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Case 3

Parties involved:

Diosdado Lagcao, Doroteo Lagcao and Ursula Lagcao, petitioners,

Vs.

Judge Generosa G. Labra and the City of Cebu, respondents.

Facts:

1. In 1964, the province of Cebu donated 210 lots to the City of Cebu. One of these lots was Lot 1029,
situated in Capitol Hills, Cebu City, with an area of 4,048 square meters.
2. In 1965, petitioners purchased Lot 1029 on an installment basis.
3. In late 1965, the province of Cebu tried to annul the sale.
4. This prompted the petitioners to sue the province for specific performance and damages before
the CFI.
5. On July 9,1986, the CFI ruled in favor of the petitioners ordering the province of Cebu to execute
the final deed of sale.
6. On June 11, 1992, the CA AFFIRMED the decision of the trial court.
7. The petitioners tried to take possession of the subject lot, however, it was occupied by squatters
prompting petitioners to institute ejectment proceedings against the squatters.
8. On April 1, 1998, the MTCC ordered the squatters to vacate the lot
9. The RTC AFFIRMED the MTCCs decision and issued a writ of execution and order of demolition.
10. The MTCC suspended the demolition proceedings upon the request of Mayor Alvin Garcia on the
ground that the City was still looking for a suitable place to relocate the squatters.
11. During the suspension period, the Sangguniang Panlungsod passed a resolution which identified
Lot 1029 as a socialized housing site pursuant to RA 7279
12. On June 30, 1999, the SP passed Ordinance No. 1772 which included Lot 1029 among the
identified sites for socialized housing.
13. On July 19, 2000, the SP enacted Ordinance No. 1843, which authorized the mayor of Cebu City
to initiate expropriation proceedings for the acquisition of Lot 1029 for the benefit of the
homeless. The ordinance appropriated the amount of P6,881,600 for the payment of the subject
lot.
14. On August 29, 2000, petitioners filed a petition before the RTC an action for declaration of nullity
of Ordinance No. 1843 for being unconstitutional.
15. On July 1, 2002, the RTC DIMISSED the petition.
16. In this appeal the petitioner contends that the ordinance is unconstitutional because:
a. it sanctions the expropriation of their property for the purpose of selling it to squatters,
contrary to the concept of public use contemplated in the Constitution;
b. They allege it would benefit only a handful of people; and
c. is used as a means for politicking to acquire additional votes.

Issue: Whether or not Ordinance 1843 is unconstitutional and is, thus, null and void.
Held: The Supreme Court ruled that:

1. The exercise of eminent domain by local government units is not absolute considering that in
accordance to Section 19 of RA 7160 it must comply with the provisions of the Constitution and
pertinent laws.
2. Ordinance 1843 failed to substantiate the reason why the petitioners property was singled out
as a site of a socialized housing project.
3. Ordinance 1843 failed to comply with the substantive requirements by being:
a. Repugnant to the pertinent provisions of the Constitution, RA 7279 and RA 7160;
b. Plain oppression masquerading as a pro-poor ordinance;
c. A demonstration of manifest partiality against the petitioners by singling out their small
property for expropriation for the purpose of awarding it to no more than a few squatters;
d. Unable to show that there is a reasonable relation between the ends sought and the
means employed.
4. The City of Cebu failed to show that it complied with RA 7279 wherein privately-owned lands
should be expropriated after exhausting the other lands enumerated namely:
a. Lands owned by the Government or any of its own subdivisions;
b. Alienable lands of the public domain;
c. Unregistered or abandoned and idle lands;
d. Those within the declared Areas or Priority Development, etc.
e. Bagong Lipunan Improvement of Sites and Services or BLISS which have not yet been
acquired.
5. The court finds that Ordinance 1843 to be constitutionally infirm for violating the petitioners right
to due process.

WHEREFORE the petition is GRANTED the RTCs decision is REVERESED and SET ASIDE