Napocor v. San Pedro G.R. No. 170945, September 26, 2006

Facts: Petitioner for the construction of its Transmission Line and Tower negotiated with respondent for an easement of right of way over her property. respondent executed a Right of Way Grant in favor of NPC. The payment voucher for the residential portion of the lot valued was then processed. However, the NPC Board of Directors approved Board Resolution stating that it would pay only for easement over agricultural lands, adopt median or average if there are several amounts involved. NPC filed a complaint for eminent domain in the RTC against Maria and other landowners. According to NPC, in order to construct and maintain its Northwestern Luzon Transmission Line Project it was necessary to acquire several lots for an easement of right of way. The RTC rendered judgment, declaring as well-grounded, fair and reasonable the compensation for the property. NPC appealed the amended decision to the CA, asserting that the lower court gravely erred in fixing the just compensation for Respondents. the CA rendered judgment dismissing the appeal, NPC filed a Motion for Reconsideration, which the CA denied, Hence the appeal.

 

Issue: Whether the Right of way easement resulting to the deprivation of use of the property is considered a taking.

 

Held: Yes, The right-of-way easement resulting in a restriction or limitation on property rights over the land traversed by transmission lines, as in the present case, also falls within the ambit of the term “expropriation.” While it is true that petitioner only after a right-of-way easement, it nevertheless perpetually deprives defendants of their proprietary rights as manifested by the imposition by the plaintiff upon defendants that below said transmission lines. Normally, of course, the power of eminent domain results in the taking or appropriation of title to, and possession of, the expropriated property; but no cogent reason appears why said power may not be availed of to impose only a burden upon the owner of condemned property, without loss of title and possession. It is unquestionable that real property may, through expropriation, be subjected to an easement of right-of-way.”

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