Because of the health emergency these days that is needed to control and eradicate the COVID-19 virus, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary John R. Castriciones ordered the suspension of all agrarian cases. These include those involving the running of the reglementary periods for the commencement of actions and the filing of pleadings as well as the cancellation of all hearings, inspections and meetings involving agrarian law implementation (ALI) and adjudication of tenurial and other disputes from March 15, 2020 to April 13, 2020.

“The measures were adopted in compliance with Proclamation Nos. 929 and 922 (Series 2020) and the various Memoranda issued from March 16 to 18 by the Executive Secretary mandating the enhanced community quarantine over the entire Luzon.

The suspension of ALI and DARAB case proceedings will apply in Luzon as well as in areas outside Luzon with related health emergency measures.  DAR Memorandum Circular Number 01 pertaining to all ALI cases and Memorandum Circular Number 02 pertaining to proceedings and processes on DARAB cases were both signed by the DAR Secretary on 18 March 2020.

Castriciones issued the memorandum circulars upon the recommendation of Legal Affairs Office Undersecretary Luis Meinrado C. Pangulayan and in consultation with the DAR Adjudication Board (DARAB) members and the Bureau of Legal Assistance (BALA) leadership.

“The Agrarian Legal Sector has reported a zero backlog of all DARAB and ALI cases last February of this year. The preparation, review and formulation of the recommendations for the actions to be taken on pending incidents in both ALI and DARAB cases will continue. This is based on the alternative work arrangements adopted by the Agrarian Legal Sector,” Pangulayan noted.

The regional and provincial Adjudicators as well as the divisions under the BALA in the quarantined areas are preparing their case resolutions and decisions from home.