Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 2017 > August 2017 Decisions > G.R. No. 191615, August 02, 2017 - VICTORIA P. CABRAL, Petitioner, v. HEIRS OF FLORENCIO ADOLFO AND HEIRS OF ELIAS POLICARPIO, Respondents.:




G.R. No. 191615, August 02, 2017 - VICTORIA P. CABRAL, Petitioner, v. HEIRS OF FLORENCIO ADOLFO AND HEIRS OF ELIAS POLICARPIO, Respondents.

PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

THIRD DIVISION

G.R. No. 191615, August 02, 2017

VICTORIA P. CABRAL, Petitioner, v. HEIRS OF FLORENCIO ADOLFO AND HEIRS OF ELIAS POLICARPIO, Respondents.

D E C I S I O N

TIJAM, J.:

Assailed in this Petition for Review on Certiorari1 under Rule 45 is the Court of Appeals' (CA) Decision2 dated November 23, 2009 in CA-G.R. SP No. 108518. The CA's Resolution3 dated March 15, 2010, denying petitioner's Motion for Reconsideration in the said case is likewise impugned herein.

The Facts

Petitioner claims that she is the registered owner of several parcels of land situated, at Barangay Purok (formerly Iba), Meycauayan, Bulacan, originally covered by Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. 0-1670, subsequently renumbered as OCT No. 0-220 (M), of the Registry of Deeds of Meycauayan, Bulacan.4 The property subject of the instant case are portions of Lot 4 of Plan Psu-164390 covered by the said OCT No. 0-1670.

On October 21, 1972, the Ministry of Agrarian Reform subjected the said land under the coverage of the Operation Land Transfer (OLT) program of the government under Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 27.5

In July 1973, petitioner sought to convert her landholdings, which include not only the subject property but also her lands in Marilao and Meycauayan, to non-agricultural purposes.6 In his 2nd Indorsement Letter7 to the DAR Secretary dated October 1, 1973, DAR District Officer Fernando Ortega, stated that per the reports of the Agrarian Reform Team, the subject property was not included in the OLT program under P.D. No. 27, nor has any portion thereof been transferred to a tenant. Thus, District Officer Ortega recommended the conversion of the same into residential, commercial, industrial, or other purposes.8

On April 25, 1988, Emancipation Patents (EPs) were issued to Gregoria Adolfo, Gregorio Lazaro, Florencio Adolfo, and Elias Policarpio pursuant to the OLT program covering the subject property. Corresponding Transfer Certificates of Titles (TCTs) were then issued to herein respondents Florencio Adolfo on October 24, 1989 and Elias Policarpio on November 8, 1989 upon registration of their respective EPs with the Register of Deeds of Meycauayan, Bulacan9 as follows:10
NAMES
LOT NO.
EP NO.
TCT NO.
AREA (sq. m.)
Florencio Adolfo
1
A-117858
EP-003(M)
29759
Florencio Adolfo
2
A-117859-H
EP-004(M)
957
Gregoria Adolfo
3
A-117978-H
EP-005(M)
630
Gregoria Adolfo
4
A-117979
EP-006(M)
21793
Gregorio Lazaro
5
A-117980-H
EP-007(M)
839
Gregorio Lazaro
10
A-117981
EP-008(M)
16906
Elias Policarpio
11
A-117983
EP-010(M)
995
Elias Policarpio
12
A-117982-H
EP-009(M)
18019
On January 16, 1990, petitioner filed a petition before the Barangay Agrarian Reform Council (BARC) for the cancellation of the EPs issued in favor of Florencio Adolfo, Gregorio Lazaro, Gregoria Adolfo, and Elias Policarpio.11 On January 19, 1990, petitioner filed another petition for cancellation of the said EPs and TCTs before the DAR. The said petition was, however, forwarded to the DAR Regional Director, who dismissed the case. In a case decided by this Court in 2001 entitled Victoria P. Cabral v. CA,12 however, this Court held that the Regional Director had no jurisdiction over the case as it is the PARAD who has jurisdiction over cases involving cancellation of EPs.13

Meanwhile, in 1994, petitioner filed an OLT Letter Protest before the DAR Regional Director, questioning the coverage of her landholdings under P.D. No. 27, on the ground that the same had already been classified as either residential, commercial, or industrial.14

In its November 16, 1994 Order, the DAR Regional Director denied the said OLT protest, finding that despite the reclassification of the subject parcels of land, the same will not be a bar in placing the said lands under the OLT program, considering that petitioner's landholdings exceeded 24 hectares.15

On appeal, the then DAR Secretary Ernesto D. Garilao, in his Order16 dated July 12, 1996, affirmed the DAR Regional Director's Order, declaring that the subject landholdings are covered by the OLT program under P.D. No. 27 as it was only after the landholdings were placed under the OLT program on October 21, 1972 when it was classified as within the residential zone. The Order cited Administrative Order (A.O.) No. 06, series of 1994,17 which provides that reclassification of lands to non-agricultural uses shall not operate to divest tenant-farmers of their rights over lands covered by P.D. No. 27, which were vested prior to June 15, 1988, and also Executive Order (E.O.) No. 22818 which provides that tenant-farmers are deemed full owners of the land they acquired by virtue of P.D. No. 27 as of October 21, 1972. In fine, Secretary Garilao concluded that the petitioner's landholdings are covered by P.D. No. 27.19

On August 16, 2003, petitioner filed a Petition for Cancellation of Emancipation Patents and Torrens Title20 before the Office of the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (PARAD) of Malolos City, Bulacan against the said respondents and the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Region III. In the main, petitioner contended that the issuance of the said EPs and TCTs were violative of applicable agrarian laws considering that the subject property was already classified as residential, hence, not covered by P.D. No. 27. Petitioner invoked a Certification21 dated February 24, 1983 issued by the Zoning Administrator of the Office of the HSRC Deputized Zoning Administration of Meycauayan, Bulacan, and Certification22 dated August 28, 1989 issued by the Zoning Administrator of Meycauayan, Bulacan, both attesting to the classification of the subject property as within the residential zone. Petitioner also averred that the said EPs were issued without due process and without payment of just compensation.23

On June 18, 2004, the Provincial Reform Adjudicator (PARAD) rendered a Decision24 in favor of the petitioner, thus:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered, as follows:

1. Ordering the Register of Deeds of Bulacan to cancel the Emancipation Patent Titles issued to the private respondents, as follows: FLOPRENCIO [sic] ADOLFO - TCT No. EP-003, FLORECNCIO [sic] ADOLFO TCT No. RP-004, GREGORIA ADOLFO TCT No. EP-005, GREGORIA ADOLFO - TCT No. EP-006, GREGORIO LAZARO - TCT No. EP-008, ELIAS POLICARPIO - TCT No. 010, ELIAS POLICARPIO - TCT No. 009.

2. Ordering the private respondents and all persons claiming rights under them to vacate the landholdings under their respective possessions and surrender the same to petition.

3. Ordering the Register of Deeds of Bulacan to revived (sic) OCT No. 0-220-(M) (formerly OCT No. 0-1670 registered under the name of petitioner Victoria Cabral), insofar as Lot 4 thereof is concerned.

SO ORDERED.25
Aggrieved, Gregoria Adolfo, Gregorio Lazaro, Heirs of Florencio Adolfo, and Heirs of Elias Policarpio appealed the said decision to the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB).

In its July 29, 2008 Decision26, the DARAB affirmed PARAD's Decision, thus:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Appeal is DENIED for lack of merit and the assailed Decision is hereby affirmed.

SO ORDERED.27
Undaunted, herein respondents elevated the case to the CA for review.

In its assailed Decision, the CA reversed and set aside the DARAB Decision. The CA found that the subject land was never converted into a residential land and, therefore, not exempt from the coverage of the government's OLT program under P.D. No. 27, relying heavily upon Secretary Gari1ao's Order above-cited. Hence, the CA concluded that when the predecessors-in-interest of the herein respondents were identified as farmer-beneficiaries and were given EPs/TCTs, they were deemed owners thereof. The CA disposed, thus:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
WHEREFORE, the July 29, 2008 Decision of the [DARAB] is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The Petition for Cancellation of Emancipation Patents and Torrens Titles (Case No. 2-03-02-0242'03) is hereby ordered DISMISSED.

SO ORDERED.28
Respondents' Motion for Reconsideration was denied in the DARAB's Resolution29 dated March 11, 2009.

Hence, this petition.

G.R. No. 198160

Before We proceed to discuss the instant petition, it is noteworthy that the issue on the coverage of Lot 4 under the OLT program pursuant to P.D. No. 27 had already been settled by this Court in its Decision dated August 31, 2016 in the case of Victoria P. Cabral v. Gregoria Adolfo, Gregorio Lazaro, and Heirs of Elias Policarpio.30

The said case involves the same issues, same assailed decisions of the PARAD and DARAB, same subject property, and same parties (except Gregoria Adolfo and Gregorio Lazaro who were parties in G.R. No. 198160 but not in this case, and Florencio Adolfo who is a party herein but not in G.R. No. 198160).

Essentially, this Court upheld the findings of the PARAD and DARAB, recognizing the zoning reclassification made on the subject property as evidenced by the Certifications dated February 24, 1983 and August 28, 1989 issued by the zoning administrator of Meycauayan, Bulacan above-cited. We also considered therein the 2nd Indorsement Letter of then DAR District Officer Ortega, declaring that petitioner's landholdings were not covered by the OLT program. The Court also found that no CLTs were issued in favor of the respondents therein, which bolstered the fact that the subject property was not covered by P.D. No. 27.

Hence, as it was established that Lot 4 was not covered by the OLT program, this Court declared that the EPs covering the subject lands therein were erroneously issued to the respondents.31

With this judicial precedent in mind, We now proceed to resolve the instant petition.

Issue

Did the CA err in reversing the PARAD and DARAB's order of cancelling the subject EPs/TCTs?

The Court's Ruling

We answer in the affirmative.

DAR Administrative Order No. 02-9432 provides that a registered EP or Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) may be cancelled on the following grounds, to wit:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
Grounds for the cancellation of registered EPs or CLOAs may include but not limited to the following:

1. Misuse or diversion of financial and support services extended to the ARB (Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries); (Section 37 of R.A. No. 6657)

2. Misuse of the land; (Section 22 of R.A. No. 6657)

3. Material misrepresentation of the ARB's basic qualifications as provided under Section 22 of R.A. No. 6657, P.D. No. 27, and other agrarian laws;

4. Illegal conversion by the ARB; (Cf. Section 73, Paragraphs C and E of R.A. No. 6657)

5. Sale, transfer, lease or other forms of conveyance by a beneficiary of the right to use or any other usufructuary right over the land acquired by virtue of being a beneficiary, in order to circumvent the provisions of Section 73 of R.A. No. 6657, P.D. No. 27, and other agrarian laws. However, if the land has been acquired under P.D. No. 27/E.O. No. 228, ownership may be transferred after full payment of amortization by the beneficiary; (Sec. 6 of E.O. No. 228)

6. Default in the obligation to pay an aggregate of three (3) consecutive amortizations in case of voluntary land transfer/direct payment scheme, except in cases of fortuitous events and force majeure;

7. Failure of the ARBs to pay for at least three (3) annual amortizations to the LBP, except in cases of fortuitous events and force majeure; (Section 26 of R.A. No. 6657)

8. Neglect or abandonment of the awarded land continuously for a period of two (2) calendar years as determined by the Secretary or his authorized representative; (Section 22 of R.A. No. 6657)

9. The land is found to be exempt/excluded from P.D. No. 27/E.O. No. 228 or CARP coverage or to be part of the landowners' retained area as determined by the Secretary or his authorized representative; and

10. Other grounds that will circumvent laws related to the implementation of agrarian reform program.33 (emphasis supplied)
In this case, petitioner maintains that the subject property is excluded from the coverage of P.D. No. 27 as it has already been classified as residential land, invoking the Certifications dated February 24, 1983 and August 28, 1989 issued by the zoning administrator. Petitioner also avers that as early as October 1, 1973, the DAR already made a declaration that her landholdings are not included under the OLT program, and thus made a recommendation for the conversion of the same to residential, commercial, industrial, or other purposes.34 In fine, petitioner argues that there was never any showing that the lands subject of the controversy were primarily devoted to rice and com as to be covered by P.D. No. 27. Also, petitioner argues that the subject EPs were issued without compliance with the requirements for its issuance under P.D. No. 27, such as the prior issuance of corresponding Certificates of Land Transfer (CLTs). Further, petitioner alleges that her constitutional right to due process was violated as the issuance of the subject EPs was done without any notice or consultation with her and without the payment of just compensation.35

The subect property (Lot 4) is not covered by the OLT program under P.D. No. 27.

The resolution of the instant controversy is primarily anchored upon the determination of whether the subject lands are covered by the OLT program under P.D. No. 27.

As We have determined in G.R. No. 198160, Lot 4 had already been reclassified to non-agricultural uses and was, therefore, already outside the coverage of the OLT program under P.D. No. 27.

The CA in this case, however, ruled otherwise, relying heavily upon the July 12, 1996 Order of then DAR Secretary Garilao. In the said Order, Sec. Garilao cited AO 6-94, which states that "reclassification of lands to non-agricultural uses shall not operate to divest tenant-farmers of their rights over lands covered by P.D. No. 27, which have vested prior to June 15, 1988," and EO 228, which provides that "tenant-farmers are deemed full owners of the land they acquired by virtue of P.D. No. 27 as of October 21, 1972."36 Notably, respondents' arguments are also grounded on these provisions.37

We differ.

As this Court has often stressed, factual findings of administrative bodies charged with their specific field of expertise, such as the PARAD and the DARAB, are afforded great weight, nay, finality by the courts, and in the absence of substantial showing that such findings were made from an erroneous estimation of the evidence presented, they are conclusive, and in the interest of stability of the governmental structure, should not be disturbed.38 Contrary to the CA's conclusion, We find no cogent reason to disturb the said quasi-judicial agency's findings. Consider:

(1) The July 12, 1996 Order of DAR Secretary Garilao involves parcels of land different from the subject property in the case at bar.

As can be gleaned from the said Order, the certifications of reclassification considered in the said case are as follows, to wit:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
1. Certification for TCT No. T-149964 (M) with an area of of [sic] 42,109 square meters that it is classified as RESIDENTIAL ZONE as per Municipal Ordinance No. 43, Series of 1988 dated December 21, 1988.

2. Certification for TCT No. T-149928 (M) with an area of 20,954 square meters classified as INDUSTRIAL ZONE as per Municipal Ordinance No. 43, Series 1988 dated December 21, 1988.

3. Certification for TCT No. T-0611 (M) with an area of 30,881 square meters classified as RESIDENTIAL ZONE per Municipal Ordinance No. 43, Series of 1988 dated December 21, 1988.

4. Certification for TCT No. T-73.736 (M) (Lot 1-A) with an area of 3,020 square meters classified as RESIDENTIAL ZONE as per Comprehensive Zoning Code dated October 14, 1987.

5. Certification for TCT No. T-73.737 (M) (Lot 1-A) with an area of 3,020 square meters classified as RESIDENTIAL ZONE as per Comprehensive Zoning Code dated October 14, 1987.

6. Certification for OCT No. 0-1670 with an area of 12,299 square meters (Lot 2) classified as RESIDENTIAL ZONE as per Comprehensive Zoning Code approved on November 7, 1990.39 (emphasis supplied)
Contrariwise, the subject property in the case at bar constitutes parcels of land covering certain portions of Lot 4 of Plan Psu-164390 of OCT No. 0-1670. Clearly, thus, the CA erred in relying heavily on the said Order in reversing the PARAD and DARAB decisions.

(2) The records are bereft of proof that the subject lands are tenanted and devoted primarily to rice or corn production.

It bears stressing that P.D. No. 27, which implemented the OLT program, covers only tenanted rice or com lands. The requisites for coverage under the OLT program are the following: (1) the land must be devoted to rice or com crops; and (2) there must be a system of share-crop or lease tenancy obtaining therein.40

Neither of these requisites is present in this case.

(a) The subject property is not covered by the OLT because of its residential nature.

Again, as found by both the PARAD and the DARAB as early as October 1, 1973, the DAR, through District Officer Ortega, already declared that the subject landholding is not included in the OLT program by virtue of the Agrarian Refonn Team's report that the subject property is suited for residential, commercial, industrial, or other urban purposes considering its potential for national development.41 District Officer Ortega, thus, recommended for its conversion into residential, commercial, industrial, or other urban purposes.42

This Court, in G.R. No. 198160, sustained such findings, as well as the Certifications43 issued by the zoning administrator, attesting to the classification of the property as being within the residential zone. Evidentiary weight is accorded to the said documents as the same were issued by such officer having jurisdiction over the area where the land in question is situated and is, therefore, more familiar with the property in issue.44 These certifications carried the presumption of regularity in its issuance and respondents have the burden of overcoming this presumption45, which they failed to do.

(b) As to whether a tenancy relationship exists, petitioner insists that respondents are not her tenants. On the other hand, the respondents, anchoring their rights upon P.D. No. 27, necessarily claim that there is a system of share-crop between them and the petitioner.

This Court has, time and again, held that occupancy and cultivation of an agricultural land will not ipso facto make one a de jure tenant.46 Independent and concrete evidence is necessary to prove personal cultivation, sharing of harvest, or consent of the landowner.47 Tenancy relationship cannot be presumed; the elements for its existence are explicit in law and cannot be done away by conjectures.48 Thus, as petitioner denies such tenancy relationship and it is respondents who assert the same, the latter has the burden to prove their affirmative allegation of tenancy.49 Again, the respondents failed to discharge such burden as there is nothing on record that will provide this Court factual basis to determine that indeed a crop-sharing agreement exists between the parties.

(c) Farmer-beneficiaries cannot be deemed full owners when there is no compliance with the procedure for the issuance of an EP under P.D. No. 27 and related rules.

Thus, neither do We subscribe to Sec. Garilao's reasoning and respondents' argument that since the reclassication of the property was made after the effectivity of P.D. No. 27, tenant-farmers enjoy a vested right and should be deemed as "full owners" of the property.

Indeed, under P.D. No. 27, tenant-farmers of rice and corn lands were deemed owners of the land they till as of October 21, 1972 or the effectivity of the said law.50 This policy was intended to emancipate the tenant-farmers from the bondage of the soil.51 However, the provision declaring tenant­farmers as owners as of October 21, 1972 should not be construed as automatically vesting upon them absolute ownership over the land they are tilling.52

Certain requirements must also be complied with before full ownership is vested upon the tenant-farmers.53 Thus, in G.R. No. 198160, We laid down the steps to be undertaken before an EP can be issued to effectively transfer the land to the tenant-farmers, to wit: first, the identification of tenants, and the land covered by OLT; second, land survey and sketching of the actual cultivation of the tenant to determine parcel size, boundaries, and possible land use; third, the issuance of the CLT. To ensure accuracy and safeguard against falsification, these certificates are processed at the National Computer Center (NCC) at Camp Aguinaldo; fourth, valuation of the land covered for amortization computation; fifth, amortization payments of tenant-tillers over afifteen (15) year period; and sixth, the issuance of the EP.54

Furthermore, there are several supporting documents which a tenant­farmer must submit before he can receive the EP such as: (a) Application for issuance of EP; (b) Applicant's (owner's) copy of the CLT; (c) Certification of the landowner and the Land Bank of the Philippines that the applicant has tendered full payment of the parcel of land as described in the application and as actually tilled by him; (d) Certification by the President of the Samahang Nayon or by the head of a farmers' cooperative duly confirmed by the municipal district officer (MDO) of the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development (MLGCD) that the applicant is a full-fledged member of a duly registered farmers' cooperative or a certification to these effect; (e) Copy of the technical (graphical) description of the land parcel applied for prepared by the Bureau of Land Sketching Team (BLST) and approved by the regional director of the Bureau of Lands; (f) Clearance from the MAR field team (MARFT) or the MAR District Office (MARDO) legal officer or trial attorney; or in their absence, a clearance by the MARFT leader to the effect that the land parcel applied for is not subject of adverse claim, duly confirmed by the legal officer or trial attorney of the MAR Regional Office or, in their absence, by the regional director; (g) Xerox copy of Official Receipts or certification by the municipal treasurer showing that the applicant has fully paid or has effected up-to-date payment of the realty taxes due on the land parcel applied for; and (h) Certification by the MARFT leader whether applicant has acquired farm machineries from the MAR and/or from other government agencies.55

As We have held in the case of Association of Small Landowners in the Philippines, Inc. v. Sec. of Agrarian Reform:56
It is true that P.D. No. 27 expressly ordered the emancipation of tenant-farmer as of October 21, 1972 and declared that he shall be deemed the owner of a portion of land consisting of a family-sized farm except that no title to the land owned by him was to be actually issued to him unless and until he had become a full-fledged member of a duly recognized farmers cooperative. It was understood, however, that full payment of the just compensation also had to be made first, conformably to the constitutional requirement.

When E.O. No. 228, categorically stated in its Section 1 that:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
All qualified farmer-beneficiaries are now deemed full owners as of October 21, 1972 of the land they acquired by virtue of P.D. No. 27.
it was obviously referring to lands already validly acquired under the said decree, after proof of full-fledged membership in the farmers cooperatives and full payment of just compensation. Hence, it was also perfectly proper for the Order to also provide in its Section 2 that the lease rentals paid to the landowner by the farmer-beneficiary after October 21, 1972 (pending transfer of ownership after full payment of just compensation), shall be considered as advance payment for the land.

The CARP Law, for its part, conditions the transfer of possession and ownership of the land to the government on receipt by the landowner of the corresponding payment or deposit by the DAR of the compensation in cash or LBP bonds with an accessible bank. Until then, title also remains with the landowner. No outright change of ownership is contemplated either.
Clearly, thus, prior to the compliance with the prescribed requirements, tenant-farmers have, at most, an inchoate right over the land they were tilling.57

In this case, the records are bereft of evidence to show that the procedure above-enumerated was complied with by the respondents to prove that the said provisional title was perfected, from the time that the entitlement to such right started pursuant to P.D. No. 27 or specifically on October 21, 1972 and before the claimed land was reclassified.

Foremost, there was no CLT issued prior to the issuance of the subject EPs.

In recognition of the said inchoate right, a CLT is issued to a tenant­farmer to serve as a provisional title of ownership over the landholding while the lot owner is awaiting full payment of just compensation or for as long as the tenant-farmer is an amortizing owner.58 The CLT proves inchoate ownership of an agricultural land primarily devoted to rice or com production.59

In Del Castillo v. Orciga,60 We explained that land transfer under P.D. No. 27 is effected in two stages: first, the issuance of a CLT; and second, the issuance of an EP. The first stage serves as the government's recognition of the tenant-farmer's inchoate right as "deemed owners" of the land they till. The second stage perfects the title of the tenant-farmers and vests in them absolute ownership upon full compliance with the prescribed requirements.61 As a preliminary step then, the CLT immediately serves as the tangible evidence of the government's recognition of the the tenant-farmers' inchoate right and of the subjection of the land to the OLT program.62

To bolster the finding that the subject landholding was not covered by the OLT program, We echo the PARAD and DARAB pronouncement that the fact that no CLTs were previously issued to the respondents signifies the non-inclusion of the subject lands under the coverage of the OLT.63 Indeed, there is nothing in the records that will show that CLTs were issued in favor of the respondents before the issuance of the subject EPs considering that, to reiterate, the issuance of a CLT is a proof that the property was previously covered by the OLT program and proof of the government's recognition of the farmer-beneficiary's inchoate right over the same.

In G.R. No. 198160, this Court found that Elias Policarpio's TCTs, along with therein respondent Gregoria Adolfo's TCTs, were not derived from a CLT. In this case, the CA cited a Certification64 from the DAR dated April 27, 2009 to conclude that CLTs were issued to the respondents. A perusal of the said Certification, however, shows that only one of the lands being claimed by Florencio Adolfo was issued a CLT (CLT No. 0-056491). The other person stated therein who was purportedly issued a CLT was Gregorio Lazaro, who is not a party in this case. Hence, We are perplexed on why the CA sweepingly concluded that CLTs were issued to the respondents and applied the same to this case.

At any rate, assuming that such Certification is valid, it could readily be seen that CLT No. 0-056491 was only issued on September 11, 1981 or nine years after the lot had supposedly been brought under the OLT program. The fact that as of October 1973 a determination had already been made by the DAR Regional Director that the subject property was not covered by the OLT program is also telling. Thus, We agree with the findings of the PARAD and DARAB that no CLTs were issued in this case, in violation of the procedure for the issuance of an EP above-enumerated.

Likewise, there is no showing that petitioner was notified of the placement of her landholdings under the OLT program and, more importantly, there was no proof that petitioner was paid just compensation therefor.

Land acquisition by virtue of P.D. No. 27 and Republic Act (R.A.) No. 665765 partakes of the nature of expropriation. In fact, jurisprudence states that it is an extraordinary method of expropriating private property.66 As such, the law on the matter must be strictly construed. Faithful compliance with legal provisions, especially those which relate to procedure for acquisition of expropriated lands should therefore be observed. In expropriation proceedings, as in judicial proceedings, notice is part of the constitutional right to due process of law. It informs the landowner of the State's intention to acquire private land upon payment of just compensation and gives him the opportunity to present evidence that his landholding is not covered or is otherwise excused from the agrarian law.67

In this case, the respondents and the DAR failed to adduce evidence to prove actual notice to the petitioner and payment of just compensation for the taking of the latter's property.

Indeed as We have settled in G.R. No. 198160,68 there is nothing on record that will show that the landholding was brought under the OLT program, CLTs were issued prior to the issuance of the subject EPs, respondents are full-fledged members of a duly recognized farmer's cooperative, they finished payment of amortizations, and that petitioner, as the landowner, was notified and paid just compensation for the taking of her lands before the issuance of the subject EPs.

In this issue of compliance with the procedure, it must be remembered that the burden of proof lies with the party who asserts a right and the quantum of evidence required by law in civil cases is preponderance of evidence.69 Preponderance of evidence is the weight, credit, and value of the aggregate evidence on either side and is usually considered to be synonymous with the term "greater weight of evidence" or "greater weight of credible evidence".70 Moreover, parties must rely on the strength of their own evidence, not upon the weakness of that of their opponent's.71 Significantly, as We have observed by in G.R. No. 198160, this Court is in the dark as to what actually transpired prior to the issuance of the subject EPs, which only raises more questions than answers.

To Our mind, it would have been easy for the respondents to prove their claims had they presented the documents above-enumerated. Thus, this Court is baffled by the fact that the respondents did not adduce such evidence before the PARAD and/or the DARAB, instead, they resorted to defenses such as an attack to the complaint for suffering from procedural defect and prescription of the action. Also, respondents merely relied on the provision in P.D. No. 27 declaring that farmer-beneficiaries are deemed owners of the land that they are tilling as of October 21, 1972, which, as amply discussed above, is not sufficient to vest absolute ownership to farmer-beneficiaries. Notably, respondent presented documents such as certifications to prove payment of the value of land allotted to Florencio Adolfo, TCTs reflecting CLT numbers, among others, for the first time on appeal before the CA and also before this Court as attached to their Comment to the Petition. However, these documents are merely photocopies and were not presented before the PARAD and DARAB, hence, cannot be given evidentiary value by this Court.

The issue on the validity of EPs is not barred by prescription.

Respondents argue that the EPs and subsequent TCTs issued to them, registered with the Register of Deeds, have already become indefeasible upon the expiration of one year from the date of the issuance thereof and can no longer be cancelled. Respondents point out that their EPs were issued in 1988 and the instant case was filed only in 2003 or 15 years after such issuance.

This Court has already ruled that the mere issuance of EPs and TCTs does not put the ownership of the agrarian reform beneficiary beyond attack and scrutiny.72 EPs issued to agrarian refonn beneficiaries may be corrected and cancelled for violations of agrarian laws, rules, and regulations.73

Besides, registration is nothing more than a mere species of notice of an acquired vested right of ownership of a landholding. Registration of a piece of land under the Torrens System does not create or vest title, because it is not a mode of acquiring ownership.74 A certificate of title is merely an evidence of ownership or title over the particular property described therein. It cannot protect a usurper from the true owner. Thus, the jurisdiction of the PARAD/DARAB cannot be deemed to disappear the moment a certificate of title is issued as such certificates are not modes of transfer of property but merely evidence of such transfer, and there can be no valid transfer of title should the EPs, on which such TCTs are grounded, be void.75

At any rate, contrary to the respondents' contention, records reveal that as early as January 1990, or less than three and two months after Florencio Adolfo and Elias Policarpio registered their titles with the Register of Deeds, respectively, petitioner had already pursued actions to protect her right over the subject landholding.76

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant petitiOn is GRANTED. Accordingly, the assailed Court of Appeals Decision dated November 23, 2009 and Resolution dated March 15, 2010 in CA-G.R. SP No. 108518 are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The Decision dated July 29, 2008 and Resolution dated March 11, 2009 of the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board in DARAB Case No. 13552, ordering the cancellation of Transfer Certificate of Title Nos. EP-003 and EP-004 in the name of Florencio Adolfo, and EP-010 and EP-009 in the name of Elias Policarpio, are REINSTATED.

SO ORDERED.

Velasco, Jr., (Chairperson), Bersamin, Jardeleza, and Reyes, Jr., JJ., concur.

Endnotes:


1Rollo, pp. 9-34 with Annexes.

2 Penned by Court of Appeals Associate Justice .Jose C. Mendoa (now Supreme Court Associate Justice) with Justices Myrna Dimaranan-Vidal and Ramon R. Garcia concurring, id. at 35-50.

3 Penned by Court of Appeals Associate Justice Ramon R. Garcia with Justices Rosalinda Asuncion-Vicente and Franchito N. Diamante concurring, id. at 51-55.

4 Id. at 11.

5 Presidential Decree No. 27, "Decreeing the Emancipation of Tenants from the Bondage of the Soil, Transferring to Them the Ownership of the Land They Till and Providing the Instruments and Mechanism Therefor" (1972).

6Victoria P. Cabral v. Gregoria Adolfo, Gregorio Lazaro, and Heirs of Elias Policarpio, G.R. No. 198160, August 31, 2016.

7Rollo, p. 58.

8 Id.

9 Id. at 167.

10Rollo, pp.12-13.

11 Id. at 13; Victoria P. Cabral v. Court of Appeals, Hon. Eligio Pacis, Regional Director, Region III, DAR, Florencio Adolfo, Gregorio Lazaro, Gregoria Adolfo, and Elias Policarpio, 413 Phil. 469 (2001).

12 Id.

13 Id.

14 Id. at 199-201.

15 Id.

16 Id. at 202-205.

17 Guidelines for the Issuance of Exemption Clearances based on Sec. 3 (c) of RA 6657 and the Department of Justice (DOJ) Opinion No. 44, Series of 1990 (1994).

18 Declaring Full Land Ownership to Qualified Farmer Beneficiaries Covered by Presidential Decree No. 27: Determining the Value of Remaining Unvalued Rice and Com Lands Subject to P.O. No. 27; and Providing for the Manner of Payment by the Farmer Beneficiary and Mode of Compensation to the Landowner (1987).

19Rollo, pp. 202-205.

20 Id. at 68-80.

21 Id. at 56.

22 Id. at 57.

23 Id. at 75-77.

24 Id. at 103-109.

25 Id. at 109.

26 Id. at l10-119.

27 Id. at 119.

28 Id. at 32.

29 Id. at 120-121.

30 G.R. No. 198160, August 31, 2016.

31 Id.

32 Rules Governing the Correction and Cancellation of Registered/Unregistered Emancipation Patents (EPs), Certificates of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAS) Due to Unlawful Acts and Omissions or Breach of Obiligations of Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) and for Other Causes (1994).

33Pedro Mago (deceased), represented by his spouses Soledad Mago, Augusto Mago (deceased), represented by his spouse Natividad Mago, and Ernesto Mago, represented by Levi Mago v. Juana Z. Barbin, 618 Phil. 384 (2009).

34Rollo, p. 58.

35 Id. at 9-34.

36 Id. at 202-205.

37 Comment, rollo pp. 166-180.

38Supra note 30 citing Jose v. Novida, G.R. No. 177374, July 2, 2014, 728 SCRA 552, 576, citing Sugar Regulatory Administration v. Tarman, et al., 700 Phil. 165, 178 (2012).

39Rollo, pp. 47-48.

40Eudosia Daez and/or her Heirs, represented by Adriano D. Daez v. Court of Appeals, Macario Sorientes, Apolonio Mediana, Rogelio Macatulad, and Manuel Umali, 382 Phil. 742 (2000).

41Rollo, p. 58.

42 Id.

43 Id at 56-57.

44Heirs of Luis A. Luna and Remigio A. Luna, and Luz Luna-Santos, as represented by their Attorney-In-Fact, Aurea B. Lubis v. Ruben S. Afable, Tomas M. Afable, Florante A. Evangelista, Leavy S. Evangelista, Jaime M. Ilagan et al., 702 Phil. 146 (2013).

45 Id.

46Estate of Pastor M. Samson, represented by his heir Rolando B. Samson v. Mercedes R. Susana and Norberta R. Susano, 664 Phil. 590 (2011).

47 Id. citing Landicho v. Sia, G.R. No. 169472, January 20, 2009, 576 SCRA 602, 619.

48 Id.

49 Id.

50Heirs of Dr. Jose Deleste v. Land Bank of the Philippines et al., G.R. No. 169913, 666 Phil. 350 (2011).

51 Id.

52 Id.

53 Id.

54Supra note 50 citing Renato Reyes v. Leopolda Barrios, 653 Phil. 213 (2010) citing The Primer on Agrarian ReformProduced by the Agrarian Reform Communication Unit, National Media Production Center for the Ministry of Agrarian Reform (1979) and prepared in consultation with the Bureau of Land Tenure Improvement, Bureau of Agrarian Legal Assistance, Bureau of Resettlement, Center for Operation Land Transfer and the Public Information Division of the Ministry of Agrarian Reform and the Land Bank of the Philippines.

55 Id.

56 G.R. No. 78742, July 14, 1989, 175 SCRA 343, 390-391.

57Heirs of Dr. Jose Deleste v. Land Bank of the Philippines et al., supra note 50.

58 Id.

59 Id.

60 532 Phil. 204 (2006).

61 Id.

62Victoria P. Cabral v. Gregoria Adolfo, Gregorio Lazaro, and Heirs of Elias Policarpio, supra note 30.

63Rollo, pp. 103-119.

64 Id. at 161.

65 Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law. Approved on June 10, 1988.

66Heirs of Dr. Jose Deleste v. Land Bank of the Philippines et al.,supra note 50 citing Heirs of Jugalbot v. CA, G.R. No. 170346, March 12, 2007, 518 SCRA 202, 210-213.

67 Id. citing Sta. Monica Industrial & Devt. Corp. v. DAR, G.R. No. 164846, June 18, 2008, 555 SCRA 97, 104.

68Victoria P. Cabral v. Gregoria Adolfo, Gregorio Lazaro, and Heirs of Elias Policarpio, supra note 30.

69Philippine National Bank v. Gayam. Pas Imio, 769 Phil. 70 (2015).

70 Id.; Section 1, Rule 133, Rules of Court:

Section 1. Preponderance of evidence, how determined. - In civil cases, the party having the burden of proof must establish his case by a preponderance of evidence. In determining where the preponderance of evidence or superior weight of evidence on the issues involved lies, the court may consider all the facts and circumstances of the case, the witnesses' manner of testifying, their intelligence, their means and opportunity of knowing the facts to which they are testifying, the nature of the facts to which they testify, the probability or improbability of their testimony, their interest or want of interest, and also their personal credibility so far as the same may legitimately appear upon the trial. The court may also consider the number of witnesses, though the preponderance is not necessarily with the greater number.

71Spouses Nilo Ramos and Eliadora Ramos v. Raul Obispo and Far East Bank and Trust Company, 705 Phil. 221 (2013).

72 Pedro Mago (deceased), represented by his spouses Soledad Mago, Augusto Mago (deceased), represented by his spouse Natividad Mago, and Ernesto Mago, represented by Levi Mago v. Juana Z. Barbin, supra note 33.

73 Id.

74Mariflor T. Hortizuela, represented by Javier Tagufa v. Gregoria Tagufa, Roberto Tagufa and Rogelio Lumaban, 754 Phil. 499 (2015).

75Victoria P. Cabral v. Gregoria Adolfo, Gregorio Lazaro, and Heirs of Elias Policarpio, supra note 30 citing Gabriel, et al. v. Jamias, et al., 587 Phil. 216, 231 (2008).

76Victoria P. Cabral v. Court of Appeals, Hon. Eligio Pacis, Regional Director, Region III, DAR, Florencio Adolfo, Gregorio Lazaro, Gregoria Adolfo, and Elias Policarpio, supra note 11.



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August-2017 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 187160, August 09, 2017 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Appellee, v. ERLINDA A. SISON @ "MARGARITA S. AGUILAR," Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 220002, August 02, 2017 - EUGENIO M. GOMEZ, Petitioner, v. CROSSWORLD MARINE SERVICES, INC., GOLDEN SHIPPING COMPANY S.A., AND ELEAZAR DIAZ, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 185597, August 02, 2017 - JOHN E.R. REYES AND MERWIN JOSEPH REYES, Petitioners, v. ORICO DOCTOLERO, ROMEO AVILA, GRANDEUR SECURITY AND SERVICES CORPORATION, AND MAKATI CINEMA SQUARE, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 188307, August 02, 2017 - MULTINATIONAL VILLAGE HOMEOWNERS' ASSOCIATION, INC., RAMON MAGBOO, JIMMY DEL MUNDO, CARLOS RAPAY, AND DR. JOSEFINA TIOPIANCO, PETITIONERS, VS. ARNEL M. GACUTAN, RAFAEL TEYLAN, EDMUND T. HERNANDEZ, DANILO ARANETA, MIGUEL DAVID, JOLIE R. PELAYO, BOBBY D. YUTADCO, DANIEL TENORIO, MICHAEL KHO, AND DANILO CAMBEL, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 217777, August 16, 2017 - PRISCILLA Z. ORBE, Petitioner, v. LEONORA O. MIARAL, Respondent.

  • G.R. Nos. 144760-61, August 02, 2017 - EVELYN L. MIRANDA, Petitioner, v. SANDIGANBAYAN AND THE OMBUDSMAN, Respondents.; G.R. Nos. 167311-12 - EVELYN L. MIRANDA, Petitioner, v. SANDIGANBAYAN AND THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondents.; G.R. Nos. 167316-17 - VENANCIO R. NAVA, Petitioner, v. HON. SANDIGANBAYAN 4TH DIVISION AND THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondents.; G.R. Nos. 167625-26 - PRIMO C. OBENZA, Petitioner, v. SANDIGANBAYAN AND THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondents.

  • A.C. No. 11149 (Formerly CBD Case No. 13-3709), August 15, 2017 - LAURENCE D. PUNLA AND MARILYN SANTOS, Complainants, v. ATTY. ELEONOR MARAVILLA-ONA, Respondent.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-10-2219, August 01, 2017 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR, Complainant, v. RETIRED JUDGE PABLO R. CHAVEZ, FORMER PRESIDING JUDGE, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 87, ROSARIO, BATANGAS, ATTY. TEOFILO A. DIMACULANGAN, JR., CLERK OF COURT VI, MR. ARMANDO ERMELITO M. MARQUEZ, COURT INTERPRETER III, MS. EDITHA E. BAGSIC, COURT INTERPRETER III, AND MR. DAVID CAGUIMBAL, PROCESS SERVER, ALL OF REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 87, ROSARIO, BATANGAS, Respondents.; A.M. No. 12-7-130-RTC - RE: UNDATED ANONYMOUS LETTER-COMPLAINT AGAINST THE PRESIDING JUDGE, CLERK OF COURT AND COURT STENOGRAPHER OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 87, ROSARIO, BATANGAS.

  • G.R. No. 186050, August 01, 2017 - ARTHUR BALAO, WINSTON BALAO, NONETTE BALAO, JONILYN BALAO-STRUGAR, AND BEVERLY LONGID, Petitioners, v. EDUARDO ERMITA, GILBERTO TEODORO, RONALDO PUNO, NORBERTO GONZALES, GEN. ALEXANDER YANO, GEN. JESUS VERZOSA, BRIG. GEN. REYNALDO MAPAGU, LT. P/DIR. EDGARDO DOROMAL, MAJ. GEN. ISAGANI CACHUELA, COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE AFP-ISU BASED IN BAGUIO CITY, PSS EUGENE MARTIN, AND SEVERAL JOHN DOES, Respondents.; G.R. No. 186059 - SECRETARY EDUARDO ERMITA,SECRETARY GILBERTOTEODORO,SECRETARY RONALDOPUNO,SECRETARY NORBERTOGONZALES, GEN. ALEXANDER YANO, P/DGEN. JESUS VERZOSA, BRIG. GEN. REYNALDO MAPAGU, MAJ. GEN. ISAGANI CACHUELA, AND POL. SR. SUPT. EUGENE MARTIN, Petitioners, v. ARTHUR BALAO, WINSTON BALAO, NONETTE BALAO, JONILYN BALAO-STRUGAR, AND BEVERLY LONGID, Respondents.

  • A.C. No. 11504, August 01, 2017 - ARIEL G. PALACIOS, FOR AND IN BEHALF OF THE AFP RETIREMENT AND SEPARATION BENEFITS SYSTEM (AFP-RSBS), Complainant, v. ATTY. BIENVENIDO BRAULIO M. AMORA, JR., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 221493, August 02, 2017 - STERLING PAPER PRODUCTS ENTERPRISES, INC., Petitioner, v. KMM-KATIPUNAN AND RAYMOND Z. ESPONGA, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 222095, August 07, 2017 - IN THE MATTER OF PETITION FOR CANCELLATION OF CERTIFICATES OF LIVE BIRTH OF YUHARES JAN BARCELOTE TINITIGAN AND AVEE KYNNA NOELLE BARCELOTE TINITIGAN - JONNA KARLA BAGUIO BARCELOTE, Petitioner, v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, RICKY O. TINITIGAN, AND LOCAL CIVIL REGISTRAR, DAVAO CITY, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 216161, August 09, 2017 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Petitioner, v. PHILIPPINE ALUMINUM WHEELS, INC., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 189942, August 09, 2017 - ADTEL, INC. AND/OR REYNALDO T. CASAS, Petitioners, v. MARIJOY A. VALDEZ, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 228887, August 02, 2017 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. DOMINADOR UDTOHAN Y JOSE, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 215999, August 16, 2017 - SPS. FELIX A. CHUA AND CARMEN L. CHUA, JAMES B. HERRERA, EDUARDO L. ALMENDRAS, MILA NG ROXAS, EUGENE C. LEE, EDICER H. ALMENDRAS, BENEDICT C. LEE, LOURDES C. NG, LUCENA INDUSTRIAL CORPORATION, LUCENA GRAND CENTRAL TERMINAL, INC., REPRESENTED BY FELIX A. CHUA, Petitioners, v. UNITED COCONUT PLANTERS BANK, ASSET POOL A (SPV-AMC), REVERE REALTY AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, JOSE C. GO AND THE REGISTRAR OF DEEDS OF LUCENA CITY, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 224302, August 08, 2017 - HON. PHILIP A. AGUINALDO, HON. REYNALDO A. ALHAMBRA, HON. DANILO S. CRUZ, HON. BENJAMIN T. POZON, HON. SALVADOR V. TIMBANG, JR., and the INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES (IBP), Petitioners, v. HIS EXCELLENCY PRESIDENT BENIGNO SIMEON C. AQUINO III, HON. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY PAQUITO N. OCHOA, HON. MICHAEL FREDERICK L. MUSNGI, HON. MA. GERALDINE FAITH A. ECONG, HON. DANILO S. SANDOVAL, HON. WILHELMINA B. JORGE-WAGAN, HON. ROSANA FE ROMERO-MAGLAYA, HON. MERIANTHE PACITA M. ZURAEK, HON. ELMO M. ALAMEDA, and HON. VICTORIA C. FERNANDEZ-BERNARDO, Respondents.; JUDICIAL AND BAR COUNCIL, Intervenor.

  • A.C. No. 10562, August 01, 2017 - JEAN MARIE S. BOERS, Complainant, v. ATTY. ROMEO CALUBAQUIB, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 226345, August 02, 2017 - PIONEER INSURANCE AND SURETY CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. APL CO. PTE. LTD., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 211966, August 07, 2017 - JOSE AUDIE ABAGATNAN, JOSEPHINE A. PARCE, JIMMY ABAGATNAN, JOHN ABAGATNAN, JENALYN A. DE LEON, JOEY ABAGATNAN, JOJIE ABAGATNAN, AND JOY ABAGATNAN, Petitioners, v. SPOUSES JONATHAN CLARITO AND ELSA CLARITO, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 206468, August 02, 2017 - JUDITH D. DARINES AND JOYCE D. DARINES, Petitioners, v. EDUARDO QUIÑONES AND ROLANDO QUITAN, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 185559, August 02, 2017 - JOSE G. TAN AND ORENCIO C. LUZURIAGA, Petitioners, v. ROMEO H. VALERIANO, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 217993, August 09, 2017 - MANUEL R. BAKUNAWA III, Petitioner, v. NORA REYES BAKUNAWA, Respondent.

  • A.M. No. P-09-2649 [Formerly A.M. No. 09-5-219-RTC], August 01, 2017 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR, Complainant, v. EDUARDO T. UMBLAS, LEGAL RESEARCHER, AND ATTY. RIZALINA G. BALTAZAR­AQUINO, CLERK OF COURT IV, BOTH OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 33, BALLESTEROS CAGAYAN, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 227309, August 16, 2017 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. JOCELYN CARLIT Y GAWAT, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 216491, August 23, 2017 - THE HEIRS OF PETER DONTON, THROUGH THEIR LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE, FELIPE G. CAPULONG, Petitioners, v. DUANE STIER AND EMILY MAGGAY, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 222711, August 23, 2017 - LEY CONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, REPRESENTED BY ITS PRESIDENT, JANET C. LEY, Petitioner, v. MARVIN MEDEL SEDANO, DOING BUSINESS UNDER THE NAME AND STYLE "LOLA TABA LOLO PATO PALENGKE AT PALUTO SA SEASIDE," Respondent.; MARVIN MEDEL SEDANO, DOING BUSINESS UNDER THE NAME AND STYLE "LOLA TABA LOLO PATO PALENGKE AT PALUTO SA SEASIDE," Respondent (THIRD-PARTY PLAINTIFF), VS. PHILIPPINE NATIONAL CONSTRUCTION CORPORATION, Respondent (THIRD-PARTY DEFENDANT).

  • G.R. No. 222561, August 30, 2017 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. JONATHAN TICA Y EPANTO, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 187257, August 08, 2017 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, REPRESENTED BY THE OFFICE OF THE SOLICITOR GENERAL (OSG) AS THE PEOPLE'S TRIBUNE, AND THE NATIONAL POWER BOARD, Petitioners, v. HON. LUISITO G. CORTEZ, PRESIDING JUDGE, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 84, QUEZON CITY, ABNER P. ELERIA, MELITO B. LUPANGCO, NAPOCOR EMPLOYEES CONSOLIDATED UNION (NECU), AND NAPOCOR EMPLOYEES AND WORKERS UNION (NEWU), Respondents.; G.R. No. 187776 - ROLANDO G. ANDAYA, IN HIS CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT AND MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. HON. LUISITO G. CORTEZ, PRESIDING JUDGE, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 84, QUEZON CITY, ABNER P. ELERIA, MELITO B. LUPANGCO, NAPOCOR EMPLOYEES CONSOLIDATED UNION AND NAPOCOR EMPLOYEES AND WORKERS UNION, Respondents.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-10-2223 (Formerly A.M. OCA IPI No. 08-3003-RTJ), August 30, 2017 - MS. FLORITA PALMA AND MS. FILIPINA MERCADO, Complainants, v. JUDGE GEORGE E. OMELIO, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BR. 14, DAVAO CITY (THEN OF MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT IN CITIES, BR.4, DAVAO CITY), JUDGE VIRGILIO G. MURCIA, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT IN CITIES, BR. 2, AND CLERK OF COURT MA. FLORIDA C. OMELIO, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT IN CITIES, OFFICE OF THE CLERK OF COURT, BOTH OF THE ISLAND GARDEN CITY OF SAMAL, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 178379, August 22, 2017 - CRISPIN S. FRONDOZO,* DANILO M. PEREZ, JOSE A. ZAFRA, ARTURO B. VITO, CESAR S. CRUZ, NAZARIO C. DELA CRUZ, AND LUISITO R. DILOY, Petitioners, v. MANILA ELECTRIC COMPANY, Respondent.

  • A.C. No. 11616 [Formerly CBD Case No. 08-2141], August 23, 2017 - LITO V. BUENVIAJE, Complainant, v. ATTY. MELCHOR G. MAGDAMO, Respondent.

  • A.C. No. 6980, August 30, 2017 - CESAR O. STA. ANA, CRISTINA M. STA. ANA AND ESTHER STA. ANA-SILVERIO, Complainants, v. ATTY. ANTONIO JOSE F. CORTES, Respondent.

  • A.C. No. 7253, August 29, 2017 - ATTY. PLARIDEL C. NAVA II, Complainant, v. PROSECUTOR OFELIA M. D. ARTUZ,* Respondent.; A.M. No. MTJ-08-1717] (FORMERLY OCA IPI NO. 07-1911-MTJ) - ATTY. PLARIDEL C. NAVA II, Complainant, v. JUDGE OFELIA M. D. ARTUZ, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT IN CITIES OF ILOILO CITY, BRANCH 5, Respondent.

  • A.C. No. 10253, August 22, 2017 - RAFAEL PADILLA, Complainant, v. ATTY. GLENN SAMSON, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 198146, August 08, 2017 - POWER SECTOR ASSETS AND LIABILITIES MANAGEMENT CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 225442, August 08, 2017 - SAMAHAN NG MGA PROGRESIBONG KABATAAN (SPARK), JOANNE ROSE SACE LIM, JOHN ARVIN NAVARRO BUENAAGUA, RONEL BACCUTAN, MARK LEO DELOS REYES, AND CLARISSA JOYCE VILLEGAS, MINOR, FOR HERSELF AND AS REPRESENTED BY HER FATHER, JULIAN VILLEGAS, JR., Petitioners, v. QUEZON CITY, AS REPRESENTED BY MAYOR HERBERT BAUTISTA, CITY OF MANILA, AS REPRESENTED BY MAYOR JOSEPH ESTRADA, AND NAVOTAS CITY, AS REPRESENTED BY MAYOR JOHN REY TIANGCO, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 190004, August 08, 2017 - LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, v. EUGENIO DALAUTA, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 218911, August 23, 2017 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. LEONARDO SIAPNO, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 221732, August 23, 2017 - FERNANDO U. JUAN, Petitioner, v. ROBERTO U. JUAN (SUBSTITUTED BY HIS SON JEFFREY C. JUAN) AND LAUNDROMATIC CORPORATION, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 222821, August 09, 2017 - NORTH GREENHILLS ASSOCIATION, INC., Petitioner, v. ATTY. NARCISO MORALES, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 227878, August 09, 2017 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. GERALDO SANTILLAN Y VILLANUEVA AND EUGENE BORROMEO Y NATIVIDAD, Accused-Appellants.

  • G.R. No. 211222, August 07, 2017 - ALLAN S. CU, Petitioner, v. SMALL BUSINESS GUARANTEE AND FINANCE CORPORATION THROUGH MR. HECTOR M. OLMEDILLO, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 186329, August 02, 2017 - DR. FRISCO M. MALABANAN, Petitioner, v. SANDIGANBAYAN, Respondent.; G.R. Nos. 186584-86, August 2, 2017 - ABUSAMA MANGUDADATU ALID, Petitioner, v. THE HON. SANDIGANBAYAN - 1st DIVISION, OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR, HON. SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, Respondents.; G.R. No. 198598, August 2, 2017 - ABUSAMA M. ALID, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 223366, August 01, 2017 - NATIONAL TRANSMISSION CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. OROVILLE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 226679, August 15, 2017 - SALVADOR ESTIPONA, JR. Y ASUELA, Petitioner, v. HON. FRANK E. LOBRIGO, PRESIDING JUDGE OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 3, LEGAZPI CITY, ALBAY, AND PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 219500, August 09, 2017 - MAMERTO DY, Petitioner, v. MARIA LOURDES ROSELL ALDEA, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 217965, August 08, 2017 - CONFEDERATION OF COCONUT FARMERS ORGANIZATIONS OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC. (CCFOP), Petitioner, v. HIS EXCELLENCY PRESIDENT BENIGNO SIMEON C. AQUINO III, ACTING COMMISSIONER RICHARD ROGER AMURAO OF THE PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON GOOD GOVERNMENT (PCGG), CHAIRMAN CESAR L. VILLANUEVA OF THE GOVERNANCE COMMISSION FOR GOCCS (GCG), AND SECRETARY LEILA M. DE LIMA OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Respondents.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-17-1900 [Formerly OCA IPI No. 13-2585-MTJ], August 09, 2017 - ARNEL MENDOZA, Complainant, v. HON. MARCOS C. DIASEN, JR., ACTING PRESIDING JUDGE, METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURT, BR. 62, MAKATI CITY, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 217764, August 07, 2017 - ANTONIETA LUCIDO @ TONYAY, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

  • A.M. No. P-16-3424 [Formerly OCA I.P.I. No. 11-3666-P], August 07, 2017 - GLORIA SERDONCILLO, Complainant, v. SHERIFF NESTOR M. LANZADERAS, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 37, GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 199710, August 02, 2017 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. PO3 JULIETO BORJA, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 228248, August 09, 2017 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ROMEO DE GUZMAN Y DE CASTRO, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 228894, August 07, 2017 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. JOHN PAUL CERALDE Y RAMOS, Accused-Appellant.

  • A.C. No. 8903, August 30, 2017 - EDIGARDO V. BONDOC, Complainant, v. ATTY. OLIMPIO R. DATU, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 201665, August 30, 2017 - EDISON (BATAAN) COGENERATION CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Respondent.; G.R. No. 201668, August 30, 2017 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, REPRESENTED BY THE COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Petitioner, v. EDISON (BATAAN) COGENERATION CORPORATION, Respondent.

  • A.C. No. 10245, August 16, 2017 - ELIBENA A. CABILES, Complainant, v. ATTY. LEANDRO S. CEDO, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 188144, August 30, 2017 - F.F. CRUZ & COMPANY, INC., Petitioner, v. PHILIPPINE IRON CONSTRUCTION AND MARINE WORKS, INC., AND/OR ANCHOR METALS CORP., Respondents.; G.R. NO. 188301 - PHILIPPINE IRON CONSTRUCTION AND MARINE WORKS, INC., AND/OR ANCHOR METALS CORP., Petitioners, v. F.F. CRUZ & COMPANY, INC., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 201806, August 14, 2017 - NORTH SEA MARINE SERVICES CORPORATION, MS. ROSALINDA CERDINA AND/OR CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES, Petitioners, v. SANTIAGO S. ENRIQUEZ, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 210209, August 09, 2017 - CATHAY LAND, INC. AND CATHAY METAL CORPORATION, Petitioners, v. AYALA LAND, INC., AVIDA LAND CORPORATION AND LAGUNA TECHNOPARK, INC., Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 188027, August 09, 2017 - SWIRE REALTY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. SPECIALTY CONTRACTS GENERAL AND CONSTRUCTION SERVICES, INC. AND JOSE JAVELLANA, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 195457, August 16, 2017 - READ-RITE PHILIPPINES, INC., Petitioner, v. GINA G. FRANCISCO, MAXIMINO H. REYES, LUCIA E. MACHADO, IRENE G. ABANILLA, EDNA L. GUAVES, ARLENE FRANCISCO, JOSEPHINE V. TRINIDAD, MARILYN E. AMPARO, SOLITA F. SANTOS, ELLEN T. CASTILLO, ROSALIE VALDEABELLA, MARITA E. RIVERA, JULITA M. MAGNO, MARCIA P. DELA TORRE, ELENA ANGCAHAN, ESTER H. REYES, CORAZON ARMADILLA, IRMA A. PEREGRINO, DELFIN D. DUBAN, AMANCIA PRADO, CECILIA D. NABUA, DANNY A. CABUCOY, ELIZABETH R. REVELLAME, ELVIRA R. MAGNO, GIERLYN R. MARASIGAN, JOHN JOSEPH R. MAGNO, LODELYN P. CASTILLO, JUSTINA TORTOSA, LENY M. ZARENO, LOIDA E. ESTOMATA, MA. BASILIA DE LA ROSA, MA. GRACIA DE GUZMAN, MA. NENITA G. CASTILLO, MERCEDARIO A. MARTINEZ, NORA M. PAVELON, PRECILLA D. MAGBITANG, RAQUEL CABUCOY, REGAL M. ALFARO, RIZA UMANDAP, ROSALITA R. MANLUNAS, ROSEMARIE C. LEYVA, ROSSANA M. YUMOL, SENETA SERENO, VILMA R. MANALO, YOLANDA Y. MANGAOANG, GLORIA BARSOLASCO AND NENA M. REYES, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 211004, August 23, 2017 - QUEEN ERRIKA L. SADDI, Petitioner, v. MARICRIS RENOMERON, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 223592, August 07, 2017 - EQUITABLE INSURANCE CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. TRANSMODAL INTERNATIONAL, INC., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 221857, August 16, 2017 - JESUS O. TYPOCO, JR., Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.; G.R. No. 222020 - NOEL D. REYES, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 223731, August 30, 2017 - ROBELITO MALINIS TALAROC, Petitioner, v. ARPAPHIL SHIPPING CORPORATION, EPIDAURUS S.A., AND/OR NATIVIDAD PAPPAS, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 224204, August 30, 2017 - PHILIPPINE VETERANS BANK, Petitioner, v. SPOUSES RAMON AND ANNABELLE SABADO, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 224225, August 14, 2017 - NORMA I. BARING, Petitioner, v. ELENA LOAN AND CREDIT COMPANY, INC., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 211845, August 09, 2017 - PEN DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION AND LAS BRISAS RESORT CORPORATION, Petitioners, v. MARTINEZ LEYBA, INC., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 215454, August 09, 2017 - HEIRS OF SPOUSES CORAZON P. DE GUZMAN AND FORTUNATO DE GUZMAN, REPRESENTED BY JENIE JANE DE GUZMAN-CARPIO, Petitioners, v. HEIRS OF MARCELIANO BANDONG, REPRESENTED BY REGINA Z. BANDONG, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 201478, August 23, 2017 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. PAROK LUMUDAG Y RACMAN @ AKMAD, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 210669, August 01, 2017 - HI-LON MANUFACTURING, INC., Petitioner, v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT, Respondent.

  • A.C. No. 8574, August 16, 2017 - CARMELO IRINGAN, Complainant, v. ATTY. CLAYTON B. GUMANGAN, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 196342, August 08, 2017 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, v. NOEL GO CAOILI ALIAS "BOY TAGALOG", Respondent.; G.R. No. 196848, August 8, 2017 - NOEL GO CAOILI, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 230696, August 30, 2017 - WILLIAM R. WENCESLAO, VIVENCIO B. RODRIGO, JR., NOEL N. DAMIASAN, VIRGILIO B. CRISTOBAL, JEMYLITO M. APIAG, JOVENAL P. ATAG, ARNULFO S. DASCO, CARLITO E. INFANTE, ALFREDO T. VISAYA, JAMES M. REAL, RENATO A. GUINGUE, ZACARIAS G. TALABOC, JR., GEORGE N. TAGUIAM, RANDY D. ABRENCILLO, MELECIO B. QUINIMON, CESAR B. JARANILLA, RIZALDE R. BARILE, HERICO A. BUENAVENTE, JERSON A. TATOY, MICHAEL L. CASIANO, FELIX M. DINIAY, PEDRO DELA CRUZ, JR., JHOSEL BOY G. ABAYON, AUGUSTO L. OCENAR, MARIO M. FUNELAS, AND AVELINO T. QUIÑONES, Petitioners, v. MAKATI DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, DANTE ABANDO AND COURT OF APPEALS, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 227734, August 09, 2017 - ROMEO ALBA, Petitioner, v. CONRADO G. ESPINOSA, ET AL., Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 208471, August 02, 2017 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ERNESTO SAGANA Y DE GUZMAN, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 207396, August 09, 2017 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. DELIA SAUNAR, Accused-Appellant.

  • OCA IPI No. 10-3423-P, August 22, 2017 - JUDGE RAMON V. EFONDO, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT OF GOA, CAMARINES SUR, Complainant, v. EDEN D. FAVORITO, CLERK OF COURT II, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT, GOA, CAMARINES SUR, Respondent.; A.M. No. P-11-2889 [FORMERLY OCA IPI No. 10-10-117-MTC FINANCIAL AUDIT CONDUCTED IN THE MTC OF GOA, CAMARINES SUR] - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR, Complainant, v. EDEN D. FAVORITO, CLERK OF COURT II, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT, GOA, CAMARINES SUR, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 197297, August 02, 2017 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, v. SPOUSES DANILO GO AND AMORLINA GO, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 185420, August 29, 2017 - LANAO DEL NORTE ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC., AS REPRESENTED BY ITS GENERAL MANAGER ENGR. RESNOL C. TORRES, Petitioner, v. PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT OF LANAO DEL NORTE, AS REPRESENTED BY ITS GOVERNOR HON. MOHAMAD KHALID Q. DIMAPORO AND ITS PROVINCIAL TREASURER, MILDRED J. HINGCO, PROVINCIAL ASSESSOR, NATIONAL ELECTRIFICATION ADMINISTRATION (NEA), AS REPRESENTED BY ITS ADMINISTRATOR HON. EDITA S. BUENO, POWER SECTOR ASSETS AND LIABILITIES MANAGEMENT (PSALM), AS REPRESENTED BY ITS PRESIDENT AND CEO HON. JOSE C. IBAZETA, DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY (DOE), AS REPRESENTED BY ITS SECRETARY HON. ANGELO T. REYES, THE COMMISSION ON AUDIT (COA), AS REPRESENTED BY ITS CHAIRMAN HON. REYNALDO A. VILLAR, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 224631, August 23, 2017 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. RUPERTO RUBILLAR, JR. Y GABERON, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 221991, August 30, 2017 - JOSELITO PERALTA Y ZARENO, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 222430, August 30, 2017 - TRANSGLOBAL MARITIME AGENCY, INC., GOODWOOD SHIPMANAGEMENT PTE., LTD. AND/OR MICHAEL ESTANIEL, Petitioners, v. VICENTE D. CHUA, JR., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 180447, August 23, 2017 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. FERNANDO GERONIMO Y AGUSTINE, ALIAS "NANDING BAKULAW", Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 193625, August 30, 2017 - AICHI FORGING COMPANY OF ASIA, INC., Petitioner, v. COURT OF TAX APPEALS - EN BANC AND COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 191615, August 02, 2017 - VICTORIA P. CABRAL, Petitioner, v. HEIRS OF FLORENCIO ADOLFO AND HEIRS OF ELIAS POLICARPIO, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 218592, August 02, 2017 - CHRISTOPHER FIANZA A.K.A. "TOPEL," Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 185894, August 30, 2017 - BELO MEDICAL GROUP, INC., Petitioner, v. JOSE L. SANTOS AND VICTORIA G. BELO, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 197654, August 30, 2017 - MERCURY DRUG CORPORATION AND ROLANDO J. DEL ROSARIO, Petitioners, v. SPOUSES RICHARD Y. HUANG & CARMEN G. HUANG, AND STEPHEN G. HUANG, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 205483, August 23, 2017 - MARIO MAGAT, SR., MARIO S. MAGAT, JR. MARIO S. MAGAT, III, MA. MARGARITA M. ESTAVILLA, MA. MARJORIE S. MAGAT, ALL SUBSTITUTE PARTIES AND HEIRS OF THE DECEASED PARTY, JULIANA S. MAGAT, Petitioners, v. TANTRADE CORPORATION AND PABLO S. BORJA, JR., Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 180745, August 30, 2017 - ALBERTA DE JOYA IGLESIAS, Petitioner, v. THE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, GEORGE M. JEREOS, ROBERTO G. GEOTINA, JUAN T. TAN, KRISTINE MORALES, AND ALBERTO LINA, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 205638, August 23, 2017 - DEE HWA LIONG FOUNDATION MEDICAL CENTER AND ANTHONY DEE, Petitioners, v. ASIAMED SUPPLIES AND EQUIPMENT CORPORATION, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 203943, August 30, 2017 - MAGSAYSAY MARITIME CORPORATION/EDUARDO MANESE AND PRINCESS CRUISE LINES, LTD., Petitioners, v. CYNTHIA DE JESUS, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 202364, August 30, 2017 - ARTURO C. CALUBAD, Petitioner, v. RICARCEN DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 199107, August 30, 2017 - ALFONSO SINGSON CORTAL, JUANITO SINGSON CORTAL, NENITA CODILLA, GENEROSO PEPITO LONGAKIT, PONCIANA BATOON, AND GREGORIA SABROSO, Petitioners, v. INAKI A. LARRAZABAL ENTERPRISES, REPRESENTED BY INAKI P. LARRAZABAL, JR., THE HONORABLE REGIONAL DIRECTOR, REGIONAL OFFICE NO. VIII, TACLOBAN CITY AND THE HONORABLE SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM, QUEZON CITY IN HIS CAPACITY AS CHAIRMAN OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM ADJUDICATION BOARD (DARAB), Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 208314, August 23, 2017 - ANTONIO B. MANANSALA, Petitioner, v. MARLOW NAVIGATION PHILS., INC./MARLOW NAVIGATION CO. LTD./CYPRUS, AND/OR EILEEN MORALES, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 214771, August 09, 2017 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. RUBEN "ROBIN" BONGBONGA Y NALOS, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 196564, August 07, 2017 - GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM (GSIS), Petitioner, v. ALBERT M. VELASCO, Respondent.