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Natalia Realty Inc., and Estate Developers and Investors v.

DAR, GR 103302


I. Facts

Petitioner owned contiguous parcels of land which upon Presidential Proclamation No. 1637, such lands
were proclaimed as a town-site reservation to absorb the population overspill in the metropolis, designated as the
Lungsod SilanganTownsite. Anent to this, the Natalia Properties were allowed to develop their properties, thus later
on, became the Antipolo Hills Subdivision. Few years after, CARL was enacted and took effect. DAR thru its
Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer issued a Notice of Coverage on the undeveloped portions of the Antipolo Hills
Subdivision, which petitioner objected.

On Jan 1991, members of SAMBA filed a complaint against petitioners to restrain them from developing
areas under cultivation by SAMBA members, which was then favored by the Regional Adjudicator and issued a writ
of preliminary injunction. Petitioner elevated their cause to DARAB which remanded the case to the Regional
Adjudicator. Natalia wrote to the respondent, Sec. of Agrarian Reform to set aside the Notice of Coverage but the
latter took no action. Petitioner imputed grave abuse of discretion against respondent DAR for including the
undeveloped portions of Antipolo Hills Subdivision within the coverage of CARL. Private respondent, thru the OSG,
disputed the contention holding that permits granted to petitioners were not valid and binding for failure to comply
with the implementing Standards, Rules, and Regulations of PD 957. Also petitioner failed to exhaust administrative
remedies before coming to the court.

II. Issue

WON lands classified for residential, commercial or industrial use are covered by RA 6657?

III. Ruling

No, lands classified for residential, commercial or industrial use are not covered by RA 6657. It is
clear under the definition of agricultural land, that these lands are devoted to agricultural activity and do not include
commercial, industrial and residential lands. Thus, the undeveloped portions of the Antipolo Hills Subdivision cannot
in any language be considered as an agricultural land. These lots were intended for residential use.

Moreover, it is submitted that the petitioners had complied with all relevant rules and regulations of the
Preliminary Approval and Locational Clearances and Development Permits.















LBP v. Montinola - Escarilla & Co. Inc., GR No. 178046


I. Facts

Respondent (MECO), owned parcel of agricultural lands, out of which 159 hectares were acquired by the
government by virtue of RA 6657. LBP valued the subject lands at P823, 204.08, then rejected by respondent.
Pending summary administrative proceedings for the determination of just compensation by RARAD, respondent
filed a complaint for the determination of just compensation before RTC, which were composed of four members of
Board of Commission (BOC). BOC was not able to come up with a verified valuation of property. Nevertheless, RTC
rendered a decision fixing the value of just compensation at P 7, 927, 660.

Prior to such valuation, RARAD valued the property at P 823, 204.08. Petitioner LBP and DAR Secretary
filed Motions for Reconsideration which were both denied. Upon appeal, CA set aside the decision rendered by RTC
in regard to the valuation made by the latter for failure to consider the factors enumerated in Sec. 17 RA 6657, so as
the valuation of the LBP. CA adopted the valuation of the Commissioners Report.

II. Issue

WON CA erred in adopting the commissioners valuation of the subject property in the determination of just
compensation?

III. Ruling

Yes, lower court erred in adopting the commissioners valuation in the determination of just
compensation for the subject property. The determination of just compensation is outlined under Sec. 17 of RA
6657. The potential use of the expropriated property is only considered in cases where there is great improvement in
the general vicinity of the expropriated property, but should never control the determination of just compensation.
RTC and CA ignored the fact that a substantial portion of the subject property was idle and abandoned. Thus, it was
erroneous to reclassify the acquired property into corn-land and coco-land considering that the improvements made
were introduced by the farmer-beneficiaries and not the owner.



















Atlas Fertilizer Corp v. Hon. Sec. of DAR, GR No. 93100


I. Facts

Petitioners were engaged in the aquaculture industry, utilizing fishponds and prawn farms. They assail
Sections 3(b), 11, 13, 16 (d), 17 and 32 of RA 6657, as well as the implementing guidelines and procedures
contained in Administrative Order No. 8 and 10, series of 1988, to be unconstitutional. The provisions assailed herein
as have been ruled upon in the case of Luz Farms vs. Sec. of DAR.

II. Issue

WON Sections 3(b), 11, 13, 16 (d), 17 and 32 of RA 6657 are unconstitutional.

III. Ruling

Yes, Sections 3(b), 11, 13, 16 (d), 17 and 32 of RA 6657 are unconstitutional. However, said issue had
already become moot and academic upon the enactment of RA 7881. While the court will not hesitate to declare a
law or an act void when confronted squarely with constitutional issues, neither will it pre-empt the legislative or
executive branches of the government in correcting or classifying by means of amendment, said law or act.































LBP v. Enrique Livioco, GR No. 170685


I. Facts

Respondent Livioco offered his sugar-land to DAR for acquisition under voluntary offer to sell (VOS) of
CARL. The DAR referred Liviocos offer to LBP for valuation, thru which respondent was promptly informed of the
valuation and the cash portion of the claim proceeds having been kept in trust pending his submission of the
ownership documentary requirements. For failure to act upon the notice, LBP issued a certification of the Registry of
Deeds of Pampanga as compensation for Liviocos property.

Two years later, respondent requested for a reevaluation of the compensation on the ground that from the
time it was valued, the property had already appreciated. The request was denied by the Regional Director Nuesa on
the ground that there was already a perfected sale. The DAR took possession of the land and awarded the same to
farmer-beneficiaries who were issued CLOAS in 1994. Thereafter, respondent filed separate complaints to cancel
CLOA and to recover his property, but the same were held futile. Thus, Livioco finally filed a petition for judicial
determination of just compensation against DAR, LBP and the CLOA holders before the RTC of Angeles City.

II. Issue

WON the compensation for the respondents property was determined in accordance with the law and
implementing rules and regulations?

III. Ruling

No, the just compensation for the respondents property was not determined in accordance with
existing laws and implementing rules and regulations.

Firstly, the lower court erred in ruling that the character or use of the property changed the same from
agricultural to residential lands. However, it should be noted that it is the DAR that is mandated by law to evaluate
and approve land use conversions.

Secondly, the trial court and the CA erred in disregarding Sec. 17 of RA 6657, failing to give credence of the
importance of such provision in the determination of just compensation. The value offered by LBP is not acceptable
for lack of proper substantiation.
















LBP v. Honeycomb Farms Corp., GR No. 166259


I. Facts

Respondent HFC voluntarily offered its land to DAR for coverage under RA 6657. LBPs determination of
the land valuation and compensation was rejected by respondent, thus the latter filed a petition with DARAB for a
summary administrative determination of just compensation. Pending proceedings with DARAB, respondent filed a
complaint with RTC praying for a just compensation he expects, plus attorney fees. LBP countered HFCs petition
being premature and for lack of cause of action failing to exhaust administrative remedies. RTC and DARABs
valuation rendered conflicting results; hence, SAC made its own evaluation thru which both parties appealed to CA.

Respondent argued that the RTC erred in its determination of just compensation, the amount being
unsupported by evidence on record. LBP raised the threshold issue whether the SAC had jurisdiction to hear HFCs
complaint because of the pending DARAB proceedings. CA reversed RTC judgment for respondents failure to
exhaust administrative remedies. CA ruled that LBP made procedural shortcut when it filed the complaint with the
SAC without waiting for the DARABs decision.

II. Issues

(1) WON CA erred in reinstating the decision of the SAC since it had no jurisdiction to hear HFCs
complaint while the DARAB proceedings were pending?
(2) WON CA erred in denying the dismissal the complaint on the ground of non-exhaustion of
administrative remedies and forum shopping on the part of HFC?
(3) WON CA erred when it made its own valuation and disregarded the DAR formula?

III. Ruling

No, CA did not err in reinstating the decision of SAC, pending proceedings with DARAB. The SAC
properly acquired jurisdiction of HFCs complaint over the determination of just compensation since it is judicial in
nature. The valuation of property and determination of just compensation is essentially a judicial function which is
vested with the court and not with administrative agencies.

No, CA did not err in denying the dismissal of the complaint on the ground of non-exhaustion of
administrative remedies and HRCs forum shopping. The doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies
does not apply when the issue has been rendered moot and academic. In the present case, the issue is now moot
considering that the valuation made by the LBP has long been affirmed by DARAB. Also, respondent is not guilty of
forum shopping.

Yes, CA erred in making its own valuation of the subject property, disregarding the formula provided
by DAR. It is the SACs duty to take consideration the factors fixed by Sec. 17 of RA 6657 and apply the basic
formula prescribed and laid down in the pertinent administrative regulation. Consequently, SAC cannot take judicial
notice of the nature of the land in question without the requisite hearing.

The herein case was remanded to the RTC for the determination of just compensation based on Sec. 17 of
RA 6657.





Julian S. Lebrudo and Reynaldo Lebrudo v. Remedios Loyola, GR No. 174647


I. Facts

In 1988, respondent was awarded a parcel of land by DAR under RA 6657 with CLOA and duly registered
under TCT No. 998. In 1995, petitioner filed with the office of PARAD of Trece Martires, Cavite an action for the
cancellation of the TCT in the name of respondent and the issuance of another for the one-half portion of the lot in
petitioners favor. PARAD dismissed the case but petitioner re-filed the same action, then contending that by virtue of
the alleged Sinumpaang Salaysay executed by respondent, and the petitioners act of redeeming the lot having been
mortgaged by respondents mother, petitioner now is asking the respondent to comply with her sworn promise.

Loyola maintained the denial of executing the said Sinumpaang Salaysay and argued that it is the petitioner
who offered to redeem the subject land after the same has been mortgaged. The PARAD decided in favor of the
petitioner. Respondent appealed to DARAB which reversed the decision made by PARAD, ruling in favor of the
respondent. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration with DARAB but was denied. An appeal was raised before
CA by petitioner, but the same was denied.

II. Issue

WON petitioners are entitled to the one-half portion of the lot covered by RA 6657 on the basis of the waiver
and the transfer of rights embodied in the Sinumpaang Salaysay allegedly executed by respondent in favor of said
petitioners?

III. Ruling

No, petitioners are not entitled to one-half portion of the lot on the basis of the waiver and transfer of
rights embodied in the Sinumpaang Salaysay allegedly executed by respondent in favor of said petitioners.
It is clear in the provision under Sec. 27 of RA 6657 that lands awarded to beneficiaries under the CARP may not be
sold, transferred or conveyed for a period of 10 years. The law enumerated four exceptions and petitioner dos not fall
under any of the named exceptions. The two Sinumpaang Salaysay as claimed by Lebrudo were illegal and void ab
initio for being patently intended to circumvent and violate the conditions imposed by the agrarian law.

The main purpose of agrarian reform law is to ensure the farmer-beneficiaries continued possession,
cultivation and enjoyment of the land he tills. To do otherwise is to revert back to the old feudal system whereby the
landowners re-acquired vast tracts of land, and thus circumvent the governments program of freeing the tenant
farmers from the bondage of soil.