G.R. No. 68843-44, 2 September 1991, 201 SCRA 178


Raul Balantakbo inherited 1/3 interest pro-indiviso of a lot in Liliw from his father, and 1/7 interest pro-indiviso in 10 parcels of land from his maternal grandmother. Raul then died intestate, leaving his mother Consuelo Joaquin Vda. De Balantakbo as his sole surviving heir.

Consuelo then adjudicated unto herself the properties in an affidavit then subsequently sold the same to Mariquita Sumaya who in turn sold them to Villa Honorio Dev’t Corp. who in turn sold them to Agro-Industrial Coconut Cooperative (the present possessors of the properties). Consuelo then died.

The brothers in “full blood” of Raul, and his niece and nephews from a dead brother then filed suits to recover the properties which were sold by Consuelo, arguing that the same properties were subject to a reserva troncal in their favour. They claim that since there was no annotation in the title, they should be treated as innocent purchasers in good faith and for value, thus they may not be stripped of the properties.

RTC ruled in favor of Balantakbo clan, and ordered the possessor of the properties to convey the same to the Balantakbos. It said that the registration of an affidavit of the self-adjudication of the estate of Raul, wherein it was clearly stated that the properties were inherited from Raul’s father and maternal grandmother, was in its form, declaration, and substance, a recording in the Registry of Deeds of the reservable character of the properties.


Whether or not the registration of the affidavit of self-adjudication operated as an annotation to the title to the properties.


It was admitted that the certificates of titles covering the properties in question show that they were free from any liens and encumbrances at the time of the sale. The fact remains however, that the affidavit of self-adjudication executed by Consuelo stating the source of the properties thereby showing the reservable nature thereof was registered with the Register of Deeds of Laguna, and this is sufficient notice to the whole world in accordance with Section 52 of the Property Registration Decree (formerly Sec. 51 of R.A. 496) which provides:

Sec. 52. Constructive Notice Upon Registration

“Every conveyance, mortgage,lease, lien attachment, order, judgment, instrument or entry affecting registered landshall, if registered, filed or entered in the Office of the Register of Deeds for the province or city where the land to which it relates lies, be constructive notice to all persons from the time of such registering, filing or entering.”

Under the rule of notice, it is presumed that the purchaser has examined every instrument of record affecting the title. Such presumption is irrebuttable. He is charged with notice of every fact shown by the record and is presumed to know every fact which an examination of the record would have disclosed. This presumption cannot be overcome by proof of innocence or good faith. Otherwise, the very purpose and object of the law requiring a record would be destroyed. Such presumption cannot be defeated by proof of want of knowledge of what the record contains any more than one may be permitted to show that he was ignorant of the provisions of the law.

The affidavit of self adjudication executed by Consuelo which contained a statement that the property was inherited from a descendant, Raul, which has likewise inherited by the latter from another ascendant, was registered with the Registry of Property. The failure of the Register of Deeds to annotate the reservable character of the property in the certificate of title cannot be attributed to Consuelo.

*Case digest by Princess Dianne Kris Decierdo, LLB-IV, Andres Bonifacio College Law School, SY 2018-2019