2014 (Political Law) Bar Exam Questions: Question 22

[Answer/discuss the question below. Or see 2014 bar exam Political Law Instructions; 2014 Political Law Questions: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30; See also 2014 Bar Exam: Information, Discussions, Tips, Questions and Results]

XXII.

The National Power and Grid Corporation (NPGC), a government entity involved in power generation distribution, had its transmission lines traverse some fields belonging to Farmerjoe. NPGC did so without instituting any expropriation proceedings. Farmerjoe, not knowing any better, did not immediately press his claim for payment until after ten years later when a son of his took up Law and told him that he had a right to claim compensation. That was then the only time that Farmerjoe earnestly demanded payment. When the NPGC ignored him, he instituted a case for payment of just compensation. In defense, NPGC pointed out that the claim had already prescribed since under its Charter it is clearly provided that “actions for damages must be filed within five years after the rights of way, transmission lines, substations, plants or other facilities shall have been established and that after said period, no suit shall be brought to question the said rights of way, transmission lines, substations, plants or other facilities.” If you were the lawyer of Farmerjoe, how would you protect and vindicate the rights of your client? (4%)

2 comments

  1. an action for just compensation is a right guaranteed by the constitution and no statute or, in the case at bar, statute may prevent a person from assailing such right. this is a limitation to the exercise of the power of expropriation.

  2. As held in NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION v. SPOUSES BERNARDO AND
    MINDALUZ SALUDARES G. R. No. 189127, April 25, 2012; the right to recover just compensation is enshrined in no less than our Bill of Rights, which states in clear and categorical language that private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation. This constitutional mandate cannot be defeated by statutory prescription.
    Thus, It would be a confiscatory act on the part of the government to take the property of respondent spouses for a public purpose and deprive them of their right to just compensation, solely because they failed to institute inverse condemnation proceedings within five years from the time the transmission lines were constructed.

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