Case Digest: Galope v. Bugarin

G.R. No. 185669: February 1, 2012

JUAN GALOPE, Petitioner, v. CRESENCIA BUGARIN, Represented by CELSO RABANG, Respondent.



Respondent owns a parcel of land located in Sto. Domingo, Nueva Ecija. In Barangay Case No. 99-6, respondent complained that she lent the land to petitioner in 1992 without an agreement, that what she receives in return from petitioner is insignificant, and that she wants to recover the land to farm it on her own. Petitioner countered that respondent cannot recover the land yet for he had been farming it for a long time and that he pays rent ranging from P4,000 to P6,000 or 15 cavans of palay per harvest. The case was not settled.

Represented by Celso Rabang, respondent filed a petition for recovery of possession, ejectment and payment of rentals before the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB), docketed as DARAB Case No. 9378.

The Provincial Adjudicator dismissed the petition and ruled that petitioner is a tenant entitled to security of tenure. On appeal, the DARAB disagreed with the Adjudicator and ruled that petitioner is not a de jure tenant. The DARAB found no tenancy relationship between the parties and stressed that the elements of consent and sharing are not present.

Petitioner appealed, but the CA affirmed DARABs ruling. Hence, this petition.

ISSUE: Whether or not there exists a tenancy relationship between the parties.

HELD: No. CA Decision reversed.

Political Law- essential elements of agricultural tenancy

The essential elements of an agricultural tenancy relationship are:

(1) the parties are the landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee;
(2) the subject matter of the relationship is agricultural land;
(3) there is consent between the parties to the relationship;
(4) the purpose of the relationship is to bring about agricultural production;
(5) there is personal cultivation on the part of the tenant or agricultural lessee; and
(6) the harvest is shared between the landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee.

Contrary also to the CA and DARAB pronouncement, respondents act of allowing the petitioner to cultivate her land and receiving rentals therefor indubitably show her consent to an unwritten tenancy agreement. An agricultural leasehold relation is not determined by the explicit provisions of a written contract alone. Section 5 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 3844, otherwise known as the Agricultural Land Reform Code, recognizes that an agricultural leasehold relation may exist upon an oral agreement.

Thus, all the elements of an agricultural tenancy relationship are present. Respondent is the landowner; petitioner is her tenant. The subject matter of their relationship is agricultural land, a farm land. They mutually agreed to the cultivation of the land by petitioner and share in the harvest. The purpose of their relationship is clearly to bring about agricultural production. After the harvest, petitioner pays rental consisting of palay or its equivalent in cash. Respondents motion to supervise harvesting and threshing, processes in palay farming, further confirms the purpose of their agreement. Lastly, petitioners personal cultivation of the land is conceded by respondent who likewise never denied the fact that they share in the harvest.

Petition Granted.