Here are selected May 2010 rulings of the Supreme Court of the Philippines on political law:
Agrarian reform; coverage. Lands acquired by the National Housing Authority for resettlement purposes or housing development are exempt from the coverage of agrarian reform laws. Such acquisition converts the land by operation of law from agricultural to residential. The National Housing Authority is not bound to pay disturbance compensation to any tenant in possession of the purchased land. National Housing Authority vs. Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board, et al., G.R. No. 175200, May 4, 2010.
Agrarian reform; just compensation. In computing just compensation for rice lands tenanted as of October 21, 1972, the grant of 6% yearly interest under DAR Administrative Order No. 13, Series of 1994, as amended, must be reckoned from October 21, 1972 up to the time of actual payment of the compensation, and not only up to the time the Land Bank of the Philippines approves payment of the compensation and deposits the amount in the name of the landowner, considering that release of such deposit is still subject to compliance with documentary requirements. The concept of just compensation embraces not only the correct determination of the amount to be paid to the owner of the land, but also payment within a reasonable time from its taking. Land Bank of the Philippines vs. Domingo and Mamerto Soriano, G.R. No. 180772 & G.R. No. 180776, May 6, 2010.
Commission on Elections; registration of party coalition. Comelec may not, through a resolution setting the deadline for registration of political parties, differentiate between political parties, on the one hand, and political organizations and coalitions, on the other. There is no substantial distinction among these entities germane to the act of registration that would justify creating distinctions among them in terms of deadlines. Thus, Comelec Resolution No. 8646, dated July 14, 2009, which sets August 17, 2009 as the deadline for filing petitions for registration of political parties, without mentioning political organizations and coalitions, should be understood as covering the latter entities as well. A petition for registration as a political coalition filed beyond that deadline is time-barred, and the Comelec resolution granting that petition constitutes grave abuse of discretion.
Political coalitions, even if composed of registered political parties, need to register separately in accordance with established norms and procedures, if they are to be recognized as such and be given the benefits accorded by law to registered coalitions. Registered political parties carry a different legal personality from that of the coalition they may wish to establish with other registered parties. If parties want to coalesce with one another without the formal registration of their coalition, they can do so on their own in the exercise of their and their members’ democratic freedom of choice, but they cannot receive official recognition for their coalition. Liberal Party, etc. et al. vs. Commission on Elections, et al., G.R. No. 191771, May 6, 2010.