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THE 2009 DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM ADJUDICATION BOARD RULES OF PROCEDURE

Pursuant to the provisions of Section 49 and 50 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 6657 as amended
by R.A. No. 9700 and Section 34 of Executive Order (E.O.) No. 129-A in relation to Section 13 thereof,
the following rules governing the conduct of proceedings before the Department of Agrarian
Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) and its Regional and Provincial Adjudication Offices, are
hereby adopted and promulgated.
RULE I
General Provisions
SECTION 1. Title. — These Rules shall be known as the 2009 Department of Agrarian
Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) Rules of Procedure.
SECTION 2. Construction. — These Rules shall be liberally construed to carry out the
objectives of the agrarian reform program and to promote just, expeditious and inexpensive
adjudication and settlement of agrarian cases, disputes, or controversies.
All references in these Rules to the Members of the Board or the Adjudicators in the
masculine (he, him, or his) shall be construed to also mean the feminine form (she, her, or hers).
SECTION 3. Technical Rules Not Applicable. — The Board and its Regional and
Provincial Adjudication Offices shall not be bound by technical rules of procedure and evidence
as prescribed in the Rules of Court, but shall proceed to hear and decide all agrarian cases,
disputes or controversies in a most expeditious manner, employing all reasonable means to
ascertain the facts of every case in accordance with justice and equity. EaDATc
a. If and when a case comes up for adjudication wherein there is no applicable
provision under these rules, the procedural law and jurisprudence generally
applicable to agrarian disputes shall be applied.
b. The Adjudication Board (Board), and its Regional Agrarian Reform
Adjudicators (RARADs) and Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicators (PARADs)
hereinafter referred to as the Adjudicators, shall have the authority to adopt any
appropriate measure or procedure in any given situation or matter not covered by
these rules. All such special measures or procedures and the situations to which they
have been applied must be reported to the Board.
c. The provisions of the Rules of Court shall not apply even in suppletory character
unless adopted herein or by resolution of the Board.
SECTION 4. Doubts to Be Resolved in Favor of the Beneficiary. — Any reasonable doubt
in the interpretation of these rules, as well as in the interpretation of contracts and stipulations
between the contending parties, shall be resolved in favor of the beneficiary, potential beneficiary,
tenant farmer, farm-worker, agricultural lessee, farmers' cooperative, association or organization.
SECTION 5. Official Seal. — The Board shall design and adopt a seal to be imprinted in
all its resolutions, orders, decisions, and other documents as an indication of their official character.
The seal of the DARAB shall depict its official function as the dispenser of agrarian justice. It shall be
consistent with the basic design and symbolism of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) logo.
RULE II
Jurisdiction of the Board and the Adjudicators
SECTION 1. Primary and Exclusive Original and Appellate Jurisdiction. — The Board
shall have primary and exclusive jurisdiction, both original and appellate, to determine and
adjudicate all agrarian disputes involving the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian
Reform Program (CARP) under R.A. No. 6657, as amended by R.A. No. 9700, E.O. Nos. 228, 229, and
129-A, R.A. No. 3844 as amended by R.A. No. 6389, Presidential Decree No. 27 and other agrarian
laws and their Implementing Rules and Regulations. Specifically, such jurisdiction shall include but
not be limited to cases involving the following:
a. The rights and obligations of persons, whether natural or juridical, engaged in
the management, cultivation, and use of all agricultural lands covered by R.A. No.
6657, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL), as
amended, and other related agrarian laws; ACaDTH
b. The preliminary administrative determination of reasonable and just
compensation of lands acquired under Presidential Decree (PD) No. 27 and the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP);
c. Those cases involving the annulment or rescission of lease contracts or deeds
of sale or their amendments involving lands under the administration and disposition
of the DAR or Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), and the amendment of titles
pertaining to agricultural 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 re-settlement areas under
the administration and disposition of the DAR;
d. Those cases involving the ejectment and dispossession of tenants and/or
leaseholders;
e. Those cases involving the sale, alienation, pre-emption, and redemption of
agricultural lands under the coverage of the CARL, as amended or other agrarian
laws;
f. Those involving the correction, partition, secondary and subsequent issuances
such as reissuance of lost/destroyed owner's duplicate copy and reconstitution of
Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs) and Emancipation Patents (EPs)
which are registered with the Land Registration Authority;
g. Those cases involving the review of leasehold rentals and fixing of disturbance
compensation;
h. Those cases involving the collection of amortization payments, foreclosure and
similar disputes concerning the functions of the LBP, and payments for lands awarded
under PD No. 27, RA No. 3844, as amended, and R.A. No. 6657, as amended by R.A.
No. 9700, 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;
i. Those cases involving 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;
j. Those cases previously falling under the original and exclusive jurisdiction of the
defunct Court of Agrarian Relations under Section 12 of PD No. 946 except those
cases falling under the proper courts or other quasi-judicial bodies; and ACTIHa
k. Such other agrarian cases, disputes, matters or concerns referred to it by the
Secretary of the DAR.
SECTION 2. Appellate Jurisdiction of the Board. — The Board shall have exclusive
appellate jurisdiction to review, reverse, modify, alter, or affirm resolutions, orders and decisions of
the Adjudicators.
No order of the Adjudicators on any issue, question, matter, or incident raised before them
shall be elevated to the Board until the hearing shall have been terminated and the case decided
on the merits.
SECTION 3. Annulment of Judgment of Adjudicators. — Annulment of final judgment
of Adjudicators shall be initiated by filing a verified complaint or petition with the Board attaching
thereto certified copies of the assailed decision and alleging therein with particularity the facts and
the law relied upon for said annulment.
The annulment may be based only on grounds of extrinsic fraud and lack of jurisdiction. If
based on extrinsic fraud, the action must be filed within three (3) years from its discovery; and if
based on lack of jurisdiction, before it is barred by laches orestoppel.
SECTION 4. 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 dismiss the case without prejudice to its
re-filing, and, for purposes of expediency, refer the same to the Office of the Secretary or his
authorized representative in the locality.
Prejudicial issue is defined as one that arises in a case the resolution of which is a logical
antecedent of the issue involved therein, and the jurisdiction over which pertains to the Office of
the Secretary.
The prejudicial issue must be determinative of the case before the Board or the Adjudicator
but the jurisdiction to try and resolve the question is lodged with the Office of the Secretary.
SECTION 5. Role of the RARAD. — The RARAD shall be the Executive Adjudicator in his
Region directly responsible to the Board. As such, he shall:
a. Exercise administrative supervision over the PARADs and, in the absence of the
PARAD concerned, their personnel, which shall include, among others, the monitoring
of cases in his Region; SDHAcI
b. Receive, hear, and adjudicate agrarian disputes and land cases within the
Region;
c. He shall also hear the following cases:
1. Those cases that cannot be handled by the PARAD on account of
inhibition, disqualification or when there is no PARAD designated in the locality;
2. Those matters of such complexity and sensitivity that the decision
thereof would constitute an important precedent affecting regional interest as
may be recommended by the concerned RARAD and approved by the
Board; and
3. Preliminary determination of just compensation within the jurisdictional
limits as stated in Rule XIX, Sec. 2 hereof; and
4. Hear application for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction
and/or temporary restraining order and such other cases which the Board may
assign.
SECTION 6. Powers. — The Members of the Board and the Adjudicators are
empowered to summon witnesses, administer oaths, take testimony, require submission of reports,
compel production of books and documents and answers to interrogatories, and to issue
subpoena duces tecum, writs of possession, writs of execution, and other writs to enforce its orders
and decisions through their Sheriffs or duly deputized officers.
For this purpose, whenever necessary, they shall direct the Philippine National Police, the
Armed Forces of the Philippines or any of their component units, or other law enforcement agencies
to assist in the enforcement and execution of their decisions, orders, writs, and other processes.
RULE III
Mediation or Conciliation at Barangay Level
SECTION 1. BARC Certification. — The Board or its Adjudicators shall not take
cognizance of any agrarian case, dispute, or controversy, unless a certification from the Barangay
Agrarian Reform Committee (BARC) of the barangay where the land involved is located is
presented, to the effect that the dispute has been submitted to it for mediation or conciliation
without any success or settlement, except that the said certification is not necessary in the following
cases: EHSCcT
a. where the issue involves the valuation of land to determine just compensation
for its acquisition;
b. where one party in a public or private corporation, partnership, association or
juridical person, or a public officer or employee and the dispute relates to the
performance of his official functions;
c. where the Secretary of the DAR directly refers the matter to the Board or
Adjudicator; or
d. upon certification of the Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer (MARO) or, in his
absence, the Senior Agrarian Reform Program Technologist (SARPT) or Agrarian
Reform Program Technologist (ARPT) of the non-existence of the BARC or the inability
of the BARC to convene.
SECTION 2. Referral to BARC. — If the filing of the complaint or petition is not
accompanied by the required BARC Certification, the same shall be referred to the BARC or DAR
Technologist of the barangay where the land is located, as stated in the complaint, through the
MARO of the area, directing:
a. The BARC to conduct mediation/conciliation proceedings, by requiring the
parties to submit their supporting documents and to return the matter to the
Adjudicator with a report of the result of the proceedings, together with the complete
records submitted before it, within thirty (30) days from receipt of the complaint or
petition; or
b. The SARPT or ARPT in case of non-existence of the BARC or its inability to
convene for that purpose, to refer the matter back to the Adjudicator within five (5)
days from receipt thereof with a certification of non-existence or inability of the BARC
to convene.
SECTION 3. Report of Settlement at BARC to Adjudicator. — If the case is referred by
the Board or the Adjudicator and the same is settled at the BARC level, the results thereof shall be
contained in a report to be submitted to the Board or the Adjudicator who referred the matter,
within seven (7) days from the termination of the proceedings before the BARC, which report shall
be the basis for the rendition of judgment/decision of the case before the Board or the
Adjudicator. HSDIaC
SECTION 4. Land or Parties in Two (2) Barangays. — Where the land in dispute straddles
two or more barangays or the parties involved reside in different barangays, the BARC of the
barangay where the larger portion of the property lies, shall have the authority to conduct
mediation or conciliation proceedings under these Rules, unless for convenience and accessibility
and upon agreement of the parties such proceedings should be held in another barangay within
the Municipality or adjacent Municipality where the land in dispute is located.
SECTION 5. Certification of Non-settlement. — If the BARC is unable to settle the
dispute within thirty (30) days, it shall return the case to the Adjudicator of origin with a certification
of non-settlement, furnishing a copy thereof to the parties.
SECTION 6. Special Rules on Mediation and Conciliation. — The mediation and
conciliation proceedings at the BARC shall be conducted in accordance with the uniform rules
adopted and promulgated by the DAR.
RULE IV
Commencement of Action, Venue, and Cause of Action
SECTION 1. Complaint or Petition. — An action before the Adjudicator shall be
initiated by filing a sworn complaint or verified petition with the Adjudicator in the Province where
the land involved is located.
Upon the filing of the complaint or petition, the hour, day, month, and year when it was filed
shall be stamped thereon.
The complaint shall include the affidavit(s) of witnesses and documentary evidence, if any.
The complaint or petition shall be duly signed by the complainant or petitioner, or his counsel, or by
one who can show a special power of attorney to represent the complainant or petitioner.
It shall state the area of the land involved and the Barangay where the land is located, or if
the land is located in two (2) or more barangays, the barangay where the larger portion of the land
is located.
It shall also state the name and residence of the complainant or petitioner and that of the
defendant or respondent, the facts constituting the cause of action, and the relief being sought.
Two (2) copies of the complaint or petition, and its annexes or attachments, and as many
copies required to be served upon each of the defendants or respondents, shall be filed. CEcaTH
SECTION 2. Certification and Verification on Related Cases. —
a. The complainant or petitioner shall certify under oath, in the complaint or in a
sworn certification annexed thereto and simultaneously filed therewith, that:
1. he has not commenced any other action or filed any claim involving
the same land or issue in any court, tribunal or quasi-judicial agency;
2. to the best of his knowledge, no such other action or claim is pending
therein;
3. he has no knowledge of any controversy or proceeding involving the
status of said parcel of land or the rights of person/s over its possession and
entitlement to fruits or as beneficiary, the determination of which is filed before
any tribunal, court, the DAR or any other agency;
4. should there be any same or similar action or proceeding involving the
property, which is either pending or may have been terminated, he shall report
such fact within five (5) days from knowledge thereof to the Adjudicator with
whom the complaint or initiatory pleading was filed.
b. In the event that the complaint or petition does not bear the Certification, the
Adjudicator shall issue an order directing complainant or petitioner to comply with
such requirement within ten (10) days from receipt of the Order.
c. Failure to file certification and verification of related cases within the
aforementioned ten (10) day period and/or subsequent discovery of commission of
forum-shopping may be a ground for summary dismissal. Dismissal for failure to file
certification and verification shall be without prejudice to re-filing.
SECTION 3. Amendment of and Supplement to Complaint or Petition. — The
complaint or petition may be amended, or supplemented at any time before a responsive
pleading is served or, in case of a reply, at any time within five (5) days after it is served. IcDCaT
After the responsive pleadings have been served, amendments or the filing of supplemental
pleadings may be allowed at any stage of the proceedings but before rendition of judgment only
upon motion filed with the Adjudicator furnishing copies thereof to the adverse party.
The motion to amend shall indicate the amendment sought to be admitted. In the case of
a supplemental pleading, it shall set forth the transactions, occurrences or events which have
happened since the date of the pleading sought to be supplemented.
SECTION 4. Venue. —
a. All actions shall be brought before the Adjudicator of the province where the
land involved is located;
b. If the land is located or found in two or more provinces, the action shall be
brought before the Adjudicator concerned where the larger portion of the land lies,
unless for convenience, accessibility, and upon agreement of the parties and upon
approval of the RARAD, the venue shall be with the Adjudicator of the other
province;
c. However, upon motion of either of the parties and for compelling reasons, the
hearing of the case may be changed or transferred to another place within or outside
the Region by order of the RARAD or the Board.
SECTION 5. One Suit for a Single Cause of Action. — A party may not institute more
than one suit for a single cause of action.
SECTION 6. Splitting a Single Cause of Action. — If two or more suits are instituted on
the basis of a single cause of action, the filing of one or a judgment upon the merits in any one is
available as a ground for the dismissal of the others.
SECTION 7. Joinder of Causes of Action. — A complainant or petitioner having more
than one cause of action against the same defendant or respondent arising out of the same
questioned relationship shall join all of them in one complaint or petition.
RULE V
Parties and Caption
SECTION 1. Parties in Interest. — Every agrarian case must be initiated and defended
in the name of the real party in interest. All parties having an interest in the matter shall be joined
as complainant or petitioner. All persons who claim an interest in the dispute or subject matter
thereof adverse to the complainant or petitioner, or who are necessary to a complete
determination or settlement of the issues involved therein shall be joined as defendants or
respondents. caCTHI
If an additional respondent is impleaded in a later pleading, the action is commenced with
regard to him on the date of the filing of such pleading.
The heirs of the deceased may be allowed to substitute the deceased without requiring the
appointment of an executor or administrator.
The Adjudicator shall forthwith order said legal representative or representatives to appear
and substitute the deceased within a period of ten (10) days from notice.
SECTION 2. Pauper Litigant. — A party who is an agricultural lessee, share tenant,
actual tiller, amortizing owner-cultivator, farm-worker, a member of any farmers' organization,
association, or a farmers' cooperative, as alleged and applied for in a sworn complaint or motion,
shall be entitled to the rights and privileges of a pauper litigant under these Rules without further
proof thereof. He shall continue to enjoy such status as a pauper litigant at all levels of adjudication
until the case is terminated.
SECTION 3. Association or Corporation as Plaintiffs or Defendants. — When two or
more persons, associated in any business, transact such business under a common name, whether
it comprises the name of such persons or not, the associates may sue or be sued under such
common name.
Persons associated in business that are sued under a common name, must all be named
individually in the answer filed by them or in their behalf, stating their business address.
SECTION 4. Alternative Defendants. — Where the complainant or the plaintiff is
uncertain against who of several persons he is entitled to relief, he may join any or all of them as
defendants in the alternative, although a right to relief against one may be inconsistent with a right
to relief against the other.
SECTION 5. Unknown Identity or Name of Defendants. — Whenever the identity or
name of a defendant is unknown, he may be sued as the unknown party using such designation
as the case may require. When his identity or true name is discovered, the pleading must be
amended accordingly.
SECTION 6. Entity without Juridical Personality as Defendants. — When two or more
persons not organized as an entity with juridical personality enter into a transaction, they may be
sued under the name by which they are generally or commonly known.
In the answer of such defendant, the names and addresses of the persons composing said
entity must all be revealed. cHSTEA
RULE VI
Service of Pleadings
SECTION 1. Service of Pleadings, Notices, and Resolutions. —
a. The party filing the pleading subsequent to the complaint shall serve the
opposing party with a copy thereof in the manner provided for in these Rules and
proof of such service shall be filed with the records of the case; and
b. Summons, notices, and copies of resolutions, orders shall be served personally
as far as practicable, or by registered mail upon the party himself, his counsel, or his
duly authorized representative. However, notice to the counsel is notice to the party
himself whether he is a complainant or petitioner, or a defendant or respondent.
SECTION 2. Service Upon Associations. — When persons associated in business are
sued under a common name, service may be effected upon all the defendants by serving upon
any one of them, or upon the person in charge of the office or place of business maintained in its
common name. But such service shall not bind individually any person whose connection with the
association has, upon due notice, been severed before the action is brought.
SECTION 3. Service Upon Private Domestic Juridical Entities. — If the defendant is a
corporation, partnership, association or cooperative organized and registered under Philippine
laws with a juridical personality, service may be made on the president, managing partner, general
manager, corporate or board secretary, treasurer or in-house counsel.
SECTION 4. Service Upon Public Corporation. — When the respondent is the Republic
of the Philippines, service may be effected on the Solicitor General. In case of a province, city,
municipality, or other public corporations, service may be effected on its chief executive or on such
other officer as the law or Adjudicator may direct.
SECTION 5. Return of Service. — The Sheriff or other designated officer who personally
served the summons, notice, order, or decision shall submit his return within five (5) days from the
date of his service thereof, stating therein the name of the person served and the date of receipt
of the same or if no service was effected, the serving officer shall state the reasons
therefor. CIDaTc
SECTION 6. Proof of Completeness of Service. — The return is prima facieproof of the
facts indicated therein. Service by registered mail is completed upon receipt by the addressee, his
counsel, or by his duly authorized representative or agent.
SECTION 7. Substituted Service. — If service of pleadings, motions, notices, and
resolutions, orders and other papers cannot be made under the preceding sections, the office and
place of residence of the party or his counsel being unknown, service may be made by delivering
the copy to the Clerk of the Adjudicator or the Board, with proof of failure of both personal service
and service by mail. The service is complete at the time of such delivery.
RULE VII
Summons, Answer, and Submission of Evidence
SECTION 1. Issuance of Summons, Time to Answer, and Submission of Evidence. — If
the complaint or petition is filed together with the BARC Certification and the affidavit(s) of
witnesses, with the Adjudicator, as required in Rule III of these Rules, or upon the return of the
complaint referred to the BARC in accordance with said Rule III, the corresponding summons and
notice of hearing shall be issued attaching therewith a copy of such complaint, petition, affidavit,
and documentary evidence, if any.
The summons and notice of hearing shall direct the defendant or respondent to file an
answer to the complaint or petition or submit counter-affidavits and other documentary evidence,
if any, within a non-extendible period of fifteen (15) days from receipt thereof, furnishing a copy to
the petitioner/s or the complainant/s. The summons shall specify the date, time, and place of the
hearing and shall order the parties and their witnesses to appear at the scheduled date of hearing.
If the defendant or respondent cannot be served within a reasonable time as provided in
the preceding paragraph, service may be effected:
a. by leaving copies of the summons at the defendant's or respondent's
residence with some person of suitable age and discretion residing therein; or
b. by leaving the copies at defendant's or respondent's office or regular place
of business with some competent person in charge thereof. ISDCHA
The provisions on service of summons as provided in the Rules of Court shall have suppletory
effect. However, if publication is effected pursuant to the above rule, only the notice of summons
and notice of hearing shall be published and not the entire complaint or petition.
The summons and all other notices to be issued by the Adjudicator shall be written in English
or in Filipino.
SECTION 2. By Whom Served. — The summons and notice of hearing with the attached
copy of the complaint, petition, affidavit and documentary evidence, if any, may be personally
served by any DAR employee, including the Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer (MARO) or any
other personnel authorized by the Adjudicator issuing the summons or by registered mail to the
defendant or respondent within two (2) days from the filing or return thereof, as the case may be.
SECTION 3. Answer Required. — The defendant or respondent must file a sworn answer
to the complaint or petition by responding with admissions or specific denials of each and every
allegation in the complaint or petition, or if this cannot be done, by averring lack of sufficient
knowledge thereof, which will be deemed as a specific denial.
A mere general denial will not be deemed as an answer.
The defendant or respondent may incorporate in his answer a motion to dismiss on the
ground of prescription, lack of jurisdiction, failure to state a cause of action, improper venue or
when there is another action pending between the same parties for the same cause or where the
cause of action is barred by a prior judgment.
An answer must be accompanied by the affidavit(s) of respondent's witnesses. The answer
may include a counterclaim or cross-claim for damages, attorney's fees, or litigation expenses.
SECTION 4. Time to Answer Non-Extendible. — The fifteen (15)-day reglementary
period within which the defendant or respondent is required to answer shall not be
extended. ISDCHA
SECTION 5. Amendment of Answer. — The defendant or respondent may amend his
answer upon motion filed with the Adjudicator, together with the amended answer sought to be
admitted, notifying the complainant or petitioner of the motion with the amended answer
attached thereto, and giving the latter the opportunity to be heard thereon.
If the motion is granted, a new copy of the entire answer incorporating and appropriately
indicating the amendment thereon shall be filed with the Adjudicator, furnishing a copy thereof to
the complainant or petitioner.
The amended answer supersedes the original answer.
SECTION 6. Answer to Amended Complaint or Petition. — The defendant or
respondent shall file his answer to the amended complaint or petition within fifteen (15) days from
receipt thereof, furnishing a copy to the petitioner or complainant.
If no new answer is filed, the answer previously filed shall serve as the answer to the amended
complaint or petition.
SECTION 7. No Default upon Failure to Answer. — When the defendant or respondent
fails to file an answer, no declaration of default shall be made nor judgment by default be
rendered.
The complainant or petitioner must proceed to prove his case and defendant or respondent
shall be allowed to participate in subsequent proceedings and such defendant or respondent may
request by motion that he be furnished copies of orders, pleadings and other processes.
SECTION 8. Order upon Receipt of Answer or Lapse of Reglementary Period. — Within
five (5) days from receipt of the Answer or from the lapse of the fifteen (15) day reglementary period
to file Answer, without any Answer having been filed, as the case may be, the Adjudicator shall
issue an Order setting the date of the initial preliminary conference which must be held within forty-
five (45) days from the date of such Order.
SECTION 9. Affidavits. — The affidavits required to be submitted under this Rule shall
state only facts of direct personal knowledge of the affiants and shall show their competence to
testify to the matters stated therein.
A violation of this requirement may subject the party or the counsel who submits the same
to disciplinary action, and shall be cause to expunge the inadmissible affidavit or portion thereof
from the record. ITESAc
All affidavits required to be submitted under this Rule shall be sworn to before the presiding
Adjudicator, or in his absence, any other Adjudicator or any other person authorized to administer
oaths under the Revised Administrative Code.
SECTION 10. Reply. — A reply may be filed within five (5) days from service of the
pleading responded to.
RULE VIII
Appearances
SECTION 1. Appearance. — A lawyer appearing for a party is presumed to be properly
authorized for that purpose. A non-lawyer may appear before the Board or any of its Adjudicators,
if:
a. He represents himself as a party to the case;
b. He represents a farmers' organization or its members, provided that he shall
present proof of authority from the organization or its members or such authority duly
signed by the President or head of the organization;
c. He is a law student who has successfully completed his third year of the regular
four-year prescribed law curriculum and is enrolled in a recognized law school's
clinical legal education program approved by the Supreme Court. His appearance
pursuant to this rule shall be under the direct supervision and control of a member of
the Integrated Bar of the Philippines duly-accredited by the law school. Any and all
pleadings, motions, memoranda or other papers to be filed must be signed by the
supervising attorney for and in behalf of the legal aid clinic.
d. He is a DAR Legal Officer duly authorized by the appropriate Head of Office
in accordance with the internal regulations of the Department of Agrarian Reform.
For this purpose, the DAR Legal Officer must have the prescribed authorization form
before he may be allowed to appear before the Board or any of its
Adjudicators, Provided, that when there are two or more representatives for any
individual or group, such individual or group should choose only one representative.
SECTION 2. Manner of Appearance. — Appearances may be oral or in writing. The
complete business address of the counsel or representative shall be made of record and the
adverse party or his counsel shall be properly notified. Any change in the address of counsel or
representative shall be filed with the Adjudicator with notice to the adverse party and
counsel. SAcCIH
SECTION 3. Assignment of DAR Lawyer or Legal Officer. — A party appearing without
counsel or represented by a non-lawyer may be assigned a counselde officio from among the DAR
Lawyers or Legal Officers designated by the appropriate Head of Office or a member of the bar
who is willing to act as such counsel de officio.
SECTION 4. Authority to Bind Party. — Attorneys and other representatives of parties
cannot, without a special power of attorney, enter into a compromise agreement with the
opposing party when a full or partial discharge of a client's interest is made.
RULE IX
Preliminary Conference
SECTION 1. When Conducted. — After the last pleading shall have been served and
filed, or upon receipt of the BARC certification of non-settlement in instances when the case was
referred to the BARC for mediation/conciliation, the Adjudicator shall set the case for a preliminary
conference.
SECTION 2. Notice of Preliminary Conference. — The notice of the preliminary
conference shall be served upon the representative or counsel of record or the party himself, if he
has no representative or counsel of record.
SECTION 3. Appearance of Parties. — It shall be the duty of parties and their counsel
to appear at the preliminary conference.
The counsel or his representative cannot, without a written authority or express consent of
his client, enter into an amicable settlement, submit to alternative modes of dispute resolution, or
enter into stipulations or admissions of facts or of documents.
SECTION 4. Effect of Failure to Appear. — If either or both parties fail to appear for
preliminary conference, despite proper notice, the conference shall be deemed terminated and
the Adjudicator shall render a decision on the basis of the evidence on record.
SECTION 5. Amicable Settlement. — During the preliminary conference and at any
stage of the proceedings, the Board or the Adjudicator shall exert all efforts and take positive steps
for the amicable settlement of the case. aTCADc
Should the parties arrive at any settlement as to the whole or part of the dispute, the same
shall be reduced into writing in a language or dialect known to, and spoken by the parties and
signed by them before the adjudicator or the board.
If a compromise agreement is entered into by the parties in a manner other than as specified
above, the adjudicator or the board shall set the case for a hearing for the purpose of determining
the authenticity and due execution thereof before approving it.
The settlement shall be approved after the Board or the Adjudicator is satisfied that it was
voluntarily entered into by the parties and the same is not contrary to relevant laws, rules, and
regulations, and after having explained to them the terms and consequences thereof.
The order or decision approving the compromise agreement shall have the effect of a
judgment on the case, which shall immediately be final and executory.
In all cases where the beneficiaries, tenant farmers, or farm-workers are not assisted by a
private counsel, the adjudicator or the board shall coordinate with the proper office of the DAR to
ensure that said parties are assisted by a lawyer or legal officer in arriving at a settlement.
SECTION 6. Failure to Arrive at an Amicable Settlement. — In the event that the
adjudicator denies the compromise agreement or the parties are not able to reach an amicable
settlement of the case, the adjudicator shall:
a. consider the submission of the case to alternative modes of dispute resolution;
b. resolve and dispose of preliminary incidents related to the case;
c. determine whether any of the parties intends to propound clarificatory
questions on any of the affiants/witnesses;
d. determine whether there is a need to issue the appropriate subpoena upon
any witness who refuses to execute an affidavit;
e. determine the dates of subsequent hearings for the purpose of examining the
witnesses; and
f. take up other matters as may simplify and aid in the prompt disposition of the
case. TaHDAS
SECTION 7. Record of Preliminary Conference. — The proceedings in the conference
shall be recorded. Upon termination of the same, the Adjudicator shall issue an order, which shall
embody the matters taken up therein, and the date set for the initial hearing of the case, if any.
The aforementioned order shall control the subsequent proceedings of the case, subject to
such modifications, which may be made to prevent manifest injustice.
RULE X
Proceedings Before the Adjudicators
SECTION 1. Nature of Proceedings. — The proceedings before the Adjudicator shall
be non-litigious in nature.
Subject to the essential requirements of due process, the technicalities of law and
procedures and the rules governing the admissibility and sufficiency of evidence obtained in the
courts of law shall not apply.
The Adjudicator shall employ reasonable means to ascertain the facts of the controversy
including a thorough examination or re-examination of witnesses and the conduct of ocular
inspection of the premises in question, if necessary.
SECTION 2. Role of the Adjudicator in the Proceedings. — The Adjudicator shall
personally conduct the hearing. He shall take full control of the proceedings. He may examine the
parties and witnesses freely with respect to the matters at issue, and shall limit the right of the parties
or their counsels to ask questions only for the purpose of clarifying the points of law at issue or of
facts involved in the case. He shall also limit the presentation of evidence by the contending parties
only to matters relevant and material to the issues and necessary for a just, expeditious, and
inexpensive disposition of the case.
SECTION 3. Orders or Resolutions During the Hearing of the Case. — The order or
resolution of the Adjudicator on any issue, question, matter, or incident raised before him shall be
valid and effective until the hearing of the same shall have been terminated and resolved on the
merits.
SECTION 4. Submission of Position Papers. — In case the parties fail to arrive at an
amicable settlement of the case or the adjudicator denies the compromise agreement, the
adjudicator shall issue an order directing the parties and their counsels to simultaneously submit
their respective position papers and formal offer of evidence. The same position papers shall be
submitted within Thirty (30) days from receipt of the order.
SECTION 5. Procedure on Clarificatory Hearing. — Within fifteen (15) days from receipt
of the position papers from the parties, the adjudicator may conduct clarificatory hearing.
During the clarificatory hearing, the adjudicator shall have full control of the proceeding but
may allow counsels to propound clarificatory questions to the witnesses. CDAcIT
At the hearing, the affidavits submitted by the parties shall constitute the direct testimonies
of the witnesses who executed the same. A witness summoned to appear in accordance with
Section 6 (d), Rule IX hereof may be subjected to such clarificatory questioning even without
submitting his affidavit.
Upon termination of the clarificatory hearing, the case or incident shall be deemed
submitted for decision or resolution.
SECTION 6. Record of Proceedings. — The proceedings before the Adjudicator shall
be recorded by a stenographer. In the absence of an available stenographer, the Adjudicator
shall make a written summary of the proceedings, including the substance of the evidence
presented which shall be attested by the parties or their counsel and shall form part of the records
of the case. Should any party or counsel refuse to sign, the reason for such refusal shall be noted
therein.
SECTION 7. Period to Render the Decision. — The Adjudicator shall render the decision
on the merits of the case within thirty (30) days after the filing of the verified position papers or after
the lapse of the period to file a verified position paper without the same having been filed or after
the clarificatory hearing shall have been concluded by the Adjudicator.
SECTION 8. Award and Damages. — The Adjudicator or the Board, in appropriate
cases, may award actual, compensatory, exemplary, and moral damages and attorney's fees. The
attorney's fees to be awarded should be reasonable.
SECTION 9. Finality of Judgment. — Unless appealed, the decision, order, or resolution
disposing of the case on the merits shall be final after the lapse of fifteen (15) days from receipt of
a copy thereof by the counsel or representative on record, and by the party himself whether or not
he is appearing on his own behalf, whichever is later. In all cases, the parties themselves shall be
furnished with a copy of the decision, order or resolution.
SECTION 10. Motion for Reconsideration. — Within fifteen (15) days from receipt of
notice of the order, resolution, or decision of the Board or Adjudicator, a party may move for
reconsideration of such order, resolution, or decision on the grounds that:
a. the findings of fact in the said decision, order, or resolution are not supported
by substantial evidence; or
b. the conclusions stated therein are contrary to law and jurisprudence. cEHITA
The motion for reconsideration shall be filed together with proof of service of a copy thereof
upon the adverse party.
Only one (1) Motion for Reconsideration shall be allowed for each party.
The filing of a Motion for Reconsideration shall interrupt the period to perfect an appeal. If
the motion is denied, the aggrieved party shall have a period of fifteen (15) days reckoned from
the receipt of the notice of denial.
RULE XI
Motions in General
SECTION 1. Motion Defined. — Every application for relief, other than by principal
pleadings.
SECTION 2. Form. — All motions shall be in writing, except those made in the course of
a hearing or trial.
SECTION 3. Contents. — A motion shall state the relief sought and the grounds upon
which it is based and, if necessary, shall be accompanied by supporting affidavits and documents.
SECTION 4. Notice. — A copy of the motion together with copies of supporting
affidavits or documents shall be served by the movant upon all parties and counsels concerned,
at least three (3) days before the hearing thereof.
The Adjudicator or the Board may, however, hear a motion on shorter notice upon good
cause, especially on matters, which may be disposed of motu proprio.
SECTION 5. Proof of Service. — No motion shall be acted upon by the Adjudicator or
by the Board without proof of service thereof except when he/it is satisfied that the rights of the
adverse party are not affected.
SECTION 6. Expeditious Resolution of Motions. — All motions shall be resolved within a
reasonable period from its submission for resolution. The same shall be considered submitted for
resolution upon the filing of the last pleading supporting or opposing the motion. Any motion for
reconsideration of an interlocutory order shall be filed within fifteen (15) days from receipt thereof.
SECTION 7. Non-allowable Motions. — The following motions shall not be allowed:
a. Motion to declare defendant or respondent in default or for a default
judgment; HTCaAD
b. All other motions filed before an Answer, except Motions to Dismiss on the
ground of prescription, lack of jurisdiction or failure to state a cause of action,
improper venue or when there is another action pending between the same parties
for the same cause or where the cause of action is barred by a prior judgment;
c. Motion for extension of time to file an appeal, motion for reconsideration, or
appeal memorandum.
RULE XII
Intervention
SECTION 1. Who May Intervene. — A person who has a legal interest on the matter in
litigation, or in the success of either of the parties or an interest against both, or has a substantial
right or interest in the subject matter of the case before the Adjudicator or Board, may be allowed
to intervene in the action by filing a pleading-in-intervention.
In case where the Board or the Adjudicator has competent jurisdiction, agrarian reform
beneficiaries or identified beneficiaries and/or their associations shall have legal standing and
interest to intervene concerning their individual or collective rights and/or interests under the CARP.
The fact of non-registration of such associations with the Securities and Exchange
Commission, or Cooperative Development Authority, or any concerned government agency shall
not be used against them to deny the existence of their legal standing and interest in a case filed
before such courts and quasi-judicial bodies.
SECTION 2. Time to Intervene. — A person desiring to intervene may, before judgment
by the Adjudicator or the Board, file a motion for leave to intervene attaching the pleading-in-
intervention with notice upon all the parties to the action.
In allowing or disallowing a motion for leave to intervene, the Adjudicator or the Board shall
consider if the intervention will unduly delay or prejudice the adjudication of the rights of the original
parties or if the intervenor's right may be fully protected in a separate proceeding.
SECTION 3. Answer-in-Intervention. — The answer-in-intervention shall be filed within
fifteen (15) days from notice of the order allowing the intervention, unless a different period is fixed
by the Adjudicator or the Board. CHATEa
RULE XIII
Decisions/Resolutions/Final Orders
SECTION 1. Decisions/Resolutions/Final Orders. — The decisions/resolutions/final orders
of the Adjudicator shall be in writing, prepared and signed by him and filed with the Regional or
Provincial Clerk of the Adjudicator. It shall clearly and completely state the findings of fact and
specify the evidence and the law or jurisprudence upon which the decision is based.
The decisions/resolutions/final orders of the Board shall be in writing, prepared by the
Member to whom it is assigned, signed by the Members of the Board and filed with the Executive
Director of the Board Secretariat.
SECTION 2. Promulgation. — After the judgment/resolution/final order is signed by the
Adjudicator or Members of the Board, the same shall be filed with the Regional or Provincial Clerk
of the Adjudicator or of the Board, respectively, who shall indicate thereon the date of
promulgation thereof.
SECTION 3. Notice of Decision/Resolution/Final Order. — Upon promulgation of the
decision/resolution/final order, the Regional or Provincial Clerk of the Adjudicator or of the Board,
as the case may be, shall immediately cause copies thereof to be served upon the parties and
their counsel as well as the DAR and other government officials who may take part in the execution
or implementation of such decision/resolution/final order.
In the event that a copy of the decision cannot be served upon the parties and/or their
counsel as well the DAR and other government officials for whatever reason, a notice of the
decision/resolution/final order shall be served upon the latter in the manner provided for in Section
2, Rule VII hereof. If such manner of service fails, the notice of the decision shall be served by
publication in a newspaper of general circulation. For this purpose, the Board shall schedule, at
least once a year, the publication of said notice falling under this section. However, at the option
of the prevailing party, the publication of the notice of decision falling under this section may be
undertaken ahead of the schedule fixed by the Board, provided that all expenses of publication
shall be shouldered by the prevailing party. All notices to be published under this Rule shall contain
the DARAB Case Number and the names of all the parties in the case.
All the Adjudicators shall submit to the Board a periodic quarterly report of all decisions
rendered, for the purpose of including the same in the annual publication of the notice of decisions.
All notices of decision/resolution/final order shall be written in English or in Filipino. cECaHA
SECTION 4. Entry of Decisions/Resolutions/Final Orders. — If no appeal or motion for
reconsideration is filed within the time provided in these rules, the decision/resolution/final order of
the Board or Adjudicator shall be entered in the Book of Entries of Decisions by the Clerk of the
Board and the Regional or Provincial Clerk of the Adjudicator, respectively. The date of finality of
the decision/resolution/final order shall be deemed to be the date of its entry.
The record of entry shall contain the dispositive portion of the decision/resolution/final orders
and shall be signed by the Clerk of the Adjudicator or of the Board, as the case may be, with a
certification that such decision/resolution/final order has become final and executory.
RULE XIV
Appeals
SECTION 1. Appeal to the Board. — An appeal may be taken to the Board from a
resolution, decision or final order of the Adjudicator that completely disposes of the case by either
or both of the parties within a period of fifteen (15) days from receipt of the resolution/decision/final
order appealed from or of the denial of the movant's motion for reconsideration by:
a. filing a Notice of Appeal together with the Appellant's Memorandum with the
Adjudicator who rendered the decision or final order appealed from;
b. furnishing copies of said Notice of Appeal together with the Appellant's
Memorandum to opposing party/s and counsel/s; and
c. paying an appeal fee of One Thousand Pesos (PhP1,000.00) to the DAR
Cashier where the Office of the Adjudicator is situated or through postal money order,
payable to the DAR Cashier where the Office of the Adjudicator is situated, at the
option of the appellant.
A pauper litigant shall be exempt from the payment of the appeal fee.
Proof of service of Notice of Appeal to the affected parties and to the Board and payment
of appeal fee shall be filed, within the reglementary period, with the Adjudicatora quo and shall
form part of the records of the case.
Non-compliance with the foregoing shall be a ground for dismissal of the appeal.
SECTION 2. Grounds. — The aggrieved party may appeal to the Board from a final
order, resolution or decision of the Adjudicator on any of the following grounds that: aDIHCT
a. Errors in the findings of fact or conclusions of law were committed which if not
corrected, would cause grave and irreparable damage or injury to the appellant; or
b. The order, resolution or decision was obtained through fraud or coercion.
SECTION 3. Notice of Appeal and Appeal Memorandum. — The Notice of Appeal
together with the Appellant's Memorandum shall:
a. be filed with the Adjudicator concerned in three (3) legible copies with proof
of service to the affected parties, and payment of appeal fee unless appellant is a
pauper litigant as provided for in Rule V, Sec. 2 hereof;
b. indicate the parties to the appeal;
c. specify the judgment or final order appealed from;
d. state the material dates showing the timeliness of the appeal; and
SECTION 4. Perfection of Appeal. — An appeal is deemed perfected upon
compliance with Section 1 of this Rule.
If the appeal is perfected, the Adjudicator shall, within five (5) days from receipt of Notice
of Appeal together with Appellant's Memorandum, issue an Order stating that the appeal was
perfected in accordance with the Rules, and direct the transmittal of records to the Board thru the
Executive Director of the Board Secretariat, otherwise, he shall issue an Order denying the said
notice of appeal.
The Board thru the Executive Director of the Board Secretariat shall immediately notify the
parties that the record of the case has already been received by the DARAB Central Office and
shall order the appellee and/or his counsel to submit his Appellee's Memorandum.
The appellee and/or his counsel may submit his Appellee's Memorandum within fifteen (15)
days from receipt of the said Order furnishing a copy thereof to the appellant/s and the latter's
counsel/s.
After the filing of their respective appeal memoranda with the Board or the lapse of the
period within which to file the same, the case shall be deemed submitted for resolution. In case no
appellee's memorandum has been filed within the reglementary period, the Board may proceed
to render judgment thereon based on the records of the case. DAcaIE
A pauper litigant's appeal is deemed perfected upon the filing of the Notice of Appeal
together with the Appellant's Memorandum in accordance with said Section 1 of this Rule.
SECTION 5. Motions After Filing of Notice of Appeal. — Any motion, after the perfection
of the Appeal and before the elevation of the case records to the Board, shall be filed with the
Board, attaching thereto a certified copy of the Decision of the Adjudicator, the Notice of Appeal
together with the Appellant's Memorandum and proof of payment of appeal fee. A copy of the
motion shall be furnished to the Adjudicator and the opposing parties.
SECTION 6. Transmittal of Appeal and Records. — The Adjudicator concerned shall,
after the issuance of the Order stating the perfection of the appeal, transmit the appeal to the
Board, together with the complete records of the case, furnishing the parties with copies of the
letter of transmittal to the Board.
The records of the case shall contain, among others, a table of contents, all original
pleadings filed, documentary exhibits, transcripts or written summaries of the hearings, notices,
orders or decisions of the Adjudicator and proofs of service thereof, which shall all be numbered
consecutively and initialed by the Adjudicator or the authorized Clerk of the Board on each and
every page thereof.
SECTION 7. Docketing of Cases. — Upon the receipt of the records of the case on
appeal, the Executive Director of the Board Secretariat shall docket the case and notify the parties
thereof.
SECTION 8. Caption. —In all cases appealed to the Board, the title shall remain as it
was before the Adjudicator but the party appealing shall be further called the "appellant" and the
adverse party the "appellee", and the case shall be assigned a docket number.
SECTION 9. Frivolous or Dilatory Appeal. — To discourage frivolous or dilatory appeals,
the Board shall impose reasonable penalties, including, but not limited to, fine or censure upon
erring parties.
SECTION 10. Withdrawal of Appeal. — An appeal may be withdrawn at any time prior
to the promulgation of the resolution, order or decision, except when public interest is prejudiced
thereby. Upon approval of the withdrawal of an appeal, the case shall stand as if no appeal had
ever been taken. aIcDCT
SECTION 11. When Appeal is Submitted for Decision. — The appeal shall be deemed
submitted for decision upon the filing of the last pleading or memorandum as may be required or
permitted to be filed by the Board, or upon the expiration of the period for its filing.
SECTION 12. Period to Decide Appeal. — The Board shall render its decision on appeal
before it, as much as possible, within thirty (30) days after its submission.
SECTION 13. Finality of Decisions/Resolutions. — Decisions/resolutions/orders of the
Board shall become final after the lapse of fifteen (15) days from receipt of a copy thereof by the
counsel or representative on record, and by the party himself whether or not he is appearing on his
own behalf, whichever is later, unless an appeal or motion for reconsideration thereof is filed within
such period. In all cases, the parties themselves shall be furnished with a copy of the
decision/resolution/order.
If a copy of the decision cannot be served personally or by mail and publication is effected
in accordance with Section 3, Rule 13 hereof, said decision shall become final after the lapse of
sixty (60) days from the date of publication.
Only one motion for reconsideration by either party shall be allowed and entertained.
RULE XV
Judicial Review
SECTION 1. Appeal to the Court of Appeals. — Any decision, order, resolution, award
or ruling of the Board on any agrarian dispute or any matter pertaining to the application,
implementation, enforcement, interpretation of agrarian reform laws or rules and regulations
promulgated thereunder, may be brought on appeal within fifteen (15) days from receipt of a copy
thereof, to the Court of Appeals in accordance with the Rules of Court.
SECTION 2. Findings of Fact; Final and Conclusive. — The findings of fact of the Board,
if based on substantial evidence, shall be final and conclusive upon the courts pursuant to Section
54, Republic Act No. 6657.
SECTION 3. No Restraining Order or Preliminary Injunction. — Except for the Supreme
Court, no court in the Philippines shall have jurisdiction to issue any restraining order or writ of
preliminary injunction against the Board or its Adjudicators in any case, dispute or controversy
arising from, necessary to, or in connection with the application, implementation, enforcement or
interpretation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law and other pertinent laws on agrarian
reform and regulations promulgated thereunder pursuant to Section 55, Republic Act (R.A.) No.
6657 as amended by R.A. No. 9700. ICTHDE
RULE XVI
Relief from Decision/Resolution/Final Order
SECTION 1. Petition for Relief from Decision/Resolution/Final Order. — When a
decision/resolution/final order is rendered by the Adjudicator against any party, through fraud,
accident, mistake and excusable negligence and such party has no other adequate remedy
available to him in the ordinary course of law, he may file a petition for relief with said Adjudicator,
praying that the decision/resolution/final order be set aside.
SECTION 2. Form and Time of Filing of Petition. — A petition for relief must be verified
and a copy thereof together with its annexes and supporting affidavits, if any, must be furnished to
the adverse party or parties and filed within sixty (60) days from the time the fraud, accident,
mistake or excusable negligence was discovered and within six (6) months after the
decision/resolution/final order was rendered.
The petition must be accompanied by affidavits and supporting documents showing the
fraud, accident, mistake or excusable negligence relied upon, whichever is applicable as well as
the proof of service of the petition on the other party or parties. Without such proof of service the
petition shall not be entertained.
SECTION 3. Answer. — Should the petition be sufficient in form and substance, the
Adjudicator shall issue an order directing the party or parties to file their answer thereto within fifteen
(15) days from receipt of said order. The order shall also set the date for the hearing of the petition.
SECTION 4. Procedure. — If after due hearing, the petition is found to be meritorious,
the Adjudicator shall set aside the questioned decision/resolution/final order and he shall then
proceed to hear the principal case.
When an appeal from the denial of the petition for relief is granted, the Board shall give due
course to the appeal, as if a timely and proper appeal has been made from the questioned
decision/resolution/final order.
RULE XVII
Preliminary Injunction/Supervision of Harvest
SECTION 1. Preliminary Injunction, When Granted. — A writ of preliminary injunction,
restraining order or a status quo order may be granted by the Board or any two (2) of its Members
or the Adjudicator, when it is established, on the basis of allegations in the sworn complaint or
motion, which shall be duly supported by affidavits of merit, that the acts being complained of, if
not enjoined, would cause some grave and irreparable damage or injury to any of the parties in
interest so as to render ineffectual the decision which may be in favor of such party. Should the
Board or the Adjudicator believe that it is necessary to post a bond, it shall fix the reasonable
amount of the bond to be filed by the party applying for the injunction in favor of the party who
might suffer thereby, if it is finally determined that the complainant or petitioner is not entitled
thereto. Upon the filing and approval of such bond, a writ of injunction may be issued. The Board
or the Adjudicator may also require the performance of a particular act or acts, subject to the rules
herein provided, in which case, it shall be known as a preliminary mandatory injunction. HDacIT
SECTION 2. No Injunction to Restrain Tilling or Harvesting. — In cases where the tenurial
status of a person is at issue, the Board or its Adjudicator shall not issue any order restraining or
enjoining the actual tiller from cultivating the land, or harvesting the standing crops nor issue an
order impounding the harvest, if any, without providing him with at least fifty percent (50%) of the
net harvest.
SECTION 3. Temporary Restraining Order. — A temporary restraining order issued ex-
parte, shall be valid only for twenty (20) days from the date the same is received by the respondent.
During this period, the parties shall be required to present evidence to substantiate their respective
positions on whether or not a preliminary injunction shall be granted. The period of twenty (20) days
may be extended upon motion of the proper party on valid grounds, for another twenty (20) days
from the expiration of the original period, or motu proprio by the Board. Thereafter, no motion for
further extension of the temporary restraining order shall be allowed. After due notice and hearing,
and before the lapse of the temporary restraining order, the issue of preliminary injunction or status
quo should be resolved.
SECTION 4. Supervision of Harvest. — An order for the supervision of harvest may also
be granted by the Board or any two (2) of its Members or the Adjudicator, when it is established on
the basis of the allegations in the sworn complaint or motion, which shall be duly supported by the
affidavits of merit, that one or more persons are claiming rights adverse to the tiller on the
landholding in question or there is a dispute as to the sharing in the net harvest of the landholding.
The Order for the supervision of harvest shall remain effective unless the Board or Adjudicator
issues an order lifting or revoking the same.
RULE XVIII
Direct and Indirect Contempt
SECTION 1. Direct Contempt. — The Board or any of its Members or Adjudicator may
summarily pass judgment on acts of direct contempt committed in the presence of, or so near the
Chairman or any Member of the Board or its Adjudicator, as to obstruct or interrupt the proceedings
before the same, including disrespect towards the Members of the Board or its Adjudicator,
offensive behavior towards others, or refusal to be sworn or to answer as a witness, or to subscribe
to an affidavit or deposition when lawfully required to do so. If the offense is committed against the
Board or any of its Members or its Adjudicator, the same shall be punished by a fine not exceeding
One Thousand Pesos (P1,000.00), or imprisonment of not exceeding ten (10) days or both. IEAacT
The judgment of the Board or any of its Members or Adjudicator on direct contempt is
immediately executory and not appealable.
SECTION 2. Indirect Contempt. — The Board or any of its Members or its Adjudicator
may also cite and punish any person for indirect contempt in accordance with Section 50 of R.A.
No. 6657 as amended by R.A. No. 9700.
Proceedings for indirect contempt may be initiated motu proprio by the board or
adjudicator against which the contempt was committed by order or any other formal charge
requiring the respondent to show cause why he should not be punished for contempt.
In all other cases, charges for indirect contempt shall be commenced by a verified petition
with supporting particulars and certified true copies of documents or papers involved therein, and
upon full compliance with the requirements for filing initiatory pleadings in the board or adjudicator
concerned. If the contempt charges arise out of or are related to a principal action pending before
the Board or Adjudicator, the petition for contempt shall allege that fact but said petition shall be
docketed, heard and decided separately.
SECTION 3. Appeal from Indirect Contempt. — Any person adjudged guilty of indirect
contempt by the Adjudicator, may, within a period of five (5) days from notice of the judgment,
appeal the same to the Board, and the execution of said judgment shall be suspended pending
the resolution of the appeal upon the filing by the said person of a bond on condition that he will
abide by, and perform the judgment should the appeal be decided against him.
RULE XIX
Preliminary Determination of Just Compensation
SECTION 1. Principal Role of Board/Adjudicator. — The principal role of the
Board/Adjudicator in the summary administrative proceedings for the preliminary determination of
just compensation is to determine whether the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and the
Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in their land valuation computations have complied with
the administrative orders and other issuances of the Secretary of the DAR and the LBP.
SECTION 2. By Whom Conducted. — The preliminary proceedings of land valuation for
the purpose of the determination of just compensation for its acquisition shall be
conducted: ICTaEH
a. by the PARAD when the initial land valuation of the Land Bank of the
Philippines (LBP) is less than Ten Million Pesos (PhP10,000,000.00);
b. by the RARAD when the said valuation is Ten Million Pesos and above but less
than Fifty Million Pesos (PhP50,000,000.00); and
c. by the Board when the said valuation is Fifty Million Pesos (PhP50,000,000.00)
and above.
In the event of non-availability, inhibition or disqualification of a designated PARAD in the
locality, the RARAD concerned may conduct preliminary proceedings of land valuation
notwithstanding that the jurisdictional amount is less than Ten (10) Million Pesos.
On account of non-availability, inhibition or disqualification of the RARAD concerned, the
Board may conduct the preliminary proceedings of land valuation or designate the same to an
Adjudicator from among the PARADs in the region.
SECTION 3. Order for Submission of Evidence, Position Papers, and Notice of
Hearing. — Upon receipt of the Claim Folder (CF) containing all the pertinent documents, the
Board/Adjudicator shall issue an order:
a. to the landowner, the LBP, the DAR officials concerned, the farmer-
beneficiaries and other interested parties, that they may examine the claim folder in
the Adjudicator's possession and to submit evidence, pertinent documents, and their
respective position papers and affidavits within thirty (30) days from receipt of the
order; and
b. notifying said parties of the date set for hearing on the matter.
Thereafter, the Board/Adjudicator shall proceed to make an administrative determination
of just compensation following the procedure in ordinary cases.
The Order shall be served in the same manner as the service of summons as provided for in
Rule VII hereof.
SECTION 4. Failure to Comply with Above Order. — If the parties fail to submit the
required documents and their position papers, and/or to appear on the date set for hearing,
despite proper notice, the matter shall be deemed submitted for resolution. ADETca
SECTION 5. When Resolution Deemed Final. — Failure on the part of the aggrieved
party to contest the resolution of the Board/Adjudicator within the afore-cited reglementary period
provided shall be deemed a concurrence by such party with the land valuation, hence said
valuation shall become final and executory.
SECTION 6. Filing of Original Action with the Special Agrarian Court for Final
Determination. — The party who disagrees with the decision of the Board/Adjudicator may contest
the same by filing an original action with the Special Agrarian Court (SAC) having jurisdiction over
the subject property within fifteen (15) days from his receipt of the Board/Adjudicator's decision.
Immediately upon filing with the SAC, the party shall file a Notice of Filing of Original Action
with the Board/Adjudicator, together with a certified true copy of the petition filed with the SAC.
Failure to file a Notice of Filing of Original Action or to submit a certified true copy of the
petition shall render the decision of the Board/Adjudicator final and executory. Upon receipt of the
Notice of Filing of Original Action or certified true copy of the petition filed with the SAC, no writ of
execution shall be issued by the Board/Adjudicator.
SECTION 7. Notice of Resolution. — A copy of the resolution of the Board/Adjudicator
shall be sent to the landowner, the Land Bank of the Philippines, the potential farmer beneficiaries,
other interested parties, and their counsels.
SECTION 8. Return of Claim Folder. — The Board/Adjudicator shall, within three (3) days
from return of the notice of the resolution pursuant to the preceding section, transmit the Claim
Folder (CF), together with the complete records thereof to the office of origin or the Provincial
Agrarian Reform Officer (PARO) concerned, copy furnished the LBP.
SECTION 9. Execution of Judgments for Just Compensation Which Have Become Final
and Executory. — The Sheriff shall enforce a writ of execution of a final judgment for compensation
by demanding for the payment of the amount stated in the writ of execution in cash and bonds
against the Agrarian Reform Fund in the custody of the LBP in accordance with RA 6657, as
amended, and the LBP shall pay the same in accordance with the final judgment and the writ of
execution within five (5) days from the time the landowner accordingly executes and submits to
the LBP the corresponding deed/s of transfer in favor of the government and surrenders the
muniments of title to the property in accordance with Section 16 (c) of RA 6657, as
amended. CDESIA
RULE XX
Execution
SECTION 1. Execution Upon Final Order or Decision. — Execution shall issue upon an
order, resolution or decision that finally disposes of the action or proceeding. Such execution shall
issue as a matter of course and upon the expiration of the period to appeal therefrom if no appeal
has been duly perfected.
The Adjudicator concerned may, upon certification by the proper officer that a resolution,
order or decision has been served to the counsel or representative on record and to the party
himself, and has become final and executory, and, upon motion or motu proprio, issue a writ of
execution ordering the DAR Sheriff or any DAR officer to enforce the same. In appropriate cases,
the Board or any of its Members or its Adjudicator shall deputize and direct the Philippine National
Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines or any of their component units or other law enforcement
agencies in the enforcement of any final order, resolution or decision.
SECTION 2. Execution Pending Appeal. — Any motion for execution of the decision of
the Adjudicator pending appeal shall be filed before the Board which may grant the same upon
meritorious grounds, upon the posting of a sufficient bond in the amount conditioned for the
payment of damages which the aggrieved party may suffer, in the event that the final order or
decision is reversed on appeal, provided that the bond requirement shall not apply if the movant
is a farmer-beneficiary/pauper litigant.
SECTION 3. Execution When Issued; Exception. — On motion of the prevailing party
or motu proprio, the Adjudicator shall order execution of an order or decision that has already
become final and executory.
Appeal shall not stay the execution of a decision or order except when the ejectment of a
tenant farmer, agricultural lessee or tiller, settler, or amortizing owner-cultivator is directed, or a
decision or a portion thereof involving solely the issue of just compensation.
When the decision is based on an amicable settlement or compromise agreement, the
same shall be immediately executory.
SECTION 4. Execution by Motion or by Independent Action. — A final and executory
judgment may be executed on motion within five (5) years from the date of its entry. After the lapse
of such time, and before it is barred by the statute of limitations, a judgment may be enforced by
action.
SECTION 5. Execution in Case of Death of Party. — Where a party dies after the entry
of the judgment or order, execution thereon may issue, or one already issued may be enforced in
the following manner:
a. In case of the death of the judgment obligee, upon application of his executor
or administrator, or successor in interest; CTcSIA
b. In case of the death of the judgment obligor, against his executor or
administrator or successor in interest;
c. In case of the death of the judgment obligor after execution is actually levied
upon any of his property, the same may be sold for the satisfaction thereof, in the
manner provided for by the Rules of Court and the officer making the sale shall
account for any surplus in his hands to the corresponding executors or administrator.
Provided, however, that if the judgment is for payment of rental in arrearages claimed
against the tenant-farmer, agricultural lessee or tiller or settler or amortizing owner-cultivator,
execution shall be levied upon the produce of the landholding not exceeding 75%.
SECTION 6. Issuance, Form, and Contents of a Writ of Execution. — The writ of
execution must be issued by the Board or its Adjudicator which granted the motion. It must
intelligently refer to such judgment or order attaching a certified copy of the judgment or order to
the writ of execution and requiring the sheriff or any proper officer to whom it is directed to enforce
the writ according to its terms, upon the party against whom the same is rendered, or upon any
other person required thereby, or by law, to obey the same, and such party or person may be
punished for contempt, if he disobeys such judgment.
SECTION 7. Judgment for Specified Acts Vesting Title. — If a judgment directs a party
to execute a conveyance of land, or to deliver deeds or other documents, or to perform any other
specific act, and the party fails to comply within the time specified, the Board or the Adjudicator
may direct the act to be done by some other person appointed by the said Board or Adjudicator
at the cost of the disobedient party and the act when so done shall have like effects as if done by
such disobedient party.
SECTION 8. Return of Writ of Execution. — The writ of execution shall be returned to the
Board or Adjudicator issuing it immediately after the judgment has been satisfied in part or in full. If
the judgment cannot be satisfied in part or in full within thirty (30) days after his receipt of the writ,
the officer shall report to the Board or Adjudicator, as the case may be, and state the reason
therefor. Such writ shall continue in effect during the period within which the judgment may be
enforced by motion. The officer shall make a report every thirty (30) days on the proceedings taken
thereon until the judgment is satisfied in full, or its effectivity expires. The return or periodic reports
shall set forth the whole proceedings taken, and shall be filed with the Board Secretariat or Clerk of
the Adjudicator, as the case may be, to be preserved with the other papers in the case. A certified
copy of the record of an execution in the execution book kept by the Board Secretariat or Clerk or
of the officer's return thereon, shall be evidence of the contents of the originals whenever they, or
any part thereof, have been lost or destroyed. TSacID
SECTION 9. Property Exempt from Execution. — Except as otherwise expressly provided
by law, the following properties, and no other, shall be exempt from execution:
a. the judgment obligor's family home as provided by law or, the homestead in
which he resides, and land necessarily used in connection therewith, unless the family
home or homestead is the subject matter of the dispute;
b. tools and implements necessarily used by him in his trade or employment;
c. beasts of burden necessarily used by him in his ordinary occupation;
d. his necessary clothing and articles for ordinary personal use, excluding jewelry;
e. household furniture and utensils necessary for housekeeping, and used for that
purpose by the judgment obligor and his family, such as the judgment obligor may
select, of a value not exceeding One Hundred Thousand Pesos (PhP100,000.00);
f. provisions for individual or family use sufficient for four months;
g. the professional libraries of attorneys, judges, physicians, pharmacists, dentists,
engineers, surveyors, clergymen, teachers, and other professionals, not exceeding
Three Hundred Thousand Pesos (PhP300,000.00) in value;
h. one (1) fishing boat and accessories not exceeding the total value of One
Hundred Thousand Pesos (PhP100,000.00), owned by any fishermen by the lawful use
of which he earns a livelihood;
i. so much of the earnings of the judgment obligor for his personal services within
the four (4) months preceding the levy as are necessary for the support of his family;
j. lettered gravestones;
k. all moneys, benefits, privileges, or annuities accruing or in any manner growing
out of any life insurance;
l. the right to receive legal support, or money or property obtained as such
support, or any pension or gratuity from the government; and
m. properties especially exempt by law.
But no article or species of property mentioned in this section shall be exempt from execution
issued upon a judgment involving said property, upon judgment recovered for its price or upon a
judgment of foreclosure of a mortgage thereon. SDIACc
SECTION 10. How Execution for the Delivery or Restitution of Property Enforced. — The
officer must enforce an execution for the delivery or restitution of property by ousting therefrom the
person against whom the judgment is rendered and placing the judgment obligee in possession of
such property, and by levying upon so much of the property of the judgment obligor as will satisfy
the amount of the judgment and costs included in the writ of execution.
SECTION 11. Removal of Improvements on Property Subject of Execution.— When the
property subject of the execution contains improvements constructed or planted by the judgment
obligor or his agent, the officer shall not destroy, demolish or remove said improvements except
upon order of the Board or the Adjudicator issued upon petition of the judgment obligee after due
hearing and after the former has failed to remove the same within the time fixed by the Board or
Adjudicator.
SECTION 12. Effect of Judgment or Final Order. — The effect of a judgment or final order
rendered by the Board or Adjudicator having jurisdiction to pronounce the judgment or order, may
be as follows:
a. In case of judgment or order against a specific thing or property, the judgment
or order is conclusive upon the title or right to the thing or property;
b. In other cases, the judgment or order is, with respect to the matter directly
adjudged or as to any other matter that could have been raised in relation thereto,
conclusive between the parties and their successors in interest by title subsequent to
the commencement of the action, litigating for the same thing and under the same
title and in the same capacity; and
c. In any other litigation between the same parties or their successors in interest,
that only is deemed to have been adjudged in a former judgment which appears
upon its face to have been so adjudged, or which was actually and necessarily
included therein or necessary thereto.
RULE XXI
Board Regulations
SECTION 1. Internal Business. — The Members of the Board, sitting en banc, shall make
appropriate orders or rules to govern the assignment of cases among its Members, and other
matters relating to the business of the Board.
Such Orders or Rules, as may be so adopted by the Board, shall continue in force until
repealed, amended or modified/altered by it. TIaCHA
SECTION 2. Assignment of Cases. — All cases brought to or filed with the Board shall
be raffled among the Members thereof for hearing and/or decision, in accordance with the orders
and/or internal rules that the Board may adopt.
All motions, pleadings and other matters filed after the case has already been assigned to
a Member of the Board, shall immediately be referred to the said Member for appropriate action
thereon and consolidation with the records file thereof.
SECTION 3. En Banc Meeting. — The Board shall sit en banc in the performance of its
policy and rule-making power and in the exercise of its administrative and adjudicatory functions.
A majority of the actual Members of the Board shall constitute a quorum for its session en
banc.
The affirmative votes of the majority of the Members shall be necessary to promulgate
policies and rules of the Board.
SECTION 4. Presiding Officer. — The Secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform,
or in his absence, the designated Vice-Chair of the Board, shall act as the Chair and shall preside
over its deliberations.
SECTION 5. Hearing and Pronouncement of a Decision/Resolution/Final Order. — The
participation of the Members of the Board in the deliberation, and the concurrence and signature
of a majority of its Members, shall be required for the pronouncement of a decision/resolution/final
order determining the merits of a case on appeal before it.
However, the concurrence of only two (2) members shall be necessary in the issuance of
interlocutory orders.
RULE XXII
The Board Secretariat
SECTION 1. The Board Secretariat. — There shall be a Board Secretariat, which shall be
headed by the Executive Director who shall, among others, serve and function as the Clerk of the
Board. HTDcCE
SECTION 2. Filing of Pleadings and Documents. — Pleadings, documents, and all other
matters brought to the Board shall be filed with the Secretariat, which shall keep a complete file
thereof and be responsible therefor.
In cases where the matter, question or controversy brought before the Board is raffled to a
Member thereof, the original records shall be referred to such member, with a complete copy of
the records kept on file with the Secretariat. Thereafter, all pleadings, documents and papers
related thereto shall be filed with the Secretariat, which shall forward the same to the Member
concerned, with copies furnished the Secretariat.
SECTION 3. Custody of the Seal and Books of the Board. — The Secretariat shall have
custody of the seal of the Board together with all the records of all the proceedings of the Board
including the exhibits, documentary evidence, case folders and the files of the same.
SECTION 4. Access to the Board Records. — All official records of the Board shall be
open to the public during normal office hours subject to the payment of the required fees except
those that are classified as confidential which cannot be divulged without violating the rights of the
parties concerned or prejudicing public interest.
SECTION 5. Calendar, General Docket, and Other Books of the Board. — The
Secretariat shall prepare a calendar and entry of the proceedings of the Board in a Minute Book.
The designated officer of the Secretariat shall take charge of the service of the orders, decisions,
subpoenas, and other processes issued by the Board and certify the date and hour of promulgation
of any order as well as the names of all parties who were notified thereof.
The Secretariat shall keep a general docket for the said Board, duly numbered and
containing entries of all the original and appealed cases before it.
The Secretariat shall keep a compilation of copies of all resolutions, orders and decisions
issued by the Board in the order of their dates of promulgation. CHIScD
SECTION 6. Releasing of Communications, Issuances and Other Matters.— All
communications and/or issuances pertaining to the Board and other matters before the Board shall
be released only thru the Secretariat which shall keep a record and/or file a copy thereof and be
responsible therefor.
SECTION 7. Issuance of Certified True Copies. — Upon proper written request, the
Secretariat shall issue to any party a certified true copy, under the seal of the Board, of any
document, record, resolution, order, or decision, or entry under its custody, subject to the payment
of the required fees and limitations imposed in Section 4 hereof.
RULE XXIII
Other Fees, Charges and Costs
SECTION 1. Payment of Fees. — Upon the filing of the pleading or other application
which initiates an action or proceeding, the fees prescribed therefor shall be paid in full.
SECTION 2. Filing Fees. — A filing fee of One Thousand (P1,000.00) Pesos plus a legal
research fee of One Hundred (100.00) Pesos shall be charged for any petition or complaint filed
with the Adjudicator, as an original action.
The pauper litigant as stated in Section 2 of Rule V of these Rules is exempt from the payment
of the herein filing fees.
SECTION 3. Legal Fees. — The following legal fees shall be charged and collected.
a. For furnishing certified transcript of the records or additional copies of any
record, decision, ruling or entry of which any party is entitled to demand and receive
a copy, Seven (P7.00) Pesos per page;
b. For every certificate not on process, Ten (P10.00) Pesos per page;
c. For every search of any record of more than one year outstanding and
reading the same, Fifteen (P15.00) Pesos.
SECTION 4. Where Fees to be Paid. — The fees herein shall be paid by the party
concerned to the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Cashier or its counterpart offices at the
time of filing or request. If the fees are not paid, the Board or Adjudicator may refuse to take action
thereon until they are paid except as otherwise provided herein. For this purpose, the Department
of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Cashier or its counterpart offices shall segregate all fees collected from
its general fund and shall also maintain a separate Book of Account, for all transactions covered
hereunder. EaISTD
SECTION 5. Sheriffs, and Other Persons Serving Processes. —
a. For serving summons and copy of complaint, One Hundred Pesos (PhP100.00)
for each defendant;
b. For serving subpoenas, Eighty Pesos (PhP80.00) for each witness to be served;
c. For serving a temporary restraining order, or writ of injunction, preliminary or
final, Two Hundred Pesos (PhP200.00);
d. For filing bonds or other instruments of indemnity or security in provisional
remedies, Eighty Pesos (PhP80.00) for each bond or instrument;
e. For executing a writ or process to place a party in possession of real estate,
Four Hundred Pesos (PhP400.00);
f. For advertising sale, excluding the cost of publication, Two Hundred Pesos
(PhP200.00) Pesos;
g. For taking inventory of goods levied upon when the inventory is ordered by
the Board or its Adjudicator, Four Hundred Pesos (PhP400.00) per day of actual
inventory work;
h. For levying on execution per personal or real property, Two Hundred Pesos
(PhP200.00);
i. For money collected by him by order, execution, attachment, or any other
process, the following sums, to wit:
1. On the first Four Thousand Pesos (PhP4,000.00), four per centum (4%);
and
2. On all sums in excess of Four Thousand Pesos (PhP4,000.00), two per
centum (2%).
In addition to the fees herein above fixed, the party requesting for the issuance of any
process whether preliminary, incidental, or final, shall pay the sheriff's expenses in serving or
executing the process, or safeguarding the property levied upon, attached or seized, including
actual travel expenses by the regular means of transportation, guards' fees, warehousing and
similar charges, in an amount estimated by the Sheriff, subject to the approval of the Board or
Adjudicator. Upon approval of said estimated expenses, the interested party shall deposit such
amount with the Clerk-of-the-Board and ex-officioSheriff, who shall disburse the same to the Sheriff
assigned to effect the process. Any unspent amount shall be refunded to the party making the
deposit. A full report shall be submitted by the Sheriff assigned with his return and the Sheriff's
expenses shall be taxed as cost against the losing party. TaEIAS
SECTION 6. Stenographers. — Stenographers shall give certified transcripts of notes
taken by them to any party requesting for the same upon due payment of Seven Pesos (PhP7.00)
for each page of not less than two hundred fifty (250) words.
SECTION 7. Costs. — Cost may be allowed to the prevailing party but the Board or the
Adjudicator, as the case may be, shall have the power, for special reasons, to adjudge that either
party shall pay the costs of an action, or that the same be divided as may be equitable. No costs
shall be allowed against the Republic of the Philippines unless otherwise provided by law.
SECTION 8. Costs in Actions or Proceedings. — In any action or proceedings before
the Board or Adjudicator, the prevailing party may recover the following costs:
a. For his own attendance and that of his attorney, down to and including final
judgment, Three Hundred Pesos (PhP300.00);
b. All lawful fees charged against him by the Board or Adjudicator, in entering
and docketing the action and recording the proceedings and judgment therein and
for the issuance of all proceedings;
c. If testimony is received by the Board or Adjudicator not taken from another
tribunal or a court of justice and transmitted thereto, the prevailing party shall be
allowed the same cost for witness fees, depositions, processes and service thereof;
and
d. The legal fees of the Board or Adjudicator in an action may also be adjudged against
the defeated party, or apportioned as justice requires.
SECTION 9. Dismissal of Action or Appeal. — If an action or an appeal is dismissed for
want of jurisdiction or otherwise, the Board or Adjudicator, nevertheless, shall have the power to
render judgment for costs, as justice may require.
SECTION 10. Attorney's Fees as Costs. — Attorney's Fees may be charged as costs
against the adverse party in accordance with Article 2208 of the New Civil Code.
SECTION 11. Costs When Witness Fails to Appear. — If a witness fails to appear at the
time and place specified in the subpoena issued by the Board or the Adjudicator, the costs for the
arrest of the witness shall be paid by the witness if the Board or Adjudicator shall determine that his
failure to answer the subpoena was willful and/or without just excuse. DAEaTS
SECTION 12. Government is Exempt. — The Republic of the Philippines, its national
agencies and instrumentalities, are exempt from paying the legal fees provided in this rule. Local
governments and government-owned or controlled corporations, with or without independent
charters, are not exempt from paying such fees.
RULE XXIV
Miscellaneous Provisions
SECTION 1. Transitory Provisions. — These Rules shall govern all cases filed on or after its
effectivity. All cases pending with the Board and the Adjudicators, prior to the date of effectivity of
these Rules, shall be governed by the DARAB Rules prevailing at the time of their filing.
Provided that all cases or proceedings involving the cancellation of EPs, CLOAs and other
titles issued under any agrarian reform program which are registered with the Registry of Deeds and
which remain pending before the Board or Adjudicator, as of June 30, 2009, shall be referred to the
Secretary of the DAR within thirty (30) days immediately upon the effectivity of these Rules, unless
those cases deemed submitted for resolution, in accordance with Sec. 9, R.A. No. 9700.
Provided, further, that all previously acquired lands wherein valuation is subject to challenge
by landowners' shall be completed and finally resolved pursuant to Section 17 of R.A. No. 6657, as
amended by R.A. No. 9700.
SECTION 2. Separability Provisions. — If, for any reason, any portion or provision of these
Rules is declared unconstitutional or invalid by the Supreme Court, no other provision of these Rules
shall be affected thereby.
SECTION 3. Repealing Clause. — The 2003 DARAB Rules and all DAR Administrative
Orders, Circulars and DAR Adjudication Board Resolutions promulgated and issued prior to the
effectivity of these Rules that are inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed and/or modified
accordingly.
SECTION 4. Effectivity Clause. — These Rules shall take effect immediately after its
publication in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulation. TcHEaI
Done this September 1, 2009 at Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines.

TANGUB V CA

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. 6657, is what is at issue in the proceeding at
bar.
Rufina Tangub and her husband, Andres, now deceased, filed with the Regional Trial Court of Lanao
del Norte in March, 1988, "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. 1 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, had caused
foreclosure thereof, resulting in the acquisition of the property by the bank as the highest bidder at the
foreclosure sale, and in the sale by the latter, some 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. 2
In an Order rendered on August 24, 1988, respondent Judge Felipe G. Javier, Jr. dismissed the
complaint. 3 He opined that 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.:-cralaw
The Tangub Spouses filed a petition for Certiorari with this Court, docketed as UDK-8867, assigned to
the Second Division. Discerning however no special and important reason for taking cognizance of the
action, this Court referred the same to the Court of Appeals, that tribunal having concurrent jurisdiction
to act thereon.: nad
The Court of Appeals, by Decision promulgated on October 23, 1989, 4 dismissed the petition, finding
that the jurisdictional question had been correctly resolved by the Trial Court. The Court of Appeals,
adverted to a case earlier decided by it, on August 30, 1989, Estanislao Casinillo v. Hon. Felipe G. Javier,
Jr., et al., in which it was "emphatically ruled that agrarian cases no longer fall under the jurisdiction of
Regional Trial Courts but rather under the jurisdiction of the DAR Adjudication Board." 5 The ruling was
grounded on the provisions of Executive Orders Numbered 229, approved on July 22, 1987, and 129-A,
issued on July 26, 1987, in relation to Republic Act No. 6657, effective on June 15, 1988. Said executive
orders, it was pointed out, were issued by President Corazon C. Aquino undoubtedly in the exercise of
her revolutionary powers in accordance with Section 6, Article XVIII [Transitory Provisions] of the 1986
Constitution providing that the "incumbent President shall continue to exercise legislative powers until
the first Congress is convened."
The petitioner Rufina Vda. de Tangub, now widowed, is once again before this Court, contending that
the Trial Court's "order of dismissal of August 26, 1988, and the decision of the Honorable Court of
Appeals affirming it, are 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."
The petition is without merit.
Section 1 of Executive Order No. 229 sets out the scope of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform
Program (CARP). It states that the program —
". . . shall cover, regardless of tenurial arrangement and commodity produce, all public and
private agricultural land as provided in Proclamation No. 131 dated July 22, 1987, including
whenever applicable in accordance with law, other lands of the public domain suitable to
agriculture."
Section 17 thereof.
1) vested the Department of Agrarian Reform with "quasi-judicial powers to determine and
adjudicate agrarian reform matters," and
2) granted it "jurisdiction over all matters involving implementation of agrarian reform, except
those falling under the exclusive original jurisdiction of the DENR and the Department of
Agriculture [DA], as well as "powers to punish for contempt and to issue subpoena, subpoena
duces tecum and writs to enforce its orders or decisions."
Section 4 of Executive Order No. 129-A made the Department of Agrarian Reform "responsible for
implementing the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, and, for such purpose," authorized it,
among others, to —
"(g) Provide free legal services to agrarian reform beneficiaries and resolve agrarian conflicts and land
tenure problems; . . (and)
x x x
(j) Approve or disapprove the conversion, restructuring or readjustment of agricultural lands into non-
agricultural uses: . ."
And Section 5 of the same Executive Order No. 129-A specified the powers and functions of the
Department of Agrarian Reform, including the following::- nad
"(b) Implement all agrarian laws, and for this purpose, punish for contempt and issue subpoena,
subpoena duces tecum, writ of execution of its decision, and other legal processes to ensure successful
and expeditious program implementation; the decisions of the Department may in proper cases, be
appealed to the Regional Trial Courts but shall be immediately executory notwithstanding such
appeal;
x x x
(h) Provide free legal service to agrarian reform beneficiaries and resolve agrarian conflicts and land
tenure related problems as may be provided for by laws;
(i) Have exclusive authority to approve or disapprove conversion of agricultural lands for residential,
commercial, industrial, and other land uses as may be provided . . ."
The jurisdiction thus conferred on the Department of Agrarian Reform, i.e.:
(a) adjudication of all matters involving implementation of agrarian reform;
(b) resolution of agrarian conflicts and land tenure related problems; and
(c) approval or disapproval of the conversion, restructuring or readjustment of agricultural lands into
residential, commercial, industrial, and other non-agricultural uses,
is 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 of —
". . . original and exclusive jurisdiction over the subject matter vested upon it by law, and all cases,
disputes, controversies and matters or incidents involving the implementation of the Comprehensive
Agrarian Reform Program under Executive Order No. 229, Executive Order No. 129-A, Republic Act No.
3844, as amended by Republic Act No. 6289, Presidential Decree No. 27 and other agrarian laws and
their implementing rules and regulations."
The implementing rules also declare that "(s)pecifically, such jurisdiction shall extend over but not be
limited to . . (that theretofore vested in the Regional Trial Courts, i.e.) (c)ases 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 . . ."
The matter has since been further and definitively clarified by Republic Act No. 6657, which was signed
into law by President Aquino on June 10, 1988 and became effective immediately after its "publication
in two (2) national newspapers of general circulation" on June 15, 1988. The Act makes references to
and explicitly recognizes the effectivity and applicability of Presidential Decree No. 229. 8 More
particularly, the Act echoes the provisions of Section 17 of Presidential Decree No. 229, supra, investing
the Department of Agrarian Reform with original jurisdiction, generally, over all cases involving agrarian
laws, although, as shall shortly be pointed out, it restores to the Regional Trial Court, limited jurisdiction
over two groups of cases. Section 50 reads as follows:
"SEC. 50. Quasi-Judicial Powers of the DAR. — The DAR is hereby 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].
It shall not be bound by technical rules of procedure and evidence but shall proceed to hear and
decide all cases, disputes or controversies in a most expeditious manner, employing all reasonable
means to ascertain the facts of every case in accordance with justice and equity and the merits of the
case. Toward this end, it shall adopt a uniform rule of procedure to achieve a just, expeditious and
inexpensive determination of every action or proceeding before it.
It shall have the power to summon witnesses, administer oaths, take testimony, require submission of
reports, compel the production of books and documents and answers to interrogatories and issue
subpoena and subpoena duces tecum and to enforce its writs through sheriffs or other duly deputized
officers. It shall likewise have the power to punish direct and indirect contempts in the same manner
and subject to the same penalties as provided in the Rules of Court.
x x x
Notwithstanding an appeal to the court of appeals, the decision of the DAR shall be immediately
executory." 9
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. These Regional Trial Courts qua Special Agrarian Courts
have, according to Section 57 of the same law, original and exclusive jurisdiction over:
1) "all petitions for the determination of just compensation to land-owners," and
2) "the prosecution of all criminal offenses under . . [the] Act."
In these cases, "(t)he Rules of Court shall apply . . unless modified by . . . (the) Act."
It is relevant to mention in this connection that —
(1) appeals from decisions of the Special Agrarian Courts "may be taken by filing a petition for
review with the Court of Appeals within fifteen (15) days from receipt or notice of the decision,
. ." 10 and
(2) appeals from 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 Certiorari11 except as otherwise provided . . . within fifteen (15) days from receipt of a copy
thereof," the "findings of fact of the DAR [being] final and conclusive if based on substantial
eviRRDCence." 12
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,
supra.
The petitioner had not bothered to substantiate her contention that she has been denied access to
the courts, which is just as well. The contention is on its face utterly without merit. It may profit her and
her counsel to realize that apart from granting all concerned parties access to a quasi-judicial forum
(the Adjudication Board of the Department of Agrarian Reform), the law strives to make resolution of
controversies therein more expeditious and inexpensive, by providing not only that the Board "shall not
be bound by technical rules of procedure and evidence," supra, but also that, as explicitly stated by
the penultimate paragraph of Section 50 of the Act::-cralaw
"Responsible farmer leaders shall be allowed to represent themselves, their fellow farmers, or their
organizations in any proceedings before the DAR: Provided, however, That when there are two or more
representatives for any individual or group, the representatives should choose only one among
themselves to represent such party or group before any DAR proceedings."
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, without pronouncement as to costs.
SO ORDERED.

STA ROSA REALTY V AMANTE

By virtue of the En Banc Resolution issued on January 13, 2004, the Court authorized the Special
First Division to suspend the Rules so as to allow it to consider and resolve the second Motion for
Reconsideration of respondents,[1] after the motion was heard on oral arguments on August 13, 2003.
On July 9, 2004,[2] the Court resolved to submit for resolution the second Motion for Reconsideration
in G.R. No. 112526 together with G.R. No. 118338 in view of the Resolution of the Court dated January
15, 2001 issued in G.R. No. 118838,[3]consolidating the latter case with G.R. No. 112526, the issues therein
being interrelated.[4] Hence, the herein Amended Decision.
The factual background of the two cases is as follows:
The Canlubang Estate in Laguna is a vast landholding previously titled in the name of the late
Speaker and Chief Justice Jose Yulo, Sr. Within this estate are two parcels of land (hereinafter referred
to as the subject property) covered by TCT Nos. 81949 and 84891 measuring 254.766 hectares and part
of Barangay Casile, subsequently titled in the name of Sta. Rosa Realty Development Corporation
(SRRDC), the majority stockholder of which is C.J. Yulo and Sons, Inc.
The subject property was involved in civil suits and administrative proceedings that led to the filing
of G.R. Nos. 112526 and 118838, thus:

Injunction Case Filed by Amante, et al.

On December 6, 1985, Amante, et al., who are the private respondents in G.R. No. 112526 and
petitioners in G.R. No. 118838, instituted an action for injunction with damages in the Regional Trial
Court of Laguna (Branch 24) against Luis Yulo, SRRDC, and several SRRDC security personnel, docketed
as Civil Case No. B-2333. Amante, et al. alleged that: they are residents of Barangay Casile, Cabuyao,
Laguna, which covers an area of around 300 hectares; in 1910, their ancestors started occupying the
area, built their houses and planted fruit-bearing trees thereon, and since then, have been peacefully
occupying the land; some time in June 3, 1985, SRRDCs security people illegally entered Bgy. Casile
and fenced the area; SRRDCs men also entered the barangay on November 4, 1985, cut down the
trees, burned their huts, and barred the lone jeepney from entering the Canlubang Sugar Estate; as a
result of these acts, Amante, et al. were deprived of possession and cultivation of their lands. Thus, they
claimed damages, sought the issuance of permanent injunction and proposed that a right of way be
declared.[5]
In their Answer, the defendants denied the allegations and disclaimed any control and supervision
over its security personnel. Defendant SRRDC also alleged that as the real owner of the property, it was
the one that suffered damages due to the encroachment on the property.[6]
A writ of preliminary injunction was issued by the trial court on August 17, 1987, [7] but this was
subsequently dissolved by the Court of Appeals (CA) on April 22, 1988 in its decision in CA-G.R. SP No.
13908.[8]
After trial on the merits, the trial court, on January 20, 1992, rendered a decision ordering Amante,
et al. to vacate the property, the dispositive portion of which reads:

WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the defendants and against
the plaintiffs hereby dismissing the complaint and amended complaint.

The plaintiffs are hereby ordered to vacate the parcels of land belonging to the defendants Luis Yulo
and Sta. Rosa Realty. They are likewise enjoined from entering the subject parcels of land.
Although attorneys fees and expenses of litigation are recoverable in case of a clearly unfounded civil
action against the plaintiff (Enervida vs. De la Torre, 55 SCRA 339), this Court resolves not to award
attorneys fees etc. in favor of the defendants because the plaintiffs appear to have acted in good
faith in filing the present civil action (Salao vs. Salao, 70 SCRA 65) and that it would not be just and
equitable to award the same in the case at bar. (Liwanag vs. Court of Appeals, 121 SCRA 354)
Accordingly, the other reliefs prayed for by the defendants are hereby dismissed.

SO ORDERED.[9]

Amante, et al. appealed the aforesaid decision to the CA, docketed as CA-G.R. CV No. 38182.
On June 28, 1994, the CA affirmed with modification the decision of the trial court in the injunction
case. The dispositive portion of the appellate courts decision[10] reads as follows:

WHEREFORE, the judgment herein appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED, with the modification that the
defendants-appellees are hereby ordered, jointly and severally, to pay the plaintiffs-appellants
nominal damages in the amount of P5,000.00 per plaintiff. No pronouncement as to costs.

SO ORDERED.[11]

Nominal damages were awarded by the CA because it found that SRRDC violated Amante, et
al.s rights as possessors of the subject property.[12]
Amante, et al. filed a motion for reconsideration thereof, pointing out the DARABs decision placing
the property under compulsory acquisition, and the CA decision in CA-G.R. SP No. 27234, affirming the
same.[13] The CA, however, denied the motion, with the modification that only SRRDC and the
defendants-security guards should be held jointly and severally liable for the nominal damages
awarded. It also made the clarification that the decision should not preempt any judgment or
prejudice the right of any party in the agrarian reform case pending before the Supreme Court (G.R.
No. 112526).[14]
Thus, Amante, et al. filed on March 2, 1995, herein petition, docketed as G.R. No. 118838 on the
following grounds:

4.1. THE COURT OF APPEALS DECIDED THE CASE CONTRARY TO LAW OR APPLICABLE SUPREME COURT
DECISIONS BECAUSE:

4.1.1 FIRST, PETITIONERS MAY NOT BE LAWFULLY EVICTED FROM THEIR LANDHOLDINGS CONSIDERING
THAT:

-- (A) PETITIONERS ARE ALREADY THE REGISTERED OWNERS UNDER THE TORRENS SYSTEM OF THE
PROPERTIES IN QUESTION SINCE FEBRUARY 26, 1992 BY VIRTUE OF RA 6657 OR THE COMPREHENSIVE
AGRARIAN REFORM LAW;

-- (B) THE COURT OF APPEALS HAS AFFIRMED THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF LAGUNAS DISMISSAL OF
THE EJECTMENT CASES FILED BY RESPONDENT SRRDC AGAINST PETITIONERS; AND

-- (C) ASSUMING FOR THE SAKE OF ARGUMENT ONLY THAT PETITIONERS ARE NOT YET THE REGISTERED
OWNERS OF THE PROPERTIES IN QUESTION, RESPONDENTS MAY NOT RAISE THE ISSUE OF OWNERSHIP IN
THIS CASE FOR INJUNCTION WITH DAMAGES, THE SAME TO BE VENTILATED IN A SEPARATE ACTION, NOT
IN THIS CASE BROUGHT TO PREVENT RESPONDENTS FROM COMMITTING FURTHER ACTS OF
DISPOSSESSION [BACAR V. DEL ROSARIO ET AL., 171 SCRA 451 (1989)].

4.1.2 SECOND, PETITIONERS ARE ENTITLED TO MORAL, EXEMPLARY DAMAGES AND ATTORNEYS FEES,
INSTEAD OF MERE NOMINAL DAMAGES, CONSIDERING THAT THE COURT OF APPEALS FOUND
RESPONDENTS TO HAVE UNLAWFULLY AND ILLEGALLY DISTURBED PETITIONERS PEACEFUL AND
CONTINUOUS POSSESSION.[15]

Ejectment Cases Filed by SRRDC

Between October 1986 and August 1987, after the injunction case was filed by Amante, et al.,
SRRDC filed with the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of Cabuyao, Laguna, several complaints for forcible
entry with preliminary injunction and damages against Amante, et al., docketed as Civil Cases Nos.
250, 258, 260, 262 and 266. SRRDC alleged that some time in July 1987, they learned that Amante, et
al., without their authority and through stealth and strategy, were clearing, cultivating and planting on
the subject property; and that despite requests from SRRDCs counsel, Amante, et al. refused to vacate
the property, prompting them to file the ejectment cases.[16] Amante, et al. denied that SRRDC are the
absolute owners of the property, stating that they have been in peaceful possession thereof, through
their predecessors-in-interest, since 1910.[17]
On May 24, 1991, the MTC-Cabuyao rendered its decision in favor of SRRDC. Amante, et al. were
ordered to surrender possession and vacate the subject property. The decision was appealed to the
Regional Trial Court of Bian, Laguna (Assisting Court).
On February 18, 1992, the RTC dismissed the ejectment cases on the ground that the subject
property is an agricultural land being tilled by Amante, et al., hence it is the Department of Agrarian
Reform (DAR), which has jurisdiction over the dispute.[18] The RTCs dismissal of the complaints was
brought to the CA via a petition for review, docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 33382.[19] In turn, the CA
dismissed the petition per its Decision dated January 17, 1995 on the ground that SRRDC failed to show
any prior physical possession of the subject property that would have justified the filing of the ejectment
cases.[20] Also, the CA did not sustain the RTCs finding that the subject properties are agricultural lands
and Amante, et al. are tenant/farmers thereof, as the evidence on record does not support such
finding. The parties did not file any motion for reconsideration from the Court of Appeals dismissal,
hence, it became final and executory.[21]

Administrative Proceedings

While the injunction and ejectment cases were still in process, it appears that in August, 1989, the
Municipal Agrarian Reform Office (MARO) issued a Notice of Coverage to SRRDC, informing petitioners
that the property covered by TCT Nos. T-81949, T-84891 and T-92014 is scheduled for compulsory
acquisition under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).[22] SRRDC filed its Protest and
Objection with the MARO on the grounds that the area was not appropriate for agricultural purposes,
as it was rugged in terrain with slopes of 18% and above, and that the occupants of the land were
squatters, who were not entitled to any land as beneficiaries.[23] Thereafter, as narrated in the Decision
of the Court dated October 12, 2001 in G.R. No. 112526, the following proceedings ensued:

On August 29, 1989, the farmer beneficiaries together with the BARC chairman answered the protest
and objection stating that the slope of the land is not 18% but only 5-10% and that the land is suitable
and economically viable for agricultural purposes, as evidenced by the Certification of the
Department of Agriculture, municipality of Cabuyao, Laguna.

On September 8, 1989, MARO Belen dela Torre made a summary investigation report and forwarded
the Compulsory Acquisition Folder Indorsement (CAFI) to the Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer
(hereafter, PARO).

On September 21, 1989, PARO Durante Ubeda forwarded his endorsement of the compulsory
acquisition to the Secretary of Agrarian Reform.

On November 23, 1989, Acting Director Eduardo C. Visperas of the Bureau of Land Acquisition and
Development, DAR forwarded two (2) Compulsory Acquisition Claim Folders covering the landholding
of SRRDC, covered by TCT Nos. T-81949 and T-84891 to the President, Land Bank of the Philippines for
further review and evaluation.

On December 12, 1989, Secretary of Agrarian Reform Miriam Defensor Santiago sent two (2) notices of
acquisition to petitioner, stating that petitioners landholdings covered by TCT Nos. T-81949 and T-84891,
containing an area of 188.2858 and 58.5800 hectares, valued at P4,417,735.65 and P1,220,229.93,
respectively, had been placed under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.

On February 6, 1990, petitioner SRRDC in two letters separately addressed to Secretary Florencio B.
Abad and the Director, Bureau of Land Acquisition and Distribution, sent its formal protest, protesting
not only the amount of compensation offered by DAR for the property but also the two (2) notices of
acquisition.

On March 17, 1990, Secretary Abad referred the case to the DARAB for summary proceedings to
determine just compensation under R.A. No. 6657, Section 16.
On March 23, 1990, the LBP returned the two (2) claim folders previously referred for review and
evaluation to the Director of BLAD mentioning its inability to value the SRRDC landholding due to some
deficiencies.

On March 28, 1990, Executive Director Emmanuel S. Galvez wrote the Land Bank President Deogracias
Vistan to forward the two (2) claim folders involving the property of SRRDC to the DARAB for it to conduct
summary proceedings to determine the just compensation for the land.

On April 6, 1990, petitioner sent a letter to the Land Bank of the Philippines stating that its property under
the aforesaid land titles were exempt from CARP coverage because they had been classified as
watershed area and were the subject of a pending petition for land conversion.

On May 10, 1990, Director Narciso Villapando of BLAD turned over the two (2) claim folders (CACFs) to
the Executive Director of the DAR Adjudication Board for proper administrative valuation. Acting on
the CACFs, on September 10, 1990, the Board promulgated a resolution asking the office of the
Secretary of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to first resolve two (2) issues before it proceeds with the summary
land valuation proceedings.

The issues that need to be threshed out were as follows: (1) whether the subject parcels of land fall
within the coverage of the Compulsory Acquisition Program of the CARP; and (2) whether the petition
for land conversion of the parcels of land may be granted.

On December 7, 1990, the Office of the Secretary, DAR, through the Undersecretary for Operations
(Assistant Secretary for Luzon Operations) and the Regional Director of Region IV, submitted a report
answering the two issues raised. According to them, firstly, by virtue of the issuance of the notice of
coverage on August 11, 1989, and notice of acquisition on December 12, 1989, the property is covered
under compulsory acquisition. Secondly, Administrative Order No. 1, Series of 1990, Section IV D also
supports the DAR position on the coverage of the said property. During the consideration of the case
by the Board, there was no pending petition for land conversion specifically concerning the parcels of
land in question.

On February 19, 1991, the Board sent a notice of hearing to all the parties interested, setting the hearing
for the administrative valuation of the subject parcels of land on March 6, 1991. However, on February
22, 1991, Atty. Ma. Elena P. Hernandez-Cueva, counsel for SRRDC, wrote the Board requesting for its
assistance in the reconstruction of the records of the case because the records could not be found as
her co-counsel, Atty. Ricardo Blancaflor, who originally handled the case for SRRDC and had
possession of all the records of the case was on indefinite leave and could not be contacted. The
Board granted counsels request and moved the hearing on April 4, 1991.

On March 18, 1991, SRRDC submitted a petition to the Board for the latter to resolve SRRDCs petition for
exemption from CARP coverage before any administrative valuation of their landholding could be had
by the Board.

On April 4, 1991, the initial DARAB hearing of the case was held and subsequently, different dates of
hearing were set without objection from counsel of SRRDC. During the April 15, 1991 hearing, the
subdivision plan of subject property at Casile, Cabuyao, Laguna was submitted and marked as Exhibit
5 for SRRDC. At the hearing on April 23, 1991, the Land Bank asked for a period of one month to value
the land in dispute.

At the hearing on April 23, 1991, certification from Deputy Zoning Administrator Generoso B. Opina was
presented. The certification issued on September 8, 1989, stated that the parcels of land subject of the
case were classified as Industrial Park per Sangguniang Bayan Resolution No. 45-89 dated March 29,
1989.

To avert any opportunity that the DARAB might distribute the lands to the farmer beneficiaries, on April
30, 1991, petitioner filed a petition with DARAB to disqualify private respondents as beneficiaries.
However, DARAB refused to address the issue of beneficiaries.[24]

...

On December 19, 1991, the DARAB promulgated a decision, affirming the dismissal of the protest
of SRRDC against the compulsory coverage of the property covered by TCT Nos. 81949 and 84891. The
decretal portion of the decision reads:
WHEREFORE, based on the foregoing premises, the Board hereby orders:

1. The dismissal for lack of merit of the protest against the compulsory coverage of the
landholdings of Sta. Rosa Realty Development Corporation (Transfer Certificates of Title Nos.
81949 and 84891 with an area of 254.766 hectares) in Barangay Casile, Municipality of
Cabuyao, Province of Laguna under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program is
hereby affirmed;
2. The Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) to pay Sta. Rosa Realty Development Corporation the
amount of Seven Million Eight Hundred Forty-One Thousand, Nine Hundred Ninety Seven
Pesos and Sixty-Four centavos (P7,841,997.64) for its landholdings covered by the two (2)
Transfer Certificates of Title mentioned above. Should there be a rejection of the payment
tendered, to open, if none has yet been made, a trust account for said amount in the name
of Sta. Rosa Realty Development Corporation;
3. The Register of Deeds of the Province of Laguna to cancel with dispatch Transfer Certificate
of Title Nos. 84891 and 81949 and new one be issued in the name of the Republic of the
Philippines, free from liens and encumbrances;
4. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources either through its Provincial Office in
Laguna or the Regional Office, Region IV, to conduct a final segregation survey on the lands
covered by Transfer Certificate of Title Nos. 84891 and 81949 so the same can be transferred
by the Register of Deeds to the name of the Republic of the Philippines;
5. The Regional Office of the Department of Agrarian Reform through its Municipal and
Provincial Agrarian Reform Office to take immediate possession on the said landholding
after Title shall have been transferred to the name of the Republic of the Philippines, and
distribute the same to the immediate issuance of Emancipation Patents to the farmer-
beneficiaries as determined by the Municipal Agrarian Reform Office of Cabuyao,
Laguna.[25]
On July 11, 1991, DAR Secretary Benjamin T. Leong issued a memorandum directing the Land Bank
of the Philippines (LBP) to open a trust account in favor of SRRDC, for P5,637,965.55, as valuation for the
SRRDC property.
The titles in the name of SRRDC were cancelled and corresponding TCTs were issued in the name
of the Republic of the Philippines on February 11, 1992, [26] after which Certificates of Land Ownership
Award (CLOA) were issued in the name of the farmers-beneficiaries on February 26, 1992.[27]
In the meantime, SRRDC had filed with the CA a petition for review of the DARABs decision,
docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 27234.
On November 5, 1993, the CA affirmed the decision of DARAB, to wit:

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the DARAB decision dated December 19, 1991 is AFFIRMED, without
prejudice to petitioner Sta. Rosa Realty Development Corporation ventilating its case with the Special
Agrarian Court on the issue of just compensation.[28]

Hence, SRRDC filed on November 24, 1993, herein petition, docketed as G.R. No. 112526 on the
following grounds:
I

THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED A GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION TANTAMOUNT TO LACK OR


EXCESS OF ITS JURISDICTION IN RULING THAT THE SRRDC PROPERTIES, DESPITE THE UNDISPUTED FACT OF
THEIR NON-AGRICULTURAL CLASSIFICATION PRIOR TO RA 6657, ARE COVERED BY THE CARP CONTRARY
TO THE NATALIA REALTY DECISION OF THIS HONORABLE COURT.

i. The SRRDC properties have been zoned and approved as PARK since 1979.

ii. The SRRDC properties form part of a watershed area.

II

THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED A GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION TANTAMOUNT TO LACK OR


EXCESS OF ITS JURISDICTION IN DISREGARDING ECOLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS AS MANDATED BY LAW.
III

THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED A GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION TANTAMOUNT TO LACK OR


EXCESS OF ITS JURISDICTION IN AFFIRMING THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE SRRDC PROPERTIES TO PRIVATE
RESPONDENTS WHO HAVE BEEN JUDICIALLY DECLARED AS SQUATTERS AND THEREFORE ARE NOT
QUALIFIED BENEFICIARIES PURSUANT TO THE CENTRAL MINDANAO UNIVERSITY DECISION OF THIS
HONORABLE COURT.

i. The acquisition of the SRRDC properties cannot be valid for future beneficiaries.

ii. Section 22 of RA 6657 insofar as it expands the coverage of the CARP to landless residents
is unconstitutional.

IV

THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED A GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION TANTAMOUNT TO LACK OR


EXCESS OF ITS JURISDICTION IN HOLDING THAT THE DARAB HAS JURISDICTION TO PASS UPON THE ISSUE
OF WHETHER THE SRRDC PROPERTIES ARE SUBJECT TO CARP COVERAGE.[29]

On October 12, 2001, the Court rendered its Decision in G.R. No. 112526 only, setting aside the
decision of the CA in CA-G.R. SP No. 27234 and ordering the remand of the case to the DARAB for re-
evaluation and determination of the nature of the land. The dispositive portion of the Decision reads
as follows:

IN VIEW WHEREOF, the Court SETS ASIDE the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 27234.

In lieu thereof, the Court REMANDS the case to the DARAB for re-evaluation and determination of the
nature of the parcels of land involved to resolve the issue of its coverage by the Comprehensive Land
Reform Program.

In the meantime, the effects of the CLOAs issued by the DAR to supposed farmer beneficiaries shall
continue to be stayed by the temporary restraining order issued on December 15, 1993, which shall
remain in effect until final decision on the case.

No costs.

SO ORDERED.[30]

It is the opinion of the Court in G.R. No. 112526, that the property is part of a watershed, and that
during the hearing at the DARAB, there was proof that the land may be excluded from the coverage
of the CARP because of its high slopes.[31] Thus, the Court concluded that a remand of the case to the
DARAB for re-evaluation of the issue of coverage is appropriate in order to resolve the true nature of
the subject property.[32]
In their Memorandum, Amante, et al. argues that there exist compelling reasons to grant the
second motion for reconsideration of the assailed decision of the Court, to wit:

2.1 Only QUESTIONS OF LAW are admittedly and undeniably at issue; yet the Honorable Court reviewed
the findings of facts of the Court of Appeals and the DARAB although the case does not fall into any
of the well-recognized exceptions to conduct a factual review. Worse, the 12 October 2001 Decision
assumed facts not proven before any administrative, quasi-judicial or judicial bodies;

2.2 The DARAB and the Court of Appeals already found the land to be CARPable; yet the Honorable
Court remanded the case to DARAB to re-evaluate if the land is CARPable;

2.3 The Decision did not express clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based;

2.4 The Decision renewed the Temporary Restraining Order issued on 15 December 1993, issuance of
which is barred by Sec. 55 of R.A. 6657; and

2.5 This Honorable Court denied private respondents Motion for Reconsideration although issues raised
therein were never passed upon in the 12 October 2001 Decision or elsewhere.[33]
The DAR and the DARAB, through the Office of the Solicitor General, did not interpose any
objection to the second motion for reconsideration. It also maintained that if SRRDCs claim that the
property is watershed is true, then it is the DENR that should exercise control and supervision in the
disposition, utilization, management, renewal and conservation of the property.[34]
SRRDC meanwhile insists that there are no compelling reasons to give due course to the second
motion for reconsideration.[35]
At the outset, the Court notes that petitioner designated its petition in G.R. No. 112526 as one for
review on certiorari of the decision of the CA. In the same breath, it likewise averred that it was also
being filed as a special civil action for certiorari as public respondents committed grave abuse of
discretion.[36] Petitioner should not have been allowed, in the first place, to pursue such remedies
simultaneously as these are mutually exclusive.[37]
It is SRRDCs claim that the CA committed grave abuse of discretion in holding that the subject
property is agricultural in nature. In support of its contention, it argued, among others, that the subject
property had already been classified as park since 1979 under the Zoning Ordinance of Cabuyao, as
approved by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB); that it forms part of a watershed;
and that the CA disregarded ecological considerations.[38] SRRDC also claimed that Amante, et al. are
not qualified beneficiaries.[39]
Clearly, these issues are factual in nature, which the Court, as a rule, should not have considered
in this case. However, there are recognized exceptions, e.g., when the factual inferences of the
appellate court are manifestly mistaken; the judgment is based on a misapprehension of facts; or the
CA manifestly overlooked certain relevant and undisputed facts that, if properly considered, would
justify a different legal conclusion.[40] The present cases fall under the above exceptions.
Thus, in order to finally set these cases to rest, the Court shall resolve the substantive matters raised,
which in effect comes down to the issue of the validity of the acquisition of the subject property by the
Government under Republic Act (R.A.) No. 6657, or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988
(CARL).
As noted earlier, the DARAB made its finding regarding the nature of the property in question, i.e.,
the parcels of land are agricultural and may be the subject of compulsory acquisition for distribution
to farmer-beneficiaries, thus:

Ocular inspections conducted by the Board show that the subject landholdings have been under the
possession and tillage of the DAR identified potential beneficiaries which they inherited from their
forebears (workers of the Yulo Estate). They are bonafide residents and registered voters (DARAB
Exhibits C and J) of Barangay Casile, Cabuyao, Laguna. There is a barangay road leading toward the
barangay school and sites and the settlement has a barangay hall, church, elementary school
buildings (DARAB Exhibit Q), Comelec precincts (DARAB Exhibits J-1 and J-2), and other structures
extant in progressive communities. The barangay progressive development agencies, like the DECS,
DA, COMELEC, DAR and Support Services of Land Bank, DPWH, DTI and the Cooperative Development
Authority have extended support services to the community (DARAB Exhibits I, K to K-3, L, M, N, O, P to
P-6). More importantly, subject landholdings are suitable for agriculture. Their topography is flat to
undulating 3-15% slope. (Testimony of Rosalina Jumaquio, Agricultural Engineer, DAR, TSN, June 21,
1991, DARAB Exhibits F and H). Though some portions are over 18% slope, nevertheless, clearly visible
thereat are fruit-bearing trees, like coconut, coffee, and pineapple plantations, etc. (see Petitioners
Exhibits A to YYY and DARAB Exhibits A to S, Records). In other words, they are already productive and
fully developed.

...

As the landholdings of SRRDC subject of the instant proceedings are already developed not only as a
community but also as an agricultural farm capable of sustaining daily existence and growth, We find
no infirmity in placing said parcels of land under compulsory coverage. They do not belong to the
exempt class of lands. The claim that the landholding of SRRDC is a watershed; hence, belonging to
the exempt class of lands is literally throwing punches at the moon because the DENR certified that the
only declared watershed in Laguna Province and San Pablo City is the Caliraya-Lumot Rivers
(Petitioners Exhibit A). A sensu contrario, the landholdings subject herein are not. [41] (Emphasis supplied)

The evidence on record supports these findings, to wit:


1. Certification dated January 16, 1989 by the OIC Provincial Environment and Natural
Resources Office of Laguna that the only declared watershed in the Laguna province and
San Pablo City is the Caliraya-Lumot Rivers No. 1570 dated September 1, 1976;[42]
2. Map prepared by Agricultural Engineer Rosalina H. Jumaquio showing that: a) the
topography of the property covered by TCT No. T-84891 topography is flat to undulating
with a 5 to 10% slope; (b) it is suitable to agricultural crops; and (c) the land is presently
planted with diversified crops;[43]
3. Certification dated August 28, 1989 by APT Felicito Buban of the Department of Agriculture
of Laguna that, per his ocular inspection, the subject property is an agricultural area, and
that the inhabitants main occupation is farming;[44]
4. Pictures taken by MARO Belen La Torre of Cabuyao, Laguna, showing that the property is
cultivated and inhabited by the farmer-beneficiaries;[45]
SRRDC however, insists that the property has already been classified as a municipal park and
beyond the scope of CARP. To prove this, SRRDC submitted the following:
1. Certification dated March 1, 1991 by the Municipality of Cabuyao, Laguna that the entire
barangay of Casile is delineated as Municipal Park;[46]
2. Certification dated March 11, 1991 by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board that the
parcels of land located in Barangay Casile are within the Municipal Park, based on the
municipalitys approved General Land Use Plan ratified by the Housing and Land Use
Regulatory Board as per Resolution No. 38-2 dated June 25, 1980;[47]
3. Photocopies of pictures taken by Mr. Ernesto Garcia, Officer-in-Charge of the Special Project
Section of CJ Yulo and Sons, Inc., of portions of Barangay Casile;[48]
The Court recognizes the power of a local government to reclassify and convert lands through
local ordinance, especially if said ordinance is approved by the HLURB.[49] Municipal Ordinance No.
110-54 dated November 3, 1979, enacted by the Municipality of Cabuyao, divided the municipality
into residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural and institutional districts, and districts and parks for
open spaces.[50] It did not convert, however, existing agricultural lands into residential, commercial,
industrial, or institutional. While it classified Barangay Casile into a municipal park, as shown in its
permitted uses of land map, the ordinance did not provide for the retroactivity of its classification. In Co
vs. Intermediate Appellate Court,[51] it was held that an ordinance converting agricultural lands into
residential or light industrial should be given prospective application only, and should not change the
nature of existing agricultural lands in the area or the legal relationships existing over such lands. Thus,
it was stated:

A reading of Metro Manila Zoning Ordinance No. 81-01, series of 1981, does not disclose any provision
converting existing agricultural lands in the covered area into residential or light industrial. While it
declared that after the passage of the measure, the subject area shall be used only for residential or
light industrial purposes, it is not provided therein that it shall have retroactive effect so as to discontinue
all rights previously acquired over lands located within the zone which are neither residential nor light
industrial in nature. This simply means that, if we apply the general rule, as we must, the ordinance
should be given prospective operation only. The further implication is that it should not change the
nature of existing agricultural lands in the area or the legal relationships existing over such
lands [52] (Emphasis supplied)

Under Section 3 (c) of R.A. No. 6657, agricultural land is defined as land devoted to agricultural
activity and not classified as mineral, forest, residential, commercial or industrial land. Section 3 (b)
meanwhile defines agricultural activity as the cultivation of the soil, planting of crops, growing of fruit
trees, raising of livestock, poultry or fish, including the harvesting of such products, and other farm
activities, and practices performed by a farmer in conjunction with such farming operations done by
persons whether natural or juridical.
Before Barangay Casile was classified into a municipal park by the local government of Cabuyao,
Laguna in November 1979, it was part of a vast property popularly known as the Canlubang Sugar
Estate. SRRDC claimed that in May 1979, the late Miguel Yulo allowed the employees of the Yulo group
of companies to cultivate a maximum area of one hectare each subject to the condition that they
should not plant crops being grown by the Canlubang Sugar Estate, like coconuts and coffee, to avoid
confusion as to ownership of crops.[53] The consolidation and subdivision plan surveyed for SRRDC on
March 10-15, 1984[54] also show that the subject property is sugar land. Evidently, the subject property
is already agricultural at the time the municipality of Cabuyao enacted the zoning ordinance, and
such ordinance should not affect the nature of the land. More so since the municipality of Cabuyao
did not even take any step to utilize the property as a park.
SRRDC cites the case of Natalia Realty, Inc. vs. DAR,[55] wherein it was ruled that lands not devoted
to agricultural activity and not classified as mineral or forest by the DENR and its predecessor agencies,
and not classified in town plans and zoning ordinances as approved by the HLURB and its preceding
competent authorities prior to the enactment of R.A. No. 6657 on June 15, 1988, are outside the
coverage of the CARP. Said ruling, however, finds no application in the present case. As previously
stated, Municipal Ordinance No. 110-54 of the Municipality of Cabuyao did not provide for any
retroactive application nor did it convert existing agricultural lands into residential, commercial,
industrial, or institutional. Consequently, the subject property remains agricultural in nature and
therefore within the coverage of the CARP.
Only on March 9, 2004, SRRDC filed with the Court a Manifestation pointing out DAR Order No. (E)4-
03-507-309 dated February 17, 2004, exempting from CARP coverage two parcels of land owned by
SRRDC and covered by TCT Nos. T-85573 and T-92014.[56] The DAR found that these properties have
been re-classified into Municipal Parks by the Municipal Ordinance of Cabuyao, Laguna, and are part
of the Kabangaan-Casile watershed, as certified by the DENR.[57]
The Court notes however that the said DAR Order has absolutely no bearing on these cases. The
herein subject property is covered by TCT Nos. 81949 and 34891, totally different, although adjacent,
from the property referred to in said DAR Order.
SRRDC also contends that the property has an 18% slope and over and therefore exempt from
acquisition and distribution under Section 10 of R.A. No. 6657. What SRRDC opted to ignore is that
Section 10, as implemented by DAR Administrative Order No. 13 dated August 30, 1990, also
provides that those with 18% slope and over but already developed for agricultural purposes as of June
15, 1988, may be allocated to qualified occupants.[58] Hence, even assuming that the property has an
18% slope and above, since it is already developed for agricultural purposes, then it cannot be exempt
from acquisition and distribution. Moreover, the topography maps prepared by Agricultural Engineer
Rosalina H. Jumaquio show that the property to be acquired has a 5-10% flat to undulating
scope;[59] that it is suitable to agricultural crops;[60] and it is in fact already planted with diversified
crops.[61]
Also, the Certification dated July 1, 1991 by Geodetic Engineer Conrado R. Rigor that the top
portion of Barangay Casile has a 0 to 18% slope while the side of the hill has a 19 to 75% slope, [62] was
presented by SRRDC only during the proceedings before the CA which had no probative value in a
petition for review proceedings. The Court notes that SRRDC had been given ample time and
opportunity by the DARAB to prove the grounds for its protest and objection but miserably failed to
take advantage of such time and opportunity[63] in the DARAB proceedings.
SRRDC also contends that the property is part of a watershed, citing as evidence, the Certification
dated June 26, 1991 by the Laguna Lake Development Authority that Barangay Casile is part of the
watershed area of the Laguna Lake Basin,[64] and the Final Report for Watershed Area Assessment
Study for the Canlubang Estate dated July 1991 undertaken by the Engineering & Development
Corporation of the Philippines.[65] It must be noted, however, that these pieces of evidence were
likewise brought to record only when petitioner filed its petition for review with the CA. The DARAB never
had the opportunity to assess these pieces of evidence.
The DARAB stated:

Noting the absence of evidence which, in the nature of things, should have been submitted by
landowner SRRDC and to avoid any claim of deprivation of its right to prove its claim to just
compensation (Uy v. Genato, 57 SCRA 123). We practically directed its counsel in not only one
instance, during the series of hearings conducted, to do so. We even granted continuances to give it
enough time to prepare and be ready with the proof and documents. To Our dismay, none was
submitted and this constrained Us to take the failure/refusal of SRRDC to present evidence as a waiver
or, at least, an implied acceptance of the valuation made by the DAR.[66]

The same goes with the CA, which did not have the discretion to consider evidence in a petition
for certiorari or petition for review on certiorari outside than that submitted before the DARAB. The CA
noted petitioners failure to present evidence in behalf of its arguments, thus:

. . . It must be recalled that petitioner Sta. Rosa Realty itself had asked the DARAB in a petition dated
March 18, 1991 to allow it to adduce evidence in support of its position that the subject parcels of land
are not covered by the CARP beginning on the scheduled hearing dated April 4, 1991. And DARAB
obliged as in fact the petitioner commenced to introduce evidence. If petitioner failed to complete
the presentation of evidence to support its claim of exemption from CARP coverage, it has only itself
to blame for which DARAB cannot be accused of not being impartial.[67]
Consequently, there is no need to order the remand of the case to the DARAB for re-evaluation
and determination of the nature of the parcels of land involved. It runs contrary to orderly
administration of justice and would give petitioner undue opportunity to present evidence in support
of its stance, an opportunity it already had during the DARAB proceedings, and which opportunity it
regrettably failed to take advantage of.
More significantly however, it is the DAR Secretary that originally declared the subject property as
falling under the coverage of the CARP.
Moreover, DAR Administrative Order No. 13, Series of 1990 (Rules and Procedure Governing
Exemption of Lands from CARP Coverage under Section 10, R.A. No. 6657) provides:
I. LEGAL MANDATE

The general policy under CARP is to cover as much lands suitable for agriculture as possible. However,
Section 10, RA 6657 excludes and exempts certain types of lands from the coverage of CARP, to wit:

A. Lands actually, directly and exclusively used and found to be necessary for parks, wildlife, forest
reserves, reforestation, fish sanctuaries and breeding grounds, watersheds and mangroves,
national defense, school sites and campuses including experimental farm stations operated
by public or private schools for educational purposes, seeds and seedlings research and pilot
production centers, church sites and convents appurtenant thereto, mosque sites and Islamic
centers appurtenant thereof, communal burial grounds and cemeteries, penal colonies and
penal farms actually worked by the inmates, government and private research and
quarantine centers; and

...
II. POLICIES

In the application of the aforecited provision of law, the following guidelines shall be observed:

A. For an area in I.A to be exempted from CARP coverage, it must be actually, directly and
exclusively used and found to be necessary for the purpose so stated.

...

C. Lands which have been classified or proclaimed, and/or actually directly and exclusively used and
found to be necessary for parks, wildlife, forest reserves, fish sanctuaries and breeding grounds, and
watersheds and mangroves shall be exempted from the coverage of CARP until Congress, taking into
account ecological, developmental and equity considerations, shall have determined by law, the
specific limits of public domain, as provided for under Sec. 4(a) of RA 6657, and a reclassification of
the said areas or portions thereof as alienable and disposable has been approved. (Emphasis supplied)

In order to be exempt from coverage, the land must have been classified or
proclaimed and actually, directly and exclusively used and found to be necessary for watershed
purposes.[68] In this case, at the time the DAR issued the Notices of Coverage up to the time the DARAB
rendered its decision on the dispute, the subject property is yet to be officially classified or proclaimed
as a watershed and has in fact long been used for agricultural purposes. SRRDC relies on the case
of Central Mindanao University (CMU) vs. DARAB,[69] wherein the Court ruled that CMU is in the best
position to determine what property is found necessary for its use. SRRDC claims that it is in the best
position to determine whether its properties are necessary for development as park and watershed
area.[70]
But SRRDCs reliance on the CMU case is flawed. In the CMU case, the subject property from the
very beginning was not alienable and disposable because Proclamation No. 476 issued by the late
President Carlos P. Garcia already reserved the property for the use of the school. Besides, the subject
property in the CMU case was actually, directly and exclusively used and found to be necessary for
educational purposes.
In the present case, the property is agricultural and was not actually and exclusively used for
watershed purposes. As records show, the subject property was first utilized for the purposes of the
Canlubang Sugar Estate.[71] Later, petitioner claimed that the occupants were allowed to cultivate the
area so long as they do not plant crops being grown by the Canlubang Sugar Estate in order to avoid
confusion as to ownership thereof.[72] Thus, based on its own assertions, it appears that it had benefited
from the fruits of the land as agricultural land. Now, in a complete turnaround, it is claiming that the
property is part of a watershed.
Furthermore, in a belated attempt to prove that the subject property is part of a watershed that
must be environmentally protected, SRRDC submitted before the Court a Final Report dated February
1994 undertaken by the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) of the DENR entitled,
Environmental Assessment of the Casile and Kabanga-an River Watersheds.[73] The study, according to
SRRDC, was made pursuant to a handwritten instruction issued by then President Fidel V. Ramos. The
study noted that, the continuing threat of widespread deforestation and unwise land use practices
have resulted in the deteriorating condition of the watersheds.[74] But the Court also notes the
Memorandum for the President dated September 1993 by then DENR Secretary Angel C. Alcala that,
after a field inspection conducted by the DENRs Regional Executive Director and the Provincial and
Community Natural Resource Officers, it was found that:
...
2. Many bankal trees were found growing in the watershed/CARP areas, including some which
have been coppiced, and that water conduits for domestic and industrial uses were found
installed at the watershed area claimed by the Yulos. Records further show that in the 1970s,
a Private Land Timber Permit was issued to Canlubang Sugar Estate thru its marketing arm,
the Sta. Rosa Realty Devpt. Corp.
3. Resident farmers denied that they have been cutting bankal trees and volunteered the
information that one of the Estates security guards was dismissed for cutting and
transporting bankal trees. The trees cut by the dismissed security guard were found stacked
adjacent to the Canlubang Security Agencys headquarters.[75]
Evidently, SRRDC had a hand in the degradation of the area, and now wants to put the entire
blame on the farmer-beneficiaries. It is reasonable to conclude that SRRDC is merely using ecological
considerations to avert any disposition of the property adverse to it.
SRRDC also objects to the identification of Amante, et al. as beneficiaries of the subject property.
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
farmworkers who are qualified to be beneficiaries of the CARP. These potential beneficiaries with the
assistance of the BARC and the DAR shall provide the following data:

(a) names and members of their immediate farm household;


(b) owners or administrators of the lands they work on and the length of tenurial
relationship;
(c) location and area of the land they work;
(d) crops planted; and
(e) their share in the harvest or amount of rental paid or wages received.

A copy of the registry or list of all potential CARP beneficiaries in the barangay shall be posted in the
barangay hall, school or other public buildings in the barangay where it shall be open to inspection by
the public at all reasonable hours.

Meanwhile, Administrative Order No. 10 (Rules and Procedures Governing the Registration of
Beneficiaries), Series of 1989, provides:

SUBJECT: I. PREFATORY STATEMENT

Pursuant to Section 15, Chapter IV, of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988, the DAR, in
coordination with the Barangay Agrarian Reform Committee (BARC), as organized pursuant to RA
6657, shall register all agricultural lessees, tenants and farmworkers who are qualified beneficiaries of
the CARP. This Administrative Order provides the Implementing Rules and Procedures for the said
registration.

...

B. Specific
1. Identify the actual and potential farmer-beneficiaries of the CARP.

In Lercana vs. Jalandoni,[76] the Court categorically stated 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.[77]

The farmer-beneficiaries have already been identified in this case. Also, the DAR Secretary has
already issued Notices of Coverage and Notices of Acquisition pertaining to the subject property. It
behooves the courts to exercise great caution in substituting its own determination of the issue, unless
there is grave abuse of discretion committed by the administrative agency,[78] which in these cases the
Court finds none.
SRRDC questions the constitutionality of Section 22 of R.A. No. 6657, which reads in part:

SECTION 22. Qualified Beneficiaries. The lands covered by the CARP shall be distributed as much as
possible to landless residents of the same barangay, or in the absence thereof, landless residents of the
same municipality in the following order of priority.

(a) agricultural lessees and share tenants;


(b) regular farmworkers;
(c) seasonal farmworkers;
(d) other farmworkers;
(e) actual tillers or occupants of public lands;
(f) collectives or cooperatives of the above beneficiaries; and
(g) others directly working on the land.

...

SRRDC argues that Section 22 sweepingly declares landless residents as beneficiaries of the CARP
(to mean also squatters), in violation of Article XIII, Section 4 of the Constitution, which aims to benefit
only the landless farmers and regular farmworkers.[79]
The Court cannot entertain such constitutional challenge. The requirements before a litigant can
challenge the constitutionality of a law are well-delineated, viz.:
(1) The existence of an actual and appropriate case;
(2) A personal and substantial interest of the party raising the constitutional question;
(3) The exercise of judicial review is pleaded at the earliest opportunity; and
(4) The constitutional question is the lis mota of the case.[80] (Emphasis supplied)
Earliest opportunity means that the question of unconstitutionality of the act in question should
have been immediately raised in the proceedings in the court below,[81] in this case, the DAR Secretary.
It must be pointed out that all controversies on the implementation of the CARP fall under the
jurisdiction of the DAR, even though they raise questions that are also legal or constitutional in
nature.[82] The earliest opportunity to raise a constitutional issue is to raise it in the pleadings before a
competent court that can resolve the same, such that, if it is not raised in the pleadings, it cannot be
considered at the trial, and, if not considered at the trial, it cannot be considered on
appeal.[83] Records show that SRRDC raised such constitutional challenge only before this Court despite
the fact that it had the opportunity to do so before the DAR Secretary. The DARAB correctly refused to
deal on this issue as it is the DAR Secretary who, under the law, has the authority to determine the
beneficiaries of the CARP. This Court will not entertain questions on the invalidity of a statute where that
issue was not specifically raised, insisted upon, and adequately argued[84] in the DAR.
Likewise, the constitutional question raised by SRRDC is not the very lis mota in the present case.
Basic is the rule that every law has in its favor the presumption of constitutionality, and to justify its
nullification, there must be a clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution, and not one that is
doubtful, speculative or argumentative.[85] The controversy at hand is principally anchored on the
coverage of the subject property under the CARP, an issue that can be determined without delving
into the constitutionality of Section 22 of R.A. No. 6657. While the identification of Amante, et al. as
farmer-beneficiaries is a corollary matter, yet, the same may be resolved by the DAR.
SRRDC questions the DARABs jurisdiction to entertain the question of whether the subject property
is subject to CARP coverage.
According to SRRDC, such authority is vested with the DAR Secretary who has the exclusive
prerogative to resolve matters involving the administrative implementation of the CARP and agrarian
laws and regulations.[86]
There is no question that the power to determine whether a property is subject to CARP coverage
lies with the DAR Secretary. Section 50 of R.A. No. 6657 provides that:

SEC. 50. Quasi-Judicial Powers of the DAR. - The DAR is hereby 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).

...

The DARs jurisdiction under Section 50 of R.A. No. 6657 is two-fold. The first is essentially executive
and pertains to the enforcement and administration of the laws, carrying them into practical operation
and enforcing their due observance, while the second is judicial and involves the determination of
rights and obligations of the parties.[87]
Pursuant to its judicial mandate of achieving a just, expeditious and inexpensive determination of
every action or proceeding before it,[88] the DAR adopted the DARAB Revised Rules, Rule II (Jurisdiction
of the Adjudication Board) of which provides:

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:

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 Bank;

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;

d) Cases arising from, or connected with membership or representation in compact farms, farmers
cooperatives and other registered farmers associations or organizations, related to land covered by
the CARP and other agrarian laws;

e) Cases involving the sale, alienation, mortgage, foreclosure, pre-emption and redemption of
agricultural lands under the coverage of the CARP or other agrarian laws;

f) Cases involving the issuance of Certificate of Land Transfer (CLT), Certificate of Land Ownership
Award (CLOA) and Emancipation Patent (EP) and the administrative correction thereof;

g) And such other agrarian cases, disputes, matters or concerns referred to it by the Secretary of the
DAR.

Provided, however, that matters involving strictly the administrative implementation of the CARP and
other agrarian laws and regulations, shall be the exclusive prerogative of and cognizable by the
Secretary of the DAR. (Emphasis supplied)
On the other hand, Administrative Order No. 06-00,[89] which provides for the Rules of Procedure for
Agrarian Law Implementation (ALI) Cases, govern the administrative function of the DAR. Under said
Rules of Procedure, the DAR Secretary has exclusive jurisdiction over classification and identification of
landholdings for coverage under the CARP, including protests or oppositions thereto and petitions for
lifting of coverage. Section 2 of the said Rules specifically provides, inter alia, that:

SECTION 2. Cases Covered. - These Rules shall govern cases falling within the exclusive jurisdiction of
the DAR Secretary which shall include the following:

(a) Classification and identification of landholdings for coverage under the Comprehensive Agrarian
Reform Program (CARP), including protests or oppositions thereto and petitions for lifting of coverage;

(b) Identification, qualification or disqualification of potential farmer-beneficiaries;

(c) Subdivision surveys of lands under CARP;

(d) Issuance, recall or cancellation of Certificates of Land Transfer (CLTs) and CARP Beneficiary
Certificates (CBCs) in cases outside the purview of Presidential Decree (PD) No. 816, including the
issuance, recall or cancellation of Emancipation Patents (EPs) or Certificates of Land Ownership
Awards (CLOAs) not yet registered with the Register of Deeds;

(e) Exercise of the right of retention by landowner; . . . (Emphasis supplied)

Thus, the power to determine whether a property is agricultural and subject to CARP coverage
together with the identification, qualification or disqualification of farmer-beneficiaries lies with the DAR
Secretary.[90]
Significantly, the DAR had already determined that the properties are subject to expropriation
under the CARP and has distributed the same to the farmer-beneficiaries.
Initially, the LBP forwarded the two Compulsory Acquisition Claim Folders (CACF) covering the
subject properties to the DARAB for summary proceedings for the sole purpose of determining just
compensation. SRRDC then sent a letter to the LBP claiming that the subject properties were exempt
from CARP coverage and subject of a pending petition for land conversion. As a consequence, the
DARAB asked the DAR Secretary to first resolve the issues raised by SRRDC before it can proceed with
the land valuation proceedings. In response, the DAR, through the Undersecretary for Operations and
the Regional Director of Region IV, submitted its report stating that: (1) the property is subject to
compulsory acquisition by virtue of the Notice of Coverage issued on August 11, 1989, and Notice of
Acquisition issued on December 12, 1989, and that it was subject to CARP coverage per Section IV D
of DAR Administrative Order No. 1, Series of 1990; and (2) there was no pending petition for land
conversion involving the subject property. When SRRDC petitioned the DARAB to resolve the issue of
exemption from coverage, it was only then that the DARAB took cognizance of said issue.[91]
As the DARAB succinctly pointed out, it was SRRDC that initiated and invoked the DARABs
jurisdiction to pass upon the question of CARP coverage. As stated by the DARAB:

4.5.2.2. The ISSUE ON CARP COVERAGE was initiated and incorporated in said proceeding, at the
instance of petitioner itself, by filing a petition dated March 18, 1991, Prayed therein were that DARAB:

1. Take cognizance and assume jurisdiction over the question of CARP coverage of the subject
parcels of land;

2. Defer or hold in abeyance the proceedings for administrative valuation of the subject properties
pending determination of the question of CARP coverage;

3. Allow respondent SRRDC to adduce evidence in support of its position that the subject parcels of
land are not covered by the CARP beginning on the scheduled hearing date of April 4, 1991 (p.3;
emphasis and underscoring supplied).

Upon persistent request of petitioner SRRDC, it was accommodated by DARAB and a counsel of SRRDC
even took the witness stand. Its lawyers were always in attendance during the scheduled hearings until
it was time for SRRDC to present its own evidence.
4.5.2.3. But, as earlier stated, despite the open session proddings by DARAB for SRRDC to submit
evidence and the rescheduling for, allegedly, they are still collating the evidence, nay, the request
that it be allowed to adduce evidence, none was adduced and this constrained public respondent
to declare SRRDC as having waived its right to present evidence. And, after the remaining parties were
heard, the hearing was formally terminated.

...

4.5.3. Needless to state, the jurisdictional objection (CARP coverage), now being raised herein was not
one of the original matters in issue. Principally, DARAB was called upon under Section 16 of Republic
Act No. 6657 to resolve a land valuation case. But SRRDC itself insisted that DARAB should take
cognizance thereof in the same land valuation proceeding. And, SRRDC, through its lawyers, actively
participated in the hearings conducted.

4.5.4. It was only when an adverse decision was rendered by DARAB that the jurisdictional issue was
raised in the petition for review it filed with the Honorable Court of Appeals. It was also only then that
petitioner presented proof/evidence.

...

4.5.6. Public respondents (DAR/DARAB) are not unmindful of the rule that matter of jurisdiction may be
raised at any stage of the proceeding. But for two serious considerations, the applicability thereof in
the case at bar should not be allowed.

4.5.6.1. The fact [part (municipal/industrial) and/or watershed] upon which the jurisdictional issue
interchangeably hinges were not established during the hearing of the case. No proof was adduced.
That the matter of CARP coverage is strictly administrative implementation of CARP and, therefore,
beyond the competence of DARAB, belonging, as it does, to the DAR Secretary, was not even alleged,
either before DARAB or the Honorable Court of Appeals, the numerous petitions/incidents filed
notwithstanding. Be it that as it may, the records of the case show that initially DARAB refused to take
cognizance thereof and, in fact, forwarded the issue of CARP coverage to the office of the DAR
Secretary. It was only when it was returned to DARAB by said office that proceedings thereon
commenced pursuant to Section 1(g) of Rule II of the DARAB Revised Rules of Procedure.

4.5.6.2. Petitioner is now estopped from assailing the jurisdiction of DARAB. First, it expressly
acknowledged the same, in fact invoked it, when it filed its petition (Annex 4); and, second, during the
scheduled hearings, SRRDC, through its counsel, actively participated, one of its counsel (sic) even
testifying. It may not now be allowed to impugn the jurisdiction of public respondent [92](Emphasis
supplied)

In CA-G.R. SP No. 27234, the CA likewise found that it was SRRDC that called upon the DARAB to
determine the issue and it, in fact, actively participated in the proceedings before it.[93] It was SRRDCs
own act of summoning the DARABs authority that cured whatever jurisdictional defect it now raises. It
is elementary that the active participation of a party in a case pending against him before a court or
a quasi-judicial body, is tantamount to a recognition of that courts or bodys jurisdiction and a
willingness to abide by the resolution of the case and will bar said party from later on impugning the
courts or bodys jurisdiction.[94]
Moreover, the issue of jurisdiction was raised by SRRDC only before the CA. It was never presented
or discussed before the DARAB for obvious reasons, i.e., it was SRRDC itself that invoked the latters
jurisdiction. As a rule, when a party adopts a certain theory, and the case is tried and decided upon
that theory in the court below, he will not be permitted to change his theory on appeal. [95] Points of
law, theories, issues and arguments not brought to the attention of the lower court need not be, and
ordinarily will not be, considered by a reviewing court, as these cannot be raised for the first time at
such late stage.[96] To permit SRRDC to change its theory on appeal would not only be unfair to
Amante, et al. but would also be offensive to the basic scales of fair play, justice and due process.[97]
Finally, the Court notes that then DAR Secretary Benjamin T. Leong issued a Memorandum on July
11, 1991, ordering the opening of a trust account in favor of SRRDC. In Land Bank of the Philippines vs.
Court of Appeals, this Court struck down as void DAR Administrative Circular No. 9, Series of 1990,
providing for the opening of trust accounts in lieu of the deposit in cash or in bonds contemplated in
Section 16 (e) of R.A. No. 6657. As a result, the DAR issued Administrative Order No. 2, Series of 1996,
converting trust accounts in the name of landowners into deposit accounts.[98] Thus, the trust account
opened by the LBP per instructions of DAR Secretary Benjamin T. Leong should be converted to a
deposit account, to be retroactive in application in order to rectify the error committed by the DAR in
opening a trust account and to grant the landowners the benefits concomitant to payment in cash or
LBP bonds prior to the ruling of the Court in Land Bank of the Philippines vs. Court of Appeals. The
account shall earn a 12% interest per annum from the time the LBP opened a trust account up to the
time said account was actually converted into cash and LBP bonds deposit accounts.
Given the foregoing conclusions, the petition filed in G.R. No. 118838, which primarily rests on G.R.
No. 112526, should be granted.
The judgments of the trial court in the injunction case (Civil Case No. B-2333) and the CA in CA-
G.R. SP No. 38182 were premised on SRRDCs transfer certificates of title over the subject property. The
trial court and the CA cannot be faulted for denying the writ of injunction prayed for by Amante, et al.
since at the time the trial court rendered its decision in the injunction case on January 20, 1992, SRRDC
was still the holder of the titles covering the subject property. The titles in its name were cancelled and
corresponding TCTs were issued in the name of the Republic of the Philippines on February 11, 1992,
and CLOAs were issued to the farmer-beneficiaries on February 26, 1992. When Amante, et al., in their
motion for reconsideration filed in CA-G.R. SP No. 38182, brought to the CAs attention the issuance of
the CLOAs, the CA, per Resolution dated January 19, 1995, reiterated its ruling that whether or not the
subject property is covered by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (R.A. No. 6657) is the subject
matter of a separate case, and we cannot interfere with the same at the present time. The CA further
stated that (O)ur present decision is, therefore, not intended to preempt any judgment or prejudice
the right of any party in the said case.[99] It must be noted that at that juncture, the DARAB Decision
and the CA decision in CA-G.R. SP No. 27234, finding the subject property covered by the CARP Law,
is yet to be finally resolved by this Court in G.R. No. 112526 and in fact, a temporary restraining order
was issued by the Court on December 15, 1993, enjoining the DARAB from enforcing the effects of the
CLOAs. Amante, et al. was likewise restrained from further clearing the subject property.[100] Hence, the
decision of the trial court and the CA denying the writ of injunction was warranted.
Nevertheless, considering that the subject property is agricultural and may be acquired for
distribution to farmer-beneficiaries identified by the DAR under the CARP, the transfer certificates of
title issued in the name of the Republic of the Philippines and the CLOAs issued by the DAR in the names
of Amante, et al.,[101] are valid titles and therefore must be upheld. By virtue thereof, Amante, et al. who
have been issued CLOAs are now the owners of the subject property. Consequently, the decisions of
the trial court in the injunction case and the CA in CA-G.R. SP No. 38182 must now be set aside, insofar
as it orders Amante, et al. to vacate and/or enjoins them from entering the subject property.
The Court, however, agrees with the CA that Amante, et al. is not entitled to actual, moral and
exemplary damages, as well as attorneys fees. SRRDCs right of possession over the subject property
was predicated on its claim of ownership, and it cannot be sanctioned in exercising its rights or
protecting its interests thereon. As was ruled by the CA, Amante, et al. is merely entitled to nominal
damages as a result of SRRDCs acts.[102]
All is not lost in this case. In its Memorandum dated September 29, 1993, to the DAR Secretary, the
DENR manifested that:

. . . the farmers themselves could be tapped to undertake watershed management and protection.
This community-based approach in natural resource management, is in fact, being used in numerous
watershed management projects nationwide. Adopting the same approach in the area is deemed
the best possible solution to the case since it will not prejudice the CLOAs issued to the farmer-
beneficiaries. They should, however, be required to undertake the necessary reforestation and other
watershed management/rehabilitation measures in the area.

In view of the foregoing, we recommend that a watershed management plan for the area espousing
the community-based approach be drawn-up jointly by the DAR and DENR. . . .[103]

If SRRDC sincerely wants to preserve the property for ecological considerations, it can be done
regardless of who owns it. After all, we are all stewards of this earth, and it rests on all of us to tend to it.
WHEREFORE, the Second Motion for Reconsideration is GRANTED. The Courts Decision dated
October 12, 2001 in G.R. No. 112526 is SET ASIDE and the Decision of the Court of Appeals dated
November 5, 1993 in CA-G.R. SP No. 27234 is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION, in that the Land Bank of
the Philippines is ordered to convert the trust account in the name of Sta. Rosa Realty Development
Corporation to a deposit account, subject to a 12% interest per annum from the time the LBP opened
a trust account up to the time said account was actually converted into cash and LBP bonds deposit
accounts. The temporary restraining order issued by the Court on December 15, 1993, is LIFTED.
The petition filed by Amante, et al. in G.R. No. 118838 is GRANTED in that Sta. Rosa Realty
Development Corporation is hereby ENJOINED from disturbing the peaceful possession of the farmer-
beneficiaries with CLOAs. The Decision of the Court of Appeals dated June 28, 1994 in CA-G.R. CV No.
38182 is AFFIRMED insofar as the award of nominal damages is concerned.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of Agrarian Reform,
in coordination with the farmer-beneficiaries identified by the DAR, are URGED to formulate a
community-based watershed plan for the management and rehabilitation of Barangay Casile.
SO ORDERED.

RA9700 SECTION 9. Section 24 of Republic Act No. 6657, as amended, is hereby further amended to
read as follows: "SEC. 24. Award to Beneficiaries.— The rights and responsibilities of the beneficiaries
shall commence from their receipt of a duly registered emancipation patent or certificate of land
ownership award and their actual physical possession of the awarded land. Such award shall be
completed in not more than one hundred eighty (180) days from the date of registration of the title in
the name of the Republic of the Philippines: Provided, That the emancipation patents, the certificates
of land ownership award, and other titles issued under any agrarian reform program shall be
indefeasible and imprescriptible after one (1) year from its registration with the Office of the Registry of
Deeds, subject to the conditions, limitations and qualifications of this Act, the property registration
decree, and other pertinent laws. The emancipation patents or the certificates of land ownership
award being titles brought under the operation of the torrens system, are conferred with the same
indefeasibility and security afforded to all titles under the said system, as provided for by Presidential
Decree No. 1529, as amended by Republic Act No. 6732. "It is the ministerial duty of the Registry of
Deeds to register the title of the land in the name of the Republic of the Philippines, after the Land Bank
of the Philippines (LBP) has certified that the necessary deposit in the name of the landowner
constituting full payment in cash or in bond with due notice to the landowner and the registration of
the certificate of land ownership award issued to the beneficiaries, and to cancel previous titles
pertaining thereto. "Identified and qualified agrarian reform beneficiaries, based on Section 22 of
Republic Act No. 6657, as amended, shall have usufructuary rights over the awarded land as soon as
the DAR takes possession of such land, and such right shall not be diminished even pending the
awarding of the emancipation patent or the certificate of land ownership award. CTSHDI "All cases
involving the cancellation of registered emancipation patents, certificates of land ownership award,
and other titles issued under any agrarian reform program are within the exclusive and original
jurisdiction of the Secretary of the DAR."