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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
 

   
May-2010 Jurisprudence                 

  • [G.R. No. 21924, May 12, 2010] SING JUCO, PLAINTIFF AND APPELLANT, VS. BENJAMIN CUAYCONG, AGATON TONGOY AND MARIANO RAMOS, DEFENDANTS AND APPELLEES.

  • [G.R. No. 47864 : May 12, 2010] GAUDENCIO C. HIQUIANA ET AL., PETITIONERS-APPELLEES, VS. ISMAEL L. VELOSO, ETC., RESPONDENT-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 174719 : May 05, 2010] HEIRS OF MARIO PACRES, NAMELY: VALENTINA VDA. DE PACRES, JOSERINO, ELENA, LEOVIGILDO, LELISA, AND LOURDES ALL SURNAMED PACRES, AND VEÑARANDA VDA. DE ABABA, PETITIONERS, VS. HEIRS OF CECILIA YGOÑA, NAMELY BAUDILLO YGOÑA YAP, MARIA YAP DETUYA, JOSEFINA YAP, EGYPTIANA YAP BANZON, AND VICENTE YAP[1] AND HILARIO RAMIREZ, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 164703 : May 04, 2010] ALLAN C. GO, DOING BUSINESS UNDER THE NAME AND STYLE "ACG EXPRESS LINER," PETITIONER, VS. MORTIMER F. CORDERO, RESPONDENT. [G.R. No. 164747] MORTIMER F. CORDERO, PETITIONER, VS. ALLAN C. GO, DOING BUSINESS UNDER THE NAME AND STYLE "ACG EXPRESS LINER," FELIPE M. LANDICHO AND VINCENT D. TECSON, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 175200 : May 04, 2010] NATIONAL HOUSING AUTHORITY, PETITIONER, VS. THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM ADJUDICATION BOARD AND MATEO VILLARUZ, SUBSTITUTED BY HIS HEIRS, NAMELY, SONIA VILLARUZ, MARGARITA VILLARUZ AND CARLOS H. VILLARUZ, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 181068 : May 04, 2010] PEOPLE'S AIR CARGO AND WAREHOUSING CO., INC, PETITIONER, VS. HONORABLE FRANCISCO G. MENDIOLA, IN HIS CAPACITY AS PRESIDING JUDGE OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF PASAY CITY, BRANCH 115, AND CATHAY PACIFIC AIRWAYS, LTD., RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 187049 : May 04, 2010] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. LITO MACAPANAS Y ECIJA, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 191550 : May 04, 2010] HENRY "JUN" DUEÑAS, JR., PETITIONER, VS. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL AND ANGELITO "JETT" P. REYES, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 180062 : May 05, 2010] GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM, PETITIONER, VS. BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS (2ND DIVISION), BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE HOUSING AND LAND USE REGULATORY BOARD (HLURB) HLURB NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION FIELD OFFICE, SPOUSES MARCELINO H. DE LOS REYES AND ALMA T. DE LOS REYES, AND NEW SAN JOSE BUILDERS, INC., RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 141508 : May 05, 2010] ROBERTO S. BENEDICTO AND TRADERS ROYAL BANK, PETITIONERS, VS. MANUEL LACSON, A & A MONTELIBANO HIJOS, INC., ROBERTO ABELLO, DOMINADOR AGRAVANTE, LUISA ALANO, ALEXANDER FARMS, INC., ANGELA ESTATE, INC., GUILLERMO AND DOROTHY ARANETA, LETECIA ARANETA, ARCEO RAMOS & SONS, INC., SPOUSES GEORGE & LOURDES ARGUELLES, ASOSACION DE HACENDEROS DE SILAY-SARAVIA, INC. (AHSSI), SALVADOR BAUTISTA, BJB AGRO-INDUSTRIAL CORP., EUGENIO BAUTISTA, LUZ RAMOS BAYOT, CYNTHIA BENEDICTO, EVA BENEDICTO, LEOPOLDO BENEDICTO, MARY JANE BENEDICTO, FLORO BONGCO, FRANCISCO BONGCO, GERARDO BONGCO, MAXCY BORROMEO, QUIRICO CAMUS, CELSO AGRO INDUSTRIAL CORP., JULIA SO DE UYCHIAT, ARTURO UYCHIAT, LUIS UYCHIAT, ELISE UYCHIAT, CIRO LOCSIN AGRICULTURAL CORPORATION, CLAMONT FARMS, INC., SAGRARIO CLAPAROLS, JAIME CLAPAROLS, CLAUDIO LOPEZ, INC., RAMON CLEMENTE, SPOUSES ROMY CONLU AND ASUCENA DIASATA, SPOUSES CORNELIO AND DOLORES CONSING, LOPE CONSING, SPOUSES RAFAEL AND JULIETA CONSOLACION, BALCONER CORDOVA, CONSOLING CORDOVA, RAFAEL COSCULLUELA, CLK AGRO DEVELOPMENT CORP., EMILIO CUAYCONG, JR., SPOUSES JOSE ROBERTO AND PATRICIO CUAYCONG, ROMELI CUAYCONG, SONYA CUAYCONG, FELIPE DALIMO-OS, UBERTA DALIMO-OS, DELARICA REALTY, DOLL AGRICULTURAL CORP., DR. ANTONIO LIZARES CO., INC., SPOUSES BONIFACIO AND URBANA DUJON, ELAR AGRO INDUSTRIAL CORP., ELCEE FARMS, INC., ESTATE OF FERNANDO ERENETA, SPOUSES BENJAMIN AND TERESITA ESTACIO, EUSEBIO INCORPORATED, FARMLAND INCORPORATED, FELICIA AGRI DEVELOPMENT CORP., FELISA AGRI CORPORATION, SPOUSES ROLANDO AND NELLY FERMIN, FERTI-ACRES AGRI-CULTURAL CORPORATION, FRANCISCO JAVIER LACSON Y HERMANOS, GAMBOA HERMANOS, INC., HONORATO GAMBOA, ESTATE OF REMEDIOS GAMBOA, ANTONIO GASTON, HEIRS OF GERARDO GASTON, ESTATE OF JOSE MA. GASTON, VICTOR MA. GASTON, JOSE MA. GASTON, JOSE MA. GOLEZ, ANTONIO GONZAGA, ERNESTO GONZAGA, JESUS GONZAGA, LUIS GONZAGA, GONZAGA REAL ESTATE ENTERPRISES, INC., ROBERT GONZAGA, GREEN SOILS AGRICULTURE, INC., ESTATE OF REMEDIOS L. VDA. DE GUINTO, WARLITO USTILO, G.V. & SONS, INC., ENCARNACION HERNAEZ, SPOUSES MIGUEL AND CECILIA MAGSAYSAY, ADELINO HERNANDEZ, SPOUSES ABELARDO AND EMILY HILADO, SPOUSES ALFREDO AND TERESITA HILADO, RAMON HILADO, SPOUSES REMO AND ELSIE HINLO, SPOUSES DANILO AND NIMFA HINLO, MA. CRISTINA HOJILLA, DIOSDADO AND DIONISIO HOSALLA, JALIMONT REALTY, INC., ALBERTO AND BENJAMIN JALANDONI, DANIEL JALANDONI, JALKK CORPORATION, LEONOR JAVELLANA, ERIBERTO JESENA, PISON JESUSA AND SISTERS, JISARA AGRI DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, J.H. TAMPINCO AGRICULTURAL CORP., LILIA LOPEZ DE JISON, ROBERTO JISON, JOMILLA AGRO INDUSTRIAL VENTURES, INC., BENIGNA JONOTA, JOSEFINA RODRIGUEZ AGRICULTURAL CORP., JT ALUNAN AGRI. CORP., ANTONIO JUGO, SPOUSES JUANITO JUMILLA AND SANTAS DALIMO-OS, ESTATE OF CASILDA JUSTINIANI, SPOUSES ALEJANDRO AND ANTONIO KANA- AN, AGUSTIN KILAYCO, SPOUSES RODOLFO AND EMMA LACSON, EMMANUEL LACSON, ESTATE OF ERNESTO LACSON, LACSON HERMANOS, INC., ESTATE OF FELIPE LACSON, MANUEL LACSON, ESTATE OF MANUELA VDA. DE LACSON, PEDRO LACSON, RAMON LACSON, SR., TERESA LACSON, RODRIGO LACSON, LACTOR ESTATE DEVELOPMENT CORP., LIBERTINO AGUTANG, CARMEN CONSING LA'O, JOSE LA'O, JULIA LA'O, LA SALVACION AGRICULTURAL CORP., ENRIQUE LEDESMA, LEDESMA HERMANOS, INC., JESUS LEDESMA, SPOUSES JOSE MA. AND EVA LEDESMA, LEGA FARMS, CORP., ESTATE OF ANASTACIO LEGARDE, LIMJAP-ALUNAN AGRI, JESUS LIZARES, JOSE LIZARES, LUIS LIZARES, NILO LIZARES, SR. AND JR., SPOUSES JOSE AND PERLA LIZARES, ROBERTO LIZARES, ANTONIO LOCSIN, FEDERICO LOCSIN, JR., SPS. ROBERT AND JEAN MARIE WINEBURGER, ESTATE OF JOSE LOCSIN, OSCAR LOCSIN, SPOUSES JOSE MA. AND MARGARITA LOCSIN, VICENTE LOCSIN, LONOY AGRICULTURAL CORP., DOLORES LOLITA VDA. DE LOPEZ, FORTUNATO LOPEZ, NER LOPEZ, ESTATE OF NIEVES LOPEZ, POMPEYO LOPEZ, ROSENDO LOPEZ, ARTURO DE LUZURIAGA, CLAUDIO DE LUZURIAGA, CATALINA VDA. DE MAKILAN, BENITO MALAN, BASILIO MANALO, MANCY & SONS, INC., MANILAC AGRO COMMERCIAL CORP., SPOUSES MANUEL AND LUISA MANOSA, JULIO AND GENEVIEVE MAPA, MAPLE AGRI-CORP., INC., MARLAND AGRICULTURAL CORP., MARVIA & CO., INC., ANTONIO MENDOZA, BERNARDO MENDOZA, JR., SPOUSES BERNARDO AND ROSARIO MENDOZA, MALAURIE AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT CORP., HEIRS OF MANUEL AND CEFERINO MONFORT, ESTATE OF MANUEL MONFORT, JR., SPOUSES EMILIO AND LINDA MONTALVO, MONTILLA SISTERS AGRICULTURAL CORP., ANTONIO MONTINOLA, NIEVES AGRO-INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT CORP., MAMERTO DE OCA, O. LEDESMA & CO., INC., HEIRS OF MERCEDES PABIANA, TEODULO PABIANA, ESTATE OF ROSARIO PALENZUELA, ESTATE OF ENCARNACION PANLILIO, JOSE PASCUAL, JOHNNY DE LA PENA, ANICETA PERDIGUEROS, AQUILES PERDIGUEROS, LUISA PEREZ, CRISTINA PERTIERRA, PHISON FARMS, INC., ESTATE OF JOSEFINA PICCIO, PISON-LOCSIN KAUTURAN, NICOLAS POLINARIO, PUYAS AGRO, INC., ESTATE OF LEONOR DE LA RAMA, LUIS RAMA, RAMON DE LA RAMA AGRO DEVELOPMENT CORP., REMO RAMOS, BENJAMIN RAMOS, MARIANO RAMOS, SPOUSES ENRIQUE AND TERESITA REGALADO, SPS. JOSE MA. AND AMELIA REGALADO, MANUEL REGALADO, AQUILINO REONIR, RHE & SONS AGRO INDUSTRIAL CORP., ROAM AGRICULTURAL CORP., AMANDO ROBILLO, ROMALUX AGRI FARMS, INC., LETECIA DEL ROSARIO, MANUEL DEL ROSARIO, EULALIA ROSELLO, ROSENDO H. DE LA RAMA & CO., BIBIANO SABINO, SPOUSES REINHARDT AND CORAZON SAGEMULLER, PEDRO SAJO, SPOUSES AQUILES AND MA. CRISTINA SAJO, SAN ANTONIO FARMS, JOSE MA. SANTOS, MARCELINO SAUSI, STA. CLARA ESTATE, INC., SPOUSES FRANCISCO AND JULITA SERRIOS, ANTONIO SIAN, SIASON- DITCHING AGRO INDUSTRIAL CORP., SPOUSES LUCRECIO SORIANO AND LIBERATA DALIMO- OS, IMELDA TAMPINCO, T. GENSOLI & CO., TINIHABAN AGRICULTURAL CORP., SPOUSES LINO AND THELMA TOLEDO, FRANCISCO TORIANO, GODOFREDO TORIANO, LUCRECIO TORIANO, MOISES TORIANO, TOTA, INC., DEMOCRITO TRECHO, JESUSA TRECHO, PABIO TRECHO, RUFINO TRECHO, ESTATE OF FLORENTINO TREYES, ESTATE OF VICTOR TREYES, FERNANDO TREYES, LILIA TREYES, SOCORRO TUVILLA, FRANCIS TUVILLA, SPS. JOE MARIE AND VICTORIA TUVILLA, JOSE URBANOZO, JR., ESTATE OF ROSARIO VALENCIA, EDUARDO DE VENECIA, VICTORIAS MILLING, CO., INC., SPOUSES EDSEL AND RITA VILLACIN, JOSEFA VILLAERA, VILLALAYA AGRO DEVELOPMENT, SERAFIN VILLANUEVA, IRVING VILLASOR, DOMINICIANO VINARTA, ROSENDO AND CANDIDO VINARTA, BERNARD YBIERNAS, ESTRELLA YBIERNAS, SPOUSES CARLOS AND EDITH YLANAN, BENITO YOUNG, SPOUSES RENATO AND VICTORIA YULO, AND JESUS YUSAY, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 143591 : May 05, 2010] TEODORO C. BORLONGAN, JR., CORAZON M. BEJASA, ARTURO E.MANUEL, JR., ERIC L. LEE, P. SIERVO H. DIZON, BENJAMIN DE LEON, DELFIN C. GONZALES, JR., AND BEN YU LIM, JR., PETITIONERS, VS. MAGDALENO M. PEÑA AND HON. MANUEL Q. LIMSIACO, JR., AS JUDGE DESIGNATE OF THE MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT IN CITIES, BAGO CITY, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 163267 : May 05, 2010] TEOFILO EVANGELISTA, PETITIONER, VS. THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 172708 : May 05, 2010] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. JOSEPH AMPER Y REPASO, APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 178087 : May 05, 2010] COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, PETITIONER, VS. KUDOS METAL CORPORATION, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 184800 : May 05, 2010] WONINA M. BONIFACIO, JOCELYN UPANO, VICENTE ORTUOSTE AND JOVENCIO PERECHE, SR., PETITIONERS,VS. REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF MAKATI, BRANCH 149, AND JESSIE JOHN P. GIMENEZ, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 181847 : May 05, 2010] PUBLIC ESTATES AUTHORITY NOW PHILIPPINE RECLAMATION AUTHORITY, PETITIONER,VS. ESTATE OF JESUS S. YUJUICO, REPRESENTED BY BENEDICTO V. YUJUICO AND EDILBERTO V. YUJUICO; AND AUGUSTO Y. CARPIO, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 187556 : May 05, 2010] PLANTERS DEVELOPMENT BANK, PETITIONER, VS. JAMES NG AND ANTHONY NG, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 187200 : May 05, 2010] GOLDEN ACE BUILDERS AND ARNOLD U. AZUL, PETITIONERS,VS. JOSE A. TALDE, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 148892 : May 06, 2010] LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONER, VS. LUZ L. RODRIGUEZ, RESPONDENT.

  • [A.M. No. 09-9-163-MTC : May 06, 2010] RE: CASES SUBMITTED FOR DECISION BEFORE HON. TERESITO A. ANDOY, FORMER JUDGE, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT, CAINTA, RIZAL.

  • [G.R. No. 170515 : May 06, 2010] MARMOSY TRADING, INC. AND VICTOR MORALES, PETITIONERS, VS. COURT OF APPEALS, NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, HON. LABOR ARBITER ELIAS H. SALINAS AND JOSELITO HUBILLA, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. Nos. 180772 and 180776 : May 06, 2010] LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES [LBP], PETITIONER, VS. DOMINGO AND MAMERTO SORIANO, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 179038 : May 06, 2010] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. JOSEPH SERRANO AND ANTHONY SERRANO,ACCUSED-APPELLANTS.

  • [G.R. No. 186134 : May 06, 2010] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. JOEL ROA Y VILLALUZ, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 189402 : May 06, 2010] LIGAYA SANTOS AND ROBERT BUNDA, PETITIONERS, VS. DOMINGO I. ORDA, JR., RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 189602 : May 06, 2010] HEIRS OF ALFREDO ZABALA, REPRESENTED BY MENEGILDA ZABALA, ROLANDO ZABALA, MANUEL ZABALA, MARILYN ZABALA, AND ADELINA ZABALA, PETITIONERS, VS. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, VICENTE T. MANUEL AND/OR HEIRS OF VICENTE T. MANUEL, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 191771 : May 06, 2010] LIBERAL PARTY, REPRESENTED BY ITS PRESIDENT MANUEL A. ROXAS II AND SECRETARY GENERAL JOSEPH EMILIO A. ABAYA, PETITIONER, VS. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, NACIONALISTA PARTY, REPRESENTED BY ITS PRESIDENT MANUEL B. VILLAR AND NATIONALIST PEOPLE'S COALITION, ALLEGEDLY REPRESENTED BY ITS CHAIRMAN FAUSTINO S. DY, JR., RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 191846 : May 06, 2010] TEOFISTO GUINGONA, JR., BISHOP LEO A. SORIANO, FE MARIA ARRIOLA, ISAGANI R. SERRANO, AND ENGR. RODOLFO LOZADA, CORONA, VS. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 160718 : May 12, 2010] ANUNCIO C. BUSTILLO, EMILIO SUMILHIG, JR., AND AGUSTIN BILLEDO, JR., PETITIONERS, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 170956 : May 12, 2010] FELISA R. FERRER, PETITIONER, DOMINGO CARGANILLO, SERGIO CARGANILLO, SOLEDAD AGUSTIN AND MARCELINA SOLIS, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 180050 : May 12, 2010] RODOLFO G. NAVARRO, VICTOR F. BERNAL, AND RENE O. MEDINA, PETITIONERS, VS. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY EDUARDO ERMITA, REPRESENTING THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES; SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES, REPRESENTED BY THE SENATE PRESIDENT; HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, REPRESENTED BY THE HOUSE SPEAKER; GOVERNOR ROBERT ACE S. BARBERS, REPRESENTING THE MOTHER PROVINCE OF SURIGAO DEL NORTE; GOVERNOR GERALDINE ECLEO VILLAROMAN, REPRESENTING THE NEW PROVINCE OF DINAGAT ISLANDS, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 178202 : May 14, 2010] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. NORMAN SITCO AND RAYMUNDO BAGTAS (DECEASED), ACCUSED-APPELLANTS.

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    [G.R. No. 175200 : May 04, 2010]   NATIONAL HOUSING AUTHORITY, PETITIONER, VS. THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM ADJUDICATION BOARD AND MATEO VILLARUZ, SUBSTITUTED BY HIS HEIRS, NAMELY, SONIA VILLARUZ, MARGARITA VILLARUZ AND CARLOS H. VILLARUZ, RESPONDENTS.

     
    SECOND DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 175200 : May 04, 2010]

    NATIONAL HOUSING AUTHORITY, PETITIONER, VS. THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM ADJUDICATION BOARD AND MATEO VILLARUZ, SUBSTITUTED BY HIS HEIRS, NAMELY, SONIA VILLARUZ, MARGARITA VILLARUZ AND CARLOS H. VILLARUZ, RESPONDENTS.

    D E C I S I O N


    ABAD, J.:

    Are all lands acquired by the National Housing Authority (NHA) for its resettlement and housing efforts beyond the scope of agrarian laws? This is the question before the Court in this case.

    The Facts and the Case

    Sometime in 1960, the administrator of the estate of the late C.N. Hodges (the Estate) asked respondent Mateo Villaruz, Sr. (Villaruz)[1] to work as tenant of the Estate's seven-hectare rice field in Barangay Alijis, Bacolod, designated as Lot 916. The Estate wanted to prevent the land from falling into the hands of squatters. It had a house constructed on the lot for Villaruz and engaged his daughter and son-in-law to serve as co-tenants. In 1976, however, squatters settled into Lot 916, occupying four of its seven hectares. Villaruz was thus left with only three hectares for planting rice and corn.

    As it later turned out, the Estate mortgaged Lot 916 to a bank, resulting in its foreclosure when the loan could not be paid. Petitioner NHA bought the lot on September 11, 1985. Later that year, the Department of Public Works and Highways constructed roads and bridges that passed through a portion of the lot. As a result, some plants and crops had to be cut down, prompting respondent Villaruz to demand payment of their value.

    When the demand was not heeded, respondent Villaruz filed an action for damages and disturbance compensation against petitioner NHA and the Estate before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Bacolod City in CAR Case 287. But the RTC dismissed the complaint on the ground that the NHA was not liable for disturbance compensation as provided in Section 1 of Presidential Decree (P.D.) 1472. Villaruz did not appeal from the court order.

    Later on, respondent Villaruz filed a complaint with the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (PARAD),[2] seeking recognition as tenant beneficiary of the lot he tenanted under P.D. 27 and praying that his possession of its three-hectare portion be maintained. After hearing, the PARAD ruled[3] in Villaruz's favor with respect to such portion provided he paid 25% of his net harvest to petitioner NHA until a fixed rental could be set. But he could not be declared owner of the lot since it had ceased to be private agricultural land, having been bought by the government. It was already outside the coverage of P.D. 27.

    Petitioner NHA appealed the PARAD decision to the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB),[4] which affirmed the same. Undaunted, the NHA appealed to the Court of Appeals (CA).[5] On September 21, 2006 the CA rendered a decision,[6] affirming the questioned decisions of the PARAD and the DARAB. This prompted the NHA to file the present petition for review.

    The Issue Presented


    The core issue in this case is whether or not Lot 916 is exempt from the coverage of the agrarian reform laws, the same having been acquired by petitioner NHA for its housing program.

    The Court's Ruling

    Petitioner NHA does not dispute the fact that respondent Villaruz worked on Lot 916 as a tenant while the Estate still owned it, with the latter as his landlord. Villaruz's theory is that, since the NHA stepped into the shoes of the Estate, the NHA assumed responsibility for maintaining his tenancy over the lot. In effect, the NHA became Villaruz's new landowner by operation of Section 10 of Republic Act (R.A.) 3844, which provides:

    SECTION 10. Agricultural Leasehold Relation Not Extinguished by Expiration of Period, etc. - The agricultural leasehold relation under this Code shall not be extinguished by mere expiration of the term or period in a leasehold contract nor by the sale, alienation or transfer of the legal possession of the landholding. In case the agricultural lessor sells, alienates or transfers the legal possession of the landholding, the purchaser or transferee thereof shall be subrogated to the rights and substituted to the obligations of the agricultural lessor.

    Petitioner NHA contends, on the other hand, that it is not subject to subrogation since Lot 916, which it acquired for its housing and resettlement projects, is exempt from the operation of agrarian laws. Section 1 of P.D. 1472 provides:

    SECTION 1. The government resettlement projects in Sapang Palay, San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan; Carmona, Cavite; San Pedro, Laguna; Dasmariñas, Cavite; and such other lands or property acquired by the National Housing Authority or its predecessors-in-interest or to be acquired by it for resettlement purposes and/or housing development, are hereby declared as outside the scope of the Land Reform Program under the Agricultural Land Reform Code, as amended, and as such, the National Housing Authority or its predecessors-in-interest shall not be held liable for disturbance compensation as the case may be.

    Both the PARAD and the DARAB ruled, however, that the above exemption applied only to lands already acquired by petitioner NHA when P.D. 1472 took effect on June 11, 1978. Their view was that, based on the "whereas" clause of that presidential decree, the intent was to preserve properties that the NHA already acquired on or before June 11, 1978. The exemption did not apply to Lot 916 since the NHA bought it in 1985.

    The CA disagreed and ruled that the exemption under P.D. 1472 also applied to properties that petitioner NHA acquired after the decree took effect. Still, the CA upheld the PARAD and DARAB decisions.

    Looking at that "whereas" clause, the CA held that the exemption applied only after petitioner NHA shall have acquired a lot for its housing program. When a lot has already been earmarked for such program, the same can no longer be placed under agrarian reform. The CA of course found that the situation in this case differed from what P.D. 1472 contemplated. Since Villaruz was already a tenant of Lot 916 when NHA acquired it, the exemption did not apply.

    This Court disagrees. P.D. 1472 exempts from land reform those lands that petitioner NHA acquired for its housing and resettlement programs whether it acquired those lands when the law took effect or afterwards. The language of the exemption is clear: the exemption covers "lands or property acquired x x x or to be acquired" by NHA. Its Section 1 does not make any distinction whether the land petitioner NHA acquired is tenanted or not. When the law does not distinguish, no distinction should be made.

    In addition, Section 1 of P.D. 1472 provides that petitioner NHA shall not be liable for disturbance compensation. Since only tenants working on agricultural lands can claim disturbance compensation, the exemption assumes that NHA may have to acquire such kinds of land for its housing program. If the exemption from payment of disturbance compensation applied only to untenanted lands, then such exemption would be meaningless or a superfluity.

    Thus, petitioner NHA is not bound to pay disturbance compensation to respondent Villaruz even if he was the tenant of Lot 916. The NHA's purchase of Lot 916 for development and resettlement transformed the property by operation of law from agricultural to residential.

    If the ruling of the CA were to be upheld, petitioner NHA would have to allow Villaruz and his successors-in-interest to work on Lot 916 as agricultural tenants for as long as they liked without any chance of getting an emancipation patent over it under P.D. 27. This would be antithetical to the objectives of the agrarian reform program. As for the NHA, it would become an agricultural lessor with no right to use the land for the purpose for which it bought the same. This, in turn, would become prejudicial to the government's housing projects.

    The Court is mindful of the plight of tenant-farmers like respondent Villaruz. But it is also incumbent upon it to weigh their rights against the government's interest in meeting the housing needs of the greater majority. It is in this light that P.D. 1472 has to be interpreted.

    With the above discussion, it is unnecessary to delve into the other issues raised by the parties.

    WHEREFORE, the Court GRANTS the petition, REVERSES and SETS ASIDE the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP 86396 dated September 21, 2006, and DISMISSES the action of respondent Mateo Villaruz, Sr. for possession of the subject three-hectare portion of Lot 916.

    SO ORDERED.

    Carpio, Brion, Del Castillo, and Perez, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:


    [1] During the pendency of the petition before this Court, respondent Mateo Villaruz, Sr. passed away and was substituted by his children, Sonia, Margarita and Carlos, all surnamed Villaruz.

    [2] DARAB Case VI-210-NO-92.

    [3] In its Decision dated June 20, 1994.

    [4] Docketed as DARAB Case 3544.

    [5] Docketed as CA-G.R. SP 86396.

    [6] Penned by Associate Justice Priscilla Baltazar-Padilla and concurred in by Associate Justices Isaias P. Dicdican and Romeo F. Barza.

    [G.R. No. 175200 : May 04, 2010]   NATIONAL HOUSING AUTHORITY, PETITIONER, VS. THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM ADJUDICATION BOARD AND MATEO VILLARUZ, SUBSTITUTED BY HIS HEIRS, NAMELY, SONIA VILLARUZ, MARGARITA VILLARUZ AND CARLOS H. VILLARUZ, RESPONDENTS.


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