Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence

Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1972 > December 1972 Decisions > G.R. No. L-34708 December 27, 1972 - SATURNINO TUMULIN v. THE COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.:



[G.R. No. L-34708. December 27, 1972.]


Benjamin B. Baluyot for Petitioner.

Felix S. Magdales for Respondents.



By this petition for certiorari, Saturnino Tumulin seeks the annulment of the resolution of the Court of Appeals issued on November 23, 1971 in CA-G.R. 46262-R, 1 ordering his ejectment from the land of the private respondent Manuel Garces, pending decision of the said case on the merits.

The record discloses that on September 24, 1969, Tumulin instituted an action in the Court of Agrarian Relations of Bohol for conversion of his farm status from share tenancy to agricultural leasehold. In his answer, Garces denied that Tumulin is or ever was a tenant in his farm, averring that the land in dispute was being worked by him (Garces) exclusively from November, 1968 when it was voluntarily surrendered to him by his previous tenant.

On February 25, 1970, after due trial on the merits, the agrarian court promulgated its decision (1) finding that Tumulin "was not and was never instituted as share tenant over the landholding in question" and, as a consequence, (2) ordering his complaint "dismissed for lack of cause of action." Tumulin appealed to the Court of Appeals.

During the pendency of the appeal, the Court of Appeals, acting upon a motion of Garces, issued the resolution in question, ordering the ejectment of Tumulin from the land, on the strength of and pursuant to section 5 of R.A. 5434 which

"Sec. 5. Effect of appeal. — Appeal shall not stay the award, order, ruling, decision or judgment unless the officer or body rendering the same or the court, on motion, after hearing, and on such terms as it may deem just, should provide otherwise The propriety of a stay granted by the officer or body rendering the award, order, ruling, decision or judgment may be raised only by motion in the main case."cralaw virtua1aw library

Tumulin now impugns the correctness of the said resolution of the Court of Appeals.

The position taken by the petitioner Tumulin has merit. The sole basic issue before the Court of Appeals is whether or not Tumulin is a tenant of Garces. If the Court of Appeals will eventually resolve that Tumulin is a tenant, it is evident that it was premature for it to order, as it did, Tumulin’s ouster from the premises in question. More, in doing so, the appellate court virtually predetermined the very lis mota of the main case submitted to it for adjudication. This action of the appellate court is not in accord with the spirit of our agrarian laws.

In Quilantang v. Court of Appeals (L-34212, Dec. 13, 1972), of very recent vintage, we had occasion to expound the declared public policy relative to the tenure of tenants,

"Section 36 of R.A. 3844, supra, . . . created in favor of an agricultural leesee a substantive right to ‘continue in the enjoyment and possession of the landholding except when his dispossession has been authorized by the Court in a judgment that is final and executory,’ R,A, 5434, on the other hand, as its statutory title indicates, is purely procedural in nature, in that it purports to do no more than prescribe a uniform procedure for appeals from the bodies and entities enumerated therein, It is easily comprehensible, then, considering the adjective nature of R.A. 5434, that section 12 of R.A. 1267, as amended, was explicitly and precisely referred to as one of the procedural provisions to be superseded by R.A. 5434.

"The legislative policy on agrarian relations, however, has changed radically since the enactment of R.A. 1267. Share tenancy, for instance, has become outcast, and has been declared as contrary to public policy, and tenants were given greater security and added interests of a semi-proprietary nature in their landholdings. It is, therefore, not a mere accident in the law-making process that while under R.A. 1267 a tenant’s authority to stay in his landholding until the judgment ousting him became final and executory, merely formed part of the ordinary rules of procedure in the disposition of agrarian cases, that same authority to hold over until final judgment was withdrawn by R.A. 3844 from the realm of procedural law and transformed into a transcendental substantive right. Within the context of the environmental legislative intention directly pertinent to the issue at bar, this Court cannot construe R.A, 5434, an adjective law, in a manner that will upturn one of the fundamental substantive aspects of R.A. 3844, although the latter, in terms of end-results, would seemingly operate to constrict the scope of the former.

"Needless to say, the Constitutional mandate that the State ‘afford protection to labor’ (section 6, Article XIV) has already found indelible expression in many of our laws on agrarian relations. The vital role which the law-making body has played in the demanding task of nationwide feudal emancipation, and the progress that so far, through its wise and circumspect leadership, has been attained toward that end, merit judicial concern and consideration to such a degree that unless it can be indubitably demonstrated that Congress unequivocally expressed an intention to depart from its previously declared substantive public policy, the same should be taken as still prevailing, unaffected by mere procedural reform. Well-settled is the rule that repeals by implication are not favored."cralaw virtua1aw library

What we said in Quilantang must apply with full force in the case at bar to effectively prevent this Court from according any semblance of validity to the assailed resolution of the appellate court.

The alternative matter of whether the Court of Appeals has jurisdiction to order the ejectment of Tumulin from the premises in question in case it will ultimately decide that he is not and never was a tenant of Garces, is here not in issue and therefore does not deserve our attention at this time.

ACCORDINGLY, the resolution of the Court of Appeals dated November 23, 1971 and the writ of execution dated November 27, 1971 issued pursuant thereto, are hereby annulled. The said Court is hereby enjoined to decide CA-GR No. 46262-R with dispatch. No costs.

Concepcion, C.J., Makalintal, Zaldivar, Fernando, Teehankee, Barredo, Makasiar, Antonio and Esguerra, JJ., concur.


1. Saturnino Tumulin, plaintiff-appellant v. Manuel Garces Defendant-Appellee.

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