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DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM

Diliman, Quezon City. Philippines

FAQs on:

Rules and Procedures of


DARAB and ALI

The Quasi-Judicial Powers of DAR

What do they mean when they say DAR has


quasi-judicial powers?
As a quasi-judicial body the Department of Agrarian
Reform (DAR) has the power to hear, determine
questions of fact to which the legislative policy is to
apply and to decide in accordance with the standards
laid down by the law itself.

Justice and power must be


brought
together,
so
that
whatever is just may be powerful,
and whatever is powerful may be
just.
Blaise Pascal..

What is the basis for the DARs quasi-judicial power?


Section 50 of Republic Act (RA) 6657 (1988) and Supreme Court Administrative Circular
No. 29-2002 state that the DAR is 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).
What are the quasi-judicial powers of the DAR?
As a quasi-judicial body, DAR is vested with:
Primary Jurisdiction to determine and adjudicate all agrarian disputes or matters
EXCEPT those pertaining to the determination of just compensation and resolution of
criminal offenses arising from the implementation of agrarian laws.
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).
Appellate jurisdiction to hear appeals of all Agrarian Law Implementation (ALI) cases,
and to order reversal or other correction, if error is found. (Administrative Order No. 3 (2003),
Rule II, Sec. 10)

How does DAR exercise its quasi-judicial power?


Quasi-judicial functions of DAR are being carried out at the provincial, regional,
national levels by the Provincial and Regional Agrarian Reform Adjudicators, and DAR
Adjudication Board (DARAB) under the Office of the Secretary. (Executive Order No. 129-A
(1987), Sec. 13)

Department of Agrarian Reform

The Quasi-Judicial Powers of DAR

What is the essence of DARs quasi-judicial powers?


The quasi-judicial powers of DAR strongly support and adhere to justice and equity for
all. This is evident through the following substantive provisions of the DARAB rules:

Justice

and privileges for pauper litigants. Rule V, Sec. 2 provides a concession and
advantage for those agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) who have little or no means of
paying the filing fees and other expenses.

U napplicability

of the technicalities of law and procedure to agrarian cases. Rule I,


Sec. 3 and Rule X Sec. 1 directs the DARAB to employ all reasonable means to
ascertain the facts of every case without regard of the technicalities of law.

Social Justice oriented.

Rule X, Sec. 7 strongly supports the ARBs, so that in cases of


doubt in the interpretation of the rules, the resolution of the cases shall be in favor of
the ARBs.

Territorial

jurisdiction. Rule II, Sec. 4.2 and Rule X, Sec. 8 decentralizes the powers
and functions of the Adjudication Board at the regional and provincial level to allow
more cases to be heard at any given time, at the least expense for the litigants.

E xpediency

and less cost. Rule III, Sec. 2 & 5


allows litigants to file complaint or
petition with the Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer (MARO).

Conciliation and mediation at the lowest level possible.

Rule X, Sec. 8 ensures that an


issue is clarified to the satisfaction of both parties at the lowest level possible to
lessen the burden and difficulties of both parties involved.

U nextendible period of promulgating decision.

Rule X, Sec. 9 and R.A. 6657 (1988),


Sec. 51 provide 30-day period of rendering decision on the merit of the case and it
shall be final after the lapse of 15 days from receipt of a copy of the decision or
ruling.

Appearance of non-lawyer

may be allowed. Rule VIII, Sec. 1 & 3 and Rule X, Sec 8


allows non-lawyer who understands the law to appear before the DAR to enable
services of friends, relatives or concerned citizens at little or no expense.

Department of Agrarian Reform

The Quasi-Judicial Powers of DAR

Liberal

interpretation of facts and issues. Rule I, Sec. 2 enables/provides greater


variation from the standard dimensions of justice.

Is there a difference between the DAR and a regular courts handling of agrarian
matters/disputes?
Yes. In the exercise of the DARs jurisdiction over agrarian matters, the DAR is not
bound by technical rules of procedures and evidence but can proceed to hear and
decide all cases, disputes or controversies in a most expeditious manner, employing
all reasonable means to ascertain the facts and the merits of the case in accordance
with justice and equity. Republic Act No. 6657 (1988), Sec. 50
The DAR adopts its own procedures in handling agrarian cases based on R.A. 6657
(1988); DAR Administrative Order No. 3 (2003) for ALI cases; and DARAB Rules of
Procedure (2003) for DARAB cases.
While in the regular court, the governing procedure of the Rules of Court is applied.

Jurisdiction of DAR

Is agrarian dispute and agrarian administrative matter the same?


No. Agrarian Dispute is classified as a DARAB case and falls under the exclusive
original jurisdiction of the DARAB and its Regional or Provincial Agrarian Reform
Adjudicators (RARAD/PARAD).
Agrarian Administrative Matter is classified as an ALI case and falls under the
jurisdiction of the DAR Secretary or his/her authorized representative and the Regional
Director (RD).

Department of Agrarian Reform

The Quasi-Judicial Powers of DAR


What type of issues, problems or misunderstanding can DAR help settle through
DARAB?
The DAR Adjudicator has the primary and exclusive original jurisdiction to determine
and adjudicate the following cases:
DARAB CASES

Determination of title to agricultural lands where this issue is raised in an agrarian


dispute by any of the parties or a third person in connection with the possession
thereof for the purpose of preserving the tenure of the agricultural lessee or actual
tenant-farmer or farmer-beneficiaries; and affecting the ouster of the interloper or
intruder in one and the same

Annulment

or cancellation of lease contracts of deeds of sale or their amendments


involving lands under the administration and disposition of the DAR and LBP; as
well as EPs issued under PD 266, Homestead Patents, Free Patents, and miscellaneous
sales patents to settlers in settlement and resettlement areas under the
administration and disposition of the DAR;

Rights

and obligation of persons, whether natural or juridical, engaged in the


management, cultivation, and use of all agricultural lands covered by RA 6657, and
other related agrarian laws. This also includes review of leasehold rentals;

Annulment or cancellation of lease contracts or deeds of sale or their amendments


involving lands under the administration and disposition of the DAR or LBP; as well as
Emancipation Patents (EPs) issued under PD 266, Homestead Patents, Free Patents,
and miscellaneous sales patents to settlers in settlement and re-settlement areas
under the administration and disposition of the DAR;

Boundary disputes over lands under the administration and disposition of the DAR and
the LBP, which are transferred, distributed, and/or sold to tenant-beneficiaries and
are covered by deeds of sale, patents, and certificates of title;

Cases involving the collection of

amortizations on payments for lands awarded under


PD 27, as amended, RA 3844, as amended, and RA 6657, as amended, and other
related laws, decrees, orders, instructions, rules, and regulations, as well as payment
for residential, commercial, and industrial lots within the settlement and
resettlement areas under the administration and disposition of the DAR;

Acquired lands under PD 27 and the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP)
for preliminary administrative determination of reasonable and just compensation;
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Department of Agrarian Reform

The Quasi-Judicial Powers of DAR

Sale, alienation, pre-emption, and redemption of agricultural lands under the coverage
of the CARL or other agrarian laws;

E jectment and dispossession of tenants and or leaseholders, exclusive jurisdiction of


the defunct Court of Agrarian Relations under
Section 12 of PD 946 except those
cases falling under the proper courts or other quasi-judicial bodies; and

Secondary and subsequent issuances of Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs)


and EPs which are registered with the Land Registration Authority, and those cases
involving correction, partition, disputes, matters or concerns referred to it by the DAR
Secretary.
What types of cases can be brought to the DAR Office of the Secretary?
The Office of the Secretary has the power to recognize the following ADMIN CASES,
otherwise known as Agrarian Law Implementation (ALI) cases.
ADMIN CASES

Application

for exemption from coverage under Section 10 of RA 6657; and


application for exemption pursuant to Department of Justice (DOJ) Opinion No. 44
(1990);

Determination

of rights of ARBs such as: disposition of excess area of the


tenants/farmer-beneficiarys landholdings; rights to homelots; and rights of
retention by landowner.

M atters or concerns referred to it by the Secretary of the DAR;


I dentification and classification of landholdings for coverage under the agrarian reform
program and the initial issuance of CLOAs and EPs, including protests or oppositions
thereto and petitions for lifting of such coverage and identification, classification,
inclusion, exclusion, qualification, or disqualification of exclusion, qualification, or
disqualification of potential/actual farmer-beneficiaries; Issuance of Certificate of
Exemption for land subject of Voluntary Offer to Sell (VOS) and Compulsory
Acquisition (CA) found unsuitable for agricultural purposes;

Not yet registered documents with the Register of Deeds such as Certificates of Land
Ownership Awards (CLOAs); and recall, or cancellation of provisional lease rentals,
Certificates of Land Transfers (CLTs) and CARP Beneficiary Certificates (CBCs) in cases
outside the purview of Presidential Decree (PD) No. 816, including the issuance,
recall, or cancellation of EPs or CLOAs;
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Department of Agrarian Reform

The Quasi-Judicial Powers of DAR

Conflict of claims in landed estates

administered by DAR and its predecessors;

Application for conversion of

agricultural land to residential, commercial, industrial,


or other non- agricultural uses and purposes including protests or oppositions
thereto;

Subdivision survey of land under Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP);


E xclusion from CARP coverage except agricultural land used for livestock, swine, and
poultry raising and exemption/exclusion of fishpond and prawn from the coverage of
CARP pursuant to RA 7881; and

Settlements administered by DAR and its predecessors involving conflict of claims.


What are the types of cases and who is the authority responsible in adjudicating
and deciding these cases?

Authority

Type of Cases

BARC Chairman/MARO

All AR matters/disputes for mediation/ conciliation

Provincial Agrarian
(PARO)

Clearance to transfer agricultural land

Reform Officer

Office of the Secretary Office of the


President Court of Appeals

Appellate jurisdiction over all ADMIN CASES/ALI cases

DAR Secretary (appellate jurisdiction)


Regional Director (primary
jurisdiction)

Protest or petitions to lift CARP coverage, Rights of FBs,


Identification of FBs, Initial Land Valuation, Determination of
Provisional Lease Rentals, Land Use Conversion, Cancellation of
CLOA and EP not yet registered, and clearance to
transfer
agricultural Land (PARO may decide)

Department of Agrarian Reform

The Quasi-Judicial Powers of DAR


Type of Cases
Authority
DAR Secretary/OSEC

DAR Secretary/
and PARADs)

Land Use Conversion (5 has. above), Exemption due to reclassification (5


has. above), Prejudicial issue, and Flashpoint cases

Adjudicators (RARADs

Determining the landowner tenant


relationship, Tenant ejectment,
Boundary disputes, Lease rentals, Inheritance
succession, Sale,
alienation, mortgage, foreclosure, preemption, redemption of agricultural
lands covered by CARP and other agrarian laws, Issuance, correction and
cancellation of CLOA and EP
registered with the Land Registration
Authority, and Prejudicial issue

DARAB Central (as appellate body)

Review of decisions of adjudicators; and original jurisdiction is lodged with


the Board to hear, determine, and adjudicate all agrarian cases and
disputes arising within their assigned territorial jurisdiction

RARAD

Direct supervision over PARAD;


with the Board

Special Agrarian Court (Original and exclusive


jurisdiction)

Determination of just compensation for landowners; and Prosecution of all


criminal offenses

Court of Appeals (CA) Supreme Court (SC)

Appellate jurisdiction over agrarian cases decided by DARAB

Concurrent or original jurisdiction

What is considered as a Flashpoint Case?


Flashpoint Cases are Agrarian Law Implementation (ALI) cases duly determined and
certified by the DAR Secretary or his/her Head Executive Assistant (HEA) in accordance
with the criteria and procedures provided in DAR Memorandum Circular No. 13 (1997),
to give utmost priority to the resolution of the case.
These cases are under the jurisdiction of the Regional Director or the Bureau of
Agrarian Legal Assistance (BALA) Director.

Department of Agrarian Reform

The Quasi-Judicial Powers of DAR


When does an ALI case become a Flashpoint case?
An ALI case is certified as Flashpoint case when it is:

Threatening to disrupt the status quo in a particular area;


E ndangering the life and limb of individuals as a result of the use of force from either
the landowners side or farmer-beneficiaries side or other parties;

M assive pickets or which may immediately result in concerted mass actions either in
the DAR Central Office, in the field offices or at the site of the conflict; or

Assigned by the DAR Secretary for immediate resolution.


What are the key steps in the resolution of a Flashpoint case?
DAR Official

Appellant
Step 1: Issuance of an Order to Head of Office/Unit

Step 2: Transmittal of Case

concerned

Records to SCS Directors Office

Step 3: Issuance of Notice for Submission of Position Paper and


Documentary Evidence

Step 4: Submission to SCS


Step 5: Conduct of clarificatory hearing, conciliation/ mediation or
ocular
inspection (when
appropriate

Step 6: Case ruling or submission of Recommendation

Department of Agrarian Reform

The Quasi-Judicial Powers of DAR

Appellant

DAR Official

Step 7: Appeal to ASEC for PPLAO

Step 8: Transmittal to Office of the Secretary

Step 9: Decision of the Case

Step 10: Certificate of Finality

Step 11: Execution of Decision

Pathways towards AR Justice: DARAB


Who has the power to adjudicate specific agrarian reform cases?
DARAB (Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board) is given the powers and
functions to Adjudicate specific agrarian reform cases.
What are the limitations of the DARAB?
DARAB has no jurisdiction on matters which strictly involve the following cases:
Criminal offenses. Prosecution of criminal offenses, even if it is agrarian related cases.
This can be filed directly to the regular courts or Special Agrarian Courts (SAC).

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The Quasi-Judicial Powers of DAR


Administrative implementation of RA 6657 and other agrarian laws. These are within
the exclusive jurisdiction of the Secretary of DAR. RA 6657, Sec. 49
Non-Tenancy related issue. DARAB cannot rule when issue is not tenancy related case
or no tenancy relationship between the parties.
Just compensation. Determination of just compensation for landowners can be filed
directly to the SAC.
What is the case flow process of DARAB?
Complainant

Adjudicator

Step 1: Acquire BARC Certification


Step 2: Report of Settlement at BARC

Settled

Unsettled

(Case Closed)
Step 3: Return the unsettled case
Step 4: Filing complaint before the Adjudicator

Step 5: Issue Order directing complainant to


comply with the requirements of filing
Certification

Step 6: Service Pleadings, Notices and Resolutions

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The Quasi-Judicial Powers of DAR

Step 7: Issuance of summons & notices of hearing


Step 8: File answer to the complaint & submission of
evidence

Step 9: Issue order setting the date of initial preliminary


conference

Step 10: Filing of Reply


Step 11: Preliminary Conference
Step 12: Second Preliminary Conference
Step 13: Notice of Decisions/Orders

When does an order, ruling or decision become final?


The order, ruling or decision shall be final after the lapse of fifteen (15) days from
receipt of a copy thereof.
How much is the filing fee for a case pleading to DAR?
A filing fee of Seven Hundred Fifty (Ph750.00) Pesos plus a legal research fee of Twenty
Pesos (Ph20.00) shall be charged for any petition or complaint filed with the
Adjudicator or the Board, as an original action. The fees shall be paid by the party
concerned to the DAR Cashier or its counterpart offices at the time of filing. DARAB
Rules of Procedures (2003), Rule XXIII, Sec. 2

The pauper litigant is exempted from the payment of the filing fees.
Can we appeal the decision, order, or ruling made by the DAR Secretary/DARAB?
Yes. Section 54 of RA 6657 states that any decision, order, award or ruling of the DAR
on any agrarian dispute or on 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 are final and conclusive if based on substantial
evidence.

12 Department of Agrarian Reform

The Quasi-Judicial Powers of DAR


What are the grounds for filing an appeal?
One can file an appeal if there are errors in the findings of fact or conclusions of law
are committed which if not corrected, would cause grave and irreparable damage or
injury to the appellant; or the order, resolution, or decision was obtained through
fraud or coercion.
How long will it take to act/decide on an appeal to DARAB?
The Board renders its decision on appeal before it, as much as possible, within thirty
(30) days upon receipt of the Notice of Appeal and the records of the case transmitted
by the Adjudicator.
Decision or order of the Board becomes final after the lapse of fifteen (15) days from
receipt of a copy by the counsel or representative or by the party himself.
If copy of the decision cannot be served personally or by mail and publication, the
decision shall become final after the lapse of sixty (60) days from the date of
publication. DARAB Rules of Procedures (2003) Rule XIV, Sec. 14.

What is the appeal process of DARAB?

Complainant

Adjudicator

Step 1: File notice of appeal either oral/written

Step 2: Payment of Appeal Fee


Step 3: Transmittal of the appeal to the Board

Step 4: Issue Order of transmittal of records

Step 5: Docketing of cases


Step 6: Notify the Parties
Step 7: Issue appeal memorandum
Step 8: Decide Appeal

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The Quasi-Judicial Powers of DAR


Complainant

Adjudicator

Step 9: Furnish copy of the final decisions/


resolutions

Step 10: Appeal to the Court of Appeals

Pathways towards AR Justice: ALI

Who has the authority to decide an ALI case?


An agrarian administrative matter or ALI case falls under the appellate jurisdiction of
the DAR Secretary and primary jurisdiction of the Regional Director (RD).
Where initiatory pleading or application should be filed?
Without or prior to issuance of notice of CARP coverage the applicant/petitioner may
file his/her initiatory pleading or application before the RD or Provincial Agrarian
Reform Officer (PARO).
However, after the issuance of notice of coverage, the appellant should file his/her
initiatory pleading at the DAR Municipal Office.
Who is allowed to file a petition or protest to lift CARP coverage?
Only the real-party-interest may file a protest or petition to lift CARP coverage within
sixty (60) days from receipt of the notice of coverage or from publication date. Failure
to file a protest/petition within the period will be considered a waiver of the partys
right and will merit outright dismissal of the case.
Who notifies the concerned Farmer Beneficiaries/occupants of the subject land of
the initiation of the case?
The Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer (MARO) notifies all tenants, leaseholders,
farmworkers, and occupants of the subject land of the initiation of the case.
The proof of notice to all persons above will be part of the case records.

14 Department of Agrarian Reform

The Quasi-Judicial Powers of DAR


Who conducts the investigation of ALI cases?
The PARO, or any Investigating Officer or Committee, which the RD may designate, will
conduct the investigation and perform whatever is necessary to achieve a just,
expeditious, and inexpensive disposition of the case. Administrative Order No. 3 (2003), Rule III,
Sec. 18.5

Can the inspection team do an ocular inspection even if the party refuses to
cooperate?
Yes. The ocular inspection should proceed with or without the presence of any party
who refuses to cooperate.
The team shall prepare an inspection report signed by all attending parties and BARC
representative/s. If anyone refuses to sign, reasons for such refusal must be noted.

What are the key steps in the resolution of an ALI case?

Appellant

DAR Official

Step 1: Filing of initiatory pleading, protest, or


petition to lift the CARP coverage

Step 2: Notify all parties on the initiatory pleading (if


filed at the DARMO) *Docketing, case brief &
transmittal of the case folder if filed at the
DARPO or DARRO (w/in 5 working days)

Step 3: Mediation and conciliation


Written report of the result of the mediation and
conciliation to PARO & all parties concerned

15 Department of Agrarian Reform

The Quasi-Judicial Powers of DAR

Appellant

DAR Official

Step 4: Conduct of Investigations and attested written


summary of proceedings and substance of
evidence by the parties or their counsel

Step 5: Conduct of Ocular Inspection and initial report

Step 6: Submission of position papers


Submission of Recommendation by Investigating
Officer
Step 7: Promulgation of Decision copy furnish all parties

Step 8: Execution of Decision

When is a case or controversy decided by the appropriate authority?


RA 6657 (1988), Section 51 provides that any case or controversy before it shall be
decided within thirty (30) days after it is submitted for resolution.
The deciding authority will furnish a copy of decision directly to the parties as well as
the PARO, MARO, BARC, and all other DAR officials who took part in the case or who
take part in its execution or implementation.
Who renders the final decision of ALI case?
The Regional Director has the authority to render final decision of ALI cases. However,
in cases where the DAR Secretary exercises its exclusive original jurisdiction, the DAR
Secretary has the final decision.

16 Department of Agrarian Reform

The Quasi-Judicial Powers of DAR


Can one disagree with the decision or resolution of an ALI case?
Yes. Unless the decision of the deciding authority is final, and may do so only within a
non-extendible period of fifteen (15) days from receipt of the decision.
What will the losing party do if his/her motion for reconsideration is reversed by
the deciding authority?
The losing party may perfect his/her appeal before the DAR Secretary (if the motion is
on the decision/order of the RD) or the Office of the President (if the motion is on the
decision/order of the DAR Secretary) within a full but non-extendible period of 15 days
from receipt of the new decision.
What are the valid grounds for making an appeal?
One can file an appeal if there are serious errors in the findings of facts or conclusion
of law which may cause grave and irreparable damage or injury to the appellant; or if
there is coercion, fraud, or clear graft and corruption in the issuance of a decision.
What will the appellant do in preparation for his/her appeal?
The appellant shall submit an Appeal Brief to the Bureau of Agrarian Legal Assistance
(BALA) within 10 days from perfection of the appeal copy furnished the adverse party
of the appellee and the Regional Director. Administrative Order No. 3 (2003), Section
29
What is the appeal flow process of ALI case?
Appellant/Appellee

DAR Official

Step 1: Filing of motion for


reconsideration (within nonextendible period of 15 fays from receipt of the
decision)

Step 2: Ruling of the Motion for Reconsideration (within 30


days from the filing date)

Step 3: Appeal before the DAR Secretary

Step 4: Appeal Pleadings (within 10 days from perfection


of the appeal)

Step 5: Submission of Comments by the Appellee


17 Department of Agrarian Reform

The Quasi-Judicial Powers of DAR

Appellant

DAR Official

Step 6: Issuance of a Preliminary Order copy furnish all


parties

Step 7: Submission of Recommendation

Step 8: Appeal to the Office of the President

Step 9: Decision on the Appeal (anytime during the


pendency of the appeal

Can an appellant appeal directly to the Court of Appeals?


Yes. The appellant can still elevate his/her appeal directly to the Court of Appeals or
judicial forum, until and unless the judicial forum dismisses the appeal for failure to
exhaust administrative remedies.
What are the procedures of appeal to the Court of Appeals?

Appellant

DAR Official

Step 1: Appeal to Judicial Forum

Step 2: Finality of Decision (after the lapse of 15 days


from the receipt of an official copy of the
decision by the last recipient)

Step 3: Execution of Decision (upon completion of the


Certificate of Finality)

18 Department of Agrarian Reform

The Quasi-Judicial Powers of DAR


When can we say that the order/decision is final and executory?
An order, decision, or resolution is final and executory when:
All Parties have received the official copy of the order/decision/resolution;
After the lapse of 15 days from the date receipt of the official copy of the order/
decision/resolution;
There is neither motion for reconsideration nor appeal of the order/
decision/resolution.
When will the appellant receive the Certificate of Finality?
The appellant may receive the certificate of finality after five (5) days from the date of
finality of a case from the Regional Director or deciding authority.
Who enforces the final order/decision/resolution?
Pursuant to AO No. 3 (2003), Sec. 36, upon completion of the certificate of finality, the
Regional Director or deciding authority, upon motion or motu propio, issue a writ of
execution ordering the MARO or appropriate DAR official to enforce the final
order/decision/resolution.

qqqq

Sources:
BATAS The Paralegals Guidebook on
Agrarian Reform Laws-Volume 6,
2003
qqqq

Produced by:
Bureau of Agrarian Reform Information and Education (BARIE)
Communications Development Division (CDD)

19 Department of Agrarian Reform