Constitutional Law

SMI Development Corporation vs. Republic G.R. No. 137537. January 28, 2000 Eminent Domain

FACTS:

On September 20, 1996, the Republic of the Philippines represented by the Department of Health thru the National Children’s Hospital filed a complaint for Eminent Domain against SMI Development Corporation for the purpose of expropriating three (3) parcels of land with a total area of 1,158 sq. m. (the properties) belonging to said corporation which are adjacent to the premises of the hospital.

 

ISSUE:

Is prior unsuccessful negotiation a condition sine qua non for eminent domain?

 

RULING:

NO. The current effective law on delegated authority to exercise the power of eminent domain provides: The President shall determine when it is necessary or advantageous to exercise the power of eminent domain in behalf of the National Government, and direct the Solicitor General, whenever he deems the action advisable, to institute expropriation proceedings in the proper court.” Scmis

The foregoing provision does not require prior unsuccessful negotiation as a condition precedent for the exercise of eminent domain. In Iron and Steel Authority v. Court of Appeals, the President chose to prescribe this condition as an additional requirement instead. In the instant case, however, no such voluntary restriction was imposed.

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