44 SCRA 630



De la Rosa was the lessee of a piece of land, on which a house she owns was  built.    She  executed  a  chattel  mortgage  in  favor  of  the  petitioner—purporting the leasehold interest in the land and the ownership of house.
After  such,  the  petitioner  moved  for  its  registration  with  the  Register  of Deeds, for the purpose of having the same recorded in the book of record of  chattel  mortgages.    After  examination,  the  respondent  was  in  the opinion that the properties were not subjects of a chattel mortgage.   


Position  taken  by  the  respondent  is  untenable.    His  duties  are  mainly ministerial  only  in  nature  and  no  law  confers  upon  him  any  judicial  or quasi-judicial  power.    Generally,  he  should  accept  the  qualification  of  the property   adopted   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.

The Civil Code supplies no absolute criterion in discriminating between real property  and  personal  property  for  purposes  of  the  application  of  the Chattel Mortgage Law.  The articles state general doctrines, nonetheless, it must  not  be  forgotten  that  under  given  conditions,  property  may  have
character  different  from  that  imputed  to  it  in  the  said  articles.    It  is undeniable  that  the  parties  in  a  contract  may  by  agreement  treat  as personal property that which by nature would be real property.