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Municipality of Paraaque vs.

VM Realty
292 SCRA 676
Panganiban, J.:
Pursuant to a Sanggunian Bayan Resolution of the petitioner
municipality, an expropriation complaint against the property of herein
respondent for the purpose of alleviating the living conditions of the
underprivileged by providing homes for the homeless through a
socialized housing project. The RTC of Makati authorized petitioner to
take possession of subject property upon deposit to the court an amount
of its fair market value. Respondent filed a counter claim alleging that the
complaint failed to state a cause of action because it was filed pursuant
to a resolution and not to an ordinance as required by RA 7160.
Whether or not the Resolution of the Municipal council is a substantial
compliance of the statutory requirement of Section 19, RA 7160 in the
exercise of the power of eminent domain.
The power of eminent by LGUs may be affected only by ordinance not
by a mere resolution. The following essential requisites must concur
before an LGU can exercise the power of eminent domain.
1. An ordinance is enacted by the local legislative council authorizing the
local chief executive, in behalf of the LGUs to exercise the power of
eminent domain to pursue expropriation proceedings over a particular
private property.
2. The power of eminent domain is exercised for public use, purpose or
welfare, or for the benefit of the poor and the landless.
3. There is payment of just compensation, as required under Sec 9,
Article III of the Constitution and other pertment.
4. A valid and definite offer has been previously made to the owner of the
property sought to be expropriated, but said offer was not accepted.
In the case at bar, the first requisite that there must be an ordinance was
not complied with by the local chief executive. A municipal ordinance is
different from a resolution. An ordinance is a law, it possesses a general
and permanent character while a resolution is temporary in nature.
The petition is hereby denied without prejudice to petitioners proper
exercise of its power of eminent domain over subject property.
Estate of Heirs of Justice JBL Reyes vs. City of Manila
422 SCRA 550February 13, 2004
FACTS:Petitioners acquired a favorable judgment of eviction
against respondents Abiog and Maglonso. In 1998, the said
judgments became final and executory. Consequently, writs of
execution were issued.During the pendency of the complaints
for unlawful detainer, respondent City filed a case for the
expropriation of the same properties involved in the ejectment
cases.The trial court allowed respondent City to take possession
of the property; it denied the motions for intervention and
injunction, and, after allowing respondent City to oppose the
motion to dismiss, dismissed the complaint for expropriation.On
appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court and found
that respondent City properly exercised its right to expropriate
the subject properties. Petitioners appealed the CA decision to
this Court. Thereafter, on motion of respondent occupants, the
Court of Appeals issued protective orders that required the
parties to maintain the status quo (prohibiting any ejectment)
pending this Courts resolution of the appeal.Petitioner now
questions the legality of the CAs expropriation order and the
propriety of its act enjoining the execution of the final
judgments in the ejectment cases.
ISSUES:Whether the respondent City may legally expropriate
the subject properties, considering that a negative finding will
necessarily moot the issue of the propriety of the protective
orders of the Court of Appeals.Did the city of Manila comply
with RA 7279 (Secs.9-10) when it expropriated petitioners
Whether respondent City deprived petitioners of their property
without due process of law depends on whether it complied with
the legal requirements for expropriation. Before respondent City

can exercise its power of eminent domain, the same must be

sanctioned and must not violate any law.A local government
unit can only exercise powers granted to it by the legislature
since it is only a mere creation of the latter.
Basis of Manila Citys expropriation:Local Govt Code:Sec. 19
Eminent Domain. LGU, through its chief executive + acting
pursuant to an ordinance, may exercise Eminent Domain for:
public use/purpose or benefit of the poor and the landlessupon
payment of just compensation.Provided: Valid and definite
offer has been previously made to the owner, and was not
accepted LGU may immediately take possession of the
property upon> filing of the expropriation proceedings &>
making a deposit with the proper court of at least 15% of the
propertys fair market value based on its current tax declaration
amount to be paid for the expropriated property determined
by the proper court, based on the fair market value at the time
of its taking
RA 409 (Revised Charter of the City of Manila):Power of Manila
City to expropriate private property in the pursuit of its urban
land reform and housing program.
Respondent City, however, is also mandated to follow the
conditions and standards prescribed by RA7279 (the Urban
Development and Housing Act of 1992).RA 7279:Sec. 9 Priorities
in Land acquisition Acquire lands for socialized housing in the
following order:(a) Those owned by Govt, subdivisions,
instrumentalities + GOCCs and subsidiaries(b) Public, Alienable
lands(c) Unregistered or abandoned and idle lands(d) Those
w/in declared areas Areas of Priority Devt, Zonal Improvement
Sites, & Slum Improvement Sites not yet acquired(e) BLISS
(Bagong Lipunan Improvement Sites & Services) not yet
acquired(f) Privately-owned landsPriorities not apply when onsite devt is found more practicable & advantageous to
beneficiariesLGU give budgetary priority to on-site devt of
Govt lands
Sec. 10 Modes of Land Acquisition include: Community
Mortgage Land swapping Land assembly/consolidation Land
banking donation to the Govt Joint venture agreement
Negotiated purchase ExpropriationProvided: Only resort to
expropriation when other modes of acquisition have been
exhausted Exempt parcels of land owned by small property
owners Revert and escheat abandoned property to the State in
a proceeding analogous to Rule 91, RoC
Filstream vs. Court of Appeals the above-quoted provisions are
limitations to the exercise of the power of eminent domain.
Private lands rank last in the order of priority for purposes of
socialized housing. expropriation proceedings are to be
resorted to only after the other modes of acquisition have been
exhausted. Compliance with these conditions = mandatory ->
only safeguards of private property owners against violation of
due process
Respondent City failed to prove strict compliance with the
requirements of Sections 9 and 10 of RA 7279.> RTC: no
allegations in its complaint; no proof during proceedings> CA:
no showing in its pleadings.The CA was likewise silent on this
specific jurisdictional issue.This is a clear violation of the right to
due process of the petitioners which must accordingly be
It must be emphasized that the State has a paramount interest
in exercising its power of eminent domain for the general good.
States right to expropriate private property for public use
always takes precedence over the interest of private property
owners.However, the individual rights affected by the exercise
of such right are also entitled to protection.The exercise of this
superior right cannot override the guarantee of due process
extended to property owners.Due to the fatal infirmity in the
Citys exercise of the power of eminent domain, its complaint
for expropriation must necessarily fail.
The complaint for expropriation is dismissed. The petitioners
appeal from the CA is favorably adjudicated.The petition for
certiorari questioning the validity of the Court of Appeals
resolutions becomes moot and academic.

Filstream is substantially similar in facts and issues to the case

at bar.
Republic vs. Feliciano 148 SCRA 424 (1987)
The appeal was filed by 86 settlers of Barrio of Salvacion,
representing the Republic of the Philippines to dismiss the
complaint filed by Feliciano, on the ground that the Republic of
the Philippines cannot be sued without its consent.
Prior to this appeal, respondent Pablo Feliciano filed a complaint
with the Court of First Instance against the Republic of the
Philippines, represented by the Land Authority, for the recovery
of ownership and possession of a parcel of land consisting of
four lots. The trial court rendered a decision declaring Lot No. 1
to be the private property of Feliciano and the rest of the
property, Lots 2, 3 and 4, reverted to the public domain.
The trial court reopened the case due to the filing of a motion to
intervene and to set aside the decision of the trial court by 86
settlers, alleging that they had been in possession of the land
for more than 20 years under claim of ownership. The trial court
ordered the settlers to present their evidence but they did not
appear at the day of presentation of evidence. Feliciano, on the
other hand, presented additional evidence. Thereafter, the case
was submitted for decision and the trial court ruled in favor of
The settlers immediately filed a motion for reconsideration. The
case was reopened to allow them to present their evidence. But
before this motion was acted upon, Feliciano filed a motion for
execution with the Appellate Court but it was denied.
The settlers filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that the
Republic of the Philippines cannot be sued without its consent
and hence the action cannot prosper. The motion was opposed
by Feliciano.
Whether or not the state can be sued for recovery and
possession of a parcel of land.
A suit against the State, under settled jurisprudence is not
permitted, except upon a showing that the State has consented
to be sued, either expressly or by implication through the use of
statutory language too plain to be misinterpreted. It may be
invoked by the courts sua sponte at any stage of the
Waiver of immunity, being a derogation of sovereignty, will not
be inferred lightly. but must be construed in strictissimi juris
(of strictest right). Moreover, the Proclamation is not a
legislative act. The consent of the State to be sued must
emanate from statutory authority. Waiver of State immunity can
only be made by an act of the legislative body.
No. The doctrine of non-suability of the State has proper
application in this case. The plaintiff has impleaded the Republic
of the Philippines as defendant in an action for recovery of
ownership and possession of a parcel of land, bringing the State
to court just like any private person who is claimed to be
usurping a piece of property. A suit for the recovery of property
is not an action in rem, but an action in personam. It is an
action directed against a specific party or parties, and any
judgment therein binds only such party or parties. The
complaint filed by plaintiff, the private respondent herein, is
directed against the Republic of the Philippines, represented by
the Land Authority, a governmental agency created by Republic
Act No. 3844.
The complaint is clearly a suit against the State, which under
settled jurisprudence is not permitted, except upon a showing

that the State has consented to be sued, either expressly or by

implication through the use of statutory language too plain to
be misinterpreted. There is no such showing in the instant case.
Worse, the complaint itself fails to allege the existence of such
City of Manila vs IAC
Date: November 15, 1989
Petitioners: City of Manila and Evangeline Suva
Respondents: IAC, Irene Sto. Domingo, et al
Ponente: Paras
Vivencio Sto. Domingo, Sr. died and was buried in
North Cemetery which lot was leased by the city to Irene Sto.
Domingo for the period from June 6, 1971 to June 6, 2021. The
wife paid the full amount of the lease. Apart, however from the
receipt, no other document embodied such lease over the lot.
Believing that the lease was only for five years, the city certified
the lot as ready for exhumation.
On the basis of the certification, Joseph Helmuth
authorized the exhumation and removal of the remains of
Vicencio. His bones were placed in a bag and kept in the bodega
of the cemetery. The lot was also leased to another lessee.
During the next all souls day, the private respondents were
shocked to find out that Vicencios remains were removed. The
cemetery told Irene to look for the bones of the husband in the
Aggrieved, the widow and the children brought an
action for damages against the City of Manila; Evangeline Suva
of the City Health Office; Sergio Mallari, officer-in-charge of the
North Cemetery; and Joseph Helmuth, the latter's predecessor
as officer-in-charge of the said burial grounds owned and
operated by the City Government of Manila. The court ordered
defendants to give plaintiffs the right to make use of another
lot. The CA affirmed and included the award of damages in
favor of the private respondents.
WON the operations and functions of a public cemetery
are a governmental, or a corporate or proprietary function of
the City of Manila.


Ratio: Petitioners alleged in their petition that the North

Cemetery is exclusively devoted for public use or purpose as
stated in Sec. 316 of the Compilation of the Ordinances of the
City of Manila. They conclude that since the City is a political
subdivision in the performance of its governmental function, it
is immune from tort liability which may be caused by its public
officers and subordinate employees. Private respondents
maintain that the City of Manila entered into a contract of lease
which involve the exercise of proprietary functions with Irene
Sto. Domingo. The city and its officers therefore can be sued for
any-violation of the contract of lease.
The City of Manila is a political body corporate and as
such endowed with the faculties of municipal corporations to be
exercised by and through its city government in conformity with
law, and in its proper corporate name. It may sue and be sued,
and contract and be contracted with. Its powers are twofold in
character-public, governmental or political on the one hand, and
corporate, private and proprietary on the other. Governmental
powers are those exercised in administering the powers of the
state and promoting the public welfare and they include the
legislative, judicial, public and political. Municipal powers on the
one hand are exercised for the special benefit and advantage of
the community and include those which are ministerial, private
and corporate. In connection with the powers of a municipal
corporation, it may acquire property in its public or
governmental capacity, and private or proprietary capacity. The
New Civil Code divides such properties into property for public
use and patrimonial properties (Article 423), and further
enumerates the properties for public use as provincial roads,
city streets, municipal streets, the squares, fountains, public
waters, promenades, and public works for public service paid
for by said provisions, cities or municipalities, all other property
is patrimonial without prejudice to the provisions of special

laws. Thus in Torio v. Fontanilla, the Court declared that with

respect to proprietary functions the settled rule is that a
municipal corporation can be held liable to third persons ex
Under the foregoing considerations and in the absence
of a special law, the North Cemetery is a patrimonial property of
the City of Manila. The administration and government of the
cemetery are under the City Health Officer, the order and police
of the cemetery, the opening of graves, niches, or tombs, the
exhuming of remains, and the purification of the same are
under the charge and responsibility of the superintendent of the
cemetery. With the acts of dominion, there is no doubt that the
North Cemetery is within the class of property which the City of
Manila owns in its proprietary or private character. Furthermore,
there is no dispute that the burial lot was leased in favor of the
private respondents. Hence, obligations arising from contracts
have the force of law between the contracting parties. Thus a
lease contract executed by the lessor and lessee remains as the
law between them. Therefore, a breach of contractual provision
entitles the other party to damages even if no penalty for such
breach is prescribed in the contract.

WON the city is liable for damages



All things considered, even as the Court commiserates
with plaintiffs for the unfortunate happening complained of and
untimely desecration of the resting place and remains of their
deceased dearly beloved, it finds the reliefs prayed for by them
lacking in legal and factual basis. Under the aforementioned
facts and circumstances, the most that plaintiffs ran ask for is
the replacement of subject lot with another lot of equal size and
similar location in the North Cemetery which substitute lot
plaintiffs can make use of without paying any rental to the city
government for a period of forty-three (43) years, four (4)
months and eleven (11) days corresponding to the unexpired
portion of the term of the lease sued upon as of January 25,
1978 when the remains of the late Vivencio Sto. Domingo, Sr.
were prematurely removed from the disputed lot; and to require
the defendants to look in earnest for the bones and skull of the
late Vivencio Sto. Domingo Sr. and to bury the same in the
substitute lot adjudged in favor of plaintiffs hereunder.
As regards the issue of the validity of the contract of
lease of grave lot No. 159, Block No. 195 of the North Cemetery
for 50 years beginning from June 6, 1971 to June 6, 2021 as
clearly stated in the receipt duly signed by the deputy treasurer
of the City of Manila and sealed by the city government, there is
nothing in the record that justifies the reversal of the conclusion
of both the trial court and the Intermediate Appellate Court to
the effect that the receipt is in itself a contract of lease. (
Under the doctrine of respondent superior, (Torio v. Fontanilla),
petitioner City of Manila is liable for the tortious act committed
by its agents who failed to verify and check the duration of the
contract of lease. The contention of the petitioner-city that the
lease is covered by Administrative Order No. 5, series of 1975
dated March 6, 1975 of the City of Manila for five (5) years only
beginning from June 6, 1971 is not meritorious for the said
administrative order covers new leases. When subject lot was
certified on January 25, 1978 as ready for exhumation, the lease
contract for fifty (50) years was still in full force and effect.
San Diego vs. Nauhan Oriental Mindoro 107 Phil. 118

City of Manila vs. (???) 22 SCRA 267 (1968)
that it shall not be liable for damages caused by the negligence of the city

particular exemption but merely a general exemption. Upon the other hand,
Article 2189 of the Civil Code provides a particular prescription making
condition of roads, streets, bridges, public buildings, and otherpublic works

in particular. Since the present action is based upon the alleged defective