By: ASEC. Augusto P. Quijano DARAB
1. LEGAL BASIS OF THE DARAB RULES OF PROCEDURE
1.a. Section 49, RA No. 6657:Rules and Regulations-The PARC and the DAR shall have the power to issue rules and regulations whether substantive or procedural, to carry out the objects and purposes of this Act. Said rules shall take effect ten (10) days after publication in two (2) national newspapers of several circulation.
1.b. Section 50, Republic Act No. 6657:Quasi-Judicial Powers of the DARThe DAR is hereby vested with primary jurisdiction to determine and adjudicate agrarian reform matters and shall have exclusive original jurisdiction over all matters involving implementation of agrarian reform, except those falling under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR): XXX
1.c. Section 34, Executive Order No. 129-AImplementing Authority of the Secretary. The Secretary shall issue orders, rules and regulations and other issuances as may be necessary to ensure the effective implementation of the provisions of this Executive Order.
1.d. Section 17, Executive Order No. 229Quasi-Judicial Powers of the DAR. The DAR is hereby vested with quasijudicial powers to determine and adjudicate agrarian reform matters, and shall have exclusive original jurisdiction over all matters involving implementation of agrarian reform, except those falling under the exclusive original jurisdiction of the DENR and DA.
2. Evolution of Jurisdiction on Agrarian CasesRule: The jurisdiction of court is determined by the statute in force at the time of the commencement of an action.
2.a. Section 12. Presidential Decree No. 946 vested the then Court of Agrarian Relations with original exclusive jurisdiction over cases involving rights granted and obligations imposed by presidential issuance promulgated in relation to the agrarian reform program.
2. Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 - Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980. The Courts of Agrarian Relations were integrated into the Regional Trial Courts and the jurisdiction of the former was vested in the latter courts.3. Section 17, Executive Order No. 229 - QuasiJudicial Powers of the DAR. The DAR is hereby vested with quasi-judicial powers to determine and adjudicate agrarian reform matters, and shall have exclusive original jurisdiction over all matters involving implementation of agrarian reform, except those falling under the exclusive jurisdiction of the DENR and the DA. (Note: Sec 50, RA 6657 substantially reiterates Section 17, EO 229 while Sections 56 and 57 provide for the designation of at least one branch of the RTC in each province as a Special Agrarian Court. (Tiongson vs. CA, 214 SCRA 197)
3.QUASI-JUDICIAL POWERS OF THE DAR. (DARAB OR OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY, SEC. 50 RA 6657)3.a. Primary Jurisdiction to determine and adjudicate Agrarian Reform Matters: and Exclusive Original Jurisdiction over all matter involving the implementation of agrarian reform; except those falling under the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (Machete vs CA, 250 SCRA 176 (1995) 3.b. DARAB has JURISDICTION over Agrarian Disputes: (Central Mindanao University vs. DARAB, 215 SCRA 96)
3.b.1. Agrarian Dispute refers to any controversy relating to tenurial arrangements, whether leasehold, tenancy, stewardship or otherwise, over lands devoted to agriculture, including disputes concerning farmworkers association or representation of persons in negotiating, fixing, maintaining, changing or seeking to arrange terms or indications of such tenurial arrangements. (Par. D, Sec. 3, RA 6657) (Isidro vs. CA, 228 SCRA 503)
4. DARAB RULES OF PROCEDURE: 4.a. DARAB Revised Rules of Procedure Effectivity February 6, 1989; 4.b.DARAB New Rules of Procedure Effectivity June 22, 1994 4.c.DARAB 2003 Rules of Procedure Effectivity- February 8, 2003
5. CASES UNDER THE PRIMARY AND EXCLUSIVE ORIGINAL JURISDICTION OF THE DARAB Sec. 1, Rule II. 2003 DARAB of Procedure. They are as follows: 5.a. Cases involving rights and obligations of persons, whether natural or juridical, engaged in the management cultivation and use of all agricultural lands (Caballes vs. DAR, 168 SCRA 259 (1988; Oarde vs. CA, 280 SCARA 235 (1997); 5.b.Preliminary administrative determination of just compensation; (Executive Order No. 405.);
5.c.Annulment or cancellation of lease contracts or deeds of sale or their amendments involving lands under the administration and disposition of the DAR or LBP; 5.d.Ejectment and dispossession of tenants/leaseholders: 5.e.Sale, alienation, pre-emption, and redemption of agricultural lands; 5.f.Correction, partition, cancellation, secondary and subsequent issuances of registered CLOAs and EPs; 5.g.Review of leasehold rentals; 5.h.Collection of amortizations on payments for lands awarded under PD No. 27, including payment for residential, commercial and industrial lots within settlement and resettlement areas;
5.i.Annulment or rescission of lease contracts and deeds of sale and the cancellation or amendments of titles of lands under the administration of DAR, homestead patents, free patents, miscellaneous sales patents, to setters in settlement and resettlement areas; 5.j.Boundary disputes; 5.k.Determination of title of agricultural lands where the issue is raised in an agrarian dispute; 5.l.Cases previously falling under the original and exclusive jurisdiction of the defunct Court of Agrarian Relations under Section 12; PD No. 946; 5.m.Such other agrarian cases, disputes, matters or concerns referred to it by the Secretary of DAR.
6. AGRARIAN LAW IMPLEMENTATION CASES Sec. 3. Rules 11, 2003 DARAB Rules of Procedure and Administrative Order No. 6, Series of 2000. These cases are exclusively cognizable and under the exclusive prerogative of the Office of the Secretary of DAR.6.a.Classification and identification of landholdings for coverage under the agrarian reform program and the initial issuance of CLOAs and EPs, including protests or oppositions thereto and petitions for lifting of such coverage; 6.b.Classification, identification, inclusion, exclusion, qualification, or disqualification of potential/actual farmerbeneficiaries;
6.c.Subdivision surveys of land under CARP;6.d.Recall, or cancellation of provisional lease rentals, Certificates of Land Transfers (CLTs) and CARP Beneficiary Certificates (CBCs) in cases outside the purview of Presidential Decree (PD) No. 816, including the issuance, recall, or cancellation of EPs or CLOAs not yet registered with Register of Deeds; 6.e.Exercise of the right of retention by the landowner;
6.f.Application for exemption coverage under Section 10 of RA 6657;
6.g.Application for exemption pursuant to Department of Justice (DOJ) Opinion NO. 44 (1990); 6.h.Exclusion from CARP coverage of agricultural land used for livestock, swine, and poultry raising; 6.i.Cases of exemption/exclusion of fish pond and prawn farms from the coverage of CARP pursuant to RA 7881; 6.j.Issuance of Certificate of exemption for land subject Voluntary Officer to Sell (VOS) and Compulsory Acquisition (CA) found unsuitable for agricultural purposes;
6.k.Application for conversion of agricultural land to residential, commercial, industrial, or other non agricultural uses and purposes including protests or oppositions thereto; 6.l.Determination of the rights of agrarian reform beneficiaries to homelots;
6.m.Disposition of excess area of the tenants/farmer-beneficiarys landholdings;6.n.Increase in area of tillage of a tenant/farmer-beneficiary; 3.o.Conflict of claims in landed estates administered by DAR and its predecessors; or
6.p.Such other agrarian cases, disputes, matters or concerns referred to it by the Secretary of the DAR. 7. SPECIAL AGRARIAN COURT (SAC) The Supreme Court shall designate at least one (1) branch of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) within each province to act as Special Agrarian Court. Section 56 of R.A. No. 6657 confers special jurisdiction on Special Agrarian Courts. These Regional Trial Courts designated as Special Agrarian Courts have, according to Sec. 57 of the same law, original and exclusive jurisdiction over: (a) all petitions for the determination of just compensation to landowners, and (b) the prosecution of all criminal offenses under the Act. (Machete vs. CA, 250 SCRA 176)
7.a.Just Compensation is defined as the full and fair equivalent of the property taken from its owner by the expropriator. It has been repeatedly stressed by this Court, that the measure is not the takers gain but the owners loss. The word just is used to intensify the meaning of the word compensation to convey the idea that the equivalent to be rendered for the property to be taken shall be real, substantial, full and ample. (Association of Small Landowners in the Philippines, Inc. vs. Secretary of Agrarian Reform, 175 SCRA 343 (1989).
7.b. The jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Courts is not any less original and exclusive, because the question is first passed upon by the DAR, as the judicial proceedings are not a continuation of the administrative determination. For the matter, the law may provide that the decision of the DAR is final and unappealable. Nevertheless, resort to courts cannot be foreclosed on the theory that courts are the guarantors of the legality of administrative action (Phil. Veterans Bank vs. Court of Appeals G.R. No. 132767, January 18, 2000).
It is error to think that, because of Rule XIII, Section II, the original and exclusive jurisdiction given to the courts to decide petition for determination of just compensation has already been transformed into an appellate jurisdiction.It only means that, in accordance with settled principle of administrative law, p