Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1965 > June 1965 Decisions > G.R. No. L-20288 June 22, 1965 - JOSE CASARIA, ET AL v. RICARDO ROSALES, ET AL:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

EN BANC

[G.R. No. L-20288. June 22, 1965.]

JOSE CASARIA and MILAGROS MESTIDIO, Petitioners, v. RICARDO ROSALES, MERCEDES GLORIA, Spouses and RAMON BLANCO, in his capacity as Associate Judge of the Court of Agrarian Relations, 8th Regional District, Respondents.

Nacianceno G. Rico, for Petitioners.

Mario P. Buenvenida for respondents Ricardo Rosales, Et. Al.


SYLLABUS


1. COURT OF AGRARIAN RELATIONS; JURISDICTION; DETERMINED BY ALLEGATIONS OF COMPLAINT. — Inasmuch as whether a court has jurisdiction or not is determined by the allegations in the complaint, where the petition filed before the Agrarian Court sets forth allegations for liquidation of harvests and ejectment of a tenant by a landholder, without putting ownership of the land in issue, it is held that it is the Agrarian Court that has jurisdiction thereof, notwithstanding that in the answer the landlord-tenant relationship is denied and ownership of the land is adversely interposed.

2. ID.; ID.; SCOPE OF JURISDICTION OF AGRARIAN COURT. — All cases involving the dispossession of a tenant by the landholder or the settlement and disposition of disputes arising from the relationship of landholder and tenant, fall under the original and exclusive jurisdiction of the Court of Agrarian Relations.


D E C I S I O N


BENGZON, J.P., J.:


A petition for liquidation of harvests and for ejectment, with prayer for an interlocutory order to deposit the palay from said harvests, was filed on September 15, 1960 in the Court of Agrarian Relations, 8th Regional District, Iloilo City, by Ricardo Rosales and Mercedes Gloria against Jose Casaria, Pablo Mercado and Elias Gimeno.

On September 19, 1960 the court issued an interlocutory order as prayed for. On October 14, 1960 Jose Casaria filed his answer, stating that while he worked and cultivated portions of the land in question, the Agrarian Court has no jurisdiction because no tenancy relation between him and Ricardo Rosales exists, stating further that the land he cultivated belongs to Milagros Mestidio.

An answer in intervention, admitted by the court upon motion therefor, was filed on February 8, 1961 by Milagros Mestidio, alleging that intervenor owns the land cultivated by Jose Casaria and praying that the Agrarian Court dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction.

Ricardo Rosales, on August 8, 1961, filed his opposition, attaching thereto affidavits supporting his ownership of the land.

By order of the court dated November 21, 1961, the Acting Clerk of Court made an ocular inspection of the land involved on December 1, 1961.

Specifically, the description of the land in question, per ocular report of the Acting Clerk of Court, is:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

North — Gorgonio Gicole and Guinutos Creek

East — Guinobatan Creek

South — Juan Gicole and Ramon Gabasa

West — Quinarbayan Creek, Panay River and Guinutos Creek.

Ricardo Rosales’ tax declaration No. 7434 gives the same description:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

North — Gorgonio Gicole and Guinutos Creek

East — Guinobatan Creek

South — Juan Gicole and Ramon Gabasa

West — Quinarbayan Creek, Panay River and Guinutos Creek.

Intervenor Milagros Mestidio presented a deed of sale relating to land with different boundaries:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

North — Virginia Gimeno

East — Demetria Camus and Miguel Gimenez

South — Juan Gicole

West — Ricardo Rosales

After trial, the Agrarian Court rendered its decision on April 7, 1962, declaring Ricardo Rosales and Mercedes Gloria as the landholders, ordering Jose Casaria to deal with them, dismissing the intervention of Milagros Mestidio, and ordering delivery of 25% of the amount of the palay deposited as the share of Ricardo Rosales. Jose Casaria and Milagros Mestidio filed a motion for reconsideration which was denied on August 13, 1962. They have, therefore, appealed to this Court. On May 17, 1964, however, after the appeal was submitted for decision, Jose Casaria filed a manifestation withdrawing his appeal. Appellants’ counsel opposed said manifestation, praying that the case be decided on the merits.

It is appellants’ contention that the Agrarian Court has no jurisdiction over the case since, allegedly, ownership of the land is in issue. We have in many a case stated that whether the court has jurisdiction or not is determined by the allegations in the complaint or petition. (Suanes v. Almeda Lopez 73 Phil. 573; Campos Rueda Corp. v. Bautista, L-18453, September 29, 1963; Abo v. Philame [KG] Employees and Workers Union, L-19912, January 30, 1965; Tuvera v. De Guzman, L-20547, April 30, 1965).

The petition filed in this case before the Agrarian Court sets forth allegations for liquidation of harvests and ejectment of a tenant by the landholder, without putting ownership of the land in issue. It is the Agrarian Court, therefore, that has jurisdiction thereover. All cases involving the dispossession of a tenant by the landholder or the settlement and disposition of disputes arising from the relationship of landholder and tenant, fall under the original and exclusive jurisdiction of the Court of Agrarian Relations (Sec. 21, RA 1199, Sec. 7, RA 1267).

Since the Agrarian Court acquired jurisdiction, the same subsists even if in the answer the alleged landlord-tenant relationship is denied and ownership of the land is adversely interposed (Mandih v. Tablatin, 107 Phil., 530, Tuvera v. de Guzman, supra).

Furthermore, the record shows that the court a quo acted within its limited jurisdiction and did not adjudicate on the question of ownership or title to the land. It merely passed upon the conflicting evidence of ownership for the purpose of determining who, as between the parties, is the landholder to whom the landholder’s share in the produce should be delivered by the tenants. (Tomacruz v. Court of Agrarian Relations, L-16542, May 31, 1961).

Since the court a quo’s finding, that Ricardo Rosales and Mercedes Gloria are in fact the landholders of the 34-hectare land in question, is supported by substantial evidence, this Court will not disturb it on appeal (Ulpiendo v. CAR, L-13891, October 31, 1963 Tomacruz v. CAR, supra; Toledo v. CAR, L-16054, July 31, 1963; Sec. 3, Rule 43, Rules of Court).

WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is hereby affirmed with costs against appellants. It is so ordered.

Bengzon, C.J., Bautista Angelo, Concepcion, Reyes, J.B.L., Paredes, Dizon, Regala, Makalintal and Zaldivar, JJ., concur.

Barrera, J., is on leave.




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