528 Phil. 83
WHEREFORE, in the light of the foregoing reasons, the instant suit is hereby DISMISSED for want of merit.The Regional DARAB found that although the petitioner and his spouse occupied the property in question, they failed to prove by substantial evidence that the landowners had given their prior consent; that the self-serving statements of petitioner cannot establish the tenancy relationship; and that the petitioner and his spouse delivered the shares of the produce not to respondents but to Alfonso Canoy and her mother, a certain Diosdada "Nang Daday" Canoy, the overseers appointed by respondents; that Alfonso Canoy turned over the shares to his mother and no other.
Accordingly, [petitioner and his spouse] are directed to give the amounts of P6,094.29, P859.00 and the undeposited amount of P238.60, and P360.65 to the respondents to whom it is rightfully due for the mere use of the land in question.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the decision appealed from is hereby REVERSED and a new judgment rendered:In brief, the DARAB held that Rafael Avila constituted the petitioner and his spouse as tenants sometime in 1958; and that the doctrine enunciated in Santos v. Vda. De Cerdenola which supposedly provides that an implied contract of tenancy is created if a landholder, represented by his overseer, permits the tilling of the land by another for a period of at least six years, applies in the instant case.
- Declaring [petitioner and his spouse] as de jure tenants in the questioned landholding; and
- Ordering [respondents] to refrain from committing any act/acts that will disturb the peaceful possession of the [petitioner and his spouse] over the landholding in controversy or dispossess them from the same.SO ORDERED.
WHEREFORE, foregoing considered, the present petition is hereby GRANTED. The appealed decision is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The decision of the DARAB, Region VII, Cebu City is hereby REINSTATED.In affirming the Decision of the Regional DARAB, the CA, in addition, held that although the Santos case may provide the basis for the institution of the tenancy relationship by implication through the overseer of the landlord, there was no showing that the overseer, Diosdada Canoy, or her son and grandson who succeeded her, were ever duly authorized to represent respondents or their predecessors-in-interest; that, instead, the overseers acted in their own names; that the juridical relationship between respondents or their predecessors-in-interest and the overseers is a lease of services and not one of agency; that the fact that the overseers were allowed to gather fruits for their livelihood does not mean that they possessed any special power of attorney for purposes of carrying out acts of dominion or creating real rights over immovable property, the authority of which petitioner failed to show; that petitioner failed to ascertain the extent and limits of the authority of the overseers; and that respondents cannot be estopped from alleging lack of authority of the overseers since there was no evidence to indicate any notice or knowledge on their part over the occupancy of petitioner and his spouse, nor did respondents ratify the transaction entered into by the overseers.
Costs against [the petitioner and his spouse].
The petition has no merit.
- The Honorable COURT OF APPEALS, Seventeenth Division, erred in applying the law on lease of services on the status of Diosdada Canoy and Alfonso Canoy, Jr., as overseers.
- The Honorable COURT OF APPEALS, Seventeenth Division, erred in not applying the law on Security of Tenure of agricultural tenant [sic] and the law on Succession in agrarian matters.
- The Honorable COURT OF APPEALS, Seventeenth Division, erred in not applying the equitable doctrine in agrarian matters that any doubt shall be resolved in favor of the tenant-farmer, agricultural lessee, etc.
x x x x The main contention of petitioner as may be gleaned from the records of this case is that the relationship of landholder and tenant terminated upon the death of respondent Cerdenola's husband in November, 1952. While this may be true, the fact that respondent, assisted by members of her immediate farm household, was allowed to continue to cultivate the land under the same terms of tenancy from 1952 up to 1958 when she was ejected, made her, in her own right, a tenant by virtue of Section 7 of Republic Act 1199 which provides that tenancy relationship may be established either expressly or impliedly. In this case, such tenancy relationship resulted from the conduct of both the tenant and the landholder represented by his overseer in permitting the tilling of the soil for a period of 6 years. Hence an implied contract of tenancy was created. And the law provides that once such relationship is established, the tenant shall be entitled to security of tenure as provided in the law. Therefore, the respondent's ouster in 1958 for no reason other than the supposed termination of the tenancy relationship as a result of the death of her husband, is contrary to the provisions of the tenancy law x x x x (Emphasis supplied)It is evident from the foregoing declarations in Santos that, for an implied tenancy to come about, the actuations of the parties taken in their entirety must be demonstrative of an intent to continue a prior lease established by the landholder, and the conduct of the overseer in permitting the lease, whose representative capacity to enter or continue the leasehold had not at all been questioned or put squarely in issue in that case, must be taken into account. Additionally, the Court must note that the pronouncement in Santos relating to the six-year period is not to be construed as an inflexible or dogmatic condition for an implied tenancy to arise, since that pronouncement had been fashioned to accommodate the factual circumstances peculiar to that case alone. The CA is correct in its construction of the Santos doctrine:
In this case, no evidence was submitted to prove that Diosdada Canoy or her son and grandson, who took over the overseeing the farmholding, were ever authorized by [respondents] or their predecessor[s]-in-interest to represent the [respondents].The factual background of the instant case is also markedly similar to the recent case of Reyes v. Reyes, the relevant discussion of which this Court reaffirms:
x x x x
Since the overseers were merely appointed to take care of the farmholding, the overseers cannot act in behalf of the [respondents]. The acts of the overseers cannot be considered as the acts of [respondents].
Hence, when the overseers allowed [petitioner and his spouse] to occupy the land and when the overseers received the share in the produce of the land from [petitioner and his spouse], the overseers acted on their own and not in representation of the [respondents] x x x
x x x x
Assuming arguendo that the overseers were indeed appointed as agents of [respondents] and were capable of representing the latter, [petitioner and his spouse] cannot still be considered as tenants in the farmholding.
x x x x
The authority given to the overseers to gather fruits for their livelihood does not include the authority to create a real right over the immovable owned by the [respondents] x x x.
To do acts which are strictly acts of dominion, as in this case, in order that the tenancy over the farmholding is created, the agent must possess a special power of attorney showing his authority to do such act x x x.
It was not shown that the overseers of [respondents] have this special power of attorney to create a real right in favor of [the petitioner or his spouse] over the farmholding x x x.
x x x x
The fact that [petitioner and his spouse] were allowed to occupy and till the land for years does not estop [respondents] from alleging lack of authority of the overseers.
[Petitioner and his spouse] have not shown any evidence that will indicate notice or knowledge on the part of the [respondents or their predecessors] and the latter's consequent ratification of the transaction entered into with the overseers.
In fact, it was established that overseer Alfonso Canoy never delivered the supposed share of the landlord to the [respondents]. Admittedly by Alfonso Canoy, the share[s] were delivered to Diosdada Canoy.
Respondents aver that an implied tenancy existed in view of the fact that Duran was undisputedly the overseer of the landowner. They add that Duran, as overseer, accepted 20 cavans of palay as rentals on October 17, 1990 and another 20 cavans on April 1, 1991 from Ricardo x x x Duran then delivered the rentals to Elena Castro, sister of Ramon, who in turn delivered the rentals to the latter. An implied tenancy was created between respondents and Ramon, said the respondents, since Duran as overseer of the landholding was the extension of the personality of the landowner. They aver that in effect, a delivery of rentals to Duran was a delivery to an agent of the landowner. They argue that having accepted the rental payments made to his agent, Ramon is now estopped from denying the existence of an implied tenancy between him and respondents.There being no proof that the landowners, herein respondents and their predecessor-in-interest, Rafael Avila, expressly or impliedly created the tenancy relationship with the petitioner, the latter therefore cannot be considered a de jure tenant, nor can petitioner claim, with more reason, any entitlement to security of tenure under agrarian reform laws.
We find respondents' contentions far from persuasive.
x x x x
Respondents' reasoning is flawed. While undoubtedly Duran was an agent of Ramon, he was not a general agent of the latter with respect to the landholding. The record shows that as overseer, Duran's duties and responsibilities were limited to "issu(ing) receipt(s), selling mangoes and bamboo trees and all other things saleable." Thus, by his own admission, Duran was a special agent under Article 1876 of the Civil Code. Duran's duties and responsibilities as a special agent do not include the acceptance of rentals from persons other than the tenant so designated by the landowner. Duran's authority as a special agent likewise excludes the power to appoint tenants or successor-tenants. Clearly, Duran acted beyond the limits of his authority as an agent. We cannot agree with the Court of Appeals [ ] that since Duran had been the overseer of the Castros for 16 years, he thereby made respondents believe he had full authority from the Castro family relative to the administration of the subject property. Regardless of the number of years that Duran had been the overseer of the Castros, there is absolutely no showing that he was ever authorized to appoint tenants or successor-tenants for the Castros, nor to accept rentals from the persons he would appoint. Absent substantial evidence to show Duran's authority from the Castros to give consent to the creation of a tenancy relationship, his actions could not give rise to an implied tenancy x x x.
Respondents contend, however, that Ramon Castro, having received the 40 cavans from Duran, is now estopped to deny the existence of an implied tenancy. We find nothing in the records, however, to support respondents' stance. Duran testified that he did not deliver the palay rentals to Ramon, but to his sister, who in turn told him that she had forwarded the palay to Ramon. Duran had no personal knowledge that Ramon received the rentals which the former had allegedly delivered to the latter's sister. His testimony with respect to the receipt by Ramon of the rentals is hearsay and has no probative value. The receipts issued to respondents do not bear the name and signature of Ramon Castro. Given these circumstances, Ramon Castro cannot be deemed estopped from denying the existence of a tenancy relationship between him and respondents.