My sister bought a property, then she let our older brother stay there because she is working abroad. Our brother is the one who is paying the taxes for the property. In 2013, we found out that he already transferred the title from my sister to his name with the help of his mother-in-law. My sister said that she has no knowledge that the title was already transferred to our brother’s name. Can my sister file falsification of document against my brother, because she did not give her consent to the transfer or signed any paper?
It is proper, before thinking of filing a complaint against your older brother, to verify your information that the title of the property of your sister was already transferred to your older brother. It is best if you go to the Registrar of Deeds of the place where the property was registered to verify this matter. If upon verification, you found out that the property was really transferred to your older brother, you must next acquire the deed of conveyance used in said transfer. If the transfer of the property was done through sale or donation in favor of your older brother, and that it was transferred without the consent of your sister, the latter may file the necessary case against your brother.
Under Article 171 in relation to Article 172 of the Revised Penal Code, the crime of falsification of document may be committed, among other things, by counterfeiting or imitating any handwriting, signature or rubric or causing it to appear that persons have participated in an act or proceeding when they did not in fact so participate. The penalty for the crime of falsification is imprisonment of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods and a fine of not more than P5,000. The imprisonment that is imposed for a period ranges from two years, four months and one day to six years. A complaint for falsification of document may be filed against your older brother if your sister is certain that the signature appearing in the deed of conveyance is not hers. On the other hand, it is necessary to file a separate civil action in court in order for your sister to recover the ownership of her property.
We hope that we have answered your query. Our legal opinion may vary if other facts are stated or elaborated.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org