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Topic: Right to a Homelot - Termination of Leasehold

Spouses Talavera v. CA, Jose Laxamana

1. The respondent, Jose Laxamana, filed an action for recovery of possession over a parcel of
land in Tarlac.
a. In his complaint, he alleged that he was a bona fide tenant of the land since 1958
until the petitioners possessed the land in 1984.
b. He claims that the petitioners planted palay through force and intimidation, causing
the respondent damages and dispossession
2. The petitioner answered the complaint, alleging that there was a tenancy relationship
between the parties
a. This relationship was allegedly terminated through a Casunduan where the
respondent sold his rights and interest over the landholding
3. Lower Court: Ruled in favor of the respondent. Court of Appeals: Affirmed. The
Casunduan did not constitute as voluntary surrender.

Issue: Whether or not a mere contract between parties may be considered as voluntary surrender by
the tenant provided under Section 8, par. 2 of RA 3844.

Held: No it cannot.

1. Section 8 provides that the agricultural leasehold relation shall be extinguished by (2)
Voluntary Surrender of the landholding by the agricultural lessee, written notice of which
shall be served three months in advance
2. Voluntary surrender as mode of extinguishment relies on the tenants own volition and
does not require any court authorization. To protect the rights of the tenant, this intention to
surrender must be convincingly and sufficiently proved by competent evidence. It
cannot be implied or presumed.
3. The Supreme Court reviewed the facts and found that:
a. Laxamana, who was illiterate, needed money for the treatment of his sick wife (Php
b. In such need, he approached the petitioners leading to him giving up the property in
the Casunduan
c. Essentially, Laxamana gave up his sole source of livelihood to pay off his debts.
4. The Court found that the respondent was forced by circumstances to sign the Casunduan
which he did not fully understand
5. Doctrine: Tenancy Relations cannot be bargained away except for strong reasons provided
by law which must be convincingly shown by evidence in line with the States policy of
achieving a dignified existence for the small farmers.
a. Payment of debt incurred due to unfortunate circumstances is not sufficient
ground to extinguish a tenancy agreement. Such is a conclusion requiring an
examination of fact.