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Prof. Joselito Guianan Chan's The Labor Code of the Philippines, Annotated Labor Standards & Social Legislation Volume I of a 3-Volume Series 2019 Edition (3rd Revised Edition)
 

 
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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
October-2003 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.M. No. P-02-1548 October 1, 2003 - ROBERT E. VILLAROS v. RODOLFO ORPIANO

  • A.M. Nos. P-03-1697 & P-03-1699 October 1, 2003 - JOCELYN S. PAISTE v. APRONIANO V. MAMENTA

  • G.R. Nos. 133066-67 October 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO H. LAMBID

  • G.R. No. 137554 October 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOHN MAMARION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148198 October 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ELIZABETH CORPUZ

  • G.R. Nos. 150630-31 October 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JAIME OLAYBAR

  • G.R. No. 152176 October 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGER D. DELA CRUZ

  • G.R. No. 154130 October 1, 2003 - BENITO ASTORGA v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 156034 October 1, 2003 - DELSAN TRANSPORT LINES, INC. v. C & A CONSTRUCTION, INC.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1803 October 2, 2003 - VICTOR A. ASLARONA v. ANTONIO T. ECHAVEZ

  • G.R. No. 128882 October 2, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOEL AYUDA

  • G.R. No. 145337 October 2, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEE HOI MING

  • G.R. No. 150382 October 2, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDDIE BASITE

  • A.C. No. 6061 October 3, 2003 - RAUL C. SANCHEZ v. SALUSTINO SOMOSO

  • A.M. MTJ-00-1311 October 3, 2003 - SILVESTRE H. BELLO III v. AUGUSTUS C. DIAZ, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-02-1547 October 3, 2003 - LEOPOLDO V. CAÑETE v. NELSON MANLOSA

  • A.M. No. P-02-1550 October 3, 2003 - AMELIA L. AVELLANOSA v. JOSE Z. CAMASO

  • G.R. No. 118375 October 3, 2003 - CELESTINA T. NAGUIAT v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122134 October 3, 2003 - ROMANA LOCQUIAO VALENCIA, ET AL. v. BENITO A. LOCQUIAO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143388 October 6, 2003 - SPS. ROLANDO and ROSITA CRUZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146569 October 6, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOHN NEQUIA

  • A.M. Nos. P-03-1744–45 October 7, 2003 - FE ALBANO MADRID v. ANTONIO T. QUEBRAL

  • G.R. No. 135377 October 7, 2003 - DSR-SENATOR LINES, ET AL. v. FEDERAL PHOENIX ASSURANCE CO., INC.

  • G.R. No. 149453 October 7, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL., ET AL. v. PANFILO M. LACSON

  • G.R. No. 149717 October 7, 2003 - EASTERN ASSURANCE & SURETY CORP. v. LTFRB

  • G.R. No. 155258 October 7, 2003 - CONRADO S. CANO v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • A.C. No. 4881 October 8, 2003 - RAU SHENG MAO v. ANGELES A. VELASCO

  • G.R. No. 120864 October 8, 2003 - MANUEL T. DE GUIA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136845 October 8, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GUILLERMO FLORENDO

  • G.R. No. 145166 October 8, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERTO ROMERO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146118 October 8, 2003 - SAMUEL SAMARCA v. ARC-MEN INDUSTRIES, INC.

  • G.R. Nos. 148056-61 October 8, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE DE CASTRO

  • G.R. No. 149420 October 8, 2003 - SONNY LO v. KJS ECO-FORMWORK SYSTEM PHIL., INC.

  • G.R. No. 152776 October 8, 2003 - HENRY S. OAMINAL v. PABLITO M. CASTILLO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 153751 October 8, 2003 - MID PASIG LAND DEVELOPMENT CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 154579 October 8, 2003 - MA. LOURDES R. DE GUZMAN v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • A.M. No. P-96-1179 October 10, 2003 - WINSTON C. CASTELO v. CRISTOBAL C. FLORENDO

  • G.R. No. 110604 October 10, 2003 - BUENAVENTURA S. TENORIO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140917 October 10, 2003 - MENELIETO A. OLANDA v. LEONARDO G. BUGAYONG, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-02-1640 October 13, 2003 - SAAD ANJUM v. CESAR L. ABACAHIN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122765 October 13, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDGARDO L. VARGAS

  • G.R. No. 141942 October 13, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JIMMY PONCE JAMON

  • G.R. No. 143842 October 13, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MANGI L. ADAM

  • G.R. No. 144662 October 13, 2003 - SPS. EFREN AND DIGNA MASON, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1459 October 14, 2003 - IMELDA Y. MADERADA v. ERNESTO H. MEDIODEA

  • A.M. No. P-03-1674 October 14, 2003 - PABLO B. FRANCISCO v. OLIVIA M. LAUREL

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1805 October 14, 2003 - TEODORA A. RUIZ v. ROLANDO G. HOW

  • G.R. No. 153157 October 14, 2003 - PHILIPPINE AIRLINES v. ARTHUR B. TONGSON

  • A.M. No. RTJ-02-1697 October 15, 2003 - EUGENIO K. CHAN v. JOSE S. MAJADUCON

  • A.M. No. RTJ-02-1699 October 15, 2003 - VERNETTE UMALI-PACO, ET AL. v. REINATO G. QUILALA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1808 October 15, 2003 - RADELIA SY, ET AL. v. ANTONIO FINEZA

  • G.R. Nos. 123144, 123207 & 123536 October 15, 2003 - PABLO P. BURGOS, ET AL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126119 October 15, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. GILDO B. PELOPERO PNP

  • G.R. No. 130662 October 15, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SERGIO ABON

  • G.R. No. 138364 October 15, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGELIO VILLANUEVA

  • G.R. No. 142381 October 15, 2003 - PHILIPPINE BLOOMING MILLS, INC., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142595 October 15, 2003 - RACHEL C. CELESTIAL v. JESSE CACHOPERO

  • G.R. Nos. 148139-43 October 15, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HERMENIO CANOY

  • G.R. No. 156273 October 15, 2003 - HEIRS OF TIMOTEO MORENO, ET AL. v. MACTAN-CEBU INT’L. AIRPORT AUTHORITY

  • A.M. No. SCC-00-6-P October 16, 2003 - RE: Ma. Corazon M. Molo

  • A.M. No. P-02-1592 October 16, 2003 - LUZITA ALPECHE v. EXPEDITO B. BATO

  • G.R. No. 141074 October 16, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NORLY LIBRADO

  • G.R. No. 144881 October 16, 2003 - BETTY T. CHUA v. ABSOLUTE MNGT. CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 147650-52 October 16, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO S. PEPITO

  • G.R. No. 152492 October 16, 2003 - PALMA DEVELOPMENT CORP. v. MUN. OF MALANGAS

  • G.R. Nos. 153991-92 October 16, 2003 - ANWAR BERUA BALINDONG v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-01-1475 October 17, 2003 - MANUEL R. AQUINO v. JOCELYN C. FERNANDEZ

  • G.R. No. 131399 October 17, 2003 - ANGELITA AMPARO GO v. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 133759-60 October 17, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEONITO LORENZO

  • G.R. Nos. 148673-75 October 17, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORENCIO R. ABANILLA

  • G.R. No. 150286 October 17, 2003 - ELCEE FARMS, INC., ET AL. v. PAMPILO SEMILLANO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142885 October 22, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILLIAM TIU, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1368 October 23, 2003 - JOSE GODOFREDO M. NAUI v. MARCIANO C. MAURICIO, SR.

  • G.R. No. 120409 October 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILLIAMSON PICKRELL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120670 October 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HEDISHI SUZUKI

  • G.R. No. 125689 October 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANTONIO SATIOQUIA

  • G.R. No. 127153 October 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SATUR G. APOSAGA

  • G.R. No. 132788 October 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ISAIAS FERNANDEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134485 October 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. OSCAR PEREZ

  • G.R. Nos. 134573-75 October 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICENTE BINARAO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136849 October 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NESTOR A. CODERES

  • G.R. No. 138456 October 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROLANDO P. DEDUYO

  • G.R. No. 140247 October 23, 2003 - ALEX ASUNCION, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143252 October 23, 2003 - CEBU MARINE BEACH RESORT, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 146368-69 October 23, 2003 - MADELEINE MENDOZA-ONG v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146608 October 23, 2003 - SPS. CONSTANTE & AZUCENA FIRME v. BUKAL ENTERPRISES AND DEV’T. CORP.

  • G.R. No. 147369 October 23, 2003 - SPS. PATRICK and RAFAELA JOSE v. SPS. HELEN and ROMEO BOYON

  • G.R. No. 147549 October 23, 2003 - JESUS DELA ROSA, ET AL. v. SANTIAGO CARLOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149149 October 23, 2003 - ERNESTO SYKI v. SALVADOR BEGASA

  • G.R. No. 149725 October 23, 2003 - OSCAR MAGNO v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. Nos. 150493-95 October 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CIRILO MACABATA

  • G.R. No. 150946 October 23, 2003 - MUNICIPAL BOARD OF CANVASSERS OF GLAN, ET AL. v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152135 October 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARCOS GIALOLO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152716 October 23, 2003 - ELNA MERCADO-FEHR v. BRUNO FEHR

  • G.R. Nos. 154796-97 October 23, 2003 - RAYMUNDO A. BAUTISTA v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 155692 October 23, 2003 - PHIVIDEC INDUSTRIAL AUTHORITY, ET AL. v. CAPITOL STEEL CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 155717 October 23, 2003 - ALBERTO JARAMILLA v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1586 October 24, 2003 - THELMA C. BALDADO v. ARNULFO O. BUGTAS

  • G.R. No. 119775 October 24, 2003 - JOHN HAY PEOPLES ALTERNATIVE COALITION, ET AL. v. VICTOR LIM, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119847 October 24, 2003 - JENNY ZACARIAS v. NATIONAL POLICE COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137597 October 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JASON S. NAVARRO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141615 October 24, 2003 - MAC ADAMS METAL ENGINEERING WORKERS UNION-INDEPENDENT, ET AL. v. MAC ADAMS METAL ENGINEERING, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144439 October 24, 2003 - SOUTHEAST ASIA SHIPPING CORP. v. SEAGULL MARITIME CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148120 October 24, 2003 - RODRIGO QUIRAO, ET AL. v. LYDIA QUIRAO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148597 October 24, 2003 - GRACE F. MUNSAYAC-DE VILLA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152285 October 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE OBESO

  • G.R. Nos. 152589 and 152758 October 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANTONIO MENDOZA

  • G.R. No. 153828 October 24, 2003 - LINCOLN L. YAO v. NORMA C. PERELLO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139181 October 27, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JIMMY AQUINO

  • G.R. No. 143817 October 27, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALEJANDRO BAJAR

  • A.C. No. 5829 October 28, 2003 - DANIEL LEMOINE v. AMADEO E. BALON, JR.

  • A.M. No. P-02-1581 October 28, 2003 - MA. CORAZON M. ANDAL v. NICOLAS A. TONGA

  • G.R. No. 134563 October 28, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FRANCISCO DALA

  • G.R. No. 138933 October 28, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JERRYVIE D. GUMAYAO

  • G.R. No. 150540 October 28, 2003 - DIMALUB P. NAMIL, ET AL. v. COMELEC, ET AL

  • G.R. No. 155206 October 28, 2003 - GSIS v. EDUARDO M. SANTIAGO

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 156273   October 15, 2003 - HEIRS OF TIMOTEO MORENO, ET AL. v. MACTAN-CEBU INT’L. AIRPORT AUTHORITY

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 156273. October 15, 2003.]

    HEIRS OF TIMOTEO MORENO and MARIA ROTEA, namely: ESPERANZA R. EDJEC, BERNARDA R. SUELA, RUBY C. ROTEA, BERNARDA R. ROTEA, ELIA R. VDA. DE LIMBAGA, VIRGINIA R. ARBON, ROSALINDA R. ARQUISOLA, CORAZON ROTEA, FE R. EBORA, CARIDAD ROTEA, ANGELES VDA. DE RENACIA, JORGE ROTEA, MARIA LUISA ROTEA-VILLEGAS, ALFREDO R. ROTEA, represented by his heirs LIZBETH ROTEA and ELEPETH ROTEA; LUIS ROTEA, represented by his heir JENNIFER ROTEA; and ROLANDO R. ROTEA, represented by his heir ROLANDO R. ROTEA JR., Petitioners, v. MACTAN — CEBU INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY, Respondent.

    D E C I S I O N


    BELLOSILLO, J.:


    THE HEIRS OF TIMOTEO MORENO AND MARIA ROTEA, petitioners herein, are the successors-in-interest of the former registered owners of two (2) parcels of land situated in Lahug, Cebu City, designated as Lot No. 916 with an area of 2,355 square meters under TCT No. RT-7543 (106) T-13694, and Lot No. 920 consisting of 3,097 square meters under TCT No. RT-7544 (107) T-13695. 1

    In 1949 the National Airport Corporation as the predecessor agency of respondent Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) wanted to acquire Lots Nos. 916 and 920 above described among other parcels of land for the proposed expansion of Lahug Airport. 2 To entice the landowners to cede their properties, the government assured them that they could repurchase their lands once Lahug Airport was closed or its operations transferred to Mactan Airport. 3 Some of the landowners executed deeds of sale with right of repurchase in favor of the government but many others, including the owners of Lots Nos. 916 and 920 herein mentioned, refused the offer because the payment was perceived to be way below the market price. 4

    On 16 April 1952, as the negotiations for the purchase of the lots necessary for the expansion and improvement of Lahug Airport irredeemably broke down, the Civil Aeronautics Administration as the successor agency of the National Airport Corporation filed a complaint with the Court of First Instance of Cebu, for the expropriation of Lots Nos. 916 and 920 and other subject realties, docketed as Civil Case No. R-1881.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    On 29 December 1961 the trial court promulgated its Decision in Civil Case No. R-1881 condemning Lots Nos. 916 and 920 and other lots for public use upon payment of just compensation. 5 Petitioners’ predecessors were paid P7,065.00 for Lot No. 916 and P9,291.00 for Lot No. 920 with consequential damages by way of legal interest from 16 November 1947. No appeal was taken from the Decision on Lots Nos. 916 and 920, and the judgment of condemnation became final and executory. 6 Thereafter, the certificates of title for these parcels of land were issued in the name of the Republic of the Philippines under TCT No. 58691 for Lot No. 916 and TCT No. 58692 for Lot No. 920, which under RA 6958 (1990) were subsequently transferred in favor of respondent MCIAA. 7

    At the end of 1991, or soon after the transfer of Lots Nos. 916 and 920 to MCIAA, Lahug Airport ceased operations as the Mactan Airport was opened for incoming and outgoing flights. 8 Lots Nos. 916 and 920 which had been expropriated for the extension of Lahug Airport were not utilized. 9 In fact, no expansion of Lahug Airport was undertaken by MCIAA and its predecessors-in-interest. 10 Hence, petitioners wrote then President Fidel V. Ramos and the airport manager begging them for the exercise of their alleged right to repurchase Lots Nos. 916 and 920. 11 Their pleas were not heeded. 12

    On 11 March 1997 petitioners filed a complaint for reconveyance and damages with RTC of Cebu City against respondent MCIAA to compel the repurchase of Lots Nos. 916 and 920, docketed as Civil Case No. CEB-20015. In the main, petitioners averred that they had been convinced by the officers of the predecessor agency of respondent MCIAA not to oppose the expropriation proceedings since in the future they could repurchase the properties if the airport expansion would not push through. MCIAA did not object to petitioners’ evidence establishing these allegations.

    When the civil case was pending, one Richard E. Enchuan filed a Motion for Transfer of Interest alleging that he acquired through deeds of assignment the rights of some of herein petitioners over Lots Nos. 916 and 920. 13 The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) also sought to intervene in the civil case claiming that it leased in good faith Lot No. 920 from the predecessor agencies of respondent MCIAA and that it built thereon its Regional Equipment Services and its Region 7 Office. 14

    On 12 April 1999 the trial court found merit in the claims of petitioners and granted them the right to repurchase the properties at the amount pegged as just compensation in Civil Case No. R-1881 but subject to the alleged property rights of Richard E. Enchuan and the leasehold of DPWH. 15 The trial court opined that the expropriation became illegal or functus officio when the purpose for which it was intended was no longer there. 16

    Respondent MCIAA appealed the Decision of the trial court to the Court of Appeals, docketed as CA-G.R. CV No. 64456.

    On 20 December 2001 the Court of Appeals reversed the assailed Decision on the ground that the judgment of condemnation in Civil Case No. R-1881 was unconditional so that the rights gained therefrom by respondent MCIAA were indicative of ownership in fee simple. 17 The appellate court cited Fery v. Municipality of Cabanatuan 18 which held that mere deviation from the public purpose for which the power of eminent domain was exercised does not justify the reversion of the property to its former owners, and Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority v. Court of Appeals 19 which is allegedly stare decisis to the instant case to prevent the exercise of the right of repurchase as the former dealt with a parcel of land similarly expropriated under Civil Case No. R-1881. 20

    On 28 November 2002 reconsideration of the Decision was denied. 21 Hence, this petition for review.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Petitioners argue that Fery v. Municipality of Cabanatuan does not apply to the case at bar since what was involved therein was the "right of reversion" and not the "right of repurchase" which they are invoking. They also differentiate Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority v. Court of Appeals 22 from the instant case in that the landowners in the MCIAA case offered inadmissible evidence to show their entitlement to a right of repurchase, while petitioners herein offered evidence based on personal knowledge for which reason MCIAA did not object and thus waived whatever objection it might have had to the admissibility thereof. Finally, petitioners allege that their right to equal protection of the laws would be infringed if some landowners are given the right to repurchase their former properties even as they are denied the exercise of such prerogative.

    On the other hand, respondent MCIAA clings to our decisions in Fery v. Municipality of Cabanatuan and Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority v. Court of Appeals. According to respondent MCIAA "there is only one instance when expropriated land may be repurchased by its previous owners, and that is, if the decision of expropriation itself provides [the] condition for such repurchase." Respondent asserts that the Decision in Civil Case No. R-1881 is absolute and without conditions, thus, no repurchase could be validly exercised.

    This is a difficult case calling for a difficult but just solution. To begin with, there exists an undeniable historical narrative that the predecessors of respondent MCIAA had suggested to the landowners of the properties covered by the Lahug Airport expansion scheme that they could repurchase their properties at the termination of the airport’s venture. 23 Some acted on this assurance and sold their properties; 24 other landowners held out and waited for the exercise of eminent domain to take its course until finally coming to terms with respondent’s predecessors that they would not appeal nor block further the judgment of condemnation if the same right of repurchase was extended to them. 25 A handful failed to prove that they acted on such assurance when they parted with the ownership of their lands. 26

    In resolving this dispute, we must reckon with the rulings of this Court in Fery v. Municipality of Cabanatuan and Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority v. Court of Appeals, which define the rights and obligations of landowners whose properties were expropriated when the public purpose for which eminent domain was exercised no longer subsists. In Fery, which was cited in the recent case of Reyes v. Court of Appeals, 27 we declared that the government acquires only such rights in expropriated parcels of land as may be allowed by the character of its title over the properties —

    If . . . land is expropriated for a particular purpose, with the condition that when that purpose is ended or abandoned the property shall return to its former owner, then, of course, when the purpose is terminated or abandoned the former owner reacquires the property so expropriated. If . . . land is expropriated for a public street and the expropriation is granted upon condition that the city can only use it for a public street, then, of course, when the city abandons its use as a public street, it returns to the former owner, sunless there is some statutory provision to the contrary . . . If, upon the contrary, however, the decree of expropriation gives to the entity a fee simple title, then, of course, the land becomes the absolute property of the expropriator, whether it be the State, a province, or municipality, and in that case the non-user does not have the effect of defeating the title acquired by the expropriation proceedings . . . When land has been acquired for public use in fee simple, unconditionally, either by the exercise of eminent domain or by purchase, the former owner retains no rights in the land, and the public use may be abandoned, or the land may be devoted to a different use, without any impairment of the estate or title acquired, or any reversion to the former owner . . . 28

    In Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority, respondent Chiongbian sought to enforce an alleged right of repurchase over her properties that had been expropriated in Civil Case No. R-1881. This Court did not allow her to adduce evidence of her claim, for to do so would unsettle as to her properties the judgment of condemnation in the eminent domain proceedings. We also held therein that Chiongbian’s evidence was both inadmissible and lacking in probative value —chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The terms of the judgment are clear and unequivocal and grant title to Lot No. 941 in fee simple to the Republic of the Philippines. There was no condition imposed to the effect that the lot would return to CHIONGBIAN or that CHIONGBIAN had a right to repurchase the same if the purpose for which it was expropriated is ended or abandoned or if the property was to be used other than as the Lahug Airport. CHIONGBIAN cannot rely on the ruling in Mactan-Cebu International Airport v. Court of Appeals wherein the presentation of parol evidence was allowed to prove the existence of a written agreement containing the right to repurchase. Said case did not involve expropriation proceedings but a contract of sale . . . To permit CHIONGBIAN to prove the existence of a compromise settlement which she claims to have entered into with the Republic of the Philippines prior to the rendition of judgment in the expropriation case would result in a modification of the judgment of a court which has long become final and executory . . . And even assuming for the sake of argument that CHIONGBIAN could prove the existence of the alleged written agreement acknowledging her right to repurchase Lot No. 941 through parol evidence, the Court of Appeals erred in holding that the evidence presented by CHIONGBIAN was admissible . . . Aside from being inadmissible tinder the provisions of the Statute of Frauds, [the] testimonies are also inadmissible for being hearsay in nature . . . 29

    We adhere to the principles enunciated in Fery and in Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority, and do not overrule them. Nonetheless the weight of their import, particularly our ruling as regards the properties of respondent Chiongbian in Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority, must be commensurate to the facts that were established therein as distinguished from those extant in the case at bar. Chiongbian put forth inadmissible and inconclusive evidence, while in the instant case we have preponderant proof as found by the trial court of the existence of the right of repurchase in favor of petitioners.

    Moreover, respondent MCIAA has brought to our attention a significant and telling portion in the Decision in Civil Case No. R-1881 validating our discernment that the expropriation by the predecessors of respondent was ordered under the running impression that Lahug Airport would continue in operation —

    As for the public purpose of the expropriation proceeding, it cannot now be doubted. Although Mactan Airport is being constructed, it does not take away the actual usefulness and importance of the Lahug Airport: it is handling the air traffic both civilian and military. From it aircrafts fly to Mindanao and Visayas and pass thru it on their flights to the North and Manila. Then, no evidence was adduced to show how soon is the Mactan Airport to be placed in operation and whether the Lahug Airport will be closed immediately thereafter. It is up to the other departments of the Government to determine said matters. The Court cannot substitute its judgment for those of the said departments or agencies. In the absence of such showing, the Court will presume that the Lahug Airport will continue to be in operation (Emphasis supplied). 30

    While the trial court in Civil Case No. R-1881 could have simply acknowledged the presence of public purpose for the exercise of eminent domain regardless of the survival of Lahug Airport, the trial court in its Decision chose not to do so but instead prefixed its finding of public purpose upon its understanding that "Lahug Airport will continue to be in operation." Verily, these meaningful statements in the body of the Decision warrant the conclusion that the expropriated properties would remain to be so until it was confirmed that Lahug Airport was no longer "in operation." This inference further implies two (2) things: (a) after the Lahug Airport ceased its undertaking as such and the expropriated lots were not being used for any airport expansion project, the rights vis--vis the expropriated Lots Nos. 916 and 920 as between the State and their former owners, petitioners herein, must be equitably adjusted; and, (b) the foregoing unmistakable declarations in the body of the Decision should merge with and become an intrinsic part of the fallo thereof which under the premises is clearly inadequate since the dispositive portion is not in accord with the findings as contained in the body thereof. 31

    Significantly, in light of the discussion above, the admission of petitioners during the pre-trial of Civil Case No. CEB-20015 for reconveyance and damages that respondent MCIAA was the absolute owner of Lots Nos. 916 and 920 does not prejudice petitioners’ interests. This is as it should be not only because the admission concerns a legal conclusion fiercely debated by the parties 32 but more so since respondent was truly the absolute owner of the realties until it was apparent that Lahug Airport had stopped doing business.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    To sum up what we have said so far, the attendance in the case at bar of standing admissible evidence validating the claim of petitioners as well as the portions above-quoted of the Decision in the expropriation case volunteered no less than by respondent itself, takes this case away from the ambit of Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority v. Court of Appeals 33 but within the principles enunciated in Fery as mentioned earlier. In addition, there should be no doubt that our present reading of the fallo of the Decision in Civil Case No. R-1881 so as to include the statements in the body thereof afore-quoted is sanctioned by the rule that a final and executory judgment may nonetheless be "clarified" by reference to other portions of the decision of which it forms a part. In Republic v. De Los Angeles 34 we ruled —

    This Court has promulgated many cases . . . wherein it was held that a judgment must not be read separately but in connection with the other portions of the decision of which it forms a part. Hence . . . the decision of the court below should be taken as a whole and considered in its entirety to get the true meaning and intent of any particular portion thereof . . . Neither is this Court inclined to confine itself to a reading of the said fallo literally. On the contrary, the judgment portion of a decision should be interpreted and construed in harmony with the ratio decidendi thereof . . . As stated in the case of Policarpio v. Philippine Veterans Board, Et Al., supra, to get the true intent and meaning of a decision, no specific portion thereof should be resorted to but the same must be considered in its entirety. Hence, a resolution or ruling may and does appear in other parts of the decision and not merely in the fallo thereof . . . The foregoing pronouncements find support in the case of Locsin, Et. Al. v. Paredes, Et Al., 63 Phil., 87, 91-92, wherein this Court allowed a judgment that had become final and executory to be "clarified" by supplying a word which had been inadvertently omitted and which, when supplied, in effect changed the literal import of the original phraseology . . . This is so because, in the first place, if an already final judgment can still be amended to supply an omission committed through oversight, this simply means that in the construction or interpretation of an already final decision, the fallo or dispositive portion thereof must be correlated with the body of such final decision . . . [I]f an amendment may be allowed after a decision has already become final . . . such amendment may consist . . . either in the . . . interpretation of an ambiguous phrase therein in relation to the body of the decision which gives it life. 35

    We now resolve to harmonize the respective rights of the State and petitioners to the expropriated Lots Nos. 916 and 920.

    Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority 36 is correct in stating that one would not find an express statement in the Decision in Civil Case No. R-1881 to the effect that "the [condemned] lot would return to [the landowner] or that [the landowner] had a right to repurchase the same if the purpose for which it was expropriated is ended or abandoned or if the property was to be used other than as the Lahug Airport." This omission notwithstanding, and while the inclusion of this pronouncement in the judgment of condemnation would have been ideal, such precision is not absolutely necessary nor is it fatal to the cause of petitioners herein. No doubt, the return or repurchase of the condemned properties of petitioners could be readily justified as the manifest legal effect or consequence of the trial court’s underlying presumption that "Lahug Airport will continue to be in operation" when it granted the complaint for eminent domain and the airport discontinued its activities.

    The predicament of petitioners involves a constructive trust, one that is akin 37 to the implied trust referred to in Art. 1454 of the Civil Code, "If an absolute conveyance of property is made in order to secure the performance of an obligation of the grantor toward the grantee, a trust by virtue of law is established. If the fulfillment of the obligation is offered by the grantor when it becomes due, he may demand the reconveyance of the property to him." In the case at bar, petitioners conveyed Lots Nos. 916 and 920 to the government with the latter obliging itself to use the realties for the expansion of Lahug Airport; failing to keep its bargain, the government can be compelled by petitioners to reconvey the parcels of land to them, otherwise, petitioners would be denied the use of their properties upon a state of affairs that was not conceived nor contemplated when the expropriation was authorized.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Although the symmetry between the instant case and the situation contemplated by Art. 1454 is not perfect, the provision is undoubtedly applicable. For, as explained by an expert on the law of trusts: "The only problem of great importance in the field of constructive trusts is to decide whether in the numerous and varying fact situations presented to the courts there is a wrongful holding of property and hence a threatened unjust enrichment of the defendant." 38 Constructive trusts are fictions of equity which are bound by no unyielding formula when they are used by courts as devices to remedy any situation in which the holder of the legal title may not in good conscience retain the beneficial interest. 39

    In constructive trusts, the arrangement is temporary and passive in which the trustee’s sole duty is to transfer the title and possession over the property to the plaintiff-beneficiary. 40 Of course, the "wronged party seeking the aid of a court of equity in establishing a constructive trust must himself do equity." 41 Accordingly, the court will exercise its discretion in deciding what acts are required of the plaintiff-beneficiary as conditions precedent to obtaining such decree and has the obligation to reimburse the trustee the consideration received from the latter just as the plaintiff-beneficiary would if he proceeded on the theory of rescission. 42 In the good judgment of the court, the trustee may also be paid the necessary expenses he may have incurred in sustaining the property, his fixed costs for improvements thereon, and the monetary value of his services in managing the property to the extent that plaintiff-beneficiary will secure a benefit from his acts. 43

    The rights and obligations between the constructive trustee and the beneficiary, in this case, respondent MCIAA and petitioners over Lots Nos. 916 and 920, are echoed in Art. 1190 of the Civil Code, "When the conditions have for their purpose the extinguishment of an obligation to give, the parties, upon the fulfillment of said conditions, shall return to each other what they have received . . . In case of the loss, deterioration or improvement of the thing, the provisions which, with respect to the debtor, are laid down in the preceding article shall be applied to the party who is bound to return . . ."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Hence, respondent MCIAA as representative of the State is obliged to reconvey Lots Nos. 916 and 920 to petitioners who shall hold the same subject to existing liens thereon, i.e., leasehold right of DPWH. In return, petitioners as if they were plaintiff-beneficiaries of a constructive trust must restore to respondent MCIAA what they received as just compensation for the expropriation of Lots Nos. 916 and 920 in Civil Case No. R-1881, i.e., P7,065.00 for Lot No. 916 and P9,291.00 for Lot No. 920 with consequential damages by way of legal interest from 16 November 1947. Petitioners must likewise pay respondent MCIAA the necessary expenses it may have incurred in sustaining the properties and the monetary value of its services in managing them to the extent that petitioners will be benefited thereby. The government however may keep whatever income or fruits it may have obtained from the parcels of land, in the same way that petitioners need not account for the interests that the amounts they received as just compensation may have earned in the meantime. As a matter of justice and convenience, the law considers the fruits and interests as the equivalent of each other. 44

    Under Art. 1189 of the Civil Code, "If the thing is improved by its nature, or by time, the improvement shall inure to the benefit of the creditor . . .," the creditor being the person who stands to receive something as a result of the process of restitution. Consequently, petitioners as creditors do not have to settle as part of the process of restitution the appreciation in value of Lots Nos. 916 and 920 which is the natural consequence of nature and time.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Petitioners need not also pay for improvements introduced by third parties, i.e., DPWH, as the disposition of these properties is governed by existing contracts and relevant provisions of law. As for the improvements that respondent MCIAA may have made on Lots Nos. 916 and 920, if any, petitioners must pay respondent their prevailing free market price in case petitioners opt to buy them and respondent decides to sell. In other words, if petitioners do not want to appropriate such improvements or respondent does not choose to sell them, the improvements would have to be removed without any obligation on the part of petitioners to pay any compensation to respondent MCIAA for whatever it may have tangibly introduced therein. 45

    The medium of compensation for the restitution shall be ready money or cash payable within a period of three hundred sixty five (365) days from the date that the amount to be returned by petitioners is determined with finality, unless the parties herein stipulate and agree upon a different scheme, medium or schedule of payment. If after the period of three hundred sixty five (365) days or the lapse of the compromise scheme or schedule of payment such amount owed is not settled, the right of repurchase of petitioners and the obligation of respondent MCIAA to reconvey Lots Nos. 916 and 920 and/or the latter’s improvements as set forth herein shall be deemed forfeited and the ownership of those parcels of land shall vest absolutely upon respondent MCIAA.

    Finally, we delete the award of P60,000.00 for attorney’s fees and P15,000.00 for litigation expenses in favor of petitioners as decreed in the assailed Decision of 12 April 1999 of the trial court. It is not sound public policy to set a premium upon the right to litigate where such right is exercised in good faith, as in the present case, albeit the decision to resist the claim is erroneous. 46

    The rule on awards of attorney’s fees and litigation expenses is found in Art. 2208 of the Civil Code —

    In the absence of stipulation, attorney’s fees and expenses of litigation, other than judicial costs, cannot be recovered, except:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    (1) When exemplary damages are awarded;

    (2) When the defendant’s act or omission has compelled the plaintiff to litigate with third persons or to incur expenses to protect his interests;

    (3) In criminal cases of malicious prosecution against the plaintiff;

    (4) In case of a clearly unfounded civil action or proceeding against the plaintiff;

    (5) Where the defendant acted in gross and evident bad faith in refusing to satisfy the plaintiff’s valid and demandable claim;

    (6) In actions for legal support;

    (7) In actions for the recovery of wages of household helpers, laborers and skilled workers;

    (8) In actions for indemnity under workmen’s compensation and employer’s liability laws;

    (9) In a separate civil action to recover civil liability arising from a crime;

    (10) When at least double judicial costs are awarded;

    (11) In any other case where the court deems it just and equitable that attorney’s fees and expenses of litigation should be recovered.

    In all cases, the attorney’s fees and expenses of litigation must be reasonable.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    As noted in Mirasol v. De la Cruz, 47 Art. 2208 intends to retain the award of attorney’s fees as the exception in our law and the general rule remains that attorney’s fees are not recoverable in the absence of a stipulation thereto.

    In the case at bar, considering the established absence of any stipulation regarding attorney’s fees, the trial court cannot base its award on any of the exceptions enumerated in Art. 2208. The records of the instant case do not disclose any proof presented by petitioners to substantiate that the actuations of respondent MCIAA were clearly unfounded or purely for the purpose of harassment; neither does the trial court make any finding to that effect in its appealed Decision.

    While Art. 2208, par. (4), allows attorney’s fees in cases of clearly unfounded civil actions, this exception must be understood to mean those where the defenses are so untenable as to amount to gross and evident bad faith. Evidence must be presented to the court as to the facts and circumstances constituting the alleged bad faith, otherwise, the award of attorney’s fees is not justified where there is no proof other than the bare statement of harassment that a party to be so adjudged had acted in bad faith. The exercise of judicial discretion in the award of attorney’s fees under Art. 2208, par. (11), demands a factual, legal or equitable justification that would bring the case within the exception and justify the grant of such award.

    WHEREFORE, the instant Petition for Review is GRANTED. The Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 64456 dated 20 December 2001 and its Resolution of 28 November 2002 denying reconsideration of the Decision are REVERSED and SET ASIDE.

    The Decision of RTC-Br. 19 of Cebu City dated 12 April 1999 in Civil Case No. CEB-20015 is MODIFIED IN PART by —

    (a) ORDERING respondent Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) TO RECONVEY to petitioner Heirs of Timoteo Moreno and Maria Rotea, namely: Esperanza R. Edjec, Bernarda R. Suela, Ruby C. Rotea, Bernarda R. Rotea, Elia R. Vda De Limbaga, Virginia R. Arbon, Rosalinda R. Arquisola, Corazon Rotea, Fe R. Ebora, Caridad Rotea, Angeles Vda. De Renacia, Jorge Rotea, Maria Luisa Rotea-Villegas, Alfredo R. Rotea, represented by his heirs, namely: Lizbeth Rotea and Elepeth Rotea; Luis Rotea, represented by his heir Jennifer Rotea; and Rolando R. Rotea, represented by his heir Rolando R. Rotea Jr., Lot No. 916 with an area of 2,355 square meters and Lot No. 920 consisting of 3,097 square meters in Lahug, Cebu City, with all the improvements thereon evolving through nature or time, but excluding those that were introduced by third parties, i.e., DPWH, which shall be governed by existing contracts and relevant provisions of law;

    (b) ORDERING petitioner Heirs of Timoteo Moreno and Maria Rotea TO PAY respondent MCIAA what the former received as just compensation for the expropriation of Lots Nos. 916 and 920 in Civil Case No. R-1881, i.e., P7,065.00 for Lot No. 916 and P9,291.00 for Lot No. 920 with consequential damages by way of legal interest from 16 November 1947. Petitioners must likewise PAY respondent MCIAA the necessary expenses that the latter may have incurred in sustaining the properties and the monetary value of its services in managing the properties to the extent that petitioners will secure a benefit from such acts. Respondent MCIAA however may keep whatever income or fruits it may have obtained from the parcels of land, in the same way that petitioners need not account for the interests that the amounts they received as just compensation may have earned in the meantime;

    (c) ORDERING respondent MCIAA TO CONVEY to petitioners the improvements it may have built on Lots Nos. 916 and 920, if any, in which case petitioners SHALL PAY for these improvements at the prevailing free market price, otherwise, if petitioners do not want to appropriate such improvements, or if respondent does not choose to sell them, respondent MCIAA SHALL REMOVE these improvements WITHOUT ANY OBLIGATION on the part of petitioners to pay any compensation to respondent MCIAA for them;chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    (d) ORDERING petitioners TO PAY the amount so determined under letter (b) of this dispositive portion as consideration for the reconveyance of Lots Nos. 916 and 920, as well as the prevailing free market price of the improvements built thereon by respondent MCIAA, if any and desired to be bought and sold by the parties, in ready money or cash PAYABLE within a period of three hundred sixty five (365) days from the date that the amount under letter (b) above is determined with finality, unless the parties herein stipulate a different scheme or schedule of payment, otherwise, after the period of three hundred sixty five (365) days or the lapse of the compromise scheme or schedule of payment and the amount so payable is not settled, the right of repurchase of petitioners and the obligation of respondent MCIAA to so reconvey Lots Nos. 916 and 920 and/or the improvements shall be DEEMED FORFEITED and the ownership of those parcels of land shall VEST ABSOLUTELY upon respondent MCIAA;

    (e) REMANDING the instant case to RTC-Br. 19 of Cebu City for purposes of determining the amount of compensation for Lots Nos. 916 and 920 to be paid by petitioners as mandated in letter (b) hereof, and the value of the prevailing free market price of the improvements built thereon by respondent MCIAA, if any and desired to be bought and sold by the parties, and in general, securing the immediate execution of this Decision under the premises;

    (f) ORDERING petitioners to respect the right of the Department of Public Works and Highways to its lease contract until the expiration of the lease period; and

    (g) DELETING the award of P60,000.00 for attorney’s fees and P15,000.00 for litigation expenses against respondent MCIAA and in favor of petitioners.

    This Decision is without prejudice to the claim of intervenor one Richard E. Enchuan on his allegation that he acquired through deeds of assignment the rights of some of herein petitioners over Lots Nos. 916 and 920.

    No costs.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED.

    Quisumbing, Austria-Martinez, Callejo, Sr. and Tinga, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Rollo, pp. 15, 75–78.

    2. Id., p. 154.

    3. Ibid.

    4. Id., p. 68.

    5. Decision penned by Judge Mateo Canonoy, RTC-Br. 3, Cebu City; Rollo, pp. 84–110.

    6. Rollo, p. 17.

    7. Id., pp. 17, 79–82.

    8. Id., p. 154.

    9. Id., p. 157.

    10. Ibid.; see also Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 139495, 27 November 2000, 346 SCRA 126.

    11. Rollo, pp. 82–83.

    12. Id., p. 71.

    13. Id., p. 52.

    14. Ibid.

    15. Decision penned by Judge Ramon G. Codilla Jr., RTC-Br. 19, Cebu City, Rollo, pp. 149–159.

    16. Rollo, pp. 157–158.

    17. Decision penned by Associate Justice Portia Aliño-Hormachuelos, concurred in by Associate Justices Eriberto U. Rosario Jr. and Amelita G. Tolentino, Seventeenth Division; Rollo, pp. 48–63.

    18. 42 Phil. 28 (1921).

    19. See Note 10.

    20. Rollo, pp. 56–63.

    21. Resolution penned by Associate Justice Portia Aliño-Hormachuelos, concurred in by Associate Justices Buenaventura J. Guerrero and Amelita G. Tolentino, Special Former Seventeenth Division; Rollo, pp. 63–65.

    22. See Note 10.

    23. Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 121506, 30 October 1996, 263 SCRA 736.

    24. Ibid.

    25. Ibid; Republic v. Escaño, CA-G.R. No. 33045-R, 27 July 1964 as cited in Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 139495, 27 November 2000, 346 SCRA 126.

    26. See Note 10.

    27. G.R. No. 147511, 20 January 2003.

    28. 42 Phil. 28, 29–30 (1921).

    29. G.R. No. 139495, 27 November 2000, 346 SCRA, 126, 135–137.

    30. Rollo, p. 224; Comment of the Solicitor General, p. 22.

    31. Rosales v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 137566, 28 February 2001, 353 SCRA 179; People v. Lacbayan, G.R. No. 125006, 31 August 2000, 339 SCRA 396.

    32. See Mercy’s Incorporated v. Verde, No. L-21571, 29 September 1966, 18 SCRA 171.

    33. See Note 10.

    34. No. L-26112, 4 October 1971, 41 SCRA 422.

    35. Id., pp. 441–446.

    36. See Note 10.

    37. The statutory enumeration of implied trusts in the Civil Code is not exclusive, hence, Art. 1447 of the Civil Code provides "The enumeration of the following cases of implied trust does not exclude others established by the general law of trust, but the limitation laid down in article 1442 shall be applicable."cralaw virtua1aw library

    38. G.G. Bogert, Handbook of the Law of Trusts, 210 (1963).

    39. Id., pp. 208–209.

    40. Id., pp. 209–210.

    41. Id., p. 209.

    42. Ibid.

    43. Ibid.

    44. Civil Code, Art. 1187, "The effects of a conditional obligation to give, once the condition has been fulfilled, shall retroact to the day of the constitution of the obligation. Nevertheless, when the obligation imposes reciprocal prestations upon the parties, the fruits and interests during the pendency of the condition shall be deemed to have been mutually compensated. If the obligation is unilateral, the debtor shall appropriate the fruits and interests received, unless from the nature and circumstances of the obligation it should be inferred that the intention of the person constituting the same was different."cralaw virtua1aw library

    45. See Coleongco v. Regalado, 92 Phil. 387 (1952).

    46. Mirasol v. De la Cruz, No. L-32552, 31 July 1978, 84 SCRA 337.

    47. Ibid.

    G.R. No. 156273   October 15, 2003 - HEIRS OF TIMOTEO MORENO, ET AL. v. MACTAN-CEBU INT’L. AIRPORT AUTHORITY


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