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5/27/2017 G.R.No.

165828

RepublicofthePhilippines
SupremeCourt
Manila
FIRSTDIVISION


NATIONALPOWER G.R.No.165828
CORPORATION,
Petitioner, Present:

CORONA,C.J.,Chairperson,
versus LEONARDODECASTRO,
BERSAMIN,

DELCASTILLO,and
HEIRSOFMACABANGKIT
VILLARAMA,JR.,JJ.
SANGKAY,namely:CEBU,

BATOWAAN,SAYANA,NASSER,
Promulgated:
MANTA,EDGAR,PUTRI,

MONGKOY*,andAMIR,all
surnamedMACABANGKIT, August24,2011
Respondents.
xx

DECISION

BERSAMIN,J.:
Privatepropertyshallnotbetakenforpublicusewithoutjustcompensation.
Section9,ArticleIII,1987Constitution

TheapplicationofthisprovisionoftheConstitutionisthefocusofthisappeal.

Petitioner National Power Corporation (NPC) seeks the review on certiorari of the decision
[1]
promulgated on October 5, 2004, whereby the Court of Appeals (CA) affirmed the decision
datedAugust13,1999andthesupplementaldecisiondatedAugust18,1999,orderingNPCtopay
just compensation to the respondents, both rendered by the Regional Trial Court, Branch 1, in
IliganCity(RTC).

Antecedents

Pursuant to its legal mandate under Republic Act No. 6395 (AnActRevisingtheCharterofthe
NationalPowerCorporation),NPCundertooktheAgusRiverHydroelectricPowerPlantProject

inthe1970stogenerateelectricityforMindanao.Theprojectincludedtheconstructionofseveral
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inthe1970stogenerateelectricityforMindanao.Theprojectincludedtheconstructionofseveral
underground tunnels to be used in diverting the water flow from the Agus River to the
[2]
hydroelectricplants.

On November 21, 1997, the respondents, namely: Cebu, Bangowaan, Sayana, Nasser, Manta,
Edgar, Putri, Mongkoy and Amir, all surnamed Macabangkit (Heirs of Macabangkit), as the
ownersoflandwithanareaof221,573squaremeterssituatedinDitucalan,IliganCity,suedNPC
in the RTC for the recovery of damages and of the property, with the alternative prayer for the
[3]
paymentofjustcompensation. Theyallegedthattheyhadbelatedlydiscoveredthatoneofthe
undergroundtunnelsofNPCthatdivertedthewaterflowoftheAgusRiverfortheoperationof
the Hydroelectric Project in Agus V, Agus VI and Agus VII traversed their land that their
discovery had occurred in 1995 after Atty. Saidali C. Gandamra, President of the Federation of
Arabic Madaris School, had rejected their offer to sell the land because of the danger the
underground tunnel might pose to the proposed Arabic Language Training Center and Muslims
Skills Development Center that such rejection had been followed by the withdrawal by Global
AsiaManagementandResourceCorporationfromdevelopingthelandintoahousingprojectfor
thesamereasonthatAlAmanahIslamicInvestmentBankofthePhilippineshadalsorefusedto
accept their land as collateral because of the presence of the underground tunnel that the
undergroundtunnelhadbeenconstructedwithouttheirknowledgeandconsentthatthepresence
of the tunnel deprived them of the agricultural, commercial, industrial and residential value of
theirlandandthattheirlandhadalsobecomeanunsafeplaceforhabitationbecauseoftheloud
sound of the water rushing through the tunnel and the constant shaking of the ground, forcing
themandtheirworkerstorelocatetosafergrounds.

[4]
Initsanswerwithcounterclaim, NPCcounteredthattheHeirsofMacabangkithadnorightto
compensationundersection3(f)ofRepublicActNo.6395,underwhichamerelegaleasementon
their land was established that their cause of action, should they be entitled to compensation,
already prescribed due to the tunnel having been constructed in 1979 and that by reason of the
tunnel being an apparent and continuous easement, any action arising from such easement
prescribedinfiveyears.

RulingoftheRTC

On July 23, 1998, an ocular inspection of the land that was conducted by RTC Judge
Mamindiara P. Mangotara and the representatives of the parties resulted in the following
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Mamindiara P. Mangotara and the representatives of the parties resulted in the following
observationsandfindings:

a.Thataconcretepostwhichisabouttwofeetinlengthfromthegroundwhichaccordingtothe
claimantsisthemiddlepointofthetunnel.

b.Thatatleastthreefruitbearingduriantreeswereuprootedandasaresultoftheconstructionby
thedefendantofthetunnelandaboutonehundredcoconutsplanteddied.

[5]
c.Thatundergroundtunnelwasconstructedtherein.


[6]
Aftertrial,theRTCruledinfavoroftheplaintiffs(HeirsofMacabangkit), decreeing:



WHEREFORE,premisesconsidered:

1. The prayer for the removal or dismantling of defendants tunnel is denied. However,
defendantisherebydirectedandordered:

a)To pay plaintiffs land with a total area of 227,065 square meters, at the rate of FIVE
HUNDRED(P500.00)PESOSpersquaremeter,oratotalofONEHUNDREDTHIRTEEN
MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THIRTY TWO THOUSAND AND FIVE HUNDRED
(P113,532,500.00),PESOS,plusinterest,asactualdamagesorjustcompensation

b) To pay plaintiff a monthly rental of their land in the amount of THIRTY
THOUSAND(P30,000.00)PESOSfrom1979uptoJuly1999with12%interestperannum

c)TopayplaintiffsthesumofTWOHUNDREDTHOUSAND(P200,000.00)PESOS,as
moraldamages

d)Topayplaintiffs,thesumofTWOHUNDREDTHOUSAND(P200,000.00)PESOS,
asexemplarydamages

e)Topayplaintiffs,thesumequivalentto15%ofthetotalamountawarded,asattorneys
fees,andtopaythecost.

SOORDERED.


TheRTCfoundthatNPChadconcealedtheconstructionofthetunnelin1979fromtheHeirsof
Macabangkit,andhadsincecontinuouslydenieditsexistencethatNPChadactedinbadfaithby
taking possession of the subterranean portion of their land to construct the tunnel without their
knowledgeandpriorconsentthattheexistenceofthetunnelhadaffectedtheentireexpanseofthe

land,andhadrestrictedtheirrighttoexcavateortoconstructamotorizeddeepwellandthatthey,
asowners,hadlosttheagricultural,commercial,industrialandresidentialvalueoftheland.

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TheRTCfixedthejustcompensationatP500.00/squaremeterbasedonthetestimonyofDionisio
Banawan,OICCityAssessorofIliganCity,totheeffectthattheappraisedvalueoftheadjoining
propertiesrangedfromP700.00toP750.00,whiletheappraisedvalueoftheiraffectedlandranged
from P400.00 to P500.00. The RTC also required NPC to pay rentals from 1979 due to its bad
faithinconcealingtheconstructionofthetunnelfromtheHeirsofMacabangkit.
[7]
OnAugust18,1999,theRTCissuedasupplementaldecision, viz:

UponacarefulreviewoftheoriginaldecisiondatedAugust13,1999,asentenceshouldbeaddedto
paragraph1(a)ofthedispositiveportionthereof,tobolster,harmonize,andconformtothefindings
oftheCourt,whichisquotedhereunder,towit:

Consequently, plaintiffs land or properties are hereby condemned in favor of defendant
NationalPowerCorporation,uponpaymentoftheaforesaidsum.
Therefore,paragraph1(a)ofthedispositiveportionoftheoriginaldecisionshouldread,asfollows:

a) To pay plaintiffs land with a total area of 227,065 square meters, at the rate of FIVE
HUNDRED (P500.00) PESOS per square meter, or a total of ONE HUNDRED
THIRTEEN MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THIRTY TWO THOUSAND AND FIVE
HUNDRED (P113,532,500.00) PESOS, plus interest, as actual damages or just
compensationConsequently,plaintiffslandorpropertiesareherebycondemnedinfavor
ofdefendantNationalPowerCorporation,uponpaymentoftheaforesaidsum

Thissupplementaldecisionshallbeconsideredaspartofparagraph1(a)ofthedispositiveportion
oftheoriginaldecision.

Furnishcopyofthissupplementaldecisiontoallpartiesimmediately.

SOORDERED.

[8]
Onitspart,NPCappealedtotheCAonAugust25,1999.

Earlier,onAugust18,1999,theHeirsofMacabangkitfiledanurgentmotionforexecution
[9] [10]
of judgment pending appeal. The RTC granted the motion and issued a writ of execution,
promptingNPCtoassailthewritbypetitionforcertiorariintheCA.OnSeptember15,1999,the
CAissuedatemporaryrestrainingorder(TRO)toenjointheRTCfromimplementingitsdecision.
TheHeirsofMacabangkitelevatedtherulingoftheCA(G.R.No.141447),buttheCourtupheld
[11]
theCAonMay4,2006.

RulingoftheCA
NPCraisedonlytwoerrorsintheCA,namely:

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I
THECOURTAQUOSERIOUSLYERREDINRULINGTHATNAPOCORSUNDERGROUND
TUNNEL IN ITS AGUS RIVER HYDROELECTRIC PLANT PROJECT TRAVERSED
AND/OR AFFECTED APPELLEES PROPERTY AS THERE IS NO CLEAR EVIDENCE
INDUBITABLYESTABLISHINGTHESAME

II
THECOURTAQUOSERIOUSLYERREDINGRANTINGAPPELLEESCLAIMSINTHEIR
ENTIRETY FOR GRANTING ARGUENDO THAT NAPOCORS UNDERGROUND TUNNEL
INDEED TRAVERSED APPELLEES PROPERTY, THEIR CAUSE OF ACTION HAD
ALREADYBEENBARREDBYPRESCRIPTION,ESTOPPELANDLACHES
On October 5, 2004, the CA affirmed the decision of the RTC, holding that the testimonies of
NPCs witness Gregorio Enterone and of the respondents witness Engr. Pete Sacedon, the
topographicsurveymap,thesketchmap,andtheocularinspectionreportsufficientlyestablished
theexistenceoftheundergroundtunneltraversingthelandoftheHeirsofMacabangkitthatNPC
did not substantiate its defense that prescription already barred the claim of the Heirs of
MacabangkitandthatSection3(i)ofR.A.No.6395,beingsilentabouttunnels,didnotapply,viz:

As regard Section 3(i) of R.A. No. 6395 (An Act Revising the Charter of the National Power
Corporation),itissubmittedthatthesameprovisionisnotapplicable.ThereisnothinginSection
3(i) of said law governing claims involving tunnels. The same provision is applicable to those
projectsorfacilitiesonthesurfaceoftheland,thatcaneasilybediscovered,withoutanymention
abouttheclaimsinvolvingtunnels,particularlythosesurreptitiouslyconstructedbeneaththesurface
oftheland,asintheinstantcase.

Now, while it is true that Republic Act No. 6395 authorizes NAPOCOR to take water from any
public stream, river, creek, lake, spring or waterfall in the Philippines for the realization of the
purposesspecifiedthereinforitscreationtointerceptanddiverttheflowofwatersfromlandsof
riparianowners(inthiscase,theHeirs),andfrompersonsowningorinterestedinwaterwhichare
or may be necessary to said purposes, the same Act expressly mandates the payment of just
compensation.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant appeal is hereby DENIED for lack of merit.
Accordingly, the appealed Decision dated August 13, 1999, and the supplemental Decision dated
August18,1999,areherebyAFFIRMEDintoto.

[12]
SOORDERED.

Issue

NPChascometotheCourt,assigningtheloneerrorthat:

THE APPELLATE COURT ERRED ON A QUESTION OF LAW WHEN IT AFFIRMED THE
DECISION AND SUPPLEMENTAL DECISION OF THE COURT A QUO DIRECTING AND
ORDERINGPETITIONERTOPAYJUSTCOMPENSATIONTORESPONDENTS.

NPC reiterates that witnesses Enterone and Sacedon lacked personal knowledge about the
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constructionandexistenceofthetunnelandwereforthatreasonnotentitledtocredenceandthat
the topographic and relocation maps prepared by Sacedon should not be a basis to prove the
existenceandlocationofthetunnelduetobeingselfserving.
NPC contends that the CA should have applied Section 3(i) of Republic Act No. 6395, which
providedaperiodofonlyfiveyearsfromthedateoftheconstructionwithinwhichtheaffected
landowner could bring a claim against it and that even if Republic Act No. 6395 should be
inapplicable, the action of the Heirs of Macabangkit had already prescribed due to the
underground tunnel being susceptible to acquisitive prescription after the lapse of 10 years
pursuant to Article 620 of the Civil Code due to its being a continuous and apparent legal
easementunderArticle634oftheCivilCode.
Theissuesforresolutionare,therefore,asfollows:

(1)WhethertheCAandtheRTCerredinholdingthattherewasanunderground
tunneltraversingtheHeirsofMacabangkitslandconstructedbyNPCand

(2) Whether the Heirs of Macabangkits right to claim just compensation had
prescribed under section 3(i) of Republic Act No. 6395, or, alternatively, under
Article620andArticle646oftheCivilCode.
Ruling

WeupholdtheliabilityofNPCforpaymentofjustcompensation.

1.
FactualfindingsoftheRTC,
whenaffirmedbytheCA,arebinding

The existence of the tunnel underneath the land of the Heirs of Macabangkit, being a factual
matter,cannotnowbeproperlyreviewedbytheCourt,forquestionsoffactarebeyondthepaleof
apetitionforreviewoncertiorari.Moreover,thefactualfindingsanddeterminationsbytheRTC
[13]
asthetrialcourtaregenerallybindingontheCourt,particularlyaftertheCAaffirmedthem.
Bearingthesedoctrinesinmind,theCourtshouldrightlydismissNPCsappeal.

NPCargues,however,thatthisappealshouldnotbedismissedbecausetheHeirsofMacabangkit
essentiallyfailedtoprovetheexistenceoftheundergroundtunnel.Itinsiststhatthetopographic
survey map and the rightofway map presented by the Heirs of Macabangkit did not at all
establishthepresenceofanyundergroundtunnel.

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NPCstillfailstoconvince.
Evenassuming,fornow,thattheCourtmayreviewthefactualfindingsoftheCAandtheRTC,
for NPC to insist that the evidence on the existence of the tunnel was not adequate and
incompetent remains futile. On the contrary, the evidence on the tunnel was substantial, for the
significance of the topographic survey map and the sketch map (as indicative of the extent and
presenceofthetunnelconstruction)tothequestionontheexistenceofthetunnelwasstrong,as
theCAcorrectlyprojectedinitsassaileddecision,viz:

Amongthepiecesofdocumentaryevidencepresentedshowingtheexistenceofthesaidtunnel
beneath the subject property is the topographic survey map. The topographic survey map is one
conductedtoknowaboutthelocationandelevationofthelandandallexistingstructuresaboveand
underneathit.AnotheristheSketchMapwhichshowsthelocationandextentofthelandtraversed
oraffectedbythesaidtunnel.Thesetwo(2)piecesofdocumentaryevidencereadilypointthe
extentandpresenceofthetunnelconstructioncomingfromthepowercavernnearthesmall
manmade lake which is the inlet and approach tunnel, or at a distance of about two (2)
kilometersawayfromthelandoftheplaintiffsappellees,andthentraversingtheentireand
the whole length of the plaintiffsappellees property, and the outlet channel of the tunnel is
anothersmallmanmadelake.Thisisasubterrainconstruction,andconsideringthatbothinlet
and outlet are bodies of water, the tunnel can hardly be noticed. All constructions done were
beneaththesurfaceoftheplaintiffsappelleesproperty.Thisexplainswhytheycouldneverobtain
anyknowledgeoftheexistenceofsuchtunnelduringtheperiodthatthesamewasconstructedand
[14]
installedbeneaththeirproperty.

Thepowercavernandtheinletandoutletchannelsestablishedthepresenceoftheunderground
[15]
tunnel,basedonthedeclarationintheRTCbySacedon,aformeremployeeoftheNPC. It is
worthytonotethatNPCdidnotdenytheexistenceofthepowercavern,andoftheinletandoutlet
channelsadvertedtoandasdepictedinthetopographicsurveymapandthesketchmap.TheCA
cannotbefaultedforcreditingthetestimonyofSacedondespitetheeffortofNPCtodiscounthis
credit due to his not being an expert witness, simply because Sacedon had personal knowledge
based on his being NPCs principal engineer and supervisor tasked at one time to lay out the
[16]
tunnelsandtransmissionlinesspecificallyforthehydroelectricprojects, andtosupervisethe
[17]
constructionoftheAgus1HydroelectricPlantitself from1978untilhisretirementfromNPC.
[18]
Besides, he declared that he personally experienced the vibrations caused by the rushing

[19]
currentsinthetunnel,particularlyneartheoutletchannel. Underanycircumstances,Sacedon
wasacredibleandcompetentwitness.

Theocularinspectionactuallyconfirmedtheexistenceofthetunnelunderneaththelandof
theHeirsofMacabangkit.Thus,theCAobserved:

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More so, the Ocular inspection conducted on July 23, 1998 further bolstered such claim of the
existence and extent of such tunnel. This was conducted by a team composed of the Honorable
PresidingJudgeoftheRegionalTrialCourt,Branch01,LanaodelNorte,herselfandtherespective
lawyers of both of the parties and found that, among others, said underground tunnel was
[20]
constructedbeneaththesubjectproperty.

ItbearsnotingthatNPCdidnotraiseanyissueagainstortenderanycontrarycommenton
theocularinspectionreport.

2.
FiveyearprescriptiveperiodunderSection3(i)ofRepublicActNo.6395does
notapplytoclaimsforjustcompensation

TheCAheldthatSection3(i)ofRepublicActNo.6395hadnoapplicationtothisactionbecause
it covered facilities that could be easily discovered, not tunnels that were inconspicuously
[21]
constructedbeneaththesurfaceoftheland.

[22]
NPC disagrees, and argues that because Article 635 of the Civil Code directs the
applicationofspeciallawswhenaneasement,suchastheundergroundtunnel,wasintendedfor
public use, the law applicable was Section 3(i) of Republic Act No. 6395, as amended, which
limitstheactionforrecoveryofcompensationtofiveyearsfromthedateofconstruction.Itposits
that the fiveyear prescriptive period already set in due to the construction of the underground
tunnelhavingbeencompletedin1979yet.
WithoutnecessarilyadoptingthereasoningoftheCA,weupholditsconclusionthatprescription
didnotbarthepresentactiontorecoverjustcompensation.

Section3(i)ofRepublicActNo.6395,thecitedlaw,relevantlyprovides:

Section 3. Powers and General Functions of the Corporation. The powers, functions, rights and
activitiesoftheCorporationshallbethefollowing:

xxx
(i) To construct works across, or otherwise, any stream, watercourse, canal, ditch, flume,
street,avenue,highwayorrailwayofprivateandpublicownership,asthelocationofsaid
worksmayrequire:Provided,Thatsaidworksbeconstructedinsuchamannerasnotto
endangerlifeorpropertyAndprovided,further,Thatthestream,watercourse,canalditch,
flume,street,avenue,highwayorrailwaysocrossedorintersectedberestoredasnearas
possibletotheirformerstate,orinamannernottoimpairunnecessarilytheirusefulness.
Everypersonorentitywhoserightofwayorpropertyislawfullycrossedorintersectedby
saidworksshallnotobstructanysuchcrossingsorintersectionandshallgranttheBoard
oritsrepresentative,theproperauthorityfortheexecutionofsuchwork.TheCorporation
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oritsrepresentative,theproperauthorityfortheexecutionofsuchwork.TheCorporation
is hereby given the right of way to locate, construct and maintain such works over and
throughoutthelandsownedbytheRepublicofthePhilippinesoranyofitsbranchesand
political subdivisions. The Corporation or its representative may also enter upon private
propertyinthelawfulperformanceorprosecutionofitsbusinessandpurposes,including
the construction of the transmission lines thereon Provided, that the owner of such
property shall be indemnified for any actual damage caused therebyProvided, further,
That said action for damages is filed within five years after the rights of way,
transmissionlines,substations,plantsorotherfacilitiesshallhavebeenestablished
Provided,finally,Thataftersaidperiod,nosuitshallbebroughttoquestionthesaidrights
ofway,transmissionlines,substations,plantsorotherfacilities


AcursoryreadingshowsthatSection3(i)coverstheconstructionofworksacross,orotherwise,
any stream, watercourse, canal, ditch, flume, street, avenue, highway or railway of private and
publicownership,asthelocationofsaidworksmayrequire.ItisnotablethatSection3(i)includes
no limitation except those enumerated after the term works.Accordingly, we consider the term
worksasembracingallkindsofconstructions,facilities,andotherdevelopmentsthatcanenable
or help NPC to meet its objectives of developing hydraulic power expressly provided under
[23]
paragraph(g)ofSection3. TheCAsrestrictiveconstrualofSection3(i)asexclusiveoftunnels
was obviously unwarranted, for the provision applies not only to development works easily
discoverable or on the surface of the earth but also to subterranean works like tunnels. Such
interpretationaccordswiththefundamentalguidelineinstatutoryconstructionthatwhenthelaw
[24]
doesnotdistinguish,somustwenot. Moreover,whenthelanguageofthestatuteisplainand
free from ambiguity, and expresses a single, definite, and sensible meaning, that meaning is
[25]
conclusivelypresumedtobethemeaningthattheCongressintendedtoconvey.
Evenso,westillcannotsidewithNPC.

WerulethattheprescriptiveperiodprovidedunderSection3(i)ofRepublicActNo.6395is
applicable only to an action for damages, and does not extend to an action to recover just
compensation like this case. Consequently, NPC cannot thereby bar the right of the Heirs of
Macabangkittorecoverjustcompensationfortheirland.

TheactiontorecoverjustcompensationfromtheStateoritsexpropriatingagencydiffers
fromtheactionfordamages.Theformer,alsoknownasinversecondemnation,hastheobjective
to recover the value of property taken in fact by the governmental defendant, even though no
[26]
formalexerciseofthepowerofeminentdomainhasbeenattemptedbythetakingagency. Just
compensation is the full and fair equivalent of the property taken from its owner by the
expropriator. The measure is not the takers gain, but the owners loss. The word just is used to
intensifythemeaningofthewordcompensationinordertoconveytheideathattheequivalentto
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intensifythemeaningofthewordcompensationinordertoconveytheideathattheequivalentto
[27]
berenderedforthepropertytobetakenshallbereal,substantial,full,andample. Ontheother
hand, the latter action seeks to vindicate a legal wrong through damages, which may be actual,
moral, nominal, temperate, liquidated, or exemplary. When a right is exercised in a manner not
[28]
conformablewiththenormsenshrinedinArticle19 andlikeprovisionsonhumanrelationsin
theCivilCode,andtheexerciseresultstothedamageofanother,alegalwrongiscommittedand
[29]
thewrongdoerisheldresponsible.

The two actions are radically different in nature and purpose. The action to recover just
[30]
compensation is based on the Constitution while the action for damages is predicated on
statutory enactments. Indeed, the former arises from the exercise by the State of its power of
eminent domain against private property for public use, but the latter emanates from the
transgressionofaright.Thefactthattheownerratherthantheexpropriatorbringstheformerdoes
[31]
notchangetheessentialnatureofthesuitasaninversecondemnation, forthesuitisnotbased
on tort, but on the constitutional prohibition against the taking of property without just
[32]
compensation. ItwouldverywellbecontrarytotheclearlanguageoftheConstitutiontobar
therecoveryofjustcompensationforprivatepropertytakenforapublicusesolelyonthebasisof
statutoryprescription.

Duetotheneedtoconstructtheundergroundtunnel,NPCshouldhavefirstmovedtoacquirethe
land from the Heirs of Macabangkit either by voluntary tender to purchase or through formal
expropriation proceedings. In either case, NPC would have been liable to pay to the owners the
fairmarketvalueoftheland,forSection3(h)ofRepublicActNo.6395expresslyrequiresNPCto
paythefairmarketvalueofsuchpropertyatthetimeofthetaking,thusly:

(h)Toacquire,promote,hold,transfer,sell,lease,rent,mortgage,encumberandotherwisedispose
ofpropertyincidentto,ornecessary,convenientorpropertocarryoutthepurposesforwhich
the Corporation was created: Provided, That in case a right of way is necessary for its
transmissionlines,easementofrightofwayshallonlybesought:Provided,however,Thatincase
the property itself shall be acquired by purchase, the cost thereof shall be the fair market
valueatthetimeofthetakingofsuchproperty.


[33]
ThiswaswhatNPCwasorderedtodoinNationalPowerCorporationv.Ibrahim, where
NPC had denied the right of the owners to be paid just compensation despite their land being
traversed by the underground tunnels for siphoning water from Lake Lanao needed in the
operation of Agus II, Agus III, Agus IV, Agus VI and Agus VII Hydroelectric Projects in
Saguiran,LanaodelSur,inNangcaandBaloIinLanaodelNorteandinDitucalanandFuentesin
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IliganCity.There,NPCsimilarlyarguedthattheundergroundtunnelsconstitutedamereeasement
thatdidnotinvolveanylossoftitleorpossessiononthepartofthepropertyowners,buttheCourt
resolvedagainstNPC,towit:

Petitionercontendsthattheundergroundtunnelsinthiscaseconstituteaneasementuponthe
propertyoftherespondentswhichdoesnotinvolveanylossoftitleorpossession.Themannerin
which the easement was created by petitioner, however, violates the due process rights of
respondents as it was without notice and indemnity to them and did not go through proper
expropriation proceedings. Petitioner could have, at any time, validly exercised the power of
eminentdomaintoacquiretheeasementoverrespondentspropertyasthispowerencompassesnot
onlythetakingorappropriationoftitletoandpossessionoftheexpropriatedpropertybutlikewise
covers even the imposition of a mere burden upon the owner of the condemned property.
Significantly, though, landowners cannot be deprived of their right over their land until
expropriationproceedingsareinstitutedincourt.Thecourtmustthenseetoitthatthetakingisfor
[34]
publicuse,thatthereispaymentofjustcompensationandthatthereisdueprocessoflaw.

3.
NPCsconstructionofthetunnel
constitutedtakingoftheland,and
entitledownerstojustcompensation


TheCourtheldinNationalPowerCorporationv.IbrahimthatNPCwasliabletopaynot
merely an easement fee but rather the full compensation for land traversed by the underground
tunnels,viz:

In disregarding this procedure and failing to recognize respondents ownership of the sub
terrainportion,petitionertookariskandexposeditselftogreaterliabilitywiththepassageoftime.
Itmustbeemphasizedthattheacquisitionoftheeasementisnotwithoutexpense.Theunderground
tunnelsimposelimitationsonrespondentsuseofthepropertyforanindefiniteperiodanddeprive
themofitsordinaryuse.Basedupontheforegoing,respondentsareclearlyentitledtothepayment
of just compensation. Notwithstanding the fact that petitioner only occupies the subterrain
portion, it is liable to pay not merely an easement fee but rather the full compensation for
land.Thisissobecauseinthiscase,thenatureoftheeasementpracticallydeprivestheowners
ofitsnormalbeneficialuse.Respondents,astheownerofthepropertythusexpropriated,are

entitledtoajustcompensationwhichshouldbeneithermorenorless,wheneveritispossible
[35]
tomaketheassessment,thanthemoneyequivalentofsaidproperty.


Here, like in National Power Corporation v. Ibrahim, NPC constructed a tunnel underneath the
land of the Heirs of Macabangkit without going through formal expropriation proceedings and
withoutprocuringtheirconsentoratleastinformingthembeforehandoftheconstruction.NPCs
construction adversely affected the owners rights and interests because the subterranean
interventionbyNPCpreventedthemfromintroducinganydevelopmentsonthesurface,andfrom
disposingofthelandoranyportionofit,eitherbysaleormortgage.
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disposingofthelandoranyportionofit,eitherbysaleormortgage.

Didsuchconsequenceconstitutetakingofthelandastoentitletheownerstojustcompensation?

WeagreewithboththeRTCandtheCAthattherewasafulltakingonthepartofNPC,
notwithstandingthattheownerswerenotcompletelyandactuallydispossessed.Itissettledthat
the taking of private property for public use, to be compensable, need not be an actual physical
[36]
taking or appropriation. Indeed, the expropriators action may be short of acquisition of title,
[37]
physical possession, or occupancy but may still amount to a taking. Compensable taking
includes destruction, restriction, diminution, or interruption of the rights of ownership or of the
common and necessary use and enjoyment of the property in a lawful manner, lessening or
[38]
destroyingitsvalue. Itisneithernecessarythattheownerbewhollydeprivedoftheuseofhis
[39]
property, normaterialwhetherthepropertyisremovedfromthepossessionoftheowner,orin
[40]
anyrespectchangeshands.

Asaresult,NPCshouldpayjustcompensationfortheentireland.Inthatregard,theRTC
pegged just compensation at P500.00/square meter based on its finding on what the prevailing
marketvalueofthepropertywasatthetimeofthefilingofthecomplaint,andtheCAupheldthe
RTC.

WeaffirmtheCA,consideringthatNPCdidnotassailthevaluationintheCAandinthisCourt.
NPCs silence was probably due to the correctness of the RTCs valuation after careful
considerationandweighingofthepartiesevidence,asfollows:

The matter of what is just compensation for these parcels of land is a matter of evidence.
Theseparcelsoflandis(sic)locatedintheCityofIligan,theIndustrialCityoftheSouth.Witness
DionisioBanawan,OICCityAssessorsOffice,testified,Withinthatarea,thatareaisclassifiedas
industrialandresidential.Thatplaintiffslandisadjacenttomanysubdivisionsandthatiswithinthe
industrial classification. He testified and identified Exhibit AA and AA1, a Certification, dated
April4,1997,showingthattheappraisedvalueofplaintiffslandrangesfromP400.00toP500.00
persquaremeter(see,TSN,testimonyofDionisioBanawan,pp.51,57,and71,February9,1999).
Also,witnessBanawan,testifiedandidentifiedTwo(2)DeedsofSale,markedasExhibitAA2and
AA3,[]showingthattheappraisedvalueofthelandadjoiningoradjacenttoplaintifflandranges
fromP700.00toP750.00persquaremeter.Asbetweenthemuchlowerpriceofthelandastestified
bydefendantswitnessGregorioEnterone,andthatoftheCityAssessorofIliganCity,thelatteris
morecredible.Consideringhowever,thattheappraisedvalueofthelandintheareaasdetermined
bytheCityAssessorsOfficeisnotuniform,thisCourt,isoftheopinionthatthereasonableamount
ofjustcompensationofplaintiffslandshouldbefixedatFIVEHUNDRED(500.00)PESOS,per
[41]
squaremeter.xxx.

The RTC based its fixing of just compensation ostensibly on the prevailing market value at the 12/24
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The RTC based its fixing of just compensation ostensibly on the prevailing market value at the
timeofthefilingofthecomplaint,insteadofreckoningfromthetimeofthetakingpursuantto
Section 3(h) of Republic Act No. 6395. The CA did not dwell on the reckoning time, possibly
becauseNPCdidnotassignthatasanerroronthepartoftheRTC.

Werulethatthereckoningvalueisthevalueatthetimeofthefilingofthecomplaint,asthe
RTCprovidedinitsdecision.Compensationthatisreckonedonthemarketvalueprevailingatthe
timeeitherwhenNPCenteredorwhenitcompletedthetunnel,asNPCsubmits,wouldnotbejust,
for it would compound the gross unfairness already caused to the owners by NPCs entering
without the intention of formally expropriating the land, and without the prior knowledge and
consent of the Heirs of Macabangkit. NPCs entry denied elementary due process of law to the
ownerssincethenuntiltheownerscommencedtheinversecondemnationproceedings.TheCourt
ismoreconcernedwiththenecessitytopreventNPCfromunjustlyprofitingfromitsdeliberate
acts of denying due process of law to the owners. As a measure of simple justice and ordinary
fairness to them, therefore, reckoning just compensation on the value at the time the owners
commencedtheseinversecondemnationproceedingsisentirelywarranted.

[42]
In National Power Corporation v. Court of Appeals, a case that involved the similar
construction of an underground tunnel by NPC without the prior consent and knowledge of the
owners,andinwhichweheldthatthebasisinfixingjustcompensationwhentheinitiationofthe
actionprecededtheentryintothepropertywasthetimeofthefilingofthecomplaint,notthetime
[43]
oftaking, wepointedoutthattherewasnotakingwhentheentrybyNPCwasmadewithout
intenttoexpropriateorwasnotmadeunderwarrantorcoloroflegalauthority.
4.
Awardsforrentals,moraldamages,exemplary
damages,andattorneysfeesaredeleted
forinsufficiencyoffactualandlegalbases


TheCAupheldtheRTCsgrantingtotheHeirsofMacabangkitofrentalsofP 30,000.00/month
from 1979 up to July 1999 with 12% interest per annum by finding NPC guilty of bad faith in
takingpossessionofthelandtoconstructthetunnelwithouttheirknowledgeandconsent.

Grantingrentalsislegallyandfactuallybereftofjustification,inlightofthetakingofthe
land being already justly compensated. Conformably with the ruling in Manila International
[44]
AirportAuthorityv.Rodriguez, inwhichtheawardofinterestwasheldtorenderthegrantof
backrentalsunwarranted,wedeletetheawardofbackrentalsandinitsplaceprescribeinterestof
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backrentalsunwarranted,wedeletetheawardofbackrentalsandinitsplaceprescribeinterestof
12%interestperannumfromNovember21,1997,thedateofthefilingofthecomplaint,untilthe
fullliabilityispaidbyNPC.Theimpositionofinterestof12%interestperannumfollowsalong
[45]
line of pertinent jurisprudence, whereby the Court has fixed the rate of interest on just
compensation at 12% per annum whenever the expropriator has not immediately paid just
compensation.

The RTC did not state any factual and legal justifications for awarding to the Heirs of
MacabangkitmoralandexemplarydamageseachintheamountofP200,000.00.Theawardsjust
appearedinthefalloofitsdecision.NeitherdidtheCAprofferanyjustificationsforsustainingthe
RTContheawards.Weconsidertheomissionsofthelowercourtsaspurelegalerrorthatwefeel
boundtocorrectevenifNPCdidnotsubmitthatforourconsideration.Therewas,tobeginwith,
no factual and legal bases mentioned for the awards. It is never trite to remind that moral and
exemplarydamages,notbyanymeansliquidatedorassessedasamatterofroutine,alwaysrequire
evidencethatestablishthecircumstancesunderwhichtheclaimantisentitledtothem.Moreover,
thefailureofboththeRTCandtheCAtorenderthefactualandlegaljustificationsforthemoral
andexemplarydamagesinthebodyoftheirdecisionsimmediatelydemandsthestrikingoutofthe
awardsforbeinginviolationofthefundamentalrulethatthedecisionmustclearlystatethefacts
and the law on which it is based. Without the factual and legal justifications, the awards are
exposed as the product of conjecture and speculation, which have no place in fair judicial
adjudication.

WealsoreverseandsetasidethedecreeoftheRTCforNPCtopaytotheHeirsofMacabangkit
thesumequivalentto15%ofthetotalamountawarded,asattorneysfees,andtopaythecost.The
bodyofthedecisiondidnotstatethefactualandlegalreasonswhyNPCwasliableforattorneys

fees. The terse statement found at the end of the body of the RTCs decision, stating: xxx The
contingentattorneysfeeisherebyreducedfrom20%toonly15%ofthetotalamountoftheclaim
that may be awarded to plaintiffs, without more, did not indicate or explain why and how the
substantialliabilityofNPCforattorneysfeescouldhavearisenandbeendetermined.

InassessingattorneysfeesagainstNPCandinfavoroftherespondents,theRTCcasually
disregardedthefundamentaldistinction between the two concepts of attorneys fees the ordinary
andtheextraordinary.TheseconceptswereaptlydistinguishedinTradersRoyalBankEmployees
[46]
UnionIndependentv.NLRC, thuswise:

There are two commonly accepted concepts of attorneys fees, the socalled ordinary and
extraordinary. In its ordinary concept, an attorneys fee is the reasonable compensation paid to a
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extraordinary. In its ordinary concept, an attorneys fee is the reasonable compensation paid to a
lawyer by his client for the legal services he has rendered to the latter. The basis of this
compensationisthefactofhisemploymentbyandhisagreementwiththeclient.

Initsextraordinaryconcept,anattorneysfeeisanindemnityfordamagesorderedbythecourt
tobepaidbythelosingpartyinalitigation.Thebasisofthisisanyofthecasesprovidedbylaw
wheresuchawardcanbemade,suchasthoseauthorizedinArticle2208,CivilCode,andispayable
nottothelawyerbuttotheclient,unlesstheyhaveagreedthattheawardshallpertaintothelawyer
asadditionalcompensationoraspartthereof.


Byreferringtotheawardascontingencyfees,andreducingtheawardfrom20%to15%,
the RTC was really referring to a supposed agreement on attorneys fees between the Heirs of
Macabangkitandtheircounsel.Assuch,theconceptofattorneysfeesinvolvedwastheordinary.
Yet,theinclusionoftheattorneysfeesinthejudgmentamongtheliabilitiesofNPCconvertedthe
feestoextraordinary.WehavetodisagreewiththeRTCthereon,andweexpressourdiscomfort
thattheCAdidnotdoanythingtoexcisetheclearlyerroneousandunfoundedgrant.


Anawardofattorneysfeeshasalwaysbeentheexceptionratherthantherule.Tostartwith,
[47]
attorneys fees are not awarded every time a party prevails in a suit. Nor should an adverse
[48]
decisionipsofactojustifyanawardofattorneysfeestothewinningparty. The policy of the
[49]
Courtisthatnopremiumshouldbeplacedontherighttolitigate. Too, such fees, as part of
[50]
damages, are assessed only in the instances specified in Art. 2208, Civil Code. Indeed,
[51]
attorneysfeesareinthenatureofactualdamages. Butevenwhenaclaimantiscompelledto
litigate with third persons or to incur expenses to protect his rights, attorneys fees may still be
withheldwherenosufficientshowingofbadfaithcouldbereflectedinapartyspersistenceina
[52]
suitotherthananerroneousconvictionoftherighteousnessofhiscause. And,lastly,thetrial
courtmustmakeexpress findings of fact and law that bring the suit within the exception. What
thisdemandsisthatthefactual,legalorequitablejustificationsfortheawardmustbesetforth



notonlyinthefallobutalsointhetextofthedecision,orelse,theawardshouldbethrownoutfor
[53]
beingspeculativeandconjectural.

SoundpolicydictatesthateveniftheNPCfailedtoraisetheissueofattorneysfees,weare
[54]
not precluded from correcting the lower courts patently erroneous application of the law.
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not precluded from correcting the lower courts patently erroneous application of the law.
Indeed,theCourt,insupervisingthelowercourts,possessestheampleauthoritytoreviewlegal
matterslikethisoneevenifnotspecificallyraisedorassignedaserrorbytheparties.

5.
Attorneysfeesunderquantummeruitprinciple
arefixedat10%ofthejudgmentaward


BasedonthependingmotionsofAtty.MacarupungDibaratunandAtty.ManuelD.Ballelos
toasserttheirrespectiverightstoattorneysfees,bothcontendingthattheyrepresentedtheHeirsof
Macabangkitinthiscase,aconflictwouldensuefromthefinalityofthejudgmentagainstNPC.

AlookatthehistoryofthelegalrepresentationoftheHeirsofMacabangkithereinprovides
ahelpfulpredicateforresolvingtheconflict.

Atty. Dibaratun was the original counsel of the Heirs of Macabangkit. When the appeal was
[55] [56]
submittedfordecisionintheCA, Atty.Ballelosfiledhisentryofappearance, andamotion
[57] [58]
for early decision. Atty. Ballelos subsequently filed also a manifestation, supplemental
[59]
manifestation,

[60] [61]
reply, andexpartemotionreiteratingthemotionforearlydecision. Itappearsthatacopy
oftheCAsdecisionwasfurnishedsolelytoAtty.Ballelos.However,shortlybeforetherendition
[62]
ofthedecision,Atty.DibaratunfiledintheCAamotiontoregisterattorneyslien, allegingthat
hehadnotwithdrawnhisappearanceandhadnotbeenawareoftheentryofappearancebyAtty.
Ballelos.AsimilarmotionwasalsoreceivedbytheCourtfromAtty.Dibaratunafewdaysafter
[63] [64]
the petition for review was filed. Thus, on February 14, 2005, the Court directed Atty.
[65]
Dibaratuntoenterhisappearanceherein.Hecomplieduponfilingthecomment.

Amir Macabangkit confirmed Atty. Dibaratuns representation through an ex parte manifestation
[66]
thathefiledinhisownbehalfandonbehalfofhissiblingsMongkoyandPutri. Amirreiterated
[67]
his manifestation on March 6, 2006, and further imputed malpractice to Atty. Ballelos for
having filed an entry of appearance bearing Amirs forged signature and for plagiarism, i.e.,
[68]
copyingverbatimtheargumentscontainedinthepleadingspreviouslyfiledbyAtty.Dibaratun.

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On September 11, 2008, Atty. Ballelos submitted two motions, to wit: (a) a manifestation and
motionauthorizingacertainAbdulmajeedDjamlatoreceivehisattorneysfeesequivalentof15%
[69]
of the judgment award, and (b) a motion to register his attorneys lien that he claimed was
[70]
contingent.

Both Atty. Dibaratun and Atty. Ballelos posited that their entitlement to attorneys fees was
contingent. Yet, a contract for a contingent fees is an agreement in writing by which the fees,
usuallyafixedpercentageofwhatmayberecoveredintheaction,aremadetodependuponthe
success in the effort to enforce or defend a supposed right. Contingent fees depend upon an
[71]
expresscontract,withoutwhichtheattorneycanonlyrecoveronthebasisofquantummeruit.
WithneitherAtty.DibaratunnorAtty.Ballelospresentingawrittenagreementbearingupontheir
supposedcontingentfees,theonlywaytodeterminetheirrighttoappropriateattorneysfeesisto
applytheprincipleofquantummeruit.

Quantum meruit literally meaning as much as he deserves is used as basis for determining an
[72]
attorneysprofessionalfeesintheabsenceofanexpressagreement. Therecoveryofattorneys
feesonthebasisofquantummeruitisadevicethatpreventsanunscrupulousclientfromrunning
awaywiththefruitsofthelegalservicesofcounselwithoutpayingforitandalsoavoidsunjust
[73]
enrichment on the part of the attorney himself. An attorney must show that he is entitled to
reasonable compensation for the effort in pursuing the clients cause, taking into account certain
[74]
factorsinfixingtheamountoflegalfees.

Rule 20.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility lists the guidelines for determining the
properamountofattorneyfees,towit:

Rule20.1Alawyershallbeguidedbythefollowingfactorsindetermininghisfees:

a)Thetimespentandtheextentoftheservicesrenderedorrequired

b)Thenoveltyanddifficultofthequestionsinvolved

c)Theimportantofthesubjectmatter

d)Theskilldemanded

e)Theprobabilityoflosingotheremploymentasaresultofacceptanceoftheprofferedcase

f)ThecustomarychargesforsimilarservicesandthescheduleoffeesoftheIBPchapterto
whichhebelongs

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g) Theamountinvolvedinthecontroversyandthebenefitsresultingtotheclientfromthe
service

h)Thecontingencyorcertaintyofcompensation

i)Thecharacteroftheemployment,whetheroccasionalorestablishedand

j)Theprofessionalstandingofthelawyer.

Intheeventofadisputeastotheamountoffeesbetweentheattorneyandhisclient,andthe
interventionofthecourtsissought,thedeterminationrequiresthattherebeevidencetoprovethe
amount of fees and the extent and value of the services rendered, taking into account the facts
[75]
determinativethereof. Ordinarily,therefore,thedeterminationoftheattorneysfeesonquantum
meruit is remanded to the lower court for the purpose. However, it will be just and equitable to
now assess and fix the attorneys fees of both attorneys in order that the resolution of a
comparatively simple controversy, as Justice Regalado put it in Traders Royal Bank Employees
[76]
UnionIndependent v. NLRC, would not be needlessly prolonged, by taking into due
consideration the accepted guidelines and so much of the pertinent data as are extant in the
records.

Atty.DibaratunandAtty.Balleloseachclaimedattorneysfeesequivalentto15%oftheprincipal
awardofP113,532,500.00,whichwastheamountgrantedbytheRTCinitsdecision.Considering
thattheattorneysfeeswillbedefrayedbytheHeirsofMacabangkitoutoftheiractualrecovery
fromNPC,givingtoeachofthetwoattorneys15%oftheprincipalawardasattorneysfeeswould

be excessive and unconscionable from the point of view of the clients. Thus, the Court, which
holdsandexercisesthepowertofixattorneysfeesonaquantummeruitbasisintheabsenceofan
expresswrittenagreementbetweentheattorneyandtheclient,nowfixesattorneysfeesat10%of
theprincipalawardofP113,532,500.00.
WhetheritisAtty.DibaratunorAtty.Ballelos,orboth,whoshouldreceiveattorneysfees
from the Heirs of Macabangkit is a question that the Court must next determine and settle by
consideringtheamountandqualityoftheworkeachperformedandtheresultseachobtained.

Atty.Dibaratun,theattorneyfromtheoutset,unquestionablycarriedthebulkofthelegaldemands
ofthecase.HediligentlypreparedandtimelyfiledinbehalfoftheHeirsofMacabangkitevery
pleadingandpapernecessaryinthefullresolutionofthedispute,startingfromthecomplaintuntil
theverylastmotionfiledinthisCourt.Heconsistentlyappearedduringthetrial,andexamined
and crossexamined all the witnesses presented at that stage of the proceedings. The nature,
character, and substance of each pleading and the motions he prepared for the Heirs of
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Macabangkit indicated that he devoted substantial time and energy in researching and preparing
the case for the trial. He even advanced P250,000.00 out of his own pocket to defray expenses
from the time of the filing of the motion to execute pending appeal until the case reached the
[77]
Court. HisrepresentationofalltheHeirsofMacabangkitwasnotdeniedbyanyofthem.

We note that Atty. Dibaratun possessed some standing in the legal profession and in his
localcommunity.HeformerlyservedasamemberoftheBoardofDirectoroftheIntegratedBar
ofthePhilippines(IBP),LanaodelNorteIliganCityChapter,andwasanIBPnationalawardeeas
Best Legal Aid Committee Chairman. He taught at Mindanao State University College of Law
Extension.HewasaMunicipalMayorofMatungao,LanaodelNorte,andwasenthronedSultana
Gaus.

Incontrast,notmuchaboutthecharacterandstandingofAtty.Ballelos,aswellasthenatureand
quality of the legal services he rendered for the Heirs of Macabangkit are in the records. The
motionshefiledinthe

Court and in the CA lacked enlightening research and were insignificant to the success of the
clients cause. His legal service, if it can be called that, manifested no depth or assiduousness,
judgingfromthequalityofthepleadingsfromhim.Hiswrittensubmissionsinthecaseappeared
eithertohavebeenliftedverbatimfromthepleadingspreviouslyfiledbyAtty.Dibaratun,orto
havebeenmerelyquotedfromthedecisionsandresolutionsoftheRTCandtheCA.OftheHeirs
[78]
of Macabangkit, only Cebu, Batowaan, Sayana, Nasser, Manta, Mongkoy and Edgar gave
their consent to Atty. Ballelos to appear in their behalf in the CA, which he did despite Atty.
Dibaratunnothavingyetfiledanywithdrawalofhisappearance.TheCourtdidnotreceiveany
notice of appearance for the Heirs of Macabangkit from Atty. Ballelos, but that capacity has
meanwhilebecomedoubtfulinthefaceofAmirsstrongdenialofhavingretainedhim.

Infairnessandjustice,theCourtaccordsfullrecognitiontoAtty.Dibaratunasthecounsel
departeoftheHeirsofMacabangkitwhodischargedhisresponsibilityintheprosecutionofthe
clientscausetoitssuccessfulend.Itishe,notAtty.Ballelos,whowasentitledtothefullamount
ofattorneysfeesthattheclientsoughttopaytotheirattorney.Giventheamountandqualityofhis
legalwork,hisdiligenceandthetimeheexpendedinensuringthesuccessofhisprosecutionof
the clients cause, he deserves the recognition, notwithstanding that some of the clients might
[79]
appeartohaveretainedAtty.Ballelosaftertherenditionofafavorablejudgment.

Atty.BallelosmayclaimonlyfromCebu,Batowaan,Sayana,Nasser,MantaandEdgar,theonly 19/24
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Atty.BallelosmayclaimonlyfromCebu,Batowaan,Sayana,Nasser,MantaandEdgar,theonly
parties who engaged him. The Court considers his work in the case as very minimal. His
compensation under the quantum meruit principle is fixed at P5,000.00, and only the Heirs of
Macabangkitearliernamedareliabletohim.


WHEREFORE,theCourtAFFIRMSthedecisionpromulgatedonOctober5,2004bytheCourt
ofAppeals,subjecttothefollowingMODIFICATIONS,towit:

(a) Interest at the rate of 12% per annum is IMPOSED on the principal amount of
P113,532,500.00asjustcompensation,reckonedfromthefilingofthecomplaint
onNovember21,1997untilthefullliabilityispaid

(b) The awards of P30,000.00 as rental fee, P200,000.00 as moral damages, and
P200,000.00asexemplarydamagesareDELETEDand

(c) The award of 15% attorneys fees decreed to be paid by National Power
CorporationtotheHeirsofMacabangkitisDELETED.
The Court PARTLY GRANTS the motion to register attorneys lien filed by Atty. Macarupung
Dibaratun,andFIXESAtty.Dibaratunsattorneysfeesonthebasisofquantummeruitat10%of
theprincipalawardofP113,532,500.00.

ThemotiontoregisterattorneyslienofAtty.ManuelD.BallelosisPARTLYGRANTED,
andAtty.BallelosisDECLAREDENTITLEDTORECOVERfromCebu,Batowaan,Sayana,
Nasser,MantaandEdgar,allsurnamedMacabangkit,theamountofP5,000.00asattorneysfeeson
thebasisofquantummeruit.






Costsofsuittobepaidbythepetitioner.

SOORDERED.


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LUCASP.BERSAMIN
AssociateJustice

WECONCUR:



RENATOC.CORONA
ChiefJustice
Chairperson




TERESITAJ.LEONARDODECASTROMARIANOC.DELCASTILLO
AssociateJusticeAssociateJustice




MARTINS.VILLARAMA,JR.
AssociateJustice


CERTIFICATION


PursuanttoSection13,ArticleVIIIoftheConstitution,Icertifythattheconclusionsintheabove
Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the
opinionoftheCourtsDivision.




RENATOC.CORONA
ChiefJustice

*SubstitutedbyJosefinaSalvadorMacabangkit,hissurvivingwife,andchildrenMalic,Paisal,MichelleandMongkoy,allsurnamed
Macabangkit,pertheResolutiondatedOctober20,2008,atrollo,p.526.
[1]
Rollo, pp. 5163 penned by Associate Justice Arturo G. Tayag (retired), with Associate Justice Estela M. PerlasBernabe and
AssociateJusticeEdgardoA.Camelloconcurring.
[2]
CArollo,p.22.
[3]
OriginalRecords,pp.16thesuitwasdocketedasCivilCaseNo.4094andwasentitledHeirsofMacabangkitSangkay,namely:
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Cebu, Batowaan, Sayana, Nasser, Manta, Edgar, Putri, Mongkoy, and Amir, all surnamed Macabangkit, v. National Power
Corporation.
[4]
Id.,pp.4345.
[5]
Id.,p.64.
[6]
Id.,pp.143163.
[7]
Id.,p.164.
[8]
Id.,p.175.
[9]
Id.,pp.165170.
[10]
Id.,pp.200202.
[11]
SeeHeirsofMacabangkitSangkayv.NationalPowerCorporation,G.R.No.141447,May4,2006,489SCRA401.
[12]
Rollo,pp.6263.
[13]
NationalPowerCorporationv.CourtofAppeals,G.R.No.106804,August12,2004,436SCRA195,208.
[14]
Rollo,pp.5966.
[15]
TSNdatedMarch2,1999,pp.1632.
[16]
Id.,pp.1011.
[17]
Id.,pp.5859.
[18]
Id.,pp.8081.
[19]
Id.,pp.102106.
[20]
Rollo,p.60.
[21]
Id.,p.62.

[22]
Article635.Allmattersconcerningeasementsestablishedforpublicorcommunaluseshallbegovernedbythespeciallawsand
regulationsrelatingthereto,and,intheabsencethereof,bytheprovisionsofthisTitle(550).

[23]
Section3.xxx
xxx
(g).Toconstruct,operateandmaintainpowerplants,auxiliaryplants,dams,reservoirs,pipes,mains,transmissionlines,powerstations
andsubstations,andotherworksforthepurposeofdevelopinghydraulicpowerfromanyriver,creek,lake,springandwaterfallinthe
Philippinesandsupplyingsuchpowertotheinhabitantsthereofxxx.
[24]
PhilippineTelegraph&TelephoneCorporationv.NationalLaborRelationsCommission,G.R.No.147002,April15,2005,456
SCRA264,279Davidv.Cordova,G.R.No.152992,July28,2005,464SCRA384,402.
[25]
NationalFoodAuthority(NFA)v.MasadaSecurityAgency,Inc.,G.R.No.163448,March8,2005,453SCRA70,79.
[26]
Accordingto29ACJS,EminentDomain,381:Inversecondemnationisacauseofactionagainstagovernmentaldefendantto
recoverthevalueofpropertywhichhasbeentakeninfactbythegovernmentaldefendant,eventhoughnoformalexerciseofthe
powerofeminentdomainhasbeenattemptedbythetakingagency.Whilethetypicaltakingoccurswhenthegovernmentactsto
condemn property in the exercise of its power of eminent domain, the entire doctrine of inverse condemnation is predicated on the
propositionthatatakingmayoccurwithoutsuchformalproceedings.Thephraseinversecondemnation,asacommonunderstandingof
thatphrasewouldsuggest,simplydescribesanactionthatistheinverseorreverseofacondemnationproceeding.
[27]
National Power Corporation v. Manubay AgroIndustrial Development Corporation, G.R. No. 150936, August 18, 2004, 437
SCRA60,68.
[28]
Article19.Everypersonmust,intheexerciseofhisrightsandintheperformanceofhisduties,actwithjustice,giveeveryonehis
due,andobservehonestyandgoodfaith.
[29]
CebuCountryClub,Inc.v.Elizagaque,G.R.No.160273,January18,2008,542SCRA65,7475.
[30]
Constitution,ArticleIII,Section9.
[31]
29ACJS,EminentDomain,381,citingStatev.Hollis,379P.2d750,93Ariz.200MarinMunicipalWaterDistrictv.CityofMill
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Valley,1Dist.,249Cal.Rptr.469,202C.A.3d1161
[32]
29ACJS,EminentDomain,381,citingSchultzv.UnitedStates,Cl.Ct.,5Cl.Ct.412Rosev.CityofCoalinga,5Dist.,236Cal.
Rptr.124,190C.A.3d1627Adamsv.CityofAtlanta,322S.E.2d730,253Ga.581Statev.Malone,Civ.App.,168S.W.2d292.
[33]
G.R.No.168732,June29,2007,526SCRA149.
[34]
Id.,p.163.
[35]
Id.,pp.163164SeealsoNationalPowerCorporationv.ManubayAgroIndustrialDevelopmentCorporation,G.R.No.150936,
August18,2004,437SCRA60,whereitwasheldthatevenaneasementofrightofwaythateffectivelylimitstheownersrighttouse
the land for an indefinite period of time, thus depriving the owner of the normal use of the land, warranted the payment of just
compensationthatmustbeneithermorenorlessthanthemonetaryequivalentoftheland.
[36]
29ACJS,EminentDomain,82,citingStearnsv.Smith,D.C.Tex,551F.Supp.32Wrightv.Shugrue,425A.2d549,178Conn.710
Horsteinv.Barry,App.,560A.2d530andGasquev.TownofConway,8S.E.2d871,194S.C.15.
[37]
Id., citing United States v. General Motors Corporation, Ill., 65 S Ct. 357, 323 US 373, 89 L. Ed. 311 and Midwest Video
Corporationv.F.C.C.,C.A.8,571F.2d1025,affirmed99S.Ct.1435,440US689,59L.E.2d692.
[38]
Id.,citingUnitedStatesv.Dickinson,W.Va.,67S.Ct.1382,331US745,91L.Ed.1789PortsmouthHarborLand&HotelCo.v.
UnitedStates,Ct.Cl.,43S.Ct.135,260US327,67L.Ed.287Bernsteinv.Bush,177P.2d913,29C.2d773.
[39]
Id.,citingEatonv.Boston,C.&M.R.Co.,51N.H.504Leav.Louisville,&N.R.Co.,188S.W.215,135Tenn.560.
[40]
Id.,citingFrustuckv.CityofFairfax,28Cal.Rptr.357,212C.A.2d345Midgettv.NorthCarolinaStateHighwayCommission,
132S.E.2d599,260N.C.241Morrisonv.ClakamasCountry,18P.2d814,141Or.564.
[41]
OriginalRecords,pp.161162.
[42]
G.R.No.113194,March11,1996,254SCRA577.
[43]
Id.,p.588.
[44]
G.R.No.161836,February28,2006,483SCRA619.

[45]
ApoFruitsCorporationv.LandBankofthePhilippines,G.R.No.164195,October12,2010,632SCRA727Curatav.Philippine
PortsAuthority,G.R.No.15421112,June22,2009,590SCRA214PhilippinePortsAuthorityv.RosalesBondoc,G.R.No.173392,
August24,2007,531SCRA198LandBankv.Imperial,G.R.No.157753,February12,2007,515SCRA449Republicv.Courtof
Appeals,G.R.No.147245,March31,2005,454SCRA516LandBankv.Wycoco,G.R.No.140160,January13,2004,419SCRA67
Reyes v. National Housing Authority, G.R. No. 147511, January 20, 2003, 395 SCRA 494 Republic v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No.
146587,July2,2002,383SCRA611EasternShippingLines,Inc.v.CourtofAppeals,G.R.No.97412,July12,1994,234SCRA78.
[46]
579SCRA509G.R.No.120592,March14,1997,269SCRA733,740.TherulinghasbeencitedinMasmudv.NationalLabor
Relations Commission (First Division), G.R. No. 183385, February 13, 2009, 579 SCRA 509 and Orocio v. Anguluan, G.R. Nos.
17989293,January30,2009,577SCRA53,amongothers.
[47]
Ballesterosv.Abion,February9,2006,143361,482SCRA23,39CarCoolPhilippines,Inc.v.UshioRealtyandDevelopment
Corporation, G.R. No. 138088, January 23, 2006, 479 SCRA 404 Filipinas Broadcasting Network, Inc. v. Ago Medical and
EducationalCenterBicolChristianCollegeofMedicine,G.R.No.141994,January17,2005,448SCRA413.
[48]
JMarketingCorporationv.Sia,Jr.,349Phil513,518285SCRA580,584.
[49]
Friasv.SanDiegoSison,G.R.No.155223,April3,2009,520SCRA244,259260CountryBankersInsuranceCorporationv.
LiangaBayandCommunityMultipurposeCooperative,Inc.,G.R.No.136914,January25,2002,374SCRA653IbaanRuralBank,
Inc.v.CourtofAppeals,G.R.No.123817,December17,1999,321SCRA88Moralesv.CourtofAppeals,G.R.No.117228,June19,
1997,274SCRA282,309PhilippineAirLinesv.Miano,G.R.No.106664,March8,1995,242SCRA235,240FirestoneTire&
RubberCo.ofthePhils.v.InesChaves&Co.,Ltd.,No.L17106,October19,1966,18SCRA356,358.
[50]
Article2208.Intheabsenceofstipulation,attorney'sfeesandexpensesoflitigation,otherthanjudicialcosts,cannotberecovered,
except:
(1)Whenexemplarydamagesareawarded
(2)Whenthedefendantsactoromissionhascompelledtheplaintifftolitigatewiththirdpersonsortoincurexpensestoprotecthis
interest
(3)Incriminalcasesofmaliciousprosecutionagainsttheplaintiff
(4)Incaseofaclearlyunfoundedcivilactionorproceedingagainsttheplaintiff
(5)Wherethedefendantactedingrossandevidentbadfaithinrefusingtosatisfytheplaintiff'splainlyvalid,justanddemandable
claim
(6)Inactionsforlegalsupport
http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2011/august2011/165828.htm 23/24
5/27/2017 G.R.No.165828
(6)Inactionsforlegalsupport
(7)Inactionsfortherecoveryofwagesofhouseholdhelpers,laborersandskilledworkers
(8)Inactionsforindemnityunderworkmen'scompensationandemployer'sliabilitylaws
(9)Inaseparatecivilactiontorecovercivilliabilityarisingfromacrime
(10)Whenatleastdoublejudicialcostsareawarded
(11)Inanyothercasewherethecourtdeemsitjustandequitablethatattorneysfeesandexpensesoflitigationshouldberecovered.
Inallcases,theattorney'sfeesandexpensesoflitigationmustbereasonable.
[51]
Foresvs.Miranda,105Phil.,266.
[52]
FelsanRealty&DevelopmentCorporationv.CommonwealthofAustralia,G.R.No.169656,October11,2007,535SCRA618,
631632ABSCBNBroadcastingCorporationv.CourtofAppeals,G.R.No.128690,January21,1999,301SCRA572,601.
[53]
Villanuevav.Salvador,G.R.No.139436,January25,2006,480SCRA39,52MindexResourcesDevelopmentv.Morillo,G.R.
No.138123,March12,2002,379SCRA144,157ValiantMachinery&MetalCorporationv.NLRC,G.R.No.105877,January25,
1996,252SCRA369ScottConsultantsandResourceDevelopmentCorporationv.CourtofAppeals,G.R.No.112916,March16,
1995,242SCRA393,406.
[54]
SeeDeOuanov.Republic,G.R.No.168770,February9,2011BrentHospitalInc.v.NLRC,G.R.No.117593,July10,1998,292
SCRA304(theCourtdeletedtheawardofattorneysfeesalthoughnotraisedasanissue).
[55]
CARollo,p.154.
[56]
Id.,pp.162163.
[57]
Id.,pp.156160.
[58]
Id.,pp.164165.
[59]
Id.,pp.166168.
[60]
Id.,pp.181185.
[61]
Id.,pp.186187.
[62]
Id.,pp.213219.
[63]
Rollo,pp.141154.
[64]
Id.,pp.267268.
[65]
Id.,pp.328347.
[66]
Id.,pp.180181.
[67]
Id.,pp.430435.
[68]
AmirMacabangkitalsodeniedhavingauthorizedoneMrs.MantaMacabangkitLaotorepresenthiminnegotiating,collectingand
receivinghisshareinthependingaction,andtherebydenied,revokedandterminatedanySpecialPowerofAttorneyinfavorofLao.
[69]
Rollo,pp.493494.
[70]
Id.,pp.495505.
[71]
Agpalo,LegalandJudicialEthics(2009),p.408.
[72]
Garciav.Bala,A.C.No.5039,November25,2005,476SCRA85,95.
[73]
Pinedav.DeJesus,G.R.No.155224,August23,2006,499SCRA608,612.
[74]
Garciav.Bala,supranote72.
[75]
Agpalo,op.cit.,p.418.
[76]
G.R.No.120592,March14,1997,269SCRA733,753754.
[77]
Rollo,pp.143144.
[78]
Atty.BallelosrighttorepresentMongkoywasterminatedbyMongkoysdeath.Thereafter,theheirsofMongkoycalledonAtty.
Dibaratunfortheirappropriatesubstitutionandrepresentationintheaction.
[79]
Agpalo,op.cit.,p.397.

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