Petition to cancel adverse claim annotation

Section 70 of P.D. 1529[1] provides:
Whoever claims any part or interest in registered land adverse to the registered owner, arising subsequent to the date of the original registration, may, if no other provision is made in this decree for registering the same, make a statement in writing setting forth fully his alleged right or interest, and how or under whom acquired, a reference to the number of certificates of title of the registered owner, the name of the registered owner, and a description of the land in which the right or interest is claimed.

The statement shall be signed and sworn to, and shall state the adverse claimant’s residence, and a place at which all notices may be served upon him. This statement shall be entitled to registration as an adverse claim on the certificate of title. The adverse claim shall be effective for a period of thirty days from the date of registration. After the lapse of the said period, the annotation of adverse claim may be cancelled upon filing of a verified petition therefore by the party in interest: Provided, however, that after cancellation, no second adverse claim based on the same ground shall be registered by the same claimant. x x x x [Emphasis supplied]
The above provision would seem to restrict the effectivity of adverse claims to 30 days. However, the same should not be read separately, but should be read in relation to the subsequent sentence, which reads:[2]
After the lapse of said period, the annotation of adverse claim may be cancelled upon filing of a verified petition therefore by the party in interest. [Emphasis supplied]

The law, taken together, simply means that the cancellation 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 already ceased to be effective upon the lapse of the said period, its cancellation is no longer necessary and the process of cancellation would be a useless ceremony.[3]

Therefore, a party cannot claim good faith on the basis of the supposed ineffectivity of the annotated adverse claims as the same have not been cancelled at the time of purchase. Assuming arguendo that the annotated adverse claims expired on a certain date, such party still cannot claim good faith if they were fully aware that there were occupants in the subject property other than the seller. This may be worse if such party is also fully aware that an occupant in the subject property bought the same or that there were also other structures in the subject property.[4]

[1] Presidential Decree No. 1529, Section 70.

[2] Equatorial Realty Development, Inc., v. Sps. Desiderio, et. al., G.R. No. 128563, 25 March 2004, 426 SCRA 271, 278.

[3] G.R. No. 128563, 25 March 2004.

[4] G.R. No. 186622, January 22, 2014.