CLOA is enough proof for farmers to remain owners of their land
The Supreme Court (SC) recently ruled that a Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) is a sufficient proof of land ownership for farmers.
A CLOA “is a document evidencing ownership of the land granted or awarded to the beneficiary by the [Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR)], and contains the restrictions and conditions provided for in the [Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL)] and other applicable laws,” the decision read.
The ruling is a reversal of a 2016 SC decision that adjudged CLOAs as not equivalent to a Torrens certificate of title which rendered them voidable.
DAR argued, in its motion for reconsideration, that this relegated CLOAs and Emancipation Patents (EP) to the status of a Certificate of Land Transfer, which is merely part of the preparatory steps for the eventual issuance of a certificate of title.
Agrarian Reform Secretary John R. Castriciones said that the latest decision of the SC upholds the authority and jurisdiction of DAR to decide on cases involving the issuance, recall, or cancellation of CLOAs.
“We salute the Justices, who made the decision in favor of the department. It gives us motivation and justification to continue with our work. We cannot be hampered by any action that would delay the delivery of our main advocacies: land for the landless, agrarian justice and support services to our farmers,” Castriciones said.
“We are hoping to pursue our work because the law is behind us and the law is supporting our advocacies,” he added.