Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila

SECOND DIVISION

G.R. No. 172841               December 15, 2010

RENATO REYES, represented by RAMON REYES, Petitioner,
vs.
LEOPOLDO BARRIOS, substituted by LUCIA MANALUS-BARRIOS, Respondent.

D E C I S I O N

CARPIO, J.:

The Case

This petition for review1 assails the 8 February 2006 Decision2 and the 29 May 2006 Resolution3 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 90212. The Court of Appeals affirmed the 29 June 1998 Decision and the 7 December 2004 Resolution of the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) in DARAB Case No. 5504, declaring Leopoldo Barrios as bona fide tenant of the subject landholding. The DARAB reversed the 31 October 1996 Decision of the Provincial Agrarian Reform Board (PARAD) of San Fernando, Pampanga.

The Facts

On 26 September 1995, petitioner Renato Reyes (petitioner) filed before the Department of Agrarian Reform, Region III, PARAD of San Fernando, Pampanga, a complaint for ejectment against respondent Leopoldo Barrios (respondent). The case was docketed as DARAB CASE No. 1089-P’95.

The case involves a parcel of land measuring approximately 3.6 hectares (landholding)4 which forms part of the property with an aggregate area of 527,695 square meters (property)5 located at Mapaniqui, Candaba, Pampanga covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. 14488.6 The property was co-owned by petitioner and his four sisters.7 Petitioner claimed that the property became subject of the Operation Land Transfer under Presidential Decree No. 27 (PD 27), except the 3.6‒hectare landholding which was allegedly retained. In his Memorandum8 dated 18 September 2007, petitioner averred that he and his sister Leticia V. Reyes are the co-owners of the landholding. Petitioner hired respondent as the overseer of the farm and piggery on the landholding. However, petitioner contended that respondent never remitted the proceeds from the piggery business and the fruits from the landholding.9

On the other hand, respondent alleged that he was a tenant of the landholding since 1972 and he even built his house on the subject landholding. Respondent also acted as the caretaker of the piggery business on the landholding. Contrary to petitioner’s allegations, respondent stated that petitioner’s wife took all the proceeds from the piggery business, which later ceased operation due to an epidemic.

When respondent failed to appear during the scheduled hearings, petitioner moved to submit the case for decision on the basis of the evidence presented. Respondent alleged that his failure to attend the scheduled hearings was because he received the Notice for the 29 February 1996 hearing only on 6 March 1996. Respondent moved for the postponement of the hearing because he was bedridden due to hypertension and heart ailment.10 However, the PARAD again heard the case ex-parte on 28 March 1996, of which respondent alleged that he was still not notified.

On 31 October 1996, the PARAD rendered a decision, the dispositive portion of which reads:

WHEREFORE, premises considered, this Office renders judgment declaring that herein plaintiff [Renato Reyes] is entitled to recover the possession of the property subject of this present litigation; ordering the defendant [Leopoldo Barrios] or anyone claiming any right or authority under him to vacate the premises in question and surrender possession thereof to the plaintiff; and ordering the defendant to pay the sum of ₱3,000.00 to the plaintiff as attorney’s fees.

No pronouncement as to cost.

SO ORDERED.11

Respondent appealed to the DARAB. Meanwhile, respondent passed away on 13 February 199712 and was substituted by his spouse Lucia Manalus-Barrios.13

On 29 June 1998, the DARAB reversed the PARAD decision and held that respondent is a bona fide tenant of the landholding and that he cannot be ejected from the landholding absent any justifiable cause. The DARAB held:

It appears that Respondent-Appellant is listed as farmer-beneficiary of the land transfer program, as evidenced by the Certification issued by the Officer-in-charge of Arayat-Sta. Ana-Candaba Agrarian Reform Team. The fact of tenancy is buttressed by the joint statement dated March 5, 1989 of residents of neighboring lots who attest to Respondent-Appellant’s cultivation of subject lot. As tenant thereon, Respondent-Appellant, therefore, cannot just be ejected. The causes for extinguishment of Leasehold Relation pursuant to Section 36, Republic Act No. 6657 are:

1. Abandonment of the landholding without the knowledge of the lessor;

2. Voluntary surrender of the landholding by the lessee, written notice of which shall be served three (3) months in advance;

3. Absence of successor or qualified heir, in case of death or permanent incapacity of the lessee;

4. Judicial ejectment of the lessee for causes provided under Sec. 36 of the Code;

5. Acquisition by the lessee of the landholding;

6. Termination of the leasehold under Sec. 38;

7. Mutual consent of the parties; and

8. Conversion of the landholding for non-agricultural purposes subject to the conditions required by law.

The records are bereft of evidence showing the existence of any of the above-quoted circumstances to justify ejectment of Respondent-Appellant from said landholding.

Under the prevailing circumstances, we hold that Respondent-Appellant Barrios is a bona fide tenant of the landholding.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the appealed decision is SET ASIDE, and a new one entered:

1. Declaring Respondent-Appellant Leopoldo Barrios a bona fide tenant of the subject landholding. However, due to his death during the pendency of this case, the surviving spouse, if qualified, shall succeed; if not, the eldest descendant will succeed or the descending descendant in the order of their age;

2. Directing the plaintiff-landowner Renato Reyes to reinstate the qualified heir of Respondent-Appellant and to maintain him in peaceful possession as cultivator thereof; and

3. Directing the DAR Regional Office, through its Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer (MARO) to issue Certificate of Agricultural Lease (CAL) after fixing the lease rental therefor.

SO ORDERED.14

Petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration, asking for the reversal of the DARAB decision and the reinstatement of the PARAD decision. Respondent, substituted by his spouse Lucia Manalus-Barrios, also filed a Motion for Partial Reconsideration, asking for the modification of the decision by declaring respondent as a beneficiary under PD 27 and to issue an Emancipation Patent in favor of respondent’s surviving spouse Lucia Manalus-Barrios.

In its 7 December 2004 Resolution, the DARAB denied petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration for lack of merit and granted respondent’s Motion for Partial Reconsideration, thus:

In the Motion for Partial Reconsideration, Movant alleged that this Board in its decision has declared that the deceased Defendant-Appellant Leopoldo Barrios is a bona fide tenant on the subject landholding. Moreover, Plaintiff-Appellee maintains that page three (3) of the decision rendered by this Board finds and provides that "Operation Land Transfer (OLT) or Presidential Decree No. 27 was signed into law 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 mechanisms therefore." Hence, movant prayed that an Emancipation Patent be issued in lieu of the Certificate of Agricultural Lease in consonance with the findings of this Board and DAR Administrative Order No. 13, Series of 1988.

Acting on said motion, this Board finds that the appealed decision shows substantial appreciation that deceased Defendant-Appellant was a bona fide tenant on the subject landholding. Likewise, this Board, in the assailed decision sustained the provisions of Presidential Decree No. 27, providing "the emancipation of tenants from the bondage of the soil . . ."

From the foregoing findings, the pronouncement of this Board specifically paragraph three (3) of the decision seeks modification. In finding that deceased Defendant-Appellant was a bona fide tenant of the subject landholding and declaring the emancipation of tenants from the bondage of the soil, the subsequent issuance of a Certificate of Agricultural Lease as provided in the assailed decision is not in consonance with the findings of the Board. Hence, this Board is constrained to modify or apply the correct conclusions drawn from the facts of the case.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the herein Motion for Reconsideration dated September 30, 1995 is hereby DENIED for lack of merit. Whereas, the Motion for Partial Reconsideration dated October 5, 1998 is GRANTED and a new judgment is rendered, as follows:

1. Paragraph three (3) of the decision dated June 29, 1998 is hereby modified;

2. Directing the DAR Regional Director, through the Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer (MARO), to issue Emancipation Patent in favor of Defendant-Appellant or his heir, herein substitute Defendant-Appellant Lucia Manalus-Barrios;

3. Directing Plaintiff-Appellee’s successors, co-owners, and the alleged former tenants and all those persons acting on their behalf to vacate the subject landholding and to immediately reinstate the substitute Defendant-Appellant thereto and to maintain her in peaceful possession thereof;

4. Declaring the landholding fully paid by the defendant-appellant;

5. Directing the Plaintiff-Appellee’s successors and co-owners to reimburse 75% of palay harvest, of its cash equivalent, on the remaining 12˝ croppings to the Defendant-Appellant and deducting therefrom the amount of the expenses incurred by the Plaintiff-Appellee’s successors and co-owners in the present planting season.

Let records of this case be remanded to the Sala of the Honorable Provincial Adjudicator of Pampanga for the immediate issuance of a writ of execution.

SO ORDERED.15

Petitioner filed another Motion for Reconsideration, which the DARAB denied in its Resolution dated 5 May 2005.16 Petitioner then appealed to the Court of Appeals, which denied the petition for review in its 8 February 2006 Decision. The Court of Appeals likewise denied petitioner’s motion for reconsideration in its 29 May 2006 Resolution.

Hence, this petition for review.

The Ruling of the Court of Appeals

The Court of Appeals concurred with the findings of the DARAB, thus:

But the petitioner insists that public respondent decided the case at bench against him in defiance of the evidence on record. We do not agree. The DARAB based its findings on the certification dated December 7, 1982 of then Ministry of Agrarian Reform (now Department of Agrarian Reform) of Sta. Ana, Pampanga finding Leopoldo Barrios as legitimate farmer-beneficiary over a four (4) hectare unirrigated land owned by Renato Reyes, located at Mapaniqui, Candaba, Pampanga; on the certification issued by the Officer-in-charge of Arayat-Sta. Ana-Candaba Agrarian Reform Team listing respondent-appellant as farmer-beneficiary; and on the joint statement dated March 5, 1989 of residents of neighboring lots who attested to respondent-appellant’s cultivation and occupation of the subject lot.

It bears stressing that in administrative proceedings, as in the case at bench, the quantum of evidence required to sustain a judgment is only substantial evidence. It is such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion, even if other minds equally reasonable might conceivably opine differently. Thus, findings of fact of quasi-judicial agencies are generally accorded respect, and even finality, by the appellate tribunal, if supported by substantial evidence, this in recognition of their expertise on the specific matters under their consideration.17

The Issues

In his petition, petitioner submits that:

1. THE COURT OF APPEALS BY RULING IN ITS QUESTIONED DECISION (ANNEX "A") THAT THE DARAB WAS CORRECT IN DECIDING THE CASE AGAINST HIM AS THIS IS SUPPORTED BY THE CERTIFICATIONS ISSUED BY THE MINISTRY OF AGRARIAN REFORM AND THE OFFICER-IN-CHARGE OF THE AGRARIAN REFORM TEAM OF ARAYAT-STA. ANA-CANDABA, PAMPANGA DENIED PETITIONER HIS RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS OF LAW AND COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION BECAUSE THE RECORD SHOWS THAT NOT ONLY ARE THE EVIDENCE OF BARRIOS IRRELEVANT BUT THEY [ARE] ALSO MERE MACHINE COPIES WHICH WERE NEVER PRESENTED IN A PROPER HEARING WHERE THE PETITIONER CAN SCRUTINIZE THEM AND CROSS-EXAMINE PRIVATE RESPONDENT ON THEM.

2. THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED GRIEVOUS LEGAL ERROR AND/OR GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION BY FAILING TO CORRECT THE DARAB IN NOT RECOGNIZING PETITIONER’S RIGHT OVER HIS RETAINED AREA WHICH HAD ALREADY BEEN THE SUBJECT OF AN AWARD IN CLAIM 83-144 OF LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES.18

The Ruling of the Court

We partially grant the petition. We hold that respondent is a bona fide tenant of the subject landholding, as stated in the 29 June 1998 DARAB Decision in DARAB Case No. 5504. However, the 7 December 2004 DARAB Resolution, modifying the 29 June 1998 DARAB Decision and directing the DAR Regional Director to issue Emancipation Patent in favor of respondent or his heirs, should be set aside.

In this case, the DARAB ruling that respondent is a bona fide tenant is supported by evidence submitted by respondent, which included: (1) certification dated 7 December 1982 of the Arayat-Sta. Ana-Candaba Agrarian Reform Team, Ministry of Agrarian Reform, Region III, Pampanga District, stating that respondent is a bona fide farmer-beneficiary under the Operation Land Transfer of the four (4)-hectare farmholding owned by petitioner;19 (2) joint statement ("Salaysay") dated 5 March 1989 of the former farmworkers of the neighboring farmlots attesting to respondent’s occupation and cultivation of the subject landholding;20 (3) pictures of the subject landholding which was planted with palay crops;21 and (4) picture of respondent’s house constructed on the subject landholding.221avvphi1

Furthermore, in compliance with the Order23 dated 30 September 2002 of the DARAB, the Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer (PARO) of Pampanga forwarded to the DARAB the status report on the subject landholding,24 which states:

Republic of the Philippines
DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM
Region III
Municipal Agrarian Reform Office
Candaba, Pampanga

Engr. Rodolfo S. Pangilinan
OIC-PARO
DARPO-Del Pilar,
City of San Fernando Pampanga

Sir:

This refers to the Order dated September 30, 2002 issued by DARCO Appeal Board with the instruction to submit status report of the subject landholding owned by Renato Reyes located at Mapanique, Candaba, Pampanga.

That the undersigned conducted ocular inspection/verification and reveal the following finding to wit:

1. That Renato Reyes the landowner and Leopoldo Barrios tenant are both deceased.

2. That the subject landholding was taken over by Renato Reyes since 1996 and it is being administered by Antonio Manalus.

3. That at present the land in question is planted to palay by the administrator Antonio Manalus with the used (sic) of farm labor and 30 mango tree[s] are existing of the subject landholding.

4. That the house of Lucia Vda. De Barrios was constructed to the subject landholding with an area of 450 square meters more or less.

5. That the qualified tenant beneficiaries [are] among the surviving heirs of Leopoldo Barrios is the wife of (sic) Lucia Vda. M. Barrios.

In view of the foregoing facts and base[d] on the Order dated September 30, 2002[,] [t]he undersigned schedule[d] mediation conference on November 18, 2002 in preparation of the Certificate of Agricultural Leasehold.

Very truly yours,

(signed)
SALVADOR S. TOTAAN
M.A.R.O.25

Under Section 3, Rule I of the 1994 DARAB New Rules of Procedure (now Section 3, Rule I of the 2009 DARAB Rules of Procedure26), the Board and its Regional and Provincial Adjudicators are not bound by technical rules of procedure and evidence, thus:

SECTION 3. Technical Rules Not Applicable. The Board and its Regional and Provincial Adjudicators shall not be bound by technical rules of procedure and evidence as prescribed in the Rules of Court, but shall proceed to hear and decide all agrarian cases, disputes or controversies in a most expeditious manner, employing all reasonable means to ascertain the facts of every case in accordance with justice and equity.

x x x

c) The provisions of the Rules of Court shall not apply even in suppletory character unless adopted herein or by resolution of the Board. However, due process of law shall be observed and followed in all instances.

Section 1, Rule VIII of the 1994 DARAB New Rules of Procedure (now Section 1, Rule X of the 2009 DARAB Rules of Procedure27) reiterates the non-applicability of technical rules regarding the admission and sufficiency of evidence, thus:

SECTION 1. Nature of Proceedings. The proceedings before the Board or its Adjudicators shall be non-litigious in nature. Subject to the essential requirements of due process, the technicalities of law and procedures and the rules governing the admissibility and sufficiency of evidence obtained in the courts of law shall not apply. x x x

Thus, in Reyes v. Court of Appeals,28 the Court held:

Finally, we rule that the trial court did not err when it favorably considered the affidavits of Eufrocina and Efren Tecson (Annexes "B" and "C") although the affiants were not presented and subjected to cross-examination. Section 16 of P.D. No. 946 provides that ‘Rules of Court shall not be applicable in agrarian cases even in a suppletory character.’ The same provision states that ‘In the hearing, investigation and determination of any question or controversy, affidavits and counter-affidavits may be allowed and are admissible in evidence.’29

Besides, the DARAB Rules should be liberally construed to carry out the objectives of agrarian reform and to promote just, expeditious, and inexpensive adjudication and settlement of agrarian cases, disputes or controversies.30

Although we affirm the ruling of the DARAB that respondent is a bona fide tenant, we disagree with its order for the issuance of an Emancipation Patent in favor of respondent’s heir, as provided in its Resolution dated 7 December 2004. The records show that when the property was placed under the Operation Land Transfer, respondent was not included in the list of tenant beneficiaries who were issued Emancipation Patents, as noted on the title of the property, TCT No. 14488, which was partially canceled in view of the issuance of the new TCTs in favor of the tenant beneficiaries.31

The Primer on Agrarian Reform32 enumerates the steps in transferring the land to the tenant-tiller, thus:

a. First step: the identification of tenants, landowners, and the land covered by OLT.

b. Second step: land survey and sketching of the actual cultivation of the tenant to determine parcel size, boundaries, and possible land use;

c. Third step: the issuance of the Certificate of Land Transfer (CLT). To ensure accuracy and safeguard against falsification, these certificates are processed at the National Computer Center (NCC) at Camp Aguinaldo;

d. Fourth step: valuation of the land covered for amortization computation;

e. Fifth step: amortization payments of tenant-tillers over fifteen (15) year period; and

f. Sixth step: the issuance of the Emancipation Patent.33

Thus, there are several steps to be undertaken before an Emancipation Patent can be issued. As regards respondent, the records are bereft of evidence indicating that this procedure has been followed.

Furthermore, there are several supporting documents which a tenant-farmer must submit before he can receive the Emancipation Patent, such as:

a. Application for issuance of Emancipation Patent;

b. Applicant’s (owner’s) copy of Certificate of Land Transfer.

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 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.34

Majority of these supporting documents are lacking in this case. Hence, it was improper for the DARAB to order the issuance of the Emancipation Patent in favor of respondent without the required supporting documents and without following the requisite procedure before an Emancipation Patent may be validly issued.

Moreover, there was no sufficient evidence to prove that respondent has fully paid the value of the subject landholding. As held in Mago v. Barbin,35 the laws mandate full payment of just compensation for the lands acquired under PD 27 prior to the issuance of Emancipation Patents, thus:

In the first place, the Emancipation Patents and the Transfer Certificates of Title should not have been issued to petitioners without full payment of the just compensation. Under Section 2 of Presidential Decree No. 266, the DAR will issue the Emancipation Patents only after the tenant-farmers have fully complied with the requirements for a grant of title under PD 27. Although PD 27 states that the tenant-farmers are already deemed owners of the land they till, it is understood that full payment of the just compensation has to be made first before title is transferred to them. Thus, Section 6 of EO 228 provides that ownership of lands acquired under PD 27 may be transferred only after the agrarian reform beneficiary has fully paid the amortizations.36

Clearly, respondent is not entitled to be issued an Emancipation Patent considering that he has not fully complied with the requirements for a grant of title under PD 27.37

On the issue of petitioner’s claim that the subject landholding forms part of the retained area awarded to him and his sisters, the Court notes that there was no sufficient evidence to substantiate petitioner’s claim. Furthermore, as held by the Court of Appeals, only the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has the exclusive jurisdiction to resolve the issue of whether petitioner is entitled to a retention area.38 Indeed, under Section 3 (3.5), Rule II of the DARAB 2003 Rules of Procedure, the exercise of the right of retention by the landowner is under the exclusive prerogative of and cognizable by the Office of the Secretary of the DAR. Besides, even if the subject landholding forms part of petitioner’s retained area, petitioner landowner may still not eject respondent tenant absent any of the causes provided under the law. The landowner cannot just terminate the leasehold relationship without valid cause.

WHEREFORE, we PARTIALLY GRANT the petition. We SET ASIDE the 8 February 2006 Decision and the 29 May 2006 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 90212. We REINSTATE the 29 June 1998 Decision of the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board in DARAB Case No. 5504.

SO ORDERED.

ANTONIO T. CARPIO
Associate Justice

WE CONCUR:

ANTONIO EDUARDO B. NACHURA
Associate Justice

DIOSDADO M. PERALTA
Associate Justice
ROBERTO A. ABAD
Associate Justice

JOSE C. MENDOZA
Associate Justice

A T T E S T A T I O N

I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division.

ANTONIO T. CARPIO
Associate Justice
Chairperson

C E R T I F I C A T I O N

Pursuant to Section 13, Article VIII of the Constitution, and the Division Chairperson’s Attestation, I certify that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division.

RENATO C. CORONA
Chief Justice


Footnotes

1 Under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.

2 Rollo, pp. 8-21. Penned by Associate Justice Renato C. Dacudao, with Associate Justices Lucas P. Bersamin (now SC Associate Justice) and Celia C. Librea-Leagogo, concurring.

3 Id. at 23.

4 The Certification dated 7 December 1982 of the Arayat-Sta. Ana-Candaba Agrarian Reform Team states that the land owned by petitioner is a 4-hectare unirrigated farmholding, id. at 250. Petitioner’s complaint states that the retained area is 3.6 hectares. However, in his petition for review, petitioner stated that the retained property is a 3.5 hectare orchard farm which is part of the estate covered by TCT No. 14488 with a total area of 527,695 square meters.

5 The property covered under TCT No. 14488 consists of five (5) parcels of land with a total aggregate area of 527,695 square meters.

6 Rollo, pp. 355-363.

7 TCT No. 14488 states that the property is owned by Maria Pilar Dolores V. Reyes, Consolacion V. Reyes, Renato V. Reyes, Leticia V. Reyes, and Martina V. Reyes, id. at 355.

8 Id. at 530-541.

9 Id. at 97-100.

10 Manifestations & Motion to Postpone Hearing, dated 25 March 1996, CA rollo, pp. 191-192.

11 Rollo, pp. 110-111.

12 Id. at 243.

13 Id. at 388.

14 Id. at 84-85.

15 Id. at 90-92.

16 Id. at 94-95.

17 Id. at 54.

18 Id. at 33-34.

19 Id. at 250.

20 Id. at 254.

21 Id. at 314.

22 Id. at 315.

23 Id. at 399-400.

24 3rd Indorsement dated 30 October 2002 signed by the OIC-PARO Engr. Rodolfo S. Pangilinan of the Provincial Agrarian Reform Office, Region III, San Fernando City.

25 Rollo, p. 401. Emphasis supplied.

26 SECTION 3. Technical Rules Not Applicable. ‒ The Board and its Regional and Provincial Adjudication Offices shall not be bound by technical rules of procedure and evidence as prescribed in the Rules of Court, but shall proceed to hear and decide all agrarian cases, disputes or controversies in a most expeditious manner, employing all reasonable means to ascertain the facts of every case in accordance with justice and equity.

x x x

c. The provision of the Rules of Court shall not apply even in suppletory character unless adopted herein or by resolution of the Board.

27 SECTION 1. Nature of Proceedings. ‒ The proceedings before the Adjudicator shall be non-litigious in nature.

Subject to the essential requirements of due process, the technicalities of law and procedures and the rules governing the admissibility and sufficiency of evidence obtained in the courts of law shall not apply.

The Adjudicator shall employ reasonable means to ascertain the facts of the controversy including a thorough examination or re-examination of witnesses and the conduct of ocular inspection of the premises in question, if necessary.

28 G.R. No. 96492, 26 November 1992, 216 SCRA 25.

29 Id. at 32.

30 Rule I, Section 2 of the 1994 DARAB New Rules of Procedure.

31 TCT No. 14488, rollo, pp. 355-363.

32 Produced 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, id. at 377-384.

33 Id. at 380.

34 Primer on Agrarian Reform, id. at 383.

35 G.R. No. 173923, 12 October 2009, 603 SCRA 383.

36 Id. at 393.

37 Section 105 of Presidential Decree No. 1529 (PROPERTY REGISTRATION DECREE) provides that: "After the tenant-farmer shall have fully complied with the requirements for a grant of title under P.D. No. 27, an Emancipation Patent which may cover previously titled or untitled property shall be issued by the Department of Agrarian Reform."

38 CA Decision, p. 13; rollo, p. 20.


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