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Gelos vs Court of Appeals

G.R. No. 86186.

May 8, 1992
Topic: Definition of Agricultural Tenancy
The Private Respondent owned the subject land of 25,000 square meters in Laguna. The Landowner
then entered in to a contract with the petitioner and employed him to be laborer on the land with the
wage of 5.00 peso a day.
The Petitioner first went the Court of Agrarian Relation and then went to Ministry of Agrarian reform
and asked the court to fix the agricultural lease rental of the land and his request was granted.
The private respondent then filed a complaint of illegal detainer against the petitioner that was that was
dismissed by the Ministry of Agrarian reform for the existence of Tenancy relations between the parties.
The Private respondents appealed to the office of the President alleging that there was no tenancy
relation between the parties.
The RTC rendered dismissed the complaint and assailed that there was a tenancy relation between the
The Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the RTC.
Is there a Tenancy relation between the parties?
No, it was clear that the petitioner were not intended to be tenant but a mere employee of the private
respondent as showed in the contract. The petitioner was paid for specific kind of work. The court
stressed many cases that:
"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, and as in this case, their written agreements, provided
these are complied with and are not contrary to law, are even more important."
It should also be considered that a tenant is defined under Section 5(a) R.A 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.
Therefore the court laid down the requisites for the tenancy relationship to exist:
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.
Absence of this clearly does not qualify someone to be a tenant. It is clear that it is not a tenancy
relationship that exists between the parties, what they have is employee-employer relationship.