Cabral vs. Court of Appeals
G.R. No. 101974
July 12, 2001
361 SCRA 122
On January 16, 1990, petitioner Victoria Cabral filed a petition before the Barangay Agrarian Reform Council (BARC) for the cancellation of the Emancipation Patents and Torrens Titles issued in favor of private respondents. The patents and titles covered portions of the property owned and registered in the name of petitioner.
Petitioner alleged therein that she was the registered owner of several parcels of land covered by Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. 0-1670 of the Registry of Deeds of Bulacan, among which is a parcel of land described therein as Lot 4 of Plan Psu-164390. The petition further averred that as early as July 1973, petitioner applied with the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) for the reclassification or conversion of the land for residential, commercial or industrial purposes. The application for conversion, however, was not acted upon. Instead, on April 25, 1988, Emancipation Patents, and, thereafter, Transfer Certificates of Title, were issued in favor of private respondents.
On January 19, 1990, petitioner filed with the DAR itself another petition for the cancellation of the same Emancipation Patents and Torrens Titles.
On February 11, 1990, Regional Director Eligio Pacis issued an order dismissing the petition for cancellation of Emancipation Patents. The Regional Director likewise denied petitioner’s motion for reconsideration dated July 11, 1990.
Consequently, petitioner filed a petition for certiorari in the Court of Appeals questioning the jurisdiction of the Regional Director and claiming denial of due process. On January 8, 1991, the appellate court dismissed the petition for lack of merit. Petitioner’s motion for reconsideration was likewise denied.
Whether or not the DAR Regional Director of Region III acted with jurisdiction when it took cognizance of and resolved the conversion application and/or cancellation of CLT/EP petition of petitioner-appellant.
No. Whatever jurisdiction the Regional Director may have had over the cancellation of emancipation patents, it lost with the passage of subsequent laws. And it is amply clear from these provisions that the function of the Regional Office concerns the implementation of agrarian reform laws while that of the DARAB/RARAD/PARAD is the adjudication of agrarian reform cases. The first is essentially executive. It pertains to the enforcement and administration of the laws, carrying them into practical operation and enforcing their due observance. Thus, the Regional Director is primarily tasked with "implementing laws, policies, rules and regulations within the responsibility of the agency," as well as the "agency program in the region."
The second is judicial in nature, involving as it does the determination of rights and obligations of the parties. To aid the DARAB in the exercise of this function, the Rules grant the Board and Adjudicators the powers to issue subpoenas and injunctions, to cite and punish for contempt, and to order the execution of its orders and decision, among other powers. The Rules also contain very specific provisions to ensure the orderly procedure before the DARAB, RARADs and PARADs.
We hold that the DAR Regional Office has no jurisdiction over the subject case.