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Balatbat vs. Court of Appeals and Pasion (G.R. No. 36378. January 27, 1992)

31 May

PIO BALATBAT, petitioner,
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS and DOMINGO PASION, respondents.

Bureau of Agrarian Legal Assistance for petitioner.

Roberto Y. Miranda for private respondent.

Ponente: DAVIDE

FACTS:

Petitioner is the agricultural lessee of a parcel of land located at Santiago, Sta. Ana, Pampanga which is owned by Daniel Garcia. The latter sold the land to private respondent Domingo Pasion and had declared for taxation purposes. Sometime after the sale, respondent, on a claim that he will personally cultivate the land, filed with the Court of Agrarian Relations a complaint to eject petitioner alleging therein that he had notified petitioner of his intention to personally cultivate the landholding, but despite the lapse of one (1) agricultural year from receipt of the notice thereof, petitioner refused to vacate the land.

In his amended answer with counterclaim, petitioner denied having received any notice from the private respondent and by way of special and affirmative defenses. The trial court ruled against petitioner. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the Court of Appeals correctly gave retroactive application to Section 7 of RA 6389.

HELD:

No. Petition was dismissed for want of merit.

RATIO:

The Supreme Court ruled that Section 7 of R.A. No. 6389 cannot be given retroactive effect because, while during the debates on the bill which was eventually enacted into Republic Act No. 6389, there were statements made on the floor that “the owner will lose the right to eject after the enactment of this measure” even in cases where the owner has not really succeeded in ejecting the tenants. Congress failed to express an intention to make Republic Act No. 6389 retroactive and to cover ejectment cases on the ground of personal cultivation then pending adjudication by the courts.

Since under the original provision of Section 36(1) of R.A. No. 3844, the dispossession of the agricultural lessee on the ground of personal cultivation by the agricultural lessor-owner can only take place when “authorized by the Court in a judgment that is final and executory,” it follows then that since the repeal of the provision took effect before the judgment in this case became final and executory, private respondent may no longer dispossess petitioner on that ground because it had been removed from the statute books.

 

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