Source of fund in a sale is immaterial
"My alien boyfriend gave me enough allowance every month, and I was able to save enough for the purchase of a land. I am the buyer appearing on the deed of sale and the certificate of title covering the property is also in my name. My relationship with my boyfriend ended and he sold the property to Filipinas. The latter demanded that I surrender the possession of the property to her, including my certificate of title so that it will be cancelled. She further claimed that my boyfriend owned the property because a waitress like me does not have the financial capacity to buy the same.
Is she correct?Sheena
Dear Sheena,You are the absolute owner of the land because you are the person appearing in the deed of sale as buyer, a certificate of title was issued in your name and you are in possession of the land. Your boyfriend has no right over the property because he is not the owner. Moreover, a foreigner is not allowed to own a land in the country pursuant to Section 8, Article XII of the 1987 Philippine Constitution which provides:
“Save in cases of hereditary succession, no private lands shall be transferred or conveyed except to individuals, corporations, or associations qualified to acquire or hold lands of the public domain.”The sale between Filipinas and your boyfriend involving your land is not valid. The latter did not pass any title to Filipinas. This finds support in the case of Francisco vs. Chemical Bulk Carriers Inc. (GR 193577, Sept. 7, 2011), where Justice Antonio Carpio stated:
“The general principle is that a seller without title cannot transfer a better title than he has. Only the owner of the goods or one authorized by the owner to sell can transfer title to the buyer. Therefore, a person can sell only what he owns or is authorized to sell and the buyer can, as a consequence, acquire no more than what the seller can legally transfer.” Please be guided also by the decision of the court in Descallar vs. The Honorable Court of Appeals and Borromeo (GR 106473, July 12, 1993), where the Supreme Court through Associate Justice Carolina Griño-Aquino stated:“Even if it were true that an impecunious former waitress, like Descallar, did not have the means to purchase the property, and that it was her Austrian lover who provided her with the money to pay for it, that circumstance did not make her any less the owner, since the sale was made to her, not to the open-handed alien who was, and still is, disqualified under our laws to own real property in this country (Sec. 7, Art. XII, 1987 Constitution). The deed of sale was duly registered in the Registry of Deeds and new titles were issued in her name. The source of the purchase money is immaterial for there is no allegation, nor proof, that she bought the property as trustee or dummy for the monied Austrian, and not for her own benefit and enjoyment.“There is no law which declares null and void a sale where the vendee, to whom the title of the thing sold is transferred or conveyed, paid the price with money obtained from a third person. If that were so, a bank would be the owner of whatever is purchased with funds borrowed from it by the vendee. The holding of the trial court and the Court of Appeals that Jambrich, notwithstanding his legal incapacity to acquire real property in the Philippines, is the owner of the house and lot which his erstwhile mistress, Antonietta, purchased with money she obtained from him, is a legal heresy.”Applying the above cited decision in your situation, the claim of Filipinas that your boyfriend owned the property has no legal basis because all the documents proved that you are the owner. The source of fund to buy the land is immaterial in proving ownership.
We hope that we were able to answer your queries. This advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.Erratum:In the Dear PAO column that came out on Dec. 6, 2018, the first sentence in paragraph 1 should have read: “The requirements needed for land registration are found under Section 14 of Presidential Decree (PD) 1529 otherwise known as the “Property Registration Decree,” not Section 14 of Presidential Decree (PD) 529. We apologize for the error.Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to "
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"Source of fund in a sale is immaterial"
was written by Mary
under the Legal Advice
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comments. The article was created on 15 September 2021
and updated on 15 September 2021