CamSur RTC orders Migz Villafuerte to stop expropriation of lands in Naga
Camarines Sur Governor Miguel Luis Villafuerte has been ordered to suspend the expropriation of land from landowners concerning the implementation of the Naga City Airport Development Project.
“Plaintiff is, in the meantime, ordered to desist from further causing the implementation of the Writ of Possession issued in these cases,” read the order issued by Judge Vivencio Gregorio Atutubo III of Pili, Camarines Sur regional trial court (RTC) Branch 32.
Villafuerte filed a civil suit under the Right of Way Act (Republic Act 10752) against landowners of the site where the project will be implemented for refusing the expropriation of their land for government use.
Since it is a project under the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Atutubo agreed with the view of the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) that the OSG is “the proper legal authority to initiate expropriation proceedings over the affected lots.”
Because of this, Atutubo directed the OSG “to file its Amended Complaint within 15 days from notice.”
“It cannot be gainsaid that the Naga City Airport Development Project is a national government project,” the magistrate said.
“While the Plaintiff (Villafuerte) instituted these expropriation cases in accordance with a MOA (memorandum of agreement) with the DOTC (Department of Transportation and Communication)—a contract whose validity is beyond the ambit of these proceedings—it nevertheless appears that it is not the proper party for purposes of filing the complaints for expropriation from which these cases stemmed,” explained Atutubo.