Jurisdiction of the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator

An agrarian dispute is any controversy relating to, among others, tenancy over lands devoted to agriculture; here, the controversy raised squarely falls under that class of cases described under Par. 1.1, Sec. 1, Rule II of the 2003 DARAB Rules of Procedure; the specific elements of tenancy are sufficiently averred in the subject complaint: first, that the parties are the landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee; second, that the subject matter of the relationship is an agricultural land; third, that there is consent between the parties to the relationship; fourth, that the purpose of the relationship is to bring about agricultural production; fifth, that there is personal cultivation on the part of the tenant or agricultural lessee; and sixth, that the harvest is shared between the landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee. (Sps. Nolasco vs. Rural Bank of Pandi, Inc., G.R. No. 194455, June 27, 2018)

The determination of whether a tribunal has subject matter jurisdiction in a case is not affected by the defenses set up in an answer or motion to dismiss; certifications of municipal reform officers as to the presence or absence of a tenancy relationship are merely provisional; in one case, the Court even ruled that they do not bind the courts; given the averments of the subject complaint, the Court rules that the PARAD already obtained a jurisdictional foothold in this case; as an incidence, it could take on all the issues of the case, including the defenses raised by respondent bank. (Sps. Nolasco vs. Rural Bank of Pandi, Inc., G.R. No. 194455, June 27, 2018)

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