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Talavera vs Laxamana

Facts:
Jose Laxamana instituted an action for recovery of possession on July 10,
1984 against the petitioners over a parcel of land located in Brgy. Sto. Domingo 11,
Sition Tambo, Capas Tarlac. Private respondent alleged that he had been a bonafide
tenant of the said land since 1958. He had been in continuous possession of the
said land until the petitioners took possession of it and planted palay without
private respondents knowledge and through force and intimidation. The private
respondent suffered damages amounting to P500.00 and the price equivalent to
sixty-five cavans of palay per agricultural year. In the petitioners defence, they
stated that the taking of the private respondents possession was in accordance
with their Casunduan executed on March 30, 1973 and that he was not actually a
tenant of the petitioners. The document states that private respondent sold his
rights and interests over the property for a consideration of P1, 000.00. The
Regional Trial Court ruled in favour of the private respondent to which the
petitioners appealed in the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals affirmed the
lower courts decision that the Casunduan did not constitute valid surrender of the
land contemplated under the law.
Issue:
Whether or not the surrender of the land by the private respondent
constitutes valid surrender contemplated by the law
Held:
No, the surrender did not constitute a valid surrender as contemplated by the
law. The Decision of the RTC and the CA is affirmed. Under the Code of Agrarian
Reforms of the Philippines (R.A. No. 3844) Section 8, agricultural leasehold shall
only be extinguished based on the following grounds:
1. Abandonment of the landholding without the knowledge of the agricultural
lessor;
2. Voluntary surrender of the landholding by the agricultural lessee, written
notice of which shall be served three months in advance; or
3. Absence of the person under Section rune to succeed to the lessee, in the
event of death or permanent incapacity of the lessee.
Voluntary surrender does not require any court authorization since it involves the
tenants own volition however, it must be shown that the surrender was voluntary
through convincing and sufficiently proved evidence. It cannot be presumed nor
implied otherwise, the right of the tenant to security of tenure becomes illusory one.
It was shown that the Casunduan was prepared by petitioner Visitacion Talavera and
that Jose Laxamana, at the time the Casunduan was made, needed money for his
wifes illness which later caused her death. Laxamana could also hardly sign his own

name. Laxamana also continued working on the land until 1984 even after the
Casunduan was made while the Talaveras claimed that they cultivated the land
themselves. Exhibits presented as evidence showed that Talaveras did not cultivate
the land and actually resides in another barangay. The circumstances showed that
Laxamana was forced to sign the Casunduan without fully understanding it and
continued cultivating the land after.