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Assignment for Tuesday, 25 August 2015

A.

Republic Act No. 6657, as amended

1. Section 12
Section 12. Determination of Lease Rentals. In order to protect and
improve the tenurial and economic status of the farmers in tenanted lands
under the retention limit and lands not yet acquired under this Act, the
DAR is mandated to determine and fix immediately the lease rentals
thereof in accordance with Section 34 of Republic Act No. 3844, as
amended: provided, that the DAR shall immediately and periodically review
and adjust the rental structure for different crops, including rice and corn,
or different regions in order to improve progressively the conditions of the
farmer, tenant or lessee.
B.

Republic Act No. 3844, as amended

1. Sections 4 to 10
Section 4. Abolition of Agricultural Share Tenancy - Agricultural share
tenancy, as herein defined, is hereby declared to be contrary to public
policy and shall be abolished: Provided, That existing share tenancy
contracts may continue in force and effect in any region or locality, to be
governed in the meantime by the pertinent provisions of Republic Act
Numbered Eleven hundred and ninety-nine, as amended, until the end of
the agricultural year when the National Land Reform Council proclaims that
all the government machineries and agencies in that region or locality
relating to leasehold envisioned in this Code are operating, unless such
contracts provide for a shorter period or the tenant sooner exercise his
option to elect the leasehold system: Provided, further, That in order not to
jeopardize international commitments, lands devoted to crops covered by
marketing allotments shall be made the subject of a separate proclamation
that adequate provisions, such as the organization of cooperatives,
marketing agreements, or other similar workable arrangements, have been
made to insure efficient management on all matters requiring
synchronization of the agricultural with the processing phases of such
crops: Provided, furthermore, That where the agricultural share tenancy
contract has ceased to be operative by virtue of this Code, or where such a
tenancy contract has been entered into in violation of the provisions of this
Code and is, therefore, null and void, and the tenant continues in
possession of the land for cultivation, there shall be presumed to exist a
leasehold relationship under the provisions of this Code, without prejudice
to the right of the landowner and the former tenant to enter into any other
lawful contract in relation to the land formerly under tenancy contract, as
long as in the interim the security of tenure of the former tenant under
Republic Act Numbered Eleven hundred and ninety-nine, as amended, and

as provided in this Code, is not impaired: Provided, finally, That if a lawful


leasehold tenancy contract was entered into prior to the effectivity of this
Code, the rights and obligations arising therefrom shall continue to subsist
until modified by the parties in accordance with the provisions of this Code.
Section 5. Establishment of Agricultural Leasehold Relation - The
agricultural leasehold relation shall be established by operation of law in
accordance with Section four of this Code and, in other cases, either orally
or in writing, expressly or impliedly.
Section 6. Parties to Agricultural Leasehold Relation - The agricultural
leasehold relation 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.
Section 7. Tenure of Agricultural Leasehold Relation - The agricultural
leasehold relation once established shall confer upon the agricultural
lessee the right to continue working on the landholding until such
leasehold relation is extinguished. The agricultural lessee shall be entitled
to security of tenure on his landholding and cannot be ejected therefrom
unless authorized by the Court for causes herein provided.
Section 8. Extinguishment of Agricultural Leasehold Relation - The
agricultural leasehold relation established under this Code shall be
extinguished by:
(1) Abandonment of the landholding without the knowledge of the
agricultural lessor;
(2) Voluntary surrender of the landholding by the agricultural lessee,
written notice of which shall be served three months in advance; or
(3) Absence of the persons under Section nine to succeed to the lessee, in
the event of death or permanent incapacity of the lessee.
Section 9. Agricultural Leasehold Relation Not Extinguished by Death or
Incapacity of the Parties - In case of death or permanent incapacity of the
agricultural lessee to work his landholding, the leasehold shall continue
between the agricultural lessor and the person who can cultivate the
landholding personally, chosen by the agricultural lessor within one month
from such death or permanent incapacity, from among the following: (a)
the surviving spouse; (b) the eldest direct descendant by consanguinity; or
(c) the next eldest descendant or descendants in the order of their age:
Provided, That in case the death or permanent incapacity of the
agricultural lessee occurs during the agricultural year, such choice shall be
exercised at the end of that agricultural year: Provided, further, That in the

event the agricultural lessor fails to exercise his choice within the periods
herein provided, the priority shall be in accordance with the order herein
established.
In case of death or permanent incapacity of the agricultural lessor, the
leasehold shall bind his legal heirs.
Section 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.
2. Sections 15 to 16
Section 15. Agricultural Leasehold Contract in General - The agricultural
lessor and the agricultural lessee shall be free to enter into any kind of
terms, conditions or stipulations in a leasehold contract, as long as they
are not contrary to law, morals or public policy. A term, condition or
stipulation in an agricultural leasehold contract is considered contrary to
law, morals or public policy:
(1) If the agricultural lessee is required to pay a rental in excess of that
which is hereinafter provided for in this Chapter;
(2) If the agricultural lessee is required to pay a consideration in excess of
the fair rental value as defined herein, for the use of work animals and/or
farm implements belonging to the agricultural lessor or to any other
person; or
(3) If it is imposed as a condition in the agricultural leasehold contract: (a)
that the agricultural lessee is required to rent work animals or to hire farm
implements from the agricultural lessor or a third person, or to make use of
any store or services operated by the agricultural lessor or a third person;
or (b) that the agricultural lessee is required to perform any work or render
any service other than his duties and obligations provided in this Chapter
with or without compensation; or (c) that the agricultural lessee is required
to answer for any fine, deductions and/or assessments.
Any contract by which the agricultural lessee is required to accept a loan or
to make payment therefor in kind shall also be contrary to law, morals or
public policy.

Section 16. Nature and Continuity of Conditions of Leasehold Contract - In


the absence of any agreement as to the period, the terms and conditions
of a leasehold contract shall continue until modified by the parties:
Provided, That in no case shall any modification of its terms and conditions
prejudice the right of the agricultural lessee to the security of his tenure on
the landholding: Provided, further, That in case of a contract with a period
an agricultural lessor may not, upon the expiration of the period increase
the rental except in accordance with the provisions of Section thirty-four.
3. Sections 23 to 38
Section 23. Rights of Agricultural Lessee in General - It shall be the right
of the agricultural lessee:
(1) To have possession and peaceful enjoyment of the land;
(2) To manage and work on the land in a manner and method of cultivation
and harvest which conform to proven farm practices;
(3) To mechanize all or any phase of his farm work; and
(4) To deal with millers and processors and attend to the issuance of
quedans and warehouse receipts for the produce due him.
Section 24. Right to a Home Lot - The agricultural lessee shall have the
right to continue in the exclusive possession and enjoyment of any home
lot he may have occupied upon the effectivity of this Code, which shall be
considered as included in the leasehold.
Section 25. Right to be Indemnified for Labor - The agricultural lessee
shall have the right to be indemnified for the cost and expenses incurred in
the cultivation, planting or harvesting and other expenses incidental to the
improvement of his crop in case he surrenders or abandons his landholding
for just cause or is ejected therefrom. In addition, he has the right to be
indemnified for one-half of the necessary and useful improvements made
by him on the landholding: Provided, That these improvements are tangible
and have not yet lost their utility at the time of surrender and/or
abandonment of the landholding, at which time their value shall be
determined for the purpose of the indemnity for improvements.
Section 26. Obligations of the Lessee - It shall be the obligation of the
agricultural lessee:
(1) To cultivate and take care of the farm, growing crops, and other
improvements on the landholding as a good father of a family and perform
all the work therein in accordance with proven farm practices;

(2) To inform the agricultural lessor within a reasonable time of any


trespass committed by third persons upon the farm, without prejudice to
his direct action against the trespasser;

(2) Non-compliance on the part of the agricultural lessor with any of the
obligations imposed upon him by the provisions of this Code or by his
contact with the agricultural lessee;

(3) To take reasonable care of the work animals and farm implements
delivered to him by the agricultural lessor and see that they are not used
for purposes other than those intended or used by another without the
knowledge and consent of the agricultural lessor: Provided, however, That
if said work animals get lost or die, or said farm implements get lost or are
destroyed, through the negligence of the agricultural lessee, he shall be
held responsible and made answerable therefor to the extent of the value
of the work animals and/or farm implements at the time of the loss, death
or destruction;

(3) Compulsion of the agricultural lessee or any member of his immediate


farm household by the agricultural lessor to do any work or render any
service not in any way connected with farm work or even without
compulsion if no compensation is paid;

(4) To keep his farm and growing crops attended to during the work
season. In case of unjustified abandonment or neglect of his farm, any or
all of his expected produce may, upon order of the Court, be forfeited in
favor of the agricultural lessor to the extent of the damage caused
thereby;
(5) To notify the agricultural lessor at least three days before the date of
harvesting or, whenever applicable, of threshing; and
(6) To pay the lease rental to the agricultural lessor when it falls due.
Section 27. Prohibitions to Agricultural Lessee - It shall be unlawful for the
agricultural lessee:
(1) To contract to work additional landholdings belonging to a different
agricultural lessor or to acquire and personally cultivate an economic
family-size farm, without the knowledge and consent of the agricultural
lessor with whom he had entered first into household, if the first
landholding is of sufficient size to make him and the members of his
immediate farm household fully occupied in its cultivation; or
(2) To employ a sub-lessee on his landholding: Provided, however, That in
case of illness or temporary incapacity he may employ laborers whose
services on his landholding shall be on his account.
Section 28. Termination of Leasehold by Agricultural Lessee During
Agricultural Year - The agricultural lessee may terminate the leasehold
during the agricultural year for any of the following causes:
(1) Cruel, inhuman or offensive, treatment of the agricultural lessee or any
member of his immediate farm household by the agricultural lessor or his
representative with the knowledge and consent of the lessor;

(4) Commission of a crime by the agricultural lessor or his representative


against the agricultural lessee or any member of his immediate farm
household; or
(5) Voluntary surrender due to circumstances more advantageous to him
and his family.
Section 29. Rights of the Agricultural Lessor - It shall be the right of the
agricultural lessor:
(1) To inspect and observe the extent of compliance with the terms and
conditions of their contract and the provisions of this Chapter;
(2) To propose a change in the use of the landholding to other agricultural
purposes, or in the kind of crops to be planted: Provided, That in case of
disagreement as to the proposed change, the same shall be settled by the
Court according to the best interest of the parties concerned: Provided,
further, That in no case shall an agricultural lessee be ejected as a
consequence of the conversion of the land to some other agricultural
purpose or because of a change in the crop to be planted;
(3) To require the agricultural lessee, taking into consideration his financial
capacity and the credit facilities available to him, to adopt in his farm
proven farm practices necessary to the conservation of the land,
improvement of its fertility and increase of its productivity: Provided, That
in case of disagreement as to what proven farm practice the lessee shall
adopt, the same shall be settled by the Court according to the best interest
of the parties concerned; and
(4) To mortgage expected rentals.
Section 30. Obligations of the Agricultural Lessor - It shall be the
obligation of the agricultural lessor:
(1) To keep the agricultural lessee in peaceful possession and cultivation of
his landholding; and

(2) To keep intact such permanent useful improvements existing on the


landholding at the start of the leasehold relation as irrigation and drainage
system and marketing allotments, which in the case of sugar quotas shall
refer both to domestic and export quotas, provisions of existing laws to the
contrary notwithstanding.

Section 33. Manner, Time and Place of Rental Payment - The


consideration for the lease of the land shall be paid in an amount certain in
money or in produce, or both, payable at the place agreed upon by the
parties immediately after threshing or processing if the consideration is in
kind, or within a reasonable time thereafter, if not in kind.

Section 31. Prohibitions to the Agricultural Lessor - It shall be unlawful for


the agricultural lessor:

In no case shall the agricultural lessor require the agricultural lessee to file
a bond, make a deposit or pay the rental in advance, in money or in kind or
in both, but a special and preferential lien is hereby created in favor of the
agricultural lessor over such portion of the gross harvest necessary for the
payment of the rental due in his favor.

(1) To dispossess the agricultural lessee of his landholding except upon


authorization by the Court under Section thirty-six. Should the agricultural
lessee be dispossessed of his landholding without authorization from the
Court, the agricultural lessor shall be liable for damages suffered by the
agricultural lessee in addition to the fine or imprisonment prescribed in this
Code for unauthorized dispossession;
(2) To require the agricultural lessee to assume, directly or indirectly, the
payment of the taxes or part thereof levied by the government on the
landholding;
(3) To require the agricultural lessee to assume, directly or indirectly, any
part of the rent, "canon" or other consideration which the agricultural
lessor is under obligation to pay to third persons for the use of the land;
(4) To deal with millers or processors without written authorization of the
lessee in cases where the crop has to be sold in processed form before
payment of the rental; or
(5) To discourage, directly or indirectly, the formation, maintenance or
growth of unions or organizations of agricultural lessees in his landholding,
or to initiate, dominate, assist or interfere in the formation or
administration of any such union or organization.
Section 32. Cost of Irrigation System - The cost of construction of a
permanent irrigation system, including distributory canals, may be borne
exclusively by the agricultural lessor who shall be entitled to an increase in
rental proportionate to the resultant increase in production: Provided, That
if the agricultural lessor refuses to bear the expenses of construction the
agricultural lessee or lessees may shoulder the same, in which case the
former shall not be entitled to an increase in rental and shall, upon the
termination of the relationship, pay the lessee or his heir the reasonable
value of the improvement at the time of the termination: Provided, further,
That if the irrigation system constructed does not work, it shall not be
considered as an improvement within the meaning of this Section.

Section 34. Consideration for the Lease of Riceland and Lands Devoted to
Other Crops - The consideration for the lease of riceland and lands devoted
to other crops shall not be more than the equivalent of twenty-five per
centum of the average normal harvest during the three agricultural years
immediately preceding the date the leasehold was established after
deducting the amount used for seeds and the cost of harvesting, threshing,
loading, hauling and processing, whichever are applicable: Provided, That if
the land has been cultivated for a period of less than three years, the initial
consideration shall be based on the average normal harvest during the
preceding years when the land was actually cultivated, or on the harvest of
the first year in the case of newly-cultivated lands, if that harvest is
normal: Provided, further, That after the lapse of the first three normal
harvests, the final consideration shall be based on the average normal
harvest during these three preceding agricultural years: Provided,
furthermore, That in the absence of any agreement between the parties as
to the rental, the maximum allowed herein shall apply: Provided, finally,
That if capital improvements are introduced on the farm not by the lessee
to increase its productivity, the rental shall be increased proportionately to
the consequent increase in production due to said improvements. In case
of disagreement, the Court shall determine the reasonable increase in
rental.
Section 35. Exemption from Leasehold of Other Kinds of Lands Notwithstanding the provisions of the preceding Sections, in the case of
fishponds, saltbeds, and lands principally planted to citrus, coconuts,
cacao, coffee, durian, and other similar permanent trees at the time of the
approval of this Code, the consideration, as well as the tenancy system
prevailing, shall be governed by the provisions of Republic Act Numbered
Eleven hundred and ninety-nine, as amended.
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 agricultural lessor-owner or a member of his immediate family will
personally cultivate the landholding or will convert the landholding, if
suitably located, into residential, factory, hospital or school site or other
useful non-agricultural purposes: Provided; That the agricultural lessee
shall be entitled to disturbance compensation equivalent to five years
rental on his landholding in addition to his rights under Sections twentyfive and thirty-four, except when the land owned and leased by the
agricultural lessor, is not more than five hectares, in which case instead of
disturbance compensation the lessee may be entitled to an advanced
notice of at least one agricultural year before ejectment proceedings are
filed against him: Provided, further, That should the landholder not
cultivate the land himself for three years or fail to substantially carry out
such conversion within one year after the dispossession of the tenant, it
shall be presumed that he acted in bad faith and the tenant shall have the
right to demand possession of the land and recover damages for any loss
incurred by him because of said dispossessions.
(2) The agricultural lessee failed to substantially comply with any of the
terms and conditions of the contract or any of the provisions of this Code
unless his failure is caused by fortuitous event or force majeure;
(3) The agricultural lessee planted crops or used the landholding for a
purpose other than what had been previously agreed upon;
(4) The agricultural lessee failed to adopt proven farm practices as
determined under paragraph 3 of Section twenty-nine;
(5) The land or other substantial permanent improvement thereon is
substantially damaged or destroyed or has unreasonably deteriorated
through the fault or negligence of the agricultural lessee;
(6) The agricultural lessee does not pay the lease rental when it falls due:
Provided, That if the non-payment of the rental shall be due to crop failure
to the extent of seventy-five per centum as a result of a fortuitous event,
the non-payment shall not be a ground for dispossession, although the
obligation to pay the rental due that particular crop is not thereby
extinguished; or
(7) The lessee employed a sub-lessee on his landholding in violation of the
terms of paragraph 2 of Section twenty-seven.

Section 37. Burden of Proof - The burden of proof to show the existence of
a lawful cause for the ejectment of an agricultural lessee shall rest upon
the agricultural lessor.
Section 38. Statute of Limitations - An action to enforce any cause of
action under this Code shall be barred if not commenced within three years
after such cause of action accrued.
C.

Administrative Order No. 5, Series of 1993

D.

Cases

1. Guerrero, et. al. vs. Court of Appeals, GR No. L-44570, May 30,
1986.
Whether or not a tenancy relationship exists between the parties Manuel
Guerrero, et al and Apolinario Benitez, et al. as to determine their
respective rights and obligations to one another is the issue in this petition
to review the decision of the then Court of Appeals, now the Intermediate
Appellate Court, which affirmed in toto the decision of the Court of
Agrarian Relations in CAR Case No. 6793-NE (SA-Q) '73, the dispositive
portion of which reads:
In view of all the foregoing, judgment is hereby rendered:
(1) ordering defendants-spouses Manuel and Maria Guerrero to reinstate
plaintiff Apolinario Benitez to the 10-hectare portion of the 16-hectare
coconut holding in question, located at Bo. San Joaquin, Maria Aurora Subprovince Quezon and to maintain said plaintiff in the peaceful possession
and cultivation thereof, with all the rights accorded and obligations
imposed upon him by law;
(2) ordering defendants Paulino and Rogelio both surnamed Latigay to
vacate the said ten-hectare portion and deliver possession thereof to
plaintiff Apolinario Benitez;
(3) ordering defendants-spouses Manuel and Maria Guerrero to pay
damages to plaintiffs in the amount of P14,911.20 beginning from July,
1973 and to pay the same amount every year thereafter until plaintiff is
effectively reinstated to the ten-hectare portion;
(4) denying plaintiff-tenants' prayer for reconstruction of the copra
cottage: and
(5) ordering defendants-spouses Manuel and Maria Guerrero to pay
plaintiff the amount of P200.00 by way of litigation expenses.
All other claims of the parties are denied. With costs against defendantsspouses.

The petitioners adopt the respondent court's findings of fact excepting,


however, to its conclusion that tenancy relations exist between the
petitioners and the respondents, thus:
In 1969, plaintiff Apolinario Benitez was taken by defendants- spouses
Manuel and Maria Guerrero to take care of their 60 heads of cows which
were grazing within their 21-hectare coconut plantation situated at Bo. San
Joaquin, Maria Aurora, Subprovince of Aurora, Quezon. Plaintiff was allowed
for that purpose to put up a hut within the plantation where he and his
family stayed. In addition to attending to the cows, he was made to clean
the already fruitbearing coconut trees, burn dried leaves and grass and to
do such other similar chores. During harvest time which usually comes
every three months, he was also made to pick coconuts and gather the
fallen ones from a 16-hectare portion of the 21-hectare plantation. He had
to husk and split the nuts and then process its meat into copra in
defendants' copra kiln. For his work related to the coconuts, he shared 1/3
of the proceeds from the copra he processed and sold in the market. For
attending to the cows he was paid P500 a year.
Sometime in the early part of 1973, plaintiff was refrained from gathering
nuts from the 10-hectare portion of the 16-hectare part of the plantation
from where he used to gather nuts. He felt aggrieved by the acts of
defendants and he brought the matter to the attention of the Office of
Special Unit in the Office of the President in Malacanang, Manila. This led to
an execution of an agreement, now marked as Exh. D, whereby defendants
agreed, among others, to let plaintiff work on the 16-hectare portion of the
plantation as tenant thereon and that their relationship will be guided by
the provisions of republic Act No. 1199. The Agricultural Tenancy Act of the
Philippines.
Then in July, 1973, he was again refrained from gathering nuts from the 10hectare portion of the plantation with threats of bodily harm if he persists
to gather fruits therefrom. Defendant spouses, the Guerreros, then
assigned defendants Rogelio and Paulino Latigay to do the gathering of the
nuts and the processing thereof into copra. Defendants Guerreros also
caused to be demolished a part of the cottage where plaintiff and his
family lived, thus, making plaintiffs feel that they (defendants) meant
business. Hence, this case for reinstatement with damages.
The lower court formulated four (4) issues by which it was guided in the
resolution of the questions raised by the pleadings and evidence and we
pertinently quote as follows:
(1) whether or not plaintiff is the tenant on the coconut landholding in
question consisting of sixteen (16) hectares;
(2) In The affirmative, whether or not he was unlawfully dispossessed of
ten (10) hectare thereof;
(3) Whether or not the parties are entitled to actual and moral damages,
attorney's fees and litigation expenses.

This petition for review poses the following questions of law:


I. Whether or not with the passage of Presidential Decree 1038 only last
October 21, 1976, Republic Act 6389 otherwise known as the Code of
Agrarian Reforms has repealed in their entirety the Agricultural Tenancy
Act (Republic Act 1199) and the Agricultural Reform Code (Republic Act
3844) abrogating or nullifying therefore all agricultural share tenancy
agreements over all kinds of lands, as the one involved in the case at barover coconut plantation-and hence, the complaint below as well as the
challenged decision by the courts below, based as they are on such share
tenancy agreements, have lost their validity cessante ratio legis, cessat
ipsa lex.
II. Assuming arguendo that said laws have not thus been repealed, is
respondent Benitez hereunder the undisputed fact of the case as found by
the courts below a share tenant within the purview of the said laws, i.e.,
Republic Acts 1199 and 3844, or a mere farmhand or farm worker as such
relationship were extensively discussed in Delos Reyes vs. Espinelli, 30
SCRA 574. (Copied verbatim from Petition, p. 31- rollo)
Petitioner insists in this petition that Benitez was a mere farmhand or
laborer who was dismissed as an employee from the landholding in
question and not ousted therefrom as tenant. Whether a person is a tenant
or not is basically a question of fact and the findings of the respondent
court and the trial court are, generally, entitled to respect and nondisturbance.
The law defines "agricultural tenancy" as the 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 or ascertainable, either in produce or in money, or in both (Section
3, Republic Act 1199, The Agricultural tenancy Act, as amended.)
With petitioner reference to this case, "share tenancy" exists whenever two
persons agree on a joint undertaking for agricultural production wherein
one party furnishes the land and the other his labor, with either or both
contributing any one or several of the items of production, the tenant
cultivating the land with the aid of labor available from members of his
immediate farm household, and the produce thereof to be divided between
the landholder and the tenant in proportion to their respective
contributions (Sec. 4, RA 1199; Sec. 166(25) RA 3844, Agricultural Land
Reform Code).
In contrast, a farmhand or agricultural laborer is "any agricultural salary or
piece worker but is not limited to a farmworker of a particular farm
employer unless this Code expressly provides otherwise, and any individual
whose work has ceased as a consequence of, or in connection with, a
current agrarian dispute or an unfair labor practice and who has not

obtained a substantially equivalent and regular employment" (Sec. 166(15)


RA 3844, Agricultural Land Reform Code).
The petitioners contend that the two courts below applied erroneous
definitions of "tenancy" found in repealed laws. They assert that the
Agricultural Tenancy Act and the Agricultural Land Reform Code have been
superseded by the Code of Agrarian Reforms, Rep. Act 6389, which the trial
court and the Court of Appeals failed to cite and apply.
There is no question that the latest law on land and tenancy reforms seeks
to abolish agricultural share tenancy as the basic relationship governing
farmers and landowners in the country.
On August 8, 1963, Republic Act 3844 abolished and outlawed share
tenancy and put in its stead the agricultural leasehold system. On
September 10, 1971, Republic Act 6389 amending Republic Act 3844
declared share tenancy relationships as contrary to public policy. On the
basis of this national policy, the petitioner asserts that no cause of action
exists in the case at bar and the lower court's committed grave error in
upholding the respondent's status as share tenant in the petitioners'
landholding.
The petitioners' arguments are regressive and, if followed, would turn back
the advances in agrarian reform law. The repeal of the Agricultural Tenancy
Act and the Agricultural Land Reform Code mark the movement not only
towards the leasehold system but towards eventual ownership of land by
its tillers. The phasing out of share tenancy was never intended to mean a
reversion of tenants into mere farmhands or hired laborers with no tenurial
rights whatsoever.
It is important to note that the Agricultural Tenancy Act (RA 1199) and the
Agricultural Land Reform Code (RA 3844) have not been entirely repealed
by the Code of Agrarian Reform (RA 6389) even if the same have been
substantially modified by the latter.
However, even assuming such an abrogation of the law, the rule that the
repeal of a statute defeats all actions pending under the repealed statute is
a mere general principle. Among the established exceptions are when
vested rights are affected and obligations of contract are impaired.
(Aisporna vs. Court of Appeals, 108 SCRA 481).
The records establish the private respondents' status as agricultural
tenants under the legal definitions.
Respondent Benitez has physically possessed the landholding continuously
from 1969 until he was ejected from it. Such possession of longstanding is
an essential distinction between a mere agricultural laborer and a real
tenant within the meaning of the tenancy law (Moreno, Philippine Law
Dictionary, 1972 Edition), a tenant being one who, has the temporary use
and occupation of land or tenements belonging to another (Bouvier's Law
Dictionary, Vol. II, p. 3254) for the purpose of production (Sec. 3, Republic

Act 1199; delos Reyes vs. Espinelli, 30 SCRA 574). Respondent Benitez
lives on the landholding. He built his house as an annex to the petitioner's
copra kiln. A hired laborer would not build his own house at his expense at
the risk of losing the same upon his dismissal or termination any time.
Such conduct is more consistent with that of an agricultural tenant who
enjoys security of tenure under the law.
Cultivation is another important factor in determining the existence of
tenancy relationships. It is admitted that it had been one Conrado
Caruruan, with others, who had originally cleared the land in question and
planted the coconut trees, with the respondent coming to work in the
landholding only after the same were already fruit bearing. The mere fact
that it was not respondent Benitez who had actually seeded the land does
not mean that he is not a tenant of the land. 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 and 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
fruitbearing. 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. The fact that respondent Benitez, together
with his family, handles all phases of farmwork from clearing the
landholding to the processing of copra, although at times with the aid of
hired laborers, thereby cultivating the land, shows that he is a tenant, not a
mere farm laborer. (delos Reyes vs. Espinelli, supra Marcelo vs. de Leon,
105 Phil. 1175).
Further indicating the existence of a tenancy relationship between
petitioners and respondent is their agreement to share the produce or
harvest on a "tercio basis" that is, a 1/3 to 2/3 sharing in favor of the
petitioner-landowners. Though not a positive indication of the existence of
tenancy relations perse the sharing of harvest taken together with other
factors characteristic of tenancy shown to be present in the case at bar,
strengthens the claim of respondent that indeed, he is a tenant. The case
of delos Reyes vs. Espinelli (supra) clearly explains the matter thus:
The agricultural laborer works for the employer, and for his labor he
receives a salary or wage, regardless of whether the employer makes a
profit. On the other hand, the share tenant par ticipates in the agricultural
produce. His share is necessarily dependent on the amount of harvest.
Hence, the lower court's computation of damages in favor of respondent
based on the number of normal harvests. In most cases, we have
considered the system of sharing produce as convincing evidence of
tenancy relations.

The petitioners entered into an agreement on May 2, 1973 which in clear


and categorical terms establishes respondent as a tenant, to wit:
AGREEMENT

l)
Violation or failure of the tenant to comply with any of the terms and
conditions of the tenancy contract or any of the provisions of the
Agricultural Tenancy Act;

This agreement entered into by and between Manuel Guerrero hereinafter


referred to as the landowner and Apolinario Benitez hereinafter referred to
as tenant.

2) The tenant's failure to pay the agreed rental or to deliver the


landholder's share unless the tenant's failure is caused by a fortuitous
event or force majeure;

xxx xxx

3) Use by the tenant of the land for purposes other than that specified
by the agreement of the parties;

xxx

The petitioners, however, contend that the word "tenant" in the


aforequoted agreement was used to mean a hired laborer farm employee
as understood agreed upon by the parties. The fact that their relationship
would be guided by the provisions of Republic Act 1199 or the Agricultural
Tenancy Act of the Philippines militates against such an assertion. It would
be an absurdity for Republic Act 1199 to govern an employer-employee
relationship. If as the petitioners insist a meaning other than its general
acceptation had been given the word "tenant", the instrument should have
so stated '. Aided by a lawyer, the petitioners, nor the respondent could
not be said to have misconstrued the same. In clear and categorical terms,
the private respondent appears to be nothing else but a tenant:
Finally, comes the admission
respondent's status as tenant:

by

the

petitioners'

counsel

of

the

ATTY. ESTEBAN:
Q
You said you are living at San Joaquin, who cause the sowing of the
lumber you made as annex in the house?
ATTY. NALUNDASAN
Please remember that under the law, tenant is given the right to live in the
holding in question. We admit him as tenant.
xxxxxxxxx
(Apolinario Benitez on Redirect, TSN, June 25, 1974, pp. 4950).
The respondent's status as agricultural tenant should be without question.
Once a tenancy relationship is established, the tenant has the right to
continue working until such relationship is extinguished according to law.
The Agricultural Tenancy Act of 1954 (Republic Act 1199), the Agricultural
Land Reform Code of 1963 (Republic Act 3844), the Code of Agrarian
Reforms (Republic Act 6389) and Presidential Decree 1038 (Strengthening
the Security of Tenure of Tenant Tillers in Non-Rice/Corn Producing
Agricultural Lands) all provide for the security of tenure of agricultural
tenants. Ejectment may be effected only for causes provided by law, to wit:

4)

Failure of the tenant to follow proven farm practices:

5) Serious injury to the land caused by the negligence of the tenant;


6) Conviction by a competent court of a tenant or any member of his
immediate family or farm household of a crime against the landholder or a
member of his immediate family. (Section 50, Rep. Act 1199).
None of the above causes exists in the case at bar. The respondent has
been unlawfully deprived of his right to security of tenure and the Court of
Agrarian Reforms did not err in ordering the reinstatement of respondent
as tenant and granting him damages therefor.
Before we close this case, it is pertinent to reiterate that the respondent's
right as share tenant do not end with the abolition of share tenancy. As the
law seeks to "uplift the farmers from poverty, ignorance and stagnation to
make them dignified, self-reliant, strong and responsible citizens ... active
participants in nation-building", agricultural share tenants are given the
right to leasehold tenancy as a first step towards the ultimate status of
owner-cultivator, a goal sought to be achieved by the government program
of land reform.
It is true that leasehold tenancy for coconut lands and sugar lands has not
yet been implemented. The policy makers of government are still studying
the feasibility of its application and the consequences of its
implementation. Legislation still has to be enacted. Nonetheless, wherever
it may be implemented, the eventual goal of having strong and
independent farmers working on lands which they own remains. The
petitioners' arguments which would use the enactment of the Agrarian
Reform Code as the basis for setting back or eliminating the tenurial rights
of the tenant have no merit.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit. The decision of
the appellate court is AFFIRMED. No costs.
2. People vs. Adillo, G.R. No. L-23785 November 27, 1975.
The decisive question presented to Us in this direct appeal from the
dismissal judgment of the Court of First Instance of Laguna in its Criminal

Case SC-663 is whether or not the penal liability of a share-tenant for prereaping or pre-threshing under the Agricultural Tenancy Act (Republic Act
No. 1199, enacted on August 30, 1954) has been obliterated by the
Agricultural Land Reform Code (Republic Act No. 3844, enacted on August
8, 1963) and the subsequent agrarian laws.
The defendant-appellee Elias Adillo was a share-tenant of one Saturnino L.
Rebong on a parcel of riceland situated at Victoria, Laguna. On January 4,
1962, he was charged before the Court of First Instance of Laguna for
violation of Section 39 of the Agricultural Tenancy Act in that:
(O)n or about October 3, 1960 in the Municipality of Victoria, Province of
Laguna, Republic of the Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this
Honorable Court, the accused above-named being then the tenant of a
piece of land owned by Saturnino L. Rebong under a share system, did
then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously reap and thresh a
portion of palay planted on said piece of land without the knowledge and
consent of Saturnino Rebong and even before a date has been fixed for the
reaping and threshing of the palay, to the damage and prejudice of
Saturnino Rebong.
On August 24, 1964, the counsel for the defendant-appellee 1 moved for
the quashal of the information on the submission that the Agricultural
Tenancy Act, on which the accusatory pleading against defendant-appellee
was based, has been repealed or abrogated by the new Agricultural Land
Reform Code, thereby resulting in the extinction of defendant-appellee's
criminal responsibility for pre-reaping and pre-threshing under the former
law. The lower court favorably resolved the motion and ordered the
dismissal of the case.

prohibition of doing it in advance of the date set," said the Court, "is to
enable the landholder to witness, personally or by representative, the
reaping and threshing operations. Pre-reaping in the absence of one party,
due to unilateral advancing of the date of the harvest, inevitably generates
ill feeling and strains relations between landholder and tenant due to the
suspicion aroused that part of the harvest may have been illegally
diverted. Such suspicion tends to poison the tenancy relation and is
inimical to agricultural peace and progress; wherefore, strict compliance
with the legal and contractual prescriptions as to the date of reaping and
threshing are of the essence of the statutory policy." This applies
particularly to rice share tenancy and may not be extended to embrace the
agricultural leasehold. The two tenancy systems are distinct and different
from each other. In sharehold, the tenant may choose to shoulder, in
addition to labor, any one or more of the items of contributions (such as
farm implements, work animals, final harrowing, transplanting), while in
leasehold, the tenant or lessee always shoulders all items of production
except the land. Under the sharehold system, the tenant and the
landholder are co-managers, whereas in leasehold system, the tenant is
the sole manager of the farmholding. Finally, in sharehold tenancy, the
tenant and the landholder divide the harvest in proportion to their
contributions, while in leasehold tenancy, the tenant or lessee gets the
whole produce with the mere obligation to pay a fixed rental. 3 There is
thus justification for the view that notice for reaping or threshing is not
required by the Act in leasehold system, because the lessee's principal
obligation is to pay the rental, which is to deliver a generic thing in the
absence of any specific agreement to the contrary, and that the rental is
supposed to be a specific amount, as fixed and limited in Section 45 of the
Act. Without any legal obligation imposed on the lessee to give such
notice, the lessor should take it upon himself to verify from the tenantlessee the date of reaping and threshing. 4

Hence, the present appeal interposed by the State.


The particular provision of the Agricultural Tenancy Act, subject of this
litigation, provides:
SEC. 39.
Prohibition on Pre-threshing. It shall be unlawful for either
the tenant or landholder, without mutual consent, to reap or thresh a
portion of the crop at any time previous to the date set for its threshing; ...
Any violation of this section by either party shall be treated and penalized
in accordance with this Act and/or under the general provisions of law
applicable to the act committed,
In Beltran v. Cruz 2 the Court expressed that although the tenant is given
the right under the Agricultural Tenancy Act to determine when to reap the
harvest, it is likewise provided under the Act that the reaping "shall be
after due notice to the landholder" (Section 36, paragraph 1). Pre-reaping
or pre-threshing is considered a serious violation, subject to the sanction of
dispossession of the tenant (Section 50, subsection b) and the penalty of a
"fine not exceeding Two Thousand Pesos or imprisonment not exceeding
one year, or both, in the discretion of the court" (Section 57). The "moving
idea behind the requirement of the advance notice of the reaping, and the

On August 8, l963, the Tenancy Act of 1954 was amended by the


Agricultural Land Reform Code. Agricultural share tenancy was declared "to
be contrary to public policy and shall be abolished." 5 Nonetheless, based
on transitory provision in the first proviso of Section 4 of the Code, existing
share tenancy contracts were allowed to continue temporarily in force and
effect, notwithstanding their express abolition, until whichever or the
following events occurs earlier: (a) the end of the agricultural year when
the National Land Reform Council makes the proclamation declaring the
region or locality a land reform area; or (b) the shorter period provided in
the share tenancy contracts express; or (c) the share tenant sooner
exercises his option to elect the leasehold system. 6
In the Code of Agrarian Reforms (Republic Act No. 6389), which took effect
on September 10, 1971 agricultural share tenancy throughout the country
was declared contrary to public policy and was automatically converted to
agricultural leasehold upon the effectivity of Section 4 thereof although
existing share tenancy contracts were again allowed to continue
temporarily in force and effect in any region or locality, to be governed in
the meantime by the pertinent provisions of Republic Act No. 1199, as
amended, "until the end of the agricultural year when the President of the

Philippines shall have organized by executive order the Department of


Agrarian, Reform in accordance with the provisions of this amendatory Act,
unless such contracts provide for a shorter period or the tenant sooner
exercises his option to elect the leasehold system." 7
Immediately after the declaration of martial law, the President of the
Philippines issued Presidential Decree No. 2 on September 26, 1972,
proclaiming the entire country "as a land reform area." The proclamation of
the entire country "as a land reform area" in accordance with the first
proviso of Section 4 of the Agricultural Land Reform Code, as amended,
unqualifiedly abolished the sharehold system in the Philippine agricultural
life. To the extreme, the Agricultural Tenancy Act of 1954 was withdrawn
from the mass of living agrarian laws specifically in rice and corn tenancy.
On October 21, 1972 the President issued Presidential Decree No. 27
emancipating the tenant from the bondage of the soil. To safeguard this
new right of the tenancy, Presidential Decree No. 316 of October 22, 1973,
was promulgate interdicting the ejectment or removal of the tenant-farmer
from his farmholding until the promulgation of the rules and regulations
implementing the said Presidential Decree No. 27. 8
It will be noted that Section 39 of the Agricultural Tenancy Act of 1954
(Republic Act No. 1199) which prohibited either the tenant or landholder,
without mutual consent, to reap or thresh a portion of the crop at any time
previous to the date set for its threshing and penalized any violation
thereof by either party is no longer found in the Agricultural Land Reform
Code (Republic Act No. 3844, as amended by Republic Act No. 6389) for
the obvious reason that agricultural share tenancy provided in the
Agricultural Tenancy Act of 1954 has already been abolished by the new
Code. The omission of such provision as Section 39 of the Agricultural
Tenancy Act of 1954 in the new Code operates as an implied repeal of said
provision. It is a well settled principle of statutory construction that when
An act which purports to set out in full all that it intends to contain,
operates as repeal of anything omitted which was contained in the old act
and not included in the amendatory act. (Construction of Statutes,
Crawford, p. 621, citing State v. Mac Cafferty, 25 Okla 2, 105 Pac. 992).
Also,
Where the language of the statute as amended is set out in full in an act
the old law is not repealed except as to those parts omitted which are
inconsistent with the amendment, the remainder of the act being a
continuation of the original law. (Idem, citing People v. Montgomery
County, 67 N. Y. 109; Reid v. Smoulter, 128 Pa. St. 324, 18 Atl. 445,5 A.L.R.
517)
Likewise,
When the legislature declares that an existing statute shall be amended,
the legislature thereby evinces the intention to make the new statute a
substitute for the amended statute exclusively and only those portions of

the amended statute repeated in the new one are retained (Idem, at p.
620, citing State ex rel Nagle v. Leader Co., 97 Mont. 586,37 Pac. (2) 561).
Thus confronted with the issue as to whether or not the penal liability of a
share tenancy for pre-reaping or pre-threshing under the Agricultural
Tenancy Act (Republic Act No. 1199) enacted on August 30, 1954, has been
obliterated by the Agricultural Land Reform Code (Republic Act No. 3844,
as amended by Republic Act No. 6389) and the subsequent Presidential
Decrees and Proclamations, the solution to the issue seems to be clear that
the injunction against pre-reaping and pre-threshing under the Agricultural
Tenancy Act of 1954 has lost its operative force and effect, and the penal
sanction therein subdued. Specifically, Section 39 of the Act, upon which
the accusatory pleading against defendant-appellee is predicted, is no
longer carried in the subsequent agrarian laws and decrees and its
violation thereof considered no longer an offense. As a result it would be
illogical to prosecute or sentence defendant-appellee for such offense
which no longer exists. 9
The whole failure of the laws and decrees subsequent to the Agricultural
Tenancy Act of 1954 to penalize the acts of pre-reaping and pre-threshing
which constituted the offense defined and penalized under the said Section
39 carries with it the deprivation of the courts of jurisdiction to try, convict,
and sentence persons charged with its
violations. 10
ACCORDINGLY, the order of dismissal of the information against defendantappellee for violation of Section 39 of the Agricultural Tenancy Act
(Republic Act No. 1199) is hereby affirmed without pronouncement as to
costs.

3. Gabriel vs. Pangilinan, G.R. No. L-27797. August 26, 1974.


This appeal from the decision, dated December 26, 1963, of the Court of
First Instance of Pampanga in its Civil Case No. 1823, was certified to this
Court by the Court of Appeals for the reason that the jurisdiction of an
inferior court is involved.
During the pendency of this case before this Court, under date of April 29,
1972, Atty. Virgilio M. Pablo, counsel for the appellant Eusebio Pangilinan,
gave notice to this Court that said appellant died on April 3, 1964, and was
survived by his children, who are his legal heirs, namely: Salvador
Pangilinan, Santos Pangilinan, Mariano Pangilinan, Carlos Pangilinan and
Pilar Pangilinan de Avante. For the purposes of this case the appellant
Eusebio Pangilinan, therefore, is substituted by his heirs herein named.
Under date of November 20, 1973, Atty. Amando M. Laki filed a motion with
this Court advising that appellee Trinidad Gabriel died on June 14, 1967,
and was survived by her heirs and successors-in-interest, namely: Corazon
O. Gabriel, married to Lamberto Ignacio; Ernesto O. Gabriel; Ester O.
Gabriel, married to Emmanuel Padua; Generoso O. Gabriel, Marciano O.

Gabriel and Pablo O. Gabriel, and prayed that appellee Trinidad Gabriel be
substituted by her heirs herein named. By order of this Court of December
4, 1973 the prayer for substitution was granted.

contending that the action should have been filed with the Court of
Agrarian Relations, which has original and exclusive jurisdiction, as their
relationship is one of leasehold tenancy.

In its resolution dated April 19, 1967 certifying the case to this Court, the
Court of Appeals made the following findings, which We adopt:

After the motion to dismiss was denied on the basis of the allegations of
the complaint, the parties were ordered to adduce evidence for the
purpose of determining which Court shall take cognizance of the case.

On June 18, 1960 Trinidad Gabriel filed a complaint in the Court of First
Instance of Pampanga against Eusebio Pangilinan alleging that she is the
owner of a fishpond situated in barrio Sta. Ursula, Betis, Pampanga and
measuring about 169,507 square meters; that sometime during the last
war she entered into an oral contract of lease thereof with the defendant
on a year to year basis, i.e., from January 1 to December 31, at a rental of
P1,200, plus the amount of real estate taxes, payable in advance in the
month of January; that desiring to develop and cultivate the fishpond by
herself, she notified the defendant in a letter dated June 26, 1957 that she
was terminating the contract as of December 31, 1957; that upon request
of the defendant, she extended the lease for another year; that on
November 19, 1958 she again wrote the defendant that he should
surrender possession of the fishpond on January 1, 1959, which demand he
however ignored. Plaintiff accordingly prayed that the defendant be
ordered to restore the possession of the fishpond to her and to pay her
P1,200, plus the amount of real estate taxes, a year from 1959, attorney's
fees and costs.
The defendant moved for the dismissal of the complaint on the ground that
the trial court had no jurisdiction over the case which properly pertains to
the Court of Agrarian Relations, there being an agricultural leasehold
tenancy relationship between the parties. Upon opposition by the plaintiff,
the motion was denied. The defendant thereafter filed his answer with
counterclaim alleging, inter alia, that the land in question was originally
leased to him, also verbally, by the plaintiff's father, Potenciano Gabriel in
1923 for as long as the defendant wanted subject to the condition that he
would convert the major portion into a fishpond and the part which was
already a fishpond be improved at his expense which would be reimbursed
by Potenciano Gabriel or his heirs at the termination of the lease for
whatever cause; that when the plaintiff became the owner of the property
through inheritance, she told the defendant that she would honor her
father's contract with the defendant, and likewise assured him that he
could continue leasing the property, whose original rental of P400.00 a
year had been progressively increased to P1,200.00, for as long as he
wanted since she was not in a position to attend to it personally. As a
special defense, the defendant reiterated the alleged lack of jurisdiction of
the trial court to take cognizance of the case.
On February 12, 1962 the trial court issued an order herein below quoted
in full:
The plaintiff sinks to eject the defendant from the fishpond described in the
complaint which is under lease to the said defendant, who, however,
refuses to vacate. Instead, he has impugned the jurisdiction of this Court

It appears that the fishpond is presently in the possession of the


defendant, who originally leased it from the father of the plaintiff. Upon the
death of the said father, the fishpond was inherited by the plaintiff. It is
now covered by T.C.T. No. 1634 and is registered in her name. It contains
an area of 169,507.00 square meters. The rental is on a yearly basis.
It also appears that the defendant has ceased to work personally with the
aid of helpers the aforecited fishpond since 1956 he became ill and
incapacitated. His daughter, Pilar Pangilinan, took over. She testified that
she helps her father in administering the leased property, conveying his
instructions to the workers, Urbano Maninang, Isidro Bernal and Marciano
Maninang. The names of Ire, Juan and Aguedo Viada have been mentioned
as the laborers who were paid for the repair of the dikes. Bernardo
Cayanan, a nephew of the defendant, acts as the watcher. He has lived
separately since he got married. Excepting Pilar Pangilinan. who is residing
near the fishpond, the other children of the defendant are all professions; a
lawyer, an engineer, and a priest all residing in Manila. None of these
persons has been seen working on the fishpond.
The above are the material and pertinent facts upon which we enter this
order.
After a study of the facts and in the light of the provisions of the Tenancy
Law, Republic Act No. 1199, particularly Sections 4 and 9, as amended. it
seems clear that his case does not fall within the purview of said Act. The
lease contract is manifestly a civil lease governed by the New Civil Code.
Considering the area of the fishpond, 16 hectares, more or less, the fact
that neither the defendant, who is physically incapacitated, or his daughter
is Personally cultivating the fishpond or through the employment of
mechanical farm implements, and the further fact that the persons named
above are not members of the immediate farm household of the
defendant, the conclusion is that no tenancy relationship exists between
the plaintiff and the defendant as defined by Republic Act No. 1199, as
amended.
We are, therefore, of the opinion and so hold that this Court is vested with
jurisdiction to try and decide this case. After this order has become final,
the plaintiff may request for the setting of the initial trial.
The defendant does not contest the findings of facts therein made by the
trial court.

After the parties adduced their respective evidence on the merits, decision
was rendered wherein the trial court Pursuant to Article 1197 of the Civil
Code, fixed the period of the low up to June 30, 1964, the defendant on
said date to surrender possession of the fishpond to the plaintiff and to pay
the rentals due the latter. The plaintiff, on her part, was required upon
surrender of on to her, to pay the defendant the sum of P1,000.00 as
reimbursement of the expenses he incurred in improving the fishpond, and
upon failure by either party to pay the amount due the other, the same
would bear interest at the legal rate until full payment is made.

the fishpond personally or with the aid of the members of his immediate
farm household (Section 4, Republic Act No. 1199) the tenancy relationship
between the parties has been extinguished (Section 9, id.) and become of
civil lease and therefore the trial court properly assumed jurisdiction over
the case.

A reconsideration by the defendant having been denied, he appealed to


this Court and assigned the following errors:

Those are the findings and conclusions of facts made by the Court of
Appeals which, as a general rule, bind this Court. 2

1. The lower court erred in considering the relationship of appellee and


appellant as that of a civil lease, in accordance with the Civil Code of the
Philippines and not a leasehold tenancy under Rep. Act No. 1199 as
amended.

1. Let Us now discuss the issues raised in this appeal. First, was the
relationship between the appellee and appellant a leasehold tenancy or a
civil law lease?

2. The lower court erred in not holding that the Court of First Instance is
without jurisdiction, the cue being that of an agrarian relation in nature
pursuant to Rep Act. NO. 1199 as amended.
3. The lower court erred in appreciating the evidence of the appellant
particularly the basis for the expenditure for the development of the
fishpond in question.
4. The lower court erred in rendering judgment in favor of the appellant in
them easily amount of one thousand pesos for reimbursement and for
seven hundred pesos for the cost of the floodgate.
Anent the question of jurisdiction, it is an admitted fact that plaintiff leased
the fishpond to the defendant in 1943 without a fixed term, the annual
rental payable at the end of the year (Exhibit C, Deposition of plaintiff, Dec.
13, 1962, pp. 2 and 3). It is likewise undisputed that the work in the
fishpond consisted in letting out the water so algae (lumut) would grow or
if algae would not grow, getting some from the river and putting them in
the fishpond, changing the dirty water with fresh water, repairing leaks in
the dikes, and planting of fingerlings and attending to them; that these
were done by defendant, with some help; that he personally attended to
the fishpond until 1956 when he became ill; that thereafter his nephew
Bernardo Cayanan, who was living with him, helped in the work to be done
in the fishpond and his daughter Pilar Pangilinan helped in the
management, conveying his instructions to the workers (t.s.n., pp. 4-8,
Magat).

It does appear that the controversy on the issue of jurisdiction calls for the
interpretation of cultivating or working the land by the tenant personally or
with the aid of the members of his immediate farm household. 1

There are important differences between a leasehold tenancy and a civil


law lease. The subject matter of leasehold tenancy is limited to agricultural
land; that of civil law lease may be either rural or urban property. As to
attention and cultivation, the law requires the leasehold tenant to
personally attend to, and cultivate the agricultural land, whereas the civil
law lessee need not personally cultivate or work the thing leased. As to
purpose, the landholding in leasehold tenancy is devoted to agriculture,
whereas in civil law lease, the purpose may be for any other lawful
pursuits. As to the law that governs, the civil law lease is governed by the
Civil Code, whereas leasehold tenancy is governed by special laws. 3
In order that leasehold tenancy under the Agricultural Tenancy Act may
exist, the following requisites must concur.
1. That the land worked by the tenant is an agricultural land;
2. That the land is susceptible of cultivation by a single person together
with members of his immediate farm household;
3. That the land must be cultivated by the tenant either personally or with
the aid of labor available from members of his immediate farm household;
4. That the land belongs to another; and
5. That the use of the land by the tenant is for a consideration of a fixed
amount in money or in produce or in both. 4
Were the foregoing requisites present in the instant case?

Upon the foregoing facts, the defendant insists that the relationship
between the parties is an agricultural leasehold tenancy governed by
Republic Act No. 1199, as amended, pursuant to section 35 of Republic Act
No. 3844, and the present case is therefore within the original and
exclusive jurisdiction of the Court of Agrarian Relations. Plaintiff, on the
other hand, maintains in effect that since defendant has ceased to work

There is no doubt that the land in question is agricultural land. It is a


fishpond and the Agricultural Tenancy Act, which refers to "agricultural
land", specifically mentions fishponds and prescribes the consideration for
the use thereof. Thus Section 46(c) of said Act provides that "the
consideration for the use of sugar lands, fishponds, salt beds and of lands

devoted to the raising of livestock shall be governed by stipulation


between the parties". This Court has already ruled that "land in which fish
is produced is classified as agricultural land." 5 The mere fact, however,
that a person works an agricultural land does not necessarily make him a
leasehold tenant within the purview of section 4 of Republic Act No. 1199.
He may still be a civil law lessee unless the other requisites as above
enumerated are complied with.
Regarding the second requisite, it is to be noted that the land in question
has an area of 169,507 square meters, or roughly 17 hectares of fishpond.
The question of whether such a big parcel of land is susceptible of being
worked by the appellant's family or not has not been raised, and We see no
need of tarrying on this point. So, We pass to the third requisite, to wit,
whether the tenant himself personally or with the aid of his immediate
family worked the land.
Assuming that appellant had previously entered in 1923 into an agreement
of leasehold tenancy with Potenciano Gabriel, appellee's father, such
tenancy agreement was severed in 1956 when he ceased to work the
fishpond personally because he became ill and incapacitated. Not even did
the members of appellant's immediate farm household work the land in
question. Only the members of the family of the tenant and such other
persons, whether related to the tenant or not, who are dependent upon
him for support and who usually help him to operate the farm enterprise
are included in the term "immediate farm household" 6 The record shows
who helped work the land in question, and We quote:
It also appears that the defendant has ceased to work personally with the
aid of helpers the aforecited fishpond since 1956 when he became ill and
incapacitated. His daughter, Pilar Pangilinan took over. She testified that
she helps her father in administering the leased property, conveying his
instructions to the workers, Urbano Maninang, Isidro Bernal and Marciano
Maninang. The names of Ire, Juan and Aguedo Viada have been mentioned
as the laborers who were paid for the repair of the dikes. Bernardo
Cayanan, a nephew of the defendant, acts as the watcher. He has lived
separately since he got married. Excepting Pilar Pangilinan, who is residing
near the fishpond, the other children of the defendant are all professionals:
a lawyer, an engineer, and a priest all residing in Manila. None of these
persons has been seen working on the fishpond. 7
The law is explicit in requiring the tenant and his immediate family to work
the land. Thus Section 5 (a) of Republic Act No. 1199, as amended, defines
a "tenant" 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 in produce or in money or both,
under the leasehold tenancy system. Section 8 of the same Act limits the
relation of landholder and tenant to the person who furnishes the land and
to the person who actually works the land himself with the aid of labor
available from within his immediate farm household. Finally, Section 4 of

the same Act requires for the existence of leasehold tenancy that the
tenant and his immediate farm household work the land. It provides that
leasehold tenancy exists when a person, who either personally or with the
aid of labor available from members of his immediate farm household,
undertakes to cultivate a piece of agricultural land susceptible of
cultivation by a single person together with members of his immediate
farm household, belonging to, or legally possessed by, another in
consideration of a fixed amount in money or in produce or in both.
A person, in order to be considered a tenant, must himself and with the aid
available from his immediate farm household cultivate the land. Persons,
therefore, who do not actually work the land cannot be considered tenants;
8 and he who hires others whom he pays for doing the cultivation of the
land, ceases to hold, and is considered as having abandoned the land as
tenant within the meaning of sections 5 and 8 of Republic Act. No. 1199,
and ceases to enjoy the status, rights, and privileges of one.
We are, therefore, constrained to agree with the court a quo that the
relationship between the appellee Trinidad Gabriel and appellant Eusebio
Pangilinan was not a leasehold tenancy under Republic Act No. 1199.
Hence, this case was not within the original and exclusive jurisdiction of
the Court of Agrarian Relations. 9
2. Regarding the second assignment of error, We accordingly rule that the
Court of First Instance correctly assumed jurisdiction over the case at bar,
this being a case of civil law lease.
3. We deem it unnecessary to discuss the third and fourth assigned errors
as these are issues involving findings of facts which have been settled by
the lower court, and unless there is grave abuse of discretion, which we do
not find in the record of the case, We shall not venture to discuss the
merits of the factual findings of the court a quo.
IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the decision of the Court of First Instance of
Pampanga in its Civil Case No. 1823, appealed from, is affirmed, with costs
against the appellants.
This decision should apply to the heirs and successors-in-interest of the
original parties, as named in this decision. In consonance with the decision
of the lower court, the heirs and successors-in-interest of appellant Eusebio
Pangilinan should deliver the possession of the fishpond in question to the
heirs and successors-in-interest of appellee Trinidad Gabriel; and said heirs
and successors-in-interest of appellant Eusebio Pangilinan should pay the
heirs and successors-in-interest of appellee Trinidad Gabriel the accrued
rentals. From January 1, 1960, at the rate of P1,200.00 a year, until the
actual delivery of the possession of the fishpond as herein ordered, with
interest at the legal rate until full payment is made.
4. Coconut Cooperative Marketing Association vs.
Appeals, et. al., GR No. 46281-83, August 19, 1988.

Court

of

The facts of the case:


The owners of the coconut land in question located in Bo. Imok Calauan,
Laguna, consisting of fifteen (15) hectares, more or less, are the spouses
Pedro Rulloda and Salud Sanchez. Prior to, and including the years 1964 up
to 1971, Rosario Paraiso Vda. de Fule (Fule, hereafter) obtained legal
possession of the land c,irrency virtue of a yearly contract of sale (pakyaw)
of all the coconut produce and other fruits from said land. In 1972, Fule did
not renew the contract but spouses (Pedro Rulloda and Salud Sanchez)
executed a similar contract with Eddie A. Escudero, which was renewed
every year until 1975. 1
During the period prior to 1964, Fule had utilized the services of Pedro,
Hermogenes and Lucas Cosico as caretakers over four (4) hectares each of
the land in question, paying them for their services in cash, which was
equivalent to 1/7 of the proceeds of the sale of coconuts harvested from
the land they each caretook. As caretakers, the Cosico's would check or
visit said plantation to see whether there was stealing in the plantation,
and they would report to her (Fule). They lived in a place about 2 and 1/2
kms. away from the land in question. They had no work animals to
cultivate the land with; they used bolos to clean and clear the land by
cutting grass and burning them. Private respondents (Cosicos) alleged that
they also planted coconut trees and other permanent trees in the land, for
which they have not allegedly been paid. The tasks of harvesting,
gathering, picking and hauling coconuts were performed by laborers hired
and paid by Fule or her coconut buyer. And when respondent Pedro Cosico
was hired to gather coconuts in the land, he was paid for his labor. The
payment for his labor was separate from his 1/7 share received as
caretaker. 2
Defendant Fule became a member of the petitioner COCOMA from 1964 to
1972, while Eddie A. Escudero became a member of the same cooperativecorporation from 1972 to 1975. During the time that the land was under
contract with these persons, petitioner COCOMA claims to have acted as
their agent in providing management and marketing services. 3
Consequently, from 1964 up to 1975, petitioner COCOMA hired allegedly
for and on behalf of Fule and Eddie A. Escudero, the necessary laborers to
harvest and transport the coconut produce from the land. Among these
workers were respondents Pedro and Hermogenes Cosico who were
recommendees of Fule, and who were hired to clean the land of grass,
shrubs, dried coconut leaves and husks. The work done in the land and the
expenses incurred therefor were approved and paid by Fule and Eddie A.
Escudero, through petitioner COCOMA. And all the cleaning and planting
expenses were covered with receipts duly signed by the laborers. 4
During all the time that petitioner COCOMA was rendering management
and marketing services in the land in question, all the proceeds from the
sale of the coconut produce thereof, less the necessary expenses
mentioned above, were paid and delivered, after every harvest season, to

said Fule and Eddie A. Escudero, respectively, in compliance with the terms
of their marketing agreements with petitioner COCOMA. 5
On 9 October 1971, or after seven (7) years from 1964 that all the workers
had been receiving their wages as hired workers in said land from Fule and
later from Eddie A. Escudero, through the petitioner COCOMA, the
respondents Pedro, Hermogenes and Lucas, all surnamed Cosico, started to
claim to be the tenants in three (3) separate portions of said landholding,
consisting of about four (4) hectares each, more or less. They instituted
individually CAR Cases Nos. 2236, 2237 and 2238 against defendants
Rosario Paraiso Vda. de Fule and Villa Escudero Corporation (VESCO).
Respondents later amended their complaint in said cases by including,
petitioner COCOMA as defendant. 6
On 26 January 1976 the Court of Agrarian Relations (CAR) rendered a joint
decision:' in the three (3) cases, the dispositive part of which is as follows:
WHEREFORE, Judgment is hereby rendered:
1. Declaring plaintiffs Pedro Cosico (CAR CASE No. 2236) and Hermogenes
Cosico (CAR CASE No. 2237), as true and lawful tenants of the Coconut
Marketing Association (COCOMA), its duly authorized representatives,
successors in interest and/or assigns, over four (4) hectares each of
coconut land described in their respective complaints;
2. Declaring, furthermore, plaintiff Hermogenes Cosico as the true and
lawful tenant of defendant COCOMA, its duly authorized representatives,
successors in interest and/or assigns, over that four (4) hectares of coconut
land described in CAR CASE No. 2238, which is contiguous to that referred
to in CAR CASE No. 2237;
3. Declaring that no tenancy relations exists between defendant COCOMA
and Lucas Cosico, plaintiff in CAR CASE No. 2238;
4. Ordering defendant COCOMA, its representatives, successors in interest
and/or assigns, to immediately reinstate plaintiffs Pedro Cosico and
Hermogenes Cosico to the landholdings mentioned in the next preceding
paragraphs and to maintain them in peaceful possession and tenancy
thereof, on a sharing arrangement of 70-30 in favor of the defendant
COCOMA on the proceeds of the net harvest until such time as said parties
shall have mutually agreed on fixed rentals;
5. Ordering defendant COCOMA, its representatives, successors in interest
and/or assigns to deliver to plaintiffs Pedro Cosico and Hermogenes Cosico
the amount of P28,994.00 representing the 30% share of the said plaintiffs
from the coconuts harvested from the land in question for the period
covering November 12, 1971 up to June 4, 1975
6. Ordering defendant COCOMA, its representatives, successors in interest
and/or assigns to render an accounting of the harvests of the land for the
period starting June 5, 1975, up to the present and to deposit to the Court,

the equivalent of the 30% share of the aforementioned plaintiffs, for


delivery to said plaintiffs; 7. Ordering defendant COCOMA, its
representatives, successors in interest and/or assigns, to pay plaintiffs
Pedro Cosico and Hermogenes Cosico the amount of Four Thousand Pesos (
P4,000.00) or Two Thousand Pesos (P2,000.00) each, as expenses of
litigation and other incidental expenses; and 8. Denying the claim for
decision-' of all three defendants; All other claim and counterclaims are
denied for lack of merit. 7
On 19 February 1976, petitioner COCOMA appealed the CAR decision:' to
the Court of Appeals. On 19 May 1977, the Court of Appeals, as earlier
stated, rendered a decision, the dispositive part of which is as follows:
WHEREFORE, finding the decision appealed from to be in accordance with
law and supported by substantial evidence, the same is hereby affirmed in
toto without pronouncement as to costs in this instance. 8
Hence, the instant petition of COCOMA.
The four (4) issues raised by the petitioner are: (1) whether or not the
private respondents are share tenants in the coconut land in question; (2)
whether or not private respondent Hermogenes Cosico can be adjudged a
share tenant and the COCOMA ordered the reinstate him in the land
involved in CAR Case No. 2238 when Hermogenes Cosico is not even a
plaintiff in said Case No. 2238, but one Lucas Cosico; (3) whether or not
COCOMA, contending to be a mere marketing agent which provides
management and marketing services to the members of the cooperative,
can be held directly liable to the private respondents-tenants for their
share in the coconuts harvested; and (4) whether or not the computation
of the alleged shares due the respondents Pedro Cosico and Hermogenes
Cosico, made by the trial court is patently erroneous because the same
was based on a wrong number of coconuts harvested and on conjectured
prices.
As to the first issue, petitioner contends that private respondents were
merely caretakers, of Fule and, later, Eddie Escudero, whose task included
clearing the land by cutting grass and burning them to smudge the
coconut trees to make them bear fruits, 9 planting of coconuts, and other
fruit bearing trees, 10 and harvesting, gathering, picking and hauling
coconuts, 11 and that, as caretakers, private respondents were paid
separately in cash. 12 Hence, the petitioner would like this Court to believe
that since private respondents were mere caretakers who were paid in
cash for their services, they were therefore, hired laborers, not share
tenants.
Petitioner's contention is without merit.
In determining the nature of the relationship of the parties in the instant
case, it would be well to review the concept of a share tenant as against
that of an agricultural worker.

Share tenancy or agricultural tenancy is defined as:


... the 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 or ascertainable, either in produce
or in money or in both (Section 3, Republic Act 1199, the Agricultural
Tenancy Act, as amended).
... share tenancy exists whenever two persons agree on a joint undertaking
for agricultural production wherein one party furnishes the land and the
other his labor, with either or both contributing any one or several of the
items of production, the tenant cultivating the land with the aid of labor
available from members of his immediate farm household, and the produce
thereof to be divided between the landholder and the tenant in proportion
to their respective contributions (Sec. 4, RA 1199; Sec. 166 (25), RA 3844,
Agricultural Land Reform Code). 13
On the other hand, the Court has defined an agricultural worker as follows:
... . A "farm worker" is any "agricultural wage, salary or piece worker but is
not limited to a farm worker of a particular farm employer unless this Code
(Agricultural Land Reform Code, supplied) explicitly states otherwise, and
any individual whose work has ceased as a consequence of, or in
connection with, a current agrarian dispute or an unfair labor practice and
who has not obtained a substantially equivalent and regular employment."
The term includes "farm laborer and/or farm employer." An agricultural
worker' is not a whit different from a farm worker.
From the definition of a "farm worker" thus fashioned, it is quite apparent
that there should be an employer-employee relationship between the farm
employer and the farm worker. In determining; the existence of an
employer-employee relationship, the elements that are generally
considered are the following: (1) selection and engagement of the
employee; (2) the payment of wages; (3) the power of dismissal; and (4)
the employer's power to control the employee's conduct. It is this last
element that constitutes the most important index of the existence of
relationship. 14
The above-mentioned characteristics of an agricultural worker or farm
worker do not exist in share tenancy.
Further, in one case, the Court compared an agricultural worker with a
share tenant, and set out the following distinctions, among others,
between the two:
... . The agricultural laborer works for the farm employer, and for his labor
he receives a salary or wage, regardless of whether the employer makes a
profit. On the other hand, the share tenant participates in the agricultural
produce. His share is necessarily dependent on the amount of the harvest.

Since the relationship between farm employer and agricultural laborer is


that of employer and employee, the decisive factor is the control exercised
by the former over the latter. On the other hand, the landholder has the
'right to require the tenant to follow those proven farm practices which
have been found to contribute towards increased agricultural production
and to use fertilizer of the kind or kinds shown by proven farm practices
adapted to the requirements of the land." This is but the right of a partner
to protect his interest, not the control exercised by an employer. ... 15
The record of this case is bare of evidence to support the conclusion that
the private respondents are mere agricultural workers. Unlike ordinary
laborers, respondents did not observe regular hours of work. They did not
work in shifts. Petitioner COCOMA could not even remember the number of
days that private respondents worked on the land for each agricultural
year. While petitioner kept a record of the full amount paid to respondents
for each agricultural season, it did not keep an accurate record of the
actual number of days respondents reported for work. 16 The petitioner did
not lay down regulations under which respondents were supposed to do
their work. Neither did petitioner prescribe the manner by which the
private respondents were to perform their duties as farmworkers. We do
not find that degree of control and supervision essential to the presence of
an employer-employee relationship between petitioner and respondents
and before that, between Fule or Escudero, on the one hand and
respondents, on the other.
Petitioner, in an attempt attempt to support its pretense that private
respondents are only hired laborers, not share tenants, claims that private
respondents are mere caretakers who paid for their services as such, and
whose work consists of clearing and cleaning the land, planting the
coconut and other fruit-bearing trees, and harvesting, gathering, picking
and hauling coconuts.
We do not sustain the petitioner's pretense.
Now well-settled is the rule that cultivation is an important factor in
determining; the existence of a share tenancy relationship. 17 As to the
meaning of cultivation, this Court has already held that:
... . The definition of cultivation is not limited merely to the tilling, plowing
or harrowing of the land. It includes the promotion to 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 and 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. The fact

that respondent Benitez, together with his family, handles all phases of
farmwork from clearing the landholding to the processing of copra,
although at times with the aid of hired laborers, thereby cultivating the
land, shows that he is a tenant, not a mere farm laborer. 18
It may thus be said that the caretaker of an agricultural land can also be
considered the cultivator of the land. 19
In Marcelo v. De Leon, plaintiff therein argued that the defendant was not a
tenant inasmuch as the latter did not till or cultivate the land in order to
grow the fruit-bearing trees because they were already full-grown; that he
did not do the actual gathering of the fruits but merely supervised the
gathering; that after deducting the expenses, he gave one-half of the fruits
to the plaintiff all in consideration of the land. Ruling in the abovementioned case, this Court held:
Anyone who has had fruit trees in his yard, will disagree with the above
description of the relationship. He knows the caretaker must water the
trees, even fertilize them for better production, uproot weeds and turn the
soil, sometimes fumigate to eliminate plant pests, etc. Those chores
obviously mean 'working or cultivating' the land. Besides, it seems that
defendant planted other crops, (i.e. cultivated the lot) giving the landowner
his corresponding share. 20
Applying the foregoing precedents to the case at bar, and given the kind of
work performed by respondents on the landholding in question, the Court
holds that respondents are share tenants, not hired workers, of the
petitioner.
Further supportive of the existence of a share tenancy relationship
between petitioner and respondents is their agreement to share the
produce or harvest on a 1/7 to 6/7 basis in favor of the petitioner COCOMA.
Though not a decisive indication per se of the existence of tenancy
relationship, such sharing of the harvests, taken together with the other
factors characteristic of tenancy shown to be present in the case at bar,
strengthens the claim of respondents that, indeed, they are tenants.
To prove petitioner's claim that the private respondents are hired workers
and not its tenants, petitioner would rely mainly on the receipts signed by
respondents and other persons tending to show that they were paid by
petitioner for services rendered especially for cutting grass. 21
This Court cannot re-examine the facts as found by the Court of Appeals,
except for unusual and urgent reasons which however do not exist in this
case. Whether a person is a tenant or not is basically a question of fact and
the findings of the respondent court and the trial court are, generally,
entitled to respect and non-disturbance. 22
The conclusion then, anent the first issue, as borne out by the evidence on
record, is that private respondents Pedro and Hermogenes, both surnamed
Cosico, are share tenants of the land in dispute.

On the second issue, petitioner questions the recognition by the trial court
and the Court of Appeals of respondent Hermogenes Cosico as tenant in
the landholding where his co-respondent Lucas Cosico claims to be the
tenant, when the former is not even a party to the separate case filed by
the latter and he (Hermogenes Cosico) did not allege such tenancy in his
own amended complaint. In other words, it is petitioner's submission that
even if respondent Hermogenes Cosico were to be considered a tenant in
the landholding described in his amended complaint, the court had no
legal basis, however, in declaring him also a tenant of a landholding
described and claimed by another person in another case in which he
(Hermogenes) is not a party and which he did not claim to be a tenant of,
in his own complaint. 23

or sub-lessee of the land, or buyer of the coconut produce thereof, or


usufructuary or legal possessor of the same, or even an assignee of any
right affecting it. Thus, assuming, without conceding, that respondents
Pedro and Hermogenes Cosico are considered tenants of the land,
petitioner COCOMA submits that, being only an agent of defendants Fule
and Escudero, it can not be held liable for the acts of its principals.
Petitioner's cooperative-corporation is not in accordance with applicable
laws, because
A landholder shall mean a person, natural or juridical, who, either as
owner, lessee, usufructuary or legal possessor lets or grants to another the
use or cultivation of his land for a consideration either in shares under the
share tenancy system, or a price certain or ascertainable under the
leasehold system. 26

Petitioner's contention. is without merit.


It should be noted that the three (3) cases filed by the three (3) private
respondents were jointly tried and their common evidence showed that,
although Hermogenes and Lucas Cosico were supposed to have separate
holdings, from 1956, of four (4) hectares each, both of them worked the
two (2) holdings jointly in their entirety, but it was only Hermogenes Cosico
who received the tenant's share from the whole. In other words, it was
Hermogenes Cosico who acted as sole tenant of the two (2) holdings.
Hence, the latter's recognition by the Court of Agrarian Relations and the
Court of Appeals; as the tenant in the holding also claimed by Lucas
Cosico. The facts, therefore, warranted Hermogenes Cosico's recognition as
the tenant in both landholding. 24
In Teodoro vs. Macaraeg, this Court ruled:
Significantly, the Court of Agrarian Relations is not 'restricted to the
specific relief claimed or demands made by the parties to the dispute, but
may include in the order or decision any matter or determination which
may be deemed necessary and expedient for the purpose of settling the
dispute or preventing further disputes, provided said matter for
determination has been established by competent evidence during the
hearing. 25
Further, R.A. 3844, Section 155, provides:
SEC. 155. Powers of the Court; Rules of Procedure. ... The Courts of
Agrarian Relations shall be governed by the Rules of Court: Provided, That
in the hearing, investigation and determination of any question or
controversy pending before them the Courts without impairing substantial
rights, shall not be bound strictly by the technical rules of evidence and
procedure, except in expropriation cases.
We now move to the third issue.
It is contended by the petitioner COCOMA that it has never been a
landholder of the land in question, since it was, at no time, owner, lessee

In accordance with the above provision, petitioner COCOMA is the


landholder of the subject landholdings for (a) it is juridical person" being a
domestic corporation established under the laws of the Philippines; (b) it is
the "legal possessor" of the land for it has the sole management and
administration thereof, 27 (c) it has authorized or retained the private
respondents to cultivate the land; and (d) it has shared the harvest with
the latter, albeit unlawfully, making it appear that they are laborers instead
of tenants. 28
Petitioner, being a landholder, as defined by law, is therefore subject to the
rights, obligations, and limitations provided for under the agrarian laws.
There is also no question that, in this case, there was a transfer of the legal
possession of the land from one landholder to another (Fule to petitioner
COCOMA). In connection therewith, Republic Act 3844, Sec. 10 states:
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 landholdings, the purchaser or transferee
thereof shall be subrogated to the rights and substituted to the obligations
of the agricultural lessor.
Further, in several cases, this Court sustained the preservation of the
landholder-tenant relationship, in cases of transfer of legal possession:
... in case of transfer or in case of lease, as in the instant case, the tenancy
relationship between the landowner and his tenant should be preserved in
order to insure the well-being of the tenant or protect him from being
unjustly dispossessed by the transferee or purchaser of the land; in other
words, the purpose of the law in question is to maintain the tenants in the
peaceful possession and cultivation of the land or afford them protection
against unjustified dismissal from their holdings. (Primero v. CAR, 101 Phil.
675);

It is our considered judgment, since the return by the lessee of the leased
property to the lessor upon the expiration of the contract involves also a
transfer of legal possession, and taking into account the manifest intent of
the lawmaking body in amending the law, i.e., to provide the tenant with
security of tenure in all cases of transfer of legal possession, that the
instant case falls within and is governed by the provisions of Section 9 of
Republic Act 1199, as amended by Republic Act 2263. (Joya v. Pareja, 106
Phil. 645)
... that the tenant may proceed against the transferee of the land to
enforce obligation incurred by the former landholder in relation to said
land, for the reason that 'such obligation. . . falls upon the assignee or
transferee of the land' pursuant to Sec. 9 abovementioned. Since
respondents are in turn free to proceed against the former landholder for
reimbursement, it is not iniquitous to hold them responsible to the tenant
for said obligations. Moreover, it is the purposes of Republic Act 1199,
particularly Sec. 9 thereof, to insure that the right of the tenant to receive
his lawful share of the produce of the land is unhampered by the transfer
of said land from one landholder to another. (Almarinez v. Potenciano, 120
Phil. 1154.)
Therefore, petitioner, being a landholder, can be held liable to private
respondents for their shares in the coconuts harvested from the
landholding in question.
As to the fourth issue, i.e., that the computation of the private respondents
thirty percent (30%) share in the harvest from 1971 to 1975, made by the
Court of Agrarian Relations and affirmed by the Court of Appeals, is
erroneous, this Court finds no compelling reason to depart from such
computation, as it is a part of the findings of fact and conclusions drawn
therefrom by the respondent appellate court. Such findings and
conclusions should not be disturbed on appeal, in the absence of proof that
they are unfounded or were arbitrarily arrived at or that the Court of
Appeals had failed to consider important evidence to the contrary.

In Bagsican v. Court of appeals, it was held that:


... in agrarian cases, all that is required is mere substantial evidence.
xxx xxx

xxx

Under this rule, all that the appellate court has to do, insofar as the
evidence is concerned, is to find out if the decision:' is supported by
substantial evidence. So much so that the findings of fact of the Court of
Agrarian Relations, if supported by such evidence, are conclusive on the
appellate tribunal. 29
The respondent appellate court, in the case at bar, acted correctly when it
ruled:
On the whole, we are not at liberty to reverse the foregoing findings of fact
of the Agrarian Court in the absence of any proof that are unfounded or
where arbitrarily arrived at or that the court had failed to consider
important evidence to the contrary. It is well-established that so long as the
findings of fact of the Agrarian Court attain the minimum, evidentiary
support demanded by law, that is, supported by substantial evidence, such
findings cannot be reversed by the appellate tribunals. In the present case,
We do not find any cogent reason to adopt a conclusion different from that
reached by the court a quo. 30
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The decision:' appealed from is
AFFIRMED. Costs against the petitioner.
SO ORDERED.