The Court of Appeals (CA) dismissed a lawsuit by private individuals against a state university in Cabagan, Isabela over a dispute involving over 2,000 square meters of property.
In a 12-page decision promulgated July 27 and published recently, the tribunal affirmed the decision of the Regional Agrarian Reform Adjudicator of Region II (RARAD) of Isabela, which had dropped the complaint filed by Juan Espiridion Cureg against the Isabela State University.
Cureg claimed the school, formerly the Cagayan Valley Institute of Technology, had encroached on a 2,000-square-meter portion of the family-owned agricultural land, measuring 65,070 square meters, when the university put up its perimeter fence.
The RARAD dismissed the suit in 2017, ruling that it has no jurisdiction over the case as the parties were not contending who between them is the true tenant or farmer-beneficiary.
The ruling added that questions on ownership are best resolved before a regular court.
The parties then appealed the case before the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board (DARAB), which said RARAD, not the regular courts, has jurisdiction over the dispute.
In reversing the DARAB and affirming the earlier ruling of the RARAD, the CA said "justice would best be served by allowing the parties to thresh out their allegations and defenses in a full-blown hearing before the regular courts, which has jurisdiction over ejectment cases.”
“Certainly, a complete resolution of the case will benefit both parties as it will finally settle their respective rights over the subject landholding,” the CA said
Source: Philippines News Agency