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Prof. Joselito Guianan Chan's The Labor Code of the Philippines, Annotated Labor Standards & Social Legislation Volume I of a 3-Volume Series 2019 Edition (3rd Revised Edition)
 

 
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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
July-2001 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.M. No. MTJ-99-1188 July 2, 2001 - JOSE E. GURAY v. FABIAN M. BAUTISTA

  • A.M. No. P-01-1481 July 5, 2001 - RCBC v. NOEL V. QUILANTANG

  • G.R. No. 135199 July 5, 2001 - CRISOSTOMO MAGAT, ET AL. v. ALBERT M. DELIZO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141285 July 5, 2001 - CEBU INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE, ET AL. v. CEBU INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE EMPLOYEES’ UNION

  • G.R. No. 141947 July 5, 2001 - ISMAEL V. SANTOS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144275 July 5, 2001 - NATIONAL HOUSING AUTHORITY, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 97-2-53-RTC July 6, 2001 - RE: FERDINAND J. MARCOS

  • G.R. No. 132318 July 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FERNANDO F. MUERONG

  • G.R. No. 134114 July 6, 2001 - NESTLE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134779 July 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HERSON FLORAGUE, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 137608-09 July 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REMEGIO TAGANNA

  • G.R. No. 143375 July 6, 2001 - RUTH D. BAUTISTA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 131856-57 July 9, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILLIAM MONTINOLA

  • G.R. Nos. 85494, 85496 & 195071 July 10, 2001 - CHOITHRAM JETHMAL RAMNANI, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126166 July 10, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. ALLAN TEJADA

  • G.R. No. 133928 July 10, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NECESARIO HIJAPON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136267 July 10, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FIDEL ABRENICA CUBCUBIN, JR.

  • G.R. Nos. 142801-802 July 10, 2001 - BUKLOD NG KAWANING EIIB, ET AL. v. RONALDO B. ZAMORA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1253 July 11, 2001 - KIAT REAPORT, ET AL. v. EFREN S. MARIANO

  • A.M. No. P-01-1452 July 11, 2001 - FERMA C. PORTIC v. MARIO B. LOPEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. P-01-1479 July 11, 2001 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. RUBEN B. ALBAYTAR

  • G.R. No. 104802 July 11, 2001 - AURELIA S. LLANA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 108301 & 132539 July 11, 2001 - MANILA ELECTRIC COMPANY v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108346 July 11, 2001 - MARIANO Z. VELARDE, ET AL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135210 July 11, 2001 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. ISABELA CULTURAL CORP.

  • G.R. No. 137050 July 11, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GEORGE CORTES

  • G.R. No. 137891 July 11, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS PATRIARCA

  • G.R. No. 140365 July 11, 2001 - CESAR P. UY, ET AL v. VICTORINO P. EVANGELISTA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140974 July 11, 2001 - RAMON ORO v. GERARDO D. DIAZ

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1349 July 12, 2001 - BERNADETTE MONDEJAR v. MARINO S. BUBAN

  • G.R. No. 101974 July 12, 2001 - VICTORIA P. CABRAL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 102313 July 12, 2001 - R. F. NAVARRO & CO. v. FORTUNATO A. VAILOCES, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 102696, 102716, 108257 & 120954 July 12, 2001 - ALBERTO LOOYUKO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 104223 July 12, 2001 - TIBURCIO SAMONTE v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 104383 July 12, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VALERIANO AMESTUZO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112590 July 12, 2001 - STATE INVESTMENT HOUSE v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 131638-39 July 12, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LORETO D. MEDENILLA

  • G.R. No. 138737 July 12, 2001 - FINMAN GEN. ASSURANCE CORP., v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138576-77 July 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JIMMY JACOB

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1322 July 17, 2001 - RENATO H. SANCHEZ v. GEMINIANO A. EDUARDO

  • A.M. No. P-01-1484 July 17, 2001 - JOSE R. ASTORGA v. NICOLASITO S. SOLAS

  • G.R. Nos. 103550 & 103551 July 17, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. ROMERICO PORRAS

  • G.R. No. 133814 July 17, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANDRES ORTIZ

  • G.R. Nos. 134540-41 July 18, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. DIONISIO BATALLER

  • G.R. Nos. 109559 & 109581 July 19, 2001 - BERNARDO P. ABESAMIS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111535 July 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALEJANDRO CAMPOS

  • G.R. Nos. 113255-56 July 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO S. GONZALES

  • G.R. No. 125698 July 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FRANCISCO E. HAPA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 128153-56 July 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICENTE P. BUISON

  • G.R. No. 131216 July 19, 2001 - LEONARDO A. QUISUMBING, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132177 July 19, 2001 - JOSE F. CAOIBES v. OMBUDSMAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133190 July 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SANTOS LOR

  • G.R. No. 135145 July 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAYMOND G. MAXION

  • G.R. No. 137545 July 19, 2001 - TERESITA D. GAITE v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139789 July 19, 2001 - POTENCIANO ILUSORIO, ET AL. v. ERLINDA K. ILUSORIO BILDNER, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139967 July 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MANUEL TALAVERA

  • G.R. Nos. 141011 & 141028 July 19, 2001 - CITYTRUST BANKING CORP. v. ISAGANI C. VILLANUEVA

  • G.R. No. 144179 July 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAMSHAND C. THAMSEY

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1350 July 20, 2001 - LORENZO PASCUAL, ET AL. v. CESAR M. DUMLAO

  • G.R. No. 110263 July 20, 2001 - ASIAVEST MERCHANT BANKERS (M) BERHAD v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117187 July 20, 2001 - UNION MOTOR CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120176 July 20, 2001 - MA. VALENTINA SANTANA-CRUZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124442 July 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARMANDO S. COMPACION

  • G.R. No. 132926 July 20, 2001 - ELVIRA AGULLO v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133580 July 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MAXIMO GENEBLAZO

  • G.R. Nos. 135030-33 July 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MERCY LOGAN

  • G.R. No. 135666 July 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MELCHOR B. GARCIA

  • G.R. No. 135865 July 20, 2001 - NAGKAKAISANG KAPISANAN KAPITBAHAYAN SA COMMONWEALTH AVE. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138501 July 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ERNESTO M. LAXA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139150 July 20, 2001 - PABLO DELA CRUZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142024 July 20, 2001 - GUILLERMO SARABIA v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 145838 July 20, 2001 - NICASIO I. ALCANTARA v. COMMISSION ON THE SETTLEMENT OF LAND PROBLEMS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146079 July 20, 2001 - KANEMITSU YAMAOKA v. PESCARICH MANUFACTURING CORP., ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1564 July 26, 2001 - MARISSA M. GORDON, ET AL. v. FRISCO T. LILAGAN

  • G.R. Nos. 132325-26 July 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO ESPINA

  • G.R. No. 133225 July 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDWIN CONCEPCION, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 113176 & 113342 July 30, 2001 - HANIL DEVELOPMENT CO. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. Nos. P-00-1381 & A.M. No. P-00-1382 July 31, 2001 - EFREN B. MALLARE v. RONALD ALLAN A. FERRY

  • G.R. No. 105647 July 31, 2001 - ERNESTO BIONA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 121298 & 122123 July 31, 2001 - GENARO RUIZ, SR., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129329 July 31, 2001 - ESTER M. ASUNCION v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130707 July 31, 2001 - VERONICA ROBLE, ET AL. v. DOMINADOR ARBASA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134634 July 31, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LAZARO CLARIÑO, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 134831-32 July 31, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAMON N. LOGMAO

  • G.R. Nos. 136827 & 136799 July 31, 2001 - SECRETARY OF AGRARIAN REFORM, ET AL. v. TROPICAL HOMES

  • G.R. No. 136847 July 31, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. RODULFO P. VILLARIN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138289 July 31, 2001 - GRACIANO PALELE v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139180 July 31, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROLANDO RIVERA

  • G.R. No. 139529 July 31, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TIMOTEO BRACERO

  • G.R. No. 139622 July 31, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEDRO PERRERAS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142616 July 31, 2001 - PHIL. NATIONAL BANK v. RITRATTO GROUP INC., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143687 July 31, 2001 - RAMON ESTANISLAO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144702 July 31, 2001 - U.I.C. ET AL. v. U.I.C. TEACHING AND NON-TEACHING PERSONNEL AND EMPLOYEES UNION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 145389 July 31, 2001 - ANIANO A. DESIERTO, ET AL. v. RONNIE C. SILVESTRE

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    G.R. No. 138289   July 31, 2001 - GRACIANO PALELE v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 138289. July 31, 2001.]

    GRACIANO PALELE, Petitioner, v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, (Fourth Division) and TOMAS SOBREVIÑAS, Respondents.

    D E C I S I O N


    MENDOZA, J.:


    This is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision, 1 dated February 4, 1999, of the Court of Appeals, reversing the decision of the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB), which affirmed in toto the decision of the Department of Agrarian Reform Provincial Adjudication Board of Bataan awarding two parcels of land to petitioner Graciano Palele.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The background of the case is as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    The properties involved in this case form part of a larger tract of land, referred to as Lot No. 707, consisting of 9,939 square meters in Dinalupihan, Bataan. The original holder-cultivator of the lot was respondent Tomas Sobreviñas’ father, Daniel, who had worked on the lot as a tenant since the 1920’s. After Daniel died, Tomas succeeded to the possession of the said land.

    On May 2, 1962, private respondent filed an application with the Department of Agrarian Reform for the purchase of Lot No. 707. He paid the purchase price of P810.66 in five installments and completed payments on the land on September 7, 1973. 2 However, despite his full payment of the purchase price, no deed of sale was issued to him, and the lot remained the property of the government.

    In 1981, the lot was subdivided into four parcels, to wit:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Lot No. 2681 5,262 sq. meters

    Lot No. 2682 563 sq. meters

    Lot No. 2683 1,044 sq. meters

    Lot No. 2679 3,070 sq. meters

    ———————

    TOTAL 9,939 sq. meters 3

    On September 25, 1990, petitioner applied for the purchase of Lot Nos. 2679 and 2683. On December 19, 1991, the DAR issued to him Certificate of Land Ownership Award Nos. 2361 and 2362, covering Lot Nos. 2679 and 2683, respectively. Not knowing these incidents, private respondent continued paying the real estate taxes on Lot No. 707. Upon learning of the issuance of CLOAs in favor of petitioner, he filed on August 18, 1992 a petition for cancellation of the certificates. The case was filed with the Department of Agrarian Reform Provincial Adjudication Board of Bataan or PARAD. On January 18, 1993, private respondent filed an amended petition for cancellation.

    On September 23, 1993, the PARAD rendered judgment for petitioner. The dispositive portion of its decision reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHEREFORE, premises considered, a decision is hereby rendered as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1. DECLARING protestant-petitioner to be disqualified to purchase the subject lots;

    2. DECLARING TCT-CLOA 2362, covering Lot No. 2683, containing an area of 1,044 sq. meters, located at Brgy. Luacan, Dinalupihan, Bataan, issued in the name of Graciano Palele to be validly and correctly issued;chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    3. DIRECTING the Register of Deeds of Bataan to cancel TCT-CLOA No. 2361, covering Lot No. 2679, containing an area of 3,071 sq. meters, located at Brgy. Luacan, Dinalupihan, Bataan, issued in the name of Graciano Palele;

    4. DIRECTING the Municipal Agrarian Reform Office, Dinalupihan, Bataan to initiate the conduct of a subdivision survey of the aforementioned Lot No. 2679, and thereafter issue a new CLOA, covering 1,000 sq. meters of the same to Graciano Palele and the rest be awarded to the actual occupants or to qualified beneficiaries as the case may be.

    No pronouncement as to cost.

    SO DECIDED. 4

    Private respondent appealed to the DARAB, but the latter affirmed in toto the decision of the PARAD. 5 Consequently, private respondent filed a petition for review before the Court of Appeals which, on February 4, 1999, reversed the decision of the DARAB and rendered judgment for Private Respondent. The dispositive portion of the Court of Appeals’ decision reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHEREFORE, in the light of the foregoing disquisitions, the petition for review is hereby GRANTED. The decision of the respondent Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB), affirming the decision of the Provincial Adjudication Board, is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Accordingly, Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) No. 2362, covering lot 2683, and CLOA No. 2361, covering lot 2679, are ordered RECALLED and CANCELLED.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED. 6

    Hence, this petition for review on certiorari. Petitioner contends that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    A. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS (FOURTH DIVISION) COMMITTED AN ERROR IN HOLDING THAT PRIVATE RESPONDENT TOMAS SOBREVIÑAS ACQUIRED A VESTED RIGHT ON THE SUBJECT LANDHOLDING WHICH IS A PART OF THE DINALUPIHAN LANDED ESTATE.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    B. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS (FOURTH DIVISION) COMMITTED AN ERROR IN DISREGARDING THE FINDINGS OF FACTS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM ADJUDICATION BOARD (DARAB, FOR BREVITY) AND THE RULES AND POLICIES ISSUED BY THE LATTER. 7

    After due consideration of the records, we find that the Court of Appeals erred in reversing and setting aside the decision of the DARAB.

    First. At the time private respondent applied to purchase Lot No. 707 on May 2, 1962, the law in effect was R.A. No. 1199, otherwise known as the Agricultural Tenancy Act of the Philippines, which took effect on August 30, 1954. Pursuant to the said law, the then Land Tenure Administration, the implementing agency of the government, issued Administrative Order No. 2, which was approved on May 10, 1956. So far as pertinent to this case, 14 and 16 of the order provided:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    SECTION 14. Persons Qualified to Purchase; Number of Lots Granted. — Subject to the provisions of Section 16 hereof, any private individual who is qualified to acquire and own lands in the Philippines and who will personally cultivate and/or occupy the lot or lots which may be sold to him, may be allowed to purchase not more than one (1) home lot and/or farm lot except that in case of farm lots with areas less than six (6) hectares, more than one (1) lot may be purchased provided, however, that the total area of the lots which may be sold to one person shall not exceed six (6) hectares.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The cultivation of a farm lot by the husband or wife of the purchaser thereof, and by the members of the family of said purchaser who are dependent upon him or her for support shall be considered as his or her cultivation for the purpose of this section and of Sections 24 and 25 hereof.

    Section 16. Right of Preference to Purchase of Bona-fide Tenant, Bona-fide Occupant and Other Persons. — The bona-fide tenant and in his absence or if he fails to qualify under Section 14 hereof, the bona-fide occupant of a subdivision lot in a private agricultural land acquired by the government shall have the right of preference to purchase said lot. In the absence of the bona-fide tenant and/or bona-fide occupant or in case said tenant and occupant fail to qualify under Section 14 hereof and subject to the provision of said section, the following persons shall be preferred in the purchase of a farm lot and/or home lot, in the order in which they are named:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    (1) A person who is the purchaser of a farm lot or lots in an agricultural land acquired by the government, the production of which yields a net profit insufficient to maintain a decent standard of living provided, however, that he will be preferred only as to the portion of the farm lot applied for in the same agricultural land which if added to the area of the lot or lots already sold to him will not exceed six (6) hectares;

    (2) A person who is a resident of the municipality where the lot applied for is located. 8

    These provisions clearly require that the applicant should personally cultivate and/or occupy the land subject of the purchase. This requirement is reiterated in 23 and 24 of the same order, viz:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    SECTION 23. Execution of Deeds of Sale. — The Chairman of the Land Tenure Administration shall execute a deed of sale conveying a subdivision lot in favor of the purchaser thereof upon payment by the latter of all rentals for the use of the said lot which are found to be in arrears, and of the selling price thereof in full, and upon the performance by said purchaser of all conditions required herein and in any agreement to sell made in his favor covering said lot. . . .chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SECTION 24. Conditions in Agreements to Sell, Deeds of Sale and Torrens Title. — It shall be a condition in all agreements to sell and deeds of sale covering lots acquired under these rules and regulations that said lots shall be personally occupied and/or cultivated by the purchasers thereof. In case of a home lot, a purchaser thereof shall be deemed not to have complied with the condition therein set forth if within a period of two (2) years from the execution of the agreement to sell or deed of sale for said lot, he fails to construct thereon his place of residence. A purchaser of a farm lot who shall fail to start cultivation of said lot within six (6) months after the execution of his agreement to sell or deed of sale shall be deemed not to have complied with said condition. . . . 9

    Private respondent’s application to purchase Lot No. 707 was approved by the Land Tenure Administration such that he was allowed to pay the purchase price on an installment basis. Hence, at the time respondent applied to purchase Lot No. 707 on May 2, 1962, he was a qualified purchaser in accordance with the law and its implementing rules, i.e., that he was personally cultivating and/or occupying the lot being purchased.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    However, private respondent admitted that he had not personally occupied and cultivated Lot No. 707 since August 8, 1963, more than a year after his application to purchase the lot, because he had instituted tenants on his landholding. This is shown by the allegation in his comment on the petition that the enactment on August 8, 1963 of R.A. No. 3844, otherwise known as the Agricultural Land Reform Code, prevented him from ejecting the tenants on Lot No. 707. 10 In other words, as early as August 8, 1963, prior to his full payment of the purchase price of Lot No. 707, he had already failed to comply with the requirement of personal cultivation and/or occupation of the lot being purchased because he was allegedly prevented by law from ejecting the tenants thereon. However, contrary to respondent’s claim, 36, paragraph (1) of R.A. No. 3844 provided for the ejectment of tenants on the ground that the landholder shall personally cultivate the land. 11 It was only upon the amendment of R.A. No. 3844 by R.A. 6839 on September 10, 1971 that personal cultivation as a ground for ejecting an agricultural lessee was abolished. 12

    It cannot be denied that private respondent had ceased to personally occupy and cultivate Lot No. 707 at least on August 8, 1963. Only a year after his application and before he had fully paid the purchase price of the land, private respondent had already instituted tenants on the said lot. This is clearly indicative of his circumvention of applicable agrarian reform laws. The fact that in 1992 he was surprised to know that the lot had already been subdivided into smaller parcels in 1981, two of which had already been awarded to petitioner, indicates quite clearly that he was not personally cultivating Lot No. 707. Thus, the Land Tenure Administration, and later the Land Authority, was justified in refusing to issue a deed of sale in favor of respondent even though he paid in full the purchase price of the lot.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    While it is true that due process protects vested rights, and this Court would be the first to stress this basic principle, it is no less true that the guarantee cannot be invoked when, as in the case at bar, no right has been acquired at all because of non-compliance with the requirements of the law. 13

    Second. Respondent assails the finding of the PARAD, as affirmed by the DARAB, that petitioner was not an agricultural tenant of Lot No. 707. However, the Municipal Agrarian Reform Officers of Dinalupihan, Bataan certified that petitioner had succeeded his father, Joaquin, as the original allocatee and tenant of the lot and that he was the actual occupant and cultivator of the parcels of land later awarded to him. Additionally, in his Inventory Report, dated November 28, 1991, Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer Ernesto M. Dizon recommended the issuance to petitioner of the certificates of land ownership award. These documents were presented before the PARAD. 14 Indeed, petitioner built his house on Lot No. 2679, which is adjacent to Lot No. 2683. 15 This is significant because only tenants are entitled to a home lot as an incident of their tenancy rights. 16 Finally, in his motion for reconsideration before the DARAB, private respondent made the following allegation in arguing that petitioner has abandoned the landholding:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    . . . Appellee should apply for the purchase of Lot 3-B-16 which he is actively cultivating, and also the 3.5 hectare of Francisco Palele, in Bakong, Hermosa, Bataan. But why award those two lots (2679 and 2683) to appellee when he is not a bona fide tenant thereof? To be sure, respondent-appellee has violated Sec. 27 of R.A. 3844 in reference to prohibitions against an agricultural lessee, one of which proscribes working on additional landholdings belonging to another lessor without the knowledge and consent of his agricultural lessor (in this case, the petitioner-appellant.) 17

    Thus, private respondent impliedly admitted that petitioner was indeed a tenant on the disputed lots.

    Petitioner applied for the purchase of the two lots on September 25, 1990, at the time when R.A. No. 6657, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988, was already in effect. Section 22 of that law provides:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    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:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    (a) agricultural lessees and share tenants;chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    (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

    (i) others directly working on the land.

    x       x       x


    A basic qualification of a beneficiary shall be his willingness, aptitude and ability to cultivate and make the land as productive as possible. The DAR shall adopt a system of monitoring the record or performance of each beneficiary, so that any beneficiary guilty of negligence or misuse of the land or any support extended to him shall forfeit his right to continue as beneficiary. The DAR shall submit periodic reports on the performance of the beneficiaries to the PARC.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Pursuant to this provision, the DARAB, after finding petitioner to have the necessary qualifications, issued to him CLOA Nos. 2361 and 2362, covering Lot Nos. 2679 and 2683, with areas of 3,071 and 1,044 square meters, respectively. However, as there were other occupants on Lot No. 2679, where petitioner’s house was standing, CLOA No. 2361, which covered an area of 3,071 square meters, was cancelled by the DARAB and a new one was issued covering only 1,000 square meters, corresponding to the area awarded to petitioner as home lot in accordance with 24 of R.A. No. 3844. Memorandum Circular No. 1082 prescribes a maximum area of 1,000 square meters as home lots for agricultural tenants. 18

    Third. It is nevertheless contended that petitioner in effect abandoned the landholdings by cultivating the lot of his brother in Bakong, Hermosa, Bataan. This contention has no basis. As petitioner explained, his failure to cultivate the lots during the pendency of his application and his temporary cultivation of his brother’s lot in March 16, 1991 was due to the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo which adversely affected the condition of the soil on the assailed lots. Indeed, for abandonment to occur, the tenant must have unequivocally and absolutely relinquished his occupation and cultivation of the lots. This is not so in this case. Petitioner continued to occupy Lot No. 2679 for residential and small backyard farming purposes, despite the fact that the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo made it impossible for him to continue with its cultivation. Moreover, under Memorandum Circular No. 10, series of 1983, the alleged abandonment of the land by the tenant does not automatically terminate the tenancy relationship as there must be a proper court declaration of such fact. 19 In this case, such court declaration of abandonment is wanting.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Likewise, petitioner’s cultivation of Lot No. 3-B-16, covering an area of more than one hectare, which is owned by respondent’s family, does not pose any obstacle to petitioner’s acquisition of the lots in question. The fact remains that petitioner is an actual cultivator of the two lots he had acquired. The Court of Appeals thought it impossible for petitioner to cultivate the two disputed lots when he was also cultivating Lot No. 3-B-16. This finding presupposes that it is only petitioner who is personally cultivating the land. But the requirement of personal cultivation of the land does not apply to the tenant alone. The law allows him to engage the assistance of his immediate farm household or members of his family in tilling the land. 20

    In conclusion, there is no cogent reason to set aside the findings of the PARAD which were affirmed in toto by the DARAB. By reason of the special knowledge and expertise of administrative departments over matters falling under their jurisdiction, they are in a better position to pass judgment thereon and their findings of fact in that regard are generally accorded respect, if not finality, by the courts. 21

    WHEREFORE, the decision of the Court of Appeals is REVERSED and the decision of the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board, affirming the decision of the Department of Agrarian Reform Provincial Adjudication Board for Bataan, is ordered REINSTATED.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED.

    Bellosillo, Quisumbing and De Leon, Jr., JJ., concur.

    Buena, J., abroad, on official business.

    Endnotes:



    1. Per Justice Jainal D. Rasul and concurred in by Justices Conchita Carpio-Morales and Bernardo P. Abesamis.

    2. Rollo, p. 124.

    3. Id., p. 4.

    4. Id., p. 137.

    5. Id., p. 151.

    6. Id., p. 21.

    7. Id., pp. 6 & 8.

    8. Id., pp. 145-146 (emphasis added).

    9. Id., p. 147 (emphasis added).

    10. Id., p. 102.

    11. Gallardo v. Borromeo, 161 SCRA 500 (1988).

    12. Tinio v. Mina, 26 SCRA 512 (1968). The trend towards the rights of agricultural lessees to own the lands they were actually cultivating was continued during martial law with the issuance of several decrees: P.D. No. 27, effective October 21, 1972, which declared them owners of the land they were tilling; P.D. No. 316, effective October 22, 1973, which prohibited the ejectment of tenant-tillers from their farmholdings; and P.D. No. 583, effective November 16, 1974, which punished the unlawful ejectment of tenant-farmers from their landholdings.

    13. Tagum Doctors Enterprises v. Apsay, 165 SCRA 154 (1988).

    14. Rollo, pp. 120, 132-133.

    15. Id., p. 137.

    16. Cruz v. Court of Appeals, 129 SCRA 223 (1984).

    17. Rollo, p. 158.

    18. Sec. 75 of R.A. No. 6657 provides that the provisions of R.A. No. 3844, as amended, P.D No. 27, and other laws not inconsistent with the CARL of 1988 shall have suppletory effect.

    19. Rovillos v. Court of Appeals, 299 SCRA 400 (1998).

    20. Ooarde v. Court of Appeals, 280 SCRA 235 (1997).

    21. Philippine Merchant Marine School, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 244 SCRA 770 (1995).

    G.R. No. 138289   July 31, 2001 - GRACIANO PALELE v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.


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