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FLORENCIA PARIS, petitioner, vs. DIONISIO A. ALFECHE (retention case ) PANGANIBAN, J.: Homesteads are not exempt from the operation of the Land Reform Law. The right to retain seven hectares of land is subject to the condition that the landowner is actually cultivating that area or will cultivate it upon the effectivity of the said law. The Case The Petition for Review before us assails the June 4, 1999 Decision of the Court of Appeals[1] (CA), in CA-GR SP No. 45738, which affirmed the ruling of the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB). The decretal portion of the CA Decision reads: "WHEREFORE, [there being] no grave abuse of discretion x x x committed by DARAB, the instant petition is hereby DENIED DUE COURSE and DISMISSED. Costs against the petitioner."[2] The Decision of the DARAB, which was affirmed by the CA, had disposed as follows: "WHEREFORE, premises considered, the assailed Decision dated March 19, 1992 is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE, and a new one is entered: 1. Declaring the private respondents to be full owners of the land they till pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 27 and Executive Order No. 228; 2. Declaring the validity of the Emancipation Patents issued to private respondents; and 3. Dismissing the case."[3] The Facts The Court of Appeals narrates the facts thus: "Petitioner is the registered owner of a parcel of land situated at Paitan, Quezon, Bukidnon with an area of 10.6146 hectares, more or less, covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-8275 and another property with an area of 13.2614 hectares covered by Original Certificate of Title No. P-4985, also located at Paitan, Quezon , Bukidnon ; the said parcels are fully tenanted by private respondents herein who are recipients of Emancipation Patents in their names pursuant to Operation Land Transfer under P.D. 27 (Annexes 'A', A- 1' to A-18) notwithstanding the fact that neither the tenants nor the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) [has] paid a single centavo for the said land. Petitioner and the tenants have not signed any Land Transfer Production Agreement. Petitioner and her children have been deprived of their property without due process of law and without just compensation , especially so that the tenants have already stopped paying rentals as of December 1988 to the damage and prejudice of petitioner. " Petitioner contends that since she is entitled to a retention of seven (7) hectares under P.D. 27 and/or 5 hectares and 3 hectares each for her children under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law ( CARL ), the tenants are not supposed to acquire the subject land and the Emancipation Patents precipitately issued to them are null and void for being contrary to law . Petitioner further alleged that she owns the subject property covered by OCT No. P-4985 as original homestead grantee who still owned the same when Republic Act No. 6657 was approved, thus she is entitled to retain the area to the exclusion of her tenants. As regards TCT No. 8275, petitioner has applied for retention of 7 hectares per Letter of Retention attached as Annex 'B', that
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  • Fall '19
  • Homestead Act, Supreme Court of the United States, Emancipation Patents

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