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ASSOCIATION OF SMALL LANDOWNERS OF THE PHILIPPINES v.

SECRETARY
OF AGRARIAN REFORM
G.R. No. 78742
July 14, 1989

FACTS:
1. The following cases, which challenge the constitutionality of P.D. No. 27, E.O. No. 228,
Proc. No. 131, E.O. No. 229, and R.A. No. 6657, have been consolidated:
a. G.R. No. 79777: Petitioners hold that E.O. No. 228 violates separation of powers;
violates Article XIII, Section 4 and Article VI, Section 25(4) of the Constitution;
and violated due process by declaring P.D. No. 27’s beneficiaries owners of their
lands.
b. G.R. No. 79310: Petitioners claim that power to provide for a CARP lies in
Congress and not the president; sugar planters’ classification with other farmers
violates equal protection; CARP fails to establish the necessity of eminent
domain; and E.O. 229 is unconstitutional.
c. G.R. No. 79744: Petitioner argues that E.O. Nos. 228 and 229 were invalidly
issued; and E.O. No. 228 is an unconstitutional taking of property right. He also
invokes his right of retention under Article XIII, Section 4 of the Constitution.
d. G.R. No. 78742: Petitioners invoke the right of retention in P.D. No. 27, claiming
that the DAR has not issued its implementing rules.

ISSUE:
Whether P.D. No. 27, E.O. No. 228, Proc. No. 131, E.O. No. 229, and R.A. No, 6657 are
constitutional.

RULING:
YES.
a. Proc. No. 131 and E.O. Nos. 228 and 229 were promulgated by Pres. Aquino
before July 27, 1987, when she still had legislative power, in accordance with
Article XVIII, Section 6 of the Constitution. Section 6 of R.A. No. 6657 also
provides for retention limits regarding Proc. No. 131 and E.O. No. 229.
b. Equal protection means that similarly situated persons must be treated alike.
Petitioners have not shown sufficient proof that they belong to a different class.
c. The requirements to properly exercise the power of eminent domain are: 1) public
use and 2) just compensation.
i. The requirement of public use is satisfied by Article XIII, Section 4 of the
Constitution, which P.D. No. 27, Proc. No. 131, and R.A. No. 6657 simply
elaborate on.
ii. Petitioners contend that the compensation modes provided by R.D. No.
6657, which include stocks and bonds, do not satisfy the monetary
requirement for just compensation. However, the court held that the
framers of the Constitution have allowed for such unorthodox payment,
given CARP’s massive scale.
iii. It would seem that CARP violates an owner’s right to be paid before being
divested of property. However, under R.A. No. 6657, a landowner’s title is
retained until transfer of possession to the government.