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Municipality of Meycauayan vs.

Intermediate Appellate Court


GR no. 72126, Jan 29, 1988
Facts:
Philippine Pipes and Merchandising Corporation, the respondent, owns a parcel of
land adjacent to its factory covered by Transfer Certificates #215165 and 37879. In
1975, the company filed for an application to fence the said land for use as storage
for their heavy equipment and finished products. At the same time, the Municipal
Council of Meycauayan passed Resolution # 258 manifesting intention to
expropriate the land with title #37879 for use as public road. The Provincial Board
of Bulacan disapproved and annulled the resolution. In 1983, the Municipal council
once again passed a resolution with the same intent which was then approved by
the Provl Board in 1984.Feb 14 1984, petitioner filed a special civil action for
expropriation with RTC of Malolos. Upon deposit of P24,025.00, the market value,
the trial court issued writ of possession in favor of petitioner. Respondent appealed
with IAC and the latter affirmed the trial courts decision. Respondent filed for
motion for reconsideration and IAC re-examined its decision and reversed the
decision saying there is no genuine necessity to expropriate the land as public road
since there are several roads for that purpose and that another more appropriate lot
is available. Also, IAC opined that the land is more ideal for storage area. Thus, this
is a petition for review on Certiorari for the IAC resolution or Court of appeals
resolution dismissing the special civil action for expropriation filed by petitioner.
Issue:
Is the petitioner justified for expropriating the land?
Held:
The foundation of the right to exercise power of eminent domain is GENUINE
NECESSITY and the necessity must be of PUBLIC CHARACTER. Condemnation of
private property is justified only if it is for the public good and there is genuine
necessity. Thus, the courts have power to inquire into the legality of the exercise of
the right of eminent domain and to determine whether there is genuine necessity.
SC found that the land is just about 6-7 meters wide, clearly not appropriate
for building a public road considering that it can only accommodate a one way road
and that there are several roads already used for the same purpose. Also, there is a
much wider strip of land that is for sale and is more appropriate for expropriation.
The purpose of the petitioner that the road is needed to decongest the volume of
traffic can be fully and better attained by the other roads or the other land and
expropriating this land will only cause unjustified damage to the company.