QC vs. Judge Ericta (GR No. L-34915; June 24, 1983)

An ordinance was promulgated in Quezon city which approved the regulation of establishment of private cemeteries in the said city where it states that 6% of the total area of the private memorial park shall be set aside for charity burial of deceased persons who are paupers and have been residents of Quezon City.  Himlayang Pilipino, a private memorial park, contends that the taking or confiscation of property restricts the use of property such that it cannot be used for any reasonable purpose and deprives the owner of all beneficial use of his property. It also contends that the taking is not a valid exercise of police power, since the properties taken in the exercise of police power are destroyed and not for the benefit of the public.

Whether or not the ordinance made by Quezon City is a valid taking of private property

No, the ordinance made by Quezon City is not a valid way of taking private property. The ordinance is actually a taking without compensation of a certain area from a private cemetery to benefit paupers who are charges of the municipal corporation. Instead of building or maintaining a public cemeteries. State’s exercise of the power of expropriation requires payment of just compensation. Passing the ordinance without benefiting the owner of the property with just compensation or due process, would amount to unjust taking of a real property. Since the property that is needed to be taken will be used for the public’s benefit, then the power of the state to expropriate will come forward and not the police power of the state.

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