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CASE: REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES vs.

Vda De CASTELLVI

58 SCRA 336, AUGUST 15, 1974

FACTS:

In 1947, The Republic, through the Armed Forces of the Philippines, entered into a lease agreement
over a land in Pampanga with Castellvi on a year-to-year basis. Wheb Castellvi gave notice to terminate
the lease in 1956, the AFP refused because of the permanent installations and other facilities worth
almost a half million pesis that were erected and already established in the property. Castellvi then
instituted an ejectment proceeding against the AFP. In 1959, The Republic commenced the
expropriation proceedings for the land in question.

During the assessment of just compensation, the republic argued that it had taken the property when
the contract of lease commenced and not when the expropriation proceedinga begun. The owner
maintains that the land was not taken when the government commenced to occupy the land as lessee
because the essential elements of the "taking" of property under the power of eminent domain,
namely (1) entrance and occupation by condemnor upon the private property for more than a
momentary period, and (2) devoting it to a public use un such a way as to oust the owner and deprive
him of all beneficial enjoyment of property, are not present.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the taking of property has taken place when the republic has entered and occupied
the property as lessee.

RULING:

No, the property has not been deemed to gave been taken when the republic has enteted and occupied
said property by virtue of a contract of lease.

The Supreme Court ruled that the property was deemed taken only when the expropriation
proceedings commenced in 1959.

The requisites for taking are:

1. The expropriator must enter a private property

2. The entry must be for more than a momentary period

3. It must be under warrant or color of authorities

4. It must be devoted for public use or otherwise informally appropriated or injuriously affected; and

5. The utilization of the property for public use must be such a way as to oust the owner and deprive
him of beneficial enjoyment of the property.
In the case at bar, all of these elements were not present when the republic entered and occupied the
property under a contract of lease.

Only requisites 1, 3, and 4 were present.

The 2nd requisite is not present, according to the SC, "momentary" when applied to possession or
occupancy of real property ahould be construed to mean "a limited period" -- not indefinite or
permanent. The aforecited lease contract was for a period of one yeaf, renewable from year to year.

The 5th requirement is lacking. The entry of the republic into the property and its utilozation of the
same for public use did not oust Castellvi and deprive her of all beneficial enjoymebt. Castellvi
remained as owner as recognized by the Republic and shown by the renewal of the leasd contract from
year to year.

Therefore, it is clear that the taking of Castellvi's property for purposes of eminent domain cannot be
considered to have taken place in 1947 when the Republic commenced to occupy the property as
lessee thereof.