FIRST DIVISION

[G.R. No. 151908. August 12, 2003]

SMART COMMUNICATIONS, INC. (SMART) and PILIPINO TELEPHONE CORPORATION (PILTEL), petitioners, vs. NATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION (NTC), respondent.

[G.R. No. 152063. August 12, 2003]

GLOBE TELECOM, INC. (GLOBE) and ISLA COMMUNICATIONS CO., INC. (ISLACOM), petitioners, vs. COURT OF APPEALS (The Former 6thDivision) and the NATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION, respondents. DECISION
YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.:

Pursuant to its rule-making and regulatory powers, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) issued on June 16, 2000 Memorandum Circular No. 13-6-2000, promulgating rules and regulations on the billing of telecommunications services. Among its pertinent provisions are the following:

(1) The billing statements shall be received by the subscriber of the telephone service not later than 30 days from the end of each billing cycle. In case the statement is received beyond this period, the subscriber shall have a specified grace period within which to pay the bill and the public telecommunications entity (PTEs) shall not be allowed to disconnect the service within the grace period. (2) There shall be no charge for calls that are diverted to a voice mailbox, voice prompt, recorded message or similar facility excluding the customer’s own equipment.

(3) PTEs shall verify the identification and address of each purchaser of prepaid SIM cards. Prepaid call cards and SIM cards shall be valid for at least 2 years from the date of first use. Holders of prepaid SIM cards shall be given 45 days from the date the prepaid SIM card is fully consumed but not beyond 2 years and 45 days from date of first use to replenish the SIM card, otherwise the SIM card shall be rendered invalid. The validity of an invalid SIM card, however, shall be installed upon request of the customer at no additional charge except the presentation of a valid prepaid call card. (4) Subscribers shall be updated of the remaining value of their cards before the start of every call using the cards. (5) The unit of billing for the cellular mobile telephone service whether postpaid or prepaid shall be reduced from 1 minute per pulse to 6 seconds per pulse. The authorized rates per minute shall thus be divided by 10.
[1]

The Memorandum Circular provided that it shall take effect 15 days after its publication in a newspaper of general circulation and three certified true copies thereof furnished the UP Law Center. It was published in the newspaper, The Philippine Star, on June 22, 2000.[2] Meanwhile, the provisions of the Memorandum Circular pertaining to the sale and use of prepaid cards and the unit of billing for cellular mobile telephone service took effect 90 days from the effectivity of the Memorandum Circular. On August 30, 2000, the NTC issued a Memorandum to all cellular mobile telephone service (CMTS) operators which contained measures to minimize if not totally eliminate the incidence of stealing of cellular phone units. The Memorandum directed CMTS operators to:
a. strictly comply with Section B(1) of MC 13-6-2000 requiring the presentation and verification of the identity and addresses of prepaid SIM card customers; b. require all your respective prepaid SIM cards dealers to comply with Section B(1) of MC 13-6-2000; c. deny acceptance to your respective networks prepaid and/or postpaid customers using stolen cellphone units or cellphone units registered to somebody other than the applicant when properly informed of all information relative to the stolen cellphone units; d. share all necessary information of stolen cellphone units to all other CMTS operators in order to prevent the use of stolen cellphone units; and e. require all your existing prepaid SIM card customers to register and present valid identification cards.[3]

This was followed by another Memorandum dated October 6, 2000 addressed to all public telecommunications entities, which reads:

This is to remind you that the validity of all prepaid cards sold on 07 October 2000 and beyond shall be valid for at least two (2) years from date of first use pursuant to MC 13-6-2000. In addition, all CMTS operators are reminded that all SIM packs used by subscribers of prepaid cards sold on 07 October 2000 and beyond shall be valid for at least two (2) years from date of first use. Also, the billing unit shall be on a six (6) seconds pulse effective 07 October 2000. For strict compliance.
[4]

On October 20, 2000, petitioners Isla Communications Co., Inc. and Pilipino Telephone Corporation filed against the National Telecommunications Commission, Commissioner Joseph A. Santiago, Deputy Commissioner Aurelio M. Umali and Deputy Commissioner Nestor C. Dacanay, an action for declaration of nullity of NTC Memorandum Circular No. 13-6-2000 (the Billing Circular) and the NTC Memorandum dated October 6, 2000, with prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order. The complaint was docketed as Civil Case No. Q-0042221 at the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 77.[5] Petitioners Islacom and Piltel alleged, inter alia, that the NTC has no jurisdiction to regulate the sale of consumer goods such as the prepaid call cards since such jurisdiction belongs to the Department of Trade and Industry under the Consumer Act of the Philippines; that the Billing Circular is oppressive, confiscatory and violative of the constitutional prohibition against deprivation of property without due process of law; that the Circular will result in the impairment of the viability of the prepaid cellular service by unduly prolonging the validity and expiration of the prepaid SIM and call cards; and that the requirements of identification of prepaid card buyers and call balance announcement are unreasonable. Hence, they prayed that the Billing Circular be declared null and void ab initio. Soon thereafter, petitioners Globe Telecom, Inc and Smart Communications, Inc. filed a joint Motion for Leave to Intervene and to Admit Complaint-in-Intervention.[6] This was granted by the trial court. On October 27, 2000, the trial court issued a temporary restraining order enjoining the NTC from implementing Memorandum Circular No. 13-6-2000 and the Memorandum dated October 6, 2000.[7] In the meantime, respondent NTC and its co-defendants filed a motion to dismiss the case on the ground of petitioners’ failure to exhaust administrative remedies. Subsequently, after hearing petitioners’ application for preliminary injunction as well as respondent’s motion to dismiss, the trial court issued on November 20, 2000 an Order, the dispositive portion of which reads:

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the defendants’ motion to dismiss is hereby denied for lack of merit. The plaintiffs’ application for the issuance of a writ of

C. which was docketed as CA-G. SO ORDERED. required to file a bond in the sum of FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND PESOS (P500. Accordingly. dated October 6. the order of the court a quo denying the petitioner’s motion to dismiss as well as the order of the court a quogranting the private respondents’ prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction. Philippine currency. however.[9] Respondent NTC thus filed a special civil action for certiorari and prohibition with the Court of Appeals.000. The plaintiffs and intervenors are. the decretal portion of which reads: WHEREFORE. the instant petition for certiorari and prohibition is GRANTED.preliminary injunction is hereby granted. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ALSO GRAVELY ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THE PRIVATE RESPONDENTS FAILED TO EXHAUST AN AVAILABLE ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDY. 2000. B.R. a decision was rendered.R. and the writ of preliminary injunction issued thereby. . THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THE NATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION (NTC) AND NOT THE REGULAR COURTS HAS JURISDICTION OVER THE CASE. pending the issuance and finality of the decision in this case. No. The private respondents’ complaint and complaint-in-intervention below are hereby DISMISSED.00). which was docketed as G. SO ORDERED. [8] Defendants filed a motion for reconsideration. in that. anchored on the following grounds: A. SP. No. are hereby ANNULLED and SET ASIDE. 2001. 2001. the defendants are hereby enjoined from implementing NTC Memorandum Circular 13-6-2000 and the NTC Memorandum. the instant petition for review filed by Smart and Piltel. 2002 for lack of merit. 151908. On October 9. without prejudice to the referral of the private respondents’ grievances and disputes on the assailed issuances of the NTC with the said agency. which was denied in an Order dated February 1. 64274.[11] Hence. [10] Petitioners’ motions for reconsideration were denied in a Resolution dated January 10. premises considered.

THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS SO GRAVELY ERRED BECAUSE THE DOCTRINES OF PRIMARY JURISDICTION AND EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES DO NOT APPLY SINCE THE INSTANT CASE IS FOR LEGAL NULLIFICATION (BECAUSE OF LEGAL INFIRMITIES AND VIOLATIONS OF LAW) OF A PURELY ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATION PROMULGATED BY AN AGENCY IN THE EXERCISE OF ITS RULE MAKING POWERS AND INVOLVES ONLY QUESTIONS OF LAW. 2. Globe and Islacom filed a petition for review.[15] We find merit in the petitions. which are the product of a delegated legislative power to create new and additional legal provisions that have the effect of law. docketed as G. Quasi-legislative or rule-making power is the power to make rules and regulations which results in delegated legislation that is within the confines of the granting statute and the doctrine of non-delegability and separability of powers. AND THE PETITIONER STANDS TO SUFFER GRAVE AND IRREPARABLE INJURY. 4. 2003. 5. Administrative agencies possess quasi-legislative or rule-making powers and quasijudicial or administrative adjudicatory powers. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THE PRIVATE RESPONDENTS FAILED TO SHOW THEIR CLEAR POSITIVE RIGHT TO WARRANT THE ISSUANCE OF A WRIT OF PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION. the petitions were given due course and the parties were required to submit their respective memoranda. should be within the scope of the statutory authority granted .[16] The rules and regulations that administrative agencies promulgate. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS SO GRAVELY ERRED BECAUSE PETITIONERS IN FACT EXHAUSTED ALL ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES AVAILABLE TO THEM. assigning the following errors: 1. 152063. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS SO GRAVELY ERRED IN ISSUING ITS QUESTIONED RULINGS IN THIS CASE BECAUSE GLOBE AND ISLA HAVE A CLEAR RIGHT TO AN INJUNCTION.[14] On March 24.R. 2003. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS SO GRAVELY ERRED BECAUSE THE DOCTRINE ON EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES DOES NOT APPLY WHEN THE QUESTIONS RAISED ARE PURELY LEGAL QUESTIONS. D.[13] The two petitions were consolidated in a Resolution dated February 17. No. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS SO GRAVELY ERRED BECAUSE THE DOCTRINE OF EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES DOES NOT APPLY WHERE THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION IS COMPLETE AND EFFECTIVE. WHEN THERE IS NO OTHER REMEDY. 3.[12] Likewise.THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN NOT HOLDING THAT THE BILLING CIRCULAR ISSUED BY THE RESPONDENT NTC IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND CONTRARY TO LAW AND PUBLIC POLICY.

This principle applies only where the act of the administrative agency concerned was performed pursuant to its quasi-judicial function. The administrative body exercises its quasijudicial power when it performs in a judicial manner an act which is essentially of an executive or administrative nature. 2000[22] and July 5. the purpose of a statute. petitioners wrote successive letters dated July 3. weigh evidence. In case of conflict between a statute and an administrative order. However. Even assuming arguendo that the principle of exhaustion of administrative remedies apply in this case.by the legislature to the administrative agency. a party need not exhaust administrative remedies before going to court.[18] Not to be confused with the quasi-legislative or rule-making power of an administrative agency is its quasi-judicial or administrative adjudicatory power. and draw conclusions from them as basis for their official action and exercise of discretion in a judicial nature. It is required that the regulation be germane to the objects and purposes of the law. petitioners were able to register their protests to the proposed billing guidelines. Constitutional and statutory provisions control with respect to what rules and regulations may be promulgated by an administrative body. and not when the assailed act pertained to its rule-making or quasi-legislative power. Philippine Coconut Authority. where the power to act in such manner is incidental to or reasonably necessary for the performance of the executive or administrative duty entrusted to it. In Association of Philippine Coconut Dessicators v. The resolution in question was issued by the PCA in the exercise of its rule. particularly the statute it is administering or which created it.[20] it was held: The rule of requiring exhaustion of administrative remedies before a party may seek judicial review. hold hearings. but in conformity with. 2000. This is the power to hear and determine questions of fact to which the legislative policy is to apply and to decide in accordance with the standards laid down by the law itself in enforcing and administering the same law. It may not make rules and regulations which are inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution or a statute. as well as with respect to what fields are subject to regulation by it. or defeat.[19] In questioning the validity or constitutionality of a rule or regulation issued by an administrative agency. the former must prevail. or which are in derogation of. In carrying out their quasi-judicial functions.[21] After the same was issued.making or legislative power. has obviously no application here. They submitted their respective position papers setting forth their objections and submitting proposed schemes for the billing circular. Even during the drafting and deliberation stages leading to the issuance of Memorandum Circular No.[23] asking for the suspension and reconsideration of the so- . and be not in contradiction to.[17] They must conform to and be consistent with the provisions of the enabling statute in order for such rule or regulation to be valid. the records reveal that petitioners sufficiently complied with this requirement. so strenuously urged by the Solicitor General on behalf of respondent. 13-6-2000. only judicial review of decisions of administrative agencies made in the exercise of their quasi-judicial function is subject to the exhaustion doctrine. the standards prescribed by law. the administrative officers or bodies are required to investigate facts or ascertain the existence of facts.

treaty. This was taken by petitioners as a clear denial of the requests contained in their previous letters. which includes the authority of the courts to determine in an appropriate action the validity of the acts of the political departments. experience and services of the administrative tribunal to determine technical and intricate matters of fact. or regulation in the courts. Thus. [26] Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable. The objective of the doctrine of primary jurisdiction is to guide a court in determining whether it should refrain from exercising its jurisdiction until after an administrative agency has determined some question or some aspect of some question arising in the proceeding before the court. These letters were not acted upon until October 6. 2000 was pursuant to its quasi-legislative or rule-making power. under a regulatory scheme. the practice has been to refer the same to an administrative agency of special competence pursuant to the doctrine of primary jurisdiction. international or executive agreement. In like manner. order.called Billing Circular. the regular courts have jurisdiction to pass upon the same. 2000. As such. in cases involving specialized disputes. where what is assailed is the validity or constitutionality of a rule or regulation issued by the administrative agency in the performance of its quasi-legislative function. in such case.[28] it was held: We stress at the outset that the lower court had jurisdiction to consider the constitutionality of Section 187. the issuance by the NTC of Memorandum Circular No. petitioners were justified in invoking the judicial power of the Regional Trial Court to assail the constitutionality and validity of the said issuances. and a uniformity of ruling is essential to comply with the premises of the regulatory statute administered.[25] This is within the scope of judicial power.[27] In the case at bar. including the regional trial courts. Indeed. presidential decree. when respondent NTC issued the second assailed Memorandum implementing certain provisions of the Billing Circular. The determination of whether a specific rule or set of rules issued by an administrative agency contravenes the law or the constitution is within the jurisdiction of the regular courts. In Drilon v. has been placed within the special competence of an administrative body. instruction. Lim. and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government. ordinance. the doctrine of primary jurisdiction applies only where the administrative agency exercises its quasi-judicial or adjudicatory function.[24] However. the judicial process is suspended pending referral of such issues to the administrative body for its view. It applies where the claim is originally cognizable in the courts and comes into play whenever enforcement of the claim requires the resolution of issues which. 13-6-2000 and its Memorandum dated October 6. The courts will not determine a controversy involving a question which is within the jurisdiction of the administrative tribunal prior to the resolution of that question by the administrative tribunal. the Constitution vests the power of judicial review or the power to declare a law. where the question demands the exercise of sound administrative discretion requiring the special knowledge. this authority being embraced in the general . thus prompting them to seek judicial relief.

the Regional Trial Court has jurisdiction to hear and decide Civil Case No. international or executive agreement. 2000 of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. Moreover. Rather. and Carpio. These are within the competence of the trial judge. (Chairman). concur. WHEREFORE.. The Court of Appeals erred in setting aside the orders of the trial court and in dismissing the case. SP No. [29] In their complaint before the Regional Trial Court. J. . ordinance.. Hence.J. Q-00-42221 is REINSTATED. C. Branch 77. Section 5(2). petitioners averred that the Circular contravened Civil Code provisions on sales and violated the constitutional prohibition against the deprivation of property without due process of law. B. Azcuna.. 2002 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. 129 vests in the regional trial courts jurisdiction over all civil cases in which the subject of the litigation is incapable of pecuniary estimation. or regulation is in question. The decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. particularly as they contravene the Bill of Rights. 2001 and its Resolution dated January 10. in Civil Case No. This case is REMANDED to the court a quo for continuation of the proceedings. Specifically.R. Article X. Davide. presidential decree. the consolidated petitions are GRANTED. including prepaid SIM and call cards – and this is judicially known to be within the knowledge of a good percentage of our population – and expertise in fundamental principles of civil law and the Constitution. took no part..definition of the judicial power to determine what are the valid and binding laws by the criterion of their conformity to the fundamental law. in view of the foregoing. Contrary to the finding of the Court of Appeals. JJ. SO ORDERED. Q-00-42221. even as the accused in a criminal action has the right to question in his defense the constitutionality of a law he is charged with violating and of the proceedings taken against him. 64274 dated October 9. of the Constitution vests in the Supreme Court appellate jurisdiction over final judgments and orders of lower courts in all cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty. Vitug. instruction. order. proclamation. the issues raised in the complaint do not entail highly technical matters. The Order dated November 20. what is required of the judge who will resolve this issue is a basic familiarity with the workings of the cellular telephone service.P. Jr. law.

INC. In such case. A motion to dismiss was filed by the NTC on the ground of petitioner’s to exhaust administrative remedies. To be valid. 3. has been placed within the special competence of an administrative body. the same must be referred to an administrative agency of special competence pursuant to the doctrine of primary jurisdiction.CASE DIGEST SMART COMMUNICATIONS. Petitioners filed with the RTC a petition to declare the circular as unconstitutional. Where the act of administrative agency was performed pursuant to its quasi-judicial function. under a regulatory scheme. Held: 1. August 12. Quasi-judicial or administrative adjudicatory power is the power to hear and determine questions of fact to which the legislative policy is to apply and to decide in accordance with the standards laid down by law itself in enforcing and administering the same law. Hence. the action must be filed directly with the regular courts without requiring exhaustion of administrative remedies. 2. and to determine whether or not there haw been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government. Quasi-legislative or rule-making power is the power to make rules and regulations which results in delegated legislation that is within the confines of the granting statute and the doctrine of non-delegability and separability of powers. Thus. The doctrine of primary jurisdiction applies only where the administrative agency exercises its quasi-judicial or adjudicatory function. and draw conclusions from them for their official action and exercise of discretion in a judicial. NATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION (NTC) G. ET AL. 2003 Facts: The NTC issued Billing Circular 13-6-2000 which promulgated rules and regulations on the billing of telecommunications services. . and be consistent with. The determination of whether a specific rule or set of rules issued by an administrative body contravenes the law or the constitution is within the judicial power as defined by the Constitution which is “ the duty of the Courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable. 4. before going to court. the CA reversed RTC. hold hearings. V. the provisions of enabling statute. such rules and regulations must conform to. In carrying out their quasi-judicial functions. the judicial process is suspended pending referral of such issues to the administrative body for its view. the administrative officers or bodies are required to investigate facts or ascertain the existence of facts. in cases involving specialized disputes. This doctrine of primary jurisdiction applies where the claim requires the resolution of issues which.” The NTC circular was issued pursuant to its quasi-legislative or rule-making power. The RTC denied the motion to dismiss but on certiorari. exhaustion of administrative remedy is required. 151908. Administrative bodies had (a) quasi-legislative or rule-making powers and (b) quasijudicial or administrative adjudicatory powers.R. weigh evidence.

REYNALDO CARINGAL. PEREZ. ALVARADO. REGISTER OF DEEDS OF LAGUNA. 2005 STA. JAIME A. CONSTANCIO B. AGAPITO MATIENZO. GONZALES. JUAN B. PETATE. FILOMENA B. DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES REGIONAL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOR REGION IV and REGIONAL AGRARIAN REFORM OFFICER FOR REGION IV. FELICISIMO A. AMANTE. JOSE M. VILLA. RODOLFO ANGELES. CASALME. LAZO. CRUZAT. ROGELIO AYENDE. JUANGCO. PANGANIBAN. ROSA C. CRUZAT.. EMILIO M. BIENVENIDO F. QUINTILLANO LANGUE. JUAN T. MANDANAS. LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES. GONZALES. DANIEL D. ANDREA P.R. BURGOS. BURGOS. CRUZAT. BONIFACIO VILLA. TEODORO MANDANAS. ENRIQUEZ. PASQUIZA. PABLO A. LUNA. EDGARDO L.Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SPECIAL FIRST DIVISION G. MAXIMO A. PETATE. MARIANITO T. SUBOL. No. JUANITO T. REYNALDO LANGUE. MARIO G. TOPI NO. IGNACIO F. JACINTA S. FRANCISCO L. VICTORIA DE SAGUN. MANDANAS. SEVERO M. VILLA. CRISANTO MANDANAS. FRANCISCO A. Respondents. MARQUEZ. PEREZ. CASALME. BATINO. LEONILO M. CANUBAS. ROMEO S. PEREZ. EUGENIO B. GONZALES. JUANITO PETATE. MARIANITO T. SEVERINO DE SAGUN. 112526 March 16. MATIENZO. REMIGIO M. LORETO A. ZACARIAS HERRERA. ANDAL. DOROTEA L. LANGUE. SUBOL. ANTONIO B. NATIVIDAD B. CASIANO T. GREGORIO A. DOMINGO VILLA. AMANTE. MAXIMINO MATIENZO. GERVACIO A. GREGORIO A. PEREZ. CANUBAS. LUCIA ANDAL. SERGIO CRUZAT. BALAT. PASCUAL P. QUIRINO DE LEON. ROSA REALTY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION. MARQUEZ. BENIGNO A. PASQUIZA. AQUILINO B. JUANGCO. LANGUE. GREGORIO F. VILLA. SUBOL. FRANCISCO A. LITO G. MATIENZO. CRUZAT. ANSELMO M. MATIENZO. FLORENCIA CANUBAS. CELESTINO G. DOMINGO A. CLAUDIA P. LETICIA P. ELINO A. QUIRINO C. DIONISIO F. CANUBAS. GONZALES. PRECILLO V. MANDANAS. SILVERIO. AYENDE. INOCENCIA S. VILLA. MARIO C. REYES. GONZALES. PACENCIA P. SOTERA CASALME. DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM ADJUDICATION BOARD. SEVERINO F. GONZALES. x-------------------x . AQUILINO B. REYNARIO U. PLATON. vs. LOURDES U. FERNANDEZ. PLATON. PETATE. THE COURT OF APPEALS. THE SECRETARY OF AGRARIAN REFORM. ROLANDO A. FELISA R. RUFINO C. CRUZAT. GONZALES. INOCENCIA S. Petitioner. MANDANAS. ARMANDO P. ANICETO A. LEODEGARIO N.

ALFREDO SUMADSAD.. 81949 and 84891 measuring 254. FAUSTINO MAILOM. NICOMEDES PETATE. FREDO MERCADO. LEODEGARIO GONZALES. JOSE LAMBATIN. No. GALICANO MAILOM. LODRING CARAAN. JUAN CANTAL. No. RUFINO CRUZAT. BASIOLIO MULINGTAPANG. ITO GONZALES. HANDO MERCADO. STA. ALEJANDRO SANCHEZ. 112526 together with G. NESTOR MERCADO. MAXIMO CANUBAS. ALBERTO MANGUE. TOMMY MENDOZA. AGAPITO PRECILLA.R. the Court authorized the Special First Division to suspend the Rules so as to allow it to consider and resolve the second Motion for Reconsideration of respondents. RENE LIRAZAN.G. 118338 in view of the Resolution of the Court dated January 15. RENATO RINO. RENATO VISAYA. IGNOY VILLAMAYOR. IGNACIO VERGARA. DOMINGO VILLA. 112526. Sr. VICTOR MOLINAR. BARIVAR SAMSON and ROMEO NAVARRO. FELICISIMO GONZALES. 2004. AMANTE. On July 9.2 the Court resolved to submit for resolution the second Motion for Reconsideration in G. FLORENCIO CANUBAS.: By virtue of the En Banc Resolution issued on January 13. LUIS YULO. the issues therein being interrelated.1 after the motion was heard on oral arguments on August 13. PACIO PADILLA. ELINO CRUZAT.4 Hence. AGATON LUCIDO. JESUS MIGUEL YULO. TEODORO MANDANAS.R. ROMEO TANTENGCO. MAXIMINO MATIENZO. VILARETE. INC. Within this estate are two parcels of land (hereinafter referred to as the "subject property") covered by TCT Nos. DECISION AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ. 118838 March 16. LAUREANO LAUREL. JR. C-J YULO & SONS. QUIRINO CASALME. subsequently titled in . TINOY MABAGA. IGNACIO PETATE. QUINTILLANO LANGUE. ALFREDO ANIEL.R. MANGUIAT. ISKO CABILION. 118838. RAFAEL ONTE. SERAPIO NATIVIDAD. RUFO SANCHEZ.R. No. SERGIO CRUZAT. DANILO CANLOBO. HECTOR BICO. CONRADO BARRIENTOS.3consolidating the latter case with G. REYNALDO OPENA. No. BIENVENIDO OLFATO. HONESTO TENORIO. J. IGME OPINA. ONYONG CANTAL. ROSA REALTY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION. the herein Amended Decision. JOHNNY REAMILLO. INIGO MENDOZA. No. DOMINGO CANUBAS. BARIT. ANTONIO MALLARI.766 hectares and part of Barangay Casile. 2003. AGAPITO MATIENZO and SEVERINO DE SAGUM. Petitioner.R. 2001 issued in G. DANILO SUMADSAD. BAYANI LACSON. Respondents. LARRY DE LEON. ROLANDO CARINGAL. CRESENCIO AMANTE. 2004. 2005 JUAN B.. DANTE BATHAN. RUDY CANLOBO. REY MANAIG. The factual background of the two cases is as follows: The Canlubang Estate in Laguna is a vast landholding previously titled in the name of the late Speaker and Chief Justice Jose Yulo. DICK GASPAR. SENADOR RODRIGUEZ. PEDRO BENEDICTO. vs. RESTING CARAAN. JAIME BURGOS.

it was the one that suffered damages due to the encroachment on the property. Amante. their ancestors started occupying the area.8 After trial on the merits. sought the issuance of permanent injunction and proposed that a right of way be declared. alleged that: they are residents of Barangay Casile. et al. thus: Injunction Case Filed by Amante.7 but this was subsequently dissolved by the Court of Appeals (CA) on April 22. B-2333. to vacate the property.5 In their Answer. Thus. premises considered. 1985.R. 55 SCRA 339). Although attorney’s fees and expenses of litigation are recoverable in case of a clearly unfounded civil action against the plaintiff (Enervida vs. on January 20. who are the private respondents in G. et al. have been peacefully occupying the land. Yulo and Sons.R. some time in June 3. 118838. 1992. SRRDC’s men also entered the barangay on November 4. as a result of these acts. judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the defendants and against the plaintiffs hereby dismissing the complaint and amended complaint. et al. built their houses and planted fruit-bearing trees thereon. in 1910. SRRDC. the majority stockholder of which is C. and since then. SP No. 1985. the trial court. No. the defendants denied the allegations and disclaimed any control and supervision over its security personnel. were deprived of possession and cultivation of their lands. cut down the trees. Cabuyao. they claimed damages.R. Laguna.6 A writ of preliminary injunction was issued by the trial court on August 17. and barred the lone jeepney from entering the Canlubang Sugar Estate. The subject property was involved in civil suits and administrative proceedings that led to the filing of G. docketed as Civil Case No. et al. No. which covers an area of around 300 hectares. Defendant SRRDC also alleged that as the real owner of the property. 1988 in its decision in CA-G.. 112526 and 118838. this Court resolves not to award attorney’s fees etc. et al. Rosa Realty. the dispositive portion of which reads: WHEREFORE. and several SRRDC security personnel.R. Amante. in favor of the . 1985. SRRDC’s security people illegally entered Bgy. They are likewise enjoined from entering the subject parcels of land. rendered a decision ordering Amante. The plaintiffs are hereby ordered to vacate the parcels of land belonging to the defendants Luis Yulo and Sta. Inc. On December 6.J. 112526 and petitioners in G. De la Torre.the name of Sta. burned their huts. 1987. Rosa Realty Development Corporation (SRRDC). Nos. 13908. Amante. Casile and fenced the area. instituted an action for injunction with damages in the Regional Trial Court of Laguna (Branch 24) against Luis Yulo.

to pay the plaintiffs-appellants nominal damages in the amount of P5. On June 28. 38182. 1992 by virtue of RA 6657 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law. It also made the clarification that the decision should not preempt any judgment or prejudice the right of any party in the agrarian reform case pending before the Supreme Court (G. pointing out the DARAB’s decision placing the property under compulsory acquisition. CV No.R. et al. The dispositive portion of the appellate court’s decision10 reads as follows: WHEREFORE. Court of Appeals.13 The CA.R. 1995. (Liwanag vs.000.1 First. herein petition. 70 SCRA 65) and that it would not be just and equitable to award the same in the case at bar. and the CA decision in CAG. SP No.1.(a) Petitioners are already the registered owners under the torrens system of the properties in question since February 26. filed a motion for reconsideration thereof. the CA affirmed with modification the decision of the trial court in the injunction case. the other reliefs prayed for by the defendants are hereby dismissed.R. petitioners may not be lawfully evicted from their landholdings considering that: -.’s rights as possessors of the subject property.9 Amante. No. The Court of Appeals decided the case contrary to law or applicable Supreme Court decisions because: 4. 118838 on the following grounds: 4. Amante.defendants because the plaintiffs appear to have acted in good faith in filing the present civil action (Salao vs. 27234.R. denied the motion. the judgment herein appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED. SO ORDERED. No pronouncement as to costs. No. jointly and severally.14 Thus. with the modification that the defendants-appellees are hereby ordered. docketed as G. .12 Amante. SO ORDERED. 112526).1. 1994. filed on March 2. et al.00 per plaintiff.11 Nominal damages were awarded by the CA because it found that SRRDC violated Amante. docketed as CA-G. appealed the aforesaid decision to the CA. et al. 121 SCRA 354) Accordingly. Salao. however. affirming the same. with the modification that only SRRDC and the defendants-security guards should be held jointly and severally liable for the nominal damages awarded. et al.

2 Second. it became final and executory. et al.. SP No.17 On May 24. were ordered to surrender possession and vacate the subject property. refused to vacate the property. et al. the CA did not sustain the RTC’s finding that the subject properties are agricultural lands and Amante.(b) The Court of Appeals has affirmed the Regional Trial Court of Laguna’s dismissal of the ejectment cases filed by respondent SRRDC against petitionerS. and that despite requests from SRRDC’s counsel. the same to be ventilated in a separate action. respondents may not raise the issue of ownership in this case for injunction with damages. docketed as CA-G. hence it is the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR). Amante. 250. the RTC dismissed the ejectment cases on the ground that the subject property is an agricultural land being tilled by Amante. exemplary damages and attorney’s fees. 33382.. considering that the Court of Appeals found respondents to have unlawfully and illegally disturbed petitioners’ peaceful and continuous possession. several complaints for forcible entry with preliminary injunction and damages against Amante. The decision was appealed to the Regional Trial Court of Biñan. prompting them to file the ejectment cases. 1992. 1995 on the ground that SRRDC failed to show any prior physical possession of the subject property that would have justified the filing of the ejectment cases. which has jurisdiction over the dispute.19 In turn.1.. docketed as Civil Cases Nos. after the injunction case was filed by Amante. without their authority and through stealth and strategy..15 Ejectment Cases Filed by SRRDC Between October 1986 and August 1987. not in this case brought to prevent respondents from committing further acts of dispossession [Bacar v.21 . et al. 16Amante. 1991. Amante. 262 and 266.20 Also. del Rosario et al. were clearing. they learned that Amante. the MTC-Cabuyao rendered its decision in favor of SRRDC.(c) Assuming for the sake of argument only that petitioners are not yet the registered owners of the properties in question. et al. instead of mere nominal damages. denied that SRRDC are the absolute owners of the property. and -. SRRDC filed with the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of Cabuyao. are tenant/farmers thereof. stating that they have been in peaceful possession thereof. the CA dismissed the petition per its Decision dated January 17.R. On February 18. hence. 4. Laguna. petitioners are entitled to moral. since 1910. 171 SCRA 451 (1989)]. 18 The RTC’s dismissal of the complaints was brought to the CA via a petition for review.. Laguna (Assisting Court).-. 260. 258. et al. et al. SRRDC alleged that some time in July 1987. The parties did not file any motion for reconsideration from the Court of Appeals’ dismissal. et al. through their predecessors-in-interest. cultivating and planting on the subject property. as the evidence on record does not support such finding. et al.

the following proceedings ensued: On August 29. On February 6.Administrative Proceedings While the injunction and ejectment cases were still in process. 1990.R. On December 12. 1989. Acting Director Eduardo C. 2001 in G.65 and P1. sent its formal protest. had been placed under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program. On November 23. the farmer beneficiaries together with the BARC chairman answered the protest and objection stating that the slope of the land is not 18% but only 5-10% and that the land is suitable and economically viable for agricultural purposes. PARO). . as narrated in the Decision of the Court dated October 12. 1989.93. T-84891 and T-92014 is scheduled for compulsory acquisition under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).735. containing an area of 188. who were not entitled to any land as beneficiaries. DAR forwarded two (2) Compulsory Acquisition Claim Folders covering the landholding of SRRDC. 1989. and that the occupants of the land were squatters. covered by TCT Nos. T-81949 and T-84891 to the President. municipality of Cabuyao. 1989. as evidenced by the Certification of the Department of Agriculture.220. On September 8. T-81949 and T-84891. it appears that in August. No. Secretary of Agrarian Reform Miriam Defensor Santiago sent two (2) notices of acquisition to petitioner. 23 Thereafter. protesting not only the amount of compensation offered by DAR for the property but also the two (2) notices of acquisition. Abad and the Director. stating that petitioner’s landholdings covered by TCT Nos. the Municipal Agrarian Reform Office (MARO) issued a Notice of Coverage to SRRDC. 1989. Laguna. T-81949. 112526. as it was rugged in terrain with slopes of 18% and above. Visperas of the Bureau of Land Acquisition and Development.5800 hectares.229.417. respectively. informing petitioners that the property covered by TCT Nos.2858 and 58. MARO Belen dela Torre made a summary investigation report and forwarded the Compulsory Acquisition Folder Indorsement (CAFI) to the Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer (hereafter. petitioner SRRDC in two letters separately addressed to Secretary Florencio B. Land Bank of the Philippines for further review and evaluation. 1989. PARO Durante Ubeda forwarded his endorsement of the compulsory acquisition to the Secretary of Agrarian Reform.22 SRRDC filed its "Protest and Objection" with the MARO on the grounds that the area was not appropriate for agricultural purposes. Bureau of Land Acquisition and Distribution. valued at P4. On September 21.

On May 10. submitted a report answering the two issues raised.On March 17. 1990. 6657. petitioner sent a letter to the Land Bank of the Philippines stating that its property under the aforesaid land titles were exempt from CARP coverage because they had been classified as watershed area and were the subject of a pending petition for land conversion. No. Executive Director Emmanuel S. the Board promulgated a resolution asking the office of the Secretary of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to first resolve two (2) issues before it proceeds with the summary land valuation proceedings. firstly. 1990. and (2) whether the petition for land conversion of the parcels of land may be granted. wrote the Board requesting for its assistance in the reconstruction of the records of the case because the . Administrative Order No. 1. Galvez wrote the Land Bank President Deogracias Vistan to forward the two (2) claim folders involving the property of SRRDC to the DARAB for it to conduct summary proceedings to determine the just compensation for the land. The issues that need to be threshed out were as follows: (1) whether the subject parcels of land fall within the coverage of the Compulsory Acquisition Program of the CARP. 1989. On December 7. However. 1990. the property is covered under compulsory acquisition. 1990. and notice of acquisition on December 12. there was no pending petition for land conversion specifically concerning the parcels of land in question. DAR. by virtue of the issuance of the notice of coverage on August 11. Acting on the CACF’s. 1991. 1991. setting the hearing for the administrative valuation of the subject parcels of land on March 6. During the consideration of the case by the Board. on September 10. the Board sent a notice of hearing to all the parties interested.A. Series of 1990. Hernandez-Cueva. According to them. 1990. Elena P. On March 28. On April 6. Secondly. the LBP returned the two (2) claim folders previously referred for review and evaluation to the Director of BLAD mentioning its inability to value the SRRDC landholding due to some deficiencies. Ma. Director Narciso Villapando of BLAD turned over the two (2) claim folders (CACF’s) to the Executive Director of the DAR Adjudication Board for proper administrative valuation. Section IV D also supports the DAR position on the coverage of the said property. 1990. the Office of the Secretary. 1991. On March 23. Section 16. 1989. through the Undersecretary for Operations (Assistant Secretary for Luzon Operations) and the Regional Director of Region IV. 1990. Secretary Abad referred the case to the DARAB for summary proceedings to determine just compensation under R. on February 22. Atty. On February 19. counsel for SRRDC.

On March 18. 1991. The dismissal for lack of merit of the protest against the compulsory coverage of the landholdings of Sta. 1989. petitioner filed a petition with DARAB to disqualify private respondents as beneficiaries. affirming the dismissal of the protest of SRRDC against the compulsory coverage of the property covered by TCT Nos. Atty. Municipality of Cabuyao.997. Should there be a rejection of the payment tendered.766 hectares) in Barangay Casile. 1991. 1991 hearing. However. During the April 15. On December 19.64) for its landholdings covered by the two (2) Transfer Certificates of Title mentioned above. SRRDC submitted a petition to the Board for the latter to resolve SRRDC’s petition for exemption from CARP coverage before any administrative valuation of their landholding could be had by the Board. The decretal portion of the decision reads: WHEREFORE. 1991. based on the foregoing premises. the Board hereby orders: 1. The certification issued on September 8. To avert any opportunity that the DARAB might distribute the lands to the farmer beneficiaries. Nine Hundred Ninety Seven Pesos and Sixty-Four centavos (P7. Province of Laguna under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program is hereby affirmed. 1989. The Board granted counsel’s request and moved the hearing on April 4. Ricardo Blancaflor. Rosa Realty Development Corporation (Transfer Certificates of Title Nos. Laguna was submitted and marked as Exhibit "5" for SRRDC. to open. 81949 and 84891 with an area of 254.841. who originally handled the case for SRRDC and had possession of all the records of the case was on indefinite leave and could not be contacted. the subdivision plan of subject property at Casile. 1991. 2.. the Land Bank asked for a period of one month to value the land in dispute. different dates of hearing were set without objection from counsel of SRRDC. DARAB refused to address the issue of beneficiaries. 81949 and 84891. On April 4. 1991. stated that the parcels of land subject of the case were classified as "Industrial Park" per Sangguniang Bayan Resolution No. At the hearing on April 23. if none has . Rosa Realty Development Corporation the amount of Seven Million Eight Hundred Forty-One Thousand.records could not be found as her co-counsel. At the hearing on April 23. The Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) to pay Sta.24 . Cabuyao. 1991. on April 30. the initial DARAB hearing of the case was held and subsequently. certification from Deputy Zoning Administrator Generoso B. 45-89 dated March 29. Opina was presented. 1991.. the DARAB promulgated a decision.

112526 on the following grounds: I THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED A GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION TANTAMOUNT TO LACK OR EXCESS OF ITS JURISDICTION IN RULING . The Register of Deeds of the Province of Laguna to cancel with dispatch Transfer Certificate of Title Nos.R. SP No.28 Hence. No. 1991 is AFFIRMED.27 In the meantime. free from liens and encumbrances. as valuation for the SRRDC property. Rosa Realty Development Corporation. Leong issued a memorandum directing the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) to open a trust account in favor of SRRDC. 84891 and 81949 and new one be issued in the name of the Republic of the Philippines.637. DAR Secretary Benjamin T. and distribute the same to the immediate issuance of Emancipation Patents to the farmer-beneficiaries as determined by the Municipal Agrarian Reform Office of Cabuyao. to wit: WHEREFORE. 1993. docketed as CA-G. 3. Laguna. 1991. Region IV. 1993.965. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources either through its Provincial Office in Laguna or the Regional Office. to conduct a final segregation survey on the lands covered by Transfer Certificate of Title Nos. for P5.25 On July 11. 84891 and 81949 so the same can be transferred by the Register of Deeds to the name of the Republic of the Philippines.yet been made. The titles in the name of SRRDC were cancelled and corresponding TCTs were issued in the name of the Republic of the Philippines on February 11. 1992. 1992. 27234. SRRDC filed on November 24. Rosa Realty Development Corporation ventilating its case with the Special Agrarian Court on the issue of just compensation. premises considered. the CA affirmed the decision of DARAB. On November 5. SRRDC had filed with the CA a petition for review of the DARAB’s decision. docketed as G. 4. a trust account for said amount in the name of Sta.55. The Regional Office of the Department of Agrarian Reform through its Municipal and Provincial Agrarian Reform Office to take immediate possession on the said landholding after Title shall have been transferred to the name of the Republic of the Philippines. without prejudice to petitioner Sta.26 after which Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) were issued in the name of the farmers-beneficiaries on February 26. the DARAB decision dated December 19. herein petition.R. 5.

R. Section 22 of RA 6657 insofar as it expands the coverage of the CARP to ‘landless residents’ is unconstitutional. The SRRDC properties have been zoned and approved as ‘PARK’ since 1979. setting aside the decision of the CA in CA-G. 2001. No. ii. The SRRDC properties form part of a watershed area. the Court rendered its Decision in G. SP No. i.29 On October 12. i. ARE COVERED BY THE CARP CONTRARY TO THE NATALIA REALTY DECISION OF THIS HONORABLE COURT. II THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED A GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION TANTAMOUNT TO LACK OR EXCESS OF ITS JURISDICTION IN DISREGARDING ECOLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS AS MANDATED BY LAW. 27234 and ordering the remand of the case to the DARAB for re-evaluation and determination of the nature of the land.R. DESPITE THE UNDISPUTED FACT OF THEIR NON-AGRICULTURAL CLASSIFICATION PRIOR TO RA 6657. The dispositive portion of the Decision reads as follows: . ii. IV THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED A GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION TANTAMOUNT TO LACK OR EXCESS OF ITS JURISDICTION IN HOLDING THAT THE DARAB HAS JURISDICTION TO PASS UPON THE ISSUE OF WHETHER THE SRRDC PROPERTIES ARE SUBJECT TO CARP COVERAGE.THAT THE SRRDC PROPERTIES. 112526 only. III THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED A GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION TANTAMOUNT TO LACK OR EXCESS OF ITS JURISDICTION IN AFFIRMING THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE SRRDC PROPERTIES TO PRIVATE RESPONDENTS WHO HAVE BEEN JUDICIALLY DECLARED AS SQUATTERS AND THEREFORE ARE NOT QUALIFIED BENEFICIARIES PURSUANT TO THE CENTRAL MINDANAO UNIVERSITY DECISION OF THIS HONORABLE COURT. The acquisition of the SRRDC properties cannot be valid for future beneficiaries.

and that during the hearing at the DARAB. the Court SETS ASIDE the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. In the meantime. issuance of which is barred by Sec. 6657. argues that there exist compelling reasons to grant the second motion for reconsideration of the assailed decision of the Court.1 Only QUESTIONS OF LAW are admittedly and undeniably at issue. 2.R. No. the 12 October 2001 Decision assumed facts not proven before any administrative. 112526. yet the Honorable Court remanded the case to DARAB to reevaluate if the land is CARPable. 55 of R. quasi-judicial or judicial bodies. yet the Honorable Court reviewed the findings of facts of the Court of Appeals and the DARAB although the case does not fall into any of the well-recognized exceptions to conduct a factual review. et al.A. Worse.R. "there was proof that the land may be excluded from the coverage of the CARP because of its high slopes. No costs. Amante. 1993. the Court REMANDS the case to the DARAB for re-evaluation and determination of the nature of the parcels of land involved to resolve the issue of its coverage by the Comprehensive Land Reform Program. which shall remain in effect until final decision on the case. In lieu thereof. that the property is part of a watershed.5 This Honorable Court denied private respondents’ Motion for Reconsideration although issues raised therein were never passed upon in the 12 October 2001 Decision or elsewhere. SP No." 31 Thus.IN VIEW WHEREOF.32 In their Memorandum. and 2. 2. 27234. 2.33 .3 The Decision did not express clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based. the Court concluded that a remand of the case to the DARAB for re-evaluation of the issue of coverage is appropriate in order to resolve the true nature of the subject property.4 The Decision renewed the Temporary Restraining Order issued on 15 December 1993. to wit: 2. SO ORDERED. the effects of the CLOAs issued by the DAR to supposed farmer beneficiaries shall continue to be stayed by the temporary restraining order issued on December 15.30 It is the opinion of the Court in G.2 The DARAB and the Court of Appeals already found the land to be CARPable.

In the same breath.35 At the outset. should not have considered in this case. would justify a different legal conclusion. to pursue such remedies simultaneously as these are mutually exclusive. and that the CA disregarded ecological considerations. In support of its contention. thus: Ocular inspections conducted by the Board show that the subject landholdings have been under the possession and tillage of the DAR identified potential beneficiaries which they inherited from their forebears (workers of the Yulo Estate). it likewise averred that it was also being filed as a special civil action for certiorari as public respondents committed grave abuse of discretion. through the Office of the Solicitor General. Laguna. They are bonafide residents and registered voters (DARAB Exhibits "C" and "J") of Barangay Casile.36 Petitioner should not have been allowed.The DAR and the DARAB. There is a barangay road leading toward the barangay school and sites and the settlement has a barangay hall. then it is the DENR that should exercise control and supervision in the disposition. did not interpose any objection to the second motion for reconsideration.34 SRRDC meanwhile insists that there are no compelling reasons to give due course to the second motion for reconsideration. the parcels of land are agricultural and may be the subject of compulsory acquisition for distribution to farmer-beneficiaries. as approved by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB).38 SRRDC also claimed that Amante. it argued. No. which in effect comes down to the issue of the validity of the acquisition of the subject property by the Government under Republic Act (R. 112526 as one for review oncertiorari of the decision of the CA. in order to finally set these cases to rest. renewal and conservation of the property. if properly considered. these issues are factual in nature. that the subject property had already been classified as "park" since 1979 under the Zoning Ordinance of Cabuyao. i.) No. management. It also maintained that if SRRDC’s claim that the property is watershed is true. 6657. Cabuyao. Thus. utilization. are not qualified beneficiaries. there are recognized exceptions. or the CA manifestly overlooked certain relevant and undisputed facts that.39 Clearly. e. which the Court.. the DARAB made its finding regarding the nature of the property in question.e. the Court shall resolve the substantive matters raised.40 The present cases fall under the above exceptions. or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988 (CARL).A. among others. in the first place. et al. when the factual inferences of the appellate court are manifestly mistaken. the Court notes that petitioner designated its petition in G. as a rule. As noted earlier. However. the judgment is based on a misapprehension of facts. .37 It is SRRDC’s claim that the CA committed grave abuse of discretion in holding that the subject property is agricultural in nature.. that it forms part of a watershed.g.R.

coffee. We find no infirmity in placing said parcels of land under compulsory coverage. the landholdings subject herein are not. T-84891 topography is flat to undulating with a 5 to 10% slope. Certification dated January 16. subject landholdings are suitable for agriculture. 1989 by APT Felicito Buban of the Department of Agriculture of Laguna that. Laguna. The barangay progressive development agencies. like the DECS. hence. TSN. "L". and pineapple plantations. More importantly. etc. 1570 dated September 1. to wit: 1. Though some portions are over 18% slope. The claim that the landholding of SRRDC is a watershed. elementary school buildings (DARAB Exhibit "Q"). (b) it is suitable to agricultural crops. "O". As the landholdings of SRRDC subject of the instant proceedings are already developed not only as a community but also as an agricultural farm capable of sustaining daily existence and growth. clearly visible thereat are fruit-bearing trees.41 (Emphasis supplied) The evidence on record supports these findings. (Testimony of Rosalina Jumaquio.43 3. 1991. DAR and Support Services of Land Bank. They do not belong to the exempt class of lands.45 . 1989 by the OIC Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office of Laguna that the only declared watershed in the Laguna province and San Pablo City is the Caliraya-Lumot Rivers No. they are already productive and fully developed. belonging to the exempt class of lands is literally "throwing punches at the moon" because the DENR certified that "the only declared watershed in Laguna Province and San Pablo City is the Caliraya-Lumot Rivers (Petitioner’s Exhibit "A").. Pictures taken by MARO Belen La Torre of Cabuyao. "M". 1976. . June 21. like coconut. and other structures extant in progressive communities. DTI and the Cooperative Development Authority have extended support services to the community (DARAB Exhibits "I". "P" to "P6"). COMELEC. DPWH. (see Petitioners Exhibits "A" to "YYY" and DARAB Exhibits "A" to "S".church. DA. DAR. "K" to "K-3". Agricultural Engineer. and that the inhabitants’ main occupation is farming. the subject property is an agricultural area. showing that the property is cultivated and inhabited by the farmer-beneficiaries. and (c) the land is presently planted with diversified crops. Comelec precincts (DARAB Exhibits "J-1" and J-2"). Records). "N". Jumaquio showing that: a) the topography of the property covered by TCT No. Map prepared by Agricultural Engineer Rosalina H. Certification dated August 28. DARAB Exhibits "F" and "H"). In other words.42 2..44 4. Their topography is flat to undulating 3-15% slope. A sensu contrario. per his ocular inspection. nevertheless.

1991 by the Municipality of Cabuyao. 38-2 dated June 25. While it classified Barangay Casile into a municipal park. however. Thus. residential. Photocopies of pictures taken by Mr. Certification dated March 1. 1979.51 it was held that an ordinance converting agricultural lands into residential or light industrial should be given prospective application only. and practices . No. existing agricultural lands into residential. While it declared that after the passage of the measure.47 3. series of 1981. it is not provided therein that it shall have retroactive effect so as to discontinue all rights previously acquired over lands located within the zone which are neither residential nor light industrial in nature. the ordinance should be given prospective operation only.A. industrial. Ernesto Garcia. agricultural and institutional districts. the subject area shall be used only for residential or light industrial purposes.49 Municipal Ordinance No. commercial. divided the municipality into residential. commercial or industrial land. 110-54 dated November 3. based on the municipality’s approved General Land Use Plan ratified by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board as per Resolution No. commercial. The further implication is that it should not change the nature of existing agricultural lands in the area or the legal relationships existing over such lands …52(Emphasis supplied) Under Section 3 (c) of R. Officer-in-Charge of the Special Project Section of CJ Yulo and Sons. and districts and parks for open spaces. Intermediate Appellate Court. the ordinance did not provide for the retroactivity of its classification. as shown in its permitted uses of land map. 1991 by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board that the parcels of land located in Barangay Casile are within the Municipal Park. SRRDC submitted the following: 1. poultry or fish. Inc. This simply means that. if we apply the general rule. forest. Laguna that the entire barangay of Casile is delineated as Municipal Park. and other farm activities. planting of crops. or institutional. as we must. In Co vs.48 The Court recognizes the power of a local government to reclassify and convert lands through local ordinance. growing of fruit trees. it was stated: A reading of Metro Manila Zoning Ordinance No. Section 3 (b) meanwhile defines agricultural activity as the cultivation of the soil. enacted by the Municipality of Cabuyao.46 2. agricultural land is defined as land devoted to agricultural activity and not classified as mineral. industrial. does not disclose any provision converting existing agricultural lands in the covered area into residential or light industrial. 50 It did not convert. of portions of Barangay Casile. insists that the property has already been classified as a "municipal park" and beyond the scope of CARP.. To prove this. including the harvesting of such products.SRRDC however. Certification dated March 11. especially if said ordinance is approved by the HLURB. 81-01. and should not change the nature of existing agricultural lands in the area or the legal relationships existing over such lands. 1980. 6657. raising of livestock.

58 Hence. Only on March 9. T-85573 and T92014. No."53 The consolidation and subdivision plan surveyed for SRRDC on March 10-15.performed by a farmer in conjunction with such farming operations done by persons whether natural or juridical. Said ruling. commercial.55 wherein it was ruled that lands not devoted to agricultural activity and not classified as mineral or forest by the DENR and its predecessor agencies. the topography maps . 2004. 1990. (E)4-03-507-309 dated February 17. are outside the coverage of the CARP. 6657. since it is already developed for agricultural purposes. Inc. SRRDC filed with the Court a Manifestation pointing out DAR Order No. No. exempting from CARP coverage two parcels of land owned by SRRDC and covered by TCT Nos. Consequently. 81949 and 34891. Laguna. the subject property is already agricultural at the time the municipality of Cabuyao enacted the zoning ordinance. from the property referred to in said DAR Order. finds no application in the present case. Moreover.56 The DAR found that these properties have been re-classified into Municipal Parks by the Municipal Ordinance of Cabuyao. "the late Miguel Yulo … allowed the employees of the Yulo group of companies to cultivate a maximum area of one hectare each subject to the condition that they should not plant crops being grown by the Canlubang Sugar Estate. however. 13 dated August 30. as certified by the DENR. industrial. SRRDC claimed that in May 1979. 1988. SRRDC cites the case of Natalia Realty. even assuming that the property has an 18% slope and above. it was part of a vast property popularly known as the Canlubang Sugar Estate. Before Barangay Casile was classified into a municipal park by the local government of Cabuyao.A. then it cannot be exempt from acquisition and distribution. DAR. also provides that those with 18% slope and over but already developed for agricultural purposes as of June 15. What SRRDC opted to ignore is that Section 10.57 The Court notes however that the said DAR Order has absolutely no bearing on these cases. may be allocated to qualified occupants. and such ordinance should not affect the nature of the land. totally different. vs. 2004. as implemented by DAR Administrative Order No. Municipal Ordinance No. like coconuts and coffee. 1988. and not classified in town plans and zoning ordinances as approved by the HLURB and its preceding competent authorities prior to the enactment of R. The herein subject property is covered by TCT Nos. Evidently. or institutional. the subject property remains agricultural in nature and therefore within the coverage of the CARP. to avoid confusion as to ownership of crops. although adjacent. 198454 also show that the subject property is sugar land. Laguna in November 1979. and are part of the KabangaanCasile watershed. SRRDC also contends that the property has an 18% slope and over and therefore exempt from acquisition and distribution under Section 10 of R. More so since the municipality of Cabuyao did not even take any step to utilize the property as a park.A. 110-54 of the Municipality of Cabuyao did not provide for any retroactive application nor did it convert existing agricultural lands into residential. 6657 on June 15. As previously stated.

citing as evidence. To Our dismay. it has only itself to blame for which DARAB cannot be accused of not being impartial.66 The same goes with the CA. in the nature of things. the Certification dated July 1. 64 and the Final Report for Watershed Area Assessment Study for the Canlubang Estate dated July 1991 undertaken by the Engineering & Development Corporation of the Philippines. during the series of hearings conducted. The DARAB stated: Noting the absence of evidence which. 57 SCRA 123). which did not have the discretion to consider evidence in a petition for certiorari or petition for review on certiorari outside than that submitted before the DARAB. at least. SRRDC also contends that the property is part of a watershed. Jumaquio show that the property to be acquired has a 5-10% flat to undulating scope. 65 It must be noted.62 was presented by SRRDC only during the proceedings before the CA which had no probative value in a petition for review proceedings. the Certification dated June 26.’ And DARAB obliged as in fact the petitioner commenced to introduce evidence. It must be recalled that petitioner Sta. to do so. Rosa Realty itself had asked the DARAB in a petition dated March 18. . The DARAB never had the opportunity to assess these pieces of evidence.prepared by Agricultural Engineer Rosalina H. 1991 by Geodetic Engineer Conrado R. 1991 to allow it ‘to adduce evidence in support of its position that the subject parcels of land are not covered by the CARP beginning on the scheduled hearing dated April 4.60 and it is in fact already planted with diversified crops.61 Also. 1991 by the Laguna Lake Development Authority that Barangay Casile is part of the watershed area of the Laguna Lake Basin. The Court notes that SRRDC had been given ample time and opportunity by the DARAB to prove the grounds for its protest and objection but miserably failed to take advantage of such time and opportunity63 in the DARAB proceedings. The CA noted petitioner’s failure to present evidence in behalf of its arguments. We even granted continuances to give it enough time to prepare and be ready with the proof and documents.59 that it is suitable to agricultural crops. Rigor that the top portion of Barangay Casile has a 0 to 18% slope while the side of the hill has a 19 to 75% slope. should have been submitted by landowner SRRDC and to avoid any claim of deprivation of its right to prove its claim to just compensation (Uy v. We practically directed its counsel in not only one instance. thus: .67 . Genato. 1991. that these pieces of evidence were likewise brought to record only when petitioner filed its petition for review with the CA. If petitioner failed to complete the presentation of evidence to support its claim of exemption from CARP coverage. however. an implied acceptance of the valuation made by the DAR. . none was submitted and this constrained Us to take the failure/refusal of SRRDC to present evidence as a waiver or.

No. Section 10. national defense. For an area in I. an opportunity it already had during the DARAB proceedings. communal burial grounds and cemeteries. taking into account . and/or actually directly and exclusively used and found to be necessary for parks. directly and exclusively used and found to be necessary" for the purpose so stated. 13. and watersheds and mangroves shall be exempted from the coverage of CARP until Congress. DAR Administrative Order No. it must be "actually.. Series of 1990 (Rules and Procedure Governing Exemption of Lands from CARP Coverage under Section 10. government and private research and quarantine centers.A to be exempted from CARP coverage. there is no need to order the remand of the case to the DARAB "for reevaluation and determination of the nature of the parcels of land involved. to wit: A. church sites and convents appurtenant thereto.. fish sanctuaries and breeding grounds.. reforestation. fish sanctuaries and breeding grounds. RA 6657 excludes and exempts certain types of lands from the coverage of CARP. More significantly however. watersheds and mangroves. . wildlife. II. seeds and seedlings research and pilot production centers.A. LEGAL MANDATE The general policy under CARP is to cover as much lands suitable for agriculture as possible. forest reserves. it is the DAR Secretary that originally declared the subject property as falling under the coverage of the CARP. directly and exclusively used and found to be necessary for parks." It runs contrary to orderly administration of justice and would give petitioner undue opportunity to present evidence in support of its stance. Moreover. Lands actually.Consequently. and . 6657) provides: I. penal colonies and penal farms actually worked by the inmates. forest reserves. POLICIES In the application of the aforecited provision of law. wildlife. C. Lands which have been classified or proclaimed. the following guidelines shall be observed: A. and which opportunity it regrettably failed to take advantage of.. R. However. mosque sites and Islamic centers appurtenant thereof. school sites and campuses including experimental farm stations operated by public or private schools for educational purposes.

Garcia already reserved the property for the use of the school. In the present case.68 In this case.. after a field inspection conducted by the DENR’s Regional Executive Director and the Provincial and Community Natural Resource Officers. Besides. directly and exclusively used and found to be necessary for watershed purposes. 476 issued by the late President Carlos P. petitioner claimed that the occupants were allowed to cultivate the area so long as they do not plant crops being grown by the Canlubang Sugar Estate in order to avoid confusion as to ownership thereof. 4(a) of RA 6657. "the continuing threat of widespread deforestation and unwise land use practices have resulted in the deteriorating condition of the watersheds. shall have determined by law."73 The study. in a belated attempt to prove that the subject property is part of a watershed that must be environmentally protected. As records show. developmental and equity considerations. the specific limits of public domain. SRRDC claims that it is in the best position to determine whether its properties are "necessary" for development as park and watershed area. the subject property from the very beginning was not alienable and disposable because Proclamation No.ecological. was made pursuant to a handwritten instruction issued by then President Fidel V. . The study noted that."74 But the Court also notes the Memorandum for the President dated September 1993 by then DENR Secretary Angel C. SRRDC relies on the case of Central Mindanao University (CMU) vs. directly and exclusively used and found to be necessary for educational purposes. (Emphasis supplied) In order to be exempt from coverage. Ramos. and a reclassification of the said areas or portions thereof as alienable and disposable has been approved. the subject property is yet to be officially classified or proclaimed as a watershed and has in fact long been used for agricultural purposes. the subject property in the CMU case was actually.72 Thus. SRRDC submitted before the Court a Final Report dated February 1994 undertaken by the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) of the DENR entitled. it was found that: . "Environmental Assessment of the Casile and Kabanga-an River Watersheds. the property is agricultural and was not actually and exclusively used for watershed purposes. based on its own assertions. in a complete turnaround. DARAB.69 wherein the Court ruled that CMU is in the best position to determine what property is found necessary for its use. according to SRRDC.. Now.70 But SRRDC’s reliance on the CMU case is flawed. In the CMU case. it appears that it had benefited from the fruits of the land as agricultural land. Alcala that. the land must have been classified or proclaimed and actually. at the time the DAR issued the Notices of Coverage up to the time the DARAB rendered its decision on the dispute.71 Later. as provided for under Sec. Furthermore. the subject property was first utilized for the purposes of the Canlubang Sugar Estate. it is claiming that the property is part of a watershed.

the identification of beneficiaries is a matter involving strictly the administrative implementation of the CARP. 6657.75 Evidently. (d) crops planted. including some which have been coppiced. Corp. the Sta. Records further show that in the 1970s. Rosa Realty Devpt. and that water conduits for domestic and industrial uses were found installed at the watershed area claimed by the Yulos. 3. (c) location and area of the land they work. The trees cut by the dismissed security guard were found stacked adjacent to the Canlubang Security Agency’s headquarters. as beneficiaries of the subject property. Registration of Beneficiaries. A copy of the registry or list of all potential CARP beneficiaries in the barangay shall be posted in the barangay hall. Resident farmers denied that they have been cutting bankal trees and volunteered the information that one of the Estates’ security guards was dismissed for cutting and transporting bankal trees. tenants and farmworkers who are qualified to be beneficiaries of the CARP. SRRDC also objects to the identification of Amante. a Private Land Timber Permit was issued to Canlubang Sugar Estate thru its marketing arm. SRRDC had a hand in the degradation of the area. Suffice it to say that under Section 15 of R. — The DAR in coordination with the Barangay Agrarian Reform Committee (BARC) as organized in this Act. shall register all agricultural lessees. These potential beneficiaries with the assistance of the BARC and the DAR shall provide the following data: (a) names and members of their immediate farm household. a matter which is exclusively vested in the Secretary of Agrarian Reform. . No. Many bankal trees were found growing in the watershed/CARP areas. Section 15 reads: SECTION 15. and (e) their share in the harvest or amount of rental paid or wages received. et al. through its authorized offices. It is reasonable to conclude that SRRDC is merely using "ecological considerations" to avert any disposition of the property adverse to it. school or other public buildings in the barangay where it shall be open to inspection by the public at all reasonable hours.A. and now wants to put the entire blame on the farmer-beneficiaries.2. (b) owners or administrators of the lands they work on and the length of tenurial relationship.

It behooves the courts to exercise great caution in substituting its own determination of the issue. This Administrative Order provides the Implementing Rules and Procedures for the said registration. or in the absence thereof. 6657. in coordination with the Barangay Agrarian Reform Committee (BARC).A. Identify the actual and potential farmer-beneficiaries of the CARP. Specific 1. the DAR Secretary has already issued Notices of Coverage and Notices of Acquisition pertaining to the subject property. Administrative Order No. Series of 1989.78 which in these cases the Court finds none. PREFATORY STATEMENT Pursuant to Section 15. SRRDC questions the constitutionality of Section 22 of R. as organized pursuant to RA 6657. In Lercana vs. provides: SUBJECT: I.76 the Court categorically stated that: … the identification and selection of CARP beneficiaries are matters involving strictly the administrative implementation of the CARP. 10 (Rules and Procedures Governing the Registration of Beneficiaries)... . . and beyond the jurisdiction of the DARAB. No. (c) seasonal farmworkers. shall register all agricultural lessees. (b) regular farmworkers. which reads in part: SECTION 22. of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988. (a) agricultural lessees and share tenants.77 The farmer-beneficiaries have already been identified in this case. tenants and farmworkers who are qualified beneficiaries of the CARP. Also. Qualified Beneficiaries. (d) other farmworkers. B. unless there is grave abuse of discretion committed by the administrative agency. a matter exclusively cognizable by the Secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform. landless residents of the same municipality in the following order of priority.Meanwhile. the DAR. The lands covered by the CARP shall be distributed as much as possible to landless residents of the same barangay. Jalandoni. Chapter IV.

It must be pointed out that all controversies on the implementation of the CARP fall under the jurisdiction of the DAR. The requirements before a litigant can challenge the constitutionality of a law are well-delineated. "if it is not raised in the pleadings." in violation of Article XIII. such that. and (4) The constitutional question is the lis mota of the case.80 (Emphasis supplied) Earliest opportunity means that the question of unconstitutionality of the act in question should have been immediately raised in the proceedings in the court below. 81 in this case. and.. and adequately argued84 in the DAR. the DAR Secretary. an issue that can be determined without delving into . it cannot be considered on appeal. under the law. and not one that is doubtful. This Court will not entertain questions on the invalidity of a statute where that issue was not specifically raised. and to justify its nullification. there must be a clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution.82 The earliest opportunity to raise a constitutional issue is to raise it in the pleadings before a competent court that can resolve the same. has the authority to determine the beneficiaries of the CARP. insisted upon. and (g) others directly working on the land. SRRDC argues that Section 22 "sweepingly declares landless residents as beneficiaries of the CARP (to mean also squatters). The DARAB correctly refused to deal on this issue as it is the DAR Secretary who. 79 The Court cannot entertain such constitutional challenge. even though they raise questions that are also legal or constitutional in nature."83 Records show that SRRDC raised such constitutional challenge only before this Court despite the fact that it had the opportunity to do so before the DAR Secretary. Likewise. it cannot be considered at the trial. if not considered at the trial.(e) actual tillers or occupants of public lands. the constitutional question raised by SRRDC is not the very lis mota in the present case.. (3) The exercise of judicial review is pleaded at the earliest opportunity.85The controversy at hand is principally anchored on the coverage of the subject property under the CARP. (f) collectives or cooperatives of the above beneficiaries. .: (1) The existence of an actual and appropriate case. (2) A personal and substantial interest of the party raising the constitutional question. Basic is the rule that every law has in its favor the presumption of constitutionality. speculative or argumentative. Section 4 of the Constitution. viz. which aims to benefit only the landless farmers and regular farmworkers.

while the second is judicial and involves the determination of rights and obligations of the parties. both original and appellate. No. While the identification of Amante. No. the same may be resolved by the DAR. except those falling under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The first is essentially executive and pertains to the enforcement and administration of the laws. .A. 229.A. 6657 provides that: SEC. expeditious and inexpensive determination of every action or proceeding before it. Republic Act No. 6389. carrying them into practical operation and enforcing their due observance. Primary. Original and Appellate Jurisdiction. 6657. cases. 6657 is two-fold. and matters or incidents involving the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program under Republic Act No. yet. SRRDC questions the DARAB’s jurisdiction to entertain the question of whether the subject property is subject to CARP coverage.the constitutionality of Section 22 of R. No. such authority is vested with the DAR Secretary who has the exclusive prerogative to resolve matters involving the administrative implementation of the CARP and agrarian laws and regulations.88 the DAR adopted the DARAB Revised Rules. Section 50 of R. Quasi-Judicial Powers of the DAR. .. to determine and adjudicate all agrarian disputes. as farmer-beneficiaries is a corollary matter. such jurisdiction shall extend over but not be limited to the following: . Executive Order Nos.. According to SRRDC. The DAR’s jurisdiction under Section 50 of R.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. et al. 6657.87 Pursuant to its judicial mandate of achieving a just. 3844 as amended by Republic Act No. 27 and other agrarian laws and their implementing rules and regulations. 50. controversies.A.86 There is no question that the power to determine whether a property is subject to CARP coverage lies with the DAR Secretary. Specifically. Presidential Decree No. 228 and 129A. Rule II (Jurisdiction of the Adjudication Board) of which provides: SECTION 1. – The Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board shall have primary jurisdiction.

the DAR Secretary has exclusive jurisdiction over classification and identification of landholdings for coverage under the CARP. e) Cases involving the sale. mortgage. lease contracts or deeds of sale or their amendments under the administration and disposition of the DAR and LBP. . f) Cases involving the issuance of Certificate of Land Transfer (CLT). Under said Rules of Procedure. and determination and payment of just compensation. amortization payments. including protests or oppositions thereto and petitions for lifting of coverage. Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) and Emancipation Patent (EP) and the administrative correction thereof. that matters involving strictly the administrative implementation of the CARP and other agrarian laws and regulations. foreclosure. alienation.89 which provides for the Rules of Procedure for Agrarian Law Implementation (ALI) Cases. inter alia. or connected with membership or representation in compact farms. matters or concerns referred to it by the Secretary of the DAR. including protests or oppositions thereto and petitions for lifting of coverage. pre-emption and redemption of agricultural lands under the coverage of the CARP or other agrarian laws. d) Cases arising from. . (Emphasis supplied) On the other hand. disturbance compensation. related to land covered by the CARP and other agrarian laws. however. b) Cases involving the valuation of land. and similar disputes concerning the functions of the Land Bank.a) Cases involving the rights and obligations of persons engaged in the cultivation and use of agricultural land covered by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) and other agrarian laws. farmers’ cooperatives and other registered farmers’ associations or organizations. c) Cases involving the annulment or cancellation of orders or decisions of DAR officials other than the Secretary. Cases Covered. Provided. disputes. Administrative Order No.These Rules shall govern cases falling within the exclusive jurisdiction of the DAR Secretary which shall include the following: (a) Classification and identification of landholdings for coverage under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). govern the administrative function of the DAR. shall be the exclusive prerogative of and cognizable by the Secretary of the DAR. 06-00. fixing and collection of lease rentals. Section 2 of the said Rules specifically provides. that: SECTION 2. g) And such other agrarian cases.

the power to determine whether a property is agricultural and subject to CARP coverage together with the identification. … Prayed therein were that DARAB: . In response. the DAR. qualification or disqualification of farmerbeneficiaries lies with the DAR Secretary. at the instance of petitioner itself. The ISSUE ON CARP COVERAGE was initiated and incorporated in said proceeding. . the LBP forwarded the two Compulsory Acquisition Claim Folders (CACF) covering the subject properties to the DARAB for summary proceedings for the sole purpose of determining just compensation. Initially. the DAR had already determined that the properties are subject to expropriation under the CARP and has distributed the same to the farmerbeneficiaries. 1.2. submitted its report stating that: (1) the property is subject to compulsory acquisition by virtue of the Notice of Coverage issued on August 11. . Series of 1990. (e) Exercise of the right of retention by landowner. (c) Subdivision surveys of lands under CARP. and that it was subject to CARP coverage per Section IV D of DAR Administrative Order No.5. When SRRDC petitioned the DARAB to resolve the issue of exemption from coverage. through the Undersecretary for Operations and the Regional Director of Region IV. and (2) there was no pending petition for land conversion involving the subject property. it was only then that the DARAB took cognizance of said issue. 1989. 1989. recall or cancellation of Certificates of Land Transfer (CLTs) and CARP Beneficiary Certificates (CBCs) in cases outside the purview of Presidential Decree (PD) No. As stated by the DARAB: 4. and Notice of Acquisition issued on December 12. the DARAB asked the DAR Secretary to first resolve the issues raised by SRRDC before it can proceed with the land valuation proceedings. recall or cancellation of Emancipation Patents (EPs) or Certificates of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs) not yet registered with the Register of Deeds. (d) Issuance. (Emphasis supplied) Thus.90 Significantly. As a consequence.(b) Identification. SRRDC then sent a letter to the LBP claiming that the subject properties were exempt from CARP coverage and subject of a pending petition for land conversion. 1991. qualification or disqualification of potential farmerbeneficiaries. it was SRRDC that initiated and invoked the DARAB’s jurisdiction to pass upon the question of CARP coverage.91 As the DARAB succinctly pointed out. including the issuance. 816. .2. by filing a petition dated March 18.

6657 to resolve a land valuation case.6.5. none was adduced and this constrained public respondent to declare SRRDC as having waived its right to present evidence. the request that it be allowed to adduce evidence.3. 4. despite the open session proddings by DARAB for SRRDC to submit evidence and the rescheduling for. That the matter of CARP coverage is . 2. allegedly. Needless to state.1. . actively participated in the hearings conducted. The fact [part (municipal/industrial) and/or watershed] upon which the jurisdictional issue interchangeably hinges were not established during the hearing of the case. No proof was adduced. Public respondents (DAR/DARAB) are not unmindful of the rule that matter of jurisdiction may be raised at any stage of the proceeding. 4. through its lawyers. the applicability thereof in the case at bar should not be allowed. Principally.5. SRRDC. 4. But for two serious considerations. they are still collating the evidence. nay.5. But SRRDC itself insisted that DARAB should take cognizance thereof in the same land valuation proceeding. as earlier stated..1. 1991" (p. And. Allow respondent SRRDC to adduce evidence in support of its position that the subject parcels of land are not covered by the CARP beginning on the scheduled hearing date of April 4. after the remaining parties were heard. It was only when an adverse decision was rendered by DARAB that the jurisdictional issue was raised in the petition for review it filed with the Honorable Court of Appeals. It was also only then that petitioner presented proof/evidence.5. Take cognizance and assume jurisdiction over the question of CARP coverage of the subject parcels of land.6.. it was accommodated by DARAB and a counsel of SRRDC even took the witness stand. Upon persistent request of petitioner SRRDC.3. emphasis and underscoring supplied).4. But.5.3. DARAB was called upon under Section 16 of Republic Act No. Defer or hold in abeyance the proceedings for administrative valuation of the subject properties pending determination of the question of CARP coverage. 3. the jurisdictional objection (CARP coverage). Its lawyers were always in attendance during the scheduled hearings until it was time for SRRDC to present its own evidence. And. 4. .. now being raised herein was not one of the original matters in issue. 4..2. the hearing was formally terminated.

Series of 1996. 27234. it was SRRDC itself that invoked the latter’s jurisdiction. As a result.96 To permit SRRDC to change its theory on appeal would not only be unfair to Amante. Petitioner is now estopped from assailing the jurisdiction of DARAB. and the case is tried and decided upon that theory in the court below.95 Points of law. when it filed its petition (Annex "4"). as these cannot be raised for the first time at such late stage. Court of Appeals. Leong should be converted to a deposit account. the trust account opened by the LBP per instructions of DAR Secretary Benjamin T. through its counsel. First. 4.97 Finally. as it does. belonging. It was only when it was returned to DARAB by said office that proceedings thereon commenced pursuant to Section 1(g) of Rule II of the DARAB Revised Rules of Procedure. in fact invoked it. et al.A. during the scheduled hearings. 9. issues and arguments not brought to the attention of the lower court need not be. it expressly acknowledged the same. is tantamount to a recognition of that court’s or body’s jurisdiction and a willingness to abide by the resolution of the case and will bar said party from later on impugning the court’s or body’s jurisdiction. the DAR issued Administrative Order No. forwarded the issue of CARP coverage to the office of the DAR Secretary.93 It was SRRDC’s own act of summoning the DARAB’s authority that cured whatever jurisdictional defect it now raises. one of its counsel (sic) even testifying. considered by a reviewing court.e. the issue of jurisdiction was raised by SRRDC only before the CA. As a rule. In Land Bank of the Philippines vs.6. to the DAR Secretary. theories. either before DARAB or the Honorable Court of Appeals. 1991. Series of 1990. and. the CA likewise found that it was SRRDC that called upon the DARAB to determine the issue and it.94 Moreover.5. this Court struck down as void DAR Administrative Circular No. It is elementary that the active participation of a party in a case pending against him before a court or a quasi-judicial body. but would also be offensive to the basic scales of fair play. actively participated.98 Thus. the numerous petitions/incidents filed notwithstanding. i.2. SP No. converting trust accounts in the name of landowners into deposit accounts. 6657.strictly administrative implementation of CARP and. It was never presented or discussed before the DARAB for obvious reasons. and ordinarily will not be. 2. justice and due process. therefore. Be it that as it may. when a party adopts a certain theory. It may not now be allowed to impugn the jurisdiction of public respondent …92 (Emphasis supplied) In CA-G. beyond the competence of DARAB. in fact.R. providing for the opening of trust accounts in lieu of the deposit in cash or in bonds contemplated in Section 16 (e) of R. Leong issued a Memorandum on July 11. was not even alleged. in fact.. No. the Court notes that then DAR Secretary Benjamin T. ordering the opening of a trust account in favor of SRRDC. to be . the records of the case show that initially DARAB refused to take cognizance thereof and. actively participated in the proceedings before it. second. SRRDC. he will not be permitted to change his theory on appeal.

38182 were premised on SRRDC’s transfer certificates of title over the subject property. and we cannot interfere with the same at the present time.R. in their motion for reconsideration filed in CA-G. B-2333) and the CA in CA-G. not intended to preempt any judgment or prejudice the right of any party in the said case. et al.. et al. 1995. is not entitled to actual. 27234. et al. enjoining the DARAB from enforcing the effects of the CLOAs. SP No. et al. considering that the subject property is agricultural and may be acquired for distribution to farmer-beneficiaries identified by the DAR under the CARP. No. a temporary restraining order was issued by the Court on December 15. the transfer certificates of title issued in the name of the Republic of the Philippines and the CLOAs issued by the DAR in the names of Amante. SP No. 1992. The titles in its name were cancelled and corresponding TCTs were issued in the name of the Republic of the Philippines on February 11. No. who have been issued CLOAs are now the owners of the subject property. No.R. The Court. since at the time the trial court rendered its decision in the injunction case on January 20. is yet to be finally resolved by this Court in G.R. 1992.R. reiterated its ruling that "whether or not the subject property is covered by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (R. should be granted. 112526 and in fact. et al. The trial court and the CA cannot be faulted for denying the writ of injunction prayed for by Amante. The account shall earn a 12% interest per annum from the time the LBP opened a trust account up to the time said account was actually converted into cash and LBP bonds deposit accounts." 99 It must be noted that at that juncture. 38182. SRRDC’s right of possession over the subject property was predicated on its claim of ownership. therefore. No.101 are valid titles and therefore must be upheld.R. which primarily rests on G. the DARAB Decision and the CA decision in CA-G. 1993. 6657) is the subject matter of a separate case. moral and exemplary damages. et al. however. the CA. Amante.R. and it cannot be .retroactive in application in order to rectify the error committed by the DAR in opening a trust account and to grant the landowners the benefits concomitant to payment in cash or LBP bonds prior to the ruling of the Court in Land Bank of the Philippines vs. Amante. SP No. the decision of the trial court and the CA denying the writ of injunction was warranted.R. finding the subject property covered by the CARP Law.A. per Resolution dated January 19. SRRDC was still the holder of the titles covering the subject property. agrees with the CA that Amante. the decisions of the trial court in the injunction case and the CA in CA-G. and CLOAs were issued to the farmer-beneficiaries on February 26. The judgments of the trial court in the injunction case (Civil Case No. to vacate and/or enjoins them from entering the subject property. Nevertheless. 38182 must now be set aside. Consequently. 1992. When Amante. 112526. the petition filed in G. SP No." The CA further stated that "(O)ur present decision is. was likewise restrained from further clearing the subject property. Given the foregoing conclusions. 118838. brought to the CA’s attention the issuance of the CLOAs. Court of Appeals. et al. By virtue thereof. insofar as it orders Amante. as well as attorney’s fees..100 Hence.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of Agrarian Reform. being used in numerous watershed management projects nationwide. however. 1993. Rosa Realty Development Corporation to a deposit account. CV No. The Court’s Decision dated October 12.R. . we recommend that a watershed management plan for the area espousing the community-based approach be drawn-up jointly by the DAR and DENR. the Second Motion for Reconsideration is GRANTED. Adopting the same approach in the area is deemed the best possible solution to the case since it will not prejudice the CLOAs issued to the farmer-beneficiaries. the DENR manifested that: . The Decision of the Court of Appeals dated June 28. After all. As was ruled by the CA. . No. 1994 in CA-G. . 1993.103 If SRRDC sincerely wants to preserve the property for ecological considerations. et al. 27234 is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION.R. subject to a 12% interest per annum from the time the LBP opened a trust account up to the time said account was actually converted into cash and LBP bonds deposit accounts. in G. in that the Land Bank of the Philippines is ordered to convert the trust account in the name of Sta. No. In view of the foregoing. is merely entitled to nominal damages as a result of SRRDC’s acts. to the DAR Secretary. 118838 is GRANTED in that Sta.102 All is not lost in this case. 38182 is AFFIRMED insofar as the award of nominal damages is concerned. Rosa Realty Development Corporation is hereby ENJOINED from disturbing the peaceful possession of the farmer-beneficiaries with CLOAs. They should. SO ORDERED. is in fact. we are all stewards of this earth. . 2001 in G. be required to undertake the necessary reforestation and other watershed management/rehabilitation measures in the area. 112526 is SET ASIDE and the Decision of the Court of Appeals dated November 5. is LIFTED. et al. SP No. in coordination with the farmer-beneficiaries identified by the DAR. Amante.R. The petition filed by Amante. are URGED to formulate a community-based watershed plan for the management and rehabilitation of Barangay Casile. and it rests on all of us to tend to it. 1993 in CA-G. The temporary restraining order issued by the Court on December 15. . WHEREFORE.R. it can be done regardless of who owns it. the farmers themselves could be tapped to undertake watershed management and protection. . In its Memorandum dated September 29.sanctioned in exercising its rights or protecting its interests thereon. This community-based approach in natural resource management.

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

708543/0398 #./03.0        !:-.0.

9-.80.40/      %01.9438 90.80/.70349:323/1:41907:09.784:/349-0.04190574..-07.# .5...-9907041390.9432.438/07.9.00/3 :9147948074:8 .9907 41:78/..95.79 2:3.55.389.92.

3/.3/:897. .

943.08 .90780/(:543.-308070349089..80 457441.47.4.-80//:7390 0.90 :78/.0/ %.88:03907.07.990741#!.9902.734190.30.//:.8..

9.-04:7941550.02502039.3/ 90701470 -043/90 .709./23897.8349 0.4250903.041# -0433 .94341#!.7 .89/408 9490#$0.897.9.03.8 90 3:2074:85099438.00/ 0907-01470#47904347.

4741 $## 3....943 41..8473-43/8.:880/-0147090#1474-.3/.943  41#:04190 ##0.5.07 9088:041:78/.07:78/.70. ..74  $070841 574..0.24:3994.70.0 7/074  $070841  .89080.703.8 $##98019.943  4704.8 30.:.84-0411038.09490-.3098904743. 90 70.04190# $0.088  3..23% 04384:/-0.08411.7 9../411..4:380 8.:70/ .0/:0/0.43.43.3892-01470.0 %450729$##94.439025.09490411.4:79 847-4/ 8:78/.3/ 80.78.80/#:0841!74..8438  0 9.808 98002039.98:..340/0/908. 904:79349089.4:3983903..4:380 .738  $## 974:98./010.40/9425:390:78/.079397:89.43943419.438/070/-..0.42203.99039434190407.4:870.793.90/390574.843039.3//:0574.07.4:39830:4190/054893./0/:5439./43..0757080390/47/8..079.943 0  41#  4  8.4:79 .7:0 03.79..90/ 4304198.5.7 349-0 ..7942.39047 .9.9907 8:78/./039810/349989.550.-/0-907084:9434190.3/.93.#701:80/949.43/ /:73908.80503/3./4598.3/:243:  47/073904503341.34190!55308.79.79.05.791742.00/38 -014709 9.9.708543/039  25...79.  0...05..79.99047390.3/.90.943 8..0790/94.9.09..9.20 31..9.4:3931.0/5:78:.9.9 574.8$##9. !439841.03.39.5.9089.3/ 31.23% 04388:0/.40/90.88.8.3349-07.6:.97:89.80849.3/43078394/05489 .892.80/-$##43-0147090 9.4:39 94-0 .308904743..7:20398349-74:99490.:94799.4:79300/349-0 .4:3945030/-90!5073897:..80/147901789920 .943841# $0.-4/ 8 9./05489.9.939.3//0. -:94:/.75..9418:2243390# 8..80.4:79-04 0 349-05072990/94.943..4:398 %:8 9097:89.2041.0/:543 90#94/09072309088:0.709. 0247.99.390 09.888:550/  3  # $!4  9008014:3/9.4/#/23897.943.8$## 843.703.94341 5:-.708:9 90#88:0//23897.390:78/.  :89.4:7947.943..808970/.3/47/3.43.9074325:3390 .93.99347.9.9903#$0.3/9 31.03908913 92.3994$0.8 :/.00/38907043.4:/34943-0 :31.4.5. 904708 88:08 .8709:730/94#-8.47/84190.3/90.9 147.709.550.990.8 984:79897:..07.0/:70      !09943078340894550/1742.87./5..0907041 .3/3 099.4:79 847-4/ 8:78/.9.05.8.3.3/-.3308894 .94341 # 789 9057088.90/3$0.3.34934-0.7/0/9088:041#!..40/9 03 910/98509943 330 .9 .5.8 4:7941550.8 .../3147904503341 97:89.709.

.. 83..438/0739.808070897. 80994-013..073908:-0..438/07.4190!5530843 0-7:.9084199088:0/3903.20393.3/..4:39.390/  %0:/20398419097.3/!-43/8/05489.204190#05:-.70974.0-00388:0/  8.8/0 3841.3907089507..9:70 90#0.889904/074190 9908.943.7  .7034904307841908:-0..390/  0.919007747.8 %0.804   .3347/07.4.390 09.943347/079470.0390147043.943.943.94357.3/90/033907941 3:3.4:39..8433903:3.90. 97:89..070/-9042570038..3/ 807088:0/94901.8433  # $!4   13/3908:-0.03..990741.34190!55308.4:79..943.99.43.0 90/0.80 .30/17421:7907.4190!55308.0/- 984:793 # 4 .957450798 .33:217429092090! 45030/..0.793908.3990.07.070/-90#!.95745079..3349-01.6:70/ 147/897-:943941.0791.94310/3  # $!4   -74:99490 8.3#01472.572.38107.390 09..805..9 :75708039/0.0/147-2.0907941.8 ..0790/394.55..9 2.3/903  # $!4 2:8934-0 809.957450798.-0..7 7089843 # 4  84:/-07.8.77.0.:8438 9050994310/3 # 4  .9090747349908:-0.07908:-0.3/2.70.  .390 09.3349390710709908.3/90....3/947.4:398  .7./.97:89.8 4:7941 550.43..7   032..00/.90841990 4.7  70907.984190  8 2.38107.208412.7207 -0301.7..8 47!-43/8574794907:341904:793..7.888:0/- 904:79430.3/0.20070.3/ 907014702:89-0:50/ .7  $##.79:0907041 2.4.204190#05:-.95745079 43806:039 90/0.8438 90701470 3493903/0/945700259 .390 09.04190 8 90 507#084:943 /.9.390 09.43.73.3/.708/03910/-90#:3/0790#! 90 97.9908:-0../..02-07  0343390#174203147.99039439088:.902547.4:39:594909208.8947/0782.708430-7:.9 .9:..4:79.9909209097..3/90 3  # $!4 070570280/43$## 897.:9:7.7084..390 09.39945.7207 -0301./9908.3.4:793903:3..20.770897.8.90/9.843841 9097..90/987:39.73908:-0.80 92:89-03490/9. 4.9905708039920  %01:790789.7..9 5745079  03.843419097. .8043.3/90/0.4.429..3.95745079 %097.422990/-90#345033.3/31.90/.4:79703/070/98 /0..3:.9:3. 94...3/90  888:0/-90#3903. #  4  8908:-0.35.95745079 %099083983.3:/203947570:/.90..3:..4:793903:3.3900110.3/ .843.0791.:90/147/03390 79413:3.80 .0.3/4307890-030198.4:398.0790088 . 39072494314770.80.9 ..47708543/3%%807088:0/3903.

90/4398.95745079.3/0025.47034389021742039073 908:-0.8.9:.80.07908:-0.3/9.241430785 .07 .92. 834903990/94.994730 81008 $## 87941548808843 4...7/..3349-0 ..390 09.08 .70089909.  247.95745079  %04:79 40.8570/..2.

90/$05902-07  9490# $0.09030.02.8.3...708:941$## 8 .3.390 09.939839070898907043 8.83987984757490.5574.9   901.3.770147089.80/.08.2.90780/ 2.7 90#2.4:/-09.390.98   8349489398.02039 831./..0.3/:2/.8083.3/4907.08.02039.422:39 -.9 -03:80/33:2074:8.020395740. 8207003990/943423.3.709.943/0 /4593908.943..310890/9.07 -0706:70/94 :3/079.33.9:7.70..8 /0020/90-0895488-084:9439490..80 3980247.3.708 %084:/ 40.20.87:0/-90  2. 7084:7.9430/3007.088.943 %8.983.8.090  888:0/94901..7207 -0301.90780/ 2.02039.5574.550/94:3/079.3/57490.7207890280.09349570:/.90780/ 2.

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

   .