G.R. No. 233129. January 22, 2018

FIRST DIVISION: [G.R. No. 233129, January 22, 2018] NATIONAL ELECTRIFICATION ADMINISTRATION, REP. BY ITS ADMINISTRATOR, FR. FRANCISCO G. SILVA, PETITIONER, VS. ROMANO ARANDIA, ABRAHAM ARANDIA, LEODIVINA CONSUL, RESPONDENTS.

The Court resolves to GRANT petitioner's Motion for Extension of Time[1] of thirty (30) days within which to file a Petition for Review on Certiorari,counted from the expiration of the reglementary period on August 22, 2017.

The Court also NOTES the Opposition to the Petition for Review on Certiorari filed by respondents on October 23, 2017.

Considering the allegations, issues and arguments in the Petition for Review on Certiorari and the Opposition thereto, the Court resolves to DENY the petition and AFFIRM the March 28, 2017 Decision[2] and the July 25, 2017 Resolution[3] of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. SP No. 130830 for failure of the petitioner to show that the CA committed any reversible error so as to warrant the Court's exercise of its discretionary appellate jurisdiction.

Petitioner insists that the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB) has jurisdiction over the Petition for Cancellation of Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) No. 00092898 and Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. 2709 despite the lack of an established tenancy relationship between the parties.[4]

The issue of whether the DARAB has jurisdiction over petitions for cancellation of CLOAs involving parties who do not have a tenancy relationship is not a novel one. In fact, in the 2017 case of Union Bank of the Philippines v. Carasocho,[5] the Court emphasized that "[t]he essential requisites of a tenancy relationship are key jurisdictional allegations that must appear on the face of the complaint"[6] for the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (PARAD) and the DARAB to acquire jurisdiction over a case, viz.:
For the PARAD and DARAB to acquire jurisdiction over the case, there must be a prima facie showing that there is a tenurial arrangement or tenancy relationship between the partiesThe essential requisites of a tenancy relationship are key jurisdictional allegations that must appear on the face of the complaint. These essential requisites are: (1) the parties are the landowner and the tenant; (2) the subject is agricultural land; (3) there is consent; (4) the purpose is agricultural production; (5) there is personal cultivation; and (6) there is sharing of harvests.[7]
In this case, the records clearly show that the case filed by petitioner with the PARAD does not involve any agrarian dispute,[8] since it was never alleged that there was any tenurial or agrarian relations that affected the subject land. Notably, petitioner merely claimed that it was the rightful owner of the subject land that was erroneously placed under the coverage of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.

Given these circumstances, the CA correctly ruled that the DARAB had no jurisdiction over the case, considering the absence of a tenancy relationship between the parties.

SO ORDERED. JARDELEZA, J., took no part; CAGUIOA, J., designated additional member per Raffle dated January 3, 2018.

[1] Rollo, pp. 3-5.

[2] Id. at 32-47; penned by Associate Justice Leoncia Real-Dimagiba, and concurred in by Associate Justices Ramon R. Garcia and Henri Jean Paul B. Inting.

[3] Id. at 48-49.

[4] Id. at 23.

[5] G.R. No. 200369, March 1, 2017.

[6] Id. Emphasis supplied.

[7] Id. Emphasis supplied.

[8] Section 3(d) of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law defines an "agrarian dispute" as any controversy relating to tenurial arrangements, whether leasehold, tenancy, stewardship or otherwise, over lands devoted to agriculture.

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