Concha vs. Rubio
617 SCRA 22 ,
G.R. No. 162446
March 29, 2010
The controversy involves the determination of who between petitioners and respondents are qualified to become beneficiaries over a portion of land registered in the name of Lilia E. Gala, Luisita E. Gala and Teresita E. Gala, respectively, with an aggregate area of 33.5006 hectares, more or less.
PARAD dismissed the case, ruling that it had no authority to rule on the selection of farmer-beneficiaries, as the same was a purely administrative matter under the jurisdiction of the DAR.
DARAB set aside PARAD decision.
CA reversed and set aside DARAB decision.
Respondents then filed a Motion for Reconsideration, which the CA granted, reinstating DARAB decision.
Whether or not the DARAB is clothed with jurisdiction to resolve the issueinvolving the identification and selection of qualified farmer-beneficiaries of a land covered by the CARP
No. In Lercana v. Jalandoni, this Court was categorical in ruling that the identification and selection of CARP beneficiaries are matters involving strictly the administrative implementation ofthe CARP, a matter exclusively cognizable by the Secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform, and beyond the jurisdiction of the DARAB.
The finding of the MARO declaring petitioners as beneficiaries of the land in dispute must, therefore, be accorded respect. It should also be equally binding on the DARAB for the simple reason that the latter has no appellate jurisdiction over the former: The DARAB cannot review, much less reverse, the administrative findings of DAR. Instead, the DARAB would do well to defer to DAR’s expertise when it comes to the identification and selection of beneficiaries, as it did in Lercana where this Court noted with approval that, in the dispositive portion of its decision, left to the concerned DAR Offices the determination of who were or should be agrarian reform beneficiaries. In fact, this course of action available to the DARAB is now embodied in Rule II of its 2003 Rules of Procedure, thus:
Section 5. Referral to Office of the Secretary (OSEC). − In the event that a case filed before the Adjudicator shall necessitate the determination of a prejudicial issue involving an agrarian law implementation case, the Adjudicator shall suspend the case and, for purposes of expediency, refer the same to the Office of the Secretary or his authorized representative in the locality .