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Republic of the Philippines vs.

De Knecht
G.R. No. 87335 | February 12, 1990
expropriation in previous case no longer arbitrary due to enactment of subsequent legislation

Summary:

This case dismissed the previous ruling held in de Knecht vs. Bautista which says that expropriation
proceedings of lands in Fernando Rein-Del Pan were arbitrary. In this case, the enactment of BP 340 was
used as basis for the Courts decision that the expropriation is no longer arbitrary.

Antecedent Facts (de Knecht vs. Bautista):

De Knecht was one of the owners of several properties along the Fernando Rein-Del Pan streets
which the Government sought to expropriate to give way to the extension of EDSA
De Knecht filed a case to restrain the Government from proceeding with the expropriation.
SC granted the restraint asked for by De Knecht ruling that the expropriation was arbitrary. The
Government was then restrained in expropriation of the land along the Fernando Rein-Del Pan
streets.

Present facts:

2 years after the court rendered its decision in the prior case saying the expropriation was
arbitrary, the Government filed a motion to dismiss that said case due to the enactment of the
Batas Pambansa Blg. 340 expropriating the same properties for the same reason of giving way to
the extension of EDSA.
The decision of the said case (de Knecht vs. Bautista) was dismissed by the lower court due to
the enactment of Batas Pambansa 340 which allowed for the Government to expropriate the
Fernando Rein-Del Pan properties.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the lower court committed grave abuse of discretion in dismissing the ruling in De Knecht
vs. Bautista?) NO

RATIO:

Subsequently B. P. Blg. 340 was enacted on February 17, 1983. On the basis of said law
petitioner filed a motion to dismiss the case before the trial court and this was granted
While it is true that said final judgment of this Court on the subject becomes the law of the case
between the parties, it is equally true that the right of the petitioner to take private properties for
public use upon the payment of the just compensation is so provided in the Constitution and our
laws.

- Section 9, Article III, 1987 Constitution: Private property shall not be taken for public use
without just compensation.
Such expropriation proceedings may be undertaken by the Government not only by voluntary
negotiation with the land owners but also by taking appropriate court action or by legislation

- Thus the reason that Batas Pambansa 340 was used as a basis for the dismissal of the court
ruling which would in effect give the Government the right to expropriate the Fernando Rein-
Del Pan properties
- B.P. Blg. 340 is a law which expropriates the Fernando Rein-Del Pan properties

When on February 17, 1983 the Batasang Pambansa passed B.P. Blg. 340 expropriating the very
properties subject of the present proceedings, and for the same purpose, it appears that it was
based on supervening events that occurred after the decision of this Court was rendered in De
Knecht in 1980 justifying the expropriation through the Fernando Rein-Del Pan Streets. The
social impact factor which persuaded the Court to consider this extension to be arbitrary had
disappeared. All residents in the area have been relocated and duly compensated.
- In de Knecht vs. Bautista, the reason why the expropriation proceeding was held to be
arbitrary because of the social impact factor seen during those times which was on the year
1979, 2 years before this present case. The social impact factor contemplated then was that
a number of residents were to be affected due to the expropriation of the lands they lived in.
- At present, it seems that only de Knecht stands in the way
The Solicitor General summarizing the situation said:
- The construction and completion of the Metro Manila Flood Control and Drainage Project
and the EDSA extension are essential to alleviate the worsening traffic problem in the
Baclaran and Pasay City areas and the perennial flood problems. Batas Pambansa Blg. 340
was enacted to hasten The Project and thus solve these problems.

This instant case stands in the way of the final solution of the above-mentioned problems,
solely because the single piece of property occupied by De Knecht, although already
expropriated under B. P. Blg. 340, is the only parcel of land where Government engineers
could not enter due to the armed resistance offered by De Knecht, guarded and surrounded
as the lot is perennially by De Knechts fierce private security guards. It may thus be said that
De Knecht, without any more legal interest in the land, singlehandedly stands in the way of
the completion of The Project essential to the progress of Metro Manila and surrounding
areas.
The Court finds justification in proceeding with the said expropriation proceedings through the
Fernando Rein-Del Pan streets from EDSA to Roxas Boulevard due to the aforestated
supervening events: the disappearance of the social factor which rendered the expropriation in
the previous case as arbitrary.

B. P. Blg. 340 therefore effectively superseded the aforesaid final and executory decision of this
Court. And the trial court committed no grave abuse of discretion in dismissing the case pending
before it on the ground of the enactment of B. P. Blg. 340.
Nina