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EMINENT DOMAIN DEFINITION

ESTATE OF HEIRS OF THE LATE EX-JUSTICE JOSE B.L. REYES v.


CITY OF MANILA
G.R. No. 132431 February 13, 2004

FACTS OF THE CASE:


Jose B. L. Reyes and petitioners Heirs of Edmundo Reyes are the pro-indiviso co-owners in equal
proportion of 11 parcels of land situated at Sta. Cruz District, Manila, being occupied and leased by
different tenants, which petitioners filed ejectment complaints against.
Upon the death of Jose B.L. Reyes he was substituted by his heirs. Petitioners obtained favorable
judgments against said respondents.
Meanwhile, during the pendency of the two ejectment cases, respondent City filed a complaint for
eminent domain (expropriation) of the properties of petitioners at the RTC.
The trial court allowed respondent City to take possession of the subject property upon payment of the
deposit based on the offer by respondent City to petitioners which the trial court fixed as the provisional
amount of the subject properties.
While its complaint for eminent domain was dismissed and respondent Citys motion for reconsideration
was denied.
It appealed the decision of the trial court to the Court of Appeals.
The Court of Appeals rendered the assailed decision reversing the trial court judgment and upholding
as valid respondent Citys exercise of its power of eminent domain over petitioners properties.
From the aforementioned decision of the Court of Appeals, petitioners filed petition for review before this
Court. Alleging that respondent City cannot expropriate the subject parcels of land.

ISSUE: Whether or not the respondent City may legally expropriate the subject properties of the petitioners?

RULING:
*SCRA:
Constitutional Law; State Powers; Eminent Domain; Private lands rank last in the order of priority for
purposes of socialized housing.Private lands rank last in the order of priority for purposes of socialized
housing. In the same vein, expropriation proceedings are to be resorted to only after the other modes of
acquisition have been exhausted. Compliance with these conditions is mandatory because these are
the only safeguards of oftentimes helpless owners of private property against violation of due process
when their property is forcibly taken from them for public use.

Same; Same; Same; The State has a paramount interest in exercising its power of eminent domain for
the general good.The State has a paramount interest in exercising its power of eminent domain for
the general good considering that the right of the State to expropriate private property as long as it is for
public use always takes precedence over the interest of private property owners. However we must not
lose sight of the fact that the individual rights affected by the exercise of such right are also entitled to
protection, bearing in mind that the exercise of this superior right cannot override the guarantee of due
process extended by the law to owners of the property to be expropriated. In this regard, vigilance over
compliance with the due process requirements is in order.
EMINENET DOMAIN WHO EXERCISES THE POWER?

THE CITY OF MANILA v.


CHINESE COMMUNITY OF MANILA, ET AL.
G.R. No. L-14355 October 31, 1919

FACTS OF THE CASE:


The city of Manila presented a petition to expropriate certain parcels of land situated in the Block 83 of
Binondo for the purpose of constructing a public improvement namely, the extension of Rizal Avenue,
Manila. And alleged that the expropriation was necessary.
The defendants, Comunidad de Chinos de Manila, Ildefonso Tambunting and Feliza Concepcion de
Delgado, with her husband, Jose Maria Delgado, and each of the other defendants, alleged (a) that no
necessity existed for said expropriation and (b) that the land in question was a cemetery, which had
been used as such for many years, and that the same should not be converted into a street for public
purposes.
Upon the issue thus presented by the petition and the various answers, the Honorable Simplicio del
Rosario, judge, decided that there was no necessity for the expropriation of the particular strip of land in
question, and absolved each and all of the defendants from all liability under the complaint, without any
finding as to costs.
From that judgment the plaintiff appealed.

ISSUE(S): Whether or not the City of Manila has the right to exercise the right of expropriation? And whether or
not a private property devoted for public use be expropriated?

RULING:
*SCRA:

1.EMINENT DOMAIN ; EXPROPRIATION OF PRIVATE PROPERTY. The right of expropriation is


not inherent power in a municipal corporation and before it can exercise the right some law must exist conferring
the power upon it. A municipal corporation in this jurisdiction cannot expropriate public property. The land to be
expropriated must be private, and the purpose of the expropriation must be public. If the court, upon trial, finds
that neither of said condition exists, or that either one of them fails, the right to expropriate does not exist. If the
property is taken in' the ostensible behalf of a public improvement which it can never by any possibility serve, it
is being taken for a use not public, and the owner's constitutional rights call for protection by the courts.
That since the city of Manila is only permitted to condemn private property for public use and since the Chinese
Cemetery in the city of Manila is a public cemetery already devoted to a public use, the city of Manila cannot
condemn a portion of the cemetery for a public street.

11.ID. ; CEMETERIES, EXPROPRIATION OF.Where a cemetery is open to the public, it is a public


use and no part of the ground can be taken for other public uses under a general authority.

12.ID.; ID.The city of Manila is not authorized to expropriate public property.

Per MALCOLM, J., concurring:

17.ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.Land already devoted to a public use cannot be taken by the public for another
use which is inconsistent with the first without special authority from the Legislature or authority granted by
necessary and reasonable implication.

24.ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.Held: That since the city of Manila is only permitted to condemn
private property for public use and since the Chinese Cemetery in the city of Manila is a public cemetery already
devoted to a public use, the city of Manila cannot condemn a portion of the cemetery for a public street.
EMINENT DOMAIN OBJECT OF APPROPRIATION

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES v.


PHILIPPINE LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE COMPANY
G.R. No. L-18841 January 27, 1969

FACTS OF THE CASE:


The defendant Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, complained to the Bureau of
Telecommunications that said bureau was violating the conditions under which their Private Branch
Exchange (PBX) is inter-connected with the PLDT's facilities, referring to the rented trunk lines, for the
Bureau had used the trunk lines not only for the use of government offices but even to serve private
persons or the general public, in competition with the business of the PLDT; and gave notice that if said
violations were not stopped, the PLDT would sever the telephone connections. When the PLDT received
no reply, it disconnected the trunk lines being rented by the Bureau. The result was the isolation of the
Philippines, on telephone services, from the rest of the world, except the United States.
After trial, the lower court rendered judgment that it could not compel the PLDT to enter into an
agreement with the Bureau because the parties were not in agreement; that under Executive Order 94,
establishing the Bureau of Telecommunications, said Bureau was not limited to servicing government
offices alone, nor was there any in the contract of lease of the trunk lines, since the PLDT knew, or ought
to have known, at the time that their use by the Bureau was to be public throughout the Islands, hence
the Bureau was neither guilty of fraud, abuse, or misuse of the poles of the PLDT; and, in view of serious
public prejudice that would result from the disconnection of the trunk lines, declared the preliminary
injunction permanent, although it dismissed both the complaint and the counterclaims.
Both parties appealed.

ISSUE: Whether or not the State can compel PLDT, a private corporation, to provide telecommunication services
for the government telephone system.

RULING:
PERSONS AND ENTITES MAY NOT BE COMPELLED TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH THE
GOVERNMENT, BUT THE LATTER MAY EXERCISE THE POWER OF EMINENT DOMAIN TO IMPOSE
BURDEN ON A PROPERTY WITHOUT ACTUAL TAKING.

*SCRA:
Constitutional law; Sovereign power of eminent domain; Republic of the Philippines may require
telephone company to permit interconnection of the government telephone system and that of the PLDT; Right
of way; State may require a public utility to render services in the general interest; Case at bar. The Republic
may, in the exercise of the sovereign power of eminent domain, require the telephone company to permit
111terconnection of the government telephone system and that of the PLDT, as the needs of the government
service may require, subject to the payment of just compensation to be determined by the court. Normally, of
course, the power of eminent domain results. in the taking or appropriation of title to, and possession of, the
expropriated property; but no cogent reason appears why the said power may not be availed of to impose only a
burden upon the owner of condemned property, without loss of title and possession. It is unquestionable that real
property may, through expropriation, be subjected to an easement of right of way. The use of the PLDT's lines
and services to allow interservice connection between both telephone systems is not much different. In -either
case private property is subjected to a burden for public use and benefit. If, under section 6, Article XIII, of the
Constitution, the State may; in the interest of national welfare, transfer utilities to public ownership upon payment
of just compensation, there is no reason why the State may not require a public utility to render services in the
general interest, provided just compensation is paid therefor. Ultimately, the beneficiary of the interconnecting
service would be the users of both telephone systems, so that the condemnation would be for public use.

Same; Bureau of Telecommunications; Purpose of its creation; Its functions and powers; Power to resort
to condemnation proceedings.The Bureau of Telecommunications, under section 78 (b) of Executive Order
No. 94, may operate and maintain wire telephone or radio telephone communications throughout the Philippines
by utilizing existing facilities in cities, towns, and provinces under such terms and conditions or arrangement with
present owners or operators as may be agreed upon to the satisfaction of all concerned; but there is nothing in
this section that would exclude resort to condemnation proceedings where unreasonable or unjust terms and
conditions are exacted, to the extent of crippling or seriously hampering the operations of said Bureau.

The Bureau of Telecommunications was created in pursuance of a state policy reorganizing the
government offices "to meet the exigencies attendant upon the establishment of the free and independent
Government of the Republic of the Philippines, and for the purpose of promoting simplicity, -economy and
efficiency in its operation" (Section 1, Republic Act No. 51) and the determination of statepolicy is not vested in
the Commission (Utilities Com. v. Bartonville Bus Line, 290 111 574; 124 N. E. 373).