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Heirs of Reyes vs.

Garilao (2009)
FACTS The Heirs of Reyes (HEIRS) were registered co-owners of a 100-ha parcel of cadastral land with TCT in Bataan. These were originally owned by Antonia and Aurelio Reyes. When Aurelio died, the widow and the eight children divided the property. In 1988, Garilao et. al (GARILAO) were recipients of emancipation patents of the said property as farmer beneficiaries. About 5 years later, the HEIRS filed a petition to cancel the EPs issued by the DARAB. A month before the said petition, they also filed an application for retention of 5 hectares each based on RA 6657, Sec. 6, which was granted by the DAR Regional Director. GARILAO appealed the decision of the DAR Regional Director to the DAR Secretary, who issued an order in their favor setting aside the retention rights. The DAR Secretary found that each of the HEIRS owned, aside from the property, other non-agricultural properties located in Makati and Manila. The DAR Secretary further held that landowners who own lands devoted to non-agricultural purposes are presumed to derive adequate income therefrom to support themselves and their families. The HEIRS appealed to the CA, which however dismissed their petition. The CA ruled that Admin Order No. 4 (1991) and Letter of Instruction (LOI) No. 474, restricted the right of retention of landowners. It found that the heirs did not exercise their right of retention under PD 27, and said that provisions of RA no. 6657 on retention limits applied. According to the said issuances, landowners who own other nonagricultural lands and derived adequate income therefrom have no right of retention. The HEIRS now appeal the said decision. ISSUE WON the heirs still had retention rights either under PD 27 or RA 6657 HELD NONE. PD27 was issued decreeing emancipation of tenants from bondage of the soil. Said law provided that a landowner may retain an area not more than 7 hectares, if such landowner is cultivating such area or will now cultivate it. Pres. Marcos issued LOI No. 474 which directed the Sec. of Agrarian Reform to: undertake to place under the Land Transfer Program of the government pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 27, all tenanted rice/corn lands with areas of seven hectares or less belonging to landowners who own other agricultural lands of more than seven hectares in aggregate areas or lands used for residential, commercial, industrial or other urban purposes from which they derive adequate income to support themselves and their families. LOI No. 474, thus, amended PD No. 27 by removing any right of retention from persons who own other agricultural lands of more than 7 hectares, or lands used for residential, commercial, industrial or other purposes from which they derive adequate income to support themselves and their families. Section 6 of RA No. 6657 only provided for a right of retention of 5 hectares. Thereafter, Admin Order No. 4 (1991) was issued which declared that An owner of tenanted rice and corn lands may not retain these lands, If he, as of 21 October 1972, owned more than 24 hectares of tenanted rice and corn lands; or by virtue of LOI 474, if he, as of 21 October 1976, owned less than 24 hectares of tenanted rice or corn lands, but additionally owned the following: 1. Other agricultural lands of more than seven hectares, whether tenanted or not, whether cultivated or not, and regardless of the income derived therefrom; or 2. Lands used for residential, commercial, industrial, or other urban purposes, from which he derives adequate income to support himself and his family .[31] Based on the foregoing, LOI No. 474 provides for a restrictive condition on the exercise of the right of retention, specifically disqualifying landowners who own other agricultural lands of more than seven hectares in aggregate areas, or lands used for residential, commercial, industrial or other urban purposes from which they derive adequate income to support themselves and their families. Said condition is essentially the same one contained in Administrative Order No. 4, series of 1991. On the contention that RA 6675 repealed LOI no. 474, while RA No. 6675 is the law of general application, LOI No. 474 may still be applied to the latter. Hence, landowners under RA No. 6675 are

entitled to retain five hectares of their landholding; however, if they too own other lands used for residential, commercial, industrial or other urban purposes from which they derive adequate income to support themselves and their families, they are disqualified from exercising their right of retention.