Gabriel v. Pangilinan
G.R. No. L-27797, Aug. 26 1987, 58 SCRA 590 (1974)
The plaintiff seeks to eject the defendant from the fishpond described in the complaint which is under lease to the said defendant, who, however, refuses to vacate. Instead, he has impugned the jurisdiction of this Court contending that the action should have been filed with the Court of Agrarian Relations, which has original and exclusive jurisdiction, as their relationship is one of leasehold tenancy.
After the motion to dismiss was denied on the basis of the allegations of the complaint, the parties were ordered to adduce evidence for the purpose of determining which Court shall take cognizance of the case.
It appears that the fishpond is presently in the possession of the defendant, who originally leased it from the father of the plaintiff. Upon the death of the said father, the fishpond was inherited by the plaintiff. It is now covered by T.C.T. No. 1634 and is registered in her name. It contains an area of 169,507.00 square meters. The rental is on a yearly basis.
It also appears that the defendant has ceased to work personally with the aid of helpers the aforecited fishpond since 1956 he became ill and incapacitated. His daughter, Pilar Pangilinan, took over. She testified that she helps her father in administering the leased property, conveying his instructions to the workers, Urbano Maninang, Isidro Bernal and Marciano Maninang. The names of Ire, Juan and Aguedo Viada have been mentioned as the laborers who were paid for the repair of the dikes. Bernardo Cayanan, a nephew of the defendant, acts as the watcher. He has lived separately since he got married. Excepting Pilar Pangilinan. who is residing near the fishpond, the other children of the defendant are all professions; a lawyer, an engineer, and a priest all residing in Manila. None of these persons has been seen working on the fishpond.
Court of First Instance of Pampanga concluded that no tenancy relationship exists between the plaintiff and the defendant as defined by Republic Act No. 1199, as amended. A reconsideration by the defendant having been denied, he appealed to the CA.CA certified appeal from CFI decision to the SC for the reason that the jurisdiction of an inferior court is involved.
Whether or not the relationship between the appellee and appellant is a leasehold tenancy and not a civil law lease.
No. There are important differences between a leasehold tenancy and a civil law lease. The subject matter of leasehold tenancy is limited to agricultural land; that of civil law lease may be either rural or urban property. As to attention and cultivation, the law requires the leasehold tenant to personally attend to, and cultivate the agricultural land, whereas the civil law lessee need not personally cultivate or work the thing leased. As to purpose, the landholding in leasehold tenancy is devoted to agriculture, whereas in civil law lease, the purpose may be for any other lawful pursuits. As to the law that governs, the civil law lease is governed by the Civil Code, whereas leasehold tenancy is governed by special laws.
[Six requisites of tenancy relationship enumerated]
The law is explicit in requiring the tenant and his immediate family to work the land. Thus Section 5 (a) of Republic Act No. 1199, as amended, defines a "tenant" as a person who, himself and with the aid available from within his immediate farm household, cultivates the land belonging to, or possessed by, another, with the latter's consent for purposes of production sharing the produce with the landholder under the share tenancy system, or paying to the landholder a price certain in produce or in money or both, under the leasehold tenancy system. Section 8 of the same Act limits the relation of landholder and tenant to the person who furnishes the land and to the person who actually works the land himself with the aid of labor available from within his immediate farm household. Finally, Section 4 of the same Act requires for the existence of leasehold tenancy that the tenant and his immediate farm household work the land.
A person, in order to be considered a tenant, must himself and with the aid available from his immediate farm household cultivate the land. Persons, therefore, who do not actually work the land cannot be considered tenants; and he who hires others whom he pays for doing the cultivation of the land, ceases to hold, and is considered as having abandoned the land as tenant within the meaning of sections 5 and 8 of Republic Act. No. 1199, and ceases to enjoy the status, rights, and privileges of one.