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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II RULINGS

THE INHERENT POWERS OF THE STATE: But if the owner of the private property is unwilling
to part with it, or, being willing, cannot agree to the
POWER OF EMINENT DOMAIN conditions of the transfer, then it will be necessary for
the government to use its coercive authority. By its
AMIGABLE vs. CUENCA power of eminent domain, it can then, upon payment
 If the constitutional mandate that the owner be compensated of just compensation, forcibly acquire the needed
for the property taken for public use were to be respected, as property in order to devote it to the intended public
it should, then a suit of this character should not be use.
summarily dismissed. The doctrine of governmental
immunity from suit cannot serve as an instrument for SUMULONG vs. GUERRERO
perpetrating an injustice on a citizen … If there was an  Socialized Housing is defined as, “the construction of
observance of procedural regularity, petitioners would not be dwelling units for the middle and lower class members of
in the said plaint they are now. our society, including the construction of the supporting
 It is not too much to say that when the government takes any infrastructure and other facilities”
property for public use, which is conditioned upon the  The term public use has acquired a more comprehensive
payment of just compensation, to be judicially ascertained, coverage. To the literal import of the term signifying strict
it makes manifest that it submits to the jurisdiction of the use or employment by the public has been added the
court. broader notion of indirect public benefit or advantage.
 As registered owner, she could bring an action to recover  Urban renewal or redevelopment and the construction of
possession of the portion of the land in question at any time low-cost housing is recognized as a public purpose, not
because possession is one of the attributes of ownership. only because of the expanded concept of public use but also
However, since restoration of possession of said portion by because of specific provisions in the Constitution. The 1973
the government is neither convenient nor feasible at this time Constitution made it incumbent upon the State to establish,
because it is now and has been used for road purposes, the maintain, and ensure adequate social services including
only relief available is for the government to make due housing.
compensation which it could and should have done years  The UN General Assembly is seriously concerned that,
ago. despite efforts of Governments at the national and local
 To determine the due compensation for the land, the basis levels and of international organizations, the driving
should be the prince or value thereof at the time of the taking. conditions of the majority of the people in slums and
squatter areas and rural settlements, especially in
PHILIPPINE PRESS INSTITUTE vs. COMELEC developing countries, continue to deteriorate in both
 The extent of the taking or deprivation is not insubstantial; relative and absolute terms.

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this is not a case of a de minimis temporary limitation or  Official data indicate that more than one third of the
restraint upon the use of private property. The monetary households nationwide do not own their dwelling places.
value of the compulsory “donation,” measured by the  Expropriation is not confined to landed estates
advertising rates ordinarily charged by newspaper publishers
whether in cities or in non-urban areas, may be very The propriety of exercising the power of
substantial indeed. eminent domain under Article XIII, section 4 of
 The taking of print space here sought to be effected may first our Constitution cannot be determined on a
be appraised under the rubric of expropriation of private purely quantitative or area basis. Not only does
personal property for public use. the constitutional provision speak of lands
instead of landed estates, but I see no cogent
Threshold Requisites for a lawful taking reason why the government, in its quest for
1. The necessity of the taking social justice and peace, should exclusively
2. Legal authority to effect the taking devote attention to conflicts of large
proportions, involving a considerable number
 It has not been suggested, let alone demonstrated, the of individuals, and eschew small controversies
COMELEC has been granted the power of eminent domain and wait until they grow into a major problem
either by the Constitution or by the legislative authority. A before taking remedial action. (Justice J.B.L.
reasonable relationship between the power and the Reyes’ dissenting opinion in J.M. Tuazon Co.,
enforcement and administration of election laws by Inc. v. Land Tenure Administration)
COMELEC must be shown; it is not casually to be assumed.
 Citing Noble v. City of Manila  Absent a clear showing of fraud, bad faith, or gross abuse
of discretion, the Court will give due weight to and leave
[w]here private properties needed for conversion to undisturbed the NHA’s choice and the size of the site for
some public use, the first thing obviously that the the project.
government should do is to offer to buy it. If the  Various factors can come into play in valuation of specific
owner is willing to sell and the parties can agree on properties singled out for expropriation. That values given
the price and the other conditions of the sale, a by provincial assessors are usually uniform for very wide
voluntary transaction can then be concluded and the areas covering several barrios or even an entire total with
transfer effected without the necessity of judicial the exception of the poblacion. Individual differences are
action. never taken into account. The value of land is based on
such generalities as its possible cultivation of rice, corn,
coconuts, or other crops. Very often land described in terms
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II RULINGS

of only two or three classes of building materials and  The determination of “just compensation” in eminent
estimates of areas are more often inaccurate than correct. domain cases is a judicial function. The executive
Tax values can serve as guides but cannot be absolute department or the legislative may make the initial
substitutes for just compensation. determinations but when a party claims a violation of the
guarantee of Bill of Rights that private property may not
 It is violative of due process to deny to the owner the be taken for public use without just compensation, no
opportunity to prove that the valuation in the tax documents statute, decree, or executive order can mandate that its own
is unfair or wrong. And it is repulsive to basic concepts of determination shall prevail over the court’s findings. Much
justice and fairness to allow the haphazard work of minor less can the courts be precluded from looking into the
bureaucrat or clerk to absolutely prevail over the judgment “just-ness” of the decreed compensation.
of a court promulgated only after expert commissioners
have actually viewed the property, after evidence and MUNICIPALITY OF PARANAQUE vs. V.M. REALTY CORP
arguments pro and con have been presented, and after all The following essential requisites must concur before a local
factors and considerations essential to a fair and just government unit can exercise the power of eminent domain:
determination have been judiciously evaluated. 1. An ordinance is enacted by local legislative council
authorizing the local chief executive, in behalf of the local
Requirements before a writ of possession may be issued: government unit, to exercise the power of eminent domain
1. There must be a Complaint for expropriation sufficient in or pursue expropriation proceedings;
form and in substance; 2. The power of eminent domain is exercised for public use,
2. A provisional determination of just compensation for the purpose, or welfare;
properties sought to be expropriated must be made by the 3. There is a payment of just compensation;
trial court on the basis of judicial discretion; and 4. A valid and definite offer has been previously made to the
3. The deposit requirement under Section 2, Rule 67 must be owner of the property sought to be expropriated, but said
complied with. offer was not accepted

MANOSCA vs. COURT OF APPEALS  A municipal ordinance is different from a resolution. A


 Eminent Domain is a right to take or reassert dominion resolution is merely a declaration of the sentiment or
over property within the state for public use or to meet a opinion of a lawmaking body on a specific matter. An
public exigency. It is said to be an essential part of ordinance possesses a general and permanent character. An
governance even in its most primitive form and thus ordinance is a law.
inseparable from sovereignty. The only direct  Resolution and ordinance are enacted differently – a third
constitutional qualification is that private property shall reading is necessary for an ordinance, but not for a
not be taken for public use without just compensation. resolution, unless decided otherwise by a majority of all the

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 For condemnation purposes, public use is one which Sanggunian members.
confers same benefit or advantage to the public; it is not  The power of eminent domain necessarily involves a
confined to the actual use by public. It is measured in terms derogation of a fundamental or private rights of the people.
of right of public to use proposed facilities for which Accordingly, the manifest change in the legislative
condemnation is sought and, as long as public has right of language – from resolution under BP 337 to ordinance
use, whether exercised by one or many members of public, under RA 7160 – demands a strict construction. No species
a public advantage or public benefit accrues sufficient to of property is held by individuals with greater tenacity, and
constitute a public use. is guarded by the Constitution and laws more sedulously,
 The purpose in setting up a marker is essentially to than the right to the freehold of inhabitants. When the
recognize the distinctive contribution of the late Felix legislature interferes with that right and, for greater public
Manalo to the culture of the Philippines, rather than to purposes, appropriates the land of an individual without his
commemorate his founding and leadership of the Iglesia ni consent, the plain meaning of the law should not be
Cristo than by most others could well be true but such a enlarged by doubtful interpretation.
peculiar advantage still remains to be merely incidental and  The Court holds that the principle of res judicata, which
secondary in nature. finds application in generally all cases and proceedings,
 That only a few would actually benefit from the cannot bar the right of the State or its agent to expropriate
expropriation of property does not necessarily diminish the private property. The very nature of eminent domain, as an
essence and character of public use. inherent power of the State, dictates that the right to
exercise the power be absolute and unfettered even by a
EPZA vs. DULAY prior judgment or res judicata.
 Another consideration why the Court is empowered to  The scope of eminent domain is plenary and, like police
appoint commissioners to assess the just compensation of power, can reach every form of property which the State
these properties under eminent domain proceedings, it the might need for public use.
well-entrenched rule that “the owner of property  The power of the State or its agent to exercise eminent
expropriated is entitled to recover from expropriating domain is not diminished by the mere fact that a prior final
authority the fair and full value of the lot, as of the time judgment over the property to be expropriated has become
when possession thereof was actually taken by the the law of the case as to the parties. The State or its
province, plus consequential damages – including authorized agent may still subsequently exercise its right
attorney’s fees – from which the consequential benefits, if expropriate the same property, once all legal requirements
any should be deducted, with interest at the legal rate, on are complied with. To rule otherwise will not only
the aggregate sum due to the owner from and after the date improperly diminish the power of eminent domain, but also
of actual taking.” clearly defeat social justice.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II RULINGS

government cannot keep the property and dishonor the


REPUBLIC vs. LIM judgment.
 Republic’s delay is contrary to the rules of fair play, as just
compensation embraces not only the correct
determination of the amount to be paid to the owners of
the land, but also the payment for the land within a
reasonable time from its taking. Without prompt payment,
compensation cannot be considered just. In jurisdictions
similar to ours, where the entry to the expropriated property
precedes the payment of compensation, it has been held that
if the compensation is not paid in a reasonable time, the
party may be treated as a trespasser ad initio.
 Title to property which is the subject of condemnation
proceedings does not vest the condemnor until the
judgment fixing just compensation is entered and paid,
but the condemnor’s title relates back to the date on which
the petition under the Eminent Domain Act, or the
commissioners’ report under the Local Improvement Act,
is filed.
 Although the rights to appropriate and use land taken for
canal is complete at the time of entry, title to the property
taken remains in the owner until payment is actually
made.

Two Stages of Expropriation of Lands


1. First stage is concerned with the determination of the
authority of the plaintiff to exercise the power of eminent
domain and the propriety of its exercise in the context of
the facts involved in the suit. It ends with an order, if not of
dismissal of the action, of condemnation declaring that the
plaintiff has a lawful right to take the property sought to be
condemned, for the public use or purpose described in the
complaint, upon the payment of juts compensation to be

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determined as of the date of the filing of the complaint.
2. The second phase of the eminent domain action is
concerned with the determination by the court of the just
compensation for the property sought to be taken. This is
done by the court with the assistance of not more than three
(3) commissioners.

 At any rate, assuming that respondent had indeed


knowledge of the annotation, still nothing would have
prevented him from entering into a mortgage contract
involving Lot 932 while expropriation proceeding was
pending

it is only upon the completion of these two stages


that expropriation is said to have been completed.
Moreover, it is only upon payment of juts
compensation that title over the property passes to
the government. Therefore, until the action for
expropriation has been completed and terminated,
ownership over the property being expropriated
remains with the registered owner. Consequently,
the latter can exercise all rights pertaining to an
owner, including the right to dispose of his
property subject to the power of the State
ultimately to acquire it through expropriation.

 In cases where the government failed to pay just


compensation within five (5) years from the finality of
judgment in the expropriation proceedings, the owners
concerned shall have the right to recover possession of their
property. This is in consonance with the principle that the
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II RULINGS

THE INHERENT POWERS OF THE STATE: PUNSALAN vs. MUNICIPAL BOARD OF MANILA
 The City of Manila Charter in express terms empowers the
POWER OF TAXATION Municipal Board “to fix penalties for the violation of
ordinances which shall not exceed to two hundred pesos
SISON vs. ANCHETA fine or six months’ imprisonment or both such fine and
 The power to tax “is an attribute of sovereignty. It is the imprisonment for a single offense.”
strongest of all the powers of government.”  On class legislation: The legislature may, in its discretion,
 The power to tax is not unconfined. There are restrictions. select what occupations shall be taxed, and in the exercise
There are restrictions. The Constitution sets forth such of that discretion, it may tax all, or it may select for taxation
limits. Adversely affecting as it does property rights, both certain classes and leave others untaxed … it is not for the
the due process and equal protection clauses may properly courts to judge what particular cities or municipalities
be invoked, as petitioner does, to invalidate in appropriate should be empowered to impose occupation taxes in
cases a revenue measure. addition to those imposed by the National Government.
 At any rate, it is inherent in the power to tax that a state be That matter is peculiarly within the domain of the political
free to select the subjects of taxation, and it has been departments and the courts would do well not to encroach
repeatedly held that ‘inequalities which result from singling upon it.
out of one particular class for taxation, or exemption  On double taxation: What constitutes exercise or pursuit of
infringe no constitutional limitation.’” (Lutz v. Araneta) a profession in the city is a matter of judicial determination.
 Equality and uniformity in taxation means that all taxable The argument against double taxation may not be invoked
articles or kinds of property of the same class shall be taxed where one tax is imposed by the State and the other is
at the same rate. The taxing power has the authority to make imposed by the city.
reasonable and natural classifications for purpose of
taxation. LLADOC vs. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE
 It is a cardinal rule in taxation that exemptions from
PASCUAL vs. SECRETARY OF PUBLIC WORKS payment thereof are highly disfavored by law, and the party
 It is a general rule that the legislature is without power to claiming exemption must justify his claim by a clear,
appropriate public revenue for anything but a public positive or express grant of such privilege by law.
purpose.  The phrase “exempt from taxation” as employed in Section
 It is the essential character of the direct object of the 22(3), Article VI of the Constitution of the Philippines
expenditure which must determine its validity as justifying should not be interpreted to mean exemption from all kinds
a tax, and not the magnitude of the interest to be affected of taxes. Statutes exempting charitable and religious
nor the degree to which the general advantage of the property from taxation should be construed fairly through
community, and thus the public welfare, may be ultimately strictly and in such manner as to give effect to the main

JAMES BRYAN SUAREZ DEANG © 2017 (09265563619/jbsdeang.jbd@gmail.com)


benefited by their promotion. intent of the lawmakers.
 In accordance with the rule that the taxing power must be  What the collector assessed was a donee’s gift tax; the
exercised for public purposes only, money raised by assessment was not on the properties themselves. It did not
taxation can be expended only for public purposes and not rest upon general ownership; it was an excise upon the use
for the advantage of private individuals. made of the properties, upon the exercise of privilege of
Explanation: generally, under the express or implied receiving the properties.
provisions of the constitution, public funds may be used  Gift tax is not within the exempting provisions of the
only for public purpose. The right of the legislature to section just mentioned. A gift tax is not a property tax, but
appropriate funds is correlative with its right to tax, and, an excise tax imposed on the transfer of property by way of
under constitutional provisions against taxation except for gift inter vivos, the imposition of which on property used
public purposes and prohibiting the collection of a tax for exclusively for religious purposes, does not constitute an
one purpose and the devotion thereof to another purpose, impairment of the Constitution.
no appropriation of state funds can be made for other than
a public purpose. ABRA VALLEY COLLEGE vs. AQUINO
 In the determination of the degree of interest essential to  The term “used exclusively” considers incidental use also.
give the requisite standing to attack the constitutionality of Thus, the exemption from payment of land tax in favor of
a statute, the general rule is that not only persons the convent, includes, not only the land actually occupied
individually affected, but also taxpayers, have sufficient by the building but also the adjacent garden devoted to the
interest in preventing the illegal expenditure of moneys incidental use of the parish priest. The lot which is not used
raised by taxation and may therefore question the for commercial purposes but serves solely as a sort of
constitutionality of statutes requiring expenditure of lodging place, also qualifies for exemption because this
public moneys. constitutes incidental use in religious functions (citing
 The authority of the Republic of the Philippines over the Nueva Segovia v. Provincial Board of Ilocos Norte)
people of the Philippines is more fully direct than that of  The exemption in favor of property used exclusively for
the states of the Union, insofar as the simple and unitary charitable purposes is ‘not limited to property actually
type of our national government is not subject to limitations indispensable’ therefor, but extends to facilities which are
analogous to those imposed by the Federal Constitution incidental to and reasonably necessary for the
upon the states of the Union, and those imposed upon the accomplishment of said purposes, such as in the case of
Federal Government in the interest of the Union. hospitals, “a school for training nurses, a nurses’ home,
property used to provide housing facilities for interns,
resident doctors, superintendents, and other members of the
hospital staff, and recreational facilities for student nurses,
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW II RULINGS

interns and residents’, such as “Athletic fields” including a


“firm used for the inmates of the institution.”
 Under the 1935 Constitution, the trial court correctly
arrived at the conclusion that the school building as well as
the lot where it is built, should be taxed, not because the
second floor of the same building is used by the Director
and his family for residential purposes, but because the first
floor thereof is being used for commercial purposes.
However, since only a portion is used for purposes of
commerce, it is only fair that half of the assessed tax be
returned to the school involved.

JAMES BRYAN SUAREZ DEANG © 2017 (09265563619/jbsdeang.jbd@gmail.com)