I had been absent from the blogging world for almost two weeks since my sister's passing. Not that I had nothing to write about but my pen, or should I say my fingers couldn't find the words on my keyboard. Suffice it to say that I was not in the mood. The words just could not come out. My sister's passing, although was expected, still brought pain as she is the first sibling to pass away. At any rate, life has to move on for after all, struggles, pain and suffering are all for the living. I might as well face it now and wake from my useless slumber.
I was reading the paper this morning when an article written by Mr. Neal Cruz caught my attention. In the article, Mr. Neal Cruz writes about how the city government of Quezon City plans to widen a sidewalk in Novaliches without paying the rightful owners.
When I was still studying, I was taught that there are three inherent powers of the state. These are police power, taxation and eminent domain. Eminent domain is the right of the state "to seize a citizen's private property, expropriate property, or rights in property with due monetary compensation..." A landowner, whose land sits on a track of land that is proposed to be part of a public hiway, for example, cannot deny the state to have his/her land expropriated, but with due compensation. This can be what the Quezon City is probably exercising when it told residents of the Susano Road to give up three meters of their property for its sidewalk widening project. However, the city government seems to have abused its power for it does not want to pay for the land it is getting from the rightful owners. Never mind that the cost of land in this part of the country is at Php30,000 per square meter. The city government can always pay for a lesser price.
The thing is it does not want to spend a single centavo. Too bad that not only does City Administrator Tadeo Palma insists that they shall not pay for the expropriated land, the owners will retain ownership. What does this mean? Several things: The owners have land that they cannot use, the commercial establishments lose merchandise in favor of illegal sidewalk vendors and unfortunately, would probably be asked to pay for the land's real estate tax! What utter misfortune lies in wait for these land owners? What have they done to deserve this injustice?