68-Heirs-of-Timoteo-Moreno-vs-Mactan-—-Cebu-International-Airport-Authority

If x x x land is expropriated for a public street and

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Unformatted text preview: hand, respondent MCIAA clings to our decisions in Fery v. Municpality of Cabanatuan and Mactan- Cebu International Airport Authority v. Court of Appeals. According to respondent MCIAA "there is only one instance when expropriated land may be repurchased by its previous owners, and that is, if the decision of expropriation itself provides [the] condition for such repurchase." Respondent asserts that the Decision in Civil Case No. R- 1881 is absolute and without conditions, thus, no repurchase could be validly exercised. This is a difficult case calling for a difficult but just solution. To begin with, there exists an undeniable historical narrative that the predecessors of respondent MCIAA had suggested to the landowners of the properties covered by the Lahug Airport expansion scheme that they could repurchase their properties at the termination of the airport’s venture.23 Some acted on this assurance and sold their properties;24 other landowners held out and waited for the exercise of eminent domain to take its course until finally coming to terms with respondent’s predecessors that they would not appeal nor block further the judgment of condemnation if the same right of repurchase was extended to them.25 A handful failed to prove that they acted on such assurance when they parted with the ownership of their lands.26 In resolving this dispute, we must reckon with the rulings of this Court in Fery v. Municpality of Cabanatuan and Mactan- Cebu International Airport Authority v. Court of Appeals, which define the rights and obligations of landowners whose properties were expropriated when the public purpose for which eminent domain was exercised no longer subsists. In Fery, which was cited in the recent case of Reyes v. Court of Appeals,27 we declared that the government acquires only such rights in expropriated parcels of land as may be allowed by the character of its title over the properties - If x x x land is expropriated for a particular purpose, with the condition that when that purpose is ended or abandoned the property shall return to its former owner, then, of course, when the purpose is terminated or abandoned the former owner reacquires the property so expropriated. If x x x land is expropriated for a public street and the expropriation is granted upon condition that the city can only use it for a public street, then, of course,...
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