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Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority v Lozada, Sr.

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PETITIONER: Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority and Air Transportation Office
RESPONDENT: Bernardo L. Lozada, Sr., and the Heirs of Rosario Mercado
DOCKET NO.: G.R. No. 176625|||
PONENTE: NACHURA, J.
FACTS:
 Case is a petition for review on certiorari seeking to reverse, annul, and set aside the
Decision on February 28, 2006 and Resolution on February 7, 2007 of CA
o 1st ruling (RTC): in favor of petitioners. MCIAA and ATO to return lot upon
payment of expropriation price and transfer of TCT
o 2nd ruling: affirmed RTC ruling
 Subject of this case is Lot No. 88, with an area of 1,017 square meters, located in
Lahug, Cebu City. Land was originally owned by Anastacio Deiparine when land was
subjected to expropriation proceedings by the Republic as represented by Civil
Aeronautics Administration (CAA) for the expansion of Lahug Airport
 As early as 1947, lots were already occupied by the U.S. Army and turned over to
Surplus Property Commission, Bureau of Aeronautics, National Airport Corporation, and
then CAA
 Bernardo Lozada, Sr. acquired Lot 88 from Deiparine during pendency of expropriation
proceeding
 Trial court ruled in favor of the Republic and ordered the latter to pay Lozada the fair
market value of Lot 88 with consequential damages. Lozada received P3018.00
 Affected land owners appealed and Air Transportation Office (ATO), formerly CAA,
proposed a compromise settlement that if owners would not appeal or withdraw their
appeals, ATO will resell to them the lots at the expropriated price should Lahug Airport
be abandoned. Lozada did not pursue his appeal.
 Projected expansion of Lahug Airport did not pursue
 Lozada and other owners contacted ATO asking the reacquisition of the lots under the
compromise settlement however, ATO said that the lot might be needed for an
emergency airport
 President Corazon C. Aquino issued a Memorandum to the Department of
Transportation, directing the transfer of general aviation operations of the Lahug Airport
to the Mactan International Airport entailing the closure of Lahug Airport
 Congress passed RA 6958 creating Mactan-Cebu Int’l Airport Authority giving authority
to manage Mactan and Lahug assets
 Public propose of the said expropriation was never actually initiated, realized, or
implemented. Instead, the old airport was converted into a commercial complex. Lot No.
88 became the site of a jail known as Bagong Buhay Rehabilitation Complex, while a
portion thereof was occupied by squatters. The old airport was converted into what is
now known as the Ayala I.T. Park, a commercial area.

ISSUE: W/N the effect of abandonment of intended use gives the private owner the right
to reacquisition
HELD: YES.
 Taking of private property, consequent to 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 this particular purpose or intent is not initiated or not at all pursued, and is peremptorily
abandoned, then the former owners, if they so desire, may seek the reversion of the
property, subject to the return of the amount of just compensation received. In such a
case, the exercise of the power of eminent domain has become improper for lack of the
required factual justification
 The expropriator should commit to use the property pursuant to the purpose stated in the
petition for expropriation filed, failing which, it should file another petition for the new
purpose. If not, it is then incumbent upon the expropriator to return the said property to
its private owner, if the latter desires to reacquire the same. Otherwise, the judgment of
expropriation suffers an intrinsic flaw, as it would lack one indispensable element for the
proper exercise of the power of eminent domain, namely, the particular public purpose
for which the property will be devoted. Accordingly, the private property owner would be
denied due process of law, and the judgment would violate the property owners’ right to
justice, fairness, and equity.
 Petition denied.