M a n i l a

PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 583 November 16, 1974


WHEREAS, I have declared in various decrees, letters of instructions and other orders, as well as in my speeches and other oral pronouncements that the land reform under the New Society;

WHEREAS, the determination of the Government to implement the program has been demonstrated by various acts, including the revitalization of agencies implementing the program such as the Department of Agrarian Reform and the Land Bank, and the channeling of a major portion of government resources to the program, as well as the promulgation of decrees, letters of instructions and other orders designed to hasten the implementation of the program and the protection of the tenants;

WHEREAS, notwithstanding all the foregoing, there remains a strong resistance to the program on the part of some of our citizens, including government officials, and this has been made evident by direct acts such as the ejection of tenant-farmers notwithstanding the prohibition against ejectment of subtle schemes intended to obstruct the progress of the program or to keep the tenants in perpetual bondage under a feudalistic system of landownership;

WHEREAS, these acts or schemes against a vital program of the New Society cannot be allowed, and will not be allowed, to remain unpunished or without sanction from the Government.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers in me vested by the Constitution, do hereby decree and order:

Section 1. In view of the determination of the Government to emancipate the tenant-farmers from a feudalistic system of landownership, it is hereby declared a policy of the State, in furtherance of its desire to protect the tenant-farmers, that no acts or schemes designed to obstruct the implementation of land reform program or obviously in derogation of the rights of tenant-farmers shall remain unpunished.

Section 2. Any judge of the Court of Agrarian Relations, Court of First Instance, City or Municipal Court or any fiscal or any investigating officer, including members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, who shall order the ejectment, ouster, exclusion or removal of any tenant-farmer from the land tilled by him or who shall take cognizance of any ejectment case or any other similar case designed to exclude, oust, eject or remove a tenant-farmer from the land tilled by him without first complying with the provisions of Presidential Decree No. 316 shall, upon conviction, be punished by prision mayor and perpetual absolute disqualification.

Section 3. Any official or employee of the Government, including members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, who executes and order for the ouster, removal, exclusion or ejectment of a tenant-farmer, knowing that the order is unlawful as provided under Section 2 of this Decree shall, upon conviction, suffer the penalty of prision correccional and perpetual absolute disqualification.

Section 4. Unless previously authorized by the Secretary of Agrarian Reform, any land-owner who converts his tenanted land primarily devoted to rice and corn into any non-agricultural use or to the production of any other crop as a means to avoid the application of the land reform laws or decrees to his landholdings and to dispossess his tenant-farmers of the land tilled by them shall, upon conviction, suffer the penalty of prision mayor or a fine ranging from P5,000.00 to P10,000.00, or both, at the discretion of the court.

The same penalty shall be imposed on a landowner who by any other act, scheme or strategy shall eject, exclude, remove or oust and/or causes the ouster, exclusion, removal or ejectment of a tenant-farmer from his farm-holding in contravention of decrees, laws, and other orders on land reform.

Section 5. Repealing Clause. All provisions of existing laws, orders, decrees, rules and regulations inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

Section 6. Effectivity of this Decree. This Decree shall take effect immediately.

DONE in the City of Manila, this 16th day of November, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-four.

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