Labor Law

Fuentes vs. Caguimbal G.R. No. 150305 November 22, 2007 Tenancy


Honofre Fuentes is the owner of the property being claimed in this case. Said property is located in Calatagan, Batangas. Petitioner filed an action for unlawful detainer against Felomino Caguimbal, alleging that in 1991, he allowed respondent to occupy the property rent-free, subject to the condition that the latter will vacate the property when petitioner returns from abroad. However, upon his return, respondent refused to vacate the property, forcing petitioner to file the case. Respondent denied petitioner’s allegations, claiming that his father started occupying the property in 1928 as agricultural tenant until his disability in 1976, after which he (respondent) took over.



Can tenancy be presumed?



No. Section 3 of R.A. No. 1199 or The Agricultural Tenancy Act of the Philippines defines agricultural tenancy as “the physical possession by a person of land devoted to agriculture belonging to, or legally possessed by another, for the purpose of production through the labor of the former and of the members of his immediate farm household, in consideration of which the former agrees to share the harvest with the latter, or to pay a price certain, either in produce or in money, or in both.”

The essential requisites of tenancy are:

(1) The parties are the landowner and the tenant or agricultural lessee; (2) The subject of the relationship is agricultural land; (3) There is mutual consent to the tenancy between the parties; (4) The purpose of the relationship is agricultural production; (5) There is personal cultivation by the tenant or agricultural lessee; and (6) There is a sharing of harvests between the parties.

Tenancy relationship cannot be presumed. Claims that one is a tenant do not automatically give rise to security of tenure. The elements of tenancy must first be proved in order to entitle the claimant to security of tenure. There must be evidence to prove the allegation that an agricultural tenant tilled the land in question. The fact alone of working on another’s landholding does not raise a presumption of the existence of agricultural tenancy. Other factors must be taken into consideration like compensation in the form of lease rentals or a share in the produce of the landholding involved.Without the essential elements of consent and sharing, no tenancy relationship can exist between the petitioner and the private respondents.

What was established by the evidence in the present case was that respondent and his predecessor had been planting on the property since 1928. What is wanting, however, is proof showing the sharing of harvests or that petitioner, as landowner of the subject property ever gave his consent to establish or maintain a tenancy relationship.


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