De la Paz Masikip v. Judge Legaspi, G.R. No. 136349, January 23, 2006

Fact: Petitioner is the registered owner of a parcel of land located at Pag-Asa, Caniogan, Pasig City, Metro Manila. The Respondent City of Pasig, notified petitioner of its intention to expropriate a portion of her property to be used for the “sports development and recreational activities” of the residents of Barangay Caniogan. This was pursuant to Ordinance enacted by the then Sangguniang Bayan of Pasig. Again respondent wrote another letter to petitioner, but this time the purpose was allegedly “in line with the program of the Municipal Government to provide land opportunities to deserving poor sectors of our community.” petitioner sent a reply to respondent stating that the intended expropriation of her property is unconstitutional, invalid, and oppressive, as the area of her lot is neither sufficient nor suitable to “provide land opportunities to deserving poor sectors of our community.” respondent reiterated in a letter that the purpose of the expropriation of petitioner’s property is “to provide sports and recreational facilities to its poor residents.” Subsequently, respondent filed with the trial court a complaint for expropriation and prayed that the trial court, after due notice and hearing, issue an order for the condemnation of the property; The petitioner filed a Motion to Dismiss the complaint. The trial court dismissed the motion on the ground that there is a genuine necessity to expropriate the property. The motion for reconsideration of the petitioner was denied by the trial court which prompted petitioner to file with the Court of Appeals a special civil action for certiorari who dismissed the petition for lack of merit. Petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration was also denied.

 

 

Issue: Where the expropriation of private property for the benefit of a small community notwithstanding that there is such a recreational facility only a short distance away, is considered to be for public use?

 

Held: No. The right to take private property for public purposes necessarily originates from “the necessity” and the taking must be limited to such necessity. the court held that the very foundation of the right to exercise eminent domain is a genuine necessity and that necessity must be of a public character. Moreover, the ascertainment of the necessity must precede or accompany and not follow, the taking of the land. That “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 the property owner consistent with such benefit.” That respondent City of Pasig has failed to establish that there is a genuine necessity to expropriate petitioner’s property.

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