Eminent domain, Bill of Rights

1. Concept

Eminent domain – is the power of the State to take private property for public use. It is an inherent power of State as it is a power necessary for the State’s existence; it is a power the State cannot do without. As an inherent power, it does not need at all to be embodied in the Constitution; if it is mentioned at all, it is solely for purposes of limiting what is otherwise an unlimited power. The limitation is found in the Bill of Rights – that part of the Constitution whose provisions all aim at the protection of individuals against the excessive exercise of governmental powers. (Apo Fruits Corporation v. Land Bank of the Philippines, En Banc, G.R. No. 164195, 12 October 2010)

a. Expropriation

Eminent domain is often referred to as expropriation and, with less frequency, as condemnation, it is, like police power and taxation, an inherent power of sovereignty and need not be clothed with any constitutional gear to exist; instead, provisions in our Constitution on the subject are meant more to regulate, rather than to grant, the exercise of the power. It is a right to take or reassert dominion over property within the state for public use or to meet a public exigency and is said to be an essential part of governance even in its most primitive form and thus inseparable from sovereignty. (Air Transportation Office v. Gopuco, Jr., G.R. No. 158563, 30 June 2005)

2 essential limitations to the power of eminent domain:1) The purpose of taking must be for p...


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