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Case Digest: Heirs of the Late Herman Rey Santos vs Court of Appeals 327 SCRA 293 ,G.R. No. 109992, March 07, 2000
Heirs of the Late Herman Rey Santos vs Court of Appeals 327 SCRA 293 ,
G.R. No. 109992
March 07, 2000
The subject of the controversy is a parcel of land in Parulan, Plaridel, Bulacan which was levied on execution by the Municipal Trial Court of Plaridel, Bulacan on October 24, 1989. In accordance with said levy on execution, the subject land was sold at public auction on September 20, 1990 with Herman Rey Santos, now substituted by his heirs represented by his widow Arsenia Garcia Vda. de Santos, as the sole bidder for P34,532.50.
Santos registered the Deed of Sale with the Register of Deeds of Bulacan on October 15, 1990, after private respondent Exequiel Garcia failed to exercise his right of redemption within the reglementary period.
On April 1, 1992, private respondent filed a Petition for Injunction and Damages with an application for the issuance of a preliminary injunction with the DARAB, praying that petitioner be enjoined from preventing private respondent from gathering the mango fruits lest they "over-mature and become useless."
The Provincial Adjudicator Erasmo SP. Cruz of the DARAB issued an order on April 3, 1992, allowing the gathering of the mango fruits and directing that the proceeds thereof be deposited with the Adjudication Board.
Subsequently, on April 27, 1992, private respondent filed a Petition for Consignation before the Regional Trial Court of Bulacan, in an apparent attempt to redeem his land. This petition was dismissed.
Meanwhile, one Pantaleon Antonio filed on May 18, 1992 a motion to intervene with the DARAB claiming that "he is affected in his rights and interests as the party who tended and had the mango trees bear fruits this season."
On May 7, 1992, private respondent filed a complaint for Annulment/Cancellation of Sale and Document, Redemption with Damages and Preliminary Writ of Injunction against Herman Rey Santos, the Deputy Sheriff of Bulacan and the Register of Deeds of Bulacan. Thereafter, on July 1, 1992, the Adjudication Board suspended the hearing on Pantaleon Antonio’s motion for intervention pending the resolution of the ownership issue raised in the above-mentioned complaint.
On July 8, 1992, intervenor Pantaleon Antonio filed with the DARAB a Motion to Withdraw Intervenor’s deposited share. The motion was granted and intervenor Pantaleon Antonio was allowed to withdraw P87,300.00 out of P 174,600.00 harvest proceeds in an Order dated November 18, 1992. Corollarily, the DARAB recognized Pantaleon Antonio as the duly constituted agricultural tenant of the subject land.
Court of Appeals affirmed the April 3, 1992 Order of the DARAB ordering the gathering of the mango fruits and depositing with the Board the proceeds thereof, and the November 18, 1992 Order allowing the withdrawal of intervenor’s share in the proceeds and recognizing him as the duly constituted agricultural tenant.
Whether or not CA erred in ruling that PARAD has jurisdiction over the ancillary matter/s raised by intervenor in DARAB Case No. 369-BUL ‘92.
No. In the case of Morta v. Occidental, Et Al., this Court held:
For DARAB to have jurisdiction over a case, there must exist a tenancy relationship between the parties.
Petitioners and private respondent have no tenurial, leasehold, or any agrarian relations whatsoever that could have brought this controversy under the ambit of the agrarian reform laws. Consequently, the DARAB has no jurisdiction over the controversy and should not have taken cognizance of private respondent’s petition for injunction in the first place.
("Agrarian dispute" is defined under Section 3(d) of Republic Act No. 6657 (CARP Law), see definition in Isidro vs. CA)
Clearly, no agrarian dispute is involved in this case. In fact, both are contending parties for the ownership of the subject property.
Significantly, DARAB admitted that the issue before the Regional Trial Court was one of ownership.
The issue of who can harvest the mangoes and when they can be harvested is an incident ancillary to the main petition for injunction. As such, it is dependent on the main case. Inasmuch as the DARAB has no jurisdiction to hear and decide the controversy between the parties, necessarily, the motion for intervention loses the leg on which it can stand. This issue, after all, can be resolved by the trial court, which has the jurisdiction to order the gathering of the mango fruits and depositing the proceeds with it, considering that an action has already been filed before it on the specific issue of ownership.