This controversy involves a parcel of land situated in Kalinga province. My father bought 7,000 square meters of rice fields from a certain politician. This land was inherited by the politician from his parents, but it was not transferred in his name until he died. After 15 years of possession and introduction of improvements to the subject land, the only brother of the politician is now claiming that this land is owned by him considering that he is the only heir left.
Our problem now is the deed of sale executed between my father and the seller is written only on a piece of paper and is not notarized. What shall we do now to protect our rights? What is this affidavit of adverse claim?
In order to protect your rights, you have to execute an affidavit of adverse claim, and have it annotated at the back of the title covering the land, which has been purchased by your father.
The annotation of an adverse claim is a measure designed to protect the interest of a person over a piece of real property, where the registration of such interest or right is not otherwise provided for by the Land Registration Act or Act 496 (now Presidential Decree [PD] 1529 or the Property Registration Decree), and serves a warning to third parties dealing with the property that someone is claiming an interest on the same or a better right than that of the registered owner thereof (Martinez vs Garcia, G.R. No. 166536, February 4, 2010).
Sec. 70, PD 1529, states: “Whoever claims any part or interest in registered land adverse to the registered owner, arising subsequent to the date of the original registrations, may, if no other provision is made in this decree for registering the same, make a statement in writing setting forth fully his alleged right, or interest, and how or under whom acquired, a reference to the number of the certificate of title of the registered owner, the name of the registered owner, and a description of the land in which the right or interest is claimed.
The statement shall be signed and sworn to, and shall state the adverse claimant’s residence, and a place at which all notices may be served upon him. This statement shall be entitled to registration as an adverse claim on the certificate of title. The adverse claim shall be effective for 30 days from the date of registration. After the period lapsed, the annotation of adverse claim may be canceled upon filing of a verified petition therefor by the party in interest: Provided, however, that after cancelation, no second adverse claim based on the same ground shall be registered by the same claimant.
Before the lapse of 30 days, any party in interest may file a petition in the Court of First Instance where the land is situated for the cancelation of the adverse claim, and the court shall grant a speedy hearing upon the question of the validity of such adverse claim, and shall render judgment as may be just and equitable. If the adverse claim is adjudged to be invalid, the registration thereof shall be ordered canceled. If, in any case, the court, after notice and hearing, shall find that the adverse claim thus registered was frivolous, it may fine the claimant in an amount not less than one thousand pesos nor more than five thousand pesos, at its discretion. Before the lapse of 30 days, the claimant may withdraw his adverse claim by filing with the Register of Deeds a sworn petition to that effect..
Again, we find it necessary to mention that this opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or elaborated.
We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.
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