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JURISPRUDENCE ON AGRARIAN LAWS

Agrarian Reform Laws INTERPRETATION LAND REFORM LAWS; LIBERALLY, in favor of the grantee, in order to give full force and effect to their clear intent, w/c is to achieve a dignified existence for the small farmers and to ma e them more inde!endent, self"reliant and res!onsi#le citi$ens, and a source of genuine strength in our democratic societ%& CARL under RA 6657; LANDS COVERED BY THE LAW/ Lands reserved for, or converted to, non"agricultural uses #% the gov0t& agencies other than the 1AR, !rior to the effectivit% of the 2ARL, are not considered and treated as agricultural lands and are not covered #% said law& Same; Same; 4omesteads are not exem!t from the o!eration of the Land Reform Law& 8he right to retain seven hectares of land is su#9ect to the condition that the landowner is actuall% cultivating that area or will cultivate it u!on the effectivit% of the said law& Same; LAND E CL!DED; Lands classified as non" agricultural !rior to 2ARL& Article -+ of the <ater 2ode of the :hili!!ines =:& 1& 3o& ),-+> !rovides that an% watershed or an% area of land ad9acent to an% surface water or overl%ing an% ground water ma% #e declared #% the 1e!artment of 3atural resources as a !rotected area& Rules and Regulations ma% #e !romulgated #% such 1e!artment to !rohi#it or control such activities #% the owners or occu!ants thereof within the !rotected area which ma% damage or cause the deterioration of the surface water or ground water or interfere with the investigation, use, control, !rotection, management or administration of such waters& <atersheds ma% #e defined as ?an area drained #% a river and its tri#utaries and enclosed #% a #oundar% or divide which se!arates it from ad9acent watersheds&? <atersheds generall% are outside the commerce of man, so wh% was the 2asile !ro!ert% titled in the name of @RR12A 8he answer is sim!le& At the time of the titling, the 1e!artment of Agriculture and 3atural Resources had not the declared the !ro!ert% as watershed area& 8he !arcels of land in Baranga% 2asile were declared as ?:ARB? #% a Coning Drdinance ado!ted #% the munici!alit% of 2a#u%ao in )7+7, as certified #% the 4ousing and Land Ese Regulator% Board& Dn Fanuar% 6, )77G, the @angguniang Ba%an of 2a#u%ao, Laguna issued a Resolution .- voiding the Coning classification of the lands at Baranga% 2asile as :ar and declaring that the land was now classified as agricultural land& Same; LAND E EMPTED; =)> :rawn farms, fish!onds H #% virtue of RA +;;)& =@!s& 8irona v& Ale9o, (R ).7*)*, Dct& ),, .,,)>5 =.> <atershed H defined in Art& -+ of the <ater 2ode of the :hils& =:1 ),-+> =@ta& Rosa Realt% 1ev& 2or!& v& 2A, su!ra>& Same; AC"!ISITION OF PRIVATE LANDS; Ior a valid im!lementation of the 2ARL !rogram, two =.> notices are reJd/ =a> 3D8I2E DI 2DKERA(E and LE88ER DI I3KI8A8ID3 to a !reliminar% conference sent to the landowner, the re!resentative of the BAR2& LB:, farmer" #eneficiaries and other interested !arties5 and =#> the 3D8I2E DI A2LEI@I8ID3 sent to the land owner under @ec& )- of the 2ARL& @ta& Rosa Realt% 1ev& 2or!& v& 2A, (R )).6.-, Dct& )., .,,)& Estolas v& 'a#alot, (R )**+,-, 'a% +, .,,.&

34A v& Allarde5 (R ),-67*, 3ov& )-, )777& :aris v& Alfeche, (R )*7,;*, Aug& *,, .,,)& @ta& Rosa Realt% 1ev& 2or!& v& 2A, (R )).6.-, Dct& )., .,,)&

Same; VOL!NTARY OFFER TO SELL; Ender 1AR Administrative Drder 3o& *, @eries of )7;7, it is not necessar% that the voluntar% offeror of the lot #e the registered owner thereof& 4owever, !rivate res!ondent failed to show that the 1AR acce!ted and a!!roved his offer to sell, w/o w/c, !rivate res!ondent cannot safel% !resume that his voluntar% offer to sell was acce!ted #% the 1AR&

(@I@ v& 2A, (R ).;));, Ie#& )6, .,,.&

RI#HT OF RETENTION; Ender :1 .+, the landowner0s :aris v& right to retain + hectares of land is su#9ect to condition that Alfeche, .,,)& said landowner is actuall% cultivating that area or will cultivate it u!on the effectivit% of the said law& Ender the 2ARL, landowners are no longer reJd to do so in order to Jualif% fort he retention of an area not exceeding 6 hectares& 4owever, the% are reJuired to maintain the actual tiller of the area retained, should the latter choose to remain therein& LAND VAL!ATION; $ur%&d%'(%)n )* (+e RTC a& a S,e'%a- A.rar%an C)ur(/ Ender @ec& 6+ of the 2ARL, the R82 has original and exclusive 9urisdiction over all !etitions for the determination of 9ust com!ensation to landowners& LB: v& 2A, (R ).-**., 3ov& )-, )777

Same; T+e DARAB +a& au(+)r%(/ () de(erm%ne (+e LB: v& 2A, %n%(%a- 0a-ua(%)n )* -and& %n0)-0%n. a.rar%an re*)rm1 But (R ).-**., the R82 as s!ecial agrarian court is vested the final 3ov& )-, )777 determination of 9ust com!ensation& $!ST COMPENSATION; Although, under the law, tenant farmers are alread% deemed owners of the land the% till, the% are still reJd& to !a% the cost of the land, including interest, w/in )6 %ears #efore the title is transferred to them& =id&> Ex!ro!riation of landholding did not ta e !lace on the effectivit% of :1 .+& 8he sei$ure would ta e effect on the !a%ment of 9ust com!ensation, 9udiciall% determined& RECLASSIFICATION; A.r%'u-(ura- Land () Re&%den(%a-; 8he #asic reJuirements for reclassification of agricultural land to residential land such as/ =)> the certification of the 4ousing and Land Ese Regulator% Board =4LERB> 1e!uti$ed Coning Administrator of the cit% or munici!alit% concerned, or in its a#sence, the certification of the Regional 4LERB Dfficer that the land use conforms with the a!!roved Land Ese :lan5 and =.> certification from the 1AR Regional 1irector that the land ceased to #e economicall% feasi#le and sound for agricultural use or a certification from the 1e!uti$ed Coning Administrator of the 4LERB that the land or localit% has #ecome ur#ani$ed and has greater economic value for commercial, industrial or residential !ur!oses& Same; C)n0er&%)n () Re&%den(%a-2 C)mmer'%a-2 Indu&(r%a- )r &)me )(+er !r3an Pur,)&e&; RA *;GG, as amended #% RA -*;7, !rovides M @E28ID3 *-& :ossession of Landholding5 Exce!tions& M 3otwithstanding an% agreement as to the !eriod or future surrender of the land, an agricultural lessee shall continue in the en9o%ment and !ossession of his landholding exce!t when his dis!ossession has #een authori$ed #% the 2ourt in a 9udgment that is final and executor% if after due hearing it is shown that/ Dffice of the :res& K& 2A, (R )*).)-, Ful% )7, .,,)&

@!s& 2alvo v& @!s& Kergara, (R )*G+G), 1ec& )7, .,,)&

Bun%e v& AJuino, (R )*;7+7, Dct& 7, .,,,&

=)> 8he landholding is declared #% the de!artment head u!on recommendation of the 3ational :lanning 2ommission to #e suited for residential, commercial, industrial or some other ur#an !ur!oses/ :rovided, 8hat the agricultural lessee shall #e entitled to distur#ance com!ensation eJuivalent to five times the average of the gross harvests on his landholding during the last five !receding calendar %ears5 xxx xxx xxx 8hus, even assuming that Coilo Bun%e did in fact !romise and deliver 6,, sJuare meters of his land to Bartolome AJuino for use as a homelot, the right of the latter to en9o% the same ceased when the remaining .,6,, sJuare meters of !etitionerNs land was converted to residential and commercial land in )7;RI#HT OF TENANCY; 8he right of tenanc% attaches to the landholding #% o!eration of law and is not extinguished #% the alienation or transfer of the legal !ossession of the landholding& TENANCY RELATIONSHIP; 8he essential reJuisites of a tenanc% relationshi! are/ =)> the !arties are the landowner and the tenant5 =.> the su#9ect is agricultural land5 =*> there is consent of the landowner5 =G> the !ur!ose is agricultural !roduction5 =6> there is !ersonal cultivation5 and =-> there is sharing of harvests or !a%ment of rentals& All these reJuisites must concur in order to create a tenanc% relationshi! #etween the !arties& 8he a#sence of one does not ma e an occu!ant of a !arcel of land, or a cultivator thereof, or a !lanter theron, a de jure (enan(& Enless a !erson has esta#lished his status as a de jure tenant, he is not entitled to securit% of tenure nor is he covered #% the land Reform :rogram of the (overnment under existing tenanc% laws& <ith the landowner0s admission that !etitioners were tenants on the su#9ect landholding, the element of sharing harvest is assumed as a factual element in that admission& A.r%'u-(ura- Tenan'/; @ec& + of RA *;GG !rovides that once the leasehold relation is esta#lished, the agricultural lessee cannot #e e9ected from the land unless authori$ed #% the court for cause !rovided #% law& Same; Dnce esta#lished, agricultural tenanc% confers u!on the agricultural lessee the right to continue wor ing on the landholding until such leasehold relation is extinguished& RA *;GG and the 2ARL !rovide for @E2ERI8Y DI 8E3ERE of tenants& 'oreover, the 2ARL grants them the RI(48@ DI :RE"E':8ID3 and RE1E':8ID3& "!ALIFIED BENEFICIARIES; A'(ua- Cu-(%0a()r; Per&)na- 'u-(%0a(%)n; At the time !rivate res!ondent a!!lied to !urchase Lot 3o& +,+ in )7-., the law in effect was the A.r%'u-(ura- Tenan'/ A'( )* (+e P+%-&1 4RA 55667 w/c reJd that the a!!licant fort he !urchase of agricultural land should !ersonall% cultivate and/or occu!% the land su#9ect of the !urchase& 8he A.r%'u-(ura- Land Re*)rm C)de 4RA 89::7, w/c was enacted on ; Aug& )7-*, allowed the landholder to e9ect tenants on the ground that the landholder will !ersonall% cultivate the :hil#ancor Iinance v& 2A, (R ).76+., Fune .-, .,,,& 4eirs of Fose Fuanite v& 2A, (R )*;,)-, Fan& *,, .,,.5 Be9asa v& 2A, (R ),;7G), Ful% -, .,,,&

:ascual v& 2A, (R )*;+;), 1ec& *, .,,)& 8ua$on v& (arilao, (R )G*-+*, Aug& ),, .,,)&

:alele v& 2A, (R )*;.;7, Ful% *), .,,)&

land& 8he C)m,re+en&%0e A.rar%an Re*)rm La; 4RA 6986, enacted on ), @e!t& )7+) and hereinafter referred to as the 2ARL>, a#olished !ersonal cultivation #% the landowner as a ground for e9ecting an agricultural lessee& 'oreover, it allowed !ersonal cultivation #% the agricultural lessee to #e done w/ the assistance of his immediate farm household or mem#ers of his famil%& Same; BONA FIDE A#RIC!LT!RAL LESSEE; <ithout the element of !ersonal cultivation, a !erson cannot #e considered a tenant even if he is so designated in the written agreement of the !arties& Dr a general conclusion #% the 'ARD that res!ondent is a registered agricultural lessee of the lands !er records of their office, as the Basunduang Buwisan sa @a ahan was registered there& Same; Same; :ursuant to Administrative Drder 3o& ),, @eries of )7;7, Identification of actual and !otential #eneficiaries under 2AR: is vested in the 1AR @ecretar%& R!LE ON S!CCESSION; @ection 7 of RA *;GG is clear and uneJuivocal in !roviding for the rules on succession to tenanc% rights& A close examination of the !rovision leaves no dou#t as to its rationale of !roviding for continuit% in agricultural leasehold relation in case of death or inca!acit% of a !art%& 8o this end, it !rovides that in case of death or !ermanent inca!acit% of the agricultural lessee to wor his landholding, the leasehold shall continue #etween the agricultural lessor and the !erson who can cultivate the landholding !ersonall%& In the same vein, the leasehold shall #ind the legal heirs of the agricultural lessor in case of death or !ermanent inca!acit% of the latter& It is to achieve this continuit% of relationshi! that the agricultural lessor is mandated #% law to choose a successor"tenant within one month from the death or inca!acit% of the agricultural lessee from among the following/ =)> surviving s!ouse5 =.> eldest direct descendant #% consanguinit%5 or =*> the next eldest direct descendant or descendants in the order of their age& @hould the lessor fail to exercise his choice within one month from the death of the tenant, the !riorit% shall #e in accordance with the aforementioned order& NON<TRANSFERABILITY OF LAND AWARDED !NDER PD =7; 8itle to land acJuired !ursuant to :1 .+ or the land Reform :rogram of the government shall not #e transfera#le, EP2E:8 to the grantee0s heirs #% hereditar% succession, or #ac to the government #% other legal means& E!on the !romulgation of :1 .+, farmer"tenants were deemed owners of the land the% were tilling& 8heir emanci!ation gave them the right to !ossess, cultivate and en9o% the landholding for themselves& 8hese rights were granted #% the government to them as the tillers and to no other& 8hus, to insure their continuous !ossession and en9o%ment of the !ro!ert%, the% could not, under the law, effect an% transfer, exce!t #ac to the government, or #% hereditar% succession, to their successors& REALLOCATION OF LANDHOLDIN#; An% transfer of farmer"#eneficiar%0s landholding ma% onl% #e made in favor of the government& :etitioner cannot, #% himself, ta e over a farmer"#eneficiar%0s landholding, allegedl% on the ground that it was a#andoned& 8he !ro!er !rocedure for reallocation must #e followed to ensure that there was @umatra v& Kda& 1e :ariOas, (R )G.76;, A!ril .G, .,,.&

'usa v& Amor, (R )G)*7-, A!ril .,,.& 'ilestone Realt% and 2o& v& 2A, (R )*6777, A!ril )7, .,,.&

Estolas v& 'a#alot, (R )**+,-, 'a% +, .,,.&

Estolas v& 'a#alot, (R )**+,-, 'a% +, .,,.&

indeed an a#andonment, and that the su#seJuent #eneficiar% is a Jualified farmer"tenant as !rovided #% law& ABANDONMENT OF LEASEHOLDIN#; Ior a#andonment to exist, the ff& reJuisites must #e !roven/ Q)R a clear and a#solute intention to renounce a right or claim or to desert a right or !ro!ert%5 and Q.R an external act #% w/c that intention is ex!ressed or carried into effect& 8here must #e an actual, not merel% a !ro9ected relinJuishment5 otherwise, the right or claim is not vacated or waived and, thus, susce!ti#le of #eing a!!ro!riated #% another& Administrative Drder 3o& ., issued on 'arch +, )77G, defines a#andonment or neglect as a willful failure of the agrarian reform #eneficiar%, together w/ his farm household, to cultivate, till or develo! his land to !roduce an% cro!, or to use the land for an% s!ecific economic !ur!ose continuousl% for a !eriod of two calendar %ears& RI#HT TO DISPOSE PROPERTY BY LANDOWNER WITHO!T OTHER LIMITATIONS THAN THOSE ESTABLISHED BY LAW; @ecs& ),, )) and ). of RA *;GG, allows the agricultural lessor to sell the landholding, w/ or w/o the nowledge of the agricultural lessee and at the same time recogni$es the right of !reem!tion and redem!tion of the agricultural lessee& 8hus, the existence of tenanc% rights of agricultural lessee cannot affect nor derogate from the right of the agricultural lessor as owner to dis!ose of the !ro!ert%& 8he onl% right of the agricultural lessee or his successor in interest is the right of !reem!tion and/or redem!tion& RI#HT OF REDEMPTION; RA 3o& *;GG, @ec& ). !rovides M In case the landholding is sold to a third !erson w/o the nowledge of the agricultural lessee, the latter shall have the right to redeem the same at a reasona#le !rice and consideration/ :rovided, 8hat the entire landholding sold must #e re"deemed/ :rovided, further, 8hat where there are two or more agricultural lessees, each shall #e entitled to said right of redem!tion onl% to the extent of the area actuall% cultivated #% him& 8he right of redem!tion under this @ection ma% #e exercised <I84I3 8<D YEAR@ from the registration of the sale, and shall have !riorit% over an% other right of legal redem!tion&N Same; C)n&%.na(%)n )r Tender )* Pa/men( %n C)ur(; Ender RA *;GG, as amended, from the time the Land Ban 2ertification dated )6 Fan& )7;. was !resented to the R82 on ., Fan& )7;.5 and that the certification is eJuivalent to a consignation or tender of !a%ment in court& 8hus, 8he su#seJuent cancellation of the LB: of its earlier 2ertification cannot affect the right alread% acJuired #% Arcega, et al&, as agricultural lessees& TENANT S!CCESSION; C+)%'e; A tenanc% relationshi! ma% #e esta#lished either ver#all% or in writing, ex!ressl% or im!liedl%, in accordance w/ @ec& + of RA ))77& E!on the death or inca!acit% of the original tenant, the lessor/landowner has the right to choose the tenant successor !ursuant to @ec& 7 of RA *;GG& Estolas v& 'a#alot, (R )**+,-, 'a% +, .,,.&

'ilestone Realt% and 2o& v& 2A, (R )*6777, A!ril )7, .,,.&

:hil#ancor Iinance v& 2A, (R ).76+., Fune .-, .,,, 5 4eirs of Fose Fuanite v& 2A, (R )*;,)-, Fan& *,, .,,.&

4eirs of Fose Fuanite v& 2A, (R )*;,)-, Fan& *,, .,,.5 @!s& 'allari v& Arcega, (R ),--)6, 'arch .,, .,,.& Ieli$ardo v& Iernande$, (R )*+6,7, Aug& )6, .,,)&

SALE OR TRANSFER OF RI#HTS; 8he sale or transfer 2or!us v& of rights over !ro!ert% covered #% a 2L8 is void EP2E:8 @!s& (ros!e, when the alienation is made in favor of the government or (R )*6.7+,

through hereditar% succession& 8his ruling is intended to Fune ;, .,,,& !revent a reversion to the old feudal s%stem in w/c the landowner reacJuired vast tracts of land, thus negating the govt0s& !rogram of freeing the tenant from the #ondage of the soil& Same; Sama+an. Na/)n > Va-%d; 8he incurrence of various loans and mortgaging of agricultural land to secure said loans is not a#andonment of the agricultural tenanc% relationshi!& 4owever, the voluntar% surrender of the landholding to the @amahang 3a%on w/c, under the circumstances of the case, Jualifies as a surrender or transfer, to the government of his rights under the agrarian laws& DEPARTMENT OF A#RARIAN REFORM AD$!DICATION BOARD 4DARAB7 H created !ursuant to @ec& )* of ED ).7"A& It has the !rimar%, original and a!!ellate 9urisdiction over agrarian dis!ute or cases involving tenanc% relationshi!& Same; $!RISDICTION; 8he case at #ar for the maintenance of !eaceful !ossession of the !remises #% !rivate res!ondent =awardee of the land>, is an incident of the earlier decision of the 1ARAB u!holding said res!ondent0s entitlement to the award under the 2ARL& 4ence the 1ARAB, w/c/ as a rule has 9urisdiction to tr% and decided an% agrarian dis!ute or an% incident involving the im!lementation of 2ARL continues to have 9urisdiction over the case& Same; Same; 8he 1ARAB has no 9urisdiction to grant !rivate res!ondents =as #eneficiaries of the agrarian reform !rogram and tenants of the ad9oining land> a right of wa% over !etitioner0s networ of !rivate roads intended for its exclusive use& 8here is no tenanc% relationshi! #etween the !arties& Re& $ud%'a(a; 8he doctrine, w/c em#races/ Q)R #ar #% !rior 9udgment under @ec& G+ =#>, Rule *7 of the )77+ Rules of 2ivil :roc&5 and Q.R conclusiveness of 9udgment under !ar& =c> thereof, a!!lies to #oth 9udicial and administrative !roceedings& 2or!us v& @!s& (ros!e, (R )*6.7+, Fune ;, .,,,&

'onsanto v& Cerna, (R )G.6,), 1ec& +, .,,)& 2enteno v& 2enteno, (R )G,;.6, Dct& )*, .,,,&

Laguna Estates 1ev& 2or!& v& 2A, (R ))7*6+, Ful% 6, .,,,& Dcho v& Bernardino, (R )*+7,;, 3ov& .., .,,,&