Central Mindanao University
G.R. No. 100091, Oct 22, 1992,
215 SCRA 86 (1992)
Central Mindanao University(CMU) is an agricultural university. From its beginning, CMU was the answer to the crying need for training people in order to develop the agricultural potential of the island of Mindanao. Those who planned and established the school had a vision as to the future development of that part of the Philippines.
Then Pres. Carlos Garcia issued Proclamation No. 476, withdrawing from sale or settlement and reserving for the Mindanao Agricultural College, a site which would be the future campus of what is now the CMU.
In the course of the cadastral hearing of the school's petition for registration of the aforementioned grant of agricultural land, several tribes belonging to cultural communities, opposed the petition claiming ownership of certain ancestral lands forming part of the tribal reservations. Some of the claims were granted so that what was titled to the present petitioner school was reduced from 3,401 hectares to 3,080 hectares.
It was 1984, the CMU approved Resolution No. 160, adopting a livelihood program called"Kilusang Sariling Sikap Program" under which the land resources of the school were leased to its faculty and employees. Under this program the faculty and staff combine themselves to groups of five members each, and the CMU provided technical know-how, practical training and all kinds of assistance, to enable each group to cultivate 4 to 5 hectares of land for the lowland rice project. Each group pays the University a service fee and also a land use participant's fee. The contract prohibits participants and their hired workers to establish houses or live in the project area and to use the cultivated land as a collateral for any kind of loan. It was expressly stipulated that no landlord-tenant relationship existed between the CMU and the faculty and/or employees. This particular program was conceived as a multi-disciplinary applied research extension and productivity program to utilize available land, train people in modern agricultural technology and at the same time give the faculty and staff opportunities within the confines of the CMU reservation to earn additional income to augment their salaries.
When Dr. Leonardo Chua became President of the Univertisy in July 1986, he discontinued the Agri-Business Management and Training Project, due to losses incurred while carrying on the said project. Some CMU personnel, among whom were the complainants, were laid-off when this project was discontinued.
Another project was launched o develop unutilized land resources, mobilize and promote the spirit of self-reliance, provide socio-economic and technical training in actual field project implementation and augment the income of the faculty and the staff. This has the same nature as of the Kilusang Sariling Sikap Program with an express provision that there would be no tenant-landlord relationship.
The contract expired. Some were renewed, some were not. The non-renewal of the contracts, the discontinuance of the rice, corn and sugar cane project, the loss of jobs due to termination or separation from the service and the alleged harassment by school authorities, all contributed to, and precipitated the filing of the complaint.
DARAB found that the private respondents were not tenants and cannot therefore be beneficiaries under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). At the same time, the DARAB ordered the segregation of 400 hectares of suitable, compact and contiguous portions of the CMU land and their inclusion in the CARP for distribution to qualified beneficiaries.
Complainants Obrique, et al. claimed that they are tenants of the CMU and/or landless peasants claiming/occupying a part or portion of the CMU.
Whether or not subject land is covered by CARP.
NO. The 400 hectares ordered segregated by the DARAB and affirmed by the Court of Appeals (CA) in its Decision dated August 20, 1990, is not covered by the CARP because:
It is not alienable and disposable land of the public domain. The CMU land reservation is not in excess of specific limits as determined by Congress; It is private land registered and titled in the name of its lawful owner, the Central Mindanao University; and, It is exempt from coverage under Section 10 of R.A. 6657 because the lands are actually, directly and exclusively used and found to be necessary for school site and campus, including experimental farm stations for educational purposes, and for establishing seed and seedling research and pilot production centers