Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT
Manila
THIRD DIVISION
G.R. No. 174647 December 5, 2012
LAND BAN O! T"E P"#L#PP#NES, Petitioner,
vs.
SPOUSES ROSA $%& PEDRO COSTO, Respondents.
D ! I S I O N
PERALTA, J.:
This is a petition for revie" on certiorari under Rule #$ of the Rules of !ourt see%in&
to reverse and set aside the Decision
'
dated (ul) '#, *++, of the !ourt of -ppeals
.!-/ in !-01.R. SP No. 2'#,2, and the Resolution
*
dated Septe3ber '$, *++,
den)in& petitioner4s 3otion for reconsideration.
The procedural and factual antecedents are as follo"s5
Respondents spouses Rosa and Pedro !osto are the re&istered o"ners of a parcel
of land located at !ata3lan&an, Pilar, Sorso&on "ith an area of 2.'26, hectares
covered b) Ori&inal !ertificate of Title .O!T/ No. P0,#78. -fter the passa&e of
Republic -ct .R.-./ No. ,,$8,
6
respondents voluntaril) offered the said propert) to
the Depart3ent of -&rarian Refor3 .D-R/ under the !o3prehensive -&rarian
Refor3 Pro&ra3 .!-RP/ and its i3ple3entin& Rules. Out of the total area, 8.6#8'
hectares "as dee3ed 9ualified for ac9uisition under the pro&ra3 b) the D-R.
Petitioner :and ;an% of the Philippines .:and ;an%/ then co3puted and valued the
8.6#8' hectares in the a3ount of P'+#,+88.+'.
Ho"ever, respondents re<ected the valuation. This i3pelled petitioner to deposit the
offer in the for3 of cash and bonds in favor of respondents as provisional
co3pensation for the ac9uired propert). Thereafter, respondents sou&ht the
deter3ination of <ust co3pensation "ith the Provincial -d<udication ;oard of the
D-R.
On (ul) 6+, *++*, the Provincial -&rarian Refor3 -d<udicator .P-R-D/ rendered a
Decision
#
in favor of respondents. The P-R-D reco3puted the land valuation and
fi=ed the value of the propert) at P#,7,$8$.2*. Petitioner filed a Motion for
Reconsideration, but "as denied.
$
-&&rieved, pursuant to Section $8
,
of R.-. No.
,,$8, petitioner filed a petition for deter3ination of <ust co3pensation "ith the
Re&ional Trial !ourt .RT!/, sittin& as a Special -&rarian !ourt .S-!/.
On (une *7, *++$, the S-! rendered a Decision
8
findin& the valuation 3ade b) the
P-R-D as the 3ore realistic appraisal of the sub<ect propert), of "hich, the decretal
portion reads as follo"s5
>HR?OR, pre3ises considered, <ud&3ent is hereb) rendered5
'/ ?i=in& the a3ount of ?O@R H@NDRD SIATB0I1HT THO@S-ND ?IV
H@NDRD SVNTB0?IV 2*C'++ .P#,7,$8$.2*/ Pesos, Philippine currenc)
for the ac9uired area of 8.6#8' hectares, situated at !ata3lan&an, Pilar,
Sorso&on in the na3e of Rosa P. !osto 3arried to Pedro !osto, covered b)
O!T No. P0,#78, "hich propert) "as ta%en b) the &overn3ent pursuant to
the -&rarian Refor3 Pro&ra3 of the &overn3ent as provided b) R.-. ,,$8.
*/ Orderin& the Petitioner :and ;an% of the Philippines to pa) the Private
Respondents the a3ount of ?our Hundred Si=t)0i&ht Thousand ?ive
Hundred Sevent)0?ive and 2*C'++ .P#,7,$8$.2*/ Pesos, Philippine currenc),
in the 3anner provided b) R.-. ,,$8 b) "a) of full pa)3ent of the said <ust
co3pensation after deductin& "hatever a3ount previousl) received b) the
Private Respondents fro3 the Petitioner :and ;an% of the Philippines as part
of the <ust co3pensation.
6/ >ithout pronounce3ent as to costs.
SO ORDRD.
7
@ndeterred, petitioner sou&ht recourse before the !-, "hich case "as doc%eted as
!-01.R. SP No. 2'#,2, raisin& the sole error that5
TH !O@RT A QUO 1R-V:B RRD IN ?IAIN1 TH -MO@NT O? P#,7,$8$.2*
-S TH (@ST !OMPNS-TION ?OR TH -!D@IRD PROPRTB O? TH
RSPONDNTS, TH S-M ;IN1 IN !:-R VIO:-TION O? TH ?-!TORS
@NDR S!TION '8 O? R.-. ,,$8 -S TR-NS:-TD INTO - ;-SI! ?ORM@:-
IN D-R -DMINISTR-TIV ORDR NO. $, SRIS O? '227.
2
On (ul) '#, *++,, the !- rendered a Decision
'+
affir3in& the decision of the S-! in
favor of the respondents, to "it5
'"ERE!ORE, the decision dated (une *7, *++$ is A!!#RMED.
SO ORDERED.
''
In rulin& for the respondents, the !- opined that the deter3ination of <ust
co3pensation is the e=clusive do3ain of the courts and that the e=ecutive and
le&islative acts of fi=in& <ust co3pensation are not conclusive or bindin& upon the
court, but should onl) be re&arded as an initial valuation. Moreover, the S-! upheld
the deter3ination of the P-R-D onl) after considerin& the relevant evidence of the
parties. Thus, the !- "as satisfied that the S-! decided the issue of <ust
co3pensation based on factual &rounds.
Hence, the petition assi&nin& the lone error5
I
TH !O@RT O? -PP-:S !OMMITTD - SRIO@S RROR O? :->
IN A!!#RM#NG TH D!ISION D-TD (@N *7, *++$ O? TH SP!I-:
-1R-RI-N !O@RT .S-!/, TH !OMPNS-TION ?IAD ;B TH S-! ;IN1
NOT IN -!!ORD-N! >ITH TH V-:@-TION ?-!TORS M-ND-TD @NDR
S!TION '8 O? R.-. ,,$8 -S TR-NS:-TD INTO - ;-SI! ?ORM@:- IN D-R
-DMINISTR-TIV ORDR, -ND @PH:D ;B TH S@PRM !O@RT IN TH
!-S O? SPS. BANAL, 1.R. NO. '#6*8, .(@:B *+, *++#./
'*
Petitioner ar&ues that contrar) to the rulin& in Land Bank of the Philippines v.
Banal,
'6
the P-R-D, the S-!, and the !- disre&arded and did not follo" the
valuation factors under Section '8 of R.-. No. ,,$8 as translated into a basic
for3ula in D-R -d3inistrative Order .-O/ No. $, Series of '227 in fi=in& the <ust
co3pensation of the sub<ect propert). In fine, petitioner insists that the P-R-D, the
S-!, and the !-, should have relied on the rulin& in Land Bank of the Philippines v.
Banal in resolvin& the issue of <ust co3pensation.
On their part, respondents 3aintain that the P-R-D, the S-!, and the !- did not
err "hen the) fi=ed the value of the sub<ect propert) at P#,7,$8$.2*.
The petition is bereft of 3erit.
The procedure for the deter3ination of <ust co3pensation cases under R.-. No.
,,$8, as su33ariEed in Land Bank of the Philippines v. Banal, is that initiall), the
:and ;an% is char&ed "ith the responsibilit) of deter3inin& the value of lands placed
under land refor3 and the co3pensation to be paid for their ta%in& under the
voluntar) offer to sell or co3pulsor) ac9uisition arran&e3ent. The D-R, rel)in& on
the :and ;an%Fs deter3ination of the land valuation and co3pensation, then 3a%es
an offer throu&h a notice sent to the lando"ner. If the lando"ner accepts the offer,
the :and ;an% shall pa) hi3 the purchase price of the land after he e=ecutes and
delivers a deed of transfer and surrenders the certificate of title in favor of the
&overn3ent. In case the lando"ner re<ects the offer or fails to repl) thereto, the D-R
-d<udicator conducts su33ar) ad3inistrative proceedin&s to deter3ine the
co3pensation for the land b) re9uirin& the lando"ner, the :and ;an% and other
interested parties to sub3it evidence as to the <ust co3pensation for the land. -
part) "ho disa&rees "ith the Decision of the D-R -d<udicator 3a) brin& the 3atter
to the RT! desi&nated as a Special -&rarian !ourt for the deter3ination of <ust
co3pensation. In deter3inin& <ust co3pensation, the RT! is re9uired to consider
several factors enu3erated in Section '8 of R.-. No. ,,$8.
'#
Section '8 of R.-. No. ,,$8 has defined the para3eters for the deter3ination of the
<ust co3pensation, to "it5
Section '8. Determination of Just ompensation. G In deter3inin& <ust
co3pensation, the cost of ac9uisition of the land, the current value of li%e properties,
its nature, actual use and inco3e, the s"orn valuation b) the o"ner, the ta=
declarations, and the assess3ent 3ade b) &overn3ent assessors shall be
considered. The social and econo3ic benefits contributed b) the far3ers and the
far3"or%ers and b) the 1overn3ent to the propert) as "ell as the nonpa)3ent of
ta=es or loans secured fro3 an) &overn3ent financin& institution on the said land
shall be considered as additional factors to deter3ine its valuation.
Thus, in deter3inin& <ust co3pensation, the RT! is re9uired to consider the
follo"in& factors5 .'/ the ac9uisition cost of the landH .*/ the current value of the
propertiesH .6/ its nature, actual use, and inco3eH .#/ the s"orn valuation b) the
o"nerH .$/ the ta= declarationsH .,/ the assess3ent 3ade b) &overn3ent assessorsH
.8/ the social and econo3ic benefits contributed b) the far3ers and the
far3"or%ers, and b) the &overn3ent to the propert)H and .7/ the non0pa)3ent of
ta=es or loans secured fro3 an) &overn3ent financin& institution on the said land, if
an).
'$
In Land Bank of the Philippines v. elada,
',
the !ourt ruled that the factors
enu3erated under Section '8 of R.-. No. ,,$8 had alread) been translated into a
basic for3ula b) the D-R pursuant to its rule03a%in& po"er under Section #2 of
R.-. No. ,,$8. Thus, the !ourt held that the for3ula outlined in D-R -O No. $,
series of '227, should be applied in co3putin& <ust co3pensation.
'8
D-R -O No. $,
series of '227, provides5
-. There shall be one basic for3ula for the valuation of lands covered b) VOS or
!-5
:V I .!NI = +.,/ J .!S = +.6/ J .MV = +.'/
>here5 :V I :and Value
!NI I !apitaliEed Net Inco3e
!S I !o3parable Sales
MV I Mar%et Value per Ta= Declaration
The above for3ula shall be used if all three factors are present, relevant and
applicable.
-'. >hen the !S factor is not present and !NI and MV are applicable, the for3ula
shall be5
:V I .!NI = +.2/ J .MV = +.'/
-*. >hen the !NI factor is not present, and !S and MV are applicable, the for3ula
shall be5
:V I .!S = +.2/ J .MV = +.'/
-6. >hen both the !S and !NI are not present and onl) MV is applicable, the
for3ula shall be5
:V I MV = *
In no case shall the value of idle land usin& the for3ula MV = * e=ceed the lo"est
value of land "ithin the sa3e estate under consideration or "ithin the sa3e
baran&a) or 3unicipalit) .in that order/ approved b) :;P "ithin one .'/ )ear fro3
receipt of clai3folder.
'7
-ppl)in& the above for3ula, the P-R-D, as concurred into b) the S-! and the !-,
fi=ed the value of the propert) at P#,7,$8$.2*. Ho"ever, petitioner insists that the
P-R-D violated the provisions of -O No. $, series of '227 "hen he pe&&ed the
sellin& price of copra at P',.++C%&., as a&ainst the P$.7*C%&. set b) petitioner based
on the available '*03onth avera&e sellin& price of copra. !ontrar) to petitionerFs
contention, it should be noted that the nature, actual use, and inco3e of the propert)
sub<ect of co3putation of <ust co3pensation is onl) one of the ei&ht factors to be
considered in deter3inin& the <ust co3pensation of a propert) ear3ar%ed for the
purposes of the a&rarian refor3 pro&ra3 of the 1overn3ent. In addition, the
reasons for settin& aside the deter3ination of <ust co3pensation in the case
of Banal did not obtain here. In Banal, the RT! as S-! did not conduct a hearin& to
deter3ine the lando"nerFs co3pensation "ith notice to and upon participation of all
the parties, but 3erel) too% <udicial notice of the avera&e production fi&ures adduced
in another pendin& land case and used the fi&ures "ithout the consent of the
parties.
'2
-s aptl) found b) the S-!, all the factors in arrivin& at the proper valuation of the
sub<ect propert) "ere considered in the case at bar, vi!5
The !ourt after careful e=a3ination of the evidence presented b) the Petitioner :;P
as "ell as the Private Respondents particularl) the decision of the Provincial
-d<udicator of Sorso&on, the location of the propert), the current value of li%e
properties, the i3prove3ents, its actual use, the social and econo3ic benefits that
the landholdin& can &ive to the co33unit), it is the considered Opinion of the !ourt
that the Provincial -d<udicator of Sorso&on did not abuse his discretion in 3a%in&
the valuation assailed b) Petitioner :and ;an%.
-fter due scrutin) of the findin&s of the Provincial -d<udicator of Sorso&on, the !ourt
adopts in toto the findin&s of facts of said Provincial -d<udicator as said Provincial
-d<udicator follo"ed the &uidelines enunciated under -d3inistrative Order No. $,
Series of '227 &overnin& the valuation of !-RP covered land and in addition
considers said valuation as the fair and <ust co3pensation of li%e properties. = = =
= = = =
!onsiderin& all these factors, the valuation 3ade b) the Provincial -d<udicator and
the potentials of the propert), the !ourt considers the findin&s of the Provincial
-d<udicator as the 3ore realistic appraisal "hich could be the basis for the full and
fair e9uivalent of the propert) ta%en fro3 the o"ner "hile the !ourt finds that the
valuation of the Petitioner :and ;an% iKnL this particular a&ricultural land sub<ect for
ac9uisition is unrealisticall) lo".
*+
Veril), factual findin&s of ad3inistrative officials and a&encies that have ac9uired
e=pertise in the perfor3ance of their official duties and the e=ercise of their pri3ar)
<urisdiction are &enerall) accorded not onl) respect but, at ti3es, even finalit) if such
findin&s are supported b) substantial evidence.
*'
The !ourts &enerall) accord &reat
respect, if not finalit), to factual findin&s of ad3inistrative a&encies, because of their
special %no"led&e and e=pertise over 3atters fallin& under their <urisdiction.
**
Moreover, the sa3e conclusion "as also arrived at b) the !-, "hen it found that5
>e re<ect :;PFs ar&u3ent that its valuation of <ust co3pensation should be
preferred. -n) valuation of :;P in accordance "ith an) for3ula should onl) be
re&arded as an initial valuation, never conclusive nor controllin&. InSi"re v. ourt of
Appeals, the Supre3e !ourt has held that the deter3ination of <ust co3pensation
under P.D. *8 and Sec. ', .d/ of R.-. ,,$8, is not final and conclusive. If that "as
not the rule, :;P or another a&enc) li%e D-R 3i&ht i3per3issibl) usurp the
essentiall) <udicial function of deter3ination of <ust co3pensation. >e stress that,
indeed, as stated in #epu$lic v. ourt of Appeals, the deter3ination of <ust
co3pensation is the e=clusive do3ain of the courts and that e=ecutive and
le&islative acts fi=in& <ust co3pensation are b) no 3eans conclusive or bindin& upon
the court, but rather, at the ver) least, 3erel) &uidin& principles.
It is si&nificant that the RT! upheld the deter3ination of P-R-D onl) after
considerin& the relevant evidence of the parties. Thereb), it did not act arbitraril). >e
accord the hi&hest credence to its evaluation, therefore, considerin& that :;P failed
to convince us that the RT! abused its discretion or ruled on the 3atter "ithout
evidence. >e are satisfied that the RT! decided the issue of <ust co3pensation on
factual &rounds. >e note that it relied also on the factors enu3erated in Sec. '8,
R.-. ,,$8, = = =5
*6
The !ourt has consistentl) ruled that the ascertain3ent of <ust co3pensation b) the
RT! as S-! on the basis of the landholdin&Fs nature, location, 3ar%et value,
assessorFs value, and the volu3e and value of the produce is valid and accords "ith
Section '8 of R.-. No. ,,$8. The !ourt has li%e"ise ruled that in appraisin& <ust
co3pensation. the courts 3ust consider, in addition, all the facts re&ardin& the
condition of the landholdin& and its surroundin&s, as "ell as the i3prove3ents and
the capabilities of the landholdin&.
*#
Thus, the co3putation should be sustained.
One final note, the 3atters raised b) petitioner 3ainl) involves factual controversies,
"hich are clearl) be)ondM the a3bit of this !ourt. To be sure, the revie" of factual
3atters is not the province of this !ourt. The Supre3e !ourt is not a trier of facts,
and is not the proper foru3 for the ventilation and substantiation of factual issues.
*$
'"ERE!ORE, pre3ises considered, the petition is DEN#ED. The Decision dated
(ul) '#, *++, and the Resolution dated Septe3ber '$, *++, of the !ourt of -ppeals
in !-01.R. SP No. 2'#,2 are A!!#RMED.
SO ORDRD.
D#OSDADO M. PERALTA
-ssociate (ustice
> !ON!@R5
PRESB#TERO (. )ELASCO, (R.
-ssociate (ustice
!hairperson
ROBERTO A. ABAD
-ssociate (ustice
(OSE CATRAL MENDO*A
-ssociate (ustice
MAR)#C MAR#O )#CTOR !. LEONEN
- T T S T - T I O N
I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation
before the case "as assi&ned to the "riter of the opinion of the !ourt4s Division.
PRESB#TERO (. )ELASCO, (R.
-ssociate (ustice
!hairperson, Third Division
! R T I ? I ! - T I O N
Pursuant to Section '6, -rticle VIII of the !onstitution and the Division !hairperson4s
-ttestation, I certif) that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in
consultation before the case "as assi&ned to the "riter of the opinion of the !ourt4s
Division.
ANTON#O T. CARP#O
-ctin& !hief (ustice
LBP vs Sps Rosa
LAND BAN O! T"E P"#L#PP#NES, Petitioner,
vs.
SPOUSES ROSA $%& PEDRO COSTO, Respondents.
G.R. No. 174647 December 5, 2012
.Supre3e !ourt, Third Division/
!$c+,-
This is a petition for revie" on certiorari under Rule #$ of the Rules of !ourt see%in& to
reverse and set aside the Decision dated (ul) '#, *++, of the !ourt of -ppeals .!-/ in
!-01.R. SP No. 2'#,2, and the Resolution dated Septe3ber '$, *++, den)in&
petitioner4s 3otion for reconsideration.
Herein respondents, spouses Rosa and Pedro !osto are the re&istered o"ners of a
parcel of land located at !ata3lan&an, Pilar, Sorso&on. -fter the passa&e of R.-. No.
,,$8, respondents voluntaril) offered the said propert) to the Depart3ent of -&rarian
Refor3 .D-R/ under the !o3prehensive -&rarian Refor3 Pro&ra3 .!-RP/ and its
i3ple3entin& Rules. Out of the total land area, 8.6#8' hectares "as dee3ed 9ualified
for ac9uisition under the !-RP. Petitioner, :and ;an% of the Philippines .:and ;an%/
then co3puted and valued the said 9ualified area in the a3ount of P'+#,+88.+'.
Ho"ever, respondents re<ected the valuation. This i3pelled petitioner to deposit the
offer in the for3 of cash and bonds in favor of respondents as provisional co3pensation
for the ac9uired propert). Thereafter, respondents sou&ht the deter3ination of <ust
co3pensation "ith the Provincial -d<udication ;oard of the D-R.
On (ul) 6+, *++*, the Provincial -&rarian Refor3 -d<udicator .P-R-D/ rendered a
Decision in favor of respondents and reco3puted the land valuation, fi=in& the value of
the propert) at P#,7,$8$.2*. Petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration, but "as
denied. -&&rieved, pursuant to Section $8 of R.-. No. ,,$8, petitioner filed a petition for
deter3ination of <ust co3pensation "ith the Re&ional Trial !ourt .RT!/, sittin& as a
Special -&rarian !ourt .S-!/.
On (une *7, *++$, the S-! rendered a Decision findin& the valuation 3ade b) the
P-R-D as the 3ore realistic appraisal of the sub<ect propert).
Petitioner then sou&ht recourse before the !-, but the appellate court affir3ed the
decision of the S-! on a &round that petitionerFs lac% of 3erit.
Hence, the present petition before this !ourt .Supre3e !ourt/.
#,,.e,-
• >hether or not the petitioner, :and ;an% of the Philippines, contention that its valuation
of <ust co3pensation should be preferred.
"e/&-
No, the deter3ination of <ust co3pensation cases involvin& the !o3prehensive
-&rarian Refor3 Pro&ra3, the follo"in& factors for consideration are ta%en into account
under Section '8 of R.-. ,,$85
.'/ the ac9uisition cost of the landH
.*/ the current value of the propertiesH
.6/ its nature, actual use, and inco3eH
.#/ the s"orn valuation b) the o"nerH
.$/ the ta= declarationsH
.,/ the assess3ent 3ade b) &overn3ent assessorsH
.8/ the social and econo3ic benefits contributed b) the far3ers and the far3"or%ers, and
b) the &overn3ent to the propert)H and
.7/ the non0pa)3ent of ta=es or loans secured fro3 an) &overn3ent financin& institution on
the said land, if an).
In a previousl) decided case .:;P vs. !elada/, the court ruled that the factors
enu3erated under Sec. '8 of R.-. ,,$8 has alread) been translated into a basic
for3ula, to "it5
:V I :and ValueH
!NI I !apitaliEed Net Inco3eH
!S I !o3parable SalesH
MV I Mar%et Value per Ta= Declaration.
If the three factors are present, the basic for3ula is L) 0 1CN20.63 4 1CS20.53 4
1M)20.13, other"ise the follo"in& shall &overn5
!S is not present5 :V I .!NIN+.2/ J .MVN+.'/H
!NI is not present5 :V I .!SN+.2/ I .MVN+.'/H
;oth !NI and !S are not present5 :V I MVN*
;ut, in no case shall the value of idle land usin& for3ula MVN* e=ceed the lo"est value
of land "ithin the sa3e estate under consideration or "ithin the sa3e baran&a) or
3unicipalit) approved b) :;P "ithin ' )ear fro3 receipt of clai3holder.
The :;P has failed to convince the S! that the RT! abused its discretion or ruled on
the 3atter "ithout evidence, it decided in favor of the respondents den)in& the petition
and affir3in& the decision of the lo"er courts.