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HEIRS OF AURELIO REYES vs HON. GARILAO, ET. AL.

GR No. 136466; 25 November 2009


Background
PD 27, 21 Oct 1972, issued by Pres Marcos proclaimed the country as a land reform area and decreed the emancipation of
tenants from the bondage of the soil, transferring to them the ownership of the land they till. It laid down a system for purchase by
tenant-farmers, long recognized as backbone of economy. It provides that in all cases, the landowner may retain an area not more
than 7 hectares if such landowner is cultivating such area or will now cultivate it.
LOI No 474, 21 Oct 1976, Pres Marcos issued to Sec of Agrarian Reform its order that small landowners of tenanted rice/corn lands
with areas of less than 24 hectares but above 7 hectares shall retain not more than 7 hectares of such lands except when they own
their agricultural lands containing more than 7 hectares or land used for residential, commercial, industrial or other urban purposes
from which they derive adequate income to support themselves and their families.
o LOI No. 474, thus, amended PD No. 27 by removing any right of retention from persons who own other agricultural lands of
more than 7 hectares, or lands used for residential, commercial, industrial or other purposes from which they derive
adequate income to support themselves and their families.
RA 6657, provides for the right of retention of landowners:
SEC. 6. Retention Limits.Except as otherwise provided in this Act, no person may own or retain, directly, any public or
private agricultural land, the size of which shall vary according to factors governing a viable family-sized farm, such as
commodity produced, terrain, infrastructure, and soil fertility as determined by the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council
(PARC) created hereunder, but in no case shall the retention by the landowner exceed five (5) hectares. Three (3) hectares
may be awarded to each child of the landowner, subject to the following qualifications: (1) that he is at least fifteen (15)
years of age; and (2) that he is actually tilling the land or directly managing the farm: Provided, That landowners whose
lands have been covered by Presidential Decree No. 27 shall be allowed to keep the area originally retained by them
thereunder; Provided, further, That original homestead grantees or direct compulsory heirs who still own the original
homestead at the time of the approval of this Act shall retain the same areas as long as they continue to cultivate said
homestead.
Petitioners are registered (9) co-owners of a parcel of land known as Lot No. 166 of Cadastral survey
of Orani Bataan consisting of an area of 99.1085 hectares and covered under TCT No. T-91171 of
Registry of Deeds Bataan.
The property was originally owned by Sps. Reyes. Upon death of Aurelio Reyes, property passed by
succession to petitioners, who divided the same.
Emancipation of patents were issued to respondents as farmer-beneficiaries over the entire
landholding in question.
Petitioners lodged a petition for cancellation of emancipation of patents issued to respondents before
the DARAB Pampanga.
Earlier, petitioners filed with DAR their respective applications for retention over Lot No 166 at 5
hectares each, pursuant to Sec 6 of RA 6657.
FACTS:

OIC-Regional Director - issued an Order granting petitioners applications for retention; directing heirs
to make the segregation of retainable area and initiate cancellation of emancipating pantent(s), if any
has been issued.
DAR Secretary - issued an Order setting aside Order of Regional Director. DAR Sec, found that each
compulsory heir owns
5.5 has. representing their 1/9 share of property and
other landholdings presumably used either as residential, commercial, industrial or other urban
purposes located in Makati and manila
landowners who own lands devoted to non-agricultural purposes are presumed to derive
adequate income therefrom to support themselves and their families.
CA dismissed petition for review by petitioners for lack of merit. Administrative Order No. 4 of 1991
and Letter of Instruction No 474 restricts the right of retention of landowners.
W/N petitioners right to retention of portions of their landholdings is not foreclosed by any vested
ISSUE:
right that private respondents may claim
HELD: No
Section 6 of RA No. 6657, while providing for a right of retention of five hectares, does not prescribe
the limitation or conditions provided for in LOI No. 474.
Administrative Order No 4, series of 1991, provided that: An owner of tenanted rice and corn lands
may not retain these lands under the ff cases:
1. If he, as of 21 October 1972, owned more than 24 hectares of tenanted rice and corn lands; or by
virtue of LOI 474, if he, as of 21 October 1976, owned less than 24 hectares of tenanted rice or
corn lands, but additionally owned the following:
2. Other agricultural lands of more than seven hectares, whether tenanted or not, whether
cultivated or not, and regardless of the income derived therefrom; or
3. Lands used for residential, commercial, industrial, or other urban purposes, from which he
derives adequate income to support himself and his family.
Petitioners Contention SC Answer
Section 6 of RA No. 6657 does not provide In Association of Small Landowners in the Philippines,
for the limitation or exception to the Inc. v. Secretary of Agrarian Reform, this Court upheld
exercise of retention rights previously the validity of LOI No. 474.
found in LOI No. 474 those parts of the
section amended, which are omitted in ..Every presidential issuance, by whatever name it was
the amendments, are deemed repealed. called, had the force and effect of law because it came
LOI No. 474 is inconsistent with the from President Marcos.
RULING:

provisions of RA No. 6657 and was


therefore repealed by the latter.
RA No. 6657 has - While both laws may have the same subject matter, i.e. agrarian reform
impliedly repealed LOI and its mechanism, if there is no intent to repeal the earlier enactment,
No. 474 on the theory every effort at a reasonable construction must be made to reconcile the
that the latter is statutes, so that both can be given effect.
inconsistent with the - RA No. 6657 is a social justice and poverty alleviation program which
former. seeks to empower the lives of agrarian reform beneficiaries through
equitable distribution and ownership of the land based on the principle of
land to the tiller. RA No. 6657, however, allows landowners to retain five
hectares of their landholding. LOI No. 474, on the other hand, imposes
restrictive conditions on the exercise of the right of retention by
mandating that landowners who possess other lands used for residential,
commercial, industrial, or other urban purposes, from which they derive
adequate income to support themselves and their families are
disqualified from exercising their right of retention.
This Court concludes that while RA No. 6675 is the law of general application, LOI No. 474 may still be
applied to the latter. Hence, landowners under RA No. 6675 are entitled to retain five hectares of
their landholding; however, if they too own other lands used for residential, commercial, industrial
or other urban purposes from which they derive adequate income to support themselves and their
families, they are disqualified from exercising their right of retention.