Digest August 2015
Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association (ARBA), et al. vsFil-Estate Properties, Inc. Securities and Exchange Commis...
Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association (ARBA), et al. vsFil-Estate Properties, Inc. G.R. No. 163598, 12 August 2015, Third Division, Jardeleza, J. Respondents filed a motion to dismiss arguing jurisdiction lies with the civil courts and not with the DARAB because petitioners are squatters, not agricultural tenants; that the land is within a townsite reservation outside the coverage of the CARP. DARAB denied and ruled in favor of petitioners. Respondent filed a petition for certiorari which was dismissed for being the wrong mode of appeal and having defective verifications. Petitioners filed a motion for execution which the Board granted. Respondents filed certiorari which was granted. Petitioners questioned why this was entertained when res judicata should apply. SC ruled res judicata does not apply. The jurisdiction of the DARAB is limited under the law: limited to agrarian disputes. Tenancy relationship between the parties must exist. 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. CA did not err in taking cognizance of the petition despite respondents' violation on forum shopping because DARAB had no jurisdiction. Securities and Exchange Commission vs Baguio Country Club Corporation (BCCC) G.R. No. 165146, 12 August 2015, Jardeleza, J. SEC approved the amended by-laws which had a provision that the BOD shall hold office for two (2) years and until their successors are elected and qualified. The Ilusorios requested SEC to compel BCCC to hold annual elections because said increase in term in contrary to Corporation Code. BCCC argued that the same was approved by SEC, that petitioners had no legal standing not being stockholders. SEC held that the said provision violates the Corporation Code on the term of office of members of the board. SEC also ordered BCCC to conduct the annual election of BOD. BCC filed for Certiorari saying that jurisdiction is with the court since it is an intra-corporate dispute and that Corporation Code does not authorize the SEC to nullify or invalidate a by-law provision which has been previously approved. During this period, the by-laws was amended to 1 year. SC ruled the issue has been rendered moot. United Dumangas Port Development Corporation v Philippine Ports Authority, et al. G.R. No. 192943, 12 August 2015, Third Division, Peralta J. PPA granted UDPDC permit to operate cargo handling valid for one year; thereafter granted hold-over. PA served a notice that it will take over the services. The latter contested the termination but it was dismissed. They filed motion for reconsideration, Municipality of Dumangas (MOD) intervened in pursuant to MOA which provided for the devolution of port management functions from the PPA to the LGUs concerned. Court ruled that UDPDC should be reimbursed their expenses for improvements. PPA and MOD entered into compromise agreement which mentioned nothing about reimbursement. SC ruled: Compromise is invalid for procedural and substantive infirmities, not due to non-inclusion of reimbursement. As to termination: UDPDC's continued operation of the port was merely by PPA's tolerance, having no valid and existing permit, and that UDPDC's status was merely on the basis of a holdover authority, temporary in nature, which may be recalled by PPA at any time. Winston F. Garcia (GSIS) vs Angelita Tolentino G.R. No. 153810, 12 August 2015, Jardeleza J. RA 8291 provided for GSIS coverage regardless of employment status. Contractual employees under DENR clarified WON they were covered now because they were not prior. GSIS VP differentiated between casual and those who are coterminous and receiving additional 20% pay; with the latter being not covered. DBM however issued joint circular with GSIS which stated that premiums will be taken from the 20%. Petitioners filed for injuction against GSIS and DBM. It was argued that court did not have jurisdiction. SC ruled that Congress vested exclusive and original jurisdiction over disputes arising from RA 8291 in the exercise of its quasi-judicial function. However, the case falls under the exception of it being purely a legal question and no useful purpose would be served if remanded. GSIS VP was without authority to make official determination of exclusion. SC also ruled that GSIS deduction from 20% will only be upon the effectivity of SC Memorandum Circular No. 14, s. 1999 granting leave benefits to these employees.