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4/14/2016 Heirs of Tan Sr vs Pollescas : 145568 : November 17, 2005 : J.

Carpio : First Division : Decision



FIRSTDIVISION


HEIRSOFENRIQUETAN,SR.,G.R.No.145568
namely,NORMATAN,
JEANETTETAN,Present:
JULIETATAN,Davide,Jr.,C.J.,
ROMMELTAN,andChairman,
ENRIQUETAN,JR.,Quisumbing,
AllrepresentedbyYnaresSantiago,
ROMMELTAN,Carpio,and
Petitioners,Azcuna,JJ.


versus
Promulgated:
REYNALDAPOLLESCAS,
Respondent.November17,2005

xx


DECISION


CARPIO,J.:


TheCase


[1] [2]
Before the Court is a petition for review of the Decision of the Court ofAppeals
promulgated on 31 August 2000 in CAG.R. SP No. 48823. The Court of Appeals
affirmedthedecisionoftheDepartmentofAgrarianReformAdjudicationBoardordering
petitionerstorespectrespondentspossessionandcultivationoftheland.

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TheAntecedents

[3]
PetitionersNormaTan,JeanetteTan,JulietaTan,Rommel TanandEnriqueTan,
Jr.(TanHeirs)arecoownersofacoconutfarmland(Land)locatedatLabo,OzamisCity
[4]
withanareaof25,780squaremeters.

Esteban Pollescas (Esteban) was the original tenant of the Land. Upon Estebans
deathin1991,hissonEnriquePollescas(Enrique)succeededhimandwasappointedas
[5]
tenantbythelandownerEnriqueTan(Tan).

However, respondent Reynalda Pollescas (Reynalda), Estebans surviving second
spouse,demandedthatTanrecognizeherasEstebanssuccessor.Tandidnotaccede.Thus,
Reynalda filed with the Department ofAgrarian ReformAdjudication Board of Ozamis
City(DARABOzamis)acomplaintforAnnulmentofCompromiseAgreement,Quieting
[6]
ofTenancyRelationshipanddamages.

InitsDecisiondated28April1993,theDARABOzamisdeclaredReynaldaasthe
lawfultenantoftheLand.TheDARABOzamisapportionedtheharvestsbetweentheTan
HeirsandReynaldabasedonthecustomarysharingsystemwhichis2/3tothelandowner
[7]
and1/3tothetenant.

On the following harvest dates, 11 and 19 of June, 9 September, 6 and 13 of
December1993,ReynaldafailedtodelivertotheTanHeirs2/3oftheharvestsamounting

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[8]
to P3,656.70. The Tan Heirs demanded Reynalda to pay such amount. However,
Reynaldaignoredthedemand.

Consequently,theTanHeirsfiledacomplaintforestafaagainstReynaldawiththe
[9]
MunicipalTrialCourtinCities,OzamisCity,Branch2. ThetrialcourtfoundReynalda
[10]
guiltyofestafa andsentencedhertofivemonthsofarrestomayor maximum to two
yearsofprisioncorreccional minimum and ordered her to pay theTan Heirs P3,656.70,
[11]
theamountwhichshemisappropriated.

Subsequently,forReynaldascontinuedfailuretodelivertheirshare,theTanHeirs
filedwiththeDARAB,MisamisOccidental(DARABMisamisOccidental)anejectment
[12]
case.

[13]
On18September1996,theDARABMisamisOccidental ruledinfavorofthe
TanHeirs.TheDARABMisamisOccidentaldisposedofthecaseinthiswise:

WHEREFORE, premises considered, decision is hereby rendered terminating the
tenancyrelationshipofhereinparties.

Consequently, respondent Reynalda Pollescas is ordered to vacate the subject
landholdingandturnoveritspossessionandcultivationtotheplaintiffs.

The MARO of Ozamis City is likewise ordered to investigate and verify in the
subject landholding if there are actual farmercultivators in the area who may qualify as
lessees thereof, who then should be placed under leasehold pursuant to the mandate of
Section12,R.A.6657.

[14]
SOORDERED.



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Aggrieved by the decision, Reynalda appealed to the DARAB, Diliman, Quezon


City(DARAB).TheDARABreversedthedecisionoftheDARABMisamisOccidental,
towit:

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the appealed decision dated 18 September
1996 is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE and a new one is rendered ordering the
landownerstorespectthepeacefulpossessionandcultivationofthesubjectlandholding.

RespondentAppellantisherebyorderedtopayherunpaidleaseholdrentals.

[15]
SOORDERED.



TheTanHeirsappealedthedecisionoftheDARABtotheCourtofAppeals.The
CourtofAppealsaffirmedthedecisionoftheDARABorderingtheTanHeirstorespect
ReynaldaspossessionandcultivationoftheLand.

Hence,thispetition.


TheRulingoftheCourtofAppeals


In affirming the decision of the DARAB, the Court of Appeals cited Roxas y Cia v.
[16]
Cabatuando,etal. wherethisCourtheldthatxxxmerefailureofatenanttopaythe
landholders share does not necessarily give the latter the right to eject the former when
thereislackofdeliberateintentonthepartofthetenanttopayxxx.

The Court ofAppeals held that Reynaldas failure to deliver the full amount of the Tan
Heirs share could not be considered as a willful and deliberate intent to deprive theTan
Heirsoftheirshare.TheCourtofAppealsheldthatReynaldahonestlybelievedthatshe
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was entitled to a share of the harvests in 19921993 while the case for Annulment of
CompromiseAgreementwaspendingbeforetheDARABOzamis.Reynaldaalsobelieved
that she could effect a setoff for her 19921993 share from the 1994 share of the Tan
Heirs.

The Court of Appeals further declared that the rental must be legal to consider non
paymentofsuchasagroundforejectment.Theappellatecourtstatedthat:

xxxforatenantsfailuretopayrentaltocomewithintheintendmentofthelawas
a ground for ejectment, it is imperative that the rental must be legal. What the law
contemplatesisthedeliberatefailureofthetenanttopaythelegalrental,notthefailureto
pay an illegal rental. A stipulation in a leasehold contract requiring a lessee to pay an
amountinexcessoftheamountallowedbylawisconsideredcontrarytolaw,moralsor
publicpolicy.Suchcontractisnullandvoidastotheexcess.

ItisnoteworthythatSection34ofRA3844providesthattheconsiderationfortheleaseof
ricelandandlandsdevotedtoothercropsshallnotbemorethantheequivalentoftwenty
fivepercentumoftheaveragenormalharvest.Thetenantisobligedtopayamaximumof
25%ofthenormalharvestandnottwothirdsasinthecaseatbar.Thus,evenadmitting
thatasetoffwaseffectedinfavorofrespondentforher19921993share,yetenoughis
[17]
lefttocoverthe25%shareofthepetitionersforthe1994crop.



Citing Section 8 of RepublicAct No. 3844 (RA 3844), the Court ofAppeals also held
[t]here is nothing in the law that makes failure to deliver share a ground for
[18]
extinguishmentofleaseholdagreement. Reynaldasfailuretodeliverfullytheshareof
[19]
theTanHeirsisnotsufficienttodisturbtheagriculturalleaseholdrelation.


TheIssues


IntheirMemorandum,theTanHeirsraisethefollowingissues:

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I
WHETHER THERE IS NO EXCEPTION TO THE GROUNDS FOR
EXTINGUISHMENT OF LEASEHOLD RELATION UNDER SECTION 8
OFRA3844.

II
WHETHER THE COURT OF APPEALS CORRECTLY RULED THAT
REYNALDA IS OBLIGED TO PAY ONLY 1/4 OR 25% OF THE
NORMALHARVESTANDNOT2/3WHENTHESUBJECT LANDWAS
NOT YET PLACED UNDER THE LEASEHOLD SYSTEM PURSUANT
[20]
TOSECTION12OFRA6657.




TheRulingoftheCourt


Thepetitionlacksmerit.

Attheoutset,theCourtdeclaresthatRA6657isthegoverningstatuteinthiscase.

[21]
On8August1963,RA3844ortheAgriculturalLandReformCode abolished
[22]
andoutlawedsharetenancyandputinitssteadtheagriculturalleaseholdsystem. On
10September1971,RepublicActNo.6389(RA6389)amendingRA3844(RA3844as
[23]
amended)declaredsharetenancyrelationshipsascontrarytopublicpolicy. RA6389
[24]
did not entirely repeal Republic Act No. 1199 and RA 3844 even if RA 6389
[25]
substantially modified them. Subsequently, Republic Act No. 6657 or the
ComprehensiveAgrarian Reform Law of 1988 (RA 6657) took effect on 15 June 1988.

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[26]
RA6657onlyexpresslyrepealedSection35ofRA3844asamended. Thus,RA6657
istheprevailinglawinthiscase.Theharvestsindisputearefortheyears19921993or
aftertheeffectivityofRA6657.


Nogroundfordispossessionoflandholding


Section 7 of RA 3844 as amended provides that once there is a leasehold
relationship,asinthepresentcase,thelandownercannotejecttheagriculturaltenantfrom
[27]
the land unless authorized by the court for causes provided by law. RA 3844 as
amended expressly recognizes and protects an agricultural leasehold tenants right to
[28]
securityoftenure.

Section36ofRA3844asamendedenumeratesthegroundsfordispossessionofthe
tenantslandholding,towit:

SEC.36.PossessionofLandholdingExceptions.Notwithstandinganyagreement
astotheperiodorfuturesurrenderoftheland,anagriculturallesseeshallcontinueinthe
enjoymentandpossessionofhislandholdingexceptwhenhisdispossessionhasbeen
authorizedbytheCourtinajudgmentthatisfinalandexecutoryifafterduehearingitis
shownthat:

(1)Thelandholdingisdeclaredbythedepartmentheaduponrecommendationof
theNationalPlanningCommissiontobesuitedforresidential,commercial,industrialor
someotherurbanpurposes:Provided,Thattheagriculturallesseeshallbeentitledto
disturbancecompensationequivalenttofivetimestheaverageofthegrossharvestsonhis
landholdingduringthelastfiveprecedingcalendaryears

(2)Theagriculturallesseefailedtosubstantiallycomplywithanyofthetermsand
conditionsofthecontractoranyoftheprovisionsofthisCodeunlesshisfailureiscaused
byfortuitouseventorforcemajeure

(3)Theagriculturallesseeplantedcropsorusedthelandholdingforapurpose
otherthanwhathadbeenpreviouslyagreedupon

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(4)Theagriculturallesseefailedtoadoptprovenfarmpracticesasdetermined
underparagraph3ofSectiontwentynine

(5)Thelandorothersubstantialpermanentimprovementthereonissubstantially
damagedordestroyedorhasunreasonablydeterioratedthroughthefaultornegligenceof
theagriculturallessee

(6)Theagriculturallesseedoesnotpaytheleaserentalwhenitfallsdue:Provided,
Thatifthenonpaymentoftherentalshallbeduetocropfailuretotheextentofseventy
fivepercentumasaresultofafortuitousevent,thenonpaymentshallnotbeagroundfor
dispossession,althoughtheobligationtopaytherentalduethatparticularcropisnot
therebyextinguishedor

(7)The lessee employed a sublessee on his landholding in violation of the terms of
paragraph2ofSectiontwentyseven.

In the instant case, theTan Heirs seek Reynaldas ejectment from the Land on the
groundofnonpaymentofleaserental.

TheCourtagreeswiththeCourtofAppealsthatfornonpaymentoftheleaserental
tobeavalidgroundtodispossesstheagriculturallesseeofthelandholding,theamountof
theleaserentalmustfirstofallbelawful.Iftheamountofleaserentalclaimedexceedsthe
limit allowed by law, nonpayment of lease rental cannot be a ground to dispossess the
agriculturallesseeofthelandholding.


[29]
Section34ofRA3844asamended mandatesthatnotxxxmorethan25%of
the average normal harvest shall constitute the just and fair rental for leasehold. In this
case,theTanHeirsdemandedReynaldatodeliver2/3oftheharvestasleaserental,which
clearlyexceededthe25%maximumamountprescribedbylaw.Therefore,theTanHeirs
cannotvalidlydispossessReynaldaofthelandholdingfornonpaymentofrentalprecisely
becausetheleaserentalclaimedbytheTanHeirsisunlawful.

Even assuming Reynalda agreed to deliver 2/3 of the harvest as lease rental,
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Reynaldaisnotobligedtopaysuchleaserentalforbeingunlawful.Thereisnolegalbasis
todemandpaymentofsuchunlawfulleaserental.Thecourtswillnotenforcepaymentofa
leaserentalthatviolatesthelaw.Therewasnovalidlyfixedleaserentaldemandableatthe
timeoftheharvests.Thus,Reynaldawasneverindefault.

ReynaldaandtheTanHeirsfailedtoagreeonalawfulleaserental.Accordingly,the
DAR must first fix the provisional lease rental payable by Reynalda to the Tan Heirs
[30]
pursuant to the second paragraph of Section 34 of RA 3844 as amended. Until the
DARhasfixedtheprovisionalleaserental,Reynaldacannotbeindefaultinthepayment
of lease rental since such amount is not yet determined. There can be no delay in the
paymentofanundeterminedleaserentalbecauseitisimpossibletopayanundetermined
amount.ThatReynaldaisnotyetindefaultinthepaymentoftheleaserentalisabasic
[31]
reasonwhyshecannotbelawfullyejectedfromtheLandfornonpaymentofrental.


Nogroundforextinguishmentofleaseholdrelation

The Court also holds that there is no ground for the extinguishment of leasehold
relationinthiscase.
Only in the instances stated in Sections 8 and 28 of RA 3844 as amended can
leaseholdrelationbeterminated.Theseprovisionsread:

SEC. 8. Extinguishment of Agricultural Leasehold Relation.The agricultural leasehold
relationestablishedunderthisCodeshallbeextinguishedby:

(1)Abandonmentofthelandholdingwithouttheknowledgeoftheagricultural
lessor

(2) Voluntarysurrenderofthelandholdingbytheagriculturallessee,written
noticeofwhichshallbeservedthreemonthsinadvanceor
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(3)AbsenceofthepersonsunderSectionninetosucceedtothelessee,inthe
eventofdeathorpermanentincapacityofthelessee.

SEC.28.Termination of Leasehold byAgricultural Lessee DuringAgricultural Year.The
agriculturallesseemayterminatetheleaseholdduringtheagriculturalyearforanyofthe
followingcauses:

(1) Cruel,inhumanoroffensivetreatmentoftheagriculturallesseeorany
memberofhisimmediatefarmhouseholdbytheagriculturallessororhisrepresentative
withtheknowledgeandconsentofthelessor

(2) Noncompliance on the part of the agricultural lessor with any of the
obligationsimposeduponhimbytheprovisionsofthisCodeorbyhiscontractwiththe
agriculturallessee

(3) Compulsionoftheagriculturallesseeoranymemberofhisimmediate
farmhouseholdbytheagriculturallessortodoanyworkorrenderanyservicenotinany
wayconnectedwithfarmworkorevenwithoutcompulsionifnocompensationispaid






(4) Commissionofacrimebytheagriculturallessororhisrepresentative
againsttheagriculturallesseeoranymemberofhisimmediatefarmhouseholdor

(5) Voluntarysurrenderduetocircumstancesmoreadvantageoustohimand
hisfamily.


ThecaseofGarchitorenav.PanganibanwhichtheTanHeirsinvokedtojustifythe
extinguishment of leasehold relation does not appear on page 339 of Volume 8 of the
SupremeCourtReportsAnnotated.WhatisprintedonsuchpageisthecaseofRepublicv.
Perez with docket number L16112 and promulgated on 29 June 1963. For making a
wrongcitation,theCourtadmonishesAtty.JesusS.Anonat,counselfortheTanHeirs,to
be more careful when citing jurisprudence. The Court reminds him of his duty not to
[32]
knowinglymisquotethetextofadecisionorauthority lesthebeguiltyofmisleading
theCourt.
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WHEREFORE, the Court DENIES the petition and AFFIRMS the assailed Decision
dated 31 August 2000 of the Court of Appeals in CAG.R. SP No. 48823. The Court
REMANDSthiscasetotheDepartmentofAgrarianReformforthedeterminationofthe
provisionalleaserental.Costsagainstpetitioners.

SOORDERED.

ANTONIOT.CARPIO
AssociateJustice


WECONCUR:




HILARIOG.DAVIDE,JR.
ChiefJustice
Chairman





LEONARDOA.QUISUMBINGCONSUELOYNARESSANTIAGO
AssociateJusticeAssociateJustice




ADOLFOS.AZCUNA
AssociateJustice

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CERTIFICATION


Pursuant to Section 13, Article VIII of the Constitution, it is hereby certified that the
conclusions in the above Decision were reached in consultation before the case was
assignedtothewriteroftheopinionoftheCourtsDivision.



HILARIOG.DAVIDE,JR.
ChiefJustice

[1]
UnderRule45oftheRulesofCourt.
[2]
PennedbyAssociateJusticeRomeoA.Brawner,withAssociateJusticesQuirinoD.AbadSantos,Jr.andAndresB.Reyes,
Jr.concurring.
[3]
AlsospelledasRomelintheRecords.
[4]
Rollo,p.8.
[5]
Ibid.
[6]
Ibid.ThecomplaintwasdocketedasDCNX(07)666.
[7]
Ibid.
[8]
Ibid.
[9]
Ibid.
[10]
UnderArticle3151(b)oftheRevisedPenalCode.
[11]
Rollo,pp.89.
[12]
Ibid.,p.9.ThecasewasdocketedasDARABCaseNo.X(07)821.
[13]
ThroughRegionalAdjudicatorJimmyV.Tapangan.
[14]
Rollo,pp.7071.
[15]
Ibid., p. 77. The decision was penned by DAR Assistant Secretary Lorenzo R. Reyes as ViceChairman, with
UndersecretariesArtemioA.Adasa,Jr.andVictorGerardoJ.Bulatao,AssistantSecretariesAugustoP.Quijano,SergioB.
Serrano,andCliffordC.BurkleyasMembers,concurring.SecretaryErnestoD.GarilaoasDARABChairmandidnottake
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part.
[16]
111Phil.737(1961).
[17]
Rollo,p.12.
[18]
Ibid.,p.13.
[19]
Ibid.
[20]
Ibid.,pp.124125.
[21]
RA6389amendedRA3844andchangedthistitletoCodeofAgrarianReformsofthePhilippines.
[22]
Monv.CourtofAppeals,G.R.No.118292,14April2004,427SCRA165.
[23]
Section4ofRA3844asamendedbyRA6389provides:

SEC. 4. Automatic Conversion to Agricultural Leasehold.Agricultural share tenancy throughout the country, as herein
defined, is hereby declared contrary to public policy and shall be automatically converted to agricultural leasehold
upontheeffectivityofthissection.

SeealsoMonv.CourtofAppeals,supranote22.
[24]
AnActtoGoverntheRelationsBetweenLandholdersandTenantsofAgriculturalLands.
[25]
Monv.CourtofAppeals,supranote22.
[26]
Ibid.
[27]
Ibid.
[28]
Ibid.
[29]
SEC.34.ConsiderationfortheLeaseofRicelandandLandsDevotedtoOtherCrops.Theconsiderationfortheleaseof
riceland and lands devoted to other crops shall not be more than the equivalent of twentyfive per centum of the
averagenormalharvestxxx.(emphasissupplied)


[30]
ThesecondparagraphofSection34ofRA3844asamendedreads:
Intheabsenceofanyagreementbetweenthepartiesastotherental,theCourtofAgrarianRelationsshall
summarilydetermineaprovisionalrentalinpursuanceofexistinglaws,rulesandregulationsandproductionrecords
availableinthedifferentfieldunitsofthedepartment,takingintoaccounttheextentofthedevelopmentofthelandat
thetimeoftheconversionintoleaseholdandtheparticipationofthelesseeinthedevelopmentthereof.This
provisionalrentalshallcontinueinforceandeffectuntilafixedrentalisfinallydetermined.Thecourtshalldetermine
thefixedrentalwithinthirtydaysafterthepetitionissubmittedfordecision.
SeeMonv.CourtofAppeals,supranote22.
[31]
SeeBelmontev.Marin,76Phil.198(1946),wheretheCourtruledthatthelesseewasnotindefault,andthuscouldnotbe
ejectedforfailuretopayarentalamountthatexceededwhathadbeenagreeduponbythelesseeandlessor.
[32]
Rule10.02oftheCodeofProfessionalResponsibilityprovides:

Rule10.02.Alawyershallnotknowinglymisquoteormisrepresentthecontentsofapaper,thelanguageortheargument
ofopposingcounsel,orthetextofadecisionorauthority,orknowinglyciteasalawaprovisionalreadyrendered
inoperativebyrepealoramendment,orassertasafactthatwhichhasnotbeenproved.

SeeInsularLifeAssuranceCo.,Ltd.EmployeesAssociation NATU,etal.v.InsularLifeAssuranceCo.,Ltd.,etal.,147Phil.
194(1971).


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