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National Power Corporation vs. Hon. Sylva G. Aguirre Paderanga, et al.

The determination of just compensation is a judicial function and the recommendation of the
commissioners is given weight and consideration if the same is reasonable and just.
FACTS:
1. National Power Corporation (NPC) filed a case for expropriation against Petrona O Dilao, et al. Before
the regional Trial Court of Cebu, involving a parcel of land located in Cebu. Expropriation was
instituted to implement Leyte-Cebu Interconnection Project.
2. A day after the complaint was filed, NPC filed an urgent ex parte motion for the issuance of writ of
possession of the land.
3. The RTC issued an order granting NPCs motion. It appointed 3 Board of Commissioners to
determine just compensation. The board recommended appraisal of parcel of land co-owned by Dilao,
et,al. At P516.66 per square meter.
4. However, the NPC filed an opposition assailing the correctness of the appraisal for failing to take
account Republic Act No. 6395 which provides that the just compensation for right-of-way easement
shall not be equivalent to 10% of the market value of the property. NPC asserted that Dilao, et al.
Could still use the traversed land for agricultural purposes, subject only to easement. It added that the
lots were of no use o its operation except for its transmission lines.
5. The RTC rendered its decision ordering NPT to pay fair market value at P516.66 per square meter.
NPC appealed but the same was denied due to failure to file and perfect its appeal within the
prescribed period.
6. A motion for execution of judgement was subsequently filed by Dilao, et al. Which was granted by the
lower court. The CA affirmed the lower courts decision. Hence this petition.
ISSUE:
WON the RTC abused its authority by misapplying the rules governing fair market valuation.
RULING:
Expropriation is not limited to the acquisition of real property with a corresponding transfer of title or
possession. The right-of-way easement resulting in a restriction or limitation of property rights over
the land traversed by transmission lines, as in the present case, also falls within the ambit of the term
expropriation.
As explained in NPC vs. Guierrez, The trial courts observation shared by the appellate court show
that ...while it is true that plaintiff is only after a right-of-way easement, it nevertheless perpetually
deprives defendant of their proprietary rights as manifested by the imposition by the plaintiff upon
defendants that below said transmission lines no plant higher than 3 meters is allowed. Furthermore,
because of the high tension current conveyed through said transmission lines, danger to life amd
limbs that may be caused beneath said wires cannot altogether be discounted, and to cap it all,
plaintiff only pays the fee to defendants once, while the latter shall continue to pay taxes due on said
affected portion of their property.
In the case at bar, the easement of right-of-way is definitely a taking under the power of eminent
domain. Considering the nature and effect of the installation of the transmission lines, the limitation
imposed by NPC against the use of the land for an indefinite period deprives private respondent or its
ordinary use.
The petition was Denied.