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Special Civil Actions 2000 Edition Rule 67 Expropriation

Rule 67

Section 1. The complaint The right of eminent domain shall be

exercised by the filing of a verified complaint which shall state with
certainty the right and purpose of expropriation, describe the real or
personal property sought to be expropriated, and join as defendants
all persons owning or claiming to own, or occupying, any part thereof
or interest therein, showing, so far as practicable, the separate
interest of each defendant. If the title to any property sought to be
expropriated appears to be in the Republic of the Philippines,
although occupied by private individuals, or if the title is otherwise
obscure or doubtful so that the plaintiff cannot with accuracy or
certainty specify who are the real owners, averment to that effect
shall be made in the complaint. (1a)

An action for expropriation is an exercise of the State of its one of the inherent powers:
right of eminent domain.

Q: So how do you define expropriation?

A: It is the power of the sovereign state to take or authorize the taking of any property
within its jurisdiction for public use without the owners consent. (18 Am. Jur. 631) If the
owner consents, there is no need of filing the case.

The normal cause of eminent domain is that the government will take your property
because it is for public use and the owner ayaw ibenta. Or, he is willing to sell but ang
kanyang selling price masyadong mataas and the government does not agree with that
price. So the government has to file an action for expropriation.

Normally, it is a real action because what is involved is a real property. The venue is the
place where the property is located or situated.

Q: Now, what are the limitations in the exercise of eminent domain?

A: The following are the limitations:

1. Exercised only by the State or its entities authorized by law.

Actually, the inherent power belongs to the national government. Not to the
local government.
Q: Does the City of Davao has the power of eminent domain?
A: Yes, because of its charter.
Q: How about other cities?
A: Yes if their charter allows it. Provinces under the local Government Code
but it is a delegated power. They derive their power from the law. Whereas, the
Republic has the inherent power.
The power of eminent domain will be exercised only by the state or by such
entities as may be deemed expressly authorized by law.

2. Just compensation must be paid to the property owner. You cannot just
confiscate it kung walang bayad.

3. In the exercise of the power, due process of law must be observed.

Q: What do you mean by that?

A: You must file a complaint in court, the other party is given the right to file
his answer, to oppose, in determining what is the price. You will be given the
right to present evidence. Basta due process will be observed.

4. Only as much property will be taken as necessary for the legitimate purpose of
For example, the government needs a strip of land to construct a road
traversing your property, kalsada ba. Maybe two lanes, and your property has
an area of 20 hectares.

Q: Should the government expropriate the entire 20 hectares?

A: No. That is too much. We only expropriate yung kailangan mo lang. Not
the entire property. That is another limitation. You only expropriate so much as
necessary for the purpose of the public use intended.
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Q: What kind of property to be expropriated?

A: While we heard the word expropriation and eminent domain what comes into your
mind automatically is lupa eh, land. That is correct. But actually there is nothing in the
law which says that expropriation is limited to real property. You look at Sec. 1. Section 1
says : the right of eminent domain shall be exercised by the filing of verified complaint
which states with certainty the right and purpose of expropriation, described the real or
personal property sought to be expropriated.

Q: Can you file for expropriation personal property?

A: Yes.

Q: So what kind of property can be expropriated?

A: Any kind of property, real, personal, tangible, intangible except, money. Di pwede i-
expropriate ang kwarta! Because if the government will expropriate money, the government
will also pay you with money. Anong klaseng sytema yun? Nagsaulian lang kayo: I will
expropriate your bank deposit of P10 million and then you will determine just
compensation P10 million din! So yan, hindi pwede i-expropriate. Every property is
subject to expropriation except money. Alright.

Q: And the next is you file the complaint, anong nakalagay sa complaint mo?
A: The basic allegations are there in Section 1. The complaint must state in certainty
the right and purpose of expropriation kung para saan yan. And take note ha, the
complaint must be verified. It must describe the real or personal property sought to be

Q: Who should be joined as defendants?

A: All persons owning or claiming to own or interest on the property sought to
condemned showing the separate interest of each defendant. So, if the property is under co-
ownership. All the co-owners will be deemed as defendants. And to be safe, if you have an
interest in the property.

Q: Are we referring only to the may-ari? To the registered owner?

A: No. The SC said, all persons having an interest in the property would refer to the
mortgagee, bacause if the property is going to be expropriated. Kawawa yung mortgagee.
Mawawala na yung mortgage; a lessee, because if it is going to be expropriated, the lease
will be terminated automatically. The government will take-over. This should be included,
if there is payment of just compensation, babayaran rin sila for the disturbance of their
right. The lessee has to be paid for whatever the damage or indemnity he is entitled That is
in the recent case of:

290 SCRA 223, May 20, 1998

ISSUE: Who are those persons having a lawful interest in the property to be
condemned or expropriated?
HELD: The defendants in an expropriation case are not limited to the
owners of the property condemned. They include all other persons owning,
occupying or claiming to own the property. When a parcel of land is taken by
eminent domain, the owner of the fee is not necessarily the only person who is
entitled to compensation. In the American jurisdiction, the term "owner" when
employed in statutes relating to eminent domain to designate the persons who
are to be made parties to the proceeding, refers, as is the rule in respect of those
entitled to compensation, to all those who have lawful interest in the property to
be condemned, including a mortgagee, a lessee and a vendee in possession
under an executory contract. Every person having an estate or interest at law or
in equity in the land taken is entitled to share in the award. If a person claiming
an interest in the land sought to be condemned is not made a party, he is given
the right to intervene and lay claim to the compensation.

Sec. 2. Entry of plaintiff upon depositing value with authorized

government depositary Upon the filing of the complaint or at any
time thereafter and after due notice to the defendant, the plaintiff
shall have the right to take or enter upon the possession of the real
property involved if he deposits with the authorized government
depositary an amount equivalent to the assessed value of the property
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for purposes of taxation to be held by such bank subject to the orders

of the court. Such deposit shall be in money, unless in lieu thereof the
court authorizes the deposit of a certificate of deposit of a government
bank of the Republic of the Philippines payable on demand to the
authorized government depositary.
If personal property is involved, its value shall be provisionally
ascertained and the amount to be deposited shall be promptly fixed by
the court.
After such deposit is made the court shall order the sheriff or
other proper officer to forthwith place the plaintiff in possession of
the property involved and promptly submit a report thereof to the
court with service of copies to the parties. (2a)

For example, the government needs a portion of your land for the purpose of opening a
street. What will the government do? The government files an expropriation case against
you. Of course, you can file your answer if you oppose. There will be trial, decision. We will
wait for the decision to become final. If you lose, you can appeal. Then we will wait for the
decision of the CA. So while we are going to these stages, when will the final judgment
come? Maybe 2 years pa. Matagal pa.

Q: Now, am I trying to say since there is still no judgment or if there is a judgment we

have to wait for its finality, the government cannot proceed with the project?
A: Hinde. Under Section 2, if the government deposits with the depositary bank,
normally the LandBank, an amount equivalent to the assessed value of the property
(usually seen in the tax declaration), the government can file a motion to take over the
property immediately while the case is still pending.

So you cannot paralyze a government project by resisting this. They can take over. That
is the only condition the deposit. The money which the plaintiff deposits is also known as
Preliminary Deposit. That is not really determinative of awardship of the value. Parang kwan
lang yan e, estimate ba. Assessed value man lang. Hindi man market value.

Q: What is the purpose of preliminary deposit:

A: There are two (2) possible purposes:
1. If the government wins the case and the amount of just compensation is now
fixed by the court, the deposit is parang down payment na no? So the
government will just raise the money to fill the balance. Yung deposit,
nakareserba na sa iyo yun e. In short, it is an advance deposit for just
compensation; and

2. If the government lose the case and it has already explored your land, according
to the SC: you are entitled to claim for damages for the damage sustained by
your property because of the entry of the government and that the money
deposited is already an advance deposit by the government to answer for the
damages. (Republic vs. Baylosis, Sept. 30, 1960)

Sec. 3. Defenses and objections. If a defendant has no objection

or defense to the action or the taking of his property, he may file and
serve a notice of appearance and a manifestation to that effect,
specifically designating or identifying the property in which he claims
to be interested, within the time stated in the summons. Thereafter,
he shall be entitled to notice of all proceedings affecting the same.
(first paragraph)

So you are summoned. Suppose wala kang objection; wala kang defense? Well, you can
file a notice of appearance and just manifest: I am not objecting to the right of the
government to expropriate my property.

Section 3 second paragraph - If a defendant has any objection to

the filing of or the allegations in the complaint, or any objection or
defense to the taking of his property, he shall serve his answer within
the time stated in the summons. The answer shall specifically
designate or identify the property in which he claims to have an
interest, state the nature and extent of the interest claimed, and
adduce all his objections and defenses to the taking of his property.

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No counterclaim, cross-claim or third-party complaint shall be alleged

or allowed in the answer or any subsequent pleading.

Now, if you resist, you file an answer outlining your objections or defenses to the taking
of your property. And the new rule is: no counterclaims are allowed; no cross-claims are
allowed; no third-party claims shall be alleged in the answer or any subsequent pleadings.
Ayan! So it is only complaint and answer.

Section 3 last paragraph - A defendant waives all defenses and

objections not so alleged but the court, in the interest of justice, may
permit amendments to the answer to be made not later than ten (10)
days from the filing thereof. However, at the trial of the issue of just
compensation, whether or not a defendant has previously appeared or
answered, he may present evidence as to the amount of the
compensation to be paid for his property, and he may share in the
distribution of the award. (n)

OK. Just like in Ordinary Civil Actions, defenses and objections not alleged in the
answer are waived. Although in the interest of justice, the court may allow to amend your
answer within 10 days from filing thereof.

But whether you file an answer or you do not file an answer, you can participate in
determining on how much just compensation you are entitled. That is another story eh.
Maybe you have no defense to the expropriation but you may dispute the amount that they
appropriate for you.

Sec. 4. Order of expropriation If the objections to and the

defenses against the right of the plaintiff to expropriate the property
are overruled, or when no party appears to defend as required by this
Rule, the court may issue an order of expropriation declaring that the
plaintiff has a lawful right to take the property sought to be
expropriated, for the public use or purpose described in the complaint,
upon the payment of just compensation to be determined as of the
date of the taking of the property or the filing of the complaint,
whichever came first.
A final order sustaining the right to expropriate the property may
be appealed by any party aggrieved thereby. Such appeal, however,
shall not prevent the court from determining the just compensation to
be paid.
After the rendition of such an order, the plaintiff shall not be
permitted to dismiss or discontinue the proceeding except on such
terms as the court deems just and equitable. (4a)

Q: What happens if the defendant will not file an answer? Parang default no? Or what
happens if he files an answer but his objections and defenses are overruled?
A: The court will issue what is known as Order of Expropriation declaring that the
plaintiff has a lawful right to take the property sought to be expropriated, for the public use
or purpose described in the complaint. And from that moment, your property is deemed
automatically expropriated. And that is the end of Part 1 of the case. And now, you will
enter Part 2.

Q: Ano man yang Part 2?

A: We will now determine how much you are entitled. Yan na ang Second Part -
payment of just compensation.

Q: But suppose you are declared in default, are you still entitled to prove that you are
entitled to this amount as just compensation?
A: Ah Yes, because you are only declared in default sa first part lang. But you are not
declared in default in the part 2.

Huwag mong sabihing if you are in default because you did not file an answer, your
property will be expropriated and you will not get anything? There is something wrong
there! Babayaran ka pa rin! Even if you will not file an answer, babayaran ka. And if you
say ito ang dapat!, meron kang personality. You only have no personality in Part 1.

Q: When you receive the order of expropriation (Part 1), can you appeal from the order?
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Is the order of expropriation final or interlocutory? Because if you look at it, parang
interlocutory eh because after issuance of such order, there will still be hearing for just
compensation. And the general rule is, an interlocutory order cannot be appealed until
everything is finished.
A: But look at the law. Second paragraph, A final order sustaining the right to
expropriate the property may be appealed by any party aggrieved thereby. So the order of
expropriation is a final order. You can appeal.

And when you appeal, what will happen to the case? Tuloy! for the purpose of
determining how much you are going to receive. And after hearing the court will say, you
are entitled to receive so much for your property. But you are not satisfied. Appeal na pud
ka. Pwede ba yan? Answer: Yes. You can appeal for the first order, you can also appeal for
the second order.

So, how many appeals do you have? There are two. This is a perfect example of a civil
action wherein multiple appeals are allowed. Remember?

Second paragraph is not present in the 1964 Rules but it is recognized as an instance
were there could be a second appeal as explained in the case of


180 SCRA 576

HELD: There are two (2) stages in every action for expropriation:

1. Determination of the authority of the plaintiff to exercise the power of

eminent domain and the propriety of its exercise in the context and facts
involving the suit. It ends with the order of dismissal or order of
expropriation. Either one is a final order.
If it is a dismissal order, it finally disposes of the action and leaves
nothing more to be done by the court in the merits. So 100% tapos na ang
case. The government may now appeal.
If it is an order of expropriation, thereafter objections to the exercise of
right to expropriate or the propriety thereof, shall be filed. From the moment
the court will say your property will be expropriated, that is now the
settlement of the right of the government. It is a final statement of the right
of the government. So it is a final order which finally disposes of the first

2. Second stage is the determination by the court of just compensation of the

property sought to be taken. The order of fixing the just compensation would
be final too. It could finally dispose of the second stage of the suit and leave
nothing more to be done by the court regarding the issue of just

Therefore, the SC concluded: in actions of eminent domain, two appeals are

allowed. Yan!

Now, when you say just compensation or the value of the property, what do you mean
by value of the property? Value of the property when the case was filed? Or the value of the
property when the property was taken by the government?

Normally sabay yan when the government files the complaint and they ask for
preliminary deposit. I dont think the value of the property will change tremendously in one
or two months.

But there are instances na malayo ang deperensya when the property was taken ahead
of the filing of the case. And that happened several times. Ive seen it happened here in
Davao, near Dumoy. Somebody owns a land there near the highway. Nung sinukat nya,
his property is part of the highway pala which is also part of his title.

Obviously, when the government built the road, the government did not know that they
are encroaching a private property. And the owner did not realize it. And I think the taking
was as early as 1920 pa. And he only realize it in 1970.

Q: Suppose the government nagkamali dito, filed an expropriation to legalize the taking
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of the property 80 years ago. Ano ngayon ang just compensation? Ang presyo nung 1920?
Or the value as of year 2000? Malaking deperensya yan. Maybe at that time, one square
meter is only 10 centavos. Maybe now, it is worth hundreds of pesos. Of course if you are
the owner, mas gusto mo yung ngayon because you are only filing the case now.
A: Look at the first paragraph of Section 4: payment of just compensation to be
determined as of the date of the taking of the property or the filing of the complaint,
whichever came first. Ayun! Whichever came first. If the filing was ahead of the taking, the
value is as of the time of filing. But if the property was taken as early as 1920 and the
government is filing the case for the first time now to correct its mistake, they will pay you
based the price in 1920.

Actually, this provision is just a clarification e. Before, there are confusions in the
jurisprudence. Ano ba talaga ang value? Under the 64 Rules, the value at the time of filing.
But there were some SC decisions saying that it would be too unfair because when it was
taken, the property was practically worthless. But now its valuable. But how come it
become valuable? Precisely because may kalsada na. If the government did not enter to put
up a road, walang value. So your property was enhanced by the taking.

So there were some decided cases which the SC ruled that the value at the time of
taking, among which were the cases of:


REPUBLIC vs. LARA 96 Phil 170 (1954)
ALFONSO vs. PASAY CITY 106 Phil 107 (1960)

And in order to clarify this, nilagay nila under the new rules: as of the date of the
taking of the property or the filing of the complaint, whichever came first.

Q: Now, what is the procedure for the determination of just compensation?

A: The court has to appoint commissioner or commissioners not more than 3 to guide
and help the court in determining how much is the amount.

So each party will go to the commissioner to present their evidence for them to study.
Its good to appoint dito yung mga realtors, assessors or brokers. These are the people who
are well-versed on the value of property. We will have to apply the provisions of Rule 32.
Ano man yang Rule 32? Trial by Commissioners. This is a perfect example of trial by

Sec. 5. Ascertainment of compensation Upon the rendition of the

order of expropriation, the court shall appoint not more than three (3)
competent and disinterested persons as commissioners to ascertain
and report to the court the just compensation for the property sought
to be taken. The order of appointment shall designate the time and
place of the first session of the hearing to be held by the
commissioners and specify the time within which their report shall be
submitted to the court.
Copies of the order shall be served on the parties. Objections to the
appointment of any of the commissioners shall be filed with the court
within ten (10) days from service, and shall be resolved within thirty
(30) days after all the commissioners shall have received copies of the
objections. (5a)

Ok. Not more than three. The court will appoint this committee. If you object to the
appointment of any of the commissioners, you may do so.

Sec. 6. Proceedings by commissioners Before entering upon the

performance of their duties, the commissioners shall take and
subscribe an oath that they will faithfully perform their duties as
commissioners, which oath shall be filed in court with the other
proceedings in the case. Evidence may be introduced by either party
before the commissioners who are authorized to administer oaths on
hearings before them, and the commissioners shall, unless the parties
consent to the contrary, after due notice to the parties to attend, view
and examine the property sought to be expropriated and its
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surroundings, and may measure the same, after which either party
may, by himself or counsel, argue the case. The commissioners shall
assess the consequential damages to the property not taken and
deduct from such consequential damages the consequential benefits to
be derived by the owner from the public use or purpose of the property
taken, the operation of its franchise by the corporation or the
carrying on of the business of the corporation or person taking the
property. But in no case shall the consequential benefits assessed
exceed the consequential damages assessed, or the owner be deprived
of the actual value of his property so taken. (6a)

Sec. 7. Report by commissioners and judgment thereupon The

court may order the commissioners to report when any particular
portion of the real estate shall have been passed upon by them, and
may render judgment upon such partial report, and direct the
commissioners to proceed with their work as to subsequent portions of
the property sought to be expropriated, and may from time to time so
deal with such property. The commissioners shall make a full and
accurate report to the court of all their proceedings, and such
proceedings shall not be effectual until the court shall have accepted
their report and rendered judgment in accordance with their
recommendations. Except as otherwise expressly ordered by the court,
such report shall be filed within sixty (60) days from the date the
commissioners were notified of their appointment, which time may be
extended in the discretion of the court. Upon the filing of such report,
the clerk of the court shall serve copies thereof on all interested
parties, with notice that they are allowed ten (10) days within which
to file objections to the findings of the report, if they so desire. (7a)

Sec. 8. Action upon commissioners report Upon the expiration of

the period of ten (10) days referred to in the preceding section, or even
before the expiration of such period but after all the interested parties
have filed their objections to the report or their statement of
agreement therewith, the court may, after hearing, accept the report
and render judgment in accordance therewith; or, for cause shown, it
may recommit the same to the commissioners for further report of
facts; or it may set aside the report and appoint new commissioners;
or it may accept the report in part and reject it in part; and it may
make such order or render such judgment as shall secure to the
plaintiff the property essential to the exercise of his right of
expropriation, and to the defendant just compensation for the
property so taken. (8a)

So same procedure in Trial by Commissioner. The commissioner will report and they
will give you copy. If you do not believe in their report, you object. And the court may
approve, disapprove or modify it. And once approved, the findings of the commissioner is
automatically the findings of the court.

Lets go to a leading constitutional case which is also relevant to the appointment of the
commissioners. I am referring to the case of


149 SCRA 305

FACTS: During the Martial Law, President Marcos issued a lot of Presidential
Decrees regarding valuation of property. And in these decrees, he resorted to
shortcuts on how to determine the market value ng property mo.
Actually, the market value in a tax declaration has 2 columns. In the first
column is the value as declared by the owner. And in the right column is as
determined by the assessor.
Now, Marcos issued these decrees among which were PDs 79, 464, 794 and
1533. Ito sabi niya: In case of expropriation, in determining the market value of
the property, the market value will be the market value as declared by the owner
himself of as found by the assessor, whichever is lower. Its either the finding of
the government through the assessor or the owner's declaration, meaning, if you
under declare your property you are in estoppel, or if it is the assessor's which
has the lower findings, then they will tell the owner: "why did you not appeal?"
You file your appeal in the Board of Assessors. You are also under estoppel. So
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either way, yari ka!

HELD: All these decrees are unconstitutional because the determination of

just compensation is a judicial function. You cannot deprive the court of its
power to determine the just compensation. It is a judicial function which cannot
be encroached upon by the legislative or executive branch of the government.
Thats why this is also a leading case in political law.
The method of ascertaining just compensation under the aforecited decrees
constitutes impermissible encroachment on judicial prerogatives. It tends to
render this Court inutile in a matter which under the Constitution is reserved to
it for final determination. the court has only to choose between the valuation of
the owner and that of the assessor, and its choice is always limited to the lower
of the two. The court cannot exercise its discretion or independence in
determining what is just or fair. Even a grade school pupil could substitute for
the judge insofar as the determination of constitutional just compensation is
The valuation in the decree may only serve as a guiding principle or one of
the factors in determining just compensation but it may not substitute the
court's own judgment as to what amount should be awarded and how to arrive
at such amount.
[And what do you mean by just compensation?] Just compensation means
the value of the property at the time of the taking. It means a fair and full
equivalent for the loss sustained. All the facts as to the condition of the property
and its surroundings, its improvements and capabilities, should be considered.
Various factors can come into play in the valuation of specific properties
singled out for expropriation. The values given by provincial assessors are
usually uniform for very wide areas covering several barrios or even an entire
town (Dean I: I think so.)
To say that the owners are estopped to question the valuations made by
assessors since they had the opportunity to protest is illusory. The
overwhelming mass of land owners accept unquestioningly what is found in the
tax declarations prepared by local assessors or municipal clerks for them. They
do not even look at, much less analyze, the statements. The idea of
expropriation simply never occurs until a demand is made or a case filed by an
agency authorized to do so.
It is violative of due process to deny to the owner the opportunity to prove
that the valuation in the tax documents is unfair or wrong. And it is repulsive to
basic concepts of justice and fairness to allow the haphazard work of a minor
bureaucrat or clerk to absolutely prevail over the judgment of a court
The determination of "just compensation" in eminent domain cases is a
judicial function. The executive department or the legislature may make the
initial determinations but when a party claims a violation of the guarantee in the
Bill of Rights that private property 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 court's findings. Much less can the courts
be precluded from looking into the "just-ness" of the decreed compensation.

So Sections 5, 6, 7, 8 are all intact. Yan!


206 SCRA 196

FACTS: After the issuance of the order of expropriation, the court did not
anymore appoint commissioners saying that even if there are commissioners,
the report is only recommendatory. The court will still have the final say. So the
appointment of the commissioners can be dispensed with.
ISSUE: May the trial court dispense with the appointment of the
commissioners in expropriation proceedings?
HELD: No. The appointment of the commissioners cannot be dispensed with.
This is a mandatory procedure. This is a substantive right of a party. While it is
true that the court has the final say, the court can do that only if there is a
showing that the report of the commissioners is 100% wrong. It cannot just
disregard the report. The aid of the commissioners is a substantial right that
may not be done away capriciously or for no reason at all.

Sec. 9. Uncertain ownership; conflicting claims If the ownership

of the property taken is uncertain, or there are conflicting claims to
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any part thereof, the court may order any sum or sums awarded as
compensation for the property to be paid to the court for the benefit of
the person adjudged in the same proceeding to be entitled thereto. But
the judgment shall require the payment of the sum or sums awarded
to either the defendant or the court before the plaintiff can enter upon
the property, or retain it for the public use or purpose if entry has
already been made. (9a)

So, there is a conflict or claims in the property subject of expropriation. So what will
happen now? The court will deposit the money and after the conflict is resolved, the money
will be given to the right owner.

Sec. 10. Rights of plaintiff after judgment and payment Upon

payment by the plaintiff to the defendant of the compensation fixed by
the judgment, with legal interest thereon from the taking of the
possession of the property, or after tender to him of the amount so
fixed and payment of the costs, the plaintiff shall have the right to
enter upon the property expropriated and to appropriate it for the
public use or purpose defined in the judgment, or to retain it should
he have taken immediate possession thereof under the provisions of
section 2 hereof. If the defendant and his counsel absent themselves
from the court, or decline to receive the amount tendered, the same
shall be ordered to be deposited in court and such deposit shall have
the same effect as actual payment thereof to the defendant or the
person ultimately adjudged entitled thereto. (10a)

Q: Assuming the government wins the case, when does the plaintiff become the owner
of the property?
A: Usually, upon payment of just compensation. The title to the property will be
transferred to the name of the plaintiff. From that moment, the government has now the
right to possess if it does not earlier entered, because in Section 2 it can take the property
earlier upon deposit of the preliminary deposit.

I noticed that one amendment introduced by the 1997 Rules is you are going to pay the
just compensation with legal interest thereon from the date of the taking of the property
because you might be taking the property as early as 1950 and then case is filed now and
the value of just compensation will be based on the time of the taking. So parang unfair
naman no? Legal interest would make it fair enough.

There was a case here in Davao were that statement came eh. Yang whole PTA and
some property of the late Monteverde. The Monterverdes filed a case to recover the property
which has been named in the name of the City I think as early as 1930 or earlier pa.

The City won in the RTC of Davao. In the CA it was reversed and the Monteverdes were
declared as owners. Since the case is sensitive, the lawyer of the City which is the City
Legal Office admits that it needs also the help of some people. The Office of the City Mayor
called mga 3-5 lawyers to review the case and help the City in preparing the appeal to the
SC. So there are legal consultants there and Batacan is the recent one. We review all the
requirements, circulars, para there is no way for the case to be dismissed simply because of
mere technicalities. That was our function more or less.

But this was asked: When did the government take over the property? The government
has been in possession already for the past 70 years. Suppose the worst scenario, the SC
will affirm the CA, although I believe it will not and thats my personal opinion. But
assuming it will, the family will get back the PTA. Kalaki gud nyan. Its very valuable. But
the government will say: we will expropriate even if we lose. Anyway we are in possession,
we will still expropriate. It will still end up as government property.

But the question is asked: Pila man ang bayaran? Of course sabi ng City Legal Office:
the value as of the time of filing of the complaint. I said: I dont think so because under the
new Rules, it is the value at the time of the taking or at the time of the filing of the
complaint whichever came first. Kailan na-take over? 1930. Ayun! What is the value? The
ascertained value as of 1930. Siguro sentabos pa yan nung araw eh. The most you will pay
is legal interest.

So based on the assessment of the City, come what may the City still wins maski anong
gawin mo. The government has options all along.
Property of LAKAS ATENISTA 39
Special Civil Actions 2000 Edition Rule 67 Expropriation

Sec. 11. Entry not delayed by appeal; effect of reversal The right
of the plaintiff to enter upon the property of the defendant and
appropriate the same for public use or purpose shall not be delayed by
an appeal from the judgment. But if the appellate court determines
that plaintiff has no right of expropriation, judgment shall be
rendered ordering the Regional Trial Court to forthwith enforce the
restoration to the defendant of the possession of the property, and to
determine the damages which the defendant sustained and may
recover by reason of the possession taken by the plaintiff. (11a)

Assuming the government has not entered yet and wins the case then nag-appeal ka.
Immediately executory! Even if the judgment is not yet final, you appeal will not delay the
enforcement of the judgment.

On the other hand the government will lose the appeal, bayad! The government will pay
you damages also. Thats why meron ng preliminary deposit.

Sec. 12. Costs, by whom paid The fees of the commissioners

shall be taxed as a part of the costs of the proceedings. All costs,
except those of rival claimants litigating their claims, shall be paid by
the plaintiff, unless an appeal is taken by the owner of the property
and the judgment is affirmed, in which event the costs of the appeal
shall be paid by the owner. (12a)

Sec. 13. Recording judgment, and its effect The judgment

entered in expropriation proceedings shall state definitely, by an
adequate description, the particular property or interest therein
expropriated, and the nature of the public use or purpose for which it
is expropriated. When real estate is expropriated, a certified copy of
such judgment shall be recorded in the registry of deeds of the place
in which the property is situated, and its effect shall be to vest in the
plaintiff the title to the real estate so described for such public use or
purpose. (13a)

Sec. 14. Power of guardian in such proceedings The guardian

or guardian ad litem of a minor or of a person judicially declared
to be incompetent may, with the approval of the court first had, do
and perform on behalf of his ward any act, matter, or thing
respecting the expropriation for public use or purpose of property
belonging to such minor or person judicially declared to be
incompetent, which such minor or person judicially declared to be
incompetent could do in such proceedings if he were of age or
competent. (14a)

Q: A property has been expropriated for public purpose and the government won.
Suppose someday the government abandons the public use, will the ownership go back to
the original owner or will it still remain as government property?
A: In an old case sabi ng SC: depende. If the judgement says that if the public purpose
is later on abandoned and there would be reversion, then the property will go back to its
original owners. But if the judgment is silent, the government continues to own the
property. There will be no reversion. (Fery vs. Mun. of Cabanatuan, 42 Phil. 28)

And this ruling always remind me of what happened here in Davao. Its not really
expropriation but it is similar that the original owner can get back the property from the

I am referring to land occupied by the Sentral Bank (Uy! Du-ol ila Maya ug Chelin!).
Dyan banda sa Tomas Claudio, Jacinto. That was owned by the old Province of Davao.
Before the division of the Province of Davao into 3, the Province owns several properties.

Before the Province acquired that property, who was the owner? Again, the so-called
Monteverdes. Kaya nga the children, the well-known Mrs. Garcia, the mother of
Congressman Garcia and the Tiongco family, mga descendants man yan ba.

Property of LAKAS ATENISTA 40

Special Civil Actions 2000 Edition Rule 67 Expropriation

That property was donated by the Tiongco family to the Province to be used as court
and jail. However when the Province of Davao was divided into 3, they have to move outside
of the City because they have their own capital: Digos, Tagum, Mati. What did they do with
their property in Davao City? They sold it. Kaya nga itong Sanggunian was sold in the City
and the City wanted to buy that property. But the City was outweighted by the Sentral

I remember there was a sort of resentment why it was sold to the Sentral Bank rather
than the City at that time. What was the issue? The heirs of the original owner said based
on what they recollect, when that property was donated to the Province of Davao, in the
deed of donation, there was a condition that if the property is no longer needed for court
and jail, isauli! So they wanted to recover, revoke the donation. The trouble is, where is t he
deed of donation? Nobody has a copy! Because you have to invoke it. Yun ang nakalagay
eh. The Register of Deeds cannot find the copy.

What happened to the original documents, to the original archives of the Province?
Actually the documents were also divided into 3. Assuming it is still in the archives of the
original Province, ay sus! Kahirap! They could not find it anymore. They were trying to look
out the notarial books of notaries public going back in 1930 to find out who notarized it.
Sus! Kahirap. That is why nothing came out of it.

Actually, if you and your family can recover the property, youll become billionaire
considering the current value of real estates in that area.

Thats why I was telling some of them, madali man lang yan ba. Because right now you
do not know whether the document exists or does not exist. Maybe for all you know the
deed of donation is completely lost. But maybe it is intact or nobody is looking for it. Sinabi
nila; we look, we look, we look. How did you look? We went to ask somebody to look. Yun
lang? Ah walang mangyari sa inyo nyan! You do not know how to look for the documents

The first thing, did you go to Zamboanga? Because at that time, the Register of Deeds
for the whole Mindanao was in Zamboanga. So nung City na ang Davao, the documents
were transferred there. May mga na-cancel, so nandun yun! Why dont you go there? Of
course archives na yan. You are looking for documents which are almost 100 years old.
Now you need somebody to look for that. Somebody who knows.

Sabi ko, if I were you, I will give the Registrar of Deeds P50,000 to look for it. If you can
locate it, another P100,000! Tingnan natin kung hindi maglabas yan!

Now, because na-hati-hati yung documents noon eh? You go to the 3 provinces. You go
there. You invest: Im giving you so much to look. If you recover it, Ill double it. You invest
half a million. But if you recover it, that is worth billions! My golly! Ano man lang yang half
million as compared to the value of the land?! That is the way to move. Hindi pwedeng
laway lang yan. Hindi pwede yan. Somebody has to invest money.

Ok. Lets go to the last point in expropriation.


July 20, 1998 (292 SCRA 678)

FACTS: The government filed an expropriation case and by reason of some

technicalities the case was dismissed and the judgment became final. The
expropriation is not for public purpose.
After 20 years, the government would like to file another case because of the
changed conditions. Sabi ng defendant, ah hindi na pwede. Wala na yan! Res

ISSUE: Is the principle of res judicata strictly applies to expropriation cases?

HELD: NO. the principle of res judicata does not strictly apply against the
State in eminent domain because you cannot curtail an inherent power of the

the principle of res judicata, which finds application in generally all cases
and proceedings, cannot bar the right of the State or its agent to expropriate
private property The scope of eminent domain is plenary and, like police
Property of LAKAS ATENISTA 41
Special Civil Actions 2000 Edition Rule 67 Expropriation

power, can reach every form of property which the State might need for public
use Thus, the State or its authorized agent cannot be forever barred from
exercising said right by reason alone of previous non-compliance with any legal


Property of LAKAS ATENISTA 42