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March 3, 2004




TO                :     The Undersecretary for Field Operations
                           The Undersecretary of Policy Planning and Legal Affairs
                           Regional Directors
                           Provincial Agrarian Reform Officers
                           Municipal Agrarian Reform Officers
                           All concerned

SUBJECT    :     Clarificatory Guidelines on the Effect of Injunctions and Temporary Restraining
                           Orders Issued by the Regular Courts on Acquisition and Distribution of Lands
                           Under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP)


The availment of injunctions and temporary restraining orders (TROs) before the regular courts has been unduly utilized as a strategy to obstruct, impede, delay or otherwise render ineffective the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program to the detriment of the target farmer beneficiaries. The following clarificatory guidelines are hereby promulgated for all concerned DAR officials and employees:   TaISEH

1.         The issuance of TROs and injunctions on agrarian disputes is contrary to the policy enunciated in Sec. 55 of R.A. No. 6657 which states that:

"Sec. 55.       No Restraining Order or Preliminary Injunction. No court in the Philippines shall have jurisdiction to issue any restraining order or writ of preliminary injunction against the PARC or any of its duty authorized or designated agencies in any case, dispute or controversy arising from, necessary to, or in connection with the application, implementation, enforcement or interpretation of this Act band other pertinent laws on agrarian reform."

2.         Even the Supreme Court, through its Administrative Circular No. 29-2002 ("Avoidance of Conflict of Jurisdiction over cases under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988 [RA No. 6657]"), has noted the increasing number of complaints on matters of jurisdiction over agrarian disputes. In that circular, the court has reminded the concerned trial judges of the need for careful and judicious application of R.A. No. 6657 in order to avoid any conflict of jurisdiction with the Department of Agrarian Reform and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The Supreme Court stated therein "[c]onflict in jurisdiction must be avoided to prevent delay in the resolution of agrarian problems" and that "[i]n appropriate cases before it, the court concerned must not tolerate the same."

3.         In view thereof, all concerned DAR officials and employees should continue with the acquisition and distribution process despite the threat of, or actual issuance of temporary restraining orders or injunctions issued by the regular courts in order to obstruct, impede, delay or otherwise render ineffective the said process.   DCcAIS

Strict compliance is hereby enjoined.

Done in Diliman, Quezon City, 03 March 2004.




Department of Agrarian Reform
Elliptical Road, Diliman
Quezon City, Philippines
Tel. No.: (632) 928-7031 to 39

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