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ASSOCIATION OF SMALL LANDOWNERS IN PHILIPPINES v. SECRETARY OF AGRARIAN REFORM

This case has been cited 31 times or more.

2015-12-09
JARDELEZA, J.
We are aware of the rule requiring full payment of just compensation prior to the issuance of an emancipation patent. Such was the consistent pronouncement of this Court in Association of Small Landowners in the Philippines, Inc. v. Secretary of Agrarian Reform[65] Paris v. Alfeche,[66] Coruña v. Cinamin[67] and Reyes v. Barrios,[68] among others. The foregoing cases, however, do not involve voluntary land transactions similar to the arrangement chosen by the parties in this case. For this reason, we find that the rule requiring prior complete payment does not find application here.
2012-04-24
VELASCO JR., J.
As aforequoted, there is collective ownership as long as there is a concerted group work by the farmers on the land, regardless of whether the landowner is a cooperative, association or corporation composed of farmers. However, this definition of collective ownership should be read in light of the clear policy of the law on agrarian reform, which is to emancipate the tiller from the bondage of the soil and empower the common people. Worth noting too is its noble goal of rectifying "the acute imbalance in the distribution of this precious resource among our people."[25] Accordingly, HLI's insistent view that control need not be in the hands of the farmers translates to allowing it to run roughshod against the very reason for the enactment of agrarian reform laws and leave the farmers in their shackles with sheer lip service to look forward to.
2012-04-24
VELASCO JR., J.
HLI contends that since the SDP is a modality which the agrarian reform law gives the landowner as alternative to compulsory coverage, then the FWBs cannot be considered as owners and possessors of the agricultural lands of Hacienda Luisita at the time the SDP was approved by PARC.[4] It further claims that the approval of the SDP is not akin to a Notice of Coverage in compulsory coverage situations because stock distribution option and compulsory acquisition are two (2) different modalities with independent and separate rules and mechanisms.  Concomitantly, HLI maintains that the Notice of Coverage issued on January 2, 2006 may, at the very least, be considered as the date of "taking" as this was the only time that the agricultural lands of Hacienda Luisita were placed under compulsory acquisition in view of its failure to perform certain obligations under the SDP.[5]
2011-11-22
VELASCO JR., J.
Nonetheless, the minority is of the persistent view that the applicability of the operative fact doctrine should be limited to statutes and rules and regulations issued by the executive department that are accorded the same status as that of a statute or those which are quasi-legislative in nature. Thus, the minority concludes that the phrase "executive act" used in the case of De Agbayani v. Philippine National Bank[11] refers only to acts, orders, and rules and regulations that have the force and effect of law. The minority also made mention of the Concurring Opinion of Justice Enrique Fernando in Municipality of Malabang v. Benito,[12] where it was supposedly made explicit that the operative fact doctrine applies to executive acts, which are ultimately quasi-legislative in nature.
2011-06-08
VELASCO JR., J.
It should be clarified that even if under PD 27, tenant-farmers are "deemed owners" as of October 21, 1972, this is not to be construed as automatically vesting upon these tenant-farmers absolute ownership over the land they were tilling. Certain requirements must also be complied with, such as payment of just compensation, before full ownership is vested upon the tenant-farmers. This was elucidated by the Court in Association of Small Landowners in the Philippines, Inc. v. Sec. of Agrarian Reform:[53]
2011-02-09
VELASCO JR., J.
Clinging to Fery, specifically the fee simple concept underpinning it, is no longer compelling, considering the ensuing inequity such application entails. Too, the Court resolved Fery not under the cover of any of the Philippine Constitutions, each decreeing that private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation. The twin elements of just compensation and public purpose are, by themselves, direct limitations to the exercise of eminent domain, arguing, in a way, against the notion of fee simple title. The fee does not vest until payment of just compensation.[40]
2010-12-07
MENDOZA, J.
1] E.O. No. 1 does not arrogate the powers of Congress to create a public office because the President's executive power and power of control necessarily include the inherent power to conduct investigations to ensure that laws are faithfully executed and that, in any event, the Constitution, Revised Administrative Code of 1987 (E.O. No. 292), [15] Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 1416[16] (as amended by P.D. No. 1772), R.A. No. 9970,[17] and settled jurisprudence that authorize the President to create or form such bodies.
2010-09-20
CARPIO MORALES, J.
In Association of Small Landowners in the Philippines, Inc. v. Secretary of Agrarian Reform,[19] the Court held that landowners who have not yet exercised their retention rights under P.D. No. 27 are entitled to "new retention rights provided for by R.A. No. 6657 . . ."[20]  In Heirs of Aurelio Reyes v. Garilao, however, the Court held that the limitations under LOI No. 474 still apply to a landowner who filed an application under R.A. 6657.
2010-04-30
CARPIO, J.
In fact, RA 6657 does not make DAR's valuation absolutely binding as the amount payable by LBP. A reading of Section 18 of RA 6657 shows that the courts, and not the DAR, make the final determination of just compensation.[53] It is well-settled that the DAR's land valuation is only preliminary and is not, by any means, final and conclusive upon the landowner or any other interested party. The courts will still have the right to review with finality the determination in the exercise of what is admittedly a judicial function.[54]
2009-12-14
DE LEON, JR., J.
A political question is a question of policy, which is to be decided by the people in their sovereign capacity or by the legislative or the executive branch of the government to which full discretionary authority has been delegated.[57]
2009-11-25
PERALTA, J.
LOI No. 474, thus, amended PD No. 27 by removing "any right of retention from persons who own other agricultural lands of more than 7 hectares, or lands used for residential, commercial, industrial or other purposes from which they derive adequate income to support themselves and their families."[28]
2009-04-07
PERALTA, J.
In Association of Small Landowners in the Philippines, Inc. v. Secretary of Agrarian Reform,[36] the Court held that it is a recognized rule that title to the property expropriated shall pass from the owner to the expropriator only upon full payment of just compensation. The Court further held that:It is true that P.D. No. 27 expressly ordered the emancipation of tenant-farmer as [of] October 21, 1972 and declared that he shall "be deemed the owner" of a portion of land consisting of a family-sized farm except that "no title to the land owned by him was to be actually issued to him unless and until he had become a full-fledged member of a duly recognized farmer's cooperative." It was understood, however, that full payment of just compensation also had to be made first, conformably to the constitutional requirement.
2009-03-24
AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, J.
There are three levels of scrutiny at which the Court reviews the constitutionality of a classification embodied in a law: a) the deferential or rational basis scrutiny in which the challenged classification needs only be shown to be rationally related to serving a legitimate state interest;[67] b) the middle-tier or intermediate scrutiny in which the government must show that the challenged classification serves an important state interest and that the classification is at least substantially related to serving that interest;[68] and c) strict judicial scrutiny[69] in which a legislative classification which impermissibly interferes with the exercise of a fundamental right[70] or operates to the peculiar disadvantage of a suspect class[71] is presumed unconstitutional, and the burden is upon the government to prove that the classification is necessary to achieve a compelling state interest and that it is the least restrictive means to protect such interest.[72]
2009-03-13
The Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program was undertaken primarily for the benefit of our landless farmers. However, the undertaking should not result in the oppression of landowners by pegging the cheapest value for their lands. Indeed, the taking of properties for agrarian reform purposes is a revolutionary kind of expropriation,[56] but not at the undue expense of landowners who are also entitled to protection under the Constitution and agrarian reform laws.[57] Verily, to pay respondent only P10,000.00 per hectare for his land today, after he was deprived of it since 1994, would be unjust and inequitable.
2008-11-27
REYES, R.T., J.
Petitioner is mistaken. The 1987 Constitution, specifically Article XIII on Social Justice and Human Rights, mandates the State's adoption of an agrarian reform program for the benefit of the common people.[39] The recognition of the need for genuine land reform, however, started earlier. PD No. 27, issued on October 21, 1972, more than a decade before the enactment of the 1987 Constitution, provided for the compulsory acquisition of private lands for distribution among tenant-farmers and specified the maximum retention limits for landowners.[40]
2007-12-21
VELASCO JR., J.
As Association of Small Landowners in the Philippines, Inc. v. Secretary of Agrarian Reform[16] recognized the revolutionary character of the expropriation under the agrarian reform law, we follow such lofty ideal for the resolution of this case.  This grand purpose under the CARL must not be hindered by the simple expedient of appending conditions to a donation of land, or by donating land to a church.  This is not to cast aspersions on religious organizations, but it is not fitting for them to be used as vehicles for keeping land out of the hands of the landless.  The law is indubitably in line with the charitable ideals of religious organizations to ensure that the land they own falls into the hands of able caretakers and owners.  As a religious leader, Archbishop can take solace in the fact that his lands are going to be awarded to those who need and can utilize them to the fullest.
2007-10-19
CHICO-NAZARIO, J.
Having been declared as an agricultural tenant on the subject fishpond, the petitioner, on 15 March 1991, filed before the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (PARAD) Region IV a Petition for the fixing of the leasehold rentals for his use of the subject fishpond at P30,000.00 per annum, docketed as DARAB Case No. IV-QI-0175-91.  It was alleged therein by the petitioner that under Section 12 of Republic Act No. 6657[12] and Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Administrative Order No. 4, Series of 1989, he had the option to convert his status as share-crop tenant into an agricultural lessee by paying a fixed lease rental on the fishpond.  He further claimed that the respondents posited no objection to the amount of P30,000.00 as a yearly lease rental.  Yet, in an Answer filed by the respondents, they insisted that fishponds, like the subject matter of this case, were not yet within the purview of the law on leasehold.  They likewise refuted the fact that they agreed to fix the lease rental at P30,000.00 per annum.  Although they admitted that the petitioner was indeed declared as an agricultural tenant of the fishpond, they, however, argued that the petitioner should already be ejected therefrom for his failure to pay the rent. 
2007-03-30
CALLEJO, SR., J.
The petitioners next assail the Court's Decision in Association of Small Landowners in the Philippines, Inc. v. Secretary of Agrarian Reform[18] which affirmed the constitutionality of RA 6657. They describe the Decision as a "riddle wrapped in an enigma." They refer to pronouncements made therein that are allegedly inconsistent with its conclusion, i.e., affirming the validity of RA 6657, including paragraphs (d), (e) and (f) of Section 16. For example, while the Decision, citing EPZA, pronounced that "[t]o be sure, the determination of just compensation is a function addressed to the courts of justice and may not be usurped by any other branch or official of the government"[19] and that "the determination made by the DAR is only preliminary unless accepted by all parties concerned,"[20] these pronouncements are allegedly irreconcilable with paragraphs (d) and (e) which allow the DAR, through summary administrative proceeding, "to take immediate possession of the land" and cause "the cancellation of the certificate of title of the landowner."
2007-02-06
CHICO-NAZARIO, J.
But for all its primacy and urgency, the power of expropriation is by no means absolute (as indeed no power is absolute).  The limitation is found in the constitutional injunction that "private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation" and in the abundant jurisprudence that has evolved from the interpretation of this principle.  Basically, the requirements for a proper exercise of the power are:  (1) public use and (2) just compensation.[68] (Emphases supplied.) Section 57 of Republic Act No. 6657 (Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law) provides:SEC. 57.  Special Jurisdiction. - The Special Agrarian Courts shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction over all petitions for the determination of just compensation to landowners, and the prosecution of all criminal offenses under this Act.  The Rules of Court shall apply to all proceedings before the Special Agrarian Courts, unless modified by this Act.
2007-02-06
GARCIA, J.
The expropriation proceedings in this case having been initiated by NPC on November 20, 1990, property values on such month and year should lay the basis for the proper determination of just compensation. In Association of Small Landowners in the Philippines, Inc. v. Secretary of Agrarian Reform,[13] the Court ruled that the equivalent to be rendered for the property to be taken shall be substantial, full, ample and, as must apply to this case, real. This must be taken to mean, among others, that the value as of the time of taking should be the price to be paid the property owner.
2006-11-20
YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.
Our ruling in Association of Small Landowners in the Philippines, Inc. v. Secretary of Agrarian Reform[29] is instructive, thus:It is true that P.D. No. 27 expressly ordered the emancipation of tenant-farmer as October 21, 1972 and declared that he shall "be deemed the owner" of a portion of land consisting of a family-sized farm except that "no title to the land owned by him was to be actually issued to him unless and until he had become a full-fledged member of a duly recognized farmer's cooperative." It was understood, however, that full payment of the just compensation also had to be made first, conformably to the constitutional requirement.
2006-02-28
CHICO-NAZARIO, J.
Although, under the law, tenant farmers are already deemed owners of the land they till, they are still required to pay the cost of the land, including interest, within fifteen years before the title is transferred to them. Thus, the Court held in Association of Small Landowners in the Philippines v. Secretary of Agrarian Reform:[40]
2005-12-19
TINGA, J.
The recognized rule is that title to the property expropriated shall pass from the owner to the expropriator only upon full payment of the just compensation. Jurisprudence on this settled principle is consistent both here and in other democratic jurisdictions. In Association of Small Landowners in the Philippines, Inc. et al., vs. Secretary of Agrarian Reform[61], thus: "Title to property which is the subject of condemnation proceedings does not vest the condemnor until the judgment fixing just compensation is entered and paid, but the condemnor's title relates back to the date on which the petition under the Eminent Domain Act, or the commissioner's report under the Local Improvement Act, is filed.
2005-12-19
TINGA, J.
Citing the case of Association of Small Landowners in the Phils., Inc. v. Secretary of Agrarian Reform,[108] PIATCO contends that title to the property expropriated can only cede from the owner to the expropriator only upon full payment of just compensation. The citation is incomplete, however. We actually held that:(T)he right to enter on and use the property is complete, as soon as the property is actually appropriated under the authority of law for a public use, but (the) title does not pass from the owner without his consent, until just compensation has been made to him.[109] (emphasis supplied) True, title remains with the owner until just compensation is fully paid. This is only proper to protect the rights of the property owner. But that is not the point here. The issue is whether or not the expropriating authority has the right to enter and use the property even prior to full payment.[110] In other words, can the property be taken and used even before full payment of just compensation? Yes. Full payment of just compensation, though a condition precedent for the transfer of title or ownership, is not a condition precedent for the taking of the property. As discussed earlier, an important element of taking is that the owner's right to possess and exploit the land (in other words, his beneficial ownership of it) is transferred to and thenceforth exercised by the expropriator.
2005-12-14
TINGA, J.
On the other hand, the property in question was indeed made subject of expropriation proceedings in the Commonwealth case.  However, the CFI in said case made no mention of the award of the land subject thereof in favor of the government.  The CFI merely fixed the valuation of the lots involved for the purpose of payment of just compensation by the government.  Until the government has paid for the value of the lots, ownership shall remain with the respective landowners.[34]  In Republic v. Lim, we reiterated the rule that title to the property expropriated shall pass from the owner to the expropriator only upon full payment of just compensation.[35]
2005-06-29
SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ, J.
Ironically, in opposing respondent's claim, the Republic is invoking this Court's Decision in Valdehueza, a Decision it utterly defied.  How could the Republic acquire ownership over Lot 932 when it has not paid its owner the just compensation, required by law, for more than 50 years?  The recognized rule is that title to the property expropriated shall pass from the owner to the expropriator only upon full payment of the just compensation. Jurisprudence on this settled principle is consistent both here and in other democratic jurisdictions. In Association of Small Landowners in the Philippines, Inc. et al., vs. Secretary of Agrarian Reform,[13] thus:"Title to property which is the subject of condemnation proceedings does not vest the condemnor until the judgment fixing just compensation is entered and paid, but the condemnor's title relates back to the date on which the petition under the Eminent Domain Act, or the commissioner's report under the Local Improvement Act, is filed.
2005-05-16
TINGA, J.
It would certainly be inequitable to determine just compensation based on the guideline provided by PD 27 and EO 228 considering the DAR's failure to determine the just compensation for a considerable length of time. That just compensation should be determined in accordance with RA 6657, and not PD 27 or EO 228, is especially imperative considering that just compensation should be the full and fair equivalent of the property taken from its owner by the expropriator, the equivalent being real, substantial, full and ample.[24]
2004-03-23
TINGA, J.
imposed.[21] It follows that the existence of a valid and substantial distinction justifies divergent treatment. It should be mentioned that Dimaporo does not question the HRET Rules but only the Tribunal's exercise or implementation thereof as manifested in the questioned Resolutions. According to him, since the ballot boxes subject of his petition and that of Mangotara were