NHA v. Heirs of Isidro Guivelondo G.R. No. 154411, June 19, 2003

Fact:  Petitioner filed an Amended Complaint for eminent domain against the property of the Respondent, that the lands are within a blighted urban center which petitioner intends to develop as a socialized housing project. Respondents herein, filed a Manifestation stating that they were waiving their objections to petitioner’s power to expropriate their properties. Hence, the trial court issued an Order declaring that the Petitioner has a lawful right to expropriate the properties of the Respondents. Petitioner, filed with the trial court a Motion to Dismiss complaint for eminent domain, alleging that the implementation of its socialized housing project was rendered impossible by the unconscionable value of the land sought to be expropriated, which the intended beneficiaries can not afford. The Motion was denied on the ground that the Partial Judgment had already become final and executory and there was no just and equitable reason to warrant the dismissal of the case. Petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration, which was denied, thus filing a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals which summarily dismissed the petition. Hence, petitioner filed this petition for review.

Issue: Whether the petitioner can withdraw the expropriation proceedings after the determination of the Power of Eminent Domain

Held: No, petitioner did not appeal the Order of the trial court dated December 10, 1999, which declared that it has a lawful right to expropriate the properties of respondent Heirs of Isidro Guivelondo. Hence, the Order became final and may no longer be subject to review or reversal in any court. A final and executory decision or order can no longer be disturbed or reopened no matter how erroneous it may be. Although judicial determinations are not infallible, judicial error should be corrected through appeals, not through repeated suits on the same claim.

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