Fact: Petitioner filed with the Regional Trial Court of Lanao del Norte in March, 1988, “an agrarian case for damages by reason of the(ir) unlawful dispossession . . .was tenants from the landholding” owned by the Spouses Domingo and Eugenia Martil. Several persons were also impleaded as defendants, including the Philippine National Bank, it being alleged by the plaintiff spouses that said bank, holder of a mortgage on the land involved, had caused foreclosure thereof, resulting in the acquisition of the property by the bank as the highest bidder at the foreclosure sale, and in the sale by the latter, sometime later, of portions of the land to the other persons named as its co-defendants (all employees of the National Steel Corporation), and it being prayed that mortgage and the transactions thereafter made in relation thereto be annulled and voided. In an Order rendered on August 24, 1988, respondent Judge Felipe G. Javier, Jr. dismissed the complaint. He opined that by virtue of Executive Order No. 229 “providing the mechanisms for the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program approved on July 24, 1987” — Executive No. 129-A approved on July 26, 1987, as well as the Rules of the Adjudication Board of the Department of Agrarian Reform, jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court over agrarian cases had been transferred to the Department of Agrarian Reform.:
Issue: Where the RTC erred in dismissing the Agrarian case for Lack of Jurisdiction
Held: The RTC correctly dissmissed the case as the jurisdiction over the aggrarian case was already transferred to the DAR. the said case also doesn’t involved “special jurisdiction” of said Trial Court acting as a Special Agrarian Court, it clearly came within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Department of Agrarian Reform, or more particularly, the Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board, established precisely to wield the adjudicatory powers of the Department. Section 17 of Executive Order No. 229 sets out the scope of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program vested the Department of Agrarian Reform with “quasi-judicial powers to determine and adjudicate agrarian reform matters and granted it “jurisdiction over all matters involving implementation of agrarian reform, except those falling under the exclusive original jurisdiction of the DENR and the Department of Agriculture [DA], as well as “powers to punish for contempt and to issue subpoena, subpoena duces tecum and writs to enforce its orders or decisions.