Expropriation under agrarian reform same as forced sale

Archbishop makes much of the conditional donation, that he does not have the power to sell, exchange, lease, transfer, encumber or mortgage the transferred properties.He claims that these conditions do not make him the landowner as contemplated by the law. This matter has already been answered in Hospicio de San Jose de Barili, Cebu City(Hospicio) v. Department of Agrarian Reform. In that case, wherein Act No. 3239 prohibited the sale under any consideration of lands donated to the Hospicio, a charitable organization, the Court found that the lands of the Hospicio were not exempt from the coverage of agrarian reform. In characterizing the sale of land under agrarian reform, the Supreme Court stated: Generally, sale arises out of contractual obligation. Thus, it must meet the first essential requisite of every contract that is the presence of consent. Consent implies an act of volition in entering into the agreement. The absence or vitiation of consent renders the sale either void or voidable.

In this case, the deprivation of the Hospicios property did not arise as a consequence of the Hospicios consent to the transfer. There was no meeting of minds between the Hospicio, on one hand, and the DAR or the tenants, on the other, on the properties and the cause which are to constitute the contract that is to serve ultimately as the basis for the transfer of ownership of the subject lands. Instead, the obligation to transfer arises by compulsion of law, particularly P.D. No. 27.

The Supreme Court discussed further: The twin process of expropriation under agrarian reform and the payment of just compensation is akin to a forced sale, which has been aptly described in common law jurisdictions as sale made under the process of the court and in the mode prescribed by law, and which is not the voluntary act of the owner, such as to satisfy a debt, whether of a mortgage, judgment, tax lien, etc. The term has not been precisely defined in this jurisdiction, but reference to the phrase itself is made in Articles 223, 242, 237 and 243 of the Civil Code, which uniformly exempt the family home from execution, forced sale, or attachment. Yet a forced sale is clearly different from the sales described under Book V of the Civil Code which are conventional sales, as it does not arise from the consensual agreement of the vendor and vendee, but by compulsion of law. Still, since law is recognized as one of the sources of obligation, there can be no dispute on the efficacy of a forced sale, so long as it is authorized by law. (G.R. No. 139285; December 21, 2007)