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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
 

   
February-2006 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.C. No. 6353 - SPS. DAVID AND MARISA WILLIAMS v. ATTY. RUDY T. ENRIQUEZ

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  • A.M. No. 04-6-313-RTC - LETTER OF ATTY. SOCORRO M. VILLAMER-BASILLA ETC.

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  • G.R. NOS. 146653-54 and G.R. NOS. 147407-08 - WESTMONT PHARMACEUTICALS, INC., ET AL. v. RICARDO C. SAMANIEGO

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  • G.R. No. 149138 - TPI PHILIPPINES CEMENT CORPORATION, ET AL. v. BENEDICTO A. CAJUCOM VII

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  • G.R. No. 158791 - CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION v. DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT

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  • G.R. No. 159296 - ALLGEMEINE-BAU-CHEMIE PHILS., INC., v. METROPOLITAN BANK TRUST CO., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 159660 - SPOUSES ANTONIO AND SOLIDAD DIVINAGRACIA, ET AL. v. LEONIDISA N. COMETA, ET AL.

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  • G.R. No. 160016 - ABACUS SECURITIES CORPORATION v. RUBEN U. AMPIL

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  • G.R. No. 160871 - TRIAD SECURITY & ALLIED SERVICES, INC, ET AL. v. SILVESTRE ORTEGA, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 160922 - JEANY-VI G. KIANI v. THE BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 161836 - MANILA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY, ET AL. v. JOAQUIN RODRIGUEZ

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  • G.R. No. 163935 - NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ELECTRICITY CONSUMERS FOR REFORMS (NASECORE), ET AL. v. ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 164171 - HON. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, ET AL. v. SOUTHWING HEAVY INDUSTRIES, INC., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 164317 - ALFREDO CHING v. THE SECRETARY OF JUSTICE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 164797 - JOSEFINA M. CRUZ, ET AL. v. THE HON. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 164953 - JOHN JOSEPH LUMANLAW Y BULINAO v. HON. EDUARDO B. PERALTA JR. ETC.

  • G.R. No. 165265 - MARIBEL B. JARDELEZA v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

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  • G.R. No. 165403 - INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGE BANK v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 165546 - SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM v. ROSANNA H. AGUAS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 165570 - EDWIN SALUSIANO MATUTINA v. PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK

  • G.R. No. 165580 - MONEYTREND LENDING CORPORATION, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 165606 - DEUTSCHE BANK MANILA v. SPS. CHUA YOK SEE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 166429 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, ET AL. v. HON. HENRICK F. GINGOYON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 165644 - MANUEL B. ALORIA ETC. v. ESTRELLITA B. CLEMENTE

  • G.R. No. 166479 - RODOLFO C. VELASCO v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 167234 - TEODORO C. BORLONGAN v. RAFAEL B. BUENAVENTURA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 167405 - ANA JOYCE S. REYES v. HON. CESAR M. SOTERO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 167412 - JUANITA NAVAL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 167900 - SPS CRISOLOGO & PRISCILLA O. ABINES v. BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, ET AL.

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  • G.R. No. 168237 - THELMA BUDUHAN v. CURSON PAKURAO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 168267 - HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ETC. v. ATTY. VICTORIA V. LOANZON

  • G.R. No. 168696 - MA. LUTGARDA P. CALLEJA, ET AL. v. JOSE PIERRE A. PANDAY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 168719 - PHILIPPINE CARPET EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION ETC. v. HON. PATRICIA STO. TOMAS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 169091 - DATU EDUARDO AMPO v. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 168237 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. EDGARDO BARCENA Y POCA

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 130260 - HILARIA RAMOS VDA. DE BRIGINO v. DOMINADOR RAMOS, ET AL.

      G.R. No. 130260 - HILARIA RAMOS VDA. DE BRIGINO v. DOMINADOR RAMOS, ET AL.

    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    FIRST DIVISION

    [G.R. NO. 130260 : February 6, 2006]

    HILARIA RAMOS VDA. DE BRIGINO, Petitioner, v. DOMINADOR RAMOS AND FILOMENA RAMOS, Respondents.

    D E C I S I O N

    CHICO-NAZARIO, J.:

    This petition assails the Decision1 of the Court of Appeals dated 25 January 1996 in CA-G.R. SP No. 38618 entitled, "Serafin Brigino, et al. v. Dominador Ramos, et al.," which affirmed that of the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB)-Central Office in DARAB Case No. 1968. The DARAB-Central Office had affirmed the ruling of the Provincial Adjudicator of Malolos, Bulacan, in Reg. Case No. 403-Bul-92, declaring respondents the lawful tenants of a parcel of land in Bulacan owned by Hilaria Ramos Vda. de Brigino and her spouse, the late Serafin Brigino, and thus respondents are entitled to security of tenure.

    The details, as richly told by the DARAB, are beyond dispute:

    On 10 July 1992, petitioner and her spouse filed a petition for Annulment and/or Cancellation of Agricultural Leasehold Contract against herein respondents Dominador Ramos and Filomena Ramos before the Provincial Adjudicator of Malolos, Bulacan. Petitioner and her spouse alleged that they are the registered owners of the subject landholding with an area of 11,451 square meters located at Malibong Bata, Pandi, Bulacan. The petition further stated that petitioner is the sister of respondent Dominador Ramos while respondent Filomena Ramos is the surviving spouse of another brother named Pedro Ramos. The petition likewise averred that in the early months of 1991, petitioner and her spouse discovered that respondent Dominador and Pedro Ramos were able to register with the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) two documents both entitled, "Kasunduan ng Pamumuwisan" dated 29 June 1973, without the knowledge and consent of the petitioner and her spouse as the signature of petitioner in those documents were forged. Hence, petitioner and her spouse prayed that said documents be declared void and the subject land as untenanted.2

    On 31 August 1993, after attempts to amicably solve the dispute failed, the DARAB Provincial Adjudicator ruled for Respondents. Despite the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) finding that the signatures of petitioner in the "Kasunduan ng Pamumuwisan" were forgeries, the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicators (PARAD) opined that the forgery does not suffice to render said documents null and void inasmuch as petitioner and her spouse are estopped from denying the existence of said documents in view of the fact that petitioner's spouse had issued rental receipts to respondents, which receipts strongly prove that they are occupying the subject land in the concept of tenants and that implied tenancy was, accordingly, perfectly established. The PARAD further disposed that such being the case, security of tenure must be accorded respondents in tune with Section 7 of Republic Act No. 3844.3 It held:

    WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered declaring respondents as bonafide and lawful tenants and to maintain in peaceful possession and cultivation of the landholding.4

    Disgruntled, petitioner and her spouse appealed the PARAD's Decision with the DARAB in DARAB Case No. 1968 which affirmed in toto the decision of the PARAD, with the following fallo of the Decision:

    WHEREFORE, finding no reversible error in the appealed Decision the instant appeal is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit. The assailed Decision, dated August 31, 1993, is hereby Affirmed IN Toto.5

    Unfazed, petitioner and her spouse elevated the matter to the Court of Appeals, which on 25 January 1996, affirmed the ruling of the DARAB. The dispositive portion of the Decision of the Court of Appeals provides:

    ACCORDINGLY, the instant Petition for Review is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit. No pronouncement as to costs.6

    Hence, the present Petition for Review, petitioner faulting the appellate court in finding that there was an implied tenancy relationship between her and respondents, positing that the essential requirements of a tenancy contract did not obtain in the case. Particularly, petitioner assails the Decision of the Court of Appeals on the following argument:

    the dismissal of the Petition for Review by the COURT OF APPEALS IN CA-G.R. NO. 38618 entitled SPS. serafin brigino and hilaria ramos v. dominador ramos and filomena ramos in effect is an affirmation of the erroneous conclusion of the darab on the findings of substantial evidence which is not in accord with law or with the applicable decision of the honorable supreme court and is based on erroneous conclusion from facts.7

    The issue of whether or not respondents are bona fide tenants of the subject landholding is the bedrock of the petition.

    Petitioner ardently claims that the NBI report that the questioned signatures and the standard/sample handwriting/signatures of Hilaria Ramos were not written by one and the same person stands to mean that the signatures of petitioner in the questioned documents, i.e., the Kasunduan sa Pamumuwisan dated 09 June 1973, are forged. Thus, according to petitioner, there was no consent on her part to allow respondents to till the land in question and that absent the essential element of consent and sharing between the parties, no tenancy relationship can exist between them. Petitioner contends further that the receipts allegedly signed by her husband and her daughter could not be interpreted to constitute tenancy relationship between her and respondents, these harvests being, at best, gifts from Respondents. In sum, petitioner avers that respondents are not legitimate tenants but mere usurper of rights having falsified the signature of the petitioner. Accordingly, she says that mere cultivation of the land by usurper cannot confer upon him by any legal right to work the land as tenant and enjoy the protection of security of tenure of the law.8

    Republic Act No. 1199, also known as the Agricultural Tenancy Act of the Philippines, defines "agricultural tenancy" as:

    [T]he physical possession by a person of land devoted to agriculture belonging to, or legally possessed by, another for the purpose of production through the labor of the former and of the members of his immediate farm household, in consideration of which the former agrees to share the harvest with the latter, or to pay a price certain, either in produce or in money, or in both.9

    The essential requisites of tenancy relationship based on the foregoing definition, as cited in cases of recent vintage,10 are:

    1) that the parties are the landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee; 2) that the subject matter of the relationship is an agricultural land; 3) that there is consent between the parties to the relationship; 4) that the purpose of the relationship is to bring about agricultural production; 5) that there is personal cultivation on the part of the tenant or agricultural lessee; and 6) that the harvest is shared between the landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee.ςηαñrοblεš νιr†υαl lαω lιbrαrÿ

    In the present case, there is no dispute as to the presence of the foregoing elements, but the conflict lies in the elements of consent and sharing. To prove such sharing of harvests, a receipt or any other evidence must be presented.11

    The appellate court, the DARAB and the PARAD found that an implied tenancy was created when petitioner and her spouse acquiesced in the taking over and cultivation of the land by Respondents. The "sharing" is evidenced by the receipts given by petitioner's spouse and petitioner's daughter to respondents for the period of 1991-1992. The Court of Appeals and the Boards went on to rule that petitioner and her spouse were estopped from denying this implied tenancy in view of the fact that they had accepted shares of harvests from Respondents.

    At the outset, it is a time-honored rule that the question of whether there was an implied tenancy and sharing are basically questions of fact and the findings of the Court of Appeals and the Boards a quo are, generally, entitled to respect and nondisturbance, as long as they are supported by substantial evidence.12 And substantial evidence has been defined to be such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion and its absence is not shown by stressing that there is contrary evidence on record, direct or circumstantial, and where the findings of facts of the agrarian court are supported by substantial evidence, such findings are conclusive and binding on the appellate court.13

    We find no compelling reason to apply the exception of nonconclusiveness of their factual findings inasmuch as their findings are based on substantial evidence.

    More importantly, the Boards and the appellate court distinctly found that apart from the "Kasunduan ng Pamumuwisan," there exists other evidence on record, taken together, which substantially establishes the fact of "implied tenancy" or that the tillage of the land was with the personal knowledge of petitioner, who is thereby estopped from claiming otherwise.

    It is glittering from the petition itself that petitioner had personal knowledge of the fact that her husband, the late Serafin Brigino, and their daughter, a certain "Dra. Cinco," had issued receipts to respondents for the produce that they had given corresponding to petitioner's share of the harvest of the land being tilled by Respondents. We find to be far from tenable the contention of petitioner that said shares of the harvests covered by the receipts were merely "gifts" from Respondents.14 Far from the gullible victim that she now claims to be, petitioner had, from the start, consented to respondents' tillage of the land in question and had unswervingly received her proper share of the harvest.

    The fact that petitioner and respondents are siblings15 and that the latter are in actual possession and cultivation of the subject farmland since the 1960s16 - a fact which petitioner does not deny - are tell-tale signs of respondents' contention that petitioner had consented to their tillage of the land as far back as the 1960s and they have since then been giving her share of the harvest, although the practice of requiring receipts for the shares of petitioner started only in 1991, when respondents ceased to be in petitioner's good graces and in anticipation of a looming legal brawl.

    Indeed, as explained by respondents, it is not uncommon for siblings to balk at formalities and legalities, such as requiring receipts, it being commonly resorted to among families only in case of a brewing rift between them and in anticipation of a legal scuffle. And, if indeed, respondents were deforciants of the land, why did petitioner, who knew all along of respondents' possession and cultivation thereof, wait until 1992 before she sought the ejectment of respondents from the said premises?cralawlibrary

    In fine, there exists substantial evidence on record to boost the findings of the Boards and the Court of Appeals that petitioner and her husband consented to respondents' cultivation of the land in the concept of tenants and that the element of "sharing" is present, as shown by the receipts for the period of 1991-1992. Indeed, tenancy is not a purely factual relationship dependent on what the alleged tenant does upon the land. It is also a legal relationship.17 Here, all the essential requisites of tenancy relationship are obtaining.

    As adroitly enunciated by the DARAB'

    x x x In short, the tenancy relationship based on alleged forged documents was nonetheless legitimized by an implied contract clearly established by all the facts taken together.

    Having established their status as de jure tenants, respondents are entitled to security of tenure x x x. As elucidated in the case of Bernardo v. Court of Appeals x x x - "security of tenure of a tenant is a legal concession to agricultural lessees which they value as life itself and deprivation of their landholdings is tantamount to deprivation of their only means of livelihood."18

    The above findings of the DARAB are entitled to great weight, nay, finality considering that the findings of the Boards are unquestionably factual issues that have been discussed and ruled upon by them and affirmed by the Court of Appeals. We cannot depart from such findings. Findings of fact of administrative agencies and quasi-judicial bodies, which have acquired expertise because their jurisdiction is confined to specific matters, are generally accorded not only respect, but finality when affirmed by the Court of Appeals.19 Such findings deserve full respect and, without justifiable reason, ought not to be altered, modified or reversed.20

    WHEREFORE, the present petition is hereby DENIED. The Decision of the Court of Appeals dated 25 January 1996 in CA-G.R. SP No. 38618 is hereby AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner.

    SO ORDERED.


    Endnotes:


    1 Penned by Associate Justice Justo P. Torres, Jr. with Associate Justices Eubulo G. Verzola and Oswaldo D. Agcaoili, concurring. Rollo, pp. 24-32.

    2 Rollo, pp. 69-70.

    3 Id., p. 70.

    4 Id., p. 66.

    5 Id., p. 75.

    6 Id., p. 31.

    7 Id., pp. 13-14.

    8 Id., pp. 14-15.

    9 Section 3 of Rep. Act No. 1199; Ludo and Luym Development Corporation v. Barreto, G.R. No. 147266, 30 September 2005.

    10 Ambayec v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 162780, 21 June 2005, 460 SCRA 537, 542; Rimasug v. Martin, G.R. No. 160118, 22 November 2005; Ludo and Luym Development Corporation v. Barreto, supra.

    11 Sumawang v. De Guzman, G.R. No. 150106, 08 September 2004, 437 SCRA 622, 629.

    12 Ludo and Luym Development Corporation v. Barreto, supra note 9.

    13 Bagsican v. Court of Appeals, 225 Phil. 185, 188 (1986). J. Milagros A. German, Rulings From the SCRA In Agrarian Cases, p. 80.

    14 Rollo, pp. 11-12.

    15 Respondent Filomena Ramos represents her husband who is also the brother of petitioner.

    16 Rollo, p. 27.

    17 Ambayec v. Court of Appeals, supra note 10, p. 546.

    18 Rollo, p. 75.

    19 Megaworld Globus Asia, Inc. v. DSM Construction and Development Corporation, G.R. No. 153310, 02 March 2004, 424 SCRA 179, 197; Villaflor v. Court of Appeals, 345 Phil. 524, 562 (1997).

    20 Sebastian v. Morales, 445 Phil. 595, 609 (2003).

    G.R. No. 130260 - HILARIA RAMOS VDA. DE BRIGINO v. DOMINADOR RAMOS, ET AL.


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