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Republic of the Philippines

DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM


ADJUDICATION BOARD
Office of the Provincial Adjudicator
Tuguegarao City, Cagayan

PEDRO CEPEDA,
Plaintiff,

-versus- DARAB CASE No. 0202-1657-2018


For: EJECTMENT

LEONARDO L. ALSECO.,
Defendant,
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POSITION PAPER WITH FORMAL


OFFER OF EXHIBITS

Defendant¸ through the Bureau of Agrarian Legal Assistance (BALA) by the


undersigned counsel and unto this Honorable Board, most respectfully submits this
POSITION PAPER WITH FORMAL OFFER OF EXHIBITS in compliance
with its Order dated September 4, 2018, ordering us to submit the same within 15
days upon receipt thereof.

FACTS OF THE CASE

The suit concerns a parcel of agricultural land situated at Garab, Iguig,


Cagayan, with an aggregate area of 8,049 square meters, and registered in the name of
plaintiff’s deceased father Isidro Cepeda under Original Certificate of Title No. P-
26649, marked as “Exhibit A”. On January 23, 2014, plaintiff and defendant entered
into an Agricultural Leasehold Contract whereby the latter undertook to cultivate the
subject property for an annual rental of 28 cavans, or 14 cavans of rice for the dry
season and 14 cavans of rice for the wet season, said rentals representing the
equivalent of 25% of the average normal harvest during the agricultural year, and
after deducting from the gross harvest the expenses for seeds, harvesting, threshing
and hauling as the case may be, marked as “Exhibit B”.

In the year 2014, the defendant has religiously paid the agreed rental of 28
cavans. This fact has been admitted by the plaintiff in their complaint. But, on the
first cropping of 2015, he was able to give six (6) cavans only, leaving a balance of
eight (8) cavans. On the second cropping of 2015, he was able to satisfy the fourteen
(14) cavans and gave another four (4) cavans as payment of his balance for the first
cropping of 2015. In the year 2016, defendant did not pay the agreed rentals again
nor the balance of four (4) cavans for the first cropping of 2015. As a result, he
incurred a total obligation of thirty two (32) cavans to the plaintiff. Thereafter, the
plaintiff made a demand upon the defendant to settle his due obligation. The
defendant then executed a promissory note, marked as “Exhibit C”.

On March 23, 2018, plaintiff brought the matter to the Barangay but an
amicable settlement was not reached, marked as “Exhibit D”. Later, on May 15,
2018, plaintiff filed a complaint for ejectment against the defendant for non-payment
of the agreed lease rental of seventy four (74) cavans which comprises the balance of
four cavans (4) on the 2015 first cropping, twenty eight (28) cavans for the year 2016,
twenty eight (28) cavans for the year 2017 and fourteen (14) cavans on the 2018 first
cropping, marked as “Exhibit E”. In an Answer dated July 25, 2018, defendant
sufficiently rebutted the allegation by presenting the affidavit of his witnesses that he
made payments to the plaintiff, marked as “Exhibit F”.

ISSUE

Whether or not the plaintiff had sufficient cause to eject the defendant from
the subject property?
DISCUSSION AND ARGUMENT

Section 7 of R. A. No. 3844 otherwise known as the “Agricultural Land Reform


Code” is explicit that once leasehold relation is established the agricultural lessee is
entitled to security of tenure and cannot be ejected therefrom except for causes
provided under Section 36 thereof and based upon final and executory Order of the
DARAB.

Plaintiff’s complaint for ejectment against the defendant was anchored on the
latter’s alleged non-payment of lease rentals from 2015 up to the first cropping of
2018 despite his several demands. Such contention is bereft of merit. If it was true
that the defendant did not pay his lease rentals after the execution of promissory
note, prudence would dictate that plaintiff would have issued written demands. Such
was not the case. Plaintiff did not present any evidence such as written demands to
prove that he demanded from the defendant the payment of the unpaid lease rentals.
Thus, this only gives the impression that the defendant has tried to make good of his
promise. Plaintiff’s allegation, if absent of any supporting evidence, is nothing more
than a hollow claim under the rule that he who alleges a fact has the burden of
proving it as a mere allegation is not evidence.

Also, settled is the rule that mere failure of a tenant to pay the landholder's
share does not necessarily give the latter the right to eject the former when there is
lack of deliberate intent on the part of the tenant to pay. The term “deliberate” is
characterized by or results from slow, careful, thorough calculation and consideration
of effects and consequences. The term “willful,” on the other hand, is defined as one
governed by will without yielding to reason or without regard to reason. (Sta. Ana v.
Spouses Carpo, G.R. No. 164340, 28 November 2008)

Evident from the affidavit of Edgar Pascual, Rodolfo Alseco and Dionicio
Gutierez, it clearly shows that the defendant exerted effort to fulfill his unpaid
obligation, marked as “Exhibit “G”, “H” and “I”. The same may not be sufficient
to cover his entire unpaid obligation but it may be deduced therefrom that he is
willing to fully satisfy the same and failure thereof should not be construed as willful
and deliberate. Hence, without any deliberate and willful refusal to pay his unpaid
lease rentals, defendant’s ejectment from the subject property is baseless, unjustified
and contrary to the tenets of social justice.

PRAYER

WHEREFORE, premises considered, it is respectfully prayed unto this


Honorable Office after judicious hearing, to render judgment DISMISSING the
Complaint filed by Pedro Cepeda against the defendant for utter lack of merit.

Other just and equitable reliefs under the premises are likewise prayed for.

Tuguegarao City, Cagayan. 18 September 2018.

Department of Agrarian Reform


BUREAU OF AGRARIAN LEGAL ASSISTANCE
Provincial Office of Cagayan-Batanes
Counsel for the Defendant

By:

VANESSA D. PECSON-UNIPA
Legal Officer

CHRISTIAN D. SALES
OIC-Chief, Legal Division

Copy Furnished:

ATTY. PAUL VARGAS MALLANAO


National Highway, Bartolome Street
Caggay, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan