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"Cause of action" is the act or omission by which a party violates a right

of another. It contains three elements: (1) a right existing in favor of the
plaintiff, (2) a duty on the part of the defendant to respect the right of the
plaintiff, and (3) a breach of the defendant’s duty. 1

INJUNCTION; Elements; Definition of Clear Legal Right

An action for injunction is a suit which has for its purpose the
enjoinment of the defendant, perpetually or for a particular time, from
the commission or continuance of a specific act, or his compulsion to
continue performance of a particular act.2 The writ is issued upon the
satisfaction of two requisites, namely: (1) the existence of a right to be
protected; and (2) acts which are violative of said right.3

It is well understood that the right required by existing

jurisprudence is a clear legal right. The ruling in Sps. Castro v. Sps. Dela
Cruz4 categorically defined clear legal right as one clearly founded in or
granted by law or is enforceable as a matter of law.

Likewise, it was declared in Cortez-Estrada v. Heirs of Samut5 , that

when the complainant’s right or title is doubtful or disputed, he
does not have a clear legal right.


1 Luzon Dev't Bank v. Conquilla et. al., G.R. No. 163338 (September 21, 2005)
2 BPI v.Hong et. al. G.R. No. 161771 (2012)
3 MIAA v. Rivera Village Lessee Homeowner's Association G.R. No. 143870, September 30, 2005
4 G.R. No. 190122, 10 January 2011
5 Cortez-Estrada v. Heirs of Samut G.R. No. 154407 (February 14, 2005) citing Toyota Motors

Phils. Corporation Workers Association v. CA et. al. G.R. No. 148924 (September 24, 2003)
RES JUDICATA; elements; merits; judgment on the merits;

The principle of res judicata is an old axiom of the law, dictated by

wisdom and sanctified by age, and is founded on the broad principle that
it is to the interest of the public that there should be an end to litigation
by the same parties and their privies over a subject once fully and fairly
adjudicated. Indeed, the very object of instituting courts of justice is that
litigation should be decided, and decided finally, for human life is not
long enough to allow of matters once disposed of being brought under
discussion again6. This principle and its elements have been exhaustively
discussed in the case of Luzon Dev't Bank v. Conquilla et. al.,7 to wit:


A case is barred by prior judgment or res judicata when the following

requisites concur: (1) the former judgment is final; (2) it is rendered
by a court having jurisdiction over the subject matter and the
parties; (3) it is a judgment or an order on the merits; (4) there is --
between the first and the second actions -- identity of parties, of
subject matter, and of causes of action.


"Merits" has been defined as a matter of substance in law, as

distinguished from a matter of form; it refers to the real or substantial
grounds of action or defense, as contrasted with some technical or
collateral matter raised in the course of the suit. A judgment is "on the
merits" when it amounts to a legal declaration of the respective
rights and duties of the parties, based upon the disclosed facts.


It is axiomatic that to invoke res judicata, absolute identity of parties is

not required. A substantial identity of parties is sufficient. There is
substantial identity of parties when there is a community of interest
between a party in the first case and that in the second one, even if the
latter party was not impleaded in the first case.


The fourth requisite of res judicata is identity of causes of action between

the two cases. xxxx The test to determine whether the causes of
action are identical is to ascertain whether the same evidence will
sustain both actions, or whether there is an identity in the facts
essential to the maintenance of the two actions. If the same facts or

6 Fernandez v. Sebido, Et Al., 70 Phil. 151

7 G.R. No. 163338 (September 21, 2005)
evidence would sustain both, the two actions are considered the same,
and a judgment in the first case is a bar to the subsequent action.


It should however not be overlooked that in our jurisdiction, it is

well recognized that res judicata embraces two concepts: (1) bar by prior
judgment; and (2) conclusiveness of judgment.

In the case of Social Security Commission v. Rizal Poultry and

Livestock Assoc.8 the court pronounced that:

There is bar by prior judgment when, as between the first case
where the judgment was rendered and the second case that is
sought to be barred, there is identity of parties, subject matter, and
causes of action. In this instance, the judgment in the first case
constitutes an absolute bar to the second action.

But where there is identity of parties in the first and second

cases, but no identity of causes of action, the first judgment is
conclusive only as to those matters actually and directly
controverted and determined and not as to matters merely involved
therein. This is the concept of res judicata known as conclusiveness of
judgment. Stated differently, any right, fact or matter in issue directly
adjudicated or necessarily involved in the determination of an action
before a competent court in which judgment is rendered on the merits is
conclusively settled by the judgment therein and cannot again be
litigated between the parties and their privies, whether or not the claim,
demand, purpose, or subject matter of the two actions is the same.

Thus, if a particular point or question is in issue in the second

action, and the judgment will depend on the determination of that
particular point or question, a former judgment between the same parties
or their privies will be final and conclusive in the second if that same
point or question was in issue and adjudicated in the first suit. Identity
of cause of action is not required but merely identity of issue.




8 G.R. No. 167050 (June 1, 2011)

See Soriano et. al. v. Bravo et. al. G.R. No. 152086


In resolving the issue of jurisdiction over the instant petition, this

Tribunal is guided by the following rules on jurisdiction laid down in
Heirs of Julian dela Cruz v. Heirs of Alberto Cruz:


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

In Department of Agrarian Reform v. Paramount Holdings Equities,
Inc., the Supreme Court defined the bounds of the quasi-judicial power of
DARAB, to wit:

The jurisdiction of the DARAB is limited under the law, as it was created
under Executive Order (E.O.) No. 129-A specifically to assume powers
and functions with respect to the adjudication of agrarian reform cases
under E.O. No. 229 and E.O. No. 129-A. Significantly, it was organized
under the Office of the Secretary of Agrarian Reform. The limitation on
the authority of it to mere agrarian reform matters is only consistent with
the extent of DAR's quasi-judicial powers under R.A. No. 6657 and E.O.
No. 229, which read:

SECTION 50 [of R.A. No. 6657]. Quasi-Judicial Powers

of the DAR.—The DAR is hereby vested with the 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).

SECTION 17 [of E.O. No. 229]. 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
original jurisdiction of the DENR and the Department of
Agriculture (DA).


In Sta. Rosa Realty Development Corporation v. Amante, the Court

pointed out that the jurisdiction of the DAR under the aforequoted
provisions is two-fold. The first is essentially executive and pertains to
the enforcement and administration of the laws, carrying them into
practical operation and enforcing their due observance, while the second
is quasi-judicial and involves the determination of rights and obligations
of the parties.
At present, the administrative function of DAR is governed by
Administrative Order No. 03, series of 2003 which provides for the 2003
Rules of Procedure for Agrarian Law Implementation (ALI) Cases.

Under said Rules of Procedure, the Regional Director19 has

primary jurisdiction over all ALI cases, while the DAR Secretary20 has
appellate jurisdiction over such cases. Section 2 of the said Rules

Section 2. ALI Cases. These Rules shall govern all cases arising from or

2.1 Classification and identification of landholdings for coverage under

the agrarian reform program and the initial issuance of Certificate of
Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs) and Emancipation Patents (EPs),
including protests or oppositions thereto and petitions for lifting of such

2.2 Classification, identification, inclusion, exclusion, qualification or

disqualification of potential/actual farmer-beneficiaries;

2.3 Subdivision surveys of land under Comprehensive Agrarian Reform

Program (CARP)

2.4 Recall, or cancellation of provisional release rentals, Certificates of

Land Transfers (CLTs), and CARP Beneficiary Certificates (CBCs) in cases
outside the purview of Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 816, including the
issuance, recall or cancellation of Emancipation Patents (EPs) or
Certificates of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs) not yet registered with
the Register of Deeds;

2.5 Exercise of the right of retention by the landowner;

2.6 Application for exemption from coverage under Section 10 of RA


2.7 Application for exemption pursuant to Department of Justice (DOJ)

Opinion No. 44 (1990)

2.8 Exclusion from CARP coverage of agricultural land used for livestock,
swine, and poultry raising;

2.9 Cases of exemption/exclusion of fishpond and prawn farms from the

coverage of CARP pursuant to RA 7881;

2.10 Issuance of Certificate of Exemption for land subject to Voluntary

Offer to Sell (VOS) and Compulsory Acquisition (CA) found unsuitable for
agricultural purposes;

2.11 Application for conversion of agricultural land to residential,

commercial, industrial or other non agricultural uses and purposes
including protests or oppositions thereto;
2.12 Determination of rights of agrarian reform beneficiaries to homelots;

2.13 Disposition of excess area of the tenant's/farmer-beneficiary's


2.14 Increase in area of tillage of a tenant/farmer-beneficiary;

2.15 Conflict of claims in landed estates administered by the DAR and its
predecessors; and

2.16 Such other agrarian cases, disputes, matters or concerns referred to

it by the Secretary of the DAR.

On the other hand, in the exercise of its quasi-judicial function, the

DAR, through the DARAB and its regional and provincial adjudication
boards adopted the 2009 DARAB Rules of Procedure. Under Section 2,
Rule II of the said Rules of Procedure, the DARAB shall have exclusive
appellate jurisdiction to the Board shall have exclusive appellate
jurisdiction to review, reverse, modify, alter, or affirm resolutions, orders
and decisions of the Adjudicators who have primary and exclusive
jurisdiction over the following cases:

a. The rights and obligations of persons, whether natural or juridical,

engaged in the management, cultivation, and use of all
agricultural lands covered by R.A. No. 6657, otherwise known as
the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL), as amended, and
other related agrarian laws;

b. The preliminary administrative determination of reasonable and

just compensation of lands acquired under Presidential Decree
(PD) No. 27 and the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program

c. Those cases involving the annulment or rescission of lease

contracts or deeds of sale or their amendments involving lands
under the administration and disposition of the DAR or Land
Bank of the Philippines (LBP), and the amendment of titles
pertaining to agricultural lands under the administration and
disposition of the DAR and LBP; as well as EPs issued under PD
266, Homestead Patents, Free Patents, and miscellaneous sales
patents to settlers in settlement and re-settlement areas under the
administration and disposition of the DAR;

d. Those cases involving the ejectment and dispossession of tenants

and/or leaseholders;

e. Those cases involving the sale, alienation, pre-emption, and

redemption of agricultural lands under the coverage of the CARL,
as amended or other agrarian laws;
f. Those involving the correction, partition, secondary and
subsequent issuances such as reissuance of lost/destroyed
owner's duplicate copy and reconstitution of Certificates of Land
Ownership Award (CLOAs) and Emancipation Patents (EPs) which
are registered with the Land Registration Authority;

g. Those cases involving the review of leasehold rentals and fixing of

disturbance compensation;

h. Those cases involving the collection of amortization payments,

foreclosure and similar disputes concerning the functions of the
LBP, and payments for lands awarded under PD No. 27, RA No.
3844, as amended, and R.A. No. 6657, as amended by R.A. No.
9700, and other related laws, decrees, orders, instructions, rules,
and regulations, as well as payment for residential, commercial,
and industrial lots within the settlement and resettlement areas
under the administration and disposition of the DAR;

i. Those cases involving boundary disputes over lands under the

administration and disposition of the DAR and the LBP, which are
transferred, distributed, and/or sold to tenant-beneficiaries and
are covered by deeds of sale, patents, and certificates of title;

j. Those cases previously falling under the original and exclusive

jurisdiction of the defunct Court of Agrarian Relations under
Section 12 of PD No. 946 except those cases falling under the
proper courts or other quasi-judicial bodies; and

k. Such other agrarian cases, disputes, matters or concerns referred

to it by the Secretary of the DAR.

Heirs of Julian


Sta rosa realty

In the case of DAR v. Abdulwahid et.al.,9 the Supreme Court
pronounced that:

The Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) is

vested with primary and exclusive jurisdiction to determine and
adjudicate agrarian reform matters, including all matters involving the
implementation of the agrarian reform program. Thus, when a case is
merely an incident involving the implementation of the

9 G.R. No. 163285, (February 27, 2008)

Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), then jurisdiction
remains with the DARAB, and not with the regular courts.


Under Section 50 of R.A. No. 6657, all matters involving the

implementation of agrarian reform are within the DARs primary,
exclusive and original jurisdiction, and at the first instance, only the
DARAB as the DARs quasi-judicial body, can determine and adjudicate
all agrarian disputes, cases, controversies, and matters or incidents
involving the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform
Program under R.A. No. 6657, E.O. Nos. 229, 228 and 129-A, R.A. No.
3844 as amended by R.A. 6389, P.D. No. 27 and other agrarian laws and
their implementing rules and regulations.



 GR 181548: Petitioners who are not ARBs seeks to enforce

agreement to partition a property covered by CARP from the
respondent who was issued an EP. Petitioners do not question the
qualification, validity of issuance of EP. They merely seek to enforce
prior agreement. RULING: Lack of Jurisdiction; not an issue
involving implementation of agrarian law
 GR 180013: Petitioners asserts right to the awarded land.
Respondent assert ownership on the basis of possession for a long
period of time. Ruling: Lack of jurisdiction