2016 (Political Law) Bar Exam Questions: Question 9

[Answer/discuss the question below, or see 2016 bar exam Political Law Instructions; 2016 Political Law Questions: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 810, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20; See also 2016 Bar Exam: Information, Discussions, Tips, Questions and Results]


The Government, through Secretary Toogoody of the Department of · Transportation (DOTr), filed a complaint for eminent domain to acquire a 1,000- hectare property in Bulacan, owned by Baldomero. The court granted the expropriation, fixed the amount of just compensation, and installed the Government in full possession of the property.

[a] If the Government does not immediately pay the amount fixed by the court as just compensation, can Baldomero successfully demand the return of the property to him? Explain your answer. (2.5%)

[b] If the Government paid full compensation but after two years it abandoned its plan to build an airport on the property, can Baldomero compel the Government to re-sell the property back to him? Explain your answer. (2.5%)


  1. (a) Yes, Baldomero may demand the return of his property if the delay of payment would constitute Baldomero to wait for ages.

    Article III, Sec. 1 of the Constitution provides that “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, and PROPERTY without due process of law.”

    Moreover, it is stated in the case that the delay of the Government to fulfill the financial obligation of just compensation for excercising eminent domain on Baldomero’s property shall be constituted as a violation of his rights to due process and has also failed to comply with the essential requisites of eminent domain thereof.

    Therefore, Baldomero may demand the return of his property upon the delay of the Government for the payment and fulfilment of it’s obligation to Baldomero from the time that the court has already fixed the amout for just compensation.

    (b) Yes, Baldomero may compel the Government to re-sell the expropriated property to him if the property is no longer intented for public use.

    The exercise of eminent domain is clearly the taking of one’s private property through expropriation intended of the benefit of the public, and, if, the intention no longer exist and was abandoned, the owner thereof shall have the right to repurchase the property upon his discretion.

    1. a) yes, Baldomero may succesfully demand for the return of his property.

      Under the law, just compensation is not only means that a proper amount is to be paid to the owner of the private land expropriated by the government, but it includes the immediate payment of the fixed amount provided by the court.

      In the case at bar, the amount fixed by law was not yet been paid by the government which denied the just compensation entitled to Baldomero.

      Therefore, Baldomero may succesfully demand the return of his land on the ground of non-compliance with the just compensation as required by law.

      b) No, Baldomero cannot compel the government to re sell the property to him because the government already legally and validly expropriated the land from him.

      Although the government did not pursue on its original plan to build an airport, it may no longer affects Baldomero because the land was already owned by the government and it is now on the decision of the government to plan what is best to do with the land being the rightful owner.

      Hence, Baldomero cannot compel the government to re-sell the property back to him

    2. A. It is axiomatic that an obligor must first demand performance from the obligee of an obligation before rescission. Hence, baldomero cannot demand the return of property without first demanding payment of just compensation from the government. And the present rule is that a landowner may demand return of property if not paid within fice years from the taking thereof.

      B. He cannot compel the return of the xpropriated property. Property of the government when not intended for public use anymore belong to the patrimonial property of the state.

      1. Oh please, ditch the use of “it is axiomatic” or “it is a hornbook rule” phrase. Aside from sounding fluffy, it only adds to the bulk of what ought to be a brief and concise answer.

    [ G.R. No. 139495, November 27, 2000 ]




    1. See also EN BANC
      [G.R. No. 161656. June 29, 2005]


  3. (a) The prevailing rule is that non-payment of just compensation does not entitle the private landowner to recover possession of the expropriated land but only demand payment of its fair market value, however, in cases where the government failed to pay just compensation within 5 years from the finality of the judgment in the expropriation proceedings, the private landowner shall have the right to recover possession of his property.

    (b) In such case, the exercise of the power of eminent domain has become improper for lack of the required factual justification. So yes, Baldomero may seek the reversion of the property subject to the return of the amount of just compensation received. The taking of private property in line with the Government’s exercise of its power of eminent domain is always subject to the condition that the property be devoted to the specific public purpose for which it was taken. If the specific public purpose is abandoned or terminated then the previous landowner, if they so desire, may reacquire the expropriated property.

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