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LAND TITLES AND DEEDS

By: Gregorio G. Bilog, Jr.

Judicial Land Registration is a proceeding where the application for land registration is filed in the proper court. Two Kinds of Judicial Land Registration 1. Ordinary land registration proceeding where the application for land registration is initiated and filed in court by the owner or person claiming ownership of the land; and, 2. Cadastral land registration proceeding where it is the government undertakes the survey of the land and files the petition in court for the registration of the whole or part of the lands in a municipality, city or province, and where all persons are given notice by publication and required to make known and prove their claims of ownership or interest over the same, otherwise, the lots will be declared public land. In this sense, a cadastral proceeding is in the nature of a large scale compulsory proceeding. The court, after hearing, shall render judgment confirming the title of the applicant and ordering: (a) The Land Registration Authority to issue the decree of registration; and, (b) for the Register of Deeds to issue the corresponding Original Certificate of Title to the applicant or adjudged owner. Administrative Land Registration is a proceeding where the application for a Free Patent, Homestead Patent, Sales Patent, or other grant of public land is filed in, and determined by, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).If the application is granted, the DENR issues a patent for the land applied for. Such patent shall be registered in the office of Register of Deeds who shall then issue the corresponding certificate of title. Torrens Certificate of Title is the evidence of ownership issued by the Register of Deeds to the owner of a particular land which is registered under the Torrens system of registration. A

Book 1
REGISTRATION OF LANDS INTRODUCTION Land Registration is a judicial or administrative proceeding whereby a person's claim of ownership over a particular land is determined and confirmed or recognized so that such land and the ownership thereof may be recorded in a public registry. Purposes 1. To issue a certificate of title to the owner this shall be the best evidence of his ownership of the land described therein; 2. To give every registered owner complete peace of mind; 3. To relieve the land of unknown claims; 4. to quiet title to land and to stop forever question as to its legality; 5. To avoid conflicts of title in and to real estate, and to facilitate transactions 6. To guarantee the integrity of land titles and to protect their indefeasibility once the claim of ownership is established and recognized. TorrensSystemthe Torrens System of land registration was introduced in the Philippines by Act. No. 496, which took effect on February 1, 1903.This law was amended and superseded by Presidential Decree No. 1529, which took effect on June 11, 1978, otherwise known as the Property Registration Decree. This is the principal law now governing land registration in the Philippines. The originator of the system was Sir Richard Torrens, reformer of Australian Land Laws.

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certificate of title may be an Original Certificate of Title or a Transfer of Certificate of Title. Original Certificate of Title is the first title issued in the name of a registered owner by the Register of Deeds covering a parcel of land which had been registered under the Torrens System, by virtue of judicial or administrative proceeding. Transfer of Certificate of Title is the title issued by the Register of Deeds in favor of a transferee to whom the ownership of the registered land has been transferred by virtue of a sale or other modes of conveyance. Laws Implementing Land Registration 1. Property Registration Decree (PD No. 1529, as amended) 2. Cadastral Act (Act 2259, as amended) 3. Public Land Act (Com. Act. 141, as amended) 4. Presidential Decree No. 275. Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988 (R.A. No. 6657, as amended) Agencies Implementing Land Registration and Land Reform 1. Department of Environment and Natural Resources 2. Department of Justice Land Registration Authority (LRA) and it registries of deeds 3. Department of Land Reform 4. Department of Agriculture Regalian Doctrine (or jura regalia) is a time-honored Constitutional precept that all lands of the public domain belong to the State, and that the State is the source of any asserted right to ownership in land and charged with the conservation of such patrimony. Imperium the government authority possessed by the State in the concept of sovereignty. Dominium the government's capacity to own or acquire property. The 1935, 1973, and 1987 Constitution of the
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Philippines adopted the universal feudal theory that all lands belong to the crown, ownership, however, being vested in the State, as such, rather than the head thereof. Art. XII, Sec. 2 of the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines states that all lands of the public domain and other natural resources are owned by the State; and that with the exception of agricultural lands, all other natural resources shall not be alienated. The theory of jura regalia was nothing more than a natural fruit of conquest. The Regalian theory does not negate native title to lands held in private ownership since time immemorial. (Cruz vs Secretary of Environment and Natural resources, 347 SCRA 128 SEVEN (7) STEPS IN JUDICIAL LAND REGISTRATION 1. Application for land registration shall be filed in court by the applicant; 2. Publication of the notice of the initial hearing of said publication; 3. Opposition to said application shall be filed by any person who claims the land or interest therein; 4. Hearing of said application and presentation of evidence in court; 5. Judgment shall be rendered by the court; 6. Decree of Registration for the land shall be issued by the LRA Administrator; and 7. Original Certificate of Title for the land shall be issued by the LRA Administrator which shall then be entered by the Register of Deeds in his record book. The owners duplicate of said certificate of title shall be given to the registered owner thereof. STEP 1: APPLICATION FOR LAND REGISTRATION IN COURTA. Who May Apply for Land Registration Applicant must be the owner Rights included in ownership: Jus possidendi (right to posses) jus utendi (right to use and enjoy) jus fruendi (right to the fruits) jus accessionis (right to accessories)

jus abutmenti (right to consume) jus disponendi (right to dispose or alienate), and jus vindicandi (right to vindicate or recover) How to Acquire Ownership of Land 1. by possession of land since time immemorial; 2. by possession of alienable public land 3. by sale, donation and other modes of acquiring ownership: By law (Civil Code, Art. 712) e.g. public grants; title to accretion in river banks under Art. 457, Civil Code); title by escheat under the Rules of Court, Rule 91 By donation By testate and intestae succession In consequence of certain contracts, by tradition - e.g. ownership is transferred by delivery By prescription B. Where to File the Application 1. In the RTC it has the exclusive jurisdiction over all applications for original registration of title of lands, including improvements and interests therein, and over all petitions filed after original registration of title, with power to hear and determine all questions arising upon such applications and petitions. 2. In the MTC and MCTC (if authorized by the Supreme Court) to hear and determine cadastral or land registration cases. C. Contents of the Application; Annexes 1. Name of applicant, etc. 2. Description of the land 3. Verification the application shall be signed by the applicant or the person duly authorized in his behalf, and sworn to before any officer authorized 4. Application covering tow or more parcels of land may be included provided they are situated in the same province or city 5. Annex is to the application: Survey plan of the land
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Technical descriptions Certificate of the Geodetic Engineer Certificate regarding the last assessment for taxation of the property D. Dealings with the Land, Pending registration After the filing of the application and before the issuance of the decree of registration, the land therein described may still be the subject of dealings in whole or in part. STEP 2: PUBLICATION OF THE NOTICE OF THE INITIAL HEARING OFSAID APPLICATION A. Notice of the Initial Hearing 1. Publication of the Notice of Initial Hearing must be published in the Official Gazette; and in a newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines; 2. mailing of Notice of Initial Hearing to persons named in the application. The Administrator of the LRA shall also, within seven days after publication, cause a copy of the notice to be mailed to: Every person named in the notice whose address is known; Government officials concerned; The Secretary of Agrarian Reform, the Solicitor General, the Director of Lands, etc. Other persons as directed by the court; 3. Posting of Notice of Initial Hearing caused by the Administrator of LRA to be posted by the sheriff of the province or city in a conspicuous place on the bulletin board of the municipal building of the municipality or city in which the land or portion thereof is situated; STEP 3: OPPOSITION TO SAID APPLICATION A. Opposition: Who May File Any person claiming the land or adverse interest therein, whether named in the notice or not, may appear and file an opposition to the application for land registration on or before the date of

initial hearing, or within such further time as may be allowed by the court. The opposition shall state all the objections to the application, the interest claimed by the party filing the same, and apply for the remedy desired; it shall be signed and sworn to by the oppositor or by some other duly authorized person. Case Notes Basis of Opposition the opposition to the application for land registration should be based on a right of dominion or some other real right independent of, and not at all subordinate to the rights of, the government. Motion for intervention not allowed Failure of government to oppose the government cannot be stopped from questioning the validity of the certificates of title which were granted without opposition from the government. The principle of estoppels does not operate against the government for the act of its agents. STEP 4: HEARING OF SAID APPLICATION AND PRESENTATIONOF EVIDENCE IN COURT A. Rules of Court The Rules of Court shall, insofar as not inconsistent with the provisions of Presidential Decree No. 1529, be applicable to land registration and cadastral cases by analogy or in a suppletory character and whenever practicable and convenient. Judicial proceedings for the registration of lands throughout the Philippines shall be in rem, and shall be based on the generally accepted principles underlying the Torrents system. B. Evidence 1. To prove: that the Notice of Initial Hearing of the application has been published, mailed, and posted as required by Law 2. To prove that the applicant is the owner: (a) By virtue of possession of private land

(b) By virtue of possession of public land the general rule is that public land cannot be acquired by prescription because there can be no prescription against the State Case Notes: Possession of lands of public domain must be from June 12, 1945 or earlier, for the same to be acquired through judicial confirmation of imperfect title. Possession of the applicant for land application for land registration must be under bonafide claim of ownership, which presupposes colorable title or acquisition of land through some state grant. Public land becomes private land open, exclusive and undisputed possession of alienable public land by a citizen of the Republic of the Philippines for the period prescribed by law creates the legal fiction whereby the land, upon completion of the requisite period ipso jure and without the need of judicial or other sanction, ceases to be public land and becomes private property. Petitioners are deemed to have acquired, by operation of law, a right to a grant, a government grant, without the necessity of a certificate of title being issued. The land is segregated from public land. Filipino Corporations: can acquire private lands if the land was already private at the time the corporation bought it from the seller, then the prohibition in the Constitution against corporations holding alienable lands of the public domain, except by lease, does not apply. Title and ownership over lands within the meaning of the Constitutional prohibition dates back to the time of their purchase, not later. A parcel of land acquired by a corporation from a private individual should be deemed applied for by such private person for registration purposes. For accretion or alluvion to form part of registered land or riparian owner, the gradual alluvial deposits made by human intervention are excluded. The Government may declare the accretion property of the adjoining

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owner only when it is no longer washed by the waters of the sea and when it is no longer necessary for public use. The owners of estates adjoining ponds or lagoons do not acquire the land left dry by the natural decrease of the waters, nor lose those inundated by them in extraordinary floods. 3. To Prove: the identity of the land (a) Identity of land: survey plan and technical description (b) Identity of land: by area(c) original tracing cloth plan: mandatory evidence Spanish titles are no longer admissible as evidence of ownership 4. To prove: that the land is Alienable and Disposable The prerogative of classifying lands of the public domain belongs to the Executive Branch of the government. Classification of lands of Public domain (1987 Constitution, Art. XII, Sec. 3) (1) Forest or timber (2) Mineral lands (3) National parks (4) Agricultural With the exception of agricultural land, lands of the public domain shall not be alienated. Case Notes All lands not appearing to be clearly within private ownership are presumed to belong to the State. Title to inalienable lands: void STEP 5: JUDGMENT SHALL BE RENDERED BY THE COURT A. Judgment 1. Judgment confirming title Partial judgment allowed in a land registration proceeding where only a portion of the land subject of registration is contested, the court may render partial judgment provided that the subdivision plan showing the contested and uncontested portions approved by the Director of Lands is previously submitted to said court.
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Conditional judgments judgments which are subject to the performance of a condition precedent are not final until the condition is performed. 2. When judgment becomes final judgment rendered in a land registration proceeding becomes final upon the expiration of fifteen (15) days to be counted from the date of the judgment. Judgment binds the whole world. Judgment is under the principle of res judicata: Former judgment must be final the court which rendered judgment must have jurisdiction It must be a judgment of the merits, and there must be between the first and second actions identity of parties, subject matter, and cause of action Under the principle of res judicata, the Court and the parties, are bound by such final decision, otherwise there will be no end to litigation. Adjudication of land to non-claimant is prohibited. Title issued pending appeal, void. A judgment dismissing an application for land registration does not operate as conclusive adjudication (res judicata) between the applicant and the opponent who has successfully resisted the application. A void judgment has no legal or binding effect for any purpose. It is a nullity, and leaves the parties litigants in the same position they were in before the trial. STEP 6: DECREE OF REGISTRATION FOR THE LAND SHALL BEISSUED BY THE LRA ADMINISTRATOR After judgment of the land registration court has become final and executory, it shall devolve upon the court to forthwith issue an order to the Administrator of LRA for the issuance of the decree of registration and the corresponding certificate of title in the name of the person adjudged entitled to registration. The decree of registration

shall bear the date, hour and minute of its entry, and shall be signed by the Administrator of LRA. It shall state whether the owner id married or unmarried, and if married, the name of husband or wife: provided however that if the land adjudicated by the court is conjugal property, the decree shall be issued in the name of both spouses. Upon finality of judgment in the land registration cases, the winning party does not file a motion for execution as in ordinary civil actions. Instead, he files a petition with the LRA to issue a decree of registration, a copy of which is then sent to the Register of Deeds for transcription in the registration book, and issuance of original certificate of title. STEP 7: ORIGINAL CERTIFICATE OF TITLE FOR THE LANDSHALL BE ISSUED BY THE LRA ADMINISTRATOR, WHICHSHALL BE THEN ENTERED BY THE REGISTER OF DEEDS INHIS RECORD BOOK. THE OWNERS DUPLICATE OF SAIDCERTIFICATE OF TITLE SHALL BE GIVEN TO THEREGISTERED OWNER THEREOF A writ of possession may be issued in favor of the successful applicant or adjudged owner. It is not only against the person who has been defeated in the registration case but also against anyone adversely occupying the land or any portion thereof during the proceeding up to the issuance of the decree. A writ of demolition must, likewise, issue, especially considering that the latter writ is but a complement of the former.

1. Definition of Terms Titled land refers to land which has been registered under the Torrens system and for which a Torrens title issued in the name of registered owner thereof. Untitled land refers to land which has not been registered under the Torrens system, hence, not covered by a Torrens title. 2. Functions of Register of Deeds The office of the Register of Deeds constitutes a public repository of records of instruments affecting registered or unregistered lands and chattel mortgages in the province or city wherein such office is situated. 3. Ministerial Duty The function of the Register of Deeds with reference to the registration of deeds, encumbrances, instruments and the like is ministerial in nature.

Book 2
REGISTRATION OF DOCUMENTS INVOLVING LANDS Part 1 DOCUMENTS DEALING WITH TITLED LANDS A PRELIMINARY
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