Ministerio and Sadaya; the owners of a portion of the lot used as Mango Avenue (Part 2)
CEBUPEDIA - Clarence Paul Oaminal (The Freeman) - February 13, 2019 - 12:00am

Thereafter, the complaint was amended on June 30, 1966 in the sense that the remedy prayed for was in the alternative, either the restoration of possession or the payment of the just compensation.


In the answer filed by the government, through then solicitor general, who later became associate justice, Antonio P. Barredo, the principal defense relied upon was that the suit in reality was one against the government and therefore should be dismissed, no consent having been shown. Then on July 11, 1969, the parties submitted a stipulation of facts to this effect: "That the plaintiffs are the registered owners of Lot 647-B of the Banilad estate described in the Survey plan RS-600 GLRO Record No. 5988 and more particularly described in Transfer Certificate of Title No. RT-5963 containing an area of 1,045 square meters; That the National Government in 1927 took possession of Lot 647-B Banilad estate, and used the same for the widening of Gorordo Avenue; That the Appraisal Committee of Cebu City approved Resolution No. 90, Series of 1965 fixing the price of Lot No. 647-B at P50.00 per square meter; That Lot No. 647-B is still in the possession of the National Government the same being utilized as part of the Gorordo Avenue, Cebu City, and that the National Government has not as yet paid the value of the land which is being utilized for public use."

On January 30, 1969 the Court of First Instance of Cebu dismissed the action filed by the private owners on the ground that the government cannot be sued without its consent.

The Supreme Court saw it the other way explaining that the government has no right to appropriate a private property without just compensation.

The Supreme Court on August 31, 1971 made the following decision:

“Accordingly, the lower court decision is reversed so that the court may proceed with the complaint and determine the compensation to which petitioners are entitled, taking into account the ruling in the above Alfonso case: "As to the value of the property, although the plaintiff claims the present market value thereof, the rule is that to determine due compensation for lands appropriated by the Government, the basis should be the price or value at the time that it was taken from the owner and appropriated by the Government."

The petitioners were assisted by the Cebuano lawyer Eriberto Seno who was admitted to the Bar on December 7, 1929. (End of series)

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