G.R. No. 189874, September 04, 2013 - RODULFO VALCURZA AND BEATRIZ LASAGA, SPOUSES RONALDO GADIAN & JULIETA TAGALOG, SPOUSES ALLAN VALCURZA AND GINA LABADO, SPOUSES ROLDAN JUMAWAN AND RUBY VALCURZA, SPOUSES EMPERATREZ VALCURZA AND ENRIQUE VALCURZA, CIRILA PANTUHAN, SPOUSES DANIEL VALCURZA AND JOVETA RODELA, SPOUSES LORETO NAELGA AND REMEDIOS DAROY, SPOUSES VERGILIO VALCURZA AND ROSARIO SINELLO, SPOUSES PATRICIO EBANIT AND OTHELIA CABANDAY, SPOUSES ABNER MEDIO AND MIRIAM TAGALOG, SPOUSES CARMEN MAGTRAYO AND MEDIO MAGTRAYO, SPOUSES MARIO VALCURZA AND EDITHA MARBA, SPOUSES ADELARDO VALCURZA AND PRISCILLA LAGUE, SPOUSES VICTOR VALCURZA AND MERUBELLA BEHAG, AND SPOUSES HENRY MEDIO AND ROSALINDA ALOLHA, Petitioners, v. ATTY. CASIMIRO N. TAMPARONG, JR., Respondent.
G.R. No. 189874, September 04, 2013
RODULFO VALCURZA AND BEATRIZ LASAGA, SPOUSES RONALDO GADIAN & JULIETA TAGALOG, SPOUSES ALLAN VALCURZA AND GINA LABADO, SPOUSES ROLDAN JUMAWAN AND RUBY VALCURZA, SPOUSES EMPERATREZ VALCURZA AND ENRIQUE VALCURZA, CIRILA PANTUHAN, SPOUSES DANIEL VALCURZA AND JOVETA RODELA, SPOUSES LORETO NAELGA AND REMEDIOS DAROY, SPOUSES VERGILIO VALCURZA AND ROSARIO SINELLO, SPOUSES PATRICIO EBANIT AND OTHELIA CABANDAY, SPOUSES ABNER MEDIO AND MIRIAM TAGALOG, SPOUSES CARMEN MAGTRAYO AND MEDIO MAGTRAYO, SPOUSES MARIO VALCURZA AND EDITHA MARBA, SPOUSES ADELARDO VALCURZA AND PRISCILLA LAGUE, SPOUSES VICTOR VALCURZA AND MERUBELLA BEHAG, AND SPOUSES HENRY MEDIO AND ROSALINDA ALOLHA, Petitioners, v. ATTY. CASIMIRO N. TAMPARONG, JR., Respondent.
D E C I S I O N
WHEREFORE, premises considered, Decision is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiff Casimiro N. Tamparong, Jr. and against the defendants ordering as follows:nadcralawOn appeal, the DARAB held that the identification of lands that are subject to CARP and the declaration of exemption therefrom are within the exclusive jurisdiction of the DAR Secretary. As the grounds relied upon by petitioners in their complaint partook of a protest against the coverage of the subject landholding from CARP and/or exemption therefrom, the DARAB concluded that the DAR Secretary had exclusive jurisdiction over the matter.20 Hence, the DARAB reversed the PARAB, maintained the validity of the CLOA, and dismissed the complaint for lack of merit.21cralawlibrary
1. The immediate annulment and cancellation of CLOA No. 00102751 and OCT No. E-4640, and all other derivative titles that may have been issued pursuant to, in connection with, and by reason of the fraudulent and perjured coverage of the disputed land by the DAR;
2. The cancellation of Subdivision Plan Bsd-10-002693 (AR); and
3. The ejectment of the sixteen (16) private-defendants farmer beneficiaries led by Sps. Rodulfo Valcurza, et al. from the disputed landholding and to surrender their possession thereof to the plaintiff.19
Section 1. Primary and Exclusive Original and Appellate Jurisdiction. – The Board shall have primary and exclusive jurisdiction, both original and appellate, to determine and adjudicate all agrarian disputes involving the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) under Republic Act No. 6657, Executive Order Nos. 228, 229 and 129-A, Republic Act No. 3844 as amended by Republic Act No. 6389, Presidential Decree No. 27 and other agrarian laws and their implementing rules and regulations. Specifically, such jurisdiction shall include but not be limited to cases involving the following:nadcralawSection 3(d) of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 6657 defines an agrarian dispute as
x x x x
f) Those involving the issuance, correction and cancellation of Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs) and Emancipation Patents (EPs) which are registered with the Land Registration Authority x x x. (Emphases supplied)
x x x any controversy relating to tenurial arrangements, whether leasehold, tenancy, stewardship or otherwise, over lands devoted to agriculture, including disputes concerning farmworkers' associations or representation of persons in negotiating, fixing, maintaining, changing, or seeking to arrange terms or conditions of such tenurial arrangements.A tenurial arrangement exists when the following are established:nadcralaw
It includes any controversy relating to compensation of lands acquired under this Act and other terms and conditions of transfer of ownership from landowners to farmworkers, tenants and other agrarian reform beneficiaries, whether the disputants stand in the proximate relation of farm operator and beneficiary, landowner and tenant, or lessor and lessee. (Emphasis supplied)
Thus, the DARAB has jurisdiction over cases involving the cancellation of registered CLOAs relating to an agrarian dispute between landowners and tenants. However, in cases concerning the cancellation of CLOAs that involve parties who are not agricultural tenants or lessees – cases related to the administrative implementation of agrarian reform laws, rules and regulations - the jurisdiction is with the DAR, and not the DARAB.36cralawlibrary
1) The parties are the landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessees; 2) The subject matter of the relationship is an agricultural land; 3) There is consent between the parties to the relationship; 4) The purpose of the agricultural relationship is to bring about agricultural production; 5) There is personal cultivation on the part of the tenant or agricultural lessees; and 6) The harvest is shared between the landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee.35
The meaning of “agricultural lands” covered by the CARL was explained further by the DAR in its AO No. 1, Series of 1990, dated 22 March 1990, entitled “Revised Rules and Regulations Governing Conversion of Private Agricultural Land to Non-Agricultural Uses,” issued pursuant to Section 49 of the CARL. Thus:nadcralawHere, the records of the case show the absence of HLURB Certifications approving Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance Resolution No. 51-98, Series of 1982, and Zoning Ordinance No. 123, Series of 1997. Hence, it cannot be said that the land is industrial and outside the ambit of CARP.Agricultural land refers to those devoted to agricultural activity as defined in RA 6657 and not classified as mineral or forest by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and its predecessor agencies, and not classified in town plans and zoning ordinances as approved by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) and its preceding competent authorities prior to 15 June 1988 for residential, commercial or industrial use. (Emphasis omitted)It is clear from the last clause of the afore-quoted provision that a land is not agricultural, and therefore, outside the ambit of the CARP if the following conditions concur:nadcralaw
1. the land has been classified in town plans and zoning ordinances as residential, commercial or industrial; and
2. the town plan and zoning ordinance embodying the land classification has been approved by the HLURB or its predecessor agency prior to 15 June 1988. AIDTHC
It is undeniable that local governments have the power to reclassify agricultural into non-agricultural lands. Section 3 of RA No. 2264 (The Local Autonomy Act of 1959) specifically empowers municipal and/or city councils to adopt zoning and subdivision ordinances or regulations in consultation with the National Planning Commission. By virtue of a zoning ordinance, the local legislature may arrange, prescribe, define, and apportion the land within its political jurisdiction into specific uses based not only on the present, but also on the future projection of needs. It may, therefore, be reasonably presumed that when city and municipal boards and councils approved an ordinance delineating an area or district in their cities or municipalities as residential, commercial, or industrial zone pursuant to the power granted to them under Section 3 of the Local Autonomy Act of 1959, they were, at the same time, reclassifying any agricultural lands within the zone for non-agricultural use; hence, ensuring the implementation of and compliance with their zoning ordinances.
The regulation by local legislatures of land use in their respective territorial jurisdiction through zoning and reclassification is an exercise of police power. The power to establish zones for industrial, commercial and residential uses is derived from the police power itself and is exercised for the protection and benefit of the residents of a locality. Ordinance No. 21 of the Sangguniang Bayan of Calapan was issued pursuant to Section 3 of the Local Autonomy Act of 1959 and is, consequently, a valid exercise of police power by the local government of Calapan.
The second requirement — that a zoning ordinance, in order to validly reclassify land, must have been approved by the HLURB prior to 15 June 1988 — is the result of Letter of Instructions No. 729, dated 9 August 1978. According to this issuance, local governments are required to submit their existing land use plans, zoning ordinances, enforcement systems and procedures to the Ministry of Human Settlements — one of the precursor agencies of the HLURB — for review and ratification. (Emphasis supplied)
* Acting Working Chairperson in lieu of Associate Justice Teresita J. Leonardo- De Castro per Special Order No. 1533 dated 29 August 2013.
** Designated additional member in lieu of Associate Justice Teresita J. Leonardo-De Castro per Special Order No. 1529 dated 29 August 2013.
1Rollo, pp. 11-43.
2 Id. at 107-129.
3 Id. at 94-105.
4 Id. at 69-90.
5 Id. at 109 (CA Decision); 95 (DARAB Decision); 80 (PARAB Decision).
6 Id. at 109 (CA Decision); 96 (DARAB Decision).
7 Id. at 96 (DARAB Decision).
8 Id. at 109 (CA Decision); 96 (DARAB Decision); 81 (PARAB Decision).chanrobles virtualawlibrary
9 CA rollo, p. 265.
10Rollo, p. 109 (CA Decision); 96 (DARAB Decision); pp. 69, 81 (PARAB Decision).
11 Id. at 109.
12 Id. at 266.
13 CA rollo, pp. 266-267.
15 Id. at 180-188.
16Rollo, p. 49.
17 Id. at 87.
18 Id. at 81.
19 Id. at 90.
20 Id. at 102-104.
21 Id. at 104.
22 Id. at 124-125.
23 Id. at 24.
24 Id. at 25.
25 Id. at 29-30.
26 Id. at 32-34.
27 Id. at 34-35.
28 Id. at 140-141, 145-171 (Comment).
29 Id. at 237-238 (Resolution dated 5 April 2010), 241-246 (Reply).
30Heirs of Dela Cruz v. Heirs of Cruz, 512 Phil. 389, 400 (2005).
32Soriano v. Bravo, G.R. No. 152086, 15 December 2010, 638 SCRA 403,422.
33 E.O. No. 129-A (1987), Sec. 13.
34 E.O. No. 129-A (1987), Sec. 24.
35Sutton v. Lim, G.R. No. 191660, 3 December 2012, 686 SCRA 745, 755.
36 Supra note 32.
37Rollo, pp. 47-49.
38 Id. at 47-48.
39 Id. at 48.
40 G.R. No. 188299, 23 January 2013, 689 SCRA 207, 225-227.