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GR No. 169589; 16 June 2009

Petitioners Respondents
Nachura, J.
Petition for review
 Subject property situation in Pampanga with 10 has, formerly owned by Dalmacio.
 Petitioners claimed that they started working on the subject property with corresponding area of tillage
as certified by the Barangay Agrarian Reform Committee on 6 Dec 1989.
 Ocular inspection and Investigation Report issued by Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer stated that
petitioners cultivated the property allegedly managed by respondent, Gerry, manager of PASUDECO.
 Gery made Ciriaco, caretaker, collect lease rentals from petitioner, then remitted them to Gerry. Ciricaco
certified that the petitioners were actual tenant-tillers of the property.
 PASUDECO decided to develop property into a housing project for employees.

 Petitioners filed a complaint for maintenance of peaceful possession with prayer for prelim injunction
against Gerry before PARAD. PARAD dismissed petitioners’ complaint holding that they had not shown
direct and convincing proof they were tenants.
 Petitioners filed a Notice of Appeal with DARAB. During pendency of the case, property was devastated
by lahar. Thus farming activities ceased.
 DARAB rendered decision in favor of petitioners. Without approval of conversion application by
PASUDECO, property is not a residential property for housing. The fact that petitioners tilled it for 20 yrs,
it remained agricultural.
 PASUDECO filed MR, denied by DARAB. Then to CA, which reversed DARAB’s ruling and reinstated
PARAD’s decision holding that while property was agricultural, there was no tenancy relationship.
ISSUE: W/N petitioners are de jure tenants of subject property
 Essential elements of tenancy: (1) the parties are the landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee; (2)
the subject matter of relationship is an agricultural land; (3) there is consent between the parties to the
relationship; (4) the purpose of the relationship is to bring about agricultural production; (5) there is
personal cultivation on the part of tenant or agri lessee; and (6) the harvest is shared between landowner
and tenant or lessee.
 The presence of all elements must be proven by substantial evidence. Unless a person has established his
status as a de jure tenant, he is not entitled to security of tenure and not covered by Land Reform
 In Reyes v Reyes, the Court held that Under RA 3844, two modes are provided for in establishment of
agricultural leasehold relation: (1) by operation of law in accordance with sec 4 of the act or (2) by oral or
written agreement. By operation of law simply means the abolition of the agricultural share tenancy

system and the conversion of share tenancy relations into leasehold relations. The other method is the
agricultural leasehold contract, which may either be oral or in writing.
 In the case at bar, the Court finds that the elements of consent and sharing and/or payment of lease
rentals are absent. Occupancy and continued possession of the land will not ipso facto make one a de
jure tenant, because the principal factor in determining whether a tenancy relationship exists is intent.
 First: Tenancy relationship can only be created with consent of true and lawful landholder. Absent
substantial evidence of authority given by PASUDECO to Gerry or Ciriaco, his actions could not give rise to
an implied tenancy.
 Second: prior owner Dalmacio sought for voluntary surrender of landholding agreement with previous
tenants so property can be sold to PASUDECO free from tenancy since property was sold to build a
housing project.
 Third: Certifications issued by administrative agencies or officials concerning the presence or absence of
tenancy relationship are merely preliminary or provisional and not binding on the courts.
 Fourth: the long period of cultivation by petitioners cannot give rise to equitable estoppel.
 Tenants - persons who-in themselves and with the aid available from within their immediate farm households-cultivate the land belonging to or possessed by
another, with the latter’s consent, for the purpose of production, sharing the produce with the landlord under the share tenancy system, or paying to the
landholder a price certain or ascertainable in produce or money or both under leasehold tenancy system.

 Estoppel arises when one by his acts, representations or admissions or by his silence, negligence induces another to believe certain facts to exist and other
rightfully relies and acts on such beliefs.