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G.R. No.

139285
December 21, 2007
ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF CACERES, petitioner
vs.
SECRETARY OF DEPT. OF AGRARIAN REFORM and DAR REGIONAL
DIRECTOR (Region V), respondents
Topic: Retention Limits
Facts:
1. Archbishop filed for exemptions of certain properties located in
Camarines Sur from coverage of P.D. 27. This was denied by
Regional Director.
2. Archbishop appealed, arguing that:
a. They are used for charitable, religious and educational
purposes
b. Even though lands were registered in his name, he only
has naked title and he holds such lands in trust for his
followers.
c. Properties were conditional donations subject to the
prohibition of donor to sell, exchange, encumber the
property.
d. Hence, he argues that he was not the landowner
contemplated in PD 27 and RA 6657.
3. He prayed that DAR orders be reversed, or that alleged beneficiaries
(his followers) of the trust EACH be allowed right of retention.
4. CA dismissed the appeal. Hence, this petition.
5. In addition to his arguments above, Archbishop also argued that he
was merely an administrator for the benefit of members of a
particular religion; hence, properties should be exempt.
Issue: W/N the properties were exempt from coverage?
Held: No, they are not exempt.
Retention Limits (Important to our topic)
1. The law does not qualify the word landowner as to under what title
the land is held. Hence, since it was found that the properties were

registered in his name, and he does not contest such fact, he is a


landowner.
2. According to PD 27 and RA 6657, there can be no claim of more
than one right of retention per landowner. The law is clear and simple
that a landowner may retain not more than 5 or 7 hectares.
3. No multiple rights of retention can be held by a single party. The
scheme proposed by Archbishop would create as many retention
rights as there are beneficiaries, which could protect the entire land
area from agrarian reform.
4. His argument that it is the beneficial ownership that should
determine which party would have right of retention has no basis.
Conditional Donation
1. The sale contemplated in the CARP is a forced sale, not a
conventional sale. This is the very nature of the CARP.
2. The claim of Archbishop that he does not have jus disponendi (right
to dispose) is unavailing. The disposition under PD27 and RA6657 is
of a different character as disposition is necessary for the laws to be
effective.
3. Application of law cannot be defeated by conditions of donations. If
allowed, then other landowers would place their land under
protection of religious organizations or create trusts by donation to
circumvent agrarian reform.
Administrator for Followers
1. Archbishop cannot claim exemption by stating that he is a mere
administrator as it does not fall under any of the enumeration in Sec.
10, RA 6657. It is also found that his land is agricultural land.
2. Archbishop cannot claim exemption in behalf of the millions of
Filipino faithful. He should not fear that his followers are simply being
deprived of land, as under PD 27 and RA 6657, he is entitled to just
compensation, which he may then use for the benefit of his followers.
PETITION IS DENIED.