- We have a farmland in the Philippines, our tenant or the one cultivating the land is my aunt. But my aunt in return took somebody to share her position maybe because it is too much for her since she’s getting old. Years later, the person whom my aunt get to cultivate the land in her behalf died.
Now, we learned that the wife of this person or farmer whom my aunt got wants to have her husband’s “position” be loaned or “isanla” as we term it in Filipino and my aunt wants to do the same for herself. Is this action legal, appropriate or lawful? Thank you kindly. O.U.
ANS: I wish your letter could be clearer as to the meaning of the “Isanla ang position”.
I take it to mean, that the “isanla or loan of the position” is for your tenant aunt and her sub tenant, the assignment or pledge their respective rights to collect or receive whatever rights or shares from the fruits or produce of the land subject of the tenancy for a limited harvest period in consideration of certain money from the lender, and NOT in the actual cultivation of the land, such arrangement, may be legal provided that the tenancy agreement between the land owner-landlord and the tenant does not prohibit the same and the land lord’s right or interest from its shares of the tenancy is not prejudice.
This kind of arrangement is referred to Antichresis, under Article 2132 of the Civil
Code. The essence of of the Contract of Antichresis is the grant to the creditor the right to gather the fruits of the property surrendered to him in the payment of debt, the property to be returned after the debt is fully paid.
However, where the arrangement is actually the mortgaged of the landholding rights characterized by the physical substitution of the tenancy or subleasing the same, as the sub tenant is engaged in the cultivation of the land, then this becomes unlawful.
The law is explicit that the tenant and his immediate family must be the persons who must work in the farm. Otherwise, the tenant is considered to have abandoned the tenancy as provided under R.A. 3844.
Moreover, Section 27 of the said statute prohibits an agricultural lessee to employ a sub-lessee on his landholding, except where due to illness of the agricultural lessee or in temporary incapacity, then laborers may be employed, whose services is under the tenant’s account. (Felisa R. Ferrer vs. Domingo Carganillo, et al., G.R. No. 170956, May 12,2010).
Should the above issue or controversy be brought to the proper forum for its adjudication such as the Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator(PARAD), the burden of proof to establish the violation of the tenenacy law by the tenant which warrants the ejectment and termination of the tenenacy rest upon the landlord or landowner.
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