I would like to inquire regarding the status of my parents agricultural land in Lino-an Montevista, Compostela Valley. My uncle, who tilled my parents’ agricultural land which is 1.2 hec, passed away last July 2012.After my uncle's death my father and my deceased uncle’s live in partner Marlene, agreed that after 1 favor crop we will get the farm back because we will be the one to work it. The 1 favor crop ended this April 2013 and as agreed my father talked to Marlene and even gave his share of the crop to Marlene. We are already in the process of preparing the land when Marlene filed a complaint in MARO regarding her claim to the land.
Friday, April 19,2013, we received a letter from MARO and were asked to report on their office on April 22,2013 regarding the complaint made by Marlene. We’ve made some research and read about the Tenancy Law for us to know our stands and even asked advice from the lawyer.
Yesterday, April 22,2013, we, together with the witnesses and with the documents the MARO asked us to bring,went to MARO- Montevista, Compostela Valley. During the meeting, the in charge Mrs. Ganade told us that Marlene,as the wife of the tenant can still continue work on the land. We raised questions and told her that Marlene is not the legal wife and that according to the tenancy law..
“ LABOR LAW AND SOCIAL LEGISLATION; AGRICULTURAL TENANCY ACT; DEATH OF TENANT AS CAUSE OF SEVERANCE OF TENANCY RELATIONSHIP; RIGHTS OF HEIRS OF DECEASED TENANT UNDER SECTION 9, R.A. 1199 AS AMENDED. — Under the original statute, upon the death of the tenant, the heirs could only "continue to work the land until the close of the agricultural year." After amendment, in case of the tenant's death, "the tenancy relationship shall continue between the landholder and one member of the tenant's immediate farm household who is related to the tenant within the second degree by consanguinity and who shall cultivate the land himself personally." With one exception. And that exception is couched in the following language: "unless the landholder shall cultivate the land himself personally or through the employment of mechanical farm implements, in accordance with section fifty hereof."
We also told Mrs Ganade what my father and Marlene had agreed that after the 1 favored crop we gave her we will be working on the farm,told her that the transaction regarding the farm before were made between my deceased uncle and my father and not with Marlene, showed the death certificate and the certificate from the local registry that my deceased uncle and Marlene are not married ..Marlene however denied the agreement that was made regarding the 1 favored crop and told Mrs. Ganade instead that my father is the one who doesn't want to get his share of the crop.Mrs. Ganade told us that she will not honor all of those documents since those are useless and though Marlene is not legally married to my uncle, she and my uncle are still considered married since they have lived together. She added that the agreement made by my father and Marlene regarding 1 favored crop is nothing since we don't have any evidences. She even told us that Marlene can till the land” hanggang kelan niya gusto” and you cannot eject her and she will protect Marlene and Marlene’s rightas tenant. She even told us that if we do more statement and lots of questions” mas lalong hindi niyo makukuha ang lupa niyo at hindi niyo mapapa-alis si Marlene”. And concluded that even if we appeal to the higher court, the decision will still be the same.
With these, we went home empty handed with lots of questions. What are our security and claims as land owners? Until when are we going to wait? If we file to the higher court, can the higher court lessen the term of giving Marlene at least 3 crops instead of giving her forever to till the land? Is there anything else that we can do for us to work on the land so that we can feed our own families as well? And what about this “TENANCY LAWS”? Does this mean that anybody can just work and till the land and claim their rights later as tenants? Do we still have something to fight for as land owner?
We hope and pray that you can answer our concerns and would really appreciate it.