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Tangub vs CA

RTC acting as a special agrarian court

Rufina Tangub and husband, Andres(now deceased), filed with the RTC of
Lanao del Norte "an agrarian case for damages by reason of the unlawful
dispossession...was tenants from the landholding" owned by the Sps Martil.
PNB, holder of a mortgage on the land involved, foreclosed thereof, resulting
in the acquisition of the property by the bank as highest bidder.
Prayer: Mortgage and other transaction be annulled and voided
In an order, Judge Javier dismissed the complaint. By virtue of EO 229
and EO 129-A, JUrisdiction of the RTC over agrarian cases had been
transferred to the DAR Adjudication Board.
CA dismissed petition for certiorari.
WON the decision of RTC and CA are patently illegal and unconstitutional.
The petition is without merit. EOs No. 229 and 129-A laid down the scope
of CARP, powers and functions of DAR.
RTCs however have not been completely divested of jurisdiction over agra
reform matter. Sec 5g of RA 6657 confers "Special Jurisdiction" on "Special
Agrarian Courts" which are RTC designated by the SC.
Private respondent Cuenca is the registered owner of a parcel of land
situated in La Carlota City and devoted principally to the planting of sugar
cane. The MARO of La Carlota City issued and sent a NOTICE OF COVERAGE
to private respondent Cuenca placing the landholding under the compulsory
coverage of R.A. 6657. The NOTICE OF COVERAGE also stated that the Land
Bank of the Philippines (LBP) will determine the value of the subject land
pursuant to Executive Order No. 405. Private respondent Cuenca filed with
the RTC for Annulment of Notice of Coverage and Declaration of
Unconstitutionality of E.O. No. 405. Cuenca alleged that the implementation
of CARP in his landholding is no longer with authority of law considering that,
if at all, the implementation should have commenced and should have been
completed between June 1988 to June 1992; that Executive Order No. 405
amends, modifies and/or repeals CARL and, therefore, it is unconstitutional
considering that then President Corazon Aquino no longer had law-making
powers; that the NOTICE OF COVERAGE is a gross violation of PD 399.
Private respondent Cuenca prayed that the Notice of Coverage be declared
null and void ab initio. The respondent Judge denied MARO Noe Fortunados

motion to dismiss and issued a Writ of Preliminary Injunction directing

Fortunado and all persons acting in his behalf to cease and desist from
implementing the Notice of Coverage, and the LBP from proceeding with the
determination of the value of the subject land. The DAR thereafter filed
before the CA a petition for certiorari assailing the writ of preliminary
injunction issued by respondent Judge on the ground of grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction.
Stressing that the issue was not simply the improper issuance of the Notice
of Coverage, but was mainly the constitutionality of Executive Order No. 405,
the CA ruled that the Regional Trial Court (RTC) had jurisdiction over the
case. Consonant with that authority, the court a quo also had the power to
issue writs and processes to enforce or protect the rights of the parties.
Whether the complaint filed by the private respondent is an agrarian reform
and within the jurisdiction of the DAR, not with the trial court
Yes. A careful perusal of respondents Complaint shows that the principal
averments and reliefs prayed for refer -- not to the pure question of law
spawned by the alleged unconstitutionality of EO 405 -- but to the annulment
of the DARs Notice of Coverage. Clearly, the main thrust of the allegations is
the propriety of the Notice of Coverage, as may be gleaned from the
following averments. The main subject matter raised by private respondent
before the trial court was not the issue of compensation. Note that no
amount had yet been determined nor proposed by the DAR. Hence, there
was no occasion to invoke the courts function of determining just
compensation. To be sure, the issuance of the Notice of Coverage constitutes
the first necessary step towards the acquisition of private land under the
CARP. Plainly then, the propriety of the Notice relates to the implementation
of the CARP, which is under the quasi-judicial jurisdiction of the DAR. Thus,
the DAR could not be ousted from its authority by the simple expediency of
appending an allegedly constitutional or legal dimension to an issue that is
clearly agrarian.
-Victoria Cabral filed before the BARC for the CANCELLATION of the EPs and
Torrens Title issued in favor of private respondents.
-Cabral alleged that she was the registered owner of several parcels of land
covered by OCT0-1670 of the Registry of Deeds, Bulacan, among which is the
Lot 4 described therein.

-Cabral applied with the DAR for the reclassification or conversion of the land
for residential, commercial, or industrial purposes. However, it was not acted
upon. Instead, EPs and TCT were issued in favor of private respondents.
-Cabral sought the cancellation of the TCTs on the ground that
(1)she had a pending application for conversion and reclassification,
(2)private respondents did not actually till such lands,
(3)private respondents illegally transferred their rights over the parcels of
land covered by the EPs,
(4)Private respondents are deemed to have abandoned their rights over the
(5) Subject property was taken away without just compensation.
-Again, Cabral filed, this time, with the DAR another petition for cancellation
of the same EPs and Torrens Title. She was informed by MARO through a
letter that her petition will be forwarded to the legal section for legal action,
for the purpose of due process.
-Her petition for cancellation of EPs was dismissed and motion for
reconsideration was denied by Regional Director Pacis.
-So, Cabral filed a petition for certiorari in the CA questioning the jurisdiction
of the Regional Director and claiming denial of due process.
dismissed the petition for lack of merit and the motion for
reconsideration was denied.
Hence, this appeal.
WON the Regional Director has jurisdiction over the case
Petitioner is correct that whatever jurisdiction the Regional Director may
have had over the cancellation of EPs, it lost with the passage of subsequent
Sec. 17 of EO No. 229 and Sec. 50 of RA 6657 granted DAR quasi-judicial
powers to adjudicate agrarian reform matters.
EO No. 129-A subsequently provided the functions of Agrarian Reform
Adjudicatory Board and Regional Offices.
The above-mentioned provisions were already in effect when Cabral filed her
petition in the BARC.
It is amply clear from these provisions that the function of the Regional Office
concerns the implementation of agrarian reform laws while that of the
DARAB/RARAD/PARAD is the adjudication of agrarian reform cases.
The first one is EXECUTIVE and the second is JUDICIAL in nature.
The DARAB Rules grant broader powers to the Board and the Adjudicators
and contained more detailed rules on procedure than those provided by the
orders, circulars, memoranda and opinions cited by the CA delegating
jurisdiction to the Regional Director.
This Court held that DAR Regional Office has no jurisdiction over the
subject case.

In view of this conclusion, there is no need to resolve the issue of deprivation

of due process allegedly suffered by Cabral.
-Private Respondent, Gutierrez, is the owner of a parcel of land in Nueva
Ecija. Garcia, her sister and overseer, allowed petitioner, Isidro, to occupy the
swampy portion of the land subject to the condition that Isidro would vacate
the land upon demand.
-Gutierrez, through Garcia, demanded from Isidro the return of the land but
he refused to vacate claiming that he has spent effort and invested capital in
converting the land into a fishpond.
-A complaint for unlawful detainer was filed by Gutierrez against Isidro before
the MTC of Nueva Ecija.
-Isidro's defenses: (1) the complaint was due to his refusal to increase lease
rental, (2) land is a fishpond and therefore is an agricultural land, (3) lack of
formal demand
-Trial Court dismissed the complaint based on an ocular inspection that the
land in question is a fishpond, an agricultural land, therefore, it is under the
original and exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of agrarian relations.
-Gutierrez appealed to RTC but RTC affirmed findings of MTC.
-RTC: there was a tenurial agreement between Isidro and Garcia thereby
placing the dispute within the jurisdiction of the DARAB.
-Gutierrez appealed to CA, CA reversed the decision of RTC.
-CA: There is no tenurial agreements, whether leasehold, tenancy,
stewardship or otherwise, over lands devoted to agriculture.
WON MTC has jurisdiction or DARAB
The petition is without merit.
An agrarian dispute refers to any controversy relating to tenurial
arrangements, whether leasehold, tenancy, stewardship. or otherwise over
lands devoted to agriculture....
The subject land is indeed an agricultural land being a fishpond. But it does
not automatically make such a case an agrarian dispute upon which the
DARAB had jurisdiction. It does not make the possessor an agricultural lessee
or tenant.
Essential requisites of tenancy relationship: (1) parties are landowner and
tenant, (2) subject matter is agricultural land, (3) consent, (4) purpose is
agricultural production, (5) there is personal cultivation by the tenant, (6)
sharing of harvests. All of these must concur.
There is no tenancy or leasehold relationship between the parties. There was
no contract or agreement.

-A parcel of land in Bulacan was levied on execution by the MTC of Bulacan.
The land was sold at public auction with Herman Rey Santos as the sole
-Santos registered the Deed of Sale with the Register of Deeds of Bulacan
after Garcia failed to exercise his right of redemption within the reglementary
-Garcia filed a petition for Injunction and Damages with an application for the
issuance of a preliminary injunction with the DARAB, praying that Santos be
enjoined from preventing Garcia from gathering the mango fruits lest they
"over-mature and become useless."
-DARAB allowed the gathering of the mango fruits and directing that the
proceeds thereof be deposited with the Adjudication Board.
-Subsequently, Garcia filed a petition for consignation with the RTC of
Bulacan, in an attempt to redeem his land but it was DISMISSED.
-Meanwhile, Antonio filed a motion to intervene with the DARAB claiming that
he is affected as the party who tended and had the mango trees bear fruits.
-Garcia filed a complaint for annulment/cancellation of sale and document,
redemption with damages and preliminary writ of injuction against Santos.
-Adjudication Board suspended the hearing on Antonio's motion for
-Antonio's motion was granted and recognized him as the duly constituted
agri tenant of the land.
-CA affirmed DARAB.
WON PARAD has jurisdiction over the matters raised by the
NO. PARAD has no jurisdiction.
Clearly no agrarian dispute is involved in this case. Tenancy relationship is
needed for DARAB to have jurisdiction over the case.
Parties have no tenurial, leasehold or any agrarian relations whatsoever that
could have brought this controversy under the ambit of the agrarian reform

Petitioner is the owner/developer of a 17.4892-hectare land in Barangays

Alangilan and Patay in Batangas City. Petitioner filed an Application and/or
Petition for Exclusion/Exemption from Comprehensive Agrarian Reform
Program (CARP) Coverage of the Alangilan landholding with the Municipal
Agrarian Reform Office (MARO) of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).
It averred that, in 1982, the Sangguniang Bayan of Batangas City classified
the subject landholding as reserved for residential under a zoning ordinance
(1982 Ordinance), which was approved by the Human Settlement Regulatory
Commission. It further alleged that, on May 17, 1994, the Sangguniang
Panglungsod of Batangas City approved the City Zoning Map and Batangas
Comprehensive Zoning and Land Use Ordinance (1994 Ordinance),
reclassifying the landholding as residential-1. Petitioner thus claimed
exemption of its landholding from the coverage of the CARP.
Then DAR Secretary Ernesto Garilao issued an Order denying petitioners
application for exemption. The DAR Secretary noted that, as of February 15,
1993, the Alangilan landholding remained agricultural, reserved for
residential. Petitioner moved for reconsideration but the same was denied.
On appeal, the OP affirmed the decision of the DAR secretary. Petitioner went
up to the CA via a petition for review on certiorari, assailing the OP decision
but the CA dismissed the petition. Upon denial of its motion for
reconsideration, the present petition is filed.
ISSUE: Whether or not the subject property is subject to the coverage of the
HELD: Yes. CA Decision Affirmed
Political Law- lands devoted to non-agricultural activity are outside the
coverage of CARL.
Unfortunately, petitioner failed to convince us that the Alangilan landholding
ceased to be agricultural at the time of the effectivity of the CARL.
It is beyond cavil that the Alangilan landholding was classified as agricultural,
reserved for residential in 1982, and was reclassified as residential-1 in 1994.
However, contrary to petitioners assertion, the term reserved for residential
does not change the nature of the land from agricultural to non-agricultural.
As aptly explained by the DAR Secretary, the term reserved for residential
simply reflects the intended land use. It does not denote that the property
has already been reclassified as residential, because the phrase reserved for
residential is not a land classification category.
Indubitably, at the time of the effectivity of the CARL in 1988, the subject
landholding was still agricultural. This was bolstered by the fact that the
Sangguniang Panlalawigan had to pass an Ordinance in 1994, reclassifying

the landholding as residential-1. If, indeed, the landholding had already been
earmarked for residential use in 1982, as petitioner claims, then there would
have been no necessity for the passage of the 1994 Ordinance.
In order to be exempt from CARP coverage, the subject property must have
been classified as industrial/residential before June 15, 1988. In this case, the
DAR's examination of the zoning ordinances and certifications pertaining to
the subject property, as well as its field investigation, disclosed that the
same remains to be agricultural. The Zoning Certifications to the effect that
the land is within the city's potential growth area for urban expansion are
inconsequential as they do not reflect the present classification of the land
but merely its intended land use.
Not having been converted into, or classified as, residential before June 15,
1988, the Alangilan landholding is, therefore, covered by the CARP. The
subsequent reclassification of the landholding as residential-1 in 1994 cannot
place the property outside the ambit of the CARP, because there is no
showing that the DAR Secretary approved the reclassification.
The subject landholding was placed under the Compulsory Acquisition
Scheme of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) of the
government. The Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer (MARO) of Tiaong,
Quezon, named petitioners as beneficiaries.
Respondents filed a complaint for declaration of their tenancy and their
identification as beneficiaries and for disqualification of the petitioners to
become beneficiaries over the subject landholding. They alleged that they
are the tenants thereof and have not relinquished their rights over the same,
as they returned the monetary awards given by the landowners.
Meanwhile, the registered owners of the subject land entered into a joint
project with 1st A.M. Realty Development Corporation, represented by Atty.
Alejandro Macasaet for its development on the condition that the farmerbeneficiary shall be paid disturbance compensation and that the remaining
18.5006 hectares of the land shall be covered by the CARP.
The MARO pursued the coverage of the remaining 18.5006 has. The
petitioners herein were identified as qualified farmer-beneficiaries where

three (3) Certificates of Land Ownership Awards (CLOA) were issued in their
Respondents, on the other hand, were paid of their disturbance
compensation. They now, however, question the validity and legality of the
institution of the petitioners as beneficiaries over the subject landholding.
They filed a case for annulment of CLOAs.
The PARAD dismissed the complaint for lack of merit. On appeal, the DARAB
set aside the PARAD decision. The DARAB ruled that in order for a voluntary
surrender by an agricultural tenant of his landholding to be valid, the same
must be done due to circumstances more advantageous to him and his
family a consideration, which, the DARAB found, was bereft of any
evidence as shown by the records of the case. Upon denial of their motion for
reconsideration, petitioners appealed to the CA but the same failed. Hence,
this petition.
ISSUE: Whether or not DARAB has jurisdiction to resolve the issue of
identifying and selecting the qualified farmer- beneficiaries of a land covered
Political Law- identification and selection of CARP beneficiaries are matters
involving strictly the administrative implementation of the CARP, a matter
exclusively cognizable by the Secretary of the Department of Agrarian
In Lercana v. Jalandoni, this Court was categorical in ruling that the
identification and selection of CARP beneficiaries are matters involving
strictly the administrative implementation of the CARP, a matter exclusively
cognizable by the Secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform, and
beyond the jurisdiction of the DARAB.
In addition, in Sta. Rosa Realty Development Corporation v. Amante, this
Court had an occasion to discuss the jurisdiction of the DAR Secretary in the
selection of farmer-beneficiaries, to wit:
Suffice it to say that under Section 15 of R.A. No. 6657, the identification of
beneficiaries is a matter involving strictly the administrative implementation
of the CARP, a matter which is exclusively vested in the Secretary of Agrarian
Reform, through its authorized offices. Section 15 reads:
SECTION 15. Registration of Beneficiaries. The DAR in coordination with the
Barangay Agrarian Reform Committee (BARC) as organized in this Act, shall

register all agricultural lessees, tenants and farm workers who are qualified
to be beneficiaries of the CARP.
The administrative function of the DAR is manifest in Administrative Order
No. 06-00, which provides for the Rules of Procedure for Agrarian Law
Implementation Cases. Under said Rules of Procedure, the DAR Secretary has
exclusive jurisdiction over identification, qualification or disqualification of
potential farmer-beneficiaries.
Based on the foregoing, the conclusion is certain that the DARAB had no
jurisdiction to identify who between the parties should be recognized as the
beneficiaries of the land in dispute, as it was a purely administrative function
of the DAR. The PARAD was, thus, correct when it declared that it had no
jurisdiction to resolve the dispute.
The finding of the MARO declaring petitioners as beneficiaries of the land in
dispute must, therefore, be accorded respect. It should also be equally
binding on the DARAB for the simple reason that the latter has no appellate
jurisdiction over the former: The DARAB cannot review, much less reverse,
the administrative findings of DAR. Instead, the DARAB would do well to defer
to DARs expertise when it comes to the identification and selection of
beneficiaries, as it did in Lercana where this Court noted with approval that,
in the dispositive portion of its decision, left to the concerned DAR Offices the
determination of who were or should be agrarian reform beneficiaries. In
fact, this course of action available to the DARAB is now embodied in Rule II
of its 2003 Rules of Procedure, thus:
Section 5. Referral to Office of the Secretary (OSEC). In the event that a
case filed before the Adjudicator shall necessitate the determination of a
prejudicial issue involving an agrarian law implementation case, the
Adjudicator shall suspend the case and, for purposes of expediency, refer the
same to the Office of the Secretary or his authorized representative in the
In the case at bar, the DARAB has overstepped its legal boundaries in taking
cognizance of the controversy between petitioners and respondents in
deciding who should be declared the farmer-beneficiaries over the land in