Original, exclusive jurisdiction over petitions to determine just compensation to landowners

Thus, under the law, the Land Bank of the Philippines is charged with the initial responsibility of determining the value of lands placed under land reform and the compensation to be paid for their taking. Through notice sent to the landowner pursuant to 16(a) of R.A. No. 6657, the DAR makes an offer. In case the landowner rejects the offer, a summary administrative prodeeding is held and afterward the provincial (PARAD), the regional (RARAD) or the Central (DARAB) adjudicator as the case may be, depending on the value of the land, fixes the price to be paid for the land. If the landowner does not agree to be the price fixed, he may bring the matter to the RTC acting as Special Agrarian Court. This in essence is the procedure for the determination of compensation cases under R.A. No. 6657. In accordance with it, the private respondent's case was properly brought by it in the RTC, and it was error for the latter court to have dismissed the case. In the terminology of 57, the RTC, sitting as a Special Agrarian Court, has "original and exclusive jurisdiction over all petitions for the determination of just compensation to landowners." It would subvert this "original and exclusive" jurisdiction of the RTC for the DAR to vest original jurisdiction in compensation cases in administrative officials and make the RTC an appellate court for the review of administrative officials and make the RTC appellate court for the review of administrative decisions. [G.R. No. 122256. October 30, 1996]