Political Law

Ildefonso Santiago vs Republic of the Philippines

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G.R. No. L-48214 – 87 SCRA 294 – Political Law – Constitutional Law – Immunity of the State from Suit; When is it Deemed Waived

In January 1971, Ildefonso Santiago donated a parcel of land to the Bureau of Plant Industry. The terms of the donation are: that the Bureau should construct a building on the said lot and that the building should be finished by December 7, 1974, that the Bureau should install lighting facilities on the said lot. However, come 1976 there were still no improvements on the lot. This prompted Santiago to file a case pleading for the revocation of the contract of donation. The trial court dismissed the petition claiming that it is a suit against the government and should not prosper without the consent of the government.

ISSUE: Whether or not the state has not waived its immunity from suit.

HELD: No. The government has waived its immunity and such waiver is implied by virtue of the terms provided in the deed of donation. The government is a beneficiary of the terms of the donation. But the government through the Bureau of Plant Industry has breached the terms of the deed by not complying with such, therefore, the donor Santiago has the right to have his day in court and be heard. Further, to not allow the donor to be heard would be unethical and contrary to equity which the government so advances. Case should prosper.

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