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Case Digest on NAPOCOR v.

Gutierrez, 193 SCRA 1 (1991)Plaintiff National Power Corporation (Napocor), for the
construction of its 230 KV M e x i c o - L i m a y t r a n s m i s s i o n l i n e s , i t s l i n e s h a v e t o p a s s t h e l a n d s
b e l o n g i n g t o respondents Matias Cruz, heirs of Natalie Paule and spouses Misericordia Gutierrezand Recardo Malit. Unsuccessful
with its negotiations for the acquisition of the rightof way easements, Napocor was constrained to file eminent domain
proceedings. Trial courts ordered that the defendant spouses were authorized to withdraw thefixed provisional value of their land in
the sum of P973.00 deposited by the plaintiff to cover the provisional value of the land to proceed their construction and for thepurpose
of determining the fair and just compensation due the defendants, the c o u r t a p p o i n t e d t h r e e c o m m i s s i o n e r s ,
comprised of one representative of theplaintiff, one for the defendants and the other from the
c o u r t , w h o t h e n w e r e empowered to receive evidence, conduct ocular inspection of the premises, and thereafter,
prepare their appraisals as to the fair and just compensation to be paidto the owners of the lots. The lower court rendered judgement
ordered Napocor top a y d e f e n d a n t s p o u s e s t h e s u m o f P 1 0 . 0 0 p e r s q u a r e m e t e r a s t h e f a i r
a n d reasonable compensation for the right-of -way easement of the affected area and P800.00 as attorney's fees'.
Napocor filed a motion for reconsideration contendingthat the Court of Appeals committed gross error by adjudging the petitioner
liablefor the paym ent of the full market value of the land traversed by its transmission lines, and that it overlooks the
undeniable fact that a simple right-of-way easementransmits no rights, except that of the easement.
ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner should be made to pay simple easement fee orfull compensation for the land traversed by its
transmission lines.
RULING: In RP v. PLDT, the SC ruled that "Normally, the power of eminent domainr e s u l t s i n t h e t a k i n g o r
a p p r o p r i a t i o n o f t h e t i t l e t o , a n d p o s s e s s i o n o f , t h e expropriated property, but no cogent
reason appears why said power may not beavailed of to impose only a burden upon the owner of the condemned
property,w i t h o u t l o s s o f t i t l e o r p o s s e s s i o n . I t i s u n q u e s t i o n a b l e t h a t r e a l p r o p e r t y m a y , through
expropriation, be subjected to an easement of right of way." In this case, the easement is definitely a taking under the
power of eminent domain. Consideringthe nature and effect of the installation of the transmission lines, the
limitationsimposed by the NPC against the use of the land (that no plant higher than 3 metersis allowed below the lines) for an
indefinite period deprives private respondents of i t s o r d i n a r y u s e . F o r t h e s e r e a s o n s , t h e o w n e r o f t h e p r o p e r t y
e x p r o p r i a t e d i s entitled to a just compensation which should neither be more nor less, whenever itis possible to make the
assessment, than the money equivalent of said property. Just equivalent has always been understood to be the just and
complete equivalentof the loss which the owner of the thing expropriated has to suffer by reason of theexpropriation. The price or value
of the land and its character at the time of takingby the Govt. are the criteria for determining just compensation.

Iron and Steel Authority vs. Court of Appeals GR No. 102976, October 25, 1995 FACTS: The Iron and Steel Authority (ISA) was
created by PD No. 272, in order,
to develop and promote the iron and steel industry in the Philippines. Initially, it was created for a term of 5 years but when its original
term expired, its term was extended for another 10 years by EO No. 555. The National Steel Corporation (NSC) then a wholly owned
subsidiary of the National Development Corporation which is an entity wholly owned by the National Government embarked on an
expansion program which includes the construction of a steel mill in Iligan City. Proclamation No. 2239 was issued by the President
withdrawing from sale or settlement a tract of land in Iligan City to be used by the NSC. However, certain portions of the public land
under Proclamation 2239 were occupied by Maria Cristina Fertilizer Co. (MCFC). LOI No. 1277 was issued directing NSC to negotiate
with the owners of MCFC for and on behalf of the
Government for the compensation of MCFCs present occupancy rights on the subject land. The LOI directed that ISA
may exercise the power of eminent domain should the negotiations fail. The negotiations failed and ISA commenced expropriation
proceedings against MCFC. While trial was on-going the statutory existence of ISA had expired prompting MCFC to file the dismissal of
the case since ISA has ceased to be a juridical person.
The trial court granted
MCFCs motion
to dismiss anchoring on the Rules of Cour
t that only natural or juridical persons or entities authorized by law may be parties to a civil case.
ISA moved for a reconsideration contending that despite the expiration of its term, its juridicial existence continued until the winding up
of its affairs could be completed. In the alternative ISA urged that the Rep. of the Philippines should be allowed to be substituted in its
place. The RTC denied its motion for reconsideration. This was affirmed by the CA.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Republic of the Philippines is entitled to be substituted for ISA in view of the expiration of
ISAs term.
HELD: There is no provision in PD No. 272 recognizing ISA as possessing general or comprehensive juridical personality separate and
distinct from that of the Government. ISA in fact appears to be a non-incorporated agency or instrumentality of the Government of the
Republic of the Philippines.
It is common knowledge that other agencies or instrumentalities of the Government of the Republic are case in corporate form, that is to
say, are incorporated agencies or instrumentalities, sometimes with and other times without capital stock, and accordingly vested with a
juridical personality distinct from the personality of the Republic.
The term Authority has been used t
o designate both incorporated and non-incorporated agencies or instrumentalities of the Government.

The Court considers that ISA is properly regarded as an agent or delegate of the Republic of the Philippines.
The Republic itself is a body corporate and juridical person vested with full panoply of powers and attributes which are
compendiously described as legal personality.
When the statutory term of a non-incorporated agency expires, the powers, duties and functions as well as the assets and liabilities of
that agency revert back to, and are re-assumed by, the Republic of the Philippines, in the absence of special provisions of law specifying
some other disposition thereof
such as e.g. devolution or transmission of such powers, duties, functions, etc. to some other identified successor agency or
instrumentality of the Republic of the Philippines. When the expiring agency is an incorporated one, the consequences of such expiry
must be looked for, in the first instance, in the charter of that agency and, by way of supplementation in the provisions of the
Corporation Code.
Since ISA is a non-incorporated agency or instrumentality of the Republic, its powers, duties, functions, assets and liabilities are properly
regarded as folded back into the Government of the Philippines and hence assumed once again by the Republic, no special statutory
provision having been shown to have mandated succession thereto by some other entity or agency of the Republic.
It follows that the Republic of the Philippines is entitled to be substituted in the expropriation proceedings as partyplaintiff in lieu of ISA, the statutory term of ISA having expired. The expiration of ISAs statutory did not by itself
require or justify the dismissal of the eminent domain proceedings. Further, no new legislative act is necessary should the Republic
decide, upon being substituted for ISA, in fact to continue to prosecute the expropriation proceedings.
Respondent Morato filed a free patent application on a parcel of land, which was approved and issued an original certificate of title. Both
the free patent and title specifically mandate that the land shall not be alienated nor encumbered within 5 years from the date of the
issuance of the patent. The District Land Officer, acting upon reports that Morato had encumbered the land and upon finding that the
subject land is submerged in water during high tide and low tide, filed a complaint for cancellation of the title and reversion of the parcel
of land to the public domain. RTC dismissed the complaint. CA affirmed.
1. Whether or not respondent violated the free patent condition prohibiting encumbering the land within the 5-year period?
2. Whether or not the land is of public domain?
1. Yes. Public Land Act Sec. 18 provides thatlands acquired under free patent or homestead provisions shall not be subject to
encumbrance or alienation from the date of approval of the application and for a term of 5 years from and after the date of issuance of the
patent or grantThe contracts of lease and mortgage executed by Morato constitute an encumbrance as contemplated by section 18 of
the Public Land Act because such contracts impair the use of the property.
2. Yes. Based from the facts, the land is clearly foreshore as it is subject to the ebb and flow of the tide. When the sea moved towards the
estate and the tide invaded it, the invaded property became foreshore land and passed to the realm of the public domain. In Government
v. Cabangis, the Court annulled the registration of land subject of cadastral proceedings when the parcel subsequently became foreshore
land. In another case, the Court voided the registration decree of a trial court and held that said court had no jurisdiction to award
foreshore land to any private person or entity. The subject land in this case, being foreshore land should therefor be returned to the public
De Knecht v. Bautista
100 SCRA 660 (1980)
The plan to extend EDSA to Roxas Boulevard to be ultimately linked to the Cavite Coastal Road Project,
originally called for the expropriation of properties along Cuneta Avenue in Pasay City. Later on, however, the
Ministry of Public Highways decided to make the proposed extension pass through Fernando Rein and Del
Pan Streets. Because of the protests of residents of the latter, the Commission on Human Settlements
recommended the reversion to the original plan, but the Ministry argued the new route which save the
government P2 million. The government filed expropriation proceedings against the owners of Fernando Rein
and Del Pan Streets, among whom was petitioner.
Whether or not there is a genuine need to expropriate the properties owned by De Knecht and others
similarly situated on the ground that the choice of properties to be expropriated seemed arbitrarily made by
the DPWH.
The choice of Fernando Rein and Del Pan Streets is arbitrary and should not receive judicial approval. The
Human Settlements Commission concluded that the cost factor is so minimal that it can be disregarded in
making a choice between the two lines. The factor of functionality strongly militates against the choice of
Fernando Rein and Del Pan Streets, while the factor of social and economic impact bears grievously on the
residents of Cuneta Avenue. While the issue would seem to boil down to a choice between people, on one
hand, and progress and development, on the other, it is to be remembered that progress and development

are carried out for the benefit of the people.

Republic v. De Knecht
182 SCRA 142 (1990)
De Knecht was one of the owners of several properties along the Fernando Rein-Del Pan streets which the
Government sought to expropriate to give way to the extension of EDSA and the construction of drainage
facilities. De Knecht filed a case to restrain the Government from proceeding with the expropriation. Her
prayer was denied by the lower court but upon certiorari, the SC reversed the lower court decision and
granted the relief asked for by De Knecht ruling that the expropriation was arbitrary. The case was remanded
to the lower court. No further action was taken despite the SC decision until two years later, in 1983, when
the Government moved for the dismissal of the case on the ground that the Legislature has since enacted BP
340 expropriating the same properties for the same purpose. The lower court denied the motion. Appeal.
Is the final judgment of the court on the subject becomes the law of the case between the parties?
While it is true that said final judgment of this Curt on the subject becomes the law of the case between the
parties, it is equally true that the right of petitioner to take private properties for public use upon payment of
just compensation is so provided in the Constitution and the laws.Such expropriation proceeding may be
undertaken by the petitioner not only by voluntary negotiation with the land owners but also by taking
appropriate court action or by legislation. When BP 340 was passed, it appears that it was based on
supervening events that occurred after the 1980 decision of the SC on the De Knecht case was rendered. The
social impact factor which persuaded the Court to consider this extension to be arbitrary had disappeared.
Moreover, the said decision is no obstacle to the legislative arm of the Government in thereafter making its
own independent assessment of the circumstances then prevailing as to the propriety of undertaking the
expropriation of properties in question and thereafter by enacting the corresponding legislation as it did in
this case. The Court agrees in the wisdom and necessity of enacting BP 340. Thus the anterior decision of the
Court must yield to the subsequent legislative fiat.


G.R. No. L-59603; 29 Apr 1987]
The four parcels of land which are the subject of this case is where the Mactan Export Processing Zone
Authority in Cebu (EPZA) is to be constructed. Private respondent San Antonio Development Corporation
(San Antonio, for brevity), in which these lands are registered under, claimed that the lands were
expropriated to the government without them reaching the agreement as to the compensation. Respondent
Judge Dulay then issued an order for the appointment of the commissioners to determine the just
compensation. It was later found out that the payment of the government to San Antonio would be P15 per
square meter, which was objected to by the latter contending that under PD 1533, the basis of just
compensation shall be fair and according to the fair market value declared by the owner of the property
sought to be expropriated, or by the assessor, whichever is lower. Such objection and the subsequent Motion
for Reconsideration were denied and hearing was set for the reception of the commissioners report. EPZA
then filed this petition for certiorari and mandamus enjoining the respondent from further hearing the case.
Whether or Not the exclusive and mandatory mode of determining just compensation in PD 1533 is
The Supreme Court ruled that the mode of determination of just compensation in PD 1533 is
The method of ascertaining just compensation constitutes impermissible encroachment to judicial
prerogatives. It tends to render the courts inutile in a matter in which under the Constitution is reserved to it
for financial determination. The valuation in the decree may only serve as guiding principle or one of the
factors in determining just compensation, but it may not substitute the courts own judgment as to what
amount should be awarded and how to arrive at such amount. The determination of just compensation is a
judicial function. The executive department or the legislature may make the initial determination but when a
party claims a violation of the guarantee in the Bill of Rights that the private party may not be taken for
public use without just compensation, no statute, decree, or executive order can mandate that its own

determination shall prevail over the courts findings. Much less can the courts be precluded from looking into
the justness of the decreed compensation.
Thursday, July 11, 2013
Eminent Domain (Political Law Cases): Republic, as represenred by NIA vs CA and Francisco Diaz G.R. No.
147245. March 31, 2005


Manuel Diaz owned approximately 172 hectares of property devoted to the planting of palay. The property
was located in La Fuente, Sta. Rosa, Nueva Ecija, and allegedly yielded between 132 to 200 cavans of palay
per hectare every year. After Manuel Diazs death, his son, Franciso Diaz, was appointed administrator of the
In 1972, the National Irrigation Administration bulldozed ten (10) hectares of the Property to build two
irrigation canals. Although the canals when finished occupied only a portion of the 10 hectares, the entire
area became prone to flooding two months out of every year because of the side-burrow method NIA used in
the construction of the canals. NIA completed the canals without instituting expropriation proceedings or
indemnifying the propertys owners. Respondent then sought compensation from NIA for the land affected by
the canals, as well as for losses due to unrealized profits. In 1980, NIA belatedly offered to buy the portions
of the Property occupied by the canals pursuant to NIAs expansion program. The 1980 deeds of sale were
never implemented. Respondent did not receive any consideration pursuant to these deeds. On 20 August
1993, respondent, as administrator of the Property, filed an action for damages and just compensation
against NIA. NIA countered that respondents right to bring the action had prescribed in accordance with RA
3601, as amended by PD 552. NIA also argued that respondents failure to pursue the implementation of the













The principle of laches finds no application in the present case. There is nothing inequitable in giving due
course to respondents claim for compensation. Both equity and the law direct that a property owner should
be compensated if his property is taken for public use.
Eminent domain is the inherent power of a sovereign state to appropriate private property to particular uses
to promote public welfare. No one questions NIAs authority to exercise the delegated power of eminent
domain. However, the power of eminent domain is not limitless. NIA cannot exercise the power with wanton
disregard for property rights. One basic limitation on the States power of eminent domain is the
constitutional directive that, private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation.
The thirteen-year interval between the execution of the 1980 deeds of sale and the 1993 filing of the
complaint does not bar the claim for compensation. This Court reiterated the long-standing rule that where
private property is taken by the Government for public use without first acquiring title thereto either through
expropriation or negotiated sale, the owners action to recover the land or the value thereof does not