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Case Digest: Association of Small Landowners in the Philippines vs Secretary of Agrarian Reform G.R. No. 79310,Jul 14, 1989,175 SCRA 343 (1989)
Association of Small Landowners in the Philippines vs Secretary of Agrarian Reform
G.R. No. 79310,
Jul 14, 1989,
175 SCRA 343 (1989)
In G.R. No. 79777, the subjects of this petition are a 9-hectare riceland worked by four tenants and owned by petitioner Nicolas Manaay and his wife and a 5-hectare riceland worked by four tenants and owned by petitioner Augustin Hermano, Jr. The tenants were declared full owners of these lands by E.O. No. 228 as qualified farmers under P.D. No. 27.
Petitioners are questioning constitutionality of P.D. No. 27 and E.O. Nos. 228 and 229. Moreover, the just compensation contemplated by the Bill of Rights is payable in money or in cash and not in the form of bonds or other things of value. However, in an amended petition, petitioners contended that P.D. No. 27, E.O. Nos. 228 and 229 (except Sections 20 and 21) have been impliedly repealed by R.A. No. 6657. Nevertheless, this statute should itself also be declared unconstitutional because it suffers from substantially the same infirmities as the earlier measures.
Section 18 of the CARP Law providing in full as follows:
SEC. 18. Valuation and Mode of Compensation. — The LBP shall compensate the landowner in such amount as may be agreed upon by the landowner and the DAR and the LBP, in accordance with the criteria provided for in Sections 16 and 17, and other pertinent provisions hereof, or as may be finally determined by the court, as the just compensation for the land.
The compensation shall be paid in one of the following modes, at the option of the landowner:
(1) Cash payment, under the following terms and conditions:
(a) For lands above fifty (50) hectares, insofar as the excess hectarage is concerned — Twenty-five percent (25%) cash, the balance to be paid in government financial instruments negotiable at any time.
(b) For lands above twenty-four (24) hectares and up to fifty (50) hectares — Thirty percent (30%) cash, the balance to be paid in government financial instruments negotiable at any time.
(c) For lands twenty-four (24) hectares and below — Thirty-five percent (35%) cash, the balance to be paid in government financial instruments negotiable at any time.
(2) Shares of stock in government-owned or controlled corporations, LBP preferred shares, physical assets or other qualified investments in accordance with guidelines set by the PARC;
(3) Tax credits which can be used against any tax liability;
(4) LBP bonds
Whether or not Sec. 18 of RA 6657 is unconstitutional insofar as it requires the owners of the expropriated properties to accept just compensation therefor in less than money, which is the only medium of payment allowed.
No. It cannot be denied from these case that the traditional medium for the payment of just compensation is money and no other. And so, conformably, has just compensation been paid in the past solely in that medium. However, we do not deal here with the traditional excercise of the power of eminent domain. This is not an ordinary expropriation where only a specific property of relatively limited area is sought to be taken by the State from its owner for a specific and perhaps local purpose.
What we deal with here is a revolutionary kind of expropriation.
The expropriation before us affects all private agricultural lands whenever found and of whatever kind as long as they are in excess of the maximum retention limits allowed their owners.
the Court hereby declares that the content and manner of the just compensation provided for in the afore- quoted Section 18 of the CARP Law is not violative of the Constitution. We do not mind admitting that a certain degree of pragmatism has influenced our decision on this issue, but after all this Court is not a cloistered institution removed from the realities and demands of society or oblivious to the need for its enhancement.
Accepting the theory that payment of the just compensation is not always required to be made fully in money, we find further that the proportion of cash payment to the other things of value constituting the total payment, as determined on the basis of the areas of the lands expropriated, is not unduly oppressive upon the landowner. It is noted that the smaller the land, the bigger the payment in money, primarily because the small landowner will be needing it more than the big landowners, who can afford a bigger balance in bonds and other things of value. No less importantly, the government financial instruments making up the balance of the payment are "negotiable at any time." The other modes, which are likewise available to the landowner at his option, are also not unreasonable because payment is made in shares of stock, LBP bonds, other properties or assets, tax credits, and other things of value equivalent to the amount of just compensation.