The adverse claim of our grandfather was obtained a long time ago and we are constructing a bungalow on a lot that is subject of the adverse claim. We need documents/papers. Is the adverse claim filed by our grandfather still effective for the purpose of using it as one of our requirements?
Dear Mary Jane,
Use of annotation of adverse claim as one of your requirements in constructing a bungalow is seemingly misplaced since “the purpose of annotating the adverse claim on the title of the disputed land is to apprise third persons that there is a controversy over the ownership of the land and to preserve and protect the right of the adverse claimant during the pendency of the controversy. It is a notice to third persons that any transaction regarding the disputed land is subject to the outcome of the dispute” (Arrazola vs. Bernas, G.R. No. L-29740, November 10, 1978; ponente, former Chief Justice Ramon Aquino).
If your grandfather previously filed an adverse claim and such is still annotated on the title of the property, the annotation remains effective. Its effect ceases when a party-in-interest files a verified petition for its cancelation and the court grants it.
Under Presidential Decree 1529, the adverse claim shall be effective for a period of thirty (30) days from the date of registration and it may be canceled:
1. After the lapse of the period by filing a verified petition by the party in interest;
2. Before the lapse of thirty (30) days aforesaid, by filing a petition in the Regional Trial Court by any party in interest 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; and,
Before the lapse of thirty (30) days, the claimant may withdraw his adverse claim by filing with the Register of Deeds a sworn petition to that effect.
“Construing the provision as a whole would reconcile the apparent inconsistency between the portions of the law such that the provision on cancellation of adverse claim by verified petition would serve to qualify the provision on the effectivity period. The law, taken together, simply means that the cancelation of the adverse claim is still necessary to render it ineffective, otherwise, the inscription will remain annotated and shall continue as a lien upon the property. For if the adverse claim has already ceased to be effective upon the lapse of the period, its cancelation is no longer necessary and the process of cancellation would be a useless ceremony” (Sajonas vs. CA, G.R. No. 102377, July 5, 1996; ponente, Associate Just Torres Jr.; IBP Journal, Vol. XI, No. 3, p. 103, by Raymundo Blanco).
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 email@example.com.