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Eminent domain or expropriation is the inherent right of the state to condemn private property to public use upon payment of just compensation. A number of circumstances must be present in the taking of property for purposes of eminent domain:

(1) the expropriator must enter a private property;

(2) the entrance into private property must be for more than a momentary period;

(3) the entry into the property should be under warrant or color of legal authority;

(4) the property  must be devoted to a public use or otherwise informally appropriated or injuriously affected; and

(5) the utilization of the property for public use must be in such a way as to oust the owner and deprive him of all beneficial enjoyment of the property.

    When private property is rendered uninhabitable by any entity with the power to exercise eminent domain, the taking is deemed complete. NPC v. CA, G.R. No. 106804, August 12, 2004,(436 SCRA 195). Taking occurs not only when the government actually deprives or dispossesses the property owner of his property or its ordinary use, but also when there is a practical destruction or material impairment of the value of the property. (Rep. v. CA, G.R. No. 147245, March 31, 2005, 454 SCRA 516; Heirs of Mateo Pidacan & Romana Eigo, et al. v. ATO, et al., G.R. No. 162779, June 15, 2007).


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