Dear PAO,

Dindo obtained a loan from me, which he failed to pay. He offered his lot as payment for his debt. I accepted his offer and immediately occupied the land for 20 years. We also have an agreement that we will execute the necessary deed of absolute sale to cover the transaction. However, the deed never materialized because Dindo kept on making alibis every time I invited him to go to a notary public to sign the deed. I lost interest in pursuing the said deed of sale and continued introducing improvements to the land. I was surprised when Dindo complained before the barangay, claiming that he owned the land pursuant to the Torrens Title he presented. I reminded him of our oral agreement, but he claimed that the oral sale could not be enforced because it was not made in a public document. Is an oral sale of land really unenforceable?

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