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Simon, a US citizen, died leaving real estate in the Philippines. His forced heirs were his widow, Len, and his son, Drey, both of whom are U.S. citizens. Len performed an act of quitclaim that granted, transferred, and transferred to Drey all of her rights, titles, and interests in and over six parcels of city land that the two inherited from Simon. Drey then sold the properties to Emil, a beautiful Filipino.

Cel and Art, the owners of the adjoining party, brought an action challenging the constitutionality and validity of the two transfers – between Len and Drey and between the latter and Emil – and claimed further ownership of them on the basis of their right to legal redress. redemption under art. 1621 in the Civil Code.

Question: What is the right to redemption under Art. 1621 in the new civil law?

Answer: Article 1621 states that “The owners of adjacent lands shall also have the right of redemption when a piece of land whose area does not exceed one hectare is alienated, unless the recipient does not own any rural land. This right does not apply to adjacent lands separated by streams, drains, gorges, roads and other apparent easements in favor of other estates. If two or more adjoining owners wish to exercise the right of redemption at the same time, the owner of the adjoining land in a smaller area shall be preferred; and should both countries have the same territory, the one that first requested redemption. ”

Question: Can Cel and Art validly invoke the right of redemption under Art. 1621?

Answer: No. Under this article, both countries – which sought redemption and the adjacent party belonging to the person exercising the right of redemption – must be rural. If one or both are urban, the right cannot be invoked. The purpose of this provision, which is limited to rural areas not exceeding one hectare, is to favor agricultural development. Subject land that is not rural and therefore not agricultural, this purpose will not be served if petitioners are given the right to redemption under Art. 1621

Question: Is Drey’s sale of the land to Emil valid?

A: Yes, Drey’s sale of the land to Emil raises questions about the constitution of Len’s prior transfer to his son Drey. It is true that Len’s quitclaim act – in which she granted, transferred and transferred to Drey all her rights, titles and interests over the property she had inherited from her husband – collided with the Constitution, where Article XII, section 7, provides: “Save in case of hereditary inheritance, no private lands should be transferred or transferred except individuals, companies or associations that are qualified to acquire or own land from the public domain.”

While it is clear that non-Filipinos cannot acquire or possess ownership of private lands or of lands of the public domain, except in the form of legal inheritance only, the error in the original transaction is considered cured and the title of the transfer is reproduced validly. In other words, the subsequent sale can no longer be challenged due to the invalidity of the original transfer. The rationale for this principle is “if the ban on foreigners from acquiring not only agricultural land but also urban areas, as interpreted by this court in the Krivenko case, is to preserve the nation’s land for future generations of Filipinos, this goal or purpose would not be thwarted, but obtained by legally acquiring real estate of aliens who became Filipino nationals by naturalization. ”

(Source: Halili vs CA, GR No. 113539 on March 12, 1998)

Must. Soledad Deriquito-Mawis Dean, Lyceum of Philippines University; chairman of the Philippine Association of Law Schools; founder, Mawis Law Office

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