Parties notarize deed over land in place other than its location; doubt as to due execution

The trial court correctly appreciated the fact that the deed was notarized in Manila when it could have been notarized in Bulacan. This additional detail casts doubt on the procedural regularity in the preparation, execution and signing of the deed. It is not easy to believe that petitioner and the ten (10) Torres heirs traveled all the way to Manila to have their questioned document notarized considering that they, with the exception of respondent Roque, are residents of Balagtas, Bulacan, where notaries public are easy to find. Consequently, the claim of private respondents that they did not sign the document before a notary public is more plausible than petitioners feeble claim to the contrary. [G.R. No. 116018. November 13, 1996]