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Case Digest: Land Bank of the Philippines vs Heirs of Eleuterio Cruz, 567 SCRA 31 ,G.R. No. 175175, September 29, 2008
Land Bank of the Philippines vs. Heirs of Eleuterio Cruz
567 SCRA 31 ,
G.R. No. 175175
September 29, 2008
Respondent Heirs of Eleuterio Cruz are Anicia Cruz-Papa, Resurreccion Cruz-Pagcaliwagan, Antonio D. Cruz, Lourdes Cruz-Doma, Lorna Cruz-Felipe, Mamerto D. Cruz, Eduardo D. Cruz and Victoria Cruz-Dumlao. Eleuterio Cruz is the registered owner of an unirrigated riceland situated in Lakambini, Tuao, Cagayan of which 13.5550 hectares was placed by the government under the coverage of the operation land transfer program under Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 27.Petitioner pegged the value of the acquired landholding at P106,935.76 based on the guidelines set forth under P.D. No. 277 and Executive Order (E.O.) No. 228.
Respondents rejected petitioner’s valuation and instituted an action for a summary proceeding for the preliminary determination of just compensation before the PARAD.
A perusal of the PARAD's Decision dated 23 November 1999, which mandated payment of just compensation in the amount of P80,000.00 per hectare, reveals that the PARAD did not adhere to the formula prescribed in any of the aforementioned regulations issued by the DAR or was at least silent on the applicability of the aforementioned DAR regulations to the question of just compensation. The PARAD decision also did not refer to any evidence in support of its finding.
The SAC, meanwhile, referred to DAR A.O. No. 6, series of 1992, as amended, as the controlling guideline in fixing just compensation. Pertinently, to obtain the land value, the formula under said regulation requires that the values for the Capitalized Net Income, Comparable Sales and Market Value based on the tax declaration must be shown. Moreover, said formula has been superseded by DAR A.O. No. 05, series of 1998, which also requires values for Capitalized Net Income,Comparable Sales and Market Value, the same parameters laid down in the prior regulation.
Stating that no evidence was presented by respondents on the aforementioned parameters, the SAC ruled that it was constrained to adopt the finding of the PARAD, which fixed the value of the land at P80,000.00 per hectare. On appeal, the CA adopted the same finding.
Whether or not the PARAD, in this case, gravely abused its discretion when it issued a writ of execution despite the pendency of LBP's petition for fixing of just compensation with the SAC
No. Finally and most importantly, we find petitioner not entitled to the grant of a writ of certiorari by the appellate court because the Office of the PARAD did not gravely abuse its discretion when it undertook to execute the September 4, 2002 decision. Rule XIII, Section 11 of the DARAB Rules of Procedure, which was then applicable, provides that:
Section 11. Land Valuation and Preliminary Determination and Payment of Just Compensation. - The decision of the Adjudicator on land valuation and preliminary determination and payment of just compensation shall not be appealable to the Board but shall be brought directly to the Regional Trial Courts designated as Special Agrarian Courts within fifteen(15) days from receipt of the notice thereof. Any party shall be entitled to only one motion for reconsideration.
In Philippine Veterans Bank v. Court of Appeals and in Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board v. Lubrica, we explained the consequence of the said rule to the effect that the adjudicator's decision on land valuation attains finality after the lapse of the 15-day period. Considering therefore that, in this case, LBP's petition with the SAC for the fixing of just compensation was filed 26 days after its receipt of the PARAD's decision, or eleven days beyond the reglementary period, the latter had already attained finality. The PARAD could very well issue the writ of execution.
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