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01 City of Manila v.

Arellano Law
GR. No. L-2929 (1950)
J. Tuason / Tita K

Subject Matter: Rule 67 - Expropriation


Case Summary:
City of Manila filed a condemnation (expropriation) case to acquire parcels of land previously bought by Arellano (Arellano planned
to build a school on it). City of Manila intends to resell the land as homesites. CFI dismissed the action for condemnation. SC
affirmed such dismissal ruling that City of Manila has not shown the necessity for such expropriation because 1) the price at which
they plan to sell the land is NOT affordable; 2) school is a worthy purpose such that if expropriation is granted, present enrolment of
9,000 students would be sacrificed; 3) any good that would/accrue to the public from providing homes to a few families fades into
insignificance in comparison with the preparation of young men and young women for useful citizenship and for service to the
government and the community.
Doctrine/s:
To authorize the condemnation of any particular land by a grantee of the power of eminent domain, a necessity must
exist for the taking thereof for the proposed uses and purposes.
Action Before SC: “This is an APPEAL from a judgment of the Court of First Instance of Manila”
Parties:

Petitioner THE CITY OF MANILA

Respondent THE ARELLANO LAW COLLEGES, INC.

Antecedent Facts:
CFI:
1. City of Manila filed an action seeking for the condemnation of several parcels of land with a total area of 7,270 sqm.
situated in Manila. City of Manila, after expropriating, would resell the parcels of land as homesites.

2. The action was dismissed. The CFI ruled sec. 1 1 of RA 267 empowers cities to purchase but not to expropriate lands for the
purpose of subdivision and resale.

Issues:
1. WON City of Manila may expropriate the subject parcels of land. (NO)
Ratio:
NO – The City of Manila may NOT expropriate the subject parcels of land.
 Act No. 267 empowers cities to expropriate as well as to purchase lands for homesites.
 The power to expropriate is necessarily subject to the limitations and conditions cited in Guido v. Progress Administration:
(i.e. that expropriation be for public benefit, public utility, or public advantage, especially where the interests involved are
of considerable magnitude.)
o The case at bar is a weak case for condemnation.
o The Arellano College’s land is situated in a highly commercial section of the city and is occupied by persons who
are not bona fide tenants.
o This land was bought by the respondent Arellano for a university site to take the place of rented buildings that are
unsuitable for schools of higher learning.
 To authorize the condemnation of any particular land by a grantee of the power of eminent domain, a necessity must exist
for the taking thereof for the proposed uses and purposes. This is because the very foundation of the right to exercise
eminent domain is a genuine necessity, and that necessity must be of a public character.
 The ascertainment of the necessity must precede or accompany, and not follow, the taking of the land.

1 Section 1 of Republic Act No. 267 provides:


"Cities and municipalities are authorized to contract loans from the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, the Philippine National Bank, and/or any other entity or
person at a rate of interest not exceeding eight per cent per annum for the purpose of purchasing or expropriating homesites within their respective territorial
jurisdiction and reselling them at cost to residents of the said cities and municipalities."
 Necessity within the rule that the particular property to be expropriated must be necessary, does not mean an absolute but
only a reasonable or practical necessity, such as would combine the greatest benefit to the public with the least
inconvenience and expense to the condemning party and property owner consistent with such benefit.
o Necessity for the condemnation has not been shown in this case.
o The land in question has cost the owner P140,000. The people for whose benefit the condemnation is being
undertaken are so poor they could not afford to meet this high price, unless they intend to borrow the money with
a view to disposing of the property later for a profit. Cheaper lands not dedicated to a purpose so worthy as a
school and more suited to the occupants' needs and means, if really they only want to own their own homes, are
aplenty elsewhere.
o While a handful of people stand to profit by the expropriation, the development of a university that has a present
enrolment of 9,000 students would be sacrificed.
o Any good that would/accrue to the public from providing homes to a few families fades into insignificance in
comparison with the preparation of young men and young women for useful citizenship and for service to the
government and the community, a task which the government alone is not in a position to undertake.
Dispositive: The order of the Court of First Instance is affirmed without costs.

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