Agreement to voluntary surrender tenanted land

THIRD DIVISION
[ G.R. No. 191816, January 15, 2014 ]
SALVACION PEÑA V. MANUEL ARMENTA.

This resolves the Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, praying that the Resolution[1] of the Court of Appeals (CA), dated December 17, 2009, dismissing petitioner's Petition for Review, and the Resolution[2] dated March 17, 2010 denying petitioner's motion for reconsideration thereof, be annulled and set aside.

Petitioner is the owner of parcels of land, portions of which were tenanted by respondent. Questioning the propriety of the issuance of Emancipation Patents despite lack of payment of just compensation, petitioner filed a case before the Provincial Adjudicator of the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Bureau, seeking the nullification of said Emancipation Patents. Judgment was rendered in favor of petitioner, hence, respondent appealed to the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB). The Decision of the DARAB, dated June 24, 2005, affirmed the judgment of the Provincial Adjudicator, but upon motion for reconsideration, the DARAB reversed the judgment of the Provincial Adjudicator and dismissed the petition. The case was then elevated to the CA, which promulgated the assailed Resolution dated December 17, 2009 dismissing petitioner's Petition for Review. Petitioner's motion for reconsideration of said CA Resolution was denied per Resolution dated March 17, 2010. Hence, petitioner filed the present petition for review on certiorari.However, on June 3, 2013, before this Court could resolve the petition, counsel for respondent manifested in his Compliance and Explanation that herein parties have entered into an Agreement to Voluntary Surrender. Petitioner, through counsel, also filed a Manifestation dated October 5, 2013 stating that petitioner, assisted by counsel, voluntarily executed such an agreement. Pertinent portions of said Agreement to Voluntary Surrender, dated June 20, 2012, read as follows:
AGREEMENT TO VOLUNTARY SURRENDER 
WHEREAS, the late MANUEL ARMENTA was the previous cultivator of a parcel of RICELAND, known as Lot No. 215-B, located in Cabunturan, Malinao, Albay, containing an area of EIGHTEEN THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED TWENTY-ONE (18,521) SQUARE METERS, and LOT No. 215-A, with an area of TWO HUNDRED TEN (210) SQUARE METERS, with a total area of EIGHTEEN THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED THIRTY-ONE (18,731) SQUARE METERS; and Lots 214-A with an area of EIGHT THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED TWENTY-FOUR (8,324) SQUARE METERS; and Lot 214-B with an area of TWO THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED FIFTY-THREE (2,253) SQUARE METERS covered by E.P. No. A-091968 and E.P. No. A-091969, respectively, owned by the LANDOWNER;

WHEREAS, after the death of MANUEL ARMENTA, who died on FEBRUARY 25, 2012, the TENANTS succeeded cultivating the landholding mentioned above, being the surviving children and widow;

WHEREAS, the TENANTS desires (sic) and are willing to surrender the above-mentioned landholding to the LANDOWNER, who is likewise willing to pay the amount of THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND PESOS (P300,000.00) to the TENANTS as just disturbance compensation;

NOW THEREFORE, for and in consideration of the sum of THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND PESOS (P300,000.00), receipt of which in cash is hereby acknowledged, the TENANTS hereby voluntarily surrender to the LANDOWNER all their rights as tenants of the above-landholding, including their rights of possession;

The LANDOWNER, by these presents likewise waive all her rights over Lots Nos. 214-A, containing an area of EIGHT THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED TWENTY-FOUR (8,324) SQUARE METERS and LOT NO. 214-B, containing an area of TWO THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED FIFTY-THREE (2,253) SQUARE METERS, located in Cabunturan, Malinao, Albay, which has already been transferred thru EMANCIPATION PATENTS to the late Joaquin Armenta, ascendant of the TENANTS. ANNEX "A" is the Lot Plan of Lot 214-A and 214-B to form part of this agreement.

That this AGREEMENT shall now supersede the decision of Case No. G.R. No. 191816 and the right of the parties in said case shall now be modified in accordance with this agreement;

PARTIES waive any other claim against each other arising out of CASE No. GR. No. 191816

SALVACION R. PEÑA Landowner
AMELITA A. BASEFor herself and as Attorney-in-Fact

AMALIA A. ARMENTA
PURITA A. ARMENTA
Tenant[3]
In Gaisano v. Akol,[4] the Court defined a compromise agreement as a contract whereby the parties make reciprocal concessions, avoid litigation, or put an end to one already commenced. Its validity depends on its fulfillment, of the requisites and principles of contracts dictated by law; its terms and conditions being not contrary to law, morals, good customs, public policy and public order.
A close reading of the aforequoted Agreement to Voluntary Surrender would show the same to be sanctioned under Article 2028 of the Civil Code, its terms and conditions not being contrary to law, morals, good customs, public policy and public order. Hence, the Court finds nothing objectionable with the same.

WHEREFORE, the Agreement to Voluntary Surrender dated June 20, 2012 is hereby APPROVED and ADOPTED as the judgment in this case. Herein parties are ORDERED to strictly and faithfully comply with said Agreement to Voluntary Surrender. This case is now deemed TERMINATED.
No pronouncement as to costs.

SO ORDERED.

[1] Penned by Associate Justice Jane Aurora C. Lantion, with Associate Justices Mario L. Guariña III and Mariflor P. Punzalan Castillo, concurring; rollo, pp. 16-18.[2] Id. at 25.

[3] Rollo, pp. 110, 112. (Emphasis in the original)

[4] G.R. No. 193840, June 15, 2011, 652 SCRA 378, 381.

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