Land Bank v. Natividad
G.R. No. 127198, May 16, 2005,
458 SCRA 441 (2005)
On May 14, 1993, private respondents filed a petition before the trial court for the determination of just compensation for their agricultural lands situated in Arayat, Pampanga, which were acquired by thegovernment pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 27 (PD 27)
After trial, RTC rendered judgment in favor of respondents, ordering DAR and petitioner LBP to pay private respondents the amount of P30.00 per square meter as just compensation.
In petition for review, Land Bank contends that the property was acquired for purposes of agrarian reform on October 21, 1972, the time of the effectivity of Presidential Decree No. 27, ergo just compensation should be based on the value of the property as of that time
Whether or not the Regional Trial Court erred in declaring that PD 27 and Executive Order No. 228 (EO 228) are mere guidelines in the determination of just compensation, and in relying on private respondents’ evidence of the valuation of the properties at the time of possession in 1993 and not on Land Bank’s evidence of the value thereof as of the time of acquisition in 1972.
No. Land Bank’s contention that the property was acquired for purposes of agrarian reform on October 21, 1972, the time of the effectivity of PD 27, ergo just compensation should be based on the value of the property as of that time and not at the time of possession in 1993, is likewise erroneous. In Office of the President, Malacañang, Manila v. Court of Appeals, weruled that the seizure of the landholding did not take place on the date of effectivity of PD 27 but would take effect on the payment of just compensation.
Under the factual circumstances of this case, the agrarian reform process is still incomplete as the just compensation to be paid private respondents has yet to be settled. Considering the passage of Republic Act No. 6657 (RA 6657) before the completion of this process, the just compensation should be determined and the process concluded under the said law. Indeed, RA 6657 is the applicable law, with PD 27 and EO 228 having only suppletory effect.