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DIGEST OF AGRARIAN-RELATED SUPREME COURT RULINGS

(2000-2007)



JURISDICTION, THE ORIGINAL AND EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION TO DECIDE JUST COMPENSATION CASES
REMAINS WITH THE SPECIAL AGRARIAN COURT WHILE ONLY THE PRELIMINARY DETERMINATION
THEREOF IS VESTED WITH THE DARAB; RESORT TO THE COURTS CANNOT BE FORECLOSED ON THE
THEORY THAT THE COURTS ARE THE GUARANTORS OF THE LEGALITY OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION

Philippine Veterans Bank vs. Court of Appeals, The Secretary of DAR, DARAB, Davao City and Land Bank
of the Philippines
G.R. No. 132767 (January 18, 2000)


Facts:

Petitioner Philippine Veterans Bank owned four parcels of land in Tagum, Davao which were taken by
the Department of Agrarian Reform for distribution to landless farmers pursuant to the Comprehensive
Agrarian Reform Law (R.A. No. 6657). Dissatisfied with the valuation of the Land Bank of the Philippines
and the DARAB, petitioner filed a petition for determination of the just compensation for its property
with the Regional Trial Court, Branch 2, Tagum, Davao on January 26, 1994. The RTC dismissed the
petition on the ground that it was filed beyond the 15-day reglamentary period for filing appeals from
the orders of the DARAB. The Decision was affirmed by the Court of Appeals. Hence, this Petition for
Review.

Issue:

Whether or not the Special Agrarian Courts are considered appellate courts in the determination of
just compensation

Held:

No.
To implement the provisions of R.A. No. 6657, particularly Section 50 thereof, Rule XIII, Section 11 of
the DARAB Rules of Procedure provides:

"Land Valuation and Preliminary Determination and Payment of Just Compensation. The decision of
the adjudicator on land valuation and preliminary determination and payment of just compensation
shall not be appealable to the Board but shall be brought directly to the Regional Trial Courts designated
as Special Agrarian Courts within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the notice thereof. Any party shall be
entitled to only one motion for reconsideration."

As we held in Republic vs. Court of Appeals, this Rule is an acknowledgement by the DARAB that the
power to decide just compensation cases for the taking of lands under R.A. No. 6657 is vested in the
Courts. It is error to think that, because of Rule XIII, Sec. 11, the original and exclusive jurisdiction given
to the courts to decide petitions for determination of just compensation has thereby been transformed
into an appellate jurisdiction. It only means that, in accordance with settled principles of administrative
law, primary jurisdiction is vested in the DAR as an administrative agency to determine in a preliminary
manner the reasonable compensation to be paid for the lands taken under the Comprehensive Agrarian
Reform Program, but such determination is subject to challenge in the courts.
The jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Courts is not any less "original and exclusive" because the
question is first passed upon by the DAR, as the judicial proceedings are not a continuation of the
administrative determination. For that matter, the law may provide that the decision of the DAR is final
and unappealable. Nevertheless, resort to the courts cannot be foreclosed on the theory that courts are
the guarantors of the legality of administrative action.
Accordingly, as the petition in the Regional Trial Court was filed beyond the 15-day period provided in
Rule XIII, 11 of the Rules of Procedure of the DARAB, the trial court correctly dismissed the case and the
Court of Appeals correctly affirmed the order of dismissal.

ADMINISTRATOR/OVERSEER AT THE SAME TIME A TENANT, UNDER COMMON USAGE IN THE LOCALITY,
THE TERM ADMINISTRATOR IS USED INTERCHANGEABLY WITH TENANCY

Gerardo Rupa Sr. vs. The Honorable Court of Appeals and Magin Salipot
G.R. No. 80129 (January 25, 2000)


Facts:

The case at bar involves an action for redemption with damages filed by Gerardo Rupa Sr. against
Magin Salipot. Rupa claimed that he had been a tenant of a parcel of coconut land formerly owned by
Vicente Lim and Patrocinia Yu Lim for more than twenty (20) years now, sharing the harvests on a 50%-
50% basis. Also, that he is the overseer over four parcels of coconut land owned by the Lim spouses.
However, without any prior written notice, the land tenanted by the petitioner was sold to Magin
Salipot for P5,000.00 in January 1981. Petitioner averred that he only learned of the sale on February 16,
1981, and that he sought assistance with the local office of Agrarian Reform for the redemption of the
questioned property and even deposited the amount of P5,000.00 with the trial court.
However, the Regional Trial Court of Masbate rendered a decision dismissing the complaint on the
ground that Rupa was not a tenant of the subject property and thus, not entitled to a right of
redemption over the same. On appeal, the Court of Appeals finds, in substance, that there is no clear
and convincing evidence to show that plaintiff was a share tenant of the spouses Lim and that Rupa is
bound by his admission in Criminal Case No. 532-U, entitled People of the Philippines. vs. Mariano
Luzong filed six months after the instant case wherein he admitted that he was the overseer and
administrator of the five parcels of land owned by the Lim spouses. Thus, negating his claim of tenancy.
The CA therefore affirmed on appeal the decision of the lower court. Hence, this petition seeking the
reversal of the Decision of the Court of Appeals.

Issue:

Whether or not the petitioner is a lawful tenant of the land or a mere overseer thereof.

Held:

In the case at bar, we find that there are compelling reasons for this Court to apply the exception of
non-conclusiveness of the factual findings of the trial and appellate courts on the ground that the
"findings of fact of both courts is premised on the supposed absence of evidence but is in actuality
contradicted by evidence on record." A careful examination of the record reveals that, indeed, both the
trial court and the appellate court overlooked and disregarded the overwhelming evidence in favor of
Rupa and instead relied mainly on the statements made in the decision in another case.
A tenant is defined under Section 5 (a) of Republic Act No. 1199 as a person who himself and with the
aid available from within his immediate farm household cultivates the land belonging to or possessed by
another, with the latter's consent, for purposes of production, sharing the produce with the landholder
under the share tenancy system, or paying to the landholder a price certain or ascertainable in produce
or in money or both under the leasehold tenancy system. Briefly stated, for this relationship to exist, it is
necessary that:

1. The parties are the landowner and the tenant;

2. The subject is agricultural land;

3. There is consent;

4. The purpose is agricultural production;

5. There is personal cultivation; and

6. There is sharing of harvests.

Upon proof of the existence of the tenancy relationship, Rupa could avail of the benefits afforded by
R.A. No. 3844, as amended, particularly, Section 12 thereof which reads:

"SECTION 12. Lessee's right of redemption. In case the landholding is sold to a third person
without the knowledge of the agricultural lessee, the latter shall have the right to redeem the same at a
reasonable price and consideration: Provided, That the entire landholding sold must be redeemed:
Provided, further, That where there are two or more agricultural lessees, each shall be entitled to said
right of redemption only to the extent of the area actually cultivated by him. The right of redemption
under this Section may be exercised within two years from the registration of the sale, and shall have
priority over any other right of legal redemption."

As correctly pointed out by the CA, this right of redemption is validly exercised upon compliance with
the following requirements: a) the redemptioner must be an agricultural lessee or share tenant; b) the
land must have been sold by the owner to a third party without prior written notice of the sale given to
the lessee or lessees and the DAR in accordance with Section 11, RA 3844, as amended; c) only the area
cultivated by the agricultural lessee may be redeemed; d) the right of redemption must be exercised
within 180 days from notice; and e) there must be an actual tender or valid consignation of the entire
amount which is the reasonable price of the land sought to be redeemed.
The statements made in the decision that "[Rupa] claimed that he was made administrator by the Lim
spouses of their five (5) parcels of land in Armenia, Uson, Masbate" and that the "prosecution witnesses
in that case, namely, Pablito Arnilla and Antonieta Rongasan admitted that they were hired laborers of
Rupa in tilling the land in question" should not have been relied upon by the CA to conclusively disprove
the tenancy relationship.
First of all, we must look at the context in which these statements were made. The admission made by
Rupa as stated in the decision was made, as mentioned earlier, in a criminal case for malicious mischief
which Rupa filed against one Mariano Luzong, son-in-law of Salipot, on the ground that the latter
destroyed the banana and cassava plants growing in Rupa's farm. Said statement was apparently made
to prove Rupa's standing to file the complaint and to prove how he could have witnessed the
destruction made by said person.
Second, in claiming that he was administrator of the property, Rupa, a farmer of limited education
must have used the word "administrator" in a loose sense to mean one taking care of a certain piece of
property by clearing and planting on the same. As aptly pointed out by counsel for Rupa during the trial,
with no objection from the counsel of Salipot, "under common usage in the locality, the term
administrator is used interchangeably with tenancy.
Third, the CA did not bother to explain its finding on the "inherent incompatibility" between being a
tenant-farmer and an administrator or overseer. According to Rupa, he was tenant of one parcel of land
belonging to the Lim spouses and administrator or overseer of the other four parcels of land owned by
the said spouses. Salipot and his witnesses had interchangeably claimed Rupa to be an overseer and a
copra agent or copra buyer. As overseer, he may have been receiving a fixed salary. As tenant under our
legal definition, he may have been sharing the harvests with the landowner. This may well lead a person
to find an incompatibility between the two. However, one could in fact be overseer of a parcel of land,
supervising the laborers therein and receiving a fixed salary for one's services, and at the same time, act
as tenant farmer in another landholding.
Fourth, the testimony of the prosecution witnesses that they were "hired laborers" should not have
been given significant weight by the CA. The rule is well-settled that the rights of a person cannot be
prejudiced by the declaration, act or omission of another, except as provided by the Rules of Court in
cases of admission by a co-partner, agent, conspirator and privies. The said witnesses do not come
under any of these exceptions.
As regards the certificate issued by the Office of the Treasurer to the effect that Rupa was a copra
buyer from May 19, 1978 to October 10, 1979, we find that this does not necessarily rule out Rupa's
claim that he was a tenant-farmer since 1962. Rupa has satisfactorily explained that "pursuing two or
three lines of work is nothing new. In coconut lands, harvest seasons come far and in between, and the
tenant can always engage in the business of copra-buying in the interim." Moreover, the dates indicated
therein cover only a short period of time as against Rupa's claim that he was tenant from 1963 until his
ejectment sometime in 1981.
We are therefore constrained to overturn the appealed judgment insofar as it ruled that the records
do not establish Rupa's status as an agricultural tenant. Indeed, the testimony of Rupa and his witnesses
in open court, in our view, had not been convincingly rebutted and we have no reason to doubt the
veracity of the testimonies of his witnesses. Certainly, the passing statements contained in the decision
in the criminal case for malicious mischief cannot overcome the evidentiary value of the testimonies of
said witnesses. A meticulous review of the record would have found overwhelming evidence in favor of
Rupa. A scrutiny of the entire evidence on hand would be in line with the State's policy of achieving a
dignified existence for the small farmers free from pernicious institutional restraints and practices.

DECEIT/SQUATTING, RESPONDENT CANNOT IN GOOD FAITH ALLEGE TO BE A LAWFUL TENANT ONE
MOMENT AND BE AN OWNER THE NEXT

Raymundo T. Magdaluyo vs. Atty. Enrique L. Nace
Adm. Case No. 3808 (February 2, 2000)


Facts:

Complainant accused respondent of acts amounting to deceit and gross misconduct. Respondent was
one of the squatters living in one of the complainant's parcels of land situated in Antipolo, Rizal.
Allegedly, when complainant offered to relocate the squatters, the latter refused and instead filed a
complaint before the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (PARAB) claiming to be tenants
therein.
Three months later, the squatters again including respondent also filed a case before the Regional
Trial Court of Antipolo for the annulment or cancellation of complainant's land titles. This time, claiming
to be owners and not mere tenants of the land. They traced their alleged ownership to an old Spanish
title.
Because of the conflicting causes of action, both cases were dismissed. Complainant filed a case
against respondent accusing him of having deliberately committed a falsehood and of forum-shopping
praying that proper disciplinary sanctions be imposed against the latter.

Held:

After referral of the matter to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), the findings of the former
are as follows:

". . . while it may be true that different causes of action are indeed involved, it is their total
inconsistency, nay, total opposition with each other which raises doubts about the respondent's
sincerity. It escapes this Commission [on Bar Discipline] how Respondent can, in good faith, allege to be
a lawful tenant one moment, and be an owner the next.

Respondent herein, as a lawyer, was remiss in his duty to correctly inform the court of the law and the
facts of this case. He failed to allege in his complaint the fact that a prior dispute had been existing
between the parties before the PARAB, thus deceiving the court and giving it an inaccurate appreciation
of facts.

Lastly, respondent was delinquent in his duty as a lawyer to maintain only such suits as appears to him
to be just and such defenses only as he believes to be honestly debatable. It has long been settled that
Spanish titles cannot be used as evidence of land ownership. Yet respondent dares raise the same in his
complaint to defeat Complainant's duly registered certificate of title. Any lawyer should know that a
Spanish title would have no legal leg to stand on in the face of Transfer Certificate of Title over the same
parcel of land."

The Court concurs with the IBP's findings and recommendations being fully supported by evidence on
record.
Clearly, respondent violated the prohibition in the Code of Professional Responsibility against
engaging in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct. He was indeed, less than sincere in
asserting two conflicting rights over a portion of land that, in all probability, he knew not to be his.
As a lawyer, respondent is bound by his oath not to do falsehood or consent to its commission and to
conduct himself as a lawyer according to the best of his knowledge and discretion. The lawyers oath is a
source of obligations and violation thereof is a ground for suspension, disbarment or other disciplinary
action. Said acts are clearly in violation of his lawyer's oath that the court will not tolerate.

RETENTION/EXEMPTION, AN APPLICATION FOR EXEMPTION AND AN APPLICATION FOR RETENTION ARE
DISTINCT REMEDIES IN LAW. FINALITY OF JUDGMENT IN ONE DOES NOT PRECLUDE THE SUBSEQUENT
INSTITUTION OF THE OTHER

Eudosia Daez and/or Her heirs, Represented by Adriano D. Daez vs. Court of Appeals, Macario Sorientes,
Apolonia Mediana, Rogelio Macatulad and Manuel Umali
G.R. No. 133507 (February 17, 2000)


Facts:

Eudosia Daez applied for exemption of her 4.1685 hectare riceland in Brgy. Lawa, Meycauayan,
Bulacan being cultivated by the herein respondents. DAR Undersecretary Jose C. Medina denied the
application for exemption upon finding that the subject land is covered under LOI 474, the petitioner's
total properties having exceeded the 7-hectare limit provided by law.
The Secretary of DAR, Benjamin T. Leong, the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court all affirmed the
said Order and disregarded an Affidavit executed by the respondents stating that they are not the
tenants of the land. Their findings was that the Affidavit was merely issued under duress. In the
meantime, Emancipation Patents (EPs) were issued to the respondents.
Undaunted, Daez next filed an application for retention of the same riceland under R.A. No. 6657. DAR
Region III OIC-Director Eugenio B. Bernardo allowed her to retain the subject riceland but denied the
application of her children to retain three (3) hectares each for failure to prove actual tillage or direct
management thereof. This order was set aside by the DAR Secretary Ernesto Garilao but reinstated on
appeal by the Office of the President. The Court of Appeals again reversed this Decision and ordered the
reinstatement of the previous Decision of DAR Secretary Ernesto D. Garilao. Hence, this Appeal.

Issue:

Whether or not petitioner can still file a petition for retention of the subject landholdings, despite the
fact that a previous decision denying the petition for exemption had long become final and executory

Held:

It is incorrect to posit that an application for exemption and an application for retention are one and
the same thing. Being distinct remedies, finality of judgment in one does not preclude the subsequent
institution of the other. There was, thus, no procedural impediment to the application filed by Eudosia
Daez for the retention of the subject 4.1865 hectare riceland, even after her appeal for exemption of the
same land was denied in a decision that became final and executory.
The right of retention is a constitutionally guaranteed right, which is subject to qualification by the
legislature. It serves to mitigate the effects of compulsory land acquisition by balancing the rights of the
landowner and the tenant by implementing the doctrine that social justice was not meant to perpetrate
an injustice against the landowner. A retained area as its name denotes, is land which is not supposed to
anymore leave the landowner's dominion, thus, sparing the government from the inconvenience of
taking land only to return it to the landowner afterwards, which would be a pointless process.
The issuance of EPs and CLOAs to beneficiaries does not absolutely bar the landowner from retaining
the area covered thereby. Under Administrative Order No. 2, Series of 1994, an EP or CLOA may be
cancelled if the land covered is later found to be part of the landowner's retained area.

TENANCY RELATIONSHIP CAN ONLY BE CREATED WITH THE CONSENT OF THE TRUE AND LAWFUL
LANDHOLDER WHO IS EITHER THE OWNER, LESSEE, USUFRUCTUARY OR LEGAL POSSESSOR OF THE LAND

Bayani Bautista vs. Patricia Araneta
G.R. No. 135829 (February 22, 2000)


Facts:

In essence, the plaintiff averred that he had been the lawful tenant of a three (3) hectare parcel of
land owned by Gregorio Araneta II since 1978. In April 1991, a group of armed security guards, allegedly,
were sent by herein defendant Patricia Araneta, successor of Gregorio Araneta II and warned plaintiff to
vacate and to stop cultivating the subject landholding. Plaintiff prayed for the issuance of a temporary
restraining order to enjoin the defendant from the continued employment of threats and harassments
against his person, for the issuance of a permanent preliminary injunction during the pendency of the
case, for the maintenance of status quo and for the recognition of his right as tenant of the land.
Defendant to summarize, denied all the allegations of the plaintiff and stated that the property
belonged to Consuelo A. de Cuesta Auxilum Christianorum Foundation Incorporated and leased to
defendant for the development of a bio-dynamic farm and ultimately for the establishment of a training
center for bio-dynamic agriculture in the Philippines and humid tropics in Asia. The land also does not
fall under CARL because it has more than 18% slope. During an ocular inspection, defendant learned of
the presence of the plaintiff. The former invited the latter to join the project but he declined and agreed
to leave the premises. However, the plaintiff changed his mind and refused to leave. Efforts at
conciliation did not push through and instead a Complaint for Peaceful Possession with prayer for the
issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order and Writ of Preliminary Injunction was filed by the plaintiff.
The PARAD ruled in favor of the plaintiff (petitioner) and declared him as a bonafide tenant. On
appeal, the DARAB affirmed the said Decision. However, the Court of Appeals reversed the decision of
the DARAB. Hence, this Appeal.
Petitioner contends that in 1978, he entered into an oral tenancy agreement with Gregorio Araneta II
whom he has known and believed as the owner of the land. And that he regularly delivered to Gregorio
forty (40) cavans from the harvest through Lino Tocio. Petitioner, likewise relies on the certification
(ARPT and MARO) that he is a tenant on the landholding.

Issue:

Whether or not the petitioner is a lawful tenant of the subject landholding

Held:

The Appeal lacks merit.
"His reliance on the certifications issued in his favor is misplaced because they do not prove that the
landowner made him his tenant. As the Court of Appeals aptly observed, they only show that petitioner
is in possession of the land. The certifications do not disclose how and why he became a tenant."
In sum, respondent and the landowner are not bound by the alleged agricultural leasehold agreement
between petitioner and Gregorio. In the 1961 case of Lastimoza vs. Blanco, we ruled that "tenancy
relationship can only be created with the consent of the true and lawful landholder who is either the
'owner, lessee, usufructuary or legal possessor of the land' (sec. 5 [b], Rep. Act No. 1199), and not thru
the acts of the supposed landholder who has no right to the land subject of the tenancy. . . . To rule
otherwise, would be to pave the way for fraudulent collusions among the unscrupulous to the prejudice
of the true and lawful landholder."
Lastly, we can not sustain petitioner's argument that he is a tenant by virtue of the factual finding of
the DARAB. As discussed above, DARAB mainly relied on the certifications issued in favor of petitioner in
holding that he is a tenant in the disputed landholding. In Oarde vs. Court of Appeals, we held that
certifications issued by administrative agencies or officers that a certain person is a tenant are merely
provisional and not conclusive on the courts. This Court is not necessarily bound by these findings
specially if they are mere conclusions that are not supported by substantial evidence.

JURISDICTION/AGRARIAN DISPUTE/LEASEHOLD RELATIONSHIP, NO AGRARIAN DISPUTE EXISTS IN THE
CASE AT BAR. THE DARAB HAS NO JURISDICTION OVER THE MAIN ISSUE. CLEARLY, IT FOLLOWS THAT
THE DARAB ALSO HAS NO JURISDICTION OVER THE ANCILLARY MATTERS INCIDENT THERETO


Heirs of the Late Herman Rey Santos represented by his widow, Arsenia Garcia vda. de Santos vs. Court
of Appeals, et al.
G.R. No. 109992 (March 7, 2000)


Facts:

The case involves a parcel of land in Parulan, Plaridel, Bulacan which was levied on execution by the
Municipal Trial Court of Plaridel, Bulacan on October 24, 1989 and subsequently sold at public auction
on September 20, 1990 with Herman Rey Santos now substituted by his heirs and represented by his
widow Arsenia Garcia vda. de Santos, as the sole bidder for P34,532.50.
Private respondent Exequiel Garcia failed to exercise his right of redemption within the reglementary
period. On April 1, 1992, respondent filed a Petition for Injunction and Damages with an application for
the issuance of a preliminary injunction with the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board
(DARAB) docketed as DARAB Case No. 369-BUL '92 praying that petitioner be enjoined from preventing
private respondent from gathering the mango fruits lest they "over-mature and become useless".
The Provincial Adjudicator Erasmo SP. Cruz of the DARAB issued an Order allowing the gathering of
the mango fruits and directing that the proceeds thereof be deposited with the Adjudication Board.
Then on April 27, 1992, private respondent filed a Petition for Consignation before the RTC of Bulacan,
in an apparent attempt to redeem his land. The petition was dismissed.
Meanwhile, one Pantaleon Antonio filed on May 18, 1992, a Motion to intervene with the DARAB
claiming that "he is affected in his rights and interests as the party who tended and had the mango trees
bear fruits this season".
On May 7, 1992 private respondent filed a complaint for Annulment/Cancellation of Sale and
Document, Redemption with Damages and Preliminary Writ of Injunction against Herman Rey Santos,
the Deputy Sheriff of Bulacan and the Register of Deeds of Bulacan.
The DARAB suspended the hearing on Pantaleon Antonio's motion for intervention pending the
resolution of the ownership issue. On July 8, 1992, intervenor this time filed with the DARAB, a motion
to withdraw intervenor's deposited share. The Motion was granted and intervenor was allowed to
withdraw P87,300.00 out of the P174,650.00 harvests proceeds with intervenor Antonio being
recognized as the duly constituted tenant of the land. The Court of Appeals affirmed these orders of the
DARAB. Hence, the instant petition for review on Certiorari.

Issue:

Whether or not the PARAD/DARAB has jurisdiction to rule on ancillary matters even when the
question of ownership is pending resolution with the Regional Trial Courts?

Held:

Rule II, Section 1 of the Revised Rules of Procedure of the DARAB, provides:

SECTION 1. Primary, Original and Appellate Jurisdiction. The Agrarian Reform Adjudication
Board shall have primary jurisdiction, both original and appellate, to determine and adjudicate all
agrarian disputes, cases, controversies, and matters or incidents involving the implementation of the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program under Republic Act No. 6657, Executive Order Nos. 229, 228
and 129-A, Republic Act No. 3844 as amended by Republic Act No. 6389, P.D. No. 27 and other agrarian
laws and their implementing rules and regulations. (Emphasis supplied)

"Agrarian dispute" is defined under Section 3(d) of Republic Act No. 6657 (CARP Law), as:

(d) Agrarian Dispute refers to any controversy relating to tenurial arrangements, whether leasehold,
tenancy, stewardship or otherwise, over lands devoted to agriculture, including disputes concerning
farmworkers associations or representation of persons in negotiating, fixing, maintaining, changing or
seeking to arrange terms or conditions of such tenurial arrangements.

It includes any controversy relating to compensation of lands acquired under this Act and other
terms and conditions of transfer of ownership from landowners to farmworkers, tenants and other
agrarian reform beneficiaries, whether the disputants stand in the proximate relation of farm operator
and beneficiary, landowner and tenant, or lessor and lessee.

Clearly, no agrarian dispute is involved in this case. In fact, both are contending parties for the
ownership of the subject property.
In the case of Morta v. Occidental, et al., this Court held:

For DARAB to have jurisdiction over a case, there must exist a tenancy relationship between
the parties. In order for a tenancy agreement to take hold over a dispute, it would be essential to
establish all its indispensable elements, to wit: 1) that the parties are the landowner and the tenant or
agricultural lessee; 2) that the subject matter of the relationship is an agricultural land; 3) that there is
consent between the parties to the relationship; 4) that the purpose of the relationship is to bring about
agricultural production; 5) that there is personal cultivation on the part of the tenant or agricultural
lessee; and 6) that the harvest is shared between the landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee. In
Vda. de Tangub v. Court of Appeals (191 SCRA 885), we held that the jurisdiction of the Department of
Agrarian Reform is limited to the following: a) adjudication of all matters involving implementation of
agrarian reform; b) resolution of agrarian conflicts and land tenure related problems; and c) approval
and disapproval of the conversion, restructuring or readjustment of agricultural lands into residential,
commercial, industrial, and other non-agricultural uses.

Petitioners and private respondent have no tenurial, leasehold, or any agrarian relations whatsoever
that could have brought this controversy under the ambit of agrarian reform laws. Consequently, the
DARAB has no jurisdiction over the controversy and should not have taken cognizance of private
respondent's petition for injunction in the first place.
The issue of who can harvest the mangoes and when they can be harvested is an incident ancillary to
the main petition for injunction. As such, it is dependent on the main case. Inasmuch as the DARAB has
no jurisdiction to hear and decide the controversy between the parties, necessarily, the motion for
intervention loses the leg on which it can stand. This issue, after all, can be resolved by the trial court,
which has the jurisdiction to order the gathering of the mango fruits and depositing the proceeds with it,
considering that an action has already been filed before it on the specific issue of ownership.

VOLUNTARY SURRENDER/WAIVER OF RIGHTS/ABANDONMENT, THE WAIVER OF RIGHTS IS NULL AND
VOID FOR BEING CONTRARY TO OUR AGRARIAN REFORM LAWS. HOWEVER, VOLUNTARY SURRENDER
OF THE LANDHOLDING IN FAVOR OF THE SAMAHANG NAYON CONSTITUTES AS A VALID GROUND FOR
THE ABANDONMENT OF RIGHTS UNDER PD 27

Gavino Corpuz vs. Spouses Geronimo Grospe and Hilaria Grospe
G.R. No. 135297 (June 8, 2000)


Facts:

Petitioner Gavino Corpuz was a farmer-beneficiary under the Operation Land Transfer (OLT) Program
of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) who, pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 27, was issued a
Certificate of Land Transfer (CLT) over two parcels of agricultural land (Lot Nos. 3017 and 012) with a
total area of 3.3 hectares situated in Salungat, Sto. Domingo, Nueva Ecija and formerly owned by a
certain Florentino Chioco.
Petitioner mortgaged the subject land to pay for his wife's hospitalization on January 20, 1982 in favor
of Virginia de Leon. Upon the expiration of the contract, he again mortgaged the property to respondent
Hilaria Grospe [wife of Geronimo Grospe] for a period of four years (from December 5, 1986 to
December 5, 1990) to guarantee a loan of P32,500.00. The parties even executed a "Kasunduan sa
Pagpapahiram ng Lupang Sakahan" which allowed the respondents to use and/or cultivate the land
during the duration of the mortgage. Petitioner instituted an action for recovery of possession with the
DARAB in Cabanatuan City (Region III) against the respondents averring that the latter entered the
disputed land by force and intimidation on January 10 and 11, 1991 and destroyed the palay planted on
the land.
Respondents in their answer, claimed that the petitioner himself allowed them to take over the
possession and cultivation of the property until the latter has paid his loan. However, instead of paying
his loan, petitioner had allegedly executed on June 29, 1989, a "Waiver of Rights" over the landholding
in consideration in the amount of P54,394.00. Petitioner denied waiving his rights and claimed that his
and his children's signatures appearing on the waiver were forgeries.
The PARAD ruled that petitioner abandoned and surrendered the landholding to the Samahang Nayon
ng Malaya, Sto. Domingo, Nueva Ecija which in turn, had passed Resolution Nos. 16 and 27
recommending the reallocation of the said lots to the respondent spouses who were the "most qualified
farmer(s)-beneficiaries".
The DARAB affirmed the Provincial Adjudicator's decision. Petitioner moved for reconsideration but
the same was denied. Likewise, petitioner's appeal and subsequent reconsideration thereof were denied
by the Court of Appeals. Hence, this petition.

Issues:

Whether or not the appellate court was correct in finding that the signatures of petitioner and his
sons on the waiver were not forged?
Assuming arguendo that the signatures in the waiver were genuine, was it (the waiver) null and void
for being contrary to agrarian laws?
Did the petitioner abandon his rights as a beneficiary under PD 27?
Did he (petitioner), by voluntary surrender, forfeit his right as a beneficiary?

Held:

As a rule, if the factual findings of the Court of Appeals coincide with those of the DARAB an
administrative body which has acquired expertise on the matter such findings are accorded respect
and will not be disturbed on appeal. The presence or the absence of forgery was an issue of fact that
was convincingly settled by the agrarian and the appellate tribunals. Petitioner utterly failed to convince
us that the appellate court had misapprehended the facts. Quite the contrary, its findings were well-
supported by the evidence.
We have already ruled that the sale or transfer of rights over a property covered by a Certificate of
Land Transfer is void except when the alienation is made in favor of the government or through
hereditary succession. This ruling is intended to prevent a reversion to the old feudal system in which
the landowners reacquired vast tracts of land, thus, negating the government's program of freeing the
tenant from the bondage of the soil. In Torres v. Ventura, the Court clearly held:

". . . As such [the farmer-beneficiary] gained the rights to possess, cultivate and enjoy the landholding
for himself. Those rights over that particular property were granted by the government to him and to no
other. To insure his continued possession and enjoyment of the property, he could not, under the law,
make any valid form of transfer except to the government or by hereditary succession, to his successors.

. . . [T]he then Ministry of Agrarian Reform issued the following Memorandum Circular [No. 7, Series of
1979, April 23, 1979]:

"'Despite the above prohibition, however, there are reports that many farmer-beneficiaries of PD 27
have transferred the ownership, rights, and/or possession of their farms/homelots to other persons or
have surrendered the same to their former landowners. All these transactions/surrenders are violative
of PD 27 and therefore, null and void."'

Abandonment requires (a) a clear and absolute intention to renounce a right or claim or to desert a
right or property; and (b) an external act by which that intention is expressed or carried into effect. The
intention to abandon implies a departure, with the avowed intent of never returning, resuming or
claiming the right and the interest that have been abandoned.
The CA ruled that abandonment required (a) the tenant's clear intention to sever the agricultural
tenancy relationship; and (b) his failure to work on the landholding for no valid reason. The CA also
deemed the following as formidable evidence of his intent to sever the tenancy relationship: (a) the
mortgage and (b) his express approval and conformity to the Samahang Nayon Resolution installing the
private respondents as tenants/farmers-beneficiaries of the landholding. We disagree.
As earlier shown, the Waiver was void. Furthermore, the mortgage expired after four years. Thus, the
private respondents were obligated to return possession of the landholding to the petitioner. At
bottom, we see on the part of the petitioner no clear, absolute or irrevocable intent to abandon. His
surrender of possession did not amount to an abandonment because there was an obligation on the
part of private respondents to return possession upon full payment of the loan.
However, the nullity of the Waiver does not save the case for him because there is a clear showing
that he voluntarily surrendered his landholding to the Samahang Nayon which, under the present
circumstances, may qualify as a surrender or transfer, to the government, of his rights under the
agrarian laws.
PD 27 provides that title to land acquired pursuant to the land reform program shall not be
transferable except through hereditary succession or to the government, in accordance with the
provisions of existing laws and regulations. Section 8 of R.A. No. 3844 also provides that "[t]he
agricultural leasehold relation . . . shall be extinguished by: . . . (2) [v]oluntary surrender of the
landholding by the agricultural lessee . . . ."
To repeat, the land was surrendered to the government, not transferred to another private person. It
was the government, through the DAR, which awarded the landholding to the private respondents who
were declared as qualified beneficiaries under the agrarian laws. Voluntary surrender, as a mode of
extinguishment of tenancy relations, does not require court approval as long as it is convincingly and
sufficiently proved by competent evidence.
Petitioner's voluntary surrender to the Samahang Nayon qualifies as a surrender or transfer to the
government because such action forms part of the mechanism for the disposition and the reallocation of
farmholdings of tenant-farmers who refuse to become beneficiaries of PD 27. Under Memorandum
Circular No. 8-80 of the then Ministry of Agrarian Reform, the Samahan shall, upon notice from the
agrarian reform team leader, recommend other tenant-farmers who shall be substituted to all rights and
obligations of the abandoning or surrendering tenant-farmer. Besides, these cooperatives are
established to provide a strong social and economic organization to ensure that the tenant-farmers will
enjoy on a lasting basis the benefits of agrarian reform.

JURISDICTION/AGRARIAN DISPUTE/TENANCY RELATIONSHIP, FOR PURPOSES OF DETERMINING
WHETHER OR NOT THE MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT HAS JURISDICTION OVER THE CASE AND IN ORDER TO
DETERMINE THE EXISTENCE OF AN AGRARIAN DISPUTE, THE TRIAL COURT SHOULD NOT HAVE
DISREGARDED THE DEFENDANT'S ANSWER FOR HAVING BEEN FILED OUT OF TIME

Jaime P. Corpin vs. Amor S. Vivar and the Honorable Court of Appeals
G.R. No. 137350 (June 19, 2000)


Facts:

Petitioner filed a complaint for ejectment against the private respondent with the Municipal Trial
Court of Guiguinto, Bulacan. For failure to timely file his Answer with Motion to Dismiss the court
deemed the case submitted for judgment and rendered a decision ordering private respondent to
vacate the land in dispute. Private respondent appealed the case to the Regional Trial Court and
submitted documents to support his claim that he is a tenant of the petitioner's lot. The Regional Trial
Court in turn, dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction. Subsequently, petitioner filed a Petition for
Review of the said Decision with the Court of Appeals. The latter upheld the Regional Trial Court's
finding and dismissed the petition for lack of merit. Hence, this Petition.

Issues:

Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in the interpretation of Section 7, Rule 40 of the Revised
Rules of Court as it considered all the documents submitted by the Private Respondent for the first time
together with the memorandum
Whether or not the Honorable Court of Appeals erred in ruling that there was a landlord-tenant
relationship between the parties

Held:

In the case of Bayog vs. Natino which the appellate court cited, we held that the metropolitan circuit
trial court, which dismissed defendant's Answer for having been filed out of time and decided the case
based on the allegations in the complaint, should not have disregarded defendant's Answer and should
have heard and received the evidence for the purpose of determining whether or not it had jurisdiction
over the case.
What were presented to the municipal trial court were limited to the following: (1) Pagtitibay dated
February 21, 1996 signed by Angel Torres, Chairman of the BARC of Tabang; (2) Affidavit of Dr. Teodoro
Placido dated April 22, 1996; (3) Sinumpaang Salaysay of Ambrosio T. Mendoza dated April 22, 1996;
and (4) Sinumpaang Salaysay of private respondent dated April 22, 1996.
Considering the foregoing, it is clear that there is a need to conduct a hearing whereby both parties
may present evidence which may shed light on the issue of the municipal trial court's jurisdiction over
the case.
Consequently, the Regional Trial Court's finding that there exists a landlord-tenant relationship
between petitioner and respondent, which was based on the documents attached by private
respondent to his memoranda in the Regional Trial Court only on appeal and were not previously
presented to the municipal trial court in the original case, must be set aside.
The records of the case must be remanded to the Municipal Trial Court and hear the issue of
jurisdiction.

INTERVENTION/PARTIES-IN-INTEREST, ASSUMING THAT THE LANDS ARE "CARPABLE", IT IS NOT THE
PETITIONER BUT THE MEMBERS THEREOF WHO ARE THE PROPER PARTIES-IN-INTEREST IN THE SUBJECT
CONTROVERSY

Kooperatiba ng Sandigan ng Magsasakang Pilipino, Inc. (KSMP) vs. Department of Agrarian Reform
Adjudication Board, et al.
G.R. No. 139051 (June 26, 2000)

Facts:

The case stemmed from the Order dated May 27, 1975 by then DAR Secretary Conrado Estrella
granting the request for conversion of 1,837.30 hectares of agricultural land situated in Nasugbu,
Batangas into residential, commercial, industrial and other urban purposes. In essence, the Order stated
that the subject land is not economically suited for agricultural cultivation and that if there are any
tenant-tillers, disturbance compensation should be paid to them in accordance with law.
Fifteen (15) occupants assisted by the Federation of Free Farmers (FFF) claiming to be tenants of a
forty-four (44) hectare portion filed a motion for reconsideration of the said Order. But prior to such,
former President Ferdinand B. Marcos issued Proclamation No. 1520 on November 27, 1975 declaring
the Municipalities of Maragondon and Ternate, Cavite and Nasugbu, Batangas as tourist zones more
suitable for residential, commercial, industrial and urban uses.
In December 1989, apparently unaware of the conversion orders and presidential proclamation, then
DAR Secretary Miriam Defensor-Santiago issued Notices of Acquisition dated December 14-27, 1989.
Private respondents, Gonzalo Puyat and Sons, filed their objections to these Santiago notices.
Thereafter, on January 22, 1991, Secretary Benjamin T. Leong who succeeded Secretary Santiago ruled
on the validity of the questioned Order issued on May 27, 1975 and denied the Motion for
Reconsideration holding that pursuant to Proclamation No. 1520, Maragondon, Ternate and Nasugbu
are declared as tourist zones.
Meanwhile, on May 14, 1991, the private respondents filed a Petition with the DARAB docketed as
DARAB Case No. 0335 for the purpose of implementing the Conversion Orders which in effect suggested
the manner of invalidating the Santiago Notices as it was contrary to the Leong Order of January 22,
1991.
Petitioner KSMP (Kooperatiba ng Sandigan ng Magsasakang Pilipino, Inc.) filed a complaint-in-
intervention on the aforementioned case. This was dismissed by the DAR. Subsequently, KSMP filed a
Petition for Certiorari with the Court of Appeals docketed as G.R. No. 47813 imputing grave abuse of
discretion on the DARAB. The CA dismissed the same. Hence, this Petition.

Held:

We find no error with the ruling of the CA that petitioner's cause is lost considering that the
Conversion Orders have long become final and executory. There was, therefore, no more case to which
it could intervene. The complaint-in-intervention was, therefore, correctly dismissed pursuant to the
1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.
Petitioner's insistence that there was no final disposition yet of the conversion case, as in fact, DARAB
Case No. 0335 was initiated by the private respondents is untenable. A perusal of the records reveal that
DARAB Case No. 0335 was filed by the private respondents for the purpose of implementing the
Conversion Orders particularly the fixing of the final disturbance compensation to the legitimate farmer-
occupants. The complaint-in-intervention, however, puts in issue petitioner's alleged tenancy
relationship and security of tenure which the DARAB does not have any jurisdiction.
Furthermore, petitioner, a juridical entity, has no personality to file the instant petition to intervene in
the case as the real parties-in-interest are the members thereof who were not even recognized as the
rightful tenants occupying the subject land. As observed by the DAR, "members of petitioner are merely
holding on to an expectancy that they will become the beneficiaries assuming that the land is still
CARPable." The fact, however, remains that the land in question has already been excluded from the
purview of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL) by the Estrella and Leong Orders which had
long become final and executory.

TENANCY RELATIONSHIP/LEASEHOLD, BASICALLY, UNLESS THE PETITIONERS CAN SHOW PROOF THAT
THEY SHARED THE HARVESTS WITH THE LANDOWNER, NO TENANCY RELATIONSHIP CAN EXIST IN THE
CASE AT BAR

Reynaldo Bejasa and Erlinda Bejasa vs. The Honorable Court of Appeals, et al.
G.R. No. 108941 (July 6, 2000)


Facts:

Isabel Candelaria is the owner of two (2) parcels of land covered by TCT No. T-58191 and TCT No. T-
59172 measuring 16 hectares and 6 hectares, more or less, situated in Barangay Del Pilar, Naiyan,
Oriental Mindoro.
On October 20, 1974, Candelaria entered into a three-year lease agreement on the land with Pio
Malabanan. The contract stipulated that Malabanan will clear, clean and cultivate the land, purchase
and plant calamansi, citrus and rambutan seeds and make the necessary harvests of fruits. Sometime in
1973, Malabanan hired the Bejasas to plant on the land and clear it.
On May 3, 1977, Candelaria gave Malabanan a six-year usufruct over the land, modifying their first
agreement. Malabanan was under no obligation to share the harvests with Candelaria.
In 1983, Malabanan died.
On September 21, 1984, Candelaria constituted respondent Jaime Dinglasan as her attorney-in-fact
having powers of administration over the disputed property.
On October 26, 1984, Candelaria entered into a new lease contract over the land with Victoria
Dinglasan, Jaime's wife, for a period of one year. Meanwhile, the Bejasas agreed to pay rent to Victoria
of P15,000.00 in consideration of an "Aryenduhan" or "pakyaw na bunga" also for a term of one year.
The Bejasas were unable to pay the full amount of the consideration. After the aryenduhan expired,
despite Victoria's demand to vacate the land, the Bejasas continued to stay on the land and did not give
any consideration for its use.
On April 7, 1987, Candelaria and the Dinglasan again entered into a three-year lease agreement over
the land. The special power of attorney in favor of Jaime Dinglasan was also renewed by Candelaria on
the same date. Jaime filed a complaint before the Commission on the Settlement of Land Problems
(COSLAP), Calapan, Oriental Mindoro seeking the ejectment of the Bejasas. COSLAP dismissed the case.
Sometime on June 1987, Jaime filed a complaint with the Regional Trial Court, Calapan, Oriental
Mindoro against the Bejasas for "Recovery of Possession with Preliminary Mandatory Injunction and
Damages". The case was however referred to the DAR who in turn certified that the case was not proper
for trial before the civil courts. The trial court dismissed the complaint including the Bejasas'
counterclaim for leasehold and damages.
The Bejasas then filed with the Regional Trial Court a complaint for "confirmation of leasehold and
homelot with recovery of damages" against Isabel Candelaria and Jaime Dinglasan. The Trial Court ruled
in favor of the Bejasas reasoning that a tenancy relationship was created between the parties and that
as bona-fide tenant-tillers, the Bejasas have security of tenure.
Respondents appealed the aforementioned decision. On February 9, 1993, the Court of Appeals
promulgated a decision reversing the trial court's ruling. Hence, this Appeal.

Issue:

Whether or not there is a tenancy relationship created in favor of the Bejasas?

Held:

The elements of a tenancy relationship are the following:

(1) the parties are the landowner and the tenant;

(2) the subject is agricultural land;

(3) there is consent;

(4) the purpose is agricultural production;

(5) there is personal cultivation; and

(6) there is sharing of harvests.

After examining the three relevant relationships in this case, we find that there is no tenancy
relationship between the parties.
Malabanan and the Bejasas. True, Malabanan (as Candelaria's usufructuary) allowed the Bejasas to
stay on and cultivate the land. However, even if we assume that he had the authority to give consent to
the creation of a tenancy relation, still, no such relation existed.
There was no proof that they shared the harvests.
In Chico v. Court of Appeals, we faulted private respondents for failing to prove sharing of harvests
since "no receipt, or any other evidence was presented." We added that "Self serving statements . . . are
inadequate; proof must be adduced."
Candelaria and the Bejasas. Between them, there is no tenancy relationship. Candelaria as landowner
never gave her consent.
The Bejasas admit that prior to 1984, they had no contact with Candelaria. They acknowledge that
Candelaria could argue that she did not know of Malabanan's arrangement with them. True enough
Candelaria disavowed any knowledge that the Bejasas during Malabanan's lease possessed the land.
However, the Bejasas claim that this defect was cured when Candelaria agreed to lease the land to the
Bejasas for P20,000.00 per annum, when Malabanan died in 1983. We do not agree. In a tenancy
agreement, consideration should be in the form of harvest sharing. Even assuming that Candelaria
agreed to lease it out to the Bejasas for P20,000 per year, such agreement did not create a tenancy
relationship, but a mere civil law lease.
Dinglasan and the Bejasas. Even assuming that the Dinglasans had the authority as civil law lessees of
the land to bind it in a tenancy agreement, there is no proof that they did.
Again, there was no agreement as to harvest sharing. The only agreement between them is the
"aryenduhan", which states in no uncertain terms the monetary consideration to be paid, and the term
of the contract.

COMPENSATION, RESPONDENT BANK WAS MANDATED TO PAY THE PETITIONER IN THE MANNER SET
FORTH IN REPUBLIC ACT NO. 6657. ITS COMPLIANCE WAS NOT AN UNDERTAKING TO PAY IN CASH
BECAUSE SUCH ACT WOULD HAVE BEEN A DEVIATION FROM THE DICTUM OF THE FINAL JUDGMENT, TO
WHICH THE EXECUTION MUST CONFORM. PAYING IN CASH, AS PETITIONER DEMANDS, IS NOT
COMPATIBLE WITH SUCH JUDGMENT

Edgardo Santos represented by his Attorney-in-Fact, Romeo L. Santos vs. Land Bank of the Philippines,
Jesus Diaz, Roberto Ong and Augusto Aquino
G.R. No. 137431 (September 7, 2000)


Facts:

Petitioners Edgardo Santos is the plaintiff in Agrarian Case No. RTC 94-3206. On August 12, 1997, the
Regional Trial Court sitting as an Agrarian Court fixed the amount of P49,241,876.00 as the just
compensation for the irrigated and unirrigated ricelands owned by the petitioner with areas of 36.4152
and 40.7874 hectares, respectively. The properties were taken by the government pursuant to the Land
Reform Program as provided in Presidential Decree No. 27. A preliminary valuation in the amount of
P3,543,070.66 has been previously released by the Land Bank to the petitioner in cash and bonds.
Hence, the balance of P45,698,805.34 was ordered by the Regional Trial Court to be paid in accordance
with R.A. No. 6657.
The Land Bank released the amount of P3,621,023.01 in cash, Land Bank No. AR-0002206 in the
amount of P4,128,024.81 to the petitioner and P948,857.52 to the Clerk of Court as commission fees.
Petitioner filed a motion for the issuance of an alias writ of execution before the Regional Trial Court
praying that payment of the compensation be in the proportion of P8,629,179.36 in bonds and
P32,499,745 in cash. Before the motion could be resolved, petitioner moved to withdraw the same and
instead filed a motion for the release of the balance of the garnished amount in cash or certified check,
claiming that payment of the P41,128,024.81 in Land Bank bonds was not acceptable. Land Bank
opposed the motion contending that the judgment amount had already been satisfied.
The Regional Trial Court issued an Order on March 20, 1998 for the Land Bank to release the balance
of P41,128,024.81 from the garnished amount in cash or certified check. The Land Bank moved for
reconsideration. Petitioner on the other hand, filed a Motion to hold the Land Bank in contempt for its
refusal to release the balance of the garnished amount in cash or certified check.
Respondent Regional Court was presided over by a new judge who resolved the two motions in an
Order dated April 24, 1998. To summarize, the new judge ruled that the payment of just compensation
must be computed in the manner provided for in Section 18, Republic Act No. 6657 as follows:

Total land value per judgment P49,241,876.00

Amount payable in bonds:

70% (50 has) P22,323,932.75

75% (excess) 13,012,907.41 35,336,840.16

Amount payable in cash:

30% (50 has) P9,567,399.75

35% (excess) 4,337,635.81 13,905,035.56

Less:

Preliminary valuation: P3,543,070.66

Commissioner's Fee: 948,857.52

Payment to plaintiff on

12-24-97 3,621,023.01 P8,112,951.19







P5,792,084.37

The new judge further ruled that by implication, both the Order dated March 20, 1997 and the Order
dated December 22, 1997 should be deemed reconsidered.
The CA upheld the questioned April 24, 1998 Order of the Trial Court. Hence, this Petition.

Issue:

Basis of the determination of how much should be paid in cash and how much should be paid in
bonds. And in relation thereto, whether the April 24, 1998 Order of Judge Villegas-Llaguno was proper?

Held:

The April 24, 1998 Order was not an illegal amendment of the August 12, 1997 judgment which had
become final and executory. The reason is that the Order did not revise, correct, or alter the Decision.
Rather, the Order iterated and made clear the essence of the final judgment.
It is clear from the August 12, 1997 judgment that the compensation was to be paid in the manner
provided by RA 6657." Pursuant to Section 18 of the same law, payment was to be in cash and bonds, as
indicated below:

"Section 18. Valuation and Mode of Compensation. The LBP shall compensate the landowner in
such amount as may be agreed upon by the landowner and the DAR and LBP, in accordance with the
criteria provided for in Sections 16 and 17, and other pertinent provisions hereof, or as may be finally
determined by the court, as the just compensation for the land.

The compensation shall be paid in one of the following modes, at the option of the landowner:

(1) Cash payment, under the following terms and conditions

(a) For lands above fifty (50) Twenty-five percent (25%)
hectares, insofar as the cash, the balance to be paid
excess hectarage is in government financial
concerned. instruments negotiable
at any time

(b) For lands above twenty- Thirty-percent (30%) cash,
Four (24) hectares and the balance to be paid in
up to Fifty (50) hectares government financial
instruments negotiable at
anytime."

Respondent bank was obliged to follow the mandate of the August 12, 1997 judgment. Hence, its
compliance with the Writ of Execution and the Notice of Garnishment ought to have been construed as
an agreement to pay petitioner in the manner set forth in Republic Act No. 6657. Its compliance was not
an undertaking to pay in cash because such act would have been a deviation from the dictum of the final
judgment, to which execution must conform. Paying in cash, as petitioner demands, is not compatible
with such judgment.
Misplaced is petitioner's reliance on Section 9, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, because the final
judgment decrees payment in cash and bonds. Indeed, this provision must be taken in conjunction with
R.A. No. 6657. Since respondent bank had already given petitioner the entire adjudged amount in the
required proportion of cash and bonds, it must be deemed to have complied with its duty under Rule
39.

EXEMPTION, SECTION 10 OF THE CARL IS CLEAR ON THIS POINT WHEN IT PROVIDES THAT "ALL LANDS
WITH EIGHTEEN PERCENT (18%) SLOPE AND OVER, EXCEPT THOSE ALREADY DEVELOPED SHALL BE
EXEMPT FROM THE COVERAGE OF THIS ACT"

Republic of the Philippines Rep. by the Department of Agrarian Reform vs. Hon. Court of Appeals and
Green City Estate Development Corporation
G.R. No. 139592 (October 5, 2000)


Facts:

The five (5) parcels of land in issue with a combined area of 112.0577 hectares situated at Barangay
Punta, Municipality of Jala-Jala, Province of Rizal were acquired by private respondent through purchase
on May 26, 1994 from Marcela Borja vda. de Torres. The tax declarations classified the properties as
agricultural. On June 16, 1994, petitioner DAR issued a Notice of Coverage of the subject parcels of land
under compulsory acquisition pursuant to Section 7, Chapter II of R.A. No. 6657 or the Comprehensive
Land Reform Law of 1988 (CARL). Private respondent filed with the DAR Regional Office an application
for exemption of the land from agrarian reform pursuant to DAR Administrative Order No. 6, series of
1994 and DOJ Opinion No. 44, series of 1990. The DAR Regional Director recommended a denial of the
said petition on the ground that private respondent "ailed to substantiate their (sic) allegation that the
properties are indeed in the Municipality's residential and forest conservation zone and that portions of
the properties are not irrigated nor irrigable".
Private respondent filed an Amended Petition for Exemption/Exclusion from CARP coverage, this time
alleging that the property is within the residential and forest conservation zones and offering a portion
of about 15 hectares of land (irrigated riceland) to sell to farmer beneficiaries or to DAR. On October 19,
1995, the DAR Secretary issued an Order denying the application for exemption. Private respondent
moved for reconsideration but the same was likewise denied. Appeal was made to the Court of Appeals.
The latter in turn created a commission to conduct ocular inspection and survey. DAR likewise
constituted its own team to conduct an inspection and thereafter objected to the report filed by the
commission.
On December 9, 1998, the Court of Appeals issued its Decision reversing the Assailed DAR Orders and
declaring the mountainous and residential portions of the petitioner's land to be exempt from the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). Hence, this petition for review.

Issue:

Whether or not the landholdings subject of this controversy are exempt from CARL coverage?

Held:

There is no law or jurisprudence that holds that the land classification embodied in the tax
declarations is conclusive and final nor would proscribe any further inquiry. Furthermore, the tax
declarations are clearly not the sole basis of the classification of the land. In fact, DAR Administrative
Order No. 6, Series of 1994 lists other documents, aside from tax declarations, that must be submitted
when applying for exemption from CARP. In Halili vs. Court of Appeals, we sustained the trial court when
it ruled that the classification made by the Land Regulatory Board of the land in question outweighed
the classification stated in the tax declaration. The classification of the Board in said case was more
recent than that of the tax declaration and was based on the present condition of the property and the
community thereat.
The commissioner's report on the actual condition of the properties confirms the fact that the
properties are not wholly agricultural. In essence, the report of the commission showed that the land of
private respondent consists of a mountainous area with an average 28 degree slope containing 66.5
hectares; a level, unirrigated area of 34 hectares of which 5 to 6 hectares are planted to palay; and a
residential area of 8 hectares. The finding that 66.5 hectares of the 112.0577 hectares of land of private
respondent have an average slope of 28 degrees provides another cogent reason to exempt these
portions of the properties from the CARL. Section 10 of the CARL is clear on this point when it provides
that "all lands with eighteen percent (18%) slope and over, except those already developed shall be
exempt from the coverage of this Act."
Petitioner DAR and the Office of the Solicitor-General (OSG) contest the finding of the Court of
Appeals that the subject parcels of land have a mountainous slope on the ground that this conclusion
was allegedly arrived at in a manner not in accord with established surveying procedures. They also
bewail the consideration given by the Court of Appeals to the "slope" issue since this matter was
allegedly never raised before the DAR and the Court of Appeals. Petitioner DAR and the OSG thus claim
that laches had already set in.
As pointed out earlier, the crux of the controversy is whether the subject parcels of land in issue are
exempt from the coverage of the CARL. The determination of the classification and physical condition of
the lands is therefore material in the disposition of this case, for which purpose the Court of Appeals
constituted the commission to inspect and survey said properties. Petitioner DAR did not object to the
creation of a team of commissioners when it very well knew that the survey and ocular inspection would
eventually involve the determination of the slope of the subject parcels of land. It is the protestation of
petitioner that comes at a belated hour. The team of commissioners appointed by respondent court was
composed of persons who were mutually acceptable to the parties. Thus, in the absence of any
irregularity in the survey and inspection of the subject properties, and none is alleged, the report of the
commissioners deserves full faith and credit and we find no reversible error in the reliance by the
appellate court upon said report.

CONVERSION/DISTURBANCE COMPENSATION, IN THE EVENT THAT TENANTED LAND IS CONVERTED
PURSUANT TO SECTION 36 OF REPUBLIC ACT NO. 3844, THE ONLY RELIEF AVAILABLE TO THE
RESPONDENTS IS THE PAYMENT OF A DISTURBANCE COMPENSATION EQUIVALENT TO FIVE TIMES THE
AVERAGE OF THE GROSS HARVESTS OF THE LANDHOLDING DURING THE LAST FIVE PRECEDING
CALENDAR-YEARS. IN THIS CASE, THE AWARD OF A 75 SQUARE METER HOMELOT WAS MERELY MADE IN
LIEU OF THE AFOREMENTIONED DISTURBANCE COMPENSATION

Ernesto Bunye vs. Lourdes Aquino, et al.
G.R. No. 138979 (October 9, 2000)



Facts:

Respondents Lourdes, Cita and Roberto, all surnamed Aquino are the children of the late Bartolome
Aquino who was instituted in 1967 as a tenant over a 16,974.50 square meter lot located at Ilaya Street,
Alabang, Muntinlupa, Metro Manila belonging to Zoilo Bunye, the father of petitioner Ernesto Bunye.
Sometime in 1970, Zoilo Bunye told Bartolome Aquino to stop cultivating 14,474.50 square meters of
the land since the former was going to devote the same to commercial uses. No disturbance
compensation was paid to Bartolome Aquino, but Zoilo Bunye permitted Bartolome Aquino to continue
cultivating the remaining 2,500 square meters and promised him a homelot within the said area.
Considering himself aggrieved, Bartolome Aquino repaired to the Court of Agrarian Relations (CAR) in
order to seek judicial recognition of his tenancy status over the remaining 2,500 square meters. The CAR
rendered judgment recognizing Bartolome Aquino as a tenant over 2,500 square meters of the subject
property with a fixed annual rental of P140.00. On November 5, 1976, the Court of Appeals affirmed the
CAR's decision. Thus, Bartolome Aquino continued in the possession and cultivation of 2,500 square
meters of Zoilo Bunye's land and he constructed his family home on a 500 square meter area thereon.
The controversy arose when Ernesto Bunye's petition for conversion of the remaining 2,500 square
meters was approved by the Minister of Agrarian Reform (MAR). Petitioner was able to eject the
respondents from the 2,000 square meters but not from the 500 square meters they occupied.
Respondents filed a complaint with the Office of the Regional Agrarian Reform Adjudicator insisting that
they are entitled to the possession of the 500 square meters of land they occupied as homelot, it being
part of the compensation for the deprivation of the 16,974.50 square meters of land originally tenanted
by Bartolome Aquino.
The Regional Adjudicator held that no tenurial relations could exist between the parties as the land
ceased to be agricultural by virtue of its conversion in 1986. However, petitioner was ordered to pay
respondents disturbance compensation for the latter's dispossession from the 2,500 square meters
homelot to respondents but only as an alternative relief in the event that the disturbance compensation
could not be computed. This Decision was affirmed by the DARAB and the Court of Appeals. However,
acting upon a motion for reconsideration filed by respondents, the Court of Appeals modified its
decision by increasing the size of the homelot to 500 square meters. Hence, this Appeal.

Issue:

The sole issue is with respect to the legality of the appellate court's decision to increase the size of the
homelot awarded to respondents to 500 square meters?

Held:

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 landholding is declared by the department head upon recommendation of the National
Planning Commission to be suited for residential, commercial, industrial or some other urban purposes:
Provided, That the agricultural lessee shall be entitled to disturbance compensation equivalent to five
times the average of the gross harvests on his landholding during the last five preceding calendar years.

Neither petitioner nor respondents questioned the conversion decreed in 1986, which was a factual
finding of both the Department of Agrarian Reform and the Court of Appeals; therefore, it should be
presumed that the conversion was validly and legally done. Thus, even before Bartolome Aquino died in
1988, tenurial relations had already been extinguished, leaving respondents without any claim upon the
homelot allegedly promised by Zoilo Bunye to their father.
In the event that tenanted land is converted pursuant to section 36 of Republic Act No. 3844, the only
relief available to respondents is the payment of disturbance compensation equivalent to five times the
average of the gross harvests on his landholding during the last five preceding calendar years. The award
of 75 square meters of land originally granted by the Regional Adjudicator and subsequently affirmed by
the DARAB was made in lieu of disturbance compensation for the dispossession of respondents of 2,500
square meters of land. Although the Court of Appeals in its November 26, 1998 Decision affirmed the
grant of 75 square meters of land as reasonable, it simultaneously declared that respondents are
entitled to disturbance compensation for the entire 16,974.50 square meters of land originally tenanted
by Bartolome Aquino.
From 1976 until 1995, respondents never sought the payment of disturbance compensation for the
14,474.50 square meters of land. Under section 38 of Republic Act No. 3844, an action to enforce any
cause of action under such law shall be barred if not commenced within three years after such cause of
action accrued. Unquestionably, respondents' claim for disturbance compensation for the 14,474.50
square meters of land of which their father was dispossessed in 1970 has prescribed. Thus, respondents
are only entitled to disturbance compensation for their dispossession of 2,500 square meters of land
and we find that, in the absence of adequate data on the land's harvests, the award of 75 square meters
is a fair and adequate alternative relief.

JURISDICTION, THE DAR IS VESTED WITH PRIMARY JURISDICTION TO DETERMINE AND ADJUDICATE
AGRARIAN REFORM MATTERS AND SHALL HAVE THE EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION OVER ALL MATTERS
INVOLVING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE AGRARIAN REFORM PROGRAM

ALSO, PARTICIPATION BY CERTAIN PARTIES IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS WITHOUT RAISING
ANY OBJECTION THERETO, BARS THEM FROM ANY JURISDICTIONAL INFIRMITY AFTER AN ADVERSE
DECISION IS RENDERED AGAINST THEM

Cipriano Centeno, et al. vs. Ignacia Centeno
G.R. No. 140825 (October 13, 2000)


Facts:

The present case for maintenance of peaceful possession with prayer for restraining
order/preliminary injunction is a mere off-shoot of the suit for cancellation of Certificate of Land
Transfer (CLT) filed by herein respondent against herein petitioners before the DARAB. That previous
case culminated in a decision upholding respondent's entitlement to an award of the subject
landholdings under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law. The case at bar is for the maintenance of
her peaceful possession of the premises and to prevent the petitioners from further harassing her and
disturbing her possession and enjoyment thereof. The PARAD, the DARAB and the Court of Appeals all
rendered a decision in favor of the respondent adverting to the Decision of the DAR recalling and
canceling the CLTs issued in favor of the petitioners.
The petitioners filed a Petition for Review assailing the jurisdiction of the DARAB over the case for
maintenance of peaceful possession averring that there is no tenancy relationship nor any agrarian
dispute present in the case at bar which would place the case under the jurisdiction of the DARAB.

Issue:

Whether or not the DARAB has jurisdiction over the instant case for recovery of possession?

Held:

Under Section 50 of R.A 6657 (the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988), the DAR is vested
with primary jurisdiction to determine and adjudicate agrarian reform matters and shall have the
exclusive jurisdiction over all matters involving the implementation of the agrarian reform program. The
rule is that the DARAB has jurisdiction to try and decide any agrarian dispute or any incident involving
the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.
Section 1, Rule II of the Revised Rules of Procedure of the DARAB provides:

Section 1. Primary, Original and Appellate Jurisdiction. The Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board
shall have primary jurisdiction, both original and appellate, to determine and adjudicate all agrarian
disputes, cases, controversies, and matters or incidents involving the implementation of the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program under Republic Act No. 6657, Executive Order Nos. 229, 228
and 129-A, Republic Act No. 3844 as amended by Republic Act No 6389, Presidential Decree No. 27 and
other agrarian laws and their implementing rules and regulations.

Specifically, such jurisdiction shall extend over but not be limited to the following:

xxx xxx xxx

f) Cases involving the issuance of Certificate of Land Transfer (CLT), Certificate of Landownership
Award (CLOA) and Emancipation Patent (EP) and the administrative correction thereof; (Emphasis
added.)

Furthermore, petitioners are barred by estoppel from raising the issue of jurisdiction of the DARAB. A
perusal of the records will show that petitioners participated in all stages of the instant case, setting up
a counterclaim and asking for affirmative relief in their answer. This Court has ruled that participation by
certain parties in the administrative proceedings without raising any objection thereto, bars them from
any jurisdictional infirmity after an adverse decision is rendered against them.

RES JUDICATA, RES JUDICATA EXISTS IN THE CASE AT BAR. "AT THE RISK OF OCCASIONAL ERRORS,
JUDGMENTS OF COURTS SHOULD BECOME FINAL AT SOME DEFINITE DATE FIXED BY LAW"

Ramon D. Ocho vs. Bernardino Calos, et al.
G.R. No. 137908 (November 22, 2000)


Facts:

The Caloses averred that their parents, Efipanio and Valentina were the original owners of a parcel of
land with an area of 23,7109 hectares located in Valencia, Malaybalay, Bukidnon covered by OCT No. P-
2066 and issued by virtue of Homestead Patent No. V-42876. Pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 27,
the said land was placed under the Operation Land Transfer and subsequently distributed to qualified
farmer beneficiaries. The original farmer-beneficiaries, however, allegedly unlawfully conveyed their
respective rights over the lands granted to them to third persons. The amended complaint thus sought
the nullification of the Emancipation Patents and Transfer Certificates of Title issued to these third
persons. The PARAD rendered his decision ordering the revocation/cancellation of all EPs, CLTs, TCTs
and other titles involving OCT No. P-2066 for being null and void ab initio. On appeal, the DARAB
reversed the decision and upheld the validity of the EPs and TCTs issued. This Decision was substantially
affirmed by the Court of Appeals except on the part of petitioner Ramon Ocho and Vicente Polinar who
were directed "to restore and surrender to the government their landholdings". Petitioner filed a
Motion for Reconsideration which was denied for lack of merit. Hence, this petition for review on
certiorari on the basis of the resolution in a previous case docketed as DAR Administrative Case No. 006-
90 which the respondents have purportedly allowed to lapse into finality.

Issue:

Whether or not res judicata exists in the case at bar?

Held:

There is no question that the issue of whether petitioner is the owner of other agricultural lands had
already been passed upon by the proper quasi-judicial authority (the hearing officer of the DAR) in Adm.
Case No. 006-90. Said decision became final and executory when the Caloses failed to file an appeal
thereof after their motion for reconsideration was denied. Applying the rule on conclusiveness of
judgment, the issue of whether petitioner is the owner of other agricultural lands may no longer be
relitigated.
As held in Legarda vs. Savellano:

. . . It is a general rule common to all civilized system of jurisprudence, that the solemn and deliberate
sentence of the law, pronounced by its appointed organs, upon a disputed fact or a state of facts, should
be regarded as a final and conclusive determination of the question litigated, and should forever set the
controversy at rest. Indeed, it has been well said that this maxim is more than a mere rule of law; more
even than an important principle of public policy; and that it is not too much to say that it is a
fundamental concept in the organization of every jural system. Public policy and sound practice demand
that, at the risk of occasional errors, judgments of courts should become final at some definite date
fixed by law. The very object for which courts were constituted was to put an end to controversies.

The findings of the Hearing Officer in Adm. Case No. 006-90, which had long attained finality, averring
that petitioner is not the owner of any other agricultural lands, foreclosed any inquiry on the same issue
involving the same parties and property. The CA thus erred in still making a finding that petitioner is not
qualified to be a farmer-beneficiary because he owns other agricultural lands.

TENANCY RELATIONSHIP CANNOT EXIST ON THE MERE BASIS OF AN "INSIDIOUS SALE" OR TRANSFER OF
TENANCY RIGHTS MADE BY THE FORMER LESSEE

Angel Chico vs. Court of Appeals
G.R. No. 134735 (December 5, 2000)

Issue:

Whether or not a tenancy relationship can exist on the mere basis of an "insidious" sale or transfer of
tenancy right by the former lessee (Eugenia Esguerra) to the petitioner (Angel Chico)?

Held:

No.
Jurisprudence has established pre-requisite conditions in order that an agricultural leasehold
relationship can be said to be extant; to wit:

(1) The parties are the landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee;

(2) The subject matter of the relationship is agricultural land;

(3) There is consent between the parties to the relationship;

(4) The purpose of the relationship is to bring about agricultural production;

(5) There is personal cultivation on the part of the tenant or agricultural lessee; and

(6) The harvest is shared between the landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee.

The matter of whether or not such an agreement exists between petitioner and private respondents
(the owners) over the parcel of land in question is a factual question.
Each of the elements hereinbefore mentioned is essential to create a de jure leasehold or tenancy
relationship between the parties. This de jure relationship, in turn, is the terra firma for a security of
tenure between the landlord and the tenant. The leasehold relationship is not brought about by a mere
congruence of facts but, being a legal relationship, the mutual will of the parties to that relationship
should be primordial.

RETENTION/DUE PROCESS, THE ESSENCE OF DUE PROCESS IS SIMPLY AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD
OR, AS APPLIED IN ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDING, AN OPPORTUNITY TO SEEK A RECONSIDERATION OF
THE ACTION OR RULING COMPLAINED OF

ALSO, THE ISSUANCE OF AN EMANCIPATION PATENT DOES NOT BAR THE LANDOWNER FROM
RETAINING THE AREA COVERED THEREBY

Lucia Mapa vda. de dela Cruz, et al. vs. Adjuto Abille
G.R. No. 130196 (February 26, 2001)

Facts:

To cut a long story short, Herminio Abille filed a Petition for Exemption under Operation Land Transfer
(OLT) of his landholdings alleging that he had been deprived of his constitutional right to due process
since DAR did not notify him or his representatives of the OLT coverage of his lot.
On April 19, 1989, DAR Regional Director Antonio Nuesa, Region I, San Fernando, La Union issued an
Order denying the petition for exemption and instead merely granted Herminio Abille a right of
retention of not more than seven (7) hectares. On July 24, 1989, Herminio Abille selected the seven-
hectare retention area which included the area covered by CLT No. 0-064711, hence, said CLT was
automatically cancelled. Even the Tax Declaration issued in the name of Balbino dela Cruz was cancelled
and re-issued in favor of Herminio Abille.
Meanwhile, petitioners who are the compulsory heirs of Balbino dela Cruz filed with the DAR a
petition for issuance of Emancipation Patent. In his comment, respondent Adjuto Abille representing
Herminio Abille prayed for the dismissal of the petition by reason of the DAR Order dated April 19, 1989.
On the basis of such, on October 21, 1992, Regional Director Eligio P. Pacis issued an Order denying the
petition for issuance of Emancipation Patent. Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration praying that
another Order be issued declaring as null and void the Order dated April 19, 1989 on the basis of
absence of due process of law. They sought the reinstatement of CLT No. 0-064711 and the issuance of
an emancipation patent in their favor as compulsory heirs of the late Balbino dela Cruz.
The motion for reconsideration was treated as an Appeal and elevated to the Secretary of the
Department of Agrarian Reform who rendered a Decision dismissing the instant motion for lack of merit
and instead ordered the preparation of Certificates of Agricultural Leasehold (CALs) to the tenants as
lessees thereat. Petitioners moved for reconsideration but the same was denied. They filed a petition for
review with the Court of Appeals which was also dismissed by the CA in a Decision promulgated on
December 5, 1996. Petitioners moved for reconsideration but the same was denied. Hence, this petition.

Issue:

Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in denying the petition for issuance of emancipation
patent filed by the heirs of Balbino dela Cruz?

Held:

We agree with the Court of Appeals that although the petitioners were not given the opportunity to
be heard when Regional Director Antonio Nuesa in his Order dated April 19, 1989 ordered the
cancellation of Certificate of Land Transfer No. 0-064711 on the retained area, nevertheless, in their
petition for issuance of an emancipation patent, petitioners were given such opportunity as they raised
in issue the validity of the cancellation of the said CLT, which was resolved by DAR Regional Director
Eligio P. Pacis in his Order dated October 21, 1992, and also in their (petitioners') motion for
reconsideration, which was treated as an appeal by the Secretary of Agrarian Reform and resolved in his
Order dated June 20, 1994. The essence of due process is simply an opportunity to be heard or, as
applied to administrative proceedings, an opportunity to seek a reconsideration of the action or ruling
complained of (emphasis supplied).
In the case of Daez v. Court of Appeals, where the Certificates of Land Transfer of farmer beneficiaries
over some four (4) hectares of riceland were issued without the landowner having been accorded her
right to choose what to retain among her landholdings, we held that the Transfer Certificate of Title
issued on the basis of Certificates of Land Transfer issued to the farmer-beneficiaries cannot operate to
defeat the right of the heirs of the deceased landowner to retain the said riceland. Even the issuance of
an emancipation patent does not bar the landowner from retaining the area covered thereby.
Administrative Order No. 2, series of 1994 provides:

"Emancipation patents or certificates of land ownership award issued to agrarian reform beneficiaries
may be corrected and cancelled for violations of agrarian laws, rules and regulations. This includes cases
of lands which are found to be exempted/excluded from P.D. No. 27/E.O. No. 228 of CARP coverage, or
part of the landowner's retained area." (emphasis supplied.)

The earlier cases of Locsin, et al. v. Valenzuela, et al. and Quiban v. Butalid, which were cited by the
petitioners, did not involve any issue of retention rights of the landowner, hence, the said cases are not
applicable to the case at bar.
Where there is no showing, as in the case at bar, that there was fraud, collusion, arbitrariness,
illegality, imposition or mistake on the part of a department head, in rendering his questioned decisions
or of a total lack of substantial evidence to support the same, such administrative decisions are entitled
to great weight and respect and will not be interfered with.

APPEAL, CERTIORARI CANNOT BE RESORTED TO AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE LOST REMEDY OF APPEAL.
AN APPEAL IS A STATUTORY PRIVILEGE AND IT MAY ONLY BE EXERCISED IN THE MANNER PROVIDED BY
LAW



Roberto Mito vs. Honorable Court of Appeals, et al.
G.R. No. 126099 (March 12, 2001)

Facts:

In an Administrative transfer action in May 1985, the Gapan-Penaranda Agrarian Reform Team Office
No. 077, with station at Gapan, Nueva Ecija, cancelled a Certificate of Land Transfer (CLT) in the name of
Leonardo Flores, now deceased. Subsequently, it was re-issued in the name of petitioner, Roberto G.
Mito. Private respondent Victorino Flores, brother of Leonardo Flores, filed a letter-complaint with the
Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Region III, alleging that the transferred lot was actually his and
that its transfer to petitioner was unlawful.
DAR dismissed the claim of private respondent Flores, declared petitioner Mito as a tenant-
beneficiary of the land and directed the MARO to issue a CLT or an Emancipation Patent in favor of Mito.
Private respondent appealed to the DARAB, which promulgated a decision reversing the order of the
Regional Director. It ordered the DAR Provincial Office to issue an Emancipation Patent in favor of
private respondent. Petitioner moved for reconsideration but the same was denied. Aggrieved,
petitioner filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals which was dismissed due to
petitioner's failure to utilize the correct remedy, specifically a petition for review without necessarily
impleading the agency a quo and for violation of SC Revised Administrative Circular No. 1-95 on the
filing of certified true copies of the material portions of the record referred to be submitted. Hence, this
petition.

Issue:

Whether or not the Order dated January 4, 1990 of the Regional Director of DAR is supported by
substantial evidence?

Held:

We note that at the time of the promulgation of the DARAB decision on June 1, 1995, appeals from
quasi-judicial agencies like the DAR were governed by Supreme Court Administrative Circular No. 1-95
(Revised Circular No. 1-91). As ruled by the Court of Appeals, the remedy should have been a petition for
review, filed by petitioner in seven legible copies, without impleading the DARAB, the agency a quo, as
required by Circular No. 1-95. As found by the respondent court, not only did petitioner implead the
DARAB, all his annexes other than the assailed resolutions of the DARAB were not certified true copies.
In addition, it did not state the date petitioner received a copy of each resolution, such that it could not
be determined if the appeal was filed on time. Petitioner's failure to comply with the requirements for
perfecting an appeal merited the dismissal of his petition before the Court of Appeals.
Certiorari cannot be resorted to as a substitute for the lost remedy of appeal. An appeal is a statutory
privilege and it may only be exercised in the manner provided by law.

CIVIL LAW LEASE, ALL THE REQUISITES OF A TENANCY RELATIONSHIP MUST BE PRESENT, OTHERWISE,
THERE IS NO AGRICULTURAL LEASEHOLD EXISTING BETWEEN THE PARTIES BUT A MERE CIVIL LAW LEASE

Anastacio Victorio vs. The Honorable Court of Appeals and Dominador Fernandez
G.R. No. 110012 (March 28, 2001)

Facts:

Sometime in 1967, Alfredo Victorio (as lessee) and Tomas Fernandez (as lessor), the fathers of herein
petitioner Anastacio Victorio and private respondent Dominador Fernandez, respectively entered into a
lease contract over a fishpond located in Brgy. Balangobon, Lingayen, Pangasinan for a 10-year period.
After the said contract expired in 1977, the same was renewed, albeit verbally, for another 10 years
until 1987 but adopting the terms and conditions of the original contract. When the second contract
expired, private respondent repeatedly asked petitioner to vacate the premises but the latter adamantly
refused. Consequently, a case for ejectment was filed by respondent against petitioner but was
consequently dismissed by the trial court on the ground of lack of jurisdiction.
On appeal, the regional trial court revised the decision holding that the lease contract is a civil law
lease agreement and ordering petitioner to vacate the fishpond in question and surrender peaceful
possession thereof.
Petitioner having been rebuked on reconsideration, elevated the matter to the Court of Appeals on a
petition for certiorari. However, the Court of Appeals turned down the appeal, in effect, ratiocinating
that the court is strongly convinced and hereby finds and holds that the agreement entered into by the
parties is a civil law contract of lease and not one under the agricultural leasehold system as expressly
termed under R.A. No. 3844, as amended. The petitioner moved for reconsideration but the same was
denied. Hence, the instant petition.

Issue:

Whether or not petitioner is an agricultural lessee under Republic Act No. 3844 and thus entitled to
security of tenure over the fishpond in question, or a mere civil lessee whose right over the subject
premises ceased upon the expiration of the contract of lease?

Held:

The essential requisites of a tenancy relationship are: (1) the parties are the landowner and the
tenant; (2) the subject is agricultural land; (3) there is consent among the parties; (4) the purpose is
agricultural production; (5) there is personal cultivation; and (6) there is sharing of harvests. All these
requisites must concur in order to create a tenancy relationship between the parties (Chico vs. Court of
Appeals, 284 SCRA 33 [1198]; Oarde vs. Court of Appeals, 280 SCRA 235 [1997]; Odsique vs. Court of
Appeals, 233 SCRA 626 [1994]; see also Sintos vs. Court of Appeals, 246 SCRA 223 [1995).
Petitioner's right to the fishpond emanated from the lease contract between his father and private
respondent's father wherein petitioner's father was designated as a "lessee" and not as a "tenant".
Petitioner cannot, therefore, be more than a lessee like his father because "the spring cannot rise higher
than its source". Secondly, there was no stipulation regarding the sharing of the harvest, whether
explicitly or implicitly. One of the essential requisites for existence of tenancy relationship is sharing by
the landowner and tenant of the produce, and no proof of this fact has been shown in this case. What
the parties agreed upon, as established by the evidence, was for the petitioner to pay private
respondent a yearly lease rental, with an advance payment of 3 years' rental. This is not the case
obtaining in a tenancy relationship where the parties share in the produce of the land as this falls due, or
as it becomes available, during harvest time.

CERTIORARI/APPEAL/EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES, IN THE CASE AT BAR, CERTIORARI
WILL LIE IF THE MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION BEFORE THE REGIONAL DIRECTOR OR THE APPEAL TO
THE SECRETARY OF AGRARIAN REFORM WILL NOT PROVE TO BE A SPEEDY OR ADEQUATE REMEDY

Heirs of Pedro Atega, represented by Veronica Atega-Nable vs. Ernesto Garilao, et al.
G.R. No. 133806 (April 20, 2001)

Facts:

The land owned by the Heirs of Pedro Atega with an area of 129.4615 hectares was made the subject
of compulsory acquisition and distribution pursuant to R.A. No. 6657, otherwise known as the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law. The Heirs protested to the MARO who ignored the same
considering that the PARO had already sent a Notice of Land Acquisition and Valuation. Petitioners then
filed an application for exemption with the Regional Director who denied the application on the basis of
the lack of approval by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) as required by DAR
Administrative Order No. 6-94 and Department of Justice Opinion No. 44-90.
Petitioners thereafter filed a Petition for Certiorari, Prohibition and Mandamus with the Court of
Appeals which was dismissed for prematurity on the ground that the former failed to first exhaust all
available administrative remedies. Petitioners moved for reconsideration but the motion was denied.
Hence, this petition.

Issue:

Whether or not the dismissal of the petition on the ground of prematurity (for failure to first file a
motion for Reconsideration of the Resolution of respondent Regional Director or an Appeal to the
Secretary of Agrarian Reform) was proper?

Held:

In sum, we rule that certiorari will lie because a motion for reconsideration before the Regional
Director or an appeal to the Secretary of Agrarian Reform will not prove to be a speedy or adequate
remedy. However, we find that the Regional Director did not commit any grave abuse of discretion in
denying petitioners' application for Exemption of their property from the CARP.
According to DAR Adm. Order No. 6-94 and Department of Justice Opinion No. 44-90, an Application
for Exemption from the coverage of CARP filed before the Regional Director must be accompanied by a
certification from the HLURB that the pertinent zoning ordinance has been approved by the Board prior
to 15 June 1988, the date when the CARL took effect. In the instant case, no such accompanying
certification from the HLURB was filed by petitioners.

EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES, THE PROCEDURAL SHORT-CUT TAKEN BY THE PETITIONER
FINDS NO JUSTIFICATION BOTH IN LAW AND IN JURISPRUDENCE

Lilia Gonzalez vs. Court of Appeals, et al.
G.R. No. 106028 (May 09, 2001)

Facts:

Petitioner received two (2) orders from the DAR Regional Director directing her to surrender the titles
to her land and to submit the other requirements of Land Bank for her to be paid the aggregate amount
of P55,690.74 as compensation for two parcels of land owned by her.
Petitioner filed a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition with Temporary Restraining Order with the
Court of Appeals to restrain the enforcement and to annul the said two Orders of the DAR Regional
Director on the ground of lack or excess of jurisdiction. The former alleged that she never filed a land
transfer claim and that she was not notified, nor heard of in the execution of the final survey plans and
the valuation of her land.
After requiring the respondents to file a comment, the Court of Appeals rendered a decision
dismissing the petition for failure of the petitioners to exhaust administrative remedies. The Court of
Appeals held that Certiorari cannot be used to substitute for Appeal. Hence, this Petition.

Issues:

Whether or not the Court of Appeals committed a reversible error of law in dismissing the petition for
failure to exhaust administrative remedies
Whether or not respondents DAR Director and LBP acted without or in excess of jurisdiction in issuing
the availed Orders dated November 27, 1990 and April 22, 1991

Held:

The thrust of the rule on exhaustion of administrative remedies is that the courts must allow the
administrative agencies to carry out their functions and discharge their responsibilities within the
specialized areas of their respective competence. It is presumed that an administrative agency, if
afforded an opportunity to pass upon a matter, will decide the same correctly, or correct any previous
error committed in its forum. Furthermore, reasons of law, comity and convenience prevent the courts
from entertaining cases proper for determination by administrative agencies. Hence, premature resort
to the courts necessarily becomes fatal to the cause of action of the petitioner.
After a careful perusal of the records, we find the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies
to be applicable in this case.
It may be reasonably concluded that the issuance of the assailed orders pursuant to the operation
land transfer and tenant emancipation program of the government is within the authority and
jurisdiction of the DAR Regional Director. However, questions as to the propriety of the issuance could
have still been raised before the proper administrative forum. Instead of going directly to the Court of
Appeals on certiorari, the petitioner should have sought redress in the DARAB, and the latter's officials
should have been given an opportunity to review the matter and resolve the controversy.
The petitioner raises the following exceptions to the doctrine of Exhaustion of Administrative
Remedies as applicable to the case at bar: (1) where the questioned order is a patent nullity; (2) where
there is a deprivation of the petitioner's fundamental right to due process; and (3) where the question
involved is a purely legal one. We are not convinced that any of the exceptions obtains here. As above
stated, the Orders issued by the Regional Director pursuant to law are not patent nullities, and the
alleged denial of the petitioner's right to due process is intertwined with the question of notice upon the
petitioner which raises basically a factual matter, i.e., whether three notices were properly served upon
petitioner. This issue is not to be resolved by the Court of Appeals in the first instance on certiorari. We
do not see how the controversy raises a purely legal question.
The proper procedure which the petitioner should have taken is to move for a reconsideration of the
orders of the Regional Director, or to go directly to the DARAB, or to its executive adjudicator in the
region, the Regional Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (RARAD). Prior resort to these administrative bodies
will not only satisfy the rule on exhaustion of administrative remedies, but may likewise prove
advantageous to the parties as the proceedings will be conducted by experts, and will not be limited by
the technical rules of procedure and evidence. From there, the petitioner has yet another forum
available the Special Agrarian Courts which are the final determinants of cases involving land
valuation or determination of just compensation.
Thus, the procedural short-cut taken by the petitioner which finds no justification both in law and in
jurisprudence must be considered fatal to the petitioner's cause of action. Accordingly, we rule that the
Court of Appeals committed no error in dismissing the Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition.

OLT COVERAGE OF A LAND SUBJECT OF UNREGISTERED DEED OF DONATION, AN UNREGISTERED DEED
OF DONATION CANNOT OPERATE TO EXCLUDE THE SUBJECT LAND FROM THE COVERAGE OF THE
OPERATION LAND TRANSFER PROGRAM OF THE GOVERNMENT

Ignacio Gonzales, et al. vs. Honorable Court of Appeals, et al.
G.R. No. 110335 (June 18, 2001)

Facts:

The deceased spouses Ignacio and Marina Gonzales were the registered owners of two (2) parcels of
land denominated as Lot 551-C and 558-A containing 46.97 hectares and 37.5735 hectares, respectively.
Marina Gonzales died intestate. On the other hand, Ignacio Gonzales executed a Deed of Donation on
July 12, 1972 conveying his share of the property, specifically Lot No. 551-C in favor of his 14
grandchildren. However, the said donation was not registered. Thus, when Presidential Decree No. 27
took effect on October 21, 1972, the landholdings of the spouses were placed under Operation Land
Transfer (OLT) and private respondents were accordingly issued EPs and CLTs. On March 5, 1974, the
administratix Lilia Gonzales filed an application for retention with the Ministry of Agrarian Reform
requesting that their property be excluded from the coverage of OLT. The application was initially
denied but was finally granted by DAR Secretary Benjamin Leong. Aggrieved, the private respondents
filed a petition for certiorari. The CA reversed the action of the DAR and upheld the issuance of the
certificates of land transfer and emancipation patents. A motion for reconsideration was filed but the
same wad denied by the CA. Hence, this Appeal.

Issues:

Whether the property subject of the deed of donation which was not registered when P.D. No. 27
took effect should be excluded from the Operation Land Transfer Program?

Held:

Article 749 of the Civil code provides inter alia that "in order that the donation of an immovable may
be valid, it must be made in a public document, specifying therein the property donated and the value of
the charges which the donee must satisfy." Corollarily, Article 709 of the same Code explicitly states that
"the titles of ownership, or other rights over immovable property, which are not duly inscribed or
annotated in the Registry of Property shall not prejudice third persons."
It is actually the act of registration that operates to convey registered land or affect title thereto. Thus,
Section 50 of Act No. 496 (Land Registration Act), as amended by Section 51 of P.D. No. 1529 (Property
Registration Decree), provides:

SECTION 51. Conveyance and other dealings by registered owner . . . But no deed, mortgage,
lease, or other voluntary instrument, except a will purporting to convey or affect registered land, shall
take effect as a conveyance or bind the land, but shall operate only as a contract between the parties
and as evidence of authority to the Register of Deeds to make registration.

The act of registration shall be the operative act to convey or affect the land insofar as third persons
are concerned.
Further, it is an entrenched doctrine in our jurisdiction that registration in a public registry creates
constructive notice to the whole world (Olizon vs. Court of Appeals, 236 SCRA 148 [1994]). Thus, Section
51 of Act No. 496, as amended by Section 52 of P.D. No. 1529, provides:

SECTION 52. Constructive notice upon registration Every conveyance, mortgage, lease, lien,
attachment, order, judgment, instrument or entry affecting registered land shall, if registered, filed or
entered in the Office of the Register of Deeds for the province or city where the land to which it relates
lies, be constructive notice to all persons from the time of such registering, filing or entering.

The ineluctable conclusion drawn is that the unregistered deed of donation cannot operate to exclude
the subject land from the coverage of the Operation Land Transfer of P.D. No. 27, which took effect on
October 21, 1972. To rule otherwise would render ineffectual the rights and interests that the tenants-
farmers immediately acquired upon the promulgation of P.D. No. 27, especially so because in the case at
bar, they have been cultivating the land even before World War II.

JURISDICTION OF THE DARAB, IN ORDER "TO ACHIEVE A JUST, EXPEDITIOUS AND INEXPENSIVE
DETERMINATION OF EVERY ACTION OR PROCEEDING BEFORE IT", THE DAR IS MANDATED "TO ADOPT A
UNIFORM RULE OF PROCEDURE" (SECOND PARAGRAPH, SECTION 50, R.A. NO. 6657), WHICH IS, AT
PRESENT, THE DARAB REVISED RULES

THERE IS A DISTINCT DELINEATION OF THE FUNCTIONS OF THE DARAB/RARAD/PARAD AND THE DAR
REGIONAL OFFICE, THUS, THE THEORY OF CONCURRENT JURISDICTION MUST BE REJECTED

Victoria P. Cabral vs. The Honorable Court of Appeals, et al.
G.R. No. 101974 (July 12, 2001)

Facts:

Petitioner alleged that she was the registered owner of several parcels of land covered by Original
Certificate of Title (OCT) No. 0-1670 of the Registry of Deeds of Bulacan among which is a parcel of land
described therein as Lot 4 of Plan Psu-164390. As early as July 1973, petitioner had already purportedly
applied for the reclassification or conversion of the land for residential, commercial or industrial
purposes with the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR). The application for conversion, however, was
not acted upon. Instead, on April 25, 1988, Emancipation Patents and thereafter, Transfer Certificates of
Title were issued in favor of private respondents.
Petitioner sought the cancellation of the TCTs with the BARC on January 16, 1990 and on January 19,
1990, filed another petition for the cancellation of the said Emancipation Patents and Torrens Title.
The said petition was dismissed in an Order dated February 11, 1990 by then Regional Director Eligio
Pacis. Petitioner moved for reconsideration but the same was denied. Consequently, petitioner filed a
petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals questioning the jurisdiction of the Regional Director and
claiming denial of due process. The petition was dismissed for lack of merit. Petitioner moved for
reconsideration but the same was denied prompting the petitioner to turn to the Supreme Court for
relief. Also, on April 21, 1993, petitioner filed with the Court an urgent Motion for the issuance of a
temporary restraining order alleging that respondent Gregoria Adolfo had already conveyed the land
awarded to her to the Aqualand Development Corporation and the Sta. Rita Steel Resources Corporation
for the conversion of the land from agricultural to commercial and industrial purposes. In a Resolution
dated May 17, 1993, the Court issued the temporary restraining order prayed for.

Issue:

Who has jurisdiction over the instant controversy, the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication
Board (DARAB) as contended by the Petitioner or the Regional Director?

Held:

Petitioner is correct. Whatever jurisdiction the Regional Director may have had over the cancellation
of emancipation patents is lost with the passage of subsequent laws.
Section 17 of Executive Order No. 229 (Providing for the Mechanism for the Implementation of the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program) granted DAR quasi-judicial powers to adjudicate agrarian
reform matters, to wit:

"SECTION 17. Quasi-Judicial Powers of the DAR. The DAR is hereby vested with quasi-judicial
powers to determine and adjudicate agrarian reform matters, and shall have exclusive original
jurisdiction over all matters involving implementation of agrarian reform, except those falling under the
exclusive jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Environment and
Natural Resources (DENR)."

Executive Order No. 129-A (Modifying Executive Order No. 129 Reorganizing and Strengthening the
Department of Agrarian Reform and for other purposes) subsequently provided for the creation of the
Agrarian Reform Adjudicatory Board, granting it the powers and functions with respect to the
adjudication of agrarian reform cases:

"SECTION 13. Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board. There is hereby created an Agrarian Reform
Adjudication Board under the Office of the Secretary. The Board shall be composed of the Secretary as
Chairman, two (2) Undersecretaries as may be designated by the Secretary, the Assistant Secretary for
Legal Affairs, and three (3) others to be appointed by the President upon recommendation of the
Secretary as members. A Secretariat shall be constituted to support the Board. The Board shall assume
the powers and functions with respect to the adjudication of agrarian reform cases under Executive
Order No. 229 and this Executive Order. These powers and functions may be delegated to the regional
office of the Department in accordance with the rules and regulations promulgated by the Board."

Congress substantially reiterated Section 17 of E.O. No. 229 in Republic Act No. 6657, otherwise
known as the Comprehensive Agrarian Law of 1988 (CARL). Section 50 thereof states:

"SECTION 50. Quasi-Judicial Powers of the DAR. The DAR is hereby vested with primary
jurisdiction to determine and adjudicate agrarian reform matters and shall have exclusive original
jurisdiction over all matters involving the implementation of agrarian reform, except those falling under
the exclusive jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Environment and
Natural Resources (DENR).

CARL took effect on June 15, 1988, after it was published in two newspapers of general circulation.
In order "to achieve a just, expeditious and inexpensive determination of every action or proceeding
before it," the DAR is mandated "to adopt a uniform rule of procedure" (Second par., Section 50, RA. No.
6657), which is, at present, the DARAB Revised Rules. The Rules were promulgated on December 26,
1988.
The Court of Appeals has underscored the fact that Section 13 of E.O. No. 129-A authorizes the DARAB
to delegate its powers and functions to the regional office in accordance with the rules and regulations
promulgated by the Board. The authority purportedly provides additional justification for the Regional
Office's jurisdiction over the case. Precisely, however, the DARAB, through its Revised Rules, has
delegated such powers and functions to the RARADs and the PARADs, which, under Section 3 of the
Rules, "are deemed to form part of the DAR Regional Office where they are stationed."
It is evident from the foregoing that the DAR, like most administrative agencies, is granted with a
fusion of governmental powers, in this case, a commingling of the quasi-judicial and the executive. The
growing complexity of modern life, the multiplication of the subjects of governmental regulation and the
increased difficulty of administering the laws have impelled this constantly growing tendency toward
such delegation.
In delegating these powers, it would hardly seem practical to allow a duplication of functions between
agencies. Duplication results in confusion between the various agencies upon whom these powers are
reposed, and in the public that the agencies are supposed to serve. It divides the agencies' resources
and prevents them from devoting their energy to similarly important tasks. The intention to avoid this
very situation is evident in the various laws' distinct delineation of the functions of the
DARAB/RARAD/PARAD and the DAR Regional Office. Accordingly, the Court must reject the theory of
concurrent jurisdiction between the former and the latter. We hold that the DAR Regional Office has no
jurisdiction over the subject case.

INTERVENTION, FOR SUCH A MOTION FOR INTERVENTION TO BE ENTERTAINED, TWO (2) REQUISITES
MUST CONCUR: FIRST, THE WOULD BE INTERVENOR MUST SHOW THAT HE HAS A SUBSTANTIAL RIGHT
OR INTEREST IN THE CASE AND THAT, SECOND, IT CANNOT BE ADEQUATELY PURSUED AND PROTECTED
IN ANOTHER PROCEEDING

The Secretary of Agrarian Reform, et al. vs. Tropical Homes Inc.
G.R. No. 136827 and 136799 (July 31, 2001)

Facts:

Carlos Iigo was the registered owner of four (4) parcels of land located in Bago Iigo, Toril, Davao City
with an aggregate area of more or less one million five hundred thirty two thousand four hundred
fifteen (1,532,415) square meters. On July 17, 1971, Iigo and respondent Tropical Homes Inc. (Tropical
for brevity) entered into a Joint Venture Agreement for the development of the property into a
residential area which was later known as the "Better Living Subdivision". Tropical even filed with the
City Council of Davao an application for reclassification of the area from agricultural to residential. On
October 2, 1972, the City Council of Davao, through Resolution No. 558 declared the site of the Better
Living Subdivision as a residential area.
Carlos Iigo died. On February 14, 1975, the aforementioned properties were divided among his heirs
through a Deed of Extra-Judicial Partition. The old titles were cancelled and new ones issued in the
name of the heirs. When the Joint Venture Agreement initiated by the late Carlos Iigo and respondent
Tropical pushed through with the Notice and Manifestation of conformity of the Heirs, the new titles
were again cancelled and replaced by new titles all registered in the name of Tropical.
However, the DAR through its Davao Office subjected the aforementioned properties under CARP
coverage. DAR issued three (3) Notices of Acquisition to Tropical covering one million thirty seven
thousand two hundred seventy two (1,037,272) square meters of the land. Thereafter, TCT No. T-
184249 was issued in the name of the Republic of the Philippines. Consequently, DAR through
Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) No. 301148 distributed the landholding to the identified
farmer beneficiaries.
Tropical filed a petition with the Provincial Adjudicator (PARAD) for the cancellation of the CLOA on
the ground that the landholding was outside the coverage of the CARP. While the petition was pending,
a Motion for Intervention was filed by Rolando B. Bersamin, et al., alleging that they are the bona fide
residents of the landholding but were excluded in the CLOA. The PARAD ruled in favor of Tropical and
denied the Motion for Intervention ruling that the issue in intervention can be threshed out in a
separate proceeding. Petitioners moved for reconsideration but the same was denied. On appeal, the
DARAB reversed the ruling of the PARAD. On December 11, 1997, Tropical filed a petition for review on
certiorari with the Court of Appeals and an urgent Motion for the issuance of a TRO. The TRO was
granted and later replaced by a Writ of Preliminary Injunction. Later, the Court of Appeals rendered a
Decision in favor of Tropical. Both Petitioners and Petitioners-Appellants moved for reconsideration. The
first motion was denied for having been filed beyond the fifteen (15) day reglementary period while the
second motion was ordered expunged from the rollo on the ground that they were not parties to the
case and that at no point in the legal process from the PARAD to the CA were they allowed to intervene.
Hence, the present petitions.

Issue:

Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in disregarding the Motions for Reconsideration filed by
petitioners/appellants?

Held:

Not having perfected their appeal in the manner and within the period fixed by law, the decision of
the Court of Appeals had become final and executory. Such a failure carries with it the result that no
court can exercise appellate jurisdiction to review the case. However, it is true that we have recognized
certain exceptions to this rule. In Ramos v. Bagasao, we excused the delay of four (4) days in the filing of
a notice of appeal because the questioned decision of the trial court was served upon appellant at a
time when her counsel of record was already dead. Her new counsel could only file the appeal four (4)
days after the prescribed reglementary period was over. In Republic v. Court of Appeals, we allowed the
perfection of an appeal by the Republic despite the delay of six (6) days to prevent a gross miscarriage of
justice since it stood to lose hundreds of hectares of land already titled in its name and had since then
been devoted for educational purposes. In Olacao v. National Labor Relations Commission, we accepted
a tardy appeal considering that the subject matter in issue had theretofore been judicially settled, with
finality, in another case. The dismissal of the appeal would have had the effect of the appellant being
ordered twice to make the same reparation to the appellee. Unfortunately, we find no reason to make
this case an exception. Our ruling in Habaluyas Enterprises, Inc. v. Japson has been in force for fifteen
(15) years. It is hard to believe that petitioners were not aware of this ruling, or assuming that they
were, their utter disregard of it is simply unacceptable.
The petitioners-appellants in G.R. No. 136799 likewise committed a procedural error fatal to their
cause of action. When they filed their Motion for Intervention on November 25, 1996, the DARAB New
Rules of Procedure was already in effect. Rule IX, Sec. 3 thereof states

"SECTION 3. Intervention. The filing of a motion for intervention shall be discouraged. Such
motion shall be entertained only upon a clear showing by the would-be intervenor that he has a
substantial right or interest in the case that cannot be adequately pursued and protected in another
proceeding."

Thus, for such a motion for intervention to be entertained, two (2) requisites must concur. First, the
would-be intervenor must show that he has a substantial right or interest in the case and that, second, it
cannot be adequately pursued and protected in another proceeding. The absence of even one requisite
will warrant its denial. Acting on this provision, the PARAD in fact denied the motion for intervention,
ruling that "their (petitioners-intervenors) rights over the property . . . can be properly threshed out in a
separate proceeding duly instituted for the purpose". In Republic v. Sandiganbayan, we held that the
discretion of a court (in this case a quasi-judicial agency) to allow intervention, once exercised, cannot
be reviewed by certiorari nor controlled by mandamus save in instances where such discretion has been
exercised in an arbitrary or capricious manner. Petitioners-appellants have not shown that the exercise
of this discretion was made in the manner above-described. Hence, it behooves this Court to leave the
denial of the motion for intervention to the wisdom of the PARAD. Besides, the theory of petitioners-
appellants that as bona fide occupants of the landholding, they automatically acquire a substantial right
or interest in the case is unmeritorious. The right or interest here referred to is generally required to be
direct and not consequential, and one properly determinable in the action in which intervention is
sought. The issue of whether or not they were improperly excluded from the CLOA is an issue totally
different from that in G.R. No. 136827, which is whether the City Council of Davao, through Resolution
No. 558, validly reclassified the landholding from agricultural area to residential area, hence, rendering it
outside the coverage of the CARP. If indeed it was validly reclassified, then there would be no CLOA to
speak of. Petitioners-appellants would have had no cause of action. Conversely, if the reclassification
was invalid, then the CLOA's legality would merely be affirmed. It must be borne in mind that the alleged
substantial right or interest of petitioners-appellants is based not on the legality or illegality of the CLOA
brought about by the supposed questionable reclassification done by the City Council of Davao through
Resolution No. 558, rather, it is based on their claim that they were improperly excluded from it. Thus,
their interest is not one properly determinable in the action in which intervention is sought. To further
complicate the case by adding parties who have totally separate interests which can be the proper
subject of a separate proceeding, will simply delay the expeditious resolution thereof. It has been
settled that the right to intervene is not an absolute right, for the statutory rules or conditions for the
right to apply must be shown. As the two (2) requisites were not met, petitioners-appellants have no
standing to intervene. At this point, the proper course of action was simply to have filed a separate
proceeding altogether.
It is indeed lamentable that the two (2) instant petitions must be denied for failure to comply with the
procedural requirements set forth in the Rules of Court. While it is true that a litigation is not a game of
technicalities, it is equally true that every case must be prosecuted in accordance with the prescribed
procedure to ensure an orderly and speedy administration of justice.

VESTED RIGHT, A PARTY CANNOT CLAIM THAT HE HAS A VESTED RIGHT OVER THE SUBJECT PROPERTIES
WHEN THERE IS CLEARLY NON-COMPLIANCE WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE LAW

Graciano Palele vs. Hon. Court of Appeals (Fourth Division) and Tomas Sobrevias
G.R. No. 138289 (July 31, 2001)

Facts:

The properties involved in this case form part of a larger tract of land referred to as Lot No. 707
consisting of 9,939 meters in Dinalupihan, Bataan. The original holder-cultivator of the lot was
respondent Tomas Sobrevias' father, Daniel who had worked on the lot as a tenant since the 1920s.
Tomas succeeded to the possession of the said lot.
On May 2, 1962, private respondent filed an application with the Department of Agrarian Reform for
the purchase of Lot No. 707. He paid the purchase price of P810.66 in five installments and completed
full payment on September 7, 1973, however, no deed of sale was issued to him and the lot remained
the property of the government. In 1981, the lot was subdivided into four (4) parcels of lands. On
September 23, 1990, petitioner Graciano Palele applied for the purchase of two of the lots.
Subsequently, DAR issued two (2) CLOAs covering the two lots applied for. Private respondent being
unaware of these incidents continued paying the real estate taxes on Lot No. 707 and upon learning of
the issuance of the CLOAs in favor of the petitioner, filed a petition for cancellation of the certificates on
August 18, 1992. On September 23, 1993, the PARAD rendered judgment for the petitioner. This
Decision was affirmed by the DARAB. However, on appeal, the said Decision was reversed by the Court
of Appeals. The CLOAs were ordered recalled and cancelled. Hence, this petition for review on certiorari.

Issue:

Whether or not private respondent has acquired a vested right on the subject landholdings

Held:

At the time private respondent applied to purchase Lot No. 707 on May 2, 1962, the law in effect was
R.A. No. 1199, otherwise known as the Agricultural Tenancy Act of the Philippines, which took effect on
August 30, 1954. Pursuant to the said law, the then Land Tenure Administration, the implementing
agency of the government, issued Administrative Order No. 2, which was approved on May 10, 1956. So
far as pertinent to this case, Sections 14 and 16 of the Order provided:

SECTION 14. Persons Qualified to Purchase; Number of Lots Granted. Subject to the provisions of
Section 16 hereof, any private individual who is qualified to acquire and own lands in the Philippines and
who will personally cultivate and/or occupy the lot or lots which may be sold to him, may be allowed to
purchase not more than one (1) home lot and/or farm lot except that in case of farm lots with areas less
than six (6) hectares, more than one (1) lot may be purchased provided, however, that the total area of
the lots which may be sold to one person shall not exceed six (6) hectares.

The cultivation of a farm lot by the husband or wife of the purchaser thereof, and by the members of
the family of said purchaser who are dependent upon him or her for support shall be considered as his
or her cultivation for the purpose of this section and of Sections 24 and 25 hereof.

Section 16. Right of Preference to Purchase of Bona-fide Tenant, Bona-fide Occupant and Other
Persons. The bona-fide tenant and in his absence or if he fails to qualify under Section 14 hereof, the
bona-fide occupant of a subdivision lot in a private agricultural land acquired by the government shall
have the right of preference to purchase said lot. In the absence of the bona-fide tenant and/or bona-
fide occupant or in case said tenant and occupant fail to qualify under Section 14 hereof and subject to
the provision of said section, the following persons shall be preferred in the purchase of a farm lot
and/or home lot, in the order in which they are named:

(1) A person who is the purchaser of a farm lot or lots in an agricultural land acquired by the
government, the production of which yields a net profit insufficient to maintain a decent standard of
living provided, however, that he will be preferred only as to the portion of the farm lot applied for in
the same agricultural land which if added to the area of the lot or lots already sold to him will not
exceed six (6) hectares;

(2) A person who is a resident of the municipality where the lot applied for is located.

These provisions clearly require that the applicant should personally cultivate and/or occupy the land
subject of the purchase. This requirement is reiterated in Sections 23 and 24 of the same order.

It cannot be denied that private respondent had ceased to personally occupy and cultivate Lot No. 707
at least on August 8, 1963. Only a year after his application and before he had fully paid the purchase
price of the land, private respondent had already instituted tenants on the said lot. This is clearly
indicative of his circumvention of applicable agrarian reform laws. The fact that in 1992 he was surprised
to know that the lot had already been subdivided into smaller parcels since 1981, and that two of which
had already been awarded to petitioner, indicates quite clearly that he was not personally cultivating Lot
No. 707. Thus, the Land Tenure Administration, and later the Land Authority, was justified in refusing to
issue a deed of sale in favor of respondent even though he paid in full the purchase price of the lot.
While it is true that due process protects vested rights, and this Court would be the first to stress this
basic principle, it is no less true that the guarantee cannot be invoked when, as in the case at bar, no
right has been acquired at all because of non-compliance with the requirements of the law.

SECURITY OF TENURE, THE PREVAILING PARTY IN A LAND REGISTRATION CASE CANNOT DISPOSSESS
ONE CLAIMING TO BE AN AGRICULTURAL TENANT THEREIN AND WHOSE SECURITY RIGHTS ARE STILL
PENDING DETERMINATION BEFORE THE DARAB

Heirs of Roman Soriano vs. The Honorable Court of Appeals, et al.
G.R. No. 128177 (August 15, 2001)

Issue:

May a winning party in a land registration case effectively eject the possessor thereof, whose security
of tenure rights are still pending determination before the DARAB?

Held:

A judgment in a land registration case cannot be effectively used to oust the possessor of the land
whose security of tenure rights are still pending determination before the DARAB. Stated differently, the
prevailing party in a land registration case cannot be placed in possession of the area while it is being
occupied by one claiming to be an agricultural tenant, pending a declaration that the latter's occupancy
was unlawful.

TENANCY RELATIONSHIP MAY BE ESTABLISHED EITHER VERBALLY OR IN WRITING, EXPRESSLY OR
IMPLIEDLY

Pevet Adalid Felizardo, et al. vs. Siegfredo Fernandez
G.R. No. 137509 (August 15, 2001)

Facts:

To summarize, the petitioners in the case at bar are the registered owners of a parcel of land originally
tilled by the father of the respondent. Even during the lifetime of his father, respondent was already the
one doing the duties of a tenant until the latter's death in 1995. However, petitioners would like to
institute the elder sister of respondent as tenant of the land despite the allegation of respondent that by
virtue of successional tenancy rights, he was already the declared tenant of the land.

Issue:

Whether Siegfredo has acquired the status of agricultural tenant which would preclude petitioners
from exercising their right to choose Asuncion (elder sister of respondent) as Policarpio's successor after
the latter's death?

Held:

The undisputed fact, as found by the DARAB, is that respondent worked on the land since 1981
because his father could no longer do so. Respondent did not merely aid his father in the latter's farm
work, but completely took over that work since Policarpo was already very old and incapable to
continue farming. Section 5 (p) of R.A. No. 1199 defines "incapacity" as any cause or circumstance which
prevents the tenant from fulfilling his contractual obligations. Respondent fully assumed his father's
leasehold obligations for 15 years precisely because Policarpo could no longer perform his duties as
petitioners' tenant and respondent is the only member remaining of the original tenant's immediate
farm household.
The Regional Adjudicator correctly took judicial notice of the fact that at the age of 74, Policarpo was
not able and could not reasonably be expected to till the land anymore. Petitioners were not unaware of
this circumstance since they already dealt with and received the land's proceeds from respondent. The
incapacity of Policarpo to attend to farm work had been evident to petitioners. The prevailing situation
in the farm and the length of time which had lapsed from the time respondent assumed the tenancy
work until his father's death amply support that conclusion.
A tenancy relationship may be established either verbally or in writing, expressly or impliedly, in
accordance with Section 7 of R.A. No. 1199. As aptly held by the Regional Adjudicator:

. . . the transfer and/or delegation of such tenancy obligations to herein complainant [respondent] was
in conformity to the general practice among farmers, especially so in the case of complainant who had
been assisting his father in the farmworks (sic). When defendants failed to intervene or object to this
development, and continued to accept their shares as proffered by the new cultivator, they have
thereby impliedly consented to it giving rise to the new tenancy relationship with the complainant.

Although petitioners did not expressly give their consent to a leasehold relation with respondent, in
our view petitioners consented to the tenancy albeit impliedly by allowing respondent to cultivate the
landholding in question and by receiving from him the landowner's share of the harvest over a
considerable length of time.
While it is true that Section 9 of R.A. No. 3844 gives the lessor/landowner the right to choose a tenant
successor in case of death or incapacity of the original tenant, in this case we agree that said right could
no longer be exercised by petitioners. Not only have they allowed the lapse of a long period of time
before attempting to exercise said right, it was also found that the successor they had allegedly chosen,
Asuncion Fernandez Espinosa, was not qualified to succeed Policarpo because (a) she was no longer a
member of the latter's immediate farm household; and (b) she could not and did not, at any time,
personally cultivate the land as shown by her unexplained absence during the harvests subsequent to
respondent's dispossession. Note also that in 1995, she was already 65 years old.

CARP COVERAGE, IN COMPLIANCE WITH DUE PROCESS, TWO NOTICES ARE REQUIRED: FIRST, THE
NOTICE OF COVERAGE AND LETTER OF INVITATION TO A PRELIMINARY CONFERENCE AND, SECOND, THE
NOTICE OF ACQUISITION TO BE SENT TO THE LANDOWNER

EXEMPTION, MORE THAN THE CLASSIFICATION OF THE SUBJECT LAND AS PARK IS THAT SAID LAND
FORMS A VITAL PART OF A WATERSHED AREA AND HAS SLOPES OF 18% AND OVER WHICH ARE EXEMPT
UNDER SECTION 10 OF R.A. NO. 6657

Sta. Rosa Realty Development Corporation vs. Court of Appeals, et al.
G.R. No. 112526 (October 12, 2001)

Facts:

Petitioner Sta. Rosa Realty Development Corporation (hereafter, SRRDC) was the registered owner of
two parcels of land situated at Barangay Casile, Cabuyao, Laguna covered by Transfer Certificate of Title
(TCT) Nos. 81949 and 84891 with a total area of 254.6 hectares. According to petitioner, the parcels of
land are watersheds which provide clean potable water to the Canlubang Community and ninety (90)
light industries located in the area.
Petitioner alleged that respondents usurped its rights over the property, thereby destroying the
ecosystem. Respondents filed a civil case with the RTC of Laguna seeking an easement of a right of way
to and from Barangay Casile. Petitioner countered by seeking the ejectment of the respondents and
filed separate complaints for forcible entry against the respondents before the Municipal Trial Court,
Cabuyao, Laguna. After the filing of the ejectment cases, respondents petitioned the DAR for the
compulsory acquisition of the SRRDC property under CARP.
Eventually, after a long and arduous process, the Secretary of Agrarian Reform, Miriam Defensor
Santiago sent two (2) notices of acquisition to petitioner and placed the properties under the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program despite the protest made by SRRDC that the property was not
appropriate for agricultural purposes. The area being rugged in terrain with slopes of 18% or over and
that the occupants of the land were squatters not entitled to any land as beneficiaries. SRRDC further
averred that the properties were exempt from CARP coverage because it had been classified as
watershed area and were the subject of a pending petition for land conversion. Later, the case was
referred to the DARAB for summary land valuation.
In the meantime, on January 20, 1992, the RTC of Laguna, Branch 24 rendered a Decision finding that
the private respondents illegally entered the SRRDC property and ordered them evicted.
On July 11, 1991, DAR Secretary Benjamin T. Leong issued a Memorandum directing the Land Bank of
the Philippines to open a trust account in favor of SRRDC for P5,637,965.55 as valuation for the SRRDC
property.
On December 19, 1991, DARAB promulgated its Decision which, among others, dismissed the
petitioner's protest against compulsory coverage for lack of merit, ordered the Land Bank of the
Philippines to pay SRRDC the amount of P7,841,997.64 for the landholdings covered by the two titles
and ordered the DAR through the MARO to take immediate possession of the landholding after transfer
of the titles in the name of the Republic of the Philippines for the immediate issuance of Emancipation
Patents to farmer-beneficiaries.
On January 20, 1992, the RTC of Laguna, Branch 24 rendered a Decision in Civil Case No. B-2333 ruling
that private respondents were builders in bad faith.
On February 6, 1992, petitioner filed with the Court of Appeals, a petition for review of the DARAB
decision. The CA promulgated a decision affirming the Decision of the DARAB. Hence, this petition.

Issue:

Whether or not the property in question is covered by CARP considering that it forms part of a
watershed area and has slopes of 18% and over

Held:

First, under Republic Act No. 6657, there are two modes of acquisition of private land, Compulsory
and Voluntary.
In compulsory acquisition of private lands, the landholding, the landowners and farmer beneficiaries
must first be identified. After identification, the DAR shall send a notice of acquisition to the landowner,
by personal delivery or registered mail, and post it in a conspicuous place in the municipal building and
barangay hall of the place where the property is located.
Within thirty (30) days from receipt of the notice of acquisition, the landowner, his administrator or
representative shall inform the DAR of his acceptance or rejection of the offer.
If the landowner accepts, he executes and delivers a deed of transfer in favor of the government and
surrenders the certificate of title. Within thirty (30) days from the execution of the deed of transfer, the
Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) pays the owner the purchase price. If the landowner rejects the DAR's
offer or fails to make a reply, the DAR conducts summary administrative proceedings to determine just
compensation for the land. The landowner, the LBP representative and other interested parties may
submit evidence on just compensation within fifteen days from notice. Within thirty days from
submission, the DAR shall decide the case and inform the owner of its decision and the amount of just
compensation.
The DAR has made compulsory acquisition the priority mode of land acquisition to hasten the
implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). Under Sec. 16 of the CARL, the
first step in compulsory acquisition is the identification of the land, the landowners and the farmer
beneficiaries. However, the law is silent on how the identification process shall be made. To fill this gap,
on July 26, 1989, the DAR issued Administrative Order No. 12, series of 1989, which set the operating
procedure in the identification of such lands.
Administrative Order No. 12, Series of 1989 requires that the Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer
(MARO) keep an updated master list of all agricultural lands under the CARP in his area of responsibility
containing all the required information. The MARO prepares a Compulsory Acquisition Case Folder
(CACF) for each title covered by CARP. The MARO then sends the landowner a "Notice of Coverage" and
a "letter of invitation" to a "conference/meeting" over the land covered by the CACF. He also sends
invitations to the prospective farmer-beneficiaries, the representatives of the Barangay Agrarian Reform
Committee (BARC), the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and other interested parties to discuss the
inputs to the valuation of the property and solicit views, suggestions, objections or agreements of the
parties. At the meeting, the landowner is asked to indicate his retention area.
For a valid implementation of the CARP Program, two notices are required: (1) the notice of coverage
and letter of invitation to a preliminary conference sent to the landowner, the representative of the
BARC, LBP, farmer-beneficiaries and other interested parties pursuant to DAR A.O. No. 12, series of
1989; and (2) the notice of acquisition sent to the landowner under Section 16 of the CARL.
The importance of the first notice, that is, the notice of coverage and the letter of invitation to a
conference, and its actual conduct cannot be understated. They are steps designed to comply with the
requirements of administrative due process. The implementation of the CARL is an exercise of the
State's police power and the power of eminent domain. To the extent that the CARL prescribes
retention limits to the landowners, there is an exercise of police power for the regulation of private
property in accordance with the Constitution. But where, to carry out such regulation, the owners are
deprived of lands they own in excess of the maximum area allowed, there is also a taking under the
power of eminent domain. The taking contemplated is not a mere limitation on the use of the land.
What is required is the surrender of the title to and physical possession of the excess and all beneficial
rights accruing to the owner in favor of the farmer-beneficiary.
In the case at bar, DAR has executed the taking of the property in question. However, payment of just
compensation was not in accordance with the procedural requirement. The law required payment in
cash or LBP bonds, not by trust accounts as was done by DAR.
In Association of Small Landowners in the Philippines v. Secretary of Agrarian Reform, we held that
"The CARP Law, for its part, conditions the transfer of possession and ownership of the land to the
government on receipt of the landowner of the corresponding payment or the deposit by the DAR of the
compensation in cash or LBP bonds with an accessible bank. Until then, title also remains with the
landowner. No outright change of ownership is contemplated either."
Watersheds may be defined as "an area drained by a river and its tributaries and enclosed by a
boundary or divide which separates it from adjacent watersheds." Watersheds generally are outside the
commerce of man, so why was the Casile property titled in the name of SRRDC? The answer is simple. At
the time of the titling, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources had not declared the
property as watershed area. The parcels of land in Barangay Casile were declared as "PARK" by a Zoning
Ordinance adopted by the municipality of Cabuyao in 1979, as certified by the Housing and Land Use
Regulatory Board. On January 5, 1994, the Sangguniang Bayan of Cabuyao, Laguna issued Resolution 26
voiding the Zoning classification of the lands at Barangay Casile as Park and declaring that the land was
now classified as agricultural land.
The authority of the municipality of Cabuyao, Laguna to issue zoning classification is an exercise of its
police power, not the power of eminent domain. "A zoning ordinance is defined as a local city or
municipal legislation which logically arranges, prescribes, defines and apportions a given political
subdivision into specific land uses as present and future projection of needs."
In Natalia Realty, Inc. vs. Department of Agrarian Reform, we held that lands classified as non-
agricultural prior to the effectivity of the CARL, may not be compulsorily acquired for distribution to
farmer beneficiaries.
However, more than the classification of the subject land as PARK is the fact that subsequent studies
and survey showed that the parcels of land in question form a vital part of a watershed area.
The definition does not exactly depict the complexities of a watershed. The most important product of
a watershed is water which is one of the most important human necessity. The protection of watersheds
ensures an adequate supply of water for future generations and the control of flashfloods that not only
damage property but cause loss of lives. Protection of watersheds is an "intergenerational
responsibility" that needs to be answered now.
Another factor that needs to be mentioned is the fact that during the DARAB hearing, petitioner
presented proof that the Casile property has slopes of 18% and over, which exempted the land from the
coverage of CARL. R.A. No. 6657, Section 10, provides:

"Section 10. Exemptions and Exclusions. Lands actually, directly and exclusively used and found
to be necessary for parks, wildlife, forest reserves, reforestation, fish sanctuaries and breeding grounds,
watersheds and mangroves, national defense, school sites and campuses including experimental farm
stations operated by public or private schools for educational purposes, seeds and seedlings research
and pilot production centers, church sites and convents appurtenant thereto, communal burial grounds
and cemeteries, penal colonies and penal farms actually worked by the inmates, government and
private research and quarantine centers, and all lands with eighteen percent (18%) slope and over,
except those already developed shall be exempt from coverage of this Act."

Hence, during the hearing at DARAB, there was proof showing that the disputed parcels of land may
be excluded from the compulsory acquisition coverage of CARP because of its very high slopes.
To resolve the issue as to the nature of the parcels of land involved in the case at bar, the Court
directs the DARAB to conduct a re-evaluation of the issue.

JURISDICTION OF THE DARAB IS LIMITED TO CASES INVOLVING TENANCY RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE
PARTIES

Rodrigo Almuete and Ana Almuete vs. Marcelo Andres and The Court of Appeals
G.R. No. 122276 (November 20, 2001)

Facts:

Petitioner Rodrigo Almuete was awarded a 72,587 square meter parcel of land located at San Vicente,
Angadanan, Isabela by the then National Resettlement and Rehabilitation Administration (NARRA) on
March 25, 1957. Since then, Almuete and his family farmed the subject property peacefully and
exclusively.
However, unknown to petitioner, an Agrarian Reform Technologist by the name of Leticia Gragasin on
August 17, 1979 filed false reports making it appear that Almuete has waived his right as awardee and
made it appear that one Marcelo Andres was the actual occupant of the land from 1967 to date. Said
Gragasin further recommended that the award in favor of petitioner Almuete be cancelled and the land
be awarded to respondent Marcelo.
Consequently, DAR issued OCT No. P-52521 in the name of respondent who, in turn, accompanied by
ten persons armed with bolos, immediately entered the subject property claiming exclusive right of
ownership and possession. Almuete complained to the DAR and wasted no time in filing an action for
reconveyance and recovery of possession against Marcelo Andres with the RTC of Cauayan, Isabela, Br.
20 docketed as Civil Case No. Br-20-530. The Trial Court rendered a Decision in favor of Almuete which
became final and executory upon Marcelo Andres's failure to appeal. The latter filed a petition for
certiorari to prevent the implementation of the writ of execution which was entertained by the Court of
Appeals. Hence, this Petition.

Issue:

Who between the petitioner and the respondent has a better right to the subject property
considering that both of them are awardees of the same property?

Held:

No juridical tie of landowner and tenant was alleged between petitioners and respondent, let alone
that which would so characterize the relationship as an agrarian dispute. In fact, petitioner and
respondent were contending parties for the ownership of the same parcel of land.
Rule II, Section 1 of the Revised Rules of Procedure of the DARAB, provides:

"Section 1. Primary, Original and Appellate Jurisdiction. The Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board
shall have primary jurisdiction, both original and appellate, to determine and adjudicate all agrarian
disputes, cases, controversies, and matters or incidents involving the implementation of the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program under Republic Act No. 6657, Executive Order Nos. 229, 228
and 129-A, Republic Act No. 3844 as amended by Republic Act No. 6389, P.D. No. 27 and other agrarian
laws and their implementing rules and regulations.

"Agrarian dispute" is defined under Section 3(d) of Republic Act No 6657, as:

"(d) Agrarian Dispute refers to any controversy relating to tenurial arrangements, whether leasehold,
tenancy, stewardship or otherwise, over lands devoted to agriculture, including disputes concerning
farmworkers associations or representation of persons in negotiating, fixing, maintaining, changing or
seeking to arrange terms or conditions of such tenurial arrangements.

It includes any controversy relating to compensation of lands acquired under this Act and other terms
and conditions of transfer of ownership from landowners to farmworkers, tenants and other agrarian
reform beneficiaries, whether the disputants stand in the proximate relation of farm operator and
beneficiary, landowner and tenant, or lessor and lessee."

From the foregoing, it is clear that the jurisdiction of the DARAB is limited to cases involving a tenancy
relationship between the parties. The following elements are indispensable to establish a tenancy
relationship:

(1) The parties are the landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee;

(2) The subject matter of the relationship is an agricultural land;

(3) There is consent between the parties to the relationship;

(4) The purpose of the relationship is to bring about agricultural production;

(5) There is personal cultivation on the part of the tenant or agricultural lessee; and

(6) The harvest is shared between the landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee.

The Court of Appeals, therefore, gravely erred when it granted the petition for certiorari and held that
the trial court had no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action between petitioners and
respondent. The action filed by petitioners was cognizable by the regular courts. Consequently, the
Regional Trial Court of Cauayan, Isabela was competent to try and decide Civil Case No. 20-530. Its
decision was, thus, valid and can no longer be disturbed, after having attained finality. Nothing more can
be done with the decision except to enforce it.

LEASEHOLD TENANCY, THE QUESTION REGARDING RESPONDENT'S TENANCY STATUS IS FACTUAL IN
NATURE AND NORMALLY IS NOT PROPER IN A PETITION FOR REVIEW WHERE ONLY QUESTIONS OF LAW
MAY BE ENTERTAINED. HOWEVER, IN CERTAIN INSTANCES, WHEN THERE APPEARS TO BE COMPELLING
REASONS TO MODIFY SUCH, THE SAID FACTUAL FINDINGS MAY BE THE SUBJECT OF REVIEW

Felix Pascual vs. The Honorable Court of Appeals and Victor Solis
G.R. No. 138781 (December 3, 2001)

Facts:

On March 5, 1992, petitioner brought an action for "Maintenance of Peaceful Possession with Prayer
for Restraining Order/Preliminary Injunction" against respondent Victor Solis before the DARAB Region
III in Malolos, Bulacan. Petitioner alleged that respondent tried to enter into possession and cultivation
of the above described agricultural lots thus disrupting petitioner's peaceful possession and personal
cultivation of the same.
Respondent in his answer averred that he is a lawful tenant of the lots and insisted that as a legitimate
tenant, he enjoyed security of tenure and cannot be ejected from the land except upon authority of the
court. To substantiate his assertion, respondent presented two (2) agricultural leasehold contracts as
well as two (2) Certificates of Agricultural Leasehold (CALs).
Petitioner countered by averring that respondent abandoned the first lot and voluntarily surrendered
the second lot upon payment of a disturbance compensation of P18,000.00. Furthermore, as a
consequence of the voluntary surrender made by the respondent, petitioner was able to sell the second
lot to the spouses Jose Bernardo and Rosa Payumo as evidenced by a "Kasulatan ng Bilihang Tuluyan"
(Venta Absoluta) dated December 11, 1985. Thus, the issue of respondent's status as lessee should be
properly addressed to the new owners.
In due course, the Provincial Adjudicator rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiff (petitioner) and
against defendant (respondent) Victor Solis, ruling that respondent was not a tenant of the disputed
lots.
On appeal, the DARAB reversed the findings of the PARAD and declared Victor Solis as a legitimate
tenant and entitled to security of tenure. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the DARAB.
Petitioner moved for reconsideration but the same was likewise denied. Hence, this petition.

Issue:

Whether or not respondent was a tenant of the lands belonging to petitioner and consequently
entitled to security of tenure?

Held:

Initially, the question regarding respondent's tenancy status is factual in nature which is not proper in
a petition for review, where only questions of law may be entertained. However, after a careful
examination of the evidence on record, there appears a compelling reason to modify the factual findings
below, since it appears that the appellate court and the DARAB failed to take into account certain
important considerations extant in the records.
The appellate court and the DARAB erred in rendering judgment on the assumption that these lots are
one and the same. To repeat, the second contract and CAL 022 do not pertain to Lot No. 2025. Hence,
respondent cannot be declared a tenant of Lot No. 2025. No lease agreement or certificate was adduced
to prove that Lot No. 2025 is the same lot described in the second contract and CAL 022.
Furthermore, there is an apparent absence of the essential requisites of an agricultural tenancy
relationship between the parties over Lot No. 2025. For this relationship to exist, it is necessary that: 1)
the parties are the landowner and the tenant; 2) the subject is agricultural land; 3) there is consent; 4)
the purpose is agricultural production; 5) there is personal cultivation; and 6) there is sharing of harvest
or payment of rental.
The findings of the Provincial Adjudicator and the ocular inspection indicate that respondent did not
personally cultivate the riceland portion of Lot No. 2025 or share its harvest proceeds with petitioner.
Petitioner did not consent to a leasehold agreement with respondent over Lot No. 2025, as shown by
petitioner's filing of complaint below to enjoin respondent from encroaching and planting thereon.
Accordingly, respondent is not a de jure tenant of Lot No. 2025, thus, he is not entitled to security of
tenure relative to this lot.
As to the 1.3-hectare land subject of the second contract and CAL No. 022, petitioner contends that
this lot was already sold to the spouses Payumo in 1985. Therefore, the issue of respondent's tenancy
status over the 1.3 hectare agricultural lot covered by the second contract and CAL 022 is not proper for
disposition in this case. Petitioner is no longer the owner of this lot and will not, thus, be benefited or
prejudiced by any declaration made herein, recognizing respondent as its bona fide tenant. The claim of
tenancy over this lot should be directed against the new owners/vendees, who are subrogees to the
rights and obligations of the agricultural lessor/vendor.

JURISDICTION OF THE DARAB, THE TRIAL COURT CANNOT ADJUDGE CIVIL MATTERS THAT RELATE TO
THE AGRARIAN RELATIONSHIP OF THE PARTIES. THESE ARE MATTERS BEYOND ITS COMPETENCE AND
JURISDICTION AND ARE EXCLUSIVELY COGNIZABLE BY THE DARAB

Leonarda L. Monsanto vs. Jesus and Teresita Zerna and the Court of Appeals
G.R. No. 142501 (December 7, 2001)

Held:

The filing of a criminal case carries with it the civil liability arising from the offense. However, the trial
court cannot adjudge civil matters that are beyond its competence and powers. Thus, while a court may
have authority to pass upon the criminal liability of the accused, it cannot make any civil awards that
relate to the agrarian relationship of the parties because this matter is beyond its jurisdiction.
In the present case, the RTC had jurisdiction to decide the criminal case against private respondents;
however, it acted beyond its jurisdiction when it effectively ruled on the agricultural tenancy
relationship between the parties. Private respondents had raised before it the issue of tenancy by way
of defense, and apparently interwoven with the agrarian dispute, were the acts complained of by
petitioner: the harvesting of the coconuts, their conversion into copra and, later, the sale thereof. Thus,
the RTC should have confined itself to the determination of whether private respondents were guilty of
qualified theft, instead of automatically awarding the proceeds of the copra sale to petitioner. Such
matter, being an offshoot of the agrarian dispute between the parties, is cognizable exclusively by the
DARAB.

PETITION FOR REVIEW, THE QUESTION OF WHETHER OR NOT THE RESPONDENTS HEREIN ARE ENTITLED
TO BE FARMER-BENEFICIARIES/TENANTS OF THE LAND IS A QUESTION OF FACT AND IS NOT THE PROPER
SUBJECT OF A PETITION FOR REVIEW UNDER RULE 45

Spouses Benny Calvo and Jovita S. Calvo vs. Spouses Bernardito and Angelina Vergara, et al.
G.R. No. 134741 (December 19, 2001)

Facts:

Milagros Lebumfacil was the owner of several lots located in Matab-ang Toledo City which were
placed under the Operation Land Transfer (OLT) Program of the DAR. Two of the tenant farmers therein,
Egmidio Baguio and Josefa Apan, due to poor health and senility waived their rights over the said lots.
This prompted the DAR to reallocate the same to other beneficiaries including the herein respondents
who were given a 750 square meter portion as their homelot.
Despite the coverage under OLT program, Lebumfacil still sold the land to the herein petitioners who
in turn filed a complaint for illegal detainer praying for the eviction of the respondents from their
homelots.
The MTC forwarded the case to the PARAD who upheld the validity of the OLT program but declared
the CLT Transfer Action No. CEB-VII-184-91 involving the reallocated lots as null and void. On appeal, the
DARAB modified the decision and upheld the validity and legality of the coverage of the subject 750
square meters. The CA likewise affirmed the said Decision of the DARAB. Hence, this petition.

Issue:

Whether private respondents are tenant-farmers and are thus qualified as reallocatees of OLT areas
under Memorandum Circular No. 8-80, series of 1980 and are entitled to a homelot under Letter of
Instruction No. 705

Held:

In Reyes vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 110207, 258 SCRA 651, 658 (1996), we distinguished between
the two types of questions: there is a question of law when the doubt or difference arises as to what the
law is pertaining to a certain state of facts, and there is a question of fact when the doubt arises as to
the truth or falsity of alleged facts. Being a question of fact, it is beyond the office of this court in a
petition for review under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court, where only questions of law may be
raised. Although there are exceptions, petitioners did not show that this is one of them.

LEASEHOLD TENANCY, ORDINARILY, TENANCY IS A FACTUAL ISSUE WHICH MAY NOT BE REVIEWED ON
CERTIORARI, BUT BECAUSE OF THE CONFLICTING CLAIMS OF THE DARAB UPHELD BY THE COURT OF
APPEALS, AND THE PROVINCIAL AGRARIAN REFORM ADJUDICATION BOARD (PARAB) ON THE ISSUE OF
TENANCY, THE SUPREME COURT IS OBLIGED TO REVIEW THE FINDINGS OF THE COURT OF APPEALS

The Heirs of Jose Juanite, et al. vs. The Court of Appeals, et al.
G.R. No. 138016 (January 30, 2002)

Facts:

The Spouses Edilberto Romero and Felisa Romero owned a piece of agricultural land in Alegria,
Surigao del Norte. On different dates, the Romeros sold separate portions thereof to Efren Pania,
Macario Sanchez and Pio Yonson.
Claiming to be the agricultural tenants of the land in question, Jose Juanite (now deceased) and his
wife, Nicolasa O. Juanite, filed a complaint with the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board
(PARAB), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), against the spouses Edilberto and Felisa Romero and
their vendees above-named for the cancellation of the sales adverted to and for the Juanites to exercise
their right of redemption pursuant to R.A. No. 3844.
Edilberto Romero, et al. as defendants, in their answer alleged that the Romeros, being the owners of
the property, had the perfect right to sell any portion thereof to any person. They also strongly denied
the allegation of the Juanites that the latter were their tenants.
The PARAD rendered a decision declaring the Juanite spouses as tenants, directing the MARO to
prepare the leasehold contract in their favor, declaring the aforementioned Deed of Sale executed by
the parties null and void and directing the latter to vacate the premises.
On Appeal, the DARAB reversed the decision and declared that the Juanites were not tenants of the
land, hence, had no right of redemption.
Petitioners appealed the decision to the Court of Appeals which, in turn, dismissed the petition.
Hence, this Appeal.

Issue:

Whether or not the petitioners are tenants of the Romero spouses (respondents) as to entitle them to
the right of redemption

Held:

We agree with the Court of Appeals that the essential requisites of a tenancy relationship are the
following:

(2) the parties are the landowner and the tenant;

(3) the subject is agricultural land;

(4) there is consent;

(5) the purpose is agricultural production;

(6) there is personal cultivation; and

(7) there is sharing of harvests.

All these requisites must concur in order to create a tenancy relationship between the parties.
The absence of one does not make an occupant of a parcel of land, or a cultivator thereof, or a planter
thereon, a de jure tenant. Unless a person has established his status as a de jure tenant, he is not
entitled to security of tenure nor is he covered by the Land Reform Program of the government under
existing tenancy laws.

However, we agree with the petitioners that with the landowners' admission that petitioners were
tenants on the subject landholding, the element of "sharing harvest" is assumed as a factual element in
that admission.
We note that petitioners alleged in the complaint filed with the PARAB that:

"6. That in the year 1971, the herein defendants, informed plaintiffs that the land which, Hermogena
Mercado-Mondonedo and which is hereto described, as follows, to wit:

xxx xxx xxx

and that the land was sold to her and husband, Edilberto Romero by Hermogena Mercado-Mondonedo
and that since then, plaintiffs continued in possession and cultivation of the land above described, as
tenant and sharing the fruits and products of the land to defendants, spouses Edilberto and Felisa
Romero."

In their answer to the complaint, respondents denied the tenant and landlord relationship, but failed
to rebut the evidence adduced by petitioners that they were tenants.

BENEFICIARIES UNDER CARP, THE IDENTIFICATION AND SELECTION OF CARP BENEFICIARIES ARE
MATTERS INVOLVING THE ADMINISTRATIVE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CARP, A MATTER EXCLUSIVELY
COGNIZABLE BY THE SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM AND BEYOND THE
JURISDICTION OF THE DARAB

Lolihala Saberon Lercana vs. Porferio Jalandoni, et al.
G.R. No. 132286 (February 1, 2002)


Facts:

Gregorio Pajuelas, grandfather of petitioner Lolihala S. Lercana, was the owner of an agricultural land
with an estimated area of nineteen (19) hectares, located in Barangay Salug, Siaton, Negros Oriental. It
was mortgaged by Lolihala's mother, Bruna Saberon, and was redeemed by Rodolfo Aspilla, who planted
sugarcane and hired respondent Porferio Jalandoni, among other laborers, to work on the land. In 1976,
Aspilla's sugarcane production failed. Aspilla then appointed Jalandoni as overseer and authorized him
to install the other respondents as tenant-tillers who devoted the property to corn production.
Respondents gave Aspilla, through Jalandoni, the owner's shares of the corn products in "tercio" basis,
in favor of the tenants. Jalandoni also gave to Aspilla the owner's share from the copra produce on the
same "tercio" basis. Aside from corn, respondents planted auxiliary crops like cassava and other
vegetables.
On August 21, 1972, Aspilla mortgaged the subject property to the Philippine Veterans Bank (PVB) as
security for a loan. Because Aspilla failed to redeem the mortgage, it was foreclosed on October 25,
1978. On June 26, 1980, the title covering the property was consolidated under TCT No. HT-1906 in the
name of PVB.
Not knowing about the ownership transfer, respondents continued to give to Aspilla his share of the
harvest until 1984, when Aspilla led for Kuwait. Thereafter, the share was given to Aspilla's children,
who visited the property every harvest rime.
In August 1989, petitioner appeared, claimed ownership of the land for allegedly having bought it
from PVB and demanded from each of the respondents the owner's share of the land produce. Not
satisfied, petitioner and her relatives eventually took over and cultivated the land.
Respondents as plaintiffs below were constrained to file a complaint for reinstatement and damages
against petitioner before the PARAD, Negros Oriental. However, the case was dismissed.
Respondents appealed to the DARAB which reversed and set aside the decision of the PARAD. The gist
of the Decision by the Board is that the disputed property has been offered to the DAR through CARP
through the VOS scheme. As such, it was not true that petitioner acquired ownership thereof. Further,
that application papers for potential CARP beneficiaries have been processed since September 19, 1989.
Petitioner filed a Petition for Review with the Court of Appeals. However, the Appellate Court
resolved the issue in favor of the respondents. It rendered a modified decision affirming the decision of
the DARAB but deleting the award of P20,000 as exemplary damages. Petitioner moved for
reconsideration but the same was denied. Hence, this petition.

Issues:

The issues concern (1) the occupation and tillage over the eastern portion of the land by petitioner
and her relatives; and (2) their qualification as beneficiaries under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform
Program.

Held:

On the first issue, regarding respondents' tenancy, the Court of Appeals affirmed the DARAB's finding
that respondents were the actual occupants and tillers of the entire subject landholding. This finding,
according to petitioner, is in complete variance with the PARAD's finding that respondents were not
tenants nor agricultural lessees on the disputed property. Petitioner asserts that she and her relatives
have always remained on the one-half eastern portion of the land, cultivating the same peacefully,
openly and uninterruptedly, before and after the western portion was mortgaged. This, according to
petitioner, is supported by Jalandoni's testimony that in 1976, when Aspilla gave Jalandoni the authority
to install tenants, Jalandoni occupied three (3) hectares while Mahinay, Mayorga and Ege, the other
installed tenants, occupied one hectare each. This means that Aspilla occupied a total area of only 6
hectares, confirming petitioner's contention that only one-half of the entire subject landholding was
mortgaged. Petitioner adds that respondents' submissive acceptance, when told by petitioner that she
had become the owner of the land, was a manifestation of respondents' own doubt on their status.
Lastly, DARAB Sheriff Edwin L. Badon, who also actually conducted an ocular inspection of the property,
declared that an estimated area of 8 hectares, which formed part of the entire 19 hectare-landholding,
was under the tillage of Lolihala and relatives. All these substantially prove, said petitioner, that she and
her relatives had remained on the eastern portion of the property.
Coming now to the present controversy, in our view, the finding of the appellate court, affirming the
DARAB's own findings, that respondents are the tenants of the entire property in question, is supported
by the evidence on record. The testimony of Galoy Ezoy, petitioner's own witness and a neighbor of the
Pajuelas, shows that the disputed property was originally owned by Gregorio Pajuelas and later on by
Dodong Aspilla. Aspilla then appointed Porferio Jalandoni and company to work on the land. Ezoy
further testified that petitioner and her relatives started to work on the land only when the case was
filed. His testimony was not refuted by petitioner. Furthermore, the certifications of the Barangay
Agrarian Reform Committee (BARC) Chairman and Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer of Barangay Salag,
Siaton, Negros Oriental, state that petitioner and her relatives were not the actual occupants and tillers
on the subject landholding, and that they only took over the property in 1990 when they entered and
occupied it by force and threats. These certifications carry the presumption of regularity in their
issuance, but petitioner did not show any evidence to overcome that presumption. Also, the
certification of DARAB Sheriff Edwin L. Badon cited by petitioner to contradict the abovecited two
certifications, merely attest to the actual cultivation and occupation of petitioner and her relatives at
the time of the pendency of the case at the DARAB, but not of the time when they actually started
cultivating the land. Said certification did not concern, much less corroborate, petitioner's allegation
that she and her relatives have always remained in the eastern portion of the property, even after the
mortgage. Thus, we conclude that the Court of Appeals' finding, adopting that of the DARAB, was
sufficiently supported by evidence on record.
On the second issue tendered by the petition, it appears to us that the proper administrative official
must resolve first the question of beneficiaries under CARP. The Court of Appeals, in adopting the
findings of the DARAB, did not declare respondents as beneficiaries under the Comprehensive Agrarian
Reform Program (CARP) in relation to the disputed landholding. The DARAB, in the dispositive portion of
its decision, left to the concerned DAR Offices the determination of who are or should be the CARP
beneficiaries. At this juncture, petitioner ought to be reminded that the identification and selection of
CARP beneficiaries are matters involving strictly the administrative implementation of the CARP, a
matter exclusively cognizable by the Secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform, and beyond the
jurisdiction of the DARAB.

JURISDICTION OVER ADMINISTRATIVE IMPLEMENTATION OF AGRARIAN REFORM LAWS, P.D. NO. 946
PROVIDES THAT MATTERS INVOLVING THE ADMINISTRATIVE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE TRANSFER OF
THE LAND TO THE TENANT-FARMER UNDER P.D. NO. 27 AND AMENDATORY AND RELATED DECREES,
ORDERS, INSTRUCTIONS, RULES AND REGULATIONS SHALL BE EXCLUSIVELY COGNIZABLE BY THE
SECRETARY OF AGRARIAN REFORM

Hon. Antonio M. Nuesa in his capacity as the Regional Director of DAR Region III and Restituto Rivera vs.
Hon. Court of Appeals
G.R. No. 132048 (March 6, 2002)

Facts:

On May 25, 1972, the then Secretary of Agrarian Reform issued an "Order of Award" in favor of Jose
Verdillo over two (2) parcels of agricultural land, Lots 1932 and 1904 of the Buena Vista Estate, San
Ildefonso, Bulacan, covering 14,496 and 19,808 square meters on condition which substantially states
that within a period of six (6) months the awardee shall personally cultivate or otherwise develop at
least one fourth of the area, occupy and construct his/her house in case of residential lot and pay at
least the first installment xxxx failure on his/her part to comply with this requirement shall be sufficient
cause for cancellation of this Order.
On August 26, 1993, or after twenty-one years, private respondent (Jose Verdillo) filed with the
Regional Office of the Department of Agrarian Reform for the purchase of said lots claiming that he had
complied with the conditions of the said Order. Restituto Rivera, herein petitioner, filed a letter protest
against private respondent claiming that he is the one in possession of the land and cultivating the
same.
A representative of the DAR Regional Office undertook an investigation on the conflicting claims and
found that the subject landholdings were in the possession/cultivation of other persons other than Jose
Verdillo and that it was crystal clear that Jose Verdillo had culpably violated the terms and conditions of
the Order of Award. On the basis of such, DAR Regional Director Antonio Nuesa promulgated an Order
canceling the Order of Award in favor of Jose Verdillo, declaring the lots vacant and open for disposition
and allowing the processing of Restituto Rivera's application to purchase the said lots.
Aggrieved, private respondent then filed a Petition with the PARAD. Petitioners countered by filing a
Motion to Dismiss the Petition instead of an Answer on the ground that the proper remedy in the case
at bar is to file an Appeal to the Secretary of Agrarian Reform under DAR Memorandum Circular No. 5-
87 and not by a petition with the DARAB.
The PARAD chose to render a decision on the merits, denied the Motion to Dismiss the Petition and
reversed the Order of the Regional Director.
Petitioner Rivera filed a Motion for Reconsideration but it was denied. He then interposed an appeal
with the DARAB but the Board affirmed the Decision of the PARAD.
Petitioners then filed a Petition for Review with the Court of Appeals but it was denied due course and
was ordered dismissed. Hence, this petition for review.

Issue:

Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in denying petitioners' claims that in this case, the Board
(DARAB) acted in grave abuse of discretion tantamount to lack or excess of jurisdiction?

Held:

We agree with petitioners that respondent Court of Appeals erred in holding that the DARAB and its
officials have not committed grave abuse of discretion tantamount to excess or lack of jurisdiction in this
case.
P.D. 946 provides that matters involving the administrative implementation of the transfer of the land
to the tenant-farmer under P.D. No. 27 and amendatory and related decrees, orders, instructions, rules
and regulations, shall be exclusively cognizable by the Secretary of Agrarian Reform, including: . . . (5)
issuance, recall or cancellation of certificates of land transfer in cases outside the purview of P.D. No.
816.
The revocation by the Regional Director of DAR of the earlier Order of Award by the Secretary of
Agriculture falls under the administrative functions of the DAR. The DARAB and its provincial adjudicator
or board of adjudicators acted erroneously and with grave abuse of discretion in taking cognizance of
the case, then overturning the decision of the DAR Regional Director and deciding the case on the merits
without affording the petitioner opportunity to present his case.
As held by this Court in Centeno vs. Centeno, "the DAR is vested with the primary jurisdiction to
determine and adjudicate agrarian reform matters and shall have the exclusive jurisdiction over all
matters involving the implementation of the agrarian reform program." The DARAB has primary, original
and appellate jurisdiction "to determine and adjudicate all agrarian disputes, cases, controversies, and
matters or incidents involving the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program
under R.A. 6657, E.O. Nos. 229, 228 and 129-A, R.A. No. 3844 as amended by R.A. No. 6389, P.D. No. 27
and other agrarian laws and their implementing rules and regulations."
Under Section 3(d) of R.A. No. 6657 (CARP Law), "agrarian dispute" is defined to include "(d) . . . any
controversy relating to tenurial arrangements, whether leasehold, tenancy, stewardship or otherwise
over lands devoted to agriculture, including disputes concerning farmworkers associations or
representation of persons in negotiating, fixing, maintaining, changing or seeking to arrange terms or
conditions of such tenurial arrangements. It includes any controversy relating to compensation of lands
acquired under this Act and other terms and conditions of transfer of ownership from landowners to
farmworkers, tenants and other agrarian reform beneficiaries, whether the disputants stand in the
proximate relation of farm operator and beneficiary, landowner and tenant, or lessor and lessee."
In the case at bar, petitioner and private respondent had no tenurial, leasehold, or any agrarian
relations whatsoever that could have brought this controversy between them within the ambit of the
abovecited provision. Consequently, the DARAB had no jurisdiction over the controversy and should not
have taken cognizance of private respondent's petition in the first place.
While it bears emphasizing that findings of administrative agencies, which have acquired expertise
because their jurisdiction is confined to specific matters are accorded not only respect but even finality
by the courts, due care should be taken that administrative actions are not done without regard to the
jurisdictional boundaries set by the enabling law for each agency. In this case, respondent DARAB
officials and boards, provincial and central, had overstepped their legal boundaries in taking cognizance
of the controversy between petitioner Rivera and private respondent Verdillo as to who should be
awarded Lots 1932 and 1904 of the Buenavista Estate. Respondent appellate court erred in sustaining
DARAB's unjustified action taken with grave abuse of discretion resulting in lack or excess of its
jurisdiction.

JURISDICTION (BELATED INVOCATION THEREOF), THE ENDS OF JUSTICE AND EQUITY REQUIRE THAT
PETITIONERS SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO DEFEAT THE TENANT'S RIGHT BY BELATEDLY RAISING THE
ISSUE OF JURISDICTION

Jose Oca, et al. vs. Court of Appeals and Sergio O. Abalos
G.R. No. 144817 (March 7, 2002)


Facts:

Petitioners Jose Oca and Isabelo Oca are the co-owners of a fishpond known in the locality as the
"Purong" property situated in Bolosan, Dagupan City. The four petitioners are the civil law lessees of
another called the "Salayog" property. Petitioner Jose Oca is also the sole and exclusive owner of two
fishponds commonly called the "Perew" and the "Fabian" properties.
Respondent Sergio O. Abalos claims to be the "share tenant-caretaker" of the above fishponds,
asserting that he had been in peaceful possession, cultivation and care of the aforesaid fishponds from
the time he received the same from the petitioners Oca brothers until the first week of May 1992 when
he requested from them the share of the harvest and instead of acceding, petitioners demanded that he
vacate the lands.
A complaint for Peaceful Possession, Leasehold and Damages with Motion for the Issuance of
Interlocutory Order was filed by the respondent against the petitioner with the PARAD.
Petitioners in their answer denied that the respondent is a caretaker/tenant of the land. They
acknowledged that the respondent is merely an industrial partner who had waived his right as such, in
consideration of the amount of P140,000.00.
After due proceedings, the PARAD rendered a Decision in favor of the respondent declaring him as a
bona fide tenant of the subject fishponds. The above Decision was appealed by the petitioners to the
DARAB but the Board affirmed in toto the Decision of the PARAD.
Petitioners sought relief with the Court of Appeals and filed a Petition for Review on Certiorari. The
Appellate Court modified the Decision ruling that the private respondent cannot be a tenant of the
"Salayog" property, he having sold his share and interest and had consequently, waived any interests he
had thereon.
Hence, the instant petition, raising as a new argument the supposed lack of jurisdiction of the PARAD
over the subject fishponds.

Issue:

Can they (petitioners) be permitted to impugn for the first time the jurisdiction of the Provincial
Adjudicator at this stage of the case?

Held:

The well-entrenched rule is that jurisdiction over the subject matter is determined exclusively by the
Constitution and the law. It cannot be conferred by the voluntary act or agreement of the parties; it
cannot be acquired through, or waived or enlarged or diminished by, their act or omission; neither is it
conferred by acquiescence of the court. Well to emphasize, it is neither for the courts nor the parties to
violate or disregard the rule, this matter being legislative in character.
An error in jurisdiction over the subject matter can be objected to at any instance, as the lack of it
affects the very authority of the court to take cognizance of the action. This kind of defense can be
invoked even for the first time on appeal or after final judgment. Such is understandable as this kind of
jurisdiction, to stress, is statutorily determined.
This rule on timing, however, is not absolute. In highly meritorious and exceptional circumstances,
estoppel or waiver may operate as a shield to prevent a party from belatedly resorting to this form of
defense. Thus, we have held in the leading case of Tijam v. Sibonghanoy that a party may be barred by
estoppel by laches from invoking this plea for the first time on appeal for the purpose of annulling
everything done in the case with the active participation of said party invoking the plea. We defined
laches as "failure or neglect for an unreasonable and unexplained length of time, to do that which, by
exercising due diligence, could or should have been done earlier. It is negligence or omission to assert a
right within a reasonable time, warranting presumption that the party entitled to assert it has
abandoned it or has declined to assert it."
In the case at bar, we find the petitioners guilty of estoppel by laches. In the first place, they never
disputed the jurisdiction of the Provincial Adjudicator at any stage of the proceeding: whether in the
Provincial Office level, the DARAB, or the Court of Appeals. Notwithstanding the presence of numerous
opportunities in the various stages of this case to contest the adjudicator's exercise of jurisdiction, not
once did they register a hint of protest. Neither can they claim that they were prevented from
contesting its jurisdiction during the eight years this case was under litigation.
The ends of justice and equity require that petitioners should not be allowed to defeat the tenant's
right by belatedly raising the issue of jurisdiction. Permitting petitioners to assail the jurisdiction of the
Provincial Adjudicator at this late stage of the case would mean rendering useless all the proceedings
held below. A great deal of time, effort and resources would be put to waste both on the part of the
litigants and of the State. This is especially oppressive for the respondent, a tenant who cannot afford
the discomforts of a protracted litigation.

BENEFICIARIES UNDER CARP/SUFFICIENCY OF SERVICE, THE APPELLATE COURT'S PRONOUNCEMENT
THAT PETITIONERS ARE NOT QUALIFIED BENEFICIARIES UNDER CARP IS JUST AN OBITER DICTUM AND
NOT NECESSARY IN THE RESOLUTION OF THE ISSUES

Deogracias Musa, Romeo and Andro Musa as represented by their Attorney-in-fact, Marilyn Musa vs.
Sylvia Amor
G.R. No. 141396 (April 9, 2002)

Facts:

This case involves an agricultural landholding with a total area of 9.9611 hectares located at Dancalan,
Donsol, Sorsogon formerly owned by one Antonio Dasig, two hectares of which are ricelands and the
rest are devoted to coconuts. When Antonio Dasig migrated to the United States, his mother, Rosario
Dasig, acted as administratrix of the said property.
On March 5, 1993, Rosario, representing her son, sold the subject property to herein respondent
Sylvia Amor for the total amount of P300,000.00. This prompted petitioners, claiming to be tenants of
the landholding, to file a case for redemption against respondent and Rosario Dasig with the
Department of Agrarian Reform Regional Adjudicator. Later on, respondent tried to eject petitioners
from the property so the latter withdrew the case for redemption and filed against respondent a
complaint for annulment of sale, reinstatement and damages with a prayer for preliminary injunction,
docketed as DARAB Case No. 05-154-S.
The RARAD ruled in favor of petitioners declaring them as tenants of the landholding and nullifying
the deed of absolute sale between Rosario Dasig and respondent.
On Appeal, the DARAB modified the ruling and declared the petitioners as bonafide tenants entitled
to security of tenure. Not satisfied, respondent brought the case on appeal to the Court of Appeals
which in turn rendered a decision modifying the DARAB's ruling only insofar as petitioners' status is
concerned and holding that they "should not be considered tenants of the subject landholding". The
decision of the DARAB was affirmed in all other respects. Petitioners moved for reconsideration but the
same was denied. Hence, this petition.

Issue:

Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in declaring the petitioners not tenants of the land and not
qualified beneficiaries under the provision of the CARP?
Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in dismissing respondents petition before the forum for
failure to cite an explanation as to the modes of service?

Held:

It should be pointed out that identification of actual and potential beneficiaries under CARP is vested
in the DAR Secretary. Administrative Order No. 10, Series of 1989 provides:

ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 10
Series of 1989

SUBJECT: RULES AND PROCEDURES GOVERNING THE REGISTRATION OF BENEFICIARIES

I. PREFATORY STATEMENT

Pursuant to Section 15, Chapter IV, of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988, the DAR, in
coordination with the Barangay Agrarian Reform Committee (BARC), as organized pursuant to R.A. 6657,
shall register all agricultural lessees, tenants and farmworkers who are qualified beneficiaries of the
CARP. This Administrative Order provides the Implementing Rules and Procedures for the said
registration.

II. OBJECTIVES.

A. General

1. Develop a data bank of potential and qualified beneficiaries of the CARP for the effective
implementation of the program.

B. Specific

1. Identify the actual and potential farmer-beneficiaries of the CARP. (Emphasis ours.)

xxx xxx xxx

It is significant to note that on September 3, 1993, the DAR Secretary through the Municipal Agrarian
Reform Office (MARO) issued a Notice of Coverage placing the entire agricultural landholding, including
the subject property, under CARP. Such being the case, the appellate court's pronouncement that
petitioners are not qualified beneficiaries under CARP is just an obiter dictum and not necessary in the
resolution of the issues.
Petitioners also allege that the Court of Appeals should not have given due course to the petition
because the respondent failed to attach thereto a written explanation why personal service was not
done, thereby violating Section 11, Rule 13, of the Rules of Court. The Court of Appeals found the
service of petition by registered mail sufficient notwithstanding the absence of an explanation why
service by mail was resorted to. Citing the case of Reyes vs. Court of Appeals, it declared that "the Rules
of Court shall not be applicable in agrarian cases even in suppletory character."
The issue of sufficiency of service of pleadings pertains to the proceedings of the Court of Appeals
which are governed by the Rules of Court. Section 11, Rule 13 of said Rules provides:

"SEC. 11. Priorities in modes of service and filing. Whenever practicable, the service and filing of
pleadings and other papers shall be done personally. Except with respect to papers emanating from the
court, a resort to other modes must be accompanied by a written explanation why the service or filing
was not done personally. A violation of this Rule may be cause to consider the paper as not filed."

As the above-quoted provision requires, service and filing of pleadings must be done personally
whenever practicable. The Court notes that in the present case, personal service would not be
practicable. Considering the distance between the Court of Appeals and Donsol, Sorsogon where the
petition was posted, clearly, the service by registered mail was sufficient notwithstanding the absence of
an explanation why service by mail was resorted to. A written explanation why service was not done
personally might have been superfluous. In any case, as the rule is so worded with the use of "may,"
signifying permissiveness, a violation thereof gives the court discretion whether or not to consider the
paper as not filed. While it is true that procedural rules are necessary to secure an orderly and speedy
administration of justice, rigid application of Section 11, Rule 13 may be relaxed in this case in the
interest of substantial justice.

CONSTITUTIONALITY AND VALIDITY OF P.D. NO. 27 AND DAR MEMORANDUM CIRCULAR NO. 6, SERIES
OF 1978

Rolando Sigre vs. Court of Appeals and Lilia Y. Gonzales as co-administratrix of the Estate of Matias
Yusay
G.R. No. 109568 (August 8, 2002)

Land Bank of the Philippines vs. Court of Appeals and Lilia Y. Gonzales as co-administratrix of the Estate
of Matias Yusay
G.R. No. 113454 (August 8, 2002)


Facts:

Private respondent Lilia Y. Gonzales as administratrix of the Estate of the late Matias Yusay filed a
petition for prohibition and mandamus docketed as CA-GR SP No. 28906 seeking to prohibit the Land
Bank of the Philippines (LBP) from accepting the leasehold rentals from Ernesto Sigre (predecessor of
petitioner Rolando Sigre) and for LBP to turn over to private respondent the rentals previously remitted
to it by Sigre.
Ernesto Sigre is a tenant of the private respondent's irrigated riceland located in Barangay Naga,
Pototan, Iloilo. He was previously paying a lease rental of sixteen (16) cavans per crop or thirty-two (32)
cavans per agricultural year. In the agricultural year 1991-1992, Sigre stopped paying his rentals and
instead remitted the same to the LBP pursuant to the Department of Agrarian Reform's Memorandum
Circular No. 6, Series of 1978 on the guidelines of the payment of lease rentals by farmer-beneficiaries
under the land transfer program of P.D. No. 27.
According to private respondent, she had no notice that the DAR had already fixed the 3-year
production prior to October 1972 at an average of 119.32 cavans per hectare and pegged the value of
the land at thirteen thousand four hundred five pesos and sixty-seven centavos (P13,405.67). Thus, the
petition filed with the Court of Appeals assailing not only the validity of Memorandum Circular No. 6 but
also the constitutionality of P.D. No. 27.
The appellate court in its decision dated March 22, 1993 declared Memorandum Circular No. 6 null
and void and directed LBP to return to private respondent the lease rentals paid by Sigre. The latter was
also directed to pay the rentals directly to private respondent. The Appellate Court ruled that the said
Circular is in conflict with PD 816 and that PD 27 is unconstitutional in laying down the formula for
determining the cost of the land. It sets limitations on the judicial prerogative of determining just
compensation.
Hence, this present recourse, which is a consolidation of the separate petitions for review filed by
Rolando Sigre and by LBP.

Issue:

Validity of Memorandum Circular No. 6 and Constitutionality of Presidential Decree No. 27.

Held:

The power of subordinate legislation allows administrative bodies to implement the broad policies
laid down in a statute by "filling in" the details. All that is required is that the regulation should be
germane to the objects and purposes of the law and that the regulation be not in contradiction to but in
conformity with the standards prescribed by the law. One such administrative regulation is DAR
Memorandum Circular No. 6. As emphasized in De Chavez v. Zobel, emancipation is the goal of P.D. 27.,
i.e., freedom from the bondage of the soil by transferring to the tenant-farmers the ownership of the
land they are tilling.
The rationale for the Circular was, in fact, explicitly recognized by the appellate court when it stated
that "(T)he main purpose of the circular is to make certain that the lease rental payments of the tenant-
farmer are applied to his amortizations on the purchase price of the land x x x x . The circular was meant
to remedy the situation where the tenant-farmer's lease rentals to landowner were not credited in his
favor against the determined purchase price of the land, thus, making him a perpetual obligor for said
purchase price." Since the assailed Circular essentially sought to accomplish the noble purpose of P.D.
27, it is therefore valid. Such being the case, it has the force of law and is entitled to great respect.
The Court cannot see any "irreconcilable conflict" between P.D. No. 816 and DAR Memorandum
Circular No. 6. Enacted in 1975, P.D. No. 816 provides that the tenant-farmer (agricultural lessee) shall
pay lease rentals to the landowner until the value of the property has been determined or agreed upon
by the landowner and the DAR. On the other hand, DAR Memorandum Circular No. 6, implemented in
1978, mandates that the tenant-farmer shall pay to LBP the lease rental after the value of the land has
been determined.
In Curso v. Court of Appeals, involving the same Circular and P.D. 816, it was categorically ruled that
there is no incompatibility between these two.
That P.D. 27 does not suffer any constitutional infirmity is a judicial fact that has been repeatedly
emphasized by this Court in a number of cases. As early as 1974, in the aforecited case of De Chavez v.
Zobel, P.D. 27 was assumed to be constitutional, and upheld as part and parcel of the law of the land,
viz.:

"There is no doubt then, as set forth expressly therein, that the goal is emancipation. What is more, the
decree is now part and parcel of the law of the land according to the revised Constitution itself.
Ejectment therefore of petitioners is simply out of the question. That would be to set at naught an
express mandate of the Constitution. Once it has spoken, our duty is clear; obedience is unavoidable.
This is not only so because of the cardinal postulate of constitutionalism, the supremacy of the
fundamental law. It is also because any other approach would run the risk of setting at naught this basic
aspiration to do away with all remnants of a feudalistic order at war with the promise and the hope
associated with an open society. To deprive petitioners of the small landholdings in the face of a
presidential decree considered ratified by the new Constitution and precisely in accordance with its
avowed objective could indeed be contributory to perpetuating the misery that tenancy had spawned in
the past as well as the grave social problems thereby created. There can be no justification for any other
decision then whether predicated on a juridical norm or on the traditional role assigned to the judiciary
of implementing and not thwarting fundamental policy goals."

Thereafter, in Gonzales v. Estrella, which incidentally involves private respondent and counsel in the
case at bench, the Court emphatically declared that "Presidential Decree No. 27 has survived the test of
constitutionality."
Then, in 1982, P.D. 27, once again, was stamped with judicial imprimatur in Association of Rice & Corn
Producers of the Philippines, Inc. v. The National Land Reform Council, to wit:

". . . If as pointed out in the opening paragraph, the validity of Presidential Decree No. 27 was assumed
as early as 1974, on the first anniversary of the present constitution, in De Chavez v. Zobel and
specifically upheld in Gonzales v. Estrella five years later, there cannot be any justification for holding
that it is unconstitutional on its face without any factual foundation."

Lastly, in Association of Small Landowners in the Philippines, Inc. v. Secretary of Agrarian Reform,
involving the constitutionality of P.D. 27, E.O. Nos. 228 and 229, and R.A. 6657, any other assault on the
validity of P.D. 27 was ultimately foreclosed when it was declared therein that "R.A. No. 6657, P.D. No.
27, Proc. No. 131, and E.O. Nos. 228 and 229 are SUSTAINED against all the constitutional objections
raised in the herein petition."

SUCCESSION IN AGRARIAN CASES/FINDINGS OF FACTS/LEASEHOLD TENANCY

FIRST, THE APPELLATE COURT CANNOT MAKE ITS OWN FINDINGS OF FACT AND SUBSTITUTE THE SAME
FOR THE FINDINGS OF FACT OF THE DARAB

SECOND, DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS SHOULD NOT CONFUSE THE LAW ON SUCCESSION PROVIDED FOR
IN THE CIVIL CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES WITH SUCCESSION IN AGRARIAN CASES X X X X X IN AGRARIAN
LAWS, THE SECURITY OF TENURE OF THE DECEASED TENANT SHALL PASS ON TO ONLY ONE (1) HEIR

Dionisia L. Reyes vs. Ricardo L. Reyes, et al.
G.R. No. 140164 (September 6, 2002)

Facts:

The instant case stemmed from a complaint for reinstatement with damages filed with the DARAB
Region III Office by Dionisia Reyes on April 22, 1991 against her four younger brothers, herein
respondents. She alleged that her father, the late Felizardo Reyes, was the tenant of a two-hectare
agricultural lot in Parulan, Plaridel, Bulacan, owned by Marciano Castro. After her father's death on
February 17, 1989, she and Marciano Castro, through the latter's son and attorney-in-fact, Ramon R.
Castro, executed a leasehold contract naming her as the agricultural lessee of the property. However,
sometime before the start of the planting of the dry season crop in 1989, herein respondents forcibly
entered the area and occupied a one-hectare portion of the property. They claimed to be the tenants
thereof. Respondents then paid rent to Castro's overseer, Armando Duran, and continued to occupy half
of the property to petitioner's damage and prejudice.
Respondents in their answer averred that they inherited the lease rights from their father and that
petitioner was a woman who could not possibly work or till the land by herself. Hence, petitioner's claim
to be the lawful agricultural lessee has no basis in fact and in law.
The PARAD rendered a decision in favor of the petitioner. Respondents seasonably appealed the
decision to the DARAB Central Office. In turn, the DARAB affirmed the decision of the PARAD and
dismissed the case for lack of merit. Respondents elevated the case to the Court of Appeals which in
turn, reversed the decision of the DARAB ruling that an "implied tenancy" existed between the
respondents and the landowner. The Appellate Court then went on to rule that by virtue of this "implied
tenancy", the leasehold contract between the Castros and the petitioner could only be made effective
on the one-hectare portion of the disputed property. Hence, the instant petition.

Issued:

Did the Court of Appeals err in disregarding the substantial evidence rule with respect to the DARAB
findings?
Did the appellate court commit a reversible error of law in finding that respondents has satisfactorily
met the requirements of a tenancy relationship?

Held:

In Malate vs. Court of Appeals, we held that:

In appeals in agrarian cases, the only function required of the Court of Appeals is to determine
whether the findings of fact of the Court of Agrarian Relations are supported by substantial evidence.
And substantial evidence has been defined to be such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might
accept as adequate to support a conclusion and its absence is not shown by stressing that there is
contrary evidence on record, direct or circumstantial, and where the findings of fact of the agrarian
court are supported by substantial evidence, such findings are conclusive and binding on the appellate
court.

Stated differently, the appellate court cannot make its own findings of fact and substitute the same
for the findings of fact of the DARAB.
A perusal of the assailed decision clearly shows that nowhere did the Court of Appeals rule that the
findings of fact of the DARAB Region III Provincial Adjudicator or the DARAB-Central Office were
unsupported by substantial evidence. Nor did the appellate court hold that said findings were made
with grave abuse of discretion on the part of the agrarian quasi-judicial agencies. An examination of the
record categorically shows that the findings of fact of the DARAB were supported by substantial
evidence. Perforce, the Malate ruling must apply to the instant case. The finding of the DARAB that
petitioner, by virtue of the contract of agricultural leasehold entered into between her and the Castros,
is the substitute tenant of the latter in lieu of her deceased father, is binding upon the appellate court
and this Court. Equally conclusive upon the court a quo and this Court is the finding by the DARAB that
respondents were mere usurpers who failed to present any proof as to the existence of a tenancy
relationship between them and the Castro family.
On the second issue, we find respondents contentions far from persuasive.
The present dispute involves an agricultural leasehold. The governing law is R.A. No. 3844, which,
except for Section 35 thereof, was not specifically repealed by the passage of the Comprehensive
Agrarian Reform Law of 1988 (R.A. No. 6657), but was intended to have suppletory effect to the latter
law. Under R.A. No. 3844, two modes are provided for in the establishment of an agricultural leasehold
relations: (1) by operation of law in accordance with Section 4 of the said act; or (2) by oral or written
agreement, either express or implied. By operation of law simply means the abolition of the agricultural
share tenancy system and the conversion of share tenancy relations into leasehold relations. The other
method is the agricultural leasehold contract, which may either be oral or in writing. In the instant case,
it is not disputed that an agricultural leasehold contract was entered into between petitioner and
Ramon Castro. Respondents, however, insist that an agricultural leasehold contract over a one-hectare
portion of the landholding arose as a result of the actions of Ramon's overseer, who must be viewed as
the latter's agent. They conclude that because of his implied leasehold, the application of the contract
between petitioner and the landowner should be limited to the remaining portion of the property.
Respondents' reasoning is flawed. While undoubtedly Duran was an agent of Ramon, he was not a
general agent of the latter with respect to the landholding. The record shows that as overseer, Duran's
duties and responsibilities were limited to issuing receipt(s), selling mangoes and bamboo trees and all
other things saleable. Thus, by his own admission, Duran was a special agent under Article 1876 of the
Civil Code. Duran's duties and responsibilities as a special agent do not include the acceptance of rentals
from persons other than the tenant so designated by the landowner. Duran's authority as a special
agent likewise excludes the power to appoint tenants or successor-tenants. Clearly, Duran acted beyond
the limits of his authority as an agent. We cannot agree with the Court of Appeals that since Duran had
been the overseer of the Castros for 16 years, he had thereby made respondents believe he had full
authority from the Castro family relative to the administration of the subject property. Regardless of the
number of years that Duran had been the overseer of the Castros, there is absolutely no showing that
he was ever authorized to appoint tenants or successor-tenants for the Castros, nor to accept rentals
from the persons he would appoint. Absent substantial evidence to show Duran's authority from the
Castros to give consent to the creation of a tenancy relationship, his actions could not give rise to an
implied tenancy. In fact, Duran admitted that he was aware of the existence of the leasehold contract
between petitioner and the Castros, naming the former as the successor-tenant to the property. Since
an implied tenancy between the same landowners and respondents is incompatible with this express
and written leasehold contract and given the absolute lack of substantial evidence to support the
existence of an implied tenancy, the express tenancy contract must be maintained.
One final note. Respondents original stance before the DARAB that they had inherited or succeeded
to the tenancy rights of their late father is likewise erroneous. As correctly found by the DARAB:

Defendants-Appellants should not confuse the law on succession provided for in the Civil Code of
the Philippines with succession in agrarian cases. In the former, (the) statute spreads the estate of the
deceased throughout his heirs; while in agrarian laws, the security of tenure of the deceased tenant
shall pass on to only one (1) heir in the manner provided for in Section 9 of R.A. No. 3844.

APPEAL/PETITION FOR REVIEW, THE PROPER MODE OF APPEAL FOR THE DECISIONS RENDERED BY THE
SPECIAL AGRARIAN COURTS (SACs) IS BY WAY OF A PETITION FOR REVIEW AND NOT BY AN ORDINARY
NOTICE OF APPEAL

Land Bank of the Philippines vs. Arlene de Leon and Bernardo de Leon
G.R. No. 143275 (September 10, 2002)

Facts:

Petitioners-appellees Arlene de Leon and Bernardo de Leon are the registered owners of a parcel of
land situated at San Agustin, Concepcion, Tarlac covered by TCT No. 163051 with a total area of 50.1171
hectares. The property was voluntarily offered for sale to the government pursuant to R.A. No. 6657 at
P50,000.00 per hectare. However, the DAR only made a counter-offer of P17,656.20 per hectare/total of
P884,877.54 and later, P1,565,369.35. In view of the petitioners-appellees' failure to respond to the new
offer made by DAR, the DARAB took cognizance of the case pursuant to Section 16 (d) of R.A. No. 6657.
Subsequently, the DARAB issued an Order directing respondent-appellant LBP to recompute the value of
the subject property in accordance with DAR Administrative Order No. 6, Series of 1992. An aggregate
amount of P2,491,731.65 was arrived at but this was again rejected by the petitioners-appellees.
In a Petition dated October 27, 1994, petitioners asked the Regional Trial Court, Br. 63, Tarlac (the
designated special agrarian court in the area) to fix the just compensation of the property. The court
rendered a summary judgment on December 19, 1997, fixing the compensation of the subject property
at P1,260,000.00 for the 16.69 hectares of riceland and P2,957,250.00 for the 30.4160 hectares of
sugarland. Respondent-appellant moved for reconsideration but the same was denied by the court. DAR
filed a petition for review with the Court of Appeals. Petitioner LBP also filed a notice of appeal of the
said decision. The Third Division of the Appellate Court gave due course to the petition for review. The
Fourth Division of the Court of Appeals, on the other hand, dismissed petitioner LBP's ordinary appeal
for lack of merit reasoning that the mode of appeal followed by petitioner LBP was erroneous.
Considering that Sec. 60 of R.A. No. 6657, also known as the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law
mandates that Appeals from Special Agrarian Courts should be by petition for review. LBP filed a Motion
for Reconsideration but the same was denied. Hence, this petition questioning the resolution of the
Fourth Division of the Court of Appeals.

Issue:

What indeed is the proper mode of appeal from decisions of the Regional Trial Courts, sitting as
Special Agrarian Courts, in the determination of just compensation an appeal by way of a petition for
review or an ordinary appeal?

Held:

Section 2 of Rule 41 of the 1997 Revised Rules of Civil Procedure provides for three modes of appeal,
to wit:

"Sec. 2. Modes of Appeal.

(a) Ordinary appeal. The appeal to the Court of Appeals in cases decided by the Regional Trial Court
in the exercise of its original jurisdiction shall be taken by filing a notice of appeal with the court which
rendered the judgment or final order appealed from and serving a copy thereof upon the adverse party.
No record on appeal shall be required except in special proceedings and other cases or multiple or
separate appeals where the law or these Rules so require. In such cases, the record on appeal shall be
filed and served in like manner.

(b) Petition for Review. The appeal to the Court of Appeals in cases decided by the Regional Trial
Court in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction shall be by petition for review in accordance with Rule
42.

(c) Appeal by Certiorari. In all cases where only questions of law are raised or involved, the appeal
shall be to the Supreme Court by petition for review on certiorari in accordance with Rule 45.

A petition for review, not an ordinary appeal, is the proper procedure in effecting an appeal from
decisions of the Regional Trial Courts acting as Special Agrarian Courts in cases involving the
determination of just compensation to the landowners concerned. Section 60 of R.A. No. 6657 clearly
and categorically states that the said mode of appeal should be adopted. There is no room for a contrary
interpretation. Where the law is clear and categorical, there is no room for construction, but only
application.
The reference to the Rules of Court means that the specific rules for petitions for review in the Rules
of Court and other relevant procedures in appeals filed before the Court of Appeals shall be followed in
appealed decisions of Special Agrarian Courts. Considering that R.A. No. 6657 cannot and does not
provide the details on how the petition for review shall be conducted, a suppletory application of the
pertinent provisions of the Rules of Court is necessary. In fact, Section 61 uses the word "review" to
designate the mode by which the appeal is to be effected. The reference therefore by Section 61 to the
Rules of Court only means that the procedure under Rule 42 for petitions for review is to be followed for
appeals in agrarian cases.
As earlier mentioned, there is nothing in the Rules of Court that categorically prohibits the adoption of
the procedure for petitions for review of decisions of Special Agrarian Courts. Section 60 of R.A. No.
6657 and the provisions of the Rules of Court can be harmonized and can co-exist.
Moreover, the same Section 5(5), Article VIII, of the 1987 Philippine Constitution quoted by the
petitioner states that "(r)ules of procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial bodies shall remain
effective unless disapproved by the Supreme Court." Section 60 is obviously a special procedure.
Contrary to the petitioner's contention, it cannot be otherwise merely because it was formulated by the
legislature and not by any special body. As long as the said section provides for a particular process for
the governance of the special court concerned, the provision is accurately classified as a special
procedure. Subject to constitutional limitations, the statutory enactment of a special procedure cannot
be said to encroach on the power of this Court to formulate rules of procedure for the reason that we
have not yet provided for a particular process specifically governing agrarian courts.
Unlike an ordinary appeal, a petition for review dispenses with the filing of a notice of appeal or
completion of records as requisites before any pleading is submitted. A petition for review hastens the
award of fair recompense to deprived landowners for the government-acquired property, an end not
foreseeable in an ordinary appeal. This is exemplified by the case at bar in which the petition for review
before the Special Third (3rd) Division (CA-G.R. SP No. 47005) was disposed of way ahead of the ordinary
appeal filed before the Fourth (4th) Division (CA-G.R. CV No. 60365) in the Court of Appeals.
Inasmuch as the notice of appeal filed by petitioner LBP did not stop the running of the reglementary
period to file a petition for review, the time to appeal the decision of the Special Agrarian Court has
lapsed, rendering the said decision final and executory.

SECURITY OF TENURE/LEASEHOLD TENANCY/RIGHT OF PRE-EMPTION, THE SALE EXECUTED BY THE
BANK IN FAVOR OF THE PETITIONER WAS IN VIOLATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF P.D. NO. 27 AND ITS
IMPLEMENTING GUIDELINES AND MUST, THUS, BE DECLARED NULL AND VOID

The Heirs of Guillermo A. Batongbacal vs. The Court of Appeals, et al.
G.R. No. 125063 (September 24, 2002)

Facts:

Juana Luciano was the registered owner of an agricultural land planted to rice and corn measuring
16,555 square meters, situated in Brgy. Bolakan, Bocaue, Bulacan and covered by Transfer Certificate of
Title No. T-1338.
Luciano mortgaged the parcel of land to the Philippine Banking Corporation and subsequently failed
to redeem the same. Thus, the bank became the absolute owner of the land and was issued Transfer
Certificate of Title No. T-123404. The bank sold the property to petitioner Guillermo Batongbacal. It also
executed an Affidavit of Non-Tenancy to enable the petitioner to register the land under his name.
However, when the petitioner tried to register the Deed of Absolute Sale, he discovered that Certificate
of Land Transfer No. 0-025760 was already issued in the name of private respondent Catalino Santos
also covering the same property.
Petitioner filed a complaint with the DAR Team Office in Sta. Maria, Bulacan which endorsed the case
to the Adjudicator of Bulacan. After due proceedings, the RARAD rendered a Decision in favor of
Catalino Santos (now represented by his son Severino Santos). Petitioner filed a Motion for
Reconsideration and Supplemental Motion for Reconsideration but both were denied by the RARAD in
an Order dated August 17, 1989. On appeal, the DARAB affirmed the said Decision. Petitioner passed
away and was substituted by his heirs, Rosario Batongbacal, et al. The said heirs filed a petition for
review with the Court of Appeals. However, the Appellate Court rendered judgment denying the
petition. Petitioners moved for reconsideration but the same was likewise denied. Hence, this petition.

Issue:

Who between the parties are lawfully entitled to the ownership and possession of the subject
landholding?

Held:

Section 7 of R.A. No. 3844 states that once the agricultural leasehold relation is established, the same
shall confer upon the lessee the right to continue working on the landholding until such relation is
extinguished, and the agricultural lessee shall be entitled to security of tenure on his landholding and
cannot be ejected therefrom unless authorized by the Court and for causes provided by law. It is worthy
to note that the sale or alienation of tenanted land is not among the causes of extinguishment of the
agricultural leasehold relation provided under the law.
In Endaya v. Court of Appeals, we held that, "Transactions involving agricultural land over which an
agricultural leasehold subsists resulting in change of ownership will not terminate the rights of the
agricultural lessee." In Tanpingco v. Intermediate Appellate Court, we stated that, "Security of tenure is
a legal concession to agricultural lessees which they value as life itself and deprivation of their
landholdings is tantamount to deprivation of their means of livelihood."
When P.D. 27 took effect on October 21, 1972, the land was already owned by Philbanking, but the
tenancy relations remained in force. By virtue of this law, "tenant farmers are deemed owners of the
land they till, subject to the rules and regulations to be hereafter promulgated. Pursuant to the mandate
of P.D. 27, a Certificate of Land Transfer was issued to private respondent Catalino Santos on January 22,
1981, and was registered on February 1, 1981 with the Register of Deeds of Bulacan.
During all this time, private respondent continued tilling the land and paying rentals to Juana Luciano,
and after her death, to her representatives. The sale between Philbanking and petitioner took place on
January 11, 1985. At about this time, Juana Luciano's representatives began to refuse accepting the
rentals from private respondent. Thus, private respondent deposited the rentals with a certain Crispin
Santiago, a rice mill owner in nearby Tuvo, Bocaue, through the mediation of the Barangay Captain.
Under the circumstances, we find that private respondent complied in good faith with the obligations
incumbent upon him as an agricultural lessee.
Philbanking, on the other hand, was remiss in its duties as an agricultural lessor when it sold the
subject land to a third person, without giving notice to private respondent and giving him the
opportunity to exercise his right of preemption as an agricultural lessee.
Section 11 of R.A. 3844 provides:

"Section 11. Lessee's Right of Preemption. In case the agricultural lessor decides to sell the
landholding, the agricultural lessee shall have the preferential right to buy the same under reasonable
terms and conditions: Provided, That the entire landholding offered for sale must be preempted by the
Department of Agrarian Reform upon petition of the lessee or of any of them: Provided, further, That
where there are two or more agricultural lessees, each shall be entitled to said preferential right only to
the extent of the area actually cultivated by him. The right of preemption under this section may be
exercised within one hundred eighty days from notice in writing, which shall be served by the owner on
all lessees affected and the Department of Agrarian Reform." (Emphasis provided)

Clearly, therefore, Philbanking committed a breach of obligation as an agricultural lessor. As the
records show, private respondent was not informed about the sale between Philbanking and petitioner,
and neither was he privy to the transfer of ownership from Juana Luciano to Philbanking. As an
agricultural lessee, the law gives him the right to be informed about matters affecting the land he tills,
without need for him to inquire about it.
Department Memorandum Circular No. 8, series of 1974, implementing P.D. 27, provides:

4. No act shall be done to undermine or subvert the intent and provisions of Presidential Decrees,
Letters of Instruction, Memoranda and Directives, such as the following and/or similar acts:

xxx xxx xxx

f.) Transferring ownership of tenanted rice and/or corn lands after October 21, 1972, except to the
actual tenant-farmers or tillers but in strict conformity with the provisions of Presidential Decree No. 27
and the requirements of the Department of Agrarian Reform . . . .

In other words, transfer of ownership over tenanted rice and/or corn lands after October 21, 1972 is
allowed only in favor of the actual tenant-tillers thereon. Hence, the sale executed by Philbanking on
January 11, 1985 in favor of petitioner was in violation of the aforequoted provision of P.D. 27 and its
implementing guidelines, and must thus be declared null and void.

TENANCY RELATIONSHIP IS INCONSISTENT WITH THE ASSERTION OF OWNERSHIP OF BOTH PARTIES

Rodolfo Arzaga and Francis Arzaga vs. Salvacion Copias and Prudencio Calandria
G.R. No. 152404 (March 28, 2003)

Facts:

The case involves a complaint for recovery of possession and damages filed by the petitioners as co-
owners and purchasers of Lot No. 5198 in a tax delinquency sale and against the respondents who assert
that they are amortizing owners of the same, having been issued Emancipation Patents as tenant
beneficiaries of one Caridad Fuentebella who was purported to be the previous owner of the land. The
case was filed in the RTC and dismissed on the ground of lack of jurisdiction, the court ruling that the
case was cognizable by the DARAB because it involved possession and ownership of agricultural lands as
well as issuance of emancipation patents. On appeal, the CA affirmed the said resolution.

Issue: Jurisdiction of the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) over a dispute
involving a parcel of land identified as Lot No. 5198 located at Inabasan, San Jose, Antique.

Held:

In Monsanto vs. Zerna (G.R. No. 142501, 07 December 2001), it was held that for DARAB to have
jurisdiction over a case, there must exist a tenancy relationship between the parties. In order for a
tenancy agreement to take hold over a dispute, it would be essential to establish all its indispensable
elements, to wit: (1) the parties are the landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee; (2) subject
matter of the relationship is an agricultural land; (3) there is consent between the parties to the
relationship; (4) that the purpose of the relationship is to bring about agricultural production; (5) there is
personal cultivation on the part of the tenant or agricultural lessee and (6) the harvest is shared
between the landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee.
In the case at bar, the element that the parties must be "the landowner and the tenant or agricultural
lessee", on which all other requisites of the tenancy agreement depends, is absent. Tenancy relationship
is inconsistent with the assertion of ownership of both parties. Petitioners claim to be the owners of the
entire Lot No. 5198 by virtue of a Certificate of Sale of Delinquent Real Property, while private
respondents assert ownership over Lot Nos. 5198-A, 5198-B and 5198-D on the basis of an Emancipation
Patent and Transfer Certificate of Title. Neither do the records show any judicial tie or tenurial
relationship between the parties' predecessors-in-interest. The questioned lot is allegedly declared for
taxation purposes in the name of petitioners' father, Dalmacio Arzaga who does not appear to have any
connection with the private respondents nor with their alleged predecessor-in-interest, Caridad
Fuentebella.

xxx xxx xxx

The basic rule is that jurisdiction over the subject matter is determined by the allegations in the
complaint. Jurisdiction is not affected by the pleas or the theories set up by the defendant in an answer
or a motion to dismiss. Otherwise, jurisdiction would become dependent almost entirely upon the
whims of the defendant. From the averments of the complaint in the instant case, it is clear that the
petitioners' action does not involve an agrarian dispute but one for recovery of possession which is
perfectly within the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Courts.

EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES (CARP COVERAGE), IN SOME EXCEPTIONAL CASES OF
COMPULSORY ACQUISITION PROCEEDINGS, THE LANDOWNER NEED NOT EXHAUST ALL
ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES BEFORE SEEKING RELIEF BEFORE THE COURTS

Department of Agrarian Reform vs. Apex Investment and Financing Corporation
G.R. No. 149422 (April 10, 2003)


Facts:

Respondent Apex Investment and Financing Corporation (now SM Investments Corp.) owns several
lots located at Barangay Paliparan, Dasmarias, Cavite covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) Nos.
T-72491, T-90474, T-90475, T-90476 and T-90477. The MARO initiated compulsory acquisition
proceedings over these lots but respondent denied having received any such notice (because it was no
longer holding office at the address where the notice was sent). Respondent only learned of the
compulsory acquisition proceedings over TCT No. T-90476 in the December 11, 1997 issue of BALITA.
Respondent filed a Protest with the PARO rejecting DAR's offered compensation of P229,014.33 for the
23,614 square meter property, asserting that the subject landholding had already been classified as
residential even prior to the effectivity of the law. In support of the protest, respondent attached copies
of its land titles, tax declarations, location map and other supporting documents. It was only after more
than one year before the PARO forwarded to petitioner DAR the said protest together with the records
of the compulsory acquisition proceedings. However, despite the pendency of the protest, the Register
of Deeds still cancelled one of its titles and issued a new one in the name of the Republic of the
Philippines and thereafter TCT No. CLOA-2473 was issued in the name of one Angel Umali who is a
farmer-beneficiary allegedly occupying the land. Respondent filed a Petition for Certiorari and
prohibition praying that the compulsory acquisition proceedings be declared null and void and for TCT
No. CLOA-2473 issued to Angel Umali to be cancelled. Petitioner opposed on the ground of failure to
exhaust administrative remedies. The Court of Appeals rendered a decision in favor of the respondent.
Petitioner moved for reconsideration but the same was denied by the CA. Hence, this Appeal.

Issues:

a) That respondent Apex violated the principle of exhaustion of administrative remedies; and

c) That the Court of Appeals erred in concluding that the subject parcels of land are residential and not
covered by R.A. No. 6657

Held:

On the first assigned error. This Court has consistently held that the doctrine of exhaustion of
administrative remedies is a relative one and is flexible depending on the peculiarity and uniqueness of
the factual and circumstantial settings of a case. Among others, it is disregarded where, as in this case:
(a) there are circumstances indicating the urgency of judicial intervention, and (b) the administrative
action is patently illegal and amounts to lack or excess of jurisdiction.

xxx xxx xxx

In Natalia Realty vs. Department of Agrarian Reform (G.R. No. 103302, August 12, 1993, 225 SCRA
278), we held that the aggrieved landowners were not supposed to wait until the DAR acted in their
letter-protests (after it had sat on them for almost a year) before resorting to judicial process. Given the
official indifference which, under the circumstances could have continued forever, the landowners had
to act to assert and protect their interests. Thus, their petition for certiorari was allowed even though
the DAR had not yet resolved their protests. In the same vein, respondent here could not be expected to
wait for petitioner DAR to resolve its protest before seeking judicial intervention. Obviously, petitioner
might continue to alienate respondent's lots during the pendency of its protest. Hence, the Court of
Appeals did not err in concluding that on the basis of the circumstances of this case, respondent need
not exhaust all administrative remedies before filing its petition for certiorari and prohibition.
On the second assigned error. Respondent vehemently insists that its lots have been classified as
residential prior to June 15, 1988, the date of effectivity of R.A. No. 6657. As earlier mentioned, Engineer
Gregorio Bermejo, Municipal Engineer and Deputized Zoning Administrator of Dasmarias, Cavite,
certified that respondent's lands are within the residential zone of Dasmarias, based on the Land Use
Plan of that municipality duly approved by the HLURB in its Resolution No. R-42-A-3 dated February 11,
1981. We observe, however, that this factual issue was never determined below. Thus, we cannot
conclude that respondent's parcels of land are residential.

CIVIL LAW LEASE, THE CIVIL LAW LESSEE, ALTHOUGH A LEGAL POSSESSOR, MAY NOT INSTALL TENANTS
ON THE PROPERTY UNLESS EXPRESSLY AUTHORIZED BY THE LESSOR ESPECIALLY IF THERE IS A SPECIFIC
PROVISION IN THE CONTRACT OF LEASE PROVIDING FOR SUCH

Victor G. Valencia vs. CA, et al.
G.R. No. 122363 (April 29, 2003)

Facts:

Victor Valencia is a government retiree who owns two parcels of land situated at Barangay
Linothangan, Canlaon City, Negros Oriental. One with an area of 23.7279 hectares and covered by TCT
No. H-T-137 and another covering 6.4397 hectares under Homestead Application No. HA-231601.
Valencia entered into a ten-year civil law lease agreement with a certain Glicerio Henson. And later, into
a five-year civil law lease agreement with Fr. Andres Flores. The agreement was subject to a prohibition
against subleasing or encumbering and against installing a leasehold tenant without Valencia's consent.
Henson instituted Cresenciano Frias and Marciano Frias while Fr. Andres Flores designated fourteen
others together with the Friases to cultivate the land. Of the farmworkers, twelve became recipients of
CLTs. Upon the expiration of the lease agreements, Valencia demanded that the respondents vacate the
premises but to no avail. Valencia wanted to gain possession of his landholdings and had in fact
designated Bernie Bautista to be his overseer. Valencia filed a letter of protest but it was too late, the
property was placed under the Operation Land Transfer Program of the government and the CLTs were
issued to the respondents. Valencia again protested but to no avail.
However, in February 1988, petitioner Valencia and Catalino Mantac entered into a profit sharing
agreement. No other respondent entered into any kind of agreement with the petitioner, Henson or Fr.
Flores. Twelve years after the filing of the protest, an administrative investigation was finally conducted.
The report revealed that from 1975 to 1983, it was only Bautista who received the shares in the
produce. Respondents only stopped paying when Bautista refused to issue a receipt for such. Valencia
did not receive a single cavan for the said years. to aggravate matters, some of the respondents have
even subleased their properties despite the pending protest of Valencia. While all this was transpiring,
Valencia and Catalino Mantac entered into a leasehold contract over a 0.0425 hectare of the 23.7279
hectares covered by TCT-H-T-137.
Valencia's protest was dismissed. The respondents were maintained in the landholding, prompting
Valencia to appeal to the Office of the President. However, the Order was affirmed with the
modification that the Homestead be excluded from the coverage of P.D. No. 27.
Valencia appealed to the CA but it was dismissed for having been filed out of time. His Motion for
Reconsideration was also denied. Hence, Valencia filed a Petition for Review or Certiorari under Rule 46
of the Rules of Court.

Issue:

Can petitioner's civil law lessee, Fr. Flores, install tenants on the subject premises without express
authority to do so under Article 1649 of the Civil Code, more so when the lessee is expressly prohibited
from doing so, as in the instant case?

Held:

A contract of civil law lease can prohibit a civil law lessee from employing a tenant on the land subject
matter of the lease agreement. An extensive and correct discussion of the statutory interpretation of
Section 6 of R.A. No. 3844, as amended, is provided by the minority view in Bernas vs. Court of Appeals
(G.R. No. 85041, 05 August 1993, 225 SCRA 119).
When Section 6 provides that the agricultural leasehold relations 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, it assumes that there is already an existing agricultural
leasehold relation, i.e., tenant or agricultural lessee already works the land. The epigraph of Sec. 6
merely states who are "Parties to Agricultural Leasehold Relations", which assumes that there is already
a leasehold tenant on the land; not until then.

xxx xxx xxx

From the foregoing discussion, it is reasonable to conclude that a civil law lessee cannot automatically
institute tenants on the property under Section 6 of R.A. No. 3844. The correct view that must
necessarily be adopted is that the civil law lessee, although a legal possessor, may not install tenants on
the property unless expressly authorized by the lessor. And if a prohibition exists or is stipulated in the
contract of lease, the occupants of the property are merely civil law sublessees whose rights terminate
upon the expiration of the civil law lease agreement.

TENDER OF PAYMENT, "CERTIFICATION TO FINANCE REDEMPTION OF ESTATE UNDER RA NO. 3844, AS
AMENDED" ISSUED BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES (LBP) DOES NOT
AMOUNT TO A VALID TENDER OF PAYMENT AS REQUIRED BY OUR AGRARIAN LAWS

Sps. Eligio and Marcelina Mallari vs. Ignacio Arcega, et al.
G.R. No. 106615 (January 15, 2004)

Ignacio Arcega, et al. vs. Hon. Norberto Ponce, RTC, et al.
G.R. No. 108591 (January 15, 2004)

Sps. Eligio and Marcelina Mallari vs. Ignacio Arcega, et al.
G.R. No. 109452 (January 15, 2004)

Sps. Eligio and Marcelina Mallari vs. Ignacio Arcega, et al.
G.R. No. 109978 (January 15, 2004)

Sps. Eligio and Marcelina Mallari vs. Ignacio Arcega, et al.
G.R. No. 139379 (January 15, 2004)



Facts:

The instant consolidated petitions involve a parcel of agricultural land over which 14 tenants
vigorously assert their right of redemption. Arcega, et al. are agricultural lessees of landholdings planted
to sugarcane described as Lot 3364 of the San Fernando Cadastre. The lot was originally owned by the
spouses Roberto and Asuncion Wijangco under TCT No. 27507-R and mortgaged to PNB to secure a loan.
Eventually, for their failure to pay their loan, the PNB foreclosed the mortgage. In the auction sale that
followed, PNB was the highest bidder. On July 10, 1980, the spouses Eligio and Marcelina Mallari
purchased the two lots from PNB without any indication that the same was tenanted. The agreed
purchase price was P2,365,000.00 with P473,000.00 as 20% down-payment and the balance payable in
three installments.
On July 22, 1981, Arcega, et al., who were occupying portions of the land, filed with the Court of
Agrarian Relations, San Fernando, Pampanga a Petition for Redemption against the spouses Wijangco,
PNB and the spouses Mallari. With the abolition of the CAR, the case was automatically absorbed by the
RTC, Br. 46 of San Fernando, Pampanga. Eligio Mallari informed the tenants that they bought the lot
from PNB. The tenants tried to redeem their respective landholdings at P5,000.00 per hectare but the
spouses rejected the offer considering that they purchased the lot from PNB at P18,000.00 per hectare.
To summarize, RTC ordered Arcega, et al. to show cause why the petition should not be dismissed for
the tenants' failure to make a tender of payment and/or consignation of the redemption price. Instead
of tendering payment, Arcega, et al. presented a certification entitled "Certification to Finance
Redemption of Estate under R.A. No. 3844, As Amended". The RTC dismissed the Petition ruling that: 1)
Arcega, et al., failed to exercise their right of redemption within the prescribed 180-day period; and 2)
The Land Bank certification does not constitute a valid tender of payment and/or consignation of the
redemption price. On appeal, the CA reversed the decision of the RTC and remanded the case for further
proceedings. Aggrieved, the spouses Mallari filed a Petition for Review.
The Supreme Court ruled that the right of the tenants to redeem the property has "not yet prescribed
because no notice in writing of the sale was ever given by the vendee upon (them) as agricultural lessees
of the land, as required by law". The only issue left to be resolved is as regards the intrinsic or inherent
validity of the Land Bank Certification.

Issue: Whether or not the tenants have validly tendered or consigned payment of the redemption price
for the purpose of exercising their right of redemption under Section 12, Republic Act No. 3844, as
amended through their presentation of a document entitled, "Certification to Finance Redemption of
Estate Under R.A. No. 3844, as Amended" issued by the President of the Land Bank of the Philippines.

Held:

First and foremost, paragraph 2 of Land Bank Circular No. 3 (Rules and Regulations on the Financing
by Land Bank of Acquisition of Landholdings by Agricultural Lessees Through Pre-emption or
Redemption under RA No. 3844, as Amended) has made it a mandatory requirement that "all proposals
for Land Bank financing of land acquisition through pre-emption or redemption must carry the favorable
indorsement of the Minister (now Secretary) of Agrarian Reform". It is likewise required that the
prescribed form must indicate that the certification has been "issued pursuant to a letter-request from
the (DAR Secretary) to the Land Bank of the Philippines".
Secondly, the questioned certification itself declares that the Land Bank's undertaking to finance the
redemption is conditional. The financing will push through "if found in consonance with the provisions
of Section 12, Republic Act No. 3844, as amended and with the relevant policies and procedures laid
down by the Land Bank Board of Directors". Certainly, this is contrary to the certification prescribed by
Land Bank Circular Letter No. 3 dated February 25, 1980. Moreover, the challenged certification does
not set aside the specific compensation for the redemption of the landholding. Hence, the Mallari
spouses were not assured of the corresponding amount and its payment by Arcega, et al.
The right of redemption under RA No. 3844, as amended is an essential mandate of the agrarian
reform legislation to implement the State's policy of owner-cultivatorship and to achieve a dignified,
self-reliant existence for small farmers. Unfortunately, such laudable policy could not be effected in
favor of Ignacio Arcega, et al. since they failed to tender or consign payment of the redemption price.
Thus, spouses Mallari should be allowed to continue enjoying their right over the subject property as
purchasers thereof, for the State's commendable agrarian reform policy is never intended to unduly
transgress the rights of innocent purchasers of lands.

MERITS OF THE CASE, CASES SHOULD BE DECIDED ON THE MERITS RATHER THAN ON MERE
TECHNICALITIES OR PROCEDURAL IMPERFECTIONS

Paulina Diaz, Godelito Lapinid, Elecito Lapinid, Violeta Zamora, Anastacia Lapinid, Evelyn Lapinid, Marivel
Lapinid and Carin Lapinid vs. Carlos Mesias, Jr.
G.R. No. 156345 (March 4, 2004)

Facts:

Petitioners are the owners of a 1.2 hectare riceland tilled by the father of respondent. Respondent
requested that he be granted a homelot. The matter was brought to the BARC then to the MARO. The
latter concluded that the respondent was not a de jure tenant of the land, he being a mere member of
the immediate farm household of his father, Carlos Mesias. A Petition was filed with the PARAD who
dismissed the case. Appeal was made to the DARAB who reversed the decision of the Adjudicator a quo.
A Motion for Reconsideration was filed but to no avail. The matter was then elevated to the Court of
Appeals where the latter dismissed the Petition on the ground of defective certification of forum
shopping and failure to attach legible copies of the records and supporting documents under Rule 43. A
Motion for Reconsideration was filed but the Court of Appeals only reconsidered insofar as the defective
certification of forum shopping. Hence, the instant petition for review on whether or not the petitioners
complied with the requirements set in Rule 43, Section 6 of the Rules of Court.

Held:

We agree with the petitioners contention that the dismissal of the petition on purely technical
grounds was unwarranted. In denying due course to the petition, the appellate court gave premium to
form and failed to consider the substantial rights of the parties
"Cases should be determined on the merits after all parties have been given full opportunity to
ventilate their causes and defenses rather than on technicalities or procedural imperfections. Rules of
Procedure are mere tools designed to expedite the decision or resolution of cases and other matters
pending in court. A strict and rigid application of rules, resulting in technicalities that tend to frustrate
rather than promote substantial justice, must be avoided. In fact, Rule 1, Section 6 of the Rules of Court
state that the Rules shall be liberally construed in order to promote their objective of ensuring the just,
speedy and inexpensive disposition of every action and proceeding."

APPEAL, RULES OF PROCEDURE: A PARTY CANNOT CHANGE HIS THEORY OF THE CASE OR HIS CAUSE OF
ACTION ON APPEAL

Henry L. Mon vs. CA, Hon. Leopoldo Serrano, Jr., DARAB and Spouses Larry and Jovita Velasco
G.R. No. 118292 (April 14, 2004)

Facts:

Petitioner averred that he is the owner-administrator of a parcel of land planted to rice and tobacco in
Sitio Torite, Brgy. San Cristobal, Bangar, La Union. The spouses Velasco who cultivated the land allegedly
stole one sack of palay from the land's harvest and subleased the land to a certain Boy or Ensong Maala
during the last tobacco season.
In the ensuing proceedings, the Regional Office found that Larry Velasco subleased the land to a
certain Francisco Maala which is a ground for ejectment but on the other charge, there was no
convincing evidence to support this accusation. The respondent-spouses Velasco appealed and the
DARAB reversed the Order of the Regional Office. Petitioner appealed to the CA who affirmed the
decision of the DARAB, hence, the instant petition.

Issue: Whether or not a party is entitled to a change of theory of his case (i.e., dispute between an
agricultural landlord and tenant).

Held:

The settled rule in this jurisdiction is that a party cannot change his theory of the case or his cause of
action on appeal. We have previously held that "Courts of justice have no jurisdiction or power to decide
a question not in issue." A judgment that goes outside the issues and purports to adjudicate something
on which the court did not hear the parties, is not only irregular but also extra-judicial and invalid. The
rule rests on the fundamental tenets of fair play. In the present case, the Court must stick to the issue
litigated in the DARAB and in the Court of Appeals, which is whether petitioner has the right to eject the
spouses Velasco from the land under R.A. No. 3844.

EXEMPTION, PROPERTIES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION CULTURE AND SPORTS (DECS) LEASED
AND USED NOT FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ARE NOT EXEMPT FROM CARP COVERAGE

DAR as represented by its Secretary, Roberto M. Pagdanganan vs. DECS
G.R. No. 158228 (April 27, 2004)

Facts:

The subject of this controversy are Lot Nos. 2509 and 871-D of Hacienda Fe, Escalante, Negros
Occidental with an area of 189.2462 hectares. The lands were donated by the late Esteban Jalandoni to
respondent DECS on October 21, 1921 and consequently transferred to DECS under TCT No. 167175.
DECS in turn, leased the subject landholdings to Anglo Agricultural Corporation for 10 agricultural crop
years or from 1984-1985 to 1993-1994. Subsequently, the lease was renewed for another 10 years from
1995-1996 until 2004-2005.
On June 10, 1993, Eugenio Alpar and several others, claiming to be permanent and regular
farmworkers therein filed a petition for Compulsory Coverage. A "Notice of Coverage" was issued with
the approval of the Regional Director. DECS appealed to the Secretary of DAR who in turn affirmed the
Order of the Regional Director.
DECS filed a petition for review with the CA to set aside the Decision of the DAR Secretary. However,
the CA affirmed the aforementioned Decision. Hence, this Appeal.

Issue: Whether or not the properties (owned by DECS) are exempt from the coverage of Republic Act
No. 6657, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL)

Held:

Section 10 of R.A. No. 6657 enumerates the types of land which are exempted from the coverage of
CARP as well as the purposes of their exemption, viz.:

c) Lands actually, directly and exclusively used and found to be necessary for national defense, school
sites and campuses, including experimental farm stations operated by public or private schools for
educational purposes, x x x x x x shall be exempt from the coverage of this Act

Clearly, a reading of the paragraph shows that, in order to be exempt from the coverage: 1) the land
must be "actually, directly, and exclusively used and found to be necessary" and 2) the purpose is "for
school sites and campuses, including experimental farm stations operated by public or private schools
for educational purposes."
The importance of the phrase "actually, directly and exclusively used and found to be necessary"
cannot be understated, as what respondent DECS would want us to do by not taking words in their
literal and technical definitions. The words of the law are clear and unambiguous. Thus, the "plain
meaning rule" or verba legis in statutory construction is applicable in this case. Where the words of a
statute are clear, plain and free from ambiguity, it must be given its literal meaning and applied without
attempted interpretation.
The ruling in Central Mindanao University vs. DAR Adjudication Board is inapplicable in the case at
bar. First, in the CMU case, the land involved is not alienable and disposable land of the public domain
because it was specifically reserved by the late President Carlos P. Garcia for the use of Mindanao
Agricultural College (CMU) under Proclamation No. 476. Second, x x x x x

"The retention of the land was found to be necessary for the present and future educational
needs of CMU. On the other hand, the lands in this case were not actually and exclusively utilized as
school sites and campuses, as they were leased to Anglo Agricultural Corporation, not for educational
purposes but for the furtherance of its business. Also, as conceded by respondent DECS, it was the
income from the contract of lease and not the subject lands that was directly used for the repairs and
renovations of the schools in the locality."

APPEAL, THE PERFECTION THEREOF WITHIN THE STATUTORY OR REGLEMENTARY PERIOD IS NOT ONLY
MANDATORY BUT ALSO JURISDICTIONAL

Florentino Zaragoza vs. Pedro Nobleza
G.R. No. 144560 (May 13, 2004)

Facts:

On November 15, 1983, petitioner and respondent entered an Agricultural Leasehold Contract over a
1.18 hectare parcel of land situated in Brgy. Banguit, Cabatuan, Iloilo. However, on February 6, 1991,
petitioner instituted a complaint for termination of leasehold relationship with damages for violations
purportedly committed by the respondent. The PARAD dismissed the case for lack of merit. Petitioner
appealed the case up to the Court of Appeals. In a Motion for Extension, the CA gave the former an
"absolutely non-extendible period of fifteen (15) days from March 15, 2000 or until March 30, 2000
within which to file a petition for review". Petitioner appears to have filed via registered mail his petition
for review only on April 12, 2000.
The Court of Appeals in a Resolution dated May 31, 2000 dismissed the petition for being procedurally
flawed. First, the petition was mailed thirteen (13) days beyond the extended period to appeal and
second, two of the annexes to the petition (i.e., two informations) were "mere plain copies" in violation
of Section 6 (c) of Rule 43 of the Rules of Civil Procedure.
A Motion for Reconsideration was filed by petitioner manifesting that as per June 14, 2000
certification issued by Registry Clerk E.P. Villaruel of the Pasig Capital Office, Registry No. 7439 allegedly
covering the petition for review addressed to the CA, it was mailed on March 30, 2000. In the same
breath, petitioner pleaded for a liberal application of the Rules of Procedure given the "overriding
importance of the factual and legal issues" raised in his petition. CA denied the motion.
Respondent filed a comment pointing out that like the CA, the petition addressed to his counsel
indicated that it was only mailed on April 12, 2000. Respondent also impugned the reliability of the
certification of the postal registry clerk, it not having been made under oath. Hence, this Appeal.

Held:

The two informations attached to the petition filed before the CA need not, as correctly argued by the
petitioner, be certified true copies. Section 6 of Rule 43 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure should not
be construed as imposing the requirement that all supporting papers accompanying the petition for
review be certified true copies.
In accordance then with the established rule and practice, in view of the absence of any of the
recognized exceptions that would warrant a review of the findings of facts of the appellate court, the
issue raised by petitioner as regards the date of the filing of the petition for review will not be
considered by this Court, the resolution thereon by the CA being final.
Since the perfection of an appeal within the statutory or reglementary period is not only mandatory
but also jurisdictional, the failure of petitioner to so perfect his appeal rendered the questioned decision
final and executory. This rule is founded upon the principle that the right to appeal is not part of due
process of law but is a mere statutory privilege to be exercised only in the manner and in accordance
with the provisions of the law.

RETENTION RIGHTS OF REDEMPTIONER-GRANDCHILDREN

Samahan ng Magsasaka sa San Josep represented by Dominador Maglalang vs. Marietta Valisno, et al.
G.R. No. 158314 (June 3, 2004)

Facts:

Dr. Nicolas Valisno, Sr. is the registered owner of a 57-hectare property situated in La Fuente, Sta.
Rosa, Nueva Ecija under Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. NT-38406. Before the enactment of P.D.
No. 27, the land was the subject of an ejectment suit in 1971, wherein the Valisnos' tenants (herein
petitioners) were ejected from the property.
On October 20 and 21, 1972, Dr. Valisno mortgaged 12 hectares of his property to Renato and
Angelito Banting. Thereafter, the property was subdivided into ten lots and on November 8, 1972,
individual titles were issued in the name of the eight children of Dr. Valisno to Angelito Banting and to
Renato Banting.
The mortgage on the 12 hectare portion was foreclosed and the property sold at public auction. Four
grandchildren of Dr. Valisno redeemed the property namely Maria Cristina Valisno, Leonora Valisno
Yujuico, Benedicto Valisno Yujuico and Gregorio Valisno Yujuico. At the time of the redemption, only
Benedicto was of legal age, the others were only minors. Redemption was made on October 25, 1973
but the titles were only transferred to the redemptioners on November 26, 1998.
In 1994, Dominador Malalang in behalf of SMSP filed a petition for coverage of the subject property.
Originally, the petition was dismissed but Secretary Garilao ultimately held that the property was
covered by CARP subject to the retention rights of the heirs of Nicolas, Sr. The Valisno heirs specifically
the 7 children and the 10 grandchildren including the 4 redemptioners filed a consolidated Application
for Retention and Award under R.A. No. 6657. The Regional Director approved the retention of the
Valisno children covering 35 hectares but placed the excess 19 hectares under Compulsory Acquisition
for distribution to qualified beneficiaries. The request for the award to the grandchildren was denied for
utter lack of merit. The Secretary affirmed the Order. However, on review with the Court of Appeals, the
CA reversed the Order of the DAR Secretary and granted the award of one hectare for each of the
grandchildren and affirmed the retention rights of three hectares for each of the redemptioner-
grandchildren or for a total of 12 hectares. Petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration praying that
the 12 hectares be placed under CARP coverage. It was denied. Hence, this Appeal.

Issue: Whether or not the grandchildren of the landowner are still entitled to retention rights?

Held:

The relevant laws governing the minors' redemption in 1973 are the general Civil Code provisions on
legal capacity to enter into contractual relations. Article 1327 of the Civil Code provides that minors are
incapable of giving consent to a contract. Article 1390 provides that a contract where one of the parties
is incapable of giving consent is voidable or annullable. Thus, the redemption made by the minors in
1973 was merely voidable or annullable and was not void ab initio, as petitioners argue.
Any action for the annulment of the contracts thus entered into by the minors would require that: 1)
the plaintiff must have an interest in the contract; and 2) the action must be brought by the victim and
not the party responsible for the defect. Thus, Article 1397 of the Civil Code provides in part that "(t)he
action for the annulment of contracts may be instituted by all who are thereby obliged principally or
subsidiarily. However, persons who are capable cannot allege the incapacity of those with whom they
contracted". The action to annul the minors' redemption in 1973, therefore, was one that could only
have been initiated by the minors themselves, as the victims or the aggrieved parties in whom the law
itself vests the right to file suit. This action was never initiated by the minors.
As owners in their own right, the redemptioner-grandchildren enjoyed the right of retention granted
to all the landowners. This right of retention is a constitutionally guaranteed right, which is subject to
qualification by balancing the rights of the landowner and the tenant and by implementing the doctrine
that social justice was not meant to perpetrate an injustice against the landowner. A retained area, as its
name denotes, is land which is not supposed to leave the landowner's dominion, thus, sparing the
government from the inconvenience of taking land only to return it to the landowners afterwards, which
would be a pointless process.

COVERAGE; ONLY AGRICULTURAL LANDS ARE COVERED BY CARP

Pasong Bayabas Farmers Association, Inc., et al. vs. The Hon. Court of Appeals, et al.
G.R. No. 142359 (May 25, 2004)

Facts:

Petitions for review on certiorari of the Decision of the Court of Appeals, in C.A.-G.R. SP No. 49363,
which set aside and reversed the decision of the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board
(DARAB) and reinstated the decision of the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (PARAD) of
Trece Martirez City, which, in turn, ordered the dismissal of the complaint for Maintenance for Peaceful
Possession and Cultivation with Damages with Prayer for the Issuance of a Temporary Restraining
Order/Preliminary Injunction of petitioner Pasong Bayabas Farmers Association, Inc. (PBFAI).
Sometime in 1964, Lakeview Development Corporation (LDC, for brevity) bought a parcel of land with
an area of 753,610 square meters (75.3610 hectares) located at Barrio Kabilang-Baybay, Carmona,
Cavite, covered by Transfer Certificate of Titles (TCT) No. T- 91584 and T-91585. On September 20, 1977,
the aforesaid titles were cancelled by TCT No. T-62972 issued to and in the name of the LDC's successor,
the Credito Asiatic, Incorporated (CAI). The property was subsequently subdivided into two parcels of
land, one of which was covered by TCT No. 116658, with an area of 365,753 square meters, and the
other covered by TCT No. 116659 with an area of 387,853 square meters.
The LDC/CAI undertook to develop its 75-hectare property into a residential and industrial estate,
where industrial sites and a low cost housing project inceptually called the Tamanli Housing Project
would be established.
The property was subdivided into 728 residential lots per the consolidation subdivision plan approved
by the Bureau of Lands, each with an average area of 240 square meters.
Considering the parcel of land to be not covered by P.D. 27, it being untenanted and not devoted to
the production of palay and/or corn as reported by the Agrarian Reform Team Leader concerned and
favorably recommended for conversion by him and further, by the Regional Director for Region IV, Pasig,
Metro Manila, and considering further, that the parcel of land subject hereof was found to be suitable
for conversion to residential subdivision by the Ministry of Local Government and Community
Development and considering finally, that the herein petitioner was issued a locational clearance by the
Human Settlements Regulatory Commission, the instant request of the petitioner is hereby GRANTED
pursuant to the provisions of R.A. 3844, as amended, and P.D. 815.
On March 14, 1980, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan ng Cavite (Provincial Board of Cavite) passed
Resolution No. 40 declaring the midland areas composed of Carmona, Dasmarias, parts of Silang and
Trece Martirez (where the subject property is situated) and parts of Imus, as industrial areas.
In 1987, the CAI decided to continue with the development of its Hakone Housing Project and
contracted with E.M. Aragon Enterprises for the bulldozing of the property. However, the project was
stymied by a Complaint for Damages with Prayer for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary
Injunction filed on May 22, 1987 against the CAI in the Regional Trial Court of Cavite.
The civil case notwithstanding, the CAI decided to proceed with the third phase of its project. It
developed its eleven-hectare property into a residential property called the Mandarin Homes. The CAI
applied for and was granted a separate Order of Conversion on January 2, 1990 by the Department of
Agrarian Reform (DAR). In 1991, the CAI started selling the houses in its Mandarin Homes Project.
On October 27, 1995, Provincial Adjudicator Barbara P. Tan issued a Temporary Restraining Order
enjoining the defendant landowner and any/all persons acting for and in its behalf or under its authority
to cease and desist from further bulldozing the premises in question and committing acts of
dispossession or tending to disturb the peaceful possession and cultivation of the complainants of the
landholdings in question.
On July 15, 1996, the DAR Region IV issued a Cease and Desist Order against the respondents. The
defendants, in a Letter dated July 16, 1996, informed the DAR, Region IV Office, that the land subject of
the cease and desist order was also subject of DARAB Case No. 0285-95 and, as such, was under the
jurisdiction of PARAD Barbara Tan. The defendants, likewise, raised the issue of forum shopping, per our
ruling in Crisostomo v. SEC.
After due hearings, PARAD Barbara P. Tan rendered a Decision on August 8, 1996 in DARAB Case No.
CA-0285-95 in favor of the defendants. The PARAD held that the plaintiffs were bound by the order of
dismissal of the RTC in Civil Case No. BCV-87-13. It declared that the plaintiffs in Civil Case No. BCV-87-13
were the kins, siblings or spouses of the complainants in the case before it. Moreover, the complainants
had executed deeds of quitclaim or waiver covering the portions of the property which they purportedly
occupied. Thus, the complainants had already waived their rights of possession and cultivation over the
portions of the property which they claimed to be occupying.
On March 15, 2000, the CA rendered a Decision reversing the decision of the DARAB and reinstating
the decision of the PARAD. The CA ruled that under Section 10 of Rep. Act No. 6657, all lands with
eighteen percent (18%) slope and over, except those already developed, shall be exempt from the
coverage of the said Act.
Aggrieved, the PBFAI filed a petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court on April 11, 2000
before this Court. For its part, DARAB filed a motion for extension of time to file a petition for the
reversal of the decision in CA-GR SP No. 49363. The same was docketed as G.R. No. 142980. On May 11,
2000, the DARAB manifested that it was adopting as its own the petition for review filed by PBFAI. In our
Resolution dated June 28, 2000, we granted the motion of the DARAB and ordered the consolidation of
G.R. Nos. 142980 and 142359.

Issues:

Whether the property subject of the suit is covered by Rep. Act No. 6657, the Agrarian Reform Law
(CARL)?
Whether the DARAB had original and appellate jurisdiction over the complaint of the petitioner PBFAI
against the private respondent?
Whether the petitioners-members of the PBFAI have a cause of action against the private respondent
for possession and cultivation of the property in suit?
Whether the dismissal by the RTC of the complaint in Civil Case No. BCV-87-13 is a bar to the
complaint of the petitioners-members of the PBFAI?
Whether the appellate court committed a reversible error in dismissing the petition for review in CA-
G.R. SP No. 49363.

Held:

The contention of the petitioners has no merit.
Under Section 3(c) of Rep. Act No. 6657, agricultural lands refer to lands devoted to agriculture as
conferred in the said law and not classified as industrial land. Agricultural lands are only those lands
which are arable or suitable lands that do not include commercial, industrial and residential lands.
Section 4(e) of the law provides that it covers all private lands devoted to or suitable for agriculture
regardless of the agricultural products raised or that can be raised thereon. Rep. Act No. 6657 took
effect only on June 15, 1988.
When Agrarian Reform Minister Conrado F. Estrella confirmed the reclassification of the property by
the Municipal Council of Carmona to non-agricultural land when he approved, on July 3, 1979, the
application of the private respondent/LDC for the conversion of 35.80 hectares of the property covered
by TCT No. 62972 into non-agricultural land, he did so pursuant to his authority under Rep. Act No.
3844, as amended, by P.D. No. 815 and P.D. No. 946.
It bears stressing that in his Order, the Agrarian Reform Minister declared that the property was not
tenanted and not devoted to the production of palay and/or corn, and that the land was suitable for
conversion to a residential subdivision. The order of the Minister was not reversed by the Office of the
President; as such, it became final and executory. By declaring, in its Decision of September 2, 1997, that
the property subject of the suit, was agricultural land, the petitioner DARAB thereby reversed the Order
of Agrarian Reform Minister Estrella, issued almost eighteen (18) years before, and nullified Resolution
No. 30 of the Municipal Council of Carmona, approved twenty-one (21) years earlier, on May 30, 1976,
as well as the issuances of the NHA, the HSRC, the HLURB, the Ministry of Local Government and the
National Planning Commission. Thus, the petitioner DARAB acted with grave abuse of its discretion
amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction.
With our finding that the property subject of the suit was classified as residential land since 1976, the
DARAB had no original and appellate jurisdiction over the property subject of the action of the
petitioner PBFAI and its members. Consequently, the DARAB should have ordered the dismissal of the
complaint.
The jurisdiction of a tribunal or quasi-judicial body over the subject matter is determined by the
averments of the complaint/petition and the law extant at the time of the commencement of the
suit/complaint/petition. All proceedings before a tribunal or quasi-judicial agency bereft of jurisdiction
over the subject matter of the action are null and void.
Since the members of the petitioner PBFAI were not the tenants of the private respondent CAI, the
petitioners and its members had no cause of action against the private respondent for possession of the
landholding to maintain possession thereof and for damages. Besides, when the complaint was filed,
twenty-five (25) of the thirty-seven (37) members of the petitioners had already executed separate
deeds of quitclaim in favor of the private respondent CAI over the portions of the landholding they
respectively claimed, after receiving from the private respondent CAI varied sums of money. In
executing the said deeds, the members of the petitioner PBFAI thereby waived their respective claims
over the property. Hence, they have no right whatsoever to still remain in possession of the same.

JURISDICTION; DAR HAS JURISDICTION OVER ALL CONTROVERSIES INVOLVING THE IMPLEMENTATION
OF AGRARIAN REFORM PROGRAM

Department of Agrarian Reform vs. Roberto J. Cuenca
G.R. No. 154112 (September 23, 2004)


Facts:

Private respondent Roberto J. Cuenca is the registered owner of a parcel of land designated as Lot No.
816-A and covered by TCT No. 1084, containing an area of 81.6117 hectares, situated in Brgy. Haguimit,
La Carlota City and devoted principally to the planting of sugar cane.
On 21 September 1999, Noe Fortunado, Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer (MARO) of La Carlota City
issued and sent a NOTICE OF COVERAGE to private respondent Cuenca placing the above-described
landholding under the compulsory coverage of R.A. 6657, otherwise known as the Comprehensive
Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).
On 29 September 1999, private respondent Cuenca filed with the Regional Trial Court, Branch 63, La
Carlota City, a complaint against Noe Fortunado and Land Bank of the Philippines for 'Annulment of
Notice of Coverage and Declaration of Unconstitutionality of E.O. No. 405, Series of 1990, With
Preliminary Injunction and Restraining Order.'
Private respondent Cuenca prayed that the Notice of Coverage be declared null and void ab initio and
Executive Order No. 405 dated 14 June 1990 be declared unconstitutional.
MARO Noe Fortunado filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on the ground that the court a quo has
no jurisdiction over the nature and subject matter of the action, pursuant to R.A. 6657.
The respondent Judge issued a Temporary Restraining Order directing MARO and LBP to cease and
desist from implementing the Notice of Coverage. In the same order, the respondent Judge set the
hearing on the application for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction on January 17 and 18,
2000.
In an order dated 16 February 2000, the respondent Judge denied MARO Noe Fortunado's motion to
dismiss and issued a Writ of Preliminary Injunction directing Fortunado and all persons acting in his
behalf to cease and desist from implementing the Notice of Coverage, and the LBP from proceeding with
the determination of the value of the subject land.
The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) thereafter filed before the CA a petition for certiorari
under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, assailing the writ of preliminary injunction issued by
respondent Judge on the ground of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction.

Issue:

The Honorable Court of Appeals committed serious error by not taking into cognizance that the issues
raised in the complaint filed by the private respondent, which seeks to exclude his land from the
coverage of the CARP, is an agrarian reform matter and within the jurisdiction of the DAR, not with the
trial court.
The Honorable Court of Appeals, with due respect, gravely abused its discretion by sustaining the writ
of injunction issued by the trial court, which is a violation of Sections 55 and 68 of Republic Act No.
6657.

Held:

The Petition has merit. The issue involves the implementation of agrarian reform, a matter over which
the DAR has original and exclusive jurisdiction, pursuant to Section 50 of the Comprehensive Agrarian
Reform Law (R.A. No. 6657)
All controversies on the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) fall
under the jurisdiction of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), even though they raise questions
that are also legal or constitutional in nature. All doubts should be resolved in favor of the DAR, since
the law has granted it special and original authority to hear and adjudicate agrarian matters
Having declared the RTCs to be without jurisdiction over the instant case, it follows that the RTC of La
Carlota City (Branch 63) was devoid of authority to issue the assailed Writ of Preliminary Injunction. That
Writ must perforce be stricken down as a nullity. Such nullity is particularly true in the light of the
express prohibitory provisions of the CARP and this Court's Administrative Circular Nos. 29-2002 and 38-
2002. These Circulars enjoin all trial judges to strictly observe Section 68 of RA 6657, which reads:

"Section 68. Immunity of Government Agencies from Undue Interference. No injunction,
restraining order, prohibition or mandamus shall be issued by the lower courts against the Department
of Agrarian Reform (DAR), the Department of Agriculture (DA), the Department of Environment and
Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) in their implementation of the program."

JURISDICTION; MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT NOT THE DARAB HAS JURISDICTION ON ISSUE OF UNLAWFUL
DETAINER AND FORCIBLE ENTRY OVER RESIDENTIAL LANDHOLDING

Anicia U. Tecson, et al. vs. Dante Gutierrez
G.R. No. 152978 (March 4, 2005)

Facts:

The case at bar involved an actions for unlawful detainer and forcible entry docketed as Civil Case No.
2287 filed by petitioner against respondent before the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) on 21 August 1997.
Petitioners alleged that they were the owners of a residential lot covered by Transfer Certificate of Title
(TCT) No. T-62466 and TCT No. T-62465, which they leased to respondent for and in consideration of
four cavans of palay yearly under an oral lease agreement. The lots was to be used by the respondent as
the site of his dwelling. They declared that starting the year 1995, respondent failed to pay the yearly
rental. Thus, they considered the lease terminated and made oral and written demands on him to
vacate the property. Respondent, however, stubbornly refused to leave.
Petitioner charged him of occupying, since January 1997, a portion of their residential lot under TCT
No. T-62465, without their consent, this lot is adjacent to the subject lot of Civil Case of Unlawful
detainer. Respondent averred that he was a farmer beneficiary of a homelot composed of the subject
parcels of land.
On August 21, 1998, the MTC decided the Forcible Entry in favor of petitioners. It ruled that
respondent cannot claim entitlement to acquire the subject lot as his homelot for the following reasons:
(1) respondent was not a tenant-farmer of the petitioners; (2) the land was residential and not
agricultural, and the respondent was using it for purposes other than agricultural; (3) the subject lot was
far from respondent's farm; and (4) no certification was issued by the Department of Agrarian Reform
that the land was respondent's homelot.
On August 24, 1998, the MTC likewise decided the Unlawful detainer case in favor of petitioners
based on the same reasons. The MTC ordered the respondent to vacate the parcel of land and to pay
petitioners four cavans of palay or its equivalent per annum beginning 1995 and every year thereafter
until he vacates the subject land.
Respondent appealed the decisions to the Regional Trial Court (RTC) but latter rendered decision
affirming in toto the MTC decisions.
Respondent elevated the cases to the Court of Appeals in a consolidated petition for review. The
latter reversed the rulings of the RTC and dismissed the complaint of Unlawful detainer and Forcible
Entry. The Court of Appeals ruled that the case involved agrarian reform matters which should be
resolved by the DARAB and not by the MTC. The Court of Appeals also declared that the application of
agrarian reform laws does not depend on the existence of a tenancy relationship between the
contending parties and that an agrarian reform beneficiary is entitled to a homelot even when the
property where the homelot is located belongs to a person other than his landlord.

Issue:

Whether or not the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) has jurisdiction in
cases of Unlawful Detainer and Forcible Entry.

Held:

We must point out that this appeal stemmed from ejectment suits wherein the jurisdiction of the
court is determined by the allegations in the complaint and the character of the relief sought. In their
complaint for unlawful detainer, petitioners alleged that the respondent unlawfully withheld possession
of the land despite several demands on him to vacate the premises, and that these demands were made
after the latter failed to pay the rent. Likewise, in their complaint for forcible entry, petitioners averred
that respondent deprived them of physical possession of the land by means of stealth and strategy.
Based on the averments in the complaint, the Municipal Trial Court indeed properly acquired jurisdiction
over the cases below between herein petitioners and the respondent.
Although respondent impugned the validity of petitioners' title over the property and claimed it to be
his homelot, this assertion could not divest the MTC of jurisdiction over the ejectment cases. The court
could not be divested of jurisdiction over the ejectment cases on the mere allegation that the defendant
asserts ownership over the litigated property. Moreover, a pending action involving ownership of the
same property does not bar the filing or consideration of an ejectment suit, nor suspend the
proceedings. The ejectment cases can proceed independently of the DARAB case. The underlying reason
for this rule is to prevent the defendant from trifling with the summary nature of an ejectment suit by
the simple expedient of asserting ownership over the disputed property.
It is settled that the only issue for resolution in ejectment suits is the physical or material possession
of the property involved, independent of any claim of ownership by any of the party litigants. In forcible
entry and unlawful detainer cases, even if the defendant raises the question of ownership in his
pleadings and the question of possession cannot be resolved without deciding the issue of ownership,
the MTC, nonetheless, has the undoubted competence to provisionally resolve the issue of ownership
for the sole purpose of determining the issue of possession.
Going to the issue of rightful possession now, our view, petitioners are entitled to possess the parcels
of land. For respondent failed to show that the land had been awarded to him by the Department of
Agrarian Reform as his homelot. There is , instead, preponderance of evidence shown before the trial
court in favor of petitioners' claim. They were able to show Transfer Certificate of Titles in their names,
whereas the respondent had none but bare assertions.

TENANCY RELATIONSHIP; EMANCIPATION PATENT BEYOND ATTACK AND SCRUTINY; FORFEITURE OF
AMORTIZATIONS IN FAVOR OF GOVERNMENT

Liberty Ayo-Alburo vs. Uldarico Matobato
G.R. No. 155181 (April 15, 2005)

Facts:

The case involves private agricultural land devoted to rice with an area of 1.787 hectares, owned by
Dr. Victoria Marave-Tiu and located at Brgy. San Pedro, Alangalang, Leyte.
The subject property was covered by Operation Land Transfer pursuant to P.D. No. 27, and was
eventually awarded to Estanislao Ayo, who was also administrator of the property. However, as the
latter was already old and sickly at that time, he requested that it be instead registered in the name of
petitioner (Liberty Ayo-Alburo). Accordingly, CLT No. D-038564 covering the property was issues in
petitioner's name on April 23, 1984. And E.P. No. A-025173 with the corresponding TCT No. TE-775
covering the property was subsequently issued in petitioners' favor on March 5, 1987.
Later, respondent (Uldarico Matobato) together with DAR, Region VIII filed Petition dated April 2,
1996 before the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (PARAD) of Tanghas, Tolosa, Leyte for
cancellation of the CLT and EP issued in petitioner's favor and for the issuance of a new certificate and
patent in respondent's name. Respondent alleged that since 1966 until the filing of the petition before
the PARAD, he had been cultivating the property and giving shares of the harvest as rentals to
petitioner.
PARAD rendered a Decision dated Sept. 25, 1996 in favor of respondents ordering cancellation of TCT
No. TE-775 with EP No. A-025173, the process of the reallocation in favor of Uldarico Matobato, the
issuance of new title, and the forfeiture of the land amortization payment paid in the name of Liberty
Ayo in favor of the reallocatee Uldarico Matobato. DARAB affirmed in toto the PARAD Decision. Hence,
this petition for review on certiorari.

Issues:

Whether or not private respondent was a bona fide tenant of the property.
Whether or not the issuance of an emancipation patent put the ownership of the agrarian reform
beneficiary beyond attack and scrutiny.
Whether or not the amortization payments the petitioner (Liberty Ayo) make to the land should be
forfeited in favor of respondent (Matobato).

Held:

By admittedly allowing respondent to cultivate the property and viewing the owner's share of the
produce, petitioner implicitly recognized respondent as tenant. There thus between them an implied
contract of tenancy.
A tenancy relationship may be established either verbally or in writing, expressly or impliedly.
Although petitioners did not expressly give their consent to a leasehold relation with respondent, in our
view petitioners converted to the tenancy impliedly by allowing respondent to cultivate the landholding
in question and by reviewing from him the landowners share of the harvest over a considerable length
of time.
The mere issuances of an emancipation does not put the ownership of the agrarian reform beneficiary
beyond attack and scrutiny. Emancipation Patents may be cancelled for violations of agrarian laws, rules
and regulations. Section 12 (g) of P.D. 946 (issued on June 17, 1976) vested the then Court of Agrarian
Relations with jurisdiction over cases involving the cancellation of emancipation patents issued under
P.D. 266. Exclusive jurisdiction over such cases was later lodged with the DARAB under Section 1 of Rule
II of the DARAB Rules of Procedure.
While the DARAB has jurisdiction to order forfeiture of amortizations paid by an agrarian reform
beneficiary, forfeiture should be made in favor of the government and not to the reallocatee of the
landholding.

CERTIORARI; CERTIORARI LIES WHERE THERE IS NO APPEAL NOR PLAIN, SPEEDY AND ADEQUATE
REMEDY IN THE ORDINARY COURSE OF LAW

Land Bank of the Philippines vs. Hon. Pepito Planta, et al.
G.R. No. 152324 (April 29, 2005)

Facts:

Respondent Faustino B. Tobia is the registered owner of a parcel of agricultural land covered by
Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-24310 situated in Viga, Angadanan, Isabela, with an area of
approximately 10.9044 hectares (subject property). He voluntarily offered to sell the subject property to
the Government under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law or Republic Act (R.A.) No. 6657.
Pursuant to its mandate under Executive Order No. 405, petitioner LBP determined the valuation of the
subject property at P107,962.83 per hectare or a total of P1,145,075.41. Accordingly, the Government,
through the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) offered to buy the subject property at the purchase
price of P1,145,075.41 in accordance with petitioner LBP's valuation. As he found the valuation too low,
respondent Tobia rejected the offer.
In view of respondent Tobia's rejection of the offer, summary administrative proceedings to
determine the just compensation for the subject property were conducted before respondent Pepito
Planta, in his capacity as the Provincial Adjudicator of the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication
Board (DARAB). After due proceedings, respondent Provincial Adjudicator rendered the Decision dated
November 14, 2000 setting aside petitioner LBP's valuation of the subject property and fixing the same
at P250,000.00 per hectare.
Petitioner LBP sought reconsideration of the said decision but respondent Provincial Adjudicator, in
the Order dated January 25, 2001, denied its motion.
Subsequently, respondent Tobia filed a Manifestation and Motion dated April 16, 2001 praying for the
issuance of a writ of execution for failure of petitioner LBP to appeal the Decision dated November 14,
2000. Petitioner LBP opposed the same contending that the said decision has not attained finality in
view of its seasonable filing of a petition for judicial determination of just compensation for the subject
property.
Despite the pendency of A.C. No. 0634, respondent Provincial Adjudicator issued the Writ of
Execution dated June 27, 2001 which was addressed to the DARAB Sheriff directing him to implement
the Decision dated November 14, 2000. Petitioner LBP received a copy of the writ of execution on July 6,
2001 and forthwith filed a motion for the reconsideration thereof. Respondent Provincial Adjudicator, in
the Order dated August 8, 2001, denied the said motion.
On August 30, 2001, petitioner LBP filed with the CA a motion for extension of time to file a petition
for certiorari to assail the Writ of Execution dated June 27, 2001 issued by respondent Provincial
Adjudicator. In the said motion, petitioner LBP averred, among others, that it received the Order dated
August 8, 2001 denying its motion for reconsideration on August 21, 2001.
Without acting directly on petitioner LBP's motion for extension of time to file its petition for
certiorari by either granting or denying it, the CA denied due course to the petition for the reason that it
was the wrong remedy.
Petitioner LBP filed its Motion for Reconsideration and Admission of Petition for Certiorari and
Prohibition dated October 12, 2001 but the same was denied by the CA in the assailed Resolution dated
February 12, 2002.

Issue:

Whether or not the appellate court committed reversible error in dismissing outright the petition for
certiorari filed by petitioner LBP?

Held:

Contrary to the ratiocination of the appellate court, however, Rule 43 does not apply to an action to
nullify a writ of execution because the same is not a "final order" within the contemplation of the said
rule. As this Court fairly recently explained, "a writ of execution is not a final order or resolution, but is
issued to carry out the mandate of the court in the enforcement of a final order or a judgment. It is a
judicial process to enforce a final order or judgment against the losing party." As such, an order of
execution is generally not appealable.
On the other hand, certiorari lies where there is no appeal nor plain, speedy and adequate remedy in
the ordinary course of law. Section 11, Rule XIII of the 1994 DARAB Rules of Procedure, which was then
applicable, expressly provided, in part, that "the decision of the Adjudicator on land valuation and
preliminary determination and payment of just compensation shall not be appealable to the Board but
shall be brought directly to the RTCs designated as Special Agrarian Courts within fifteen (15) days from
receipt of the notice hereof." In relation to this provision, Section 16(f) of R.A. No. 6657 prescribes that
any party who does not agree with the decision (in the summary administrative proceedings) may bring
the matter to the court for final determination of just compensation.
Thus, at the time of the filing of the petition for certiorari with the CA, the remedy of appeal was not
available to petitioner LBP either to question the decision of respondent Provincial Adjudicator
concerning the land valuation of the subject property or to assail the writ directing the execution of the
said decision. Even granting arguendo that the remedy of appeal was then available to petitioner LBP,
the same would not have been a speedy and adequate remedy against the execution of respondent
Provincial Adjudicator's decision.
Petitioner LBP, thus, properly availed of the remedy of certiorari to assail the Writ of Execution dated
June 27, 2001 issued by respondent Provincial Adjudicator and the appellate court committed reversible
error in dismissing it outright.
Petitioner LBP urges the Court to reconcile the seeming inconsistency between the period to file
certiorari under Section 54 of R.A. No. 6657 (within fifteen days from receipt of copy of the decision,
order, award or ruling) and that under Section 4 of Rule 65 of the Revised Rules of Court (sixty days from
notice of judgment, order or resolution). The Court holds that Section 54 of R.A. No. 6657 prevails since
it is a substantive law specially designed for agrarian disputes or cases pertaining to the application,
implementation, enforcement or interpretation of agrarian reform laws. However, the fifteen-day
period provided therein is extendible, but such extension shall not extend the sixty-day period under
Section 4, Rule 65 of the Revised Rules of Court.
In this case, petitioner LBP filed its motion for extension to file petition for certiorari with the CA on
August 30, 2001. To recall, petitioner LBP received a copy of the writ of execution on July 6, 2001 and
forthwith filed a motion for reconsideration thereof. It received on August 21, 2001 respondent
Provincial Adjudicator's order denying reconsideration of the writ of execution. Under Section 54 of R.A.
No. 6657, respondent LBP had fifteen days from the receipt of the order within which to file the petition
for certiorari with the CA. Petitioner LBP, thus, seasonably filed its motion for extension of time to file a
petition for certiorari.
However, instead of either granting or denying petitioner LBP's motion for additional time to file a
petition for certiorari, the CA dismissed outright the petition for certiorari on the ground that it was the
wrong remedy. The CA committed reversible error in so doing not only because, as already discussed
petitioner LBP properly availed of the remedy of certiorari, but also because the outright dismissal of the
petition was precipitately made.

JURISDICTION IN DETERMINATION OF JUST COMPENSATION

Land Bank of the Philippines vs. Hon. Eli G. C. Natividad
G.R. No. 127198 (May 16, 2005)


Facts:

On May 14, 1993, private respondents filed a petition before the trial court for the determination of
just compensation for their agricultural lands situated in Arayat, Pampanga, which were acquired by the
government pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 27 (PD 27). The petition named as respondents the
DAR and Land Bank. With leave of court, the petition was amended to implead as co-respondents the
registered tenants of the land.
After trial, the court rendered the assailed Decision the dispositive portion of which reads:

WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of petitioners and against respondents, ordering
respondents, particularly, respondents Department of Agrarian Reform and the Land Bank of the
Philippines, to pay these lands owned by petitioners and which are the subject of acquisition by the
State under its land reform program, the amount of THIRTY PESOS (P30.00) per square meter, as the just
compensation due for payment for same lands of petitioners located at San Vicente (or Camba), Arayat,
Pampanga.

DAR and Land Bank filed separate motions for reconsideration which were denied by the trial court in
its Order dated July 30, 1996 for being pro forma as the same did not contain a notice of hearing. Thus,
the prescriptive period for filing an appeal was not tolled. Land Bank consequently failed to file a timely
appeal and the assailed Decision became final and executory.
Land Bank then filed a Petition for Relief from Order Dated 30 July 1996, citing excusable negligence
as its ground for relief. Attached to the petition for relief were two affidavits of merit claiming that the
failure to include in the motion for reconsideration a notice of hearing was due to accident and/or
mistake. The affidavit of Land Bank's counsel of record notably states that "he simply scanned and
signed the Motion for Reconsideration for Agrarian Case No. 2005, Regional Trial Court of Pampanga,
Branch 48, not knowing, or unmindful that it had no notice of hearing" due to his heavy workload.
The trial court, in its Order of November 18, 1996, denied the petition for relief because Land Bank
lost a remedy in law due to its own negligence.
In the instant petition for review, Land Bank argues that the failure of its counsel to include a notice of
hearing due to pressure of work constitutes excusable negligence and does not make the motion for
reconsideration pro forma considering its allegedly meritorious defenses. Hence, the denial of its
petition for relief from judgment was erroneous.
According to Land Bank, private respondents should have sought the reconsideration of the DAR's
valuation of their properties. Private respondents thus failed to exhaust administrative remedies when
they filed a petition for the determination of just compensation directly with the trial court. Land Bank
also insists that the trial court erred in declaring that PD 27 and Executive Order No. 228 (EO 228) are
mere guidelines in the determination of just compensation, and in relying on private respondents'
evidence of the valuation of the properties at the time of possession in 1993 and not on Land Bank's
evidence of the value thereof as of the time of acquisition in 1972.

Issue:

Whether or not the trial court erred in taking cognizance of the case as the determination of just
compensation is a function addressed to the Court of Justice?

Held:

In Philippine Veterans Bank v. Court of Appeals, we declared that there is nothing contradictory
between the DAR's primary jurisdiction to determine and adjudicate agrarian reform matters and
exclusive original jurisdiction over all matters involving the implementation of agrarian reform, which
includes the determination of questions of just compensation, and the original and exclusive jurisdiction
of regional trial courts over all petitions for the determination of just compensation. The first refers to
administrative proceedings, while the second refers to judicial proceedings.
In accordance with settled principles of administrative law, primary jurisdiction is vested in the DAR to
determine in a preliminary manner the just compensation for the lands taken under the agrarian reform
program, but such determination is subject to challenge before the courts. The resolution of just
compensation cases for the taking of lands under agrarian reform is, after all, essentially a judicial
function.
Thus, the trial did not err in taking cognizance of the case as the determination of just compensation is
a function addressed to the courts of justice.
It would certainly be inequitable to determine just compensation based on the guideline provided by
PD 27 and EO 228 considering the DAR's failure to determine the just compensation for a considerable
length of time. That just compensation should be determined in accordance with RA 6657, and not PD
27 or EO 228, is especially imperative considering that just compensation should be the full and fair
equivalent of the property taken from its owner by the expropriator, the equivalent being real,
substantial, full and ample.
In this case, the trial court arrived at the just compensation due private respondents for their
property, taking into account its nature as irrigated land, location along the highway, market value,
assessor's value and the volume and value of its produce. This Court is convinced that the trial court
correctly determined the amount of just compensation due private respondents in accordance with, and
guided by, RA 6657 and existing jurisprudence.

CONVERSION; DISTINGUISHED FROM RECLASSIFICATION; AUTHORITY OF DAR TO APPROVE
CONVERSION OF AGRICULTURAL LANDS COVERED BY REPUBLIC ACT NO. 6657 TO NON-AGRICULTURAL
USES HAS NOT BEEN PIERCED BY THE PASSAGE OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE

Jose Luis Ros, Andoni F. Aboitiz, Xavier Aboitiz, Roberto E. Aboitiz, Enrique Aboitiz, Matthias G.
Mendezona, Cebu Industrial Park Developers, Inc. and FBM Aboitiz Marine, Inc. vs. DAR, Hon. Ernesto
Garilao, in his capacity as DAR Secretary, and Dir. Jose Llames, in his capacity as Director of DAR-
Regional 7
G.R. No. 132477 (August 31, 2005)


Facts:

The case stems from a denial of the application for conversion before the Regional Office of DAR
Region 7 disallowing the application for conversion filed by petitioners, owners/developers of several
parcels of land located in Arpili, Balamban, Cebu. The application was based on Municipal Ordinance No.
101 passed by the Mun. Council of Balamban, Cebu which reclassified such lands as industrial lands. Said
ordinance was approved by the Provincial Board of Cebu on April 3, 1995. Because of such disapproval,
Petitioners filed with the RTC of Toledo City a complaint for Injunction with application of TRO and a
Writ of Preliminary Injunction. RTC dismissed the complaint for lack of jurisdiction ruling that it is DAR
which has jurisdiction citing Section 20 of the Local Government Code.
Petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration, the Trial Court denied the same. Hence, Petitioners
filed before the Supreme Court a Petition for Certiorari with application for Temporary Restraining
Order and Writ of Preliminary Injunction. The Supreme Court referred the petition to the Court of
Appeals thru a Resolution dated 11 November 1996. Petitioners moved for a reconsideration of the said
Resolution but the same was denied thru Resolution dated 27 January 1997.
The Court of Appeals ordered the Public Respondents to file their comments on the Petition. Two sets
of comments from Public respondents, one from DAR Provincial Office and another from the Office of
the Solicitor General, were submitted, to which petitioners filed their Consolidated Reply. Court of
Appeals rendered a decision affirming the Order of Dismissal issued by the RTC. Petitioners Motion for
Reconsideration was denied in a Resolution dated 30 January 1998.
Petitioners claim that local grants have the power to reclassify portions of their agricultural lands,
subject to the conditions set forth in Section 20 of the Local Government Code that if agricultural lands
sought to be reclassified by the local government is one which has already been brought under the
coverage of the CARL and/or which has been distributed to ARBs, then such reclassification must be
confirmed by the DAR pursuant to its authority under Section 65 of the CARL, in order for the
reclassification to become effective, that if the land sought to be reclassified is not covered by CARL and
not distributed to ARBs, then no confirmation from DAR is necessary.

Issues:

Whether or not the reclassification of the subject lands to industrial use by the Municipality of
Balamban, Cebu pursuant to its authority under Section 20 (a) of Republic Act No. 7160 or the Local
Government Code of 1991 (the "LGC") has the effect of taking such lands out of coverage of the CARL
and beyond the jurisdiction of the DAR?
Whether or not the Complaint for Injunction may be dismissed under the doctrine of primary
jurisdiction?
Whether or not the Complaint for Injunction is an appropriate remedy against the order of the DAR
enjoining development works on the subject lands?
Whether or not the Regional Trial Court of Toledo City had authority to issue a writ of injunction
against the DAR?

Held:

The petition lacks merit.
After the passage of R.A. No. 6657, agricultural lands, through reclassification, have to go through the
process of conversion, jurisdiction over which is vested in the DAR. However, agricultural lands already
reclassified before the effectivity of R.A. No. 6657 are exempted from conversion.
Reclassification of lands does not suffice. In Alarcon vs. CA (405 SCRA 440) it was ruled that conversion
is different from reclassification. Conversion is the act of changing the current use of a piece of
agricultural land into some other use as approved by DAR. Reclassification is the act of specifying how
agricultural lands shall be utilized, for non-agricultural uses such as residential, industrial, commercial, as
embodied in the land use plan, subject to the requirements and procedure for land use conversion.
R.A. No. 6657 took effect on 15 June 1988 and Municipal Ordinance No. 101, which reclassified the
subject land, was passed on 25 March 1992, and the Provincial Ordinance No. 95-8 of the Provincial
Board of Cebu, which adopted Municipal Ordinance No. 101 was passed on 03 April 1995, long after R.A.
No. 6657 has taken effect. To further clarify any doubt on its authority, DAR issued Administrative Order
No. 12 dated October 1994 which provides for the consolidated and revised rules and procedures
governing conversion of agricultural lands to non-agricultural uses.
The authority of DAR to approve conversions of agricultural lands covered by Republic Act No. 6657 to
non-agricultural uses has not been pierced by the passage of the Local Government Code. The code
explicitly provides that nothing in this section shall be construed as repealing or modifying in any
manner the provisions of Republic Act No. 6657.
It being settled that jurisdiction over conversion of land is vested in the DAR, the complaint for
injunction was correctly dismissed by the trial and appellate courts under the doctrine of primary
jurisdiction. This Court, in Bautista v. Mag-isa vda. de Villena, found occasion to reiterate the doctrine of
primary jurisdiction.
The doctrine of primary jurisdiction precludes the courts from resolving a controversy over which
jurisdiction has initially been lodged with an administrative body of special competence. For agrarian
reform case, jurisdiction is vested in the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR); more specifically, in the
Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB).
Injunction is not the appropriate remedy against the order of the DAR enjoining petitions in
developing the subject land. Section 68 of R.A. No. 6657 provides:

"Section 68. Immunity of Government Agencies from Undue Interference. No injunction,
restraining order, prohibition or mandamus shall be issued by the lower courts against the Department
of Agrarian Reform (DAR), the Department of Agriculture (DAR), the Department of Environment and
Natural Resources (DENR), and the Department of Justice (DOJ) in their implementation of the
program."

JURISDICTION; PARAD ADJUDICATOR HAS PRIMARY AND EXCLUSIVE ORIGINAL JURISDICTION IN CASES
INVOLVING THE ISSUANCE, CORRECTION AND CANCELLATION OF CERTIFICATE OF CLOAS

Esperanza vda. de Lopez, et al. vs. Hon. Court of Appeals, et al.
G.R. No. 146035 (September 9, 2005)

Facts:

The case at bar involved a petition for review filed by petitioner to nullify and set aside the decision of
Court of Appeals. Subject of this litigation are two parcels of agricultural land located at Sampaloc
(Paligui) Apalit, Pampanga, namely: Lot 847 and Lot 845, with the area of 1.0876 and 1.0632 hectares,
respectively. Presently, these lots are covered by Transfer Certificates of Title No. 4304 and 4305,
registered in the name of respondent Reynald M. Romero, who is the holder of Certificate of Land
Ownership Award (CLOA) Nos. 70690 and 70691 issued by the Secretary of Agrarian Reform.
Formerly, the subject parcels of agricultural land were covered by a CLOA in favor of farmer-
beneficiary Leonardo Briones. In A.R. Case No. 0029 '94 of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR)
Regional Office at Region III, Dolores, San Fernando, Pampanga herein petitioners challenged the award
of subject lots to Briones.
During the pendency of A.R. Case No. 0029 '94, Briones filed with the Provincial Agrarian Reform
Adjudication Board (PARAB) at Region III, San Fernando, Pampanga a petition for the cancellation of his
CLOA because he executed a "Waiver of Rights" in favor of one Erlinda Quintos. Before this petition for
cancellation could be resolved by the PARAB, Briones executed another "Waiver of Rights" in favor of
herein respondent to facilitate the transfer of the two (2) parcels in question to respondent who bought
said lots from Briones for P2M, as evidenced by a Deed of Absolute Sale executed by Briones in favor of
respondent.
The PARAB Adjudicator Toribio E. Ilao, Jr. granted Briones' petition for cancellation of his CLOA.
Pursuant thereto, the DAR Secretary issued CLOA Nos. 70690 and 70691 in favor of respondent Romero
on the basis of which TCT Nos. 4304 and 4305 were issued in the latter's name. Meanwhile, in A.R. Case
No. 0029 '94, the DAR Regional Office at Region III issued an Order dated March 7, 1994.
However, considering that the subject parcels of land were already sold and transferred, and titles
thereto already issued in favor of respondent Romero, the aforesaid Order of March 7, 1994 in A.R. Case
No. 0029'94 was not enforced. Nevertheless, the DAR Regional Office at Region III continued with its
investigation. Then, on December 13, 1995, DAR Region III Director Eugenio B. Bernardo, issued an
Order dispositively reading, as follows:

REWARDING Lot No. 847 with an area of 1.0376 hectares and a portion of 1.0632 hectares of Lot
No. 845 all at Sampaloc (Paligui), Apalit, Pampanga in favor of Esperanza vda. de Lopez and Modesta
vda. de Asuncion, and the due issuance of CLOAs in their favor;

DIRECTING Esperanza vda. de Lopez and Modesta vda. de Asuncion to institute appropriate action
before the proper forum for the cancellation of the CLOAs issued in the name of Reynald Marcelino
Romero; and

Upon knowledge of said Order, respondent Romero filed with the Department of Agrarian Reform
Adjudication Board (DARAB) at Region III, San Fernando, Pampanga a petition for "Maintenance of
Peaceful Possession and Annulment/Cancellation of Order dated December 13, 1995 with Injunction".
Petitioners filed a Motion to Dismiss, arguing that the PARAB has no jurisdiction to entertain Romero's
aforementioned petition because the questioned Order dated December 13, 1995 of DAR Region III
Director Eugenio Bernardo is administrative in nature and, therefore, should have been appealed by
Romero to the DAR Secretary. On appeal, Court of Appeals dismissed petitioner's recourse as well as the
motion for reconsideration filed by petitioner.
PARAB Adjudicator Ilao, Jr., denied petitioners' Motion to Dismiss. Therefrom, petitioner went to the
Court Appeals via a petition for certiorari.
Hence, this instant petition for review.

Issue:

Whether or not PARAB Adjudicator has jurisdiction over a case involving the issuance, correction and
cancellation of Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAS)

Held:

The pertinent and applicable Rule II, Section 1(a) clearly states that the DARAB has "primary and
exclusive original and appellate jurisdiction" to determine and adjudicate all agrarian disputes involving:
(1) the implementation of the CARP under RA 6657, E.O. No. 228, and 129-A, RA No. 3844, as amended
by RA No. 6389, PD No. 27 and other agrarian laws and their implementing rules; and (2) the rights and
obligations of persons, whether natural or juridical where such person is engaged in the management,
cultivation and use of all agricultural lands covered by CARP and other agrarian laws. Thus, inasmuch as
the peaceful possession of respondent Romero which is being disturbed by the assailed December 13,
1995 Order of DAR Region III Director Eugenio Bernardo pertains to an agrarian dispute, involving, as
they do, the rights of respondent Romero as an awardee of a CLOA over the subject parcels of
agricultural land, which are now registered in his name under TCT Nos. 4304 and 4305, we rule and so
hold that the PARAD has the primary and exclusive original and appellate jurisdiction over said order
assailed in DARAB Case No. 4098 P'96.
Simply put, we find no reversible error on the part of the Court of Appeals in affirming the PARAD's
denial of petitioners' motion to dismiss. The Court of Appeals correctly ruled that PARAB Adjudicator
Ilao, Jr. has jurisdiction over DARAB Case No. 4098 P'96 under the afore-quoted Rule II, Section 1(a) of
the DARAB New Rules of Procedure. Undoubtedly, DARAB Case No. 4098 P'96 is an agrarian dispute
involving rights of respondent Romero over the subject agricultural lands, which rights were disturbed
by the Order dated December 13, 1995 of DAR Region III Director Eugenio Bernardo by disqualifying
Romero as farmer-beneficiary of the subject lots and directing petitioners to institute appropriate action
before the proper forum for the cancellation of the CLOAs issued in the name of respondent Romero.
With respect to petitioners' contention that the aforesaid DAR orders had become final and executory
on account of respondent Romero's failure to appeal the same to the DAR Secretary, suffice it to say
that should the PARAD ultimately find said orders to have been issued without jurisdiction, the PARAD is
sufficiently clothed with authority and definitely has the jurisdiction to declare the same null and void
under the time-honored principle that void judgments never become final and executory and cannot be
the source of any right whatsoever.

COVERAGE; CARP COVERED PROPERTY DONATED FOR CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION FOR CHARITABLE
PURPOSE

REPEALING LAW; P.D. NO. 27 AND REPUBLIC ACT NO. 6657 OTHERWISE KNOWN AS COMPREHENSIVE
AGRARIAN REFORM LAW REPEALED SPECIAL LAW SECTION 4 OF ACT NO. 3239

POLICE POWER; EXERCISE OF POLICE POWER PREVAILS OVER OBLIGATION IMPOSED BY PRIVATE
CONTRACT

Hospicio De San Jose de Barili, Cebu City vs. Department of Agrarian Reform
G.R. No. 140847 (September 23, 2005)

Facts:

Petitioner Hospicio de San Jose de Barili ("Hospicio") is a charitable organization created as a body
corporate in 1925 by Act No. 3239. The law was enacted in order to formally accept the offer made by
Pedro Cui and Benigna Cui to establish a home for the care and support, free of charge, of indigent
invalids and incapacitated and helpless persons.
The Department of Agrarian Reform Regional Office (DARRO) Region VII issued an order ordaining that
two parcels of land owned by the Hospicio be placed under Operation Land Transfer in favor of twenty-
two (22) tillers thereof as beneficiaries. Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 27, a land reform law, was cited as
legal basis for the order. The Hospicio filed a motion for the reconsideration of the order with the
Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary, citing the aforementioned Section 4 of Act No. 3239. It
argued that Act No. 3239 is a special law, which could not have been repealed by P.D. No. 27, a general
law, or by the latter's general repealing clause.
The DAR Secretary rejected the motion for reconsideration in an Order held that P.D. No. 27 was a
special law, as it applied only to particular individuals in the State, specifically the tenants of rice and
corn lands. Moreover, P.D. No. 27, which covered all rice and corn lands, provides no exemptions based
on the manner of acquisition of the land by the landowner. The Order of the DAR Secretary was assailed
in a Petition for Certiorari filed with the Court of Appeals which the latter, the Court of Appeals and
hereby, the Court of Appeals affirmed the DAR Secretary's issuance. It sustained the position of the
Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) position that Section 4 of Act No. 3239 was expressly repealed not
only by P.D. No. 27, but also by Republic Act No. 6657, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Agrarian
Reform Law of 1988, both laws being explicit in mandating the distribution of agricultural lands to
qualified beneficiaries. The Court of Appeals further noted that the subject lands did not fall among the
exemptions provided under Section 10 of Rep. Act No. 6657. The appellate court brought into play the
aims of land reform, affirming as it did "the need to distribute and create an economic equilibrium
among the inhabitants of this land, most especially those with less privilege in life, our peasant farmer."
Unsatisfied with the Court of Appeals' Decision, petitioner filed Petition for Review.

Issues:

Whether or not provision in Section 4 of Act No. 3239 prohibiting the sale of the properties donated
to the charitable organization that was incorporated by the same law bars the implementation of
agrarian reform laws as regards said properties?
Whether or not Act No. 3239 was repealed by P.D. No. 27 or Republic Act No. 6657?
Whether or not P.D. No. 1808 impairs the constitutional guaranty of non-impairment of obligation
contract?

Held:

Under Section 4 of the CARL, place under coverage are all public and private agricultural lands
regardless of tenurial arrangement and commodity produced, subject to the exempted lands listed in
Section 10 thereof. We agree with the Court of Appeals that neither P.D. No. 27 nor the CARL exempts
the lands of the Hospicio or other charitable institutions from the coverage of agrarian reform.
Ultimately, the result arrived at in the assailed issuances should be affirmed. Nonetheless, both the DAR
Secretary and the appellate court failed to appreciate what to this Court is indeed the decisive legal
dimension of the case.
Agrarian reform is justified under the State's inherent power of eminent domain that enables it to
forcibly acquire private lands intended for public use upon payment of just compensation to the owner.
It has even been characterized as beyond the traditional exercise of eminent domain, but a
revolutionary kind of expropriation.
This characterization is warranted whether the expropriation is operative under the CARL or P.D. No.
27, as both laws are keyed into the same governmental objective. Moreover, under both laws, the
landowner is entitled to just compensation for the properties taken. The twin process of expropriation
of lands under agrarian reform and the payment of just compensation is akin to a forced sale, which has
been aptly described in common law jurisdictions as "sale made under the process of the court, and in
the mode prescribed by law," and "which is not the voluntary act of the owner, such as to satisfy a debt,
whether of a mortgage, judgment, tax lien, etc."
Thus, we can hardly characterize the acquisition of the subject properties from the Hospicio for the
benefit of the tenants as a sale, within the contemplation of Section 4 of Act No. 3239. The transfer
arises from compulsion of law, and not the desire of any parties. Even if the Hospicio had voluntarily
offered to surrender its properties to agrarian reform, the resulting transaction would not be considered
as a conventional sale, since the obligation is created not out of the mandate of the parties, but the will
of the law. Regrettably, the DAR Secretary and the Court of Appeals failed to apply that sound principle,
preferring to rely instead on the conclusion that Section 4 was repealed by P.D. No. 27 and the CARL.
Nonetheless, even assuming for the nonce that Section 4 contemplates even forced sales such as
those through expropriation, we would agree with the DAR Secretary and the Court of Appeals that
Section 4 is deemed repealed by P.D. No. 27 and the CARL.
The other arguments raised by the Hospicio are similarly bereft of merit. It wants us to hold that P.D.
No. 27 and the CARL, both enacted to implement the urgently needed policy of agrarian reform, violate
the non-impairment of contracts clause under the Bill of Rights. Yet the broad sweep of this argument
ignores the nuances adopted by this Court in interpreting Section 10 of Article III. We have held that the
State's exercise of police powers may prevail over obligations imposed by private contracts.

The rationale for holding that the properties of the Hospicio are covered by P.D. No. 27 and Rep. Act
No. 6657 is so well-grounded in law that it obviates any resort to the sordid game of choosing which of
the two competing aspirations is nobler. The body which would have unquestionable discretion in
assigning hierarchical values on the modalities by which social justice may be implemented is the
legislature. Land reform affords the opportunity for the landless to break away from the vicious cycle of
having to perpetually rely on the kindness of others. By refusing to exempt properties owned by
charitable institutions or maintained for charitable purposes from agrarian reform, the legislature has
indicated a policy choice which the Court is bound to implement.

COVERAGE; PRESIDENTIAL PROCLAMATION NO. 2052 JURISDICTION; DAR NOT THE COURT HAS THE
JURISDICTION ON ISSUE OF TENANCY

Department of Agrarian Reform, et al. vs. Paulino Franco
G.R. No. 147479 (September 26, 2005)

Facts:

In the case at bar it involved a petition for review of the Decision of the Court of Appeals affirming the
decision of the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board ("DARAB") with modification by
deleting the disturbance compensation.
The Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer Patrocinia G. Mercado ("MARO Mercado" of the Department
of Agrarian Reform ("DAR") sent a letter to Paulino Franco ("Franco") through Franco's attorney-in-fact,
Plaridel Seno ("Seno") requesting Franco to attend a conference to discuss the terms and conditions of
bringing under the agricultural leasehold system Franco's land located in Babag, Cebu City with an
aggregate area of 36.8 hectares. Franco failed to attend the meeting and merely sent a letter-reply to
MARO Mercado, objecting to the placement of his land under the coverage of Republic Act No. 6657
("RA 6657") or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988.
MARO Mercado prepared the documentation folders for Provisional Lease Rentals in favor of the
private petitioners herein. Acting Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer Buenaventura Pomida ("PARO
Pomida") approved the Provisional Lease Rentals recommended by MARO Mercado. Franco filed with
the DARAB, Region VII, Cebu City a petition to nullify the orders of MARO Mercado and PARO Pomida.
Franco alleged that the land could not be placed under the agricultural leasehold system because
Proclamation No. 2052 dated 30 January 1981 and Letter of Instruction No. 1256 ("LOI No. 1256") dated
14 July 1982 had already classified the land as non-agricultural.
The Agrarian Reform Adjudicator ("Adjudicator") ruled in favor of Franco, declaring the assailed orders
void. Citing Proclamation No. 2052, LOI No. 1256, and the Order dated 16 September 1992 of then DAR
Secretary Ernesto Garilao, the Adjudicator held that Franco's land is excluded from the coverage of the
Operation Land Transfer under Presidential Decree No. 27 and the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law
under RA 6657.
On appeal, the DARAB rendered its Decision dated 23 July 1996 affirming the decision of the
Adjudicator. The DARAB held that Franco's land was not agricultural land at the time the questioned
orders were issued. The DARAB cited two reasons: (1) Franco's land is within the tourism zone pursuant
to Proclamation No. 2052, promulgated on 30 January 1981, and which preceded the enactment of RA
6657 which became effective on 15 June 1988; and (2) the purpose of Proclamation No. 2052 is
manifested in the issuance of LOI No. 1256 which directed the DAR Secretary to exempt the areas
situated within the declared Tourist Zone from the coverage of the Operation Land Transfer, and to
suspend or cancel all processing for coverage of these areas under the land reform program.
In the Decision, one of the members of the DARAB, Lorenzo R. Reyes ("Reyes"), made a handwritten
note under his signature stating: "Petitioner-appellee [Franco] will still have to apply for conversion and
if granted appellants will be entitled to disturbance compensation."
Franco filed a Motion for Reconsideration. Thereafter, said Motion was denied by DARAB for lack of
merit. On appeal, the Court of Appeals rendered decision affirming the DARAB decision with the
modification that private petitioners have no right to disturbance compensation.

Issues:

Whether or not the handwritten note made by one of the members of DARAB under his signature
form part of DARAB decision?
Whether or not the findings of Non-Tenancy as ruled by the Court of Appeals is proper inspite of the
fact the same has not been factually determined in the Court a quo?

Held:

Obviously, the handwritten note of DARAB member Reyes does not form part of the decision and
cannot be the subject of a motion for reconsideration. Thus, it was proper for the DARAB to dismiss the
motion for reconsideration, albeit the resolution denying the motion for reconsideration failed to
mention the impropriety of the issue raised in such motion.
Again, Franco sought for review not the DARAB decision but the one-sentence handwritten note of
DARAB member Reyes, which is a mere opinion of a lone member of the DARAB and has no binding
effect. The view expressed in the note is not the opinion of the DARAB and does not form part of the
DARAB decision. Certainly, the note does not form part of the dispositive portion of the DARAB decision
which could be subject to an appeal. The Court reiterated that "A judgment must be distinguished from
an opinion. The latter is the informal expression of the views of the court and cannot prevail against its
final order or decision. While the two may be combined in one instrument, the opinion forms no part of
the judgment.
Indeed, the ruling of the appellate court that private petitioners have no right to disturbance
compensation because they have not proven that they are tenants of Franco's land went beyond the
DARAB decision being appealed. The determination of entitlement to disturbance compensation is still
premature at this stage since this case originally involved only the issue of nullity of the Provisional
Lease Rental Orders. Further, it is the DAR that can best determine and identify the legitimate tenants
who have a right to disturbance compensation.

TENANCY; ESSENTIAL REQUISITES OF TENANCY RELATIONSHIP; AGRICULTURAL TENANCY AS DEFINED
UNDER THE AGRICULTURAL TENANCY ACT OF THE PHILIPPINES; TENANCY RELATIONS CANNOT BE
BARGAINED AWAY EXCEPT FOR THE STRONG REASONS PROVIDED BY LAW; CHANGE OF
LANDOWNERSHIP DOES NOT TERMINATE AGRICULTURAL TENANCY RELATIONSHIP

LUDO & LUYM Development Corporation and/or CPC Development Corporation vs. Vicente C. Barreto as
substituted by his heirs namely: Maxima L. Barreto, Peregrina B. Uy, Rogelio L. Barreto, Violeta L.
Barreto, Florenda B. Templanza, Eduardo L. Barreto, Evelyn B. Bersamin, Cecilia B. Aquino and Nelson
Nilo L. Barreto
G.R. No. 147266 (September 30, 2005)


Facts:

The present petition stemmed from a complaint for "Opposition Against the Application for Renewal
of the Conversion Order/Claim for Payment of Disturbance Compensation Plus Damages" filed on 30
April 1991 by Vicente C. Barreto against herein petitioners LUDO and CPC before the DARAB Regional
Office in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte, involving a thirty-six-hectare land covered by TCT No. 18822-25, six
hectares of which were devoted for the planting of coconuts, while the remaining thirty hectares had
been planted with sugarcane.
In 1938, Vicente C. Barreto, as tenant of landowner Antonio Bartolome, worked on and cultivated two
hectares of land devoted to sugarcane plantation. In 1956, Antonio Bartolome sold the entire estate to
LUDO with the latter absorbing all the farmworkers of the former. Vicente C. Barreto was designated as
a co-overseer with Bartolome on the six-hectare coco land portion of the estate, pending the
development of the entire estate into a residential-commercial complex.
Pursuant to City Ordinance No. 1313, the subject landholding fell within the Commercial-Residential
Zone of the city. On 30 March 1978, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) issued a conversion
permit to petitioner LUDO authorizing the conversion of the entire estate into a residential/commercial
lot. On 24 November 1988, petitioner CPC, the developer of the subject property, requested for the
renewal of the conversion permit earlier issued to the LUDO. Vicente C. Barreto opposed by filing a
letter-complaint on 30 April 1991 before the DARAB Regional Office in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte, on
the ground that such act was one of the prohibited acts enjoined by Section 73 of Republic Act No. 6657.
The DARAB rendered a decision, in favor of petitioners LUDO and CPC, finding that there was no tenancy
relationship existing between LUDO and Vicente C. Barreto, thus, no disturbance compensation was due
the latter for having been dispossessed of the six-hectare landholding he had been tilling. The DARAB
Regional Office gave ample credence to the affidavit of Antonio Bartolome, complainant's co-overseer
and former owner of the thirty-six-hectare landholding.
On appeal to DARAB Central Office, the latter affirmed the PARAD's Decision which CA annulled and
set aside through a resolution dated 12 August 1997, hence, the petition for review on certiorari under
Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.

Issue:

Whether or not there existed a tenancy relationship between petitioner LUDO and Vicente C. Barreto?
Is the Statute of Limitation under R.A. No. 3844 applicable to bar payment of disturbance
compensation to a tenant?
Is deceased Vicente C. Barreto entitled to disturbance compensation for his dispossession?

Held:

The findings of the Court of Appeals and the Boards a quo are, generally, entitled to respect and non-
disturbance. The Court found that there was a compelling reason for it to apply the exception of non-
conclusiveness of their factual findings on the ground that the findings of facts of both courts contradict
each other. An overwhelming evidence in favor of the late Vicente C. Barreto was overlooked and
disregarded.
In the case at bar, it bears emphasizing that no one has denied the existence of the tenancy status of
deceased Vicente C. Barreto over the subject thirty-six-hectare landholding with respect to its former
owner, Antonio Bartolome. There being no waiver executed by Barreto, no less than the law clarifies
that the existence of an agricultural tenancy relationship is not terminated by mere changes of
ownership, in cases of sale or transfer of legal possession as in lease. Section 10 of Rep. Act No. 3844
provides that the agricultural leasehold relation shall not be extinguished by the sale, of the landholding.
In case the agricultural lessor sells, the purchaser shall be subrogated to the rights and substituted to
the obligations of the agricultural lessor.
For this reason, when petitioner LUDO became the owner of the subject landholding, it became
subrogated to the rights and obligations of its predecessor-in-interest, Antonio Bartolome, his obligation
under the law to Barreto, continues and subsists until terminated as provided for by law.
A tenant has been defined under Section 5(a) of Rep. Act No. 1199 as a person who, himself, and with
the aid available from within his immediate household, cultivates the land belonging to or possessed by
another, with the latter's consent for purposes of production, sharing the produce with the landholder
under the share tenancy system, or paying to the landholder a price certain or ascertainable in produce
or in money or both, under the leasehold system. Applying the preceding to the case at bar, what
became apparent from the records is that though the late Vicente C. Barreto was designated as a co-
overseer of the subject landholding, he was also tilling the land and had a sharing arrangement with
petitioner LUDO and Antonio Bartolome. What is glittering, therefore, is that the deceased also took on
the added duty of being the overseer of the petitioners. Nothing in law and in the facts of the case at bar
excludes one from the other.
Reclassification is very much different from conversion. The latter is the act of changing the current
use of a piece of agricultural land into some other use as approved by the DAR. Reclassification, in
contrast, is the act of specifying how agricultural lands shall be utilized for non-agricultural uses such as
residential, industrial or commercial, as embodied in the land use plan, subject to the requirements and
procedure for land use conversion. Accordingly, a mere reclassification of agricultural land does not
automatically allow a landowner to change its use and thus cause the ejectment of the tenants. Parties
can still continue with their tenurial relationship even after such reclassification. He has to undergo the
process of conversion before he is permitted to use the agricultural land for other purposes.
In the case at bar, though there appears to be no court proceeding which took cognizance of the
reclassification/application for conversion of the subject landholding from agricultural to
residential/commercial, the permit issued by the DAR on 30 March 1978 was never assailed and thus,
attained finality. In the case of Bunye v. Aquino, the Court allowed the payment of disturbance
compensation because there was an order of conversion issued by the DAR of the landholding from
agricultural to residential. The decree was never questioned and thus became final. Consequently, the
tenants were ejected from the land and were thus awarded disturbance compensation. Hence, Barreto,
who used to be a tenant of petitioner LUDO at the time of the conversion of the subject landholding, is
entitled to disturbance compensation for his dispossession.

CONSTITUTIONALITY OF DAR ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 09, SERIES OF 1993 WHICH PRESCRIBES A
MAXIMUM RETENTION LIMIT FOR OWNERS OF LAND DEVOTED TO LIVESTOCK RAISING; RULE MAKING
POWER OF DAR UNDER SECTION 49 OF THE CARL

Department of Agrarian Reform, represented by Secretary Jose Mari B. Ponce (OIC) vs. Delia T. Sutton,
Ella T. Sutton-Soliman and Harry T. Sutton
G.R. No. 162070 (October 19, 2005)

Facts:

This is a petition for review filed by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) of the Decision and
Resolution of the Court of Appeals, dated September 19, 2003 and February 4, 2004, respectively, which
declared DAR Administrative Order (A.O.) No. 9, series of 1993, null and void for being violative of the
Constitution.
The case involves a land in Aroroy, Masbate, inherited by respondents which has been devoted
exclusively to cow and calf breeding. On October 26, 1987, pursuant to the then existing agrarian reform
program of the government, respondents made a voluntary offer to sell (VOS) their landholdings to
petitioner DAR to avail of certain incentives under the law.
On June 10, 1988, a new agrarian law, Republic Act (R.A.) No. 6657, also known as the Comprehensive
Agrarian Reform Law (CARL) of 1988, took effect. It included in its coverage farms used for raising
livestock, poultry and swine.
On December 4, 1990, in an en banc decision in the case of Luz Farms v. Secretary of DAR, the Court
ruled that lands devoted to livestock and poultry-raising are not included in the definition of agricultural
land and declared as unconstitutional certain provisions of the CARL insofar as they included livestock
farms in the coverage of agrarian reform. In view of this, respondents filed with petitioner DAR a formal
request to withdraw their VOS as their landholding was devoted exclusively to cattle-raising and thus
exempted from the coverage of the CARL.
On December 21, 1992, the Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer of Aroroy, Masbate, inspected
respondents' land and found that it was devoted solely to cattle-raising and breeding. He recommended
to the DAR Secretary that it be exempted from the coverage of the CARL.
On April 27, 1993, respondents reiterated to petitioner DAR the withdrawal of their VOS and
requested the return of the supporting papers they submitted in connection therewith. Petitioner
ignored such request.
On December 27, 1993, DAR issued A.O. No. 9, series of 1993, which provided that only portions of
private agricultural lands used for the raising of livestock, poultry and swine as of June 15, 1988 shall be
excluded from the coverage of the CARL. In determining the area of land to be excluded, the A.O. fixed
the following retention limits, viz.: 1:1 animal-land ratio and a ratio of 1.7815 hectares for livestock
infrastructure for every 21 heads of cattle shall likewise be excluded from the operations of the CARL.
On February 4, 1994, respondents wrote the DAR Secretary and advised him to consider as final and
irrevocable the withdrawal of their VOS as, under the Luz Farms doctrine, their entire landholding is
exempted from the CARL.
On September 14, 1995, then DAR Secretary Ernesto D. Garilao issued an Order partially granting the
application of respondents for exemption from the coverage of CARL. Applying the retention limits
outlined in the DAR A.O. No. 9, petitioner exempted 1,209 hectares of respondents' land for grazing
purposes, and a maximum of 102.5635 hectares for infrastructure. Petitioner ordered the rest of
respondents' landholding to be segregated and placed under Compulsory Acquisition.
Respondents moved for reconsideration, contending that their entire landholding should be
exempted as it is devoted exclusively to cattle-raising. Said motion was denied. Respondents filed a
notice of appeal with the Office of the President assailing: (1) the reasonableness and validity of DAR
A.O. No. 9, s. 1993, which provided for a ratio between land and livestock in determining the land area
qualified for exclusion from the CARL, and (2) the constitutionality of DAR A.O. No. 9, s. 1993, in view of
the Luz Farms case which declared cattle-raising lands excluded from the coverage of agrarian reform.
The OP affirmed the impugned order. On appeal to CA, the CA ruled in favor of respondents and
declared A.O. No. 9, Series of 1993 as void.

Issue:

Whether or not DAR Administrative Order No. 09, Series of 1993 which prescribes a maximum
retention for owners of lands devoted to livestock raising is constitutional?

Held:

The impugned A.O. is invalid as it contravenes the Constitution. The A.O. sought to regulate livestock
farms by including them in the coverage of agrarian reform and prescribing a maximum retention limit
for their ownership. However, the deliberations of the 1987 Constitutional Commission show a clear
intent to exclude, inter alia, all lands exclusively devoted to livestock, swine and poultry-raising. The
Court clarified in the Luz Farms case that livestock, swine and poultry-raising are industrial activities and
do not fall within the definition of "agriculture" or "agricultural activity." The raising of livestock, swine
and poultry is different from crop or tree farming. It is an industrial, not an agricultural, activity. A great
portion of the investment in this enterprise is in the form of industrial fixed assets, such as: animal
housing structures and facilities, drainage, waterers and blowers, feedmill with grinders, mixers,
conveyors, exhausts and generators, extensive warehousing facilities for feeds and other supplies, anti-
pollution equipment like bio-gas and digester plants augmented by lagoons and concrete ponds,
deepwells, elevated water tanks, pumphouses, sprayers, and other technological appurtenance.
Petitioner DAR has no power to regulate livestock farms which have been exempted by the
Constitution from the coverage of agrarian reform. It has exceeded its power in issuing the assailed A.O.
Moreover, it is a fundamental rule of statutory construction that the reenactment of a statute by
Congress without substantial change is an implied legislative approval and adoption of the previous law.
On the other hand, by making a new law, Congress seeks to supersede an earlier one. In the case at bar,
after the passage of the 1988 CARL, Congress enacted R.A. No. 7881 which amended certain provisions
of the CARL. Specifically, the new law changed the definition of the terms "agricultural activity" and
"commercial farming" by dropping from its coverage lands that are devoted to commercial livestock,
poultry and swine-raising. With this significant modification, Congress clearly sought to align the
provisions of our agrarian laws with the intent of the 1987 Constitutional Commission to exclude
livestock farms from the coverage of agrarian reform.
It is doctrinal that rules of administrative bodies must be in harmony with the provisions of the
Constitution. They cannot amend or extend the Constitution. To be valid, they must conform to and be
consistent with the Constitution. In case of conflict between an administrative order and the provisions
of the Constitution, the latter prevails. The assailed A.O. of petitioner DAR was properly stricken down
as unconstitutional as it enlarges the coverage of agrarian reform beyond the scope intended by the
1987 Constitution.

TENANCY; TENANCY RELATIONSHIP CANNOT BE PRESUMED; TENANCY RELATIONSHIP MUST EXIST
BETWEEN THE LITIGANTS BEFORE DARAB MAY TAKE COGNIZANCE; INDISPENSABLE REQUISITES OF
TENANCY RELATIONSHIP

Domingo C. Suarez vs. Leo B. Saul, Roger S. Brillo, Efrain S. Brillo, Eleno S. Brillo and Ignacio G. Pelaez
G.R. No. 166664 (October 20, 2005)

Facts:

The case arose from a complaint for reinstatement with preliminary mandatory injunction, recovery
of possession and damages filed by respondents against petitioner and T'boli Agro-Industrial
Development, Inc. (TADI) before the Office of the Provincial Adjudicator, Department of Agrarian
Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB). Respondents claimed that they were agricultural tenants in
petitioner's land on a 25-75 sharing agreement; petitioner voluntarily offered the land for sale to the
government under a Voluntary Offer to Sell (VOS) that they signed the documents for the transfer of the
land under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) as farmer-beneficiaries; that while the
VOS was being processed, they were summarily ejected from the property by TADI after the latter
entered into a Grower Agreement with Contract to Buy with petitioner thereby depriving them of their
landholdings.
Petitioner contended that respondents were installed as tenants, not by him, but by Wennie Gonzaga
of the DAR in Koronadal, South Cotabato. He denied the existence of a grower's contract between him
and TADI over the subject land. The latter claimed that its grower's contract with petitioner covered
parcels of land different from those being claimed by respondents.
The Regional Adjudicator dismissed the complaint for lack of merit finding that respondents failed to
prove their alleged tenancy over petitioner's land, and while they were identified as potential farmer-
beneficiaries of the land subject of the VOS, they only have an "inchoate right" to the land since its
coverage under the CARP has yet to be completed.
On appeal, the DARAB Central Office rendered a Decision reversing the Regional Adjudicator declaring
the respondents as bona-fide tenants; it ordered the reinstatement of respondents in their respective
original landholdings after harvest, and ordered the MARO and other concerned DAR officers to
determine the disturbance compensation from the time of actual ejectment to actual reinstatement.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the said DARAB Decision. Hence, the instant petition assailing the Court
of Appeals Decision.

Issues:

Whether or not the respondents are bona fide agricultural tenants under the law?
Whether or not the petitioner illegally ejected respondents from their landholdings?

Held:

The petitioner's admission that respondents were tenants in the land, was qualified in paragraph 2 of
petitioner's answer that it was Wennie Gonzaga of DAR who installed them as such. Clearly, it was the
DAR who placed respondents in actual possession of the land upon petitioner's offer to transfer the
same to the government. Other than this supposed admission, there is no evidence on record to prove
the tenancy relations. Respondents did not substantiate their claim with evidence to show that they
were agricultural tenants in petitioner's land. They did not allege actual cultivation or specify the crop
produced thereby. Neither did they mention how much of the produce was delivered to petitioner or
submit receipts to prove the purported 25-75 sharing of harvests. They did not state, much less prove,
the circumstances of their agreement with petitioner as to the alleged tenancy relationship. Thus, there
is no basis to the claim that they are agricultural tenants on the property.
In VHJ Construction and Development Corporation v. Court of Appeals, it was held that a tenancy
relationship cannot be presumed. There must be evidence to prove the tenancy relations such that all its
indispensable elements must be established, to wit: (1) the parties are the landowner and the tenant;
(2) the subject is agricultural land; (3) there is consent by the landowner; (4) the purpose is agricultural
production; (5) there is personal cultivation; and (6) there is sharing of the harvests. All these requisites
are necessary to create tenancy relationship, and the absence of one or more requisites will not make
the alleged tenant a de facto tenant.
In this case, there is no showing that there exists a tenancy relationship between petitioner and
respondents. Likewise, respondents have no tenancy relationship with TADI, against whom they
principally have a cause of action. The controversy is civil in nature since it involves the issue of material
possession, independent of any question pertaining to agricultural tenancy. Hence, the case falls outside
the jurisdiction of DARAB, it is cognizable by the regular courts.

AUTHORITY TO APPEAR; IN BEHALF OF PETITIONER; WHO HAS AUTHORITY TO FILE NOTICE OF APPEAL

Land Bank of the Philippines vs. Pamintuan Development Co., represented by Mariano Pamintuan, Jr.
G.R. No. 167886 (October 25, 2005)


Facts:

This is a petition for review on certiorari assailing the April 15, 2005 Decision of the Court of Appeals
in CA-G.R. SP No. 85843, which dismissed Land Bank of the Philippines' (LANDBANK's) petition and
sustained the August 2, 2004 Order of the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB)
which denied due course to the notice of appeal and notice of entry of appearance filed by LANDBANK's
counsels.
In DARAB case for Preliminary Determination of Just Compensation, DARAB rendered a Decision dated
April 27, 2004, fixing the just compensation of respondent Pamintuan Development Company's
274.9037 hectare lot covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-4972 and located at San Vicente,
Makilala, Cotabato, at P58,237,301.68. Petitioner moved for reconsideration but was denied. On June 4,
2004, Attys. Engilberto F. Montarde and Felix F. Mesa, filed a Notice of Entry of Appearance in behalf of
petitioner. Within the period to appeal, or on June 15, 2004, said counsels also filed a Notice of Appeal
via registered mail. Respondent filed an Opposition contending that the notice of appeal and notice of
entry of appearance should be denied due course because Attys. Montarde and Mesa failed to show
that their appearance was authorized by petitioner. Said new counsels, on the other hand, asserted that
they were duly authorized, attaching to their Comment the Special Power of Attorney (SPA) executed by
Gilda E. Pico, Executive Vice President of petitioner, authorizing Loreto B. Corotan to represent, and
designating Attys. Montarde and Mesa as counsels for LANDBANK.
On August 2, 2004, DARAB issued an order holding that Attys. Montarde and Mesa are without
authority to represent petitioner because the latter failed to effect a valid substitution of their former
counsel of record. It added that the April 27, 2004 decision had become final and executory because the
notice of appeal filed by its purported new counsels is a mere scrap of paper which did not toll the
running of the reglementary period to appeal.
Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration appending two memoranda signed by Atty. Danilo B.
Beramo, petitioner's Department Manager and Head, Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP)
Legal Services Department, confirming the authority of Atty. Montarde to file a notice of appeal.
The DARAB, however, denied petitioner's motion for reconsideration. Hence, a petition for certiorari
was filed by petitioner with the Court of Appeals, but the latter dismissed the petition. It sustained the
DARAB's finding that Attys. Montarde and Mesa were not clothed with authority to file the notice of
appeal.
Petitioner filed the instant petition with prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order.
In a resolution dated June 6, 2005, the Court issued a temporary restraining order enjoining the
execution of the April 27, 2004 decision of the DARAB.

Issue:

Who has the authority to file a Notice of Appeal on behalf of a petitioner?

Held:

We find that the DARAB gravely abused its discretion in holding that Attys. Montarde and Mesa lacked
the authority to file a notice of appeal in behalf of petitioner. Section 21, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court
provides:

"SEC. 21. Authority of attorney to appear. An attorney is presumed to be properly authorized to
represent any cause in which he appears, and no written power of attorney is required to authorize him
to appear in court for his client, but the presiding judge may, on motion of either party and on
reasonable grounds therefor being shown, require any attorney who assumes the right to appear in a
case to produce or prove the authority under which he appears, and to disclose, whenever pertinent to
any issue, the name of the person who employed him, and may thereupon make such order as justice
requires. An attorney wilfully appearing in court for a person without being employed, unless by leave of
the court, may be punished for contempt as an officer of the court who has misbehaved in his official
transactions."

The presumption in favor of the counsel's authority to appear in behalf of a client is a strong one. A
lawyer is not even required to present a written authorization from the client. In fact, the absence of a
formal notice of entry of appearance will not invalidate the acts performed by the counsel in his client's
name. However, the court, on its own initiative or on motion of the other party require a lawyer to
adduce authorization from the client.
In the case at bar, the filing of a notice of entry of appearance by Attys. Montarde and Mesa, gave rise
to the presumption that they have the authority to file the notice of appeal in behalf of petitioner.
When their authority was challenged, they presented the SPA executed by Gilda E. Pico, Executive Vice
President of LANDBANK authorizing them to represent petitioner; and the two memoranda of Atty.
Danilo B. Beramo, Department Manager and Head, CARP Legal Services Department, requesting Atty.
Montarde to file a notice of appeal. These documents are sufficient proof of their authority to represent
petitioner's cause. The doubt entertained by the DARAB as to when the SPA and memoranda were
executed is of no consequence in view of petitioner's vigorous assertion that it authorized said lawyers
to file a notice of appeal. Indeed, even an unauthorized appearance of an attorney may be ratified by
the client either expressly or impliedly. Ratification retroacts to the date of the lawyer's first appearance
and validates the action taken by him.
The DARAB's assertion that Attys. Montarde and Mesa cannot validly represent petitioner because
there was no proper substitution of counsels, lacks merit. Petitioner never intended to replace its
counsel of record, the law firm Piczon, Beramo & Associates. Though not specified in the notice, Attys.
Montarde and Mesa entered their appearance as collaborating counsels.

TENANCY RELATIONSHIP; ELEMENTS

Alejandro Danan, et al. vs. The Hon. Court of Appeals and Estrella Arrastia
G.R. No. 132759 (October 25, 2005)

The Court of Appeals and the DARAB vs. Estrella Arrastia
G.R. No. 132866 (October 25, 2005)



Facts:

Sometime in 1976, a certain Rustico Coronel leased the subject property for a period of twelve (12)
years or until the crop year 1987 to 1988. Then, persons claiming to be farmers and residents of
Barangay Lourdes and Barangay San Rafael signed a joint resolution as members of the Aniban ng mga
Manggagawa sa Agrikultura ("AMA") to enter and lease the subject property from the Arrastia heirs.
They entered the disputed land and planted various crops thereon. This culminated in a violent
confrontation on May 21, 1988 that led to the filing of criminal charges against AMA members.
On June 2, 1988, the AMA filed a complaint with petitioner DARAB, praying that respondent Arrastia
be prevented from destroying standing crops on the disputed property and from fencing said property
and that petitioners be allowed to continue with their farming thereon. On August 15, 1988, the DARAB
ordered the DAR Regional Director to conduct an ocular inspection on the disputed property. The
inspection team submitted an Ocular/Investigation Report stating that there were no substantially
significant plantings on the disputed property. The Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer ("MARO") of
Lubao, Pampanga also submitted a report recommending the disqualification of private petitioners from
availing of the benefits under the CARP.
On October 5, 1988, the DARAB issued an order denying AMA's motion for authority to cultivate and
the order became final and executory on July 29, 1989.
Arrastia instituted an action against private petitioners for violation of Section 73(b) of Republic Act
(R.A.) No. 6657 on October 9, 1989 and the trial court, sitting as a special agrarian court ("SAC"), issued a
temporary restraining order. Subsequently a preliminary injunction, both enjoining private petitioners
from entering and cultivating the disputed property was issued to the latter.
On November 29, 1989, private petitioners filed a complaint for injunction and damages before the
Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board ("PARAD") against Arrastia, alleging that they were actual
tillers of the disputed property who were forcibly evicted by Arrastia from their tenanted lots through
the use of armed men. The matter was referred to BARC but the dispute could not be settled amicably
per recommendation of BARC Officials.
On the basis of the reports submitted by BARC officials and private petitioners' affidavits, the hearing
officer issued on December 9, 1990 an order granting a preliminary injunction in favor of petitioners and
the PARAD also directed the MARO to act on the petition for the coverage of the disputed property
under the CARP.
On January 30, 1991, Arrastia filed an omnibus motion in DARAB Case No. 0001, questioning the
jurisdiction of the hearing officer to issue an order of injunction. The DARAB denied said motion and
subsequently issued the writ of injunction on September 22, 1992.
Arrastia filed an answer in DARAB Regional Case No. 161-P' 89, interposing the defense that the
disputed land was not devoted to agriculture and that private petitioners were not tenants thereof.
After due hearing, the PARAD rendered a decision in DARAB Regional Case No. 161-P' 89 on May 13,
1993, declaring that the subject property is covered by the CARP and that private petitioners are
qualified beneficiaries of the program. The adjudicator also issued an injunction prohibiting Arrastia
from disturbing private petitioners' occupation of the property.
Arrastia appealed the aforementioned decision to petitioner DARAB. The appeal was docketed as
DARAB Case No. 1551. On March 28, 1994, the DARAB rendered its decision modifying the appealed
judgment.
Aggrieved, Arrastia elevated the controversy to the Court of Appeals, which reversed and set aside the
decision of the DARAB.

Issue:

Whether or not private petitioners are qualified beneficiaries under the CARP?

Held:

The Court affirms factual findings and conclusions of the Court of Appeals.
The appellate court's conclusion that private petitioners committed particular violations warranting
their disqualification from the CARP is based on the MARO report which has not been disputed by all the
private petitioners. The MARO who prepared the report enjoys the presumption of regularity in the
performance of her functions. Absent any showing that the Court of Appeals committed grave abuse of
discretion in giving evidentiary weight to said report, said factual findings are generally deemed
conclusive on this Court, which is not a trier of facts.
Mere occupation or cultivation of an agricultural land does not automatically convert a tiller or
farmworker into an agricultural tenant recognized under agrarian laws. The essential requisites of a
tenancy relationship are: (1) the parties are the landowner and the tenant; (2) the subject is agricultural
land; (3) there is consent among the parties; (4) the purpose is agricultural production; (5) there is
personal cultivation; and (6) there is sharing of harvests. All these requisites must concur in order to
create a tenancy relationship between the parties. In the case at bar, it has not been sufficiently
established that private petitioners' occupation and cultivation of the disputed property was with the
consent of the landowners.
As borne by the case records, respondent Arrastia owns only 4.4630 hectares of the subject property,
which is below the retention limit under Section 6 of R.A. No. 6657 granting a right of retention of up to
a maximum of five (5) hectares of agricultural land in favor of a landowner whose property may be
acquired for distribution to agrarian reform beneficiaries. Consequently, a landowner may keep his
entire covered landholding if its aggregate size does not exceed the retention limit of five (5) hectares.
His land will not be covered at all by the operation land transfer program although all requisites for
coverage are present.
The right of retention is a constitutionally guaranteed right, which is subject to qualification by the
legislature. It serves to mitigate the effects of compulsory land acquisition by balancing the rights of the
landowner and the tenant and by implementing the doctrine that social justice was not meant to
perpetrate an injustice against the landowner. A retained area, as its name denotes, is land which is not
supposed to anymore leave the landowner's dominion, thus sparing the government from the
inconvenience of taking land only to return it to the landowner afterwards, which would be a pointless
process. For as long as the area to be retained is compact or contiguous and does not exceed the
retention ceiling of five (5) hectares, a landowner's choice of the area to be retained must prevail.
Moreover, Administrative Order No. 4, series of 1991, which supplies the details for the exercise of a
landowner's retention rights, likewise recognizes no limit to the prerogative of the landowner, although
he is persuaded to retain other lands instead to avoid dislocation of farmers. Therefore, there is no legal
and practical basis to order the commencement of the administrative proceedings for the placement of
respondent Arrastia's land under the CARP since her property's land area falls below the retention limit
of five (5) hectares.

TENANCY RELATIONSHIP; ESSENTIAL REQUISITES

Ester Deloso vs. Sps. Alfonso Marapao and Herminia P. Marapao
G.R. No. 144244 (November 11, 2005)


Facts:

This Petition for Review on Certiorari assails the Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No.
48503 which reversed the decision of the DARAB and declared that petitioners is not a tenant of
respondents.
Petitioner filed a complaint with the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (PARAD) for the province
of Agusan del Norte against respondents praying that the latter be enjoined from interfering with her
tenurial rights, and that an order be issued fixing the sharing of the net produce of the landholding
between the parties and directing respondents to account for the November 1994 harvest.
Respondents, on the other hand, maintained that Primitivo was not a tenant of the landholding but
merely an overseer paid for the work he rendered. After Primitivo's death, his son, Alberto, was installed
as overseer and paid as farmworker. On the basis of the report of the ocular inspection and
investigation, the MARO found Alberto Temple to be the tenant of the landholding. The PARAD,
however, reversed the finding of the MARO and declared the petitioner as tenant of the landholding. On
appeal, the DARAB affirmed the findings of the PARAD and ruled that the requisites of agricultural
tenancy are present.

Issue:

Whether or not the petitioner is indeed a tenant of the subject landholding?

Held:

In order to establish a tenancy relationship, the following essential requisites must concur: 1) that the
parties are the landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee; 2) that the subject matter of the
relationship is an agricultural land; 3) that there is consent between the parties to the relationship; 4)
that the purpose of the relationship is to bring about agricultural production; 5) that there is personal
cultivation on the part of the tenant or agricultural lessee; and 6) that the harvest is shared between the
landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee.
Petitioner's evidence fails to establish the existence of all the requisites of a tenancy relationship.
We, therefore, concur with the Court of Appeals that the DARAB relied far too much on the pesadas
and vales and overlooked compelling evidence indicating the absence of a tenancy relationship between
the parties. In particular, the DARAB ignored the findings of the legal officer who investigated the case
and concluded that Alberto Temple, petitioners son, is the tenant of the landholding.

LEASEHOLD/GROUNDS FOR EXTINGUISHMENT

Heirs of Enrique Tan, Sr., namely, Norma Tan, Jeanette Tan, Julieta Tan, Rommel Tan, and Enrique Tan,
Jr., All represented by Rommel Tan vs. Reynalda Pollescas
G.R. No. 145568 (November 17, 2005)

Facts:

Petitioners are co-owners of a coconut farmland ("Land"). Esteban Pollescas ("Esteban") was the
original tenant of the Land. Upon Esteban's death in 1991, his son Enrique Pollescas ("Enrique")
succeeded him and was appointed as tenant by the landowner Enrique Tan ("Tan"). Respondent
Reynalda Pollescas ("Reynalda"), Esteban's surviving second spouse, demanded that Tan recognized her
as Esteban's successor. Tan did not accede. Thus, Reynalda filed with the Department of Agrarian
Reform Adjudication Board of Ozamis City ("DARAB-Ozamis") a complaint for Annulment of Compromise
Agreement, Quieting of Tenancy Relationship and damages.
The DARAB-Ozamis declared Reynalda as the lawful tenant of the land in its Decision dated 28 April
1993. However, Reynalda failed to deliver to the Tan Heirs 2/3 of the harvests amounting to P3,656.70.
Consequently, the Tan Heirs filed a complaint for estafa against Reynalda with the Municipal Trial Court
in Cities, Ozamis City, Branch 2. The trial court found Reynalda guilty of Estafa. For Reynalda's continued
failure to deliver their share, the Tan Heirs filed with the DARAB, Misamis Occidental ("DARAB-Misamis
Occidental") an ejectment case. On 18 September 1996, the DARAB-Misamis Occidental ruled in favor of
the Tan Heirs. Reynalda appealed to the DARAB, Diliman, Quezon City which reversed the DARAB-
Misamis Occidental. The Tan heirs appealed the decision of the DARAB to the Court of Appeals. The
Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the DARAB ordering the Tan Heirs to respect Reynalda's
possession and cultivation of the Land. Hence, this petition.
A petition for review of the Decision of the Court of Appeals was filed which affirmed the decision of
the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board ordering petitioners to respect respondent's
possession and cultivation of the land.

Issues:

Whether or not there is a ground for extinguishment of leasehold?
Whether or not the petitioners can validly dispossess respondent of the landholding for non-payment
of rental?

Held:

Section 7 of RA 3844 as amended provides that once there is a leasehold relationship, as in the
present case, the landowner cannot eject the agricultural tenant from the land unless authorized by the
court for causes provided by law. RA 3844 as amended expressly recognizes and protects an agricultural
leasehold tenant's right to security of tenure.
Section 36 of RA 3844 as amended enumerates the grounds for dispossession of the tenant's
landholding. . . .
Section 34 of RA 3844 as amended mandates that "not . . . more than" 25% of the average normal
harvest shall constitute the just and fair rental for leasehold. In this case, the Tan Heirs demanded
Reynalda to deliver 2/3 of the harvest as lease rental, which clearly exceeded the 25% maximum
amount prescribed by law. Therefore, the Tan Heirs cannot validly dispossess Reynalda of the
landholding for non-payment of rental precisely because the lease rental claimed by the Tan Heirs is
unlawful.
Reynalda and the Tan Heirs failed to agree on a lawful lease rental. Accordingly, the DAR must first fix
the provisional lease rental payable by Reynalda to the Tan Heirs pursuant to the second paragraph of
Section 34 of RA 3844 as amended. Until the DAR has fixed the provisional lease rental, Reynalda cannot
be in default in the payment of lease rental since such amount is not yet determined. There can be no
delay in the payment of an undetermined lease rental because it is impossible to pay an undetermined
amount. That Reynalda is not yet in default in the payment of the lease rental is a basic reason why she
cannot be lawfully ejected from the Land for non-payment of rental.

JURISDICTION OVER THE CANCELLATION OF REGISTERED EP/CLOAS

Heirs of Julian Dela Cruz and Leonora Talaro, as represented by Maximino dela Cruz vs. Heirs of Alberto
Cruz, as represented by Benedicto U. Cruz
G.R. No. 162890 (November 22, 2005)

Facts:

The Republic of the Philippines acquired the De Leon Estate in Nueva Ecija for resale to deserving
tenants and landless farmers, conformably with Commonwealth Act No. 539, as amended by Republic
Act No. 1400. The property was under the administration of the Land Tenure Administration and later
the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR). In 1950, the DAR allocated a portion of the property in favor
of Julian dela Cruz who was a tenant thereon.
By virtue of an Agreement to Sell, the DAR issued Certificate of Land Transfer (CLT) in his favor as the
qualified allocatee of the landholding. Julian bound and obliged himself to pay the amortizations over
the land in 30 annual installments. He cultivated the property and made payments to the government
for a period of almost 20 years. He died in 1979 and was survived by his wife, Leonora Talaro-dela Cruz
and their 10 children, including Mario and Maximino dela Cruz. Mario administered the landholding,
until their mother executed a private document declaring that, with the consent of her children, she had
sold the land in favor of Alberto Cruz.
Alberto took possession of the landholding and cultivated it over a period of 10 years without any
protest from Leonora and her children. He then filed an application to purchase the property with the
DAR. The Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer (MARO) recommended that the landholding be declared
vacant and disposable to a qualified applicant and the approval of Alberto's application to purchase the
property.
On November 16, 1990, the Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer (PARO) issued an Order approving the
recommendation of the MARO. He directed the cancellation of Julian's CLT and declared that his rights
be forfeited in favor of the government under the agreement.
The PARO endorsed the Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) to the DAR Secretary, copy
furnished the Regional Director. The DAR Bureau of Land Acquisition and Distribution reviewed and
evaluated the records and recommended that the PARO's recommendation be affirmed. On June 27,
1991, the DAR Secretary signed and issued CLOA over the property in favor of Alberto Cruz, and the
certificate was registered with the Land Registration Authority (LRA).
Sometime in early 1996, Maximino, one of the surviving children of Julian, discovered that the
landholding had already been registered in the name of Alberto Cruz. On October 10, 1996, Leonora and
her 10 children, with the assistance of the DAR Bureau of Legal Assistance, filed a petition with the
Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (PARAD) for the nullification of the order of the PARO, CLOA and
TCT issued in favor of Alberto Cruz. The petitioners declared, inter alia, that they were the surviving
heirs of Julian dela Cruz and had no knowledge of the sale by Leonora and Mario of their right as
beneficiaries of the property; not being privies to the said sale, they were not bound by the private deed
executed by Leonora; and such sale, as well as the issuance of the CLOA and the title over the property
in favor of Alberto, was null and void, inasmuch as they violated agrarian reform laws and DAR
Memorandum Circular No. 8, Series of 1980. They insisted that they were deprived of their rights as
heirs of the beneficiary without due process of law.
After due proceedings, the PARAD granted the petition in a Decision declaring the petitioners as the
rightful allocatees of the property, and directed the MARO to cancel CLOA and issue another in favor of
the petitioners. Alberto was ordered to vacate the property. The PARAD also directed the Register of
Deeds of Nueva Ecija to cancel the said title and issue a new one over the landholding in favor of the
petitioners.
Alberto appealed the decision to the DARAB, which affirmed the ruling of the PARAD.

Issues:

Whether or not the DARAB has jurisdiction over matters involving the issuance, correction and
cancellation of registered CLOAs.
Whether the petitioners were denied of their right to substantive and procedural due process.

Held:

The petition is denied for lack of merit.
It is axiomatic that the jurisdiction of a tribunal, including a quasi-judicial officer or government
agency, over the nature and subject matter of a petition or complaint is determined by the material
allegations therein and the character of the relief prayed for, irrespective of whether the petitioner or
complainant is entitled to any or all such reliefs. Jurisdiction over the nature and subject matter of an
action is conferred by the Constitution and the law, and not by the consent or waiver of the parties
where the court otherwise would have no jurisdiction over the nature or subject matter of the action.
Nor can it be acquired through, or waived by, any act or omission of the parties. Moreover, estoppel
does not apply to confer jurisdiction to a tribunal that has none over the cause of action. The failure of
the parties to challenge the jurisdiction of the DARAB does not prevent the court from addressing the
issue, especially where the DARAB's lack of jurisdiction is apparent on the face of the complaint or
petition. Indeed, the jurisdiction of the court or tribunal is not affected by the defenses or theories set
up by the defendant or respondent in his answer or motion to dismiss. Jurisdiction should be
determined by considering not only the status or the relationship of the parties but also the nature of
the issues or questions that is the subject of the controversy. If the issues between the parties are
intertwined with the resolution of an issue within the exclusive jurisdiction of the DARAB, such dispute
must be addressed and resolved by the DARAB. The proceedings before a court or tribunal without
jurisdiction, including its decision, are null and void, hence, susceptible to direct and collateral attacks.
However, the Court agrees with the ruling of the CA that the dispute between the petitioners and the
respondents over the validity of the November 16, 1990 Order of the PARO, CLOA No. 51750, and TCT
No. CLOA-0-3035 and the cancellation thereof is not agrarian in nature.
The petitioners themselves categorically admitted in their pleadings that there was no landlord-
tenancy relationship between them and Alberto over the landholding. Nor did they have any tenurial,
leasehold, or agrarian relations whatsoever when petitioners Leonora and her son Mario executed the
deed of sale in May 1980 in favor of Alberto, nor when the petitioners filed their petition with the
DARAB. The sole tenant-beneficiary over the landholding was Julian dela Cruz. There is no showing that
before the execution of the deed of transfer/sale, Alberto was a tenant or farmer, or that he was
landless.
The Court agrees with the petitioners' contention that, under Section 2 (f), Rule II of the DARAB Rules
of Procedure, the DARAB has jurisdiction over cases involving the issuance, correction and cancellation
of CLOAs which were "registered" with the LRA. However, for the DARAB to have jurisdiction in such
cases, they must relate to an agrarian dispute between landowner and tenants to whom CLOAs have
been issued by the DAR Secretary. The cases involving the issuance, correction and cancellation of the
CLOAs by the DAR in the administrative implementation of agrarian reform laws, rules and regulations
to parties who are not agricultural tenants or lessees are within the jurisdiction of the DAR and not of
the DARAB.
In the present case, the DAR Secretary approved CLOA No. 51750 in the name of Alberto in the
exercise of his administrative powers and in the implementation of the agrarian reform laws. The
approval was based on the Report of the MARO, the November 16, 1990 Order of the PARO and the
recommendation of the DAR Director of the Bureau of Land Acquisition and Distribution, over whom the
DAR Secretary has supervision and control. The DAR Secretary also had the authority to withdraw the
CLOA upon a finding that the same is contrary to law and DAR orders, circulars and memoranda.
On the second issue, the DAR Secretary took into account, inter alia, Administrative Order No. 3,
Series of 1990.

As the Court ruled in Nuesa v. Court of Appeals:

P.D. 946 provides that matters involving the administrative implementation of the transfer of the land to
the tenant-farmer under P.D. No. 27 and amendatory and related decrees, orders, instructions, rules
and regulations, shall be exclusively cognizable by the Secretary of Agrarian Reform, including: . . . (5)
issuance, recall or cancellation of certificates of land transfer in cases outside the purview of P.D. No.
816.

The revocation by the Regional Director of DAR of the earlier Order of Award by the Secretary of
Agriculture falls under the administrative functions of the DAR. The DARAB and its provincial adjudicator
or board of adjudicators acted erroneously and with grave abuse of discretion in taking cognizance of
the case, then overturning the decision of the DAR Regional Director and deciding the case on the merits
without affording the petitioner opportunity to present his case.

DETERMINATION OF JURISDICTION OF THE REGULAR COURTS AND THE DARAB

Norberto Rimasug, et al. vs. Melencio Martin, et al.
G.R. No. 160118 (November 22, 2005)


Facts:

The case at bar involves a petition for review on the implied tenancy relationship. Petitioners were
"either employees or relatives of some employees" who were members of the San Miguel Cooperative
Credit Union (SMCCU) organized by the San Miguel Corporation (SMC) labor force.
SMCCU acquired several parcels of land located at Pritil, Guiguinto, Bulacan which it subdivided for
residential purposes and sold to petitioners, to which they were issued separate titles. Due to financial
constraints, petitioners were unable to construct houses on their respective lots. They later came to
know, however, that respondents had, without their knowledge and consent, entered the lots on which
they planted various agricultural crops.
Petitioners thereupon put respondents on notice of their ownership, brought the matter before
barangay authorities but respondents were "uncooperative . . ." In the meantime, petitioners who could
not "come up with the money to start a leg al battle with [respondents]" tolerated the continued
occupation of their lots until, by letter dated May 31, 1999, they advised respondents of their intention
to build their houses thereon and accordingly asked them to vacate within fifteen (15) days from receipt
of the letter. Respondents refused to heed the demand, however, prompting petitioners to file on June
28, 1999 a complaint for unlawful detainer against them before the MTC of Guiguinto.
By their "Answer with Special and Affirmative Defenses with Motion to Dismiss and Compulsory
Counterclaim," respondents claimed that they are the recognized and registered tenants of agricultural
lands owned by the SMC to which they paid corresponding lease rentals; petitioners failed to comply
with Sections 409(c) and 412 of Republic Act No. 7160 (Local Government Code of 1991) requiring
mandatory conciliation proceedings before the lupon; and the MTC has no jurisdiction over the case, it
falling within the primary jurisdiction of the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB)
in accordance with Sections 4 and 50 of Republic Act No. 6657 (Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of
1988).
On the merits, by Decision of March 12, 2002, the MTC held that respondents failed to prove the
existence of a landlord-tenant relationship with petitioners who are the owners of the lots in question.
Both parties appealed to the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Malolos, Bulacan before which petitioners
assailed the MTC's failure to grant attorney's fees and damages in the form of reasonable compensation
for the use and occupation of their lots. Respondents, on the other hand, again raised the issue of
jurisdiction and, in any event, assailed the MTC decision as not in accordance with the facts and the
evidence.
Respondents' Motion for Reconsideration of the decision having been denied by the RTC by Order of
January 27, 2003, they filed an "Urgent Verified Motion for Immediate Issuance of a Temporary
Restraining Order/Writ of Injunction and Petition for Review" before the Court of Appeals.
The appellate court reversed the RTC decision and dismissed petitioner's complaint on the ground of
lack of jurisdiction. It held that respondents had satisfactorily proven that they are duly recognized
agricultural tenants of SMCCU on the subject lots. And it belied petitioners' claim of having tolerated
respondents' occupation of the lots, it charging petitioners "as former employees or workers of the
previous landowner company" with actual knowledge of respondents' tenancy.

Issue:

Whether or not there is an implied tenancy relationship over which the DARAB has jurisdiction.

Held:

Section 33, paragraph 2 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as amended by Republic Act. No. 7691, vests
Metropolitan Trial Courts, MTCs, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts with exclusive original jurisdiction
cases for forcible entry and unlawful detainer. On the other hand, Section 50 of the Comprehensive
Agrarian Reform Law of 1988 vests the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) with primary jurisdiction
over all agrarian reform matters and exclusive jurisdiction over all matters involving the implementation
of agrarian reform.
Jurisdiction over the subject matter of an action is determined by the material allegations of the
complaint and the law at the time the action is commenced, irrespective of whether the plaintiff is
entitled to recover all or some of the claims or reliefs sought therein. It cannot be made to depend upon
the defenses set up in the answer or upon a motion to dismiss, otherwise, the question of jurisdiction
would depend almost entirely on the defendant.
A scrutiny of the following material allegations in petitioners' complaint showed that it involves
possession de facto, the only issue involved in ejectment proceedings.
Section 10 of Republic Act No. 3844 (Code of Agrarian Reforms of the Philippines) likewise provides:

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
landholding, the purchaser or transferee thereof shall be subrogated to the rights and substituted to the
obligations of the agricultural lessor. (Underscoring supplied)

By their own admission, respondents were "informed" that the lots they are tilling are "allegedly"
owned by SMC because the one collecting the payments was working at SMC, although the official
receipts issued to them were under the name of SMCCU. On that score alone, the claim of the existence
of a tenancy relationship fails, requirements No. 1 that the parties are the landowner and the tenant
is agricultural lessee, and No. 3 that there is consent between the parties not being present, for
how could respondents have contracted with a landowner whose identity they are not even certain of?
Such uncertainty becomes more pronounced when note is taken that before the trial and appellate
courts they maintained that the lots are owned by SMC. Before this Court, however, they now adopt the
observation of the appellate court that the lots were owned by SMCCU.
Unless a person establishes his status as a de jure tenant, he is not entitled to security of tenure. In
fine, respondents' occupancy and continued possession of the subject lots, upon their "honest belief and
impression" that they are tenants of SMC or SMCCU, does not make them de jure tenants.

TENANCY RELATIONSHIP; WHAT CONSTITUTES

Juan Padin, Juana Padin, Purita Padin and Gloria Padin vs. Heirs of Vivencio Obias, namely: Heirs of Isidro
Obias, Santos Dolores, and Atty. Francisco Obias
G.R. No. 137337 (December 9, 2005)

Facts:

A complaint against the heirs of the late Vivencio Obias, herein respondents, who are the owners of
36 hectares of agricultural land situated in Barangays Minoro and Kinalasan, San Jose, Camarines Sur;
that in 1960, Cecilio Obias, then respondents' representative, designated petitioner Juan Padin as tenant
and farm administrator over the whole property from 1960 until 1991; that after the death of Vivencio
Obias in 1991, Atty. Francisco Obias, one of herein respondents, took over the management of the
property; that in August 1991, petitioners attempted to register themselves with the DAR as agricultural
tenants but respondents interposed their opposition; and that respondents sold 204 cows without
giving Juan Padin his share. Petitioners thus prayed that they be declared agricultural tenants; that Juan
Padin be retained as administrator of the entire property and as caretaker of the herd of cattle; and that
his share from the proceeds of the sale of the 204 cows be turned over to him. Respondents, in their
Answer, admitted that they allowed petitioners to occupy and cultivate a portion of the subject
agricultural land. However, they denied any tenancy relationship with petitioners.
On April 19, 1995, the PARAD rendered a Decision dismissing petitioners' complaint, holding that
there was no tenancy relationship between the parties. Juan Padin was only an administrator or
overseer of the Obias estate. On appeal by petitioners, the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication
Board (DARAB), reversed the PARAD Decision. Respondents then filed with the Court of Appeals a
petition for review. On January 12, 1999, it rendered the assailed Decision affirming with modification
the DARAB Decision.

Issue:

Whether or not there was a tenancy relationship between the parties?

Held:

The issue of whether there was tenancy relationship between the parties can no longer be raised by
respondents before this Court since they did not interpose an appeal from the Decision of the Court of
Appeals. Moreover, this issue is factual and is building upon this Court, the same being supported by
substantial evidence.
The Court of Appeals correctly ruled that the DARAB is without authority to compel respondents to
retain petitioner Juan Padin as farm administrator of their property and as caretaker of their cattle. His
services ended in 1991.
As to the claim of petitioner Juan Padin that he is entitled to one-half of the amount realized from the
sale of the cows, again, this is a factual issue. This Court has no reason to disturb the Court of Appeals'
finding that there is no evidence to support such assertion.

TENANCY; ELEMENTS

Monico San Diego vs. Eufrocinio Evangelista
G.R. No. 163680 (January 24, 2006)

Facts:

Petitioner Monico San Diego has been an agricultural tenant in a parcel of land located in barangay
San Vicente, Sta. Maria, Bulacan, covered by TCT Number 98.728 (M) in the name of Andres Evangelista.
After Andres Evangelista died in 1994, his son respondent Eufrocinio Evangelista inherited the property
which has a total area of three hectares, 21,000 square meters of which are planted with rice and the
remaining 11,200 square meters with bamboo.
On June 6, 1996, petitioner filed a complaint before the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication
Board (DARAB) Region III Office, Malolos, Bulacan against respondent for maintenance of peaceful
possession, enjoyment, and damages with respect to the bambooland portion of the property. He
complained that respondent and some unidentified companions forcibly entered the bamboo-planted
portion of the property and without authority of law and by means of force and intimidation cut down
some of the bamboo trees which he had planted thereon, without giving him his lawful share, and they
threatened to continue cutting down the remaining bamboo trees and tried to dispossess him as
agricultural tenant thereof.
Respondent countered that petitioner is a tenant only with respect to the riceland portion of the
property, the bambooland portion not being tenanted. And he denied petitioner's claim of having
planted the bamboo trees, he claiming that they have been existing since 1937.
The DARAB Provincial Adjudicator dismissed petitioner's complaint by decision of October 6, 1997,
holding, inter alia, that only the riceland portion of the landholding is actually covered by the contract of
lease and that the 33 cavans amount of rental per year during the wet seasons refers to the riceland
portion of the landholding.
On appeal, the DARAB, by decision of February 16, 2000, reversed that of the Provincial Adjudicator
holding the agricultural leasehold contract executed between Plaintiff-Appellant and the late Andres
Evangelista covers the lot consisting of three (3) hectares as evidenced by an Agricultural Leasehold
Contract executed by herein parties on 4 September 1984. Apparently, Plaintiff-Appellant is a tenant on
the 3-hectare land and not on the 21,000 square meter area. Clearly, the bamboo land is part and parcel
of the 3-hectare land.
His motion for reconsideration having been denied by DARAB resolution of January 12, 2001,
respondent elevated the case via petition for review to the Court of Appeals which reversed the DARAB
decision and reinstated that of the DARAB Provincial Adjudicator, by decision of December 18, 2003.
In reversing the DARAB decision, the Court of Appeals observed:

In the case of Monsanto v. Zerna, the Supreme Court laid down the elements of a tenancy relationship,
which are:

"(1) the parties are landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee; (2) and subject matter of the
relationship is an agricultural land; (3) there is consent between the parties to the relationship; (4) that
the purpose of the relationship is to bring about agricultural production; (5) there is personal cultivation
on the part of the tenant or agricultural lessee; and (6) the harvest is shared between the landowner
and the tenant or agricultural lessee."

Following the guidelines set forth in Monsanto case, the Agricultural Leasehold Contract of
private respondent with the late Andres Evangelista excluded the bamboo land area, for the simple
reason that requisites 5 and 6 are wanting in the instant case.

Issue:

Whether or not the petitioner is a tenant of the entire landholding including that portion planted with
bamboo.

Held:

Private respondent is not a tenant in the subject bamboo land.
The wordings of the agricultural leasehold contract itself which pertains only to the produce of rice
belies private respondent's claim in paragraph 4 of his Complaint that ". . . the subject bamboo trees
were planted by herein plaintiff (now private respondent) when the latter started working as
agricultural tenant on the subject landholding." Thus, no evidence of personal cultivation of bamboo
trees was presented by private respondent other than his bare allegations to this effect.
It was established in the Affidavits or "Sinumpaang Salaysay" of several neighbors of petitioner, one of
whom is a Barangay Chairman, that as early as 1957, Andres Evangelista during his lifetime was the one
in possession of the bamboo land and actively administered the cutting of the bamboo trees thereon,
which upon the death of Andres Evangelista was carried on by petitioner when he inherited the bamboo
land in question.

"It is quite intriguing to one's conscience if there is any truth to the claim of plaintiff that he was the one
who planted the bamboo trees existing in the landholding in question for it must be taken judicial notice
of the fact that during the recent years, specially so at the age of the plaintiff, that it is no longer usual
for a person of his age to claim that he was the one who planted the bamboo trees on the bamboo land
portion of the landholding in question."

Moreover, Exhibit 6-A which is the annual payment of lease made by private respondent, listed
merely in a piece of paper, as kept by the late Andres Evangelista during his lifetime, clearly showed that
the said payments corresponds only to the yield of rice over the portion of riceland and not on the
disputed bamboo land. Again, no mention was made about the yield of the bamboo land as to how
much per year was the harvest. Absent the essential elements of consent and sharing between the
parties no tenancy relationship can exist between them.
Acts contemporaneous and subsequent to the execution of the contract show that the parties
intended to establish a tenancy relationship only as regards the rice-planted portion of the property.
Petitioner has been paying rentals in palay, not in bamboo. Annex "1" of respondent's position paper
submitted to the Provincial Adjudicator, which is a handwritten list ("Listahan ng Ani [of petitioner]")
made by respondent's father-predecessor-in-interest, shows under the column "Bigay" that petitioner
was from 1981 up to 1994 paying annual rentals ranging from "28" to "33," which figures are consistent
with the earlier-quoted stipulation in the contract for petitioner to pay rental of 33 cavans of palay per
annum.
The evidence proffered by respondent on the other hand abundantly shows that the bambooland
portion of the property has always been untenanted, which evidence has not been controverted by
petitioner.
In fine, the contract, as well as the acts of both petitioner and respondent contemporaneous and
subsequent to the execution thereof, shows that the parties established a tenancy relationship only with
respect to the riceland portion of the property.

AGRARIAN DISPUTE, OUTSIDE THE JURISDICTION OF MTC; REQUISITES OF AGRICULTURAL TENANCY
RELATIONSHIP

Valeriano Cano vs. Spouses Vicente and Susan Jumawan
G.R. No. 153860 (February 6, 2006)

Facts:

Respondents Vicente Jumawan and Susan Jumawan, are owners of agricultural land with an area of
about 24,025 square meters at Barangay Malagos, Baguio District, Davao City and registered in their
names under Transfer Certificate of Title No. 185776 of Davao City Registry of Deeds.
On February 24, 1999, petitioner and respondents entered into a notarized document entitled
"Agreement," whereunder, for "humanitarian consideration," the spouses, designated in said document
as "OWNERS," allowed petitioner, therein referred to as "BUILDER," to construct a house of light
materials in an area of about twenty (20) square meters at the eastern portion of their property. Good
for a term of two (2) years starting March 1, 1997 and terminating on March 1, 1999.
Following the expiration of the aforementioned "Agreement," respondents demanded the petitioner
to vacate the area occupied by him and to pay a rent of not less than P300.00 a month until he shall
have vacated the same. Petitioner refused. After conciliation proceedings before the local barangay
lupon proved futile, respondents filed against petitioner a complaint for unlawful detainer before the
Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC) of Davao City on September 20, 1999.
On July 26, 2000, MCTC rendered judgment in favor of respondents.
An appeal to RTC, a decision was rendered reversing the appealed judgment for lack of jurisdiction
saying that MCTC should have dismissed the case and allowed the DAR to resolve the agrarian case. CA
reversed and set aside that of the RTC and reinstated the judgment of MCTC.
With the CA's denial of his motion for reconsideration in its Resolution of June 6, 2002, petitioner is
now with this Court via the present recourse on the lone issue of his own formulation.

Issue:

Whether or not the instant case involves agrarian dispute which falls outside the jurisdiction of the
Municipal Trial Court?

Held:

The basic rule is that the material averments in the complaint determine the jurisdiction of a court.
And jurisprudence dictates that a court does not lose its jurisdiction over an ejectment suit by the simple
expedient of a party raising as a defense therein the alleged existence of a tenancy relationship between
the parties. The court continues to have the authority to hear and evaluate the evidence, precisely to
determine whether or not it has jurisdiction, and, if, after hearing, tenancy is shown to exist, it shall
dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction.
Here, the allegation in respondent's complaint before the MCTC clearly make out a case for unlawful
detainer. Petitioner was allowed to construct his house/shanty on a portion of respondents' property
without paying rental therefore but merely for "humanitarian consideration", pursuant to a notarized
agreement which explicitly imposes on the petitioner the obligation to remorse his construction thereon
and vacate the premises upon the expiration of said agreement. The agreement had undoubtedly
expired but despite respondent' demand to vacate, petitioner refused. To the MCTC, the agreement
which petitioner admitted having signed clearly negates the claim of tenancy relationship between the
petitioner and the respondents. For sure, the very pieces of evidence submitted by the parties before
the MCTC, consisting of annexes to their respective positive papers, indubitably belie petitioner's claim
of being a tenant of respondents.
Case law teaches that the essential requisites of an agricultural tenancy relationship are: (1) the
parties are the landowner and the tenant; (2) the subject is agricultural land; (3) there is consent; (4) the
purpose is agricultural production; (5) there is personal cultivation; and (6) there is sharing of harvests.
All these requisites must concur for a tenancy relationship to exist. The absence of one does not make
an occupant of a parcel of land, or a cultivator thereof, or a planter thereon, a de jure tenant. Unless a
person establishes his status as de jure tenant, he is not entitled to security of tenure nor covered by the
land reform program of the government under existing tenancy laws.

TENANCY; ITS ESSENTIAL REQUISITES

Hilaria Ramos vda. de Brigino vs. Dominador Ramos and Filomena Ramos
G.R. No. 130260 (February 6, 2006)

Facts:

On 10 July 1992, petitioner and her spouse filed a petition for Annulment and/or Cancellation of
Agricultural Leasehold Contract against herein respondents Dominador Ramos and Filomena Ramos
before the Provincial Adjudicator of Malolos, Bulacan. Petitioner and her spouse alleged that they are
the registered owners of the subject landholding with an area of 11,451 square meters located at
Malibong Bata, Pandi, Bulacan. The petition further stated that petitioner is the sister of respondent
Dominador Ramos while respondent Filomena Ramos is the surviving spouse of another brother named
Pedro Ramos. The petition likewise averred that in the early months of 1991, petitioner and her spouse
discovered that respondent Dominador and Pedro Ramos were able to register with the Department of
Agrarian Reform (DAR) two documents both entitled, "Kasunduan ng Pamumuwisan" dated 29 June
1973, without the knowledge and consent of the petitioner and her spouse as the signature of
petitioner in those documents were forged. Hence, petitioner and her spouse prayed that said
documents be declared void and the subject land as untenanted.
On 31 August 1993, after attempts to amicably solve the dispute failed, the DARAB Provincial
Adjudicator ruled for respondents. Despite the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) finding that the
signatures of petitioner in the "Kasunduan ng Pamumuwisan" were forgeries, the Provincial Agrarian
Reform Adjudicators (PARAD) opined that the forgery does not suffice to render said documents null
and void inasmuch as petitioner and her spouse are estopped from denying the existence of said
documents in view of the fact that petitioner's spouse had issued rental receipts to respondents, which
receipts strongly prove that they are occupying the subject land in the concept of tenants and that
implied tenancy was, accordingly, perfectly established. The PARAD further disposed that such being the
case, security of tenure must be accorded respondents in tune with Section 7 of Republic Act No. 3844.
Petitioner and her spouse appealed the PARAD's Decision with the DARAB in DARAB Case No. 1968
which affirmed in toto the decision of the PARAD.
Petitioner and her spouse elevated the matter to the Court of Appeals, which on 25 January 1996,
affirmed the ruling of the DARAB.

Issue:

Whether or not the respondents are bonafide tenants of the subject landholding?

Held:

Republic Act No. 1199, also known as the Agricultural Tenancy Act of the Philippines, defines
"agricultural tenancy" as:

[T]he 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, either in produce or in money, or in both.

The essential requisites of tenancy relationship based on the foregoing definition, as cited in cases of
recent vintage, are:

1) that the parties are the landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee; 2) that the subject matter of
the relationship is an agricultural land; 3) that there is consent between the parties to the relationship;
4) that the purpose of the relationship is to bring about agricultural production; 5) that there is personal
cultivation on the part of the tenant or agricultural lessee; and 6) that the harvest is shared between the
landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee.

In the present case, there is no dispute as to the presence of the foregoing elements, but the conflict
lies in the elements of consent and sharing. To prove such sharing of harvests, a receipt or any other
evidence must be presented.
In fine, there exists substantial evidence on record to boost the findings of the Boards and the Court
of Appeals that petitioner and her husband consented to respondents' cultivation of the land in the
concept of tenants and that the element of "sharing" is present, as shown by the receipts for the period
of 1991-1992. Indeed, tenancy is not a purely factual relationship dependent on what the alleged tenant
does upon the land. It is also a legal relationship. Here, all the essential requisites of tenancy relationship
are obtaining.

EXEMPTION; EFFECT; FAILURE TO OBSERVE ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE FOR THE APPLICATION FOR
EXEMPTION

Nicanor T. Santos Development Corporation vs. Hon. Secretary, Department of Agrarian Reform, DAR
Adjudication Board & Municipal Agrarian Reform Office (Andrea F. Dalmacio), Tuba, Benguet
G.R. No. 159654 (February 28, 2006)

Facts:

The case at bar involves a petition for mandamus filed by petitioner against respondent officials of the
Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR). Petitioner is a domestic corporation which owns a large tract of
land known as the Santos Farm situated in Tabaan Valley, Tuba, Benguet. Santos Farm with an area of
103.8 hectares and is registered under Transfer Certificate of Title No. 19305 in the name of petitioner.
The Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer (MARO) of Tuba, Benguet informed petitioner through its
counsel that a portion measuring 14 hectares of the Santos Farm would be placed under the coverage of
the comprehensive agrarian reform program (CARP) for acquisition and distribution to prospective
beneficiaries.
Petitioner sent letter to BLAD requesting exemption of the Santos Farm from CARP coverage. The
latter endorsed the matter to DAR Regional Director for investigation and report. Petitioner also sent a
letter to the DAR Secretary reiterating its position that the Santos Farm should be excluded from the
CARP coverage.
Thereafter, respondent MARO Andrea F. Dalmacio sent petitioner a Notice of Coverage and Field
Investigation Report, to confirm that the Santos Farm had been placed under the CARP. Petitioner sent a
letter to MARO Dalmacio expressing its position that the Santos Farm should be exempt from CARP
coverage. Petitioner also wrote the DAR Secretary insisting that the Santos Farm is exempted from the
coverage of the CARP.
DAR Regional Director Wilfredo B. Leano advised petitioner to pursue the exemption of the Santos
Farm in accordance with the mandates of DAR Administrative Order (A.O.) No. 09, series of 1994 and
DAR A.O. No. 06, series of 2000. Instead, petitioner filed a Protest with the DAR arguing that the Santos
Farm is exempted from the CARP coverage. Petitioner also filed a Complaint before the DARAB
importuning the Board to rule on the protest. The DARAB ruled that it had no jurisdiction to resolve the
issue on petitioner's exemption. Thus, the DARAB referred the Complaint to the DAR Regional Director.
In a Memorandum, Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer (PARO) Deogracias F. Almora dismissed the
Complaint for being time-barred and for failure to observe proper formalities.
Hence, the petitioner instituted a Petition for Mandamus with the Court of Appeals to compel the
DAR, DARAB, and MARO to act on its petition for exemption of the Santos Farm from the CARP
coverage. The Court of Appeals rendered Decision dismissing the petition for lack of merit and for being
the improper remedy denying the petitioner's Motion for Reconsideration.

Issues:

Whether or not the petitioner has complied with the administrative procedure for the application for
exemption?
Whether or not the petition for mandamus filed by petitioner with the Court of Appeals is proper in
view of the appellate court's conclusion that petitioner failed to exhaust administrative remedies?

Held:

The records of the case, however, do not indicate that petitioner complied with the administrative
procedure for the application for exemption. Under Administrative Order No. 13, series of 1990, the
application must be initiated before the MARO by submitting ownership documents and other
muniments of title and other evidence to support the application. The endorsement letters from the
DAR Secretary and the BLAD Director only indicate that petitioner's application for exemption was
channeled to the wrong offices. Hence, the application was referred to the DAR Regional Director. The
records do not show, however, that after the endorsement letters came out, petitioner pursued its
application with the proper DAR office. Besides, the endorsement to the appropriate DAR office did not
relieve petitioner of its duty to initiate the proper formal application for exemption.
As a general rule, before a party may be allowed to invoke the jurisdiction of the courts of justice, he
is expected to have exhausted all means of administrative redress. In the instant case, it is beyond
dispute that petitioner failed to resort to proper administrative recourse in resisting the Notice of
Coverage issued by respondent MARO. Unsuccessful in its attempt to oppose the Notice of Coverage
when it lodged its protest with the incorrect administrative offices, petitioner resorted to a judicial
remedy. The petition for mandamus, which it filed, however, was correctly denied by the Court of
Appeals. Truly, a petition for mandamus is premature if there are administrative remedies available to
petitioner.
It is settled that mandamus is employed to compel the performance, when refused, of a ministerial
duty, this being its main objective. It is essential to the issuance of a writ of mandamus that petitioner
should have a clear legal right to the thing demanded and it must be the imperative duty of the
respondent to perform the act required. It never issues in doubtful cases. The writ will not issue to
compel an official to do anything which is not his duty to do or which is his duty not to do, or give to the
applicant anything to which he is not entitled by law. The writ neither confers powers nor imposes
duties. It is simply a command to exercise a power already possessed and to perform a duty already
imposed.
Suffice it to say that a petition for mandamus is not the proper remedy to assail the Notice of
Coverage. The administrative rules of the DAR also provide for the appellate procedure to contest
decisions and issuances of the MARO. The mandatory recourse to the administrative appeals process
before any judicial remedy is invoked likewise falls within the ambit of the principle of exhaustion of
administrative remedies.

EJECTMENT; LANDOWNER RETAIN ITS RIGHT TO EJECT UNLAWFUL POSSESSORS OF HIS LAND INSPITE OF
THE ISSUANCE OF NOTICE OF COVERAGE OVER HIS LAND

POTENTIAL AGRARIAN REFORM BENEFICIARY MAY BE EJECTED BY LANDOWNER OVER HIS PROPERTY

Sps. Jesus and Evangeline Pasco vs. Pison-Arceo Agricultural and Development Corporation
G.R. No. 165501 (March 28, 2006)

Facts:

The case at bar involved an action for unlawful detainer filed by respondent herein against petitioner
spouses Jesus and Evangeline Pasco.
Respondent, Pison-Arceo Agricultural and Development Corporation, is the registered owner of a
parcel of land containing more than 100 hectares. Constructed on respondent's parcel of land are
houses which are occupied by its workers. Petitioners, among other workers, used to work for
respondent until 1987. They having ceased to be employed by respondent, petitioners were asked to
vacate the house they were occupying but they refused, hence, respondent filed a complaint for
unlawful detainer against them before the MTCC in Talisay City. Petitioners claimed that, inter alia, they
built the house occupied by them at their own expense and their stay on the land was upon the
tolerance of respondent. However, the MTCC of Talisay rendered judgment in favor of respondent upon
the findings that respondent provided housing facilities to every worker in its hacienda without a
requiring payment of rentals, however, with an implied promise that the same be vacated upon their
cessation from work. . . .
After the promulgation of the MTCC decision, the Municipal Agrarian Reform Office (MARO) of Talisay
City sent a Notice of Coverage and Field Investigation (Notice of Coverage) advising respondent that its
parcel of land is now covered under Republic Act 6657.
The petitioners appealed the MTCC decision in the Unlawful Detainer Case to the RTC, contending
that respondent's hacienda is covered by the CARL and they are qualified beneficiaries thereunder that
the MTCC has no jurisdiction yet to order their ejectment. The RTC of Bacolod City affirmed the decision
of MTCC Talisay, with modification. Petitioners moved to reconsider the RTC decision, contending that
the MTCC had no jurisdiction over the complaint for unlawful detainer in view of the agrarian dispute
between them and respondent; and by Order petitioners' motion for reconsideration was denied.
Hence, they elevated the case to the Court of Appeals. In the meantime, the MARO of Talisay City issued
a Certification that herein petitioner Jesus Pasco is registered as potential Comprehensive Agrarian
Reform Program (CARP) beneficiary in the land owned by respondent.
On appeal, the Court of Appeal finds that the only issue in ejectment cases is the physical possession
of the premises, independent of any claim of ownership by the parties, and this must be so because the
issue of ownership cannot be definitely decided in an ejectment case. Considering that the petitioners
were in possession of the subject property by sheer tolerance of its owners, they knew that their
occupation of the premises may be terminated any time.

Issues:

Whether or not one who has been identified by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) as
potential agrarian reform beneficiary may be ejected from the land where he is identified as such, by the
landowner, who has already been notified by the DAR of the coverage of his land by the Comprehensive
Agrarian Reform Program of the government?
Whether or not the issuance of Notice of Coverage to respondent during the pendency of the
ejectment case will automatically considered as an agrarian dispute?
Whether or not the issuance of Notice of Coverage to respondent will prevents its right to eject
unlawful possessors of his land?

Held:

In the case at bar, we find that the theory of petitioner before the MTCC is different from that
proffered before the RTC. Thus, before the MTCC, they claimed that the house they are occupying was
built at their own expense. Before the RTC, they raised for the first time that, they being qualified
beneficiaries of the CARP. And, for the first time too, they assailed the MTCC's lack of jurisdiction over
the action due to prematurity, they contending that respondent's right to eject them would accrue only
after they are reimbursed of their expenses in the repair of the house.
As a rule, a party who deliberately adopts a certain theory upon which the case is tried and decided by
the lower court will not be permitted to change theory on appeal. Points of law, theories, issues and
arguments not brought to the attention of the lower court need not be, and ordinarily will not be,
considered by a reviewing court, as these cannot be raised for the first time at such late stage. Basic
considerations of due process underlie this rule. The aforecited rule is not without exception, however.
The issuance during the pendency of the case of a Notice of Coverage to respondent does not, however,
automatically make the ejectment case an agrarian dispute over which the Department of Agrarian
Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) has jurisdiction. The issuance of a Notice of Coverage is merely a
preliminary step for the State's acquisition of the land for agrarian reform purposes and it does not
automatically vest title or transfer the ownership of the land to the government. The purpose of a
Notice of Coverage is explained by this Court. The Notice of Coverage shall also invite the landowner to
attend the field investigation to be scheduled at least two weeks from notice. The field investigation is
for the purpose of identifying the landholding and determining its suitability for agriculture and its
productivity. . . . The date of the field investigation shall also be sent by the DAR Municipal Office to
representatives of the L[and] B[ank] [of the] P[hilippines], BARC, DENR and prospective farmer
beneficiaries. The field investigation shall be conducted on the date set with the participation of the
landowner and the various representatives. . . . Should there be a variance between the findings of the
DAR and the LBP as to whether the land be placed under agrarian reform, the land's suitability to
agriculture, the degree or development of the slope, etc., the conflict shall be resolved by a composite
team of the DAR, LBP, DENR and DA which shall jointly conduct further investigation.
Clearly then, the notice requirements under the CARL are not confined to the Notice of Acquisition set
forth in Section 16 of the law. They also include the Notice of Coverage first laid down in DAR A.O. No.
12, Series of 1989 and subsequently amended in DAR A.O. No. 9, Series of 1990 and DAR A.O. No. 1,
Series of 1993. This Notice of Coverage does not merely notify the landowner that his property shall be
placed under CARP and that he is entitled to exercise his retention right; it also notifies him, pursuant to
DAR A.O. No. 9, Series of 1990, that a public hearing shall be conducted where he and representatives of
the concerned sectors of society may attend to discuss the results of the field investigation, the land
valuation and other pertinent matters. Under DAR A.O. No. 1, Series of 1993, the Notice of Coverage
also informs the landowner that a field investigation of his landholding shall be conducted where he and
the other representatives may be present.
As for the registration of petitioners as potential CARP beneficiaries, the same does not help their
cause. As "potential" CARP beneficiaries, they are included in the list of those who may be awarded land
under the CARP. Nothing in the records of the case shows that the DAR has made an award in favor of
petitioners, hence, no rights over the land they occupy can be considered to have vested in their favor in
accordance with Section 24 of the CARL which reads:
Section 24. Award to Beneficiaries. The rights and responsibilities of the beneficiary shall
commence from the time the DAR makes an award of the land to him, which award shall be completed
within one hundred eighty (180) days from the time the DAR takes actual possession of the land.
Ownership of the beneficiary shall be evidenced by a Certificate of Land Ownership Award, which shall
contain the restrictions and conditions provided for in this Act, and shall be recorded in the Register of
Deeds concerned and annotated on the Certificate of Title.

JURISDICTION; LAND CLASSIFICATION

TENANCY RELATIONSHIP; REQUISITES

Nolito D. Solmayor, et al. vs. Antonio L. Arroyo
G.R. No. 153817 (March 31, 2006)

Facts:

The case at bar involves a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Civil
Procedure assailing the Decision of the Court of Appeals which affirmed the Decision of the Office of the
President reversing the Order of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) which dismissed herein
respondent's appeal from the order of the Regional Director of DAR Region XI dismissing the petition
filed by Antonio Arroyo for the cancellation of Certificates of Land Transfer (CLTs) issued to herein
petitioners.
Respondent Arroyo received a letter from the legal officer of the then Ministry of Agrarian Reform
(now DAR) informing him that his land with an aggregate area of 9.8038 hectares situated at Matina,
Davao City, was the subject of Operation Land Transfer (OLT) under Presidential Decree No. 27.
Likewise, he was advised that he could apply for the conversion of the land to residential or other urban
purposes in accordance with applicable laws. Team Leader I of the Ministry of Agrarian Reform notified
respondent that based on the parcellary map sketching conducted by the Agrarian Reform and the
Bureau of Lands, the subject property was covered by the OLT program since the area thereof, which
was tenanted at that time, was more than seven hectares.
Based on an Indorsement issued by the City Zoning and Development Officer it certifies that the
property is "partly zonified as Residential Class 'A' and 'B,' Commercial and Open Space . . . as per
existing Zoning Ordinance of Davao City," respondent applied for the conversion of the land to
residential subdivision. Series of conferences were conducted between petitioners and respondent by
DAR local officials for relocation and disturbance compensation, however, no final agreement was
reached.
Later, the then Ministry of Agrarian Reform issued CLTs in favor of petitioners. Respondent filed a
petition for the cancellation of said CLTs on the ground that the subject land was, and still is, residential
property and thus, beyond the coverage of Presidential Decree No. 27. Furthermore, respondent denies
the existence of a tenancy relationship between him and petitioners.
Respondent, through his attorney-in-fact, made a Voluntary Offer to Sell his entire landholding,
including the subject property, to the government in accordance with the provisions of Republic Act
6657. As a consequence thereof, the Regional Director of DAR Region XI issued an Order dismissing
respondent's petition for cancellation of CLTs. Respondent appealed said Order to the Office of the
Secretary of Agrarian Reform praying that it be set aside and that the CLTs be cancelled. Meanwhile,
DAR issued Emancipation Patents to petitioners as the identified farmer-beneficiaries on the land.
Thereafter, in an Order, DAR Secretary Ernesto Garilao issued an order dismissing respondent's appeal
and upheld the validity of the Emancipation Patents awarded to petitioners which states that this Office
so holds that the landholding in question are agricultural as of October 21, 1972 despite the fact that the
same have been declared for tax purposes as residential. The Memorandum dated May 17, 1993 which
contains the investigation report of the DAR personnel who conducted the ocular inspection and
investigation explicitly shows that when Presidential Decree No. 27 took effect the actual use of the land
is agricultural. This fact is further buttressed when petitioner, in his letter dated August 8, 1988
manifested his desire to voluntarily offer to sell the properties in question to the Department of
Agrarian Reform, declaring that the subject landholdings are productive and suitable to agricultural
production.
Respondent's Motion for Reconsideration was subsequently denied in an Order prompting
respondent to file an appeal before the Office of the President. The Office of the President reversed the
order of the DAR Secretary and declared the 9.8 hectares outside the coverage of Presidential Decree
No. 27, which states that exemption from coverage of OLT lies if: (1) the land is not devoted to rice or
corn crops even if it is tenanted; or (2) the land is untenanted even though it is devoted to rice or corn
crops. That it is essential to determine whether or not tenancy relationship exists between Mr. Arroyo
and the appellees.
Aggrieved by the decision of the Office of the President, petitioners filed a Petition for Review before
the Court of Appeals, maintaining that the Office of the President erred in finding that the subject
landholding has been classified as non-agricultural prior to the effectivity of Presidential Decree No. 27
and not primarily devoted to rice or corn crops, and that the farmer-beneficiaries are not tenants of
respondent. Thereafter, the appellate court denied petitioners' appeal and affirmed the decision of the
Office of the President. Hence, this petitioner seeking the reversal of the Decision of the Court of appeal.

Issue:

Whether or not respondent property is an agricultural land devoted primarily to rice and/or corn?
Whether or not there is a tenancy relationship between petitioner and respondent?

Held:

In contrast, respondent offers for consideration several documents to bolster its position that subject
land is residential, namely: 1) copies of the Declaration of Real Property (tax declaration) filed by
respondent as early as 1968 indicating therein that the subject property is residential; 2) a Certification
dated 3 July 1979 by the Bureau of Soils stating that the land is suitable for urban use and for housing
projects; 3) a copy of the Preliminary Approval and Locational Clearance granted by the Human
Settlements Regulatory Commission dated 12 January 1982 indicating therein that the land is primarily
coco land and residential and suitable for the proposed residential subdivision; 4) a Certification from
the Office of the Zoning Administrator of Davao City dated 10 December 1981 to the effect that the
property per Zonification Ordinance of Davao City is within a Residential Zone Class "B"; 5) a Zoning
Certification issued by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) dated 4 March 1991
certifying that the land is within the Residential/Commercial Zones under zoning ordinance of Davao
City adopted through a Sangguniang Bayan Resolution and ratified by the HLURB, through Board
Resolution No. 39-4, s. of 1980, dated 31 July 1980; 6) a Certification from the Office of the City Planning
and Development Coordinator, Office of the Zoning Administrator, dated 26 March 1991 to the effect
that the subject land was classified as Major Commercial Zone (C-2) and High Density Residential Zone
(R-2) in the City Ordinance No. 363, s. of 1982, or better known as Expanded Zoning Ordinance of Davao
City; 7) a Certification from the Office of the City Planning and Development Coordinator of Davao City
dated 16 February 1996 that per Official Zoning Map of the City of Davao adopted under Resolution No.
711, Ordinance No. 281, Series of 1972, the subject property is within two zones classification namely:
Commercial Zone and Residential Zone Class B; and 8) the Report of the DAR Provincial Task Force on
Illegal Conversion dated 2 June 2000, ruling out any act of illegal conversion as the subject land is
classified as commercial and residential zones.
Although this Court will not disregard the evidence presented by petitioners that the land is devoted
to rice and corn crops in 1993, when the ocular inspection by the DAR personnel was conducted, it must
be noted that around the time of the passage of Presidential Decree No. 27 up to 1978, when the
subject property was placed under the coverage of Operation Land Transfer, the available evidence
issued and certified by the different government agencies, closer in time to the mentioned time frame
will show that respondent's property has, indeed, been classified as within the residential and
commercial zones of Davao City. It cannot escape the notice of this Court that more than a decade
before the issuance of the said ocular investigation report stating that the land is devoted to agricultural
production, government agencies equipped with the technical expertise to determine the proper
classification of the subject land have already determined that the land is part of the residential and
commercial zones of Davao City making it suitable for other urban use. Therefore, it is only reasonable
to conclude, based on the certification of various executive agencies issued when this controversy arose,
that at the time of the passage of Presidential Decree No. 27, respondent's property was not
agricultural.
. . . As to the issue of whether or not there exists a tenancy relationship between petitioners and
respondents, we sustain the findings of both the Court of Appeals and the Office of the President that
petitioners are not de jure tenants of respondent. The essential requisites of a tenancy relationship
which must all concur in order to create a tenancy relationship between parties, to wit:
The parties are the landowner and the tenant;
The subject is agricultural land;
There is consent;
The purpose is agricultural production;
There is personal cultivation; and
There is sharing of harvests.
The absence of one does not make an occupant of a parcel of land, or a cultivator thereof, or a planter
thereon, a de jure tenant. This is so because unless a person has established his status as a de jure
tenant, he is not entitled to security of tenure nor is he covered by the Land Reform Program of the
Government under existing tenancy laws. The subject land not being agricultural, the requirements for
the creation of a tenancy relationship is thus lacking. Moreover, the Court has had the occasion to state
that the key factor in ascertaining whether or not there is a landowner-tenant relationship in this case is
the nature of the disputed property. Accordingly, having earlier concluded that the subject landholding
is not agricultural, we must conclude that petitioners are not de jure tenants of respondent and are,
therefore, not entitled to the benefits of Presidential Decree No. 27.

JURISDICTION; DARAB'S JURISDICTION ON JOINT PRODUCTION AGREEMENT; A TYPE OF JOINT
ECONOMIC ENTERPRISE; AGRARIAN DISPUTE; DEFINITION

Islanders CARP-Farmers Beneficiaries Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Inc. vs. Lapanday Agricultural and
Development Corporation
G.R. No. 159089 (May 3, 2006)

Facts:

This is a Petition for Review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, seeking to reverse the June 30, 2003
Decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-GR CV No. 65498.
On March 8, 1993, a certain Ramon Cajegas entered into a Joint Production Agreement for petitioner
(Islanders CARP-Farmers Beneficiaries Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Inc.) with respondent (Lapanday
Agricultural and Development Croporation). On April 2, 1996, petitioner, represented by its alleged
chairman, Manuel K. Asta, filed a complaint with the RTC for Declaration of Nullity, Mandamus,
Damages, with prayer for Preliminary Injunction against respondent, the alleged . . . officers of
petitioner who entered into the agreement, and the Provincial Agrarian Reform Office of Davao
(hereinafter PARO), represented by Saturnino D. Sibbaluca. Petitioner subsequently filed an amended
complaint with leave of court alleging that the persons, who executed the contract were not authorized
by it.
Respondent's filed a Motion to Dismiss alleging that the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication
Board (DARAB) has primary, exclusive, and original jurisdiction; that petitioner failed to comply with the
compulsory mediation and conciliation proceedings at the barangay level; and for the unauthorized
institution of the complaint in behalf of petitioner. Respondent also averred that petitioner was engaged
in forum shopping because it also filed a petition before the DAR praying for the disapproval of the Joint
Production Agreement. The PARO also filed a motion to dismiss on May 16, 1996.
On August 21, 1996, respondent then filed a case at the DARAB for Breach of Contract, Specific
Performance, Injunction with Restraining Order, Damages and Attorney's Fees. On February 25, 1997,
the DARAB decided the case in favor of respondent declaring the Joint Production Agreement as valid
and binding and ordering petitioner to account for the proceeds of the produce and to comply with the
terms of the contract.
The RTC then issued its decision on October 18, 1999.

Issue:

Whether or not . . . the . . . Court of Appeals gravely erred in affirming the dismissal of the case at
bench by RTC of Tagum City on the ground that it has no jurisdiction over the subject matter and nature
of the suit.
Whether or not . . . the . . . Court of Appeals gravely erred in finding that the Joint Production
Agreement' is valid instead of declaring it as null and void ab initio, its provisions, terms and condition,
cause and purposes being violative of the express mandatory provision of R.A. 6657.
Whether or not . . . the . . . Court of Appeals gravely erred in holding that the 'Joint Production
Agreement' is a leasehold contract and therefore valid.
Whether or not . . . the . . . Court of Appeals gravely erred in interpreting and applying the prevailing
doctrines and jurisprudence delineating the jurisdiction between the regular court and DARAB on the
matter of agricultural land and tenancy relationship.

Held:

Section 50 of Republic Act 6657 and Section 17 of Executive Order 229 vests in the DAR the primary
and exclusive jurisdiction, both original and appellate, to determine and adjudicate all matters involving
the implementation of agrarian reform. Through Executive Order 129-A, the President of the Philippines
created the DARAB and authorized it to assume the powers and functions of the DAR pertaining to the
adjudication of agrarian reform cases.
The subject matter of the present controversy falls squarely within the jurisdiction of the DARAB. In
question are the rights and obligations of two juridical persons engaged in the management, cultivation
and use of agricultural land acquired through the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) of
the government.
To prove tenancy or an agricultural leasehold agreement, it is normally necessary to establish the
following elements: 1) the parties are the landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee; 2) the subject
matter of the relationship is a piece of agricultural land; 3) there is consent between the parties to the
relationship; 4) the purpose of the relationship is to bring about agricultural production; 5) there is
personal cultivation on the part of the tenant or agricultural lessee; and 6) the harvest is shared
between the landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee.
In the present case, the fifth element of personal cultivation is clearly absent. Petitioner is thus correct
in claiming that the relationship between the parties is not one of tenancy or agricultural leasehold.
Nevertheless, we believe that the present controversy still falls within the sphere of agrarian disputes.
An agrarian dispute "refers to any controversy relating to tenurial arrangements whether
leasehold, tenancy, stewardship or otherwise over lands devoted to agriculture. Such disputes
include those concerning farm workers' associations or representations of persons in negotiating, fixing,
maintaining, changing or seeking to arrange terms or conditions of such tenurial arrangements. Also
included is any controversy relating to the terms and conditions of transfer of ownership from
landowners to farm workers, tenants and other agrarian reform beneficiaries whether the disputants
stand in the proximate relation of farm operator and beneficiary, landowner and tenant, or lessor and
lessee.
The assailed Joint Production Agreement is a type of joint economic enterprise. Joint economic
enterprises are partnerships or arrangements entered into by Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program
(CARP) land beneficiaries and investors to implement agribusiness enterprises in agrarian reform areas.
Jurisdiction over the present controversy lies with the DARAB. As the RTC had correctly dismissed the
case on the ground of lack of jurisdiction, it was superfluous for the trial court and the Court of Appeals
for that matter to have ruled further on the issue of the validity of the agreement.

JUST COMPENSATION; CANNOT BE PRESUMED, EXPROPRIATION OF LANDHOLDING COVERED BY R.A.
NO. 6657 TAKE PLACE, NOT ON THE EFFECTIVITY OF THE ACT ON JUNE 15, 1988 BUT ON THE PAYMENT
OF JUST COMPENSATION

JURISDICTION; RTC AS SPECIAL AGRARIAN COURTS DISTINGUISHED FROM AGRARIAN ADJUDICATORS;
DOCTRINE OF PRIMARY JURISDICTION

Hon. Court of Appeals, Hon. DARAB, ARB Associations of San Francisco, Gen. Trias, Cavite, Register of
Deeds for the Province of Cavite Heirs of Francisco R. Tantoco, Sr., Maria R. Tantoco, Zosimo Tantoco,
Margarita R. Tantoco, and Pacita R. Tantoco vs The DAR Region IV Director
G.R. No. 149621 (May 5, 2006)

Facts:

The case involves an action for cancellation of TCT No. CLOA-1424 and the reinstatement of TCT No. T-
402203 with prayer for issuance of preliminary injunction filed by petitioners before the DARAB Region
IV on November 11, 1994. Subject land was offered by Petitioner for sale under the VOS scheme for
5M/hectare, title was cancelled and TCT CLOA 1424 was issued by the ROD in favor of ARBA. DARAB
Region IV rendered a decision declaring the subject property as covered under the CARP without
prejudice to the exercise of petitioners of their respective right of retention upon proper application;
voiding and annulling TCT CLOA 1424; directing ROD of Cavite to effect the cancellation of TCT No. CLOA
1424 and reinstatement of TCT No. T-402203 in the joint names of Petitoners/Co-owners subject to its
eventual coverage under CARP; and directing the MARO to re-screen ARBs and generate individual
CLOAs.
Both petitioners and respondent ARBA separately appealed to the DARAB in Quezon City. Said appeal
was consolidated. In resolving the controversy, DARAB condensed the issue posed by respective parties
by addressing the question: Can a Collective Certificate of Land Ownership Award validly issued
pursuant to a Voluntary Offer to Sell scheme acquisition of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform
Program (CARP) be cancelled on the petition of the former owner on the mere suspicion that some of
the names listed therein are not really qualified farmer-beneficiaries?
DARAB rendered its Decision modifying the appealed decision of the Regional Adjudicator by
approving the validity and efficacy of TCT-CLOA No. 1424. Petitioners' Motion for Reconsideration and
Supplemental Motion for Reconsideration was denied by DARAB for lack of merit. On appeal to Court of
Appeals. Petitioners appeal dismissed for lack of merit. Petitioners moved for the reconsideration but
was likewise denied. Hence, this petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.

Issues:

1. Whether or not the CLOA that had been issued by DAR to ARBA may be cancelled on the
following grounds:

The land in question is exempt from the coverage of CARP by reason of its inclusion in the industrial
zone of CALABARZON;
The DAR failed to conform strictly to the procedure for the acquisition of private agricultural lands laid
down in RA 6657, hence, violating due process and consequently denying petitioners just compensation;
and
ARBA and all its members have not paid the amortizations for the landholdings awarded to them as
required under RA 6657 and DAR Administrative Order No. 6, Series of 1993.

2. Whether or not DAR's failure to comply with the requisites prescribed by law in the acquisition
proceeding gives the courts the power to nullify the CLOA issued to ARBA?

Held:

The Court accords respect to the findings of the Regional Adjudicator who has the primary jurisdiction
and competence to establish the agricultural character of the land in question which is properly within
the coverage of CARP. It was not re-classified nor converted from agricultural to non-agricultural use
with the approval of the HLURB prior to the effectivity of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law
(CARL) on June 15, 1988.
The DAR officials or its employees failed to comply strictly with the guidelines and operating
procedures provided by law in acquiring the property subject to CARP.
Firstly, there were certain inconsistencies in the manner of selection by the DAR of the CARP
beneficiaries who are members of ARBA.
Secondly, the TCT No. CLOA-1424 was directly issued by the DAR in the name of ARBA without: (a)
payment of just compensation; and, (b) initial transfer of title to the land in the name of the Republic of
the Philippines, in contravention to Section 16(e) of R.A. No. 6657.
In the implementation of the CARP, the Special Agrarian Courts which are the Regional Trial Courts,
are given original and exclusive jurisdiction over two categories of cases, to wit: (1) all petitions for the
determination of just compensation to landowners; and, (2) the prosecution of all criminal offenses
under R.A. No. 6657. What agrarian adjudicators are empowered to do is only to determine in a
preliminary manner the reasonable compensation to be paid to the landowners, leaving to the courts
the ultimate power to decide the question.
The failure of the DAR to comply with the requisites prescribed by law in the acquisition proceedings
does not give this Court the power to nullify the CLOA that had been issued to ARBA. To assume the
power is to short-circuit the administrative process, which has yet to run its regular course. DAR must be
given a chance to correct its administrative and procedural lapses in the acquisition proceedings.
The resolution of this case by the DAR is to the best advantage of petitioners since it is in a better
position to resolve agrarian disputes, being the administrative agency possessing the necessary
expertise on the matter and vested with primary jurisdiction to determine and adjudicate agrarian
reform controversies. Further, the proceedings therein are summary and the department is not bound
by technical rules of procedure and evidence, to the end that agrarian reform disputes and other issues
will be adjudicated in a just, expeditious and inexpensive action or proceeding.

JURISDICTION; NULLIFICATION OF CLOA; DARAB'S JURISDICTION CANNOT BE DEEMED TO DISAPPEAR
THE MOMENT A CERTIFICATE OF TITLE IS ISSUED; BENEFICIARIES; LANDOWNERS ARE WITHOUT
PERSONALITY TO QUESTION THE SELECTION OF BENEFICIARIES

Rodolfo Hermoso, et al. vs. C.L. Realty Corporation
G.R. No. 140319 (May 05, 2006)

Facts:

The case involves a petition filed by C.L. Realty filed with the DARAB-Region III office a petition,
docketed as DARAB Case No. 092-B-93, praying for the cancellation of petitioners' CLOAs on the ground
of irregular, premature and anomalous issuance. C.L. Realty alleged, that the CLOA recipients do not
meet the basic farmer-beneficiary qualification requirement and are not under the order of priority
defined in Section 22 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 6657.
Respondent C.L. Realty Corp. is the registered owner of land with an area of 46.1476 has. located at
Brgy. Alas-asin, Mariveles, Bataan covered by TCT No. T-60221. On 28 August 1991, respondent received
Notice of Acquisition of the said parcel of land followed by a Notice of Valuation which the property in
question was valued at 273,559.00 from the DAR Region III. Respondent challenged the valuation.
Respondent requested then DAR Region III Director Antonio Nuesa that the issuance of the CLOAs
covering the property in question be held in abeyance. Without requesting for the lifting of the land
coverage, respondent applied for conversion. Unknown to respondent, CLOAs were already issued to
petitioners and corresponding certificates of title were thus issued. From then on, petitioners entered
into possession of said land and planted crops thereon.
PARAD rendered decision ordering the cancellation of the CLOAs issued to petitioners finding that
undue haste attended the processing and issuance of the questioned CLOAs, and that they were not
qualified as farmer beneficiaries under Section 22 of R.A. No. 6657.
On appeal to DARAB proper, the assailed PARAD decision was reversed and set aside and upheld the
efficacy of the CLOAs predicating its disposition on the premise that respondent failed to substantiate its
allegations respecting the lack of qualification of petitioners as farmer beneficiaries, and had not
overturned the presumption that official duty had been duly performed.
Following the denial of its motion for reconsideration, C.L. Realty went to the Court of Appeals (CA) by
way of petition for review, thereat docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 43795. Court of Appeals set aside the
DARAB proper decision and reinstated the ruling of the PARAD.
Aggrieved, petitioners filed the instant petition.

Issues:

Whether or not the DARAB provincial adjudicator has jurisdiction to nullify the CLOAs issued to
petitioners, given that the corresponding TCTs have been issued over the lands covered?
Whether or not the petition filed by C.L. Realty before the Office of the Provincial Adjudicator should
have been dismissed for non-joinder of indispensable parties?
Whether or not the CA failed to take into account facts and circumstances supportive of herein
petitioners' cause, and, on the other hand, accorded undue weight to the findings of the Provincial
Adjudicator?

Held:

Petition is granted.
The DAR, through its adjudication arm, i.e., the DARAB and its regional and provincial adjudication
boards, exercises quasi-judicial functions and jurisdiction on all matters pertaining to agrarian dispute or
controversy and the implementation of agrarian reform laws. In Nuesa vs. Court of Appeals, the Court,
citing the Revised Rules of Procedure of the DARAB, stated that the DARAB has primary, original and
appellate jurisdiction "to determine and adjudicate all agrarian disputes, cases, controversies, and
matters or incidents involving the implementation of all the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program
[CARP] under R.A. 6657, E.O. Nos. 228, 229 and 129-A, R.A. 3844, as amended by R.A. 6389, P.D. No. 27
and other agrarian laws and their implementing rules and regulations." The Court made a similar
pronouncement on the jurisdiction of DARAB in Bautista vs. Mag-isa vda. de Villa. Under Section 1 (f) of
the DARAB Rules of Procedure, such jurisdiction of the DARAB includes cases involving "the issuance,
correction and cancellation of (CLOAs) and Emancipation Patents (EPs) which are registered with the
Land Registration Authority." Surely, such jurisdiction cannot be deemed to disappear the moment a
certificate of title is issued. For, such certificates are not modes of transfer of property but merely
evidence of such transfer. Needless to state, there can be no valid transfer of title should the CLOA on
which it was grounded is void.
The petitioners are in no position to question the jurisdiction of the DAR and its adjudicative arm at
this late junction of the proceedings. They are already estopped at this stage to challenge the
competency of the DARAB and its provincial adjudicator to have taken cognizance of the case. This
disposition becomes all the more pressing considering the petitioners' active participation in the
proceedings below, and their having been the recipients of a favorable decision dated August 21, 1996
of the DARAB Proper. Decisional law frowns upon a jurisdictional challenge cast against such a milieu.
Petitioners' thesis, under the second ground, that the DAR officials who processed and approved the
applications for issuance of CLOAs and the Register of Deeds are indispensable parties cannot be given
cogency. Surely, a final determination of the petition for cancellation of CLOAs could be had even
without joining in such petition any of the officials adverted to. And as a matter of long and recognized
practice, a public respondent need only to be impleaded in certiorari proceedings under Rule 65 of the
Rules of Court, but even then, the adjudicating judge, officer or tribunal would only be considered a
nominal party. In petitions for review on certiorari as a mode of ordinary appeal under either Rule 43 or
45, only the private parties to the case are to be impleaded.
The foregoing notwithstanding, the Court still rules for petitioners due to compelling reasons
ostensibly overlooked by the appellate court. Respondent's standing to question the qualification of the
petitioners as CARP beneficiaries. As the DARAB Proper aptly observed: It is the Municipal Agrarian
Reform Officer (MARO) or the Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer (PARO) together with the Barangay
Agrarian Reform Committee (BARC) who screen and select the possible agrarian beneficiaries. The
landowner, however, does not have the right to select who the beneficiaries should be. Hence, other
farmers who were not selected and claimed they have a priority over those who have been identified as
such can file a written protest with the MARO or the PARO who is currently processing the claim folder.
Section 22 of the CARP law provides merely for an order of priority in the distribution of the land to
beneficiaries. In the case at bar, there appears to be no applicants other than the petitioners.

EXEMPTION FROM CARP COVERAGE OF A LANDHOLDING DECLARED AS A SECURITY ZONE

Department of Agrarian Reform rep. by Secretary Hernani A. Braganza vs. Philippine Communications
Satellite Corp.
G.R. No. 152640 (June 15, 2006)

Facts:

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) is seeking the nullification of the Decision and Resolution,
dated November 23, 2001 and March 7, 2002, respectively, of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No.
57435, entitled "Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation (PHILCOMSAT) v. DAR."
The controversy involves a parcel of land owned by respondent PHILCOMSAT situated within the area
which had been declared a security zone under Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 1845, as amended by P.D.
No. 1848, entitled "Declaring the Area within a Radius of Three Kilometers surrounding the Satellite
Earth Station in Baras, Rizal, a Security Zone," which is subjected to the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform
Program of the government. Pursuant to the decree, the Ministry of National Defense promulgated the
Revised Rules and Regulations to Implement P.D. No. 1845 dated 30 April 1982, as amended, Declaring
the Philippine Earth Station (PES) Security Zone. In view of this, the metes and bounds of PHILCOMSAT's
satellite earth station in Baras, Rizal, were delineated.
In 1992, a Notice of Coverage was sent to PHILCOMSAT by petitioner DAR informing the former that
the land in question shall be placed under CARP's compulsory acquisition scheme. On January 28, 1994,
PHILCOMSAT wrote to DAR seeking an exemption of the subject property from CARP coverage, insisting
that the land will be utilized for the expansion of its operations. Respondent's application for exemption
from CARP coverage was evaluated by DAR. During the pendency of the application, then DAR Secretary
Ernesto D. Garilao, in a letter dated March 21, 1994, suggested that respondent enter into a
usufructuary agreement with the occupants of the subject property until such time that it will have to
use the property for its planned expansion. The occupants, however, refused to enter into such an
agreement.
Meanwhile, the Sangguniang Bayan of Tanay, Rizal, in its Resolution No. 65-94 that was endorsed to
DAR, moved for the coverage of the 700-hectare PHILCOMSAT property within the security zone under
CARP. The Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer of Teresa, Rizal further opined that subjecting the
surrounding agricultural area within the security zone under CARP will not be detrimental to the
operations of PHILCOMSAT.
An Order was issued by then Secretary Garilao rejecting PHILCOMSAT's application for exemption
from CARP. Having been denied, PHILCOMSAT filed a Petition for Review with the Court of Appeals to
which the appellate court granted. Consequently, DAR moved for reconsideration but the same was
denied hence this petition.

Issue:

Whether or not the subject property of PHILCOMSAT which had been declared a security zone under
P.D. No. 1845m as amended by P.D. No. 1848, can be subjected to CARP.

Held:

P.D. No. 1845, as amended by P.D. No. 1848, was issued way before the effectivity of the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988. The same was issued in 1982 pursuant to an exigency to
create a security zone in the surrounding areas of PHILCOMSAT's satellite earth station in order to
ensure its security and uninterrupted operation considering the vital role of the earth station in the
country's telecommunications and national development. P.D. No. 1848, amending P.D. No. 1845,
subjected the security zone to the authority of the Ministry of National Defense, consequently
conferring on the Minister of National Defense the power and authority to determine who can occupy
the areas within the security zone, and how the lands shall be utilized.
The area, however, should be exempt from CARP coverage by virtue of P.D. No. 1845, as amended,
which, as stated earlier, declared the area to be a security zone under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of
National Defense. It is evident from the very wording of the law that the government recognized the
crucial role of PHILCOMSAT's operations to national security, thereby necessitating the protection of its
operations from unnecessary and even anticipated disruption. Thus, every statute is understood, by
implication, to contain all such provisions as may be necessary to effectuate its object and purpose, or to
make effective rights, powers, privileges or jurisdiction which it grants, including all such collateral and
subsidiary consequences as may be fairly and logically inferred from its terms.
Section 10 of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law or R.A. No. 6657, as amended, provides that
lands actually, directly and exclusively used and found to be necessary for national defense shall be
exempt from the coverage of the Act. The determination as to whether or not the subject property is
actually, directly, and exclusively used for national defense usually entails a finding of fact which this
Court will not normally delve into considering that, subject to certain exceptions, in a petition for
certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, the Court is called upon to review only errors of law.
Suffice it to state, however, that as a matter of principle, it cannot seriously be denied that the act of
securing a vital communication facilities is an act of national defense. Hence, the law, by segregating an
area for purposes of a security zone for such facilities, in effect devoted that area to national defense.

MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION MUST BE SOUGHT BEFORE SEEKING RELIEF FOR CERTIORARI

Inocencio Alimboboyog vs. Hon. Court of Appeals and Paz Noble-Noblefranca
G.R. No. 163655 (June 16, 2006)

Facts:

This case involves a Petition for Certiorari for the decision of the Court of Appeals dated June 7, 2004,
Inocencio Alimboboyog (Alimboboyog) assailing the Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP. No.
73861 dated March 12, 2004 as it was allegedly rendered without jurisdiction, there having been no
prior valid service of pleadings and court orders upon him.
Private respondent Paz Noble-Noblefranca (Noblefranca) instituted an action before the Department
of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) Office of the Provincial Adjudicator against
Alimboboyog for collection of rentals and ejectment with damages. The complaint was later amended to
reflect the correct technical description of the property. Noblefranca prayed therein that Alimboboyog
be directed to pay back rentals representing her share as landowner amounting to 156 cavans of palay
or its money equivalent covering the period from 1988-1995. Alimboboyog filed an answer claiming that
he was no longer obliged to remit the landowner's share because he had already acquired the property
by operation of law through the issuance of a Certificate of Land Transfer (CLT) in the name of his father,
Domingo Alimboboyog.
The Provincial Adjudicator rendered a decision in favor of petitioner, ordering respondent to vacate
the landholding, turn over its peaceful possession to Noblefranca, and pay the latter back rentals
consisting of 156 cavans of palay or its monetary equivalent.
Alimboboyog's Notice of Appeal was denied due course in an Order dated April 7, 1997 for having
been filed out of time. Subsequently, a writ of execution was implemented and Noblefranca was placed
in possession of the land. Four (4) years later or on January 10, 2001, the DARAB Central Office reversed
the decision of the Provincial Adjudicator. The resolution disposed of Noblefranca's motion for
reconsideration, despite the fact that Alimboboyog's Notice of Appeal was filed beyond the
reglementary period, it opted to relax the application of the rules and admit the appeal in order to
achieve agrarian justice. This was questioned on a petition for review with the Court of Appeals. This
decision is now the subject of the instant case.

Issue:

Whether or not the filing of a petition for certiorari was proper.

Held:

It is not proper. The unquestioned rule in this jurisdiction is that certiorari will lie only if there is no
appeal or any other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law against the acts of
respondent. In this case, the plain and adequate remedy was a motion for reconsideration of the
assailed Decision and the resolution thereof, which was not only expected to be but would actually have
provided an adequate and more speedy remedy than the present petition for certiorari.
The filing of a motion for reconsideration would have afforded the Court of Appeals the opportunity
to correct the errors attributed to it and allowed Alimboboyog to ventilate his side. His failure to file
such motion deprived the appellate court of its right and opportunity to review and purge its decision of
any oversight.
In view of the fact that Alimboboyog failed to take advantage of the procedural remedy of filing a
motion for reconsideration without any concrete, compelling and valid explanation, we cannot allow
him to now seek relief by certiorari. As a final note, we add that although the merits of the case are not
in issue in this petition, the same having been filed solely to question Noblefranca's failure to serve a
copy of the petition which she filed with the Court of Appeals on Alimboboyog's counsel, we
nonetheless reviewed the substantive conclusions reached by the appellate court and found them to be
in accord with the facts of the case, law and pertinent jurisprudence.

AGRICULTURAL LEASEHOLD; JURISDICTION; TENANCY RELATIONSHIP NOT EXTINGUISHED BY CHANGES
BROUGHT ABOUT BY A CONTRACT ENTERED INTO BY THE PARTIES

Sps. Proceso Amurao and Minerva Amurao vs. Sps. Jacinto Villalobos and Herminigilda Villalobos
G.R. No. 157491 (June 20, 2006)

Facts:

Petitioners are owners of a parcel of land in Lemery, Batangas which they bought from a certain
Ruperto Endozo, the landlord of herein respondents.
The parties then entered into a contract "Kasulatan Tungkol sa Lupang Pagtatayuan ng Bahay"
(KASULATAN) before the barangay officials wherein respondents promised to surrender the possession
of the land to the petitioners should the latter need it for personal use and in turn the petitioner will
give 1,000 square meters upon surrender thereof. However, the respondents refused to vacate when it
was finally demanded. The matter was then brought to the Barangay but no compromise was reached. A
complaint for ejectment was then filed with the MTC. In turn, respondents filed an answer with motion
to hear special and affirmative defenses claiming that they were already occupying and working on the
same as agricultural tenants prior to petitioners acquisition. The controversy being an agrarian dispute
must be lodged with the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) and not the court
which has jurisdiction over the case.
The Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC) of Batangas disposed of the case, ruling that it has
jurisdiction over the case because respondents spouses Jacinto Villalobos and Herminigilda ceased to be
agricultural tenants after they executed the "Kasulatan Tungkol sa Lupang Pagtatayuan ng Bahay"
("Kasunduan" or "Kasulatan") where they expressly waived their status as tenants after having been
given one thousand (1000) square meters of the land in question. It explained that the Kasulatan is the
law between the parties.
Via a Notice of Appeal, respondents appealed the Decision to the Regional Trial Court (RTC), where it
rendered a Decision modifying the ruling of the MTC. The RTC ruled that it has jurisdiction over the case
and that respondents are bonafide tenants in petitioners' land. It explained that the MCTC anchored its
decision on the assumption that respondents were already occupying the 1,000 square meters of land
embodied in the Kasulatan. It found that it was unclear whether the terms and conditions contained in
the Kasulatan have been observed and complied with by petitioners because there was no documentary
evidence showing that the 1,000 square meters of land have been transferred to the respondents. It
upheld the MCTC's finding that the Kasulatan is the law between the parties, and to be binding, the
parties should comply with its terms and conditions. Thus, for the Kasulatan's enforcement, it found it
necessary that petitioners execute a document transferring full and absolute ownership over the 1,000
square meters of land to the respondents.
A Motion for Reconsideration was filed by petitioners but was denied. Aggrieved, petitioners appealed
to the Court of Appeals by way of Petition for Review under Rule 42 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.
The Court of Appeals dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction.

Issues:

Whether or not the court a quo erred in ruling that the judgment of the Municipal Trial Court and the
Regional Trial Court are null and void having been rendered without jurisdiction?
Whether or not there is an agrarian dispute in the instant case?
Whether or not tenancy relationship has been terminated by the KASULATAN.

Held:

In Teresita S. David v. Agustin Rivera, this Court held that:

Indeed, Section 21 of Republic Act No. 1199, provides that 'all cases involving the dispossession of a
tenant by the landlord or by a third party and/or the settlement and disposition of disputes arising from
the relationship of landlord and tenant shall be under the original and exclusive jurisdiction of the Court
of Agrarian Relations.' This jurisdiction does not require the continuance of the relationship of landlord
and tenant at the time of the dispute. The same may have arisen, and often times arises, precisely
from the previous termination of such relationship. If the same existed immediately, or shortly, before
the controversy and the subject-matter thereof is whether or not said relationship has been lawfully
terminated, or if the dispute springs or originates from the relationship of landlord and tenant, the
litigation is (then) cognizable by the Court of Agrarian Relations . . . .

We rule that there is. As defined under Section 3 (d) of Republic Act No. 6657, otherwise known as the
"Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law," an agrarian dispute refers to any controversy relating to tenurial
arrangements, whether leasehold, tenancy, stewardship or otherwise, over lands devoted to agriculture,
including disputes concerning farmworkers' associations or representation of persons in negotiating,
fixing, maintaining, changing or seeking to arrange terms or conditions of such tenurial arrangements. It
includes any controversy relating to compensation of lands acquired under this Act and other terms and
conditions of transfer of ownership from landowner to farmworkers, tenants and other agrarian reform
beneficiaries, whether the disputants stand in the proximate relation of farm operator and beneficiary,
landowner and tenant, or lessor and lessee. It refers to any controversy relating to, inter alia, tenancy
over lands devoted to agriculture.
The instant case undeniably involves a controversy involving tenurial arrangements because the
Kasulatan will definitely modify, nay, terminate the same. Even assuming that the tenancy relationship
between the parties had ceased due to the Kasulutan, there still exists an agrarian dispute because the
action involves an incident arising from the landlord and tenant relationship.
There being an agrarian dispute, the action is properly within the jurisdiction of the DAR, through the
DARAB.

JUST COMPENSATION; JURISDICTION OF SPECIAL AGRARIAN COURT

Ernestina L. Crisologo-Jose vs. Land Bank of the Philippines
G.R. No. 167399 (June 22, 2006)

Facts:

Petitioner is the owner of 34.6960 hectares of land which used to form part of a larger expanse
situated in Talavera, Nueva Ecija and covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. NT-147218 of the
land records of North Nueva Ecija. She is also the owner of several parcels of land situated in the same
municipality with a total area of 27.09 hectares and covered by twelve (12) separate titles, i.e., TCT Nos.
155604 -09, 155611, 155615, 245112-15. According to the petitioner, respondent Land Bank of the
Philippines (Land Bank) gave these landholdings which she inherited from her uncle, Alejandro T. Lim
a measly valuation of P9,000.00 per hectare.
Excepting from the valuation purportedly thus given, petitioner filed on September 25, 1997, a
PETITION for determination of just compensation respecting her landholdings aforementioned. In said
petition, docketed as AGR. CASE No. 962-G of the Regional Trial Court of Guimba, Nueva Ecija, petitioner
prayed that "the sum of P100,000.00 at least per hectare, or the total sum of P6,178,600.00 be fixed as
just compensation of the total area of 61.7860 hectares," it being her allegation that her computation
hewed with the guidelines established under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law and other related
statutes.
On September 8, 1999, the trial court, after due proceedings, rendered judgment fixing the fair
market value of the 61.7860 hectares of the land in question at P100,000.00 per hectare. But beyond
value determination, the trial court ordered the respondent to pay petitioner the total sum of
P6,178,600.00, subject to the usual rules and regulation regarding payment.
Following the denial of its motion for reconsideration, respondent Land Bank went on appeal to the
CA whereat its recourse was docketed as CA-G.R. CV No. 69463.
Eventually, the CA, in a decision dated October 15, 2004, reversed that of the trial court.
In time, petitioner moved for reconsideration but the CA denied her motion in its equally assailed
resolution of January 24, 2005.
Hence, petitioner's present recourse on both procedural and substantive grounds.

Issue:

Whether or not the Regional Trial Court sitting as Special Agrarian Court is correct in rendering
judgment fixing the just compensation of the subject landholdings?

Held:

Just compensation, under the premises, presupposes the expropriation or taking of agricultural lands
for eventual distribution to agrarian reform beneficiaries. In the case at bench, respondent has averred
and the CA has peremptorily determined that the tracts of land for which petitioner is claiming just
compensation have not actually been acquired by the government.
With respect to the parcels of land with a total area of 27.09 hectares and covered by TCT Nos.
155604, 155605, 155606, 155607, 155608, 155609, 155611 155615, 245112, 245113, 245114 and
245115, the appellate court found that the claim folders therefor have not been forwarded to the
respondent bank for processing and eventual payment of the transfer claims. This reality could only
mean, so the CA correctly concludes, that the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has not yet
expropriated the parcels in question for agrarian reform purposes. In other words, ownership or at least
control over the 27.09 hectares has not passed from the registered owner to the expropriator.
Petitioner could have had proven but had not the fact of actual or symbolic compulsory taking by
presenting evidence to that effect, such as the required Notice of Valuation which usually follows the
Notice of Coverage, the letter of invitation to a preliminary conference and the Notice of Acquisition
that DAR sends, pursuant to DAR administrative issuances, to the landowner affected.
Just like the matter of the 27.09 hectares of land immediately referred to above, petitioner has not
discharged her burden of proving the acquisition by the DAR of the other 34.6960 hectares of land once
covered by TCT No. NT-147218. But even if perhaps she wanted to, she could not have possibly done so,
that portion being either a school site, a creek or residential area, ergo unsuitable for agricultural
activities and, hence, outside the scope of the agrarian reform program, be it under the CARL law or the
more exacting P.D. No. 27. It must be stressed, at this juncture, that respondent had all along i.e., in
its basic answer, its CA appeal brief and finally in its Memorandum filed with the Court stuck to its
position that the 27.09-hectare area was never taken over by the DAR; and that no claim for
compensation therefor was ever processed, as is usual in agrarian compulsory acquisition scheme,
under the summary administrative proceedings prescribed by governing DAR circulars. Yet, the
petitioner never attempted to prove the contrary. Significantly, save for determining the fair market
value of the landholdings in question, no reference is also made in the decision of the trial court
regarding the actual expropriation of the specific parcels of land subject of this case, albeit, quite
strangely, it ordered payment of the value of the property in question.

EJECTMENT; DISPOSSESSION UNDER RA 3844; FAILURE TO PAY AMORTIZATION NOT A GROUND FOR
RECOVERY OF POSSESSION AND OWNERSHIP

Cynthia V. Omadle and Angelito Alisen vs. Spouses Wilfredo and Rogelia B. Casuno
G.R. No. 143362 (June 27, 2006)

Facts:

Cynthia V. Omadle, petitioner, is the daughter of the late Francisco Villa owner of the lot 406, Pls-98
Ext., in Kalatugay, Base Camp, Maramag, Bukidnon. Angelito Alisen, another petitioner, is Cynthia's farm
worker. Spouses Wilfredo and Rogelia B. Casuno, respondents, were once tenants of Francisco Villa who
were cultivating a portion of said lot which was later on awarded to them by the DAR and an
Emancipation Patent and Transfer Certificate of Title was issued.
It turned out that respondents mortgaged the property. Cynthia then redeemed the land and caused
their eviction. Consequently, respondents filed with the Office of the Regional Adjudicator, Department
of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB), Cagayan de Oro City, a Complaint for Recovery of
Possession and Ownership (with prayer for issuance of a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction)
against petitioners.
Petitioner Cynthia Omadle admitted that respondents were her father's tenants. However, the DAR
declared the area exempt from the coverage of the land reform program, being within the retention
limits. She claimed that respondents paid their amortization only once. They mortgaged the lot to
several persons in violation of the terms of the Certificate of Land Transfer. Moreover, their cause of
action has prescribed because they filed their complaint only after four years from their eviction.
In a Decision dated August 24, 1992, the DARAB Regional Adjudicator dismissed the complaint. On
appeal by respondents, the DARAB Central Office reversed the Decision, holding that petitioners and her
siblings waived their right to retain seven (7) hectares, allowed under Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 27,
and being grantees of the Emancipation Patent, respondents could no longer be evicted. Petitioners
then filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for review. In its assailed Decision, the Court of Appeals
affirmed the DARAB judgment. Hence this instant petition.

Issues:

Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in declaring that respondents are owners of the subject
land considering that they failed to pay the Land Bank of the Philippines (Land Bank) the required
amortizations.
Whether or not petitioners' cause of action was barred by prescription pursuant to Section 38 of R.A.
3844.
Whether or not respondents are disqualified for violating the terms and conditions of their land title
by not cultivating the area?

Held:

On petitioners' contention that respondents failed to pay the Land Bank the required amortizations,
SC agrees with the Court of Appeals that at the time the patent and title were issued to respondents,
petitioner Cynthia Omadle had already been paid her just compensation. And granting that she has not
yet been compensated, her proper recourse is against the Land Bank, not against respondents.
As to petitioners' claim that respondents' cause of action has prescribed, let it be stressed that since
respondents have been issued Emancipation Patent No. A-042463 and TCT No. ET-5184 as early as
December 18, 1987, they can no longer be considered tenants or lessees, but owners of the subject
landholding. Obviously, Section 38 of R.A. No. 3844 on prescription finds no application to their case.
An emancipation patent, while it presupposes that the grantee thereof shall have already complied
with all the requirements prescribed under P.D. No. 27, serves as a basis for the issuance of a TCT. It is
the issuance of this emancipation patent that conclusively entitles the farmer/grantee of the rights of
absolute ownership. In Pagtalunan v. Tamayo, SC held:

It is the emancipation patent which constitutes conclusive authority or the issuance of an Original
Certificate of Transfer, or a Transfer Certificate of Title, in the name of the grantee . . . .

Clearly, it is only after compliance with the above conditions which entitles a farmer/grantee to an
emancipation patent that he acquires the vested right of absolute ownership in the landholding a
right which has become fixed and established and is no longer open to doubt or controversy.

EJECTMENT DUE TO NON-PAYMENT OF LEASE RENTALS; TENANCY RELATIONSHIP, ONCE ESTABLISHED,
ENTITLES THE TENANT TO A SECURITY OF TENURE

Purificacion Perez-Rosario, et al. vs. Hon. Court of Appeals, Adjudication Board of Agrarian Reform,
Mercedes Resultay, Basilio Cayabyab, Federico Baniqued, And Miguel Resultay (deceased) Substituted
by his heir, Arturo Resultay
G.R. No. 140796 (June 30, 2006)

Facts:

The petition originated from an action for ejectment filed with the DARAB principally on the grounds
of non-payment of lease rentals and sub-leasing without the knowledge and consent of the owners of a
parcel of agricultural land, consisting of 2.2277 hectares, more or less, devoted to rice and mango
production, located at Barangay Obong, Basista, Pangasinan and registered in the name of Nicolasa
Tamondong vda. de Perez, predecessor-in-interest of the petitioners, under Transfer Certificate of Title
(TCT) No. T-31822.
Respondents appealed to the DARAB. On June 10, 1994, the DARAB promulgated its decision,
declaring Miguel and Mercedes Resultay to be agricultural tenants on the land they till and to fix the
lease rental on the land in accordance with pertinent agrarian laws, rules and regulations.
Petitioners filed a Petition for Review with the CA, the CA rendered the assailed Decision which
affirmed in toto the DARAB ruling.
Petitioners moved to reconsider, but the CA denied the motion through its Resolution dated
November 8, 1999, a copy of which was received by the petitioners on November 15, 1999.
Twenty-two days later, or on December 7, 1999, petitioners filed the instant Petition for Certiorari
under Rule 65.

Issues:

Whether respondent Miguel and her wife Mercedes Resultay, is entitled to remain as agricultural
lessee of the land in question with respondent Federico Baniqued as their hired farm worker?
Whether respondent Basilio Cayabyab is entitled to remain as an agricultural lessee on the one-half
hectare riceland portion of the landholding in question?

Held:

While it is conceded in all quarters that respondent Baniqued is a hired farm worker, from this fact
alone, it cannot be inferred that respondent Mercedes Resultay is not actually performing her
obligations as an agricultural tenant or, stated otherwise, that she did not cultivate the land in person or
through other members of the immediate household. Under Section 37 of Republic Act No. 3844, as
amended, and coupled with the fact that the petitioners are the complainants themselves, the burden
of proof to show the existence of a lawful cause for the ejectment of an agricultural lessee rests upon
them, since they are the agricultural lessors. This proceeds from the principle that a tenancy
relationship, once established, entitles the tenant to a security of tenure. She can only be ejected from
the agricultural landholding on grounds provided by law. Section 36 of the same law enumerates the
grounds for dispossession of the tenant's landholding.
In the recent past, the Court has held that the employment of farm laborers to perform some aspects
of farm work does not preclude the existence of an agricultural leasehold relationship, provided that an
agricultural lessee does not leave the entire process of cultivation in the hands of hired helpers. Indeed,
while the law explicitly requires the agricultural lessee and his immediate family to work on the land,
this Court nevertheless has declared that the hiring of farm laborers by the tenant on a temporary,
occasional, or emergency basis does not negate the existence of the element of "personal cultivation"
essential in a tenancy or agricultural leasehold relationship.
As correctly noted by the DARAB, it appears that the juridical relationship of the parties is still
governed by agricultural share tenancy. The relationship should be converted into a leasehold. Sections
4 and 5 of R.A. No. 3844 provide for the automatic conversion of share tenancy to agricultural leasehold.
The lease rental should be determined in accordance with Section 12 of R.A. No. 6657 in relation to
Section 34 of R.A. No. 3844, as amended, and existing rules and regulations.
The instant petition is DENIED.

RETENTION RIGHT

Heirs of Juan Grio, Sr. represented by Remedios C. Grio vs. Department of Agrarian Reform
G.R. No. 165073 (June 30, 2006)



Facts:

Grios 9.35 hectares land in Brgy. Gua-an, Leganes, Iloilo was placed under the coverage of P.D. No.
27 on account of which Certificates of Land Transfer (CLTs) covering a portion thereof were issued in
favor of his tenants. Grio later filed in the early 80's a letter-petition for the cancellation of the above-
said CLTs, contending that they were issued to the tenants without giving him an opportunity to be
heard, the area being a little over 6 hectares. In lieu of the land covered by the CLTs, Grio offered seven
hectares for each of the tenants from his 50-hectare land in Brgy. Tad-y, Sara, Iloilo (which is mortgaged
to the DBP).
Grio, however, later ordered to the DBP his 50-hectare land via dacion en pago to settle his
obligation to it. On July 10, 1985, Grio died. He was survived by his wife and seven children. On June
22, 1988, his wife also passed away. On June 15 RA 6657 or the CARL took effect. DAR-RD Antonio S.
Malaya dismissed the said petition by Order of September 25, 1989, citing letter of instructions No. 474.
The LBP later advised Grio heirs, herein petitioners, by letter of June 6, 1996, of the DAR's submission
of Grios 9.35 hectare land transfer claim for payment under PD 27, its approval on June 5, 1996, and
the requirement for the parcels of the claim to be released. Petitioners later filed with the DAR Regional
Office an application for retention dated 14 March 1997 of the 9.35 hectare land. They likewise sought
the exemption of the 9.35 hectare land for the coverage of either PD 27 or the CARL. Emancipation
Patents were issued in favor of Grios 5 tenant on June 5 and 25, 1997. DAR Regional Director
Dominador B. Andres subsequently dismissed petitioners application for retention, by Order dated April
27, 1998.
Petitioners moved to reconsider the April 27, 1998 Order of the DAR RD but it was denied by Order of
August 18, 1998. Petitioners appealed to the DAR Secretary but it was denied by Order dated September
3, 2002 of then Secretary Hernani A. Braganza. Petitioners elevated the case before the Court of Appeals
via petition for review. The appellate court affirmed the September 3, 2002 Order of the DAR Secretary.
On challenge via petition for certiorari are the October 17, 2003 Decision and the June 21, 2004
Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-GR SP No. 73368, "Heirs of Juan Grio, Sr. represented by
Remedios C. Grio v. Department of Agrarian Reform."

Issue:

Whether the petitioners are entitled to right of retention?

Held:

Petitioners fault the appellate court for ignoring the "evidence" they discovered when they had the
opportunity to examine the records forwarded by the DAR to the appellate court "that Grio was
misled into believing that [the] CLTs had been issued, when there were none, or that the [September 25,
1989] Maraya Order denying Grio's petition for cancellation of [the] CLTs was without legal effect
because the (1) CLTs were inexistent, (2) he was dead by the time the Order was rendered, and the
property had long passed on to his heirs, and (3) the heirs were never notified of said order, and there is
no showing that it was sent even to Juan Grio, Sr.'s address of record either."
As the appellate court ruled, however, petitioners are guilty of laches in their attempt to "resurrect
the retention issue [seven and a half] years after its denial was decreed and came to finality."
As the appellate court ruled too, the DAR cannot be faulted if no substitution of parties took place
when Grio died, it being the duty of the heirs to attend to the estate of the deceased, which duty
includes notification to adjudicating tribunals the fact of death of the litigant.
At all events, these issues raised by petitioners, which substantially reiterate those raised in their
motion for reconsideration before the appellate court, were as the appellate court observed, never
raised in the proceedings below nor in petitioners' petition for review before said court.
The petition is DISMISSED.

EMANCIPATION PATENTS; INDEFEASIBILITY OF TITLE

Samuel Estribillo, et al. vs. Department of Agrarian Reform and Hacienda Maria, Inc.
G.R. No. 159674 (June 30, 2006)

Facts:

The petitioners, with the exception of two, are the recipients of Emancipation Patents (EPs) over
parcels of land located at Barangay Angas, Sta. Josefa, Agusan del Sur. The parcels of land, the subject
matters in this Petition, were formerly part of a forested area which have been denuded as a result of
the logging operations of respondent Hacienda Maria, Inc. (HMI). Petitioners, together with other
persons, occupied and tilled these areas believing that the same were public lands. HMI never disturbed
petitioners and the other occupants in their peaceful cultivation thereof. HMI acquired such forested
area from the Republic of the Philippines through Sales Patent No. 2683 in 1956 by virtue of which it
was issued OCT No. P-3077-1661. The title covered three parcels of land with a total area of 527.8308
hectares. HMI, through a certain Joaquin Colmenares, requested that 527.8308 hectares of its
landholdings be placed under the coverage of Operation Land Transfer. Receiving compensation
therefor, HMI allowed petitioners and other occupants to cultivate the landholdings so that the same
may be covered under said law.
The RARAD rendered a Decision declaring as void the TCTs and EPs The Decision was based on a 26
March 1998 report submitted by the Hacienda Maria Action Team. Petitioners' TCTs and EPs were
ordered cancelled. Petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration, but the same was denied. Petitioners
appealed to the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) which affirmed the RARAD
Decision. After the DARAB denied petitioners' Motion for Reconsideration, the latter proceeded to the
Court of Appeals with their Petition for Review on Certiorari. The Court of Appeals denied the assailed
Resolution:
The petition reveals that the Verification and Certification of Non-Forum Shopping was executed by
Samuel A. Estribillo who is one of the petitioners, without the corresponding Special Power of Attorneys
executed by the other petitioners authorizing him to sign for their behalf in violation of Section 5, Rule 7
of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended. Petitioners filed a "Motion for Reconsideration with
Alternative Prayer with Leave of Court for the Admission of Special Power of Attorney (SPA) Granted to
Petitioner Samuel Estribillo by his Co-Petitioners." The Court of Appeals denied the motion. Petitioners
now file this present Petition contending that there had been compliance with Rule 7, Section 5 of the
1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. They further reiterate their argument that the EPs are ordinary titles
which become indefeasible one year after their registration.

Issues:

Whether there was compliance with Rule 7, Section 5 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure; the
certification against forum shopping?
Whether Certificates of Title issued pursuant to Emancipation Patents are as indefeasible as TCTs
issued in registration proceedings?

Held:

Rule 7, Section 5 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure was preceded by Revised Circular No. 28-91 and
Administrative Circular No. 04-94, which required a certification against forum shopping to avoid the
filing of multiple petitions and complaints involving the same issues in the Supreme Court, the Court of
Appeals, and other tribunals and agencies. Stated differently, the rule was designed to avoid a situation
where said courts, tribunals and agencies would have to resolve the same issues.
Petitioner Samuel A. Estribillo, in signing the Verification and Certification Against Forum Shopping,
falls within the phrase "plaintiff or principal party" who is required to certify under oath the matters
mentioned in Rule 7, Section 5 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. Such was given emphasis by this
Court when we held in Mendigorin v. Cabantog and Escorpizo v. University of Baguio that the
certification of non-forum shopping must be signed by the plaintiff or any of the principal parties and
not only by the legal counsel. In Condo Suite Club Travel, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Commission.
The Court of Appeals merely said that the special circumstances recognized by this Court that justify
the relaxation of the rules on the certification against forum shopping are not present in the case at bar,
without discussing the circumstances adduced by the petitioners in their Motion for Reconsideration.
Thus, assuming for the sake of argument that the actuation of petitioners was not strictly in consonance
with Rule 7, Section 5 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, it should still be determined whether there
are special circumstances that would justify the suspension or relaxation of the rule concerning
verification and certification against forum shopping, such as those which we appreciated in the ensuing
cases.
Ybaez v. Intermediate Appellate Court, provides that certificates of title issued in administrative
proceedings are as indefeasible as certificates of title issued in judicial proceedings:
The same confusion, uncertainty and suspicion on the distribution of government-acquired lands to
the landless would arise if the possession of the grantee of an EP would still be subject to contest, just
because his certificate of title was issued in an administrative proceeding. The silence of Presidential
Decree No. 27 as to the indefeasibility of titles issued pursuant thereto is the same as that in the Public
Land Act.
After complying with the procedure, therefore, in Section 105 of Presidential Decree No. 1529,
otherwise known as the Property Registration Decree (where the DAR is required to issue the
corresponding certificate of title after granting an EP to tenant-farmers who have complied with
Presidential Decree No. 27), the TCTs issued to petitioners pursuant to their EPs acquire the same
protection accorded to other TCTs. "The certificate of title becomes indefeasible and incontrovertible
upon the expiration of one year from the date of the issuance of the order for the issuance of the
patent, . . . . Lands covered by such title may no longer be the subject matter of a cadastral proceeding,
nor can it be decreed to another person."
The EPs themselves, like the Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs) in Republic Act No. 6657
(the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988), are enrolled in the Torrens system of registration.
The Property Registration Decree in fact devotes Chapter IX on the subject of EPs. Indeed, such EPs and
CLOAs are, in themselves, entitled to be as indefeasible as certificates of title issued in registration
proceedings.

DISTURBANCE COMPENSATION ON CASES OF CONVERSION

Melencio Berboso and Concepcion Berboso vs. Hon. Court of Appeals, et al.
G.R. Nos. 141593-94 (July 12, 2006)

Facts:

The case at bar is a petition for review of the Decision involving the confirmation of the order of
conversion and the determination of the amount of disturbance compensation filed with the DARAB by
Belen and Corazon Carlos.
On 29 November 1973, herein private respondents Belen and Corazon Carlos, together with Manuel,
Alberto, Antonio and Rafaelito, all surnamed Carlos, filed with the Bureau of Land Acquisition,
Distribution and Development of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), a joint request for the
conversion of their parcel of land consisting of 48.2789 hectares of unirrigated riceland situated at
Calvario, Iba, and Camalig, Meycauayan, Bulacan, and covered by TCTs No. 48182 and No. 48183 issued
by the Register of Deeds of Meycauayan, Bulacan.
On 22 January 1975, DAR Secretary Conrado F. Estrella issued an Order declaring the said parcels of
land suitable for residential, commercial, industrial and other urban purposes.
Pursuant to the 22 January 1975 Order, respondents Carloses effected the payment of the
compensation due their agricultural tenants. However, petitioners Melencio and Concepcion Berboso,
successors-in-interest of one of their original tenants, Macario Berboso, refused to vacate their
landholdings.
On 1 September 1989, private respondents Carloses filed with the DARAB Region III a Petition for
Confirmation of the Order of Conversion and for the Determination of the Amount of Disturbance
Compensation. Private respondents Carloses and Emiliano Berboso, brother of herein petitioners
Berbosos and the named respondent in DARAB Case No. 101-Bul '89, filed with the DARAB a Joint
Motion to Determine the Amount of Disturbance Compensation due to the respondent/tenant agreeing
to abide with the decision of the Board.
On 16 October 1989, private respondent Corazon Carlos executed a Deed of Absolute Sale of Real
Property in favor of their co-respondent herein JKM which involves one parcel of land consisting of
20,186 square meters covered by TCT No. T-225598 on even date, private respondent Belen Carlos
executed another Deed of Absolute Sale of Real Property also in favor of JKM which involves one parcel
of land consisting of 20,110 square meters covered by TCT No. T-58059.
In its Decision dated 18 December 1989, the DARAB ordered private respondents Carloses to pay
Emiliano Berboso the total amount of P112,644.00 equivalent to five years disturbance compensation.
On 15 January 1990, Emiliano Berboso filed with the DARAB a Motion to Set Aside the 18 December
1989 Decision of the DARAB assailing therein the amount of disturbance compensation. He, together
with the other petitioners Berbosos, asserted that he is entitled to either the thirty percent (30%)
physical portion of the lot, or the equivalent value thereof in cash, as disturbance compensation. He
further asserted that petitioners Berbosos, being tenants of the subject land, should have been included
also as parties in the Joint Motion filed in DARAB Case No. 101-Bul '89.
On 5 March 1990, Emiliano Berboso filed with the Court of Appeals a Petition for Review of the 18
December 1989 Decision of the DARAB docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 20147.
Meanwhile, on motion of private respondents Carloses, the DARAB issued a Writ of Possession dated
13 September 1990 against Emiliano Berboso.
On 26 December 1990, petitioners Berbosos filed an Action for Maintenance of Peaceful Possession,
Damages, and Injunction against private respondents Carloses before the DARAB, docketed as DARAB
Case No. 217-Bul '90, alleging therein that the enforcement of the said Writ of Possession would unjustly
deprive them of possession of their land since the land being tilled and tenanted by their brother
Emiliano Berboso is separate and distinct from the land they are tenanting from private respondents
Carloses, and that they have their own tenanted areas of cultivation which are separate and distinct
from that of their brother Emiliano Berboso.
On 25 March 1992, petitioners Berbosos filed a Petition before the DARAB, docketed as DARAB Case
No. 368-Bul '92, seeking to exercise their right of redemption under Republic Act No. 3844, as amended.
They similarly prayed for the reversion of the subject land to its original agricultural use contending that
private respondent JKM had already started utilizing the said land by bulldozing it. Finally, they
deposited with the Regional Agrarian Reform Adjudicators (RARAD) the amount of P1,000,000.00 as
redemption money. DARAB Case No. 368-Bul '92 was consolidated with DARAB Case No. 217-Bul '90.
On 26 March 1992, the Court of Appeals rendered a Decision in CA-G.R. SP No. 20147, denying
Emiliano Berboso's Petition for Review.
On 9 December 1992, petitioners Berbosos filed before the DAR Secretary a Petition for the
Cancellation of the Conversion Order dated 22 January 1975 of previous DAR Secretary Estrella.
On 9 February 1993, the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (PARAB) rendered a Decision
dismissing the consolidated DARAB Cases No. 217-Bul '90 and No. 368-Bul '92.
Petitioners Berbosos appealed the aforesaid Decision to the DARAB Head Office at Quezon City, and
on 5 January 1994, the DAR Secretary Ernesto D. Garilao issued an Order granting the Motion for
Cancellation of the Conversion Order dated 22 January 1975.
Private respondents Carloses moved for the reconsideration of the aforementioned Order of DAR
Secretary Garilao but the same was denied. Aggrieved, they filed an Appeal with the Office of the
President which was docketed as O.P. Case No. 5994.
On 24 October 1994, petitioners Berbosos filed before the DARAB Head Office, Quezon City, a
Manifestation with Motion to Withdraw Complaint for Redemption in DARAB Case No. 368-Bul '92,
since there was no more need for resolution of the said case in light of the Order of DAR Secretary
Garilao dated 5 January 1994 finding the subject lands to be still agricultural in use and tenanted by
petitioners Berbosos.
On 1 March 1996, the Office of the President rendered a Decision reversing and setting aside the
Order of DAR Secretary Garilao dated 5 January 1994 and reinstating the Order of the former DAR
Secretary Estrella dated 22 January 1975.
On 25 June 1996, the DARAB Head Office, Quezon City, rendered a Decision on DARAB Case No. 1283,
dismissing the Appeal of petitioners Berbosos and affirming the Decision of the DARAB Region III dated
18 December 1989.
On 21 August 1996, petitioners Berbosos filed before the Court of Appeals a Petition for Review of the
Decision dated 1 March 1996 of the Office of the President in O.P. Case No. 5994.
On 29 December 1999, the Court of Appeals rendered a Decision dismissing both Petitions for Review,
and affirming the Decisions of the Office of the President dated 1 March 1996 and the DARAB dated 25
June 1996.
Petitioners Berbosos invoked Presidential Decree No. 27. They argued that, upon the promulgation of
Presidential Decree No. 27 on 21 October 1972, they are automatically deemed owners of the land in
question; that TCTs No. EP-150-M and No. EP-149-M which cover the subject lands, were issued in their
favor by the DAR; and that said titles cannot be cancelled by the Court of Appeals in the absence of a
direct attack by private respondents Carloses and JKM.

Issues:

The Court of Appeals erred in invalidating the Transfer Certificates of Titles of the Petitioner Berbosos
in the absence of direct attack.
The Court of Appeals erred in upholding the validity of the Conversion Order of DAR Secretary Estrella
dated 22 January 1975.
The Court of Appeals erred in ruling that the private respondent Carlosses have complied with the
requirements for conversion of their land under Sec. 36 of R.A. No. 3844.
The Court of Appeals erred in ruling that there was observance of due process in application and
issuance of order of conversion.
The Court of Appeals erred in ruling that there was no violation of the security of tenure of petitioner
Berbosos as farmer-beneficiaries.

Held:

Petitioners Berbosos' arguments are without merit.
As to the issue of whether or not there was a direct attack on the validity of the TCTs No. EP-149-M
and No. EP-150-M of the petitioners Berbosos by private respondents Carloses and JKM thus allowing
for the cancellation of said titles, we rule in the affirmative.
In the case of Mallilin, Jr. v. Castillo, we had an occasion to discuss the issue of direct attack on the
validity of titles, to wit:

A torrens title, as a rule, is conclusive and indefeasible. Proceeding from this, P.D. No. 1529, Section 48,
provides that a certificate of title shall not be subject to collateral attack and cannot be altered,
modified, or cancelled except in a direct proceeding. When is an action an attack on a title? It is when
the object of the action or proceeding is to nullify the title, and thus challenge the judgment pursuant to
which the title was decreed. The attack is direct when the object of an action or proceeding is to annul
or set aside such judgment, or enjoin its enforcement. On the other hand, the attack is indirect or
collateral when, in an action to obtain a different relief, an attack on the judgment is nevertheless made
as an incident thereof.

It is well-settled that a judgment which had acquired finality becomes immutable and unalterable,
thus, may no longer be modified in any respect except to clerical errors or mistakes, all the issues
between the parties being deemed resolved and laid to rest. Since the lawfulness of the determination
of the award of disturbance compensation was already settled in the 26 March 1992 Decision of the
Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 20147, we hold that the legality and validity of the 22 January 1975
Conversion Order is also settled because determination of disturbance compensation necessarily follows
the Conversion Order. Simply put, there would be no determination of disturbance compensation
without a Conversion Order being first validly issued.
Well-settled is the rule that findings of administrative agencies which have acquired expertise because
their jurisdiction is confined only to specific matters, is accorded not only respect but finality,
particularly when affirmed by the appellate tribunal.
Time and again, we ruled that what is repugnant to due process is the absolute lack of opportunity to
be heard. The essence of due process is simply an opportunity to be heard or, as applied to
administrative proceedings, an opportunity to seek a reconsideration of the action or ruling complained
of. Due process is satisfied when the parties are afforded fair and reasonable opportunity to explain
their side of the controversy or an opportunity to move for a reconsideration of the action or ruling
complained of.
Lastly, petitioners Berbosos also posited that their security of tenure as farmers-beneficiaries under
Presidential Decree No. 27 was violated. According to them, the 18 December 1989 DARAB Decision
fixing the amount of disturbance compensation is binding only with respect to Emiliano Berboso, and
since they were never made parties therein, their security of tenure cannot be affected.

TENANCY; ELEMENTS

Sps. Francisco G. Tuazon and Ruth A. Tuazon vs. Vicente G. Tuazon and John L. Tuazon
G.R. No. 168438 (August 28, 2006)

Facts:

Petition for Review on Certiorari of the Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV
No. 73617 dated July 28, 2004 and April 26, 2005, respectively, reversing the decision of the Regional
Trial Court of Naga City, Branch 21, in Civil Case No. RTC 2000-0027. The trial court ruled that the case
involves tenancy over which it lacks jurisdiction. The appellate court found that the issue is mere
possession and remanded the case for further proceedings.
The instant case arose from a Complaint for Recovery of Possession and Damages filed by
respondents Vicente G. Tuazon and John L. Tuazon against petitioner spouses Francisco G. Tuazon and
Ruth A. Tuazon. Respondents alleged in their Complaint that they are the absolute owners of a 2.3119-
hectare of land located at Gotob, San Agustin, Canaman, Camarines Sur covered by Original Certificate
of Title No. RP-298 (224241). They acquired the land by way of a Deed of Absolute Sale dated June 14,
1985 from its original owner, the late Rosa G. Tuazon, who was Vicente's mother. They further alleged
that after the sale, Francisco Tuazon (a brother of Vicente) filed with the Regional Trial Court of Naga
City, Branch 20, a complaint for Reconveyance of Property docketed as Civil Case No. RTC '92-2568
against Vicente on the ground that their mother Rosa ceded to him one hectare of the subject property.
Rosa allegedly gave Francisco the one hectare of land in exchange for the expenses which he and his
wife incurred in redeeming the subject property from Atty. Ricardo Gonzales and in paying the
disturbance compensation to Federico Adriano, the former tenant of the subject property. They alleged
that Francisco's complaint was dismissed on February 28, 1994 and the validity of the Deed of Sale
between Vicente and Rosa was upheld. The decision became final on March 27, 1999. Respondents then
averred that despite the finality of the decision and their repeated demands to vacate the subject
property, petitioners refused to turn over its possession.
Petitioners pleaded tenancy as a special and affirmative defense. They alleged that in 1986, before
respondents purchased the subject property, Rosa instituted Ruth as legitimate tenant of the land. Ruth
was instituted tenant after she redeemed the subject property from Atty. Ricardo Gonzales with her
own money and paid the disturbance compensation to the former tenants of the subject parcel.
The trial court conducted a preliminary hearing to receive evidence on petitioners' defense of
tenancy. During the hearing, Ruth presented two certifications attesting that she is a tenant of the
subject land. One was issued by the Municipal Agrarian Reform Office (MARO) of Canaman, Camarines
Sur and the other by the Barangay Agrarian Reform Council (BARC). Alex Tuazon also testified that he
regularly received twenty-five percent (25%) of the produce of the land as landowner's share after his
mother's death.
The trial court then ruled that the case involves an agrarian dispute which is under the jurisdiction of
the DARAB. Thus, on October 24, 2001, it dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction over the subject
matter. Respondents' Motion for Reconsideration was denied for lack of merit, hence, they filed an
appeal with the Court of Appeals.
In a Decision dated July 28, 2004, the appellate court reversed the ruling of the trial court.
Petitioners moved for reconsideration but their motion was denied by the appellate court in its
assailed Resolution dated April 26, 2005.
The appellate Court denied the petition.

Issues:

Whether or not the lower court (RTC) has jurisdiction over the complaint filed by the respondents
against the petitioners?
Whether or not petitioner is not a duly instituted tenant on the subject land and that no tenancy
relationship exists between her and the respondent?

Held:

To determine whether a case involves a tenancy dispute, the following essential requisites must be
present: 1. the parties are the landowner and the tenant; 2. the subject matter is agricultural land; 3.
there is consent between the parties; 4. the purpose is agricultural production; 5. there is personal
cultivation by the tenant; and, 6. there is sharing of the harvests between the parties.
Not all of these requisites obtain in the case at bar.
Petitioners' contention that their previous claims of ownership over the subject property are
immaterial and do not negate the tenancy relationship defies logic. Tenancy is established precisely
when a landowner institutes a tenant to work on his property under the terms and conditions of their
tenurial arrangement. Petitioners cannot anomalously insist to be both tenants and owners of the
subject land.
Even the documentary evidence on record the respective certifications issued by the MARO and
BARC officers do not constitute proof that petitioner Ruth is a tenant of the subject land. It is settled
that the findings of or certifications issued by the Secretary of Agrarian Reform or his authorized
representative in a given locality concerning the presence or absence of a tenancy relationship between
the contending parties are merely preliminary or provisional, not binding upon the courts, and could be
overturned by a showing of evidence to the contrary. The appellate court correctly observed, viz.:

. . . . In fact, we even entertain doubts about their competence as evidence of tenancy status in the
absence of further evidence that the MARO and BARC officers who made the certification investigated
Ruth's status and saw for themselves or knew for a fact that Ruth personally cultivated the land and
undertook the activities required from a tenant.

Petitioners also failed to prove that petitioner Ruth shared the produce of the subject land with Rosa
from 1987-1991. The certification of Alex that there is sharing of harvest leaves much to be desired. Alex
himself admitted during his testimony that he was neither authorized by his mother, Rosa, nor by his co-
heirs, to act as administrator of the subject property.

ABANDONMENT; WHEN IS THERE ABANDONMENT OF A LANDHOLDING?

Jovendo del Castillo vs. Abundio Orciga, et al.
G.R. No. 153850 (August 31, 2006)

Facts:

This is a Petition for Review on Certiorari filed by petitioner del Castillo seeking the nullification of the
November 26, 2002 Decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. SP No. 66122, ordering him to
vacate the subject landholding and directing the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board
(DARAB) to restore possession of the farm lot to respondents.
Petitioner Jovendo del Castillo is the son and administrator of Menardo del Castillo, who previously
owned a 1.3300-hectare riceland located at Omabo, Polpog, Bula, Camarines Sur.
Eugenio Orciga was awarded Certificate of Land Transfer No. 0-070176 over the said landholding on
April 3, 1981.
On August 1, 1988, Eugenio Orciga died. Prior to the final selection and determination of the
successor of the deceased tenant, on July 1, 1991, the heirs agreed to rotate among themselves the
cultivation of the riceland covered by said CLT. After cultivating and harvesting the riceland from 1989 to
1991, Ronald Orciga abandoned the said farm on May 3, 1991 and left the town.
On May 28, 1991, petitioner Del Castillo a member of the CAFGU (Citizens Armed Forces
Geographical Unit) forcibly entered the riceland of the late Eugenio Orciga. He started to cultivate the
said land over the objection of the respondents, effectively ejecting them from their possession and
cultivation of the land.
Respondents filed a Complaint on June 10, 1991, with the Office of Provincial Adjudicator, DARAB,
Naga City. for Reinstatement with Mandatory Injunction and Damages. Petitiner (Del Castillo), in his
Answer, averred that Orciga failed to give lessor's share and was advised by DAR Para-legal Officer to
take over the cultivation of the land denying ejectment of respondents. He also claimed Orciga
mortgaged portions of the farm.
PARAD rendered a Decision in favor of petitioner. A Motion for Reconsideration was filed by
respondents, but the same was denied.
Undaunted, Del Castillo, on July 18, 2001, interposed a petition for review before the CA, which was
docketed as CA G.R. SP No. 66122.
On petition for review, the appellate court concluded that petitioner Del Castillo had no right to take
possession of the farmland being disputed even if the heirs had failed to deliver the agricultural lessor's
share. It held that when the beneficiary abandons the tillage or refuses to gain rights accruing to the
farmer-beneficiary under the law, it will be reverted to the government and not to the farm lot owner.
Hence, this petition for review on certiorari.

Issue:

Who should be entitled to possess the disputed landholding under the DAR Land Transfer Program
the petitioner, as representative of the former titled landowner, or the respondents, as successors of
the deceased beneficiary?

Held:

The Court holds respondents to be the rightful possessors of the disputed farmland and at the same
time, rejects the instant petition.
Undeniably, Eugenio Orciga, the original beneficiary and predecessor-in-interest of respondents, was
awarded Certificate of Land Transfer No. 0070176 over the contested land pursuant to PD No. 27.
Therefore, for all intents and purposes, he is the acknowledged owner of the contested land.
A Certificate of Land Transfer (CLT) is a document issued to a tenant-farmer, which proves inchoate
ownership of an agricultural land primarily devoted to rice and corn production. It is issued in order for
the tenant-farmer to acquire the land. This certificate prescribes the terms and conditions of ownership
over said land and likewise describes the landholding its area and its location. A CLT is the provisional
title of ownership over the landholding while the lot owner is awaiting full payment of the land's value
or for as long as the beneficiary is an "amortizing owner."
In the case at bar, the petitioner has two options; first, to bring the dispute on the non-payment of
the land to the DAR and the Barangay Committee on Land Production that will subsequently resolve said
dispute pursuant to Ministry of Agrarian Reform (MAR) Memorandum Circular No. 26, series of 1973
and other issuances; and, second, to negotiate with the DAR and LBP for payment of the compensation
claim pursuant to Section 2 of EO No. 228. Eventually, the scheme under EO No. 228 will result to the
full payment of the compensation of the value of the land to Menardo del Castillo, petitioner's father
and former landowner.
From the foregoing options, it is indubitably clear that the reconveyance of the land to the former
owner is not allowed. The policy is to hold such lands under trust for the succeeding generations of
farmers. The objective is to prevent repetition of cases where the lands distributed to the tenant-
farmers reverted to the former lot owners or even conveyed to land speculators. Thus, possession of the
land cannot be restored to petitioner del Castillo although there was failure of the heirs to pay the
landowner's share or compensation. The transfer or conveyance of the riceland can only be made to an
heir of the beneficiary or to any other beneficiary who shall in turn cultivate the land. In the case in
hand, even if Ronald Orciga has abandoned the land, the right to possess and cultivate the land legally
belongs to the other heirs of Eugenio Orciga. Undoubtedly, petitioner Del Castillo is not a beneficiary of
Eugenio Orciga the original beneficiary; hence, petitioner has no legal right to the possession of the
farmland.

RIGHT OF REDEMPTION; THE ISSUE ON REDEMPTION HAVING ATTAINED FINALITY, PETITIONER'S
EFFORT TO MODIFY THE SAME IS BARRED BY RES JUDICATA

Alejandro Moraga vs. Sps. Julian and Felicidad Somo, et al.
G.R. No. 166781 (September 5, 2006)

Facts:

The property in dispute is a parcel of agricultural land consisting of 1.7467 hectares which is located in
Pandayan, Meycauayan, Bulacan, and covered under Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. T-5926 in the
name of Victoriano Ipapo who died on 6 June 1976. This property was tenanted by Alejandro Moraga,
the deceased father of petitioner Enrique Moraga.
On 7 March 1973, Victoriano Ipapo sold the landholding to his daughters Felicidad, Carmelita, and
Herminigilda, and their respective spouses, Julian Somo, Reynaldo Fernandez and Gil San Diego
(respondents) for P10,000.00 per Bilihan Tuluyan of even date, with the knowledge and consent of
Alejandro Moraga as admitted in his affidavit.
On 22 July 1981, a Certificate of Land Transfer (CLT) No. 0-042737 was issued in favor of Alejandro
Moraga for the same parcel of agricultural land and eventually, TCT No. EP-108 (m) was issued in his
favor.
On 11 October 1993, respondents filed with the DARAB a complaint for Cancellation of the Certificate
of Land Transfer and the Emancipation Patent and for Ejectment against Enrique and Mercedes Moraga
(Moragas), the surviving heirs of the late Alejandro Moraga who died on 25 August 1993. Mercedes
Moraga is the surviving spouse of the deceased Alejandro Moraga. The case was docketed as DARAB
Case No. 567-Bul '93.
Finding that the EP was issued not in accordance with Presidential Decree No. 27 and that the
Moragas violated their obligations as tenants of the subject landholding, the Provincial Adjudicator, in a
decision dated 30 June 1994, rendered a judgment in favor of respondents. The Moragas filed a motion
for reconsideration which was denied for lack of merit. The Moragas then appealed to the Court of
Appeals.
In the meantime, respondents filed an application for retention with the Department of Agrarian
Reform (DAR) which was opposed by petitioner Enrique Moraga. In an Order dated 22 February 1994,
the Regional Director of DAR Region III granted the application for retention by respondents.
Petitioner appealed to the Secretary of Agrarian Reform who affirmed the decision of the Regional
Director in an Order dated 14 October 1994.
Unfazed, petitioner appealed the ruling of the Secretary of Agrarian Reform to the Court of Appeals.
Said appealed ruling of the Secretary of Agrarian Reform was consolidated by the Court of Appeals with
the appealed decision of the DARAB in Case No. 567-Bul '93. The consolidated cases were docketed as
CA-G.R. No. SP No. 38445.
In a Decision dated 28 September 1995, the Court of Appeals dismissed the two appeals in CA-G.R. SP
No. 38445, thus affirming the rulings of the DARAB and the Secretary of Agrarian Reform. The decision
became final and executory since no either motion for reconsideration nor appeal from the same were
ever filed by any party.
While the CA-G.R. SP No. 38445 was still pending before the Court of Appeals, petitioner and
Mercedes Moraga, on 6 April 1995, filed before the Provincial Adjudicator of Malolos, Bulacan, a
complaint for Redemption against respondents which was docketed as DARAB Case No. 927-Bul '95.
In a Decision dated 23 November 1995, the Provincial Adjudicator, opined that the case for
redemption has been rendered moot and academic inasmuch as respondents, by virtue of the said
ruling of the Court of Appeals, had acquired vested rights over the subject property.
On appeal, the DARAB in Case No. 927-Bul '95 affirmed with modification the decision of the
Provincial Adjudicator. The DARAB, while sustaining the Provincial Adjudicator's ruling that the Moragas'
right to redeem has prescribed, stated that the heirs of Alejandro Moraga shall remain as tenants and
are entitled to security of tenure. The Moragas filed a motion for reconsideration of the foregoing
decision denying their claim for redemption. Respondents likewise filed a motion for reconsideration of
the said decision insofar as it decreed that Alejandro Moraga's heirs shall "remain tenants entitled to
security of tenure." Both motions were denied by the DARAB.
Hence, both parties appealed to the Court of Appeals.
In a decision dated 29 January 2003, the Special Third Division of the Court of Appeals rendered a
judgment in CA-G.R. SP No. 63895 affirming in toto the decision of the DARAB. Since no appeal was filed
by either party, this decision became final and executory.
On the other hand, the Sixth Division of the Court of Appeals, in resolving the sole issue in CA-G.R. SP
No. 70051 on whether or not the DARAB is correct in ordering that the heirs of Alejandro Moraga
remain as tenants in the subject landholding, ruled for the respondents. It ratiocinated that the DARAB
committed palpable error in decreeing that Alejandro Moraga's heir "shall remain as tenants entitled to
security of tenure" considering that the said ruling alters the already final and executory decision of the
Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 38445, enunciating that the Moragas are not entitled to security of
tenure for violating their obligations as tenants.
Undeterred, petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration of the above decision. The Court of Appeals
did not budge from its stand and denied the motion in a Resolution dated 11 January 2005.

Issues:

Whether or not petitioner shall remain as tenant of the landholding entitled to security of tenure?
Whether or not the petitioner has a right of redemption over the landholding subject of the instant
case?
Whether or not petitioner is entitled to disturbance compensation?

Held:

Contrary to what petitioner believed, the said portion of the body of the decision is merely an obiter
dictum. In fact, the dispositive portion of the decision categorically upholds the eviction of petitioner. If
indeed, it was pronounced in the said decision that petitioner were to remain as tenant, then the
dispositive portion of the same would not have upheld petitioner's eviction. It should be remembered
that while the body of a decision, order or resolution might create some ambiguity regarding which way
the court's reasoning propenderates, it is the dispositive portion thereof that finally invests rights upon
the parties, sets conditions for the exercise of those rights, and imposes the corresponding duties and
obligations.
Since CA-G.R. SP No. 38445 resolved the issue of security of tenure and ordered petitioner's eviction,
this Court can no longer entertain petitioner's attempt to re-litigate the same on the ground of res
judicata. In a zealous attempt to salvage his case for redemption, petitioner insisted that the late
Victoriano Ipapo failed to inform petitioner's deceased father in writing and the DAR of the sale of the
land in question in violation of Section 12 of Republic Act No. 6389, amending Sections 11 and 12 of
Republic Act No. 3844. By raising this issue, petitioner is trying to resuscitate the decision of the Court of
Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 63895, dated 29 January 2003, which has already attained finality. It must be
recalled that said decision declared that petitioner lost his right to redeem the property on the grounds
of prescription and that petitioner's father has waived his right to redeem said property. Said issue on
redemption having attained finality, petitioner's effort to modify the same is barred by res judicata.
Anent petitioner's claim of disturbance compensation, suffice it to state that since this matter is
brought up for the first time in this Petition for Review, this Court cannot take cognizance of the same.
The settled rule is that matters or issues not raised below cannot be raised before this Court for the first
time.

CERTIORARI; PETITION FOR REVIEW ON CERTIORARI UNDER RULE 65; 60 DAY PERIOD MUST BE
OBSERVED

Land Bank of the Philippines, Represented by Margarito B. Teves, President and CEO, Leticia Lourdes
Camara, Department Head-Landowners Compensation Department II, and Romeo V. Cadanial, Acting
LVD Head, AOC XI vs. The Honorable Bernardo V. Saludanes, in his capacity as Presiding Judge, Regional
Trial Court, Branch 2, Tagum City, Diosdado Cajes, in capacity as Deputy Sheriff, Regional Trial Court,
Branch 2, Tagum City, Soriano Fruits Corporation et al.
G.R. No. 146581 (December 13, 2006)

Facts:

Petition for review on certiorari assailing the Resolutions dated November 22, 2000 and January 9,
2001 of the Court of Appeals (Seventeenth Division) in CA-G.R. SP No. 59492.
The instant case stemmed from twenty one (21) petitions for just compensation filed on April 6, 1999
by several landowners with the Regional Trial Court, Branch 2, Tagum City, sitting as a Special Agrarian
Court. The Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), herein petitioner, and the Department of Agrarian Reform
(DAR) were impleaded as respondents. The petitions involve several tracts of land forming part of a
banana plantation operated by the AMS Group of Companies, one of herein respondents. Pursuant to
the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), the landowners offered to sell these parcels of
land to the government.
The Special Agrarian Court consolidated the cases and named a panel of Commissioners to receive
and evaluate evidence on the amount of compensation to be paid to the landowners. After trial, the
Special Agrarian Court admitted and approved the Appraisal Report of the Commissioners. On February
7, 2000, the said court rendered its joint Decision fixing, as it has judiciously determined, the just
compensation for the landholdings and the improvements of all the herein petitioners in all these
above-captioned docketed agrarian cases.
Petitioner LBP filed a motion for reconsideration but was denied by the Special Agrarian Court. The
LBP filed with the same court a Notice of Appeal. A few days after. The DAR also filed its Notice of
Appeal. Both notices of appeal was denied by the SAC.
The LBP filed a motion for reconsideration of the Order dated but was denied.
The joint Decision, having become final and executory, was entered in the Book of Entries of
Judgment of the Special Agrarian Court.
The LBP filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari.
In its Resolution the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition for having been filed thirty-two (32) days
beyond the sixty (60) day reglementary period prescribed by Section 4, Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil
Procedure. A motion for reconsideration but it was denied by the Appellate Court.

Issue:

Whether or not the untimely filing of the petition for certiorari be exempt from the operation of
Section 4, Rule 65 by reasons of justice and equity.

Held:

We deny the petition outright. Section 4, Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended,
provides:

SEC. 4. When and where petition filed. The petition may be filed not later than sixty (60) days
from notice of the judgment, order or resolution. In case a motion for reconsideration or new trial is
timely filed or new trial is timely filed, whether such motion is required or not, the sixty day period shall
be counted notice of the denial of said motion.

The petition shall be filed in the Supreme Court or, if it relates to the act or omission of a lower court or
of a corporation, board, officer, or person, in the Regional Trial Court exercising jurisdiction over the
territorial area as defined by the Supreme Court. It may also be filed in the Court of Appeals whether or
not the same is in aid of its appellate jurisdiction, or in the Sandiganbayan if it is in aid of its appellate
jurisdiction, if it involves the acts or omissions of a quasi-judicial agency, and unless otherwise provided
by law or these rules, the petition shall be filed in and cognizable only by the Court of Appeals.

No extension of time shall be granted except for compelling reasons and in no case exceeding 15 days.

In Yutingco v. Court of Appeals, we held that the period of 60 days to file a petition for certiorari is
reasonable and sufficient. It provides for ample time for a party to mull over and prepare a petition
asserting grave abuse of discretion by a lower court, tribunal, board, or officer, It was specifically set to
avoid any unreasonable delay that would violate the constitutional rights of parties to a speedy
disposition of their cases. Hence, the 60-day period must be considered non-extendible, except where a
good and sufficient reason can be shown to warrant an extension.

COMMERCIAL FARM; DEFERMENT ORDER SERVES AS NOTICE OF COVERAGE AFTER THE EXPIRATION OF
THE DEFERMENT PERIOD

CONVERSION; REQUIREMENTS; DAR SHOULD REFER TO THE COMPREHENSIVE LAND USE PLANS AND
THE ORDINANCES OF THE SANGGUNIAN IN ASSESSING LAND USE CONVERSION APPLICATIONS

DAR, as represented by its Secretary, Rene C. Villa vs. Sarangani Agricultural Co., Inc., Acil Corp, Nicasio
Alcantara and Tomas Alcantara
G.R. No. 165547 (January 24, 2007)

Facts:

Respondents are the owners of the lands in question which have been reclassified from agricultural
into non-agricultural uses by virtue of a municipal zoning ordinance (MZO), and are included in the
comprehensive land use plan of the Municipality of Alabel, approved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan
of Sarangani. A portion of the area involving 376.5424 hectares, however, was covered by the CARL
commercial farms deferment scheme.
On July 2, 1998, respondent Sarangani Agricultural Company, Inc. (SACI) filed an application for land
use conversion of various parcels of land with an aggregate area of 1,005 hectares covering lot No. 1-C,
2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 2, 39, 53, 806 and 807. Meanwhile, members of the Sarangani Agrarian Reform
Beneficiaries Association, Inc. (SARBAI) sent a letter-petition to the DAR Secretary opposing the
application for land use conversion filed by SACI. They alleged that its members were merely forced to
sign the waiver of rights. Later, an "Urgent Petition for the Denial of Land Use Conversion Application of
Banana Commercial Farm of SACI" was filed by SARBAI.
The PLUTC, recommended the disapproval of 158.0672 hectares planted with bananas and coconuts.
The committee noted that said portion of the property was still viable for agriculture, irrigated, with
Notice of Coverage, and under protest or with opposition from SARBAI.
SACI contended among others that 1) the banana plantations will be transformed into a socialized
housing subdivision which will be made available to the displaced workers and the other low income
earners of Alabel; 2) at the time the application for land use conversion was filed, no Notice of Coverage
was ever issued by DAR, and the subsequent issuance of such notice was highly irregular because the
same may be issued only after the final resolution of the application for land use conversion; and 3) the
previous Order of Deferment cannot be a legal barrier to the filing of an application for land use
conversion.
DAR Secretary denied SACI's application for land use conversion. The Office of the President dismissed
the appeal and affirmed in toto the challenged DAR Orders. Respondents' motion for reconsideration
was denied, elevated the case with the Court of Appeals on petition for review raising substantially the
same issues. The Court of Appeals rendered a Decision granting the petition, the assailed Decision and
Order of the Office of the President, as well as the Orders of the DAR Secretary were reversed and set
aside insofar as the DAR directs the MARO of Alabel, Sarangani to proceed with the distribution of the
banana and coconut areas subject of the June 16, 1998 Notice of Coverage. The Secretary of the
Department of Agrarian Reform was directed to issue a conversion order covering the aforesaid area
under the terms and conditions as provided in pertinent guidelines of the department. As to the rest of
the area applied for conversion, action on which has been deferred, the DAR Regional Office (DAR
Region No. XI) is hereby DIRECTED to expedite the processing and evaluation of petitioners' land use
conversion application in accordance with the provisions of DAR AO No. 7, Series of 1997, and DAR AO
No. 01-99 whenever the provisions of the latter issuance are made applicable to those applications filed
before its effectivity.
It also enjoined the DAR Secretary and all officers and employees acting on his behalf from proceeding
with the distribution of petitioners' lands under compulsory acquisition provided in Sec. 16 of R.A. No.
6657. Actions already taken in pursuance of the June 16, 1998 Notice of Coverage under CARP are also
nullified for DAR's failure to observe due process therein.

Issues:

Whether or not the notice of coverage was illegal for failure of the DAR to observe due process?
Whether or not DAR should use the Comprehensive Land Use Plans and accompanying ordinance of
the local sanggunian as primary reference so as not to defeat the very purpose of the Local Government
Unit (LGU) concerned in reclassifying certain areas to achieve social and economic benefits in pursuance
to its mandate towards the general welfare?
Whether or not DAR failed to take into consideration the basic provisions and principles of law with
special attention to the requirements or preconditions for land classification/conversion and the basic
mandate of the CARP?

Held:

On due process issue, a notice of coverage is not an indispensable requirement before DAR can
acquire the subject lots or commercial farms, which are covered by a deferment period under the CARL
or R.A. No 6657 upon its effectivity on June 15, 1998.
The process of acquisition of commercial farms by DAR is specifically provided under Article III, Section
9 of A.O. 9, that in VOS and CA, the Order of Deferment previously issued over the landholding shall
serve, upon the expiration of the deferment period of the subject commercial farm, as the Notice of
Coverage. It is unnecessary for petitioner to issue a notice of coverage to respondents in order to place
the properties in question under CARP coverage. Hence, the contention by respondents that due
process was not duly observed by petitioner must fail. Accordingly, the denial of the application for
conversion must be upheld.
On the second issue, DAR Administrative Order No. 7, Series of 1997, or the Omnibus Rules and
Procedures Governing Conversion of Agricultural Lands to Non-agricultural Uses prescribes the
guidelines for land use conversion. In connection thereto, Sec 20 of R.A. 7160, [the Local Government
Code of 1991], empowers the local government units to reclassify agricultural lands.
Memorandum Circular No. 54 "Prescribing the Guidelines Governing Section 20 of R.A. No. 7160
Otherwise Known as the Local Government Code of 1991 Authorizing Cities and Municipalities to
Reclassify Agricultural Lands Into Non-Agricultural Uses" issued by President Fidel V. Ramos on June 8,
1993 specified the scope and limitations on the power of the cities and municipalities to reclassify
agricultural lands into other uses.
With regard to agricultural lands that have been reclassified for non-agricultural uses by the local
government unit concerned, the CA is correct in declaring that DAR should refer to the comprehensive
land use plans and the ordinances of the Sanggunian in assessing land use conversion applications.
The conversion of agricultural lands into non-agricultural uses shall be strictly regulated and may be
allowed only when the conditions prescribed under R.A. No. 6657 are present. In this regard, the Court
agrees with the ratiocination of the CA that DAR's scope of authority in assessing land use conversion
applications is limited to examining whether the requirements prescribed by law and existing rules and
regulations have been complied with. This holds true in the present case where, because of the creation
of the Province of Sarangani and in view of its thrust to urbanize, particularly its provincial capital which
is the Municipality of Alabel, the local government has reclassified certain portions of its land area from
agricultural to non-agricultural. Thus, to reiterate, in accordance with E.O. No. 72, Series of 1993, and
subject to the limitations prescribed by law, DAR should utilize the comprehensive land use plans in
evaluating the land use conversion application of respondents whose lands have already been
reclassified by the local government for non-agricultural uses.
The creation of the new Province of Sarangani, and the reclassification that was effected by the
Municipality of Alabel did not operate to supersede the applicable provisions of R.A. No. 6657.
Moreover, Section 20 of the LGC of 1991 on the reclassification of lands explicitly states that
"[n]othing in this section shall be construed as repealing, amending or modifying in any manner the
provisions of R.A. No. 6657."
The petition is PARTLY GRANTED insofar as the issue on due process is concerned. In connection with
this, the denial by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) of respondents' application for conversion
with regard to the 154.622 [or 154.1622] hectares, the deferment period of which has already expired,
is AFFIRMED; and the Orders of the DAR, directing the MARO of Alabel, Sarangani to proceed with the
distribution of the banana and coconut areas subject of the June 16, 1998 Notice of Coverage, are
REINSTATED.

TENANCY RELATIONSHIP; PERSONAL CULTIVATION AS ESSENTIAL REQUISITE

REDEMPTION RIGHT; ONLY BONAFIDE TENANTS MAY AVAIL OF THE RIGHT OF REDEMPTION

Gerardo Castillo vs. Court of Appeals, Nigaderio Pangilinan, Tranquilino Cua and Juliana Francisco Pajota
G.R. No. 161959 (February 2, 2007)

Facts:

Juliana F. Pajota is the registered owner of an agricultural land situated at Gapan, Nueva Ecija. On
August 28, 1993, Pajota appointed Tranquilino Cua as her attorney-in-fact to negotiate with the
Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation for the cancellation of a real estate mortgage on the land. On
December 5, 1994, Pajota leased the land to petitioner as evidenced by a Kasunduan Buwisan sa
Sakahan.
On December 8, 1995, a Deed of Cancellation of Mortgage and a Deed of Absolute Sale dated
September 28, 1995, in favor of respondent Nigaderio Pangilinan, were presented simultaneously
before the ROD of Nueva Ecija. Thereafter, a new TCT was issued in Pangilinan's name.
Petitioner alleged that when he visited the land, he was driven away by Pangilinan and Cua and also
discovered that the land was already fenced with wooden posts and barbed wire. He reported the
incident to the Philippine National Police Station in Gapan, Nueva Ecija and also alleged that upon
learning of the sale, he sent two letters to Pangilinan demanding to vacate the property, informing
Pangilinan that he was exercising his right of redemption. He also tendered a payment of P50,000 which
he deposited with Security Bank, Gapan Branch. The said money was consigned with the Office of the
Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator in Cabanatuan City.
Petitioner filed before the PARAD a Petition for Redemption and Ejectment, who dismissed the case
on the ground that Castillo had no cause of action against Pangilinan since he was not the latter's
tenant. On reconsideration and after the impleaded Pajota and Cua, the PARAD reversed his decision.
He ruled that Castillo was a tenant entitled to exercise the right of redemption under Section 12 of
Republic Act No. 3844.
The respondents appealed to the DARAB which reversed the ruling of the PARAD in a new judgment,
declaring plaintiff-appellee not a bona fide tenant over the property in suit and ineligible to avail of the
right of redemption granted under Sec 12 of R.A. No. 3844; and ordering the maintenance of
respondents-appellants in peaceful possession of the landholding.
The DARAB ruled that only a bona fide tenant who cultivates the land himself and with the aid
available from his immediate farm household may exercise the right of redemption granted by Sec 12
R.A. No. 3844. Based on the records, Castillo was gainfully employed as a manager of Warner Lambert
Philippines during the period when he should have been cultivating the land. Thus, he could not have
cultivated the land himself as his employment required him to report for office work regularly.
Petitioner moved for reconsideration but the DARAB denied the same. Then petitioner filed a petition
for review under Rule 43 of the Rules of Court with the Court of Appeals, seeking to set aside the
decision and resolution of the DARAB. The appellate court dismissed the petition, reiterating that only
bona fide tenants may avail of the right of redemption.

Issue:

Whether or not petitioner is a bona fide tenant of Respondent Pajota, and whether he can avail the
right of redemption in a lease contract he entered into?

Held:

The element of personal cultivation by the petitioner was not proven. There is a dearth of evidence on
record to show that the petitioner personally cultivated the lands. Much less was it shown that he was
assisted by his sons in his farm work. This is fatal to the petitioner's cause as without the element of
personal cultivation, a person cannot be considered a tenant even if he is so designated in the written
agreement of the parties.
The Kasunduan Buwisan sa Sakahan entered into by Pajota and the petitioner can not by itself prove
that the petitioner is a bona fide tenant. To determine whether a tenancy relationship exists, the
concurrence of all the following essential requisites must be established by substantial evidence: (1) the
parties are the landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee; (2) the subject matter of the
relationship is an agricultural land; (3) there is consent between the parties to the relationship; (4) the
purpose of the relationship is to bring about agricultural production; (5) there is personal cultivation on
the part of the tenant or agricultural lessee; and (6) the harvest is shared between the landowner and
the tenant or agricultural lessee.
The petition fails to show that the petitioner is a bona fide tenant. Hence, his petition cannot be
granted.

JUST COMPENSATION; PAYMENT OF THE COMPENSATION MUST BE WITHIN THE REASONABLE TIME
FROM ITS TAKING

APO Fruits Corporation and Hijo Plantation, Inc. vs. The Hon. Court of Appeals and Land Bank of the
Philippines
G.R. No. 164195 (February 6, 2007)

Facts:

Apo Fruits Corporation (AFC) and Hijo Plantation, Inc. (HPI) are the registered owners of five parcels of
agricultural lands located in San Isidro, Tagum, Davao Province.
On 12 October 1995, AFC and HPI voluntarily offered to sell the above parcels of land to the
government. On 16 October 1996, AFC and HPI received separately from PARO of Davao province a
notice of land acquisition and valuation, informing AFC that the value of the properties has been placed
at P86,900,925.88 or P165,484.47 per hectare while HPI's properties were valued at P164,478,178.14.
AFC rejected the valuation for both TCTs No. T-113366 and No. 113359, and applied for the shifting of
the mode of acquisition for TCT No. 113359 from Voluntary Offer to Sell (VOS) to Voluntary Land
Transfer/Direct Payment Scheme. HPI also rejected the valuation of its three parcels of land covered by
TCTs No. T-10361, No. T-10362 and No. T-10363.
Owing to the rejection by both AFC and HPI of LBP's valuation, the DAR requested LBP to deposit the
amounts equivalent to their valuations in the names and for the accounts of AFC and HPI. AFC thereafter
withdrew the amount of P26,409,549.86, while HPI withdrew the amount of P45,481,706.76, both in
cash from LBP. The DAR PARO then directed the Register of Deeds of Davao to cancel the TCTs of AFC
and HPI to the said properties and to issue a new one in the name of the Republic of the Philippines.
After the issuance of the certificate of title in the name of the RP the ROD of Davao, upon the request
of the DAR, issued TCTs and Certificates of Land Ownership Award to qualified farmer-beneficiaries.
On 14 February 1997, AFC and HPI filed separate complaints for determination of just compensation
with the DAR Adjudication Board (DARAB). Despite the lapse of more than three years from the filing of
the complaints, the DARAB failed and refused to render a decision on the valuation of the land. Hence,
two complaints for determination and payment of just compensation were filed by AFC and HPI before
Branch 2 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Tagum City (acting as a Special Agrarian Court), which were
subsequently consolidated.
The SAC rendered a decision dated 25 September 2001 fixing the just compensation for the
1,388.6027 hectares of lands and its improvements owned by the plaintiffs.
LBP filed a Motion for Reconsideration on 5 October 2001 on the ground that the trial court based its
valuation on the value of residential and industrial lands in the area forgetting that the lands involved
are agricultural. On December 5, 2001, the trial court modified its decision ordering the DAR to pay
interest.
LBP filed a Notice of Appeal and was given due course in the Order of the RTC dated 15 May 2002. In
the same Order, the RTC set aside its Order dated 5 December 2001 granting execution pending appeal.
On 28 March 2003, LBP filed a Petition for Certiorari before the Court of Appeals assailing the 4
November 2002 and 12 February 2003 orders of the trial court. The Court of Appeals granted said
petition for being meritorious.
AFC and HPI filed a joint Motion for Reconsideration which the Court of Appeals denied in its
Resolution dated 21 June 2004.
Earlier, on 23 January 2003, DAR filed its own separate petition before the Court of Appeals by way of
a Petition for Review. The Court of Appeals dismissed the petition of the DAR for failure to state the
material dates under Rule 42, Section 2, of the Rules of Court.
The Decision of the Court of Appeals in the Petition filed by the DAR in CA-G.R. SP No. 74879 became
final and executory and entry of judgment was issued by the appellate court on 7 May 2003.
On the other hand, from the decision of the Court of Appeals in the Petition filed by LBP in CA-G.R. SP
No. 76222, AFC and HPI filed the present Petition for Review on Certiorari.

Issue:

Whether or not there is payment of Just Compensation?

Held:

The concept of just compensation embraces not only the correct determination of the amount to be
paid to the owners of the land, but also the payment of the land within a reasonable time from its
taking. Without prompt payment, compensation cannot be considered "just" inasmuch as the property
owner is being made to suffer the consequences of being immediately deprived of his land while being
made to wait for a decade or more before actually receiving the amount necessary to cope with his loss.
Just compensation is defined as the full and fair equivalent of the property taken from its owner by the
expropriator. It is not the taker's gain but the owner's loss. The word "just" is used to intensify the
meaning of the word "compensation" to convey the idea that the equivalent to be rendered for the
property to be taken shall be real, substantial, full, and ample.
When the trial court arrived at the valuation of a landowner's property taking into account its nature
as irrigated land, location along the highway, market value, assessor's value and the volume and value of
its produce, such valuation is considered in accordance with Republic Act No. 6657.
Conspicuously, the trial court did not merely rely solely on the appraisal report submitted by the
Commissioners. The trial court conducted hearings for the purpose of receiving the parties' evidence.
The SAC, correctly determined the amount of just compensation due to AFC and HPI.

JURISDICTION; RTC DOES NOT HAVE JURISDICTION OVER PETITION FOR ANNULMENT OF DARAB
DECISIONS; DARAB IS A CO-EQUAL BODY WITH THE RTC AND ITS DECISIONS ARE BEYOND THE RTC's
CONTROL

Springfield Development Corporation, Inc. and Heirs of Petra Capistrano Piit vs. Hon. Presiding Judge of
Regional Trial Court of Misamis Oriental, Branch 40, Cagayan de Oro City, Department of Agrarian
Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB), et al.
G.R. No. 142628 (February 6, 2007)

Facts:

Petra Capistrano Piit previously owned Lot No. 2291 located in Cagayan de Oro City which measured
123,408 sq. m. under TCT No. T-62623. Springfield Development Corporation, Inc. (Springfield) bought
Lot No. 2291-C with an area of 68,732 sq. m., and Lot No. 2291-D with an area of 49,778 sq. m.
Springfield developed these properties into a subdivision project called Mega Heights Subdivision.
On May 4, 1990, the DAR, through its Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer, issued a Notice of Coverage
(NOC), placing the property under the coverage of R.A. No. 6657. The heirs of Piit, opposed the NOC. On
August 27, 1991, Provincial Adjudicator Abeto A. Salcedo, Jr. rendered a decision declaring the nature of
the property as residential and not suitable for agriculture. The Regional Director filed a notice of
appeal, which the PARAD disallowed for being pro forma and frivolous. The decision became final and
executory and Springfield proceeded to develop the property.
The DAR Regional Director filed a petition for relief from judgment of the PARAB Decision before the
DARAB. In its Decision dated October 5, 1995, the DARAB granted the petition and gave due course to
the NOC. It also directed the MARO to proceed with the documentation, acquisition, and distribution of
the property to the true and lawful beneficiaries.
On June 13, 1997, Springfield and the heirs of Piit (petitioners) filed with the RTC of Cagayan de Oro
City, Br. 40, a petition for annulment of the DARAB Decision dated October 5, 1995 and all its
subsequent proceedings, contending that the DARAB decision was rendered without affording
petitioners any notice and hearing. The RTC issued an Order dated June 25, 1997, dismissing the case for
lack of jurisdiction.
On July 2, 1997, petitioners filed with the Court of Appeals (CA) a special civil action for certiorari,
mandamus, and prohibition with prayer for the issuance of writ of preliminary injunction and/or
temporary restraining order. Petitioners alleged that the RTC committed grave abuse of discretion when
it ruled that the annulment of judgment filed before it is actually an action for certiorari in a different
color; that what they sought before the RTC is an annulment of the DARAB Decision and not certiorari,
as the DARAB Decision is void ab initio for having been rendered without due process of law.
The CA dismissed the petition for lack of merit, ruling that the RTC does not have jurisdiction to annul
the DARAB Decision because it is a co-equal body.

Issues:

Whether or not the RTC has jurisdiction to annul a final judgment of the DARAB?
Whether the petition for annulment of the DARAB judgment could be brought to the CA?

Held:

With the introduction of B.P. Blg. 129, the rule on annulment of judgments was specifically provided
in Section 9(2), which vested in the then Intermediate Appellate Court (now the RTC) the exclusive
original jurisdiction over actions for annulment of judgments of RTCs. Sec. 9(3) of B.P. Blg. 129 also
vested the CA with "exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all final judgments, decisions, resolutions,
orders, or awards of Regional Trial Courts and quasi-judicial agencies, instrumentalities, boards or
commissions, except those falling within the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in accordance
with the Constitution, the provisions of this Act, and of sub-paragraph (1) of the third paragraph and
subparagraph (4) of the fourth paragraph of Section 17 of the Judiciary Act of 1948." As provided in
paragraph 16 of the Interim Rules and Guidelines implementing B.P. Blg. 129, the quasi-judicial bodies
whose decisions are exclusively appealable to the CA are those, which under the law, R.A. No. 5434, or
its enabling acts, are specifically appealable to the CA.
The DARAB is a quasi-judicial body created by Executive Order Nos. 229 and 129-A. R.A. No. 6657
delineated its adjudicatory powers and functions. The DARAB Revised Rules of Procedure adopted on
December 26, 1988 specifically provides for the manner of judicial review of its decisions, orders,
rulings, or awards.
Given that DARAB decisions are appealable to the CA, the inevitable conclusion is that the DARAB is a
co-equal body with the RTC and its decisions are beyond the RTC's control. The CA was therefore correct
in sustaining the RTC's dismissal of the petition for annulment of the DARAB Decision dated October 5,
1995, as the RTC does not have any jurisdiction to entertain the same.
Section 9(2) of B.P. Blg. 129 vested in the CA the exclusive original jurisdiction over actions for
annulment of judgments, but only those rendered by the RTCs. It does not expressly give the CA the
power to annul judgments of quasi-judicial bodies.
Consequently, the silence of B.P. Blg. 129 on the jurisdiction of the CA to annul judgments or final
orders and resolutions of quasi-judicial bodies like the DARAB indicates its lack of such authority.

EXEMPTION; DETERMINATION OF FACTUAL MATTERS; THE COURT OF APPEALS HAVING THE
JURISDICTION ON THE CONTROVERSY MUST RE-EVALUATE THE FACTUAL ASPECTS OF THE CASE

Paulino Reyes, et al. vs. Fil-Estate Properties, Inc., and Court of Appeals
G.R. No. 148967 (February 9, 2007)

Facts:

Petitioners are the tenants of the disputed portion of Hacienda Looc which has been the subject of
application for exclusion from CARP coverage pursuant to Administrative Order No. 10, Series of 1994.
By virtue of Presidential Decree No. 27, a portion of the hacienda with an aggregate area of
1,282.9767 hectares that were planted with rice and corn were distributed to the farmers, and
emancipation patents (EPs) were accordingly issued.
The hacienda was acquired by the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) from the Magdalena
Estate, Inc. through a Deed of Cession in Payment of Debt on May 19, 1971.
Pursuant to Executive Order No. 14 issued on February 3, 1987, certain assets and liabilities of DBP
were transferred to the Government of the Republic of the Philippines. Among the properties that were
transferred was Hacienda Looc.
On February 27, 1987, DBP executed a Deed of Transfer of the properties in favor of the Government.
On the same date, a Trust Agreement was entered into by the Government and the Asset Privatization
Trust (APT) whereby the latter was constituted trustee of Hacienda Looc.
On June 28, 1990, APT entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Department of
Agrarian Reform (DAR) Wherein APT signified its intention to sell to DAR portions of the hacienda under
the Voluntary Offer to Sell (VOS) scheme of R.A. No. 6657 on the condition that DAR will return to APT
non-CARPable portions of the property. Between 1991 and 1993, DAR generated 25 Certificates of Land
Ownership Awards (CLOAs) to the farmers of the hacienda.
On December 10, 1993, APT conducted a public bidding involving the property in question. Bellevue
Properties, Inc. tendered the highest cash bid. It thereafter assigned the right to purchase the property
to Manila Southcoast Development Corporation (MSDC), subrogating to the latter all its rights, claims
and benefits under the DAR-APT MOA.
On March 7, 1995, MSDC filed an adverse claim over Hacienda Looc before the Register of Deeds of
Nasugbu, Batangas. In the same year, MSDC was able to register the disputed ten parcels of land of the
hacienda with an aggregate area of 1,219.0133 hectares.
On April 10, 1995, MSDC filed a petition before the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication
Board (DARAB), Region IV, for the cancellation of the notices of acquisition issued by DAR; the
cancellation of the CLOAs; and the conversion of the property into non-agricultural uses.
On May 30, 1995, PARAD Antonio Cabili issued an Order stopping all joint venture agreements in
Hacienda Looc.
Between the months of January and June of 1996, the RARAD issued three Partial Summary
Judgments canceling the fifteen (15) CLOAs issued to the farmers, including those covering the ten
parcels of land. The cancellation was grounded on the waiver allegedly executed by the farmer-
beneficiaries who declared that the lands they were tilling were not suitable for agriculture.
On October 4, 1996, private respondent, by virtue of a Joint Venture Agreement with MSDC for the
purpose of developing the area covered by the ten cancelled CLOAs, filed a Petition for Exclusion of the
subject lots from CARP coverage on the ground that they had an average slope of more than eighteen
percent (18%), and the area "has no semblance of agricultural development whatsoever."
Meanwhile, petitioners, along with the other farmer-beneficiaries affected by the order, filed a
complaint with the Office of the DAR Secretary objecting to the cancellation of their respective CLOAs.
On December 26, 1996, the DAR Regional Director for Region IV issued an Order granting the Petition
for Exclusion filed by Fil-Estate pursuant to Administrative Order (A.O.) No. 10, Series of 1994. As a
result, the subject ten parcels of land with an aggregate area of 1,219.0133 hectares were exempted
from CARP coverage.
On January 29, 1997, petitioners, aggrieved by the Order of Exclusion, filed their appeal with the
Office of the DAR Secretary, on the grounds that 1) there was no due process as they were not informed
of the exemption case or the proceedings thereof; 2) the cancellation of the CLOAs was based on the
waivers allegedly executed by the farmer-beneficiaries; and 3) the property was agriculturally developed
and, therefore, covered by CARP.
On March 25, 1998, the DAR Secretary issued an Order, ordering the coverage of the agriculturally
developed areas, re-documentation of the same under CARP acquisition and awarded to individual
beneficiaries found to be qualified under the CARL. Petitioners filed Motion for Reconsideration but the
same was denied. Petitioner then filed an appeal with the Office of the President but the same was
denied. The OP affirmed the Order of the Secretary.
Petitioners filed a petition for review under Rule 43 of the Rules of Court with the Court of Appeals
(CA) assailing the decision of the Executive Secretary. The CA, in its resolution, dated September 4, 2000,
denied the petition.

Issue:

Whether or not the disputed ten parcels of land are exempt from CARP coverage?

Held:

One of the reasons why petitioners are objecting to the cancellation of their CLOAs and the exclusion
of the ten parcels of land from CARP coverage is because these lots are agricultural and developed.
While it is true that the DAR officials have generally found the lots to have an average slope of 18%, the
contention that the same have been cultivated and are actually agriculturally developed so as to make
them subject to CARP is a factual matter that must be looked into.
Upon a review of the records, the Court agreed with petitioners that there are factual matters that
should be re-examined to properly resolve the case. The Court is not a trier of facts. The CA, having the
appellate jurisdiction to rule on the controversy, must re-evaluate the factual aspects of the case in
order to prevent a miscarriage of justice.
While, generally, petitioners' failure to comply with the procedural requirements prescribed under the
Rules of Court would warrant the dismissal of the petition, fundamental considerations of substantial
justice persuade the Court to have the present case decided on the merits rather than dismissed on a
technicality. It is settled that the rules of procedure are not to be applied in a very strict and technical
sense. These are used only to help secure rather than override substantial justice. The stringent
application of the rules must yield to the demands of substantial justice.
The petition is GRANTED. The case is REMANDED to the Court of Appeals for it to render a decision on
the merits with DISPATCH.

EXEMPTION; EXEMPTION OF LIVESTOCK FROM CARP; CONDITIONS THEREOF; RULES OF
ADMINISTRATIVE BODIES MUST BE IN HARMONY WITH THE CONSTITUTION

Department of Agrarian Reform vs. Vicente K. Uy
G.R. No. 169277 (February 9, 2007)

Facts:

This is a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court of the Amended
Decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. SP No. 70541 and the Resolution of the appellate court
denying the motion for reconsideration thereof. The CA reversed and set aside the Decision of the Office
of the President (OP) which had affirmed the Order of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR)
exempting only a portion (219.50 hectares) of respondent Vicente K. Uy's 349.9996-ha landholding from
the coverage of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).
Some 44 farmers who occupied portions of the property owned by the respondent filed petitions in
the DAR, seeking to be declared as owners- beneficiaries. The DAR issued a Notice of Coverage under
the CARP over the property. Respondent, in behalf of the co-owners, filed an Application for Exclusion,
through Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer (PARO) Durante L. Ubeda citing the Luz Farms ruling as the
property had been exclusively used for livestock-raising for several years prior to June 15, 1988.
MARO Belen Babalcon made a Final Report, declaring that 346.000 ha, more or less, is devoted to
coconut and livestock farming; The MARO declared that while a total of 429 livestock heads are being
raised in the property, "the total area for exclusion is undetermined because there are portions
occupied by tenants which should not be excluded from CARP coverage."
Meanwhile, PARO Ubeda submitted a separate Report where he declared the following: that the total
number of Certificate[s] of Ownership is 434 which is more than the actual headcount of 401; that the
number of cattle 7 years old and above totaled 134 heads with 13 males and 121 females as of date of
certification; and that 300 cattles were of ages 6 years old and below with 76 males and 234 females.
The applicants, through Uy, wrote a letter to DAR Region IV Director Percival C. Dalugdug, requesting
for a reinvestigation of the Report of PARO Ubeda. This request was reiterated in a letter where the
applicants requested, for the first time, the exclusion of another parcel of land 22.2639 ha and
covered by TCT No. T-11948 which is contiguous to the 349.9996-ha lot covered by their earlier
application.
The Regional Director issued an Order affirming the findings and recommendation of PARO Ubeda.
Respondent and his co-owners appealed. Arguing that the properties have been devoted to livestock-
raising even prior to 1977. Thus, the landholdings should be excluded from CARP coverage. They further
argued that for purposes of determining the area for exclusion under A.O. No. 9, the entire number of
livestock should be credited in applying the ratio of one head to one hectare and that the landholdings
totaled only 370 ha and there are 429 heads of livestock, they have more than complied with A.O. No. 9,
Series of 1993.
The DAR issued an Order suspending the processing and issuance of Certificates of Land Ownership
Awards to the farmers-beneficiaries of the landholding covered by TCT No. 160988 pending the
resolution of the appeal. On October 7, 1996, the DAR issued an Order partially granting the application
for exclusion.
The applicants appealed the Order to the OP via an Appeal with Prayer for Status Quo/Stay of
Execution. The President, through then Deputy Executive Secretary Renato C. Corona (now a member of
the Court), rendered a decision dismissing the appeal for lack of merit. Respondent and his co-owners
filed a Motion for Reconsideration, which was denied for being devoid of substantial merit.
The OP, issued a Memorandum for DAR Secretary Morales referring the case for the Secretary's final
disposition, on the matter of exemption from CARP coverage of the subject landholding.
Respondent for himself and in behalf of other owners then filed a "Petition for Review with
Application/Prayer for Status Quo and/or Stay of Execution" before the CA, alleging that the OP
committed errors. Judgment was rendered affirming the decision of the OP and, consequently, the
October 7, 1996 DAR Order.
Respondent and his co-owners filed a motion for reconsideration of the decision, praying that the
entire 349.9996 has. be exempted from CARP coverage. On May 24, 2004, the CA rendered an Amended
Decision reversing and setting aside its previous decision.

Issues:

Whether or not the 349.9996-hectare landholding of Vicente K. Uy used in raising livestock, poultry
and swine are exempted from the coverage following the Luz Farms Doctrine?
Whether or not the second motion for reconsideration filed by respondent tolled the reglementary
period to appeal?
Whether or not the application of DAR Administrative Order No. 9, Series of 1993 on the respondent's
landholding of more or less 472 ha. is valid in light of the ruling of this Court in Department of Agrarian
Reform v. Sutton, where DAR Administrative Order No. 9, Series of 1993 was declared unconstitutional?

Held:

It must be shown that the entire landholding, and not just portions of it, should be devoted to
livestock raising. The words "regardless of age" in the order should be interpreted to mean only those
heads of cattle existing as of June 15, 1988. Accordingly, the ratio of land to livestock should be based on
those livestock found existing in the landholding at the time R.A. No. 6657 took effect on June 15, 1988.
This is consistent with the intent of the law to prevent fraudulent declaration of areas actually, directly
and exclusively used for livestock as well as to protect the rights of agrarian beneficiaries therein.
It is clear then that only one motion for reconsideration is allowed to be filed from a decision,
resolution or order of the OP. However, the filing of a second motion for reconsideration is not
absolutely prohibited. A second motion for reconsideration is allowed in exceptionally meritorious
cases.
It is doctrinal that rules of administrative bodies must be in harmony with the provisions of the
Constitution. They cannot amend or extend the Constitution. To be valid, they must conform to and be
consistent with the Constitution. In case of conflict between an administrative order and the provisions
of the Constitution, the latter prevails. The assailed A.O. of petitioner DAR was properly stricken down
as unconstitutional as it enlarges the coverage of agrarian reform beyond the scope intended by the
1987 Constitution.
The instant petition is PARTIALLY GRANTED. The Amended Decision of the CA in CA-GR SP No. 70541
exempting the parcel of land under TCT No. T-160988 with an area of 349.9996 hectares from coverage
of the CARP is AFFIRMED. However, the Amended Decision exempting the 22.2639-hectare landholding
covered by TCT No. 11948 from the coverage of the CARP is REVERSED and SET ASIDE.

JUST COMPENSATION; DETERMINATION AND PAYMENT OF COMPENSABLE AREAS

Land Bank of the Philippines vs. Juan H. Imperial
G.R. No. 157753 (February 12, 2007)

Facts:

Respondent Juan H. Imperial owned five parcels of land with a total area of 156.1000 hectares,
located in Barangay Pawa, Manito, Albay. Pursuant to the Land Reform Program under Presidential
Decree No. 27 and Executive Order No. 228, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) placed these
lands under its Operation Land Transfer (OLT). On October 21, 1972, the lands were distributed to
deserving farmer beneficiaries. On July 20, 1994, Imperial filed a complaint for determination and
payment of just compensation in the Regional Trial Court.
During the course of the trial, the court created a commission to examine, investigate and ascertain
facts relevant to the dispute including the lands' valuation. On June 21, 1996, the commission submitted
a report containing the following findings: (1) the lands were not first-class riceland; (2) the irrigation
came from a creek which depended on rains; (3) the harvest was once a year; (4) about fifteen hectares
were devoted to non-fruit bearing coconut trees; (5) approximately five hectares were upland rice while
the rest of the area was uncultivated; and (6) the lands were rolling hills.
Using the formula under P.D. No. 27 and E.O. No. 228 for computing the land value, the commission
fixed the just compensation at P2,012.50/hectare, for a total of P314,151.25. Imperial vigorously
objected to the valuation. Thus, the trial court referred the report back to the commission for further
reception of evidence.
The commission submitted another report, with the following observations: (1) of the total land area
of 156.1000 hectares, only 151.7168 hectares were compensable since 4.3832 hectares were either
used by Imperial or devoted to right of way, barrio site, or feeder road; (2) the irrigated area was only
1,000 square meters; and (3) the lands were generally devoted to upland rice.
After due proceedings, the trial court issued on August 4, 2000, a judgment, fixing the compensable
area of 151.7128 has. at P2,185,241.50. It also declared as non-compensable 4.3832 hectares which
were either used by Imperial or devoted to right of way, barrio site, or feeder road. The trial court fixed
the just compensation at P14,375/hectare for unirrigated area, and P57,500/hectare for irrigated area,
for a total of P2,185,241.50.
The party appealed to the CA where on November 23, 2001, the CA set aside the trial court's decision,
and remanded it to the court of origin for re-evaluation of the correct compensation.

Issues:

Whether a 6% annual interest should be included in computing the just compensation?
Whether the areas used as feeder road, right of way, and barrio site should be considered as
compensable?

Held:

DAR A.O. No. 13 applies to all landowners: (1) whose lands are actually tenanted as of October 21,
1972, or thereafter, and covered by the OLT; (2) who opted for government-financing through the
petitioner as the mode of compensation; and (3) who have not yet been paid the value of their land. It
provides a formula for determining the land value and the additional interests it would have earned.
The grant of six percent (6%) yearly interest compounded annually shall be reckoned as Tenanted as
of 21 October 1972 and covered under OLT which is From 21 October 1972 up to the time of actual
payment but not later than December 2006; and Tenanted after 21 October 1972 and covered under
OLT: From the date when the land was actually tenanted (by virtue of Regional Order of Placement
issued prior to August 18, 1987) up to the time of actual payment but not later than December 2006
(Emphasis supplied.)
The taking of private lands under the agrarian reform program partakes of the nature of an
expropriation proceeding. Just compensation in expropriation proceedings represents the full and fair
equivalent of the property taken from its owner by the expropriator.
The respondent should be compensated for what he actually lost and that should include not only the
areas distributed directly to the tenant beneficiaries but also those areas used as feeder road, right of
way, and barrio site, which were undoubtedly diverted to the use of the public. The only area that ought
to be excluded is the portion or portions retained by the respondent as owner-cultivator for his own
use.

ANNULMENT OF JUDGMENT; PETITION FOR ANNULMENT OF FINAL PARAD DECISION IS NOT ALLOWED
UNDER THE RULES OF COURT

Valentin P. Fraginal, et al. vs. The Heirs of Toribia Belmonte Paraal, represented by Pedro Paraal, et al.
G.R. No. 150207 (February 23, 2007)

Facts:

The heirs of Toribia Belmonte Paraal, filed with the Office of the Provincial Agrarian Reform
Adjudicator (PARAD) of the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB), Camarines Sur,
a Complaint for Termination of Tenancy Relationship, Ejectment, and Collection of Arrear Rentals and
Damages, against Fraginal, et al.
Fraginal, et al. filed an Answer questioning the jurisdiction of the PARAD on the ground that they are
not tenants of the Heirs of Toribia Paraal, for the land they are tilling is a 1.1408-hectare public
agricultural land within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Department of Environment and Natural
Resources.
The PARAD issued a Decision on October 8, 1998 ordering the ejectment of Fraginal.
On April 5, 2001, two years from issuance of the PARAD Decision, Fraginal, et al. filed with the CA a
Petition for Annulment of Judgment with Prayer for Issuance of Preliminary Injunction and/or
Restraining Order. They insisted that the PARAD Decision is void as it was issued without jurisdiction. CA
dismissed the Petition in its April 24, 2001 Resolution. Likewise, CA also denied the Motion for
Reconsideration of Fraginal, et al. in the assailed Resolution dated September 3, 2001.

Issue:

Whether or not the Honorable Court of Appeals erred in holding that Rule 47 of the Rules of Court
pertains only to judgment or final orders and resolutions in civil actions of the Regional Trial Court?

Held:

The Petition for Annulment of Judgment filed by Fraginal, et al. before the CA failed to meet the
conditions.
First, it sought the annulment of the PARAD Decision when Section 1 of Rule 47 clearly limits the
subject matter of petitions for annulment to final judgments and orders rendered by Regional Trial
Courts in civil actions. Final judgments or orders of quasi-judicial tribunals or administrative bodies such,
in this case, the PARAD, are not susceptible to petitions for annulment under Rule 47.
Second, Section 1, Rule 47 does not allow a direct recourse to a petition for annulment of judgment if
other appropriate remedies are available, such as a petition for new trial, and a petition for relief from
judgment or an appeal.
The 1994 DARAB New Rules of Procedures, which was applicable at the time the PARAD Decision was
issued, provided for the mode of appeal: Under Rule XIII Section 1 (b), it does not allow for a petition for
annulment of a final PARAD Decision. While the DARAB Rules provide for an appeal to the DARAB from a
decision of the PARAD, Fraginal, et al. did not avail of this remedy.
Moreover, there is nothing in Rule XIII that allows a petition for annulment of a final PARAD Decision.
As held in Macalalag, there must be a law granting such right, in the absence of which, Fraginals' petition
for annulment of judgment was correctly denied due course by the CA.

JURISDICTION; BARC CERTIFICATION IS NOT NECESSARY TO BE PRESENTED TO ADJUDICATOR IF THE
PARTIES ARE RESIDING IN NON-ADJOINING BARANGAYS

ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES EXERCISING QUASI-JUDICIAL FUNCTIONS ARE NOT BOUND BY TECHNICAL
RULES FOLLOWED IN COURTS OF LAW

Espinosa vs. Quiboloy
G.R. No. 147525 (February 26, 2007)

Facts:

A complaint for ejectment was filed against petitioner by private respondent Maria V. Quiboloy, as co-
owner and administratrix of three (3) parcels of land covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. 3676.
She alleged that petitioner had reneged on his obligations as tenant to pay the rent and till the subject
landholding. Petitioner filed his answer assailing Quiboloy's personality to bring suit. Petitioner also
offered unsubstantiated denials of Quiboloy's charges. As his defense, he denied allegations of non-
payment of rents and non-tillage of the land for lack of knowledge and information to form a belief as to
the veracity thereof. The provincial adjudicator was sufficiently convinced that Quiboloy's allegations
were true and correct. Accordingly, he decided the case against petitioner. Instead of immediately
appealing from the adjudicator's decision, petitioner allowed the reglementary period to lapse.
Thereafter, he filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals. The appellate court dismissed the
petition, reiterating the well-settled rule that certiorari lies only in cases of errors of jurisdiction and not
errors of judgment. It stressed that certiorari cannot be a substitute for a lost appeal.

Issue:

Whether or not the Provincial Adjudicator of Pampanga (PARAD) is correct in proceeding with the
case without first complying with the jurisdictional requirements on BARC certification under the DARAB
Revised Rules of Procedure?

Held:

The PARAD did not err in entertaining the dispute notwithstanding the absence of the BARC
Certification. The 1989 DARAB Rules exempted parties residing in non-adjoining barangays from
presenting the BARC Certification. Since it is undisputed that Quiboloy resided in San Nicolas 1st, Lubao,
Pampanga while petitioner stayed in San Agustin, Lubao, Pampanga, the former was not required to
present the BARC certification before the adjudicator taking cognizance of the agrarian dispute.
Under the law, administrative agencies exercising quasi-judicial functions are not bound by technical
rules. The adjudicator is given enough latitude, subject to the essential requirements of administrative
due process, to be able to expeditiously ascertain the facts of the agrarian dispute. The assailed acts of
the adjudicator did not amount to a grave abuse of discretion justifying a writ of certiorari. Considering
the technical flexibility afforded to agrarian adjudicators, the order may easily be construed as a denial
of the motion to dismiss. What would have been the prudent recourse under the rules was to submit an
answer immediately, participate in the hearing and appeal an adverse decision. The petitioner failed to
do any of these. It is now too late for him to dispute the adjudicator's decision.
The petition is DENIED.

APPEAL; THE MODE OF APPEAL FROM DECISIONS OR ORDERS OF DAR AS QUASI-JUDICIAL BODY IS BY
PETITION FOR REVIEW TO THE CA

Robert Padua vs. The Hon. Court of Appeals, Atty. Delfin B. Samson, Department of Agrarian Reform,
and Mr. Teofilo Inocencio
G.R. No. 153456 (March 2, 2007)

Facts:

Private respondents Pepito dela Cruz, et al. were tenants of Lot Nos. 68 and 90 of the Dolores
Ongsiako Estate in Anao, Tarlac. In 1966, upon the request of Anao Mayor Catalino Cruz (Mayor Cruz),
Dela Cruz, et al. agreed to donate said properties to the municipality on the condition that these be used
as school sites. The project did not materialize and, in 1977, Dela Cruz, et al. asked that the properties
be returned to them. However, they found out that Mayor Cruz had distributed Lot No. 68 to Flor
Labagnoy (Labagnoy) and Lot No. 90 to Edwin Cruz (Cruz) who were each issued a Certificate of Land
Transfer (CLT).
Upon Petition for Cancellation of CLT filed by Dela Cruz, et al., Department of Agrarian Reform
Secretary Condrado Estrella issued an Order dated April 19, 1982 (Estrella Order), cancelling the CLT
issued to Labagnoy and Cruz. The latter filed a Petition for Relief from Judgment for lack of due process
but the same was denied by Secretary Estrella in his Order dated September 19, 1984. Labagnoy and
Cruz appealed to the Office of the President (OP) which dismissed the same in an Order dated May 9,
1990. Said OP Order became final and the same was partially executed with the restoration of Lot No. 68
in the possession of Dela Cruz, et al.
During the pendency of the appeal before the OP, Cruz executed an Affidavit of Waiver over his
interest in Lot No. 90 on the basis of which DAR Regional Office III issued an Order dated December 7,
1987 cancelling the CLT of Cruz and declaring Lot No. 90 open for disposition. On November 7, 1989,
then DAR Secretary Miriam Defensor Santiago issued an Order awarding Lot No. 90 to herein petitioner
Roberto Padua (Padua) who had been occupying said property and paying the amortization thereon to
the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP).
Aggrieved, Dela Cruz, et al., acting thru Anao Mayor Clemente Apuan, filed with the DAR Secretary a
Letter-Petition for Cancellation (Letter-Petition) of the December 7, 1987 DAR Regional Office III Order
and the November 7, 1989 DAR Order, the same was granted in an Order by Secretary Ernesto Garilao
dated July 2, 1995.
Accordingly, DAR Regional Director Nestor Acosta issued a Memorandum dated May 9, 2000,
directing herein public respondent Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer Teofilo Inocencio (PARO
Inocencio) to implement the Garilao Order. In turn, PARO Inocencio instructed Municipal Agrarian
Reform Officer Lino Mabborang (MARO Mabborang) to issue the necessary documents to award Lot No.
90 to Dela Cruz, et al.
In justifying his recourse to a Petition for Annulment, Padua claims that the DAR under Sec. 50 of
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL) cannot take cognizance of the petition for cancellation
because the matter involved is a civil law issue relating to the validity of a contract of sale executed by
LBP and petitioner, not an agrarian reform matter; that cancellation can only be ordered by a court of
justice, not by an administrative agency exercising only quasi-judicial powers.
Padua also claimed lack of due process in that he was allegedly never impleaded as a party to the
Petition for Cancellation of CLT nor furnished a copy of the Letter-Petition but that he became aware of
the Garilao Order only when it was about to be implemented.
Padua filed with the CA a Petition for Annulment of Final and Executory Order of the DAR Secretary on
December 18, 2001. The CA issued Decision dismissing the Petition for Annulment. Padua filed a Motion
for Reconsideration which the CA denied in its May 7, 2002 Resolution.

Issue:

Whether the Court of Appeals committed reversible error in not holding that the Department of
Agrarian Reform acted without jurisdiction?

Held:

Section 61 of R.A. No. 6657 provides that a DAR Decision or Order be reviewable by the CA in
accordance with the Rules of Court. In turn, the Rules of Court, consistent with Supreme Court
Administrative Circular No. 1-95 and R.A. No. 7902, prescribes under Rule 43 that the mode of appeal
from decisions or orders of DAR as a quasi-judicial agency is by petition for review to the CA. Padua's
recourse to a Petition for Annulment of the Garilao Order, rather than a petition for review, was
therefore fatally infirm.
The July 2, 1995 Order, then DAR Secretary Garilao Order was therefore issued by Sec. Garilao in the
exercise of his power under Section 50 of R.A. No. 6657 and Section 2 (b) of Administrative Order No.
06-00.
As Padua himself admitted that he is still paying amortization on Lot No. 90 to LBP, his status in
relation to said property remains that of a mere potential farmer-beneficiary whose eligibilities DAR may
either confirm or reject. In fact, under Section 2 (d) of Administrative Order No. 06-00, DAR has
authority to issue, recall, or cancel a CLT, CBC, EP, or CLOA issued to potential farmer-beneficiaries but
not yet registered with the Register of Deeds.
As to the claim of Padua that he was not accorded due process in the cancellation of the Santiago
Order which awarded Lot No. 90 in his favor, this is belied by his own Annex "A" in support of his Urgent
Reiteration of Application for Restraining Order or for Observance of Judicial Courtesy as Mandated by
Eternal Gardens versus Court of Appeals.
Thus, any defect in due process was cured by the fact that Padua had filed a Motion for
Reconsideration and an Appeal to the OP from the Garilao Order.
The petition is DENIED for lack of merit. The Decision dated December 18, 2001 and Resolution dated
May 7, 2002 of the Court of Appeals are AFFIRMED.

TENANCY RELATIONSHIP; ALL REQUISITES MUST CONCUR IN ORDER TO CREATE A TENANCY
RELATIONSHIP

Heirs of Nicolas Jugalbot, et al. vs. Heirs of Virginia A. Roa, et al.
G.R. No. 170346 (March 12, 2007)

Facts:

On September 28, 1997, an Emancipation Patent (EP) was issued to Nicolas Jugalbot based on the
latter's claim that he was the tenant of the subject property located at Brgy. Lapasan, Cagayan de Oro
City, registered in the name of Virginia A. Roa under TCT No. T-11543. The property was originally
registered in the name of Marcelino Cabili from whom Virginia A. Roa purchased the same sometime in
1966.
On August 10, 1998, the heirs of Virginia A. Roa, herein private respondents, filed before the DARAB
Provincial Office of Misamis Oriental a Complaint for cancellation of title (TCT No. E-103), Recovery of
Possession and Damages against Nicolas Jugalbot.
On October 23, 1998, a Decision was rendered dismissing private respondents' complaint and
upholding the validity of the Emancipation Patent. Private respondent filed a motion for reconsideration
but was denied.
On appeal, the DARAB Central Office affirmed the Provincial Adjudicator's decision on the sole ground
that private respondents' right to contest the validity of Nicolas Jugalbot's title was barred by
prescription.
On November 10, 2003, the DARAB denied private respondents' motion for reconsideration, hence
they filed a petition for review before the Court of Appeals which was granted. The appellate court
reversed the Decision and Resolution of the DARAB Central Office on the following grounds: (1) the
absence of a tenancy relationship; (2) lack of notice to Virginia Roa by the DAR; (3) the area of the
property which was less than one hectare and deemed swampy, rainfed and kangkong-producing: and
(4) the classification of the subject property as residential, which is outside the coverage of P.D. No. 27.

Issues:

Whether or not a tenancy relationship exists?
Whether or not the petitioners are de jure tenants of private respondents?

Held:

The petitioners are not de jure tenants of private respondents under P.D. No. 27 due to the absence
of the essential requisites that establish a tenancy relationship between them.
There is no concrete evidence on record sufficient to establish that the petitioners personally
cultivated the property under question or that there was sharing of harvests except for their self-serving
statements. The fact of sharing alone is not sufficient to establish a tenancy relationship.
The taking of subject property was done in violation of constitutional due process. The CA was correct
in pointing out that Virginia A. Roa was denied due process because the DAR failed to send notice of the
impending land reform coverage to the proper party.
Likewise, the property under dispute is residential property and not agricultural property. Zoning
Certification No. 98-094 issued on September 3, 1998 clearly shows that the subject property is located
within the Residential 2 District in accordance with paragraph (b), Section 9, Article IV of Zoning
Ordinance No. 880, Series of 1979 issued by the City Planning and Development Office of Cagayan de
Oro City.

REAL PARTIES IN INTEREST; CERTIFICATION ALONE THAT CLOAs WERE ALREADY GENERATED IN THE
NAMES OF FARMERS DOES NOT VEST ANY RIGHT AS AWARDEES THUS, CANNOT BE CONSIDERED REAL
PARTIES IN INTEREST

Samahang Magsasaka ng 53 Hektarya, represented by Elvira M. Baladad vs. Wilfredo G. Mosquera, et al.
G.R. No. 152430 (March 22, 2007)

Facts:

Petitioner Samahang Magsasaka ng 53 Hektarya (Samahan) is an association of farmer-beneficiaries
duly recognized by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR). Petitioner alleged that its members had
been cultivating the disputed land for many years prior to the effectivity of R.A. 6657, (Comprehensive
Agrarian Reform Law). Respondents are the registered owners of three parcels of land covered by
Transfer Certificate of Title Nos. T-267409, T-267410, and T-267411, which have an aggregate area of
53.1164 hectares located in Macabud, Rodriguez (formerly Montalban), Rizal. The disputed land was
previously owned by Philippine Suburban Development Corporation which planned to develop it as a
residential subdivision, and was sold to Vinebel Realties, Inc. in 1979 through an extrajudicial foreclosure
sale. Petitioner alleged that in 1994, the landholding was sold to respondents without any DAR
clearance, in violation of Section 6-D of CARL.
On July 7, 1994, the Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer (MARO) of Rodriguez, Rizal issued a Notice of
Coverage to the disputed land. On February 21, 1995, respondents applied for exemption from the
coverage of CARL based on Sec. 10, R.A. 6657.
On March 31 and August 7, 1995, the Regional Director of DAR-Region IV denied respondents'
application and Motion for Reconsideration, respectively. Respondents appealed the two Orders of the
Regional Director to the DAR Secretary, which on April 19 and July 9, 1996, Sec. Ernesto D. Garilao
denied.
In his April 19, 1996 order, Garilao stated that: as for the apparently conflicting certifications issued by
the CENRO of Antipolo, Rizal, on different dates, it is the view of this Office that there is actually no
conflict between the two certifications. The certification issued by Deputy Land Inspector Ruben A.
Cabreira on October 21, 1994 refers only to one of the three lots subject of the instant petition while the
other certification issued pertains to all the lots subject of the instant petition, which were described to
be "partly rolling and agricultural in nature and planted to fruit-bearing trees. Even assuming arguendo
that they are in conflict, it is submitted that between the two certifications, the second one should
prevail since it is not only the latest, [but] it is also more complete.
On appeal, Executive Secretary Ruben D. Torres set aside the DAR Secretary's Orders and exempted
the property from the CARL coverage through his June 25, 1997 Resolution. Petitioner and the DAR
subsequently filed a Motion for Reconsideration.
In the meantime, the Department of Agriculture (DA), through the Bureau of Soil and Water
Management, sent two missions to conduct fieldwork and validate the actual development in the
disputed land.
In a report transmitted by DA to Pres. Fidel V. Ramos, it was recommended that the disputed land be
exempted from conversion since the general area of the land, including areas with 18% slope, was
physically occupied and actively used for intensive and diversified farming.
On August 14, 1998, the OP denied petitioner's Motion for Reconsideration. On September 23, 1998,
petitioner, through Elvira M. Baladad, and the DAR jointly filed a second Motion for Reconsideration
which was denied by the OP in its December 22, 2000 Resolution.
Petitioner appealed the Resolutions of the OP to the CA through Rule 43 of the 1997 Rules of Civil
Procedure. The CA rules that the petitioner was not a real party in interest and had no legal standing to
sue.
On the exemption of the land from CARL, the CA found that the OP's Resolution was supported by
substantial evidence; hence, the CA did not substitute the OP's findings of fact.

Issues:

Whether or not petitioners are real parties-in-interest in this case?
Whether or not the subject landholding may be exempted from the coverage of the Comprehensive
Agrarian Reform Program?

Held:

Petitioner is not a real party-in-interest in this case. According to Sec. 2 of Rule 3 of the Rules of Court,
a real party-in-interest is the party who stands to be benefited or injured by the judgment in the suit or
the party entitled to the avails of the suit. We stand by the ruling in Fortich v. Corona that farmer-
beneficiaries, who are not approved awardees of CARP, are not real parties-in-interest. In Fortich, the
farmers who intervened in the case were mere recommendees.
The peculiar circumstances of this case should be noted. This petition originated from an application
for exemption from CARP which was filed by the respondents before the Regional Director of the DAR.
Petitioner entered the picture when the DAR's Orders were reversed by the OP. Petitioner's lack of
capacity to intervene in the case may not have been an issue before the OP since in administrative
cases, technical rules of procedure are not strictly applied. In fact, Sec. 50 of R.A. 6657 expressly allows
farmer leaders to "represent themselves, their fellow farmers, or their organization in any proceedings
before the DAR." This right of representation generally continues in appeals in congruence with the
provisions of Rule 3 of the Revised Rules of Court.
In the case at bar, members of petitioner Samahan are mere qualified beneficiaries of CARP. The
certification that CLOAs were already generated in their names, but were not issued because of the
present dispute, does not vest any right to the farmers since the fact remains that they have not yet
been approved as awardees, actually awarded lands, or granted CLOAs. Respondents cannot be
considered estopped from questioning petitioner's legal standing since petitioner appeared before the
OP after the latter decided in respondents' favor. When the petitioner appealed the case to the CA,
respondents duly questioned the petitioner's capacity to sue.
Thus, having resolved that the respondents have no legal standing to sue and are not the real parties-
in-interest, we find no more necessity to take up the other issues.

EXEMPTION; FACTUAL FINDINGS OF ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES ARE GENERALLY ACCORDED RESPECT
AND EVEN FINALITY BY THE SUPREME COURT

Department of Agrarian Reform, rep. by OIC-Secretary Nasser C. Pangandaman vs. Oroville Development
Corp., rep. by Antonio H. Tiu and Waldo G. Rebolos
G.R. No. 170823 (March 27, 2007)

Facts:

On July 7, 1997, petitioner, Oroville applied with DAR Regional Office No. X for exclusion of the subject
property from CARP coverage pursuant to DAR Administrative Order No. 06, s. of 1994. Petitioner
alleged that the property was reclassified into residential use prior to June 15, 1998, the date of
effectivity of RA 6557, per Town Plan and Zoning Ordinance No. 880, s. of 1979 of Cagayan de Oro City,
as approved by the HLURB on September 24, 1980.
On May 25, 1998, DAR Secretary Garilao issued an Order denying petitioner's application, declaring it
as agricultural and coverable under CARP. Petitioners' MR was denied thru an Order issued by DAR
Secretary Braganza on June 20, 2002, affirming Sec. Garilao's order.
Petitioner elevated the DAR Orders to the Office of the President (OP). OP rendered a Decision on
June 27, 2003, affirming the two earlier decisions of the DAR Secretaries. Petitioner's MR was denied by
the OP in its Resolution dated December 9, 2003.

On petition for review under Rule 43 of the Rules of Court, the Court of Appeals was faced with the
issue of whether the subject property is classified as agricultural as found by the DAR Secretary and
affirmed by the OP, or residential as alleged by respondent Oroville.
CA initially declared in its Decision dated March 16, 2005 that the subject property is agricultural on
the basis of a later certification to this effect dated February 10, 1997 issued by the City Development
Coordinator of the City Planning and Development Office which superseded the Certification dated
November 22, 1993 issued by the same authority.
Upon Oroville's motion for reconsideration, however, the CA set aside its earlier Decision and ruled
that the subject property has been reclassified as residential and therefore beyond the coverage of
CARP. This time, the appellate court gave credence to three (3) Zoning Certifications dated July 23, 2004
issued by the Assistant City Development Coordinator of the City Planning and Development Office to
the effect that the subject property is within the city's potential growth areas for urban expansion.
According to the Court of Appeals, these certifications were not considered by the court in the
resolution of Oroville's petition because they were not yet in existence when the petition was filed on
February 24, 2004.
In its Petition for Review dated January 9, 2006, the DAR seeks the reversal of the appellate court's
Amended Decision, arguing that the latter precipitately relied on the Zoning Certifications issued by the
City Planning and Development Office and erroneously assumed that a local government unit such as
Cagayan de Oro City has unconditional authority to classify and reclassify lands within its territorial
jurisdiction. The DAR points out that the Assistant City Development Coordinator herself clarified, in a
letter dated December 2, 2005, that the zoning classification of the subject property remains to be
agricultural considering that the 1979 Zoning Code of Cagayan de Oro City is still in force. Further, the
Zoning Certifications do not qualify as newly discovered evidence because the supposed basis for these
certifications, City Ordinance No. 7959, was already in effect in 2001, years before the Court of Appeals
rendered its original Decision in 2005.
The DAR maintains that the Certification dated February 10, 1997 to the effect that the subject
property is agricultural should be upheld because it was based not only on a zoning ordinance but, more
importantly, was approved prior to the effectivity of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL) in
1988. Oroville centers its comment on the argument that the subject property had been classified as
residential prior to the effectivity of the CARL and the Local Government Code (LGC). Moreover, it avers
that the subject property has been consistently declared as residential land as shown in previous tax
declarations. The DAR asserts that tax declarations are not conclusive of the nature of the property for
zoning purposes.
In the Orders dated May 25, 1998 and June 20, 2002, the DAR declared the property to be agricultural
on the basis primarily of the Certification dated February 10, 1997 prepared by the City Planning and
Development Office stating that it is within AGRICULTURAL DISTRICT per provision of Section 22-A of the
1994 Certified Ordinance of the City of Cagayan de Oro."

Issue:

Whether or not Certifications issued by the City Planning and Development Office are conclusive in
determining whether a landholding is exempt from CARP coverage?

Held:

In order to be exempt from CARP coverage, the subject property must have been classified as
industrial/residential before June 15, 1988. In this case, the DAR's examination of the zoning ordinances
and certifications pertaining to the subject property, as well as its field investigation, disclosed that the
same remains to be agricultural. The Zoning Certifications to the effect that the land is within the city's
potential growth area for urban expansion are inconsequential as they do not reflect the present
classification of the land but merely its intended land use.
Factual findings of administrative agencies are generally accorded respect and even finality by this
Court, if such findings are supported by substantial evidence, a situation that obtains in this case. The
factual findings of the Secretary of Agrarian Reform who, by reason of his official position, has acquired
expertise in specific matters within his jurisdiction, deserve full respect and, without justifiable reason,
ought not to be altered, modified or reversed. More so, because the DAR's findings have gone up the
ladder of administrative process and have been affirmed by the Office of the President.
Petition is GRANTED.

COVERAGE; COVERAGE AND ACQUISITION OF SUGARLANDS; VALIDITY OF SECTION 16, R.A. NO. 6657

Confederation of Sugar Producers Association, Inc., (CONFED), et al. vs. Department of Agrarian Reform
(DAR), Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), Land Registration Authority (LRA)
G.R. No. 169514 (March 30, 2007)

Facts:

A Prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order filed by the
Confederation of Sugar Producers Association, Inc., et al. It seeks, inter alia, to enjoin the Department of
Agrarian Reform, the Land Bank of the Philippines, and the Land Registration Authority from "subjecting
the sugarcane farms of Petitioner Planters to eminent domain or compulsory acquisition without filing
the necessary expropriation proceedings pursuant to the provisions of Rule 67 of the Rules of Court
and/or without the application or conformity of a majority of the regular farmworkers on said farms."
Petitioners CONFED, NFSP, UNIFED and PANAYFED claim that their members own or administer
private agricultural lands devoted to sugarcane. They and their predecessors-in-interest have been
planting sugarcane on their lands allegedly since time immemorial. While their petition is denominated
as one for prohibition and mandamus, the petitioners likewise seek to nullify paragraphs (d), (e) and (f)
of Section 16 of Republic Act No. (RA) 6657, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform
Law. In other words, their arguments, which will be discussed shortly, are anchored on the proposition
that these provisions are unconstitutional.

Issue:

Whether or not DAR acted in excess of jurisdiction by exercising the Power of Eminent Domain to
Deprive Thousands of Landowners, including the Member-Planters of Petitioner-Federations of their
Private Agricultural Lands, without Filing the Necessary Expropriation Proceedings pursuant to Rule 67
of the Rules of Court in Gross Violation of the Bill of Rights of the Constitution?

Held:

In Association of Small Landowners, the Court categorically passed upon and upheld the validity of
Section 16 of RA 6657, including paragraphs (d), (e) and (f), which sets forth the manner of acquisition of
private agricultural lands and ascertainment of just compensation.
The foregoing disquisition is binding and applicable to the present case following the salutary doctrine
of stare decisis et non quieta movere which means "to adhere to precedents, and not to unsettle things
which are established." Under the doctrine, when the Supreme Court has once laid down a principle of
law as applicable to a certain state of facts, it will adhere to that principle, and apply it to all future
cases, where facts are substantially the same; regardless of whether the parties and property are the
same. The doctrine of stare decisis is based upon the legal principle or rule involved and not upon the
judgment which results therefrom.
Contrary to the petitioners' submission that the compulsory acquisition procedure adopted by the
DAR is without legal basis, it is actually based on Section 16 of RA 6657. Under the said law, there are
two modes of acquisition of private agricultural lands: compulsory and voluntary. The procedure for
compulsory acquisition is that prescribed under Section 16 of RA 6657.
The procedure prescribed in Section 16 of RA 6657 is a summary administrative proceeding. As
outlined in Roxas, the said procedure, taken together with the pertinent administrative issuances of the
DAR, ensures compliance with the due process requirements of the law. More importantly, this
summary administrative proceeding does not preclude judicial determination of just compensation. In
fact, paragraph (e) of Section 16 of RA 6657 is categorical on this point as it provides that "[a]ny party
who disagrees with the decision may bring the matter to the court of proper jurisdiction for final
determination of just compensation."
The petitioners' main objection to paragraphs (d), (e) and (f) of Section 16 of RA 6657 is that they are
allegedly in complete disregard of the expropriation proceedings prescribed under Rule 67 of the Rules
of Court. The petitioners' argument does not persuade. As declared by the Court in Association of Small
Landowners, we are not dealing here with the traditional exercise of the power of eminent domain, but
a revolutionary kind of expropriation:
Indeed, it is not within the power of the Court to pass upon or look into the wisdom of the inclusion
by Congress of the sugar lands in the coverage of RA 6657. It is basic in our form of government that the
judiciary cannot inquire into the wisdom or expediency of the acts of the executive or the legislative
department, for each department is supreme and independent of the others, and each is devoid of
authority not only to encroach upon the powers or field of action assigned to any of the other
departments, but also to inquire into or pass upon the advisability or wisdom of the acts performed,
measures taken or decisions made by the other departments.
Petition is dismissed.

SERVICE BY REGISTERED MAIL; WHAT IS REQUIRED IN SERVICE BY REGISTERED MAIL

Land Bank of the Philippines vs. Heirs of Fernando Alsua, namely: Clotilde S. Alsua, Roberto S. Alsua,
Ma. Elena S. Alsua and Ramon Alsua
G.R. No. 167361 (April 2, 2007)

Facts:

Respondents are the heirs of the late Fernando Alsua, who was the registered owner of various
parcels of agricultural land with an aggregate area of approximately 50 hectares situated in Catomag,
Guinobatan, Albay.
The Department of Agrarian Reform initiated proceedings to acquire respondents' properties via the
Compulsory Acquisition Scheme under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law. Petitioner LBP valued
the properties at P2,361,799.91, which respondents rejected. Thus, the Department of Agrarian Reform
Adjudication Board (DARAB) commenced summary administrative proceedings to determine the
compensation for respondents' lands which eventually came out with a decision fixing the value of the
properties at P4,806,109.05, to which respondents opposed.
On 11 April 2002, petitioner LBP filed a petition for the determination of just compensation before the
RTC, Branch 3, Legazpi City which issued an Order dismissing the petition for failure to prosecute within
reasonable length of time.
Petitioner's counsel sought reconsideration of the order of dismissal, however, the trial court denied
the same because it was filed one day late and lacked merit.
Petitioner elevated to the Court of Appeals the issue of the timeliness of the filing of its motion for
reconsideration. Petitioner insisted that the copy of the order of dismissal should be deemed received
upon delivery to petitioner's counsel and not upon receipt by petitioner's guard on duty.
On 17 September 2004, the Court of Appeals promulgated the assailed Decision, dismissing the
petition for review. The Court of Appeals cited Rule 13, Section 8 and Section 10 of the Rules of Court in
disregarding petitioner's proposition that the fifteen-day period for filing the motion for reconsideration
should be reckoned from its counsel's actual receipt of the order of dismissal. It explained that the
purpose of this rule on service by registered mail is "to place the date of receipt of pleadings, judgments
and processes beyond the power of the party being served to determine at his pleasure."

Issue:

What is required in service by registered mail?

Held:

All that the rules of procedure require in regard to service by registered mail is to have the postmaster
deliver the same to the addressee himself or to a person of sufficient discretion to receive the same.
Thus, in prior cases, a housemaid, or a bookkeeper of the company, or a clerk who was not even
authorized to receive the papers on behalf of its employer, was considered within the scope of "a
person of sufficient discretion to receive the registered mail." The paramount consideration is that the
registered mail is delivered to the recipient's address and received by a person who would be able to
appreciate the importance of the papers delivered to him, even if that person is not a subordinate or
employee of the recipient or authorized by a special power of attorney.
In the instant case, the receipt by the security guard of the order of dismissal should be deemed
receipt by petitioner's counsel as well.
The instant petition for review on certiorari is DENIED.

TENANCY RELATIONSHIP; ESSENTIAL REQUISITES; TENANCY IS NOT A PURELY FACTUAL RELATIONSHIP IT
IS ALSO A LEGAL RELATIONSHIP

Loreto Reyes vs. Spouses Honorio and Josefina B. Joson, Dominador Masangkay, and Renato Robles
G.R. No. 143111 (June 7, 2007)

Facts:

Sometime in 1963, Hilarion Caragay hired Loreto Reyes, petitioner, as caretaker/watcher of a fishpond
situated in Doa Francisca, Balanga, Bataan. Caragay was then leasing the fishpond from its owner,
Apolonio Aguirre. In 1973, Caragay's lease contract expired. Tomas Aguirre, son of Apolonio Aguirre
(deceased), leased the fishpond to Honorio Joson for the period from 1973 to 1982. Upon the expiration
of the lease in 1982, Tomas Aguirre appointed Joson administrator of the fishpond.
As administrator of the fishpond, Joson, in June 1984, leased it to Felizardo Malibiran for five years.
The lease contract bears the signature of petitioner as bantay palaisdaan. Malibiran then retained
petitioner as fishpond caretaker/watcher during the five-year lease period.
Upon the expiration of Malibiran's lease, possession of the fishpond reverted to Joson who allowed
petitioner to continue working as caretaker/watcher. Sometime in November 1989, Caragay, the former
lessee, re-entered the fishpond and proceeded to harvest bangus and prawns therefrom with the
assistance of petitioner.
Caragay refused to vacate the premises, prompting Joson to file with the Municipal Trial Court (MTC)
of Balanga, Bataan a complaint for forcible entry. Eventually, the parties reached a compromise
agreement which was approved by MTC in a decision dated March 4, 1990. However, Caragay and his
workers, including petitioner, failed to comply with the compromise agreement, hence, the MTC issued
a writ of execution.
Thereupon, petitioner filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 3, Balanga, Bataan a petition
for injunction with prayer for a temporary restraining order (TRO) against spouses Honorio and Josefina
Joson, et al. The RTC rendered a Decision dismissing the petition for injunction for lack of jurisdiction.
On October 1, 1990, petitioner filed with the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (PARAD),
San Fernando, Pampanga a complaint for maintenance of peaceful possession with prayer for a TRO.
The Provincial Adjudicator rendered a Decision, declaring the plaintiff, Loreto Reyes, the lawful tenant
over the subject landholding, making the temporary restraining order permanent, and ordering the
respondent to respect the peaceful possession and actual occupation of the plaintiff Loreto Reyes. On
appeal, the DARAB, affirmed the judgment of the PARAD.
With the denial of their motion for reconsideration by the DARAB, respondents filed with the Court of
Appeals a petition for review, alleging in that the DARAB erred in finding that petitioner is an agricultural
tenant.
On March 13, 2000, the Court of Appeals rendered its Decision granting respondents' petition and
setting aside the DARAB's challenged Decision.

Issue:

Whether or not the petitioner is an agricultural tenant?

Held:

The principal factor in determining whether a tenancy relationship exists is intent. Tenancy is not a
purely factual relationship dependent on what the alleged tenant does upon the land. It is also a legal
relationship. The intent of the parties, the understanding when the farmer is installed, their written
agreements, provided these are complied with and are not contrary to law, are even more important.
The essential requisites to establish a tenancy relationship are: 1) that the parties are the landowner
and the tenant or agricultural lessee; 2) that the subject matter of the relationship is agricultural land; 3)
that there is consent between the parties to the relationship; 4) that the purpose of the relationship is
to bring about agricultural production; 5) that there is personal cultivation on the part of the tenant or
agricultural lessee; and 6) that the harvest is shared between the landowner and the tenant or
agricultural lessee.
All the above elements must concur in order to create a tenancy relationship. The absence of one
does not make an occupant of a parcel of land, a cultivator or a planter thereon, a de jure tenant. It is
only when an individual has established his status as a de jure tenant that he is entitled to security of
tenure and would thus come under the coverage of existing tenancy laws.
Moreover, mere occupation or cultivation of an agricultural land does not automatically convert a
tiller or farm worker into an agricultural tenant recognized under agrarian laws. Occupancy and
continued possession do not make one a de jure tenant. Tenancy status only arises if an occupant has
been given possession of an agricultural landholding for the primary purpose of agricultural production
which, in this case, is significantly absent. Based on the records, petitioner was a mere fishpond
watcher/caretaker.
As correctly ruled by the Court of Appeals, there is no evidence to prove petitioner's claim he is a
tenant on the subject fishpond. His bare assertions are insufficient. To prove a tenancy relationship, the
requisite quantum of evidence is substantial, defined as such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind
might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.

LAND VALUATION; VALUATION OF LAND COVERED UNDER P.D. 27

Land Bank of the Philippines vs. Sps. Vicente M. Estanislao and Luz B. Hermosa
G.R. No. 166777 (July 10, 2007)

Facts:

Petitioner challenges, via petition for review, the Court of Appeals' Decision affirming the valuation
and determination of just compensation by the Regional Trial Court of Balanga City, Branch I, sitting as a
Special Agrarian Court (SAC).
Spouses Vicente M. Estanislao and Luz B. Hermosa (respondents) are the registered owners of eight
parcels of land situated in Hermosa, Bataan with a total land area of 10.8203 hectares covered by
Transfer Certificates of Titles.
Sometime in 1996, 1997 and 1999, 10.5321 hectares (subject lots) of respondents' lands were
awarded to tenant-beneficiaries pursuant to the Operation Land Transfer Program (OLT) under
Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 27. Applying Executive Order (E.O.) 228, petitioner, together with the
Department of Agrarian Reform, valued the subject lots at P97,895 or P1.075 per square meter.
The formula used by petitioner and the DAR to compute the amount payable to respondents: is LV
(land value) = AGP (average gross production) x 2.5 x GSP (government support price)
Upon the request of the DAR, petitioner deposited the amount of P237,089.02, in cash and in bond, in
favor of respondents. Respondents subsequently filed a complaint before the SAC, against the DAR, the
petitioner, and the OLT tenant-beneficiaries.
The SAC, which named a panel of Commissioners to receive and evaluate evidence on the amount of
compensation to be paid to respondents, rendered a Decision on October 8, 2003, fixing the just
compensation at P20 per square meter.
Only petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration of the decision of the SAC, which motion was
denied, hence, petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals which affirmed the SAC decision, hence, this
petition.

Issue:

What is the land valuation formula that can be utilized in fixing the just compensation of landholding
that is covered under P.D. 27?

Held:

This Court held in Land Bank of the Philippines v. Natividad that seizure of landholdings or properties
covered by P.D. No. 27 did not take place on October 21, 1972, but upon the payment of just
compensation. Taking into account the passage in 1988 of R.A. No. 6657 pending the settlement of just
compensation, this Court concluded that it is R.A. No. 6657 which is the applicable law, with P.D. No. 27
and E.O. 228 having only suppletory effect.
Land Bank's contention that the property was acquired for purposes of agrarian reform on October
21, 1972, the time of the effectivity of PD 27, ergo just compensation should be based on the value of
the property as of that time and not at the time of possession in 1993, is likewise erroneous. In Office of
the President, Malacaang, Manila v. Court of Appeals, we ruled that the seizure of the landholding did
not take place on the date of effectivity of PD 27 but would take effect on the payment of just
compensation.
Under the factual circumstances of this case, the agrarian reform process is still incomplete as the just
compensation to be paid private respondents has yet to be settled. Considering the passage of Republic
Act No. 6657 (RA 6657) before the completion of this process, the just compensation should be
determined and the process concluded under the said law. Indeed, RA 6657 is the applicable law, with
PD 27 and EO 228 having only suppletory effect, conformably with our ruling in Paris v. Alfeche.
It would certainly be inequitable to determine just compensation based on the guideline provided by
PD 27 and EO 228 considering the DAR's failure to determine the just compensation for a considerable
length of time. That just compensation should be determined in accordance with RA 6657, and not PD
27 or EO 228, is especially imperative considering that just compensation should be the full and fair
equivalent of the property taken from its owner by the expropriator, the equivalent being real,
substantial, full and ample.

JURISDICTION; DARAB HAS NO AUTHORITY TO REVERSE THE ADMINISTRATIVE FINDINGS OF DAR ON
QUALIFICATION OF FB's

Sonny B. Manuel vs. Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) and Pedro Tejada
G.R. No. 149095 (July 24, 2007)

Facts:

The estate of Juan C. Cojuangco at Bakal 1, Talavera, Nueva Ecija (Cojuangco estate) was placed under
Operation Land Transfer pursuant to Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 27. A portion thereof was awarded
to Pedro Tejada (Tejada) as shown by Emancipation Patent (EP), issued in his name.
Petitioner filed with the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (PARAB), Nueva Ecija, a
Petition praying that the Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer (MARO) of Talavera, Nueva Ecija and the
Register of Deeds of Nueva Ecija be directed to cancel EP issued in the name of Tejada and to generate
and register a new emancipation patent in his name.
PARAB rendered a Decision, on November 11, 1996 ordering the MARO of Talavera, Nueva Ecija
and/or the PARO of DAR North, Nueva Ecija to cancel the EP issued to respondent Pedro Tejada and
generate a new EP in the name of petitioner Sonny Manuel and ordering the Register of Deeds of Nueva
Ecija to cancel EP 22205 issued in the name of respondent Pedro Tejada and register the new EP thus
generated by the DAR in the name of Sonny Manuel.
On appeal by Tejada, the DARAB issued a Decision affirming the cancellation of EP No. 22205 but, at
the same time, denying petitioner's application for EP.
Petitioner filed a Petition for Review with the CA which affirmed in toto the DARAB Decision, adding
that petitioner's employment as a Municipal Engineer and his having established residence in a
municipality different from where the subject property is located constitute abandonment. Petitioner's
Motion for Reconsideration was also denied in CA Resolution.

Issues:

Whether or not the DARAB has incidental jurisdiction to resolve an application for emancipation of
patent in the exercise of its original jurisdiction?
Whether or not DARAB may inquire into and reverse the finding of DAR on the status of the applicants
as an agrarian reform beneficiary?

Held:

Section 50 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 6657, reiterating Section 17, Chapter IV of Executive Order (E.O.)
No. 229, vested in DAR both quasi-judicial authority to adjudicate agrarian reform issues and
administrative prerogative to determine matters involving implementation of agrarian laws.
Inherent in the power of DAR to undertake land distribution for agrarian reform purposes is its
authority to identify qualified agrarian reform beneficiaries. Corollary to it is also the authority of DAR to
select a substitute to a previously designated beneficiary who may have surrendered or abandoned his
claim, and to reallocate the land awarded to the latter in favor of the former.
Since the identification and selection of CARP beneficiaries are matters involving strictly the
administrative implementation of the CARP, it behooves the courts to exercise great caution in
substituting its own determination of the issue, unless there is grave abuse of discretion committed by
the administrative agency.
It should also be equally binding on the DARAB for the simple reason that the latter has no appellate
jurisdiction over the former: the DARAB cannot review much less reverse the administrative findings of
DAR. Instead, the DARAB would do well to defer to DAR expertise when it comes to the identification
and selection of beneficiaries.
In proceedings for issuance of registered emancipation patents to an applicant who has been
appointed substitute beneficiary by DAR, the authority of the DARAB is limited to the examination of the
applicant's full-fledged membership in a recognized farmers' cooperative, as evidenced by a certification
to that effect issued by the SN and a final reallocation order issued by DAR. In said proceedings, the
DARAB cannot review, much less overturn, the administrative assessment made by DAR on the
qualifications of said applicant to be an agrarian reform beneficiary. However, if the proceeding
instituted is for cancellation of a registered emancipation patent, then the DARAB has the authority to
inquire into the qualifications of the holder of the emancipation patent to determine whether the latter
committed misrepresentation as to his basic qualifications, which is one of the grounds for cancellation
of his emancipation patent.
It is clear that the DARAB and the CA went overboard when they reversed the administrative finding
of DAR on the qualifications of petitioner. As the proceeding filed before the DARAB involved merely an
application for issuance of emancipation patent, it should have limited its adjudication to these
questions: a) whether petitioner has been appointed a substitute beneficiary by virtue of a final
reallocation order issued by DAR; b) whether he is a full-fledged member of the SN; and c) whether he
has paid in full the amount of just compensation.

AGRICULTURAL TENANCY RELATIONSHIP; SECURITY OF TENURE OF AGRICULTURAL LESSEE

Dolores Granada vs. Bormaheco, Inc., Represented by its Branch Manager, Hernane Lozanes
G.R. No. 154481 (July 27, 2007)

Facts:

Petitioner filed a petition for Status Quo with Prayer for the Issuance of a Preliminary Injunction,
before the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (PARAD) in Bacolod City, wherein she sought to
prevent respondent Border Machinery and Heavy Equipment Co., Inc. (BORMAHECO) from ejecting her
from a parcel of land, with an area of 2.5 hectares and with 300 coconut trees growing on subject
property.
Petitioner alleges that as early as 1950, her father, Alfredo Granada, was the agricultural lessee of the
subject property, which was then owned by Augusto Villarosa. When Augusto Villarosa sold the subject
property to respondent in 1965, she claims that Alfredo Granada continued to occupy the subject
property as an agricultural lessee until his death in 1981. Thereafter, petitioner succeeded to her
father's rights as an agricultural lessee. Since then, she had cultivated the subject property and paid all
rent due thereon.
On 1984, petitioner and respondent executed a Contract of Lease which provided that the lease
covered the coconut trees growing on the subject property.
Meanwhile, in a Decision, the PARAD decreed that no agricultural leasehold relationship existed
between respondent and petitioner. It also found that there was no showing that the purpose of the
lease was for agricultural production since rent was paid in terms of money and not crops, and that the
contract of lease signed by the parties did not stipulate that the petitioner shall cultivate the subject
property. It further ruled that the subject property was not agricultural, but industrial or residential in
nature.
On appeal, the DARAB, in its Decision, reversed the PARAD Decision. It pronounced that the subject
land was agricultural in nature as evidenced by the Certification issued by the Local Assessment
Operations Officer, stating that the same was officially classified as "cocoland." It further declared that
the written 1984 contract of lease, is not reflective of the true intent of the parties. Even though the
contract stipulated that only the coconut trees were covered, the DARAB resolved that petitioner was in
actual possession of the land and cultivated the same.
Respondent then filed Petition for Certiorari at Court of Appeals where the CA rendered decision
dated 12 April 2002 reversing the DARAB and upholding PARAD decision.
Petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration, which was subsequently denied by the Court of
Appeals.

Issue:

Whether or not the petitioner is an agricultural leasehold tenant entitled to security of tenure?

Held:

The petition is meritorious.
The essential requisites of an agricultural tenancy relationship as follows: (1) The parties are the
landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee; (2) The subject matter of the relationship is agricultural
land; (3) There is consent between the parties to the relationship; (4) The purpose of the relationship is
to bring about agricultural production; (5) There is personal cultivation on the part of the tenant or
agricultural lessee; and (6) The harvest is shared between the landowner and the tenant or agricultural
lessee.
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 or 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.
It is clear from the foregoing that the requirements of agricultural leasehold tenancy are met in this
case.

JUST COMPENSATION; BASIS FOR COMPUTATION OF THE FIXING OF JUST COMPENSATION

Land Bank of the Philippines vs. Luz Lim and Purita Lim Cabochan
G.R. No. 171941 (August 2, 2007)

Facts:

Pursuant to the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988, the Department of Agrarian Reform
compulsorily acquired 32.8363 hectares of agricultural land situated in Patag, Irosin, Sorsogon (the
property) owned by respondents Luz Lim and Purita Lim Cabochan. Petitioner Land Bank of the
Philippines (LBP) computed the value of the property at P725,804.21.
Respondents rejected petitioner's valuation. Thus, pursuant to Section 16 (d) of RA 6657, a summary
administrative proceeding was conducted before the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (PARAD) to
determine the valuation of the property. The PARAD initially valued it at P1,174,659.60 but later
reduced the amount to P725,804.21 upon motion of petitioner.
Dissatisfied with the PARAD's decision, respondents filed on January 26, 1998 a petition for
determination of just compensation with the RTC of Sorsogon where they prayed for a compensation of
at least P150,000 per hectare, or an aggregate amount of P4,925,445. The case proceeded to trial, with
the RTC appointing each party's nominee as commissioner.
On September 14, 2001, Branch 52 of the Sorsogon RTC renders decision adopting the valuation
submitted by respondents' commissioner (P1,548,000). Both parties moved for reconsideration. On
December 21, 2001 Order, the RTC reconsidered its earlier decision and increased the valuation to
P2,232,868.40.

Issue:

Whether the RTC erred in dispensing with the formula prescribed by DAR Administrative Order No. 6,
series of 1992, as amended by DAR Administrative Order No. 11, series of 1994?

Held:

In Land Bank of the Philippines v. Spouses Banal, this Court underscored the mandatory nature of
Section 17 of RA 6657 and DAR AO 6-92, as amended by DAR AO 11-94. The amount of P2,232,868
adopted by the RTC in its December 21, 2001 Order was not based on any of the mandatory formulas
prescribed in DAR AO 6-92, as amended by DAR AO 11-94, the Court of Appeals erred when it affirmed
the valuation adopted by the RTC.
The Court is thus compelled to remand the case for determination of the valuation of the property by
the RTC which is mandated to consider the factors provided under above quoted Section 17 of RA 6657,
as amended, as translated into the formula prescribed in DAR AO 6-92, as amended by DAR AO 11-94.

EMANCIPATION PATENT; DARAB's JURISDICTION ON THE CANCELLATION OF EP

Heirs of Florencio Adolfo vs. Victoria P. Cabral, et al.
G.R. No. 164934 (August 14, 2007)

Facts:

The controversy involves two parcels of land consisting of 29,759 square meters and 957 square
meters, respectively, situated in Barangay Iba (now Pantok), Meycauayan, Bulacan.
Petitioners are the heirs of the late Florencio Adolfo, Sr. They alleged that the parcels were included in
the Operation Land Transfer program under Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 27. Thus, their father applied
with the Ministry of Agrarian Reform (now Department of Agrarian Reform) for the purchase of these
parcels.
On April 25, 1988, he was issued Emancipation Patents (EPs) Nos. A-117858 and A-117859-H, which
became the basis for the issuance of Transfer Certificates of Titles (TCTs) Nos. EP-003(M) and EP-004(M)
on October 24, 1989.
Respondent Victoria P. Cabral alleged that she is the lawful and registered owner of the lands covered
by petitioners' emancipation patents and certificates of titles as evidenced by Original Certificate of Title
of the Registry of Deeds of Meycauayan, Bulacan, issued on January 6, 1960. She also averred that
petitioners' emancipation patents should be cancelled since (1) these covered non-agricultural lands
outside the coverage of P.D. No. 27; (2) these were issued without due notice and hearing; and (3) no
Certificates of Land Transfer (CLTs) were previously issued.
On August 26, 2003, respondent Cabral filed with the DARAB, Region III, Branch II, Malolos City,
Bulacan, a petition for the cancellation of petitioners' emancipation patents and torrens titles and the
revival of the respondent's previous title.
Petitioner move to dismiss the petition due to (1) lack of jurisdiction (2) lack of legal personality to sue
(3) prescription.
On November 20, 2003, the PARAD denied the motion and upheld the DARAB's jurisdiction to
determine and adjudicate cases involving the issuance, correction and cancellation of emancipation
patents. Petitioners moved for reconsideration but it was denied.
Petitioners then filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with the Court of Appeals. On May 18,
2004, the appellate court dismissed the petition due to petitioners' failure to exhaust administrative
remedies since the orders of the PARAD should have been elevated for review to the DARAB.
Meanwhile, the PARAD rendered a Decision on June 18, 2004, canceling petitioners' emancipation
patents and ordering the Registry of Deeds of Meycauayan, Bulacan, to revive respondent Cabral's OCT
No. 0-1670 [now OCT No. 0-220(M)]. That decision is on appeal with the DARAB.

Issue:

Does the DARAB have jurisdiction to hear and decide cases for the cancellation of emancipation
patents and certificates of titles?

Held:

Specific and general provisions of Rep. Act No. 6657 and its implementing rules and procedure
address the issue of jurisdiction. Section 50 of Rep. Act No. 6657 confers on the Department of Agrarian
Reform (DAR) quasi-judicial powers to adjudicate agrarian reform matters. In the process of reorganizing
the DAR, Executive Order No. 129-A created the DARAB to assume the powers and functions with
respect to the adjudication of agrarian reform matters.
Section 1, Rule II of the DARAB 2003 Rules of Procedure enumerates the cases falling within its
primary and exclusive original jurisdiction. Subparagraph 1.6 provides that the DARAB has jurisdiction
over cases involving the correction, partition, cancellation, secondary and subsequent issuances of
Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs) and Emancipation Patents (EPs) which are registered with
the Land Registration Authority (the Registry of Deeds). Incidentally, under DAR Memorandum Order
No. 02, one of the grounds for the cancellation of registered EPs is that the land is exempt or excluded
from P.D. No. 27.
In respondent Cabral's petition before the DARAB, she sought the cancellation of petitioners'
emancipation patents and torrens titles. She impugned the legality of the emancipation patents since (1)
these covered non-agricultural lands outside the coverage of P.D. No. 27, (2) these were issued without
due notice and hearing, and (3) no CLTs were previously issued. Based on these material averments, it is
crystal-clear that the action was one for cancellation of emancipation patents on the ground of
exemption or exclusion from the coverage of P.D. No. 27. Indisputably, jurisdiction is properly vested
with the DARAB.

LAND VALUATION; FINALITY OF DARAB DECISION ON LAND VALUATION

Land Bank of the Philippines vs. Raymunda Martinez
G.R. No. 169008 (August 14, 2007)

Facts:

After compulsory acquisition by the Department of Agrarian Reform, on November 16, 1993, of
respondent Martinez's 62.5369-hectare land in Barangay Agpudlos, San Andres, Romblon, pursuant to
Republic Act No. 6657, or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988 (CARL), petitioner Land Bank
of the Philippines offered P1,955,485.60 as just compensation, for which respondent rejected. Thus, the
Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board, through its Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator
conducted summary administrative proceedings for the preliminary determination of just compensation
in accordance with Section 16 (d) of the CARL.
On September 4, 2002, PARAD Virgilio M. Sorita, rendered judgment ordering the LBP to pay
landowner-protestant RAYMUNDA MARTINEZ for her property covered with the total amount of
TWELVE MILLION ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY NINE THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED NINETY TWO and 50/100
Pesos (Php12,179,492.50).
A petition for the fixing of just compensation was then filed by LBP's counsel before the Special
Agrarian Court (SAC) of the Regional Trial Court of Odiongan, Romblon.
Meanwhile, respondent, still asserting the finality of PARAD Sorita's decision, filed before the Office of
the PARAD a motion for the issuance of a writ of execution, which was eventually granted on November
11, 2003. The PARAD denied LBP's motion for reconsideration and ordered the issuance of a writ of
execution on February 23, 2004.
LBP, on March 12, 2004, moved to quash the said February 23, 2004 PARAD resolution. On April 6,
2004, even as the motion to quash was yet unresolved, LBP instituted a petition for certiorari before the
CA. The CA, on September 28, 2004 dismissed the petition.

Issue:

Whether or not the PARAD, gravely abused its discretion when it issued a writ of execution despite
the pendency of LBP's petition for fixing of just compensation with the SAC?

Held:

In this case, petitioner moved to quash the PARAD resolutions and at the same time petitioned for
their annulment via certiorari under Rule 65. In both proceedings, the parties are identical and the
reliefs prayed for are the same. In the two actions, petitioner also has a singular stance: the PARAD
resolutions should not be executed in view of the pendency of the petition for fixing of just
compensation with the SAC. Thus a situation is created where the two fora could come up with
conflicting decisions. This is precisely the evil sought to be avoided by the rule against forum-shopping.
We find petitioner not entitled to the grant of a writ of certiorari by the appellate court because the
Office of the PARAD did not gravely abuse its discretion when it undertook to execute the September 4,
2002 decision. Rule XIII, Section 11 of the DARAB Rules of Procedure.
In Philippine Veterans Bank v. Court of Appeals and in Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication
Board v. Lubrica, we explained the consequence of the said rule to the effect that the adjudicator's
decision on land valuation attains finality after the lapse of the 15-day period. Considering therefore
that, in this case, LBP's petition with the SAC for the fixing of just compensation was filed 26 days after
its receipt of the PARAD's decision, or eleven days beyond the reglementary period, the latter had
already attained finality. The PARAD could very well issue the writ of execution.

TENANCY RELATIONSHIP; TENANCY RELATIONSHIP CANNOT BE PRESUMED

Marino Escariz y de los Santos vs. Genaro D. Revilleza
G.R. No. 155544 (August 24, 2007)

Facts:

This controversy involves a fruit orchard situated in San Isidro, Calauan, Laguna with an area of 6,967
square meters. Respondent Genaro D. Revilleza, bought the orchard from Jose Velasco and had the
property registered in his name under Transfer Certificate of Title Nos. T-98856 and T-98857.
On December 17, 1993, Marino Escariz, petitioner, filed with the Office of the Regional Agrarian
Reform Adjudicator, Region IV a complaint for "Recognition of Security of Tenure with Damages and
Prayer for Accounting and Depositing of Tenant's Share Pending Litigation" against respondent,
docketed as DARAB Case No. LA-0336-93.
In his answer, respondent denied any tenancy relationship with petitioner, claiming that the latter is
actually a tenant of the owner of a neighboring riceland. He would occasionally hire petitioner to work
on his orchard on a piecework basis. Petitioner illegally entered the property by erecting a shack where
he lives. Respondent then prayed for the dismissal of the complaint.
In a Decision dated October 11, 1994, the Office of the Regional Agrarian Reform Adjudicator
rendered its Decision in favor of petitioner.
On appeal by respondent, the DARAB, in its Decision, affirmed the assailed judgment with
modification permanently prohibiting the respondent landowner from disturbing the complainant's
peaceful possession and cultivation of the subject premises as a legitimate tenant/lessee thereon.
Respondent filed a motion for reconsideration but the DARAB denied the same.
On appeal the Court of Appeals rendered its Decision on October 21, 1999 finding that none of the
elements of a tenancy relationship exists.

Issue:

Whether or not the petitioner is a bona fide tenant?

Held:

Petitioner is not a bona fide tenant. A tenancy relationship cannot be presumed. There must be
evidence to prove that a tenancy relationship exists. The following are the elements of tenancy
relationship:

o Parties are the landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee

o Subject matter is an agricultural land

o Consent of the parties

o Purpose is agricultural production

o Personal cultivation

o Harvest is shared

In Caballes v. DAR, all elements must concur for a tenancy relationship to exist. Absent such status as
a de jure tenant, a person is not entitled to security of tenure
There is no evidence on record of the following elements:

o Consent of the parties

o Sharing of harvest

Tenancy is a legal relationship. The principal factor in determining its existence is the intent of the
parties. Other than the self-serving statement of petitioner that he is a tenant, there is no concrete
evidence to show that the parties agreed to establish such a relationship. To prove sharing of harvests, a
receipt or any other similar evidence must be presented, self-serving statements are inadequate.
Petition denied.

JURISDICTION; DARAB HAS JURISDICTION OVER THE ANNULMENT OF REGISTERED CLOA's

Mariano Dao-Ayan vs. Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB)
G.R. No. 172109 (August 29, 2007)

Facts:

Assailed via petition for review on certiorari is the decision of the Court of Appeals affirming the
Decision of the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) which affirmed the decision
of the Regional Agrarian Reform Adjudicator of the DARAB, Region X, Malaybalay City dismissing the
complaint of herein petitioners-father and son Mariano Dao-ayan (Mariano) and Marjun Dao-ayan
(Marjun) against respondents Araneta Landless Agrarian Reform Farmers Association (ALARFA), the
Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer of Bukidnon, and the Register of Deeds of Bukidnon, for Annulment
and Cancellation of Certificate of Title of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) No. 00371923 and TCT No. AT-
9035.
After Lot No. 209 (the lot), which is located at Kahaponan, Valencia City, Bukidnon belonging to the
Agricultural Research Farm Incorporated, was placed under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform
Program (CARP), Marjun filed an application before the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Regional
Office No. 10 as a farmer-beneficiary thereof. It appears, however, that Marjun's name as applicant was
later delisted.
It turned out that ALARFA had filed a Petition for Disqualification of Mariano as Farmer-Beneficiary
under the CARP on the ground that he already possessed substantial real properties to thus bar him
from being a farmer-beneficiary, and that acting on the petition for disqualification, DAR Regional
Director Rogelio Tamin disqualified Mariano as farmer-beneficiary, he having been found to be, among
other things, already a beneficiary under Operation Land Transfer of P.D. No. 27 of at least three parcels
of land totaling 2.2938 hectares.
The DAR Regional Director subsequently issued to ALARFA on October 20, 1997 the CLOA, on account
of which the TCT was issued in ALARFA's name, represented by Claudio A. Fuentes.
Petitioners filed a motion to stay execution of the award of the CLOA to ALARFA, claiming that they
were not given notice of the Petition for Disqualification and of the Decision of the DAR Regional
Director thereon.
In the meantime, the Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer (PARO), by installation order, directed the
MARO of Valencia, Bukidnon to install ALARFA on the lot and to order the occupants-non beneficiary
including petitioner to vacate the same.
Petitioner thus filed the complaint subject of the present petition, for annulment and cancellation of
ALARFA's CLOA against ALARFA, the PARO, the Register of Deeds of Bukidnon.
The DARAB, Regional Agrarian Reform Adjudication dismissed petitioners complaint. The DARAB
affirmed the dismissed as did the Court of Appeals.
The DARAB affirmed the dismissal as did the Court of Appeals.

Issues:

Whether or not the DARAB has jurisdiction over the annulment of registered CLOAs
Whether or not the decision of the DAR RD disqualifying petitioners and the awarding of the CLOA to
respondent ALARFA has already become final and executory such that it may no longer be questioned in
further proceedings

Ruling on the 1st Issue:

DARAB has jurisdiction
Section 1, Rule II of the 1994 DARAB Rules enumerates the cases over which the DARAB has exclusive
original jurisdiction:

o (f) those involving the issuance, correction and cancellation of CLOAs and EPs which are
registered with the Land Registration Authority

o Matters involving strictly the administrative implementation of R.A. No. 6657, shall be the
exclusive prerogative of and cognizable by the Secretary of the DAR

Section 2 of DAR A.O. No. 06-00 (ALI Rules) enumerates the cases over which the DAR Secretary has
exclusive jurisdiction:
(d) issuance, recall or cancellation of EPs or CLOAs not yet registered with the ROD
Prior to registration with the ROD, cases involving the issuance, recall or cancellation of CLOAs or EPs
are within the jurisdiction of the DAR
Since the complaint was for cancellation of a CLOA which had already been registered, the DARAB
correctly assumed jurisdiction over it

Ruling on the 2nd Issue:

The Regional Director's resolution has already become final and executory
Section 15, Chapter 3 Book VII of Administrative Code of 1987 provides:

"Section 15. Finality of Order. The decision of the agency shall become final and executory
fifteen (15) days after the receipt of a copy thereof by the party adversely affected unless within that
period an administrative appeal or judicial review, if proper, has been perfected."

There is no proof that petitioners were given notice of the proceedings before the DAR RD. Thus, the
counting of the 15-day prescriptive period commenced upon the registration of the CLOA on October
28, 1997 which is considered constructive notice as against the whole world, or on December 12, 1997,
the date petitioners filed a motion to stay execution of the DAR RD's resolution granting the CLOA to
ALARFA
No appeal having been taken by petitioners within the 15-day prescriptive period counted from any of
said two dates, the assailed DAR Regional Director's resolution had become final and executory long
before petitioners filed on June 22, 1998 the complaint for Annulment and Cancellation of the CLOA.

RETENTION; LANDOWNER'S RIGHT TO RETENTION ON LANDHOLDING COVERED UNDER P.D. 27

Josephine A. Taguinod and Vic A. Aguila vs. Court of Appeals, et al.
G.R. No. 154654 (September 14, 2007)

Facts:

Salud Alvarez Aguila was the registered owner of the disputed lots with Transfer Certificates of Title
(TCT) Nos. T-12368 and T-65348, with an aggregate area of 10.4496 hectares, being 7.8262 hectares and
2.6234 hectares, respectively, both under the Registry of Deeds of Isabela, Cagayan. TCT No. T-12368
emanated from Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. I-3423 which was issued on January 11, 1936 based
on a homestead patent issued on December 18, 1935. On the other hand, TCT No. T-65348 was derived
from TCT No. T-36200-A which cancelled OCT No. I-2965. OCT No. I-2965 was issued on May 27, 1935 on
the basis of a homestead patent issued on June 27, 1935.
Subsequently, the 7.8262-hectare lot covered by TCT No. T-12368 was transferred to and registered in
the name of petitioner Vic A. Aguila (who was then 14 years old) under TCT No. T-90872 dated January
19, 1976; while the other 2.6234-hectare lot under TCT No. T-65348 was transferred to petitioner
Josephine A. Taguinod. Both disputed lots were placed under the coverage of the OLT pursuant to PD
27.
Petitioner Vic A. Aguila, Salud Aguila, on behalf of then minor petitioner Aguila, filed a notarized
application for retention on January 26, 1976.
On October 24, 1984, when he was already of age, petitioner Aguila filed a letter-protest for exclusion
or exemption from the OLT of his landholding covered by TCT No. T-90872. Similarly, after acquiring the
subject lot covered by TCT No. T-65384, petitioner Taguinod filed her June 24, 1988 letter-protest with
the Team Leader of the DAR, Santiago, Isabela, seeking exclusion or exemption from the OLT of her
landholding.
On June 23, 1989, the DAR Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer (MARO) of San Fermin, Cauayan, Isabela
sent a letter to the Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer (PARO), recommending approval of the
applications of Salud A. Aguila/Vic A. Aguila and Josephine A. Taguinod for retention of rights over the
two subject lots.
On August 3, 1990, taking into consideration the MARO's recommendation, the PARO issued a
Resolution granting the application for retention of petitioners and plac[ing] under OLT coverage the
excess of seven (7) hectares.
Respondents-farmer-beneficiaries filed an Opposition to and Counter-Protest over Resolution dated
August 3, 1990 of the PARO and a Motion for Reconsideration to Set Aside Resolution dated August 3,
1990 at DAR Regional Director. On August 21, 1991, the Regional Director of the DAR, Region 02, issued
an Order, affirming the August 3, 1990 PARO Resolution.
Private respondents filed their motion for reconsideration on August 21, 1991, where they contended,
inter alia, that landowner Salud Aguila was not entitled to a seven (7)-hectare retention over the subject
lots, as she was the owner of several other landholdings, specifically 11 parcels of land, at the time the
subject lots were placed under the coverage of the OLT program pursuant to PD 27.
Petitioner Taguinod filed her September 16, 1991 appeal from the August 21, 1991 Order of the
Regional Director with the DAR Secretary. On September 28, 1992, the DAR Secretary issued an Order
affirming the August 21, 1991 Order of the Regional Director and denying petitioner Taguinod's appeal.
On January 6, 1993, the DAR Secretary issued an Order granting private respondents' Motion for
Reconsideration finding that Salud Aguila was disqualified to retain seven (7), as she owned several
landholdings other than the subject lots.
Petitioners appealed before the OP. OP rendered a Decision reversing the January 6, 1993 Order of
the DAR Secretary and reinstating the latter's September 28, 1992 Order with a modification that
subject landholdings are not covered by the OLT program of the government pursuant to P.D. No. 27.
Private respondents filed a Motion for Reconsideration on the Decision, but same was denied
Respondents filed before the CA a Petition for Review under Rule 43. CA sustained private
respondents' position affirming the Order of the Secretary of Agrarian Reform. Petitioners interposed a
Motion for Reconsideration where on August 7, 2007 resolution said motion was rejected by the CA.

Issue:

Whether or not petitioner is entitled to retention?

Held:

Settled in this jurisdiction is the rule that the rights of a holder of a homestead patent are superior
over the rights of the tenants guaranteed by the Agrarian Reform Law.
LOI No. 474 mandates the DAR Secretary 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
(7) hectares or less belonging to landowners who own other agricultural lands of more than seven (7)
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." Considering her
other eleven (11) landholdings and the application of LOI No. 474, we agree with the DAR Secretary and
CA's holding that Salud Aguila is not entitled to retention over the subject lots.
Moreover, considering the seemingly simulated transfers made by Salud Aguila over the subject
properties, we agree with the DAR Secretary and CA that these were done to circumvent the intent and
application of PD 27 and the OLT of the Government.
Premised on said grounds, the issue on petitioners' right to retention over the subject lots is answered
in the negative as they are not the owners, and consequently are not small landowners who are
accorded the right of retention.

JUST COMPENSATION; ORIGINAL AND EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION OF RTC; VALUATION OF PROPERTY IN
EMINENT DOMAIN IS ESSENTIALLY A JUDICIAL FUNCTION

Land Bank of the Philippines vs. Federico C. Suntay, Represented by his Assignee, Josefina Lubrica
G.R. No. 157903 (October 11, 2007)

Facts:

Federico Suntay (married to Cristina Aguinaldo-Suntay), herein respondent, represented by his
assignee, Josefina Lubrica, is the registered owner of a parcel of land with a total area of 3,682.0285
hectares situated in Sta. Lucia, Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro, covered by TCT No. T-31 of the Registry of
Deeds of Mamburao.
Sometime in 1972, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), pursuant to the government's land
reform program under PD No. 27, expropriated 948.1911 hectares of respondent's property. The
portion expropriated consisted mostly of lowland and non-irrigated riceland.
The Land Bank of the Philippines (Land Bank), herein petitioner, and the DAR fixed the value of the
expropriated land at P4,251,141.68 or P4,497.50 per hectare.
Respondent rejected petitioner's valuation as being unconscionably low and tantamount to taking his
property without due process. He then filed with the Office of the Regional Agrarian Reform Adjudicator
(RARAD), Region IV, Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB), a petition for the
determination of just compensation against petitioner and the DAR.
On January 24, 2001, the RARAD rendered a decision fixing the just compensation for the
expropriated land at P157,541,941.30 and directing petitioner to pay respondent the said amount.
Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but it was denied by the RARAD in an Order dated March
14, 2001.
On April 20, 2001, petitioner filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 46, San Jose, Occidental
Mindoro, sitting as a Special Agrarian Court, a Petition for Judicial Determination of Just Compensation
against respondent and the RARAD.
On May 22, 2001, the RARAD, upon respondent's motion, issued an Order in DARAB Case No. V-0405-
0001-00 declaring that the Decision of January 24, 2001 had become final and executory. Petitioner
moved for reconsideration. However, the RARAD denied the same in an Order dated July 10, 2001.
On July 18, 2001, the RARAD issued a writ of execution directing the sheriff of DARAB-Region IV to
implement the Decision.
Before the RTC, Executive Judge Ernesto P. Pagayatan issued an Order dated August 6, 2001,
dismissing the Land Bank's petition for being late. Petitioner promptly filed a motion for reconsideration.
However, in an Order dated August 31, 2001, the RTC denied the motion.
On September 10, 2001, petitioner filed with the RTC a Notice of Appeal. The court issued an Order
dismissing the Notice of Appeal. Petitioner's motion for reconsideration was likewise denied by the RTC.
Petitioner filed with the CA a petition for certiorari. On July 19, 2002, the CA rendered its Decision (1)
granting the petition for certiorari.
Respondent filed a motion for reconsideration. The CA finding merit in respondent's motion for
reconsideration, rendered an Amended Decision dated February 5, 2003 dismissing the petition for
certiorari. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but it was denied.

Issue:

Whether the RTC erred in dismissing the LBP's petition for the determination of just compensation?

Held:

The RTC erred in dismissing the Land Bank's petition.

The petition is not an appeal from the RARAD's final Decision but an original action for the
determination of the just compensation over which the RTC has original and exclusive jurisdiction.

Section 50 (Quasi-Judicial Powers of the DAR) must be construed in harmony with Section 57 by
considering cases involving the determination of just compensation and criminal cases for violations of
R.A. No. 6657 as excepted from the plenitude of power conferred upon the DAR.
Valuation of property in eminent domain is essentially a judicial function which cannot be vested in
administrative agencies.
It is clear from Section 57 that the original and exclusive jurisdiction to determine such cases is in the
RTC. Any effort to transfer such jurisdiction to the adjudicators and to convert the original jurisdiction of
the RTCs into appellate jurisdiction would be contrary to Section 57 and therefore would be void.
What adjudicators are empowered to do is only to determine in a preliminary manner the reasonable
compensation to be paid to landowners, leaving to the courts the ultimate power to decide this
question.
The petition is granted.

COVERAGE; COVERABILITY OF P.D. 27 LANDS THROUGH WAIVER, INTENTIONAL AND VOLUNTARY
SURRENDER OF RIGHT OF THE LANDOWNER

TRANSFERABILITY; TRANSFERABILITY OF P.D. 27 AWARDED LANDS

Estate of the late Encarnacion vda. de Panlilio, represented by George Lizares vs. Gonzalo Dizon, et al.
G.R. No. 148777 (October 18, 2007)

Facts:

Encarnacion vda. de Panlilio is the owner of a vast tract of land with an aggregate area of 115.41
hectares located in Masamat, Mexico, Pampanga. Sometime in 1973, Pursuant to Operation Land
Transfer under P.D. 27, a Certificate of Land Transfer (CLTs) covering said landholding, including the
portion planted with sugarcane, were issued to the tenants of said land. On January 12,1977, landowner
Panlilio executed an Affidavit interposing no objection in placing portion dedicated to palay crop under
P.D. 27 and that it is her desire that her entire property which is referred as Hacienda Masamat be
placed under said law. On February 28,1994, a complaint for the annulment of coverage of said
landholding under P.D. 27 was filed by Petitioner Jesus Lizares, Panlilio's Administrator of Hacienda
Masamat. The same was dismissed by the PARAD and on Appeal, the DARAB affirmed said dismissal. The
Court of Appeals, affirmed the decision of the DARAB in its amended decision dated November 29,
2000. Likewise, an issue on the validity of the transfer by the tenant-farmers to third person of the
awarded land was raised in the Court of Appeals.

Issue:

Whether or not the ownership of the lot may now be transferred to persons other than the heirs of
the beneficiary or the Government

Ruling:

The prohibition in PD 27, states that "[t]itle to land acquired pursuant to this Decree or the Land
Reform Program of the Government shall not be transferable except by hereditary succession or to the
Government"
PD 27 is clear that after full payment and title to the land is acquired, the land shall not be transferred
except to the heirs of the beneficiary or the Government
The prohibition stems from the policy of the Government to develop generations of farmers to attain
its avowed goal to have an adequate and sustained agricultural production
Sec. 6 of EO 228 provides, thus:

"Ownership of lands acquired by farmer-beneficiary may be transferred after full payment of
amortizations"

The CA construed said provision to mean that the farmer-beneficiary can sell the land even to a
non-qualified person

This is incorrect. Implied repeals are not favored

Sec. 6 of E.O. No. 228 principally deals with payment of amortization and not on who qualify as
legal transferees of lands acquired under PD 27

The lands acquired under said law can only be transferred to the heirs of the beneficiary or to the
Government for eventual transfer to qualified beneficiaries by the DAR
Thus, transfers of lands acquired under PD 27 to non-qualified persons are illegal and null and void
A contrary ruling would make the farmer an "easy prey to those who would like to tempt [him/her]
with cash in exchange for inchoate title over the same," and PD 27 could be easily circumvented and the
title shall eventually be acquired by non-tillers of the soil
The prohibition even extends to the surrender of the land to the former landowner.
The sales or transfers are void ab initio, being contrary to law and public policy under Art. 5 of the Civil
Code
In this regard, DAR is duty-bound to take appropriate measures to annul the illegal transfers and
recover the land unlawfully conveyed to non-qualified persons for disposition to qualified beneficiaries.

JURISDICTION; AGRARIAN DISPUTE

Active Realty and Development Corporation vs. Bienvenido Fernandez
G.R. No. 157186 (October 19, 2007)

Facts:

Petitioner filed a Complaint for unlawful detainer against respondent with the Municipal Trial Court in
Cities (MTCC) of Bacolod City, alleging that it had become the owner of the parcel of land covered by
Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. T-85541 by virtue of the Deed of Sale executed between petitioner
and Philippine National Bank (PNB), the previous owner of the land; that respondent had been
occupying the subject land by reason of PNB's tolerance; that petitioner sent a letter of demand to
respondent asking the latter to vacate the subject property; and that despite the demand, respondent
failed and refused to vacate the subject land, as a consequence of which, petitioner had been unlawfully
deprived of the possession of the lot and the rental value of P500.00 per month.
Respondent filed a Motion to Dismiss, contending that the MTCC lacked jurisdiction over the case as it
involved the implementation of Agrarian Reform and should fall within the exclusive and original
jurisdiction of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR). MTC issued an Order denying the Motion to
Dismiss.
Respondent insisted that there was a pending case involving same parties at DARAB. An Injunction
Order dated January 3, 1996 was issued by the DARAB against the petitioner ordering the latter to
cease, desist and refrain from harassing, molesting, disturbing, threatening, ousting, and removing or
ejecting from their respective landholdings the petitioners in DARAB Case No. R-0605-142-96.
The DARAB case was resolved by the Provincial Agrarian Report Adjudication Board (PARAB) which
directed the DAR-PARO to make a factual finding on the "CARPability" or "non-CARPability" of the
subject land. Aggrieved by the said order, petitioner elevated the matter to the DARAB. The DARAB
rendered a Decision which held that the subject matter is not within its jurisdiction.
Meanwhile, the MTC rendered a Decision, ordering the defendants (including herein private
respondent), their heirs and successors-in-interest, to vacate the premises covered by TCT No. T-85541
situated in Eroreco Subdivision, Bacolod City, to pay plaintiff (herein petitioner) actual damages in the
amount of P500.00 monthly computed from November 27, 1997 until the lot is actually vacated, to pay
plaintiff the sum of P3,000.00 as attorney's fees and the amount of cost. Respondent appealed the MTC
Decision to the RTC.
The DARAB rendered a Decision which held that the subject matter is not within its jurisdiction.
The RTC rendered a Decision reversing and setting aside the MTC judgment. The motion for
reconsideration of said decision was also denied by the RTC. Petitioner then filed with the CA a petition
for review under Rule 42 of the Rules of Court.
The CA issued a Resolution requiring Teresita F. Mendoza to cause her appearance as party-
respondent in behalf of the deceased respondent. The CA issued a Resolution stating that pursuant to
Sec. 10, Rule 13 of the Rules of Court, the service to Teresita F. Mendoza, although actually unserved,
shall be considered completed.
The CA rendered a Decision affirming the RTC judgment.
Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but the CA denied the same.

Issue:

Whether or not this case presents an agrarian dispute. If it does, jurisdiction over it should be with the
DARAB, otherwise, it should be with the regular courts.

Held:

Respondent sought the dismissal of the pending unlawful detainer case in the MTC by involving the
defense of litis pendentia.
For litis pendentia to lie as a ground for a motion to dismiss, the following requisites must be present:
(1) that the parties to the action are the same; (2) that there is substantial identity in the causes of
action and reliefs sought; (3) that the result of the first action is determinative of the second in any
event and regardless of which party is successful.
Contrary to the claim of respondent, the parties in the unlawful detainer case in the MTC and the
DARAB case are different, as he is not included as a petitioner in the DARAB case.
Not being a party to the DARAB case, respondent has no personality to assert that the DAR has
primary jurisdiction over the land subject matter of the MTC case considering that he is not identified as
one of the farmers-beneficiaries-petitioners in the DARAB case.
Further, the CA should not have relied on the Investigation Reports of MARO Officer Villa dated March
4, 1997 and March 26, 1997, as the same were not executed pursuant or in relation to any pending case.
Moreover, browsing through the Investigation Reports, it is clear that its tenor is only recommendatory
or directory in nature. Thus, the execution of the Investigation Reports does not automatically divest the
regular courts of their jurisdiction over the unlawful detainer case.
WHEREFORE the petition is GRANTED.

EXEMPTION/EXCLUSION; EXEMPTION OF FISHPOND FROM COVERAGE OF CARL AND THE PASSAGE OF
RA 7881 CANNOT DEFEAT VESTED RIGHT ALREADY GRANTED AND ACQUIRED BY THE TENANT

Jaime Sanchez, Jr. vs. Zenaida F. Marin, et al.
G.R. No. 171346 (October 19, 2007)

Facts:

Petitioner Jaime Sanchez, Jr. is an agricultural tenant of a 10-hectare fishpond situated at Barangay
Talao-Talao, Lucena City, which was previously owned by David Felix, the ascendant of herein
respondents. Respondent Zenaida F. Marin is the civil law lessee of the subject fishpond and the mother
of respondents.
In 1977, the petitioner was instituted as a tenant of the subject fishpond by its previous registered
owner David Felix.
A few years thereafter, David Felix sold and transferred ownership of the subject fishpond to
respondents Jesus Nicasio, Jose David, Maria Bernadette, Paul Peter and Philip Luis, all surnamed Marin,
to whom a Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. T-43289, covering the subject fishpond, was issued. The
aforesaid respondents, as the new owners of the fishpond, entered into a civil law lease agreement
dated 24 June 1985 with their mother and co-respondent Zenaida F. Marin, which was renewable
yearly.
On 21 July 1986, the petitioner filed a Complaint before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Lucena City,
Branch 53, in which he asked the court to declare him as a tenant of the subject fishpond.
On 20 July 1987, the RTC of Lucena City rendered a Decision in favor of the petitioner, declaring the
[herein petitioner] as the agricultural tenant, not a hired contractual worker on the [subject fishpond],
and therefore, entitled to the security of tenure.
The Decision was appealed by respondent Zenaida F. Marin to the appellate court, which on 11
September 1989, the appellate court affirmed in toto the Decision of the RTC of Lucena City.
Having been declared as an agricultural tenant on the subject fishpond, the petitioner, on 15 March
1991, filed before the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (PARAD) Region IV a Petition for the fixing
of the leasehold rentals for his use of the subject fishpond at P30,000.00 per annum.
On 17 April 1991, respondent Zenaida F. Marin filed a Complaint before the PARAD Region IV,
primarily to eject the petitioner from the fishpond because of the latter's failure to pay the rent and to
make an accounting, in violation of Sections 17 and 50 of Republic Act No. 1199.
The PARAD on 2 March 1993, rendered a Decision. Ordering that the petitioner be maintained in the
peaceful possession of subject farm-holding.
Respondents moved for the reconsideration of the aforementioned Decision but the same was denied
in a Joint Order, dated 15 May 1995, rendered by the Regional Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (RARAD).
Aggrieved respondents appealed the PARAD Decision dated 2 March 1993 to the DARAB, reiterating
their position that the fishpond was excluded from the coverage of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform
Program (CARP) of the government.
On 25 September 2000, the DARAB rendered a Decision affirming in toto the Decision of the Provincial
Adjudicator dated 2 March 1993.
Respondents filed with the Court of Appeals a Petition for Review where on 23 May 2005, the
appellate court rendered its assailed Decision granting in part the Petition of the respondents by
annulling and setting aside the DARAB Decision dated 25 September 2000 on the ground of lack of
jurisdiction.
Petitioner moved for the reconsideration of the aforesaid Decision, but it was denied in a Resolution
dated 25 January 2006.

Issue:

Whether the subject fishpond is exempted/excluded from the coverage of the Comprehensive
Agrarian Reform Program?

Held:

Section 2 of Republic Act No. 7881 amended Section 10 of Republic Act No. 6657 by expressly
exempting/excluding private lands actually, directly and exclusively used for prawn farms and fishponds
from the coverage of the CARL. Section 3(c) of Republic Act No. 6657, as amended, now defines
agricultural land as land devoted to agricultural activity and not otherwise classified as mineral, forest,
residential, commercial or industrial land. As to what constitutes an agricultural activity is defined by
Section 3(b) of Republic Act No. 6657, as amended, as the cultivation of the soil, planting of crops,
growing of fruit trees, including the harvesting of such farm products, and other farm activities and
practices performed by a farmer in conjunction with such farming operations done by persons whether
natural or juridical. By virtue of the foregoing amendments, the operation of fishponds is no longer
considered an agricultural activity, and a parcel of land devoted to fishpond operation is no longer an
agricultural land.
Even as it is recognize that the fishpond is not covered by the CARL, pursuant to Section 10 of Republic
Act No. 6657, as amended by Republic Act No. 7881. The Court, nonetheless, does not agree in the
conclusion arrived at by the Court of Appeals that since the subject fishpond is no longer an agricultural
land, it follows then that there can be no tenurial arrangement affecting the parties in this case. And in
view of the fact that there is no agrarian dispute cognizable by the DARAB, then the DARAB had no
jurisdiction to resolve petitioner's case.
It bears emphasis that the status of the petitioner as a tenant in the subject fishpond and his right to
security of tenure were already previously settled in the Decision dated 20 July 1987 of the RTC of
Lucena City in Agrarian Case No. 86-8, which was affirmed by the Court of Appeals in its Decision dated
11 September 1989. Having been declared as a tenant with the right to security of tenure as provided in
Section 35 of Republic Act No. 3844 in relation to Section 7 of Republic Act No. 1199, the law enforced
at the time of the filing of the Complaint before the RTC of Lucena City, the petitioner has acquired a
vested right over the subject fishpond, which right or interest has become fixed and established and is
no longer open to doubt or controversy. Therefore, even if fishponds, like the subject matter of this
case, were later excluded/exempted from the coverage of the CARL as expressly provided in Section 10
of Republic Act No. 6657, as amended by Republic Act No. 7881, and despite the fact that no CLOA has
been issued to the petitioner, the same cannot defeat the aforesaid vested right already granted and
acquired by the petitioner long before the passage of Republic Act No. 7881.
Indubitably, despite the amendments to Section 10 of Republic Act No. 6657, the petitioner's right to
tenancy and security of tenure over the subject fishpond must still be honored.
The Court likewise affirms that the DARAB correctly assumed jurisdiction over the case, contrary to
the declaration made by the appellate court in its Decision.

TENANCY RELATIONSHIP; INDISPENSABLE ELEMENTS

Antonio Masaquel, et al. vs. Jaime Orial
G.R. No. 148044 (October 19, 2007)

Facts:

Petitioners Antonio Masaquel (Antonio), Juliana Masaquel-Marero (Juliana), Apolonia Masaquel-
Tolentino (Apolonia) and Maria Masaquel-Oliveros (Maria) were co-owners of a parcel of land with an
area of 66,703 sq. m. located in Barrio Biga, Antipolo, Rizal and covered by Original Certificate of Title
(OCT) No. ON-724.
On 21 June 1987, the co-owners executed a document entitled "Kasulatan ng Paghahati ng Lupa"
whereby the subject lot was divided into four parts.
On 27 September 1993, Respondent Jaime Orial filed an amended complaint with the DARAB against
petitioners alleging that he was a tenant of a parcel of agricultural land owned by and registered in the
name of Antonio.
Petitioners denied the existence of a tenancy relationship between them and respondent claiming
that respondent was a mere usurper and trespasser, petitioners specifically denied the allegation that
they harassed him and threatened him with physical harm.
In a Decision dated 18 December 1994, the provincial adjudicator ruled that respondent was not a
tenant of the subject land. On appeal, the DARAB reversed the findings of the provincial adjudicator and
declared respondent a tenant of the subject land. Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration but the
DARAB denied it in a Resolution dated 22 November 1999.
Petitioners elevated the case to the Court of Appeals where the appellate court affirmed the DARAB
decision on 9 May 2001.

Issue:

Whether or not there is tenancy relationship between the parties?

Held:

No tenancy relationship existed between the parties.
In order for a tenancy agreement to arise, it is essential to establish all its indispensable elements, viz.:
(1) the parties are the landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee; (2) the subject matter of the
relationship is an agricultural land; (3) there is consent between the parties to the relationship; (4) the
purpose of the relationship is to bring about agricultural production; (5) there is personal cultivation on
the part of the tenant or agricultural lessee; and (6) the harvest is shared between the landowner and
the tenant or agricultural lessee. All these requisites are necessary to create a tenancy relationship, and
the absence of one or more requisites will not make the alleged tenant a de facto tenant.
The evidence presented by respondent failed to meet the test of substantiality, in line with the
standard of proof required in administrative cases.
Tenancy relationship can only be created with the consent of the true and lawful landholder who is
either the owner, lessee, usufructuary or legal possessor of the land, and not thru the acts of the
supposed landholder who has no right to the land subject of the tenancy.
In view of the absence of a tenancy relationship, the case falls outside the jurisdiction of the DARAB.
Thus, it is cognizable by the regular courts. Consequently, the complaint filed by respondent was
rightfully dismissed by the provincial adjudicator.

AGRICULTURAL TENANCY RELATIONSHIP; EJECTMENT; ASSERTION OF OWNERSHIP OF A HOMELOT NOT
SUFFICIENT TO DIVEST MTC OF JURISDICTION

Juliana Sudaria vs. Maximilliano Quiambao
G.R. No. 164305 (November 20, 2007)

Facts:

On 11 October 2001, respondent Maximilliano Quiambao filed a Complaint for unlawful detainer
against petitioner before the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of San Miguel, Bulacan docketed as Civil Case
No. 2557. Respondent stated that he was the owner of a parcel of land with an area of 354 sq.m.
situated in Barrio Sta. Rita, Bata, San Miguel, Bulacan and covered by TCT No. T-113925. He also averred
that in 1965, by virtue of a Kasunduan, his predecessor-in-interest, Alfonsa C. vda. de Viola, leased the
said piece of land to petitioner's late husband, Atanacio Sudaria, for a monthly rental of P2.00 which was
later increased to P873.00 per annum in 1985. According to respondent, in the same year, petitioner,
who took over the lease after her husband's death, stopped paying the rentals on the property. In April
2001, respondent made a demand for petitioner to pay the overdue rentals and vacate the premises.
In her Answer with Motion to Dismiss, petitioner averred that the subject property was previously
owned by Alfonsa C. vda. de Viola and later inherited by Leticia and Asuncion Viola as evidenced by an
agricultural leasehold contract. She claimed that she had not been remiss in paying the lease rentals, as
the payment for the years between 1980 and 1999 were evidenced by receipts except that the receipts
for 1998 and 1999 were withheld by respondent. Petitioner also maintained that she refused to pay the
lease rentals to respondent because he was not the registered lessor, and that as bona fide tenant-
successor of her deceased husband, she was entitled to security of tenure, as well as to the homelot
which formed part of the leasehold under agrarian laws. She further contended that the MTC could not
have taken cognizance of the case as there had been no prior recourse to the Barangay Agrarian Reform
Council as provided for in Section 53 of Republic Act No. 6657. Finally, petitioner asserted that the MTC
had no jurisdiction over the case as it involved an agrarian dispute.
In a Decision dated 10 May 2002, the MTC held that there existed a tenancy relationship between the
parties and that since the subject lot was petitioner's homelot, the instant controversy is an agrarian
dispute over which the courts have no jurisdiction.
On appeal, the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Malolos, Bulacan, Branch 9 reversed the decision of the
MTC.
Consequently, petitioner elevated the case to the Court of Appeals in a petition for review under Rule
42 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure where the CA denied the petition and affirmed the decision of
the RTC. The CA affirmed the RTC decision. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration of the Court of
Appeals decision but the same was denied.
Hence, this appeal by certiorari.

Issue:

Who is entitled to the physical or material possession of the premises or possession de facto?

Held:

Rightful possession belongs to respondent. Petitioner failed to show that the Department of Agrarian
Reform had awarded the property in her favor as her homelot. Instead, the clear preponderance of
evidence is on the side of respondent. He presented the Torrens title covering the lot in his name.
It must be stressed, however, that the Court has engaged in this initial determination of ownership
over the lot in dispute only for the purpose of settling the issue of possession.
The petition is DENIED.

JUST COMPENSATION; DETERMINATION OF JUST COMPENSATION BY THE RTC

APO Fruits Corporation and Hijo Plantation, Inc. vs. The Hon. Court of Appeals and Land Bank of the
Philippines
G.R. No. 164195 (December 19, 2007)

Facts:

The LBP filed an omnibus motion for reconsideration on the Decision of the SC dated 6 February 2007
partially granting the LBP's petition and affirming the decision of the CA giving due course to LBP's
appeal.
The grounds for the LBPs motion for reconsideration are that special agrarian courts are not at liberty
to disregard the formula devised to implement Section 17 of Republic Act No. 6657; the LBP complied
with the constitutional requirement on prompt and full payment of just compensation; the LBP ensured
that the interests already earned on the bond portion of the revalued amounts were aligned with 91-day
treasury bill (T-Bill) rates and on the cash portion the normal banking interest rates; that petitioners are
not entitled to an award of Attorney's fees and commissioners' fees; and that LBP's counsel did not
unnecessarily delay the proceedings.

Issue:

Whether or not SACs are bound by the formula devised to implement Section 17 of R. A. No. 6657 on
Determination of Just Compensation?

Held:

In Land Bank of the Philippines v. Celada, the SC declared that as the government agency principally
tasked to implement the agrarian reform program, it is the DAR's duty to issue rules and regulations to
carry out the object of the law. DAR AO No. 5, s. of 1998 precisely "filled in the details" of Section 17, RA
No. 6657 by providing a basic formula by which the factors mentioned therein may be taken into
account. The SAC was at no liberty to disregard the formula which was devised to implement the said
provision.
The ruling in the Celada case is in conflict with the Apo Fruits which the SC ruled that the more
acceptable practice has always been to interpret and reconcile apparently conflicting jurisprudence to
give effect to both by harmonizing the two (Celada Ruling vis--vis Apo Fruits Ruling).
The trial court, actually took into consideration all the factors in the determination of just
compensation as articulated in Section 17 of Republic Act No. 6657.
The trial court had substantially applied the formula by looking into all the factors included therein,
i.e. net income, comparable sales and market value per tax declaration, to arrive at the proper land
value. The basic formula set forth in DAR AO No. 5, Series of 1998 does not and cannot strictly bind the
courts.
As established in earlier jurisprudence, the valuation of property in eminent domain is essentially a
judicial function which is vested in the regional trial court acting as a SAC, and not in administrative
agencies.
The SAC, therefore, must still be able to reasonably exercise its judicial discretion in the evaluation of
the factors for just compensation, which cannot be arbitrarily restricted by a formula dictated by the
DAR, an administrative agency.
The modification of the Decision dated 6 February 2007 pertaining to the award of interest on just
compensation, commissioner's fees and attorney's fees, is in order.
In all other respects, the Decision dated 6 February 2007 is MAINTAINED.

COVERAGE; CONDITIONAL DONATION OF PROPERTIES UNDER THE ADMINISTRATION OF AN
ARCHBISHOP WILL NOT SERVE TO REMOVE THE PROPERTY FROM COVERAGE OF CARL

Roman Catholic Archbishop of Caceres vs. Secretary of Agrarian Reform and DAR Regional Director
(Region V)
G.R. No. 139285 (December 21, 2007)

Facts:

Roman Catholic Archbishop of Caceres is the registered owner of several properties in Camarines Sur,
with a total area of 268.5668 hectares. Of that land, 249.0236 hectares are planted with rice and corn,
while the remaining 19.5432 hectares are planted with coconut trees.
Archbishop filed with the Municipal Agrarian Reform District Office petitions for exemption from the
coverage of Operation Land Transfer (OLT) under Presidential Decree No. 27. Two of these petitions
were denied.
Archbishop appealed and sought exemption from OLT coverage of all lands planted with rice and corn
which were registered in the name of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Caceres.
This appeal was denied by then DAR Secretary Ernesto D. Garilao and a subsequent motion for
reconsideration was also denied.
The matter was then raised to the CA via Petition for Review on Certiorari.
The petition was dismissed by the CA. Archbishop filed a motion for reconsideration, but was also
denied.

Issue:

Whether or not as administrator of the Roman Catholic properties, these subject properties should
have been exempt from the OLT?

Held:

The laws simply speak of the "landowner" without qualification as to under what title the land is held
or what rights to the land the landowner may exercise. There is no distinction made whether the
landowner holds "naked title" only or can exercise all the rights of ownership. To do so would be to
frustrate the revolutionary intent of the law, which is the redistribution of agricultural land for the
benefit of landless farmers and farmworkers.
The provisions of PD 27 and RA 6657 are plain and require no further interpretation there is only
one right of retention per landowner, and no multiple rights of retention can be held by a single party.
Archbishop makes much of the conditional donation, that he does not have the power to sell,
exchange, lease, transfer, encumber or mortgage the transferred properties. He claims that these
conditions do not make him the landowner as contemplated by the law. This matter has already been
answered in Hospicio de San Jose de Barili, Cebu City (Hospicio) v. Department of Agrarian Reform. In
that case, wherein Act No. 3239 prohibited the sale under any consideration of lands donated to the
Hospicio, a charitable organization, the Court found that the lands of the Hospicio were not exempt
from the coverage of agrarian reform.
Archbishop's claim that he does not have jus disponendi over the subject properties is unavailing. The
very nature of the compulsory sale under PD 27 and RA 6657 defeats such a claim. Other less scrupulous
parties may even attempt creating trusts to prevent their lands from coming under agrarian reform, and
say that the trustee has no power to dispose of the properties. The disposition under PD 27 and RA 6657
is of a different character than what is contemplated by jus disponendi, wherein under these laws,
voluntariness is not an issue, and the disposition is necessary for the laws to be effective.
Under PD 27 and RA 6657, Archbishop cannot claim that the alleged conditions of the donations
would have primacy over the application of the law. This forced sale is not even a violation of the
conditions of the donation, since it is by application of law and beyond Archbishop's control. The
application of the law cannot and should not be defeated by the conditions laid down by the donors of
the land. If such were allowed, it would be a simple matter for other landowners to place their lands
without limit under the protection of religious organizations or create trusts by the mere act of
donation, rendering agrarian reform but a pipe dream.
Archbishop's contention that he is merely an administrator of the donated properties will not serve to
remove these lands from the coverage of agrarian reform. The lands in Archbishop's name are
agricultural lands that fall within the scope of the law, and do not fall under the exemptions.
Archbishop would claim exemption from the coverage of agrarian reform by stating that he is a mere
administrator, but his position does not appear under the list of exemptions under RA 6657. His claimed
status as administrator does not create another class of lands exempt from the coverage of PD 27 or RA
6657, and The Roman Catholic Apostolic Administrator of Davao, Inc. does not create another definition
for the term "landowner."
Petition Denied.