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Encroached Property and Adverse Possession question...

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Arresto Menor

I would like to ask for advise on what needs to be done on our piece of property (where our garage is). Recently, our neighbor has filed a case in our barangay that we've encroached their property where our garage is. We've had "possessed" that part of property since we moved to our home way back in 1996-1997. And our vicinity map shows that we do own the property where our garage sits on. However, after appearing at our barangay and being presented with the map from the Land Authority, my parents went to get an official copy and found that we are "encroaching" our neighbor's property without us knowing about it.
Our neighbor (who is not the original owner of the land, by the way), is willing to sell the encroached part of her property, however, I want to know if the Adverse Possession law can apply to us, as well. If we don't buy the land, we will lose our garage and where our house currently sits on, there will be no way for us to have another garage except to tear the house down and built anew. She's selling it for Php 375,000, for a 24sq meters piece of land. Do we have any legal claims to that piece of property?

We are wiling to pay and buy the piece of land if that's the only resort, but I also want to know if there's anything else we can do to avoid having to pay such a high price for such a small piece of land that we've always thought was ours, even the original owners of the next house. And if we agree to buy it, what things should we ask or look for before signing on the sales agreement to make sure that there won't be any future issues with that piece of land.

Thanks so much!

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Reclusion Perpetua
Some government requirements:
1. Survey is validated.
2. Title is clean, free from liens and encumbrances.
3. There is a sale agreement between legitimate owner and buyer. Payment is made.
4. Capital Gains Tax is paid (usually by the seller) to BIR.
5. Payment of annual real estate tax with local government is dated.
6. Transfer is annotated in the TCT.

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