Secretary of Department of Public Works and Highways v. Spouses Tecson, GR 179334
In 1940, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) took respondents-movants' subject property without the benefit of expropriation proceedings for the construction of the MacArthur Highway. In a letter dated December 15, 1994,respondents-movants demanded the payment of the fair market value of the subject parcel of land. Celestino R. Contreras (Contreras), then District Engineer of the First Bulacan Engineering District of the DPWH, offered to pay for the subject land at the rate of Seventy Centavos (P0.70) per square meter, per Resolution of the Provincial Appraisal Committee (PAC) of Bulacan. Unsatisfied with the offer, respondents-movants demanded the return of their property, or the payment of compensation at the current fair market value. Hence, the complaint for recovery of possession with damages filed by respondents-movants. Respondents-movants were able to obtain favorable decisions in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) and the Court of Appeals (CA), with the subject property valued at One Thousand Five Hundred Pesos (₱1,500.00) per square meter, with interest at six percent (6%) per annum.
Thus, the non-filing of the case for expropriation will not necessarily lead to the return of the property to the landowner. What is left to the landowner is the right of compensation.