The Court of Appeals (CA) has upheld the decision of the Valenzuela City Regional Trial Court (RTC) in connection with the claim for just compensation for two lots expropriated for the C-5 Northern Link Road Project -Segment 10.
In a recent 17-page decision written by Associate Justice Elihu Ybanez, the CA Eighth Division upheld Valenzuela RTC Branch 283 which sided with the right of Tonny Co, the registered owner, to receive PHP3.13 million from the government for the use and takeover of his property.
The prompt implementation of the project is significant and urgent as it will alleviate metro traffic congestion and is expected to boost the economy by improving the trade and delivery of goods to Manila’s ports, the court said.
The expropriation covered two lots with an area of 220 square meters each in Barangay Karuhatan.
John Tan and the John Vincent Academy Inc. contested Co’s right, claiming they are the true owners of the properties, having acquired it in a tax delinquency auction sale.
Co countered that the proceedings were void.
Tan “failed to discharge the burden of proving that the tax sale was conducted with conformity to the governing rules”, citing that there was no proof that the official warrant of levy was served on Co, the CA ruled.
The CA added that the decision does not preclude Tan from pursuing his rights against Co even after the latter has already received payment for the expropriation.
“Said conclusion (by the RTC) is merely for the purpose of determining the rightful recipient of the proceeds of just compensation and is not in any way a final ruling on the issue of ownership which may still be threshed out in a separate action instituted for that purpose,” the CA stated.
The project involves the 21.60-km extension of the North Luzon Expressway eastward from Valenzuela City to Mel Lopez Boulevard/R10 (NLEX Harbor Link Project comprising of Segments 9, 10, and Exit Ramp to R10) and westward from Valenzuela City to Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City (Circumferential Road 5, C-5, comprised of Segments 8.1 and 8.2).
Segment 10, a 5.58-kilometer, six-lane divided (2×3) elevated expressway connecting McArthur Highway and C-3, opened in 2019.
Source: Philippines News Agency