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REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT IN CITIES


8th Judicial Region
Branch 1, Tacloban City

ARNULFO H. JECINO SR., Civil Case No.M-TAC-17-00029-CV


Joined by his spouse NYLDA P. JECINO
Plaintiffs
For: UNLAWFUL DETAINER
and ATTORNEY’S FEES

vs.

NILO GAMANA
MONINA MARAGRAG
TOTO VILLARIN
GUILLERMO VILLARIN
EULALIA VILLARIN
DIOSDADO CABILOS, joined by
their spouses
Defendants

X----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------X

ANSWER

COMES NOW, the defendants, through the undersigned counsel, unto


this Honorable Court most respectfully avers;

1. That they admit paragraph 1of this complaint insofar as their


personal circumstances are concerned;

2. That they partly deny paragraph 2 of the complaint. Toto Villarin


is a widower,Guillermo Villarin is single and Eulalia Villarin is
a widow;

3. That they admit paragraph 3 of this complaint ;

4. That defendants deny paragraph 4 of the complaint. Plaintiff is


not the owner of the 1/5 parcel of Lot 4292. The real owner of
the same is Cartier Development Corporation as per approved
Survey Plan PSD-08-015848-D. Copy of Approved Survey Plan
is hereto attached and marked as Annex “1”. Furthermore, ONE-
FIFTH(1/5) OF 13,137 square meters is only TWO
THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED TWENTY-SEVEN(2,627)
SQUARE METERS MORE OR LESS.

5. That defendants deny paragraph 5 of the complaint. Rufina


Doldol died in July 20, 2000. No transfer of property can be made by a
deceased person. Copy of death certificate is hereto attached and
marked as Annex “2” ;

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6. That defendants deny paragraph 6 of the complaint. The first
person to cultivate the said land is Eusebio Villarin, husband of
Eulalia Villarin and father of Monina Maragrag, Guillermo
Villarin and Toto Villarin;

7. That defendants deny paragraph 7 of the complaint. Such


allegation has not occurred at all;

8. That defendants partly admit paragraph 8 of the complaint.


Defendants refused to vacate the same because the property is
covered under CARP and some are identified potential
beneficiaries over the same. Certification from the MARO is
hereto attached and marked as Annex “3” ;

9. That defendants admit paragraph 9 of the complaint;

10. That defendants deny paragraph 10 of the complaint. No


recognition has been made by several occupants regarding the
ownership and right to possess by the plaintiff and that
defendants deny the existence of such “KASURATAN”;

11. That defendants deny paragraphs 11 and 12 for lack of


sufficient and personal knowledge as to the veracity of the
allegations stated therein;

AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES

Agrarian Dispute.

12. That a careful perusal of the present complaint would


reveal that there exists an agrarian dispute between the herein
plaintiffs and herein defendants as defendants are identified
potential agrarian reform beneficiaries and jurisdiction of the
same clearly falls with the Department of Agrarian Reform
Adjudication Board(DARAB). Jurisdiction over Agrarian
disputes lies with the DARAB. Section 3(d) of RA 6657
provides:

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.

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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.

Exclusive Jurisdiction of DAR on Agrarian Dispute

13. Moreover, relative to DAR’s exclusive jurisdiction on


agrarian dispute, this Honorable Court, with all due respect,
shall not proceed to take cognizance of the instant case and
instead refer to the DAR as clearly mandated by Section 19 of
Republic Act 9700 which just took effect on July 1, 2009,
otherwise known as “AN ACT STRENGTHENING THE
COMPREHENSIVE AGRARIAN REFORM
PROGRAM(CARP), EXTENDING THE ACQUISITION
AND DISTRIBUTION OF ALL AGRICULTURAL LANDS,
INSTITUTING NECESSARY REFORM, AMENDING FRO
THE PURPOSE CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF REPUBLIC
ACT 6657, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE
COMPREHENSIVE AGRARIAN REFORM LAW OF 1988,
AS AMENDED, AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS
THEREFORE,”, which provide as follows:
Section 19. Section 50 of Republic Act No. 6657, as amended is
hereby further amended by adding Section 50-A to read as follows:

“Section 50-A. Exclusive Jurisdiction on Agrarian Dispute – No


Court or prosecutor’s office shall take cognizance of cases pertaining
to the implementation of the CARP except those provided under
Section 57 of Republic Act 6657, as amended. If there is an allegation
from any of the parties that the case is agrarian in nature and one of
the parties is a farmer, farmworker, or tenant, the case shall be
automatically referred by the judge or the prosecutor to the DAR
which shall determine and certify within fifteen (15) days from
referral whether an agrarian dispute exists.

14. In its implementing rule under DAR Administrative No. 04, Series
of 2009, otherwise known as the RULES AND REGULATIONS
IMPLEMENTING SECTION 19 OF R.A.9700(JURISDICTION ON
AND REFERRAL OF AGRARIAN DISPUTE), it provides that all
cases which allege tenancy and agrarian dispute or any action related
thereto in the pleadings whether it was filed with MCTC which
include this Honorable Court by landowners shall be referred to the
DAR as provided as follows:

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Section 2. Cases Covered – This guideline shall apply to cases filed
before the Prosecutor’s Office, the Municipal Circuit Trial Court,
Metropolitan Trial Court and the Regional Trial Court(MCTC, MTC,
MTC and RTC), whether it be criminal or civil in nature by
landowners/lessors or their representatives against a
tenant/lessee/farmer-beneficiary/farmer/farmworker and/ or cases
that may arise out of or in connection with an agrarian dispute except
those cases provided for under Section 57 of Republic Act No. 6657.”

18. Specifically in said guidelines, the instant case shall


AUTOMATICALLY BE REFERRED by the Honorable Court, with
all due respect, to the DAR for the determination whether an agrarian
dispute exists considering of defendants’ allegation in their answer
that the case is an agrarian dispute and defendants tenant-lessees over
the lot in issue as evidently mandated below:

Section 3. When Automatic Referral Shall Be Made – Referral


to DAR shall be made when:

a. There are allegations in the pleadings from any of the parties


that the case is agrarian in nature or involves an agrarian
dispute and one of the parties is a tenant, lessee, farmer-
beneficiary, farmer or farmworker; or

b. That the case arises out of or is in connection with an


agrarian dispute.

Section 4. Who Shall Make the Referral – When the


complaint or information is filed before the Office of the
Prosecutor or before the court, the case shall be referred to
the DAR by:

1. The concerned judge or fiscal motu proprio; or

2. Upon motion by the party concerned

19. Defendants received their respective copy of the Summons issued


by this Honorable Court with the complaint attached thereto on
August 30, 2017. Computing the 10-day reglementary period from
receipt thereof, defendants have until September 10, 2017, within
which to file this Answer with Affirmative Defense before this
Honorable Court.

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PRAYER
Wherefore, premises considered, it is most respectfully prayed that this
Honorable Court issue and order:
(1.) The complaint dismissed in favor of the defendants for lack of
jurisdiction;
(2.) The award of Attorney’s Fees in favor of the plaintiffs denied;
(3.) The plaintiffs to refrain from doing acts violative of the right of
the defendants as potential agrarian reform beneficiaries and to allow
the defendants to continue peaceful possession and cultivation of the
land in issue;

Other reliefs as are just and equitable under the circumstances are
likewise prayed for.

September 8, 2017

BUREAU OF AGRARIAN LEGAL ASSISTANCE (BALA)


Counsel for the Defendants
DAR Provincial Office of Leyte-Biliran
LVD Compound, Avenida Veteranos
Tacloban City

By:

ATTY. CHRISTOPHER RYAN P. ROSAL


Attorney III

Copy Furnished:

ATTY. ALVIN P. CARDINES


Room 4, Tacloban City Woman’s Club Mother & Child Hospital
Justice Romualdez St., Tacloban City
By personal service:

NILO GAMANA ERLINDO VILLARIN