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Case Digest: Natalia Realty, Inc.

and Estate Developer and Investors Corp vs DAR GR No 103302


Natalia Realty, Inc. and Estate Developer and Investors Corp vs DAR
GR No 103302 August 12, 1993

Facts:
Natalia is the owner of 3 contiguous parcels of land with an area of 120.9793 hectares, 1.3205 hectares
and 2.7080 hectares or a total of 125.0078 hectares, which are covered by TCT No. 31527. Presidential
Proclamation No. 1637 set aside 20,312 hectares of land as townsite areas to absorb the population
overspill in the metropolis which were designated as the Lungsod Silangan Townsite. The Natalia
properties are situated within the areas proclaimed as townsite reservation. Since private landowners
were allowed to develop their properties into low-cost housing subdivisions with the reservation,
petitioner EDIC as developer of Natalia applied for and was granted preliminary approval and location
clearances by the Human Settlements Regulatory Commission, which Natalia thereafter became
Antipolo Hills Subdivision. On June 15 1988, Ra 6657 went to effect. Respondent issed a Notice of
Coverage on the undeveloped portions of Antipolo Hills Subdivision. Natalia and EDIC immediately
registered its objection to the notice of coverage and requested the cancellation of the Notice of
Coverage.

Natalia and EDIC both argued that the properties ceased to be agricultural lands when they were
included in the areas reserved by Presidential Proclamation for the townsite reservation. DAR then
contended that the permits granted were not valid and binding since they did not comply with t he
implementing Standards, Rules and Regulations of PD 957 (The Subdivision and Condominium Buyers
Protective Decree), and that there was no valid conversion of the properties.

Issue:
Whether or not lands not classified for agricultural use, as approved by the Housing and Land Use
Regulatory Board and its agencies prior to June 15, 1988 covered by RA 6657.

Ruling:
No, Sec. 4 of RA 6657 provides that CARL shall cover, regardless of tenurial arrangement and commodity
produced, all public and private agricultural lands. And agricultural lands is referred to as land devoted
to agricultural activity and not classified as mineral, forst, residential, commercial or industrial land.
Thus, the underdeveloped portions of the Antipolo Hills Subdivision cannot be considered as agricultural
lands for this land was intended for residential use. They ceased to be agricultural land by virtue of the
Presidential Proclamation No. 1637.

Pedro de Guzman v. Court of Appeals (G.R. No. L-47822 )

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Facts:

Respondent Ernesto Cendana was engaged in buying up used bottles and scrap metal in Pangasinan.
After collection, respondent would bring such material to Manila for resale. He utilized (2) two six-
wheelers trucks which he owned for the purpose. Upon returning to Pangasinan, he would load his
vehicle with cargo belonging to different merchants for delivery to different establishments in
Pangasisnan for which respondent charged a freight fee.

Sometime in November 1970, petitioner Pedro de Guzman, a merchant and dealer of General Milk
Company Inc. in Pangasinan contracted with respondent for hauling 750 cartons of milk. Unfortunately,
only 150 cartons were delivered, as the other 600 cartons were intercepted by hijackers along Marcos
Highway. Hence, petitioner commenced an action against private respondent.
In his defense, respondent argued that he cannot be held liable due to force majeure, and that he is not
a common carrier, hence not required to exercise extraordinary diligence.

Issues:
1. Whether or not respondent is a common carrier.
2. Whether or not respondent can be held liable for loss of the 600 cartons of milk due to force majeure.

Held:

1. Respondent is a common carrier. Article 1732 of the New Civil Code does not distinguish between one
whose principal business activity is the carrying of persons or goods or both, and one who does such
carrying only as an ancillary activity. It also avoids a distinction between a person or enterprise offering
transportation services on a regular or scheduled basis and one offering such services on an occasional,
episodic, and unscheduled basis.

2. The court ruled in the affirmative. The circumstances do not fall under the exemption from liability as
enumerated in Article 1734 of the Civil Code. The general rule is established by the article that common
carriers are responsible for the loss, destruction or deterioration of the goods which they carry, unless
the same is due to any of the following causes only:
a. Flood, storm, earthquake, lightning or other natural disasters;
b. Act of the public enemy, whether international or civil;
c. Act or omission of the shipper or owner of the goods;
d. Character of the goods or defects in the packing;
e. Order or act of competent public authority.