 AWARDED
LANDS

Estate of the late Encarnacion vda. de Panlilio, represented


by George Lizares vs. Gonzalo Dizon, et al.
G.R. No. 148777 (October 18, 2007)
Facts:

Encarnacion vda. de Panlilio is the owner of a vast tract of land with an


aggregate area of 115.41 hectares located in Masamat, Mexico,
Pampanga. Sometime in 1973, Pursuant to Operation Land Transfer under
P.D. 27, a Certificate of Land Transfer (CLTs) covering said landholding,
including the portion planted with sugarcane, were issued to the tenants of
said land. On January 12,1977, landowner Panlilio executed an Affidavit

interposing no objection in placing portion dedicated to palay crop under


P.D. 27 and that it is her desire that her entire property which is referred as
Hacienda Masamat be placed under said law. On February 28,1994, a
complaint for the annulment of coverage of said landholding under P.D. 27
was filed by Petitioner Jesus Lizares, Panlilio's Administrator of Hacienda
Masamat. The same was dismissed by the PARAD and on Appeal, the
DARAB affirmed said dismissal. The Court of Appeals, affirmed the
decision of the DARAB in its amended decision dated November 29, 2000.
Likewise, an issue on the validity of the transfer by the tenant-farmers to
third person of the awarded land was raised in the Court of Appeals.
Issue:

Whether or not the ownership of the lot may now be transferred to


persons other than the heirs of the beneficiary or the Government

Ruling:

The prohibition in PD 27, states that "[t]itle to land acquired pursuant to


this Decree or the Land Reform Program of the Government shall not be
transferable except by hereditary succession or to the Government"

PD 27 is clear that after full payment and title to the land is acquired, the
land shall not be transferred except to the heirs of the beneficiary or the
Government

The prohibition stems from the policy of the Government to develop


generations of farmers to attain its avowed goal to have an adequate and
sustained agricultural production

Sec. 6 of EO 228 provides, thus:

"Ownership of lands acquired by farmer-beneficiary may be transferred


after full payment of amortizations"
The CA construed said provision to mean that the farmer-beneficiary
can sell the land even to a non-qualified person
This is incorrect. Implied repeals are not favored

Sec. 6 of E.O. No. 228 principally deals with payment of amortization


and not on who qualify as legal transferees of lands acquired under PD 27

The lands acquired under said law can only be transferred to the heirs
of the beneficiary or to the Government for eventual transfer to qualified
beneficiaries by the DAR

Thus, transfers of lands acquired under PD 27 to non-qualified persons


are illegal and null and void

A contrary ruling would make the farmer an "easy prey to those who
would like to tempt [him/her] with cash in exchange for inchoate title over
the same," and PD 27 could be easily circumvented and the title shall
eventually be acquired by non-tillers of the soil

The prohibition even extends to the surrender of the land to the former
landowner.

The sales or transfers are void ab initio, being contrary to law and public
policy under Art. 5 of the Civil Code

In this regard, DAR is duty-bound to take appropriate measures to


annulthe illegal transfers and recover the land unlawfully conveyed to nonqualified persons for disposition to qualified beneficiaries.
JURISDICTION; AGRARIAN DISPUTE

Active Realty and Development Corporation vs. Bienvenido


Fernandez
G.R. No. 157186 (October 19, 2007)
Facts:

Petitioner filed a Complaint for unlawful detainer against respondent


with the Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) of Bacolod City, alleging
that it had become the owner of the parcel of land covered by Transfer
Certificate of Title (TCT) No. T-85541 by virtue of the Deed of Sale
executed between petitioner and Philippine National Bank (PNB), the
previous owner of the land; that respondent had been occupying the
subject land by reason of PNB's tolerance; that petitioner sent a letter of

demand to respondent asking the latter to vacate the subject property; and
that despite the demand, respondent failed and refused to vacate the
subject land, as a consequence of which, petitioner had been unlawfully
deprived of the possession of the lot and the rental value of P500.00 per
month.

Respondent filed a Motion to Dismiss, contending that the MTCC lacked


jurisdiction over the case as it involved the implementation of Agrarian
Reform and should fall within the exclusive and original jurisdiction of the
Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR). MTC issued an Order denying the
Motion to Dismiss.

Respondent insisted that there was a pending case involving same


parties at DARAB. An Injunction Order dated January 3, 1996 was issued
by the DARAB against the petitioner ordering the latter to cease, desist and
refrain from harassing, molesting, disturbing, threatening, ousting, and
removing or ejecting from their respective landholdings the petitioners in
DARAB Case No. R-0605-142-96.

The DARAB case was resolved by the Provincial Agrarian Report


Adjudication Board (PARAB) which directed the DAR-PARO to make a
factual finding on the "CARPability" or "non-CARPability" of the subject
land. Aggrieved by the said order, petitioner elevated the matter to the
DARAB. The DARAB rendered a Decision which held that the subject
matter is not within its jurisdiction.

Meanwhile, the MTC rendered a Decision, ordering the defendants


(including herein private respondent), their heirs and successors-ininterest, to vacate the premises covered by TCT No. T-85541 situated in
Eroreco Subdivision, Bacolod City, to pay plaintiff (herein petitioner) actual
damages in the amount of P500.00 monthly computed from November 27,
1997 until the lot is actually vacated, to pay plaintiff the sum of P3,000.00
as attorney's fees and the amount of cost. Respondent appealed the MTC
Decision to the RTC.

The DARAB rendered a Decision which held that the subject matter is
not within its jurisdiction.

The RTC rendered a Decision reversing and setting aside the MTC
judgment. The motion for reconsideration of said decision was also denied
by the RTC. Petitioner then filed with the CA a petition for review under
Rule 42 of the Rules of Court.

The CA issued a Resolution requiring Teresita F. Mendoza to cause her


appearance as party-respondent in behalf of the deceased respondent.
The CA issued a Resolution stating that pursuant to Sec. 10, Rule 13 of the
Rules of Court, the service to Teresita F. Mendoza, although actually
unserved, shall be considered completed.

The CA rendered a Decision affirming the RTC judgment.

Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but the CA denied the same.

Issue:

Whether or not this case presents an agrarian dispute. If it does,


jurisdiction over it should be with the DARAB, otherwise, it should be with
the regular courts.

Held:

Respondent sought the dismissal of the pending unlawful detainer case


in the MTC by involving the defense of litis pendentia.

For litis pendentia to lie as a ground for a motion to dismiss, the


following requisites must be present: (1) that the parties to the action are
the same; (2) that there is substantial identity in the causes of action and
reliefs sought; (3) that the result of the first action is determinative of the
second in any event and regardless of which party is successful.

Contrary to the claim of respondent, the parties in the unlawful detainer


case in the MTC and the DARAB case are different, as he is not included
as a petitioner in the DARAB case.

Not being a party to the DARAB case, respondent has no personality to


assert that the DAR has primary jurisdiction over the land subject matter of

the MTC case considering that he is not identified as one of the farmersbeneficiaries-petitioners in the DARAB case.

Further, the CA should not have relied on the Investigation Reports of


MARO Officer Villa dated March 4, 1997 and March 26, 1997, as the same
were not executed pursuant or in relation to any pending case. Moreover,
browsing through the Investigation Reports, it is clear that its tenor is only
recommendatory or directory in nature. Thus, the execution of the
Investigation Reports does not automatically divest the regular courts of
their jurisdiction over the unlawful detainer case.
WHEREFORE the petition is GRANTED.
EXEMPTION/EXCLUSION; EXEMPTION OF FISHPOND FROM
COVERAGE OF CARL AND THE PASSAGE OF RA 7881 CANNOT
DEFEAT VESTED RIGHT ALREADY GRANTED AND ACQUIRED BY
THE TENANT

Jaime Sanchez, Jr. vs. Zenaida F. Marin, et al.


G.R. No. 171346 (October 19, 2007)
Facts:

Petitioner Jaime Sanchez, Jr. is an agricultural tenant of a 10-hectare


fishpond situated at Barangay Talao-Talao, Lucena City, which was
previously owned by David Felix, the ascendant of herein respondents.
Respondent Zenaida F. Marin is the civil law lessee of the subject fishpond
and the mother of respondents.

In 1977, the petitioner was instituted as a tenant of the subject fishpond


by its previous registered owner David Felix.

A few years thereafter, David Felix sold and transferred ownership of the
subject fishpond to respondents Jesus Nicasio, Jose David, Maria
Bernadette, Paul Peter and Philip Luis, all surnamed Marin, to whom a
Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. T-43289, covering the subject
fishpond, was issued. The aforesaid respondents, as the new owners of
the fishpond, entered into a civil law lease agreement dated 24 June 1985

with their mother and co-respondent Zenaida F. Marin, which was


renewable yearly.

On 21 July 1986, the petitioner filed a Complaint before the Regional


Trial Court (RTC) of Lucena City, Branch 53, in which he asked the court to
declare him as a tenant of the subject fishpond.

On 20 July 1987, the RTC of Lucena City rendered a Decision in favor


of the petitioner, declaring the [herein petitioner] as the agricultural tenant,
not a hired contractual worker on the [subject fishpond], and therefore,
entitled to the security of tenure.

The Decision was appealed by respondent Zenaida F. Marin to the


appellate court, which on 11 September 1989, the appellate court
affirmedin toto the Decision of the RTC of Lucena City.

Having been declared as an agricultural tenant on the subject fishpond,


the petitioner, on 15 March 1991, filed before the Provincial Agrarian
Reform Adjudicator (PARAD) Region IV a Petition for the fixing of the
leasehold rentals for his use of the subject fishpond at P30,000.00 per
annum.

On 17 April 1991, respondent Zenaida F. Marin filed a Complaint before


the PARAD Region IV, primarily to eject the petitioner from the fishpond
because of the latter's failure to pay the rent and to make an accounting, in
violation of Sections 17 and 50 of Republic Act No. 1199.

The PARAD on 2 March 1993, rendered a Decision. Ordering that the


petitioner be maintained in the peaceful possession of subject farmholding.

Respondents moved for the reconsideration of the aforementioned


Decision but the same was denied in a Joint Order, dated 15 May 1995,
rendered by the Regional Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (RARAD).

Aggrieved respondents appealed the PARAD Decision dated 2 March


1993 to the DARAB, reiterating their position that the fishpond was
excluded from the coverage of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform
Program (CARP) of the government.

On 25 September 2000, the DARAB rendered a Decision affirming in


totothe Decision of the Provincial Adjudicator dated 2 March 1993.

Respondents filed with the Court of Appeals a Petition for Review where
on 23 May 2005, the appellate court rendered its assailed Decision
granting in part the Petition of the respondents by annulling and setting
aside the DARAB Decision dated 25 September 2000 on the ground of lack
of jurisdiction.

Petitioner moved for the reconsideration of the aforesaid Decision, but it


was denied in a Resolution dated 25 January 2006.

Issue:

Whether the subject fishpond is exempted/excluded from the coverage


of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program?

Held:

Section 2 of Republic Act No. 7881 amended Section 10 of Republic


Act No. 6657 by expressly exempting/excluding private lands actually,
directly and exclusively used for prawn farms and fishponds from the
coverage of the CARL. Section 3(c) of Republic Act No. 6657, as amended,
now defines agricultural land as land devoted to agricultural activity and not
otherwise classified as mineral, forest, residential, commercial or industrial
land. As to what constitutes an agricultural activity is defined by Section
3(b) of Republic Act No. 6657, as amended, as the cultivation of the soil,
planting of crops, growing of fruit trees, including the harvesting of such
farm products, and other farm activities and practices performed by a
farmer in conjunction with such farming operations done by persons
whether natural or juridical. By virtue of the foregoing amendments, the
operation of fishponds is no longer considered an agricultural activity, and
a parcel of land devoted to fishpond operation is no longer an agricultural
land.

Even as it is recognize that the fishpond is not covered by the CARL,


pursuant to Section 10 of Republic Act No. 6657, as amended by Republic
Act No. 7881. The Court, nonetheless, does not agree in the conclusion
arrived at by the Court of Appeals that since the subject fishpond is no

longer an agricultural land, it follows then that there can be no tenurial


arrangement affecting the parties in this case. And in view of the fact that
there is no agrarian dispute cognizable by the DARAB, then the DARAB
had no jurisdiction to resolve petitioner's case.

It bears emphasis that the status of the petitioner as a tenant in the


subject fishpond and his right to security of tenure were already previously
settled in the Decision dated 20 July 1987 of the RTC of Lucena City in
Agrarian Case No. 86-8, which was affirmed by the Court of Appeals in its
Decision dated 11 September 1989. Having been declared as a tenant with
the right to security of tenure as provided in Section 35 of Republic Act No.
3844 in relation to Section 7 of Republic Act No. 1199, the law enforced at
the time of the filing of the Complaint before the RTC of Lucena City, the
petitioner has acquired a vested right over the subject fishpond, which right
or interest has become fixed and established and is no longer open to
doubt or controversy. Therefore, even if fishponds, like the subject matter of
this case, were later excluded/exempted from the coverage of the CARL as
expressly provided in Section 10 of Republic Act No. 6657, as amended by
Republic Act No. 7881, and despite the fact that no CLOA has been issued
to the petitioner, the same cannot defeat the aforesaid vested right already
granted and acquired by the petitioner long before the passage of Republic
Act No. 7881.

Indubitably, despite the amendments to Section 10 of Republic Act No.


6657, the petitioner's right to tenancy and security of tenure over the
subject fishpond must still be honored.

The Court likewise affirms that the DARAB correctly assumed


jurisdiction over the case, contrary to the declaration made by the appellate
court in its Decision.
TENANCY RELATIONSHIP; INDISPENSABLE ELEMENTS

Antonio Masaquel, et al. vs. Jaime Orial


G.R. No. 148044 (October 19, 2007)
Facts:

Petitioners Antonio Masaquel (Antonio), Juliana Masaquel-Marero


(Juliana), Apolonia Masaquel-Tolentino (Apolonia) and Maria MasaquelOliveros (Maria) were co-owners of a parcel of land with an area of 66,703
sq. m. located in Barrio Biga, Antipolo, Rizal and covered by Original
Certificate of Title (OCT) No. ON-724.

On 21 June 1987, the co-owners executed a document


entitled "Kasulatan ng Paghahati ng Lupa" whereby the subject lot was
divided into four parts.

On 27 September 1993, Respondent Jaime Orial filed an amended


complaint with the DARAB against petitioners alleging that he was a tenant
of a parcel of agricultural land owned by and registered in the name of
Antonio.

Petitioners denied the existence of a tenancy relationship between them


and respondent claiming that respondent was a mere usurper and
trespasser, petitioners specifically denied the allegation that they harassed
him and threatened him with physical harm.

In a Decision dated 18 December 1994, the provincial adjudicator ruled


that respondent was not a tenant of the subject land. On appeal, the
DARAB reversed the findings of the provincial adjudicator and declared
respondent a tenant of the subject land. Petitioners filed a motion for
reconsideration but the DARAB denied it in a Resolution dated 22
November 1999.

Petitioners elevated the case to the Court of Appeals where the


appellate court affirmed the DARAB decision on 9 May 2001.

Issue:

Whether or not there is tenancy relationship between the parties?

Held:

No tenancy relationship existed between the parties.

In order for a tenancy agreement to arise, it is essential to establish all


its indispensable elements, viz.: (1) the parties are the landowner and the
tenant or agricultural lessee; (2) the subject matter of the relationship is an
agricultural land; (3) there is consent between the parties to the
relationship; (4) the purpose of the relationship is to bring about agricultural
production; (5) there is personal cultivation on the part of the tenant or
agricultural lessee; and (6) the harvest is shared between the landowner
and the tenant or agricultural lessee. All these requisites are necessary to
create a tenancy relationship, and the absence of one or more requisites
will not make the alleged tenant a de facto tenant.

The evidence presented by respondent failed to meet the test of


substantiality, in line with the standard of proof required in administrative
cases.

Tenancy relationship can only be created with the consent of the true
and lawful landholder who is either the owner, lessee, usufructuary or legal
possessor of the land, and not thru the acts of the supposed landholder
who has no right to the land subject of the tenancy.

In view of the absence of a tenancy relationship, the case falls outside


the jurisdiction of the DARAB. Thus, it is cognizable by the regular courts.
Consequently, the complaint filed by respondent was rightfully dismissed
by the provincial adjudicator.
AGRICULTURAL
TENANCY
RELATIONSHIP;
EJECTMENT;
ASSERTION OF OWNERSHIP OF A HOMELOT NOT SUFFICIENT TO
DIVEST MTC OF JURISDICTION

Juliana Sudaria vs. Maximilliano Quiambao


G.R. No. 164305 (November 20, 2007)
Facts:

On 11 October 2001, respondent Maximilliano Quiambao filed a


Complaint for unlawful detainer against petitioner before the Municipal Trial
Court (MTC) of San Miguel, Bulacan docketed as Civil Case No. 2557.
Respondent stated that he was the owner of a parcel of land with an area
of 354 sq.m. situated in Barrio Sta. Rita, Bata, San Miguel, Bulacan and

covered by TCT No. T-113925. He also averred that in 1965, by virtue of


aKasunduan, his predecessor-in-interest, Alfonsa C. vda. de Viola, leased
the said piece of land to petitioner's late husband, Atanacio Sudaria, for a
monthly rental of P2.00 which was later increased to P873.00 per annum in
1985. According to respondent, in the same year, petitioner, who took over
the lease after her husband's death, stopped paying the rentals on the
property. In April 2001, respondent made a demand for petitioner to pay
the overdue rentals and vacate the premises.

In her Answer with Motion to Dismiss, petitioner averred that the subject
property was previously owned by Alfonsa C. vda. de Viola and later
inherited by Leticia and Asuncion Viola as evidenced by an agricultural
leasehold contract. She claimed that she had not been remiss in paying the
lease rentals, as the payment for the years between 1980 and 1999 were
evidenced by receipts except that the receipts for 1998 and 1999 were
withheld by respondent. Petitioner also maintained that she refused to pay
the lease rentals to respondent because he was not the registered lessor,
and that as bona fide tenant-successor of her deceased husband, she was
entitled to security of tenure, as well as to the homelot which formed part of
the leasehold under agrarian laws. She further contended that the MTC
could not have taken cognizance of the case as there had been no prior
recourse to the Barangay Agrarian Reform Council as provided for in
Section 53 of Republic Act No. 6657. Finally, petitioner asserted that the
MTC had no jurisdiction over the case as it involved an agrarian dispute.

In a Decision dated 10 May 2002, the MTC held that there existed a
tenancy relationship between the parties and that since the subject lot was
petitioner's homelot, the instant controversy is an agrarian dispute over
which the courts have no jurisdiction.

On appeal, the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Malolos, Bulacan, Branch


9 reversed the decision of the MTC.

Consequently, petitioner elevated the case to the Court of Appeals in a


petition for review under Rule 42 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure
where the CA denied the petition and affirmed the decision of the RTC. The
CA affirmed the RTC decision. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration
of the Court of Appeals decision but the same was denied.

Hence, this appeal by certiorari.

Issue:

Who is entitled to the physical or material possession of the premises or


possession de facto?

Held:

Rightful possession belongs to respondent. Petitioner failed to show that


the Department of Agrarian Reform had awarded the property in her favor
as her homelot. Instead, the clear preponderance of evidence is on the
side of respondent. He presented the Torrens title covering the lot in his
name.

It must be stressed, however, that the Court has engaged in this initial
determination of ownership over the lot in dispute only for the purpose of
settling the issue of possession.

The petition is DENIED.


JUST COMPENSATION; DETERMINATION OF JUST COMPENSATION
BY THE RTC

APO Fruits Corporation and Hijo Plantation, Inc. vs. The


Hon. Court of Appeals and Land Bank of the Philippines
G.R. No. 164195 (December 19, 2007)
Facts:

The LBP filed an omnibus motion for reconsideration on the Decision of


the SC dated 6 February 2007 partially granting the LBP's petition and
affirming the decision of the CA giving due course to LBP's appeal.

The grounds for the LBPs motion for reconsideration are that special
agrarian courts are not at liberty to disregard the formula devised to
implement Section 17 of Republic Act No. 6657; the LBP complied with the
constitutional requirement on prompt and full payment of just
compensation; the LBP ensured that the interests already earned on the
bond portion of the revalued amounts were aligned with 91-day treasury bill

(T-Bill) rates and on the cash portion the normal banking interest rates; that
petitioners are not entitled to an award of Attorney's fees and
commissioners' fees; and that LBP's counsel did not unnecessarily delay
the proceedings.
Issue:

Whether or not SACs are bound by the formula devised to implement


Section 17 of R. A. No. 6657 on Determination of Just Compensation?

Held:

In Land Bank of the Philippines v. Celada, the SC declared that as the


government agency principally tasked to implement the agrarian reform
program, it is the DAR's duty to issue rules and regulations to carry out the
object of the law. DAR AO No. 5, s. of 1998 precisely "filled in the details"
of Section 17, RA No. 6657 by providing a basic formula by which the
factors mentioned therein may be taken into account. The SAC was at no
liberty to disregard the formula which was devised to implement the said
provision.

The ruling in the Celada case is in conflict with the Apo Fruits which the
SC ruled that the more acceptable practice has always been to interpret
and reconcile apparently conflicting jurisprudence to give effect to both by
harmonizing the two (Celada Ruling vis--vis Apo Fruits Ruling).

The trial court, actually took into consideration all the factors in the
determination of just compensation as articulated in Section 17 of Republic
Act No. 6657.

The trial court had substantially applied the formula by looking into all
the factors included therein, i.e. net income, comparable sales and market
value per tax declaration, to arrive at the proper land value. The basic
formula set forth in DAR AO No. 5, Series of 1998 does not and cannot
strictly bind the courts.

As established in earlier jurisprudence, the valuation of property in


eminent domain is essentially a judicial function which is vested in the
regional trial court acting as a SAC, and not in administrative agencies.

The SAC, therefore, must still be able to reasonably exercise its judicial
discretion in the evaluation of the factors for just compensation,
whichcannot be arbitrarily restricted by a formula dictated by the DAR, an
administrative agency.

The modification of the Decision dated 6 February 2007 pertaining to


the award of interest on just compensation, commissioner's fees and
attorney's fees, is in order.

In all other respects, the Decision dated 6 February 2007 is


MAINTAINED.
COVERAGE; CONDITIONAL DONATION OF PROPERTIES UNDER THE
ADMINISTRATION OF AN ARCHBISHOP WILL NOT SERVE TO
REMOVE THE PROPERTY FROM COVERAGE OF CARL

Roman Catholic Archbishop of Caceres vs. Secretary of


Agrarian Reform and DAR Regional Director (Region V)
G.R. No. 139285 (December 21, 2007)
Facts:

Roman Catholic Archbishop of Caceres is the registered owner of


several properties in Camarines Sur, with a total area of 268.5668
hectares. Of that land, 249.0236 hectares are planted with rice and corn,
while the remaining 19.5432 hectares are planted with coconut trees.

Archbishop filed with the Municipal Agrarian Reform District Office


petitions for exemption from the coverage of Operation Land Transfer (OLT)
under Presidential Decree No. 27. Two of these petitions were denied.

Archbishop appealed and sought exemption from OLT coverage of all


lands planted with rice and corn which were registered in the name of the
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Caceres.

This appeal was denied by then DAR Secretary Ernesto D. Garilao and
a subsequent motion for reconsideration was also denied.

The matter was then raised to the CA via Petition for Review on
Certiorari.

The petition was dismissed by the CA. Archbishop filed a motion for
reconsideration, but was also denied.

Issue:

Whether or not as administrator of the Roman Catholic properties, these


subject properties should have been exempt from the OLT?

Held:

The laws simply speak of the "landowner" without qualification as to


under what title the land is held or what rights to the land the landowner
may exercise. There is no distinction made whether the landowner holds
"naked title" only or can exercise all the rights of ownership. To do so would
be to frustrate the revolutionary intent of the law, which is the redistribution
of agricultural land for the benefit of landless farmers and farmworkers.

The provisions of PD 27 and RA 6657 are plain and require no further


interpretation there is only one right of retention per landowner, and no
multiple rights of retention can be held by a single party.

Archbishop makes much of the conditional donation, that he does not


have the power to sell, exchange, lease, transfer, encumber or mortgage
the transferred properties. He claims that these conditions do not make him
the landowner as contemplated by the law. This matter has already been
answered in Hospicio de San Jose de Barili, Cebu City (Hospicio) v.
Department of Agrarian Reform. In that case, wherein Act No. 3239
prohibited the sale under any consideration of lands donated to the
Hospicio, a charitable organization, the Court found that the lands of the
Hospicio were not exempt from the coverage of agrarian reform.

Archbishop's claim that he does not have jus disponendi over the
subject properties is unavailing. The very nature of the compulsory sale
under PD 27 and RA 6657 defeats such a claim. Other less scrupulous
parties may even attempt creating trusts to prevent their lands from coming
under agrarian reform, and say that the trustee has no power to dispose of
the properties. The disposition under PD 27 and RA 6657 is of a different
character than what is contemplated by jus disponendi, wherein under

these laws, voluntariness is not an issue, and the disposition is necessary


for the laws to be effective.

Under PD 27 and RA 6657, Archbishop cannot claim that the alleged


conditions of the donations would have primacy over the application of the
law. This forced sale is not even a violation of the conditions of the
donation, since it is by application of law and beyond Archbishop's control.
The application of the law cannot and should not be defeated by the
conditions laid down by the donors of the land. If such were allowed, it
would be a simple matter for other landowners to place their lands without
limit under the protection of religious organizations or create trusts by the
mere act of donation, rendering agrarian reform but a pipe dream.

Archbishop's contention that he is merely an administrator of the


donated properties will not serve to remove these lands from the coverage
of agrarian reform. The lands in Archbishop's name are agricultural lands
that fall within the scope of the law, and do not fall under the exemptions.

Archbishop would claim exemption from the coverage of agrarian reform


by stating that he is a mere administrator, but his position does not appear
under the list of exemptions under RA 6657. His claimed status as
administrator does not create another class of lands exempt from the
coverage of PD 27 or RA 6657, and The Roman Catholic Apostolic
Administrator of Davao, Inc. does not create another definition for the term
"landowner."

Petition Denied.