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29. Lagcao vs. Judge Labra_digest

29. Lagcao vs. Judge Labra_digest

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Published by: removeignorance on Nov 19, 2013
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LABRA and CITY OF CEBU, Respondents G.R. No. 155746, Octo !" 1#, $%%4 Facts: The Province of Cebu donated 210 lots to the City of Cebu. But then, in late 196 , the 210 lots, includin! "ot 1029, reverted to the Province of Cebu. Conse#uently, the province tried to annul the sale of "ot 1029 by the City of Cebu to the petitioners. This pro$pted the latter to sue the province for specific perfor$ance and da$a!es in the then Court of %irst &nstance. The court a quo ruled in favor of petitioners and ordered the Province of Cebu to e'ecute the final deed of sale in favor of petitioners. The Court of (ppeals affir$ed the decision of the trial court. (fter ac#uirin! title, petitioners tried to ta)e possession of the lot only to discover that it *as already occupied by s#uatters. Thus petitioners instituted e+ect$ent proceedin!s a!ainst the s#uatters. The ,unicipal Trial Court in Cities -,TCC. orderin! the s#uatters to vacate the lot. /n appeal, the RTC affir$ed the ,TCC0s decision and issued a *rit of e'ecution and order of de$olition. 1o*ever, *hen the de$olition order *as about to be i$ple$ented, Cebu City ,ayor (lvin 2arcia *rote t*o lettersto the ,TCC, re#uestin! the defer$ent of the de$olition on the !round that the City *as still loo)in! for a relocation site for the s#uatters. (ctin! on the $ayor0s re#uest, the ,TCC issued t*o orders suspendin! the de$olition. 3nfortunately for petitioners, durin! the suspension period, the Sangguniang Panlungsod -4P. of Cebu City passed a resolution *hich identified "ot 1029 as a sociali5ed housin! site pursuant to R( 6269. Petitioners filed *ith the RTC an action for declaration of nullity of /rdinance 7o. 189: for bein! unconstitutional. Issue: ;/7 the /rdinance 7o. 189: is unconstitutional as it sanctions the e'propriation of their property for the purpose of sellin! it to the s#uatters, an endeavor contrary to the concept of <public use= conte$plated in the Constitution. Ruling: 3nder 4ection 98 of R( 6160, other*ise )no*n as the "ocal 2overn$ent Code of 1991, local le!islative po*er shall be e'ercised by the Sangguniang Panlungsod of the city. The le!islative acts of the Sangguniang Panlungsod in the e'ercise of its la*$a)in! authority are deno$inated ordinances. "ocal !overn$ent units have no inherent po*er of e$inent do$ain and can e'ercise it only *hen e'pressly authori5ed by the le!islature. By virtue of R( 6160, Con!ress conferred upon local !overn$ent units the po*er to e'propriate. /rdinance 7o. 189: *hich authori5ed the e'propriation of petitioners0 lot *as enacted by the 4P of Cebu City to provide sociali5ed housin! for the ho$eless and lo*>inco$e residents of the City. 1o*ever, *hile *e reco!ni5e that housin! is one of the $ost serious social proble$s of the country, local !overn$ent units do not possess unbridled authority to e'ercise their po*er of e$inent do$ain in see)in! solutions to this proble$. There are t*o le!al provisions *hich li$it the e'ercise of this po*er? -1. no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property *ithout due process of la*, nor shall any person be denied the e#ual protection of the la*s@ and -2. private property shall not be ta)en for public use *ithout +ust co$pensation. Thus, the e'ercise by local !overn$ent units of the po*er of e$inent do$ain is not absolute. &n fact, 4ection 19 of R( 6160 itself e'plicitly states that such e'ercise $ust co$ply *ith the provisions of the Constitution and pertinent la*s.

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