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Republic VS Vda.

De Castellvi
Facts:
Appeal form the decision of the Court of First Instance of Pampanga, an
expropriation proceeding.
Plaintiff-appellant, the Republic of the Philippines (referred to as the Republic)
filed, on June 26, 1959, a complaint for eminent domain against defendants-appellees,
Carmen M. vda. de Castellvi (Castellvi) and Maria Nieves Toledo Gozun (Toledo-Gozun)
over parcels of land situated in the barrio of San Jose, Floridablanca, Pampanga.
The Republic entered into a lease agreement with Castellvi on July 1, 1947 on a
year to year basis. The Republic occupied, erected and installed facilities for the
Philippine Air Force the land of Castellvi. Before the expiration of the contract of lease
on June 30, 1956, the Republic sought to renew the same but Castellvi refused. When
AFP refused to vacate the leased premises after the termination of contract, Castellvi
wrote a letter to the Chief of Staff demanding that the property be vacated in 30 days for
they had decided to subdivide the property in order to sell to the general public.
Thereafter, the Chief of Staff answered her saying that it was difficult for the army to
vacate the premises in view of the permanent installations and other facilities worth
almost 500k and there being no recourse to acquire the her property by means of
expropriation proceeding to be recommended to the Pres. Castellvi then brought suit to
eject the Phil Air Force from her property. While the ejectment case was pending, the
Republic instituted an expropriation proceedings, the Republic was placed in possession
of the lands on Aug. 10, 1959. The trial court appointed 3 Commissioners to determine
the actual fair market value of the lands sought to be expropriated. The Commissioners
recommended unanimously that the lowest price was P10 per square meter for both the
lands of Castellvi and Toledo-Gozun. The court then ruled that Castellvi and ToledoGozun be paid in the amount of P10 per square meter for their expropriated lands. But the
Defendants contended that it should be P15 per square. On one hand, the Republic
averred that the fair market value of the lands of the appellees was P.20 or at P2,000 per
hectare, as the lands in the year 1949 were valued at such.
Issue:
Whether or not the taking of the properties under expropriation commenced
upon the filing of the case or WHO the lower court erred in determining the value of
lands expropriated.
Ruling:
No. The taking of the Castellvi property should not be reckoned as of the year
1947 when the Republic first occupied the property pursuant to the contract of lease. It
must be reckoned as of June 26, 1959 when the complaint for eminent domain was filed.
The Republic was ordered to pay the amount of P5 per square meter for the lands
expropriated of Castellvi (P3,796,495) and Toledo-Gozun (P2,695,225) with 6% per
annum interest until fully paid, attorneys fees and costs of suits.