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City of Cebu vs. Dedamo, Jr.

(2013)

Summary Cases:

● City of Cebu vs Dedamo, Jr. 689 SCRA 547

Subject:

Res Judicata; The Nature of the Principle of Conclusiveness of Judgment; The Ruling in the
Respondent’s Appeal Before the Supreme Court Had Become Binding on the Petitioner

Facts:

The case was an off-shoot of a case for eminent domain over two parcel of land owned by Spouses
Apolonio and Blasa Dedamo. It was filed by the City of Cebu before the RTC of Cebu City in 1993.
Petitioner immediately took possession of the lots after depositing P51,156.00.

During the pendency of the case, petitioner and the Spouses Dedamo entered into a Compromise
Agreement whereby the latter agreed to part with the ownership of the parcels of land in favor of the
former in consideration of P1,786,400.00 as provisional payment and just compensation in an amount to
be determined by a panel of commissioners. The panel recommended the sum of P20,826,339.50. It
was approved by the RTC, the CA and eventually, by the Supreme Court.

The case was remanded to the trial court for execution. Thereafter, the spouses passed away and was
substituted by the respondent in the present case. Petitioner paid the respondent the sum of
P19,039,939.50 which is the difference between the just compensation due and the provisional payment
already made.

Respondent prayed before the RTC to order the petitioner to pay interest on the just compensation
computed from the time of actual taking of the lands. It denied the motion. Respondent appealed before
the CA and asserted that petitioner was liable to pay 12% legal interest on the unpaid balance of the just
compensation computed from the time of actual taking of the property up to the date of payment and
12% legal interest from the time the decision awarding just compensation became final and executory
until its satisfaction.

The CA rejected the first claim since the issue was belatedly raised during the execution stage and after
the judgment of just compensation attained finality.However, the CA found the respondent's second
contention meritorious. The CA awarded legal interest accruing from the time the RTC Order awarding
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just compensation was affirmed with finality by the Supreme Court up to the time of full payment thereof.

Both parties appealed before the Supreme Court. The Court denied the appeal of the respondent for
failure to sufficiently show that the CA committed any reversible error in the questioned judgment. The
petitioner, in this case, prayed for the annulment of the award of 12% legal interest made by the CA in
view of the termination of the eminent domain case upon payment of the just compensation in
satisfaction of the writ of execution.

Held:

The Supreme Court Denied the Petition on the Ground of Res Judicata

1. The Supreme Court denied the petition on the ground of res judicata in the mode of
conclusiveness of judgment.

2. A perusal of the allegations evidently shows that the petitioner broaches the issues similarly
raised and already resolved in the prior appeal of the respondent before the Supreme Court.

The Nature of the Principle of Conclusiveness of Judgment

3. Under the principle of conclusiveness of judgment, when a right or fact has been judicially
tried and determined by a court of competent jurisdiction, or when an opportunity for such trial
has been given, the judgment of the court, as long as it remains unreversed, should be
conclusive upon the parties and those in privity with them.

4. The conclusiveness of judgment bars the re-litigation in a second case of a fact or question
already settled in a previous case.

The Ruling in the Respondent’s Appeal Before the Supreme Court Had Become Binding on the
Petitioner

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5. The adjudication in respondent’s prior appeal has become binding and conclusive on the
petitioner who can no longer question the respondent's entitlement to the 12% legal interest
awarded by the appellate court.

6. Furthermore, the Court's determination in that case on the reckoning point of the 12% legal
interest is likewise binding on the petitioner who cannot re-litigate the said matter anew through
the present recourse.

7. The judgment in that case bars the present case as the relief sought in the latter is inextricably
related to the ruling in the former.

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