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REPUBLIC ACT No.

3844

AN ACT TO ORDAIN THE AGRICULTURAL LAND REFORM CODE AND TO INSTITUTE LAND REFORMS IN THE
PHILIPPINES, INCLUDING THE ABOLITION OF TENANCY AND THE CHANNELING OF CAPITAL INTO INDUSTRY,
PROVIDE FOR THE NECESSARY IMPLEMENTING AGENCIES, APPROPRIATE FUNDS THEREFOR AND FOR OTHER
PURPOSES

Section 8. Extinguishment of Agricultural Leasehold Relation - The agricultural leasehold relation established under this Code shall be extinguished
by:

(1) Abandonment of the landholding without the knowledge of the agricultural lessor;

(2) Voluntary surrender of the landholding by the agricultural lessee, written notice of which shall be served three months in advance;
or

(3) Absence of the persons under Section nine to succeed to the lessee, in the event of death or permanent incapacity of the lessee.

Section 28. Termination of Leasehold by Agricultural Lessee During Agricultural Year - The agricultural lessee may terminate the leasehold during
the agricultural year for any of the following causes:

(1) Cruel, inhuman or offensive, treatment of the agricultural lessee or any member of his immediate farm household by the agricultural
lessor or his representative with the knowledge and consent of the lessor;

(2) Non-compliance on the part of the agricultural lessor with any of the obligations imposed upon him by the provisions of this Code or
by his contact with the agricultural lessee;

(3) Compulsion of the agricultural lessee or any member of his immediate farm household by the agricultural lessor to do any work or
render any service not in any way connected with farm work or even without compulsion if no compensation is paid;

(4) Commission of a crime by the agricultural lessor or his representative against the agricultural lessee or any member of his immediate
farm household; or

(5) Voluntary surrender due to circumstances more advantageous to him and his family.

Section 36. Possession of Landholding; Exceptions - Notwithstanding any agreement as to the period or future surrender, of the land, an agricultural
lessee shall continue in the enjoyment and possession of his landholding except when his dispossession has been authorized by the Court in a
judgment that is final and executory if after due hearing it is shown that:

(1) The agricultural lessor-owner or a member of his immediate family will personally cultivate the landholding or will convert the
landholding, if suitably located, into residential, factory, hospital or school site or other useful non-agricultural purposes: Provided; That
the agricultural lessee shall be entitled to disturbance compensation equivalent to five years rental on his landholding in addition to his
rights under Sections twenty-five and thirty-four, except when the land owned and leased by the agricultural lessor, is not more than five
hectares, in which case instead of disturbance compensation the lessee may be entitled to an advanced notice of at least one agricultural
year before ejectment proceedings are filed against him: Provided, further, That should the landholder not cultivate the land himself for
three years or fail to substantially carry out such conversion within one year after the dispossession of the tenant, it shall be presumed that
he acted in bad faith and the tenant shall have the right to demand possession of the land and recover damages for any loss incurred by
him because of said dispossessions.

(2) The agricultural lessee failed to substantially comply with any of the terms and conditions of the contract or any of the provisions of
this Code unless his failure is caused by fortuitous event or force majeure;

(3) The agricultural lessee planted crops or used the landholding for a purpose other than what had been previously agreed upon;

(4) The agricultural lessee failed to adopt proven farm practices as determined under paragraph 3 of Section twenty-nine;

(5) The land or other substantial permanent improvement thereon is substantially damaged or destroyed or has unreasonably deteriorated
through the fault or negligence of the agricultural lessee;

(6) The agricultural lessee does not pay the lease rental when it falls due: Provided, That if the non-payment of the rental shall be due to
crop failure to the extent of seventy-five per centum as a result of a fortuitous event, the non-payment shall not be a ground for
dispossession, although the obligation to pay the rental due that particular crop is not thereby extinguished; or
(7) The lessee employed a sub-lessee on his landholding in violation of the terms of paragraph 2 of Section twenty-seven.

Section 37. Burden of Proof - The burden of proof to show the existence of a lawful cause for the ejectment of an agricultural lessee shall rest upon
the agricultural lessor.

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TEODORO VS. MACARAEG
27 SCRA 7 (1969)
Facts:

Macaraeg had been the lessee of the property of Teodoro for the past seven (7) years when he was advised by the latter to vacate the property
because it would be given to another tenant. Thereafter, a new tenant was installed who forbade Macaraeg from working on the riceland. On the
other hand, Teodoro denied that Macaraeg was his tenant and claimed that he had always leased all of his 39-hectare riceland under civil lease. He
further claimed that after the expiration of his "Contract of Lease" with Macaraeg in 1961, the latter did not anymore renew his contract.

Held:

The Contract of Lease between the parties contains the essential elements of a leasehold tenancy agreement. The landholding in dispute is
unmistakably an agricultural land devoted to agricultural production. More specifically, the parties stipulated that "the property leased shall be used
or utilized for agricultural enterprise only." Furthermore, the parties also agreed that the farmland must be used for rice production as could be
inferred from the stipulation that "the rental of nine (9) cavans of palay per hectare for one agricultural year . . . must be of the same variety (of
palay) as that produced by the LESSEE."

The land is definitely susceptible of cultivation by a single person as it is of an area of only four and a half (4-1/2) ha. This court has held that even
a bigger area may be cultivated personally by the tenant, singly or with the help of the members of his immediate farm household.

From the stipulation that "the rental must be of the same variety as that produced by the LESSEE," it can reasonably be inferred that the intention
of the parties was that Macaraeg personally work the land, which he did as found by the Agrarian Court, thus: "In the instant case, petitioner
(Macaraeg) cultivated the landholding belonging to said respondent (Teodoro) for the agricultural year 1960-61 in consideration of a fixed annual
rental." (italics supplied) Moreover, there is no evidence that Macaraeg did not personally cultivate the land in dispute. Neither did Teodoro allege,
much less prove, that Macaraeg availed of outside assistance in the cultivation of the said riceland.

Teodoro is the registered owner of the disputed landholding and he delivered the possession thereof to Macaraeg in consideration of a rental certain
to be paid in produce. Evidently, there was a valid leasehold tenancy agreement. Moreover, the provision that the rental be accounted in terms of
produce — 9 cavans per hectare — is an unmistakable earmark, considering the other stipulations, that the parties did actually enter into a leasehold
tenancy relation (at 16-17; underscoring supplied).

Agricultural tenancy relation is different from farm employer-farm employee relation. The Court clarified the difference in the case ofGelos vs.
CA, 208 SCRA 608 (1992), as follows:

On the other hand, the indications of an employer-employee relationship are: 1) the selection and engagement of the employee; 2) the payment of
wages; 3) the power of dismissal; and 4) the power to control the employee's conduct — although the latter is the most important element.

According to a well-known authority on the subject, tenancy relationship is distinguished from farm employer-farm worker relationship in that: "In
farm employer-farm worker relationship, the lease is one of labor with the agricultural laborer as the lessor of his services and the farm employer
as the lessee thereof. In tenancy relationship, it is the landowner who is the lessor, and the tenant the lessee of agricultural land. The agricultural
worker works for the farm employer and for his labor he receives a salary or wage regardless of whether the employer makes a profit. On the other
hand, the tenant derives his income from the agricultural produce or harvest." (at 614)

Parties: landholder and tenant

Tenant defined.

A tenant is "a person who by himself, or with the aid available from within his immediate household, cultivates the land belonging to or possessed
by another, with the latter's consent for purposes of production, sharing the produce with the landholder or for a price certain or ascertainable in
produce or in money or both, under the leasehold tenancy system." (Rep. Act No. 1199 [1954], sec. 5 (a)).

An overseer of a coconut plantation is not considered a tenant.

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TALAVERA VS CA, LAXAMANA

Facts:

Jose Laxamana instituted an action for recovery of possession on July 10, 1984 against the petitioners over a parcel of land located in
Brgy. Sto. Domingo 11, Sition Tambo, Capas Tarlac. Private respondent alleged that he had been a bonafide tenant of the said land since 1958. He
had been in continuous possession of the said land until the petitioners took possession of it and planted palay without private respondent’s
knowledge and through force and intimidation. The private respondent suffered damages amounting to P500.00 and the price equivalent to sixty-
five cavans of palay per agricultural year. In the petitioners’ defence, they stated that the taking of the private respondent’s possession was in
accordance with their “Casunduan” executed on March 30, 1973 and that he was not actually a tenant of the petitioners. The document states that
private respondent sold his rights and interests over the property for a consideration of P1, 000.00. The Regional Trial Court ruled in favour of the
private respondent to which the petitioners appealed in the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court’s decision that the
Casunduan did not constitute valid surrender of the land contemplated under the law.

Issue:

Whether or not the surrender of the land by the private respondent constitutes “valid surrender” contemplated by the law

Held:

No, the surrender did not constitute a valid surrender as contemplated by the law. The Decision of the RTC and the CA is affirmed. Under
the Code of Agrarian Reforms of the Philippines (R.A. No. 3844) Section 8, agricultural leasehold shall only be extinguished based on the following
grounds:

1. Abandonment of the landholding without the knowledge of the agricultural lessor;


2. Voluntary surrender of the landholding by the agricultural lessee, written notice of which shall be served three months in advance; or
3. Absence of the person under Section rune to succeed to the lessee, in the event of death or permanent incapacity of the lessee.

Voluntary surrender does not require any court authorization since it involves the tenant’s own volition however, it must be shown that the surrender
was voluntary through convincing and sufficiently proved evidence. It cannot be presumed nor implied otherwise, the right of the tenant to security
of tenure becomes illusory one. It was shown that the Casunduan was prepared by petitioner Visitacion Talavera and that Jose Laxamana, at the
time the Casunduan was made, needed money for his wife’s illness which later caused her death. Laxamana could also hardly sign his own name.
Laxamana also continued working on the land until 1984 even after the Casunduan was made while the Talaveras claimed that they cultivated the
land themselves. Exhibits presented as evidence showed that Talaveras did not cultivate the land and actually resides in another barangay. The
circumstances showed that Laxamana was forced to sign the Casunduan without fully understanding it and continued cultivating the land after.

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HEIRS OF ENRIQUE TAN,Sr. vs. REYNALDA POLLESCAS

FACTS:

 Petitioners Tan were co-owners of a coconut farmland.Esteban Pollescas was the original tenant of the land. Upon Esteban’s death, his
son Enrique succeeded him and was appointed tenant by the landowners. However, respondent Reynalda, Esteban’s surviving second
spouse, demanded that the Tans recognize her as Esteban’s successor.
 Reynalda filed a complaint before DARAB, questioning the tenancy relationship of Tan and Enrique. DARAB ruled in favor of Reynalda,
declaring her as the lawful tenant of the Land. DARAB apportioned the harvests between the Tans and Reynalda based on the customary
sharing system which is 2/3 to the landowner and 1/3 to the tenant.
 Reynalda failed to deliver the 2/3 of the harvest. Tan heirs demanded the payment thereof, but Reynalda ignored such demand.
 Tan heirs filed a case for estafa for her failure to pay and deliver the share.

Petitioner: The agreement was extinguished due to non-payment of lease (the 2/3 of the harvest).

Respondent: The Tans demand excessive amount

ISSUE:

 WHETHER THE COURT OF APPEALS CORRECTLY RULED THAT REYNALDA IS OBLIGED TO PAY ONLY 1/4 OR 25% OF
THE NORMAL HARVEST AND NOT 2/3 WHEN THE SUBJECT LAND WAS NOT YET PLACED UNDER THE LEASEHOLD
SYSTEM PURSUANT TO SECTION 12 OF RA 6657

HELD: YES

In this case, the Tans seek ejectement of Reynalda from the Land due to non-payment of lease rental. In order for non-payment of the lease rental
to be a valid ground to dispossess the agricultural lessee of the landholding, the amount of the lease rental must first of all be lawful. If the amount
of lease rental claimed exceeds the limit allowed by law, non-payment of lease rental cannot be a ground to dispossess the agricultural lessee of the
landholding.

Section 34 of RA 3844 as amended mandates that not x x x more than 25% of the average normal harvest shall constitute the just and fair rental for
leasehold. In this case, the Tan Heirs demanded Reynalda to deliver 2/3 of the harvest as lease rental, which clearly exceeded the 25% maximum
amount prescribed by law. Therefore, the Tan Heirs cannot validly dispossess Reynalda of the landholding for non-payment of rental precisely
because the lease rental claimed by the Tan Heirs is unlawful.

DOCTRINE:

 Section 36 of RA 3844 as amended enumerates the grounds for dispossession of the tenants landholding, to wit:
SEC. 36. Possession of Landholding; Exceptions.Notwithstanding any agreement as to the period or future surrender of
the land, an agricultural lessee shall continue in the enjoyment and possession of his landholding except when his dispossession has been
authorized by the Court in a judgment that is final and executory if after due hearing it is shown that:

(1) The landholding is declared by the department head upon recommendation of the National Planning Commission to
be suited for residential, commercial, industrial or some other urban purposes: Provided, That the agricultural lessee shall be
entitled to disturbance compensation equivalent to five times the average of the gross harvests on his landholding during the last
five preceding calendar years;
(2) The agricultural lessee failed to substantially comply with any of the terms and conditions of the contract or any of
the provisions of this Code unless his failure is caused by fortuitous event or force majeure;
(3) The agricultural lessee planted crops or used the landholding for a purpose other than what had been previously agreed upon;
(4) The agricultural lessee failed to adopt proven farm practices as determined under paragraph 3 of Section twenty-nine;
(5) The land or other substantial permanent improvement thereon is substantially damaged or destroyed or has unreasonably
deteriorated through the fault or negligence of the agricultural lessee;
(6) The agricultural lessee does not pay the lease rental when it falls due: Provided, That if the non-payment of the rental shall be
due to crop failure to the extent of seventy-five per centum as a result of a fortuitous event, the non-payment shall not be a ground
for dispossession, although the obligation to pay the rental due that particular crop is not thereby extinguished; or
(7) The lessee employed a sub-lessee on his landholding in violation of the terms of paragraph 2 of Section twenty-seven.

 SEC. 28. Termination of Leasehold by Agricultural Lessee During Agricultural Year.The agricultural lessee may terminate the leasehold
during the agricultural year for any of the following causes:

(1) Cruel, inhuman or offensive treatment of the agricultural lessee or any member of his immediate farm household by the
agricultural lessor or his representative with the knowledge and consent of the lessor;

(2) Non-compliance on the part of the agricultural lessor with any of the obligations imposed upon him by the provisions of this
Code or by his contract with the agricultural lessee;

(3) Compulsion of the agricultural lessee or any member of his immediate farm household by the agricultural lessor to do any
work or render any service not in any way connected with farm work or even without compulsion if no compensation is paid;

(4) Commission of a crime by the agricultural lessor or his representative against the agricultural lessee or any member of his
immediate farm household; or

(5) Voluntary surrender due to circumstances more advantageous to him and his family.

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REPUBLIC ACT No. 6389

AN ACT AMENDING REPUBLIC ACT NUMBERED THIRTY-EIGHT HUNDRED AND FORTY-FOUR, AS AMENDED,
OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE AGRICULTURAL LAND REFORM CODE, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

Section 4. Section 32 of the same Code is hereby amended to read as follows:


"Sec. 32. Cost of Irrigation System. - The cost of construction of a permanent irrigation system, including distributary canals, may be borne
exclusively by the agricultural lessor who shall be entitled to an increase in rental proportionate to the resultant increase in production: Provided,
That if the agricultural lessor refuses to bear the expenses of construction the agricultural lessee/or lessees may shoulder the same, in which case
the former shall not be entitled to an increase in rental and shall, upon the termination of the relationship, pay the lessee or his heir the reasonable
value of the improvement at the time of the termination: Provided, further, That if the irrigation system constructed does not work, it shall not be
considered as an improvement within the meaning of this Section: Provided, furthermore, That the lessees, either as individuals or as groups, shall
undertake the management and control of irrigation systems with their respective jurisdiction. However, those constructed and operated by the
government may be given to the lessees either as individuals or as groups at their option with the right to maintain, manage and operate such
irrigation systems and to collect and receive rentals therefrom: Provided, still further, That the lessees, either as individuals or as groups, shall
allocate not more than twenty-five per cent of their collection for rentals to the government if the irrigation systems has obligations to meet until
paid, otherwise such irrigation system will be maintained, managed and operated solely by the lessees either as individuals or as groups, subject to
such rules on water rights and water use promulgated by the National Irrigation Administration or such other government agencies authorized by
law: Provided, finally, That if the irrigation system is installed and/or constructed at the expense of the landowner or agricultural lessor, the
Department of Agrarian Reform shall initiate, while the Land Bank shall finance, the acquisition of such irrigation system at its current fair market
value so that the ownership thereof may be vested in the lessees as individuals or groups."

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PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 1040 October 21, 1976

REITERATING THE PROHIBITION AGAINST AGRICULTURAL SHARE TENANCY IN ALL AGRICULTURAL LANDS AND
PROVIDING PENALTIES THEREFOR

WHEREAS, under the provisions of the Code of Agrarian Reforms, agricultural share tenancy in private agricultural lands covered by Presidential
Decree No. 27 with the exceptions and/or qualifications provided for therein, has been declared contrary to public policy and automatically
converted into agricultural leasehold;

WHEREAS, Presidential Decree No. 2 proclaimed the whole country as a land reform area;

WHEREAS, notwithstanding such provisions in the Code of Agrarian Reforms and Presidential Decree No. 2, many landowners landholders, civil
law lessees, legal possessors, usufructuaries of tenanted private agricultural lands, including persons acting for and in their behalf still insist that
the cropsharing system govern the tenancy relationship between them and their tenants;

WHEREAS, the penal provisions of the Code of Agrarian Reforms are inadequate to enforce full compliance with the declared policy on leasehold,
and therefore, it is imperative to strengthen said penal provisions by including therein, landholders, civil law lessees, legal possessors,
usufructuaries, or persons acting for and in their behalf, and by imposing stiffer penalties;

WHEREAS, the continuation of the feudal agricultural share tenancy system adversely impedes and obstructs the implementation of the Agrarian
Reform Program of the New Society.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution, do
hereby decree and order the following:

Section 1. The leasehold system shall govern the relation between the landowner, landholder, civil law lessee, legal possessor, usufructuary, or any
person acting for and in behalf, and the tenant-farmer in all tenanted private agricultural lands that have come under or are covered by and subject
to the provisions of Presidential Decree No. 27.

Section 2. In all cases covered by Section 1 hereof, the existence of an actual sharing arrangement between the landowner, landholder, civil law
lessee, legal possessor, usufructuary, or any person acting for and in his behalf, and his tenants shall give rise to the presumption that such landowner,
landholder, civil law lessee, legal possessor, usufructuary or person has continued and maintained, or has entered into a share tenancy contract or
relationship with the tenant.

Section 3. The landowner, landholder, civil law lessee, legal possessor, usufructuary, or any person acting for and in his behalf, shall be given one
agricultural year from the promulgation of this Decree before the penal provisions hereof shall operate against him. In case the tenant is alleged to
be unwilling to accept leasehold, then the landowner, landholder, civil law lessee, legal possessor, usufructuary or any person acting for and in his
behalf, shall report the matter to the Department of Agrarian Reform which shall immediately give effect to the provisions of all laws governing
tenancy, making them retroactive whenever necessary and proper to comply with said laws.

Section 4. The Department of Agrarian Reform is hereby empowered to promulgate rules and regulations to implement this Decree.

Section 5. The Secretary of National Defense shall assist the Secretary of Agrarian Reform in the implementation of this Decree.
Section 6. Any landowner, landholder, civil law lessee, legal possessor, usufructuary, or any person acting for and in behalf, who shall violate
Section 1 of this Decree by continuing and maintaining the share tenancy system, or by entering into a share tenancy contract or relationship with
another, as tenant, shall, upon conviction, suffer the penalty of prision mayor or a fine ranging from P5,000 to P10,000, or both, in the discretion
of the court. In the case of juridical persons, the manager or the person who has charge of the management or administration of the property, or in
his absence the person acting in his stead, shall be liable under this Section.

Section 7. Violations of the penal provision of this Decree shall exclusively be cognizable by the Courts of Agrarian Relations.

Section 8. All provisions of existing laws, decrees, orders, and rules and regulations inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed or modified
accordingly.

Section 9. This Decree shall take effect immediately.

Done in the City of Manila, this 21st day of October in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-six.

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HIDALGO vs HIDALGO

FACTS:
 Respondent-vendor Policarpio Hidalgo (Policarpio) was the owner of 2 agricultural parcels of land. He executed a deed of sale in favor of
the Respondents.
 2 Cases:
 CASE 1: Respondent-vendor sold the 22,876 sqm parcel of land together with 2 other parcels of land for P4,000.00. Petitioner spouses
Igmidio and Martina as tenants thereof, alleged that the parcel of land worked by them was worth P1,500.00
 CASE 2: respondent-vendor sold the 22,876 sqm parcel of land for P750.00 and petitioner spouses Hilaro and Adela as tenants, seek by
way of redemption the execution of a deed of sale for the same price of P750.00
 For several years, petitioner-tenants worked on the lands as share-tenants.

ISSUE:
WON the plaintiffs as share tenants, are entitled to redeem the parcels of land they are working from the purchasers thereof, where no notice was
previously given to them by the vendor. Is the right of redemption granted by Sec 12 of RA No. 3844 applicable to share tenants?

HELD:
 No. the court explained that a share tenant is altogether different from a leasehold tenant and their respective rights and obligations are
NOT CO-EXTENSIVE or CO-EQUAL. The right of redemption granted by Sec. 12 of the Land Reform Code is applicable only to
leasehold tenants because said provision of law clearly grants to the agricultural lease and nobody else.
 The court opined that the essence of the Agricultural Reform Code is the abolition of the Agricultural Share Tenancy as proclaimed to its
title. Sec.4 of the code expressly outlaws agricultural share tenancy as to contrary to public policy and decrees its abolition.
 Based on transitory provision that existing share-tenancy contracts were allowed to continue temporarily in force and effect
notwithstanding their express abolition until whichever of the following events to occur:
o A. The end of agricultural year when the National Land Reform Council makes the proclamation declaring the region or locality
a land reform area or;
o B. The shorter provided in the share tenancy contracts expires;
o C. The share tenant sooner exercises his option to elect the leasehold system.

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MANUEL GUERRERO and MARIA GUERRERO, petitioners,


vs.
HON. COURT OF APPEALS, and APOLINARIO BENITEZ, respondents.

Whether or not a tenancy relationship exists between the parties Manuel Guerrero, et al and Apolinario Benitez, et al. as to determine their respective
rights and obligations to one another is the issue in this petition to review the decision of the then Court of Appeals, now the Intermediate Appellate
Court, which affirmed in toto the decision of the Court of Agrarian Relations in CAR Case No. 6793-NE (SA-Q) '73, the dispositive portion of
which reads:
In view of all the foregoing, judgment is hereby rendered:

(1) ordering defendants-spouses Manuel and Maria Guerrero to reinstate plaintiff Apolinario Benitez to the 10-hectare portion of
the 16-hectare coconut holding in question, located at Bo. San Joaquin, Maria Aurora Sub-province Quezon and to maintain said
plaintiff in the peaceful possession and cultivation thereof, with all the rights accorded and obligations imposed upon him by law;

(2) ordering defendants Paulino and Rogelio both surnamed Latigay to vacate the said ten-hectare portion and deliver possession
thereof to plaintiff Apolinario Benitez;

(3) ordering defendants-spouses Manuel and Maria Guerrero to pay damages to plaintiffs in the amount of P14,911.20 beginning
from July, 1973 and to pay the same amount every year thereafter until plaintiff is effectively reinstated to the ten-hectare portion;

(4) denying plaintiff-tenants' prayer for reconstruction of the copra cottage: and

(5) ordering defendants-spouses Manuel and Maria Guerrero to pay plaintiff the amount of P200.00 by way of litigation expenses.

All other claims of the parties are denied. With costs against defendants-spouses.

The petitioners adopt the respondent court's findings of fact excepting, however, to its conclusion that tenancy relations exist between the petitioners
and the respondents, thus:

In 1969, plaintiff Apolinario Benitez was taken by defendants- spouses Manuel and Maria Guerrero to take care of their 60 heads
of cows which were grazing within their 21-hectare coconut plantation situated at Bo. San Joaquin, Maria Aurora, Subprovince
of Aurora, Quezon. Plaintiff was allowed for that purpose to put up a hut within the plantation where he and his family stayed. In
addition to attending to the cows, he was made to clean the already fruitbearing coconut trees, burn dried leaves and grass and to
do such other similar chores. During harvest time which usually comes every three months, he was also made to pick coconuts
and gather the fallen ones from a 16-hectare portion of the 21-hectare plantation. He had to husk and split the nuts and then
process its meat into copra in defendants' copra kiln. For his work related to the coconuts, he shared 1/3 of the proceeds from the
copra he processed and sold in the market. For attending to the cows he was paid P500 a year.

Sometime in the early part of 1973, plaintiff was refrained from gathering nuts from the 10-hectare portion of the 16-hectare part
of the plantation from where he used to gather nuts. He felt aggrieved by the acts of defendants and he brought the matter to the
attention of the Office of Special Unit in the Office of the President in Malacanang, Manila. This led to an execution of an
agreement, now marked as Exh. D, whereby defendants agreed, among others, to let plaintiff work on the 16-hectare portion of
the plantation as tenant thereon and that their relationship will be guided by the provisions of republic Act No. 1199. The
Agricultural Tenancy Act of the Philippines.

Then in July, 1973, he was again refrained from gathering nuts from the 10-hectare portion of the plantation with threats of bodily
harm if he persists to gather fruits therefrom. Defendant spouses, the Guerreros, then assigned defendants Rogelio and Paulino
Latigay to do the gathering of the nuts and the processing thereof into copra. Defendants Guerreros also caused to be demolished
a part of the cottage where plaintiff and his family lived, thus, making plaintiffs feel that they (defendants) meant business. Hence,
this case for reinstatement with damages.

The lower court formulated four (4) issues by which it was guided in the resolution of the questions raised by the pleadings and
evidence and we pertinently quote as follows:

(1) whether or not plaintiff is the tenant on the coconut landholding in question consisting of sixteen (16) hectares;

(2) In The affirmative, whether or not he was unlawfully dispossessed of ten (10) hectare thereof;

(3) Whether or not the parties are entitled to actual and moral damages, attorney's fees and litigation expenses.

This petition for review poses the following questions of law:

Whether or not with the passage of Presidential Decree 1038 only last October 21, 1976, Republic Act 6389 otherwise known as
the Code of Agrarian Reforms has repealed in their entirety the Agricultural Tenancy Act (Republic Act 1199) and the
Agricultural Reform Code (Republic Act 3844) abrogating or nullifying therefore all agricultural share tenancy agreements over
all kinds of lands, as the one involved in the case at bar-over coconut plantation-and hence, the complaint below as well as the
challenged decision by the courts below, based as they are on such share tenancy agreements, have lost their validity cessante
ratio legis, cessat ipsa lex.
II

Assuming arguendo that said laws have not thus been repealed, is respondent Benitez hereunder the undisputed fact of the case
as found by the courts below a share tenant within the purview of the said laws, i.e., Republic Acts 1199 and 3844, or a mere
farmhand or farm worker as such relationship were extensively discussed in Delos Reyes vs. Espinelli, 30 SCRA 574. (Copied
verbatim from Petition, p. 31- rollo)

Petitioner insists in this petition that Benitez was a mere farmhand or laborer who was dismissed as an employee from the landholding in question
and not ousted therefrom as tenant. Whether a person is a tenant or not is basically a question of fact and the findings of the respondent court and
the trial court are, generally, entitled to respect and non-disturbance.

The law defines "agricultural tenancy" as the physical possession by a person of land devoted to agriculture, belonging to or legally possessed by
another for the purpose of production through the labor of the former and of the members of his immediate farm household in consideration of
which the former agrees to share the harvest with the latter or to pay a price certain or ascertainable, either in produce or in money, or in both
(Section 3, Republic Act 1199, The Agricultural tenancy Act, as amended.)

With petitioner reference to this case, "share tenancy" exists whenever two persons agree on a joint undertaking for agricultural production wherein
one party furnishes the 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 with the aid of labor available from members of his immediate farm household, and the produce thereof to be divided between
the landholder and the tenant in proportion to their respective contributions (Sec. 4, RA 1199; Sec. 166(25) RA 3844, Agricultural Land Reform
Code).

In contrast, a farmhand or agricultural laborer is "any agricultural salary or piece worker but is not limited to a farmworker of a particular farm
employer unless this Code expressly provides otherwise, and any individual whose work has ceased as a consequence of, or in connection with, a
current agrarian dispute or an unfair labor practice and who has not obtained a substantially equivalent and regular employment" (Sec. 166(15) RA
3844, Agricultural Land Reform Code).

The petitioners contend that the two courts below applied erroneous definitions of "tenancy" found in repealed laws. They assert that the Agricultural
Tenancy Act and the Agricultural Land Reform Code have been superseded by the Code of Agrarian Reforms, Rep. Act 6389, which the trial court
and the Court of Appeals failed to cite and apply.

There is no question that the latest law on land and tenancy reforms seeks to abolish agricultural share tenancy as the basic relationship governing
farmers and landowners in the country.

On August 8, 1963, Republic Act 3844 abolished and outlawed share tenancy and put in its stead the agricultural leasehold system. On September
10, 1971, Republic Act 6389 amending Republic Act 3844 declared share tenancy relationships as contrary to public policy. On the basis of this
national policy, the petitioner asserts that no cause of action exists in the case at bar and the lower court's committed grave error in upholding the
respondent's status as share tenant in the petitioners' landholding.

The petitioners' arguments are regressive and, if followed, would turn back the advances in agrarian reform law. The repeal of the Agricultural
Tenancy Act and the Agricultural Land Reform Code mark the movement not only towards the leasehold system but towards eventual ownership
of land by its tillers. The phasing out of share tenancy was never intended to mean a reversion of tenants into mere farmhands or hired laborers with
no tenurial rights whatsoever.

It is important to note that the Agricultural Tenancy Act (RA 1199) and the Agricultural Land Reform Code (RA 3844) have not been entirely
repealed by the Code of Agrarian Reform (RA 6389) even if the same have been substantially modified by the latter.

However, even assuming such an abrogation of the law, the rule that the repeal of a statute defeats all actions pending under the repealed statute is
a mere general principle. Among the established exceptions are when vested rights are affected and obligations of contract are impaired. (Aisporna
vs. Court of Appeals, 108 SCRA 481).

The records establish the private respondents' status as agricultural tenants under the legal definitions.

Respondent Benitez has physically possessed the landholding continuously from 1969 until he was ejected from it. Such possession of longstanding
is an essential distinction between a mere agricultural laborer and a real tenant within the meaning of the tenancy law (Moreno, Philippine Law
Dictionary, 1972 Edition), a tenant being one who, has the temporary use and occupation of land or tenements belonging to another (Bouvier's Law
Dictionary, Vol. II, p. 3254) for the purpose of production (Sec. 3, Republic Act 1199; delos Reyes vs. Espinelli, 30 SCRA 574). Respondent
Benitez lives on the landholding. He built his house as an annex to the petitioner's copra kiln. A hired laborer would not build his own house at his
expense at the risk of losing the same upon his dismissal or termination any time. Such conduct is more consistent with that of an agricultural tenant
who enjoys security of tenure under the law.
Cultivation is another important factor in determining the existence of tenancy relationships. It is admitted that it had been one Conrado Caruruan,
with others, who had originally cleared the land in question and planted the coconut trees, with the respondent coming to work in the landholding
only after the same were already fruit bearing. The mere fact that it was not respondent Benitez who had actually seeded the land does not mean
that he is not a tenant of the land. The definition of cultivation is not limited merely to the tilling, plowing or harrowing of the land. It includes the
promotion of growth and the care of the plants, or husbanding the ground to forward the products of the earth by general industry. The raising of
coconuts is a unique agricultural enterprise. Unlike rice, the planting of coconut seedlings does not need harrowing and plowing. Holes are merely
dug on the ground of sufficient depth and distance, the seedlings placed in the holes and the surface thereof covered by soil. Some coconut trees
are planted only every thirty to a hundred years. The major work in raising coconuts begins when the coconut trees are already fruitbearing. Then
it is cultivated by smudging or smoking the plantation, taking care of the coconut trees, applying fertilizer, weeding and watering, thereby increasing
the produce. The fact that respondent Benitez, together with his family, handles all phases of farmwork from clearing the landholding to the
processing of copra, although at times with the aid of hired laborers, thereby cultivating the land, shows that he is a tenant, not a mere farm laborer.
(delos Reyes vs. Espinelli, supra Marcelo vs. de Leon, 105 Phil. 1175).

Further indicating the existence of a tenancy relationship between petitioners and respondent is their agreement to share the produce or harvest on
a "tercio basis" that is, a 1/3 to 2/3 sharing in favor of the petitioner-landowners. Though not a positive indication of the existence of tenancy
relations perse the sharing of harvest taken together with other factors characteristic of tenancy shown to be present in the case at bar, strengthens
the claim of respondent that indeed, he is a tenant. The case of delos Reyes vs. Espinelli (supra) clearly explains the matter thus:

The agricultural laborer works for the employer, and for his labor he receives a salary or wage, regardless of whether the employer
makes a profit. On the other hand, the share tenant par ticipates in the agricultural produce. His share is necessarily dependent on
the amount of harvest.

Hence, the lower court's computation of damages in favor of respondent based on the number of normal harvests. In most cases, we have considered
the system of sharing produce as convincing evidence of tenancy relations.

The petitioners entered into an agreement on May 2, 1973 which in clear and categorical terms establishes respondent as a tenant, to wit:

AGREEMENT

This agreement entered into by and between Manuel Guerrero hereinafter referred to as the landowner and Apolinario Benitez
hereinafter referred to as tenant.

xxx xxx xxx

The petitioners, however, contend that the word "tenant" in the aforequoted agreement was used to mean a hired laborer farm employee as
understood agreed upon by the parties. The fact that their relationship would be guided by the provisions of Republic Act 1199 or the Agricultural
Tenancy Act of the Philippines militates against such an assertion. It would be an absurdity for Republic Act 1199 to govern an employer-employee
relationship. If as the petitioners insist a meaning other than its general acceptation had been given the word "tenant", the instrument should have
so stated '. Aided by a lawyer, the petitioners, nor the respondent could not be said to have misconstrued the same. In clear and categorical terms,
the private respondent appears to be nothing else but a tenant:

Finally, comes the admission by the petitioners' counsel of the respondent's status as tenant:

ATTY. ESTEBAN:

Q You said you are living at San Joaquin, who cause the sowing of the lumber you made as annex in the house?

ATTY. NALUNDASAN

Please remember that under the law, tenant is given the right to live in the holding in question. We admit him
as tenant.

xxxxxxxxx

(Apolinario Benitez on Redirect, TSN, June 25, 1974, pp. 4950).

The respondent's status as agricultural tenant should be without question.

Once a tenancy relationship is established, the tenant has the right to continue working until such relationship is extinguished according to law.
The Agricultural Tenancy Act of 1954 (Republic Act 1199), the Agricultural Land Reform Code of 1963 (Republic Act 3844), the Code of Agrarian
Reforms (Republic Act 6389) and Presidential Decree 1038 (Strengthening the Security of Tenure of Tenant Tillers in Non-Rice/Corn Producing
Agricultural Lands) all provide for the security of tenure of agricultural tenants. Ejectment may be effected only for causes provided by law, to wit:

l) Violation or failure of the tenant to comply with any of the terms and conditions of the tenancy contract or any of the provisions
of the Agricultural Tenancy Act;

2) The tenant's failure to pay the agreed rental or to deliver the landholder's share unless the tenant's failure is caused by a
fortuitous event or force majeure;

3) Use by the tenant of the land for purposes other than that specified by the agreement of the parties;

4) Failure of the tenant to follow proven farm practices:

5) Serious injury to the land caused by the negligence of the tenant;

6) Conviction by a competent court of a tenant or any member of his immediate family or farm household of a crime against the
landholder or a member of his immediate family. (Section 50, Rep. Act 1199).

None of the above causes exists in the case at bar. The respondent has been unlawfully deprived of his right to security of tenure and the Court of
Agrarian Reforms did not err in ordering the reinstatement of respondent as tenant and granting him damages therefor.

Before we close this case, it is pertinent to reiterate that the respondent's right as share tenant do not end with the abolition of share tenancy. As the
law seeks to "uplift the farmers from poverty, ignorance and stagnation to make them dignified, self-reliant, strong and responsible citizens ... active
participants in nation-building", agricultural share tenants are given the right to leasehold tenancy as a first step towards the ultimate status of
owner-cultivator, a goal sought to be achieved by the government program of land reform.

It is true that leasehold tenancy for coconut lands and sugar lands has not yet been implemented. The policy makers of government are still studying
the feasibility of its application and the consequences of its implementation. Legislation still has to be enacted. Nonetheless, wherever it may be
implemented, the eventual goal of having strong and independent farmers working on lands which they own remains. The petitioners' arguments
which would use the enactment of the Agrarian Reform Code as the basis for setting back or eliminating the tenurial rights of the tenant have no
merit.

WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit. The decision of the appellate court is AFFIRMED. No costs.

SO ORDERED.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Section 38. Statute of Limitations - An action to enforce any cause of action under this Code shall be barred if not commenced
within three years after such cause of action accrued.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
G.R. No. 180476 June 26, 2013
RAYMUNDO CODERIAS, as represented by his Attorney-In-Fact, MARLON M. CODERIAS, Petitioner,
vs.
ESTATE OF JUAN CIDOCO, represented by its Administrator, DR. RAUL R. CARAG, Respondent.

Case: The Court cannot sanction the use of force to evict beneficiaries of land reform. Eviction using force is reversion to the feudal system,
where the landed elite have free rein over their poor vassals. In effect, might is right.

Facts:
The deceased Juan O. Chioco (Chioco) owned a 4-hectare farm in Lupao, Nueva Ecija (the farm). As tiller of the farm, 5 petitioner
Raymundo Coderias was issued a Certificate of Land Transfer (CLT) on April 26, 1974.6 In 1980, individuals connected with Chioco – who was a
former Governor of Nueva Ecija – threatened to kill petitioner if he did not leave the farm. His standing crops (corn and vegetables) and house
were bulldozed. For fear of his life, petitioner, together with his family, left the farm. 7
In 1993 upon learning of Chioco’s death, petitioner and his family re-established themselves on the farm.8
On March 9, 19959 petitioner filed with the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) in Talavera, Nueva Ecija a
Petition against respondent Chioco’s estate praying that his possession and cultivation of the farm be respected; that the corresponding agricultural
10

leasehold contract between them be executed; that he be awarded actual damages for the destruction of his house, his standing crops, unrealized
harvest from 1980 up to 1993, attorney’s fees and costs of litigation. 11 Respondent moved to dismiss12 the Petition, contending that petitioner’s
cause of action has prescribed under Section 3813 of Republic Act (RA) No. 3844,14 as amended, since the alleged dispossession took place in 1980
but the Petition was filed only in 1995, or beyond the statutory three-year period for filing such claims. Petitioner filed an opposition15 arguing that
his tenure/tillage should be deemed uninterrupted since his departure was due to threats made by Chioco’s henchmen; thus, the three-year
prescriptive period should not be applied to his case.

Ruling of the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (PARAD)


The PARAD issued a Decision16 dismissing the Petition on the ground of prescription. It adopted respondent’s argument, adding that
although petitioner was forcibly evicted from the farm, he was not without remedy under the law to assert his rights. Yet, he filed the Petition only
after 14 years, or in 1995. He is thus guilty of laches and is deemed to have abandoned his rights and privileges under the agrarian laws.

Ruling of the DARAB


Petitioner appealed17The appealed decision is hereby set aside. A new judgment is entered Ordering the Respondent-Appellee to respect
and maintain the Petitioner-Appellant in his peaceful possession and cultivation of the subject landholding; and Ordering the Respondent-Appellee
to reimburse Raymundo Coderias of the money equivalent representing the latter’s unrealized harvest from 1980 to 1993 or if he has not been
allowed to re-enter up to the time this decision is rendered then his share from the harvest should be computed from 1980 to the present, and
ordering the MARO of the municipality to assist the parties in the computation thereof.

Ruling of the Court of Appeals


The CA SET ASIDE DARAB’s decision. It held that undoubtedly, a tenancy relation existed between Chioco and petitioner under RA
3844.24Nevertheless, it found that petitioner’s action had prescribed, in that the complained acts occurred in 1980 but petitioner filed only in 1995,
or beyond the three-year prescriptive period under Section 38 of RA 3844. The CA held that this delayed action by petitioner amounts to laches as
well.

Issue:
Whether or not the CA committed an error in setting aside the decision of DARAB, thereby making petitoner’s contention untenable due to
prescription.

Our Ruling: The Court grants the Petition.

It must be recalled from the facts that the farm has been placed under the coverage of RA 3844. It is also undisputed that a tenancy relation
existed between Chioco and petitioner. In fact, a CLT had been issued in favor of the petitioner; thus, petitioner already had an expectant right to
the farm.31 A CLT serves as "a provisional title of ownership over the landholding while the lot owner is awaiting full payment of just compensation
or for as long as the tenant-farmer is an amortizing owner. This certificate proves inchoate ownership of an agricultural land primarily devoted to
rice and corn production. It is issued in order for the tenant-farmer to acquire the land he was tilling." 32 Since the farm is considered expropriated
and placed under the coverage of the land reform law, 33Chioco had no right to evict petitioner and enter the property. More significantly, Chioco
had no right to claim that petitioner’s cause of action had prescribed.

To strengthen the security of tenure of tenants, Section 10 of R.A. No. 3844 provides that the agricultural leasehold relation shall not be
extinguished by the sale, alienation or transfer of the legal possession of the landholding. With unyielding consistency, we have held that
transactions involving the agricultural land over which an agricultural leasehold subsists resulting in change of ownership, such as the sale or
transfer of legal possession, will not terminate the rights of the agricultural lessee who is given protection by the law by making such rights
enforceable against the transferee or the landowner's successor in interest.

In addition, Section 7 of the law enunciates the principle of security of tenure of the tenant, such that it prescribes that the relationship of
landholder and tenant can only be terminated for causes provided by law. Security of tenure is a legal concession to agricultural lessees which they
value as life itself and deprivation of their landholdings is tantamount to deprivation of their only means of livelihood. Perforce, the termination of
the leasehold relationship can take place only for causes provided by law.

The CA has failed to recognize this vinculum juris, this juridical tie, that exists between the petitioner and Chioco, which the latter is
bound to respect.

Under Section 8 of RA 3844, the agricultural leasehold relation shall be extinguished only under any of the following three circumstances,
to wit: "(1) abandonment of the landholding without the knowledge of the agricultural lessor; (2) voluntary surrender of the landholding by the
agricultural lessee, written notice of which shall be served three months in advance; or (3) absence of the persons under Section 9 to succeed the
lessee x x x." None of these is obtaining in this case. In particular, petitioner cannot be said to have abandoned the landholding. It will be recalled
that Chioco forcibly ejected him from the property through threats and intimidation. His house was bulldozed and his crops were destroyed.
Petitioner left the farm in 1980 and returned only in 1993 upon learning of Chioco’s death. Two years after, or in 1995, he filed the instant Petition.

Indeed, Section 38 of RA 3844 specifically provides that "an action to enforce any cause of action under this Code shall be barred if not
commenced within three years after such cause of action accrued." In this case, we deem it proper to reckon petitioner’s cause of action to have
accrued only upon his knowledge of the death of Chioco in 1993, and not at the time he was forcibly ejected from the landholding in 1980. For as
long as the intimidation and threats to petitioner’s life and limb existed, petitioner had a cause of action against Chioco to enforce the recognition
of this juridical tie. Since the threats and intimidation ended with Chioco’s death, petitioner’s obligation to file a case to assert his rights as grantee
of the farm under the agrarian laws within the prescriptive period commenced. These rights, as enumerated above, include the right to security of
tenure, to continue in possession of the land he works despite the expiration of the contract or the sale or transfer of the land to third persons, the
pre-emptive right to buy the land, as well as the right to redeem the land, if sold to a third person without his knowledge.

Petitioner may not be faulted for acting only after Chioco passed away for his life and the lives of members of his family are not worth
gambling for a piece of land. The bulldozing of his house – his castle – is only an example of the fate that could befall them. Under the circumstances,
it is therefore understandable that instead of fighting for the farm, petitioner opted to leave and keep his family safe. Any man who cherishes his
family more than the most valuable material thing in his life would have done the same.

Force and intimidation restrict or hinder the exercise of the will, and so long as they exist, petitioner is deprived of his free will. He could
not occupy his farm, plant his crops, tend to them, and harvest them. He could not file an agrarian case against Chioco, for that meant having to
return to Nueva Ecija. He could not file the case anywhere else; any other agrarian tribunal or agency would have declined to exercise jurisdiction.

The Agricultural Land Reform Code has been designed to promote economic and social stability. Being a social legislation, it must be
interpreted liberally to give full force and effect to its clear intent, which is ‘to achieve a dignified existence for the small farmers’ and to make
them ‘more independent, self-reliant and responsible citizens, and a source of genuine strength in our democratic society’.37

We have ruled time and again that litigants should have the amplest opportunity for a proper and just disposition of their cause – free, as
much as possible, from the constraints of procedural technicalities. In the interest of its equity jurisdiction, the Court may disregard procedural
lapses so that a case may be resolved on its merits. Rules of procedure should promote, not defeat, substantial justice. Hence, the Court may opt to
apply the Rules liberally to resolve substantial issues raised by the parties.

Our law on agrarian reform is a legislated promise to emancipate poor farm families from the bondage of the soil. P.D. No. 27 was
promulgated in the exact same spirit, with mechanisms which hope to forestall a reversion to the antiquated and inequitable feudal system of land
ownership. It aims to ensure the continued possession, cultivation and enjoyment by the beneficiary of the land that he tills which would certainly
not be possible where the former owner is allowed to reacquire the land at any time following the award – in contravention of the government’s
objective to emancipate tenant-farmers from the bondage of the soil.43

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DARAB Composition (Help)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NINA M. QUISMUNDO, petitioner,
vs.
HON. COURT OF APPEALS, HON. REYNALDO B. DAWAY, FELICISIMO OCAMPO, CATALINO OCAMPO, PEDRO
MARQUEZ, ROMEO ENRIQUEZ and HERMINIO YUSON, respondents.

This petition for review on certiorari seeks the reversal of the decision and resolution of respondent Court of Appeals in C.A.-G.R. SP No.
16418,1 dated November 29, 1989 and October 9, 1990, respectively, which upheld the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court of Angeles City,
Branch 58, in AGRA. Case No. 5174.2

It appears that on February 19, 1988, private respondents, as tenants of petitioner, filed a complaint with the trial court praying that their relationship
with petitioner be changed from share tenancy to a leasehold system, pursuant to Section 4 of Republic Act No. 3844, as amended, their request
therefor having been denied by petitioner.3

On March 2, 1988, private respondents further filed a motion for the issuance of an order authorizing the supervision by the deputy sheriff of the
court of the harvesting and liquidation of the 1987-1988 sugarcane crops, which motion was granted by the trial court in an order dated March 3,
1988.4

On March 16, 1988, petitioner filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of lack of cause of action since the law that should allegedly govern the
relationship of the parties is Act No. 4115, as amended by Commonwealth Act No. 271, and not Republic Act No. 3844, as amended. The trial
court denied the motion for lack of merit in an order dated June 2, 1988. 5

On June 18, 1988, petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration of the denial order, invoking as an additional ground the lack of jurisdiction of the
court over the case under the authority and by reason of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, specifically Executive Order No. 229 and
Republic Act No. 6657.6
Pending the resolution of said motion for reconsideration, private respondents filed another motion dated November 9, 1988, for the supervision of
harvesting. On December 6, 1988, the trial court granted the motion of private respondents and denied petitioner's motion for reconsideration.7

Petitioner then elevated the controversy to respondent court on a petition for certiorari but, as stated at the outset, said court upheld the jurisdiction
of the court below, ruling that:

xxx xxx xxx

Second. The right of the private respondents to choose leasehold tenancy is governed by RA 3844. We find nothing in Proclamation No.
131, E.O. No. 229 and RA 6657 divesting the trial court of jurisdiction over the case. To be sure, RA 6657 was enacted on June 10, 1988
or later than the filing of the Complaint in AGRA Case No. 5174 on February 13, 1988. On the other hand, sec. 27 of E.O. 229 approved
on July 22, 1987 provides that "... the provisions of RA 3844 and other agrarian laws not inconsistent with this order shall have suppletory
effect." We see no inconsistency between RA 3844 and E.O. No. 229 with respect to the jurisdiction of the trial court over the cause of
action of the private respondent who desires to adopt a leasehold system pursuant to RA 3844. E.O. No. 229 vests quasi-judicial powers
on the DAR to determine and adjudicate "agrarian reform matters" subject of Proclamation No. 229. 8 We hold that the right of private
respondents to adopt a leasehold system under RA 3844 is distinct and separate and not affected by the enactment of E.O. No. 229 and,
hence, may be enforced pursuant to the judicial mechanism provided for by RA 3844. 9

Petitioner's motion for reconsideration was denied by respondent Court of Appeals in its resolution dated October 9, 1990. 10 Not satisfied therewith,
petitioner is now before us raising the sole issue of jurisdiction.

It is the contention of petitioner that the Regional Trial Court of Angeles City has no jurisdiction to try the case at bar considering that the exclusive
original jurisdiction to adjudicate agrarian cases has already been vested in the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) by Executive Order No.
229, as amended by Republic Act No. 6657.

We find said contention tenable.

Executive Order No. 229, which provides for the mechanism for the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program instituted by
Proclamation No. 131, dated July 22, 1987, vests in the Department of Agrarian Reform quasi-judicial powers to determine and adjudicate agrarian
reform matters. The pertinent provision of said executive order reads as follows:

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

The DAR shall have powers to punish for contempt and to issue subpoena, subpoena duces tecum and writs to enforce its order or decisions.

The decisions of the DAR may, in proper cases, be appealed to the Regional Trial Courts but shall be immediately executory
notwithstanding such appeal.

The above quoted provision should be deemed to have repealed 11 Section 12 (a) and (b) of Presidential Decree No. 946 which invested the then
courts of agrarian relations with original exclusive jurisdiction over cases and questions involving rights granted and obligations imposed by
presidential issuances promulgated in relation to the agrarian reform program.

Formerly, under Presidential Decree No. 946, amending Chapter IX of Republic Act No. 3844, the courts of agrarian relations had original and
exclusive jurisdiction over "cases involving the rights and obligations of persons in the cultivation and use of agricultural land except those
cognizable by the National Labor Relations Commission" and "questions involving rights granted and obligations imposed by laws, Presidential
Decrees, Orders, Instructions, Rules and Regulations issued and promulgated in relation to the agrarian reform program," except those matters
involving the administrative implementation of the transfer of land to the tenant-farmer under Presidential Decree No. 27 and amendments thereto
which shall be exclusively cognizable by the Secretary of Agrarian Reform. 12

In 1980, upon the passage of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, otherwise known as the Judiciary Reorganization Act, the courts of agrarian relations were
integrated into the regional trial courts and the jurisdiction of the former was vested in the latter courts. 13

However, with the enactment of Executive Order No. 229, which took effect on August 29, 1987, fifteen (15) days after its release for publication
in the Official Gazette,14 the regional trial courts were divested of their general jurisdiction to try agrarian reform matters. The said jurisdiction is
now vested in the Department of Agrarian Reform.

Thus, in the case at bar, the Regional Trial Court of Angeles City, at the time private respondents filed their complaint, was already bereft of
authority to act on the same. The allegation of private respondents that their complaint was filed on November 3, 1987, and not on February 13,
1988 as found by the Court of Appeals, is immaterial since as of either date Executive Order No. 229 was already in effect.
The foregoing holding is further sustained by the passage of Republic Act No. 6657, the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law, which took effect
on June 15, 1988. The said law contains provisions which evince and support the intention of the legislature to vest in the Department of Agrarian
Reform exclusive jurisdiction over all agrarian reform matters.

Section 50 of said Act substantially reiterates Section 17 of Executive Order No. 229 vesting in the Department of Agrarian Reform exclusive and
original jurisdiction over all matters involving the implementation of agrarian reform, to wit:

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

xxx xxx xxx

In addition, Sections 56 and 57 thereof provide for the designation by the Supreme Court of at least one (1) branch of the regional trial court within
each province to act as a special agrarian court. The said special court shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction only over petitions for the
determination of just compensation to landowners and the prosecution of criminal offenses under said Act. Said provisions thus delimit the
jurisdiction of the regional trial court in agrarian cases only to these two instances.

It is also worth noting at this juncture that the resolution of this case by the Department of Agrarian Reform is to the best advantage of private
respondents since it is in a better position to resolve agrarian disputes, being the administrative agency possessing the necessary expertise on the
matter. Further, the proceedings therein are summary in nature and the department is not bound by technical rules of procedure and evidence, to
the end that agrarian reform disputes and other issues will be adjudicated in a just, expeditious and inexpensive action or proceeding. 15

WHEREFORE, the petition at bar is GRANTED. The decision of the Court of Appeals is REVERSED and another judgment is hereby rendered
declaring NULL and VOID the orders of the lower court dated March 3, 1988, June 2, 1988 and December 6, 1988. The respondent judge, or
whosoever now presides over the court a quo or to which the case is assigned, is ordered to cease and desist from further proceeding with AGRA
Case No. 5176 which is hereby dismissed for lack of jurisdiction, without prejudice, however, to the refiling of the same with the Department of
Agrarian Reform.

SO ORDERED

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
RULE II

Jurisdiction of the Board and the Adjudicators

SECTION 1. Primary and Exclusive Original and Appellate Jurisdiction. The Board shall have primary and exclusive jurisdiction,
both original and appellate, to determine and adjudicate all agrarian disputes involving the 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, and 129-A, R.A. No. 3844 as amended by R.A. No.
6389, Presidential Decree No. 27 and other agrarian laws and their Implementing Rules and Regulations. Specifically, such jurisdiction shall include
but not be limited to cases involving the following:

a. The rights and obligations of persons, whether natural or juridical, engaged in the management, cultivation, and use of all
agricultural lands covered by R.A. No. 6657, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL), as amended,
and other related agrarian laws;

b. The preliminary administrative determination of reasonable and just compensation of lands acquired under Presidential Decree (PD)
No. 27 and the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP);

c. Those cases involving the annulment or rescission of lease contracts or deeds of sale or their amendments involving lands under
the administration and disposition of the DAR or Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), and the amendment of titles pertaining to
agricultural lands under the administration and disposition of the DAR and LBP; as well as EPs issued under PD 266, Homestead
Patents, Free Patents, and miscellaneous sales patents to settlers in settlement and re-settlement areas under the administration
and disposition of the DAR;
d. Those cases involving the ejectment and dispossession of tenants and/or leaseholders;

e. Those cases involving the sale, alienation, pre-emption, and redemption of agricultural lands under the coverage of the CARL,
as amended or other agrarian laws;

f. Those involving the correction, partition, secondary and subsequent issuances such as reissuance of lost/destroyed owner’s
duplicate copy and reconstitution of Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs) and Emancipation Patents (EPs) which are
registered with the Land Registration Authority;

g. Those cases involving the review of leasehold rentals and fixing of disturbance compensation;

h. Those cases involving the collection of amortization payments, foreclosure and similar disputes concerning the functions of the
LBP, and payments for lands awarded under PD No. 27, RA No. 3844, as amended, and R.A. No. 6657, as amended by R.A. No.
9700, and other related laws, decrees, orders, instructions, rules, and regulations, as well as payment for residential, commercial,
and industrial lots within the settlement and resettlement areas under the administration and disposition of the DAR;

i. Those cases involving boundary disputes over lands under the administration and disposition of the DAR and the LBP, which are
transferred, distributed, and/or sold to tenant-beneficiaries and are covered by deeds of sale, patents, and certificates of title;

j. Those cases previously falling under the original and exclusive jurisdiction of the defunct Court of Agrarian Relations under
Section 12 of PD No. 946 except those cases falling under the proper courts or other quasi-judicial bodies; and

k. Such other agrarian cases, disputes, matters or concerns referred to it by the Secretary of the DAR.

SECTION 2. Appellate Jurisdiction of the Board. — The Board shall have exclusive appellate jurisdiction to review, reverse,
modify, alter, or affirm resolutions, orders and decisions of the Adjudicators.

No order of the Adjudicators on any issue, question, matter, or incident raised before them shall be elevated to the Board until the hearing
shall have been terminated and the case decided on the merits.

SECTION 3. Annulment of Judgment of Adjudicators. Annulment of final judgment of Adjudicators shall be initiated by filing a
verified complaint or petition with the Board attaching thereto certified copies of the assailed decision and alleging therein with particularity the
facts and the law relied upon for said annulment.

The annulment may be based only on grounds of extrinsic fraud and lack of jurisdiction. If based on extrinsic fraud, the action must be
filed within three (3) years from its discovery; and if based on lack of jurisdiction, before it is barred by laches or estoppel.

SECTION 4. Referral to Office of the Secretary (OSEC). — In the event that a case filed before the Adjudicator shall necessitate the
determination of a prejudicial issue involving an agrarian law implementation case, the Adjudicator shall dismiss the case without prejudice to its
re-filing, and, for purposes of expediency, refer the same to the Office of the Secretary or his authorized representative in the locality.

Prejudicial issue is defined as one that arises in a case the resolution of which is a logical antecedent of the issue involved therein, and the
jurisdiction over which pertains to the Office of the Secretary.

The prejudicial issue must be determinative of the case before the Board or the Adjudicator but the jurisdiction to try and resolve the
question is lodged with the Office of the Secretary.
SECTION 5. Role of the RARAD. — The RARAD shall be the Executive Adjudicator in his Region directly responsible to the
Board. As such, he shall:

a. Exercise administrative supervision over the PARADs and, in the absence of the PARAD concerned, their personnel, which shall
include, among others, the monitoring of cases in his Region;

b. Receive, hear, and adjudicate agrarian disputes and land cases within the Region;

c. He shall also hear the following cases:

1. Those cases that cannot be handled by the PARAD on account of inhibition, disqualification or when there is no PARAD
designated in the locality;

2. Those matters of such complexity and sensitivity that the decision thereof would constitute an important precedent
affecting regional interest as may be recommended by the concerned RARAD and approved by the Board; and

3. Preliminary determination of just compensation within the jurisdictional limits as stated in Rule XIX, Sec. 2 hereof; and

4. Hear application for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining order and such other
cases which the Board may assign.

SECTION 6. Powers. — The Members of the Board and the Adjudicators are empowered to summon witnesses, administer oaths,
take testimony, require submission of reports, compel production of books and documents and answers to interrogatories, and to issue subpoena
duces tecum, writs of possession, writs of execution, and other writs to enforce its orders and decisions through their Sheriffs or duly deputized
officers.

For this purpose, whenever necessary, they shall direct the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines or any of their
component units, or other law enforcement agencies to assist in the enforcement and execution of their decisions, orders, writs, and other processes.

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RUFINA VDA. DE TANGUB, Petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, PRESIDING JUDGE of the [CAR] RTC, Branch 4, Iligan City,
and SPOUSES DOMINGO and EUGENIA MARTIL, Respondents.
FACTS:

 The jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court, acting as a special agrarian court, in the light of Executive Orders Numbered 129-A and 229
and Republic Act No. 6657, is what is at issue in the proceeding at bar.
 Rufina Tangub and her husband, Andres, now deceased, filed with the RTC of Lanao del Norte in March, 1988, "an agrarian case for
damages by reason of unlawful dispossession . . .were tenants from the landholding" owned by the Spouses Domingo and Eugenia Martil.
 Respondent Judge Felipe G. Javier, Jr. dismissed the complaint as the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court over agrarian cases had been
transferred to the Department of Agrarian Reform.
 The Tangub Spouses filed a petition for Certiorari with this Court, this Court referred the same to the Court of Appeals, that tribunal
having concurrent jurisdiction to act thereon.: nad
 The Court of Appeals, dismissed the petition, finding that the jurisdictional question had been correctly resolved by the Trial Court.
Emphatically ruled that agrarian cases no longer fall under the jurisdiction of Regional Trial Courts but rather under the jurisdiction of
the DAR Adjudication Board.
Basis:
-Below E.Os were issued by President Corazon Aquino in the exercise of her revolutionary powers in accordance with Section
6, Article 17 of the 1986 Consti.
Section 6, Article 17 of 1986 Consti provided that the "incumbent President shall continue to exercise legislative powers
until the first Congress is convened."

 E.O No. 229 approved on July 22, 1987 (Section 17)


 Vested the Department of Agrarian Reform with "quasi-judicial powers to determine and adjudicate agrarian reform
matters,"
 Granted it "jurisdiction over all matters involving implementation of agrarian reform.
EXCEPT:
 Those falling under the exclusive original jurisdiction of the DENR and the Department of Agriculture
[DA]
 Powers to punish for contempt and to issue subpoena, subpoena duces tecum and writs to enforce its orders
or decisions."
 E.O No. 129-A (Section 5), issued on July 26, 1987, in relation to Republic Act No. 6657, effective on June 15, 1988
 Implement all agrarian laws, and for this purpose
 Punish for contempt and issue subpoena, subpoena duces tecum, writ of execution of its decision, and other legal
processes to ensure successful and expeditious program implementation;
***The decisions of the Department may in proper cases, be appealed to the Regional Trial Courts but shall be
immediately executory notwithstanding such appeal;
 Provide free legal service to agrarian reform beneficiaries and resolve agrarian conflicts and land tenure related
problems as may be provided for by laws;
 Have exclusive authority to approve or disapprove conversion of agricultural lands for residential, commercial,
industrial, and other land uses as may be provided . . ."
 The jurisdiction thus conferred on the Department of Agrarian Reform is evidently quite as extensive as that theretofore vested in the
Regional Trial Court by Presidential Decree No. 946.
 The intention evidently was to transfer original jurisdiction to the Department of Agrarian Reform, a proposition stressed by the rules
formulated and promulgated by the Department for the implementation of the executive orders just quoted
 The petitioner Rufina Vda. de Tangub, now widowed, is once again before this Court, contending that the Trial Court's "order of dismissal
of August 26, 1988, and the decision of the Honorable Court of Appeals affirming it, are patently illegal and unconstitutional" because
they deprive "a poor tenant access to courts and directly violate R.A. 6657, PD 946, and Batas Bilang 129."
ISSUE: WON agrarian cases fall under the jurisdiction of the RTC.

HELD: Not all.

 Regional Trial Court has a limited jurisdiction over two groups of cases:
 SEC. 50. Quasi-Judicial Powers of the DAR. — The DAR is hereby vested with primary jurisdiction to determine and
adjudicate agrarian reform matters and shall have exclusive original jurisdiction over all matters involving the
implementation of agrarian reform, except those falling under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture
[DA] and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources [DENR].
 The Regional Trial Courts have not, however, been completely divested of jurisdiction over agrarian reform matters. Section 56 of RA
6657, on the other hand, confers "special jurisdiction" on "Special Agrarian Courts," which are Regional Trial Courts designated by the
Supreme Court — at least one (1) branch within each province — to act as such. These Regional Trial Courts qua Special Agrarian Courts
have, according to Section 57 of the same law, original and exclusive jurisdiction over:
 All petitions for the determination of just compensation to land-owners, and
 The prosecution of all criminal offenses under . . [the] Act
***In these cases, "(t)he Rules of Court shall apply . . unless modified by . . . (the) Act."

 It is relevant to mention in this connection that —


 Appeals from decisions of the Special Agrarian Courts "may be taken by filing a petition for review with the Court of Appeals within
fifteen (15) days from receipt or notice of the decision, . ."
 Appeals from any "decision, order, award or ruling of the DAR on any agrarian dispute or on any matter pertaining to the application,
implementation, enforcement, or interpretation of this Act and other pertinent laws on agrarian reform may be brought to the Court of
Appeals by Certiorari except as otherwise provided . . . within fifteen (15) days from receipt of a copy thereof," the "findings of fact of
the DAR [being] final and conclusive if based on substantial evidence."
 The Regional Trial Court of Iligan City was therefore correct in dismissing Agrarian Case No. 1094. It being a case concerning the rights
of the plaintiffs as tenants on agricultural land, not involving the "special jurisdiction" of said Trial Court acting as a Special Agrarian
Court, it clearly came within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Department of Agrarian Reform, or more particularly, the Agrarian
Reform Adjudication Board, established precisely to wield the adjudicatory powers of the Department, supra.
 the law strives to make resolution of controversies therein more expeditious and inexpensive, by providing not only that the Board "shall
not be bound by technical rules of procedure and evidence," supra, but also that, as explicitly stated by the penultimate paragraph of
Section 50 of the Act:
 "Responsible farmer leaders shall be allowed to represent themselves, their fellow farmers, or their organizations in any proceedings before
the DAR: Provided, however, That when there are two or more representatives for any individual or group, the representatives should
choose only one among themselves to represent such party or group before any DAR proceedings."

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UALAT V JUDGE RAMOS

FACTS: 1.) (2 administrative complaints on Judge Ramos) Complainant Sabio claims that he is an agricultural lessee of an agricultural land owned
by Coma. On the other hand, complainant Ualat alleges that he is sabio’s caretaker
2.) Complainant Sabio filed with Dept. of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) a complaint for Recovery of Possession against the
landowner and his brother.
3.) The landowner filed against complainants a case for illegal detention with judge respondent’s sala.
4.) DARAB ruled in favor of the complainants while Judge Respondent rendered a decision in favor of the landowner
5.) Complainant now contend that resp Judge using his “power and authority” took cognizance of the case because of personal interest and motive.
They claim that during the pendency of the case, resp Judge, thru his son and brother cultivated a portion of the land subj matter of the case. Also,
DAR has exclusive jurisdiction for this case.
6.) Complainant Ualat (as caretaker): his residence cannot be levied upon by the sheriff because it is not subj of the lease and he could not be held
“jointly and severally” liable to pay the obligations of Sabio as agricultural tenant
7.) Resp judge denies allegations and alleges that he did not know about the complaint with DAR and its resolution because none of this was stated
in the pleadings or mentioned in the proceedings; He denies that he decided based on his personal interests and motive
8.) Regarding Ualat’s complaint, the Judge explained that he was held jointly and severally liable because he was co-defendant in the case. However,
he could have timely filed an appeal for this matter. In this case, he only appealed when judgement had already been executed.
9.) In the Investigation by Exec. Judge: It was found that resp Judge in deed was not aware of the DAR case when he rendered the decision.
Moreover, in this case, there was no allegation in the complaint that the case was of agrarian nature. It was also found that the contract entered into
was in deed a civil lease contract and that comp violated it by subleasing it to Ualat and that the duration of the contract already expired
10.) There was nothing in the lease contract agreement that the intention of the parties was to enter into a contract of tenancy
12.) From the founded facts, resp. may not be faulted when he said that he had jurisdiction over the case and then proceeded to decide on its merits.
However, resp should have exercised prudence and caution considering the allegation of tenancy by the defendant Ualat and his insistence that the
Court has no jurisdiction by setting the case for hearin and asking clarificatory questions instead of immediately ordering the ejectment of defendants
13.) With regard to Ualat’s complaint, the judge did not state the reason for ordering Ualat to pay jointly and severally in his decision although in
his testimony, he explained that this is because complainants conspired to deprive landowner of his land. But, there was no evidence.
“Article 1652. The sublessee is subsidiarily liable to the lessor for any rent due from the lessee. However, the sub-lessee shall not be responsible
beyond the amount of rent due from him in accordance with the terms of the sublease, at the time of the extra-judicial demand by the lessor.” (Civil
Code) ~ Ualat should not be liable based on this article.
14.) The claim that Sabio appealed the decision in the RTC is wrong for the records does not show this and he actually admitted later on that only
Ualat appealed
15.) Complainant Ualat blames resp Judge for denying the appeal but the denial is correct for it was filed out of time.
16.) The conclusion that resp judge has interest and motive on the land is not warranted for it was not proven and the judge explains that he has his
own life to live.
17.) Of the 3 errors alleged against him, only 1 was in fact committed that is holding Ualat jointly and severally liable but this was a mistake of
judgment or law which every judge commits every now and then
18.) With this, exec judge recommends dismissal of the complaint w/ stern warning
19.) OCA disagrees.

ISSUE: WON complaint should be dismissed – NO, the mere fact that resp lacks prior knowledge of the previous case before the DAR does not
entirely absolve him of admin liability

RATIO: OCA: - Prudence dictate (sic) that the proper thing to do under the circumstances is to refer first the case to the DAR for certification to
determine the existence of the agricultural tenancy relationship in accordance with existing agrarian laws. His act of precipitately acting on the case
without coursing the latter to the DAR has put into question his real motive especially so that his personal interest on the lot is what is concerned
in this case.”
- resp has violated PD 316 and PD 1038 which gives jurisdiction to DAR
- “(i)t is mandatory for the trial court to refer the case to the Secretary of Agrarian Reform or his authorized representative for a preliminary
determination of the relationship between the contending parties if it is a case of ejectment or attempt to harass or remove a tenant in agricultural
land primarily devoted to rice and corn. Even without a motion, the trial court may motu propio order such referral.
SC: - Based on the facts (inc. comp being represented by DAR), it is obvious that it was an agrarian case
- His failure to refer the case to DAR despite the 2 PDs cannot be justified
- It is a pressing responsibility of judges to keep abreast with the law and changes therein, as well as with the latest decisions of this Court.
- Ignorance of the law, which everyone is bound to know, excuses no one -- certainly not judges. ~ When the law is so elementary, it constitutes
gross ignorance of the law

This was his 2nd infraction so he is further admonished and meted the max penalty with stern warning. Found liable for gross ignorance of law.

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HRS. OF SANTOS V. CA

Herman Rey Santos, who is now substituted by his heirs, obtained the subject land thru a public auction. Santos then registered the deed of sale in
the register of deeds, after Garcia failed to exercise his right of redemption.

Private respondent filed a Petition for Injunction and Damages with an application for the issuance of a preliminary injunction with the Department
of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB), praying that petitioner be enjoined from preventing private respondent from gathering the
mango fruits. Darab granted the petition.

Private respondent filed a Petition for Consignation before the Regional Trial Court of Bulacan, in an apparent attempt to redeem his land. This
petition was dismissed.

Meanwhile, one Pantaleon Antonio filed on May 18, 1992 a motion to intervene[5] with the DARAB claiming that "he is affected in his rights and
interests

private respondent filed a complaint for Annulment/Cancellation of Sale and Document, Redemption with Damages and Preliminary Writ of
Injunction against Herman Rey Santos.

Adjudication Board suspended the hearing on Pantaleon Antonios motion for intervention.

Intervenor Pantaleon Antonio filed with the DARAB a Motion to Withdraw Intervenors deposited share.[8] The motion was granted and intervenor
Pantaleon Antonio was allowed to withdraw harvest proceeds. DARAB then recognized Pantaleon Antonio as the duly constituted agricultural
tenant of the subject land.

As appealed, the Court of Appeals affirmed the Orders of DARAB. Hence, this petition.

Issue: W/N PARAD has jurisdiction over the matters raised by the intervenor.

Held: No, PARAD has no jurisdiction.

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

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

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

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

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

Clearly, no agrarian dispute is involved in this case. Tenancy relationship is needed for DARAB to have jurisdiction over the case.

Court held that the jurisdiction of the Department of Agrarian Reform is limited to the following: a) adjudication of all matters
involving implementation of agrarian reform; b) resolution of agrarian conflicts and land tenure related problems; and c) approval
and disapproval of the conversion, restructuring or readjustment of agricultural lands into residential, commercial, industrial, and
other non-agricultural uses.

Petitioners and private respondent have no tenurial, leasehold, or any agrarian relations whatsoever that could have brought this controversy under
the ambit of the agrarian reform laws. Consequently, the DARAB has no jurisdiction over the controversy.

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DAR VS. CUENCA
FACTS

Private respondent Cuenca is the registered owner of a parcel of land situated in La Carlota City and devoted principally to the planting of
sugar cane. The MARO of La Carlota City issued and sent a NOTICE OF COVERAGE to private respondent Cuenca placing the landholding
under the compulsory coverage of R.A. 6657. The NOTICE OF COVERAGE also stated that the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) will determine
the value of the subject land pursuant to Executive Order No. 405. Private respondent Cuenca filed with the RTC for Annulment of Notice of
Coverage and Declaration of Unconstitutionality of E.O. No. 405. Cuenca alleged that the implementation of CARP in his landholding is no longer
with authority of law considering that, if at all, the implementation should have commenced and should have been completed between June 1988
to June 1992; that Executive Order No. 405 amends, modifies and/or repeals CARL and, therefore, it is unconstitutional considering that then
President Corazon Aquino no longer had law-making powers; that the NOTICE OF COVERAGE is a gross violation of PD 399.

Private respondent Cuenca prayed that the Notice of Coverage be declared null and void ab initio. The respondent Judge denied MARO Noe
Fortunados motion to dismiss and issued a Writ of Preliminary Injunction directing Fortunado and all persons acting in his behalf to cease and
desist from implementing the Notice of Coverage, and the LBP from proceeding with the determination of the value of the subject land. The DAR
thereafter filed before the CA a petition for certiorari assailing the writ of preliminary injunction issued by respondent Judge on the ground of grave
abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction.

Stressing that the issue was not simply the improper issuance of the Notice of Coverage, but was mainly the constitutionality of Executive
Order No. 405, the CA ruled that the Regional Trial Court (RTC) had jurisdiction over the case. Consonant with that authority, the court a quo also
had the power to issue writs and processes to enforce or protect the rights of the parties.

ISSUE

Whether the complaint filed by the private respondent is an agrarian reform and within the jurisdiction of the DAR, not with the trial court

RULING

Yes. A careful perusal of respondents Complaint shows that the principal averments and reliefs prayed for refer -- not to the pure question
of law spawned by the alleged unconstitutionality of EO 405 -- but to the annulment of the DARs Notice of Coverage. Clearly, the main thrust of
the allegations is the propriety of the Notice of Coverage, as may be gleaned from the following averments. The main subject matter raised by
private respondent before the trial court was not the issue of compensation. Note that no amount had yet been determined nor proposed by the
DAR. Hence, there was no occasion to invoke the courts function of determining just compensation. To be sure, the issuance of the Notice of
Coverage constitutes the first necessary step towards the acquisition of private land under the CARP. Plainly then, the propriety of the Notice relates
to the implementation of the CARP, which is under the quasi-judicial jurisdiction of the DAR. Thus, the DAR could not be ousted from its authority
by the simple expediency of appending an allegedly constitutional or legal dimension to an issue that is clearly agrarian.

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