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The Standard Oil Company of New York, petitioner vs.

Joaquin Jaramillo, respondent


GR No. 20329, March 16, 1923

Facts:
1. Gervasia de la Rosa, Vda. de Vera, was the lessee of a parcel of land situated in the City of Manila and owner of the
house of strong materials built thereon, upon which date she executed a document in the form of a chattel
mortgage, purporting to convey to the petitioner by way of mortgage both the leasehold interest in said lot and
the building which stands.
2. The petitioner caused the same to be presented to the respondent, Joaquin Jaramillo, as register of deeds of the
City of Manila, for the purpose of having the same recorded in the book of record of chattel mortgages. Upon
examination of the instrument, the respondent was of the opinion that it was not chattel mortgage, for the reason
that the interest therein mortgaged did not appear to be personal property, within the meaning of the Chattel
Mortgage Law, and registration was refused on this ground only.

Issue:
Whether or not the register of deeds can refuse the recording of a chattel mortgages. - NO

Held:
In the light of what has been said it becomes unnecessary for us to pass upon the point whether the interest conveyed
in the instrument now in question are real or personal; and we declare it to be the duty of the register of deeds to
accept the estimate placed upon the document by the petitioner and to register it, upon payment of the proper fee.

The demurrer is overruled; and unless within the period of five days from the date of the notification hereof, the
respondent shall interpose a sufficient answer to the petition, the writ of mandamus will be issued, as prayed, but
without costs. So ordered.

1. The efficacy of the act of recording a chattel mortgage consists in the fact that registration operates as
constructive notice of the existence of the contract, and the legal effects of the instrument must be discovered in
the document itself, in relation with the fact of notice. Registration adds nothing to the instrument, considered as
a source of title, and affects nobody's rights except as a species of constructive notice.
2. The duties of a register of deeds in respect to the registration of chattel mortgages are purely of a ministerial
character, and he is clothed with no judicial or quasi-judicial power to determine the nature of the property,
whether real or personal, which is the subject of the mortgage. Generally speaking, he should accept the
qualification of the property adapted by the person who presents the instrument for registration and should place
the instrument on record, upon payment of the proper fee, leaving the effects of registration to be determined by
the court if such question should arise for legal determination.