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RUFINA VDA. DE TANGUB vs.

COURT OF APPEALS, PRESIDING JUDGE of the [CAR] RTC, Branch 4, Iligan City, and SPOUSES DOMINGO and EUGENIA MARTIL, [UDK No. 9864 : December 3, 1990.] NARVASA, J.: FACTS: 1. Rufina Tangub and her husband, Andres, now deceased, filed with the Regional Trial Court of Lanao del Norte "an agrarian case for damages by reason of the(ir) unlawful dispossession . . .was tenants from the landholding" owned by the Spouses Domingo and Eugenia Martil. 2. Several persons were also impleaded as defendants, including the Philippine National Bank, it being alleged by the plaintiff spouses that said bank, holder of a mortgage on the land involved; 3. ome time later, of portions of the land to the other persons named as its co-defendants (all employees of the National Steel Corporation), and it being prayed that mortgage and the transactions thereafter made in relation thereto be annulled and voided; 4. The complaint was dismissed, by virtue of Executive Order No. 229 "providing the mechanisms for the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program approved on July 24, 1987" Executive No. 129-A approved on July 26, 1987, as well as the Rules of the Adjudication Board of the Department of Agrarian Reform, jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court over agrarian cases had been transferred to the Department of Agrarian Reform; 5.The Tangub Spouses filed a petition for Certiorari with this Court, docketed as UDK-8867, assigned to the Second Division; 6. this Court referred the same to the Court of Appeals, that tribunal having concurrent jurisdiction to act thereon; 7. The CA dismissed the complaint finding that the jurisdictional question had been correctly resolved by the Trial Court; 8. The petitioner Rufina Vda. de Tangub, now widowed, is once again before this Court, contending that the Trial Court's "order of dismissal re patently illegal and unconstitutional" because they deprive "a poor tenant access to courts and directly violate R.A. 6657, PD 946, and Batas Bilang 129."; ISSUE: WON The jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court, acting as a special agrarian court, in the light of Executive Orders Numbered 129-A and 229 and Republic Act No. 665. HELD: The petition is without merit. Evidently quite as extensive as that theretofore vested in the Regional Trial Court by Presidential Decree No. 946, which extended to the rights and obligations of persons in the cultivation and use of agricultural land, and other matters affecting tenant-farmers, agricultural lessees, settlers, owner-cultivators, farms' cooperatives or organizations under laws, Presidential Decrees, Orders, instructions, Rules and Regulations in relation to the agrarian reform program. 6 Clearly, the latter must be deemed to have been eliminated by its being subsumed in the broad jurisdiction conferred on the Department of Agrarian Reform. The intention evidently was to transfer original jurisdiction to the Department of Agrarian Reform, a proposition stressed by the rules formulated and promulgated by the Department for the implementation of the executive orders just quoted. 7 The rules included the creation of the Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board designed to exercise the adjudicatory functions of the Department, and the allocation to it; The Regional Trial Courts 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.

The Regional Trial Court of Iligan City was therefore correct in dismissing Agrarian Case No. 1094. It being a 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 WHEREFORE, for lack of merit, the petition is DISMISSED, and the Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP. No. 16725 dated October 23, 1989, AFFIRMED. NINA M. QUISMUNDO vs HON. COURT OF APPEALS, et al. (G.R. No. 95664 13, 1991 REGALADO, J.) September

FACTS: 1. Private respondents, as tenants of petitioner, filed a complaint with the trial court praying that their relationship with petitioner be changed from share tenancy to a leasehold system, pursuant to Section 4 of Republic Act No. 3844, as amended, their request therefor having been denied by petitioner; 2. Petitioner filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of lack of cause of action since the law that should allegedly govern the relationship of the parties is Act No. 4115, as amended by Commonwealth Act No. 271, and not Republic Act No. 3844, as amended. The trial court denied the motion for lack of merit, the subsequent MR invoking as an additional ground the lack of jurisdiction of the court over the case under the authority and by reason of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, specifically Executive Order No. 229 and Republic Act No. 6657. was also been denied by the court a quo; 3. An appeal was made to the CA but the latter affirmed the decision of the trial court; ISSUE: WON the trial court has jurisdiction over the case. HELD: We find said contention tenable. Executive Order No. 229, which provides for the mechanism for the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program instituted by Proclamation No. 131, dated July 22, 1987, vests in the Department of Agrarian Reform quasi-judicial powers to determine and adjudicate agrarian reform matters. Thus, in the case at bar, the Regional Trial Court of Angeles City, at the time private respondents filed their complaint, was already bereft of authority to act on the same. The allegation of private respondents that their complaint was filed on November 3, 1987, and not on February 13, 1988 as found by the Court of Appeals, is immaterial since as of either date Executive Order No. 229 was already in effect. The foregoing holding is further sustained by the passage of Republic Act No. 6657, the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law, which took effect on June 15, 1988. The said law contains provisions which evince and support the intention of the legislature to vest in the Department of Agrarian Reform exclusive jurisdiction over all agrarian reform matters. WHEREFORE, the petition at bar is GRANTED. The decision of the Court of Appeals is REVERSED and another judgment is hereby rendered declaring NULL and VOID the orders of the lower court. The respondent judge, or whosoever now presides over the court a quo or to which the case is assigned, is ordered to cease and desist from further proceeding with AGRA Case No. 5176 which is hereby dismissed for lack of jurisdiction, without prejudice, however, to the refiling of the same with the Department of Agrarian Reform.

LOPE MACHETE, et al vs COURT OF APPEALS and CELESTINO VILLALON (G.R. No. 109093 November 20, 1995) BELLOSILLO, J.: FACTS: 1. Private respondent Celestino Villalon filed a complaint for collection of back rentals and damages before the Regional Trial Court of Tagbilaran City against petitioners; 2. The complaint alleged that the parties entered into a leasehold agreement with respect to private respondent's landholdings under which petitioners were to pay private respondent a certain amount or percentage of their harvests; 3.However, despite repeated demands and with no valid reason, petitioners failed to pay their respective rentals; 4.Petitioners moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground of lack of jurisdiction of the trial court over the subject matter. They contended that the case arose out of or was connected with agrarian relations, hence, the subject matter of the complaint fell squarely within the jurisdiction of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in the exercise of its quasi-judicial powers; ISSUE: Are Regional Trial Courts' vested with jurisdiction over cases for collection of back rentals from leasehold tenants? HELD: The petition is impressed with merit. R.A. 6657 was passed containing provisions which evince and support the intention of the legislature to vest in the DAR exclusive jurisdiction over all agrarian reform matters. Section 1, pars. (a) and (b), Rule II of the Revised Rules of the DARAB explicitly provides Sec. 1. Primary, Original and Appellate Jurisdiction. xxxxxSpecifically, such jurisdiction shall extend over but not be limited to the following: (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, (b) Cases involving the valuation of land, and determination and payment of just compensation, fixing and collection of lease rentals, disturbance compensation, amortization payments, and similar disputes concerning the functions of the Land Bankxxxxxxxxx (emphasis supplied) Consequently, there exists an agrarian dispute in the case at bench which is exclusively cognizable by the DARAB. The failure of petitioners to pay back rentals pursuant to the leasehold contract with private respondent is an issue which is clearly beyond the legal competence of the trial court to resolve. The doctrine of primary jurisdiction does not warrant a court to arrogate unto itself the authority to resolve a controversy the jurisdiction over which is initially lodged with an administrative body of special competence. Thus, respondent appellate court erred in directing the trial court to assume jurisdiction over this case. WHEREFORE, the decision of respondent Court of Appeals as well as its resolution denying reconsideration is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Consequently, let the records of this case be immediately transmitted to the appropriate Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) for proper adjudication.

DARAB and Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator FE ARCHE-MANALANG,DAR vs CA et al (G.R. Nos. 113220-21. January 21, 1997) DAVIDE, JR., J.: FACTS: These cases were consolidated in view of the fact that they involve the same petitioners and the same issue concerning the right of BSB Construction and Agricultural Development Corp. (hereafter BSB Construction) to develop a parcel of land into a housing subdivision, against the claim of private respondents that they are tenant-farmers entitled to the benefits of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988 (Rep. Act No. 6657). 1. The consolidated case is about the tenanted land and the BSB construction alleging that the lands in question is residential land. 2. That, however, the petitioner filed for the cease and desist ording in the DAR for restraining the construction, etch of the said land and to maintain the status qou betwen the parties; 3. DARAB issued a restraining order; 4.BSB Construction and Carol Baucan, who is one of the registered owners of the land in question, then filed the petition for certiorari [under Rule 65] in this case (CA-G.R. SP No. 31179), contending that the land is not covered by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law and, therefore, the complaint filed in the DARAB is not within the latter's jurisdiction; CONTENTIONS: As to the first, the petitioners argue that: (1) in a special civil action for certiorari, when a supervisory act is too specific (i.e., the 10-day period) that noncompliance therewith is proper for contempt proceedings, the said directive is relieved of the character of an incident of supervision and becomes a separate remedy in itself; (2) the restraining order issued by the Court of Appeals against the private respondents was not necessary as the SQO subsisted pending finality of the ordered nullification of the BEA Case; (3) the directive was premature and constituted undue interference with quasi-judicial proceedings governed by a distinct set of rules, especially in light of the doctrine of primary jurisdiction; (4) any delay in the resolution of the motion for preliminary injunction was attributable to the filing by the private respondents of CA-G.R. SP No. 30474; and (5) since no writ was issued in the ABOGNE Case, no occasion arose for the Court of Appeals to exercise its supervisory power. RULINGS: The petitioners first grievance is unfounded. Plainly, the Court of Appeals has certiorari jurisdiction over the PARAD TRO.[7] Such jurisdiction having been invoked with the parties given sufficient opportunity to argue for or against its propriety, the Court of Appeals could, as it did, direct the PARAD to resolve the application for a writ of preliminary injunction within a specified period.Indisputably, the 10-day period fixed by the Court of Appeals, counted from PARAD Manalangs receipt of a copy of the decision, can by no means be considered arbitrary or hasty. We likewise wish to state that there was another, more persuasive reason why CA-G.R. SP No. 30474 should be dismissed, viz., the prematurity of the petition, which amounted to a lack of cause of action. It is precisely for this reason that the petitioners herein, as the respondents in CA-G.R. SP No. 30474, asserted in their answer that exhaustion of administrative remedies was not had below, hence the petition lacks a cause of action for being evidently premature. In insisting that the DARAB had jurisdiction over the BEA Case (DARAB Case No. 010093 [Reg. Case No. IV-RI-0075]), the petitioners posit that the DAR/DARAB was vested by 50 of R.A. No. 6657 with primary jurisdiction to determine and adjudicate agrarian reform matters, and exclusive original jurisdiction over all matters involving the implementation of agrarian reform, subject to the exceptions therein provided. Further, the DAR/DARAB never abdicated, but merely delegated that authority to the RARADs and the PARADs under the DARAB Revised Rules; thus, the fact that a similar case was already pending with any of the PARADs (as it relates to provincial coverage) or RARADs (as to administrative regions of the DAR) did not, by itself, automatically divest the DARAB of its jurisdictional competence. The petitioners finally

argue that since the function/authority/jurisdiction of the PARADs/RARADs, is only DELEGATED ... DAR/DARAB, cannot ... be said to have totally unloaded the power/responsibility conferred by statute, to the delegate. As to the DARAB SQO, the petitioners claim that it was issued under the DARABs original jurisdiction or in aid of its appellate jurisdiction. It indisputably follows that all actions pursued under the exclusive original jurisdiction of the DAR, in accordance with 50 of R.A. No. 6657, must be commenced in the PARAD of the province where the property is located and that the DARAB only has appellate jurisdiction to review the PARADs orders, decisions and other dispositions. Needless to state, the DARAB was without authority to issue the SQO, much less the warrant of arrest. Its action was a clear violation of its DARAB Revised Rules. Any suggestion that it has unfettered discretion to suspend its own rules is unacceptable. WHEREFORE, the instant petition is hereby DENIED. DOMINGO CELENDRO vs vs. COURT OF APPEALS and LEONILA VDA. DE GUEVARRA [G.R. No. 131099. July 20, 1999] PANGANIBAN, J.: FACTS: The Petition for Review on Certiorari before us assails the decision of the CA which nullified the decision of the DARAB. DARAB set aside the final and executory Decision of the RTC of Wao, Bumbaran Lanao del Sur in a civil case affirming the decision of th MCTC in the same province. 1. After the death of [private respondents] husband in 1975, [private respondent] started to demand [petitioners] eviction, but due to the latters request for extension, [petitioner] was allowed to stay in said property and till the same. Until finally, on March 15, 1992 [private respondent] wrote a formal demand to vacate the property and restore possession to the [private respondent]. When said demand remained unheeded, a case for unlawful detainer was commenced by petitioner before the Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Wao, Lanao del Sur against [petitioner]. 2. Upon learning of the issuance of a writ of execution, private respondent filed a Petition to Quiet Title before the Provincial Adjudication Board (PACB), which office rendered a decision dated October 10, 1990 in favor of private respondent; 3. In conclusion, the CA ruled that a quasi-judicial body such as the PAAB or the DARAB could not reverse the final decision of a judicial body such as the MCTC or the RTC. ISSUE: The sole legal issue is whether or not the civil courts (Municipal Court and Regional Trial Court) or the Court of Agrarian Relations or the DAR Adjudication Board ha[ve] jurisdiction over the subject matter. HELD: The Petition is devoid of merit. We agree with the Court of Appeals that an administrative body such as the PAAB or the DARAB cannot reverse a courts ruling that has long become final. First, under Rule 39, Section 47 (c) of the Rules of Court,he courts Decision has become conclusive on the parties. They are bound by the matters adjudged and those that were actually and necessarily included therein. Under the doctrine of conclusiveness of judgment, which is also known as preclusion of issues or collateral estoppel, issues actually and directly resolved in a former suit cannot again be raised in any future case between the same parties involving a different cause of action.In other words, petitioner is barred from challenging the pronouncement of the trial court that his alleged lot is within the property of respondents.

Second, a final judgment cannot be modified by any court, let alone by a quasi-judicial administrative body. It is immutable and unalterable, and hence may no longer be modified in any respect xxx.Petitioners normal recourse should have been to appeal the RTC Decision to the CA and then, if necessary, to this Court for review. Because the trial court Decision was already final, it could not, as a rule, be altered or questioned.More significantly, the Court has held that a final judgment can no longer be reviewed, or in any way modified directly or indirectly, by a higher court, not even by the Supreme Court, much less by any other official, branch or department of Government. Finally, petitioner has actively participated in the proceedings in the MCTC and even appealed to the RTC. He failed, however, to question either courts jurisdiction over the suit. After relying on the jurisdiction of the regular courts, he cannot be permitted to turn around and question it. (ESTOPPEL) WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DENIED and the assailed Decision AFFIRMED.

G.R. No. 103953. March 25, 1999 SAMAHANG MAGBUBUKID NG KAPDULA, INC. vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, et al. PURISIMA, J.: Facts: Macario Aro was the former owner of 2 parcels of agricultural land in Barangay Malinta, Dasmarinas, Cavite where the members of petitioner Samahang Magbubukid Ng Kapdula, Inc. were the tenants. The tenants were evicted when Mr. Aro sold the said land to Ricardo Silverio for the establishment of a car assembly plant but said plant never materialized. The lands were later leased to the spouses, Ruben Rodriguez and Gloria Bugagao, for a term of 7 years and were then developed into a sugarcane plantation, with the herein private respondents as the regular farmworkers. PNB acquired the same parcels of land at a Sheriffs auction sale in 1984. In 1986, the members of petitioner sought the assistance of the Ministry of Agrarian Reform MAR, through then Minister Heherson Alvarez, for their reinstatement as farmworkers thereon, but nothing came out of such efforts. Later, the ownership was transferred to the Asset Privatization Trust (APT) which conveyed the same to the Republic of the Philippines, represented by the DAR. In furtherance of its objective of instituting agrarian reform in the country, the DAR issued CLOA Nos. 1116 and 1117 for the said parcels of land in favor of the petitioner. On Petition for Certiorari, which was granted, private respondents assailed the issuance of said CLOAs. The CA directed DAR to conduct a hearing and/or investigation to determine the rightful beneficiaries of the subject parcels of land and to cause the cancellation of the CLOA-1116 and 1117 should petitioners be found not entitled to the subject parcels of land. Issue: Whether there was a need for the private respondents to exhaust administrative remedies before filing their petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals. Held: From the DARAB Revised Rules of Procedure, it can be gleaned that decisions of the DAR Secretary cannot be questioned before DARAB. Pertinent rules, provide:

SECTION 1. Primary, Original and Appellate Jurisdiction. 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. Specifically, such jurisdiction shall extend over but not be limited to the following: xxx (c) Cases involving the annulment or cancellation of orders or decisions of DAR officials other than the Secretary, lease contracts or deeds of sale or their amendments under the administration and disposition of the DAR and LBP; (Rule II, DARAB Revised Rules of Procedure)

It is decisively clear that DARAB may only entertain appeals from decisions or orders of DAR officials other than the Secretary. It is also irrefutable that the issuance of subject CLOAs constituted a decision of the Secretary, who issued and signed the same. Consequently, the propriety of the recourse by private respondents to the respondent court on a petition for certiorari, to assail the issuance by the DAR of the CLOAs in question, is beyond cavil. Under Section 54 of RA 6657, decisions and awards of the DAR may be brought to the Court of Appeals by certiorari. Time and again, this court has ruled that in cases of denial of due process, exhaustion of available administrative remedies is unnecessary. The aggrieved party may seek judicial relief outright.

G.R. No. 129246. January 25, 2000 GREENFIELD REALTY CORPORATION and DATA PROCESSING SERVICES vs. LORETO CARDAMA, ONOFRE CARDAMA, RAFAEL MARANAN, MARIANO CARDAMA, CECILIO CARDAMA, ROMELITO CARDAMA, EUSEBIO PUNONG-BAYAN, GUILLERMO BANAAG, MAXIMA CARDAMA- PUNONGBAYAN BUENA, J.: Facts: The subject matter of this case is a parcel of land with an area of 10,744 hectares denominated as Lot No. 2653, covered by TCT No. T-155260, registered in the name of Data Processing Services, which is a part of a larger piece of land covering lots 3202, 2658, 2653 and 2517 with a total area of 37 hectares, more or less. In March of 1988, private respondents filed a Complaint with the RTC of Bian, Laguna, (CAR Case No. B26) praying that judgment be rendered "to respect the rights of the herein plaintiffs as legitimate leasehold tenants of their respective landholdings." Said case was dismissed on 30 August 1990 based on a compromise agreement entered into by the parties. There was violation of the compromise agreement for which reason the private respondents instituted DARAB Case No. IV-027293, filed with the Provincial Adjudicator of Sta. Cruz, Laguna, by the herein private respondents as plaintiffs, against Independent Realty Corporation, Greenfield Realty Corporation, Data Processing Services Corporation, Pinagkaisang Uring Anak-Pawis ng Loma Sa Agrikultura (PANALAG), and intervenors Esperidion Montanez, et al., who claimed to have already been issued their respective Certificates of Land Transfer pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 27 which took effect on October 21, 1972, thus subject landholdings can no longer be covered by the CARP law. In their Amended Complaint, private respondents claimed to have succeeded their father Hermogenes CArdama (now deceased) in the latters tenancy rights, and should be declared now as leasehold tenants and actual tillers of the subject irrigated riceland; that the leasehold tenancy began in the year 1978 through a verbal agreement entered into by and between defendant Independent Realty Corporation and Hermogenes Cardama that the former had designated the latter to take over the maintenance of said landholding which was then undeveloped and uncultivated and with the aid of the immediate members of their respective families cleared the area from talahib, grasses and boulders and constructed thereon all the irrigation canals until the same became productive as irrigated riceland that said plaintiffs had been up-todate in the payment of their lease rentals as evidenced by the receipts issued by defendant IRC and issued by defendant Greenfield Development Corporation. Greenfield and Data denied the material allegations in the complaint and alleged that plaintiffs complaint has no cause of action against said defendants; and that the present case is already barred by laches or by final order in CAR Case No. B-26. On June 6, 1994, a Decision was rendered by the Provincial Adjudicator which ruled that the herein private respondents are bona fide tenants of Lot No. 2653, situated in Loma, Bian, Laguna covered by TCT No. T155260 and legitimate beneficiaries of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law. On appeal, the DARAB, declared that the late Hermogenes Cardama was not the bona fide tenant of Lot 2653 Loreto Cardama, et al. filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals which reinstated the decision of the Provincial Adjudicator. Issues: 1. The Court of Appeals erred in reversing the findings of fact of the DARAB which were based on, at the very least, substantial evidence, and thus should have been final and conclusive upon the CA. 2. WON private respondents were guilty of forum-shopping. 3. WON res judicata applies. Held: The petition is without merit. 1. Section 54 of Republic Act No. 6657:
JUDICIAL REVIEW

"Section 54. Certiorari. - Any decision, order, award or ruling of the DAR on any agrarian dispute or any matter pertaining to the application, implementation, enforcement, or interpretation of this Act and other pertinent laws on agrarian reform may be brought to the Court of Appeals by certiorari except as otherwise provided in this Act within fifteen (15) days from receipt of a copy thereof. "The findings of fact of the DAR shall be final and conclusive if based on substantial evidence. "

The Court of Appeals did not err in reversing the findings of fact of DARAB, the same not being based on substantial evidence. Substantial evidence is such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. The records of the case are replete with relevant evidence which are adequate to support the conclusion that Hermogenes Cardama is the bona fide tenant of the subject property. Among such relevant evidence are: 1.) The Joint Report Regarding The Qualification as CARP Beneficiary of Some Members of PANALAG which states among others that "Hermogenes Cardama cultivated the subject land during the ownership of Greenfield Development Corp./Independent Realty Corporation; and 2.) the letter of Greenfield Development Corporation dated January 19, 1989, stating that Hermogenes Cardama was its tenant. 2. The private respondents sufficiently explained and we quote: xxx there is no forum-shopping between the Petition before the Honorable Court of Appeals and the case for injunction that was pending before the Regional Trial Court of Bian, Laguna. The Petition before the Court of Appeals is based on tenancy rights and rights under the CARL. The issue therein was whether or not petitioners were entitled to the benefits and protection of the CARL. On other hand, the case before the RTC of Bian was one for injunction to stop anyone from using force and intimidation to eject the lawful possessors of Lot 2653 who are the respondents herein, petitioners before the Court of Appeals without the benefit of a final and executory decision. " Thus, the Court of Appeals did not err when it ruled that the issues before it were different from the issues involved in the case then pending before the RTC of Bian. 3. It is true that judgment upon a compromise has the effect of res judicata. But any cause of action that arises from the application or violation of the compromise agreement cannot be said to have been settled in said first case. Thus, petitioners claim that respondents action is barred by res judicata is untenable.

[G.R. No. 107741. October 18, 1996] FRANCISCO BERNARTE, ET AL., vs. THE COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL. ROMERO, J.: Facts: Agrarian Case No. 2000 was filed before the RTC of San Fernando Pampanga by Estrella Arastia, for violation of Section 73 (b) of Republic Act No. 6657. The complaint alleged that herein petitioners illegally intruded into the land of the plaintiffs, burned the existing sugarcane plants and started to cultivate small portions thereof. As a result, the land was abandoned by the civil lessee, and taken over by plaintiffowners. Further, there had been definite findings and rulings by the DAR that no tenancy relationship existed between the parties. The complaint prayed for the issuance of a TRO to enjoin petitioners from entering into the land and intruding in the possession thereof and, after hearing, the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction which should be made permanent after a full-blown trial. Petitioners averred that they had been in continuous and peaceful possession of their respective tillages since 1950. They moved for the dismissal of the complaint on the ground that the trial court had no jurisdiction as it was the DAR, through the DARAB that had jurisdiction over the case The lower court denied the motion to dismiss and issued a writ of preliminary injunction ordering petitioners to desist and refrain from occupying their respective portions they are allegedly cultivating pending the termination of the litigation, and/or unless a contrary order is issued. Petition for certiorari, docketed as G.R. No. 100663 and entitled Jesus Bernal, et al. v. Estrella Arastia, et al., assailing the jurisdiction of the lower court over Agrarian Case No. 2000 was dismissed by the Supreme Court for failure to comply with Circular No. 1-88. Meanwhile, petitioners filed before the DARAB a complaint against Estrella Arastia. Docketed as DARAB Case No. 161-P89, the complaint alleged that on September 25, 1989, through the use and employ of armed men, Estrella Arastia forcibly evicted and drove them out of their landholdings, harvested and appropriated their standing rice crops, destroyed their vegetable crops, took their deep well and set fire on their houses. They prayed for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction or restraining order to enjoin defendant therein from preventing their re-entry and re-occupation of the landholdings pending the resolution of the case. The case was referred to the BARC who found that petitioners had been in possession and cultivation of their respective farmholdings. Based on this findings, the DARAB issued an order declaring the 300-hectare land as within the coverage of the CARL of 1988; maintaining petitioners possession and cultivation of their respective landholdings from where they were forcibly ejected and Estrella Arastia from entering, intruding, and disturbing the farming activities of the said petitioners in their re spective farmholdings; directing the MARO of Lubao, Pampanga and the DAR employees concerned to process and take appropriate action on the petition for coverage under Republic Act 6657 of their respective farmholdings in accordance with the rules and regulations of the DAR, and dismissing for lack of merit the claims for damages. On the strength of the said writ of preliminary injunction in DARAB Case No. 161-89, petitioners resumed occupation and cultivation of the subject land. Such actions resulted in the dispatch of several policemen to the area. They reminded petitioners of the writ of preliminary injunction issued earlier in Agrarian Case No. 2000 and ordered them to leave the land in dispute. Insisting on their right to work on the land in accordance with the writ issued in DARAB Case No. 161-89, petitioners entered the land. Petitioners were arrested for having entered the landholding and for resisting and intimidating said police officers. Petitioners were detained at the municipal jail of Lubao, Pampanga and were charged with direct assault upon agents of a person in authority. Issues: 1. WON petitioners are entitled for a writ of habeas corpus. 2. WON the RTC has jurisdiction over Agrarian Case No. 2000.

Held:

NO. Once the person detained is duly charged in court, he may no longer question his detention by a petition for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus his remedy then is the quashal of the information and/or the warrant of arrest duly issued. The filing of a petition or motion for bail in cases where no bail is recommended has the same legal import and effect as the posting of bail in cases where bail is recommended. It is settled that the giving or posting of bail by the accused is tantamount to submission of his person to the jurisdiction of the court. The instant petition for habeas corpus has thus been rendered moot and academic by the filing against petitioners of charges for direct assault on October 8, 1992 before the Municipal Trial Court of Lubao which, on being forwarded to the Regional Trial Court of Pampanga upon the filing of an information for direct assault on October 21, 1992 became Criminal Case No. 3171, even before the filing of the petition for habeas corpus docketed as G.R. No. 107399. Their subsequent filing of bailbonds to secure their provisional liberty sealed the mootness of the instant petition. 2. YES. The allegations in a complaint are determinative factors of said issue. In filing Agrarian Case No. 2000, Estrella Arastia was merely ejecting petitioners from the land on the ground that no tenancy relationship existed between them. However, her invocation of Sec. 73 (b) of Republic Act No. 6657 which considers as a prohibited act forcible entry or illegal detainer by pers ons who are not qualified beneficiaries under this Act to avail themselves of the rights and benefits of the Agrarian Reform Program, obviously led the court to docket the case as Agrarian Case No. 2000 and assume jurisdiction over it as a special agrarian court. Such actions were in consonance with Sections 56 and 57 of said law which at vest upon the Regional Trial Court, acting as a Special Agrarian Court, with jurisdiction over two classes of agrarian-related cases: (1) petitions for the determination of just compensation to landowners and (2) prosecution of all criminal offenses under the same law. A criminal offender under Republic Act No. 6657 is, pursuant to Section 74 of the law, (a)ny person who knowingly and willfully violates the provisions of this Act. Thus, the lower court correctly assumed jurisdiction over Agrarian Case No. 2000. It was within petitioners rights to question the issuance of the writ before this Court through G.R. No. 100663. However, in filing the petition, they failed to comply with Circular No. 1-88. The consequent dismissal of the case for noncompliance with said circular deprived this Court with authority to look into the validity of the writ once again. To repeat, such dismissal constituted res judicata on the issue of validity of the writ of preliminary injunction.

G.R. No. 143275. September 10, 2002 LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. ARLENE DE LEON and BERNARDO DE LEON CORONA, J.: Facts: The petitioners-appellees Arlene de Leon and Bernardo de Leon are the registered owners of a parcel of land which was voluntarily offered for sale to the government at P50,000.00 per hectare. The DAR made a counter offer but it was rejected. Another offer was made by DAR increasing the amount but petitionersappellees failed to respond to the new offer made so DARAB took cognizance of the case. Subsequently, the DARAB issued an Order directing respondent-appellant LBP to recompute the value of the subject property in accordance with DAR Administrative Order No. 6, Series of 1992. LBP arrived at a recomputed aggregate amount of P2,491,731.65, which was again rejected. Petitioners-appellees filed a petition with Special Agrarian Court to fix the just compensation of the subject property. The court rendered a summary judgment fixing the compensation of the subject property as follows: a) P1,260,000.00 for the 16.69 hectares of Riceland and b) P2,957,250.00 for the 30.4160 hectares of sugarland. LBP filed a Motion for Reconsideration which was subsequently denied by the Court. DAR filed in the Court of Appeals a petition for review of the decision of the Special Agrarian Court which was assigned to its Special 3rd Division. Petitioner LBP also initiated in the Court of Appeals an ordinary appeal which was assigned to the 4th Division of the Court of Appeals. The Special 3rd Division of the appellate court, give due course to the petition and ordered the trial court to recompute the compensation based on the selling price of palay at 213.00 per cavan and ordered petitioner to pay legal interest at 6% of the compensation so fixed from 1990 until full payment is made by the government. The 4th Division of the Court of Appeals dismissed petitioner LBPs ordinary appeal reasoning that the mode of appeal followed was erroneous. Issue: What is the proper mode of appeal from decisions of the RTC, sitting as Special Agrarian Courts, in the determination of just compensation an appeal by way of a petition for review or an ordinary appeal? Held: wit: Section 2 of Rule 41 of the 1997 Revised Rules of Civil Procedure provides for three modes of appeal, to
Sec. 2. Modes of Appeal. (a) Ordinary appeal. The appeal to the Court of Appeals in cases decided by the Regional Trial Court in the exercise of its original jurisdiction shall be taken by filing a notice of appeal with the court which rendered the judgment or final order appealed from and serving a copy thereof upon the adverse party. No record on appeal shall be required except in special proceedings and other cases or multiple or separate appeals where the law or these Rules so require. In such cases, the record on appeal shall be filed and served in like manner. (b) Petition for Review. The appeal to the Court of Appeals in cases decided by the Regional Trial Court in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction shall be by petition for review in accordance with Rule 42. (c) Appeal by Certiorari. In all cases where only questions of law are raised or involved, the appeal shall be to the Supreme Court by petition for review on certiorari in accordance with Rule 45.

A petition for review, not an ordinary appeal, is the proper procedure in effecting an appeal from decisions of the RTCs acting as Special Agrarian Courts in cases involving the determination of just compensation to the landowners concerned. Section 60 of RA 6657 clearly and categorically states that the said mode of appeal should be adopted. There is no room for a contrary interpretation. Where the law is clear and categorical, there is no room for construction, but only application. What is indisputable is that Section 60 expressly regards a petition for review as the proper way of appealing decisions of agrarian courts. So far, there is no rule prescribed by this Court expressly disallowing the said procedure. Unlike an ordinary appeal, a petition for review dispenses with the filing of a notice of appeal or completion of records as requisites before any pleading is submitted. A petition for review hastens the award of fair recompense to deprived landowners for the government-acquired property, an end not foreseeable in an

ordinary appeal. This is exemplified by the case at bar in which the petition for review before the Special Third (3rd) Division (CA-G.R. SP No. 47005) was disposed of way ahead of the ordinary appeal filed before the Fourth (4th) Division (CA-G.R. CV No. 60365) in the Court of Appeals. Inasmuch as the notice of appeal filed by petitioner LBP did not stop the running of the reglementary period to file a petition for review, the time to appeal the decision of the Special Agrarian Court has lapsed, rendering the said decision final and executory.

EN BANC G.R. No. 92013 July 25, 1990 SALVADOR H. LAUREL, vs. RAMON GARCIA, as head of the Asset Privatization Trust, RAUL MANGLAPUS, as Secretary of Foreign Affairs, and CATALINO MACARAIG, as Executive Secretary G.R. No. 92047 July 25, 1990 DIONISIO S. OJEDA, petitioner, vs. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY MACARAIG, JR., ASSETS PRIVATIZATION TRUST CHAIRMAN RAMON T. GARCIA, AMBASSADOR RAMON DEL ROSARIO, et al., as members of the PRINCIPAL AND BIDDING COMMITTEES ON THE UTILIZATION/DISPOSITION PETITION OF PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT PROPERTIES IN JAPAN GUTIERREZ, JR., J.: Facts: The subject Roppongi property in this case is one of the four properties in Japan acquired by the Philippine government under the Reparations Agreement entered into with Japan on 9 May 1956. The properties and the capital goods and services procured from the Japanese government for national development projects are part of the indemnification to the Filipino people for their losses in life and property and their suffering during World War II. The Roppongi property is where the Philippine Embassy was once located before it transferred to the Nampeida property. A proposal was presented to President Corazon C. Aquino by former Philippine Ambassador to Japan, Carlos J. Valdez, to make the property the subject of a lease agreement with a Japanese firm where, at the end of the lease period, all the three leased buildings shall be occupied and used by the Philippine government. On August 11, 1986, President Aquino created a committee to study the disposition/utilization of Philippine government properties in Tokyo and Kobe. On July 25, 1987, the President issued Executive Order No. 296 entitling non-Filipino citizens or entities to avail of reparations capital goods and services in the event of sale, lease or disposition. Amidst opposition by various sectors, the Executive branch of the government has been pushing, with great vigor, its decision to sell the reparations properties starting with the Roppongi lot. The property has twice been set for bidding at a minimum floor price at $225 million. Issues: 1) Can the Roppongi property and others of its kind be alienated by the Philippine Government? 2) Does the Chief Executive, her officers and agents, have the authority and jurisdiction, to sell the Roppongi property? Held: Roppongi property is of public dominion.There can be no doubt that it is of public dominion unless it is convincingly shown that the property has become patrimonial. This, the respondents have failed to do. As property of public dominion, the Roppongi lot is outside the commerce of man. It cannot be alienated. Its ownership is a special collective ownership for general use and enjoyment, an application to the satisfaction of collective needs, and resides in the social group. The purpose is not to serve the State as a juridical person, but the citizens; it is intended for the common and public welfare and cannot be the object of appropriation. The Roppongi property is correctly classified under paragraph 2 of Article 420 of the Civil Code as property belonging to the State and intended for some public service. The fact that the Roppongi site has not been used for a long time for actual Embassy service does not automatically convert it to patrimonial property. Any such conversion happens only if the property is withdrawn from public use (Cebu Oxygen and Acetylene Co. v. Bercilles, 66 SCRA 481 [1975]). A property continues to be part of the public domain, not available for private appropriation or ownership until there is a formal declaration on the part of the government to withdraw it from being such.

Abandonment of the intention to use the Roppongi property for public service and to make it patrimonial property under Article 422 of the Civil Code must be definite. Abandonment cannot be inferred from the nonuse alone specially if the non-use was attributable not to the governments own deliberate and indubitable will but to a lack of financial support to repair and improve the property (See Heirs of Felino Santiago v. Lazaro, 166 SCRA 368 [1988]. Abandonment must be a certain and positive act based on correct legal premises. A mere transfer of the Philippine Embassy to Nampeidai in 1976 is not relinquishment of the Roppongi propertys original purpose. Even the failure by the government to repair the building in Roppongi is not abandonment since as earlier stated, there simply was a shortage of government funds. The recent Administrative Orders authorizing a study of the status and conditions of government properties in Japan were merely directives for investigation but did not in any way signify a clear intention to dispose of the properties. Section 63 (c) of Rep. Act No. 6657 (the CARP Law) which provides as one of the sources of funds for its implementation, the proceeds of the disposition of the properties of the Government in foreign countries, did not withdraw the Roppongi property from being classified as one of public dominion when it mentions Philippine properties abroad. Section 63 (c) refers to properties which are alienable and not to those reserved for public use or service. Rep. Act No. 6657, therefore, does not authorize the Executive Department to sell the Roppongi property. It merely enumerates possible sources of future funding to augment (as and when needed) the Agrarian Reform Fund created under Executive Order No. 299. Obviously any property outside of the commerce of man cannot be tapped as a source of funds. 2) It is not for the President to convey valuable real property of the government on his or her own sole will. Any such conveyance must be authorized and approved by a law enacted by the Congress. It requires executive and legislative concurrence. Resolution No. 55 of the Senate dated June 8, 1989, asking for the deferment of the sale of the Roppongi property does not withdraw the property from public domain much less authorize its sale. It is a mere resolution; it is not a formal declaration abandoning the public character of the Roppongi property. In fact, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations is conducting hearings on Senate Resolution No. 734 which raises serious policy considerations and calls for a fact-finding investigation of the circumstances behind the decision to sell the Philippine government properties in Japan.

G.R. No. 113605. November 27, 1998 ROMULO ROVILLOS vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, FOURTH DIVISION, THE HONORABLE RICARDO T. LINSANGAN, PRESIDING JUDGE IN BRANCH 38 OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF NUEVA ECIJA, SAN JOSE CITY, AND PRIVATE RESPONDENT MODESTO OBISPO ROMERO, J.: Facts: Sometime in 1971, petitioner's predecessor started tilling and cultivating a portion of private respondent's land in Carrangalan, Nueva Ecija under a "share-crop" agreement. On December 30, 1979, petitioner and the private respondent entered into a contract which stipulated that the former was to be contracted as a farm laborer or helper responsible for the cultivation of 2 hectares of the four hectare land. For the next five years, both parties complied with the provision of their agreement. However, starting January 1984, petitioner no longer cultivated the land in question in his capacity as a farm laborer but as a tenant, with the corresponding right to exclude the private respondent from the land. To protect his interest, private respondent demanded from the petitioner to desist from further cultivation of the said land. These demands proved futile as petitioner continued with his daily undertakings, unmindful of private respondent's protestations.

Exasperated, private respondent, on April 9, 1984, filed a complaint against the petitioner for Recovery of Possession with Damages with Motion for Issuance of Writ of Preliminary Injunction. In his Answer, petitioner maintained that on October 6, 1981, he was granted a Certificate of Land Transfer No. 0-065683 by the then Ministry of Agrarian Reform pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 27, hence, converting his status from a farm laborer to that of a legitimate tenant of the private respondent. The trial court rendered a decision finding that petitioner was not a tenant but a mere farm helper or laborer of the private respondent. This was affirmed by the Court of Appeals. Issue: WON petitioner is an agricultural lessee and entitled to security of tenure under existing agrarian laws. Held: YES. A tenancy relationship exists between the parties. First, petitioner was in actual possession of the land and resided in a farmhouse thereon as a farm tenant would normally do. Second, the land was devoted to the production of palay and other related products. Third, there was the element of consent, for as early as 1971, private respondent had not instituted an action against the petitioner or his predecessor. In fact, he even allowed them and a certain Conrado Vergara to manage and till the land. Fourth, the management of the land was for the sole purpose of producing rice or palay. Fifth, cultivation and farm work were personally done by the petitioner and his predecessor and Sixth, petitioner shared the harvest of the land under a "share-crop" system. In Hernandez v. IAC, we ruled that when an individual cultivates the land and did not receive salaries but a share of the produce, the relationship is one of tenancy and not employment. Moreover, if private respondent's land was indeed non-tenanted, he should have obtained a certification of non-tenancy from the then Ministry of Agrarian Reform. Under the P.D. No. 27, farmers of rice and corn lands were deemed owners of the land they till. However, since the land in question is only four (4) hectares, then the same cannot be subject to the Operation Land Transfer (OLT) program of P.D. No. 27. This was to mitigate the impact of the decree on small land owners. Consequently, no transfer of ownership can take place. Notwithstanding the non-transfer of ownership of the landholding, it bears stressing that when the land is seven hectares and below, the same is still covered by P.D. No. 27 under its Operation Land Leasehold (OL) program. This means that the landowners and the tenants are placed in a leasehold relationship as of October 21, 1972, under an agricultural leasehold agreement. It is worth mentioning that on two occasions, we have already upheld the validity of this "automatic conversion" provision, from agricultural share tenancy to agricultural leasehold, under our land reform laws. Thus, while owners of rice and corn lands seven (7) hectares or less are not covered by the land transfer programs of P.D. No. 27, however, when there are tenants lands, the arrangement immediately shifts to a leasehold relationship. Under Section 12 of R.A. 6657, as implemented by the Department of Agrarian Reform, all tenanted agricultural lands retained under P.D. No. 27 shall automatically be converted into agricultural leasehold as of June 15, 1988. However, with respect to tenanted rice and corn lands, as in this case, the leasehold relationship shall start on November 10, 1971.

G. R. No. 140164. September 6, 2002 DIONISIA L. REYES vs. RICARDO L. REYES, LAZARO L. REYES, NARCISO L. REYES and MARCELO L. REYES QUISUMBING, J.: Facts: Dionisia Reyes filed a complaint for reinstatement with damages with the DARAB Region III Office against her four younger brothers, herein respondents. She alleged that her late father, Felizardo Reyes, was the tenant of a two-hectare agricultural lot in Parulan, Plaridel, Bulacan, owned by Marciano Castro. After her fathers she and Marciano Castro, through the latters son and attorney-in-fact, Ramon R. Castro, executed a leasehold contract naming her as the agricultural lessee of the property. However, sometime before the start of the planting of the dry season crop in 1989, herein respondents forcibly entered the area and occupied a one-hectare portion of the property. They claimed to be the tenants thereof. Respondents then paid rent to the Castros overseer, Armando Duran, and continued to occupy half of the property to petitioners damage and prejudice. Respondents denied Dionisias claim as the bona fide leasehold tenant and assert that they inherited the lease rights to the property from their deceased father. After attempts to amicably solve the dispute failed, the DARAB Provincial Adjudicator (PARAD) ruled for petitioner The DARAB-Central Office had affirmed the ruling of the Provincial Adjudicator declaring petitioner the lawful agricultural lessee of a parcel of land in Bulacan owned by the late Marciano Castro, and thus she is entitled to security of tenure. On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed the decision and held that an implied tenancy existed between herein respondents and the landowner. Issues: 1) Did the Court of Appeals err in disregarding the substantial evidence rule with respect to the DARAB findings? 2) Did the appellate court commit a reversible error of law in finding that respondents had satisfactorily met the requirements of a tenancy relationship? Held: 1) YES. In Malate vs. Court of Appeals, we held that:
In appeals in agrarian cases, the only function required of the Court of Appeals is to determine whether the findings of fact of the Court of Agrarian Relations are supported by substantial evidence. And substantial evidence has been defined to be such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion and its absence is not shown by stressing that there is contrary evidence on record, direct or circumstantial, and where the findings of fact of the agrarian court are supported by substantial evidence, such findings are conclusive and binding on the appellate court.

Stated differently, the appellate court cannot make its own findings of fact and substitute the same for the findings of fact of the DARAB. A perusal of the assailed decision clearly shows that nowhere did the Court of Appeals rule that the findings of fact of the DARAB Region III Provincial Adjudicator or the DARAB-Central Office were unsupported by substantial evidence. Nor did the appellate court hold that said findings were made with grave abuse of discretion on the part of the agrarian quasi-judicial agencies. An examination of the record categorically shows that the findings of fact of the DARAB were supported by substantial evidence. Perforce, the Malate ruling must apply to the instant case. The finding of the DARAB that petitioner, by virtue of the contract of agricultural leasehold entered into between her and the Castros, is the substitute tenant of the latter in lieu of her deceased father, is binding upon the appellate court and this Court. Equally conclusive upon the court a quo and this Court is the finding by the DARAB that respondents were mere usurpers who failed to present any proof as to the existence of a tenancy relationship between them and the Castro family.

2) YES. The present dispute involves an agricultural leasehold. The governing law is R.A. No. 3844, which, except for Section 35 thereof, was not specifically repealed by the passage of the R.A. No. 6657, but was intended to have suppletory effect to the latter law. Under R.A. 3844, two modes are provided for in the establishment of an agricultural leasehold relation: (1) by operation of law in accordance with Section 4 of the said act; or (2) by oral or written agreement, either express or implied. By operation of law simply means the abolition of the agricultural share tenancy system and the conversion of share tenancy relations into leasehold relations. The other method is the agricultural leasehold contract, which may either be oral or in writing. In the instant case, it is not disputed that an agricultural leasehold contract was entered into between petitioner and Ramon Castro. Regardless of the number of years that Duran had been the overseer of the Castros, there is absolutely no showing that he was ever authorized to appoint tenants or successor-tenants for the Castros, nor to accept rentals from the persons he would appoint. Absent substantial evidence to show Durans authority from the Castros to give consent to the creation of a tenancy relationship, his actions could not give rise to an implied tenancy. In fact, Duran admitted that he was aware of the existence of the leasehold contract between petitioner and the Castros, naming the former as the successor-tenant to the property. Since an implied tenancy between the same landowners and respondents is incompatible with this express and written leasehold contract and given the absolute lack of substantial evidence to support the existence of an implied tenancy, the express tenancy contract must be maintained. The receipts issued to respondents do not bear the name and signature of Ramon Castro. Given these circumstances, Ramon Castro cannot be deemed estopped from denying the existence of a tenancy relationship between him and respondents. One final note. Respondents original stance before the DARAB that they had inherited or succeeded to the tenancy rights of their late father is likewise erroneous. As correctly found by the DARAB:
Defendants-Appellants should not confuse the law on succession provided for in the Civil Code of the Philippines with succession in agrarian cases. In the former, (the) statute spreads the estate of the deceased throughout his heirs; while in agrarian laws, the security of tenure of the deceased tenant shall pass on to only one (1) heir in the manner provided for in Section 9