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G.R. NO. L-28658 OCTOBER 18, 1979
Facts: Reyes wanted to register property in antipolo claiming it was inherited from his father. It turns out that his father
got the land from Beltran through a mortgage contract.
HELD: Reyes cant register it under his name. Contract between father of Reyes and Beltran was that of a mortgage and
not a sale hence ownership didnt pass to him.
1. Vicente Reyes filed an application for registration of his title to a parcel of land in Antipolo before the Bureau of Lands. He
declared that he inherited the land from his father and that the other heirs have executed a quit claim in favor of Vicente.
2. An opposition was filed by the director of lands, Francisco Sierra and Emilio Sierra. Later a motion to set aside an
interlocutory default was filed by the rest of the sierras, said Sierras were added as oppositors to the registration
3. Lower court decided in favor of Reyes, declared him the rightful owner of the land.
4. Hence this appeal.
1. WON the contract between the father of Reyes and Basilia Beltran a mortgage or a sale.
1. Mortgage
- The land was originally owned by Basilia Beltrans parents, from whom she inherited the property. She borrowed
money from Vicente Reyes, Sr. the amount of P100.00 and secured the loan with the piece of land.
- Since then, the older Reyes began paying the realty taxes up to the time of his death after which his children
continued to pay the taxes.
- Beltran died before the loan was paid.
- In registering the property, Vicente jr. relied on his belief that the property belonged to his father who bought the
same from Beltran and that there is a document to prove sale (contract of mortgage between Beltran and Reyes
- Court held that the contract was a mortgage contract. The intention of the parties at the time was the lending of
money with security.
The use of the word debt(utang )
helps to point out that the transaction was intended to be a loan with
Intention of the parties must govern and not the form of the transaction.
Macapinlac v. Gutierrez Rapide; if the instrument is in its essence a mortgage, the parties cannot by any
stipulations, however express and positive, render it anything but a mortgage or deprive it of the essential
attributes belonging to a mortgage in equality
- Failure of mortgagor to redeem the property does not automatically vest ownership of the property to the
mortgagee. This violates Art. 2088 of the Civil code (the creditor cannot appropriate the thigns given by way of
pledge or mortgage, or dispose by them. Any stipulation to the contrary is null and void.
Otherwise it would amount to a pactum commissorium which is against good morals and public policy
- The property hasnt been acquired through prescription either since Reyes didnt possess it as owner, Reyes did
not have adverse nor continuous possession.
- Mortgage does not constitute just title on the part of the mortgagee, since ownership is retained by mortgagor.
Payment of realty taxes does not amount to adverse possession or title. Mere failure of the owner (mortgagor) to
pay taxes doesnt amount to abandonment.
- Doctrine of once a mortgage always a mortgage has been firmly established whatever be its form.

Kaming mag-kakapatid may sapat na gulang na nakalagda Sa kasulatan ito, bilang katibayan nang pag papahintulot sa aming Ina na si Bacilia
Beltran na ipananagutan kay G. Vicente Reyes sa inutang ha halagang isang daan piso (P100.00) na walang anopamang pakinabang; ang isang lagay
na lupa sa kallehon Sukay, Antipolo, Rizal
Held: decision appealed from is set aside and another one be entered ordering the registration of the title of the land in the name of
oppositor appellants.
Digest by:
Justin Benedict A. Moreto