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J.M. Tuason & Co., Inc vs.

Land Tenure Administration

On August 3, 1959, Republic Act no. 2616 took effect. The act states that the Tatalon Estate jointly
owned by J.M. Tuason and Co. Inc, Gregorio Araneta and Co. Inc., and Florencio Deudor et al was
authorized to be expropriated. More than a year later Land Tenure Administration was directed by the
executive secretary to institute the expropriation of the aforesaid property. Appellee thereupon filed a
prohibition with a preliminary injunction to prevent respondents from instituting the expropriation. The
lower court decided that the said act was unconstitutional and a writ of prohibition was granted to the
appellee. Respondent appealed to C.A.

Whether the RA 2616 as amended by 3454 is constitutional? YES

The decision of the lower court of January 10, 1963, holding that RA 2616 is unconstitutional as
amended by RA 3454 is reversed i.e. the expropriation is constitutional Rationale (as was stated in

1. Judicial Review is granted, if not expressly, at least by clear implication from constitutional
provisions. It may be exercised if an affected part files the appropriate suit to test the validity of a
legislative act, executive act, or municipal ordinance for that matter. The constitution is the supreme
law and is binding on all governmental agencies. Failure to comply provides a ground to nullify a
governmental measure

2. The question if one of constitutional construction (of interpreting the constitution). The task isto
ascertain the realization of the purpose of the framers and of the people in adopting the Constitution.
It is assumed that that the words in the constitutional provisions express the objectivity sought to be
attained. They are to be given their ordinary meaning except when technical terms are employed in
which case the significance attached to them prevails. This case is such a case and is therefore one of
minimal construction. The congress has the legislative will to expropriate and subdivide lands it deems
to be fit for sale. Moreover, it cannot be denied that congress has the capacity to exercise such
authority. The language employed is not swathed in obscurity (because congress has the legislative
power as stated in the constitution). It is presumed that the constitution suffices to govern the life of
the people not onlyat the present time but also in the indefinite future. The constitution though does
not give rigid answers but is flexible and accommodates the problems the future may pose.

The constitution is dynamic in nature and not static. It reflects the social political environment of the
times. It adapts and changes. Although looking at the historical reasons for why an act was passed
would be helpful, it is not enough.

4. There should be no fear that the constitutional grant of power to expropriate lands is limitless.There
is to be just compensation. This means the equivalent for the value of the property at itstaking. The
market value of the land taken is just compensation to which the owner of the condemned property is

5. According to the Chief Justice, acts of Congress, as well as those of the Executive, can deny due
process only under pain of nullity.

6. It is the failure to provide equal protection of the laws (Article 3, Section 1, par.1 of
the Constitution) that rests the case of the petitioner. Since the statute in question, R.A. 2616, singles
out the Tatalon Estate for expropriation, the petitioner is in the right to assert a denial of equal
protection. However, there is nothing to prevent Congress in view of the public funds at itsdisposal to
follow a system of priorities, especially when a serious social or economic problem isat hand. In the
bills Explanatory Note, Congress claims that given the problem of Quezon Citysgrowing population,
expropriating the land will help solve the overpopulation and implement the land-for-the-landless
program of the present Administration. Singling out Tatalon Estate doesnt stigmatize the effort of the
statute as denial of equal protection.
7. On the occasion of expropriation, whatever contractual rights might be possessed by vendorsand
vendees could be asserted and accorded the appropriate constitutional protection.

8. The statute of concern can stand the test of validity. If it were otherwise, then the judiciary may
lend itself susceptible to the charge that in its appraisal of governmental measures with social and
economic implications, its decisions are characterized by the narrow, unyielding insistence on the
primacy of property rights, contrary to what the Constitution ordains.TEEHANKEE, concurring and

- Concurs with main opinion to reverse the decision of the lower court dated January 10, 1963

- respondents may now properly file the expropriation proceedings

- Doesnt agree with the court that the constitutional power of the Congress for the expropriation of
lands is well-nigh all embracing.