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Case: Soriano v.

Bravo

ISSUE/S:

1. Whether or not the subject properties are within the coverage of the OLT program
under the Tenants Emancipation Decree and CARL.

2. Whether or not the Compromise Agreement is valid.

FACTS:

1. At the center of the controversy are agricultural lands located at Nalsian Norte
(formerly San Julian) and Malasiqui, Pangasinan, with a total land area of 24.5962
hectares (11 subject properties). The subject properties were originally owned by
spouses Patricio Posadas and Josefa Quintana (spouses Posadas). Upon the spouses
Posadas demise, the subject properties were subdivided, distributed, and transferred
by extrajudicial settlement and/or sale to their heirs.

2. Presently, the subject properties are actually owned by respondents, as follows:

LANDOWNERS/RESPONDENTS TOTAL LANDHOLDINGS (hectares)

Rebecca B. Benito and Emmanuel Benito 4.9376 (Lot 3 + Lot 7)

Ana Shari B. Bravo 3.1510 (Lot 5)

Ernesto S. Bravo 4.5591 (Lot 1 + of Lot 4 + of Lot 9)

Jose Israel S. Bravo 4.5883 ( of Lot 4 + of Lot 9 + Lot 10)

Juana Bravo and Conrado Macaraeg 3.9127 (Lot 6 + Lot 8)

John B. Mejia 3.4476 (Lot 2 + Lot 11)[8]

3. A portion of the subject properties was planted with rice while the rest was planted
with mangoes (merely six hectares of the subject properties are planted with rice,
while the rest are planted with mango trees). Eventually, respondents decided to
relocate their business, the St. Martins Pharmaceuticals, Inc., to the subject properties;
and to construct the Bravo Agro-Industrial Complex on the same properties, which
would include a fruit processing factory, disposable syringe factory, botanical plantation
for herbal medicines, integrated research and product development facility, and a
fishpond and inland resort.
4. Pursuant to respondents plans for the subject properties, respondent Ernesto S. Bravo
entered into a Compromise Agreement on November 3, 1992 with the people
cultivating the subject properties, the petitioners herein.

5. The COMPROMISE AGREEMENT stipulates that petitioners have agreed freely and
voluntarily to the herein respondents, to construct bulding/s plant on the aforenamed
landholdings; that the herein petitioners shall be relocated on the same landholdings
the site shall be determined on the plan and specifications to be produced by the
herein respondents; that the petitioners shall be entitled to individual homelot of
TWO HUNDRED FORTY (240) Square meters more or less, given out of liberality by the
herein respondents; and that the homelots given to the individual petitioners shall be
considered remuneration/payment on the portion of the subject landholding/s to be
used in the establishment of plant/building, a job generating project.

6. However, on July 10, 1995, respondents filed before the DARAB a Complaint for
Ejectment, Collection of Unpaid Rentals, Recomputation of Rentals, Specific
Performance and Damages.

7. Respondents alleged that the petitioners, upon the instigation of a cult leader, refused
to comply with the Compromise Agreement. Instead of transferring and relocating
their homes as stated in the Compromise Agreement, the defendants demanded that
the Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer (MARO) of Malasiqui, Pangasinan, put the
subject properties under the OLT program provided in the Tenants Emancipation
Decree and CARL.

DECISION:

1. NO. It is beyond any iota of doubt that the subject landholdings are outside the
coverage of Presidential Decree No. 27 and Republic Act No. 6657. Presidential Decree No.
27 is categorical and very clear in its provision on the retention limit allowed the landowner
the landowner can retain an area of up to seven (7) hectares. Republic Act No. 6657 is
likewise very clear that the landowners retention limit is up to five (5) hectares.

The records show that as early as March 10, 1971, the heirs of the late Josefa Quintans (who
died on July 12, 1958) subdivided the original 24.5962-hectare landholding into parcels,
none of which exceeded seven (7) hectares. When Presidential Decree No. 27 became a law
on October 21, 1972, the subdivided parcels fell outside the coverage of the Operation Land
Transfer program pursuant to said Decree, being each less than seven (7) hectares.
These landholdings were further subdivided and decreased in size until not one parcel
became more than five hectares. Despite changes in ownership, none of the landholdings
were ever consolidated under one proprietorship in areas of more than seven hectares
during the implementation of the Operation Land Transfer program under Presidential
Decree No. 27 nor areas of more than five (5) hectares during the implementation of
Republic Act No. 6657.

Presently, each of the plaintiffs-appellees does not own more than five (5) hectares of the
subject landholdings. Consequently, neither Presidential Decree No. 27 nor Republic Act
No. 6657 can be relied upon for the expropriation of these parcels.

2. YES. As regards the issue of the validity and legality of the compromise agreement, it is
beyond question that the defendants-appellants are bound by the said compromise
agreement. The document was entered into by and between the parties without any vice of
consent and was duly notarized. The compromise agreement is clearly a waiver of their
rights over the subject landholding for it contains admissions and declarations against
their interest.

Case: Valcurza v. Tamparong, Jr.

ISSUE/S:

1. Whether or not the subject land is exempted from CARP coverage.

FACTS:

Casimiro N. Tamparong, Jr. (respondent) is the registered owner of a landholding with an


area of 412,004 square meters and covered by Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No.
0-363 pursuant to a judicial decree rendered on 24 June 1962. The Sangguniang Bayan of
Villanueva, Misamis Oriental allegedly passed a Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance -
Resolution No. 51-98, Series of 1982 - classifying respondents land from agricultural to
industrial.

A Notice of Coverage was issued by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) on 3


November 1992 over 276,411 square meters out of the 412,004 square meters of
respondents land. The 276,411 square meters of land were collectively designated as Lot
No. 1100. The DAR Secretary eventually issued Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA)
No. 00102751 over the land in favor of petitioners. As a result, OCT No. E-4640 was issued in
favor of petitioners on 30 May 1994.

Respondent filed a protest against the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP)
coverage on the ground that his land was industrial, being found within the industrial
estate of PHIVIDEC per Zoning Ordinance No. 123, Series of 1997.

His protest was resolved in a Resolution issued by Regional Director Benjamin R. de Vera on
9 October 2000. The Resolution denied respondents protest because Zoning Ordinance No.
123, Series of 1997, never unequivocally stated that all the landholdings within the
PHIVIDEC area had been classified as industrial. Furthermore, the Municipal Planning and
Development Council of Villanueva, Misamis Oriental, issued a letter to the Municipal
Agrarian Reform Office (MARO) stating that Lot No. 1100 was classified as agricultural per
Municipal Ordinance No. 51-98, Series of 1982. Also, PHIVIDEC certified that the same lot is
located outside the PHIVIDEC Industrial Estate.

Aggrieved, respondent filed a Complaint for Annulment of Certificate of Land Ownership


Award No. 00102751 and Cancellation of OCT No. E-4640 with Prayer for the Issuance of a
Writ of Preliminary Injunction and/or Temporary Restraining Order. In the Complaint filed
with the Provincial Adjudication Reform and Adjudication Board (PARAB) of Misamis Oriental
on 6 July 2001, he questioned the issuance of the CLOA on the ground that his land had
long been classified by the municipality as industrial. It was also covered by Presidential
Proclamation No. 1962, being adjacent to the PHIVIDEC Industrial Estate, and was thus
exempted from CARP coverage.

DECISION:

1. NO. The CA was mistaken in upholding the PARABs Decision that the land is industrial
based on a zoning ordinance, without a prior finding on whether the ordinance had been
approved by the HLURB.
The meaning of "agricultural lands" covered by the CARL was explained further by the DAR
in its AO No. 1, Series of 1990, dated 22 March 1990, entitled "Revised Rules and
Regulations Governing Conversion of Private Agricultural Land to Non-Agricultural Uses,"
issued pursuant to Section 49 of the CARL.

Thus, agricultural land refers to those devoted to agricultural activity as defined in RA 6657
and not classified as mineral or forest by the Department of Environment and Natural
Resources (DENR) and its predecessor agencies, and not classified in town plans and
zoning ordinances as approved by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB)
and its preceding competent authorities prior to 15 June 1988 for residential, commercial
or industrial use.

It is clear from the last clause of the aforequoted provision that a land is not agricultural,
and therefore, outside the ambit of the CARP if the following conditions concur:

1. the land has been classified in town plans and zoning ordinances as residential,
commercial or industrial; and

2. the town plan and zoning ordinance embodying the land classification has been
approved by the HLURB or its predecessor agency prior to 15 June 1988.

It is undeniable that local governments have the power to reclassify agricultural into
non-agricultural lands. Ordinance No. 21 of the Sangguniang Bayan of Calapan was issued
pursuant to Section 3 of the Local Autonomy Act of 1959 and is, consequently, a valid
exercise of police power by the local government of Calapan.

The second requirement that a zoning ordinance, in order to validly reclassify land, must
have been approved by the HLURB prior to 15 June 1988 is the result of Letter of
Instructions No. 729, dated 9 August 1978. According to this issuance, local governments
are required to submit their existing land use plans, zoning ordinances, enforcement
systems and procedures to the Ministry of Human Settlements one of the precursor
agencies of the HLURB for review and ratification.

Here, the records of the case show the absence of HLURB Certifications approving
Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance Resolution No. 51-98, Series of 1982, and Zoning
Ordinance No. 123, Series of 1997. Hence, it cannot be said that the land is industrial and
outside the ambit of CARP.
Case: Cervantes v. Miranda

ISSUE/S:

1. Whether or not DARAB has jurisdiction over the case.

FACTS:

1. Arturo Miranda (Arturo) was a holder of Certificate of Land Transfer (CLT) No. 160774
covering a parcel of land denominated as Lot No. 1532 in the name of Jesus Panlilio,
located in Cabalantian, Bacolor, Pampanga measuring about 2.8070 hectares (the
land).

2. On August 10, 1981, Arturo executed a waiver surrendering his CLT in favor of his
cousin Jose M. Cervantes (Jose), predecessor-in-interest of herein petitioners, because
he landed a job in Saudi Arabia and cannot work on the farm as well as cannot cope
with the payment of said landholdings.By virtue of the waiver, the Samahang Nayon of
Cabalantian, through a Resolution approved on September 11, 1981 Arturos surrender
of the CLT, and awarded the land to Jose.
3. On May 10, 2002, Jesus G. Miranda (respondent) plowed through the land by force
and stealth.

4. As mediation between Jose and respondent failed to settle the matter, Jose filed a
complaint at the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (PARAB).

5. For his part, respondent claimed that his father Anselmo Miranda was the original
tenant of the land and that he and his brothers had been in its possession since the
1940s;in the 1950s, he alone paid rentals to the owner of the land, Luz Vda. de
Panlilio; in the 1960s, the land was submerged in water, and in the 1990s, it was
affected by the lahar from Mt. Pinatubo, rendering the land unfit for cultivation for a
number of years; that he was petitioned by his children living in the United States in the
late 1960s and he eventually became an American citizen, and on his return from the
United States in 2002, learning that the land may now be tilled, he proceeded to have it
cleared.

6. By Decision of August 23, 2004, PARAB Adjudicator Erasmo SP. Cruz, ruling in favor of
Jose, held that the land is covered by the operation land transfer scheme of the
government and as between the two parties, Jose had shown through documentary
evidence that he had a better right as tenant; and that assuming arguendo that
respondent indeed cultivated the land prior to its being submerged in water in the
1960s, his non-payment of rentals and he having returned to the country only in 2002
amounted to abandonment.

7. Respondents motion for reconsideration was denied by Order of January 4, 2005,


hence, he appealed to the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board
(DARAB) which, by Decision of October 3, 2005, affirmed the ruling of the Provincial
Adjudicator, and denied respondents motion for reconsideration by Resolution of
October 10, 2006.

8. Before the Court of Appeals, respondent challenged the DARAB Decision raising,
among other issues, the DARABs lack of jurisdiction over the case.

9. The Court of Appeals, by Decision of October 31, 2007, set aside the Decision of the
DARAB saying it lacked jurisdiction over the case as it was essentially one for forcible
entry and unlawful detainer that should have been lodged in the Municipal Trial
Court. For the DARAB to acquire jurisdiction over a similar dispute, the appellate
court held, there must exist a tenancy relationship between the parties which is
lacking in the present case.
DECISION:

YES. The DARAB has jurisdiction over agrarian disputes. An agrarian dispute refers to any
controversy relating to tenurial arrangements, whether leasehold, tenancy, stewardship,
or otherwise, over lands devoted to agriculture, including disputes concerning
farmworkers associations or representation of persons in negotiating, fixing, maintaining,
changing, or seeking to arrange terms or conditions of such tenurial arrangements. It
includes any controversy relating to compensation of lands acquired and other terms and
conditions of transfer of ownership from landowner to farmworkers, tenants, and other
agrarian reform beneficiaries, whether the disputants stand in the proximate relation of
farm operator and beneficiary, landowner and tenant, or lessor and lessee. It relates to
any controversy relating to, among others, tenancy over lands devoted to agriculture.

In the present case, although there is admittedly no tenancy relationship between Jose and
respondent and the complaint filed before the DARAB was denominated as one for
forcible entry, it is the DARAB and not the regular courts which has jurisdiction of the case.

Although the opposing parties in this case are not the landlord against his tenants,
or vice-versa, the case still falls within the jurisdiction of the DARAB.

When a case is merely an incident involving the implementation of the Comprehensive


Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), then jurisdiction remains with the DARAB, and not with
the regular courts.

Jurisdiction should be determined by considering not only the status or relationship of the
parties but also the nature of the issues or questions that is the subject of the controversy.
Thus, if the issues between the parties are intertwined with the resolution of an issue
within the exclusive jurisdiction of the DARAB, such dispute must be addressed and
resolved by the DARAB.

From a perusal of the submissions of the parties and their respective allegations during the
hearings before the DARAB, the following undisputed facts emerge: Jose was physically
dispossessed of the land of which he claims to be a tenant; and respondent himself claims
to be a tenant. The resolution of the case then hinges on a determination of who between
Joses successors-in-interest and respondent is the true farmer-beneficiary of the leasehold
in question, a matter which is best resolved by the DARAB and not by the regular courts.

Even if no landowner-tenant vinculum juris was alleged between Jose and respondent
then, the present controversy can be characterized as an agrarian dispute over which the
DARAB can assume jurisdiction.
Case: Philippine Veterans Bank v. Court of Appeals

ISSUE/S:

1. Whether or not RTC has jurisdiction over the case.

FACTS:

1. On 12 January 1994, Philippine Veterans Bank (PVB) received Notices of


Acquisition dated 06 August 1993 from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR)
duly signed by Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer Erlinda Pearl V. Armada, placing
under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law coverage PVBs properties located in
Baliwag, Bulacan, classified as unirrigated agricultural lands and embraced under
Transfer Certificates of Titles No. T- 226773, No. T-226774, and No. T-283864,
designating among other beneficiaries, private respondents Lazaro N. Cruz and
Francisco T. Cruz, and issued in their favor administrative titles denominated as
Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA).

2. On 13 October 1995, PVB filed a Petition before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of
Malolos, Bulacan, for the annulment of DAR CLOA on the ground that the subject
parcels of land are outside the coverage of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform
Program (CARP).

3. On 24 October 1995, both public and private respondents filed before the RTC a
Motion to Dismiss on the ground of lack of jurisdiction asserting that jurisdiction over
the case is vested with the DARAB under Section 50 of Republic Act No. 6657 and
Section 1, Rule II of the DARAB Rules of Procedure. The trial court denied the motion
prompting the respondents to file before the Court of Appeals a
Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition with prayer for the issuance of a temporary
restraining order and preliminary injunction under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.

4. Acting on the Petition, the Court of Appeals, in a resolution dated 15 November 1996,
resolved to deny due course to the petition on the ground that the DARAB has
primary and exclusive jurisdiction over cases involving cancellation of CLOAs provided
that the said certificates must have been registered with the Land Registration
Authority.
5. According to the DARAB rules above quoted, the DARAB has primary and exclusive
jurisdiction over cases involving cancellation of CLOAs, provided however, that the
said certificates must have been registered with the Land Registration Authority. In
the case at bench, the petitioners failed to show, much less allege, that the CLOAs
involved have been registered with the LRA. In view of this omission, the Court has no
alternative but to dismiss the present petition for certiorari and to sustain the
jurisdiction of the trial court.

6. A motion for reconsideration was filed by the petitioners which PVB duly opposed in
its Comment. In a resolution dated 20 May 1997, the Court of Appeals made a
turnabout of its ruling and resolved to grant the motion.

7. It now turns out that CLOAs subject matter of this case have been entered in the
Primary Entry Book for EPs/CLOAs of the Registry of Deeds of Bulacan, and a note of
such entry has been stamped at the back of each CLOA. This changes the picture
entirely. Since the subject CLOAs have been registered with the Register of Deeds of
Bulacan, the DARAB has primary and exclusive jurisdiction over cases for their
cancellation. Conversely, the Regional Trial Court of Bulacan has no such jurisdiction.

DECISION:

NO. At the outset, it is well to state that the Complaint filed by PVB before the RTC is
designated as one for annulment of DAR certificate of land ownership award with prayer
for a writ of preliminary injunction or restraining order. In its Complaint, PVB impugned the
award allegedly for having been illegally and fraudulently issued and consequently prayed
for its nullification. In the same Complaint, PVB claimed that the property, though
unirrigated, is agricultural. Thus, from the very allegations made by PVB in its Complaint,
there is no doubt that the same is mainly for annulment of CLOA. Neither can PVB deny the
claim it made in its Complaint that the property is agricultural. Its subsequent claim that the
property has ceased to be agricultural is a matter the veracity of which has yet to be verified.

Specific and general provision of Rep. Act No. 6657 (The Comprehensive Agrarian Reform
Law of 1988) and its implementing rules and procedure cover, to the point, the major issues
above prescribed.

the instant case being one for annulment of CLOA, an incident involving the
implementation of the CARP, and a matter relating to terms and conditions of transfer of
ownership from landlord to agrarian reform beneficiaries, jurisdiction is properly vested
with the DARAB.

Still, in corroboration is Section 1(1.6), Rule 2, of the 2003 DARAB Rules of Procedure which
explicitly vests upon the adjudicator the primary and exclusive original jurisdiction to
determine and adjudicate cases involving the correction, partition, cancellation, secondary
and subsequent issuances of CLOAs. The DARAB under Section 2 of the same Rule is vested
with the exclusive appellate jurisdiction to review, reverse, modify, alter or affirm
resolutions, orders, and decisions of its adjudicators.

As to the issue raised by PVB that the Court of Appeals erred in finding that the DARAB has
jurisdiction because the DARAB adjudicator is himself a party to the case, it must be
emphasized that it is the law that confers jurisdiction based on the allegations in the
complaint and that jurisdiction does not depend on who the parties are to said complaint.

Case: Rosario v. Rosario

ISSUE/S:

1. Whether or not PARAB and DARAB have jurisdiction over the case.

2. Whether or not the parties are bound by the decision of the PARAB and DARAB.

FACTS:
1. This involves a parcel of land with an area of 9,536 square meters situated
in Barangay Caingin, Bocaue, Bulacan. The subject land was formerly owned by Pedro
G. Lazaro and tenanted by the spouses Jose Del Rosario and Florentina De Guzman
(Spouses Del Rosario).

2. Spouses Del Rosario had three children: Monica Del Rosario (Monica), Candido Del
Rosario (Candido) and Gil Del Rosario (Gil). Sometime in February 1991, Monica and Gil
agreed that the latter would facilitate the application for an Emancipation Patent
over the subject land in the name of the former. In exchange, Monica agreed to cede
to Gil one-third of the said land after the Emancipation Patent had been issued to her.

3. On May 29, 1998, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) issued to Monica
Emancipation Patent No. 00733146 over the land. Subsequently, on October 22, 1998,
the Registry of Deeds for the Province of Bulacan issued Transfer Certificate of Title
(TCT) No. EP-257-M in the name of Monica.

4. The petitioners claimed that Monica, despite repeated demands, refused to cede to
Gil the one-third portion of the subject land pursuant to their agreement. Thus, on
April 17, 2000, the petitioners filed with the Office of the Provincial Agrarian Reform
Adjudicator (PARAD) in Malolos, Bulacan a complaint against Monica for amendment
of TCT No. EP-257-M and partition of the subject land.

5. On May 22, 2002, PARAD Provincial Adjudicator Toribio E. Ilao, Jr. (PA Ilao) rendered a
Decision ruling that Monica was not the bona fide tenant-farmer of the subject land
and that she had continuously failed to cultivate or develop the same.

6. Unperturbed, Monica appealed from the foregoing disposition of PA Ilao to the


Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB). The DARAB rendered a
Decision, which reversed and set aside the Decision dated May 22, 2002 of PA
Ilao. The petitioners sought a reconsideration of the Decision dated January 8, 2004,
but it was denied by the DARAB in its Resolution dated July 8, 2004.

7. Subsequently, the petitioners filed a petition for review with the CA alleging that the
DARAB erred in ruling that they and Monica are not co-owners of the subject land. CA
rendered the herein assailed decision denying the petition for review filed by the
petitioners. The CA held that the PARAD and the DARAB had no jurisdiction to take
cognizance of the petitioners complaint for amendment of the Emancipation Patent
and partition of the subject land, there being no agrarian dispute or tenancy relations
between the parties.
8. Nevertheless, the CA also held that the petitioners are bound by the decision of the
DARAB declaring Monica as the bona fide holder of TCT No. EP-257-M since they
participated in the proceedings before the PARAD and the DARAB without raising any
objection thereto.

DECISION:

1. NO. The jurisdiction of the PARAD and the DARAB is limited only to all agrarian
disputes and matters or incidents involving the implementation of the CARP.

Specifically, the PARAD and the DARAB have primary and exclusive jurisdiction, both
original and appellate, to determine and adjudicate all agrarian disputes involving the
implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) under Republic
Act (R.A.) No. 6657, as amended by R.A. No. 9700, E.O. Nos. 228, 229, and 129-A, R.A. No.
3844 as amended by R.A. No. 6389, P.D. No. 27 and other agrarian laws and their
Implementing Rules and Regulations.

Thus, the jurisdiction of the PARAD and the DARAB is only limited to cases involving
agrarian disputes, including incidents arising from the implementation of agrarian
laws. Section 3(d) of R.A. No. 6657 defines an agrarian dispute in this wise:

(d) Agrarian dispute refers to any controversy relating to tenurial arrangements, whether
leasehold, tenancy, stewardship or otherwise, over lands devoted to agriculture, including
disputes concerning farmworkers associations or representation of persons in negotiating,
fixing, maintaining, changing or seeking to arrange terms or conditions of such tenurial
arrangements. It includes any controversy relating to compensation of lands acquired
under R.A. 6657 and other terms and conditions of transfer of ownership from landowners
to farmworkers, tenants and other agrarian reform beneficiaries, whether the disputants
stand in the proximate relation of farm operator and beneficiary, landowner and tenant,
or lessor and lessee.

The petitioners complaint for amendment and partition is beyond the jurisdiction of the
PARAD and the DARAB.

The complaint essentially sought the following: first, the enforcement of the agreement
entered into by and between Gil and Monica wherein the latter promised to cede to the
former one-third portion of the subject land upon the issuance of the emancipation patent
over the same; and second, the recovery of petitioners purported hereditary share over
the subject land, in representation of Gil and Candido.

Indubitably, the said complaint for amendment and partition does not involve any agrarian
dispute, nor does it involve any incident arising from the implementation of agrarian
laws. The petitioners and Monica have no tenurial, leasehold, or any agrarian
relations whatsoever that will bring this controversy within the jurisdiction of the PARAD
and the DARAB. Since the PARAD and the DARAB have no jurisdiction over the present
controversy, they should not have taken cognizance of the petitioners complaint for
amendment of the Emancipation Patent and partition.

Further, the instant case does not involve an incident arising from the implementation of
agrarian laws as would place it within the jurisdiction of the PARAD and the
DARAB. Admittedly, the petitioners alleged that it was Gil and Candido who continued the
tillage of the subject land after the death of Spouses Del Rosario. While the foregoing
allegation seems to raise a challenge to Monicas qualification as a farmer-beneficiary of the
subject land, we nevertheless find the same insufficient to clothe the PARAD and the DARAB
with jurisdiction over the complaint.

While ostensibly assailing Monicas qualification as a farmer-beneficiary, the petitioners


did not seek the nullification of the emancipation patent issued to Monica and the
issuance of a new one in their names. Instead, the petitioners merely sought that the
subject land be equally partitioned among the surviving heirs of Spouses Del Rosario,
including Monica. Verily, by merely asking for the recovery of their alleged hereditary
share in the subject land, the petitioners implicitly recognized the validity of the issuance
of the emancipation patent over the subject land in favor of Monica.

2. NO. The Decision dated January 8, 2004 of the DARAB is null and void and, thus,
produced no effect whatsoever, the DARAB having no jurisdiction to take cognizance of
the petitioners complaint for amendment and partition.

Jurisdiction over the subject matter cannot be acquired through, or waived by, any act or
omission of the parties. The active participation of the parties in the proceedings before
the DARAB does not vest jurisdiction on the DARAB, as jurisdiction is conferred only by
law. The courts or the parties cannot disregard the rule of non-waiver of
jurisdiction. Likewise, estoppel does not apply to confer jurisdiction to a tribunal that has
none over a cause of action. The failure of the parties to challenge the jurisdiction of the
DARAB does not prevent this Court from addressing the issue, as the DARABs lack of
jurisdiction is apparent on the face of the complaint. Issues of jurisdiction are not subject to
the whims of the parties.
In a long line of decisions, this Court has consistently held that an order or decision
rendered by a tribunal or agency without jurisdiction is a total nullity.