G.R. No. 206234, October 22, 2014
HEIRS OF JULIO SOBREMONTE AND FELIPA LABAPIS SOBREMONTE, NAMELY, MARIA LOURDES SOBREMONTE DE NORBE, DIOSCORA SOBREMONTE DE BUSLON, NESTOR L. SOBREMONTE, AVELINA SOBREMONTE DE DELIGERO, HELEN SOBREMONTE DE CABASE, LAURA SOBREMONTE DE DAGOY AND RODULFO LABAPIS REPOLLO, ALL REPRESENTED BY AVELINA SOBREMONTE DELIGERO AS THEIR ATTORNEY-IN-FACT, Petitioners, v. COURT OF APPEALS, HONORABLE VIRGILIO REYES, IN HIS CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM AND FELICIANO TAPIL, MARCELO BAYNO, VICENTE BAYNO, ROMUALDO DIAPANA, HILARIO RECTA, NEMESIA RECTA, POLICARPIO RECTA, AMPARO R. DIAPANA, BASILIO SAYSON BUENAVENTURA BAYNO AND BASILIO BAFLOR, Respondent.
R E S O L U T I O N
There is no showing that the aforementioned deeds of conveyances were registered with the Office of the Register of Deeds. Neither did the protestant (referring to Felipa) endeavor to prove that the persons working in the parcel in question know of such transfers before October 21, 1972.
On the other hand, protestant Felipa [vda.] de Sobremonte expressly admits in her sworn statement dated March 2, 1983 that she is the owner of the parcel in question. In the same vein, the identified farmers still recognize and consider Felipa Labapis [vda.] de Sobremonte as the owner of the parcel in question. (Joint affidavit dated March 2, 1983). It appears, conclusive, therefore, that [the] protestant is still the registered owner of the parcel subject matter of this protest.10
On the alleged disclaimer of tenancy by the identified tenant-farmers, it appears that the affidavit containing said disclaimer was executed on March 2, 1983, or years after the signatories thereof were identified as tenant-farmers by DAR, Toledo City. Furthermore, records of DAR, Toledo City show that the aforenamed tenant-fanners were duly issued Certificates of Agricultural Leasehold covering definite portions of the parcel in question.
If any legal consequence, therefore, would be attached to the joint affidavit of the seven (7) identified farmers, it would merely be that of surrender of tenancy rights, which is not a ground for excluding an agricultural land from the coverage of Operation Land Transfer. The appropriate recourse under said circumstance would be to reallocate the tillages of the farmers in accordance with the guidelines of this Department.
WHEREFORE, an order is hereby issued:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
- Declaring that the farmlots earlier identified as the tillages of the identified tenant-farmers are covered by Operation Land Transfer pursuant to [Presidential Decree No.] 27;
- Ordering DAR, Toledo City to verify and/or ascertain whether the identified farmers would insist in surrendering their tenancy rights over the respective farmlots;
- Ordering the reallocation of the farmlots of the identified farmers in case the tenant-farmers insist in their waivers; [and]
- Ordering the dismissal of the instant protest for lack of merit.11
WHEREFORE, the herein appeal is hereby denied and the Order dated July 21, 1987 of the Regional Director, Region VII is affirmed with the following modifications:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
1. The protestant is entitled to retain seven (7) hectares of the landholding in question; and
2. The Regional Director of Region VII is hereby directed to cause the issuance of Certificates of Agricultural Leasehold (CALs) in favor of the tenants of the retained area and Emancipation Patents to the tenants of the areas covered by Operation Land Transfer, if they are already qualified in accordance with existing agrarian rules and regulations.13
x x x Section 60 of R.A. No. 6657, the pertinent portion of which provides that:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
An appeal from the decision of the Court of Appeals, or from any order, ruling or decision of the DAR, as the case may be, shall be by a petition for review with the Supreme Court, within a non-extendible period of fifteen (15) days from receipt of a copy of said decision.
Section 60 of R.A. No. 6657 should be read in relation to R.A. No. 7902 expanding the appellate jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals to include:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
Exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all final judgments, decisions, resolutions, orders or awards of Regional Trial Courts and quasi-judicial agencies, instrumentalities, boards or commissions [x x x] except those falling within the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in accordance with the Constitution, the Labor Code of the Philippines under Presidential Decree No. 442, as amended, the provisions of this Act, and of subparagraph (1) of the third paragraph and subparagraph (4) of the fourth paragraph of Section 17 of the Judiciary Act of 1948.
With the enactment of R.A. No. 7902, this Court issued Circular 1-95 dated May 16, 1995 governing appeals from all quasi-judicial bodies to the Court of Appeals by petition for review, regardless of the nature of the question raised. Said circular was incorporated in Rule 43 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.
Section 61 of R.A. No. 6657 clearly mandates that judicial review of DAR orders or decisions are governed by the Rules of Court. The Rules direct that it is Rule 43 that governs the procedure for judicial review of decisions, orders, or resolutions of the DAR Secretary. By pursuing a special civil action for [certiorari] under Rule 65 rather than the mandatory petition for review under Rule 43, [the] petitioners opted for the wrong mode of appeal. Pursuant to the fourth paragraph of Supreme Court Circular No. 2-90, "an appeal taken to the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeals by the wrong or inappropriate mode shall be dismissed x x x.23
* Designated as Acting Member in lieu of Associate Justice Marvic M.V.F Leonen. per Special Order No. 1841 dated October 13, 2014.
** Designated as Acting Member in lieu of Associate Justice Mariano C. Del Castillo, per Special Order No. 1838 dated October 13. 2014.
1Rollo, pp. 26-27; Penned by CA Associate Justice Pampio A. Abarintos, with Associate Justices Ramon A. Cruz and Myra V. Garcia-Fernandez, concurring.
2 Id. at 28-29.
3 Id. at 86.
4 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, Effective October 21, 1972.
5Rollo, p. 86.
6 Id. at 31. Id. at 67.
8 Id. at 68-70.
9 Id. at 68-70.
10 Id. at 69.
11 Id. at 69-70.
12 Id. at 30-38.
13 Id. at 37.
14 Id. at 39-41.
15 Id. at 26-27.
SECTION 1. Scope. - This Rule shall apply to appeals from judgments or final orders of the Court of Tax Appeals and from awards, judgments, final orders or resolutions of or authorized by any quasi-judicial agency in the exercise of its quasi-judicial functions.
Among these agencies are the Civil Service Commission, Central Board of Assessment Appeals, Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of the President, Land Registration Authority, Social Security Commission, Civil Aeronautics Board, Bureau of Patents, Trademarks and Technology Transfer, National Electrification Administration, Energy Regulatory Board, National Telecommunications Commission, Department of Agrarian Reform under Republic Act No. 6657, Government Service Insurance System, Employees Compensation Commission, Agricultural Inventions Board, Insurance Commission, Philippine Atomic Energy Commission, Board of Investments. Construction Industry Arbitration Commission, and voluntary arbitrators authorized by law.
17Rollo, pp. 28-29.
18Madrigal Transport, Inc. v. Lapanday Holdings Corp., 479 Phil. 768 (2004)
20 Id.; San Fernando Rural Bank, Inc. v. Pampanga Omnibus Development Corporation and Dominic G. Aquino, G.R. No. 168088, April 3, 2007, 520 SCRA 564.
21 San Fernando Rural Bank, Inc. v. Pampanga Omnibus Development Corporation and Dominic G. Aquino, supra note 20.
22 445 Phil. 595, 607(2003).
23 Id. at 560-561.