Agrarian Law Compiled Case Digests
AGRARIAN LAW CASE DIGESTS CRUZ—DAVID—DELOS SANTOS—GATACELO—ISMAEL—LAZARO MEDINA—MONTES—MONZON—ROMANO—TIBURCIO
1. CORPUZ vs. GROSPE (CRUZ) G.R. No. 135297 June 8, 2000 FACTS: Petitioner Gavino Corpuz was a farmer-beneficiary under the Operation Land Transfer Program of the Department of Agrarian Reform. He was issued a Certificate of Land Transfer over two parcels of agricultural land. In order to pay for the hospitalization of his wife, he mortgaged the subject land in favor of Virginia de Leon. When the contract expired, he again mortgaged it to respondent Hilaria Grospe for a period of four years. The parties executed a contract, which allowed the respondents to cultivate the land during the duration of the mortgage or until December 05, 1990. Corpuz subsequently instituted a complaint which alleged that the Grospe's had entered the disputed land by force and destroyed the palay that he had planted on it. However according to the Grospes, Corpuz had already executed a "waiver of rights' over the landholding in favor of the spouses in consideration of 54k. PARAB adjudicator Ernesto Tabar ruled that Corpuz abandoned and surrendered the landholding to the Samahang Nayon of Nueva Ecija. Said Samahang Nayon even passed Resolution No. 16 and 27 recommending the reallocation of said lots to the Grospes, who were the most qualified farmers-beneficiaries. DARAB and CA affirmed the decision ISSUES: 1.Whether or not the 'waiver of rights' is contrary to agrarian law 2. Whether or not Corpuz had abandoned his landholding 3. Whether or not Corpuz had voluntarily surrendered his landholding HELD: 1. Yes. The sale or transfer of rights over a property covered by a certificate of land transfer is void except when the alienation is made in favor of the government or through hereditary succession. This ruling is intended to prevent a reversion to the old feudal system in which the landowners reacquire vast tract of land thus, negating the government's program of freeing the tenant from the bondage of the soil. 2. No. Corpuz’ surrendered of possession did not amount to an abandonment because there was an obligation on the part of the Grospe's to return the possession of the landholding upon full payment
AGRARIAN LAW CASE DIGESTS CRUZ—DAVID—DELOS SANTOS—GATACELO—ISMAEL—LAZARO MEDINA—MONTES—MONZON—ROMANO—TIBURCIO of the loan. There was no clear, absolute or irrevocable intention to abandon. 3. Yes. Corpuz' intention to surrender the landholding was clear and unequivocal. He signed his concurrence to the Samahang Nayon Resolutions. His voluntary surrender to the samahang nayon qualifies as a surrender or transfer to the government because such action forms part of the mechanism for the disposition and reallocation of of farmholdings of tenant farmers who refuse to become beneficiaries of pd 27.
2. ESTOLAS vs. MABALOT (DAVID) G.R. No. 133706 May 7, 2002 FACTS: On November 11, 1973, a Certificate of Land Transfer was issued in favor of respondent over a 5,000 square meter lot located in Barangay Samon, Sta. Maria, Pangasinan. Sometime in May, 1978, needing money for medical treatment, respondent passed on the subject land to the petitioner for the amount of P5,800.00 and P200.00 worth of rice. According to respondent, there was only a verbal mortgage; while according to petitioner, a sale had taken place. Acting on the transfer, the DAR officials in Sta. Maria, Pangasinan authorized the survey and issuance of an Emancipation Patent, leading to the issuance of a Transfer Certificate of Title in favor of the petitioner. Respondent filed a Complaint against the petitioner redeeming the subject land and the case was referred to the Department of Agrarian Reform.
On July 8, 1988, the DAR’s District Office submitted an investigation report finding that respondent merely gave the subject land to petitioner as guarantee for the payment of a loan and recommending that the CLT remain in the name of respondent and that the money loan be returned to petitioner.
Another investigation was conducted on the matter which led to the Order dated March 9, 1989, issued by DAR Regional Director Antonio M. Nuesa. In the said Order, the DAR found the act of respondent in surrendering the subject land in favor of petitioner as constituting
AGRARIAN LAW CASE DIGESTS CRUZ—DAVID—DELOS SANTOS—GATACELO—ISMAEL—LAZARO MEDINA—MONTES—MONZON—ROMANO—TIBURCIO abandonment thereof, and denied respondent’s prayer for redemption of the subject land. CA ruled: The transfer of the subject land to petitioner is void; it should be returned to respondent. Respondent had not effectively abandoned the property, because he tried to redeem it in 1981 and 1983. ISSUE: Whether or not respondent abandoned the subject property, thereby making it available to other qualified farmer-grantees? HELD: There was no abandonment and even if there was it could not be transferred to anyone other than the Government. PD 27 specifically provides that title to land acquired pursuant to its mandate or to that of the Land Reform Program of the government shall not be transferable except to the grantee’s heirs by hereditary succession, or back to the government by other legal means. The law is clear and leaves no room for interpretation. For abandonment to exist, the following requisites must be proven: (a) a clear and absolute intention to renounce a right or claim or to desert a right or property and (b) an external act by which that intention is expressed or carried into effect. There must be an actual, not merely a projected, relinquishment; otherwise, the right or claim is not vacated or waived and, thus, susceptible of being appropriated by another. Administrative Order No. 2, issued on March 7, 1994, defines abandonment or neglect as a “willful failure of the agrarian reform beneficiary, together with his farm household, to cultivate, till or develop his land to produce any crop, or to use the land for any specific economic purpose continuously for a period of two calendar years.” In the present case, no such “willful failure” has been demonstrated. Quite the contrary, respondent has continued to claim dominion over the land. Petitioner cannot, by himself, take over a farmer-beneficiary’s landholding, allegedly on the ground that it was abandoned. The proper procedure for reallocation must be followed to ensure that there was indeed an abandonment, and that the subsequent beneficiary is a qualified farmer-tenant as provided by law.
3. CHAVEZ vs. PUBLIC ESTATE AUTHORITY (DELOS SANTOS)
AGRARIAN LAW CASE DIGESTS CRUZ—DAVID—DELOS SANTOS—GATACELO—ISMAEL—LAZARO MEDINA—MONTES—MONZON—ROMANO—TIBURCIO G.R. No. 133250 July 9, 2002 FACTS: The government through the Commissioner of Public Highways signed a contract with the Construction and Development Corporation of the Philippines (CDCP) to reclaim certain foreshore and offshore areas of Manila Bay. The contract also included the construction of Phases I and II of the Manila-Cavite Coastal Road. CDCP obligated itself to carry out all the works in consideration of fifty percent of the total reclaimed land. A few years after, the PEA entered into a Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) with AMARI to develop the Freedom Islands. This JVA was entered into through negotiation without public bidding. The Senate Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises, and the Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations, conducted a joint investigation. Among the conclusion are: that the reclaimed lands PEA seeks to transfer to AMARI under the JVA are lands of the public domain which the government has not classified as alienable lands and therefore PEA cannot alienate these lands, the certificates of the title covering the Freedom Islands are thus void, and the JVA itself is illegal. On April 27, 1998, Petitioner as taxpayer filed the instant petition for mandamus with prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction and TRO. Petitioner contends the government stands to lose billions of pesos in the sale by PEA of the reclaimed lands to AMARI. Petitioner prays that PEA publicly disclose the terms of any renegotiation of the JVA. Furthermore, petitioner assails the sale to AMARI of lands of the public domains as a violation of Sec 3, Art XII of the Constitution prohibiting the sale of alienable lands of the public domain to private corporations. Petitioner assert that he seeks to enjoin the loss of billions of pesos in properties of the State that are of public dominion. ISSUE: Whether or not AMARI, a private corporation, can acquire and own the lands under the amended joint venture agreement having 367.5 hectares s. of reclaimed foreshore and submerged area in Manila Bay in view of Sections 2 & 3, Art. 12 of the Constitution. HELD: The Supreme Court affirmed that the 157.84 hectares of reclaimed lands comprising the Freedom Islands, now covered by certificates of title in the name of PEA, are alienable lands of the public domain. The
AGRARIAN LAW CASE DIGESTS CRUZ—DAVID—DELOS SANTOS—GATACELO—ISMAEL—LAZARO MEDINA—MONTES—MONZON—ROMANO—TIBURCIO 592.15 hectares of submerged areas of Manila Bay remain inalienable natural resources of the public domain. Since the Amended Joint Venture Agreement seeks to transfer to AMARI, a private corporation, ownership of 77.34 hectares of the Freedom Islands, such transfer is void for being contrary to Section 3, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution which prohibits private corporations from acquiring any kind of alienable land of the public domain. Furthermore, since the Amended JVA also seeks to transfer to AMARI ownership of 290.156 hectares of still submerged areas of Manila Bay, such transfer is void for being contrary to Section 2, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution which prohibits the alienation of natural resources other than agricultural lands of the public domain. The Ponce Cases were decided under the 1935 Constitution which allowed private corporations to acquire alienable lands of the public domain. However, the 1973 Constitution prohibited private corporations from acquiring alienable lands of the public domain, and the 1987 Constitution reiterated this prohibition. Obviously, the Ponce Cases cannot serve as authority for a private corporation to acquire alienable public lands, much less submerged lands, since under the present Constitution a private corporation like Amari is barred from acquiring alienable lands of the public domain.
4. LUZ FARMS vs. THE HONORABLE SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM (GATACELO) G.R. No. 86889 December 4, 1990 FACTS: Luz Farms, a corporation engaged in the livestock and poultry business, prayed that Sections 3(b), 11, 13, 16(d), 17, and 32 of R.A. No. 6657, including the Implementing Rules and Guidelines promulgated in accordance therewith, be declared unconstitutional for being repugnant to the due process clause. Sections 13 and 32 directed "corporate farms", which included livestock and poultry raisers to execute and implement "production-sharing plans" (pending final redistribution of their landholdings) that would distribute from three percent (3%) of their gross sales and ten percent (10%) of their net profits to their workers as additional compensation. Luz Farms also argued that livestock or poultry raising was not similar to crop or tree farming; it was not the primary resource in this undertaking and represented no more than five percent (5%) of the total investment of commercial livestock and poultry raisers. Thus, they must not be covered by the law. On the other hand, DAR commented that livestock and poultry raising were embraced in the term "agriculture" based on
AGRARIAN LAW CASE DIGESTS CRUZ—DAVID—DELOS SANTOS—GATACELO—ISMAEL—LAZARO MEDINA—MONTES—MONZON—ROMANO—TIBURCIO Webster's International Dictionary’s definition. The Court, then, took cognizance of the case, as it assailed the constitutionality of the law. ISSUE: WON the contested provisions and implementing rules, which covered livestock and poultry industry under agrarian reform, were unconstitutional. HELD: Yes. The transcripts of the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission of 1986 on the meaning of the word "agricultural" clearly showed that it was never the intention of the framers of the Constitution to include livestock and poultry industry in the coverage of the constitutionally-mandated agrarian reform program of the Government. Moreover, the Committee adopted the definition of "agricultural land" as defined under Section 166 of R.A. 3844, as laud devoted to any growth, including but not limited to crop lands, saltbeds, fishponds, idle and abandoned land. Simply, the said provisions and rules were violative of the Constitution.
6. PHILIPPINE NATIONAL RAILWAYS vs. HON. VALERIANO A. DEL VALLE (LAZARO) G.R. No. L-29381 September 30, 1969
FACTS: PNR, a government-owned corporation, is the registered owner of three (3) strips of land with a uniform width of 30 meters adjoining one another longitudinally, the same being part of its railroad right of way running from Manila to Legazpi. These strips of land lie within the municipalities of Oas and Polangui, Province of Albay. At the center thereof is a track measuring ten (10) to twelve (12) meters in width where railroad ties are placed and rails built for running locomotives. On both sides of the track, or about two (2) to five (5) meters away from the embankment of the track, are telegraph and telephone posts fifty (50) meters apart from each other, which maintain communication wires necessary in the operation of PNR
AGRARIAN LAW CASE DIGESTS CRUZ—DAVID—DELOS SANTOS—GATACELO—ISMAEL—LAZARO MEDINA—MONTES—MONZON—ROMANO—TIBURCIO trains. PNR draws earth from these sides to fill up the railroad track whenever it is destroyed by water during rainy days; and uses them as depository of railroad materials for the repair of destroyed lines, posts, bridges during washouts. or other damaged parts of the line occasioned by derailments or other calamities.
The portions of these lands not actually occupied by the railroad track had been a source of trouble. People occupied them; they reap profits therefrom. Disputes among those desiring to occupy them cropped up. It is on the face of all these that, with adequate provisions to safeguard railroad operations, PNR adopted temporary rules and regulations. Sometime in 1963, PNR awarded the portions of the three strips of land aforementioned which are on both sides of the track, after a competitive public bidding, to petitioner Pantaleon Bingabing for a period of three (3) years. A civil law lease contract in printed form was, on April 15, 1963, entered into by and between PNR and Bingabing. That contract expressly stipulates that Bingabing was "to occupy and use the property . . . temporarily for agriculture." Bingabing, however, failed to take possession because respondent Pampilo Doltz was occupying the land, had a house thereon. Doltz claims to be a tenant of previous awardees, and later, of Bingabing himself. ISSUES: 1. Whether or not strips of land owned by Philippine National Railways (PNR) which are on both sides of its railroad track, and are part of its right of way for its railroad operations but temporarily leased, are agricultural lands within the purview of the Agricultural Tenancy Act and the Agricultural Land Reform Code, such as would come within the jurisdiction of the Court of Agrarian Relations.
2. WON CAR has jurisdiction over the present case. HELD: The answer to both issues is no.
According to Section 3 of the Agricultural Tenancy Act, "[a]gricultural
AGRARIAN LAW CASE DIGESTS CRUZ—DAVID—DELOS SANTOS—GATACELO—ISMAEL—LAZARO MEDINA—MONTES—MONZON—ROMANO—TIBURCIO tenancy is the physical possession by a person of land devoted to agriculture belonging to, or legally possessed by, another for the purpose of production through the labor of the former and of the members of his immediate farm household, in consideration of which the former agrees to share the harvest with the latter, or to pay a price certain or ascertainable, either in produce or in money, or in both." The term "agricultural land" as understood by the Agricultural Land Reform Code is not as broad in meaning as it is known in the constitutional sense. The phrase "agricultural land," constitutionally speaking, includes all lands that are neither mineral nor timber lands and embraces within its wide sweep not only lands strictly agricultural or devoted to cultivation for agricultural purposes but also commercial, industrial, residential lands and lands for other purposes. On the other hand, by Section 166(1) of the Agricultural Land Reform Code," '[a]gricultural Land means land devoted to any growth, including but not limited to crop lands, salt beds, fishponds, idle land and abandoned land as defined in paragraphs 18 and 19 of this section, respectively."
It is obvious then that under the law, the land here in controversy does not fit into the concept of agricultural land. PNR cannot devote it to agriculture because by its own charter, Republic Act 4156, PNR cannot engage in agriculture. The entire width of 30 meters is important to PNR's railroad operations which should not be hampered. And, communication lines must not be disturbed. Buildings should not be constructed so close to the track. Because, it is not so easy to prevent people from walking along the track; animals, too, may stray into the area; obstructions there could be along the track itself which might cause derailment. All of these could prevent the locomotive engineer from taking the necessary precautions on time to avert accidents which may cause damage to the trains, injury to its passengers, and even loss of life. The use of the strips of land on both sides of the track in railroad operation is inconsistent with agricultural activities. The contract of lease authorizes the railroad company to enter upon the premises to make repairs, place its materials on the land. It may even take soil from the land to fill up any part of the railroad track destroyed by water during rainy days. What if PNR should decide to construct another parallel track on the land leased? The occupant of the land cannot prevent or stop PNR from doing any of these. Security of tenure so important in landlord-tenant relationship may not thus be attained.
AGRARIAN LAW CASE DIGESTS CRUZ—DAVID—DELOS SANTOS—GATACELO—ISMAEL—LAZARO MEDINA—MONTES—MONZON—ROMANO—TIBURCIO In an ejectment suit brought by the landowner against said third person in the CAR, this Court held that the CAR had no jurisdiction over the case because no tenancy relationship existed between the parties, as the third person was, in reality, an unlawful squatter or intruder. Correlating Pabustan to the present case, the lessee here had no power to sublet. There is also thus ho legally cognizable relationship of tenancy between the parties. We, accordingly, rule that CAR does not have jurisdiction over the case at bar and the proceedings below are thus null and void.
7. KRIVENKO vs. REGISTER OF DEEDS (MEDINA) G.R. No. L-630 November 15, 1947 FACTS: Alenxander A. Kriventor alien, bought a residential lot from the Magdalena Estate, Inc., in December of 1941, the registration of which was interrupted by the war. In May, 1945, he sought to accomplish said registration but was denied by the register of deeds of Manila on the ground that, being an alien, he cannot acquire land in this jurisdiction. Krivenko then brought the case to the fourth branch of the Court of First Instance of Manila by means of a consulta, and that court rendered judgment sustaining the refusal of the register of deeds. ISSUE: WON an alien may own private lands in the Philippines. HELD: No. "Public agricultural lands"‖ mentioned in Sec. 1, Art. XIII of the 1935 Constitution, include residential, commercial and industrial lands, the Court stated: Natural resources, with the exception of public agricultural land, shall not be alienated,‘ and with respect to public agricultural lands, their alienation is limited to Filipino citizens. But this constitutional purpose conserving agricultural resources in the hands of Filipino citizens may easily be defeated by the Filipino citizens themselves who may alienate their agricultural lands in favor of aliens. Thus Section 5, Article XIII provides: Save in cases of hereditary succession, no private agricultural lands will be transferred or assigned except to individuals, corporations or associations qualified to acquire or hold lands of the public domain in the Philippines.
8. ROXAS & CO., INC. vs. CA (MONZON)
AGRARIAN LAW CASE DIGESTS CRUZ—DAVID—DELOS SANTOS—GATACELO—ISMAEL—LAZARO MEDINA—MONTES—MONZON—ROMANO—TIBURCIO G.R. No. 127876 December 17, 1999 FACTS: Petitioner Roxas & Co. is a domestic corporation and is the registered owner of three haciendas, namely, Haciendas Palico, Banilad and Caylaway, all located in the Municipality of Nasugbu, Batangas. The events of this case occurred during the incumbency of then President Corazon C. Aquino who issued Proclamation No. 3 promulgating a Provisional Constitution. Before the law’s effectivity, petitioner filed with respondent DAR a voluntary offer to sell Hacienda Caylaway pursuant to the provisions of E.O. No. 229. Haciendas Palico and Banilad were later placed under compulsory acquisition by respondent DAR in accordance with the Republic Act No. 6657, the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988(CARL). In a letter, respondent DAR Secretary informed petitioner that a reclassification of the land would not exempt it from agrarian reform. Respondent Secretary also denied petitioner’s withdrawal of the Voluntary Offer to Sell (VOS) on the ground that withdrawal could only be based on specific grounds such as unsuitability of the soil for agriculture, or if the slope of the land is over 18 degrees and that the land is undeveloped. Despite the denial of the VOS withdrawal of Hacienda Caylaway, petitioner filed its application for conversion of both Haciendas Palico and Banilad. petitioner, through its President, Eduardo Roxas, reiterated its request to withdraw the VOS over Hacienda Caylaway Petitioner instituted Case with respondent DAR Adjudication Board (DARAB) praying for the cancellation of the CLOA’s issued by respondent DAR in the name of several persons. Petitioner alleged that the haciendas had been declared a tourist zone, is not suitable for agricultural production. DARAB held that the case involved the prejudicial question of whether the property was subject to agrarian reform, hence, this question should be submitted to the Office of the Secretary of Agrarian Reform for determination. Petitioner filed with the Court of Appeals. It questioned the expropriation of its properties under the CARL and the denial of due process in the acquisition of its landholdings. Meanwhile, the petition for conversion of the three haciendas was denied by the MARO. Petitioner’s petition was dismissed by the Court of Appeals. Petitioner moved for reconsideration but the motion was denied by court of Appeals.
AGRARIAN LAW CASE DIGESTS CRUZ—DAVID—DELOS SANTOS—GATACELO—ISMAEL—LAZARO MEDINA—MONTES—MONZON—ROMANO—TIBURCIO ISSUE: Whether or not the DAR observes due process of the proceedings over the three haciendas HELD: The acquisition proceedings over the three haciendas are nullified for respondent DAR's failure to observe due process therein. In accordance with the guidelines set forth in this decision and the applicable administrative procedure, the case is hereby remanded to respondent DAR for proper acquisition proceedings and determination of petitioner's application for conversion. failure of respondent DAR to comply with the requisites of due process in the acquisition proceedings does not give this Court the power to nullify the CLOA’s already issued to the farmer beneficiaries. To assume the power is to short-circuit the administrative process, which has yet to run its regular course. Respondent DAR must be given the chance to correct its procedural lapses in the acquisition proceedings. In Hacienda Palico alone, CLOA's were issued to 177 farmer beneficiaries in 1993. Since then until the present, these farmers have been cultivating their lands. It goes against the basic precepts of justice, fairness and equity to deprive these people, through no fault of their own, of the land they till.
9. MORTA VS. OCCIDENTAL (ROMANO) G.R. No. 123417 June 10, 1999 FACTS: Jaime Morta and Purificacion Padilla filed a suit against Jaime Occidental, Atty. Mariano Baranda, and Daniel Corral, for allegedly gathering pili nuts, anahaw leaves, and coconuts from their respective land and destroying their banana and pineapple plants. Occidental claimed that he was a tenant of the actual owner of the land, Josefina Baraclan, and that Morta and Padilla were not actually the owners of the land in question. The trial court ruled in favor of Morta and Padilla. Occidental, et al. appealed, contending that the case was cognizable by the DAR Adjudicatory Board (DARAB). Thus, the RTC reversed the lower court and ruled in favor of Occidental, stating that the case is a tenancy-related problem which falls under the exclusive jurisdiction of DARAB. The CA affirmed the RTC. ISSUE: Whether or not the cases are properly cognizable by the DARAB. HELD:
AGRARIAN LAW CASE DIGESTS CRUZ—DAVID—DELOS SANTOS—GATACELO—ISMAEL—LAZARO MEDINA—MONTES—MONZON—ROMANO—TIBURCIO NO. Since there is a dispute as to who is the rightful owner of the land, the issue is clearly outside DARAB’s jurisdiction. Whatever findings made by the DARAB regarding the ownership of the land are not conclusive to settle the matter. At any rate, whoever is declared to be the rightful owner of the land, the case cannot be considered tenancyrelated for it still fails to comply with the other requirements. Assuming arguendo that Josefina is the owner, then the case is not between the landowner and tenant. If, however, Morta is the landowner, Occidental cannot claim that there is consent to a landowner-tenant relationship between him and Morta. Thus, for failure to comply with the requisites, the issue involved is not tenancy-related cognizable by the DARAB. For DARAB to have jurisdiction over a case, there must exist a tenancy relationship between the parties. In order for a tenancy agreement to take hold over a dispute, it would be essential to establish all its indispensable elements, to wit: 1. That the parties are the landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee; 2. The subject matter of the relationship is an agricultural land; 3. That there is consent between the parties to the relationship; 4. That the purpose of the relationship is to bring about agricultural production; 5. That there is personal cultivation on the part of the tenant or agricultural lessee; and 6. That the harvest is shared between the landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee.
10. VDA DE TANGUB vs. CA (TIBURCIO) UDK NO. 9864 December 3, 1990 FACTS: Rufina Tangub and her husband, Andres, now deceased, filed with the RTC of Lanao del Norte, an agrarian case for damages by reason of their unlawful dispossession in which they were tenants from the landholding owned by the Spouses Domingo and Eugenia Martil. Several persons were also impleaded as defendants which has interests over the land. The judge dismissed the complaint. He ruled that based on EO No. 229, EO No. 129-A in relation to RA No. 6657, agrarian cases no longer fall under the jurisdiction of Regional Trial Courts but rather under the jurisdiction of the DAR Adjudication Board. CA affirmed. ISSUE:
AGRARIAN LAW CASE DIGESTS CRUZ—DAVID—DELOS SANTOS—GATACELO—ISMAEL—LAZARO MEDINA—MONTES—MONZON—ROMANO—TIBURCIO Whether or not the RTC has jurisdiction to try the case. HELD: RTC has no jurisdiction. DAR has jurisdiction. The jurisdiction thus conferred on the DAR based on EO No. 229 and EO No. 129 - A, are: (a) adjudication of all matters involving implementation of agrarian reform; (b) resolution of agrarian conflicts and land tenure related problems; and (c) approval or disapproval of the conversion, restructuring or readjustment of agricultural lands into residential, commercial, industrial, and other non-agricultural uses. The rules included the creation of the Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board designed to exercise the adjudicatory functions of the Department. Further, RA 6657 states: SEC. 50. Quasi-Judicial Powers of the DAR. — The DAR is hereby vested with primary jurisdiction to determine and adjudicate agrarian reform matters and shall have exclusive original jurisdiction over all matters involving the implementation of agrarian reform, except those falling under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture [DA] and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources [DENR]. The RTCs have not, however, been completely divested of jurisdiction over agrarian reform matters. Section 56 of RA 6657, on the other hand, confers "special jurisdiction" on "Special Agrarian Courts," which are Regional Trial Courts designated by the Supreme Court — at least one (1) branch within each province — to act as such. These Regional Trial Courts as Special Agrarian Courts have, according to Section 57 of the same law, original and exclusive jurisdiction over: 1) "all petitions for the determination of just compensation to land-owners," and 2) "the prosecution of all criminal offenses under . . [the] Act." The RTC City was therefore correct in dismissing the case. It being a
AGRARIAN LAW CASE DIGESTS CRUZ—DAVID—DELOS SANTOS—GATACELO—ISMAEL—LAZARO MEDINA—MONTES—MONZON—ROMANO—TIBURCIO case concerning the rights of the plaintiffs as tenants on agricultural land, not involving the "special jurisdiction" of said Trial Court acting as a Special Agrarian Court, it clearly came within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Department of Agrarian Reform, or more particularly, the Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board, established precisely to wield the adjudicatory powers of the Department.
11. THE HEIRS OF JOSE JUANITE ET. AL vs. CA (CRUZ) G.R. No. 138016. January 30, 2002 FACTS: The spouses Edilberto Romero and Felisa Romero owned a piece of agricultural land in Alegria, Surigao del Norte. On different dates, the Romeros sold separate portions thereof to Efren Pania, Macario Sanchez and Pio Yonson. Claiming to be the agricultural tenants of the land in question, Jose Juanite (now deceased) and his wife, Nicolasa O. Juanite, filed a complaint with the Provincial Agricultural Reform Adjudication Board (PARAB), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), against the spouses Edilberto and Felisa Mercado and their vendees above-named for the cancellation of the sales adverted to and for the Juanites to exercise their right of redemption pursuant to RA No. 3844, section 12 of which reads: ‘Sec. 12. Lessee’s Right of Redemption. – In case the landholding is sold to a third person without the knowledge of the agricultural lessee, the latter shall have the right to redeem the same at a reasonable price and consideration: Provided, That the entire landholding sold must be redeemed: Provided, further, That where there are two or more agricultural lessees, each shall be entitled to said right of redemption only to the extent of the area actually cultivated by him. The right of redemption under this Section may be exercised within two years from the registration of the sale, and shall have priority over any other right of legal redemption.’ Edilberto Romero, et al., as defendants, filed their answer with special and affirmative defenses. They alleged that the Romeros, being the owners of the property, had the perfect right to sell any portion thereof to any person. They strongly denied the allegation of the Juanites that the latter were their tenants. On October 28, 1993, the PARAB (Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board) rendered his decision declaring the Juanite spouses as tenants; directing the Municipal Agrarian
AGRARIAN LAW CASE DIGESTS CRUZ—DAVID—DELOS SANTOS—GATACELO—ISMAEL—LAZARO MEDINA—MONTES—MONZON—ROMANO—TIBURCIO Reform Officer (MARO) to prepare the leasehold contract in their favor; declaring the deeds of sale executed by the Romero spouses in favor of Efren Pania, Macario Sanchez and Pio Yonsonnull and void; and directing the latter to vacate the premises. On appeal, the DARAB reversed. In its decision dated April 21, 1998 , it declared that the Juanites were not tenants on the subject landholding; and hence, had no right of redemption.” ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioners were tenants of the Romero spouses (respondents) as to entitle them to the right of redemption. HELD: The court affirmed the decision of PARAB. The PARAB declared the petitioners to be tenants on the basis of the following evidence: a) certification of 28 persons to the effect that spouses Juanite had been working on the land as tenants; b) in the deed of absolute sale signed by Edilberto Romero as vendor, he stated that spouses Juanite were his tenants; c) the spouses Juanite had been in possession and cultivating the land since 1969. Without any evidence to support its finding, the DARAB reversed the finding of the PARAB and found that petitioner Juanites were not tenants because they failed to submit evidence that they were sharing the harvests of the with the landowners, respondent Romero spouses. SC agreed with the Court of Appeals that the essential requisites of a tenancy relationship are: (1) the parties are the landowner and the tenant; (2) the subject is agricultural land; (3) there is consent; (4) the purpose is agricultural production; (5) there is personal cultivation; and (6) there is sharing of harvests. All these requisites must concur in order to create a tenancy relationship between the parties. The absence of one does not make an occupant of a parcel of land, or a cultivator thereof, or a planter thereon, a de jure tenant. Unless a person has established his status as a dejure tenant, he is not entitled to security of tenure nor is he covered by the Land Reform Program of the government under existing tenancy laws.
AGRARIAN LAW CASE DIGESTS CRUZ—DAVID—DELOS SANTOS—GATACELO—ISMAEL—LAZARO MEDINA—MONTES—MONZON—ROMANO—TIBURCIO But note that from the time of the landowners’ admission that petitioners were tenants on the subject landholding, the element of “sharing harvest” is assumed as a factual element in that admission.
12. HON. ANTONIO M. NUESA vs. CA (DAVID) G.R. No. 132048 March 6, 2002 FACTS: On May 25, 1972, then Secretary of Agrarian Reform issued an “Order of Award” in favor of Jose Verdillo over two (2) parcels of agricultural land in Buenavista Estate, San Ildefonso, Bulacan, covering 14,496 and 19,808 square meters, respectively, under the following conditions: -
Within 6 months, he shall personally cultivate at least ¼ of the area; or
Occupy and construct his/her house in case of residential lot and pay at least the first installment
In no case shall an agreement to sell or deed of sale be issued in favor of the covering the lots without a certification issued by the Land Reform Project Team Leader of Land Settlement Superintendent that the awardee(s) has/have developed or devoted to some productive enterprise at least one-half of the area thereof, or constructed his/her/their house therein in case of residential land. After twenty-one years, private respondent filed an application with the Regional Office of the Department of Agrarian Reform for the purchase of said lots claiming that he had complied with the conditions set forth in the Order. Restituto Rivera, herein petitioner, filed a letter of protest against private respondent claiming that contrary to the manifestation of private respondent, it is petitioner who had been in possession of the land and had been cultivating the same. Petitioner had filed his own application for said parcels in opposition to that of private respondent. On December 27, 1993, a representative of the Department of Agrarian Reform Regional Office undertook an investigation and found that the subject lots were previously tenanted by other persons and it is clear that Jose Verdillo has culpably violated the terms and conditions of the Order of Award issued in his favor. On January 24, 1994, petitioner, the Regional Director of DAR, Antonio M. Nuesa, promulgated an Order, cancelling Order of Award issued in
AGRARIAN LAW CASE DIGESTS CRUZ—DAVID—DELOS SANTOS—GATACELO—ISMAEL—LAZARO MEDINA—MONTES—MONZON—ROMANO—TIBURCIO favor of Jose Verdillo and giving Restituto Rivera the opportunity to purchase said lots. ISSUE: Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in denying petitioners’ claim that in this case, the Board (DARAB) acted in grave abuse of discretion tantamount to lack or excess of its jurisdiction HELD: Yes the Court of Appeals erred in holding that the DARAB and its officials have not committed grave abuse of discretion tantamount to excess or lack of jurisdiction. The case involves the strict administrative implementation and award of lots. The matter falls under the exclusive jurisdiction and administrative competence of the DAR (Regional Director and Department Secretary) and not of the DARAB (including the Provincial Adjudicator and the Provincial Adjudication Board itself). Centeno vs. Centeno, “the DAR is vested with the primary jurisdiction to determine and adjudicate agrarian reform matters and shall have the exclusive jurisdiction over all matters involving the implementation of the agrarian reform program.” The DARAB has primary, original and appellate jurisdiction “to determine and adjudicate all agrarian disputes, cases, controversies, and matters or incidents involving the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program under R.A. 6657, E.O. Nos. 229, 228 and 129-A, R.A. 3844 as amended by R.A. 6389, P.D. No. 27 and other agrarian laws and their implementing rules and regulations.” Under Section 3(d) of R.A. 6657 (CARP Law), “agrarian dispute” is defined to include “(d) ...any controversy relating to tenurial arrangements, whether leasehold, tenancy, stewardship or otherwise over lands devoted to agriculture, including disputes concerning farmworkers associations or representation of persons in negotiating, fixing, maintaining, changing or seeking to arrange terms or conditions of such tenurial arrangements. It includes any controversy relating to compensation of lands acquired under this Act and other terms and conditions of transfer of ownership from landowners to farmworkers, tenants and other agrarian reform beneficiaries, whether the disputants stand in the proximate relation of farm operator and beneficiary, landowner and tenant, or lessor and lessee.”
AGRARIAN LAW CASE DIGESTS CRUZ—DAVID—DELOS SANTOS—GATACELO—ISMAEL—LAZARO MEDINA—MONTES—MONZON—ROMANO—TIBURCIO
13. ALMUETE vs. CA (DELOS SANTOS) G.R. No. 122276 November 20, 2001
FACTS: Petitioner Rodrigo Almuete was awarded a 72,587 square meter parcel of land located at San Vicente, Angadanan, Isabela by the then National Resettlement and Rehabilitation Administration (NARRA) on March 25, 1957. Since then, Almuete and his family farmed the subject property peacefully and exclusively. However, unknown to petitioner, an Agrarian Reform Technologist by the name of Leticia Gragasin on August 17, 1979 filed false reports making it appear that Almuete has waived his right as awardee and made it appear that one Marcelo Andres was the actual occupant of the land from 1967 to date. Consequently, DAR issued OCT No. P-52521 in the name of respondent who, in turn, accompanied by ten persons armed with bolos, immediately entered the subject property claiming exclusive right of ownership and possession. Almuete complained to the DAR and wasted no time in filing an action for reconveyance and recovery of possession against Marcelo Andres with the RTC of Cauayan, Isabela. The Trial Court rendered a Decision in favor of Almuete which became final and executory upon Marcelo Andres's failure to appeal. The latter filed a petition for certiorari to prevent the implementation of the writ of execution which was entertained by the Court of Appeals. Hence, this Petition. ISSUE: Whether or not this case is considered an agrarian dispute.
Whether or not regular courts have jurisdiction. HELD: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Court of Appeals and said thatit gravely erred when it granted the petition for certiorari and held that the trial court had no jurisdiction over the subject matter of
AGRARIAN LAW CASE DIGESTS CRUZ—DAVID—DELOS SANTOS—GATACELO—ISMAEL—LAZARO MEDINA—MONTES—MONZON—ROMANO—TIBURCIO the action between petitioners and respondent. The action filed by petitioners was cognizable by the regular courts. The Supreme Court held that this case is not of an agrarian dispute. An agrarian dispute is refers to any controversy relating to tenurial arrangements, whether leasehold, tenancy, stewardship or otherwise, over lands devoted to agriculture, including disputes concerning farm workers associations or representation of persons in negotiating, fixing, maintaining, changing or seeking to arrange terms or conditions of such tenurial arrangements. It includes any controversy relating to compensation of lands acquired under this Act and other terms and conditions of transfer of ownership from landowners to farmworkers, tenants and other agrarian reform beneficiaries, whether the disputants stand in the proximate relation of farm operator and beneficiary, landowner and tenant, or lessor and lessee.
In this case no juridical tie of landowner and tenant was alleged between petitioners and respondent, let alone that which would so characterize the relationship as an agrarian dispute. In fact, petitioner and respondent were contending parties for the ownership of the same parcel of land. The action filed by petitioners before the trial court was for recovery of possession and reconveyance of title: there is no "agrarian dispute" involving tenancy relationship between the parties that the issue should fall within the jurisdiction of the DARAB.
14. SPOUSES ATUEL ET AL vs. SPOUSES VALDEZ (GATACELO) G.R. No. 139561 June 10, 2003 FACTS: Respondents filed a complaint for recovery of possession with damages with the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) in Malaybalay, Bukidnon. They assailed the decision of the Municipal Agrarian Reform Office (MARO) which ordered the segregation of the subject lot from the land of respondents and awarding the same to petitioners. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the DARAB which reversed the decision of the MARO. After a review of the issues raised, the question is whether the DARAB has jurisdiction to resolve the controversy. ISSUE: WON DARAB has jurisdiction to try and hear this case.
AGRARIAN LAW CASE DIGESTS CRUZ—DAVID—DELOS SANTOS—GATACELO—ISMAEL—LAZARO MEDINA—MONTES—MONZON—ROMANO—TIBURCIO HELD: No. The Supreme Court ruled that the DARAB has no jurisdiction to take cognizance of the respondents' complaint for recovery of possession of the subject lot. Though the parties did not challenge the jurisdiction of the DARAB, the Court may motu proprio consider the issue of jurisdiction. The court has discretion to determine whether the DARAB validly acquired jurisdiction over the case. Jurisdiction over the subject matter is conferred only by law. It may not be conferred on the court by consent or waiver of the parties where the court otherwise would have no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action. In the case at bar, the respondents did not allege the existence of tenancy relations, if any, between them and the petitioners. The allegations in the complaint indicate that the nature and subject matter of the instant case is for recovery of possession or accion publiciana. For the DARAB to acquire jurisdiction over the case, there must exist a tenancy relations between the parties. Jurisdiction over an accion publiciana is vested in a court of general jurisdiction.
15. OCA vs. CA (ISMAEL) G.R. No. 144817 March 7, 2002
FACTS: Petitioners Jose Oca and Isabelo Oca are the co-owners of a fishpond known in the locality as the "Purong" property situated in Bolosan, Dagupan City. The four petitioners are the civil law lessees of another called the "Salayog" property. Petitioner Jose Oca is also the sole and exclusive owner of two fishponds commonly called the "Perew" and the "Fabian" properties. Respondent Sergio O. Abalos claims to be the "share tenant-caretaker" of the above fishponds, asserting that he had been in peaceful possession, cultivation and care of the aforesaid fishponds from the time he received the same from the petitioners Oca brothers until the first week of May 1992 when he requested from them the share of the harvest and instead of acceding, petitioners demanded that he vacate the lands.
AGRARIAN LAW CASE DIGESTS CRUZ—DAVID—DELOS SANTOS—GATACELO—ISMAEL—LAZARO MEDINA—MONTES—MONZON—ROMANO—TIBURCIO
A complaint for Peaceful Possession, Leasehold and Damages with Motion for the Issuance of Interlocutory Order was filed by the respondent against the petitioner with the PARAD. Petitioners in their answer denied that the respondent is a caretaker/tenant of the land. They acknowledged that the respondent is merely an industrial partner who had waived his right as such, in consideration of the amount of P140,000.00. After due proceedings, the PARAD rendered a Decision in favor of the respondent declaring him as a bona fide tenant of the subject fishponds.
The above Decision was appealed by the petitioners to the DARAB but the Board affirmed in toto the Decision of the PARAD. Petitioners sought relief with the Court of Appeals and filed a Petition for Review on Certiorari. The Appellate Court modified the Decision ruling that the private respondent cannot be a tenant of the "Salayog" property, he having sold his share and interest and had consequently, waived any interests he had thereon. Hence, the instant petition, raising as a new argument the supposed lack of jurisdiction of the PARAD over the subject fishponds.
ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioners be permitted to impugn for the first time the jurisdiction of the Provincial Adjudicator at this stage of the case?
HELD: The well-entrenched rule is that jurisdiction over the subject matter is determined exclusively by the Constitution and the law. It cannot be conferred by the voluntary act or agreement of the parties; it cannot be acquired through, or waived or enlarged or diminished by, their act
AGRARIAN LAW CASE DIGESTS CRUZ—DAVID—DELOS SANTOS—GATACELO—ISMAEL—LAZARO MEDINA—MONTES—MONZON—ROMANO—TIBURCIO or omission; neither is it conferred by acquiescence of the court. Well to emphasize, it is neither for the courts nor the parties to violate or disregard the rule, this matter being legislative in character. An error in jurisdiction over the subject matter can be objected to at any instance, as the lack of it affects the very authority of the court to take cognizance of the action. This kind of defense can be invoked even for the first time on appeal or after final judgment. Such is understandable as this kind of jurisdiction, to stress, is statutorily determined.This rule on timing, however, is not absolute. In highly meritorious and exceptional circumstances, estoppel or waiver may operate as a shield to prevent a party from belatedly resorting to this form of defense. Thus, we have held in the leading case of Tijam v. Sibonghanoy that a party may be barred by estoppel by laches from invoking this plea for the first time on appeal for the purpose of annulling everything done in the case with the active participation of said party invoking the plea. We defined laches as "failure or neglect for an unreasonable and unexplained length of time, to do that which, by exercising due diligence, could or should have been done earlier. It is negligence or omission to assert a right within a reasonable time, warranting presumption that the party entitled to assert it has abandoned it or has declined to assert it."In the case at bar, we find the petitioners guilty of estoppel by laches. In the first place, they never disputed the jurisdiction of the Provincial Adjudicator at any stage of the proceeding: whether in the Provincial Office level, the DARAB, or the Court of Appeals. Notwithstanding the presence of numerous opportunities in the various stages of this case to contest the adjudicator's exercise of jurisdiction, not once did they register a hint of protest. Neither can they claim that they were prevented from contesting its jurisdiction during the eight years this case was under litigation. The ends of justice and equity require that petitioners should not be allowed to defeat the tenant's right by belatedly raising the issue of jurisdiction. Permitting petitioners to assail the jurisdiction of the Provincial Adjudicator at this late stage of the case would mean rendering useless all the proceedings held below. A great deal of time, effort and resources would be put to waste both on the part of the litigants and of the State. This is especially oppressive for the respondent, a tenant who cannot afford the discomforts of a protracted litigation.
AGRARIAN LAW CASE DIGESTS CRUZ—DAVID—DELOS SANTOS—GATACELO—ISMAEL—LAZARO MEDINA—MONTES—MONZON—ROMANO—TIBURCIO
16. REMIGIO ISIDRO vs CA (LAZARO) G.R. No. 105586 December 15, 1993
FACTS: Private respondent Natividad Gutierrez is the owner of a parcel of land with an area of 4.5 hectares located in Barrio Sta. Cruz, Gapan, Nueva Ecija. In 1985, Aniceta Garcia, sister of private respondent and also the overseer of the latter, allowed petitioner Remigio Isidro to occupy the swampy portion of the abovementioned land, consisting of one (1) hectare, in order to augment his (petitioner's) income to meet his family's needs. The occupancy of a portion of said land was subject to the condition that petitioner would vacate the land upon demand. Petitioner occupied the land without paying any rental and converted the same into a fishpond.
In 1990, private respondent through her overseer demanded from petitioner the return of the land, but the latter refused to vacate and return possession of said land, claiming that he had spent effort and invested capital in converting the same into a fishpond.
Based on an ocular inspection of the subject land, the trial court found that the land in question is a fishpond and, thus, in a decision dated 30 May 1991, the said trial court dismissed the complaint, ruling that the land is agricultural and therefore the dispute over it is agrarian which is under the original and exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of agrarian relations as provided in Sec. 12(a) of Republic Act No. 946 (now embodied in the Revised Rules of Procedure of the Department of
AGRARIAN LAW CASE DIGESTS CRUZ—DAVID—DELOS SANTOS—GATACELO—ISMAEL—LAZARO MEDINA—MONTES—MONZON—ROMANO—TIBURCIO Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board).
ISSUE: Whether or not the land involved in this case is an agricultural land.
Whether or not DARAB has jurisdiction over the case.
HELD: As to the first issue, the answer is yes. As to the second issue, the answer is no.
The MTC dismissed the unlawful detainer complaint primarily on the ground that the subject land is agricultural and therefore the question at issue is agrarian. In this connection, it is well to recall that Section 1, Rule II of the Revised Rules of Procedure, provides that the Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board shall have primary jurisdiction, both original and appellate, to determine and adjudicate all agrarian disputes, cases, controversies, and matters or incidents involving the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program under Republic Act No. 6657, Executive Order Nos. 229, 228 and 129-A, Republic Act No. 3844 as amended by Republic Act No. 6389, Presidential Decree No. 27 and other agrarian laws and their implementing rules and regulations. An agrarian dispute refers to any controversy relating to tenurial arrangements, whether leasehold, tenancy, stewardship or otherwise, over lands devoted to agriculture, including disputes concerning
AGRARIAN LAW CASE DIGESTS CRUZ—DAVID—DELOS SANTOS—GATACELO—ISMAEL—LAZARO MEDINA—MONTES—MONZON—ROMANO—TIBURCIO farmworkers associations or representation of persons in negotiating, fixing, maintaining, changing or seeking to arrange terms or conditions of such tenurial arrangements. It includes any controversy relating to compensation of lands acquired under Republic Act No. 6657 and other terms and conditions of transfer of ownership from landowners to farmworkers, tenants and other agrarian reform beneficiaries, whether the disputants stand in the proximate relation of farm operator and beneficiary, landowner and tenant, or lessor and lessee. It is irrefutable in the case at bar that the subject land which used to be an idle, swampy land was converted by the petitioner into a fishpond. And it is settled that a fishpond is an agricultural land. An agricultural land refers to land devoted to agricultural activity as defined in Republic Act No. 6657 and not classified as mineral, forest, residential, commercial or industrial land. Republic Act No. 6657 defines agricultural activity as the cultivation of the soil, planting of crops, growing of fruit trees, raising of livestock, poultry or fish, including the harvesting of such farm products, and other farm activities, and practices performed by a farmer in conjunction with such farming operations done by persons whether natural or juridical. But a case involving an agricultural land does not automatically make such case an agrarian dispute upon which the DARAB has jurisdiction. The mere fact that the land is agricultural does not ipso facto make the possessor an agricultural lessee or tenant. The law provides for conditions or requisites before he can qualify as one and the land being agricultural is only one of them. The law states that an agrarian dispute must be a controversy relating to a tenurial arrangement over lands devoted to agriculture. And as previously mentioned, such arrangement may be leasehold, tenancy or stewardship. The essential requisites of a tenancy relationship are: (1) the parties are the landowner and the tenant: (2) the subject matter is agricultural land; (3) there is consent; (4) the purpose is agricultural production; (5) there is personal cultivation by the tenant; and (6) there is a sharing of harvests between the parties. All these requisites must concur in order to create a tenancy relationship between the parties. The absence of one does not make an occupant of a parcel of land, or a cultivator thereof, or a planter thereon, a de jure tenant. Unless a person establishes his status as a de jure tenant, he is not entitled to security of tenure nor is he covered by the Land Reform Program of the government under existing tenancy laws. Furthermore, an agricultural lessee as defined in Sec. 116(2) of Republic Act No. 3844, is a person who, by himself and with the aid
AGRARIAN LAW CASE DIGESTS CRUZ—DAVID—DELOS SANTOS—GATACELO—ISMAEL—LAZARO MEDINA—MONTES—MONZON—ROMANO—TIBURCIO available from within his immediate farm household, cultivates the land belonging to, or possessed by, another with the latter's consent for purposes of production, for a price certain in money or in produce or both. An agricultural lessor, on the other hand, is a natural or juridical person who, either as owner, civil law lessee, usufructuary, or legal possessor lets or grants to another the cultivation and use of his land for a price certain. Based on the statutory definitions of a tenant or a lessee, it is clear that there is no tenancy or agricultural/leasehold relationship existing between the petitioner and the private respondent. There was no contract or agreement entered into by the petitioner with the private respondent nor with the overseer of the private respondent, for petitioner to cultivate the land for a price certain or to share his harvests. Petitioner has failed to substantiate his claim that he was paying rent for the use of the land.
18. ONQUIT vs. BINAMIRA-PARCIA (MONZON) A.M. MTJ-96-1085 October 8, 1998 FACTS: The charge against respondent Judge stems from a forcible entry case with prayer for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction with damages. Said case was assigned to her sala. The complainant and her two brothers were therein codefendants. Complainant raised the issue of jurisdiction stating that said case falls within the original and exclusive jurisdiction of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) because it involves tenancy over an agricultural land. Thereafter, complainant and her co-defendants filed with respondent Judge, an Ex-Parte Motion for Disqualification, Request for Disqualification and Request for Resolution. Basically, these motions were founded on the trial court’s alleged lack of jurisdiction. In a single Order, respondent Judge denied all three motions ruling that jurisdiction is determined by the allegations in the complaint and not those raised by defendants. Moreover, according to respondent Judge , the claim regarding the nature of the case at bar would not automatically divest the court of its jurisdiction.
Subsequently, plaintiff in the lower court filed an injunction bond which
AGRARIAN LAW CASE DIGESTS CRUZ—DAVID—DELOS SANTOS—GATACELO—ISMAEL—LAZARO MEDINA—MONTES—MONZON—ROMANO—TIBURCIO was approved by respondent Judge and a writ of preliminary injunction was issued against the defendants, including herein complainant. A seizure order followed which directed respondent Sheriff to seize the palay from the land in question. ISSUES: WON the lower court has jurisdiction over the case. WON that the plaintiff’s injunction bond was approved by respondent Judge without first serving a copy to the complainant and the motion of issuance of seizure order was not served resulting in a violation of due process.
WON the complainants were ordered to leave the land because they will certainly lose the case
WON the sheriff seized all the palay harvested without issuing a receipt, despite demand therefor, and delivered the palay to the plaintiff.
HELD: The case was dismissed. The court held that it is a basic rule that the material averments in the complaint, which in this case is for ejectment, determine the jurisdiction of the court. And, jurisprudence dictates that the court does not lose its jurisdiction over an ejectment case by the simple expedient of a party raising as a defense therein the alleged existence of a tenancy relationship between the parties.” It is the duty of the court to receive evidence to determine the veracity of allegations of tenancy. In an Order of respondent Judge dated 09 February 1996, it was ruled that, considering the evidence presented, the land in question is an irrigated riceland, but not tenanted.
The records belie the claim of complainant that the Writ of Preliminary Injunction was not served to the defendants. Records show that said writ was served to the defendants on February 16, 1996 at their
AGRARIAN LAW CASE DIGESTS CRUZ—DAVID—DELOS SANTOS—GATACELO—ISMAEL—LAZARO MEDINA—MONTES—MONZON—ROMANO—TIBURCIO residence but all refused to acknowledge receipt therefore, nevertheless the executing Sheriff left each a copy to the defendants.
As to the allegation that the judge was persuaded with money and told the complainants to leave the land were not supported by evidence apart from the self-serving statements made by complainant. The court is not persuaded by said accusations hurled by complainant simply because there is no evidence thereon to implicate the respondent Judge.
Neither are we convinced that respondent Sheriff was remiss in his duty to issue a receipt for the palay he seized. Admittedly, he did not issue the receipt on the spot, but we accept the reason stated earlier for issuing it when the palay was already cleaned and measured, next day. From the record, complainant made no averment that respondent Sheriff derived pecuniary benefit in not immediately giving complainant a receipt. It was reasonable to briefly wait until measurement could be made as to the volume of the palay after being cleaned and threshed before issuance of the receipt. In the absence of contrary evidence, the presumption prevails that the sheriff has regularly performed his official duty.