You are on page 1of 72

REPUBLIC ACT No.

3844 obligations arising therefrom shall continue to subsist until modified by


the parties in accordance with the provisions of this Code.
AN ACT TO ORDAIN THE AGRICULTURAL LAND REFORM CODE
AND TO INSTITUTE LAND REFORMS IN THE PHILIPPINES, Section 5. Establishment of Agricultural Leasehold Relation - The
INCLUDING THE ABOLITION OF TENANCY AND THE CHANNELING agricultural leasehold relation shall be established by operation of law in
OF CAPITAL INTO INDUSTRY, PROVIDE FOR THE NECESSARY accordance with Section four of this Code and, in other cases, either
IMPLEMENTING AGENCIES, APPROPRIATE FUNDS THEREFOR orally or in writing, expressly or impliedly.
AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
Section 6. Parties to Agricultural Leasehold Relation - The agricultural
CHAPTER I leasehold relation shall be limited to the person who furnishes the
AGRICULTURAL LEASEHOLD SYSTEM landholding, either as owner, civil law lessee, usufructuary, or legal
possessor, and the person who personally cultivates the same.
Section 4. Abolition of Agricultural Share Tenancy - Agricultural share
tenancy, as herein defined, is hereby declared to be contrary to public Section 7. Tenure of Agricultural Leasehold Relation - The agricultural
policy and shall be abolished: Provided, That existing share tenancy leasehold relation once established shall confer upon the agricultural
contracts may continue in force and effect in any region or locality, to be lessee the right to continue working on the landholding until such
governed in the meantime by the pertinent provisions of Republic Act leasehold relation is extinguished. The agricultural lessee shall be entitled
Numbered Eleven hundred and ninety-nine, as amended, until the end of to security of tenure on his landholding and cannot be ejected therefrom
the agricultural year when the National Land Reform Council proclaims unless authorized by the Court for causes herein provided.
that all the government machineries and agencies in that region or
locality relating to leasehold envisioned in this Code are operating, unless Section 33. Manner, Time and Place of Rental Payment - The
such contracts provide for a shorter period or the tenant sooner exercise consideration for the lease of the land shall be paid in an amount certain
his option to elect the leasehold system: Provided, further, That in order in money or in produce, or both, payable at the place agreed upon by the
not to jeopardize international commitments, lands devoted to crops parties immediately after threshing or processing if the consideration is in
covered by marketing allotments shall be made the subject of a separate kind, or within a reasonable time thereafter, if not in kind.
proclamation that adequate provisions, such as the organization of
cooperatives, marketing agreements, or other similar workable In no case shall the agricultural lessor require the agricultural lessee to
arrangements, have been made to insure efficient management on all file a bond, make a deposit or pay the rental in advance, in money or in
matters requiring synchronization of the agricultural with the processing kind or in both, but a special and preferential lien is hereby created in
phases of such crops: Provided, furthermore, That where the agricultural favor of the agricultural lessor over such portion of the gross harvest
share tenancy contract has ceased to be operative by virtue of this Code, necessary for the payment of the rental due in his favor.
or where such a tenancy contract has been entered into in violation of the
provisions of this Code and is, therefore, null and void, and the tenant
continues in possession of the land for cultivation, there shall be
presumed to exist a leasehold relationship under the provisions of this
Code, without prejudice to the right of the landowner and the former
tenant to enter into any other lawful contract in relation to the land
formerly under tenancy contract, as long as in the interim the security of
tenure of the former tenant under Republic Act Numbered Eleven
hundred and ninety-nine, as amended, and as provided in this Code, is
not impaired: Provided, finally, That if a lawful leasehold tenancy contract
was entered into prior to the effectivity of this Code, the rights and
constructed without their knowledge and consent,13 and that the petitioner
even allowed his son to build a house on the property without first seeking
their permission.14 The petitioner refused to heed the respondents' demand so
the dispute was brought to the barangay for conciliation.15

G.R. No. 195203 [Formerly UDK No. 14435], April 20, 2015 Failure of the parties to reach a settlement before the barangay and the
Municipal Agrarian Reform Office resulted in the ejectment complaint the
ANTONIO PAGARIGAN, Petitioner, v. ANGELITA YAGUE AND SHIRLEY respondents filed against the petitioner before the Office of the Provincial
ASUNCION, Respondent. Agrarian Reform Adjudicator, DARAB, Region III.16

In his answer to the ejectment complaint, the petitioner contended that the
DECISION respondents' father Anastacio consented to his institution as tenant of the land
and to the construction of his house on the property. 17 With respect to the
BRION, J.: 'house' being occupied by his son, the petitioner claimed that it was built on
the property in 1997 originally for use as an 'animal shelter,' and that his son's
use was temporary.18 Also, the petitioner claimed that the fishponds were
In this petition for review on certiorari,1 we review the February 11, 2010
constructed in 1995 supposedly to serve as a catch basin for water to irrigate
decision2 and December 9, 2010 resolution3 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-
the rice fields without any objection from the respondents. 19
G.R. SP No. 110552. The CA affirmed the Department of Agrarian Reform
Adjudication Board's (DARAB's) ruling in DARAB Case No. 13848 that likewise
In a decision20 dated November 28, 2003, the Provincial Adjudicator's office
affirmed the Provincial Adjudicator's decision to eject Antonio Pagarigan
ruled in the respondents' favor after finding that the petitioner's cultivation and
(petitioner), including all other persons acting in his behalf, from the subject
occupation of the subject rice land was without the respondents' consent. The
rice land.
Provincial Adjudicator ordered the petitioner, and all other persons acting in his
behalf, to vacate the property and peacefully return its possession and
Factual Antecedents occupation to the respondents.21
Anastacio Yague (Anastacio), the previous owner of a 21,459 square meter- On appeal to the DARAB, the DARAB affirmed the Provincial Adjudicator's
parcel of rice land located at Brgy. San Carlos, Paniqui, Tarlac, had initially decision.22 The petitioner moved to reconsider but the DARAB denied his
instituted his stepfather Macario Pagarigan (Macario) as tenant of the motion in a resolution dated January 16, 2009.23 The petitioner appealed to the
land.4 Macario, with the help of his son Alfonso Pagarigan (Alfonso), cultivated CA.
the land and, as agreed upon, shared equally the land's yearly harvest with
Anastacio.5 In a decision dated February 11, 2010, the CA affirmed the DARAB's decision
and held that the petitioner's status as de jure tenant to the subject rice land
Allegedly with Anastacio's consent, Alfonso became tenant of the land in place was not properly established due to the absence of the elements of consent
of his ailing father sometime in 1957.6 Alfonso continued to cultivate the land and an agreed sharing system of harvest between the parties. The CA held
after Macario's death and religiously delivered to Anastacio his share in the that, other than his bare allegation, the petitioner failed to prove that his
harvest.7 institution as tenant in 1979 was with the consent of the respondents'
father;24 and that the "acquiescence by the landowners of the petitioner's
In 1993, Anastacio transferred the title of the subject rice land to his cultivation of the land does not create an implied tenancy if the former, as in
daughters, Angelita Yague and Shirley Asuncion (respondents).8 this case, never considered petitioner Antonio Pagarigan as tenant of the
land."25 Also, it held that the petitioner failed to provide evidence, such as
In succeeding years, the respondents noticed a decline in the number receipts, that he had been delivering to the respondents their corresponding
of cavans produced and delivered to them each year. They claimed that, in share in the land's harvest.26
1999, they did not receive any share in the land's harvest.9
With the denial of his motion for reconsideration with the CA, the petitioner
Upon investigation, the respondents were surprised to find that the petitioner filed the present petition for review on certiorari where he insists that his
was cultivating the land;10 they thought all along that Alfonso (petitioner's institution as tenant of the land was with the consent of the respondents'
father) was still the land's tenant11 and that Antonio was merely delivering to father. Nevertheless, he argues that an implied tenancy was already created
them their share in the harvest upon Alfonso's instructions. 12 The respondents between him and the respondents because of the latter's acceptance of his
confronted the petitioner and demanded that he vacate the property because deliveries of palay. He, likewise, maintains that he did not fail to deliver to the
they did not consent to his institution as tenant of the land. They also argued respondents their share in the harvest but could not present receipts as
that the petitioner's house and the two fishponds on the property were
evidence thereof because it was never the respondents' practice to issue
receipts for his deliveries considering the familial relations between the parties. SO ORDERED.

Our Ruling
G.R. No. 155580
We DENY the present petition for lack of merit.
ROMEO T. CALUZOR, Petitioners,
In his petition before this Court, the petitioner mainly argues that the vs.
respondents' continued acceptance of his deliveries of palay constituted as DEOGRACIAS LLANILLO and THE HEIRS OF THE LATE LORENZO
implied acquiescence of his occupation and cultivation of the subject rice land,
thus, he claims that an implied tenancy has been created between him and the
LLANILLO, and MOLD EX REALTY CORPORTATION, Respondent.
respondents. But for an implied tenancy to arise, it is necessary that all the
essential requisites of tenancy must first be present.27 DECISION
The following are the essential elements of an agricultural tenancy relationship:
(1) the parties are the landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee; (2) the
BERSAMIN, J.:
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 Agricultural tenancy is not presumed. It is established only by adducing
bring about agricultural production; (5) there is personal cultivation on the part evidence showing that all the essential requisites of the tenancy
of the tenant or agricultural lessee; and (6) the harvest is shared between the
relationship concur, namely: (a) the parties are the landowner and the
landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee.28 In our review of the present
case, we agree with the CA that the element of consent from the landowner to
tenant or agricultural lessee; (b) the subject matter of the relationship is
the petitioner's tenancy is absent. an agricultural land; (c) there is consent between the parties to the
relationship; (d) the purpose of the relationship is to bring about
We have consistently held that occupancy and cultivation of an agricultural agricultural production;
land, no matter hew long, will not ipso facto make one a de
jure tenant.29Independent and concrete evidence is necessary to prove
personal cultivation, sharing of harvest, or consent of the landowner. 30 We (e) there is personal cultivation on the part of the tenant or agricultural
emphasize that the presence of a tenancy relationship cannot be lessee; and (f) the harvest is shared between the landowner and tenant
presumed;31 the elements for its existence are explicit in law and cannot be or agricultural lessee.1

done away with by mere conjectures.32Leasehold relationship is not brought


about by the mere congruence of facts but, being a legal relationship, the
Antecedents
mutual will of the parties to that relationship should be primordial.33

In the proceedings before the DARAB and the CA, the petitioner consistently Lorenzo Llanillo (Lorenzo) owned the parcel of land (land) wi.th an area
failed to provide independent and concrete evidence to show that the of 90, 101 square meters, more or less, known as Lot 4196 and situated
respondents and their father, Anastacio, gave their consent (impliedly and in Loma de Gato, Marilao, Bulacan. The land was covered by Transfer
expressly) to his institution as tenant of the subject rice land. We note that
proof of consent by the landowner/s is largely a matter of evidence, and not a
Certificate of Title No. 25864 of the Registry of Deeds of Bulacan.
proper subject of a Rule 45 petition. Well-settled is the rule that only questions
of law may be raised by the parties and passed upon by this Court in a petition The petitioner averred that Lorenzo took him into the land as a tenant in
for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.34 In the absence of exceptional 1970, giving to him a sketch that indicated the boundaries of the portion
circumstances, we shall rely and give credence to the factual findings of the he would be cultivating. To effectively till the land, the petitioner and his
DARAB on the question of whether the landowners gave their consent to the
petitioner's tenancy, especially when its finding on the matter was affirmed on
family were allowed to build a makeshift shanty thereon. Even after the
appeal to the CA. death of Lorenzo, the petitioner continued giving a share of his produce
to the family of Lorenzo through Ricardo Martin (Ricardo), Lorenzo’s
WHEREFORE, we DENY the petition for review on certiorari for lack of merit. overseer. In 1990, respondent Deogracias Lanillo (Deogracias), the son
The decision dated February 11, 2010 and the resolution dated December 9, of Lorenzo, offered to pay the petitioner P17,000.00/hectare of the
2010 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 110552 are cultivated land in exchange for turning his tillage over to Deogracias. In
hereby AFFIRMED.
the end, Deogracias did not pay the petitioner. Instead, on August 5,
1994, Deogracias and persons acting under his orders forcibly ejected 3. There is personal cultivation;
the petitioner and his family by levelling their shanty and plantation with
the use of a bulldozer. The efforts of the Barangay Agrarian Reform 4. The subject is agricultural land;
Council to conciliate failed; hence, the authority to file a case was issued
to the petitioner. 5. The purpose is agricultural production;

On September 9, 1994, the petitioner instituted this case against 6. There is showing of harvest or payment of fixed amount in
Deogracias in the Office of the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator money or produces.
(PARAD) in Malolos, Bulacan, demanding the payment of disturbance
2

compensation. He amended his complaint to implead Moldex Realty


xxxx
Corporation (Moldex) as an additional defendant upon discovering that
the latter had entered the land to develop it into a residential subdivision.
He prayed for the restoration of his possession of the tilled land, and the After a perusal of the records and evidence presented by both parties,
payment of disturbance compensation. requisites No. 1 and 6 are wanting. Complainant failed to submit any
evidence to prove that the landowners gave their consent for him to work
on the land except the sketch of the land (Exh. "A") which he alleged that
In his answer, Deogracias denied that any tenancy relationship between
3

Lorenzo Llanillo gave him. A careful scrutiny of the sketch, however, show
him and the petitioner existed; and that to show that the land in
that it may be prepared by a surveyor because even the technical
controversy had not been tenanted, he presented several documents,
description of the land were indicated therein and the allegation of
namely:
Romeo Calusor that the landowner drew the sketch before him is
therefore untenable. Complainant failed to submit any certification from
(1) the certification dated May 26, 1994 issued by Municipal Agrarian the Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer that he is listed as tenants [sic] of
Region Office (MARO) Eleanor T. Tolentino; (2) the certification dated
4
the landowners. He also failed to submit any evidence that he has a
September 13, 1978 issued by Team Leader I Armando C. Canlas of leasehold contract with the landowners. Complainant also failed to submit
Meycauayan, Bulacan; (3) the Masterlist of Tenants and Landowners as
5
any receipt of payments of his alleged leasehold rentals. The house of
of March 1984; and (4) the Letter dated July 17, 1981 of Lorenzo Llanillo
6
the complainant which he alleged to have been destroyed by the
to the Provincial Assessor’s Office requesting a change in the respondent is a makeshift shanty.
classification of the land 7

It is a well settled doctrine that mere cultivation without proof of the


Meanwhile, on April 12, 1995, the Secretary of the Department of conditions of tenancy does not suffice to establish tenancy relationship.
Agrarian Reform (DAR) granted the application for the conversion of the (Gepilan vs. Lunico, CA-G.R. SP No. 06738, CAR June 5, 1978). In the
land from agricultural to residential and commercial uses filed by case at bar, complainant Romeo Calusor marked on the land without the
Deogarcias, through Moldex as his attorney-in-fact. express consent of the landowners, represented by Deogracias Llanillo
and without the benefit of any leasehold agreement between the
Ruling of the PARAD landowners and the complainant. Consequently, there is a complete
absence of landlord-tenant relationship. In the case of Gonzales vs.
On December 13, 1996, the PARAD dismissed the complaint of the Alvarez (G.R. No. 77401, February 1, 1990), the Supreme Court held
petitioner, pertinently ruling:
8
that:

The essential requisites of a tenancy relationship x x x are as follows: "The protective mantle of the law extending to legitimate farmers is never
meant to cover intruders and squatters who later on claim to be tenant on
1. [There] is consent given the land upon which they squat."

2. The parties are landholder and tenants


The mere fact that Romeo Calusor works on the land does not make him In the case at bar, Complainant-Appellant is a tenant\cultivator of the
ipso facto a tenant. It has been ruled that tenancy cannot be created nor subject property, having been verbally instituted as such by Deogracias
depend upon what the alleged tenant does on the land. Llanillo. Sec. 166 (25) R.A. 3844, as amended provides:

Tenancy relationship can only be created with the consent of the true and (25) shared tenancy exists whenever two persons agree on a joint
lawful landholders through lawful means and not by imposition or undertaking for agricultural production wherein one party furnishes the
usurpation (Hilario vs. IAC, 148 SCRA 573). 9
land and the other his labor, with either or both contributing any one or
several of the items of production, the tenant cultivating the land
Decision of the DARAB personally with the aid available from members of his immediate
household and the produce thereof to be divided between the landholder
Aggrieved, the petitioner appealed to the DAR Adjudication Board and the tenant.
(DARAB), which, on June 26, 2000, reversed the PARAD, opining and
10 11

holding thusly: Clearly, the institution of Complainant-Appellant as a tenant in the subject


land by Deogracias Llanillo and the sharing of the produce between the
The vortex of the controversy is the issue of whether or not tenancy parties sufficiently established tenancy relation between the parties.
relationship exists between the parties.
The subsequent conveyance or transfer of legal possession of the
We rule in the affirmative. Complainant-Appellant Romeo Calusor is a de property from Deogracias Llanillo in favor of his children does not
jure tenant of a portion of the subject land with an area of three (3) extinguish Complainant-Appellant’s right over his tillage. Section 10, R.A.
hectares thereof. 3844, as amended finds application in this case, it provides:

In the case at bar, Complainant-Appellant maintained that he has been Sec. 10 Agricultural Leasehold Relation Not Extinguished by the
instituted as an agricultural lessee of the subject land by the landowner Expiration of Period, etc.- the agricultural leasehold relation under this
Deogracias Llanilo; that he has been delivering the landowner’s share Code shall not be extinguished by mere expiration of the term or period in
through an overseer in the person of Ricardo Martin. A receipt is a leasehold contract nor by the sale, alienation or transfer of the legal
presented to bolster Complainant-Appellant’s claim (Annex "B", p. 127, possession of the landholding. In case the agricultural lessor, sells,
rollo); that he has been in peaceful possession of the subject parcel of alienates or transfers the legal possession of the landholding, the
land until it was disturbed by herein Respondent-Appellees by bulldozing purchaser or transferee thereof shall be subrogated to the rights and
and levelling the subject land thereby destroying the fruitbearing trees substituted to the obligations of agricultural lessor.
planted by herein Complainant-Appellant.
Again, the Supreme Court in several cases has sustained the
Justifying his position, Respondent–Appellees argued that Complainant- preservation of an agricultural leasehold relationship between landholder
Appellant is a mere squatter in the subject landholding; that there is no and tenant despite the change of ownership or transfer of legal
sharing of the produce between the parties; that the subject property is possession from one person to another.
untenanted as certified by Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer (MARO) for
Marilao, Bulacan. Verily, Complainant-Appellant cannot be validly ejected from the subject
premises. It may be worthy to emphasize that Respondents-Appellants
After weighing the parties’ contrasting arguments and after a close act in bulldozing and levelling the subject property without securing the
scrutiny of the pieces of evidence adduced, we are constrained to rule in prior approval/clearance from the government agencies concerned
favor of Complainant-Appellant. (HLURB, DENR, DAR) tantamounts to illegal conversion. Hence,
Respondent- Appellees are criminally liable for such act. Since, there is
no legal conversion in the present case, it would be futile to dwell on the
issue of award of just compensation.
WHEREFORE, from all the foregoing premises, the appealed decision WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is hereby GRANTED.
dated December 13, 1996 is hereby REVERSED ad SET ASIDE. A new The assailed Decision of the DARAB dated 26 June 2000 and its
judgment is rendered: Resolution dated 20 December 2001 are reversed and set aside.
Accordingly, the Decision of the PARAB dated December 13, 1996 is
1. Ordering the reinstatement of Complainant-Appellant to the hereby AFFIRMED.
subject premises; and
SO ORDERED. (citations omitted)
2. Ordering Respondents-Appellees to maintain Complainant-
Appellant in peaceful possession and cultivation of tillage. Issues

SO ORDERED. 12
Hence, this special civil action for certiorari commenced by the petitioner
on the ground that the CA had gravely abused its discretion amounting to
Decision of the CA lack or in excess of jurisdiction when: firstly, it heavily relied on
documents that had not been presented in the PARAD proceedings; and,
On appeal by Deogracias and Moldex, the CA reversed the ruling of the secondly, it disregarded altogether the evidence on record proving his
DARAB and reinstated the PARAD’s decision through the decision tenancy and entitlement to disturbance compensation. He points out that
14

promulgated on August 30, 2002, viz.:


13 the CA gravely abused its discretion in considering the order of
conversion as its basis for concluding that there was no agricultural
tenant on the land despite the order being presented for the first time only
Per Order of Conversion dated April 12, 1995, the DAR, through then
on appeal; and in denying his right to the disturbance compensation
Undersecretary Jose Medina, approved the application for conversion of
despite abundant showing that he was a tenant.
the subject landholding (ANNEX ‘E" petition, Rollo, pp. 56-58). The
application was granted based on the facts that 1.) the property is no
longer suitable for agricultural production as p tification dated 8 In its comment, Moldex insists that the petitioner resorted to the wrong
15

November 1994 issued by Mr. Renato N. Bulay, Regional Director, remedy, arguing that the assailed decision of the CA, being one
Department of Agriculture, sa Fernando, Pampanga; 2.) the area where determining the merits of the case, was subject to appeal by petition for
the property is located had already been classified as review on certiorari within 15 days from notice of the decision; that the
residential/commercial as per Municipal Ordinance No. 43, Series of petition for certiorari was an improper remedy; that after the lapse of the
1988; and 3) the MARO, PARO, RD and CLUPPI recommended its 15- day period, he could not substitute his lost appeal with the special
approval. civil action for certiorari; and that the CA did not commit any grave abuse
of discretion amounting to lack or in excess of jurisdiction considering that
he had not been a tenant on the land.
xxx
On his part, Deogracias adopted the comment of Moldex. 16

In fact the subject property is now a developed subdivision (ANNEXES


"G", - "G-1" & "H" – "H-1") with individual lots having been sold to
different buyers (ANNEXES ""I"-"I-1"). Under such circumstances, there Ruling of the Court
can be no agricultural tenant on a residential land.
The petition for certiorari is bereft of merit.
On the issue of whether or not respondent is entitled to disturbance
compensation under Section 36(1) of Republic Act No. 3844 as amended First of all, we declare to be correct the respondents’ position that the
by R.A. 6389, he must be an agricultural lessee as defined under Section petitioner should have appealed in due course by filing a petition for
166 (2) of R.A. 3844. However, the records are bereft of any evidence review on certiorari instead of bringing the special civil action for
showing that he is a tenant of petitioner Llanilo. certiorari.
It is clear that the CA promulgated the assailed decision in the exercise of legal bases. The term tenant has a distinct meaning under the law.
its appellate jurisdiction to review and pass upon the DARAB’s Section 5 subparagraph (a) of R.A. No. 1199 provides:
adjudication by of the petitioner’s appeal of the PARAD’s ruling. As such,
his only proper recourse from such decision of the CA was to further A tenant shall mean a person who, himself and with the aid available from
appeal to the Court by petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of within his immediate farm household cultivates the land belonging to, or
the Rules of Court. Despite his allegation of grave abuse of discretion
17
possessed by another, with the latter’s consent for purposes of
against the CA, he could not come to the Court by special civil action for production, sharing the produce with the landholder under the share
certiorari. The remedies of appeal and certiorari were mutually exclusive, tenancy system, or paying to the landholder a price certain or
for the special civil action for certiorari, being an extraordinary remedy, is ascertainable in produce or in money or both, under the leasehold
available only if there is no appeal, or other plain, speedy and adequate tenancy system.
remedy in the ordinary course of law. In certiorari, only errors of
18

jurisdiction are to be addressed by the higher court, such that a review of For tenancy relationship to exist, therefore, the following elements must
the facts and evidence is not done; but, in appeal, the superior court be shown to concur, to wit: (1) the parties are the landowner and the
corrects errors of judgment, and in so doing reviews issues of fact and tenant; (2) the subject matter is agricultural land; (3) there is consent
law to cure errors in the appreciation and evaluation of the between the parties to the relationship; (4) the purpose is of the
evidence. Based on such distinctions, certiorari cannot be a substitute
19
relationship is to bring about agricultural production; (5) there is personal
for a lost appeal. cultivation on the part of the tenant or agricultural lessee; and (6) the
harvest is shared between landowner and tenant or agricultural
It is obvious that all that the petitioner wants the Court to do is to revisit lessee. The presence of all these elements must be proved by
23

and review the facts and records supposedly substantiating his claim of substantial evidence; this means that the absence of one will not make
24

tenancy and his demand for consequential disturbance compensation. He an alleged tenant a de jure tenant. Unless a person has established his
25

has not thereby raised any jurisdictional error by the CA, and has not status as a de jure tenant, he is not entitled to security of tenure or to be
shown how the CA capriciously or whimsically exercised its judgment as covered by the Land Reform Program of the Government under existing
to be guilty of gravely abusing its discretion. It is not amiss to point out tenancy laws. 26

that the settled meaning of grave abuse of discretion is the arbitrary or


despotic exercise of power due to passion, prejudice or personal hostility; Being the party alleging the existence of the tenancy relationship, the
or the whimsical, arbitrary, or capricious exercise of power that amounts petitioner carried the burden of proving the allegation of his
to an evasion or refusal to perform a positive duty enjoined by law or to tenancy. According to Berenguer, Jr. v. Court of Appeals, to wit:
27 28

act at all in contemplation of law. In that regard, the abuse of discretion


20

must be shown to be patent and gross in order for the act to be struck
It is a matter of jurisprudence that tenancy is not purely a factual
down as having been done with grave abuse of discretion. Yet, none of
21

relationship dependent on what the alleged tenant does upon the land but
such categories characterized the act of the CA.
more importantly a legal relationship. (Tuazon v. Court of Appeals, 118
SCRA 484) Under Section 3 of Republic Act No. 1199, otherwise known
Neither did the petitioner’s averment of the denial of due process – as the Agricultural Tenancy Act, the term "agricultural tenancy" is defined
predicated on the CA’s reliance on the conversion order despite said as –
order not being among the documents presented during the trial – justify
22

the resort to certiorari. It appears that the CA cited the conversion order
[T]he physical possession by a person of land devoted to agriculture
not to deny his claim of being the tenant but only to accent the land
belonging to, or legally possessed by, another for the purpose of
conversion as a fact. Indeed, as the CA found, he presented nothing to
production through the labor of the former and with the members of his
substantiate his claim of having been the tenant of Leonardo. Under the
immediate farm household, in consideration of which the former agrees to
circumstances, the CA did not act either arbitrarily or whimsically.
share the harvest with the latter, or to pay a price certain or ascertainable,
either in produce or in money, or in both.
Secondly, the petitioner’s insistence on his being the tenant of Leonardo
and on his entitlement to disturbance compensation required factual and
In establishing the tenancy relationship, therefore, independent evidence, It has been repeatedly held that occupancy and cultivation of an
not self-serving statements, should prove, among others, the consent of agricultural land will not ipso facto make one a de jure tenant.
the landowner to the relationship, and the sharing of harvests. 29
Independent and concrete evidence is necessary to prove personal
cultivation, sharing of harvest, or consent of the landowner. Substantial
The third and sixth elements of agricultural tenancy were not shown to be evidence necessary to establish the fact of sharing cannot be satisfied by
presented in this case. a mere scintilla of evidence; there must be concrete evidence on record
adequate to prove the element of sharing. To prove sharing of harvests, a
To prove the element of consent between the parties, the petitioner receipt or any other credible evidence must be presented, because
testified that Lorenzo had allowed him to cultivate the land by giving to selfserving statements are inadequate. Tenancy relationship cannot be
him the sketch of the lot in order to delineate the portion for his tillage.
30 31 presumed; the elements for its existence are explicit in law and cannot be
done away with by conjectures. Leasehold relationship is not brought
about by the mere congruence of facts but, being a legal relationship, the
Yet, the sketch did not establish that Lorenzo had categorically taken the
mutual will of the parties to that relationship should be primordial. For
petitioner in as his agricultural tenant. This element demanded that the
implied tenancy to arise it is necessary that all the essential requisites of
landowner and the tenant should have agreed to the relationship freely
tenancy must be present.
and voluntarily, with neither of them unduly imposing his will on the other.
The petitioner did not make such a showing of consent.
Consequently, the CA rightly declared the DARAB to have erred in its
appreciation of the evidence on the existence of the tenancy relationship.
The sixth element was not also established. Even assuming that Lorenzo
had verbally permitted the petitioner to cultivate his land, no tenancy
relationship between them thereby set in because they had not With the restoration of his possession having become physically
admittedly discussed any fruit sharing scheme, with Lorenzo simply impossible because of the conversion of the land being already a fact,
telling him simply that he would just ask his share from him. The
32 could the petitioner be granted disturbance compensation?
petitioner disclosed that he did not see Lorenzo again from the time he
had received the sketch until Lorenzo’s death. Although the petitioner
33 If tenanted land is converted pursuant to Section 36 of Republic Act No.
asserted that he had continued sharing the fruits of his cultivation through 3844, as amended by Republic Act No. 6389, the dispossessed tenant is
Ricardo, Lorenzo’s caretaker, even after Lorenzo’s death, producing the entitled to the payment of disturbance compensation. Reflecting this
36

list of produce to support his claim, the list did not indicate Ricardo’s
34 statutory right, the conversion order presented by Moldex included the
receiving the fruits listed therein. The petitioner did not also contain condition for the payment of disturbance compensation to any
Ricardo’s authority to receive Leonardo’s share. farmerbeneficiary thereby affected.

We underscore that harvest sharing is a vital element of every tenancy. Yet, the query has to be answered in the negative because the petitioner
Common sense dictated, indeed, that the petitioner, if he were the de jure was not entitled to disturbance compensation because he was not the de
tenant that he represented himself to be, should fully know his jure tenant of the landowner.
arrangement with the landowner. But he did not sufficiently and
persuasively show such arrangement. His inability to specify the sharing It is timely to remind that any claim for disturbance compensation to be
arrangement was inconceivable inasmuch as he had depended on the validly made by a de jure tenant must meet the procedural and
arrangement for his own sustenance and that of his own family. The substantive conditions listed in Section 25 of Republic Act No. 3844, to
absence of the clear-cut sharing agreement between him and Lorenzo wit:
could only signify that the latter had merely tolerated his having tilled the
land sans tenancy. Such manner of tillage did not make him a de jure Section 25. Right to be Indemnified for Labor - The agricultural lessee
tenant, because, as the Court observed in Estate of Pastor M. Samson v. shall have the right to be indemnified for the cost and expenses incurred
Susano: 35
in the cultivation, planting or harvesting and other expenses incidental to
the improvement of his crop in case he surrenders or abandons his
landholding for just cause or is eje ition, he has the right to be indemnified Also questioned in this Petition isthe CA’s May 6, 2010
for one-half of the necessary and useful improvements made by him on Resolution denying Irene’s Motion for Reconsideration of the assailed CA
7

the landholding: Provided, That these improvements are tangible and Decision.
have not yet lost their utility at the time of surrender and/or abandonment
of the landholding, at which time their value shall be determined for the Factual Antecedents
purpose of the indemnity for improvements. (Emphasis supplied)
Irene, together with her husband Carlos Ofilada (Carlos), bought from the
In short, the de Jure tenant should allege and prove, firstly, the cost and heirs of Teresita Liwag (Teresita) a 27,974-square meter parcel of land
expenses incurred in the cultivation, planting or harvesting and other principally planted with rambutan, a number of coconut trees and other
expenses incidental to the improvement of his crop; and, secondly, the fruit-bearing plants located in Barrio Puri, Tiaong, Quezon. The sale is
necessary and useful improvements made in cultivating the land. Without evidenced by a February 13, 1997 Extra-Judicial Settlement of Estate
the allegation and proof, the demand for indemnity may be denied. with Absolute Sale wherein respondent Miraflor Andal (Miraflor), who
8

brokered the sale of the property, signed as ‘tenant.’ Apparently, ten days
In fine, the CA did not err in reversing and setting aside the decision of prior to the sale, Miraflor appeared before Anastacio Lajara (Anastacio),
the DARAB and reinstating the decision of the PARAD. the then Barangay Agrarian Reform Council (BARC) Chairman of
Barangay Puri, San Antonio, and executed a Pagpapatunay stating that:
9

WHEREFORE, the Court DISMISSES the petition for certiorari for lack of
merit; and ORDERS the petitioner to pay the costs of suit. Sa kinauukulan:

SO ORDERED. Ito ay pagpapatunay na si Miraflor Andal ay kusang[-]loob na dumulog sa


aking tanggapan upang ipagbigay[-]alam na ang lupa na pag-aari ni
G.R. No. 192270 January 26, 2015 TERESITA LIWAG x x x ay walang "tenant"o magtatrabaho at hiniling
niya na ang nasabing lupa ay mapalipat sa pangalan ng mga bumili na
walang iba kundi sina Carlos at Irene Ofilada.
IRENE D. OFILADA, Petitioner,
vs.
SPOUSES RUBEN ANDAL and MIRAFLOR ANDAL, Respondents. Pinagtitibay nya na wala na siyang paghahabol na ano man laban sa
may-ari o kahalili nito sa karapatan sapagkat siya ay tumanggap na ng
kaukulang halaga hinggil sa naging pagtatrabaho niya sa nasabing lupa
DECISION
at gayon din ang kanyang mga magulang.
DEL CASTILLO, J.:
SA KATUNAYAN NG LAHAT NG ITO ay ako ay nagbibigay ng pahintulot
na ang nasabing lupa ay mapagbili na at mapatala sa bagong may-ari na
This Petition for Review on Certiorari assails the July 13, 2009
1
ligtas sa ano mang pananagutan. 10

Decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-GR. CV No. 101603 which:


2 3

(1) granted the Petition for Review filed therein; (2) reversed and set
4

Two weeks after the sale or on February 27, 1997, Miraflor, with the
aside the August 28, 2007 Decision of the Regional Trial Court (RTC),
5

consent of her husband, respondent Ruben Andal (Ruben), executed a


Lucena City, Branch 56 in SPEC. CIV. ACTION 2007-01-A, affirming in
Sinumpaang Salaysay wherein she acknowledged Irene and Carlos as
11
toto the February 27, 2007 Decision of the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of
6

the new owners of the property. While it was stated therein that she will
San Antonio, Quezon in Civil Case No. 188 which, in tum, ordered the
continue to take care of the property, she nevertheless waived any
ejectment of respondents spouses Ruben Andal and Miraflor Andal
tenancy rights that she and her husband might haveover the land, viz.:
(spouses Andal) from the properties of petitioner Irene Ofilada (Irene);
and, (3) declared the said MTC Decision null and void for lack of
jurisdiction.
1. NA AKO ang [n]agtatrabaho o "tenant" sa lupang pag-aari ni the complaint but the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board
TERESITA LIWAG at ang nasabing lupa ay matatagpuan sa Brgy. (DARAB).
Puri, San Antonio, Quezon x x x
Rejecting the tenancy claim, Irene averred in her Memorandum that her
16

2. NA AKO ay kusang loob na nag-alok sa tagapagmana ng may- real properties are not covered by agrarian reform laws as they are within
ari ng lupa na pinangatawanan ni Ginoong JOSE LIWAG na the retention limit allowed by law. She again stressed that the spouses
ipagbili na ang nasabing lupa sa mag-asawang CARLOS Andal had already voluntarily surrendered their rights as tenants way
OFILADA at IRENE OFILADA sapagkat magpapatuloy naman back in 1997 as evidenced by the Pagpapatunay and the Sinumpaang
ang aking pangangalaga sa nasabing lupa; Salaysay. She added the said spouses voluntarily waived their rights and
received ₱1.1 million as commission for brokering the sale of the Tiaong
3. NA AKO at ang aking asawa ay kusang loob na sumang[-]ayon property to her. This was after Irene made clear that the sale would not
na ang Titulo ng [na]sabing lupa ay mapalipat sa mga bumili at materialize and, consequently spouses Andal would not get the
simula sa araw na ito ay matahimik kong isinusulit ang commission, if the property has tenants. Irene averred that the spouses
pamomosesyon samga bagong mayari; Andal’s receipt of the said amount of money, being advantageous to
them, is a valid ground for termination of tenancy relations. Ruling of the
4. NA kami ay kusang[-]loob na tumatalikod na sa karapatan ko Municipal Trial Court
bilang "tenant" na kahit kailan [ay] hindi na maghahabol laban sa
dating may-ari o sa kaniyang mga tagapagmana sapagkat Prior to the preliminary conference, the MTC heard the respective sides
walasilang ano mang pananagutan sa amin at gayon[din] ang of the parties for a preliminary determination of the existence of tenancy.
bagong may-ari na mag-asawang CARLOS OFILADA at IRENE
OFILADA; 12
The spouses Andal, in support of their claim that the controversy should
be resolved by the DARAB because of the issue of tenancy, submitted
Eventually, the land was registered in the names of Irene and Carlos. 13 the following evidence to prove their status as Irene’s tenants:(1) their
December 19, 2005 Affidavit attesting that: a) they agreed to act as
17

Eight years later or in October 2005, Irene filed against the spouses agents for the sale of the lands on the condition that they would remain
Andal a Complaint for Ejectment and Damages before the MTC of San
14 as tenants; b) they personally cultivated Irene’s lands and; c) they have
Antonio, Quezon. She averred that aside from the aforementioned been receiving ¼ shares of the proceeds of the sales of the coconut,
property, she and Carlos also acquired an 8,640-square meter ricefield rambutan, and harvested palay; (2) the December 19, 2005 Affidavit of 18

located in Pulo, San Antonio, Quezon. For humanitarian reasons, she Anastacio corroborating the spouses Andal’s statements in their affidavit
acceded to the spouses Andal’s request to take care of her two parcels of of even date; (3) a receipt dated July 27, 2005 showing that Irene
19

land, provided that they would not be considered as tenants. To stress received from the spouses Andal ₱9,694.00 as her share in the harvest
the factthat neither she nor the spouses Andal intended that the latter be equivalent to 30 sacks of palayand; 4) a February 27,1997 Affidavit of
deemed as tenants, Irene pointed to the following: (1) the condition for Landholding executed by Irene and Carlos, the second paragraph of
20

her purchase of the property in Tiaong that the same should not have any which provides:
tenants; and (2) Miraflor’s execution of a Sinumpaang Salaysay wherein
she waived any tenancy rights that she and her husband might have over 2. That we hereby testify that said parcel of land containing an area of
the said property. 27,974 Square Meters is the only parcel of agricultural land registered in
our names; and we hereby agree that the same tenant Miraflor Andal, will
In their Answer, the spouses Andal denied Irene’s allegations and
15 continue as a tenant, over the said parcel of land. (Emphasis supplied)
claimed that they were tenants of Irene’s predecessor-in-interest and On the other hand, Irene insisted that the spouses Andal are not tenants
continued to be such despite the transfer of ownership of the properties but mere caretakers of her lands. She disputed the documentary
to Irene. They likewise contended that since the suit is an action to evidence of the said spouses as follows: (1) it is the Pagpapatunay
dispossess themas tenants, it is not the MTC which has jurisdiction over issued by Anastacio in 1997 and furnished the Registry of Deeds of
Lucena City and Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) which must be
considered as more credible evidence over his apparently fabricated Resolving the appeal of the spouses Andal, the RTC in its August 28,
affidavit executed at a later time (2005); (2) the share in the produce of 2007 Decision affirmed in toto the MTC ruling. The motion for
25

the lands as reflected in the receipt was the only share given to her by reconsideration thereto was also denied in the RTC Resolution dated26

the spouses Andal throughout the eight years that they took care of her November 22, 2007.
properties; and, (3) the copy of the Affidavit of Landholding presented by
the spouses Andal contained in the second paragraph thereof an Ruling of the Court of Appeals
insertion made through a manual typewriter. Irene claimed that the said
insertion which reads "and we [Irene and Carlos] hereby agree, that the The CA, on the other hand, took a different view of the case. In its
same tenant Miraflor Andal, will continue as a tenant, over the said parcel assailed Decision of July 13, 2009, the CA ratiocinated that since the
27

of land," was made without her knowledge and consent. In fact, her existence of tenancy relations between the previous owners of the
copy of the said document does not contain such inserted portion.
21
properties and the spouses Andal is undisputed, the question of whether
the said spouses may be dispossessed therefrom constitutes an agrarian
In its August 14, 2006 Order, the MTC found no prima facie showing of
22
dispute despite the severance of such relations. This is considering that
tenancy relations between the parties and proceeded with the case. severance of the tenurial arrangement does not render the action beyond
the ambit of an agrarian dispute and, hence, jurisdiction over the same
On February 27, 2007, the MTC rendered its Decision holding that
23
remains with the DARAB. In support of its conclusion, the CA cited the
spouses Andal failed to adduce proof that they are tenants. It gave weight cases of Rivera v. David and Spouses Amurao v. Spouses Villalobos.
28 29

to the Pagpapatunay issued by Anastacio in 1997 as against the affidavit


he executed in 2005 which it found ambivalent as to whether spouses The dispositive portion of the CA Decision reads:
Andal are working as tenants on the lands of Irene. The MTC did not also
accord any evidentiary weight to the copy of the Affidavit of Landholding WHEREFORE, the instant petition for review is GRANTED. The assailed
presented by spouses Andal because of the doubtful insertion. Hence, it Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Lucena City, Branch 56, in Special
concluded that the spouses Andal were in possession of the properties by Civil Case No. 2007-01-A, is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The
mere tolerance of Irene. It ultimately ruled: Decision dated 27 February 2007 of the Municipal Trial Court of San
Antonio, Quezon in Civil CaseNo. 188, is declared NULL and VOID for
WHEREFORE, on the basis of the foregoing findings, the Court hereby lack of jurisdiction. SO ORDERED. 30

renders judgment in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendants,


ordering: Irene filed a Motion for Reconsideration, which was denied in the CA
31

Resolution dated May 6, 2010.


32

a) Defendants and all other persons living in said premises


without permission of the plaintiff, to vacate and restore to the Hence, this Petition.
plaintiff the peaceful possession and occupation of the
landholdings in question;
The Issue
b) Defendants to pay the plaintiff the amount of ₱30,000.00 as
Forcible entry and unlawful detainer cases fall under the exclusive
attorney’s and appearance fees[;]
original jurisdiction of the metropolitan trial courts, municipal trial courts,
and the municipal circuit trial courts. On the other hand, the DARis
33

c) Defendants to pay the plaintiff the amount of ₱80,000.00 as vested with primary jurisdiction to determine and adjudicate agrarian
actual damages. reform matters and has exclusive original jurisdiction over all matters
involving the implementation of agrarian reform. As DAR’s adjudicating
34

SO ORDERED. 24
arm, it is the DARAB thathas exclusive and original jurisdiction involving
35

all agrarian disputes. Republic Act (RA) No. 6657, Section 3(d) defines an
Ruling of the Regional Trial Court ‘agrarian dispute’ as follows:
(d) Agrarian Dispute refers to any controversy relating to tenurial Our Ruling
arrangements, whether leasehold, tenancy, stewardship or otherwise,
over lands devoted to agriculture, including disputes concerning We grant the Petition.
farmworkers’ associations or representation of persons in negotiating,
fixing, maintaining, changing, or seeking to arrange terms or conditions of The factual circumstances in Rivera and
such tenurial arrangements. It includes any controversy relating to Amurao clearly make out cases involving
compensation of lands acquired under this Act and other terms and agrarian dispute.
conditions of transfer of ownership from landowners to farmworkers,
tenants and other agrarian reform beneficiaries, whether the disputants
As the CA relied on Rivera and Amurao,it is wise to revisit the factual
stand in the proximate relation of farm operator and beneficiary,
milieu of the said cases.
landowner and tenant, or lessor and lessee.
In its assailed Decision, the CA quoted the following pronouncement
The term also "refers to any controversy relating to, among others,
which was restated in Rivera, viz:
37

tenancy over lands devoted to agriculture." 36

Even if the tenurial arrangement has been severed, the action still
Significantly, Rule II of the 2009 DARAB Rules of Procedure reads:
involves an incident arising from the landlord and tenant relationship.
Where the case involves the dispossession by a former landlord of a
SECTION 1. Primary and Exclusive Original and Appellate Jurisdiction.– former tenant of the land claimed to have been given as compensation in
The Board shall have primary and exclusive jurisdiction, both original and consideration of the renunciation of the tenurial rights, there clearly exists
appellate, to determine and adjudicate all agrarian disputes involving the an agrarian dispute. On this point the Court has already ruled:
implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP)
under R.A. No. 6657, as amended by R.A. No. 9700, E.O. Nos. 228, 229,
Indeed, Section 21 of Republic Act No. 1199, provides that ‘all cases
and 129-A, R.A. No. 3844 as amended by R.A. No. 6389, Presidential
involving the dispossession of a tenant by the landlord or by a third party
Decree No. 27 and other agrarian laws and their Implementing Rules and
and/or the settlement and disposition of disputes arising from the
Regulations. Specifically, such jurisdiction shall includebut not be limited
relationship of landlord and tenant … shall be under the original and
to cases involving the following:
exclusive jurisdiction of the Court of Agrarian Relations.’ This jurisdiction
does not require the continuance of the relationship of landlord and
a. The rights and obligations of persons, whether natural or juridical, tenant – at the time of the dispute. The same may have arisen, and of ten
engaged in the management, cultivation, and use of all agricultural lands times arises, precisely from the previous termination of such relationship.
covered by R.A. No. 6657, otherwise known as the Comprehensive If the same existed immediately, or shortly, before the controversy and
Agrarian Reform Law (CARL), as amended, and other related agrarian the subject matter thereof is whether or not said relationship has been
laws; x x x lawfully terminated, or if the dispute otherwise springs or originates from
the relationship of landlord and tenant, the litigation is (then) cognizable
xxxx only by the Court of Agrarian Relations… 38

d. Those cases involving the ejectment and dispossession of tenants In the said case, Agustin Rivera (Agustin) was in possession of a 1.8-
and/or leaseholders; hectare portion of the 5-hectare lot owned in common by the heirs of
Cristino and Consolacion David, and these heirs demanded that
With the above points on jurisdictions having been laid, the Court now hevacate the premises. Thus, Agustin filed a Complaint to Maintain
resolves the crucial issue in the case of whether tenancy relationship Peaceful Possession before the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudication
between Irene and the spouses Andal exists as to strip off the MTC of its Board (PARAB). He averred that his possession of the property was,
jurisdiction over Irene’s suit for unlawful detainer. originally, as registered tenant of the said heirs’ predecessor-ininterest,
Cristino, as evidenced by the certification issued by the Municipal
Agrarian Reform Office (MARO). Subsequently in 1957, he became the dispute between them over which the DAR can take cognizance of. The
lot owner because the spouses Cristino and Consolacion David gave him Court held: The instant case undeniably involves a controversy involving
the 1.8-hectare land as his ‘disturbance compensation,’ in exchange for tenurial arrangements because the Kasulatan will definitely modify, nay
the renunciation of his tenurial rights. On the other hand, Nemesio David terminate the same. Even assuming that the tenancy relationship
(Nemesio), oneof the heirs, argued that the DAR has no jurisdiction over between the parties had ceased due to the Kasulatan, there still exists an
the case asthe same only involves the issue of ownership of the land. agrarian dispute because the action involves an incident arising fromthe
landlord and tenant relationship. x x x x
The DAR (thru the PARAB and the DARAB) assumed jurisdiction over
the case and went on to render judgments in favor of Agustin. The CA, In the case at bar, petitioners’ claim that the tenancy relationship has
however, ruled that the DAR no longer had any jurisdiction on the ground been terminated by the Kasulatan is of no moment. As long as the
that the alleged tenancy, per Agustin’s own admission, had already ended subject matter of the dispute is the legality of the termination of the
in 1957. Thus, it set aside the respective decisions of the PARAB and the relationship, or if the dispute originates from such relationship, the case is
DARAB. The Court, though, did not agree with the CA on the issue of cognizable by the DAR, through the DARAB. The severance of the
jurisdiction. Although it denied Agustin’s appeal because he was not able tenurial arrangement will not render the action beyond the ambit of an
to sufficiently prove his ownership of the land, DAR’s jurisdiction over the agrarian dispute.39

case was nevertheless upheld. And it was at that point that the above-
quoted pronouncement was restated. To restate, what brought Rivera under the ambit of an agrarian dispute is
the fact that the land from which Agustin was being dispossessed of by
Indeed in Rivera, the severance of the tenancy relations when the suit the heirs of his former landlord is claimed to have been given to him by
was filed did not matter because the prior agricultural tenancy served as the said former landlord as consideration for the renunciation of his
the juridical tie which compelled the characterization of the controversy tenurial rights. While in Amurao, it was the issue of whether the Kasulatan
as an agrarian dispute. This is due to the fact that the land from which entered into by the parties terminated the landlord-tenant relationship
Agustin was being dispossessed was claimed to have beenowned by him between them. Clearly, asthe action in both cases involved an incident
by way of disturbance compensation given to him as a former tenant by arising from landlord-tenant relationship, the severance or alleged
his former landlord. severance of such relationship did not take them beyond the ambit of an
agrarian dispute and, consequently, it is DAR which has jurisdiction over
On the other hand, in Amurao, the spouses Amurao bought in 1987 from the said cases.
a certain Ruperto Endozo a parcel of land which was then tenanted by
the spouses Villalobos. The spouses Amurao allowed the spouses Rivera and Amurao are not on all fours
Villalobos to continue working on the land until such time that their need with the present case.
for the same arises. In 1994, the therein parties executed a Kasulatan in
which the spouses Villalobos promised to surrender the possession of the Here, Irene claims that there can be no agrarian dispute since there
lot should the spouses Amurao need it, while the latter, in return, bound exists no landlord-tenant relationship between her and the spouses
themselves to give the spouses Villalobos a 1,000-sqm. portion of the Andal. If ever such a relationship existed, it was between the former
land. But because the spouses Villalobos reneged on their promise in owner of the properties and the spouses Andal and the same had already
accordance with the Kasulatan, the spouses Amurao filed an ejectment been renounced by Miraflor prior to Irene’s acquisition of the properties.
case against them before the Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC). On The CA, however, ruled that even if the landlord-tenant relationship
the defense that the issue concerns an agrarian dispute, the spouses between the previous owner and the spouses Andal had already ceased,
Villalobos questioned the trial court’s jurisdiction. Both the MCTC and the the action to dispossess the latter from the subject properties still involves
RTC upheld their jurisdiction over the case but the CA ruled otherwise. an agrarian dispute, as held in Rivera and Amurao.

Before this Court, the spouses Amurao argued that the tenancy Suffice it to say, however, that the present case is not on all fours with
relationship between them and the spouses Villalobos was terminated Rivera and Amurao.
upon the execution of the Kasulatan. Hence, there can be no agrarian
As already discussed, in Rivera, the land involved is claimed to have Indeed, while a tenancy relationship cannot be extinguished by the sale,
been given to the former tenant by the former landlord by way of alienation, or transfer of the legal possession of the landholding, the
41

disturbance compensation. Hence, even if the landlord-tenant same may nevertheless be terminated due to circumstances more
relationship was asserted to have been severed as early as 1957, the advantageous to the tenant and his/her family. Here, records show that
42

Court considered the action as arising from an agrarian dispute, the Miraflor, who brokered the sale between the heirs of Teresita and Irene,
rightful possession of the land being an incident of such previous voluntarily executed, days prior to the Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate
landlord-tenant relationship. In the present case, there is no claim that the with Absolute Sale, her Pagpapatunay before the BARC Chairman stating
subject properties were given to the spouses Andal by their former that she and her parents have already received a ‘sufficient consideration’
landlord as a form of disturbance compensation. While the spouses Andal for her to release her former landlord and the purchaser of the lot from
in this case refuse to surrender the properties to Irene on the ground that liability. As later disclosed by Irene during trial, such ‘sufficient
they are tenants of the same just like in Amurao, it cannot be gain said consideration’ amounted to ₱1.1 million by way of disturbance
that in Amurao, the tenancy relations between the former owners of the compensation, a factual allegation which was again never refuted by the
property involved therein and the spouses Villalobos, had, undisputedly, spouses Andal before the lower court and was found to be an
been continued by and between the said spouses and the spouses uncontroverted fact by the CA. To the Court, the said amount is adequate
Amurao when the latter acquired the property. And it was on that enough for the spouses Andal to relinquish their rights as tenants. In fine,
supposition that the Court held that even if the Kasulatan executed by the it can be reasonably concluded that the tenancy relationship between the
spouses Amurao and the spouses Villalobos terminated the tenancy previous ownersand the spouses Andal had already been severed.
relationship between them, the action of the former to dispossess the
latter from the property tenanted involved an agrariandispute. However, in The next question now is whether a new tenancy relationship between
this case, unlike in Amurao the severance of the tenancy relations Irene and the spouses Andal was subsequently formed. This becomes
between the former owners of the properties and the spouses Andal, as crucial because for the DARAB to have jurisdiction over the case, there
well as the non-existence of a similar relationship between the said must be a tenancy relationship between the parties. Evidence is
43

spouses and Irene as the new owner, were sufficiently shown as will be necessary to prove the allegation of tenancy."The principal factor in
discussed below. Hence, the said pronouncement made in Amurao finds determining whether a tenancy relationship exists is intent. Tenancy is not
no application in this case. a purely factual relationship dependent on what the alleged tenant does
upon the land. It is alsoa legal relationship."
44

The tenancy relationship between the


former owners of the properties and the An allegation of tenancy before the MTC does not automatically deprive
spouses Andal was clearly severed prior the court of its jurisdiction. Basic is the rule that:
1âwphi1

to Irene’s purchase of the same; no such


relationship was subsequently created x x x the material averments in the complaint determine the jurisdiction of
between Irene and the spouses Andal. a court. x x x a court does not lose jurisdiction over an ejectment suit by
the simple expedient of a party raising as a defense therein the alleged
Certainly telling are the Pagpapatunay and the Sinumpaang Salaysay existence of a tenancy relationship between the parties. The court
which were voluntarily executed and never impugned by the spouses continues to have the authority to hear and evaluate the evidence,
Andal. Both contain express declarations that at the time Irene and her precisely to determine whether or not it has jurisdiction, and, if, after
husband bought the property, the tenancy then existing between the heirs hearing, tenancy is shown to exist, it shall dismiss the case for lack of
of Teresita as former owners and the spouses Andal as tenants had jurisdiction.
45

already ceased, and that no tenancy relations would continue between


the latter and the new owner, Irene. Notably, the Sinumpaang Salaysay, The Court agrees with the conclusion of both the MTC and the RTC that
being a public document, is evidence of the facts in the clear unequivocal for dearth of evidence, tenurial relationship between the parties was not
manner therein expressed and has in its favor the presumption of sufficiently shown. Thus, the said courts correctly assumed jurisdiction
regularity. The spouses Andal are bound by their admissions against
40
over the ejectment case.
their own interest.
The fact alone of working on another’s landholding does not raise a WHEREFORE, the Petition is GRANTED. The July 13, 2009 Decision
presumption of the existence of agricultural tenancy. For tenancy to be and May 6, 2010 Resofotion of the Court of Appeals in CA-GR. CV No.
proven, all indispensable elements must be established, the absence of 101603 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The August 28, 2007 Decision
one or more requisites will not make the alleged tenant a de facto one. of the Regional Trial Court, Lucena City, Branch 56 in SPEC Crv. ACTION
These are: 1)the parties are the landowner and the tenant; 2) the subject 2007-01-A affinning in toto the February 27, 2007 Decision of the
is agricultural land; 3) there is consent by the landowner; 4) the purpose Municipal Trial Court of San Antonio, Quezon in Civil Case No. 188, is
is agricultural production; 5) there is personal cultivation; and 6) there REINSTATED and AFFIRMED.
issharing of the harvests.
46

SO ORDERED.
The Pagpapatunay and the Sinumpaang Salaysay both support Irene’s
claim that she purchased the landholdings only on the condition that G.R. No. 78214 December 5, 1988
there will be no tenants. Her refusal to give her consent to any tenancy
relationship is glaring. On the other hand, the spouses Andal, in their
YOLANDA CABALLES, petitioner,
attempt toprove tenancy, submitted their copy of the February 27, 1997
vs.
Affidavit of Landholding, which contains an inserted statement that Irene
DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM, HON. HEHERSON T.
and Carlos agree "that the same tenant Miraflor Andal, will continue
ALVAREZ and BIENVENIDO ABAJON, respondents.
astenant, over the said parcel of land." However, serious doubt is cast on
the authenticity of said inserted statement considering that it does not
bear the respective initials/signatures of Carlos and Irene attesting their
conformity thereto. More importantly, Irene’s copy of the said document
does not contain the same insertion. SARMIENTO, J.:

Before us is a petition for certiorari seeking the annulment of an Order issued by the public respondent
Anent the proof of sharing of harvest, what the spouses Andal merely Ministry of Agrarian Reform , now the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), through its then Minister,
presented was a single receipt dated July 27, 2005 representing Irene’s the Hon. Heherson Alvarez, finding the existence of a tenancy relationship between the herein
‘share’ in the harvest. This even militates against the spouses Andal’s petitioner and the private respondent and certifying the criminal case for malicious mischief filed by the
petitioner against the private respondent as not proper for trial.
claim of tenancy considering that they did not present the receipts for the
alleged sharing system prior to 2005 or from 1997, the year when Irene
purchased the land. Notably, the receipt they submitted is dated July 27, The facts as gathered by the MAR are as follows:
2005 or just a few months before the filing of the complaint. To the Court’s
mind, such act of the spouses Andal to give Irene a share is a mere The landholding subject of the controversy, which consists of only sixty
afterthought, the same having been done during the time that Irene was (60) square meters (20 meters x 3 meters) was acquired by the spouses
already making serious demands for them to account for the produce of Arturo and Yolanda Caballes, the latter being the petitioner herein, by
the lands and vacate the properties. Be that as it may, the Court stresses virtue of a Deed of Absolute Sale dated July 24, 1978 executed by
"that it is not unusual for a landowner toreceive the produce of the land Andrea Alicaba Millenes This landholding is part of Lot No. 3109-C, which
from a caretaker who sows thereon. The fact of receipt, without an has a total area of about 500 square meters, situated at Lawaan Talisay,
agreed system of sharing, does not ipso facto create a tenancy." 47 Cebu. The remainder of Lot No. 3109-C was subseconsequently sold to
the said spouses by Macario Alicaba and the other members of the
In sum, the Court holds that absent any tenurial relationship between Millenes family, thus consolidating ownership over the entire (500-square
them, the spouses Andal 's possession of Irene's properties was by mere meter) property in favor of the petitioner.
tolerance of the latter. The action to dispossess the spouses Andal there
from is therefore a clear case of summary action for ejectment cognizable In 1975, before the sale in favor of the Caballes spouses, private
by the regular courts. respondent Bienvenido Abajon constructed his house on a portion of the
said landholding, paying a monthly rental of P2.00 to the owner, Andrea
Millenes. The landowner likewise allowed Abajon to plant on a portion of
the land, agreeing that the produce thereof would be shared by both on a That this arose out of or is connected with agrarian
fitfy-fifty basis. From 1975-1977, Abajon planted corn and bananas on the relations.
landholding. In 1978, he stopped planting corn but continued to plant
bananas and camote. During those four years, he paid the P2.00 rental From the said certification, the petitioner appealed to the then MAR, now
for the lot occupied by his house, and delivered 50% of the produce to the respondent DAR. Acting on said appeal, the respondent DAR,
Andrea Millenes. through its then Minister Conrado Estrella, reversed the previous
certification in its Order of February 3, 1986, declaring Criminal Case
2

Sometime in March 1979, after the property was sold, the new owners, No. 4003 as proper for trial as "the land involved is a residential lot
Arturo and Yolanda Caballes, told Abajon that the poultry they intended to consisting of only 60 square meters whereon the house of the accused is
build would be close to his house and pursuaded him to transfer his constructed and within the industrial zone of the town as evinced from the
dwelling to the opposite or southern portion of the landholding. Abajon Certification issued by the Zoning Administrator of Talisay, Cebu."
offered to pay the new owners rental on the land occupied by his house,
but his offer was not accepted. Later, the new owners asked Abajon to Upon motion for reconsideration filed by Abajon, the respondent DAR,
vacate the premises, saying that they needed the property. But Abajon through its new Minister, herein respondent Heherson Alvarez, issued an
refused to leave. The parties had a confrontation before the Barangay Orders dated November 15, 1986, setting aside the previous
Captain of Lawaan in Talisay, Cebu but failed to reach an agreement. All Order dated February 3, 1986, and certifying said criminal case as not
3

the efforts exerted by the landowners to oust Abajon from the landholding proper for trial, finding the existence of a tenancy relationship between
were in vain as the latter simply refused to budge. the parties, and that the case was designed to harass the accused into
vacating his tillage.
On April 1, 1982, the landowner, Yolanda Caballes, executed an Affidavit
stating that immediately after she reprimanded Abajon for harvesting In the summary investigation conducted by the DAR, the former
bananas and jackfruit from the property without her knowledge, the latter, landowner, Andrea Millenes, testified that Bienvenido Abajon dutifully
with malicious and ill intent, cut down the banana plants on the property gave her 50% share of the produce of the land under his cultivation. The
worth about P50.00. A criminal case for malicious mischief was filed grandson of Andrea Millenes, Roger Millenes, corroborated the testimony
against Abajon and which was docketed as Criminal Case No. 4003. of the former, stating that he received said share from Abajon. Roger
Obviously, all the planting on the property, including that of the banana Millenes further testified that the present owners received in his presence
plants, had been done by Abajon. On September 30, 1982, upon motion a bunch of bananas from the accused representing ½ or 50% of the two
of the defense in open court pursuant to PD 1038, the trial court ordered bunches of bananas gathered after Caballes had acquired the property. 4

the referral of the case to the Regional Office No. VII of the then MAR for
a preliminary determination of the relationship between the parties. As a From these factual findings, the DAR concluded that Abajon was a tenant
result, the Regional Director of MAR Regional VII, issued a of Andrea Millenes, the former owner, who had testified that she shared
certification dated January 24, 1 983, stating that said Criminal Case No.
1
the produce of the land with Abajon as truer thereof. Thus, invoking Sec.
5

4003 was not proper for hearing on the bases of the following findings: 10 of RA 3844, as amended, which provides that "[T]he agricultural
leasehold relation under this Code shall not be extinguished by mere
That herein accused is a bona-fide tenant of the land expiration of the term or period in a leasehold contract nor by the sale,
owned by the complaining witness, which is devoted to alienation or transfer of the legal possession of the landholding"; and that
bananas; "(I)n case the agricultural lessor sells, alienates or transfers the legal
possession of the landholding, the purchaser or transferee thereof shall
That thin case is filed patently to harass and/or eject the be subrogated to the rights and substituted to the obligations of the
tenant from his farmholding, which act is prohibited by agricultural lessor," the MAR ruled that 'the new owners are legally bound
law; and to respect the tenancy, notwithstanding their claim that the portion tilled
by Abajon was small, consisting merely of three (3) meters wide and
twenty (20) meters long, or a total of sixty (60) square meters."
6
Hence, this petition for certiorari alleging that: he did not depend on the products of the land because it was too small,
and that he took on carpentry jobs on the side. Thus, the order sought to
9

I. Respondents DAR and Hon. Heherson T. Alvarez committed "grave be reviewed is patently contrary to the declared policy of the law stated
abuse of power and discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction" in holding above.
that private respondent Abajon is an agricultural tenant even if he is
cultivating only a 60-square meter (3 x 20 meters) portion of a The DAR found that the private respondent shared the produce of the
commercial lot of the petitioner. land with the former owner, Andrea Millenes. This led or misled, the
public respondents to conclude that a tenancy relationship existed
II. Public respondents gravely erred in holding that Criminal Case No. between the petitioner and the private respondent because, the public
4003 is not proper for trial and hearing by the court.7 respondents continue, by operation of Sec. 10 of R.A. 3844, as amended,
the petitioner new owner is subrogated to the rights and substituted to the
We hold that the private respondent cannot avail of the benefits afforded obligations of the supposed agricultural lessor (the former owner).
by RA 3844, as amended. To invest him with the status of a tenant is
preposterous. We disagree.

Section 2 of said law provides: The essential requisites of a tenancy relationship are:

It is the policy of the State: 1. The parties are the landowner and the tenant;
2. The subject is agricultural land;
(1) To establish cooperative-cultivatorship among those 3. There is consent;
who live and work on the land as tillers, owner- 4. The purpose is agricultural production;
cultivatorship and the economic family-size farm as the 5. There is personal cultivation; and
basis of Philippine agriculture and, as a consequence, 6. There is sharing of harvests.
divert landlord capital in agriculture to industrial
development; 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
xxx xxx xxx 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
RA 3844, as amended, defines an economic family-size farm as "an area
covered by the Land Reform Program of the Government under existing
of farm land that permits efficient use of labor and capital resources of the
tenancy laws. 10

farm family and will produce an income sufficient to provide a modest


standard of living to meet a farm family's needs for food, clothing, shelter,
and education with possible allowance for payment of yearly installments Therefore, the fact of sharing alone is not sufficient to establish a tenancy
on the land, and reasonable reserves to absorb yearly fluctuations in relationship. Certainly, it is not unusual for a landowner to accept some of
income." 8 the produce of his land from someone who plants certain crops thereon.
This is a typical and laudable provinciano trait of sharing or patikim, a
native way of expressing gratitude for favor received. This, however, does
The private respondent only occupied a miniscule portion (60 square
not automatically make the tiller-sharer a tenant thereof specially when
meters) of the 500-square meter lot. Sixty square meters of land planted
the area tilled is only 60, or even 500, square meters and located in an
to bananas, camote, and corn cannot by any stretch of the imagination be
urban area and in. the heart of an industrial or commercial zone at that.
considered as an economic family-size farm. Surely, planting camote,
Tenancy status arises only if an occupant of a parcel of land has been
bananas, and corn on a sixty-square meter piece of land can not produce
given its possession for the primary purpose of agricultural production.
an income sufficient to provide a modest standard of living to meet the
The circumstances of this case indicate that the private respondent's
farm family's basic needs. The private respondent himself admitted that
status is more of a caretaker who was allowed by the owner out of As found by the DAR, the case for malicious mischief stemmed from the
benevolence or compassion to live in the premises and to have a garden petitioner's affidavit stating that after she reprimanded private respondent
of some sort at its southwestern side rather than a tenant of the said Abajon for harvesting bananas and jackfruit from the property without her
portion. knowledge, the latter, with ill intent, cut the banana trees on the property
worth about P50.00.
Agricultural production as the primary purpose being absent in the
arrangement, it is clear that the private respondent was never a tenant of This was corroborated by a certain Anita Duaban, a friend of the
the former owner, Andrea Millenes. Consequently, Sec. 10 of RA of 3844, petitioner, who likewise executed an affidavit to the effect that she saw
as amended, does not apply. Simply stated, the private respondent is not the private respondent indiscriminately cutting the banana trees. 12

a tenant of the herein petitioner.


The Revised Penal Code, as amended, provides that "any person who
Anent the second assignment of error, the petitioner argues that since shall deliberately cause to the property of another any damage not falling
Abajon, is not an agricultural tenant, the criminal case for malicious within the terms of the next preceding chapter shall be guilty of malicious
mischief filed against him should be declared as proper for trial so that mischief."13

proceedings in the lower court can resume.


The elements of the crime of malicious mischief are:
Notwithstanding our ruling that the private respondent is not a tenant of
the petitioner, we hold that the remand of the case to the lower court for 1. The offender deliberately caused damage to the
the resumption of the criminal proceedings is not in the interest of justice. property of another;
Remand to the Municipal Court of Talisay, Cebu, would not serve the 2. The damage caused did not constitute arson or crimes
ends of justice at all, nor is it necessary, because this High Tribunal is in a involving destruction;
position to resolve with finality the dispute before it. This Court, in the 3. The damage was caused maliciously by the offender.
public interest, and towards the expeditious administration of justice, has
decided to act on the merits and dispose of the case with finality. 11
After a review of the facts and circumstances of this case, we rule that
the aforesaid criminal case against the private respondent be dismissed.
The criminal case for malicious mischief filed by the petitioner against the
private respondent for allegedly cutting down banana trees worth a The private respondent can not be held criminally liable for malicious
measly P50.00 will take up much of the time and attention of the mischief in cutting the banana trees because, as an authorized occupant
municipal court to the prejudice of other more pressing cases pending or possessor of the land, and as planter of the banana trees, he owns
therein. Furthermore, the private respondent will have to incur said crops including the fruits thereof The private respondent's
unnecessary expenses to finance his legal battle against the petitioner if possession of the land is not illegal or in bad faith because he was
proceedings in the court below were to resume. Court litigants have snowed by the previous owners to enter and occupy the premises. In
decried the long and unnecessary delay in the resolution of their cases other words, the private respondent worked the land in dispute with the
and the consequent costs of such litigations. The poor, particularly, are consent of the previous and present owners. Consequently, whatever the
victims of this unjust judicial dawdle, Impoverished that they are they private respondent planted and cultivated on that piece of property
must deal with unjust legal procrastination which they can only interpret belonged to him and not to the landowner. Thus, an essential element of
as harassment or intimidation brought about by their poverty, deprivation, the crime of malicious mischief, which is "damage deliberately caused to
and despair. It must be the mission of the Court to remove the the property of another," is absent because the private respondent merely
misperceptions aggrieved people have of the nature of the dispensation cut down his own plantings.
of justice. If justice can be meted out now, why wait for it to drop gently
from heaven? Thus, considering that this case involves a mere bagatelle
WHEREFORE, the Order of public respondents dated November 15,
the Court finds it proper and compelling to decide it here and now,
1986 is SET ASIDE and Criminal Case No. 4003, is hereby DISMISSED.
instead of further deferring its final termination.
Let a copy of this decision be sent to the Municipal Trial Court of Talisay,
Cebu for appropriate action. This Decision is IMMEDIATELY Trinidad Gabriel be substituted by her heirs herein named. By order of
EXECUTORY. this Court of December 4, 1973 the prayer for substitution was granted.

No costs. In its resolution dated April 19, 1967 certifying the case to this Court, the
Court of Appeals made the following findings, which We adopt:
SO ORDERED.
On June 18, 1960 Trinidad Gabriel filed a complaint in the
G.R. No. L-27797 August 26, 1974 Court of First Instance of Pampanga against Eusebio
Pangilinan alleging that she is the owner of a fishpond
situated in barrio Sta. Ursula, Betis, Pampanga and
TRINIDAD GABRIEL, plaintiff-appellee,
measuring about 169,507 square meters; that sometime
vs.
during the last war she entered into an oral contract of
EUSEBIO PANGILINAN, defendant-appellant.
lease thereof with the defendant on a year to year basis,
i.e., from January 1 to December 31, at a rental of
Mariano Manahan, Jr. for plaintiff-appellee. P1,200, plus the amount of real estate taxes, payable in
advance in the month of January; that desiring to develop
Virgilio M. Pablo for defendant-appellant. and cultivate the fishpond by herself, she notified the
defendant in a letter dated June 26, 1957 that she was
Armando M. Laki for movant. terminating the contract as of December 31, 1957; that
upon request of the defendant, she extended the lease for
another year; that on November 19, 1958 she again wrote
the defendant that he should surrender possession of the
ZALDIVAR, J.:p fishpond on January 1, 1959, which demand he however
ignored. Plaintiff accordingly prayed that the defendant be
This appeal from the decision, dated December 26, 1963, of the Court of First Instance of Pampanga ordered to restore the possession of the fishpond to her
in its Civil Case No. 1823, was certified to this Court by the Court of Appeals for the reason that the and to pay her P1,200, plus the amount of real estate
jurisdiction of an inferior court is involved. taxes, a year from 1959, attorney's fees and costs.

During the pendency of this case before this Court, under date of April 29, The defendant moved for the dismissal of the complaint
1972, Atty. Virgilio M. Pablo, counsel for the appellant Eusebio on the ground that the trial court had no jurisdiction over
Pangilinan, gave notice to this Court that said appellant died on April 3, the case which properly pertains to the Court of Agrarian
1964, and was survived by his children, who are his legal heirs, namely: Relations, there being an agricultural leasehold tenancy
Salvador Pangilinan, Santos Pangilinan, Mariano Pangilinan, Carlos relationship between the parties. Upon opposition by the
Pangilinan and Pilar Pangilinan de Avante. For the purposes of this case plaintiff, the motion was denied. The defendant thereafter
the appellant Eusebio Pangilinan, therefore, is substituted by his heirs filed his answer with counterclaim alleging, inter alia, that
herein named. the land in question was originally leased to him, also
verbally, by the plaintiff's father, Potenciano Gabriel in
Under date of November 20, 1973, Atty. Amando M. Laki filed a motion 1923 for as long as the defendant wanted subject to the
with this Court advising that appellee Trinidad Gabriel died on June 14, condition that he would convert the major portion into a
1967, and was survived by her heirs and successors-in-interest, namely: fishpond and the part which was already a fishpond be
Corazon O. Gabriel, married to Lamberto Ignacio; Ernesto O. Gabriel; improved at his expense which would be reimbursed by
Ester O. Gabriel, married to Emmanuel Padua; Generoso O. Gabriel, Potenciano Gabriel or his heirs at the termination of the
Marciano O. Gabriel and Pablo O. Gabriel, and prayed that appellee lease for whatever cause; that when the plaintiff became
the owner of the property through inheritance, she told the
defendant that she would honor her father's contract with Cayanan, a nephew of the defendant, acts as the
the defendant, and likewise assured him that he could watcher. He has lived separately since he got married.
continue leasing the property, whose original rental of Excepting Pilar Pangilinan. who is residing near the
P400.00 a year had been progressively increased to fishpond, the other children of the defendant are all
P1,200.00, for as long as he wanted since she was not in professions; a lawyer, an engineer, and a priest all
a position to attend to it personally. As a special defense, residing in Manila. None of these persons has been seen
the defendant reiterated the alleged lack of jurisdiction of working on the fishpond.
the trial court to take cognizance of the case.
The above are the material and pertinent facts upon
On February 12, 1962 the trial court issued an order which we enter this order.
herein below quoted in full:
After a study of the facts and in the light of the provisions
The plaintiff sinks to eject the defendant from the fishpond of the Tenancy Law, Republic Act No. 1199, particularly
described in the complaint which is under lease to the Sections 4 and 9, as amended. it seems clear that his
said defendant, who, however, refuses to vacate. Instead, case does not fall within the purview of said Act. The
he has impugned the jurisdiction of this Court contending lease contract is manifestly a civil lease governed by the
that the action should have been filed with the Court of New Civil Code. Considering the area of the fishpond, 16
Agrarian Relations, which has original and exclusive hectares, more or less, the fact that neither the defendant,
jurisdiction, as their relationship is one of leasehold who is physically incapacitated, or his daughter is
tenancy. Personally cultivating the fishpond or through the
employment of mechanical farm implements, and the
After the motion to dismiss was denied on the basis of the further fact that the persons named above are not
allegations of the complaint, the parties were ordered to members of the immediate farm household of the
adduce evidence for the purpose of determining which defendant, the conclusion is that no tenancy relationship
Court shall take cognizance of the case. exists between the plaintiff and the defendant as defined
by Republic Act No. 1199, as amended.
It appears that the fishpond is presently in the possession
of the defendant, who originally leased it from the father We are, therefore, of the opinion and so hold that this
of the plaintiff. Upon the death of the said father, the Court is vested with jurisdiction to try and decide this
fishpond was inherited by the plaintiff. It is now covered case. After this order has become final, the plaintiff may
by T.C.T. No. 1634 and is registered in her name. It request for the setting of the initial trial.
contains an area of 169,507.00 square meters. The rental
is on a yearly basis. The defendant does not contest the findings of facts
therein made by the trial court.
It also appears that the defendant has ceased to work
personally with the aid of helpers the aforecited fishpond After the parties adduced their respective evidence on the
since 1956 he became ill and incapacitated. His daughter, merits, decision was rendered wherein the trial court
Pilar Pangilinan, took over. She testified that she helps Pursuant to Article 1197 of the Civil Code, fixed the period
her father in administering the leased property, conveying of the low up to June 30, 1964, the defendant on said
his instructions to the workers, Urbano Maninang, Isidro date to surrender possession of the fishpond to the
Bernal and Marciano Maninang. The names of Ire, Juan plaintiff and to pay the rentals due the latter. The plaintiff,
and Aguedo Viada have been mentioned as the laborers on her part, was required upon surrender of on to her, to
who were paid for the repair of the dikes. Bernardo pay the defendant the sum of P1,000.00 as
reimbursement of the expenses he incurred in improving Upon the foregoing facts, the defendant insists that the relationship
the fishpond, and upon failure by either party to pay the between the parties is an agricultural leasehold tenancy governed by
amount due the other, the same would bear interest at the Republic Act No. 1199, as amended, pursuant to section 35 of Republic
legal rate until full payment is made. Act No. 3844, and the present case is therefore within the original and
exclusive jurisdiction of the Court of Agrarian Relations. Plaintiff, on the
A reconsideration by the defendant having been denied, other hand, maintains in effect that since defendant has ceased to work
he appealed to this Court and assigned the following the fishpond personally or with the aid of the members of his immediate
errors: farm household (Section 4, Republic Act No. 1199) the tenancy
relationship between the parties has been extinguished (Section 9, id.)
1. The lower court erred in considering the relationship of and become of civil lease and therefore the trial court properly assumed
appellee and appellant as that of a civil lease, in jurisdiction over the case.
accordance with the Civil Code of the Philippines and not
a leasehold tenancy under Rep. Act No. 1199 as It does appear that the controversy on the issue of jurisdiction calls for
amended. the interpretation of cultivating or working the land by the tenant
personally or with the aid of the members of his immediate farm
2. The lower court erred in not holding that the Court of household. 1

First Instance is without jurisdiction, the cue being that of


an agrarian relation in nature pursuant to Rep Act. NO. Those are the findings and conclusions of facts made by the Court of
1199 as amended. Appeals which, as a general rule, bind this Court. 2

3. The lower court erred in appreciating the evidence of 1. Let Us now discuss the issues raised in this appeal. First, was the
the appellant particularly the basis for the expenditure for relationship between the appellee and appellant a leasehold tenancy or a
the development of the fishpond in question. civil law lease?

4. The lower court erred in rendering judgment in favor of There are important differences between a leasehold tenancy and a civil
the appellant in them easily amount of one thousand law lease. The subject matter of leasehold tenancy is limited to
pesos for reimbursement and for seven hundred pesos agricultural land; that of civil law lease may be either rural or urban
for the cost of the floodgate. property. As to attention and cultivation, the law requires the leasehold
tenant to personally attend to, and cultivate the agricultural land, whereas
Anent the question of jurisdiction, it is an admitted fact that plaintiff leased the civil law lessee need not personally cultivate or work the thing leased.
the fishpond to the defendant in 1943 without a fixed term, the annual As to purpose, the landholding in leasehold tenancy is devoted to
rental payable at the end of the year (Exhibit C, Deposition of plaintiff, agriculture, whereas in civil law lease, the purpose may be for any other
Dec. 13, 1962, pp. 2 and 3). It is likewise undisputed that the work in the lawful pursuits. As to the law that governs, the civil law lease is governed
fishpond consisted in letting out the water so algae (lumut) would grow or by the Civil Code, whereas leasehold tenancy is governed by special
if algae would not grow, getting some from the river and putting them in laws.3

the fishpond, changing the dirty water with fresh water, repairing leaks in
the dikes, and planting of fingerlings and attending to them; that these In order that leasehold tenancy under the Agricultural Tenancy Act may
were done by defendant, with some help; that he personally attended to exist, the following requisites must concur.
the fishpond until 1956 when he became ill; that thereafter his nephew
Bernardo Cayanan, who was living with him, helped in the work to be 1. That the land worked by the tenant is an agricultural land;
done in the fishpond and his daughter Pilar Pangilinan helped in the
management, conveying his instructions to the workers (t.s.n., pp. 4-8, 2. That the land is susceptible of cultivation by a single person together
Magat). with members of his immediate farm household;
3. That the land must be cultivated by the tenant either personally or with It also appears that the defendant has ceased to work
the aid of labor available from members of his immediate farm household; personally with the aid of helpers the aforecited fishpond
since 1956 when he became ill and incapacitated. His
4. That the land belongs to another; and daughter, Pilar Pangilinan took over. She testified that she
helps her father in administering the leased property,
5. That the use of the land by the tenant is for a consideration of a fixed conveying his instructions to the workers, Urbano
amount in money or in produce or in both. 4 Maninang, Isidro Bernal and Marciano Maninang. The
names of Ire, Juan and Aguedo Viada have been
mentioned as the laborers who were paid for the repair of
Were the foregoing requisites present in the instant case?
the dikes. Bernardo Cayanan, a nephew of the defendant,
acts as the watcher. He has lived separately since he got
There is no doubt that the land in question is agricultural land. It is a married. Excepting Pilar Pangilinan, who is residing near
fishpond and the Agricultural Tenancy Act, which refers to "agricultural the fishpond, the other children of the defendant are all
land", specifically mentions fishponds and prescribes the consideration professionals: a lawyer, an engineer, and a priest — all
for the use thereof. Thus Section 46(c) of said Act provides that "the residing in Manila. None of these persons has been seen
consideration for the use of sugar lands, fishponds, salt beds and of working on the fishpond. 7

lands devoted to the raising of livestock shall be governed by stipulation


between the parties". This Court has already ruled that "land in which fish
The law is explicit in requiring the tenant and his immediate family to work
is produced is classified as agricultural land." The mere fact, however,
5

the land. Thus Section 5 (a) of Republic Act No. 1199, as amended,
that a person works an agricultural land does not necessarily make him a
defines a "tenant" as a person who, himself and with the aid available
leasehold tenant within the purview of section 4 of Republic Act No. 1199.
from within his immediate farm household, cultivates the land belonging
He may still be a civil law lessee unless the other requisites as above
to, or possessed by, another, with the latter's consent for purposes of
enumerated are complied with.
production sharing the produce with the landholder under the share
tenancy system, or paying to the landholder a price certain in produce or
Regarding the second requisite, it is to be noted that the land in question in money or both, under the leasehold tenancy system. Section 8 of the
has an area of 169,507 square meters, or roughly 17 hectares of same Act limits the relation of landholder and tenant to the person who
fishpond. The question of whether such a big parcel of land is susceptible furnishes the land and to the person who actually works the land himself
of being worked by the appellant's family or not has not been raised, and with the aid of labor available from within his immediate farm household.
We see no need of tarrying on this point. So, We pass to the third Finally, Section 4 of the same Act requires for the existence of leasehold
requisite, to wit, whether the tenant himself personally or with the aid of tenancy that the tenant and his immediate farm household work the land.
his immediate family worked the land. It provides that leasehold tenancy exists when a person, who either
personally or with the aid of labor available from members of his
Assuming that appellant had previously entered in 1923 into an immediate farm household, undertakes to cultivate a piece of agricultural
agreement of leasehold tenancy with Potenciano Gabriel, appellee's land susceptible of cultivation by a single person together with members
father, such tenancy agreement was severed in 1956 when he ceased to of his immediate farm household, belonging to, or legally possessed by,
work the fishpond personally because he became ill and incapacitated. another in consideration of a fixed amount in money or in produce or in
Not even did the members of appellant's immediate farm household work both.
the land in question. Only the members of the family of the tenant and
such other persons, whether related to the tenant or not, who are A person, in order to be considered a tenant, must himself and with the
dependent upon him for support and who usually help him to operate the aid available from his immediate farm household cultivate the land.
farm enterprise are included in the term "immediate farm household" The 6
Persons, therefore, who do not actually work the land cannot be
record shows who helped work the land in question, and We quote: considered tenants; and he who hires others whom he pays for doing the
8

cultivation of the land, ceases to hold, and is considered as having


abandoned the land as tenant within the meaning of sections 5 and 8 of
Republic Act. No. 1199, and ceases to enjoy the status, rights, and GUERRERO and SPOUSES ROGELIO and VILMA
privileges of one. MOLAR, respondents.

We are, therefore, constrained to agree with the court a quo that the
relationship between the appellee Trinidad Gabriel and appellant Eusebio
Pangilinan was not a leasehold tenancy under Republic Act No. 1199. PANGANIBAN, J.:
Hence, this case was not within the original and exclusive jurisdiction of
the Court of Agrarian Relations.9
Trial and appellate courts determine the existence (or nonexistence) of a
tenancy relationship on the basis of the evidence presented by the
2. Regarding the second assignment of error, We accordingly rule that parties. Certifications of administrative agencies and officers declaring
the Court of First Instance correctly assumed jurisdiction over the case at the existence of a tenancy relation are merely provisional. They are
bar, this being a case of civil law lease. persuasive but not binding on courts, which must make their own
findings.
3. We deem it unnecessary to discuss the third and fourth assigned
errors as these are issues involving findings of facts which have been The Case
settled by the lower court, and unless there is grave abuse of discretion,
which we do not find in the record of the case, We shall not venture to
This principle is stressed by this Court as it rules on the instant petition
discuss the merits of the factual findings of the court a quo.
for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court assailing the
February 26, 1992 Decision of Respondent Court of Appeals in CA G.R.
1 2

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the decision of the Court of First CV No. 29453-54, the dispositive portion of which reads: 3

Instance of Pampanga in its Civil Case No. 1823, appealed from, is


affirmed, with costs against the appellants.
WHEREFORE, the judgment appealed from is set aside
and another one entered as follows:
This decision should apply to the heirs and successors-in-interest of the
original parties, as named in this decision. In consonance with the
In Civil Case No. 7975:
decision of the lower court, the heirs and successors-in-interest of
appellant Eusebio Pangilinan should deliver the possession of the
fishpond in question to the heirs and successors-in-interest of appellee (1) Plaintiff Zacarias Oarde is ordered reinstated as lawful
Trinidad Gabriel; and said heirs and successors-in-interest of appellant tenant-tiller of Lot 17 of the Agrarian Reform Project for
Eusebio Pangilinan should pay the heirs and successors-in-interest of Barangay Gotob, Camalig, Albay and restored
appellee Trinidad Gabriel the accrued rentals. From January 1, 1960, at immediately to the possession thereof.
the rate of P1,200.00 a year, until the actual delivery of the possession of
the fishpond as herein ordered, with interest at the legal rate until full (2) Defendants Rogelio Molar and Vilma Molar are
payment is made. ordered to pay damages to plaintiff Zacarias Oarde in the
sum of P5,850.00.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
The decision of the court a quo dismissing the complaint
of Presentacion Molar in Civil Case No. 7960 is hereby
G.R. No. 104774-75 October 8, 1997
affirmed.
ZACARIAS OARDE and PRESENTACION MOLAR, petitioners,
No pronouncement as to costs.
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS, SPOUSES WILFREDO and LOURDES
Although Oarde was reinstated as tenant by the Court of Appeals, he is land to the defendant
nonetheless dissatisfied and claims a larger amount of damages. On the spouses Rogelio Molar
other hand, Molar desires to be recognized as a tenant of private and Vilma Molar sometime
respondents and to be granted damages for her eviction. Hence, this in October 1987.
recourse to this Court.
The issue to be determined as per order of the Court
The Facts dated 15 September 1988 in Civil Case No. 7975, and
order dated 27 June 1988 in Civil Case No. 7960, is
The Court finds that the facts and allegations of the contending parties whether plaintiffs in both cases are tenants of defendants
are fairly recited in the trial court's decision, viz.:
4 in possession of the land and cannot be ejected therefrom
except for cause.
The plaintiffs [petitioners herein] seek to enjoin the
defendants [private respondents herein] from removing It is the claim of the plaintiffs that they are [tenant-tillers]
the former as tenant-tillers of the land in question and are of the land in question.
likewise requesting for damages, as a result of their
dislocation from the land. Plaintiff Zacarias Oarde, testified that he began to till the
land in question on April 29, 1964 when he got married to
The following facts are admitted by the parties: the daughter of Francisco Molar, and to substantiate his
claim, he presented as one of his witnesses Gregorio
1. Their identity; Magnaye, an employee of the Bureau of Lands. He was
the Chief of a Survey Team that conducted the survey in
Gotob. The other members were technicians from the
2. That the original tenant-
DAR.
tiller of the land was
Francisco Molar, father of
the plaintiff Presentacion He testified on cross-examination that in preparing the
Molar, and father-in-law of Summary Lists of the tenant-tillers in Gotob, Camalig,
the other plaintiff Zacarias Albay, they conducted a barrio assembly. They arrived at
Oarde; the conclusion that certain persons were tilling certain
properties owned by other persons because that was the
listing of the DAR technicians (p. 11, tsn, Nov. 16, 1988).
3. That the eldest and only
Before the survey was conducted, they gathered the
son of Francisco Molar is
tenants together with the barangay officials and
Basilio Molar;
interviewed them if they are the ones cultivating the
property. The ones listed in the Summary Lists were the
4. That defendant Rogelio ones whose names were given by the barrio officials (p.
Molar is the grandson of 13, tsn. Nov. 16, 1988). Based on their survey, Zacarias
Francisco Molar, the Oarde was tilling two lots, Lots 17 and 18. These were the
former being the son of areas pointed to by Pedro Cervantes (p. 15, tsn. Nov. 16,
Basilio Molar; 1988). (Zacarias, however, when he testified claims that
he is tilling only one lot, Lot 17) Witness Magnaye alleged
5. That defendant spouses that as far as the property being tilled by Zacarias is
Wilfredo Guerrero and concerned, information was given by Pedro Cervantes (p.
Lourdes Guerrero sold the 19). During the survey, Zacarias Oarde was not around.
herein involved parcels of
Zacarias admitted that when the survey was made, he According to Zacarias Oarde who testified in behalf of
was not present. Presentaction (sic), the latter began tilling in 1968. She is
not married and she only hires laborers to till the land. It
Another witness presented was Gregorio Medina. He was was Francisco Molar who distributed to his children the
the President of the Samahang Nayon of Gotob in 1977. land they are farming. Presentacion hires laborers to
He knows the plaintiff Zacarias Oarde because the latter prepare and plant the land. She does not actually till the
is a member of the Samahang Nayon. He alleged that he land (p. 18, tsn. May 16, 1989).
is not very particular about the land that the farmer-
members till, but when they register for membership, he is Jose Neo, an employee of the DAR, testified that he did
informed that they are leaseholders (p. 2, tsn. 8 Dec. not in any way participate in the preparation of the
1988). He signed this Exhibit A, in 1977, when he was document presented in evidence. He did not know
called by the DAR personnel to their office. The document whether it is genuine or a tampered one.
was already prepared. He did not read the contents. He
really does not know if Zacarias was doing the farming all On the other hand, defendants in both cases claim that
by himself because several people are tilling the land plaintiffs Presentacion Molar and Zacarias Oarde are not
aside from Zacarias. Zacarias likewise works on the field tenant-tillers of the land in question.
of others. He had no hand in the preparation of the lists
and he was not present when the persons included Basilio Molar, a witness for the defendants testified that
therein signed their names. He likewise did not verify Atty. Wilfredo Guerrero owns only one parcel of land in
whether the persons in the list were really farmers of the Gotob and this was previously farmed by his father
landholdings as mentioned therein. He knows for a fact Francisco Molar. After Francisco Molar's death, the land
that the former farmer of these lands in question was was tilled by witness Basilio Molar. Presentacion Molar
Francisco Molar. and Zacarias Oarde are only helpers. From the share of
the tenant-tiller Francisco Molar, Presentacion and
Another witness presented was Gil Nabio. He testified Zacarias get their share.
that he personally knows Zacarias Oarde being a
neighbor. Zacarias is tilling a land owned by Atty. Wilfredo Another witness was Ernesto Nares. He was one of the
Guerrero and saw him working on the field. buyers of the property together with Rogelio Molar.

The wife, Melicia Oarde, likewise took the witness stand On cross-examination he stated that Zacarias Oarde and
and testified that as tenant-tillers, they gave the owner's Presentacion Molar are not tillers of any land, whether
share to Atty. Wilfredo Guerrero. coconut or riceland (p. 6, tsn, Nov. 3, 1989).

On the claim of plaintiff Presentacion Molar in Civil Case Rogelio Molar and defendant Wilfredo Guerrero likewise
7960, she alleged that she is a tenant-lessee of the land took the witness stand but their testimony centered on the
in question previously owned by Atty. Wilfredo Guerrero. denials that Presentacion Molar and Zacarias Oarde are
She started tilling the land in 1965. Before, she owned a tenants of the land.
carabao but sold it. She caused the land to be worked on
"Pakyaw" basis, hiring different persons for different work.
The trial court held that Petitioners Molar and Oarde were not lawful
She actually does not till the land (p. 16, tsn. July 11,
tenants of private respondents. As noted above, public respondent-
1989).
affirmed the trial court's ruling in regard to Petitioner Molar, bur reversed it
with respect to Petitioner Oarde. It ordered the reinstatement of Oarde as
a tenant and awarded him damages in the sum of P5,850.00.
Before us, Petitioner Molar prays that she be declared as a lawful tenant, 2. Is the award to Petitioner Oarde of P5,850 as his lawful share in the
and Petitioner Oarde asks that the damages awarded to him be harvests of his tilled land from October 1987 to May 1991 correct?
increased from P5,850.00 to P13,850.00. Private respondents do not
question the Decision of public respondent. 3. Are petitioners entitled to moral and exemplary damages as well as
attorney's fees and litigation expenses?
The Issues
The Court's Ruling
Petitioners list the following assignment of errors in their petition and
5

memorandum: 6
The appeal has no merit.

I. The appellate court erred in not giving First Issue: Is Petitioner Molar a
credence and probative value to the Lawful Tenant-Tiller?
official and public documents showing
Presentacion Molar as the registered The essential requisites of a tenancy relationship are the following: (1)
tenant-tiller of the lot in question. the parties are the landowner and the tenant; (2) the subject is
agricultural land; (3) there is consent; (4) the purpose is agricultural
II. The appellate court erred in production; (5) there is personal cultivation; and (6) there is sharing of
notconsidering (sic) substantial facts, the harvests. All these must concur to establish the juridical relationship of
testimonial evidence and admissions that tenancy. 8

greatly affected the result of this case.


Markedly absent in the case of Petitioner Molar is the element of
III. The appellate court erred in not "personal" cultivation. Both the trial court and the Court of Appeals found
applying the provsions (sic) of the New that Molar herself did not actually cultivate the land, nor did her
CARP Law (RA 6657) and other
7
immediate family or farm household. Instead, she hired other people to
applicable laws and jurisprudence do all phases of farm work. Even her co-petitioner testified that she did
9

favorable to tenant-tiller, Presentacion not actually till the land and that she merely paid laborers to perform such
Molar. task. Thus, public respondent aptly held:
10 11

IV. The appellate court erred in not The trial court noted that Presentacion made inconsistent
computing correctly the total share that answers when asked when she began tilling the land,
Zacarias Oarde was deprived of since before she finally declared that she started tilling the
October 1987 to the present. property way back in 1965 (tsn, July 1, 1989). However,
the element of personal cultivation is essential for an
V. The appellate court erred in not agricultural leasehold; that is, that there should be
awarding actual damages, attorney's fees, personal cultivation by the tenant or by his immediate
litigation expenses, moral and exemplary farm household or members of the family of the lessee or
damages to plaintiffs. other persons who are dependent upon him for support or
who usually help him in his activities (Evangelista vs. CA,
To avoid needless repetition, the Court believes that the issues may be 158 SCRA 41). The law is explicit in requiring the tenant
condensed into three: and his immediate family to work the land (Bonifacio vs.
Dizon, 177 SCRA 294), and the lessee cannot hire many
1. Is Petitioner Molar a lawful tenant? persons to help him cultivate the land (De Jesus vs. IAC,
175 SCRA 559).
In this case, Zacarias Oarde, testifying for Presentacion (2) when the findings are
Molar, (tsn, May 16, 1989) declared that Presentacion grounded entirely on
"does not actually till the land but she pays laborers to till speculation, surmises, or
the land" (p. 12); she is single, owns no working animals, conjectures;
nor farm implements (p. 9). Presentacion herself admitted
that she has "the property tenanted on pakyaw basis' (3) when the inference
meaning that she hires different persons for harrowing, made by the Court of
for plowing, and for harvesting and that she did not Appeals from its findings of
actually till the land, but merely says others "because (I) fact is manifestly mistaken,
am a woman"; she owns a small store (tsn, July 11, 1989, absurd, or impossible;
pp. 16-19).
(4) when there is grave
We agree with the trial court that We cannot have a case abuse of discretion in the
where a landlord is divested of his landholding and appreciation of facts;
somebody else is installed to become a new landlord.
(Emphasis supplied.) (5) when the appellate
court, in making its
We stress that both the respondent appellate court and the trial court findings, goes beyond the
found that Petitioner Molar was not a tenant of Private Respondent issues of the case, and
Wilfredo Guerrero. Petitioners are in effect asking this Court to assess such findings are contrary
the evidentiary basis of the foregoing factual conclusion. This we cannot to the admissions of both
do. In Fuentes vs. Court of Appeal, we explained that only questions of
12
appellant and appellee;
law could be raised in a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of
the Rules of Court: (6) when the judgment of
the Court of Appeals is
Jurisprudence teaches us that "(a)s a rule, the jurisdiction premised on a
of this Court in cases brought to it from the Court of misapprehension of facts;
Appeals . . . is limited to the review and revision of errors
of law allegedly committed by the appellate court, as its (7) when the Court of
findings of fact are deemed conclusive. As such this Court Appeals fails to notice
is not duty-bound to analyze and weigh all over again the certain relevant facts
evidence already considered in the proceedings below. which, if properly will
This rule, however, is not without exceptions." The
13
considered, will justify a
findings of fact of the Court of Appeals, which are as a different conclusion;
general rule deemed conclusive, may admit of review by
this Court:14

(8) when the findings of


fact are themselves
(1) when the factual conflicting;
findings of the Court of
Appeals and the trial court
(9) when the findings of
are contradictory;
fact are conclusions
without citation of the
specific evidence on which We also note that private respondents have already been
they are based; and listed as farmer beneficiaries of the Land Transfer
program of the government, as certified by the Team
(10) when the findings of Office of the Ministry of Agrarian Reform. This fact
fact of the Court of reaffirms the conclusion of tenancy reached in this case,
Appeals are premised on and strengthens our view that these tillers of the soil are
the absence of evidence to be respected in the cultivation of their landholdings.
but such findings are
contradicted by the We are not impressed by petitioner's reliance on numerous certifications
evidence on record. of administrative agencies that she was a tenant of Lot 1. Assessing the
evidence in hand, both lower courts concluded that Petitioner Molar was
Whether Petitioner Molar was a tenant-tiller is a question of fact. Molar not a tenant. The certifications issued by administrative agencies or
has not shown that her case falls under any of the recognized exceptions officers that a certain person is a tenant are merely provisional and not
to the ironclad rule that only questions of law may be raised before this conclusive on courts, as ruled by this Court in Cuaño vs. Court of
Court in a petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.
15 Appeals. citing Puertollano vs. IAC:
19 20

In any event, Petitioner Molar submitted the following documentary Secondly, the certification issued by Mr. Eugenio
exhibits to support her claim that she was a tenant: Bernardo of the MAR (Ministry of Agrarian Reform) is very
much like the certifications issued by the Secretary of
Exhibit A Summary List of Rice and Corn Lands Agrarian Reform and other officials of the Ministry and
A-1 Signature of defendant Rogelio Molar later the Department of Agrarian Reform concerning the
A-2 Signature of the Barangay Captain existence of tenancy relationships in respect of
A-3 Signature of the President, Samahang Nayon agricultural lands from which persons, who claim to be
B Addendum Index Log Sheet tenants, are sought to be ejected. It is well-settled that the
B-1 Lot 17 & 18 findings of or certifications issued by the Secretary of
C Police Blotter re: complaint of plaintiffs-appellants Agrarian Reform, or his authorized representative, in a
C-1 Signature of Jose Segovia, Team Leader, I DAR given locality concerning the presence or absence of a
D Parcellary Map[p]ing Sheet tenancy relationship between the contending parties is
E Letter of Atty. Lladoc of DAR to the Station Commander, merely preliminary or provisional and is not binding upon
Camalig, Albay the courts. Thus, in Puertollano, et
G DAR letter to parties re: Mediation Conference. al. v. Hon. Intermediate Appellate Court, et al., this Court
held that:
She adds that she "has been a registered tenant-tiller of Lot 1 since
1977" as evidenced by certifications from a team leader of the
16 From the foregoing provisions of the law
Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR). These documents, she argues, [Section 2 P.D. No. 316 and Section 2 P.D.
show that she was a tenant of the land in question because "factual No. 1038], it is clear that the trial court
findings of administrative agencies are entitled to great respect and even cannot take cognizance of any ejectment
accorded finality." Petitioner Molar prays that we give credence to these
17 case or any other case designed to
documents in her favor, in the same way that the Respondent Court did in harass or remove a tenant in an
favor of Petitioner Oarde. She also contends that Don Pepe Henson agricultural land primarily devoted to rice
Enterprises vs. Pangilinan is "on all fours" with the present controversy,
18 and corn without first referring the same to
specifically citing the following pronouncement of the Court therein: the Secretary of Agrarian Reform or his
authorized representative in the locality for
a preliminary determination of the
relationship between the contending The foregoing provisions enumerate the benefits available to a tenant.
parties. If said officer finds that the case is Presentation Molar cannot claim such benefits because, precisely, she
proper for determination by the court it failed to prove that she was a tenant at all.
shall so certify and thence said court may
assume jurisdiction over the dispute or Second Issue: Share of Petitioner Oarde from Harvests
controversy. Such preliminary
determination of the relationship however, Petitioner Oarde contends that Respondent Court erred in computing the
is not binding upon the court. Said court award due him. He claims it should be P13,850.00, not P5,800.00,
may after due hearing confirm, reverse or representing "the loss of 70 cavans of palay for the period October 1987
modify said preliminary determination as to May 1991 (filing of Brief) priced at P195.00 [each] or a total of
the evidence and substantial merit of the P13,850.00, corresponding to seven (7) harvest seasons for three and
case may warrant. (Emphasis supplied) one-half years (3 1/2) counted from October 1987 to May 1991." 29

Furthermore, these documents were based merely on bare ex We are not convinced. A party is entitled to adequate compensation only
parte allegations of different persons. Even worse, Molar's own witness,
21
for duly proved pecuniary loss actuallysuffered by him or her. Such
Jose Neo, "an employee of DAR," testified that "he did not in any way damages, to be recoverable, must not only be capable of proof, but
participate in the preparation of the document presented in evidence." 22
must actually be proved with a reasonable degree of certainty. Damages
cannot be presumed or premised on conjecture or even logic. In making
In Don Pepe Henson Enterprises, cited by petitioners, the conclusion of an award, courts must point out specific facts which show a basis for the
this Court on the existence of a tenancy relationship was based on the amount of compensatory or actual damages. The claim of 70 cavans of
30

evidence presented before the trial court and not on the certifications palay is based on the unsubstantiated allegation that the subject riceland
issued by the DAR; said certifications merely "reaffirm[ed]" and yielded two harvests a year. We need only to quote the finding of the
"strengthen[ed]" the conclusion of the court. In other words, the cited appellate court to show the folly of Oarde's peroration on this point:31

case is inapplicable to the present controversy because Petitioner Molar


has not convinced us that she was a tenant in the first place. In their brief, the plaintiff-appellant Oarde seeks actual
damages corresponding to the loss he suffered for failing
Petitioner Molar further argues that Respondent Court failed to apply the to get his share of the produce since October 1987 —
following laws: alleging that his average share is 10 cavanes. Melicia
Oarde testified that since October 1987, they were not
1. Section 6, RA 6657 23
able to get their share of the produce, averaging 10
cavanes of palay (after deducting the landowner's share)
2. Section 106, PD 1529 24 for the third planting season (tsn, Dec. 9, 1988, p. 8).
There is no other credible evidence of record pertinent to
3. Section 10, RA 3844 25 the claim of pecuniary loss of 70 cavanes based on the
alleged prevailing price of P184.00 to P197.00 per cavan
of palay. Accordingly, the award for actual damages on
4. Section 9, RA 1199 as Amended by RA 2263 26

the basis of the unlawful dispossession by the vendee


defendants Rogelio and Vilma Molar is calculated at 30
5. Section 4, PD 583 27
cavanes at the average price of P195.00 prevailing at that
time (not disputed by appellee) or P5,580.00.
6. Section 12, RA 6389 28

Third Issue: Damages, Litigation Costs and Attorney's Fees


Petitioners plead that they were "dispossessed of their landholding" and Brotamonte Law Office for petitioner.
"compelled to litigate and incur expenses in the prosecution of this suit," Isabel E. Florin for private respondents
which entitle them to attorney's fees under Article 2208 of the Civil
32

Code. Further, they also pray for an award of P6,000.00 as "actual


expenses" and the additional amount of P4,000.00 which they incurred in
this appeal. Petitioners claim P10,000.00 as moral damages for their
GANCAYCO, J.:
"economic, physical and emotional sufferings" which were the "inevitable
and proximate result of their being ousted from the land without any
justifiable cause." They leave to the sound discretion of this Court their This case deals with the issue of whether or not private respondents
claim for exemplary or corrective damages. 33 possess the status of agricultural tenants entitled to, among others, the
use and possession of a home lot.
Respondent Court denied the claims for "moral and exemplary damages
and attorney's fees . . . for lack of legal and/or factual basis." We find no
34 Respondent Court of Appeals, in denying due course to the petition
1

error in such ruling. for certiorari filed by petitioner, stated the antecedents of this case in the
lower courts as follows:
The award of attorney's fees depends upon the circumstances of each
case and lies within the discretion of the court. We scoured the records . . . [O]n July 17, 1986, petitioner Lourdes Peña Qua filed a
and, like the Court of Appeals, found no legal, factual or equitable complaint for ejectment with damages against private
justification for the award of attorney's fees. respondents claiming that she is the owner of a parcel of
residential land, Lot No. 2099 of the Malinao Cadastre, situated at
Poblacion, Tinapi, Malinao, Albay, with an area of 346 square
Likewise, we deny the claim for moral and exemplary damages. Aside
meters, which is registered in her name under TCT T-70368; that
from the naked allegations of physical and emotional sufferings,
inside the land in question is an auto repair shop and three
petitioners failed to substantiate their claims. Likewise, exemplary
houses, all owned by private respondents; and that said
damages are imposed not to enrich one party or impoverish another, but
respondents' stay in the land was by mere tolerance and they are
to serve as a deterrent against or as a negative incentive to socially
in fact nothing but squatters who settled on the land without any
deleterious actions. In this case, no harmful act can be attributed to the
agreement between her (sic), paying no rents to her nor realty
private respondents which warrants the award of exemplary damages.
taxes to the government.
WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DENIED. The assailed DECISION
In their answer, private respondent Carmen Carillo, surviving
is AFFIRMED in toto. Costs against petitioners.
spouse of the late Salvador Carillo (and [respectively the] mother
and mother-in-law of the other [private] respondents), alleged that
SO ORDERED. the lot in question is a farm lot [home lot] because she and her
late husband were tenants of the same including the two other
G.R. No. 95318 June 11, 1991 lots adjoining the lot in question, Lots No. 2060 and 2446, which
also belong to petitioner; that as tenants, they could not just be
LOURDES PEÑA QUA, assisted by her husband, JAMES ejected without cause; that it was not petitioner who instituted
QUA, petitioner, them as tenants in the land in question but the former owner,
vs. Leovigildo Peña who permitted the construction of the auto repair
HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS (SECOND DIVISION), CARMEN shop, the house of Carmen Carillo and the other two houses.
CARILLO, EDUARDO CARILLO, JOSEPHINE CARILLO, REBECCA
CARILLO, MARIA CEPRES, CECILIO CEPRES and SALVADOR After trial, the Municipal Court [found private respondents to be
CARILLO, JR., respondents. mere squatters and] rendered judgment ordering . . . [them] to
2

vacate and remove their houses and [the] auto repair shop from
the lot in question and to pay the petitioner attorney's fees and a for their personal aggrandizement, believing that they are all
monthly rental of P200.00. tenants of the [petitioner].

On appeal to respondent [Regional Trial] Court, the judgment was Claimed, the defendants planted five hundred (500) coconut trees
modified by ordering the case dismissed [insofar as] Carmen and only fifty (50) coconut trees survived in the land in question
Carillo [was concerned being qualified as an agricultural tenant and/or in the entire area of the three lots. Such an evidence (sic)
and] declaring that the home lot and her house standing thereon is very untruthful, unless it is a seed bed for coconut trees as the
should be respected. 3
area is so limited. But found standing in the area in question or in
the entire three (3) lots are only seven (7) coconut trees, the
Believing that even private respondent Carmen Carillo does not qualify as harvest of which is [allegedly] 2/3 share for the [petitioner] and
an agricultural tenant, petitioner pursues her cause before this the 1/3 share for the [private respondents]. The share, if ever
forum citing only one ground for the entertainment of her petition, to wit: there was/were, could not even suffice [to pay] the amount of
taxes of the land (sic) paid religiously by the [petitioner]
THAT PUBLIC RESPONDENT [Court of Appeal] COMMITTED yearly. (Emphasis supplied.)
7

GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AND ACTED CONTRARY TO


THE ADMITTED FACTS AND APPLICABLE JURISPRUDENCE, It is clear from the foregoing that the source of livelihood of private
AMOUNTING TO LACK OF JURISDICTION, FOR DENYING respondents is not derived from the lots they are allegedly tenanting. This
DUE COURSE TO THE PETITIONER'S CRY FOR JUSTICE conclusion is further supported by private respondent Carmen Carillo's
AND FOR DISMISSING THE PETITION. 4 assertion that the auto repair shop was constructed with the consent of
petitioner's predecessor-in-interest for whom her husband served as a
The Court agrees and finds that respondent Court of Appeals committed driver-mechanic. 8

a grave abuse of discretion in dismissing the petition for review of the


decision of the Regional Trial Court, the same being replete with From private respondents' manner of caring for the lots, it is also
inconsistencies and unfounded conclusions. Because of this jurisdictional apparent that making the same agriculturally viable was not the main
issue raised by petitioner, the Court hereby treats this petition as a purpose of their occupancy, or else they should have immediately
special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.
5 replanted coconut trees in place of those that did not survive. Indeed, the
location of their auto repair shop being near the poblacion and along the
The Regional Trial Court made the following observations:
6 highway, private respondents chose to neglect the cultivation and
propagation of coconuts, having earned, through the automobile repair
shop, more than enough not only for their livelihood but also for the
The land in question is a measly three hundred forty six (346)
construction of two other dwelling houses thereon. It is also intimated by
square meters and adjoining another two (2) lots which are
the Regional Trial Court that there is no direct evidence to confirm that
separately titled having two thousand four hundred thirteen
the parties herein observed the sharing scheme allegedly set-up between
(2,413) square meters and eight thousand two hundred ninety
private respondents and petitioner's predecessor-in-interest.
eight (8,298) square meters –– the three (3) lots having a total
area of eleven thousand fifty seven (11,057) square meters, more
or less, or over a hectare of land owned by the plaintiff or by her Notwithstanding the foregoing indicia of a non-agricultural tenancy
predecessors-in-interest. relationship, however, the Regional Trial Court decided in favor of private
respondent Carmen Carillo and ruled, thus:
In the 346 square meters lot stand (sic) four (4) structures, [to
wit]: an auto repair shop, a house of [private respondent] Carmen In View of the Foregoing, and Premises considered, the Court
Carillo and two (2) other houses owned or occupied by the rest of renders judgment:
the [private respondents] . . .; in other words, the [private
respondents] almost converted the entire area as their home lot
1. Ordering defendants, namely: Eduardo Carillo, Josephine P. 1) Certifying this case as NOT PROPER FOR TRIAL in as
Carillo, Rebecca Carillo, Maria Cepres, Cecilio Cepres and far as the home lot and house built thereon by the
Salvador Carillo, Jr., to vacate and remove their two (2) houses spouses Carmen Carillo (sic);
and the auto repair shop from the premises in question, and
restoring the area to the lawful owner, the herein plaintiff; 2) Advising the plaintiff to institute proper cause of action
in as far as the auto repair shop and the two (2) houses
2. Ordering said six defendants to pay the plaintiff jointly and erected on her landholdings by the children of tenant-
severally the amount of Four Thousand (P4,000.00) Pesos as farmer Salvador Carillo since they appear as not the
attorney's fees and litigation expenses; lawful tenants thereat.

3. Ordering said six defendants to pay plaintiff the sum of One SO RESOLVED.
Hundred Seventy One Pesos and Thirty Six Centavos (P171.36)
monthly, for the use of the area in question, commencing July 17, xxx xxx xxx
1986 the date the plaintiff filed this action in Court, up to the time
the defendants vacate the area in question and restore the same From the foregoing dispositive part of the resolution penned down
to the plaintiff peacefully. by the Regional Director, it defines and explains the status of
each of the defendants. 10

4. And ordering said six (6) defendants to pay the costs


proportionately. Time and again, the Court has ruled that, as regards relations between
litigants in land cases, the findings and conclusions of the Secretary of
The case against defendant, Carmen Carillon is hereby ordered Agrarian Reform, being preliminary in nature, are not in any way binding
DISMISSED. The home lot and where her house stands is on the trial courts which must endeavor to arrive at their own
11

respected. And without pronouncement as to its costs (sic). independent conclusions.

IT IS SO ORDERED. 9
(Emphasis supplied.) Had the Regional Trial Court hearkened to this doctrine, proceeded to so
conduct its own investigation and examined the facts of this case, a
Without explaining why, the Regional Trial Court chose not to believe the contrary conclusion would have been reached, and the findings of the
findings of the Municipal Circuit Trial Court and instead, adopted the Municipal Circuit Trial Court, sustained, particularly when the
recommendation of the Regional Director for Region V, acting for the circumstances obtaining in this case are examined in the light of the
Secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform, without making essential requisites set by law for the existence of a tenancy relationship,
separate findings and arriving at an independent conclusion as to the thus: (1) the parties are the landowner and the tenant; (2) the subject is
nature of the relationship between the parties in this case. This is evident agricultural land; (3) the purpose is agricultural production; and (4) there
in the following excerpt of the judgment of the Regional Trial Court: is consideration. It is also understood that (5) there is consent to the
12

tenant to work on the land, that (6) there is personal cultivation by him
The dispositive part of the Resolution of this Civil Case No. T- and that the consideration consists of sharing the harvest. 13

1317 for Ejectment with Damages, Referral Case No. 880054


states and is quoted verbatim: It is contended by petitioner that the parcel of land occupied by private
respondents, Lot No. 2099, with an area of only 346 square meters is
WHEREFORE, premises considered, we are constrained residential in nature, being situated near the poblacion of Malinao, Albay,
to issue the following resolutions: and as evidenced by the tax declaration obtained by petitioner to this
effect. Indeed, the municipal trial court judge ordered the ejectment of
1âwphi1

the private respondents on this basis. On the other hand, private


respondents aver that the lot is agricultural being bounded by two other
agricultural lands planted to coconuts titled in the name of petitioner and REYNALDO BEJASA AND ERLINDA
all three parcels being cultivated by them.
BEJASA, petitioners, vs. THE HONORABLE COURT
The Court is not prepared to affirm the residential status of the land OF APPEALS, Special Sixteenth Division, ISABEL
merely on the basis of the tax declaration, in the absence of further CANDELARIA and JAMIE DINGLASAN, respondents.
showing that all the requirements for conversion of the use of land from
agricultural to residential prevailing at the start of the controversy in this DECISION
case have been fully satisfied. 14

Be that as it may and recognizing the consent to the presence of private PARDO, J.:
respondents on the property as given by petitioner's predecessor-in-
interest, the situation obtaining in this case still lacks, as discussed This is a petition assailing the decision of the Court of
[1]

earlier, three of the afore-enumerated requisites, namely: agricultural Appeals reversing the decision of the Regional Trial
[2]

production, personal cultivation and sharing of harvests.


Court, Calapan, Oriental Mindoro and ordering [3]

The Court reiterates the ruling in Tiongson v. Court of Appeals, that


15 petitioners Reynaldo and Erlinda Bejasa (hereinafter
referred to as "the Bejasas") to surrender the possession
All these requisites are necessary in order to create tenancy of the disputed landholdings to respondent Isabel
relationship between the parties and the absence of one or more
requisites do (sic) not make the alleged tenant a de facto tenant
Candelaria ("hereinafter referred to as Candelaria") and
as contradistinguished from a de jure tenant. This is so because to pay her annual rental from 1986, attorneys fees,
unless a person has established his status as a de jure tenant, he litigation expenses and costs. [4]

is not entitled to security of tenure nor is he covered by the Land


Reform Program of the Government under existing tenancy laws.
Inescapably, the appeal involves the determination of a
Under the foregoing, private respondent Carmen Carillo is not entitled to factual issue. Whether a person is a tenant is a factual
be considered an agricultural tenant. Therefore, she may be not allowed question. The factual conclusions of the trial court and
[5]

the use of a home lot, a privilege granted by Section 35 of Republic Act the Court of Appeals are contradictory and we are
No. 3844, as amended, in relation to Section 22 (3) of Republic Act No.
1199, as amended, only to persons satisfying the qualifications of
16
constrained to review the same. [6]

agricultural tenants of coconut lands.


We state the undisputed incidents.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The decision of respondent
Court of Appeals is hereby SET ASIDE and a new one is issued This case involves two (2) parcels of land covered by
REINSTATING the decision of the Municipal Circuit Trial Court of
Malinao-Tiwi, Albay, Fifth Judicial Region dated 19 August 1987. No
TCT No. T-58191 and TCT No. T-59172, measuring 16
[7] [8]

pronouncement as to costs. hectares and 6 hectares more or less, situated in


Barangay Del Pilar, Naujan, Oriental Mindoro. The
SO ORDERED. parcels of land are indisputably owned by Isabel
Candelaria.
[G.R. No. 108941. July 6, 2000]
On October 20, 1974, Candelaria entered into a three- "Ako si Victoria Dinglasan bilang
year lease agreement over the land with Pio Malabanan tagapamahala ni Isabel Candelaria ay
(hereinafter referred to as "Malabanan"). In the contract, ipinaaryendo kay Reynaldo Bejasa ang
Malabanan agreed among other things: "to clear, clean lupang dating aryendo ni Pio Malabanan sa
and cultivate the land, to purchase or procure calamansi, nasabing Ginang Buhat sa ika-30 ng
citrus and rambutan seeds or seedlings, to attend and Disyembre 1984 hanggang Ika-30 ng
care for whatever plants are thereon existing, to make Disyembre 1985. Ako ay tumanggap sa
the necessary harvest of fruits, etc." [9]
kanya ng pitong libong piso at ito ay
daragdagan pa niya ng walong libong piso
Sometime in 1973, Malabanan hired the Bejasas to plant (P8,000) dito sa katapusan ng buwan ng
on the land and to clear it. The Bejasas claim that they Disyembre 1984.
planted citrus, calamansi, rambutan and banana trees on
the land and shouldered all expenses of production.
(signed) (signed)
On May 3, 1977, Candelaria gave Malabanan a six-year Reynaldo Bejasa Victoria Dingl
usufruct over the land, modifying their first agreement. As
per the agreement, Malabanan was under no obligation
to share the harvests with Candelaria. [10]
"Witness
Sometime in 1983, Malabanan died. "(unintelligible)
On September 21, 1984, Candelaria constituted "(unintelligible)"
respondent Jaime Dinglasan (hereinafter referred to as
"Jaime) as her attorney-in-fact, having powers of During the first week of December 1984, the Bejasas
administration over the disputed land. [11]
paid Victoria P7,000.00 as agreed. The balance of
P8,000.00 was not fully paid. Only the amount of
On October 26, 1984, Candelaria entered into a new P4,000.00 was paid on January 11, 1985. [15]

lease contract over the land with Victoria Dinglasan,


Jaimes wife (hereinafter referred to as "Victoria"). The After the aryenduhan expired, despite Victorias demand
contract had a term of one year. [12]
to vacate the land, the Bejasas continued to stay on the
land and did not give any consideration for its use, be it
On December 30, 1984, the Bejasas agreed to pay in the form of rent or a shared harvest.[16]

Victoria rent of P15,000.00 in consideration of an


"aryenduhan" or "pakyaw na bunga" agreement, with a
[13]
On April 7, 1987, Candelaria and the Dinglasans again
term of one year. The agreement is below quoted: [14]
entered into a three-year lease agreement over the land.
The special power of attorney in favor of Jaime was
[17]
cultivates the same." Second, as bona-fide tenant-
[25]

also renewed by Candelaria on the same date. [18]


tillers, the Bejasas have security of tenure. The lower
[26]

court ruled:
[27]

On April 30, 1987, Jaime filed a complaint before the


Commission on the Settlement of Land Problems "ACCORDINGLY, judgment is hereby
("COSLAP"), Calapan, Oriental Mindoro seeking rendered in favor of the plaintiffs and against
ejectment of the Bejasas. the defendants, as follows:

On May 26, 1987, COSLAP dismissed the complaint. "(1) Ordering the defendants to maintain
plaintiffs in the peaceful possession and
Sometime in June 1987, Jaime filed a complaint with the cultivation of the lands in question and to
Regional Trial Court, Calapan Oriental, Mindoro against [19]
respect plaintiffs security of tenure on the
the Bejasas for "Recovery of possession with preliminary landholdings of Isabel Candelaria and the
mandatory injunction and damages." The case was home lot presently occupied by them;
referred to the Department of Agrarian Reform ("DAR").
"(2) Confirming the leasehold tenancy
On December 28, 1987, the DAR certified that the case system between the plaintiffs as the lawful
was not proper for trial before the civil courts.
[20]
tenant-tillers and the landholder, Isabel
Candelaria, with the same lease rental of
The trial court dismissed Jaimes complaint, including the P20,000.00 per calendar year for the use of
Bejasas counterclaim for leasehold, home lot and the lands in question and thereafter, same
damages. landholdings be placed under the operation
land transfer pursuant to Republic Act No.
On February 15, 1988, the Bejasas filed with the 6657;
Regional Trial Court of Calapan, Oriental Mindoro a
complaint for "confirmation of leasehold and home lot "(3) Ordering the defendants to pay jointly
with recovery of damages." against Isabel Candelaria
[21]
and severally the plaintiffs the amount of
and Jaime Dinglasan. [22]
P115,500.00 representing the sale of
calamansi which were unlawfully gathered by
On February 20, 1991, after trial, the trial court ruled in Jaime Dinglasan and his men for the period
favor of the Bejasas. First, they reasoned that a
[23]
July to December, 1987 and which were
tenancy relationship was established. This relationship
[24]
supported by receipts and duly proven, with
can be created by and between a "person who furnishes formal written accounting, plus the sum of
the landholding as owner, civil law lessee, usufructuary, P346,500.00 representing the would-be
or legal possessor and the person who personally harvests on citrus, calamansi, rambutan and
bananas for the years 1988, 1989 and 1990, sharing of harvest was not proven. The testimony of
with legal rate of interest thereon from the Reynaldo Bejasa on this point is self-serving. Fifth, the
date of the filing of the instant complaint until element of personal cultivation was not proven. Reynaldo
fully paid; Bejasa himself admitted that he hired laborers to clear
and cultivate the land. The Court of Appeals disposed
[34]

"(4) Ordering the defendants to pay plaintiffs of the case, thus:


[35]

jointly and severally the amount of


P30,000.00 as attorneys fee and expenses "WHEREFORE, premises considered, the
of litigation; and judgment appealed from is hereby
REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The
"(5) Authorizing the plaintiffs as tenant- interlocutory order issued on September 5,
farmers to litigate as pauper not only in this 1988 is DISSOLVED and the appellees are
Court but up to the appellate courts in hereby ordered to surrender possession of
accordance with Section 16 of P. D. No. 946. the disputed landholdings to appellant Isabel
Candelaria and pay her the amount of
"SO ORDERED." P15,000.00 in annual rents commencing
from 1986 plus attorneys fees and litigation
On February 20, 1991, respondents filed their notice of expenses of P35,000.00 and costs.
appeal.[28]

"SO ORDERED."
On February 9, 1993, the Court of Appeals promulgated
a decision reversing the trial courts ruling. Hence, this appeal filed on March 3, 1993. [36]

Reasoning: First, not all requisites necessary for a


[29]

leasehold tenancy relationship were met. There was no


[30]
The issue raised is whether there is a tenancy
consent given by the landowner. The consent of former relationship in favor of the Bejasas.
civil law lessee, Malabanan, was not enough to create a
tenancy relationship. Second, when Malabanan
[31]
The elements of a tenancy relationship are: [37]

engaged the services of the Bejasas, he only constituted


them as mere overseers and did not make them (1) the parties are the landowner and the
"permanent tenants". Verily, even Malabanan knew that tenant;
his contract with Candelaria prohibited sublease. Third, [32]

the contract ("aryenduhan") between the Bejasas and (2) the subject is agricultural land;
Victoria, by its very terms, expired after one year. The
contract did not provide for sharing of harvests, means of (3) there is consent;
production, personal cultivation and the like. Fourth,
[33]
(4) the purpose is agricultural production; Candelaria and the Bejasas. Between them, there is no
tenancy relationship. Candelaria as landowner never
(5) there is personal cultivation; and gave her consent.

(6) there is sharing of harvests. The Bejasas admit that prior to 1984, they had no
contact with Candelaria. They acknowledge that
[44]

After examining the three relevant relationships in this Candelaria could argue that she did not know of
case, we find that there is no tenancy relationship Malabanans arrangement with them. True enough
[45]

between the parties. Candelaria disavowed any knowledge that the Bejasas
during Malabanans lease possessed the land.
Malabanan and the Bejasas. True, Malabanan (as However, the Bejasas claim that this defect was cured
[46]

Candelarias usufructuary) allowed the Bejasas to stay on when Candelaria agreed to lease the land to the Bejasas
and cultivate the land. for P20,000.00 per annum, when Malabanan died in
1983. We do not agree. In a tenancy agreement,
[47]

However, even if we assume that he had the authority to consideration should be in the form of harvest
give consent to the creation of a tenancy relation, still, no sharing. Even assuming that Candelaria agreed to lease
such relation existed. it out to the Bejasas for P20,000 per year, such
[48]

agreement did not create a tenancy relationship, but a


There was no proof that they shared the harvests.
mere civil law lease.
Reynaldo Bejasa testified that as consideration for the
Dinglasan and the Bejasas. Even assuming that the
possession of the land, he agreed to deliver the
Dinglasans had the authority as civil law lessees of the
landowners share (1/5 of the harvest) to Malabanan.
land to bind it in a tenancy agreement, there is no proof
Only Reynaldo Bejasas word was presented to prove
[38]

that they did.


this. Even this is cast into suspicion. At one time
Reynaldo categorically stated that 25% of the harvest Again, there was no agreement as to harvest sharing.
went to him, that 25% was for Malabanan and 50% went The only agreement between them is the "aryenduhan",
to the landowner, Candelaria. Later on he stated that
[39]

which states in no uncertain terms the monetary


[49]

the landowners share was merely one fifth. [40]

consideration to be paid, and the term of the contract.


In Chico v. Court of Appeals, we faulted private
[41]

Not all the elements of tenancy being met, we deny the


respondents for failing to prove sharing of harvests since petition.
"no receipt, or any other evidence was presented." We [42]

added that "Self serving statements ... are inadequate; WHEREFORE, we AFFIRM the decision of the Court of
proof must be adduced." [43]
Appeals of February 9, 1993, in toto.
No costs.
On July 15, 1989, respondent Dr. Pedro Zaldivar, as
SO ORDERED. legal possessor[3] of Lot No. 7481-H[4] situated in Mapatag,

PEDRITO SALMORIN, G.R. No. 169691 Hamtic, Antique, entered into an agreement (Kasugtanan)
Petitioner, [5]
with Salmorin designating him as administrator of the lot
Present:
with a monthly salary of P150. Salmorin allegedly did not
PUNO, C.J., Chairperson, comply with the terms of the Kasugtanan when he failed to
CARPIO,
- v e r s u s - CORONA, till the vacant areas.[6] This compelled Zaldivar to terminate
AZCUNA and his services and eject him from the lot. When Salmorin
LEONARDO-DE
CASTRO, JJ. refused to vacate the property, Zaldivar filed a complaint for
unlawful detainer against him in the Municipal Circuit Trial
DR. PEDRO ZALDIVAR,
Respondent. Promulgated: Court (MCTC) of Tobias Fornier-Anini-y-Hamtic. The
complaint was docketed as Civil Case No. 229-H.
July 23, 2008
In his answer, Salmorin alleged the existence of a
x-----------------------------------------
- - - - - - - - - -x tenancy relationship between him and Zaldivar. Thus, he
claimed that the case was an agrarian matter over which the
RESOLUTION MCTC had no jurisdiction.
CORONA, J.:
After an examination of the position papers submitted
In this petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45
by the parties, the MCTC found that the case was in the
of the Rules of Court, petitioner Pedrito Salmorin assails the
nature of an agrarian dispute and dismissed the case for lack
January 31, 2005 decision[1] and September 8, 2005
of jurisdiction.
resolution[2] of the Court of Appeals (CA).
Zaldivar appealed to the Regional Trial Court (RTC) other related agrarian laws, or those cases involving the
of San Jose, Antique which ruled in his favor. The RTC ejectment and dispossession of tenants and/or leaseholders.
[8]
found that the consent of the landowner and sharing of the On the other, Section 33 (2) of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129,
harvest, which were requisites for the existence of a tenancy as amended by Republic Act 7691, provides that exclusive
relationship,[7] did not exist. Thus, it ruled that the MCTC original jurisdiction over cases of forcible entry and
had jurisdiction over the case and ordered the reinstatement unlawful detainer is lodged with the metropolitan trial
of Civil Case No. 229-H. courts, municipal trial courts and MCTCs.

Salmorin appealed the RTC decision to the CA but the It is well-settled that the jurisdiction of a court over
latter upheld the decision of the RTC. He now seeks a the subject matter of the action is determined by the material
reversal of the RTC and CA decisions. allegations of the complaint and the law, irrespective of
whether the plaintiff is entitled to recover all or some of the
Salmorin argues that the regular court had no
claims or reliefs sought therein.[9]
jurisdiction over the case and Zaldivar had no right to
possess the subject property. In his complaint, Zaldivar alleged the following:

We disagree. (1) he possessed the subject lot;


On one hand, the Department of Agrarian Reform (2) he instituted Salmorin as administrator thereof;
Adjudication Board has primary and exclusive jurisdiction (3) Salmorin failed to administer the subject lot by
over agrarian related cases, i.e., rights and obligations of not having the vacant areas thereof planted;
persons, whether natural or juridical, engaged in the (4) for Salmorins failure to administer the subject lot,
management, cultivation and use of all agricultural lands Salmorins service as administrator was
covered by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law and terminated;
(5) he adviced Salmorin through registered mail to
leave or vacate the subject lot and Contrary to the findings of the MCTC, both the RTC
(6) Salmorin refused to vacate the subject lot without and the CA found that there was no tenancy relationship
justification. between Salmorin and Zaldivar. A tenancy relationship
cannot be presumed.[11] In Saul v. Suarez, [12] we held:
Thus, Zaldivars complaint concerned the unlawful
There must be evidence to prove the tenancy
detainer by Salmorin of the subject lot. This matter is
relations such that all its indispensable elements
properly within the jurisdiction of the regular courts. The must be established, to wit: (1) the parties are the
landowner and the tenant; (2) the subject is
allegation of tenancy in Salmorins answer did not agricultural land; (3) there is consent by the
automatically deprive the MCTC of its jurisdiction. landowner; (4) the purpose is agricultural
production; (5) there is personal cultivation; and
In Hilado et al. v. Chavez et al.,[10] we ruled: (6) there is sharing of the harvests. All these
requisites are necessary to create tenancy
[T]hat the jurisdiction of the court over the relationship, and the absence of one or more
nature of the action and the subject matter requisites will not make the alleged tenant a de
thereof cannot be made to depend upon the facto tenant.
defenses set up in the court or upon a motion
to dismiss. Otherwise, the question of
jurisdiction would depend almost entirely on the All these elements must concur. It is not enough that
defendant. xxx The [MTCC] does not lose its
jurisdiction over an ejectment case by the simple they are alleged. To divest the MCTC of jurisdiction, these
expedient of a party raising as defense therein the elements must all be shown to be present.[13]
alleged existence of a tenancy relationship
between the parties. But it is the duty of the court
to receive evidence to determine the allegations Tenancy is a legal relationship established by the
of tenancy. If after hearing, tenancy had in fact
existence of particular facts as required by law. In this case,
been shown to be the real issue, the court should
dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction. the RTC and CA correctly found that the third and sixth
(emphasis supplied; citations omitted)
elements, namely, consent of the landowner and sharing of
the secretary of agrarian reform (or of an
the harvests, respectively, were absent. We find no
authorized representative) concerning the
compelling reason to disturb the factual findings of the RTC presence or the absence of a tenancy relationship
between the contending parties; hence, such
and the CA. certifications do not bind the judiciary.

The fact alone of working on another's landholding


We note that agricultural share tenancy was declared
does not raise a presumption of the existence of agricultural
contrary to public policy and, thus, abolished by the passage
tenancy.[14] There must be substantial evidence on record
of RA 3844, as amended. Share tenancy exists:
adequate to prove the element of sharing. Moreover,
in Rivera v. Santiago,[15] we stressed: [W]henever two persons agree on a joint
[T]hat it is not unusual for a landowner to receive undertaking for agricultural production wherein
the produce of the land from a caretaker who one party furnishes the land and the other his
sows thereon. The fact of receipt, without an labor, with either or both contributing any one or
agreed system of sharing, does not ipso several of the items of production, the tenant
facto create a tenancy. cultivating the land personally with the aid of
labor available from members of his immediate
farm household, and the produce thereof to be
Salmorins attempt to persuade us by way of a divided between the landholder and the tenant. [17]

certification coming from the Barangay Agrarian Reform


Committee attesting that he was a bona fide tenant of In alleging that he is a tenant of Zaldivar, Salmorin (in

Zaldivar deserves scant consideration. Certifications issued his affidavit dated April 26, 2000)[18] relates that their

by municipal agrarian reform officers are not binding on the arrangement was for him to do all the cultivation and that

courts. This rule was articulated in Bautista v. Mag-isa vda. the expenses therefore will be deducted from the harvest.

de Villena: [16] The rest of the harvest will be divided equally between
himself and Zaldivar. If Salmorins version was to be
In a given locality, merely preliminary or
provisional are the certifications or findings of believed, their arrangement was clearly one of agricultural
Azcuna, JJ.
share tenancy. For being contrary to law, Salmorins assertion
LEO B. SAUL, ROGER S. BRILLO,
should not be given merit. EFRAIN S. BRILLO, ELENO S. Promulgated:
BRILLO and IGNACIO G. PELAEZ,
Respondents. October 20, 2005
Since the MCTC has jurisdiction over Civil Case No.
229-H, we will refrain from discussing the right of Zaldivar x
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
to possess Lot No. 7481-H as it is more correctly the subject
--------------- x
of the appropriate action in the trial court.
DECISION
WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DENIED. The
January 31, 2005 and September 8, 2005 resolution of the YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.:
Court of Appeals are AFFIRMED. Civil Case No. 229-H is
hereby REINSTATED. The case is REMANDED to the This petition assails the August 31, 2004 Decision of the
Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 71516 affirming in full
Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Tobias Fornier-Anini-y- the December 14, 2000 DARAB Decision in DARAB Case
Hamtic which is directed to proceed with and finish the case No. 5468; as well as its January 6, 2005 Resolution denying
as expeditiously as possible. petitioners motion for reconsideration.

Petitioner Domingo C. Suarez owns a 23-hectare agricultural


Costs against petitioner.
land in Sitio Spring, Poblacion Tboli, South Cotabato
registered under OCT No. (P-31540) P-11967.[1]On August
SO ORDERED. 8, 1995, a complaint for reinstatement with preliminary
DOMINGO C. SUAREZ, G.R. No. 166664 mandatory injunction, recovery of possession and
Petitioner, damages[2] was filed against him and Tboli Agro-Industrial
Present:
Development, Inc. (TADI) before the Office of the
Davide, Jr., C.J. (Chairman),
- versus - Quisumbing, Provincial Adjudicator, Department of Agrarian Reform
Ynares-Santiago, Adjudicatory Board (DARAB), by respondents Leo B. Saul,
Carpio, and
Roger S. Brillo, Efrain S. Brillo, Eleno S. Brillo and Ignacio For its part, TADI claimed that its growers contract with
G. Pelaez. petitioner covered parcels of land different from those being
claimed by respondents.[7]
Respondents alleged that they were agricultural tenants in
petitioners land on a 25-75 sharing agreement; that after two In due course, the Regional Adjudicator issued an
[8]
croppings, petitioner voluntarily offered the land for sale to Order dated July 18, 1996 dismissing the complaint for
the government under a Voluntary Offer to Sell (VOS) dated lack of merit. The adjudicator found that respondents failed
February 20, 1993;[3] that they signed the documents for the to prove their alleged tenancy over petitioners land. While
transfer of the land under the Comprehensive Agrarian they were identified as potential farmer-beneficiaries of the
Reform Program (CARP) as farmer-beneficiaries, and land subject of the VOS, they only have an inchoate right to
petitioner, as landowner; and that the sale was approved by the land since its coverage under the CARP has yet to be
the local Land Valuation Office of the Land Bank of the completed.[9]
Philippines (LBP).
On appeal, the DARAB Central Office rendered a
Respondents claimed that while the VOS was being Decision[10] reversing the Regional Adjudicator. It observed
processed, they were summarily ejected from the property that petitioner admitted that respondents were his tenants. It
by TADI after the latter entered into a Grower Agreement further held that:
with Contract to Buy[4] with petitioner thereby depriving
them of their landholdings. ... it is in fact immaterial whether the subject
landholding is covered by the alleged growers
contract or not. What is clear in the instant case is
Petitioner filed an Answer contending that respondents were
the fact that herein appellants were illegally
installed as tenants, not by him, but by Wennie [5] Gonzaga of ejected from their respective tenanted lands. If
the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Koronadal, indeed the subject land is not covered by the
South Cotabato. He admitted that he voluntarily offered his growers contract, if theres any, the act of
land for sale to the government under the CARP but denied defendant-appellee TADI in ejecting the tenants-
knowledge of the certification issued by the LBP. He denied appellants was beyond authority, hence, illegal.
the existence of a growers contract between him and TADI Assuming arguendo that the subject landholding
is truly covered in the said contract, the
over the subject land.[6] contracting parties are required under the law to
respect the tenurial rights of the tenants therein. [11]
The DARAB thus disposed: Petitioner contends that there is no basis in holding
that respondents were his tenants. He denies having admitted
WHEREFORE, the appealed Order is hereby that they were his tenants, and insists that there is no proof
SET ASIDE and a NEW JUDGMENT is to prove the existence of tenancy relations. He asserts that he
rendered:
did not eject respondents from their landholdings by entering
1. Declaring the plaintiffs-appellants as into a growers contract over the subject land with TADI.
bona fide tenants of the subject landholding;
Indeed, there is nothing in the records to suggest that
2. Ordering the MARO and other concerned respondents were petitioners bona fide tenants prior to their
DAR Officers to determine the disturbance designation by the DAR as potential farmer-beneficiaries
compensation from the time of actual ejectment under the CARP. There is no evidence to prove tenancy
of herein plaintiffs-appellants until the time of
actual reinstatement, after the last harvest of arrangement between petitioner and respondents before the
pineapple, to be awarded to herein plaintiffs- formers voluntary offer to convey the land to the
appellants; and government.

3. Ordering the reinstatement of herein plaintiff- In holding that respondents were bona fide tenants of
appellants in their respective original petitioner, the DARAB and the appellate court
landholdings after harvest.
relied solely on the alleged admission in petitioners answer
SO ORDERED.[12] to the complaint, to wit:
Petitioner elevated the matter to the Court of Appeals which,
3. Defendant admits the averments in paragraph
on August 31, 2004, rendered a Decision affirming the
IV of the complaint.[15]
DARAB.[13] Upon denial of the motion for reconsideration,
[14]
petitioner filed the instant petition.
The fourth paragraph of the complaint states:
The issues for resolution are: (a) whether respondents 4. That plaintiffs were instituted sometime in
are bona fide agricultural tenants under the law; and (b) 1993 and were given three (3) hectares each
whether petitioner illegally ejected respondents from their respectively, while for plaintiff Roger Brillo was
landholdings. given 2 hectares; the sharing of the parties
involved was 25-75 in favor of the tenants; after must be established, to wit: (1) the parties are the landowner
for two croppings defendant D. Suarez and the tenant; (2) the subject is agricultural land; (3) there
approached and offered the land by Voluntary
is consent by the landowner; (4) the purpose is agricultural
Offer to Sale (VOS) last November 1993 in our
favor (plaintiffs-tenants) and the papers for VOS production; (5) there is personal cultivation; and (6) there is
was processed in the office of Department [of] sharing of the harvests. All these requisites are necessary to
Agrarian Reform (DAR) Koronadal, South create tenancy relationship, and the absence of one or more
Cotabato;[16] requisites will not make the alleged tenant a de facto tenant.
We find that the above admission was taken out of
context. While petitioner admitted that respondents were The DARABs reliance on the ruling in Tizon v.
tenants in the land, he qualified in paragraph 2 of his answer Cabagon, et al.[18] that the landowners admission of the fact
that it was Wennie Gonzaga of the DAR who installed them of tenancy relationship is conclusive is misplaced. In Tizon,
as such. Clearly, it was the DAR who placed respondents in there was actual proof of tenancy relationship as the
actual possession of the land upon petitioners offer to landowner therein categorically admitted in the petition that
transfer the same to the government. Other than this respondents were her tenants. She also testified in open court
supposed admission, there is no evidence on record to prove that respondents were managing or in charge of the lands.
the tenancy relations. Respondents did not substantiate their Respondents therein proved actual cultivation and there was
claim with evidence to show that they were agricultural sharing of harvests.
tenants in petitioners land. They did not allege actual
cultivation or specify the crop produced thereby. Neither did On the contrary, there is no independent evidence in
they mention how much of the produce was delivered to this case to prove any of the requisites of a tenancy
petitioner or submit receipts to prove the purported 25-75 relationship. The DARAB and the appellate court merely
sharing of harvests. They did not state, much less prove, the relied on petitioners alleged admission which we have
circumstances of their agreement with petitioner as to the disregarded.
alleged tenancy relationship. Thus, there is no basis to the
claim that they are agricultural tenants on the property. Even assuming that a tenancy relationship exists
between petitioner and respondents, we find that the latter
In VHJ Construction and Development Corporation v. has no cause of action against petitioner. It should be noted
Court of Appeals,[17]we held that a tenancy relationship that the complaint for ejectment was brought against
cannot be presumed. There must be evidence to prove the petitioner based on the growers contract he had executed
tenancy relations such that all its indispensable elements with TADI.[19] Respondents alleged that petitioner deprived
them of their landholdings by entering into a growers Thus, it was error for the appellate court to affirm DARABs
contract, thereby allowing TADI to plant pineapples in conclusion that it is immaterial whether the subject
respondents lands. However, an examination of the contract landholding is covered by the alleged growers contract or
reveals that it pertains to other lands and not the land being not. It is, in every sense, material to the determination of the
claimed by respondents. case because petitioner is sought to be held liable for
respondents ejectment due allegedly to the contract. If the
Petitioners application for VOS covers the land that disputed land is not the subject of the contract, as in fact it is
respondents are claiming as their landholdings and measures not, then respondents cannot claim that petitioner illegally
13.9269 hectares, and is covered by OCT No. (P-31540) P- ejected them from the land. Consequently, they have no
11967.[20] The tax declaration and sketch plan describe the cause of action against petitioner, since the latter did not
lot as Cadastral Lot No. 111-B, Pls-555, and bounded on the commit any act that resulted in their dispossession.
northeast by Lot Nos. 108 and 105; on the southeast by Lot
No. 114; on the southwest by Lot Nos. 112 and 113; and on Respondents cause of action is against TADI as it is the
the northwest by Lot No. 111-A.[21] latter who allegedly planted pineapples in the land occupied
by respondents, when it is clear that its contract with
On the other hand, the lands subject of the growers petitioner covered different lots. The DARAB itself
contract between petitioner and TADI are Lot No. 117, Pls- observed that (i)f indeed the subject land is not covered by
555[22] covered by TCT No. T-26810, Lot No. 119-E, Psd- the growers contract ..., the act of defendant-appellee TADI
017487[23] covered by TCT No. T-41460[24] and Lot No. 119- in ejecting the tenants-appellants was beyond authority,
F, Psd-11-017487[25] covered by TCT No. T-41461.[26] hence, illegal.[27] Respondents should have thus brought the
action only against TADI who alone caused their expulsion
It is clear therefore that the subject matter of the growers from the land in question.
contract did not include the land subject of the VOS. Thus,
petitioner could not have caused respondents ejectment from In this regard, respondents should have filed the instant case
the subject property by virtue of his transactions with TADI, before the regular courts and not the DARAB considering
since he never authorized the latter to plant on the subject that the only act complained of by respondents is TADIs
land. Respondents ejectment from the land was not pursuant alleged intrusion into the subject land. Thus, respondents
to the contract petitioner had entered into with TADI who cause of action is actually one for forcible entry. The
appears to have entered the land without petitioners consent. allegation that they were deprived of their landholdings due
to the growers contract will not automatically make the case
an agrarian dispute that would call for the application of acquired through, or waived by, any act or omission of the
tenancy laws and the assumption of jurisdiction by the parties. Neither would the active participation of the parties
DARAB.[28] nor estoppeloperate to confer jurisdiction on the DARAB
In order for a dispute to fall under the jurisdiction of where the latter has none over a cause of action.[33]
the DARAB, the controversy must relate to tenurial
arrangements, whether leasehold, tenancy, stewardship or WHEREFORE, the instant petition is GRANTED.
otherwise, over lands devoted to agriculture, including The DARAB Decision dated December 14, 2000 in DARAB
disputes concerning farmworkers associations or Case No. 5468 and the Court of Appeals Decision dated
representation of persons in negotiating, fixing, maintaining, August 31, 2004 in CA-G.R. SP No. 71516, as well as its
changing or seeking to arrange terms or conditions of such Resolution dated January 6, 2005, are ANNULLED and
tenurial arrangements.[29] There must be a tenancy SET ASIDE. The complaint in DARAB Case No. XI-249-
relationship between the party litigants for the DARAB to SC-95 is hereby DISMISSED.
validly take cognizance of a controversy.[30]
SO ORDERED.
In this case, there is no showing that there exists a
[G.R. NO. 169589 : June 16, 2009]
tenancy relationship between petitioner and respondents.
Likewise, respondents have no tenancy relationship with JOAQUIN SOLIMAN, LAZARO ALMARIO, ISIDRO ALMARIO, BALDOMERO
ALMARIO, DEMETRIO SOLIMAN, ROMEO ABARIN, ERNESTO TAPANG
TADI, against whom they principally have a cause of action. and CRISOSTOMO ABARIN,Petitioners, v. PAMPANGA SUGAR
DEVELOPMENT COMPANY (PASUDECO), INC. and GERRY
The controversy is civil in nature since it involves the issue RODRIGUEZ, Respondents.
of material possession, independent of any question
DECISION
pertaining to agricultural tenancy. Hence, the case falls
outside the jurisdiction of DARAB; it is cognizable by the NACHURA, J.:

regular courts.[31] Before this Court is a Petition1 for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the
Rules of Civil Procedure seeking the reversal of the Court of Appeals (CA)
Decision2 dated April 12, 2005 which reversed the Decision3
Though the parties do not challenge DARABs
of the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) dated
jurisdiction, the Court may motu proprio consider the issue January 15, 2004 and reinstated the Decision4 of the Provincial Agrarian
of jurisdiction. The Court has discretion to determine Reform Adjudicator (PARAD) of San Fernando, Pampanga dated August 16,
1995.
whether DARAB validly acquired jurisdiction over the case
since jurisdiction over the subject matter is conferred only The Facts

by law.[32] Jurisdiction over the subject matter cannot be


The respondents recount the antecedents, as follows: with an area of 0.400 hectare;20 and (7) Ernesto Tapang with an area of .6500
hectare.21 A Certification22dated December 28, 1989 was also issued by the
The property subject of this case is situated at Cabalantian, Bacolor, Samahang Nayon in favor of petitioner Joaquin Soliman with respect to the
Pampanga, with an area of ten (10) hectares, more or less, previously covered remaining area of 1.5 hectares. Likewise, on December 28, 1989, the Barangay
by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. 70829-R (subject property) and Chairperson of Macabacle, Bacolor, Pampanga, certified that the eight (8)
formerly owned by one Dalmacio Sicat (Dalmacio). petitioners had been the actual tenant-tillers of the subject property from 1970
up to the present,23 and that petitioner Baldomero Almario (Baldomero) was
issued Certificate of Land Transfer (CLT) No. 0-04346624 with an area of
On December 2, 1969, Dalmacio offered to sell the subject property to 3.2185 hectares on July 22, 1981.
respondent Pampanga Sugar Development Company (PASUDECO), a domestic
corporation engaged in sugar milling, to be used as a housing complex for
PASUDECO's laborers and employees. The land was offered for sale at the price The Ocular Inspection and the Investigation Report 25 issued by the Municipal
of P8.00 per square meter.5 On January 26, 1970, Dalmacio reduced the price Agrarian Reform Officer (MARO) on March 13, 1990 showed that since 1970,
to P5.00 per square meter.6 In a meeting held on April 15, 1970, the Board of petitioners cultivated the subject property, allegedly managed by the late
Directors of PASUDECO issued Board Resolution No. 0577 authorizing the respondent Gerry Rodriguez (Gerry), manager of PASUDECO from 1970-1991.
purchase of the subject property at P4.00 per square meter. Petitioners alleged that in 1970, Gerry made one Ciriaco Almario (Ciriaco) his
overseer/caretaker, tasked to collect lease rentals from petitioners. In turn,
Ciriaco remitted the rentals to Gerry. On May 14, 1990, Ciriaco certified that
On May 22, 1970, Dalmacio and his tenants8 jointly filed a Petition9 with the petitioners were the actual tenant-tillers of the subject property. 26 Moreover,
then Court of Agrarian Relations (CAR), San Fernando, Pampanga, seeking petitioners deposited their alleged rentals with the Land Bank of the Philippines
approval of the voluntary surrender of the subject property with payment of (LBP) in San Fernando, Pampanga, as land amortizations, in varying amounts,
disturbance compensation. On the same date, the CAR rendered from 1989

a Decision,10 approving the voluntary surrender of the subject property by the to 1993, as shown by the official receipts issued by LBP.27 Thus, petitioners
tenants to Dalmacio, thus, terminating their tenancy relationship effective May averred that from 1970 up to 1990 or for a period of almost twenty (20) years,
21, 1970, the date when the parties entered into the agreement. they had been in actual and peaceful possession and cultivation of the subject
property.
On May 22, 1970, a Deed11 of Sale with Mortgage was executed between
Dalmacio and PASUDECO. Thereafter, the documents needed for the The real controversy arose when PASUDECO decided to pursue the
conversion of the land to residential purposes were prepared, such as the development of the property into a housing project for its employees in the
subdivision layout with specifications as to the size of each lot; topographic latter part of April 1990. On May 14, 1990, petitioners filed a Complaint 28 for
survey; monumenting of all corners of the subdivision lots; and approval of the Maintenance of Peaceful Possession with a Prayer for the issuance of a
plan including the technical description of the land. "No trespassing" signs were Preliminary Injunction against Gerry before the PARAD to restrain him from
also installed around the premises. Thus, on May 31, 1974, TCT Nos. 110325- harassing and molesting petitioners in their respective landholdings. Petitioners
R,12 110326-R13 and 110327-R14 were registered in favor of PASUDECO. alleged that Gerry, together with armed men, entered the property and
However, due to financial setbacks suffered after the imposition of Martial Law destroyed some of their crops. Traversing the complaint, Gerry raised as one of
in 1972, PASUDECO deferred the construction of the housing project. his defenses the fact that PASUDECO was the owner of the subject property.
PASUDECO averred that no person was authorized to occupy and/or cultivate Thus, on November 26, 1990, petitioners filed their Amended
the subject property. Complaint29 impleading PASUDECO as a party-defendant. Meanwhile,
PASUDECO asserted that petitioners were not tenants but merely interlopers,
On the other hand, the petitioners have a totally different version. usurpers and/or intruders into the subject property.

Petitioners Joaquin Soliman, Lazaro Almario, Isidro Almario, Baldomero Trial on the merits ensued. In the process, the PARAD conducted an ocular
Almario, Demetrio Soliman, Romeo Abarin, Ernesto Tapang and Crisostomo inspection and found that the subject property was planted with palay
Abarin (petitioners) claimed that, sometime in November 1970, they started measuring one (1) foot high. There were also several dikes or pilapil dividing
working on the subject property with a corresponding area of tillage, as the subject property. The PARAD also observed that there was a big sign
certified to by the Barangay Agrarian Reform Committee (BARC) on December installed therein, reading "Future Site of PASUDECO Employees Housing
6, 1989, to wit: (1) Lazaro Almario with an area of 1.65 hectares; 15 (2) Project."30
Demetrio Soliman with an area of 1.70 hectares;16 (3) Crisostomo Abarin with
an area of 1.10 hectares;17 (4) Baldomero Almario with an area of 1.5 The PARAD's Ruling
hectares;18 (5) Isidro Almario with an area of 1.5 hectares;19 (6) Romeo Abarin
On August 16, 1995, the PARAD dismissed petitioners' complaint and denied The CA's Ruling
their application for the writ of preliminary injunction. The PARAD held that
petitioners had not shown direct and convincing proof that they were tenants On April 12, 2005, the CA reversed the DARAB's ruling and reinstated the
of the subject property. Petitioners could not show any receipt proving PARAD's decision. The CA held that, while the subject property was
payment of lease rentals either to PASUDECO or Gerry. In addition to the agricultural, there was no tenancy relationship between the parties, express or
absence of sharing, the PARAD ruled that there was no consent given by implied. The CA concurred in the findings of the PARAD and found no credible
PASUDECO in order to create a tenancy relationship in favor of the petitioners. evidence to support the contention that petitioners were de jure tenants
inasmuch as the elements of consent and sharing were absent. Citing these
Aggrieved, petitioners filed a Notice of Appeal with the DARAB on September 7, Court's rulings in Hilario v. Intermediate Appellate Court38 and Bernas v. Court
1995 on the following grounds: (a) that the PARAD abused its discretion by of Appeals,39 the CA reiterated that tenancy is not merely a factual relationship
ignoring or disregarding evidence which, if considered, would result in a but also a legal relationship; hence, the fact that PASUDECO, being the owner
decision favorable to the petitioners; and (b) that there were errors in the of the subject property, was uninvolved in and oblivious to petitioners'
findings of fact from which equally erroneous conclusions were drawn, which, if cultivation thereof, tenancy relations did not exist. Thus, the CA concluded that
not corrected on appeal, would cause grave and irreparable damage or injury in the absence of any tenancy relationship between the parties, the case was
to the petitioners. outside the jurisdiction of the DARAB.

While the case was pending resolution before the DARAB, the subject property Petitioners filed their Motion for Reconsideration,40 which was denied by the CA
was devastated by lahar due to the eruption of Mount Pinatubo sometime in in its Resolution41dated August 3, 2005.
October 1995. As a result, the farming activities on the subject property
ceased. Shortly thereafter, PASUDECO fenced the subject property and placed Hence, the instant Petition assigning the following errors:
additional signs thereon, indicating that the same was private property. 31 At
present, the subject property is unoccupied and uncultivated. 32
I. The Honorable Court of Appeals failed to appreciate the facts of the case
when it ruled that the occupation of the petitioners of the subject lot was
The DARAB's Ruling without the consent of the respondents, express or implied.

On January 15, 2004, the DARAB rendered its Decision in favor of the II. The Honorable Court of Appeals erred in applying the principles laid down in
petitioners, reversing the findings and conclusions of the PARAD. The DARAB the cases of Hilario v. [Intermediate Appellate Court]and Bernas v. Court of
held that, without the approval of the conversion application filed by Appeals and [in] consequently ruling that there is no tenancy relation between
PASUDECO, it could not be substantiated that the subject property was indeed the parties.
residential property intended for housing purposes. Because of this, and the
fact that petitioners tilled the subject property for almost twenty (20) years,
the same remained agricultural in character. Moreover, the DARAB held that, III. The Honorable Court of Appeals failed to appreciate the provision[s] of
contrary to the findings of the PARAD, the elements of consent and sharing Section 5[,] Republic Act No. 3844 which provides for the establishment of
were present in this case. The DARAB, citing Section 5 of Republic Act (R.A.) agricultural leasehold relation by mere operation of law.
No. 3844,33ratiocinated that petitioners entered the subject property in 1970
upon the request of Ciriaco who, with the consent of Gerry as manager of IV. The Honorable Court of Appeals erred when it ruled that the instant case
PASUDECO, was authorized to look for people to cultivate the subject property. [does] not fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Agrarian Reform
Petitioners cultivated the same and shared their harvests with PASUDECO, Adjudication [Board].42
received by Gerry through Ciriaco. Later on, when Gerry refused to accept their
lease rentals, petitioners deposited the money with LBP. The DARAB opined
This submission boils down to the sole issue of whether petitioners are de jure
that these pieces of evidence established the fact of consent and sharing. While tenants of the subject property.
express consent was not given, the fact that Gerry accepted the lease rentals
for a considerable number of years signified an implied consent which, in turn,
bound PASUDECO. Our Ruling

PASUDECO filed a Motion for Reconsideration34 which was, however, denied by The instant Petition is bereft of merit.
the DARAB in its Resolution35 dated May 21, 2004. Thus, PASUDECO went to
the CA for recourse.36 However, some of the records were found missing, as Tenants are defined as persons who - in themselves and with the aid available
certified by the DARAB on June 22, 2004.37 from within their immediate farm households - cultivate 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 SEC. 5. Establishment of Agricultural Leasehold Relation. - The agricultural
paying to the landholder a price certain or ascertainable in produce or money leasehold relation shall be established by operation of law in accordance with
or both under the leasehold tenancy system.43 Section four of this Code and, in other cases, either orally or in writing,
expressly or impliedly. ςηαñrοblεš νιr� υαl lαω lιbrαrÿ

Based on the foregoing definition of a tenant, entrenched in jurisprudence are


the following essential elements of tenancy: 1) the parties are the landowner The pronouncement of the DARAB that there is, in this case, tenancy by
and the tenant or agricultural lessee; 2) the subject matter of the relationship operation of law under Section 5 of R.A. No. 3844 is not correct. In Reyes v.
is an agricultural land; 3) there is consent between the parties to the Reyes,47 we held:
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 Under R.A. 3844, two modes are provided for in the establishment of an
agricultural lessee; and 6) the harvest is shared between landowner and tenant agricultural leasehold relation: (1) by operation of law in accordance with
or agricultural lessee.44 The presence of all these elements must be proved by Section 4 of the said act; or (2) by oral or written agreement, either express or
substantial evidence. Unless a person has established his status as a de jure implied.
tenant, he is not entitled to security of tenure and is not covered by the Land
Reform Program of the Government under existing tenancy laws. 45 Tenancy
relationship cannot be presumed. Claims that one is a tenant do not By operation of law simply means the abolition of the agricultural share
automatically give rise to security of tenure.46 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.
Pertinent are Sections 4 and 5 of Republic Act No. 3844 as amended, which
provide:
Rather, consistent with the parties' assertions, what we have here is an alleged
case of tenancy by implied consent. As such, crucial for the creation of tenancy
SEC. 4. Abolition of Agricultural Share Tenancy. - Agricultural share tenancy, relations would be the existence of two of the essential elements, namely,
as herein defined, is hereby declared to be contrary to public policy and shall consent and sharing and/or payment of lease rentals.
be abolished: Provided, That existing share tenancy contracts may continue in
force and effect in any region or locality, to be governed in the meantime by
the pertinent provisions of Republic Act Numbered Eleven hundred and ninety- After a meticulous review of the records, we find that the elements of consent
nine, as amended, until the end of the agricultural year when the National Land and sharing and/or payment of lease rentals are absent in this case.
Reform Council proclaims that all the government machineries and agencies in
that region or locality relating to leasehold envisioned in this Code are Tenancy relationship can only be created with the consent of the true and
operating, unless such contracts provide for a shorter period or the tenant lawful landholder who is either the owner, lessee, usufructuary or legal
sooner exercises his option to elect the leasehold system: Provided, further, possessor of the property, and not through the acts of the supposed landholder
That in order not to jeopardize international commitments, lands devoted to who has no right to the property subject of the tenancy. To rule otherwise
crops covered by marketing allotments shall be made the subject of a separate would allow collusion among the unscrupulous to the prejudice of the true and
proclamation that adequate provisions, such as the organization of lawful landholder.48 As duly found by the PARAD and the CA, Gerry was not
cooperatives, marketing agreements, or other similar workable arrangements, authorized to enter into a tenancy relationship with the petitioners. In fact,
have been made to insure efficient management on all matters requiring there is no proof that he, indeed, entered into one. Other than their bare
synchronization of the agricultural with the processing phases of such crops: assertions, petitioners rely on the certification of Ciriaco who, likewise, failed to
Provided, furthermore, That where the agricultural share tenancy contract has substantiate his claim that Gerry authorized him to select individuals and install
ceased to be operative by virtue of this Code, or where such a tenancy contract them as tenants of the subject property. Absent substantial evidence showing
has been entered into in violation of the provisions of this Code and is, Ciriaco's authority from PASUDECO, or even from Gerry, to give consent to the
therefore, null and void, and the tenant continues in possession of the land for creation of a tenancy relationship, his actions could not give rise to an implied
cultivation, there shall be presumed to exist a leasehold relationship under the tenancy.49 ςηαñrοblεš νιr� υαl lαω lιbrαrÿ

provisions of this Code, without prejudice to the right of the landowner and the
former tenant to enter into any other lawful contract in relation to the land Likewise, the alleged sharing and/or payment of lease rentals was not
formerly under tenancy contract, as long as in the interim the security of
substantiated other than by the deposit-payments with the LBP, which
tenure of the former tenant under Republic Act Numbered Eleven hundred and petitioners characterized as amortizations. We cannot close our eyes to the
ninety-nine, as amended, and as provided in this Code, is not impaired:
absence of any proof of payment prior to the deposit-payments with LBP. Not a
Provided, finally, That if a lawful leasehold tenancy contract was entered into single receipt was ever issued by Gerry, duly acknowledging payment of these
prior to the effectivity of this Code, the rights and obligations arising therefrom
rentals from Ciriaco who, allegedly, personally collected the same from the
shall continue to subsist until modified by the parties in accordance with the petitioners. Notably, the fact of working on another's landholding, standing
provisions of this Code.
alone, does not raise a presumption of the existence of agricultural tenancy. First, there is no credible evidence to show that the alleged caretaker, Ciriaco
Substantial evidence necessary to establish the fact of sharing cannot be Almario, was designated by PASUDECO or its manager, Gerry Rodriguez, to
satisfied by a mere scintilla of evidence; there must be concrete evidence on facilitate the cultivation of the property. There is likewise no evidence to
record adequate to prove the element of sharing. Thus, to prove sharing of suggest that the respondents ever dealt directly with and acted upon the
harvests, a receipt or any other credible evidence must be presented, because instruction of PASUDECO with respect to the cultivation of the property.
self-serving statements are inadequate.50
Second, it is indeed inconceivable, as petitioner claims, for the respondents to
The certifications attesting to petitioners' alleged status as de jure tenants are allow petitioners to work on the property considering that before its purchase,
insufficient. In a given locality, the certification issued by the Secretary of the prior owner, Dalmacio Sicat, sought for the voluntary surrender of the
Agrarian Reform or an authorized representative, like the MARO or the BARC, landholding agreement with the previous tenants of the property so that the
concerning the presence or the absence of a tenancy relationship between the same can be sold to PASUDECO free from tenancy. This proves to be true
contending parties, is considered merely preliminary or provisional, hence, considering that it is undisputed that the subject property was offered for sale
such certification does not bind the judiciary.51 by Dalmacio Sicat to the petitioner in order for the latter to build its low cost
housing project thereon.
The onus rests on the petitioners to prove their affirmative allegation of
tenancy, which they failed to discharge with substantial evidence. Simply put, Third, the certifications issued by Isidro S. Almario as BARC Chairman of
he who makes an affirmative allegation of an issue has the burden of proving Agdiman, Bacolor, Pampanga to the effect that respondents were actually
the same, and in the case of the plaintiff in a civil case, the burden of proof cultivating he subject property deserves scant consideration. Said certifications
never parts. The same rule applies to administrative cases. In fact, if the can easily be considered as self-serving since the issuing officer is himself one
complainant, upon whom rests the burden of proving his cause of action, fails of the respondents who claimed to be tenants of the subject property and it is
to show in a satisfactory manner the facts upon which he bases his claim, the quite natural for him not to declare anything which is adverse to his interest.
respondent is under no obligation to prove his exception or defense. 52 The same scant consideration can also be accorded to the certification issued
by the Barangay Captain of Macabacle, Bacolor, Pampanga, As it was held in
Petitioners' assertion that they were allowed to cultivate the subject property Esquivel v. Reyes [G.R. No. 152957, September 8, 2003, 410 SCRA 404].
without opposition, does not mean that PASUDECO impliedly recognized the Obviously, the barangay captain - or the mayor whose attestation appears on
existence of a leasehold relation. Occupancy and continued possession of the the document - was not the proper authority to make such determination. Even
land will not ipso facto make one a de jure tenant, because the principal factor certifications issued by administrative agencies and/or officials
in determining whether a tenancy relationship exists is intent. 53 This much we
said in VHJ Construction and Development Corporation v. Court of concerning the presence or the absence of a tenancy relationship are merely
Appeals,54 where we held that: preliminary or provisional and are not binding on the courts.

Indeed, a tenancy relationship cannot be presumed. There must be evidence to xxx


prove this allegation. The principal factor in determining whether a tenancy
relationship exists is intent. Tenancy is not a purely factual relationship Not a single piece of traceable evidence was shown by respondents when and
dependent on what the alleged tenant does upon the land. It is also a legal how much are the rental payments that they supposedly paid before 1988. In
relationship. As we ruled in Chico v. Court of Appeals[347 SCRA 35 (2000)]: fact, they neither mentioned the terms and conditions of their oral tenancy
agreement, i.e. kind of agricultural crops to be planted, if indeed it existed; nor
"Each of the elements hereinbefore mentioned is essential to create a de jure did they mention that such payments were made in the form of harvest sharing
leasehold or tenancy relationship between the parties. This de jure relationship, equivalent to a certain percentage agreed upon by the parties. While there
in turn, is the terra firma for a security of tenure between the landlord and the were indeed payments made with the Land Bank of the Philippines in varying
tenant. The leasehold relationship is not brought about by a mere congruence amounts starting 1988 and thereafter, it cannot be ignored that such payments
of facts but, being a legal relationship, the mutual will of the parties to that were precipitated only by PASUDECO's resistance of respondents' presence in
relationship should be primordial." the subject property. Thus, we concede to the Adjudicator a quo's finding that
said payment was made only as afterthought.55
Thus, the intent of the parties, the understanding when the farmer is installed,
and their written agreements, provided these are complied with and are not Finally, the long period of petitioners' alleged cultivation of the subject property
contrary to law, are even more important. cannot give rise to equitable estoppel. It should be remembered that estoppel
in pais, or equitable estoppel arises when one, by his acts, representations or
Thus, we agree with the following findings of the CA: admissions or by his silence when he ought to speak out, intentionally or
through culpable negligence, induces another to believe certain facts to exist
and the other rightfully relies and acts on such beliefs so that he will be THE TENANCY CRISIS IN THE PHILIPPINES is not
prejudiced if the former is permitted to deny the existence of such facts. The
real office of the equitable norm of estoppel is limited to supplying deficiency in just of recent vintage. History is replete with instances
the law, but it should not supplant positive law. The elements for the existence where tenant-farmers, relegated to a life of perpetual
of a tenancy relationship are explicit in the law and these elements cannot be
done away with by conjectures.56 bondage, have rushed onto the battlefield with hopes of
freedom from imminent thralldom, aptly described by
WHEREFORE, the instant Petition is DENIED and the Decision of the Court of
Appeals in CA-G.R. S.P. No. 84405 dated April 15, 2005 is AFFIRMED. No
Professor Harold J. Laski as the normal life of the poor -
costs. their perpetual fear of the morrow, their haunting sense
of impending disaster, their fitful search for beauty that
SO ORDERED.
perpetually eludes them.
Every administration that took over the reins of
[G.R. No. 122363. April 29, 2003] government saw the gravity of this problem. Thus, each
offered to the tenant-tillers its own version of the
appropriate legislation for their emancipation.

VICTOR G. VALENCIA, petitioner, vs. COURT OF The Agricultural Tenancy Act of 1954 (R. A. No.
APPEALS, HON. TEOFISTO T. GUINGONA, 1199), the initial attempt of President Magsaysay at
JR., as Executive Secretary, HON. ERNESTO agrarian reform, was conceived as a remedial legislation
GARILAO, Secretary of Agrarian Reform, to uplift the social and economic status of tenants. It was
insinuated in the legislative deliberations that several
CRISOSTOMO M. CORPIN, Regional Director,
provisions therein operated to deprive the landowner of
DAR Region VII, SANTOS GARGAYA,
his right to contract and his right to property without due
JULIANO MAGDAYAO, CRESCENCIANO
process of law. But, it was also argued, this involved
FRIAS, FEDERICO JARE, ROSENDO societal values and the agricultural tenancy act was
LOBRESCO, ERNESTO LOBRESCO, meant to remedy an existing social evil. Hence, all
FELICIANO LOBRESCO, CATALINO MANTAC, tenancy laws that followed thereafter were crafted along
VICTORIANO MONTE-FALCON, FRANCISCO this line. This case is now being scrutinized and tested
OBANG, AMBROSIO SEMILLANO, ROGELIO against the bedrock of legal and equitable safeguards to
TAMAYO and EDILBERTO achieve a truly successful and balanced agrarian reform
LOBRESCO, respondents. initiative.
DECISION For more than a quarter of a century petitioner Victor
G. Valencia, a government retiree, sought justice through
BELLOSILLO, J.:
administrative and judicial channels to regain possession
of his two (2) parcels of land which he claims to have
been unjustly withheld from him by persons claiming to
be tenants with the ostensible complicity of government On 22 October 1962 Valencia entered into a ten (10)-
officials implementing the agrarian reform program. In year civil law lease agreement over his two (2) parcels of
the meantime his appeal for fairness and justice was land with a certain Glicerio Henson. Before the ten (10)-
denied him through procedural infirmities. We are now year lease expired, apparently without objection from
asked to probe into his lonely plight with a reminder that Henson, Valencia leased the property for five (5) years to
it is our solemn duty to dispense equal justice to the rich Fr. Andres Flores under a civil law lease concept
and the poor. beginning 21 August 1970 or until 30 June 1975 after
which the lease was cancelled and inscribed as Entry
We have repeatedly stressed that social justice - or
No. 1578 in TCT No. H-T-137. The lease agreement
any justice for that matter - is for the deserving, whether
between Valencia and Fr. Flores was subject to a
he be a millionaire in his mansion or a pauper in his
prohibition against subleasing or encumbering the land
hovel. It is true that, in case of reasonable doubt, we are
without Valencias written consent. This was admitted by
to tilt the balance in favor of the poor to whom the
the parties as reflected in the DAR Investigation Report
Constitution fittingly extends its sympathy and
and Recommendations. The
[2]
prohibition against
compassion. But never is it justified to give preference to
subleasing or encumbering of the land apparently
the poor simply because they are poor, or reject the rich
included the prohibition against installing a leasehold
simply because they are rich, for justice must always be
tenant thereon. Incidentally, it may be mentioned that in
served for the poor and the rich alike according to the
the prior lease agreement with Henson no such
mandate of the law. [1]

prohibition was stipulated.


The property in dispute involves two (2) parcels of
During the period of his lease, Henson instituted
land situated at Barangay Linothangan, Canlaon City,
Crescenciano Frias and Marciano Frias to work on the
Negros Oriental, covered by TCT No. H-T-137 with an
property, although only Crescenciano Frias apparently
area of 23.7279 hectares, and by Homestead Application
remained in the land while Marciano Frias must have
No. HA-231601 with Final Proof and Tax Declaration No.
abandoned his cause if any, as he was not impleaded in
0515 with an area of 6.4397 hectares.
this case; neither did he appear on record to have been
On 7 May 1957 Victor G. Valencia acquired the first issued a CLT in his name.
parcel covered by TCT No. H-T-137 from a certain
During the lease of Fr. Andres Flores, he designated
Bonifacio Supnet. The only tenant of the property at that
Francisco Obang (as overseer), Rogelio Tamayo,
time was a certain Digoy Besario who was succeeded by
Federico Jare, Feliciano Lobresco, Melchor Moncada,
his son Jesus Besario. On 2 July 1961 Valencia and
Rosendo Lobresco, Victoriano Montefalcon, Santos
Jesus Besario terminated their landlord-tenant
Gargaya, Catalino Mantac, Herodita Semillano, Ernesto
relationship through a public instrument voluntarily
Lobresco, Natividad Lobresco and Alfredo Demerin,
executed by them, thus reverting the actual physical
along with Crescenciano and Marciano Frias, to cultivate
possession of the property to petitioner Valencia.
the land. These farmhands shared their produce with Fr. terminated, the DAR issued the questioned CLTs to
Flores. Subsequently, Francisco Obang, Santos private respondents. The DAR Team Office in Canlaon
Gargaya, Crescenciano Frias, Federico Jare, Rosendo City pursuant to the Operation Land Transfer Program
Lobresco, Juliano Magdayao, Ernesto Lobresco, under Pres. Decree No. 27 and Letter of Instruction No.
Feliciano Lobresco, Catalino Mantac, Victoriano 474 identified the following persons as farmer-
Montefalcon, Ambrosio Semillano, Rogelio Tamayo and beneficiaries:
[3]

Edilberto Lobresco, became recipients of CLTs and are


collectively referred to herein as private respondents. NAME CLT NO. LOT NO. AREA (hectares)

When the lease agreement between Valencia and Fr. A. TAX DEC. No. 0515
Flores expired on 30 June 1975, Valencia demanded that
private respondents vacate the premises. Instead of 1. Santos Gargaya 0-071160 0111 0.3300 ha.
complying with the demand, they refused and continued
cultivating the land despite the demand for them to 2. Juliano Magdayao a) 0-071161 0122 0.3350 ha.
vacate. Valencia wanted to regain possession of his
b) 0-071163 0114 0.2550 ha.
property so he could work it by administration, having in
fact appointed Bernie Bautista as overseer until petitioner c) 0-071166 0117 0.4825 ha.
could retire from the government service.
In his initial step in his long and agonizing journey, d) 0-071175 0124 0.3140 ha.
Valencia filed a letter of protest with the Minister of
B. TCT No. HT-137
Agrarian Reform to take back the actual possession of
his property that was subject of the civil law lease 3. Crescenciano Frias 0-071164 0115 0.8890 ha.
agreement. On 20 March 1976 his letter was referred to
the DAR Regional Office in Cebu City. 4. Federico Jare a) 0-71171 0120 0.4600 ha.
Meanwhile, without the knowledge much less b) 0-71172 0121 0.2500 ha.
consent of Valencia, private respondents applied for
Certificates of Land Transfer (CLTs) under the Operation 5. Rosendo Lobresco a) 0-071189 0135 0.2335 ha.
Land Transfer (OLT) Program pursuant to Presidential
Decree No. 27 claiming they were bona fide tenants of b) 0-071182 0129 1.0325 ha.
the property.
6. Ernesto Lobresco a) 0-071185 0132 0.8900 ha.
On 10 December 1985, while the investigation was
being conducted by the DAR pursuant to petitioners b) 0-71187 0133 0.8400 ha.
letter of protest of 20 March 1976, but before it could be
7. Feliciano Lobresco 0-071188 0134 0.3400 ha. Valencia property, Atty. Ampong, in his Investigation
Report and Recommendations dated 7 December 1988
8. Catalino Mantac 0-071162 0113 0.0425 ha. found that: (a) Bernie Bautista, without any authority from
protestant Valencia, obtained and/or received shares of
9. Victoriano Montefalcon 0-071190 0136 0.1800 ha.
the palay produced every harvest from private
10. Francisco Obang 0-071168 0118 1.200 has. respondents starting 1975 to 1983 with his wife Hazel
issuing the corresponding receipts; (b) Since the time
11. Ambrosio Semillano a) 0-071165 0116 0.0340 ha. Bautista and spouse obtained and/or received the
owner's shares of the produce from private respondents
b) 0-071176 0125 0.1135 ha. not a single cavan nor its equivalent in cash was turned
over or remitted to Valencia; (c) Private respondents
c) 0-071177 0126 0.0340 ha. stopped giving the landowner's shares to Bautista and
his wife when they already refused to issue receipts, and
12. Rogelio Tamayo 0-071194 0139 0.3400 ha
so from then on private respondents appropriated to
13. Edilberto Lobresco 0-071173 0122 1.2040 has. themselves all the landowner's shares; (d) While
enjoying the possession, cultivation and utilization of the
Total Area 10.1055 has two (2) parcels of land, some of the private respondents
sublet their farmholdings for financial considerations and
In view of the issuance of CLTs to private turned them over to the sublessees for specified periods;
respondents, petitioner Valencia filed a second letter of (e) The DAR Team Office in Canlaon City had the
[4]

protest and requested an investigation and subsequent landholding included in the Final Survey of 1983
cancellation of the CLTs. notwithstanding Valencias pending protest contesting the
issuance of the CLTs; and, (f) Sometime in February
[5]

In February 1988 petitioner Valencia and Catalino


1988 Valencia and Catalino Mantac entered into a
Mantac, one of private respondents, entered into a
leasehold contract over a 0.0425 hectare of the 23.7279
leasehold contract undertaking to have a profit-sharing
hectares covered by TCT No. H-T-137. [6]

agreement. No other respondent entered into any


agreement or tenancy contract, whether written or verbal, Atty. Vilmo Ampong also found that the right of private
with Valencia, Henson or Fr. Flores. respondents to the land ceased upon the termination of
the lease contracts, except as regards respondent
On 6 and 8 July 1988 an administrative investigation
Catalino Mantac with whom petitioner Valencia entered
was conducted by the DAR Hearing Officer, Atty. Vilmo
into a tenancy agreement. Atty. Ampong further
Ampong. This was done more than twelve (12) years
confirmed that Valencia did not receive anything from
after the initial letter of protest was filed on 20 March
private respondents as consideration for tilling his
1976. After an on-site investigation and inspection of the
land. Consequently, Atty. Ampong recommended that the
CLTs issued to private respondents be cancelled and the time.[9] The appellate court ruled that petitioner should
final survey conducted on the landholding of Valencia set have filed with it a petition for review within fifteen (15)
aside. days from receipt of the order of the DAR Secretary
pursuant to Sec. 54 of R. A. No. 6657 and Supreme
On 24 August 1989 the DAR Regional Office in Cebu
Court Adm. Circ. No. 1-95, instead of elevating the case
City, in DARRO Adm. Case No. VII-117-89,
to the Office of the President pursuant to DAR Memo.
notwithstanding the Investigation Report and
Circ. No. 3, series of 1994. Hence, according to the
Recommendations of its DAR Team Office, dismissed
Court of Appeals, the petition of Valencia was filed out of
Valencia's protest and held that private respondents had
time.
the right to continue on the land until otherwise ordered
by the court. Valencia moved for reconsideration but on
[7]
On 22 September 1995 petitioners motion for
12 July 1991 the motion was denied. reconsideration was denied. In its Resolution the Court of
Appeals, citing Shell Philippines, Inc. v. Central Bank,
This setback of Valencia prompted him to appeal to
held that in case of discrepancy between the basic law
[10]

the Office of the President under authority of DAR Memo.


and a rule or regulation issued to implement the law, the
Circ. No. 3, series of 1994, arguing that the Secretary of
basic law prevails because the rule or regulation cannot
Agrarian Reform erred
[8]
in considering private
go beyond the terms and provisions of the basic law.
respondents as tenants and in not recognizing petitioners
Thus, DAR Memo. Circ. No. 3, series of 1994,
[11]

right of retention under R. A. No. 6657 otherwise known


according to the Court of Appeals, cannot be considered
as TheComprehensive Agrarian Reform Law.
valid and effective since it runs counter to Sec. 54 of R.
On 8 October 1993 Executive Secretary Teofisto A. No. 6657 which provides for an appeal from any
Guingona, Jr., by authority of the President, affirmed the decision, order, award or ruling by the DAR to the Court
order of the DAR of 12 July 1991 subject to the of Appeals. Likewise, the appellate court held that the
[12]

modification that the area acquired by petitioner Valencia doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies does
as homestead be excluded from the coverage of P. D. not apply in the present case where the respondent is a
No. 27. Department Secretary whose acts, as alter ego of the
Valencia then brought his case to the Court of President, bear the implied approval of the latter.
[13]

Appeals contending that the Executive Secretary erred in Valencia filed this Petition for Review on
recognizing private respondents as tenants and Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court seeking to
disallowing him and his seven (7) compulsory heirs from reverse and set aside the Decision of the Court of
exercising their right of retention under R. A. No. Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 32669 dated 27 July 1995 as
6657. However, in a decision promulgated on 27 July well as its Resolution denying his Motion for
1995 the Court of Appeals dismissed the case on a Reconsideration of 22 September 1995.
technical ground, i.e., that his appeal was filed out of
Petitioner contends that DAR Memo. Circ. No. 3, such a construction as will harmonize it with the pre-
series of 1994, is valid not being contrary to law and existing body of laws.
jurisprudence, and should be accorded respect being the
Harmonizing DAR Memo. Circ. No. 3, series of 1994,
Agrarian Reform Secretarys construction of the law that
with SC Adm. Circ. No. 1-95 and Sec. 54 of R. A. No.
his Department administers and implements.
6657 would be consistent with promoting the ends of
Public respondents, on the other hand, aver that substantial justice for all parties seeking the protective
Secs. 15 and 20 of Book VII of E. O. No. 292 which are mantle of the law. To reconcile and harmonize them, due
cited as the legal bases of DAR Memo. Circ. No. 3 refer consideration must be given to the purpose for which
to the procedure for administrative appeals from an each was promulgated. The purpose of DAR Memo.
agency to the Department Head which in this case is the Circ. No. 3, series of 1994, is to provide a mode of
DAR through its Secretary. They argue that there is no appeal for matters not falling within the jurisdictional
provision for appeal to the Office of the President since in ambit of the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication
the administrative structure the Secretary of Agrarian Board (DARAB) under R. A. No. 6657 and correct
Reform is the alter ego of the President. They contend technical errors of the administrative agency. In such
that Sec. 23 of Book VII cites the finality of the decision exceptional cases, the Department Secretary has
of the appellate agency without providing for a further established a mode of appeal from the Department of
appeal, and that Sec. 25 provides for judicial review from Agrarian Reform to the Office of the President as a plain,
an agency decision, as they point to Sec. 54 of R. A. No. speedy, adequate and inexpensive remedy in the
6657 and SC Adm. Circ. No. 1-95.
[14] [15]
ordinary course of law. This would enable the Office of
the President, through the Executive Secretary, to review
We agree with petitioner. Interpreting and
technical matters within the expertise of the
harmonizing laws with laws is the best method of
administrative machinery before judicial review can be
interpretation. Interpretare et concordare leges legibus
resorted to by way of an appeal to the Court of Appeals
est optimus interpretandi modus. This manner of
[16]

under Rule 43 of the 1997 Rules on Civil Procedure.


construction would provide a complete, consistent and
intelligible system to secure the rights of all persons On the other hand, the purpose of SC Adm. Circ. No.
affected by different legislative and quasi-legislative 1-95, now embodied in Rule 43 of the 1997 Rules of Civil
acts. Where two (2) rules on the same subject, or on Procedure, is to invoke the constitutional power of
related subjects, are apparently in conflict with each judicial review over quasi-judicial agencies, such as the
other, they are to be reconciled by construction, so far as Department of Agrarian Reform under R. A. No. 6657
may be, on any fair and reasonable hypothesis.Validity and the Office of the President in other cases by
and legal effect should therefore be given to both, if this providing for an appeal to the Court of Appeals. Section
can be done without destroying the evident intent and 54 of R. A. No. 6657 is consistent with SC Adm. Circ. No.
meaning of the later act. Every statute should receive
1-95 and Rule 43 in that it establishes a mode of appeal Is an appeal to the Office of the President from the
from the DARAB to the Court of Appeals. Department Secretary pursuant to DAR Memo. Circ. No.
3, series of 1994, proper under the doctrine of
In Angara v. Electoral Commission this Court upheld
exhaustion of administrative remedies?
the promulgation of the rules of procedure of the
Commission since they were necessary to the proper Petitioner contends that an appeal to the Office of the
exercise of its express power to hear and decide election President from the Secretary of Agrarian Reform is
contests involving members of the legislature, although proper under the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative
not specifically granted by the Constitution or statute. remedies. On the other hand, it is the contention of public
We ruled -
[17] [18]
respondent, the Office of the Solicitor General, that an
exception to this well-settled principle is the doctrine of
x x x the creation of the Electoral Commission carried qualified political agency. Where the respondent is a
with it ex necesitate rei the power regulative in Department Secretary, whose acts as an alter ego of the
character to limit the time within which protests
President bear the implied or assumed approval of the
intrusted to its cognizance should be filed. It is a settled
rule of construction that where a general power is
latter, unless the President actually disapproves them,
conferred or duty enjoined, every particular power administrative remedies have already been
necessary for the exercise of the one or the exhausted. Recourse to the court may be made at that
performance of the other is also conferred (Cooley, point, according to private respondents, a view that was
Constitutional Limitations, 8th ed., Vol. I, pp. 138, sustained by the Court of Appeals. In this case, the
139). In the absence of any further constitutional appellate court ruled that the appeal before it was filed
provision relating to the procedure to be followed in beyond the reglementary period as petitioner appealed to
filing protests before the Electoral Commission, the Office of the President, and not to the Court of
therefore, the incidental power to promulgate such
Appeals, where it should have been brought. In Tan v.
rules necessary for the proper exercise of its exclusive
power x x x must be deemed by necessary implication
Director of Forestry this Court ruled that even if the
to have been lodged also in the Electoral respondent was a Department Secretary, an appeal to
Commission (emphasis supplied). the President was proper where the law expressly
provided for exhaustion.[20]

Thus, the power of the Department Secretary to As a valid exercise of the Secretarys rule-making
promulgate internal rules of administrative procedure is power to issue internal rules of procedure, DAR Memo.
lodged in him by necessary implication as part of his Circ. No. 3, series of 1994, expressly provides for an
express power to promulgate rules and regulations appeal to the Office of the President. Thus, petitioner
necessary to carry out department objectives, policies, Valencia filed on 24 November 1993 a timely appeal by
functions, plans, programs and projects. [19]
way of a petition for review under Rule 43 to the Court of
Appeals from the decision of the Office of the President,
which was received on 11 November 1993, well within The substantive issue to be resolved may be
the fifteen (15)-day reglementary period. expressed in this manner: Can a contract of civil law
lease prohibit a civil law lessee from employing a tenant
An administrative decision must first be appealed to
on the land subject matter of the lease
administrative superiors up to the highest level before it
agreement? Otherwise stated, can petitioners civil law
may be elevated to a court of justice for review. The
lessee, Fr. Flores, install tenants on the subject premises
power of judicial review may therefore be exercised only
without express authority to do so under Art. 1649 of the
if an appeal is first made by the highest administrative
Civil Code, more so when the lessee is expressly
body in the hierarchy of the executive branch of
prohibited from doing so, as in the instant case?
government.
Contrary to the impression of private respondents,
In Calo v. Fuertes this Court held that an
Sec. 6 of R. A. No. 3844, as amended, does not
administrative appeal to the President was the final step
automatically authorize a civil law lessee to employ a
in the administrative process and thus a condition
tenant without the consent of the landowner. The lessee
precedent to a judicial appeal. Hence, an appeal to the
[21]

must be so specifically authorized.For the right to hire a


Office of the President from the decision of the
tenant is basically a personal right of a landowner,
Department Secretary in an administrative case is the
except as may be provided by law. But certainly nowhere
last step that an aggrieved party should take in the
in Sec. 6 does it say that a civil law lessee of a
administrative hierarchy, as it is a plain, speedy and
landholding is automatically authorized to install a tenant
adequate remedy available to the petitioner.
thereon. A different interpretation would create a
Indeed, certain procedural technicalities have perverse and absurd situation where a person who wants
beclouded this case from the outset such that the to be a tenant, and taking advantage of this perceived
substantive issue regarding the true nature of the ambiguity in the law, asks a third person to become a
relationship between petitioner and private respondents civil law lessee of the landowner. Incredibly, this tenant
was not addressed by the Court of Appeals, hence, would technically have a better right over the property
the raison dtre of the case. It must necessarily be than the landowner himself. This tenant would then gain
discussed if this Court were to resolve with finality the security of tenure, and eventually become owner of the
protracted conflict that has lasted over twenty-five (25) land by operation of law. This is most unfair to the
years.We are resolving the question at this point to bring hapless and unsuspecting landowner who entered into a
this case once and for all to a just, fair and equitable civil law lease agreement in good faith only to realize
conclusion. Where there are clear errors of law this Court later on that he can no longer regain possession of his
must exercise its constitutional power of judicial review to property due to the installation of a tenant by the civil law
correct such errors. lessee.
On the other hand, under the express provision of either as owner, lessee, usufructuary, or legal possessor,
Art. 1649 of the Civil Code, the lessee cannot assign the and to the person who actually works the land himself
lease without the consent of the lessor, unless there is a with the aid of labor available from within his immediate
stipulation to the contrary. In the case before us, not only farm household. Once the tenancy relation is
is there no stipulation to the contrary; the lessee is established, the parties to that relation are limited to the
expressly prohibited from subleasing or encumbering the persons therein stated. Obviously, inherent in the right of
land, which includes installing a leasehold tenant thereon landholders to install a tenant is their authority to do so;
since the right to do so is an attribute of otherwise, without such authority, civil law lessees as
ownership. Plainly stated therefore, a contract of civil law landholders cannot install a tenant on the
lease can prohibit a civil law lessee from employing a landholding. Neither Sec. 6 of R. A. No. 3844 nor Sec. 8
tenant on the land subject matter of the lease of R. A. No. 1199 automatically authorizes the persons
agreement. An extensive and correct discussion of the named therein to employ a tenant on the landholding.
statutory interpretation of Sec. 6 of R. A. No. 3844, as
According to Mr. Justice Guillermo S. Santos and
amended, is provided by the minority view in Bernas v.
CAR Executive Judge Artemio C. Macalino, respected
Court of Appeals. [22]

authorities on agrarian reform, the reason for Sec. 6 of R.


When Sec. 6 provides that the agricultural leasehold A. No. 3844 and Sec. 8 of R. A. No. 1199 in limiting the
relations shall be limited to the person who furnishes the relationship to the lessee and the lessor is to discourage
landholding, either as owner, civil law lessee, absenteeism on the part of the lessor and the custom of
usufructuary, or legal possessor, and the person who co-tenancy under which the tenant (lessee) employs
personally cultivates the same, it assumes that there is another to do the farm work for him, although it is he with
already an existing agricultural leasehold relation, i.e., a whom the landholder (lessor) deals directly. Thus, under
tenant or agricultural lessee already works the land. The this practice, the one who actually works the land gets
epigraph of Sec. 6 merely states who are Parties to the short end of the bargain, for the nominal or capitalist
Agricultural Leasehold Relations, which assumes that lessee hugs for himself a major portion of the harvest.
there is already a leasehold tenant on the land; not until This breeds exploitation, discontent and confusion x x
[24]

then. This is precisely what we are still asked to x x The kasugpong, kasapi, or katulong also works at the
determine in the instant proceedings. pleasure of the nominal tenant. When the new law,
[25]

therefore, limited tenancy relation to the landholder and


To better understand Sec. 6, let us refer to its
the person who actually works the land himself with the
precursor, Sec. 8 of R. A. No. 1199, as amended.
aid of labor available from within his immediate farm
Again, Sec. 8 of R. A. No. 1199 assumes the existence
[23]

household, it eliminated the nominal tenant or middleman


of a tenancy relation. As its epigraph suggests, it is
from the picture.[26]

a Limitation of Relation, and the purpose is merely to


limit the tenancy to the person who furnishes the land,
Another noted authority on land reform, Dean Under Lastimoza v. Blanco, private respondents in
[29]

Jeremias U. Montemayor, explains the rationale for Sec.


[27]
that case could not be lawful tenants of the landowner for
8 of R. A. No. 1199, the precursor of Sec. 6 of R. A. No. the reason that the civil law lessees, after failing to return
3844: the landholding to the landowner, already became
deforciants. A deforciant cannot install a lawful tenant
Since the law establishes a special relationship in who is entitled to security of tenure.
tenancy with important consequences, it properly
pinpoints the persons to whom said relationship shall Attention may be invited to settled jurisprudence that
apply. The spirit of the law is to prevent both landholder the existence of an agricultural leasehold relationship is
absenteeism and tenant absenteeism. Thus, it would not terminated by changes of ownership in case of sale,
seem that the discretionary powers and important or transfer of legal possession as in lease. This, again,
[30]

duties of the landholder, like the choice of crop or seed, assumes that tenancy already exists. In the case at bar,
cannot be left to the will or capacity of an agent or no such relationship was ever created between the civil
overseer, just as the cultivation of the land cannot be
law lessees and private respondents, and subsequently,
entrusted by the tenant to some other people. Tenancy
relationship has been held to be of a personal character. between Valencia and private respondents except
[28]
Catalino Mantac. With respect to the lease agreement
between Valencia and Fr. Flores, the lessee did not have
Section 6 as already stated simply enumerates who any authority to sublease Valencias property due to the
are the parties to an existing contract of agricultural prohibition in their lease agreement. It is likewise in clear
tenancy, which presupposes that a tenancy already and unambiguous terms that the lease agreement was
exists. It does not state that those who furnish the only for a limited duration with no extension. [31]

landholding, i.e., either as owner, civil law lessee,


usufructuary, or legal possessor, are automatically In Ponce v. Guevarra and Joya v. Pareja the
[32] [33]

authorized to employ a tenant on the landholding. The agricultural leasehold relations were preserved because
reason is obvious. The civil lease agreement may be the legal possessors therein were clearly clothed with
restrictive. Even the owner himself may not be free to legal authority or capacity to install tenants. But even
install a tenant, as when his ownership or possession is assuming that they were not so authorized as in
encumbered or is subject to a lien or condition that he the Ponce case where the civil law lessee was expressly
should not employ a tenant thereon. This contemplates a barred from installing a tenant under their contract of
situation where the property may be intended for some lease, the subsequent actions of the landowners in
other specific purpose allowed by law, such as, its extending the lifetime of the lease, or in negotiating for
conversion into an industrial estate or a residential better terms with the tenants, placed the landowners in
subdivision. estoppel to contest the agricultural leasehold
relations. Consequently, the tenants in those cases may
be categorized as tenants de jure enjoying tenurial
security guaranteed by the Agricultural Tenancy Law, neither impliedly instituted as tenants nor designated as
now by the Agricultural Land Reform Code, as agricultural lessees by reason alone of the acquiescence
amended. This is not the case before us. by petitioner to the continued possession of the property.
It must be noted that Valencia never extended the The Department of Agrarian Reform in Ganzon made
term of the civil law lease, nor did he negotiate with the factual determination that the agreement entered into
respondents for better terms upon the expiration of the between Florisco Banhaw (one of the respondents) and
lease. He wanted precisely to recover possession of the Carolina L. Ganzon (petitioner) was a civil law
property upon the expiration of the contract on 30 June lease. However, there was no evidence to prove that the
1975, except from Mantac with whom he already entered other defendants in that case allegedly instituted as
into a tenancy contract as herein before stated. Valencia tenants were sharing or paying rentals to Florisco
appointed an overseer to prepare for his eventual Banhaw or to the landowner. The DAR held that mere
takeover and to cultivate the property through labor allegation without the corresponding receipts would not
administration after his long years in the government sufficiently establish a tenancy relationship especially
service. Verily, the intention of Valencia after the since there was an express prohibition in the civil law
expiration of the lease contract was for him to cultivate lease contract from subleasing the subject land to any
the land by administration, or by himself, and not to other person.[35]

surrender possession, much less ownership, to the


From the foregoing discussion, it is reasonable to
private respondents.
conclude that a civil law lessee cannot automatically
There may be apprehensions that should Sec. 6 of R. institute tenants on the property under to Sec. 6 of R. A.
A. No. 3844 be construed as not to vest the civil law No. 3844. The correct view that must necessarily be
lessee or legal possessor with automatic authority to adopted is that the civil law lessee, although a legal
install tenants, it would in effect open the floodgates to possessor, may not install tenants on the property unless
their ejectment on the mere pretext that the civil law expressly authorized by the lessor. And if a prohibition
lessee or legal possessor was not so authorized by the exists or is stipulated in the contract of lease the
landowner. occupants of the property are merely civil law sublessees
whose rights terminate upon the expiration of the civil law
This is more imagined than real. In the very recent
lease agreement.
case of Ganzon v. Court of Appeals, decided 30 July
2002, this Court resolved the issue of whether the private In the present case, the Decision of the Secretary of
respondents should be considered agricultural tenants of Agrarian Reform, as modified by the Office of the
the petitioner. The Court ruled that the respondents
[34]
President through the Executive Secretary, held that
were not instituted as agricultural lessees but as civil law private respondents were deemed leasehold
lessees of the land. This was evident from the contract of tenants. They anchored their proposition on Sec. 6 of R.
lease executed by the parties. The respondents were A. No. 3844, as amended, otherwise known as The
Agricultural Land Reform Code, which states that since In Caballes v. DAR the Court held that all these
[40]

the civil law lessees had a valid contract with Valencia, requisites must concur in order to create a tenancy
the sublessees were automatically deemed his tenants relationship. The absence of one does not make an
by operation of law. occupant or a cultivator thereof or a planter thereon a de
jure tenant. This is so because unless a person has
This conclusion espoused by the Secretary of
established his status as a de jure tenant he is not
Agrarian Reform is arbitrary and unfounded. The
entitled to security of tenure nor is he covered by the
following essential requisites must concur in order to
Land Reform Program of the Government under existing
establish a tenancy relationship: (a) the parties being
[36]

tenancy laws. [41]

landowner and tenant; (b) the subject matter is


agricultural land; (c) there is consent by the landowner; The security of tenure guaranteed by our tenancy
(d) the purpose is agricultural production; (e) there is laws may be invoked only by tenants de jure, not by
personal cultivation by the tenant; and, (f) there is those who are not true and lawful tenants.[42]

sharing of harvests between the parties. An allegation


In Berenguer, Jr. v. Court of Appeals this Court ruled
that an agricultural tenant tilled the land in question does
that the respondents self-serving statements regarding
not make the case an agrarian dispute. Claims that one
[37]

their tenancy relations could not establish the claimed


is a tenant do not automatically give rise to security of
relationship. The fact alone of working on anothers
[43]

tenure. The elements of tenancy must first be proved in


landholding does not raise a presumption of the
order to entitle the claimant to security of tenure.
[38]

existence of agricultural tenancy. Substantial evidence


[44]

A tenancy relationship cannot be presumed. There does not only entail the presence of a mere scintilla of
must be evidence to prove this allegation. Hence, a evidence in order that the fact of sharing can be
perusal of the records and documents is in order to established; there must be concrete evidence on record
determine whether there is substantial evidence to prove adequate enough to prove the element of sharing.
the allegation that a tenancy relationship does exist Bejasa v. Court of Appeals similarly ruled that to prove
[45]

between petitioner and private respondents. sharing of harvests, a receipt or any other evidence must
be presented as self-serving statements are deemed
The principal factor in determining whether a tenancy
inadequate.[46]

relationship exists is intent.Tenancy is not a purely


factual relationship dependent on what the alleged tenant In the present case, it is not disputed that the
does upon the land. It is also a legal relationship. The relationship between Valencia and Henson, and
intent of the parties, the understanding when the farmer subsequently, Valencia and Fr. Flores, partook of a civil
is installed, and their written agreements, provided these law lease.Henson and later Fr. Flores were not instituted
are complied with and are not contrary to law, are even as agricultural lessees but as civil law lessees. As a
more important. [39]
finding of fact, the Secretary of Agrarian Reform held
that a written civil law lease contract between Valencia
and Fr. Flores was on file which contained in clear and contemplation of law, they are therefore not entitled to
precise terms the stipulation prohibiting the subleasing or Certificates of Land Transfer (CLTs) under the Operation
encumbering of his parcels of land without the written Land Transfer (OLT) Program pursuant to Pres. Decree
consent of Valencia. The Secretary even went as far as
[47]
No. 27 and L.O.I. No. 474. All other persons found in the
stating for the record that such stipulation barring the land in question are considered unlawful occupants of
subletting of the property was violated by Fr. Flores when the property unless otherwise authorized by the
he subleased the subject parcels of land to private landowner to possess the same in a lawful capacity.
respondents. [48]

Even as we uphold time and again the existence and


The findings of fact by the DAR Hearing Officer, Atty. validity of implied agricultural tenancy agreements, we
Ampong, in his Investigation Report and encourage the forging of written documents to prevent
Recommendations dated 7 December 1988 concerning ambiguity as to the terms set by both parties and for
the admission by private respondents that they never them to express their intent in clear language. This would
turned over the rentals or harvests to Valencia and, minimize and even prevent the shotgun approach to
instead, to his overseer who was not authorized to tenancy relations imposed by some officials of the
receive any payments, must be deemed conclusive. [49]
Government without complying with the essential
requisites of tenancy as provided by law. Agreements
As to the civil law lease between Valencia and Fr.
must be entered freely and voluntarily by the parties
Flores, the prohibition against subletting the property
concerned without the influence of third parties, much
without the written consent of Valencia must be
less the Government, making representations for either
upheld. Thus, there is no tenurial security for private
side. An express tenancy agreement would facilitate the
respondents designated by the civil law lessee, except
aims of the agricultural tenancy laws and promote social
for the oft-mentioned Catalino Mantac.
justice for both landowner and tenant.
Furthermore, it must be noted that private
With respect to the retention limits of land ownership
respondents Ernesto Lobresco and Francisco Obang
by Valencia and his direct descendants, the
sublet the land to third persons. Even
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law allows landowners
assuming arguendo then that they were tenants,
whose lands have been covered by Pres. Decree No. 27
although installed without authority, the act of subletting
to keep the area originally retained by them provided the
to third persons extinguished the agricultural leasehold
original homestead grantees who still own the original
relations of Ernesto Lobresco and Francisco Obang as it
homestead at the time of the approval of Rep. Act No.
constituted an abandonment of the landholding due to
6657 shall retain the same areas as long as they
absence of personal cultivation.
continue to cultivate the homestead. The right to
[50]

Since private respondents with the exception of choose the area to be retained, which shall be compact
Catalino Mantac cannot be deemed tenants in or contiguous, shall pertain to the landowner, as a
general rule. However, the factual determination of
[51]
22 September 1995 denying the Motion for
whether Valencia and his direct descendants have Reconsideration are REVERSED and SET ASIDE, and a
complied with Sec. 6 of Rep. Act No. 6657 should be new one is entered as follows:
addressed by the Department of Agrarian
1. The area acquired by petitioner Victor G. Valencia
Reform. Ascertaining if petitioner and his direct
under his Homestead Application No. HA-231601 with
descendants are within the seven (7)-hectare retention
Final Proof and Tax Declaration No. 0515 is EXCLUDED
limit provided by Pres. Decree No. 27 requires the
from the coverage of Pres. Decree No. 27, hence, must
technical expertise of the administrative agency
be retained by him;
concerned.
2. The Certificates of Land Transfer (CLTs) issued to
It is appalling to note that it took over twelve (12)
private respondents Santos Gargaya (CLT No. 0-
years for the Agrarian Reform Team 202 of the Canlaon
071160), Juliano Magdayao (CLTs Nos. 0-071161, 0-
City Office of the DAR to act on a simple matter calling
071163, 0-071166 & 0-071175), Crescenciano Frias (CLT
for a preliminary determination of tenancy status, in spite
No. 0-071164), Federico Jare (CLTs Nos. 0-071171 & 0-
of a telegram sent on 30 March 1976 by the Secretary of
071172), Rosendo Lobresco (CLTs Nos. 0-071189 & 0-
Agrarian Reform directing the Team Leader of A.R.T. 202
071182), Ernesto Lobresco (CLTs Nos. 0-071185 & 0-
to investigate and submit a report on the landholding of
071187), Feliciano Lobresco (CLT No. 0-071188),
petitioner Valencia. This is truly a travesty of great
[52]

Victoriano Montefalcon (CLT No. 0-071190), Francisco


magnitude and a clear-cut case of undue delay and
Obang (CLT No. 0-071168), Ambrosio Semillano (CLTs
administrative injustice, for the rights of the landowner
Nos. 0-071165, 0-071176 & 0-071177), Rogelio Tamayo
must equally be protected just as passionately as the
(CLT No. 0-071194) and Edilberto Lobresco (CLT No. 0-
rights of the tenant-tiller, especially so that in the
071173) are CANCELLED and NULLIFIED for having
meantime he has been deprived of the actual possession
been issued without factual and legal basis;
of his property which he envisioned to cultivate himself
after retiring from the government service; worse, he was 3. The agricultural leasehold of respondent Catalino
not paid his landholders shares in the harvests, and Mantac (CLT No. 0-071162) covering an area of 0.0425
there is no telling when, if ever, he will ever be paid by hectare subject of tenancy agreement with petitioner
private respondents who claim to be his tenants. Victor G. Valencia is MAINTAINED and RESPECTED;
Executive or administrative justice must always be 4. All unlawful occupants of the property under TCT
dispensed with an even hand, regardless of a persons No. H-T-137 and Homestead Application No. HA-231601
economic station in life. with Final Proof, and Tax Declaration No. 0515 including
but not limited to the private respondents mentioned in
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The
par. 2 hereof are ORDERED to IMMEDIATELY VACATE
assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP
and RETURN peacefully to the lawful owner, petitioner
No. 32669 dated 27 July 1995 and its Resolution dated
Victor G. Valencia, the parcels of land respectively caretaker to prevent informal settlers from entering the property.� Automat
agreed, through its authorized administrator, petitioner Lim, on the condition
possessed or occupied by them. that the caretaker would voluntarily vacate the premises upon Automat�s
demand.10 cralawred

No pronouncement as to costs.
Respondent spouses� family stayed in the property as rent-paying tenants.�
SO ORDERED. They cultivated and improved the land.� They shared the produced palay with
Automat through its authorized agent, petitioner Lito Cecilia (petitioner
Cecilia).� He also remitted the rentals paid by respondent Ofelia Dela Cruz to
G.R. No. 192026, October 01, 2014 petitioner Lim in Makati and to Automat's office in Quezon City. 11 cralawred

AUTOMAT REALTY AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, LITO CECILIA Sometime in August 2000, Automat asked respondent spouses to vacate the
AND LEONOR LIM, Petitioners, v. SPOUSES MARCIANO DELA CRUZ, SR. premises as it was preparing the groundwork for developing the property. 12 cralawre d

AND OFELIA DELA CRUZ, Respondents.


Respondent spouses refused to vacate unless they were paid compensation.�
They claimed �they were agricultural tenants [who] enjoyed security of tenure
DECISION under the law.�13 cralawred

LEONEN, J.: On October 19, 2000, respondent spouses filed a petition for maintenance of
peaceful possession with prayer for preliminary mandatory injunction and/or
Before us is a petition for review1 assailing the Court of Appeals� August 19, temporary restraining order against Automat before the PARAD for Laguna. 14 cralawre d

2009 decision2 affirming the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication


Board (DARAB) in finding the Spouses Dela Cruz to be lawful tenants, and its Automat had recovered possession of the property before respondent spouses
April 14, 2010 resolution denying reconsideration. filed their petition, and it continues to have possession at present. 15 cralawre d

Petitioners pray that the Court of Appeals� decision and resolution be set aside On August 28, 2001, the PARAD dismissed the complaint.� It declared, among
and a new one be issued nullifying the DARAB�s February 8, 2005 other things, that �no agricultural tenancy can be established between [the
decision3 and June 30, 2006 resolution,4 and reinstating the August 28, 2001 parties] under the attending factual circumstances.�16� The PARAD found it
decision5 of the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (PARAD) for Laguna undisputed that when petitioners entered the property in 1990, it was already
that dismissed the petition to maintain peaceful possession with injunction filed classified as residential, commercial, and industrial land.� Thus, �it is legally
by respondent Spouses Dela Cruz (respondent spouses). 6 impossible for [the property] to be the subject of an agricultural tenancy
relation[ship].�17
cralawred

cralawred

The facts as found by the Court of Appeals are as follows.


On February 8, 2005, the DARAB reversed and set aside the PARAD's
Petitioner Automat Realty and Development Corporation (Automat) is the decision.� It declared respondent spouses as de jure tenants of the
registered owner of two parcels of land located in Barangay Malitlit, Sta. Rosa, landholding, thus, protected by security of tenure.18� It ordered Automat �to
Laguna, covered by TCT Nos. T-210027 and T-209077.7 maintain [the spouses] in peaceful possession and cultivation of the
landholding.�19
cralawred

cralawre d

Automat acquired the 49,503-square-meter parcel of land covered by TCT No.


T-209077 from El Sol Realty and Development Corporation in 1990.� In the Automat, petitioner Lim, and petitioner Cecilia appealed with the Court of
same year, Automat also acquired the 24,562-square-meter parcel of land Appeals,20 arguing that (a) the DARAB had no jurisdiction since the property is
covered by TCT No.� T-210027 from Ofelia Carpo.8 not agricultural land, (b) the board�s finding that respondent spouses are de
jure tenants was not supported by evidence, and (c) the essential requisites for
cralawred

Petitioner Leonor Lim (petitioner Lim) was the real estate broker behind a valid agricultural tenancy relationship are not present.21 cralawre d

Automat�s purchase of the property.� Respondent spouses sometimes


referred to petitioner Lim some Sta. Rosa real estate properties available for On August 19, 2009, the Court of Appeals affirmed the DARAB without
sale.� They received a share in the broker's fees either from the seller or prejudice to petitioners� right to seek recourse from the Department of
buyer.9cralawre d
Agrarian Reform Secretary on the other issues.22 cralawred

The land was not occupied in 1990 when it was purchased by Automat. The Court of Appeals, like the DARAB, gave more weight to the following
Respondent Ofelia dela Cruz volunteered her services to petitioner Lim as documentary evidence:23 (a) Municipal Agrarian Reform Office�s Job H.
Candinado�s October 18, 2000 certification stating that respondent spouses
are the actual tillers of the land;24 (b) sworn statements by Norma S.
Bartolozo, Ricardo M. Saturno, and Resurrection E. Federiso who are residents The elements to constitute a tenancy relationship are the following: �(1) the
and owners of the adjoining lots;25 (c) Irrigation Superintendent Cesar C. parties are the landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee; (2) the subject
Amador�s certification on the irrigation service fee paid by respondent matter of the relationship is agricultural land; (3) there is consent between the
spouses;26 and (d) checks paid by respondent spouses as proof of rental. 27� parties to the relationship; (4) the purpose of the relationship is to bring about
Petitioners filed for reconsideration.28 cralawred agricultural production; (5) there is personal cultivation on the part of the
tenant or agricultural lessee; and (6) the harvest is shared between the
Meanwhile, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Region IV-A landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee.� 39 cralawred

CALABARZON issued two orders, both dated March 30, 2010, exempting the
property from coverage of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program There must be substantial evidence on the presence of all these requisites;
(CARP).29cralawred otherwise, there is no de jure tenant.40� Only those who have established de
jure tenant status are entitled to security of tenure and coverage under
On April 16, 2010, petitioners filed a supplemental motion for reconsideration tenancy laws.41 cralawre d

informing the Court of Appeals of these exemption orders. 30 cralawred

Well-settled is the rule that he who alleges must prove. 42� Respondent
Two days earlier or on April 14, 2010, the Court of Appeals had denied spouses filed the petition before the PARAD, praying to be maintained in
reconsideration.� On May 4, 2010, it noted without action the supplemental peaceful possession of the property.� They were the ones claiming they had a
motion for reconsideration.31 cralawred tenancy relationship with Automat.� Thus, they had the burden of proof to
show that such relationship existed.
Hence, petitioners Automat, Leonor Lim, and Lito Cecilia appealed before this
court. I.A
Actual tillers
Petitioners submit that the Court of Appeals erred in applying Sta. Ana v.
Carpo32 in support of its ruling that the parcels of land are agricultural in nature On the first requisite, respondent spouses contend that the Municipal Agrarian
and that an agricultural tenancy relationship existed between Automat and Reform Office (MARO) Officer Job A. Candanido issued a certification on
respondent spouses.33� They also argue that the DAR exemption orders October 18, 2000 that respondent spouses are the actual tillers of the land. 43�
confirmed their �consistent position that the DARAB never had jurisdiction Three farmers of adjacent lands44 testified on the same fact � that respondent
over the subject matter of this case.�34 cralawred
spouses are the actual tillers.45� Irrigation Superintendent Cesar Amador also
issued a certification that respondent spouses paid the irrigation service
Respondent spouses counter that the Court of Appeals correctly ruled that a fees.46
cralawre d

tenancy relationship existed between Automat and respondent spouses. 35�


They argue that an implied contract of tenancy was created when they were Petitioners counter with MARO Officer Candanido�s March 23, 2001 amended
allowed to till the land for 10 years.36 Consequently, they are entitled to certification.� This later certification states that there are �No Records of
security of tenure as tenants.37� They add that the �subsequent Tenancy or written Agricultural Leasehold Contract to any farmer/tiller� 47 in
reclassification of agricultural lands into non-agricultural [land] after the relation to the property.
effectivity of the (Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law) CARL does not
automatically remove the land from the coverage of the Comprehensive This court has held that a MARO certification �concerning the presence or the
Agrarian Reform Program [as a] valid certificate of exemption o[r] exclusion, or absence of a tenancy relationship between the contending parties, is
a duly approved conversion order, must first be secured.�38 cralawred
considered merely preliminary or provisional, hence, such certification does not
bind the judiciary.�48 cralawred

The issues for resolution are as follows: chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

The amended certification does not bind this court.� Several elements must be
I. Whether an agricultural tenancy relationship exists between Automat present before the courts can conclude that a tenancy relationship exists.�
and respondent spouses; and MARO certifications are limited to factual determinations such as the presence
of actual tillers.� It cannot make legal conclusions on the existence of a
tenancy agreement.
II. Whether the DAR exemption orders have an effect on the DARAB�s
earlier exercise of jurisdiction.
Thus, petitioners� reliance on the amended MARO certification fails to
persuade.

I Nevertheless, the finding in the original MARO certification on the presence of


No agricultural tenancy relationship
actual tillers is closely related to the nature of the land.� This brings us to the prescribed under DAR Administrative Order No. 04, Series of 2003. 57 (Emphasis
second requisite that the property must be agricultural land. supplied)

I.B The exemption orders clearly provide that the lands were reclassified to non-
Not agricultural land agricultural prior to June 15, 1988, or prior to the effectivity of Republic Act
No. 6657 known as the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988
Petitioners submit that the two parcels of land were classified as industrial prior (CARL).58cralawred

to the effectivity of CARL on June 15, 1988.� This was done through the
Municipal Zoning Ordinance of Sta. Rosa Laguna No. XVIII, series of 1981, Section 3(c) of the CARL defines �agricultural land� as �land devoted to
approved on December 2, 1981 by the then Human Settlements Regulatory agricultural activity as defined in this Act and not classified as mineral, forest,
Commission, now the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board or HLURB. 49� residential, commercial or industrial land.�
This classification was reiterated in the town plan or Zoning Ordinance No. 20-
91 of Sta. Rosa, Laguna, approving the town plan classifying the lands situated This meaning was further explained by DAR Administrative Order No. 1, Series
in Barangay Malitlit as industrial land.50 cralawre d
of 1990, otherwise known as the Revised Rules and Regulations Governing
Conversion of Private Agricultural Lands to Non-Agricultural Uses: chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary

Respondent spouses counter that the reclassification of the lands into non-
agricultural was done in 1995, after the effectivity of CARL, by virtue of . . . . Agricultural land refers to those devoted to agricultural activity as defined
Sangguniang Bayan Resolution as approved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan in R.A. 6657 and not classified as mineral or forest by the Department of
Resolution No. 811, series of 1995.� Section 20 of the Local Government Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and its predecessor agencies,
Code51 governs the reclassification of land in that �[a] city or municipality and not classified in town plans and zoning ordinances as approved by
may, through an ordinance passed by the Sanggunian after conducting public the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) and its preceding
hearing for the purpose, authorize [sic] the reclassification of agricultural competent authorities prior to 15 June 1988 for residential,
lands. . . .�52
cralawre d commercial or industrial use.59 (Emphasis in the original)

Respondent spouses then argue that a subsequent reclassification does not While the earlier Republic Act No. 3844,60 otherwise known as the Agricultural
automatically remove the land from CARP coverage.� �A valid certificate of Land Reform Code, focuses on actual use of the land when it defines
exemption [or] exclusion, or a duly approved conversion order, must first be �agricultural land� as �land devoted to any growth, including but not limited
secured. . . .�53 cralawred to crop lands, salt beds, fish ponds, idle land61 and abandoned land62 as defined
in paragraphs 18 and 19 of this Section, respectively,�63 this must be read
The land in this case cannot be considered as agricultural land. with the later Republic Act No. 6675 (CARL) that qualifies the definition with
land classifications.
First, it is undisputed that the DAR Region IV-A CALABARZON had already
issued two orders,54 both dated March 30, 2010, exempting the property from Second, in Sta. Ana v. Carpo64 cited at length by the Court of Appeals, this
CARP coverage.55� These orders were submitted before the Court of court found that the PARAD and the Court of Appeals both acted without
Appeals56 and raised again before this court.� The orders provide in part: chanRoblesvirt ualLawlibrary jurisdiction in ruling that �the land had become non-agricultural based on a
zoning ordinance of 1981 � on the strength of a mere vicinity map.� 65 cralawre d

Department of Justice Opinion No. 44, series of 1990 ruled that �Lands
already classified as commercial, industrial or residential use and approved by In Sta. Ana, the landowner had the burden of proof in filing a complaint for
the HLURB prior to the effectivity of RA No. 6657 on June 15, 1988 no longer ejectment due to non-payment of lease rentals.� In the instant case,
need any conversion clearance. Moreover, the term agricultural lands as respondent spouses have the burden of proving all elements of tenancy in filing
defined in Section 3 (c) of RA 6657 do not include those lands already their petition to be maintained in peaceful possession of the property.� Unlike
classified as mineral, forest, residential, commercial or industrial.� The case the facts in Sta. Ana, respondent spouses do not contend that the
at hand shows that the subject property is within the non-agricultural reclassification of the land was by a �mere vicinity map.�� Their contention is
zone prior to 15 June 1988. that it was made only in 1995, thus, the land remains within CARP coverage
unless petitioners secure a certificate of exemption or exclusion, or a duly
Further, said lands reclassified to non-agricultural prior to June 15, approved conversion order.
1988 ceased to be considered as �agricultural lands� and removed
from the coverage of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program. As earlier discussed, petitioners have secured exemption orders for the lands.

After a careful evaluation of the documents presented, this office finds I.C
substantial compliance by the applicant with the documentary requirements Consent; nature of relationship
This court finds that Automat consented to a relationship with respondent
Respondent spouses allege that petitioners �never contest[ed] nor refute[d] spouses when (a) through petitioner Lim, it constituted respondent Ofelia dela
[respondent�s] cultivation and occupation of residence in the land (since Cruz as caretaker of the property with the understanding that she would vacate
1990) for the past ten (10) years or so.�66� This brings us to the third when asked by Automat, and (b) it accepted rental payments from respondent
requisite on consent. spouses.

Respondent spouses argue that petitioners� inaction or failure to refute their First, petitioner Lim executed an affidavit stating that �Mrs. Ofelia dela Cruz or
occupation and cultivation of the land for the past 10 years, coupled with the Nida volunteered to act as caretaker of the properties bought by Automat
acceptance of payments for use of the land, is �indicative of consent, if not Realty only for the purpose of preventing squatters from entering the same
acquiescence to . . . tenancy relations.�67� They contend that a �[t]enancy and on the understanding that she would vacate the properties voluntarily
relationship may be deemed established by implied agreement [when a] when asked to do so by Automat Realty.� 79 cralawre d

landowner allows another [to] cultivate his land in the concept of a tenant for a
period of ten (10) years.�68� They add that Automat cannot deny the Automat confirmed this agreement entered into by petitioner Lim on its behalf
authority of administrator, petitioner Cecilia, whose acts are binding on the when it included such allegation in the statement of facts in its memorandum
landowner.69 cralawred with this court.80
cralawred

On the other hand, petitioners argue that the acts of the parties �taken in While Automat questioned petitioners Lim and Cecilia�s authority to establish
their entirety must be demonstrative of an intent to continue a prior tenancy a real right over the property in that �[r]espondents had not shown any
relationship established by the landholder.�70� There should be �no issue . . . special power of attorney showing that Cecilia was authorized by Automat
[on] the authority of the overseer to establish a real right over the land.� 71 cralawre d Realty to install any agricultural tenant on the latter�s properties,� 81 it never
denied giving consent to installing respondent spouses as caretakers of the
Petitioners contend that there is no prior tenancy relationship to speak of land.
between respondent spouses and Automat.� Petitioner Cecilia executed an
affidavit submitted to the DARAB categorically denying respondent spouses� Second, while both petitioners Lim and Cecilia denied in their affidavits being
allegations that he instituted them as agricultural tenants. 72� Petitioner Lim the authorized administrator of Automat,82 petitioner Cecilia nevertheless
executed a similar affidavit �debunking [respondent spouses�] claim that confirms accepting checks as rental payments from respondent spouses for
they were instituted as agricultural tenants.�73� Petitioners, thus, emphasize convenience, considering that he often went to Makati where petitioner Lim
that petitioners Cecilia and Lim�s authority to establish a real right over the holds office and Quezon City where Automat has its office. 83� Automat never
land has been properly questioned, and no special power of attorney74has been denied receipt of these rentals.
presented by respondent spouses on such authority.75 cralawred

Respondent spouses� petition for maintenance of peaceful possession filed


The PARAD agreed in that �it would be totally behind [sic] human with the PARAD alleged that �as regards the sharing arrangement derived
comprehension for Automat to institute a tenant on their untenanted lands [as] from the rice/palay harvests, petitioners were verbally instructed to deliver the
[i]t has been of public knowledge that landowners were paying millions of same to . . . Lito Cecilia who was authorized to collect for and in behalf of
pesos a hectare just to get rid of their tenants in Sta. Rosa, Laguna since 1989 Automat every cropping period, the amount of Fifteen Thousand Five Hundred
so that they could fully and freely [dispose] and [use] their lands. . . . it would Pesos covering the two (2) parcels of land.�84� They attached photocopies of
be easier for this Office to believe and be convinced that, in deed [sic], if ever five (5) checks in the name of Automat for the following amounts: (a)
petitioners were allowed entry into the land it would be for any other purposes P8,000.00 dated December 31, 1993; (b) P7,500.00 dated December 31,
other than the establishment of a tenancy [relationship].� 76 cralawre d 1993; (c) P7,500.00 dated January 5, 1995; (d) P8,000.00 dated January 10,
1995; and (e) P7,500.00 dated June 22, 1997.85 cralawre d

This court has ruled that �[t]enancy is not a purely factual relationship
dependent on what the alleged tenant does upon the land [but] is also a legal I.C.1
relationship.�77� Tenancy relationship cannot be presumed.� The allegation of Civil lease
its existence must be proven by evidence, and working on another�s
landholding raises no presumption of an agricultural tenancy.78� Consequently, Automat is considered to have consented to a civil lease.86 cralawred

the landowner�s consent to an agricultural tenancy relationship must be


shown. Article 1643 of the Civil Code provides that �[i]n the lease of things, one of the
parties binds himself to give to another the enjoyment or use of a thing for a
While this court agrees with the conclusion that no agricultural tenancy price certain, and for a period which may be definite or indefinite. . . .�
relationship can exist in this case, we find that the element of consent in
establishing a relationship, not necessarily of agricultural tenancy, is present. The Civil Code accommodates unwritten lease agreements such as Article 1682
that provides: �The lease of a piece of rural land, when its duration has not
been fixed, is understood to have been for all the time necessary for the the possessor in good faith may retain the thing until he has been reimbursed
gathering of the fruits which the whole estate leased may yield in one year, or therefor.
which it may yield once, although two or more years may have to elapse for
the purpose.� Useful expenses shall be refunded only to the possessor in good faith with the
same right of retention, the person who has defeated him in the possession
On the other hand, Article 1687 states that �[i]f the period for the lease has having the option of refunding the amount of the expenses or of paying the
not been fixed, it is understood to be from year to year, if the rent agreed increase in value which the thing may have acquired by reason thereof.
upon is annual; from month to month, if it is monthly; from week to week, if
the rent is weekly; and from day to day, if the rent is to be paid daily. . . .�� ....
Applying this provision, �the contract expires at the end of such month [year,
week, or day] unless prior thereto, the extension of said term has been sought Art. 548. Expenses for pure luxury or mere pleasure shall not be refunded to
by appropriate action and judgment is, eventually, rendered therein granting the possessor in good faith; but he may remove the ornaments with which he
the relief.�87
cralawred has embellished the principal thing if it suffers no injury thereby, and if his
successor in the possession does not prefer to refund the amount expended.
Under the statute of frauds, an unwritten lease agreement for a period of more (Emphasis supplied)
than one year is unenforceable unless ratified.88 cralawred

Respondent spouses were allowed to stay in the property as caretakers and, in Article 448 of the Civil Code on builders, planters, and sowers in good faith
turn, they paid petitioners rent for their use of the property.� Petitioners� applies when these parties have a claim of title over the property. 90� This
acceptance of rental payments may be considered as ratification 89 of an court has expanded this limited definition in jurisprudence: chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary

unwritten lease agreement whose period depends on their agreed frequency of


rental payments. This Court has ruled that this provision covers only cases in which the builders,
sowers or planters believe themselves to be owners of the land or, at least, to
I.C.2 have a claim of title thereto.� It does not apply when the interest is merely
Builder, planter, sower that of a holder, such as a mere tenant, agent or usufructuary.� From these
pronouncements, good faith is identified by the belief that the land is owned;
In the alternative, if the facts can show that the proper case involves the Civil or that � by some title � one has the right to build, plant, or sow thereon.
Code provisions on builders, planters, and sowers, respondent spouses may be
considered as builders, planters, or sowers in good faith, provided such is However, in some special cases, this Court has used Article 448 by recognizing
proven before the proper court. good faith beyond this limited definition.� Thus, in Del Campo v. Abesia, this
provision was applied to whose house � despite having been built at the time
Article 448 of the Civil Code provides that if the landowner opts to he was still co-owner � overlapped with the land of another.� This article
�appropriate as his own the works, sowing or planting,� he must pay was also applied to cases wherein a builder had constructed
indemnity to the builder, planter, or sower in good faith in accordance with the improvements with the consent of the owner.� The Court ruled that the
relevant provisions of the Code:chanRoblesvirt ualLawlibrary law deemed the builder to be in good faith.� In Sarmiento v. Agana, the
builders were found to be in good faith despite their reliance on the consent of
ART. 448. The owner of the land on which anything has been built, another, whom they had mistakenly believed to be the owner of the
sown or planted in good faith, shall have the right to appropriate as his land.91 (Emphasis supplied)
own the works, sowing or planting, after payment of the indemnity
provided for in articles 546 and 548, or to oblige the one who built or Respondent spouses alleged in their petition before the PARAD that they
planted to pay the price of the land, and the one who sowed, the proper rent.� �introduced various agricultural improvements purposely to make the said
However, the builder or planter cannot be obliged to buy the land if its value is landholdings productive, harvests of which were remitted and delivered to . . .
considerably more than that of the building or trees.� In such case, he shall AUTOMAT through its administrator LITO CECILIA. . . .� 92 cralawre d

pay reasonable rent, if the owner of the land does not choose to appropriate
the building or trees after proper indemnity. The parties shall agree upon the The Court of Appeals� recitation of facts also state that respondent spouses
terms of the lease and in case of disagreement, the court shall fix the terms �cultivated the area,improved the same and shared the palay produced
thereof. therein to the owner, Automat, through its authorized agent, Lito Cecilia.� 93 cralawred

.... Petitioners allege in their memorandum before this court that at the time
Automat purchased the property, these �were not irrigated and they were not
ART. 546. Necessary expenses shall be refunded to every possessor; but only planted to rice or any other agricultural crop.�94� No further allegations were
made on whether the property was planted with trees or crops after its
purchase in 1990, until respondent spouses were asked to vacate in 2000. DAR or LBP;

However, this court is not a trier of facts and can only entertain questions of d) Those cases arising from, or connected with membership or representation
law.95� This court also applies the rule that damages must be proven in order in compact farms, farmers� cooperatives and other registered farmers�
to be awarded.96 cralawred associations or organizations, related to lands covered by the CARP and other
agrarian laws;
The causes of action of respondent spouses, if these can be supported by the
facts and evidence, may be pursued in the proper case either under builder, e) Those involving the sale, alienation, mortgage, foreclosure, pre-emption and
planter, or sower provisions, or civil lease provisions before the proper court. redemption of agricultural lands under the coverage of the CARP or other
agrarian laws;
II
DARAB jurisdiction f) Those involving the issuance, correction and cancellation of Certificates of
Land Ownership Award (CLOAs) and Emancipation Patents (EPs) which are
Petitioners submit that in light of the exemption orders, �[a]s a matter of law, registered with the Land Registration Authority;
the subject properties were never subject to the jurisdiction of the DARAB,
which issued the decision erroneously affirmed by the Court of Appeals.� 97 cralawred
g) Those cases previously falling under the original and exclusive jurisdiction of
the defunct Court of Agrarian Relations under Section 12 of Presidential No.
In the same breath, petitioners recognize the PARAD�s jurisdiction in praying 946, except sub-paragraph (q) thereof and Presidential Decree No. 815.
that this court �reinstat[e] the Decision of the Provincial Agrarian Reform It is understood that the aforementioned cases, complaints or petitions were
Adjudication (PARAD) for the Province of Laguna dated August 28, 2001 in Reg filed with the DARAB after August 29, 1987.
Case No. R-0403-0041, dismissing the �Petition to Maintain Peaceful
Possession with Injunction� filed by the respondents.� 98 cralawre d
Matters involving strictly the administrative implementation of Republic Act No.
6657, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL) of
The DARAB has �primary and exclusive jurisdiction, both original and 1988 and other agrarian laws as enunciated by pertinent rules shall be the
appellate, to determine and adjudicate all agrarian disputes involving the exclusive prerogative of and cognizable by the Secretary of the DAR.
implementation of the [CARP] . . . and other agrarian laws and their
implementing rules and regulations:�99 cralawre d
h) And such other agrarian cases, disputes, matters or concerns referred to it
by the Secretary of the DAR.
RULE II
Jurisdiction Of The Adjudication Board SECTION 2. Jurisdiction of the Regional and Provincial Adjudicators. � The
RARAD and the PARAD shall have concurrent original jurisdiction with the
SECTION 1. Primary and Exclusive Original and Appellate Jurisdiction. � The Board to hear, determine and adjudicate all agrarian cases and disputes,
Board shall have primary and exclusive jurisdiction, both original and appellate, and incidents in connection therewith, arising within their assigned
to determine and adjudicate all agrarian disputes involving the territorial jurisdiction.100 (Emphasis supplied)
implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) under
Republic Act No. 6657, Executive Order Nos. 228, 229, and 129-A, Republic Act �Agrarian dispute� has been defined under Section 3(d) of Republic Act No.
No. 3844 as amended by Republic Act No. 6389, Presidential Decree No. 27 6657101 as referring to �any controversy relating to tenurial arrangements,
and other agrarian laws and their implementing rules and regulations. whether leasehold, tenancy, stewardship or otherwise, over lands devoted to
Specifically, such jurisdiction shall include but not be limited to cases involving agriculture. . . .�
the following:
a) The rights and obligations of persons, whether natural or juridical, engaged This court has held that �jurisdiction of a tribunal, including a quasi-judicial
in the management, cultivation and use of all agricultural lands covered by the office or government agency, over the nature and subject matter of a petition
CARP and other agrarian laws; or complaint is determined by the material allegations therein and the
character of the relief prayed for irrespective of whether the petitioner or
b) The valuation of land, and the preliminary determination and payment of complainant is entitled to any or all such reliefs.�102
cralawred

just compensation, fixing and collection of lease rentals, disturbance


compensation, amortization payments, and similar disputes concerning the The petition filed by respondent spouses before the PARAD alleged that
functions of the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP); �AUTOMAT REALTY AND DEV�T CORP. . . is the registered owner of two (2)
parcels of agricultural land. . .�,103 respondent spouses were �instituted as
c) The annulment or cancellation of lease contracts or deeds of sale or their tenant-tillers of the two (2) parcels of rice landholdings by . . . AUTOMAT
amendments involving lands under the administration and disposition of the through its authorized administrator LITO CECILIA�, 104 and that �shares of
the harvests of . . . AUTOMAT were paid and delivered in the form of checks
payable in cash in the name of . . . AUTOMAT. . . .� 105
cralawre d

However, jurisdiction is conferred by law, and �an order or decision rendered


by a tribunal or agency without jurisdiction is a total nullity.�106cralawred

The DAR exemption orders have determined with certainty that the lands were
reclassified as non-agricultural prior to June 15, 1988.� Consequently, the
petition filed by respondent spouses in 2000 before the PARAD did not involve
�lands devoted to agriculture� and, necessarily, it could not have involved
any controversy relating to such land.� Absent an �agrarian dispute,� the
instant case cannot fall under the limited jurisdiction of the DARAB as a quasi-
judicial body.

WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED.� The Court of Appeals� August 19,


2009 decision and April 14, 2010 resolution are REVERSED and SET ASIDE.�
The PARAD�s decision dated August 28, 2001 and DARAB�s decision dated
February 8, 2005 are declared NULL and VOID for lack of jurisdiction, without
prejudice to the filing of a civil case with the proper court.

SO ORDERED. cralawlawlibrary