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Moday vs CA

Moday vs CA

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Published by Raymond Roque

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Published by: Raymond Roque on Oct 16, 2009
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Moday vs CADate: February 20, 1997Petitioners: Percival Moday, Zotico Moday and Leonora ModayRespondents: CA, Judge Evangelista Yuipco, and Municipality of BunawanPonente: RomeroFacts: The Sangguniang Bayan of the Municipality of Bunawan in Agusan del Sur passed Resolution No. 43-89,"Authorizing the Municipal Mayor to Initiate the Petition for Expropriation of a One (1) Hectare Portion of Lot No.6138-Pls-4 Along the National Highway Owned by Percival Moday for the Site of Bunawan Farmers Center andOther Government Sports Facilities." The Resolution was approved by Mayor Anuncio Bustillo and wastransmitted to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan for its approval. The Sangguniang Panlalawigan disapproved said Resolution and returned it with the comment that"expropriation is unnecessary considering that there are still available lots in Bunawan for the establishment of the government center." The municipality filed a petition for eminent domain against Percival Moday before the RTC. Themunicipality then filed a motion to take or enter upon the possession of the land upon deposit with themunicipal treasurer of the required amount. The RTC granted the motion. It ruled that the SangguniangPanlalawigan's failure to declare the resolution invalid leaves it effective. It added that the duty of theSangguniang Panlalawigan is merely to review the ordinances and resolutions passed by the SangguniangBayan under Section 208 (1) of B.P. Blg. 337, old Local Government Code and that the exercise of eminentdomain is not one of the acts enumerated in Section 19 requiring the approval of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.Petitioners elevated the case in a petition for certiorari before the CA. The CA held that the publicpurpose for the expropriation is clear from Resolution No. 43-89 and that since the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Agusan del Sur did not declare Resolution No. 43-89 invalid, expropriation of petitioners' property could proceed.Meanwhile, the Municipality had erected three buildings on the subject property: the Association of BarangayCouncils (ABC) Hall, the Municipal Motorpool, both wooden structures, and the Bunawan Municipal Gymnasium,which is made of concrete.In the instant petition for review, petitioner seeks the reversal of the decision and resolution of the CAand a declaration that Resolution No. 43-89 of the Municipality of Bunawan is null and void.Issue:WON a municipality may expropriate private property by virtue of a municipal resolution which wasdisapproved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.Held:YesRatio: Eminent domain, the power which the Municipality of Bunawan exercised in the instant case, is afundamental State power that is inseparable from sovereignty. It is government's right to appropriate, in thenature of a compulsory sale to the State, private property for public use or purpose. Inherently possessed by thenational legislature, the power of eminent domain may be validly delegated to local governments, other publicentities and public utilities. For the taking of private property by the government to be valid, the taking must befor public use and there must be just compensation. The Municipality's power to exercise the right of eminent domain is not disputed as it is expresslyprovided for BP 337, the local Government Code in force at the time expropriation proceedings were initiated.What petitioners question is the lack of authority of the municipality to exercise this right since the SangguniangPanlalawigan disapproved Resolution No. 43-89. The Sangguniang Panlalawigan's disapproval of Resolution No. 43-89 is an infirm action which does notrender said resolution null and void. The law, Section 153 of B.P. Blg. 337, grants the Sangguniang Panlalawiganthe power to declare a municipal resolution invalid on the sole ground that it is beyond the power of theSangguniang Bayan or the Mayor to issue. 
Velazco v. Blas:
The only ground upon which a provincial board may declare any municipal resolution,ordinance, or order invalid is when such resolution, ordinance, or order is "beyond the powers conferred uponthe council or president making the same." Absolutely no other ground is recognized by the law. A strictly legalquestion is before the provincial board in its consideration of a municipal resolution, ordinance, or order. Theprovincial disapproval of any resolution, ordinance, or order must be premised specifically upon the fact thatsuch resolution, ordinance, or order is outside the scope of the legal powers conferred by law. If a provincialboard passes these limits, it usurps the legislative function of the municipal council or president. Such has beenthe consistent course of executive authority. Thus, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan was without the authority to disapprove Municipal Resolution No.43-89 for the Municipality of Bunawan clearly has the power to exercise the right of eminent domain and itsSangguniang Bayan the capacity to promulgate said resolution, pursuant to the earlier-quoted Section 9 of B.P.Blg. 337. Perforce, it follows that Resolution No. 43-89 is valid and binding and could be used as lawful authorityto petition for the condemnation of petitioners' property.As regards the accusation of political oppression, it is alleged that Moday incurred the ire of then MayorBustillo when he refused to support the latter's candidacy for mayor in previous elections. Petitioners claim that

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