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Atty.

Peraltas LTD Case Gist

Dann Mercado (Batch 3, DLSU Law)

I. CONCEPT OF TORRENS SYSTEM The real purpose of that system is to quiet title to land; to put a stop
1. What is Torrens title? forever to any question of the legality of the title, except claims which
-a certification issued by registration under the Torrens system which were noted at the time of registration, in the certificate, or which may
establishes and certifies the ownership of an absolute, indefeasible and arise subsequent thereto. Legarda v Saleeby
imprescriptible title to the parcel of land to quiet claims to that land
sought to be registered. Upon the other hand, the main purpose of the Torrens System is to
avoid possible conflicts of title in and to real estate, and to facilitate
2. Probative Value of Torrens Title transactions relative thereto giving the public the right to rely upon the
"Every decree of registration shall bind the land and quiet title thereto, face of Torrens certificate of title and to dispense with the of inquiring
subject only to the exceptions stated in the following section. It shall be further, except when the party concerned has actual knowledge of facts
conclusive upon and against all persons, including the Insular and circumstances that should impel a reasonably cautious man to make
Government, and all the branches thereof, whether mentioned by name such further inquiry.
in the application, notice, or citation, or included in the general Capitol Subdivison v Province of Negros Occidental
description 'to all whom it may concern.' Such decree shall not be opened
by reason of the absence, infancy, or other disability of any person Benefits of Torrens system
affected thereby, nor by any proceedings in any court for reversing "The following summary of benefits of the system of registration of titles,
judgments or decrees; subject, however, to the right of any person made by Sir Robert Torrens, has been fully justified in its use:
deprived of land or of any estate or interest therein by decree of
registration obtained by fraud to file in the Court of Land Registration a "First. It has substituted security for insecurity.
petition for review within one year . . ." Grey Alba v Dela Cruz
"Second. It has reduced the cost of conveyances from pounds to
3. Type of Torrens Title shillings, and the time occupied from months to days.
a. Original Certificate of Title (OCT)
b. Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) "Third. It has exchanged brevity and clearness for obscurity and
verbiage.
4. Mode of Acquiring Title (READ PAVLEA)
a. Acquisitive Prescription "Fourth. It has so simplified ordinary dealings that he who has mastered
b. Accession the 'three R's' can transact his own conveyancing.
c. Public Grant
d. Devises or Descent "Fifth. It affords protection against fraud.
e. VoLuntary transfer (VL)
f. Eminent domain "Sixth. It has restored to their just value many estates, held under good
g. Reclamation holding titles, but depreciated in consequence of some blur or technical
h. Emancipation patent defect, and has barred the reoccurrence of any similar faults." Grey
I. Accretion Alba v Dela Cruz
Purpose of the Torrens Title

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Cruz v Secretary, Separate Opinion of Justice Puno, Summary development of waterpower, beneficial use may be the measure and limit
The development of the Regalian Doctrine may be gleaned on a number of the grant.
of rulings held by the Supreme Court, and also on the Constitutions
ratified by the people and laws enacted by the legislature. The State shall protect the nations marine wealth in its archipelagic
Chronologically, the Laws of the Indies, Ley Hipocetaria, or the Mortgage waters, territorial sea, and exclusive economic zone, and reserve its use
Law of 1893, Public Land Act (CA 141), Land Registration Act (act 496), and enjoyment exclusively to Filipino citizens.
Cadastral Act (Act 2259) and Property Registration Decree (PD 1529) are
the laws which imbibed the concept of the Jura Regalia. On the other The Congress may, by law, allow small-scale utilization of natural
hand, the 1987 Constitution has continuously imbibed itself of the jura resources by Filipino citizens, as well as cooperative fish farming, with
regalia by adopting, amending, and improving that doctrine from Sec. 1, priority to subsistence fishermen and fish workers in rivers, lakes, bays,
Article XIII of the 1935 Constitution and Section 8, Article XIV of the and lagoons.
1973 Constitution. Parenthetically, in the case of Valenton v Murciano,
the Court, speaking through Justice Willard, opined that "[w]hile the The President may enter into agreements with foreign-owned
State has always recognized the right of the occupant to a deed if he corporations involving either technical or financial assistance for large-
proves a possession for a sufficient length of time, yet it has always scale exploration, development, and utilization of minerals, petroleum,
insisted that he must make that proof before the proper administrative and other mineral oils according to the general terms and conditions
officers, and obtain from them his deed, and until he did that the State provided by law, based on real contributions to the economic growth and
remained the absolute owner." general welfare of the country. In such agreements, the State shall
promote the development and use of local scientific and technical
II. THE REGALIAN DOCTRINE resources.

Article XIII, 1987 Constitution The President shall notify the Congress of every contract entered into in
Section 2. All lands of the public domain, waters, minerals, coal, accordance with this provision, within thirty days from its execution.
petroleum, and other mineral oils, all forces of potential energy, fisheries,
forests or timber, wildlife, flora and fauna, and other natural resources Recognition of Native Title
are owned by the State. With the exception of agricultural lands, all other As far back as testimony or memory goes, the land has been held by
natural resources shall not be alienated. The exploration, development, individuals under a claim of private ownership, it will be presumed to
and utilization of natural resources shall be under the full control and have been held in the same way from before the Spanish conquest, and
supervision of the State. The State may directly undertake such never to have been public land. Certainly in case like this, if there is
activities, or it may enter into co-production, joint venture, or doubt or ambiguity in the Spanish law, we ought to give the applicant the
production-sharing agreements with Filipino citizens, or corporations or benefit of the doubt. Carino v Insular Government
associations at least 60 per centum of whose capital is owned by such
citizens. Such agreements may be for a period not exceeding twenty-five Proof of Possession
years, renewable for not more than twenty-five years, and under such in the instant cases evidence for the respondents themselves tend to
terms and conditions as may provided by law. In cases of water rights for show that only portions of the entire area applied for are cultivated. A
irrigation, water supply, fisheries, or industrial uses other than the mere casual cultivation of portions of the land by the claimant does not

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constitute possession under claim of ownership. In that sense, possession


is not exclusive and notorious so as to give rise to a presumptive grant Watershed Reservation as a Natural Resource
from the State. The possession of public land however long the period Both the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions prohibited the alienation of all
thereof may have extended, never confers title thereto upon the natural resources except agricultural lands of the public domain. The
possessor because the statute of limitations with regard to public land 1987 Constitution readopted this policy. Indeed, all lands of the public
does not operate against the State, unless the occupant can prove domain as well as all natural resources enumerated in the Philippine
possession and occupation of the same under claim of ownership for the Constitution belong to the State.
required number of years to constitute a grant from the State. 3
Applicants, therefore, have failed to submit convincing proof actual, The term "natural resource" includes "not only timber, gas, oil coal,
peaceful and adverse possession in the concept of owners of the entire minerals, lakes, and submerged lands, but also, features which supply a
area in question during the period required by law. human need and contribute to the health, welfare, and benefit of a
Republic v Vera community, and are essential to the well-being thereof and proper
enjoyment of property devoted to park and recreational purposes."
Power of Reclassification of Public Land Edna Collado v CA
As provided for under Sec. 6 of Commonwealth Act No. 141, which was
lifted from Act No. 2874, the classification or reclassification of public Rationale behind the Constitutional Ban on Acquisition of Public Lands
lands into alienable or disposable, mineral or forest lands is now a In actual practice, the constitutional ban strengthens the constitutional
prerogative of the Executive Department of the government and not of limitation on individuals from acquiring more than the allowed area of
the courts. With these rules, there should be no more room for doubt alienable lands of the public domain. Without the constitutional ban,
that it is not the court which determines the classification of lands of the individuals who already acquired the maximum area of alienable lands of
public domain into agricultural, forest or mineral but the Executive the public domain could easily set up corporations to acquire more
Branch of the Government, through the Office of the President. alienable public lands. An individual could own as many corporations as
Bureau of Forestry v CA his means would allow him. An individual could even hide his ownership
of a corporation by putting his nominees as stockholders of the
A Positive Act from the Government to declassify public lands corporation. The corporation is a convenient vehicle to circumvent the
Our adherence to the Regalian doctrine subjects all agricultural, timber, constitutional limitation on acquisition by individuals of alienable lands of
and mineral lands to the dominion of the State. 11 Thus, before any land the public domain.
may be declassified from the forest group and converted into alienable or
disposable land for agricultural or other purposes, there must be a The constitutional intent, under the 1973 and 1987 Constitutions, is to
positive act from the government. Even rules on the confirmation of transfer ownership of only a limited area of alienable land of the public
imperfect titles do not apply unless and until the land classified as forest domain to a qualified individual. This constitutional intent is safeguarded
land is released in an official proclamation to that effect so that it may by the provision prohibiting corporations from acquiring alienable lands of
form part of the disposable agricultural lands of the public domain. the public domain, since the vehicle to circumvent the constitutional
Sunbeam Convenience v CA intent is removed. The available alienable public lands are gradually
decreasing in the face of an ever-growing population. The most effective

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way to insure faithful adherence to this constitutional intent is to grant or It is true that under the Regalian Doctrine all lands of the public domain
sell alienable lands of the public domain only to individuals. This, it would belong to the State and all lands not otherwise appearing to be clearly
seem, is the practical benefit arising from the constitutional ban. within private ownership are presumed to belong to the State.[18]
Chavez v PEA However, such presumption is not conclusive. It can be rebutted by the
applicant's presentation of incontrovertible evidence showing that the
Indefeasibility of Title land subject of the application for registration is alienable and disposable.
Therefore, under Section 101 of Commonwealth Act No. 141,[49] the Buenaventura v Republic
State -- even after the lapse of one year -- may still bring an action for
the reversion to the public domain of land that has been fraudulently III. THE POLICE POWER OF THE STATE
granted to private individuals.[50] Further, this indefeasibility cannot be
a bar to an investigation by the State as to how the title has been Non-impairment Clause to yield before the Police Power of the State
acquired, if the purpose of the investigation is to determine whether "The freedom of contract, under our system of government, is not meant
fraud has in fact been committed in securing the title. Republic v to be absolute. The same is understood to be subject to reasonable
Heirs of Alejaga legislative regulation aimed at the promotion of public health, moral,
safety and welfare. In other words, the constitutional guaranty of non-
Power of the President to designate a Public Land as Reservation impairment of obligations of contract is limited by the exercise of the
The President, upon the recommendation of the Secretary of police power of the State, in the interest of public health, safety, moral
Environment and Natural Resources, may designate by proclamation any and general welfare." Oposa v Factoran
tract or tracts of land of the public domain as reservations for the use of
the Republic or any of its branches, or for quasi-public uses or Accordingly, the State, in the exercise of its police power in this regard,
purposes.[35] Such tract or tracts of land thus reserved shall be non- may not be precluded by the constitutional restriction on non-impairment
alienable and shall not be subject to sale or other disposition until again of contract from altering, modifying and amending the mining leases or
declared alienable. Republic v Southside Homeowners Association agreements granted under Presidential Decree No. 463, as amended,
Inc. pursuant to Executive Order No. 211. Police power, being co-extensive
with the necessities of the case and the demands of public interest;
Prohibition Against Corporation from acquiring any Public Land extends to all the vital public needs. The passage of Executive Order No.
The Court can hypothetically concede, as a matter of fact, the withdrawal 279 which superseded Executive Order No. 211 provided legal basis for
of the JUSMAG area from the ambit of Proclamation No. 423 and its the DENR Secretary to carry into effect the mandate of Article XII,
reclassification as alienable and disposable lands of the public domain. Section 2 of the 1987 Constitution. Miners Association v Factoran
Still, such hypothesis would not carry the day for private respondent
SHAI. The reason therefor is basic: Article XII, Section 3[52] of the 1987 IV. SOCIAL JUSTICE
Constitution forbids private corporations from acquiring any kind of
alienable land of the public domain, except through lease for a limited Interpretation against Injustice on Social Justice and Land Reform
period. Republic v Southside Homeowners Association Inc. The Regalian doctrine which forms the basis of our land laws and, in fact,
all laws governing natural resources is a revered and long standing
Rebuttable Presumption on Jura Regalia under the 1987 Constitution principle. It must, however, be applied together with the constitutional

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provisions on social justice and land reform and must be interpreted in a (b) Those who by themselves or through their predecessors in interest
way as to avoid manifest unfairness and injustice. have been in open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious possession and
occupation of agricultural lands of the public domain, under a bona fide
Every application for a concession of public land has to be viewed in the claim of acquisition or ownership, since June 12, 1945 or earlier, the
light of its peculiar circumstances. A strict application of the Heirs of filing of the application for confirmation of title except when prevented by
Amunategui v. Director of Forestry (supra) ruling is warranted whenever war or force majeure. These shall be conclusively presumed to have
a portion of the public domain is in danger of ruthless exploitation, performed all the conditions essential to a Government grant and shall be
fraudulent titling, or other questionable practices. But when an entitled to a certificate of title under the provisions of this chapter.
application appears to enhance the very reasons behind the enactment of
Act 496, as amended, or the Land Registration Act, and Commonwealth (c) Members of the national cultural minorities who by themselves or
Act 141, as amended, or the Public Land Act, then their provisions should through their predecessors-in-interest have been in open, continuous,
not be made to stand in the way of their own implementation. exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of lands of the public
Director of Lands v Funtilar domain suitable to agriculture, whether disposable or not, under a bona
fide claim of ownership for at least 30 years shall be entitled to the rights
V. TIME IMMEMORIAL POSSESSION granted in sub-section (b) hereof.

Recognition of Native Title; Exception to Jura Regalia VI. MINING CLAIMS


As far back as testimony or memory goes, the land has been held by
individuals under a claim of private ownership, it will be presumed to Native of Islands to be given Liberal Justice in Land Claims
have been held in the same way from before the Spanish conquest, and Especially must it be supposed to have had in view the natives of the
never to have been public land. Certainly in case like this, if there is islands, and to have intended to do liberal justice to them. By 16, their
doubt or ambiguity in the Spanish law, we ought to give the applicant the occupancy of public lands is respected and made to confer rights. In
benefit of the doubt. Carino v Insular Government dealing with an Igorrot of the province of Benguet, it would be absurd to
expect technical niceties, and the courts below were quite justified in
CA141 : CHAPTER VII : JUDICIAL CONFIRMATION OF IMPERFECT OR their liberal mode of dealing with the evidence of possession and the
INCOMPLETE TITLES possibly rather gradual settling of the precise boundaries of the
appellees' claim. Reavis v FIanza
Sec. 48. The following-described citizens of the Philippines, occupying
lands of the public domain or claiming to own any such lands or an Valid Acquisition of a Public Land containing Mineral Resources prior the
interest therein, but whose titles have not been perfected or completed, 1935 Constitution to be deemed as Private Land
may apply to the Court of First Instance of the province where the land is The moment the locator discovered a valuable mineral deposit on the
located for confirmation of their claims and the issuance of a certificate of lands located, and perfected his location in accordance with law, the
title therefor, under the Land Registration Act , to wit: power of the United States Government to deprive him of the exclusive
right to the possession and enjoyment of the located claim was gone, the
xxx lands had become mineral lands and they were exempted from lands that
could be granted to any other person. The reservations of public lands

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cannot be made so as to include prior mineral perfected locations; and,


of course, if a valid mining location is made upon public lands afterward RA 7076 Peoples Small-Scale Mining Act
included in a reservation, such inclusion or reservation does not affect Sec. 7. Ancestral Lands. No ancestral land may be declared as a
the validity of the former location. By such location and perfection, the people's small-scale mining area without the prior consent of the cultural
land located is segregated from the public domain even as against the communities concerned: Provided, That, if ancestral lands are declared as
Government. Mcdaniel v Apacible people's small-scale mining areas, the members of the cultural
communities therein shall be given priority in the awarding of small-scale
It is not disputed that the location of the mining claim under mining contracts.
consideration was perfected prior to November 15, 1935, when the
Government of the Commonwealth was inaugurated; and according to RA 7586 National Integrated Protected Areas System
the laws existing at that time, as construed and applied by this court in SEC. 13. Ancestral Lands and Rights Over Them. - Ancestral lands and
McDaniel vs. Apacible and Cuisia (42 Phil., 749), a valid location of a customary rights and interest arising shall be accorded due recognition.
mining claim segregated the area from the public domain. Gold Creek The DENR shall prescribe rules and regulations to govern ancestral lands
Mining Corporation v Rodriguez within protected areas: Provided, That the DENR shall have no power to
evict indigenous communities from their present occupancy nor resettle
VII. INDIGENOUS PEOPLES RIGHTS them to another area without their consent: Provided, however, That all
rules and regulations, whether adversely affecting said communities or
RA 6657 Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program not, shall be subjected to notice and hearing to be participated in by
SEC. 9. Ancestral Lands. - For purposes of this Act, ancestral lands of members of concern indigenous communities.
each indigenous cultural community shall include, but not be limited to,
lands in the actual, continuous and open possession and occupation of RA 7611 Palawan Strategic Environmental Plan
the community and its members: Provided, That the Torrens System SEC. 11 Tribal Ancestral Lands. - These areas, traditionally occupied by
shall be respected. cultural minorities, comprise both land and sea areas. These shall be
treated in the same graded system of control and prohibition as in the
The right of these communities to their ancestral lands shall be protected others abovementioned except for strong emphasis in cultural
to ensure their economic, social and cultural well-being. In line with the considerations. The SEP, therefore, shall define a special kind of zonation
other principles of self-determination and autonomy, the systems of land to fulfill the material and cultural needs of the tribes using consultative
ownership, land use, and the modes of settling land disputes of all these processes and cultural mapping of the ancestral lands.
communities must be recognized and respected.
RA 7942 Mining Act of 1995
Any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, the PARC may Sec. 4 .Ownership of Mineral Resources. - Mineral resources are owned
suspend the implementation of this Act with respect to ancestral lands for by the State and the exploration, development, utilization, and
the purpose of identifying and delineating such lands: Provided, That in processing thereof shall be under its full control and supervision. The
the autonomous regions, the respective legislatures may enact their own State may directly undertake such activities or it may enter into mineral
laws on ancestral domain subject to the provisions of the Constitution agreements with contractors.
and the principles enunciated in this Act and other national laws.

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The State shall recognize and protect the rights of the indigenous cultural d. In areas expressedly prohibited by law;
communities to their ancestral lands as provided for by the Constitution.
e. In areas covered by small-scale miners as defined by law unless
Section 16. Opening of Ancestral Lands for Mining Operations - No with prior consent of the small-scale miners, in which case a royalty
ancestral land shall be opened for mining-operations without prior payment upon the utilization of minerals shall be agreed upon by the
consent of the indigenous cultural community concerned. parties, said royalty forming a trust fund for the socioeconomic
development of the community concerned; and
Section 17. Royalty Payments for Indigenous Cultural Communities - In
the event of an agreement with an indigenous cultural community f. Old growth or virgin forests, proclaimed watershed forest reserves,
pursuant to the preceding section, the royalty payment, upon utilization wilderness areas, mangrove forests, mossy forests, national parks
of the minerals shall be agreed upon by the parties. The said royalty shall provincial/municipal forests, parks, greenbelts, game refuge and bird
form part of a trust fund for the socioeconomic well-being of the sanctuaries as defined by law and in areas expressly prohibited under
indigenous cultural community. the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) under
Republic Act No. 7586, Department Administrative Order No. 25,
Section 18. Areas Open to Mining Operations - Subject to any existing series of 1992 and other laws.
rights or reservations and prior agreements of all parties, all mineral
resources in public or private lands, including timber or forestlands as VIII. JUDICIAL CONFIRMATION OF IMPERFECT TITLES
defined in existing laws, shall be open to mineral agreements or financial
or technical assistance agreement applications. Any conflict that may C.A. No. 141, The Public Land Act
arise under this provision shall be heard and resolved by the panel of Sec. 47. The persons specified in the next following section are hereby
arbitrators. granted time, not to extend beyond December 31, 1987 within which to
take advantage of the benefit of this chapter: Provided, That this
Section 19. Areas Closed to Mining Applications - Mineral agreement or extension shall apply only where the area applied for does not exceed
financial or technical assistance agreement applications shall not be: 144 hectares. Provided, further, That the several periods of time
a. In military and other government reservations, except upon prior designated by the President in accordance with section forty-five of this
written clearance by the government agency concerned; Act shall apply also to the lands comprised in the provisions of this
chapter, but this section shall not be construed as prohibiting any of said
b. Near or under public or private buildings, cemeteries, persons from acting under this chapter at any time prior to the period
archeological and historic sites, bridges, highways, waterways, fixed by the President.
railroads, reservoirs, dams or other infrastructure projects, public or
private works including plantations or valuable crops, except upon Sec. 48. The following-described citizens of the Philippines, occupying
written consent of the government agency or private entity lands of the public domain or claiming to own any such lands or an
concerned; interest therein, but whose titles have not been perfected or completed,
may apply to the Court of First Instance of the province where the land is
c. In areas covered by valid and existing mining rights; located for confirmation of their claims and the issuance of a certificate of
title therefor, under the Land Registration Act , to wit:

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title or claim be inquired into and that a certificate of title be issued to


(a) Those who prior to the transfer of sovereignty from Spain to the prior them under the provisions of the Land Registration Act.
United States have applied for the purchase, composition or other form of The application shall conform as nearly as may be in its material
grant of lands of the public domain under the laws and royal decrees then allegations to the requirements of an application for registration under
in force and have instituted and prosecuted the proceedings in connection the Land Registration Act, and shall be accompanied by a plan of the land
therewith, but have with or without default upon their part, or for any and all documents evidencing a right on the part of the applicant to the
other cause, not received title therefor, if such applicants or grantees and land claimed. The application shall also state the citizenship of the
their heirs have occupied and cultivated said lands continuously since the applicant and shall set forth fully the nature of the claim and when based
filing of their applications. upon proceeding initiated under Spanish laws, it shall specify as exactly
as possible the date and form of application for purchase composition or
(b) Those who by themselves or through their predecessors in interest other form of grant, the extent of the compliance with the conditions
have been in open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious possession and required by the Spanish laws and royal decrees for the acquisition of
occupation of agricultural lands of the public domain, under a bona fide legal title, and if not fully complied with, the reason for such
claim of acquisition or ownership, for at least thirty years immediately noncompliance, together with a statement of the length of time such land
preceding the filing of the application for confirmation of title except or any portion thereof has been actually occupied by the claimant or his
when prevented by war or force majeure. These shall be conclusively predecessors in interest; the use made of the land, and the nature of the
presumed to have performed all the conditions essential to a Government enclosure, if any. The fees provided to be paid for the registration of
grant and shall be entitled to a certificate of title under the provisions of lands under the Land Registration Act shall be collected from applicants
this chapter. under this chapter.

(c) Members of the national cultural minorities who by themselves or Sec. 51. Applications for registration under this chapter shall be heard in
through their predecessors-in-interest have been in open, continuous, the Court of First Instance in the same manner and shall be subject to
exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of lands of the public the same procedure as established in the Land Registration Act for other
domain suitable to agriculture, whether disposable or not, under a bona applications, except that a notice of all such applications, together with a
fide claim of ownership for at least 30 years shall be entitled to the rights plan of the lands claimed, shall be immediately forwarded to the Director
granted in sub-section (b) hereof. of Lands, who may appear as a party in such cases: Provided, That prior
to the publication for hearing, all of the papers in said case shall be
Sec. 49. No person claiming title to lands of the public domain not transmitted papers by the clerk to the Solicitor General or officer acting
possession of the qualifications specified in the last preceding section in his stead, in order that he may, if he deems it advisable for the
may apply for the benefits of this chapter. interests of the Government, investigate all of the facts alleged in the
application or otherwise brought to his attention. The Solicitor-General
Sec. 50. Any person or persons, or their legal representatives or shall return such papers to the clerk as soon as practicable within three
successors in right, claiming any lands or interest in lands under the months.
provisions of this chapter, must in every case present an application to
the proper Court of First Instance, praying that the validity of the alleged The final decree of the court shall in every case be the basis for the
original certificate of title in favor of the person entitled to the property

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under the procedure prescribed in section forty-one of the Land laws prevailing when instituted, and under the conditions of the grant
Registration Act. then contemplated, the conveyance of such land to the applicant would
not have been gratuitous, but would have involved payment therefor to
Sec. 52. In cadastral proceedings, instead of an application, an answer or the Government, then and in that event the court shall, after decreeing in
claim may be filed with the same effect as in the procedure provided in whom title should vest, further determine the amount to be paid as a
the last preceding two sections. condition for the registration of the land. Such judgment shall be certified
to the Director of Lands by the clerk of the court for collection of the
Sec. 53. It shall be lawful for the Director of Lands, whenever in the amount due from the person entitled to conveyance.
opinion of the President the public interests shall require it, to cause to
be filed in the proper Court of First Instance, through the Solicitor- Upon payment to the Director of Lands of the price specified in the
General or the officer acting in his stead, a petition against the holder, judgment, he shall so certify to the proper Court of First Instance and
claimant, possessor, or occupant of any land who shall not have said court shall forthwith order the registration of the land in favor of the
voluntarily come in under the provisions of this chapter or of the Land competent person entitled thereto. If said person shall fail to pay the
Registration Act, stating in substance that the title of such holder, amount of money required by the decree within a reasonable time fixed
claimant, possessor, or occupant is open to discussion; or that the in the same, the court shall order the proceeding to stand dismissed and
boundaries of any such land which has not been brought into court as the title to the land shall then be in the State free from any claim of the
aforesaid are open to question; or that it is advisable that the title to applicant.
such lands be settled and adjudicated, and praying that the title to any
such land or the boundaries thereof or the right to occupancy thereof be Sec. 56. Whenever any judgment of confirmation or other decree of the
settled and adjudicated. The judicial proceedings under this section shall court under this chapter shall become final, the clerk of the court
be in accordance with the laws on adjudication of title in cadastral concerned shall certify that fact to the Director of Lands, with a certified
proceedings. copy of the decree of confirmation or judgment of the court and the plan
and technical description of the land involved in the decree or judgment
Sec. 54. If in the hearing of any application arising under this chapter the of the court.
court shall find that more than one person or claimant has an interest in
the land, such conflicting interests shall be adjudicated by the court and Sec. 57. No title or right to, or equity in, any lands of the public domain
decree awarded in favor of the person or persons entitled to the land may hereafter be acquired by prescription or by adverse possession or
according to the laws, but if none of said person is entitled to the land, or occupancy, or under or by virtue of any law in effect prior to American
if the person who might be entitled to the same lacks the qualifications occupation, except as expressly provided by laws enacted after said
required by this Act for acquiring agricultural land of the public domain, occupation of the Philippines by the United States.
the decision shall be in favor of the Government.
R.A. 9176, An Act Extending The Period Until December 31, 2020 For
Sec. 55. Whenever, in any proceedings under this chapter to secure The Filing Of Applications For Administrative Legalization (Free Patent)
registration of an incomplete or imperfect claim of title initiated prior to And Judicial Confirmation Of Imperfect And Incomplete Titles To
the transfer of sovereignty from Spain to the United States, it shall Alienable And Disposable Lands Of The Public Domain, Amending For
appear that had such claims been prosecuted to completion under the

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This Purpose Commonwealth Act Numbered 141, As Amended,


Otherwise Known As The Public Land Act
-Change the date of Sec. 45 and 47 of CA 141 to December 31, 2020 1973 Constitution cannot impair vested rights on lands acquired by an
Ipso Jure Conferment of Certificate of Title to a person who has fulfilled Alien or Corporation prior its enactment
the Necessary Requirement laid down by Sec. 45(b), Act. No. 2874 Even on the proposition that the land remained technically "public" land,
despite immemorial possession of the Infiels and their ancestors, until
In favor of Valentin Susi, there is, more over, the presumption juris et de title in their favor was actually confirmed in appropriate proceedings
jure established in paragraph (b) of section 45 of Act No. 2874, under the Public Land Act, there can be no serious question of Acme's
amending Act No. 926, that all the necessary requirements for a grant by right to acquire the land at the time it did, there also being nothing in the
the Government were complied with, for he has been in actual and 1935 Constitution that might be construed to prohibit corporations from
physical possession, personally and through his predecessors, of an purchasing or acquiring interests in public land to which the vendor had
agricultural land of the public domain openly, continuously, exclusively already acquired that type of so-called "incomplete" or "imperfect" title.
and publicly since July 26, 1894, with a right to a certificate of title to The only limitation then extant was that corporations could not acquire,
said land under the provisions of Chapter VIII of said Act. So that when hold or lease public agricultural lands in excess of 1,024 hectares. The
Angela Razon applied for the grant in her favor, Valentin Susi had already purely accidental circumstance that confirmation proceedings were
acquired, by operation of law, not only a right to a grant, but a grant of brought under the aegis of the 1973 Constitution which forbids
the Government, for it is not necessary that certificate of title should be corporations from owning lands of the public domain cannot defeat a
issued in order that said grant may be sanctioned by the courts, an right already vested before that law came into effect, or invalidate
application therefor is sufficient, under the provisions of section 47 of Act transactions then perfectly valid and proper, This Court has already held,
No. 2874. Susi v Razon in analogous circumstances, that the Constitution cannot impair vested
rights. Director of Lands v IAC and ACME
The benefits provided in the Public Land Act for applicant's immediate
predecessors in interest are or constitute a grant or concession by the Filing of application after expiration of the period provided by law is
State; and before they could acquire any right under such benefits, the cured and rendered valid by a subsequent law providing an extension of
applicant's immediate predecessors in interest should comply with the period starting from that date of expiration
condition precedent for the grant of such benefits. The condition The Court notes that the application of private respondents was filed on
precedent is to apply for the registration of the land of which they had 13 February 1970, i.e., after expiration of the period provided in R.A. No.
been in possession at least since July 26, 1894. This the applicant's 2061.
immediate predecessors in interest failed to do. They did not have any
vested right in the lot amounting to tile which was transmissible to the We consider, however, that the above underscored portions of R.A. No.
applicant. The only right, if it may thus be called, is their possession of 6236, which was approved 19 June 1971, validated the application filed
the lot which, tacked to that of their predecessors in interest, may be in the interim by private respondents, and the exercise of jurisdiction by
availed of by a qualified person to apply for its registration but not by a the land registration court in respect of the subject matter of the
person as the applicant who is disqualified. Oh Cho v Director of application. The fact that a succession of statutes had simply extended
Lands (The Plaintiff is an alien, a Chinese) the original time period, 15 rather than established a series of discrete
periods of time with specific beginning dates and ending dates, shows a

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clear legislative intent to avoid interregnal which would have generated The President shall notify the Congress of every contract entered into in
doubts and difficult questions of law. In fact, R.A. No. 6236 was amended accordance with this provision, within thirty days from its execution.
anew by P.D. No. 1073 issued on 25 January 1977 to allow applications Section 7. Save in cases of hereditary succession, no private lands shall be
to be filed on or before 31 December 1987. Republic v CA and transferred or conveyed except to individuals, corporations, or associations
Paran qualified to acquire or hold lands of the public domain.

IX. Citizenship Requirement Section 8. Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 7 of this Article, a natural-
born citizen of the Philippines who has lost his Philippine citizenship may be a
A. For Natural Persons: (Alien, Citizen, Resident, Non-resident) transferee of private lands, subject to limitations provided by law.

Section 2. The exploration, development, and utilization of natural resources Under Sec. 1 and Sec. 5, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution, aliens are
shall be under the full control and supervision of the State. The State may prohibited from acquiring agricultural lands except through hereditary
directly undertake such activities, or it may enter into co-production, joint succession. Nonetheless, they may be granted temporary rights such as
venture, or production-sharing agreements with Filipino citizens, or corporations a lease contract which is not forbidden by the Constitution.
or associations at least sixty per centum of whose capital is owned by such Under Section 1 of Article XIII of the Constitution, "natural resources,
citizens. Such agreements may be for a period not exceeding twenty-five years, with the exception of public agricultural land, shall not be alienated," and
renewable for not more than twenty-five years, and under such terms and with respect to public agricultural lands, their alienation is limited to
conditions as may be provided by law. In cases of water rights for irrigation, Filipino citizens. But this constitutional purpose conserving agricultural
water supply resources in the hands of Filipino citizens may easily be defeated by the
fisheries, or industrial uses other than the development of water power, Filipino citizens themselves who may alienate their agricultural lands in
beneficial use may be the measure and limit of the grant. favor of aliens. It is partly to prevent this result that section 5 is included
in Article XIII, and it reads as follows:
xxx
"Sec. 5. Save in cases of hereditary succession, no private agricultural
The Congress may, by law, allow small-scale utilization of natural resources by land will be transferred or assigned except to individuals, corporations, or
Filipino citizens, as well as cooperative fish farming, with priority to subsistence associations qualified to acquire or hold lands of the public domain in the
fishermen and fish- workers in rivers, lakes, bays, and lagoons. Philippines."

The President may enter into agreements with foreign-owned corporations This constitutional provision closes the only remaining avenue through
involving either technical or financial assistance for large-scale exploration, which agricultural resources may leak into aliens' hands. It would
development, and utilization of minerals, petroleum, and other mineral oils certainly be futile to prohibit the alienation of public agricultural lands to
according to the general terms and conditions provided by law, based on real aliens if, after all, they may be freely so alienated upon their becoming
contributions to the economic growth and general welfare of the country. In private agricultural lands in the hands of Filipino citizens. Undoubtedly, as
such agreements, the State shall above indicated, section 5 is intended to insure the policy of
promote the development and use of local scientific and technical resources. nationalization contained in section 1. Both sections must, therefore, be
read together for they have the same purpose and the same subject

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matter. It must be noticed that the persons against whom the prohibition Jurisprudence is consistent that "if land is invalidly transferred to an alien
is directed in section 5 are the very same persons who under section 1 who subsequently becomes a citizen or transfers it to a citizen, the flaw
are disqualified "to acquire or hold lands of the public domain in the in the original transaction is considered cured and the title of the
Philippines." And the subject matter of both sections is the same, transferee is rendered valid."
namely, the non transferability of "agricultural land" to aliens. Since
"agricultural land" under section 1 includes residential lots, the same xxx
technical meaning should be attached to "agricultural land" under section
5. It is a rule of statutory construction that "a word or phrase repeated in The rationale of this principle was explained in Vasquez vs. Li Seng Giap
a statute will bear the same meaning throughout the statute, unless a thus:
different intention appears." (II Sutherland, Statutory Construction, p.
758.) The only difference between "agricultural land" under section 1, ". . . [I]f the ban on aliens from acquiring not only agricultural but also
and "agricultural land" under section 5, is that the former is public and urban lands, as construed by this Court in the Krivenko case, is to
the latter private. But such difference refers to ownership and not to the preserve the nation's lands for future generations of Filipinos, that aim or
class of land. The lands are the same in both sections, and, for the purpose would not be thwarted but achieved by making lawful the
conservation of the national patrimony, what is important is the nature or acquisition of real estate by aliens who became Filipino citizens by
class of the property regardless of whether it is owned by the State or by naturalization." 29
its citizens.
Accordingly, since the disputed land is now owned by Private Respondent
xxx Cataniag, a Filipino citizen, the prior invalid transfer can no longer be
We conclude that, under the provisions of the Constitutions, aliens are assailed. The objective of the constitutional provision - to keep our land
not allowed to acquire the ownership of urban or residential lands in the in Filipino hands - has been served. Halili v CA
Philippines and, as a consequence, all acquisitions made in contravention
of the prohibitions since the fundamental law became effective are null Except in cases of hereditary succession, aliens disqualification from
and void per se and ab initio. As all public officials have sworn, and are owning lands in the Philippines is absolute. He cannot seek
duty bound, to obey and defend the Constitution, all those who, by their reimbursement for the value he had paid for the property, even if it was
functions, are in charge of enforcing the prohibition as laid down and the conjugal funds that were used for its purchase.
interpreted in the decision in this case, should spare no efforts so that The Court of Appeals erred in holding that an implied trust was created
any and all violations which may have take place should be corrected. and resulted by operation of law in view of petitioner's marriage to
Krivenko v Register of Deeds respondent. Save for the exception provided in cases of hereditary
succession, respondent's disqualification from owning lands in the
The subsequent transfer of an agricultural land by a disqualified alien to Philippines is absolute. Not even an ownership in trust is allowed.
a qualified Filipino citizen considers the flaw in the original transaction Besides, where the purchase is made in violation of an existing statute
cured and the title of the transferee is rendered valid. and in evasion of its express provision, no trust can result in favor of the
party who is guilty of the fraud.[13] To hold otherwise would allow
But what is the effect of a subsequent sale by the disqualified alien circumvention of the constitutional prohibition
vendee to a qualified Filipino citizen? This is not a novel question.

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xxx It is undisputed that private respondents, as vendees of a private land,


were natural born citizens of the Philippines. For the purpose of transfer
Thus, in the instant case, respondent cannot seek reimbursement on the and/or acquisition of a parcel of residential land, it is not significant
ground of equity where it is clear that he willingly and knowingly bought whether private respondents are no longer Filipino citizens at the time
the property despite the constitutional prohibition. they purchased or registered the parcels of land in question. What is
important is that private respondents were formerly natural-born citizens
Further, the distinction made between transfer of ownership as opposed of the Philippines, and as transferees of a private land, they could apply
to recovery of funds is a futile exercise on respondent's part. To allow for registration in accordance with the mandate of Section 8, Article XII
reimbursement would in effect permit respondent to enjoy the fruits of a of the Constitution. Considering that private respondents were able to
property which he is not allowed to own. Muller v Muller prove the requisite period and character of possession of their
predecessors-in-interest over the subject lots, their application for
A natural-born citizen of the Philippines who has lost his Philippine registration of title must perforce be approved. Republic v CA and
Citizenship may be a transferee of a private land under Section 8, Art. Lapina
XII of the 1987 Constitution, subject to limitations provided by law, that
is, BP 185. He may therefore register his land under CA 141 or PD 1529. B. For Juridical Persons: (Corporations and Associations)
But what should not be missed in the disposition of this case is the fact
that the Constitution itself allows private respondents to register the Section 3. Lands of the public domain are classified into agricultural, forest or
contested parcels of land in their favor. Sections 7 and 8 of Article XII of timber, mineral lands and national parks. Agricultural lands of the public domain
the Constitution contain the following pertinent provisions, to wit: may be further classified by law according to the uses to which they may be
devoted. Alienable lands of the public domain shall be limited to agricultural
"Sec. 7. Save in cases of hereditary succession, no private lands shall be lands.
transferred or conveyed except to individuals, corporations, or Private corporations or associations may not hold such alienable lands of the
associations qualified to acquire or hold lands of the public domain." public domain except by lease, for a period not exceeding twenty-five
years, renewable for not more than twenty-five years, and not to exceed one
"Sec. 8 Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 7 of this Article, a thousand hectares in area. Citizens of the Philippines may lease not more than
natural-born citizen of the Philippines who has lost his Philippine five hundred hectares, or acquire not more than twelve hectares thereof, by
citizenship may be a transferee of private lands, subject to limitations purchase, homestead, or grant. Taking into account the requirements of
provided by law." (Emphasis supplied) conservation, ecology, and development, and subject to the requirements of
agrarian reform, the Congress shall determine, by law, the size of lands of the
xxx public domain which may be acquired, developed, held, or leased and the
conditions therefor.
The law provides that a natural-born citizen of the Philippines who has
lost his Philippine citizenship may be a transferee of a private land up to 1973 Constitution cannot impair vested rights on lands acquired by an
a maximum area of 1,000 sq. m., if urban, or one (1) hectare in case of Alien or Corporation prior its enactment
rural land, to be used by him as his residence (BP 185). If it is accepted ---- as it must be ---- that the land was already private
land to which the Infiels had a legally sufficient and transferable title on

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October 29, 1962 when Acme acquired it from said owners, it must also In actual practice, the constitutional ban strengthens the constitutional
be conceded that Acme had a perfect right to make such acquisition, limitation on individuals from acquiring more than the allowed area of
there being nothing in the 1935 Constitution then in force (or, for that alienable lands of the public domain. Without the constitutional ban,
matter, in the 1973 Constitution which came into effect later) prohibiting individuals who already acquired the maximum area of alienable lands of
corporations from acquiring and owning private lands. the public domain could easily set up corporations to acquire more
alienable public lands. An individual could own as many corporations as
Even on the proposition that the land remained technically "public" land, his means would allow him. An individual could even hide his ownership
despite immemorial possession of the Infiels and their ancestors, until of a corporation by putting his nominees as stockholders of the
title in their favor was actually confirmed in appropriate proceedings corporation. The corporation is a convenient vehicle to circumvent the
under the Public Land Act, there can be no serious question of Acme's constitutional limitation on acquisition by individuals of alienable lands of
right to acquire the land at the time it did, there also being nothing in the the public domain.
1935 Constitution that might be construed to prohibit corporations from
purchasing or acquiring interests in public land to which the vendor had The constitutional intent, under the 1973 and 1987 Constitutions, is to
already acquired that type of so-called "incomplete" or "imperfect" title. transfer ownership of only a limited area of alienable land of the public
The only limitation then extant was that corporations could not acquire, domain to a qualified individual. This constitutional intent is safeguarded
hold or lease public agricultural lands in excess of 1,024 hectares. The by the provision prohibiting corporations from acquiring alienable lands of
purely accidental circumstance that confirmation proceedings were the public domain, since the vehicle to circumvent the constitutional
brought under the aegis of the 1973 Constitution which forbids intent is removed. The available alienable public lands are gradually
corporations from owning lands of the public domain cannot defeat a decreasing in the face of an ever-growing population. The most effective
right already vested before that law came into effect, or invalidate way to insure faithful adherence to this constitutional intent is to grant or
transactions then perfectly valid and proper, This Court has already held, sell alienable lands of the public domain only to individuals. This, it would
in analogous circumstances, that the Constitution cannot impair vested seem, is the practical benefit arising from the constitutional ban.
rights. Director of Lands v IAC and ACME Chavez v PEA

The 1987 Constitution absolutely prohibits private corporation to hold X. Original Registration
alienable lands of the public domain. They may, however, lease such
lands. This constitutional ban strengthens the constitutional limitation A. The Torrens Systems Purpose
on individuals from acquiring more than the allowed are of alienable
lands of the public domain. The Torrens System was adopted to guarantee the integrity of land
The 1987 Constitution continues the State policy in the 1973 Constitution titles and to protect their indefeasibility once the claim of ownership is
banning private corporations from acquiring any kind of alienable land of recognized.
the public domain. Like the 1973 Constitution, the 1987 Constitution The Torrens system was adopted in this country because it was believed
allows private corporations to hold alienable lands of the public domain. to be the most effective measure to guarantee the integrity of land titles
and to protect their indefeasibility once the claim of ownership is
xxx established and recognized. If a person purchases a piece of land on the
assurance that the seller's title thereto is valid, he should not run the risk

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of being told later that his acquisition was ineffectual after all. This would 'In a quite impressive line of decisions, it has been well-settled that a
not only be unfair to him. What is worse is that if this were permitted, Court of First Instance has no jurisdiction to decree again the registration
public confidence in the system would be eroded and land transactions of land already decreed in an earlier land registration case and a second
would have to be attended by complicated and not necessarily conclusive decree for the same land is null and void. This is so, because when once
investigations and proof of ownership. The further consequence would be decreed by a court of competent jurisdiction, the title to the land thus
that land conflicts could be even more numerous and complex than they determined is already a res judicata binding on the whole world, the
are now and possibly also more abrasive if not even violent. The proceedings being in rem. The court has no power in a subsequent
government, recognizing the worthy purposes of the Torrens system, proceeding (not based on fraud and within the statutory period) to
should be the first to accept the validity of titles issued thereunder once adjudicate the same title in favor of another person. Furthermore, the
the conditions laid down by the law are satisfied. As in this case. registration of the property in the name of first registered owner in the
Republic v Umali Registration Book is a standing notice to the world that said property is
already registered in his name. Hence, the latter applicant is chargeable
The main purpose of Torrens System is to facilitate transactions where with notice that the land he applied for is already covered by a title so
the public may rely solely upon the face of Torrens title and nowhere that he has no right whatsoever to apply for it. To declare the later title
else. valid would defeat the very purpose of the Torrens system which is to
"The main purpose of the Torrens' System is to avoid possible conflicts of quiet title to the property and guarantee its indefeasibility. It would
title to real estate and to facilitate transactions relative thereto by giving undermine the faith and confidence of the people in the efficacy of the
the public the right to rely upon the face of a Torrens Certificate of Title registration law." Spouses Leburada v CA
and to dispense with the need of inquiring further, except when the party
concerned had actual knowledge of facts and circumstances that should
impel a reasonably cautious man to make such further inquiry. (Pascua v. A proceeding in rem requires constructive seizure of the land as against
Capuyoc, 77 SCRA 78) Pino v CA all persons, including the state, who have rights to or interest in the
property.
B. Nature of Proceedings A proceeding in rem, such as land registration proceedings, requires
constructive seizure of the land as against all persons, including the
Land registration proceeding is an in rem proceeding. A decree of the state, who have rights to or interests in the property.34 [Director of
court on an in rem proceeding creates a res judicata on the matter Lands v. Court of Appeals, 342 Phil. 239, 248 (1997).] Constructive
binding on the whole world. seizure of the land for registration is effected through publication of the
True, land registration is an in rem proceeding and, therefore, the decree application for registration and service of notice to affected parties.35
of registration is binding upon and conclusive against all persons [Republic v. Court of Appeals, 327 Phil. 852, 868 (1996).] Consequently,
including the government and its branches, irrespective of whether they when private respondents filed their own application for registration of
were personally notified of the application for registration, and whether the same parcel of land, strictly speaking, the Tagaytay City branch could
they filed an answer to said application. no longer entertain the application for registration as the res involved
had been constructively seized by the Cavite City branch of the same
xxx court. In hindsight, this complication of two applications for registration
having been filed for one and the same tract of land could have been

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avoided had Land Registration Case No. 299 been transferred to the (a) Extend speedy and effective assistance to the Department of
Tagaytay City branch of the same court where it rightfully belonged, Agrarian Reform, the Land Bank, and other agencies in the
upon the effectivity of Rep. Act No. 3947. Heirs of Pedro Lopez v De implementation of the land reform program of the government;
Castro (b) Extend assistance to courts in ordinary and cadastral land
registration proceedings;
C. Administration of the Torrens System (c) Be the central repository of records relative to original
registration of lands titled under the Torrens system, including
i. Land Registration Authority subdivision and consolidation plans of titled lands.
EO 292, Section 28. Pretermission of Holiday. - Where the day, or the
last day, for doing any act required or permitted by law falls on a regular ii. The Register of Deeds
holiday or special day, the act may be done on the next succeeding PD 1529, Section 9. Qualifications of Registers of Deeds and Deputy
business day. lawphi1.net Registers of Deeds. No person shall be appointed Register of Deeds
EO 292, Section 29. Official Use of Metric System. - The metric system unless he has been admitted to the practice of law in the Philippines and
of weights and measures shall be used in the Philippines for all products, shall have been actually engaged in such practice for at least three years
articles, goods, commodities, materials, merchandise, utilities, services, or has been employed for a like period in any branch of government the
as well as for commercial transactions like contracts, agreements, deeds functions of which include the registration of property.
and other legal instruments publicly and officially attested, and for all The Deputy Register of Deeds shall be a member of the Philippine Bar.
official documents. Only weights and measures of the metric system shall Provided, however, that no Register of Deeds or Deputy Register of
be officially sealed and licensed. Deeds holding office as such upon the passage of this Decree shall by
EO 292, Section 30. Mandatory Nation-wide Use. - The metric system reason hereof, be removed from office or be demoted to a lower category
shall be fully adopted in all agricultural, commercial, industrial, scientific or scale of salary except for cause and upon compliance with due process
and other sectors. Persons or entities allowed under existing laws to use as provided for by law.
the English system or other standards and weights are given until the PD 1529, Section 10. General functions of Registers of Deeds. The
date to be fixed by the Metric System Board to adopt the metric system. office of the Register of Deeds constitutes a public repository of records
of instruments affecting registered or unregistered lands and chattel
PD 1529, Section 4. Land Registration Commission. In order to have a mortgages in the province or city wherein such office is situated.
more efficient execution of the laws relative to the registration of lands, It shall be the duty of the Register of Deeds to immediately register an
geared to the massive and accelerated land reform and social justice instrument presented for registration dealing with real or personal
program of the government, there is created a commission to be known property which complies with all the requisites for registration. He shall
as the Land Registration Commission under the executive supervision of see to it that said instrument bears the proper documentary and science
the Department of Justice. stamps and that the same are properly canceled. If the instrument is not
PD 1529, Section 6. General Functions. registerable, he shall forthwith deny registration thereof and inform the
xxx presentor of such denial in writing, stating the ground or reason therefor,
(2) The Land Registration Commission shall have the following functions: and advising him of his right to appeal by consulta in accordance with
Section 117 of this Decree.

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PD 1529, Section 11. Discharge of duties of Register of Deeds in case


of vacancy, etc.
(1) Until a regular Register of Deeds shall have been appointed for a
province or city, or in case of vacancy in the office, or upon the occasion The nature of the duty of the Register of Deeds to annotate
of the absence, illness, suspension, or inability of the Register of Deeds and/or cancel the notice of lis pendens in a torrens certificate of
to discharge his duties, said duties shall be performed by the following title is ministerial as provided under Sec. 10 and Sec. 117 of PD
officials, in the order in which they are mentioned below, unless the 1529.
Secretary of Justice designates another official to act temporarily in his Section 10, Presidential Decree No. 1529 states that "It shall be
place: the duty of the Register of Deeds to immediately register an
(a) For the province or city where there is a Deputy Register of instrument presented for registration dealing with real or personal
Deeds, by said Deputy Register of Deeds, or by the second Deputy property which complies with all the requests for registration . . .
Register of Deeds, should there be one; If the instrument is not registrable, he shall forthwith deny
(b) For the province or city where there is no Deputy or second registration thereof and inform the presentor of such denial in
Deputy Register of Deeds, by the Provincial or City Fiscal, or any writing, stating the ground or reasons therefore, and advising him
Assistant Fiscal designated by the Provincial or City Fiscal; of his right to appeal by consulta in accordance with Section 117
(2) In case of absence, disability or suspension of the Register of Deeds of this Decree."
without pay, or in case of vacancy in the position, the Secretary of Justice
may, in his discretion, authorize the payment of an additional Section 117 provides that "When the Register of Deeds is in doubt
compensation to the official acting as Register of Deeds, such additional with regard to the proper step to be taken or memoranda to be
compensation together with his actual salary not to exceed the salary made in pursuance of any deed, mortgage or other instrument
authorized for the position thus filled by him. presented to him for registration or where any party in interest
(3) In case of a newly-created province or city and pending does not agree with the action taken by the Register of Deeds
establishment of a Registry of Deeds and the appointment of a regular with reference to any such instrument, the question shall be
Register of Deeds for the new province or city, the Register of Deeds of submitted to the Commission of Land Registration by the Register
the mother province or city shall be the ex-officio Register of Deeds for of Deeds, or by the party in interest thru the Register of Deeds . .
said new province or city. ."
PD 1529, Section 12. Owner's Index; reports. There shall be prepared
in every Registry an index system which shall contain the names of all The elementary rule in statutory construction is that when the
registered owners alphabetically arranged. For this purpose, an index words and phrases of the statute are clear and unequivocal, their
card which shall be prepared in the name of each registered owner which meaning must be determined from the language employed and
shall contain a list of all lands registered in his name. the statute must be taken to mean exactly what it says. (Aparri v.
The Register of Deeds shall submit to the Land Registration Commission Court of Appeals, 127 SCRA 231; Insular Bank of Asia and
within ten days after the month to which they pertain his monthly reports America Employees' Union [IBAAEU] v. Inciong, 132 SCRA 663)
on collections and accomplishments. He shall also submit to the The statute concerning the function of the Register of Deeds to
Commission at the end of December of each year, an annual inventory of register instruments in a torrens certificate of title is clear and
all titles and instruments in his Registry. leaves no room for construction. According to Webster's Third

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Dann Mercado (Batch 3, DLSU Law)

International Dictionary of the English Language ----the word shall to every copy authorized to be issued as a duplicate of the
means "ought to, must, . . . obligation - used to express a original, which means that both must contain identical entries of
command or exhortation, used in laws, regulations or directives to the transactions, particularly voluntary ones, affecting the land
express what is mandatory." Hence, the function of a Register of covered by the title. If this were not so, if different copies were
Deeds with reference to the registration of deeds encumbrances, permitted to carry differing annotations, the whole system of
instruments and the like is ministerial in nature. The respondent Torrens registration would cease to be reliable. Balbin v
Acting Register of Deeds did not have any legal standing to file a Register of Deeds
motion for reconsideration of the respondent Judge's Order
directing him to cancel the notice of lis pendens annotated in the Instances where Register of Deeds may deny registration
certificates of titles of the petitioners over the subject parcel of 1. Where there are several copies of the title (co-owners duplicate)
land. In case of doubt as to the proper step to be taken in but only one is presented with the instrument to be registered.
pursuance of any deed . . . or other instrument presented to him, 2. Where thee property is presumed to be conjugal but the
he should have asked the opinion of the Commissioner of Land instrument of conveyance bears the signature of only one spouse.
Registration now, the Administrator of the National Land Title and 3. Where there is a pending case in court where the character of the
Deeds Registration Administration in accordance with Section 117 land and validity of the conveyance are in issue.
of Presidential Decree No. 1529. Baranda v Gustilo 4. Where required certificates or documents are not submitted.

The Register of Deeds may deny registration or annotation on a D. Who May Apply?
title when other duplicates of title exist and they were not 1. Under PD 1529
presented. Section 14. Who may apply. The following persons may file in the
We find no merit in petitioners' contention. Section 55, supra, proper Court of First Instance an application for registration of title to
obviously assumes that there is only one duplicate copy of the land, whether personally or through their duly authorized
title in question, namely, that of the registered owner himself, representatives:
such that its production whenever a voluntary instrument is (1) Those who by themselves or through their predecessors-in-interest
presented constitutes sufficient authority from him for the register have been in open, continuous, exclusive and notorious possession and
of deeds to make the corresponding memorandum of registration. occupation of alienable and disposable lands of the public domain under a
In the case at bar, the three other copies of the title were in bona fide claim of ownership since June 12, 1945, or earlier.
existence, presumably issued under Section 43 * of Act 496. As (2) Those who have acquired ownership of private lands by prescription
correctly observed by the Land Registration Commissioner, under the provision of existing laws.
petitioners' claim that the issuance of those copies was (3) Those who have acquired ownership of private lands or abandoned
unauthorized or illegal is beside the point, its legality being river beds by right of accession or accretion under the existing laws.
presumed until otherwise declared by a court of competent (4) Those who have acquired ownership of land in any other manner
jurisdiction. There being several copies of the same title in provided for by law.
existence, it is easy to see how their integrity may be adversely Where the land is owned in common, all the co-owners shall file the
affected if an encumbrance, or an outright conveyance, is application jointly.
annotated on one copy and not on the others. The law itself refers

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Dann Mercado (Batch 3, DLSU Law)

Where the land has been sold under pacto de retro, the vendor a retro disposable since June 12, 1945 or earlier, it being enough that
may file an application for the original registration of the land, provided, the property is already alienable and disposable at the time the
however, that should the period for redemption expire during the application was made.
pendency of the registration proceedings and ownership to the property Petitioner suggests an interpretation that the alienable and
consolidated in the vendee a retro, the latter shall be substituted for the disposable character of the land should have already been
applicant and may continue the proceedings. established since June 12, 1945 or earlier. This is not borne out by
A trustee on behalf of his principal may apply for original registration of the plain meaning of Section 14(1). "Since June 12, 1945," as
any land held in trust by him, unless prohibited by the instrument used in the provision, qualifies its antecedent phrase "under a
creating the trust. bonafide claim of ownership." Generally speaking, qualifying
words restrict or modify only the words or phrases to which they
Art. 457 (Alluvium) requires three elements: 1.) that the depost are immediately associated, and not those distantly or remotely
be gradual and imperceptible; 2.) that it be made through the located.[13] Ad proximum antecedents fiat relation nisi impediatur
effects of the current of the water; and 3) that the land where sentencia.
accretion takes place is adjacent to the banks of rivers. Refers to
Sec. 14(3) ) Besides, we are mindful of the absurdity that would result if we
The above-quoted ar(ticle requires the concurrence of three adopt petitioner's position. Absent a legislative amendment, the
requisites before an accretion covered by this particular provision rule would be, adopting the OSG's view, that all lands of the public
is said to have taken place. They are (1) that the deposit be domain which were not declared alienable or disposable before
gradual and imperceptible; (2) that it be made through the effects June 12, 1945 would not be susceptible to original registration, no
of the current of the water; and (3) that the land where accretion matter the length of unchallenged possession by the occupant.
takes place is adjacent to the banks of rivers. Such interpretation renders paragraph (1) of Section 14 virtually
inoperative and even precludes the government from giving it
The requirement that the deposit should be due to the effect of effect even as it decides to reclassify public agricultural lands as
the current of the river is indispensable. This excludes from Art. alienable and disposable. The unreasonableness of the situation
457 of the New Civil Code all deposits caused by human would even be aggravated considering that before June 12, 1945,
intervention. Alluvion must be the exclusive work of nature. In the the Philippines was not yet even considered an independent
instant case, there is no evidence whatsoever to prove that the state.
addition to the said property was made gradually through the
effects of the current of the Meycauayan and Bocaue rivers. We Instead, the more reasonable interpretation of Section 14(1) is
agree with the observation of the Solicitor General that it is that it merely requires the property sought to be registered as
preposterous to believe that almost four (4) hectares of land came already alienable and disposable at the time the application for
into being because of the effects of the Meycauayan and Bocaue registration of title is filed. Republic v CA and Naguit
rivers. Republic v CA and Tancinco
Assuming that possession only commenced after June 12, 1945,
Sec. 14(1) of PD 1529 (Sec. 48(b) of CA 141) does not require the land may still be registered under Sec. 14(2), PD 1529, so
that the land sought to be registered is already alienable and long as its requirements are complied with.

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Dann Mercado (Batch 3, DLSU Law)

Did the enactment of the Property Registration Decree and the However, no tax declarations under the names of the spouses
amendatory P.D. No. 1073 preclude the application for registration Apolonio Cruz and/or Eladia Cruz and his siblings were presented,
of alienable lands of the public domain, possession over which or realty tax receipts evidencing payment of such
commenced only after June 12, 1945? It did not, considering taxes. Indeed, while tax receipts and tax payment receipts
Section 14(2) of the Property Registration Decree, which governs themselves do not convincingly prove title to the land,[78] these
and authorizes the application of "those who have acquired are good indicia of possession in the concept of an owner, for no
ownership of private lands by prescription under the provisions of one in his right mind would pay taxes for a property that is not in
existing laws his actual or, at least, constructive possession.[79] While tax
receipts and declarations are not incontrovertible evidence of
Prescription is one of the modes of acquiring ownership under the ownership, they constitute, at the least, proof that the holder has
Civil Code.[25] There is a consistent jurisprudential rule that a claim of title over the property, particularly when accompanied
properties classified as alienable public land may be converted by proof of actual possession of property.[80] The voluntary
into private property by reason of open, continuous and exclusive declaration of a piece of property for taxation purposes not only
possession of at least thirty (30) years.[26] With such conversion, manifests one's sincere and honest desire to obtain title to the
such property may now fall within the contemplation of "private property, but also announces an adverse claim against the State
lands" under Section 14(2), and thus susceptible to registration by and all other interested parties with an intention to contribute
those who have acquired ownership through prescription. Thus, needed revenues to the government. Such an act strengthens
even if possession of the alienable public land commenced on a one's bona fide claim of acquisition of ownership.[81] Republic
date later than June 12, 1945, and such possession being been v Candy Maker
open, continuous and exclusive, then the possessor may have the
right to register the land by virtue of Section 14(2) of the Property Evidence must be adduced that the land sought to be registered
Registration Decree. Republic v CA and Naguit have already been declared alienable. Assuming that the lots are
alienable, requirement on the period of possession must also be
Applicants for confirmation of imperfect must prove the complied with. Again, even assuming that the land sought to be
following: (a) that the land forms part of the disposable and registered was merely transferred to the applicant, a proof must
alienable agricultural lands of the public domain; and (b) that be adduced proving that his predecessors-in-interest to whom he
they have been in open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious seeks to tack his possession, acquire registrable title over them
possession and occupation of the same under a bona fide claim of on June 12, 1945 or earlier.
ownership either since time immemorial or since June 12, 1945. In fine, Domingo failed to adduce incontrovertible evidence[34]
Republic v Candy Maker showing that the lots have been declared alienable. They are thus
presumed to belong to the public domain, beyond the commerce
Tax receipts and tax payments receipts are mere good indicia of of man, and are not susceptible of private appropriation and
possession in the concept of owner. They are not conclusive. acquisitive prescription.
Third. Cruz claimed that he and his parents cultivated the property
and planted palay and vegetables, and that they had been paying But even assuming arguendo that the lots are alienable, Domingo
the realty taxes over the property before his parents died. failed to comply with the requirement on the period of possession.

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Dann Mercado (Batch 3, DLSU Law)

While he alleged in his petition that he bought the lots from Likewise, Article 1137 of the Civil Code states that:
Genoveva in 1948, he failed, as the appellate court correctly
noted, to adduce the deed of sale executed for the purpose, or to Ownership and other real rights over immovables also prescribe
explain the reason behind the failure and to present sufficient through uninterrupted adverse possession thereof for thirty years,
evidence to prove the fact of sale. without need of title or of good faith. (Emphasis supplied.)

Again, even assuming arguendo that the lots were indeed sold to It is well-settled that properties classified as alienable and
him by Genoveva, Domingo failed to adduce proof that Genoveva, disposable land may be converted into private property by reason
from whom he seeks to tack his possession, acquired registrable of open, continuous and exclusive possession of at least 30
title over them on June 12, 1945 or earlier. Domingo v years.[28] Such property now falls within the contemplation of
Landicho "private lands" under Section 14(2), over which title by
prescription can be acquired. Hence, because of Section 14(2) of
Even if the possession of alienable lands of the public domain Presidential Decree No. 1529, those who are in possession of
commenced only after June 12, 1945, application for registration alienable and disposable land, and whose possession has been
for he said property is still possible by virtue of Sec. 14(2) of the characterized as open, continuous and exclusive for 30 years or
Property Registration Decree. more, may have the right to register their title to such land
It becomes crystal clear from the aforesaid ruling of the Court that despite the fact that their possession of the land commenced only
even if the possession of alienable lands of the public domain after 12 June 1945.[29] Buenaventura v Republic
commenced only after 12 June 1945, application for registration of
the said property is still possible by virtue of Section 14(2) of the Under Sec. 14(2), PD 1529, the applicants possession and
Property Registration Decree which speaks of prescription. occupation under bonafide claim of ownership may only be
reckoned from the date the land sought to be registered becomes
Under the Civil Code, prescription is one of the modes of acquiring alienable and disposable public land.
ownership.[27] Article 1106 of the Civil Code provides: The aforesaid jurisprudential rule truly demonstrates that, in the
present case, while petitioners' possession over the subject
By prescription, one acquires ownership and other real rights property can be reckoned only on 3 January 1968, the date when
through the lapse of time in the manner and under the conditions according to evidence, the subject property became alienable and
laid down by law. disposable, they can still have the subject property registered in
their names by virtue of Section 14(2) of the Property Registration
Also in Article 1113 of the Civil Code, it is provided that: Decree. Buenaventura v Republic

All things which are within the commerce of men are susceptible 2. Under CA 141
of prescription, unless otherwise provided. Property of the State or Sec. 48. The following-described citizens of the Philippines, occupying
any of its subdivision not patrimonial in character shall not be the lands of the public domain or claiming to own any such lands or an
object of prescription. interest therein, but whose titles have not been perfected or completed,
may apply to the Court of First Instance of the province where the land is

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Dann Mercado (Batch 3, DLSU Law)

located for confirmation of their claims and the issuance of a certificate of amendment introduced by Commonwealth Act 292, section 2,
title therefor, under the Land Registration Act , to wit: approved on June 9, 1938, extended the expiry date to December
31, 1941. Subsequently, section 1 of Republic Act No. 107,
xxx approved on June 2, 1947, further extended the time limit to
December 31, 1957. Republic Act No. 2061, approved on June 13,
(b) Those who by themselves or through their predecessors in interest 1958, again prolonged the period to December 31, 1968. Still
have been in open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious possession and later, by virtue of Republic Act No. 6236, approved on June 19,
occupation of agricultural lands of the public domain, under a bona fide 1971, the time prescribed was extended to December 31, 1967.
claim of acquisition or ownership, since June 12, 1945 or earlier, the Again, only quite recently, on January 25, 1977, PD No. 1073
filing of the application for confirmation of title except when prevented by lengthened the cut-off date to December 31, 1987.
war or force majeure. These shall be conclusively presumed to have
performed all the conditions essential to a Government grant and shall be Considering the obvious intent of the law as shown by the several
entitled to a certificate of title under the provisions of this chapter. extensions granted, it should be held that the extension granted
by RA No. 6236 up to December 31, 1967 retroacted to and
(c) Members of the national cultural minorities who by themselves or covered the application filed by private respondent on January 8,
through their predecessors-in-interest have been in open, continuous, 1969, or during the intervening period from January 1, 1969 up to
exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of lands of the public December 31, 1976. Director of Lands v Dano
domain suitable to agriculture, whether disposable or not, under a bona
fide claim of ownership for at least 30 years shall be entitled to the rights Possession over 30 years on a land sought to be registered does
granted in sub-section (b) hereof. not divest it of its character. In order to have a land registered
under CA 141, it must first be released and be reclassified as
Considering the intent of the law, an application filed during the alienable public land with the approval of the President of the
interim period, that time being beyond the time frame Philippines.
contemplated by law, may be entertained and subsequently While it may be true that as ruled by the appellate court, the
granted, by virtue of the enactment of a law extending the private respondents could tack their possession of the land to that
application period, it being given a retroactive effect to cover of their predecessors-in-interest as a result of which they now
such filing. have more than 30 years of possession of the same, the fact
But even bearing in mind that prescription does not run against remains that the subject land has not yet been released from its
the State (Art. 1108 (4), Civil Code) and that the rights of the classification as a part of the military reservation zone and still
State may not be waived by mistakes of officers entrusted with has to be reclassified as alienable public land with te approval of
the exercise of such rights (Lewin vs. Galang, 109 Phil. 1041 the President of the Philippines as required by the Public Land Act
[1960]), yet, the intendment of the lawmaker to accord as much (Commonwealth Act No. 141) and Republic Act No. 1275.
leeway as possible to applicants for judicial confirmation of Republic v CA
imperfect or incomplete titles is evident from the statutory history
of section 47 of the Public Land Act. In the original text, the time The applicant under Sec. 48(b) must prove that (a) the land is
limitation was not to extend beyond December 31, 1938. An alienable public land and (b) his possession, openly, continuously

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Dann Mercado (Batch 3, DLSU Law)

and exclusively, must be either since time immemorial or for the born in 1896. If the asserted possession lasted for a period of
period prescribed in the Public Land Act, that is, June 12, 1945. more than eighty (80) years at the time she testified, the same
It is obvious from the foregoing rule that the applicant must prove must have commenced sometime in 1899, or at the time that she
that (a) the land is alienable public land and (b) his possession, in was barely three (3) years old. It is quite impossible that she
the concept abovestated, must be either since time immemorial, could fully grasp, before coming to the age of reason, the concept
as ruled in both Cario and Susi, or for the period prescribed in of possession of such a big tract of land and testify on the same
the Public Land Act. As to the latter, this Court, in Gutierrez some eight (8) decades later. In short, therefore, she cannot be
Hermanos vs. Court of Appeals, 27 adopted the rule enunciated by relied upon to prove the possession by Charles Hankins of the said
the Court of Appeals, per then Associate Justice Hugo E. property from 1899. Director of Lands v Buyco
Gutierrez, Jr., now a distinguished member of this Court, that an
applicant for registration under Section 48 of the Public Land Act Assessment on the payment of tax is not sufficient to prove
must secure a certification from the Government that the lands ownership.
which he claims to have possessed as owner for more than thirty In any event, even if Charles had indeed declared the property for
(30) years are alienable and disposable. It is the burden of the taxation purposes and actually paid taxes, such facts are still
applicant to prove its positive averments. Director of Lands v insufficient to justify possession thereof, much less a claim of
Buyco ownership thereon. This Court has repeatedly held that the
declaration of ownership for purposes of assessment on the
An allegation of possession since time immemorial contemplates payment of the tax is not sufficient to prove ownership. 40
a memory that is beyond reach.
In the instant case, private respondents' evidence miserably failed An applicant tacking possession and occupation on the land
to establish their imperfect title to the property in question. Their sought to be registered, to that of his predecessor-in-interest,
allegation of possession since time immemorial, which was must prove that the latter has possessed and occupied the same
conceded by the land registration court and the public respondent, for a period sufficient to make it registrable.
is patently baseless. There is an evident failure to comprehend the To this Court's mind, private respondents failed to prove that
meaning and import of the term immemorial. As defined, Charles Hankins had possessed the property - allegedly covered
immemorial simply means beyond the reach of memory, 33 by Tax Declaration No. 15853 and made the subject of both his
beyond human memory, or time out of mind. 34 When referring last will and testament and the project of partition of his estate
to possession, specifically "immemorial possession," it means among his heirs - in such a manner as to remove the same from
possession of which no man living has seen the beginning, and the the public domain under the Cario and Susi doctrines. Thus,
existence of which he has learned from his elders. 35 Such when he died on 31 May 1937, he transmitted no right
possession was never present in the case of the private whatsoever, with respect to the said property, to his heirs. This
respondents. The trial court and the public respondent based the being the case, his possession cannot be tacked to that of the
finding of the more than eighty (80) years of possession by the private respondents for the latter's benefit pursuant to Section
private respondents and their predecessors-in-interest on the sole 48(b) of the Public Land Act, the alternative ground relied upon in
testimony of Mrs. Gabay who was eighty-three (83) years old their application. It would have been entirely different if the
when she testified in October of 1979. Thus, she must have been possession of Charles was open, continuous, exclusive, notorious

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Dann Mercado (Batch 3, DLSU Law)

and under a bona fide claim of ownership as provided under The law adds the word occupation to possession to delimit the
Section 48 of the Public Land Act. Even if he were an American effect of constructive possession .Possession must not be mere
citizen at that time, he would have had the same civil rights as fiction, Actual possession of a land consists in the manifestation
Filipino citizens pursuant to the original ordinance appended to the of acts of dominion over it of such a nature as a party would
1935 Constitution. Director of Lands v Buyco naturally exercise over his own property.
The law speaks of possession and occupation. Since these words
A corporation may apply for the registration of a land provided are separated by the conjunction and, the clear intention of the
that the same has already become private land by virtue of law is not to make one synonymous with the other. Possession is
possession and occupation of their predecessors-in-interest for a broader than occupation because it includes constructive
period of 30 years since June 12, 1945 or earlier. possession. When, therefore, the law adds the word occupation, it
Under CA 141, the reckoning point is June 12, 1945. If the seeks to delimit the all encompassing effect of constructive
predecessors-in-interest of Manna Properties have been in possession. Taken together with the words open, continuous,
possession of the land in question since this date, or earlier, exclusive and notorious, the word occupation serves to highlight
Manna Properties may rightfully apply for confirmation of title to the fact that for an applicant to qualify, his possession must not
the land. Following our ruling in Director of Lands v. IAC,[12] be a mere fiction.[22] Actual possession of a land consists in the
Manna Properties, a private corporation, may apply for judicial manifestation of acts of dominion over it of such a nature as a
confirmation of the land without need of a separate confirmation party would naturally exercise over his own property.[23]
proceeding for its predecessors-in-interest first. Republic v Republic v Alconaba
Manna Properties

Unless the date and month of issuance of the tax declaration is Republic v Herbieto (The doctrine of this case regarding the
stated, compliance with the reckoning date of CA 141 cannot be significance of June 12, 1945 under CA 141 and PD 1529 has
established. already been superseded by Malabanan v Republic (GR 179887,
The 1945 tax declaration must be presented considering that the April 29, 2009) citing Republic v CA and Naguit as the correct
date, 12 June 1945, is material to this case. CA 141 specifically interpretation_
fixes the date to 12 June 1945 or earlier. A tax declaration simply
stating that it replaces a previous tax declaration issued in 1945 A mere showing of possession for 30 years or more is not
does not meet this standard. It is unascertainable whether the sufficient. It must be shown, too, that possession and occupation
1945 tax declaration was issued on, before or after 12 June 1945. had started on June 12, 1945 or earlier.
Tax declarations are issued any time of the year. A tax declaration Section 48(b) of the Public Land Act, as amended by PD No. 1073,
issued in 1945 may have been issued in December 1945. Unless presently requires, for judicial confirmation of an imperfect or
the date and month of issuance in 1945 is stated, compliance with incomplete title, the possession and occupation of the piece of
the reckoning date in CA 141 cannot be established. Republic v land by the applicants, by themselves or through their
Manna Properties predecessors-in-interest, since 12 June 1945 or earlier. This
provision is in total conformity with Section 14(1) of the Property
Registration Decree heretofore cited.

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Dann Mercado (Batch 3, DLSU Law)

3. Under IPRA
As the law now stands, a mere showing of possession for thirty Section 12. Option to Secure Certificate of Title under
years or more is not sufficient. It must be shown, too, that Commonwealth Act 141, as amended, or the Land Registration
possession and occupation had started on June 12, 1945 or Act 496. - Individual members of cultural communities, with respect to
earlier. Republic v San Lorenzo individually-owned ancestral lands who, by themselves or through their
predecessors-in -interest, have been in continuous possession and
A CENRO certificate does not indicate proof of possession. It mere occupation of the same in the concept of owner since the immemorial or
evidences the alienability of the land involved. for a period of not less than thirty (30) years immediately preceding the
Second, the acceptance by the courts a quo of the CENRO approval of this Act and uncontested by the members of the same
certificate of alienability and disposability as evidence of ICCs/IPs shall have the option to secure title to their ancestral lands
possession since the date of said certificate is patently erroneous. under the provisions of Commonwealth Act 141, as amended, or the Land
According to the CENRO certification, the subject land was Registration Act 496.
alienable and disposable public land since June 7, 1938. This For this purpose, said individually-owned ancestral lands, which are
certification does not in any way indicate that the respondent and agricultural in character and actually used for agricultural, residential,
its predecessors-in-interest had been in possession of the property pasture, and tree farming purposes, including those with a slope of
as far back as 1938. Republic v San Lorenzo eighteen percent (18%) or more, are hereby classified as alienable and
disposable agricultural lands.
To prove that the land subject of an application for registration is The option granted under this Section shall be exercised within twenty
alienable, the applicant must establish the existence of a positive (20) years from the approval of this Act.
act of the government such as a presidential proclamation or an
executive order; an administrative action; investigation reports of E. Forms and Contents, Dealings with Land
Bureau of Lands investigators; and a legislative act or statute. Section 15. Form and contents. The application for land registration shall be in
As already well-settled in jurisprudence, no public land can be writing, signed by the application or the person duly authorized in his behalf,
acquired by private persons without any grant, express or implied, and sworn to before any officer authorized to administer oaths for the province
from the government; and it is indispensable that the person or city where the application was actually signed. If there is more than one
claiming title to public land should show that his title was acquired applicant, the application shall be signed and sworn to by and in behalf of each.
from the State or any other mode of acquisition recognized by The application shall contain a description of the land and shall state the
law.[31] To prove that the land subject of an application for citizenship and civil status of the applicant, whether single or married, and, if
registration is alienable, the applicant must establish the existence married, the name of the wife or husband, and, if the marriage has been legally
of a positive act of the government such as a presidential dissolved, when and how the marriage relation terminated. It shall also state the
proclamation or an executive order; an administrative action; full names and addresses of all occupants of the land and those of the adjoining
investigation reports of Bureau of Lands investigators; and a owners, if known, and, if not known, it shall state the extent of the search made
legislative act or a statute.[32] The applicant may also secure a to find them.
certification from the Government that the land applied for is The application, shall, in form, be substantially as follows:
alienable and disposable.[33] Republic v Munoz

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Dann Mercado (Batch 3, DLSU Law)

Republic of the Philippines 5. That said land is occupied by the following person:
Court of First Instance of _________________ _____________________________
______________________________________________
The undersigned, 6. That the names in full and addresses, as far as known to the
____________________________________________________________here undersigned, of the owners of all adjoining properties, of the persons
by applies (or apply) to have the land hereinafter described brought under the mentioned in paragraphs 3 and 5, and of the persons shown on the plan
operation of the Property Registration Decree, and to have the title thereto as claimants, are as follows:
registered and confirmed: __________________________________________________________
AND DECLARE . . . . . ______________________________
1. That the applicants/s is/are the owners of the land (by virtue of 7. That the applicant/s is/are single or married to
inheritance or deed of sale or conveyance and/or possession in ____________________ (Note: if marriage has been legally dissolved,
accordance with Section 14 of said Decree), together with the building state when and how the marriage relation
and improvements thereon, with the exception of the terminated.)________________________________________________
following:___________________________________________________ _________________ _____________________
_______________ which is/are the property of 8. That the applicant's/s' full name, age, citizenship, residence, and
_________________________ residing at postal address/es is/are as follows:
_________________________ The said land, consisting of __________________________________________________________
____________________ parcel/s is/are situated, bounded and described _________
as shown on the plan and technical descriptions attached hereto and 9. That (Note: If the land included in the application is bounded by a
made a part hereof, with the following public or private way or road, there should be stated in this paragraph
exception:__________________________________________________ whether or not the applicant claims any and what land within the limits of
_________________ the way or road and whether the applicant desires to have the line of the
2. That said land at the last assessment for taxation was assessed at P way or road determined.)
____, Philippine currency, and the buildings and other improvements at P ________________________________________
___________, Philippine currency. ___________________________
3. That to the best of my/our knowledge and belief, there is no mortgage 10. That the following documents are attached hereto and made a part
or encumbrance of any kind whatsoever affecting said land, nor any hereof: ___________________________________
other person having any interest therein, legal or equitable, or in ________________________________
possession, other than as follows: Signed at ___________________ this _____________________ day of
__________________________________________________________ ____________________, in the year nineteen hundred and
_____________________ ______________________.
4. That the applicant/s has/have acquired said land in the following _________________________
manner: ________________________________ Applicant
(Note: Refer to Sec. 14 of said Decree. State also whether the property is _________________________
conjugal, paraphernal or exclusive property of the applicant/s) (Post Office Address)

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Dann Mercado (Batch 3, DLSU Law)

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES The clerk of court shall not accept any application unless it is shown that the
PROVINCE (OR CITY) OF _______________ applicant has furnished the Director of Lands with a copy of the application and
all annexes.
On this _______________ day of _________________________,19
________ personally appeared before me the above- named Section 18. Application covering two or more parcels. An application may
__________________________________________________ known to include two or more parcels of land belonging to the applicant/s provided they
me to be the person/s who executed the foregoing application and made are situated within the same province or city. The court may at any time order
oath that the statements therein are true of his/their knowledge, an application to be amended by striking out one or more of the parcels or by a
information and belief. severance of the application.
The Residence Certificate/s ______________________ of the applicant/s
______________ was/were exhibited to me being No. Section 19. Amendments. Amendments to the application including joinder,
_________________ issued at ___________________ dated substitution, or discontinuance as to parties may be allowed by the court at any
____________, 19 __________. stage of the proceedings upon just and reasonable terms.
_________________ Amendments which shall consist in a substantial change in the boundaries or an
(Notary Public, or other Officer increase in area of the land applied for or which involve the inclusion of an
authorized to administer oaths) additional land shall be subject to the same requirements of publication and
PTD No. ______ notice as in an original application.

Section 16. Non-resident applicant. If the applicant is not a resident of the Section 20. When land applied for borders on road. If the application describes
Philippines, he shall file with his application an instrument in due form the land as bounded by a public or private way or road, it shall state whether or
appointing an agent or representative residing in the Philippines, giving his full not the applicant claims any and what portion of the land within the limits of the
name and postal address, and shall therein agree that the service of any legal way or road, and whether the applicant desires to have the line of the way or
process in the proceedings under or growing out of the application made upon road determined.
his agent or representative shall be of the same legal effect as if made upon the
applicant within the Philippines. If the agent or representative dies, or leaves the Section 21. Requirement of additional facts and papers; ocular inspection. The
Philippines, the applicant shall forthwith make another appointment for the court may require facts to be stated in the application in addition to those
substitute, and, if he fails to do so the court may dismiss the application. prescribed by this Decree not inconsistent therewith and may require the filing
of any additional paper. It may also conduct an ocular inspection, if necessary.
Section 17. What and where to file. The application for land registration shall
be filed with the Court of First Instance of the province or city where the land is Section 22. Dealings with land pending original registration. After the filing of
situated. The applicant shall file together with the application all original the application and before the issuance of the decree of registration, the land
muniments of titles or copies thereof and a survey plan of the land approved by therein described may still be the subject of dealings in whole or in part, in
the Bureau of Lands. which case the interested party shall present to the court the pertinent
instruments together with a subdivision plan approved by the Director of Lands
in case of transfer of portions thereof and the court, after notice to the parties,
shall order such land registered subject to the conveyance or encumbrance

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Dann Mercado (Batch 3, DLSU Law)

created by said instruments, or order that the decree of registration be issued in Form and contents of the application for registration:
the name of the person to whom the property has been conveyed by said 1. Full description of the land as evidenced by a survey plan duly approved by
instruments. the Director of Lands, surveyors certificate, and technical description;
2. Citizenship and civil status of the applicant, whether single or married, and, if
Requisite steps in brining land under the torrens system married, the name of the wife or husband, and, if the marriage has been legally
1. Survey of land by the Land Management Bureau or a duly licensed private dissolved, when and how the marriage relation terminated;
surveyor; 3. Full names and addresses of all occupants of the land an those of the
2. Filing of application for registration by the applicant; adjoining owners, if known, and if not known, it shall state the extent of the
3. Setting of the date for the initial hearing of the application by the court; search made to find them;
4. Transmittal of the application and the date of initial hearing together with all 4. Assessed value of the land and the buildings and improvements thereon;
the documents or other evidences attached thereto by the Clerk of Court to the 5. Whether or not there are mortgages or encumbrances of any kind whatsoever
Land Registration Authority; affecting the land, or any other person having any interest therein, legal or
5. Publication of the notice of the filing of the application and dare and place of equitable, or in possession, thereof;
the hearing in the Official Gazette and in a newspaper of general circulation; 6. The manner by which the applicant has acquired the land;
6. Service by mailing of notice upon contiguous owners, occupants and those 7. Whether or not the property is conjugal, paraphernal, or exclusive property of
known to have interests in the property; the applicant;
7. Posting by the sheriff of the notice in a conspicuous place on the land and in 8. Names of all occupants of the land, if any;
the bulletin board of the municipal building or city where the land is situated; 9. Original muniments of title and other related documents supporting
8. Filing of answer to the application by any person whether named in the notice applicants claim of ownership; and
or not; 10. If the land is bounded by public or private way or road, whether or not the
9. Hearing of the case by the court; applicant claims any and what portion of the land within the limits of the way or
10. Promulgation of judgment by the court; road, and whether the applicant desires to have the line of the way or road
11. Issuance of an order for the issuance of a decree declaring the decision final determined.
and instructing the Land Registration Authority to issue the decree of
confirmation and registration; The application shall be accompanied by the following documents:
12. Entry of the decree of registration in the Land Registration Authority; 1. The original plan in tracing cloth;
13. Sending the copy of the decree of registration to the corresponding Register 2. The white or blue print copes of the plan;
of Deeds; and 3. The original and two copies of the technical descriptiongs
14. Transcription of the decree of registration in the registration book and the 4. The original and two copies of the Geodetic Engineers Ceritificate
issuance of the owners duplicate original certificate of title to the applicant by 5. A certificate in triplicate of the Provincial, City or Municipal Assessor of the
the Register of Deeds, upon, payment of the prescribed fees. assessed value of the land at its last assessment for taxation or, in the absence
thereof, that of the next preceding year.
6. All original muniments of title of the applicant which prove his ownership of
the land.

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Dann Mercado (Batch 3, DLSU Law)

A mere statement of the act of knowledge of the names of the are required to append a survey plan to their application, duly approved
occupants an adjoining owners is not sufficient but what search has by the Bureau of Lands, thus:
been made to find hem is necessary. xxx
[12]
Section 15 of P.D. 1529 is explicit in requiring that in the application
for registration of land titles, the application shall also state the full No plan or survey may be admitted in land registration proceedings until
names and addresses of all occupants of the land and those of the approved by the Director of Lands. The submission of the plan is a
adjoining owners if known, and if not known, it shall state the extent of statutory requirement of mandatory character. Unless a plan and its
the search made to find them. As early as Francisco vs. Court technical description are duly approved by the Director of Lands, the
of Appeals, 97 SCRA 22 [1980] we emphasized that a mere statement of same are of no value. Republic v. Vda. De Neri
the lack of knowledge of the names of the occupants and adjoining
owners is not sufficient but what search has been made to find them is The law does not require that the application for registration be
necessary. The trial court was correct when it took notice that amended by substituting the buyer or the person to whom the
respondents sister Lydia Gajo-Anonuevo admitted that she had a property has been conveyed for the applicant. The only requirement of
conversation with petitioners cousin Elena Dumalaon about the latters the law are (1) that the instrument be present to the court by the
apprehension that their land may have been included in respondents interested party together with a motion that the same be considered in
[13] relation with the application; and (2) that prior notice be given to the
application for registration of the disputed land. Respondents omission
parties to the case.
of this material information prevented petitioner from having his day in
The law does not require that the application for registration be amended
court. The trial court in its decision more than amply supported its
by substituting the "buyer" or the "person to whom the property has
conclusion with jurisprudence to the effect that it is fraud to knowingly
been conveyed" for the applicant. Neither does it require that the "buyer"
omit or conceal a fact upon which benefit is obtained to the prejudice of a
[14] or the "person to whom the property has been conveyed" be a party to
third person. Such omission can not but be deliberate the case. He may thus be a total stranger to the land registration
misrepresentation constituting fraud, a basis for allowing a petition for proceedings. The only requirements of the law are: (1) that the
review of judgment under Section 38 of Act No. 496, The Land instrument be presented to the court by the interested party together
Registration Act. Divina v CA with a motion that the same be considered in relation with the
application; and (2) that prior notice be given to the parties to the case.
No plan or survey may be admitted in land registration proceedings x x x (Emphasis supplied) Caoibes v Pantoja
until approved by the Director of Lands.
We reject the contention of the private respondents that the reevaluation The best evidence to identify a piece of land for registration purposes is
and approval of the Director of the Bureau of Lands of the survey plan the original tracing cloth plan from the Bureau of Lands, but blueprint
are not mandatory requirements and that the lack thereof did not render copies and other evidence could also provided sufficient identification.
Original Certificate of Title No. 0662 void. Case law has it that it is not It bears stressing that the "constructive seizure of land accomplished by
the function of the Land Registration Commission to approve original posting of notices and processes upon all persons mentioned in notices
plans.41 The duty devolved upon the Director of the Bureau of Lands, as by means of publication and sending copies to said persons by registered
mandated by Section 17 of P.D. No. 1529. Applicants for land registration mail in effect gives the court jurisdiction over the lands sought to be
registered."[17]

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1. By publication.
While petitioner correctly contends that the submission in evidence of the Upon receipt of the order of the court setting the time for initial hearing,
original tracing cloth plan is a mandatory and even a jurisdictional the Commissioner of Land Registration shall cause notice of initial hearing
requirement, this Court has recognized instances of substantial to be published once in the Official Gazette and once in a newspaper of
compliance with this rule.[18] It is true that the best evidence to identify general circulation in the Philippines: Provided, however, that the
a piece of land for registration purposes is the original tracing cloth plan publication in the Official Gazette shall be sufficient to confer jurisdiction
from the Bureau of Lands, but blueprint copies and other evidence could upon the court. Said notice shall be addressed to all persons appearing to
also provide sufficient identification.[19] In the present application for have an interest in the land involved including the adjoining owners so
registration, respondent submitted, among other things, the following far as known, and "to all whom it may concern". Said notice shall also
asupporting documents: (1) a blueprint copy of the survey plan[20] require all persons concerned to appear in court at a certain date and
approved by the Bureau of Lands; and (2) the technical descriptions[21] time to show cause why the prayer of said application shall not be
duly verified and approved by the Director of Lands. Republic v granted.
Munoz
2. By mailing.
If survey plans is approved by the Director of Lands, and has remained (a) Mailing of notice to persons named in the application. The
unrebutted, the presentation of the tracing cloth plan may be dispensed Commissioner of Land Registration shall also, within seven days
with. after publication of said notice in the Official Gazette, as
Moreover, if the survey plan is approved by the Director of Lands and its hereinbefore provided, cause a copy of the notice of initial hearing
correctness has not been overcome by clear, strong and convincing to be mailed to every person named in the notice whose address
evidence, the presentation of the tracing cloth plan may be dispensed is known.
with.[24] All the evidence on record sufficiently identified the property as (b) Mailing of notice to the Secretary of Public Highways, the
the one applied for by respondent, and containing the corresponding Provincial Governor and the Mayor. If the applicant requests to
metes and bounds as well as area. Consequently, the original tracing have the line of a public way or road determined, the
cloth plan need not be presented. Republic v Munoz Commissioner of Land Registration shall cause a copy of said
notice of initial hearing to be mailed to the Secretary of Public
F. Publication, Opposition and Default Highways, to the Provincial Governor, and to the Mayor of the
Section 23. Notice of initial hearing, publication, etc. The court shall, within five municipality or city, as the case may be, in which the land lies.
days from filing of the application, issue an order setting the date and hour of (c) Mailing of notice to the Secretary of Agrarian Reform, the
the initial hearing which shall not be earlier than forty-five days nor later than Solicitor General, the Director of Lands, the Director of Public
ninety days from the date of the order. Works, the Director of Forest Development, the Director of Mines
and the Director of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. If the land
The public shall be given notice of the initial hearing of the application for land borders on a river, navigable stream or shore, or on an arm of the
registration by means of (1) publication; (2) mailing; and (3) posting. sea where a river or harbor line has been established, or on a
lake, or if it otherwise appears from the application or the
proceedings that a tenant-farmer or the national government may
have a claim adverse to that of the applicant, notice of the initial

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Dann Mercado (Batch 3, DLSU Law)

hearing shall be given in the same manner to the Secretary of Witness, the Hon. ________________________ Judge of the Court of First
Agrarian Reform, the Solicitor General, the Director of Lands, the Instance of _______ this _______ day of _________________, in the year
Director of Mines and/or the Director of Fisheries and Aquatic 19______.
Resources, as may be appropriate. Attest:
Commissioner of Land
3. By posting. Registration
The Commissioner of Land Registration shall also cause a duly attested
copy of the notice of initial hearing to be posted by the sheriff of the Section 24. Proof of publication and notice. The certification of the
province or city, as the case may be, or by his deputy, in a conspicuous Commissioner of Land Registration and of the sheriff concerned to the effect that
place on each parcel of land included in the application and also in a the notice of initial hearing, as required by law, has been complied with shall be
conspicuous place on the bulletin board of the municipal building of the filed in the case before the date of initial hearing, and shall be conclusive proof
municipality or city in which the land or portion thereof is situated, of such fact.
fourteen days at least before the date of initial hearing.
The court may also cause notice to be served to such other persons and Section 25. Opposition to application in ordinary proceedings. Any person
in such manner as it may deem proper. claiming an interest, whether named in the notice or not, may appear and file an
The notice of initial hearing shall, in form, be substantially as follows: opposition 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
(Caption and Title) application and shall set forth the interest claimed by the party filing the same
NOTICE OF INITIAL HEARING and apply for the remedy desired, and shall be signed and sworn to by him or by
To (here insert the names of all persons appearing to have an interest and the some other duly authorized person.
adjoining owners so far as known, and to all whom it may concern):
An application (or petition) having been filed in the above-entitled case by (full If the opposition or the adverse claim of any person covers only a portion of the
name and address) praying for the registration and confirmation (or for the lot and said portion is not properly delimited on the plan attached to the
settlement and adjudication, in case of petition in cadastral proceedings) of title application, or in case of undivided co-ownership, conflicting claims of ownership
to the following described lands: or possession, or overlapping of boundaries, the court may require the parties to
(Insert description) submit a subdivision plan duly approved by the Director of Lands.
You are hereby served this notice to appear before this Court at its session to be
held at _________________ on the ______________ day of Section 26. Order of default; effect. If no person appears and answers within
_______________, 19 ______, at _____________ o'clock in the _________ the time allowed, the court shall, upon motion of the applicant, no reason to the
then and there to present such claims as you may have to said lands or any contrary appearing, order a default to be recorded and require the applicant to
portion thereof, and to submit evidence in support of such claim; and unless you present evidence. By the description in the notice "To all Whom It May Concern",
appear at said Court at the time and place aforesaid, your default will be all the world are made parties defendant and shall be concluded by the default
recorded and the title to the lands will be adjudicated and determined in order.
accordance with law and the evidence before the Court, and thereafter you will
forever be barred from contesting said application (or petition) or any decree Where an appearance has been entered and an answer filed, a default order
entered thereon. shall be entered against persons who did not appear and answer.

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Dann Mercado (Batch 3, DLSU Law)

The land registration proceeding being proceeding In rem, it is not understood in its normal mandatory meaning. In Republic vs. Marasigan,
necessary to give personal notice to the owners or claimants of the land 16 the Court through Mr. Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr. held that Section
sought to be registered, in order to vest the courts with power or 23 of PD 1529 requires notice of the initial hearing by means of (1)
authority over the res. Notice of hearing by proper publication in the publication, (2) mailing and (3) posting, all of which must be complied
Official Gazette is sufficient to clothe the court with jurisdiction. with. "If the intention of the law were otherwise, said section would not
Besides, as early as 1910, in Grey Alba v De la Cruz, We already ruled have stressed in detail the requirements of mailing of notices to all
that land registration proceedings are proceedings in rem, not in persons named in the petition who, per Section 15 of the Decree, include
personam, and therefore it is not necessary to give personal notice to the owners of adjoining properties, and occupants of the land." Indeed, if
owners or claimants of the land sought to be registered, in order to vest mailing of notices is essential, then by parity of reasoning, publication in
the courts with power or authority over the res. This, while it may be true a newspaper of general circulation is likewise imperative since the law
that no notice was sent by registered mail to petition when the judicial included such requirement in its detailed provision.
reconstitution of title was sought, such failure, however, did not amount
to a jurisdictional defect. Adez Realty v CA It should be noted further that land registration is a proceeding in rem.
17 Being in rem, such proceeding requires constructive seizure of the
Although publication in the Official Gazette is sufficient to confer land as against all persons, including the state, who have rights to or
jurisdiction upon the land registration court, publication in a news paper interests in the property. An in rem proceeding is validated essentially
of general circulation is still mandatory and imperative by virtue of due through publication. This being so, the process must strictly be complied
process. with. Otherwise, persons who may be interested or whose rights may be
Admittedly, the above provision provides in clear and categorical terms adversely affected would be barred from contesting an application which
that publication in the Official Gazette suffices to confer jurisdiction upon they had no knowledge of. As has been ruled, a party as an owner
the land registration court. However, the question boils down to whether, seeking the inscription of realty in the land registration court must prove
absent any publication in a newspaper of general circulation, the land by satisfactory and conclusive evidence not only his ownership thereof
registration court can validly confirm and register the title of private but the identity of the same, for he is in the same situation as one who
respondents. institutes an action for recovery of realty. 18 He must prove his title
against the whole world. This task, which rests upon the applicant, can
We answer this query in the negative. This answer is impelled by the best be achieved when all persons concerned nay, "the whole world" who
demands of statutory construction and the due process rationale behind have rights to or interests in the subject property are notified and
the publication requirement. effectively invited to come to court and show cause why the application
should not be granted. The elementary norms of due process require that
The law used the term "shall" in prescribing the work to be done by the before the claimed property is taken from concerned parties and
Commissioner of Land Registration upon the latter's receipt of the court registered in the name of the applicant, said parties must be given notice
order setting the time for initial hearing. The said word denotes an and opportunity to oppose.
imperative and thus indicates the mandatory character of a statute. 15
While concededly such literal mandate is not an absolute rule in statutory It may be asked why publication in a newspaper of general circulation
construction, as its import ultimately depends upon its context in the should be deemed mandatory when the law already requires notice by
entire provision, we hold that in the present case the term must be publication in the Official Gazette as well as by mailing and posting, all of

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Dann Mercado (Batch 3, DLSU Law)

which have already been complied with in the case at hand. The reason is
due process and the reality that the Official Gazette is not as widely read We have held that "a party to an action has no control over the
and circulated as newspapers and is oftentimes delayed in its circulation, Administrator or the Clerk of Court acting as a land court; he has no right
such that the notices published therein may not reach the interested to meddle unduly with the business of such official in the performance of
parties on time, if at all. Additionally, such parties may not be owners of his duties."[8] A party cannot intervene in matters within the exclusive
neighboring properties, and may in fact not own any other real estate. In power of the trial court. No fault is attributable to such party if the trial
sum, the all-encompassing in rem nature of land registration cases, the court errs on matters within its sole power. It is unfair to punish an
consequences of default orders issued against the whole world and the applicant for an act or omission over which the applicant has neither
objective of disseminating the notice in as wide a manner as possible responsibility nor control, especially if the applicant has complied with all
demand a mandatory construction of the requirements for publication, the requirements of the law. Republic v San Lorenzo
mailing and posting.
A publication in the newspapers of general circulation way after the
Admittedly, there was failure to comply with the explicit publication date of initial gearing is ineffective and worthless.
requirement of the law. Private respondents did not proffer any excuse; Indubitably, such publication of the Notice, way after the date of the
even if they had, it would not have mattered because the statute itself initial hearing, would already be worthless and ineffective. Whoever read
allows no excuses. Ineludibly, this Court has no authority to dispense the Notice as it was published in The Freeman Banat News and had a
with such mandatory requirement. Director of Lands v CA and claim to the Subject Lots was deprived of due process for it was already
Abistado too late for him to appear before the MTC on the day of the initial hearing
to oppose respondents' application for registration, and to present his
Setting of hearing dates does not lie with the hands of the applicant. It claim and evidence in support of such claim. Worse, as the Notice itself
is a process exclusive to the power of the trial court. Thus, the applicant states, should the claimant-oppositor fail to appear before the MTC on
must not be punish on matters not within his control. the date of initial hearing, he would be in default and would forever be
The duty and the power to set the hearing date lie with the land barred from contesting respondents' application for registration and even
registration court. After an applicant has filed his application, the law the registration decree that may be issued pursuant thereto. In fact, the
requires the issuance of a court order setting the initial hearing date. The MTC did issue an Order of Special Default on 03 September 1999.
notice of initial hearing is a court document. The notice of initial hearing
is signed by the judge and copy of the notice is mailed by the clerk of The late publication of the Notice of Initial Hearing in the newspaper of
court to the LRA [Land Registration Authority]. This involves a process to general circulation is tantamount to no publication at all, having the same
which the party applicant absolutely has no participation. ultimate result. Owing to such defect in the publication of the Notice, the
MTC failed to constructively seize the Subject Lots and to acquire
Petitioner is correct that in land registration cases, the applicant must jurisdiction over respondents' application for registration thereof.
strictly comply with the jurisdictional requirements. In this case, the Therefore, the MTC Judgment, dated 21 December 1999, ordering the
applicant complied with the jurisdictional requirements. registration and confirmation of the title of respondents Jeremias and
David over Lots No. 8422 and 8423, respectively; as well as the MTC
The facts reveal that Manna Properties was not at fault why the hearing Order, dated 02 February 2000, declaring its Judgment of 21 December
date was set beyond the 90-day maximum period. x x x. 1999 final and executory, and directing the LRA Administrator to issue a

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Dann Mercado (Batch 3, DLSU Law)

decree of registration for the Subject Lots, are both null and void for upon the expiration of thirty days to be counted from the data of receipt of
having been issued by the MTC without jurisdiction. Republic v notice of the judgment. An appeal may be taken from the judgment of the court
Herbierto as in ordinary civil cases.

G. Hearing, Judgment and Decree of Registration After judgment has become final and executory, it shall devolve upon the court
to forthwith issue an order in accordance with Section 39 of this Decree to the
Section 27. Speedy hearing; reference to a referee. The trial court shall see to Commissioner for the issuance of the decree of registration and the
it that all registration-proceedings are disposed or within ninety days from the corresponding certificate of title in favor of the person adjudged entitled to
date the case is submitted for decision, registration.

The Court, if it deems necessary, may refer the case or any part thereof to a Section 31. Decree of registration. Every decree of registration issued by the
referee who shall hear the parties and their evidence, and the referee shall Commissioner shall bear the date, hour and minute of its entry, and shall be
submit his report thereon to the Court within fifteen days after the termination signed by him. It shall state whether the owner is married or unmarried, and if
of such hearing. Hearing before a referee may be held at any convenient place married, the name of the husband or wife: Provided, however, that if the land
within the province or city as may be fixed by him and after reasonable notice adjudicated by the court is conjugal property, the decree shall be issued in the
thereof shall have been served the parties concerned. The court may render name of both spouses. If the owner is under disability, it shall state the nature
judgment in accordance with the report as though the facts have been found by of disability, and if a minor, his age. It shall contain a description of the land as
the judge himself: Provided, however, that the court may in its discretion accept finally determined by the court, and shall set forth the estate of the owner, and
the report, or set it aside in whole or in part, or order the case to be also, in such manner as to show their relative priorities, all particular estates,
recommitted for further proceedings: mortgages, easements, liens, attachments, and other encumbrances, including
rights of tenant-farmers, if any, to which the land or owner's estate is subject,
Section 28. Partial judgment. In a case where only a portion of the land subject as well as any other matters properly to be determined in pursuance of this
of registration is contested, the court may render partial judgment provided that Decree.
a subdivision plan showing the contested and uncontested portions approved by
the Director of Lands is previously submitted to said court. The decree of registration shall bind the land and quiet title thereto, subject only
to such exceptions or liens as may be provided by law. It shall be conclusive
Section 29. Judgment confirming title. All conflicting claims of ownership and upon and against all persons, including the National Government and all
interest in the land subject of the application shall be determined by the court. If branches thereof, whether mentioned by name in the application or notice, the
the court, after considering the evidence and the reports of the Commissioner of same being included in the general description "To all whom it may concern".
Land Registration and the Director of Lands, finds that the applicant or the
oppositor has sufficient title proper for registration, judgment shall be rendered Adjudication of a land in land registration proceedings does not become
confirming the title of the applicant, or the oppositor, to the land or portions final until after the lapse of 1 year after the entry of the final decree of
thereof. registration by the Land Registration Authority (LRA).
Petitioners' contention is not correct. Unlike ordinary civil actions, the
Section 30. When judgment becomes final; duty to cause issuance of adjudication of land in a cadastral or land registration proceeding does
decree. The judgment rendered in a land registration proceedings becomes final not become final, in the sense of incontrovertibility until after the

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Dann Mercado (Batch 3, DLSU Law)

expiration of one (1) year after the entry of the final decree of Land registration officials acts are ministerial in one aspect and judicial
registration. 9 This Court, in several decisions, has held that as long as a in another.
final decree has not been entered by the Land Registration Commission Petitioners insist that the duty of the respondent land registration officials
(now NLTDRA) and the period of one (1) year has not elapsed from date to issue the decree is purely ministerial. It is ministerial in the sense that
of entry of such decree, the title is not finally adjudicated and the they act under the orders of the court and the decree must be in
decision in the registration proceeding continues to be under the control conformity with the decision of the court and with the data found in the
and sound discretion of the court rendering it. 10 Gomez v CA record, and they have no discretion in the matter. However, if they are in
doubt upon any point in relation to the preparation and issuance of the
Land registration officials duty to render reports may extend even after decree, it is their duty to refer the matter to the court. They act, in this
the court becomes final and may even extend even after its finality but respect, as officials of the court and not as administrative officials, and
not beyond 1 year from the entry of the decree. their act is the act of the court. 12 They are specifically called upon to
Petitioners contend that the report of respondent Silverio Perez should "extend assistance to courts in ordinary and cadastral land registration
have been submitted to the court a quo before its decision became final. proceedings." 13 Gomez v CA
But were we to sustain this argument, we would be pressuring
respondent land registration officials to submit a report or study even if Adjudication of land under the name of the applicant constitutes, when
haphazardly prepared just to beat the reglementary deadline for the finals, res judicata against the whole world.
finality of the court decision. As said by this Court in De los Reyes vs. de In a registration proceeding instituted for the registration of a private
Villa: 11 land, with or without opposition, the judgment of the court confirming the
title of the applicant or oppositor, as the case may be, and ordering its
"Examining section 40, we find that the decrees of registration must be registration in his name constitutes, when final, res judicata against the
stated in convenient form for transcription upon the certificate of title and whole world.[9] It becomes final when no appeal within the reglementary
must contain an accurate technical description of the land. This requires period is taken from a judgment of confirmation and registration.[10]
technical men. Moreover, it frequently occurs that only portions of a
parcel of land included in an application are ordered registered and that The land registration proceedings being in rem, the land registration
the limits of such portions can only be roughly indicated in the decision of court's approval in LRC No. N-983 of spouses Diego Lirio and Flora
the court. In such cases amendments of the plans and sometimes Atienza's application for registration of the lot settled its ownership, and
additional surveys become necessary before the final decree can be is binding on the whole world including petitioner. Ting v Heirs of
entered. That can hardly be done by the court itself; the law very wisely Diego Lirio
charges the Chief Surveyor of the General Land Registration Office with
such duties (Administrative Code, section 177)." After the ownership has been proved and confirmed by judicial
declaration, no further proceeding to enforce said ownership is
Thus, the duty of respondent land registration officials to render reports necessary, except when the adverse or losing party had been in
is not limited to the period before the court's decision becomes final, but possession of the land and the winning party desires to oust him
may extend even after its finality but not beyond the lapse of one (1) therefrom.
year from the entry of the decree. Gomez v CA Sta. Ana v. Menla, et al.[13] enunciates the raison d'etre why Section 6,
Rule 39 does not apply in land registration proceedings, viz:

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Dann Mercado (Batch 3, DLSU Law)

diligence, sufficient and of such character as would probably


THAT THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN ORDERING THAT THE DECISION change the result.
RENDERED IN THIS LAND REGISTRATION CASE ON NOVEMBER 28, 1931 Section 1, Rule 53 of the Revised Rules of Court provides:
OR TWENTY SIX YEARS AGO, HAS NOT YET BECOME FINAL AND
UNENFORCEABLE. "Section 1. Petition. Before a final order or judgment rendered by
the Court of Appeals becomes executory, a motion for new trial
We fail to understand the arguments of the appellant in support of the may be filed on the ground of newly discovered evidence which
above assignment, except in so far as it supports his theory that after a could not have been discovered prior to the trial in the court below
decision in a land registration case has become final, it may not be by the exercise of due diligence and which is of such a character
enforced after the lapse of a period of 10 years, except by another as would probably change the result. The motion shall be
proceeding to enforce the judgment or decision. Authority for this theory accompanied by affidavits showing the facts constituting the
is the provision in the Rules of Court to the effect that judgment may be grounds therefore and the newly discovered evidence."
enforced within 5 years by motion, and after five years but within 10
years, by an action (Sec. 6, Rule 39.) This provision of the Rules refers to In the instant case, there is no showing that Rufino Tibayan,
civil actions and is not applicable to special proceedings, such as a land Petronilo Gulpo, Segunda Fabis and Demetrio Zapanta could not
registration case. This is so because a party in a civil action must have been discovered and produced during the trial. Hence their
immediately enforce a judgment that is secured as against the adverse testimonies would not constitute newly discovered evidence.
party, and his failure to act to enforce the same within a reasonable time
as provided in the Rules makes the decision unenforceable against the The sincerity of the petitioner in producing the two documents
losing party. In special proceedings the purpose is to establish a status, after so long a time is doubtful. The case was filed on May 7, 1964
condition or fact; in land registration proceedings, the ownership by a and had been pending in court for 11 years before the petitioner
person of a parcel of land is sought to be established. After the ownership discovered the said documents and filed the motion for new trial.
has been proved and confirmed by judicial declaration, no further In fact, it was only after the denial of her second motion for
proceeding to enforce said ownership is necessary, except when the reconsideration and the oral arguments held in the appellate court
adverse or losing party had been in possession of the land and the that she filed the said motion. The records do not show that the
winning party desires to oust him therefrom. Ting v Heirs of Diego petitioner could not have discovered the two documents prior to
Lirio the trial by use of due diligence. Moreover, granting that the two
documents can be considered as newly discovered evidence, a
H. Remedies new trial would only be useless and ineffective. There is no
showing that these documents would be sufficient proof to
1. New Trial or Reconsideration overthrow the appellate court's findings that Hilarion Villacarlos
Rule 37, Rules of Court and his predecessors-in-interest did not possess the disputed
parcel of land for the required number of years to qualify the
A motion for new trial may be filed on the ground that there petitioner for a certificate of title pursuant to Section 48 of the
is/are newly discovered evidence which could not have
discovered and produced during the trial by exercise of due

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Dann Mercado (Batch 3, DLSU Law)

Public Land Law as amended. Mere tax declarations do not vest 4. Petition for Review
ownership of the property in the declarant. Samson v CA1
Section 32. Review of decree of registration; Innocent purchaser for
2. Relief from Judgment; Relief from Denial of Appeal value. The decree of registration shall not be reopened or revised by
Rule 37, Rules of Court reason of absence, minority, or other disability of any person adversely
affected thereby, nor by any proceeding in any court for reversing
(Im missing NAPOCOR v CA) judgments, subject, however, to the right of any person, including the
government and the branches thereof, deprived of land or of any estate
Remedy of relief from judgment can only be resorted to on or interest therein by such adjudication or confirmation of title obtained
grounds of fraud, accident, mistake or excusable negligence. by actual fraud, to file in the proper Court of First Instance a petition for
Negligence to be excusable must be one which ordinary diligence reopening and review of the decree of registration not later than one year
and prudence could not have guarded against. from and after the date of the entry of such decree of registration, but in
Section 1, Rule 38 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure provides: no case shall such petition be entertained by the court where an innocent
Sec. 1. Petition for relief from judgment, order, or other purchaser for value has acquired the land or an interest therein, whose
proceedings.-When a judgment or final order is entered, or any rights may be prejudiced. Whenever the phrase "innocent purchaser for
other proceeding is thereafter taken against a party in any court value" or an equivalent phrase occurs in this Decree, it shall be deemed
through fraud, accident, mistake, or excusable negligence, he may to include an innocent lessee, mortgagee, or other encumbrancer for
file a petition in such court and in the same case praying that the value.
judgment, order or proceeding be set aside. Upon the expiration of said period of one year, the decree of registration
and the certificate of title issued shall become incontrovertible. Any
As can clearly be gleaned from the foregoing provision, the person aggrieved by such decree of registration in any case may pursue
remedy of relief from judgment can only be resorted to on his remedy by action for damages against the applicant or any other
grounds of fraud, accident, mistake or excusable negligence. persons responsible for the fraud.
Negligence to be excusable must be one which ordinary diligence
and prudence could not have guarded against.[14] Land Bank Petition for review must be filed within one year from the
v Natividad issuance of decree of registration on the land, and upon the
ground of fraud. And it must not be in the form of a separate
3. Appeal action but in the form of a motion filed in the same registration
proceeding where the decree was issued.
Section 33. Appeal from judgment, etc. The judgment and orders of the It is settled that registration proceedings are in rem - binding
court hearing the land registration case are appealable to the Court of upon the whole world - and that a final decree of registration
Appeals or to the Supreme Court in the same manner as in ordinary issued therein in accordance with law is reviewable only within
actions: one year and upon the ground of fraud. The allegations of the
complaint filed below do not make out any case of fraud justifying
1
This case is dated 1986. Rules of Courts has already been amended. the reopening of such decree. This on the one hand. On the other,
Thus, Rule 53 then is now Sec. 37. any petition to set aside the decree and reopen the registration

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Dann Mercado (Batch 3, DLSU Law)

proceedings must be filed within one year from the issuance of the misrepresentation or concealment of a material fact. 19
thereof, not in the form of a separate action but in the form of a Constructive fraud is construed as a fraud because of its
motion filed in the same registration proceeding where the decree detrimental effect upon public interests and public or private
was issued. Superior Baldoz v Serapia Papa confidence, even though the act is not done or committed with an
actual design to commit positive fraud or injury upon other
Review of a decree of registration requires that the petitioner persons. 20
were deprived of their opportunity to be heard in the original
registration case by reason of fraud. Fraud may also be either extrinsic or intrinsic. Fraud is regarded
The person(s) contemplated under Section 38 of Act 496, to be as intrinsic where the fraudulent acts pertain to an issue involved
entitled to a review of a decree of registration, are those who in the original action, or where the acts constituting the fraud
were fraudulently deprived of their opportunity to be heard in the were or could have been litigated therein, and is regarded as
original registration case. Such is not the situation of the private extrinsic where it prevents a party from having a trial or from
respondents here. They were not denied their day in court by presenting his entire case to the court, or where it operates upon
fraud, which the law provides as the sole ground for reopening of matters pertaining not to the judgment itself but to the manner in
the decree of registration. In fact they opposed the registration which it is procured, so that there is not a fair submission of the
but failed to substantiate their opposition. In Salomon, et al. vs. controversy. 21 Extrinsic fraud is also actual fraud, but collateral
Bocauto, et al., No. 47900, March 15, 1941, 71 Phil. 363, 365, a to the transaction sued upon. 22 Heirs of Roxas v CA
petition for review of a decree of registration was, among other
grounds, properly denied for "both petitioners had notice of the Only actual fraud or extrinsic fraud has been accepted as grounds
original registration proceedings, but failed to put up any claim for a judgment to be annulled or a decree of registration
and to show title in themselves." Crisolo v CA reopened and reviewed
The distinctions are significant because only actual fraud or
Mere allegation of fraud is not enough. There must actual and extrinsic fraud has been accepted as grounds for a judgment to be
extrinsic fraud. annulled or, as in this case, a decree of registration reopened and
Mere allegation of fraud is not enough. Specific, intentional acts to reviewed. 23 In the oft-cited Macabingkil v. People's Homesite
deceive and deprive another of his right, or in some manner injure Housing Corporation case, the Court drew from American
him, must be alleged and proved. There must be actual or positive jurisprudence stating that "relief has been granted on the ground
fraud as distinguished from constructive fraud to entitle one to the that, by some fraud practiced directly upon the party seeking
reopening of a decree of registration. And it must be extrinsic and relief against the judgment or decree, (and) that party has been
not intrinsic fraud. (Grey Alba vs. De la Cruz, supra, 17 Phil. 49, prevented from presenting all of his case to the court." 24 The
57). Crisolo v CA "fraud" contemplated by the law in this case (Section 32, P.D. No
1529) is actual and extrinsic, which includes an intentional
Actual fraud and constructive fraud vis--vis extrinsic fraud and omission of fact required by law. 25 For fraud to justify a review
intrinsic fraud of a decree, it must be extrinsic or collateral, and the facts upon
Fraud is of two kinds: actual or constructive. Actual or positive which it is based have not been controverted or resolved in the
fraud proceeds from an intentional deception practiced by means case where the judgment sought to be annulled was rendered. 26

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Persons who were fraudulently deprived of their opportunity to be altered, modified, or cancelled except in a direct proceeding in
heard in the original registration case are entitled to a review of a accordance with law. (Underscoring ours)
decree of registration. Heirs of Roxas v CA
Respondents' application for registration of a parcel of land
The Regional Trial Court has the authority and power to hear and already covered by a Torrens title is actually a collateral attack
determine all question arising from land registration applications against petitioners' title not permitted under the principle of
or petitions. indefeasibility of a Torrens title. It is well settled that a Torrens
Section 2 of Presidential Decree (PD) 1529[7] partly provides: title cannot be collaterally attacked; the issue on the validity of
title, i.e., whether or not it was fraudulently issued, can only be
Sec. 2. Nature of registration proceedings; jurisdiction of courts. ' raised in an action expressly instituted for the purpose.[9] Hence,
Judicial proceedings for the registration of lands throughout the whether or not respondents have the right to claim title over the
Philippines shall be in rem, and shall be based on the generally property in question is beyond the province of the instant
accepted principles underlying the Torrens System. proceeding. That should be threshed out in a proper action. It has
been invariably stated that the real purpose of the Torrens System
Courts of First Instance shall have exclusive jurisdiction over all is to quiet title to land and to stop forever any question as to its
applications for original registration of title to lands, including legality. Once a title is registered, the owner may rest secure,
improvements and interests therein, and over all petitions filed without the necessity of waiting in the portals of the court, or
after original registration of title, with power to hear and sitting on the 'mirador su casa' to avoid the possibility of losing his
determine all questions arising upon such applications or petitions. land.[10] Fil-Estate v Trono
xxx
Where innocent third persons, relying on the correctness of the
Pursuant to the above provisions, the Regional Trial Court certificate of title, acquire rights over the property, courts cannot
(formerly Court of First Instance) has the authority to act, not disregard such rights and order the cancellation of the certificate.
only on applications for original registration of title to land, but Likewise time-settled is the doctrine that where innocent third
also on all petitions filed after the original registration of title. persons, relying on the correctness of the certificate of title,
Thus, it has the authority and power to hear and determine all acquire rights over the property, courts cannot disregard such
questions arising from such applications or petitions.[8] Fil- rights and order the cancellation of the certificate. Such
Estate v Trono cancellation would impair public confidence in the certificate of
title, for everyone dealing with property registered under the
Sec. 48, PD 1529, provides that a Torrens Title cannot be Torrens System would have to inquire in every instance whether
collaterally attacked. It must be done in an action expressly the title has been regularly issue or nor. Estate of Yujuico v
instituted for the purpose of direct proceeding. Republic
Likewise, Section 48 of PD 1529 provides:
5. Reconveyance
Sec. 48. Certificate not subject to collateral attack. ' A certificate
of title shall not be subject to collateral attack. It cannot be

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Dann Mercado (Batch 3, DLSU Law)

Section 96. Against whom action filed. If such action is brought to although the petitioner claims that it was entitled to the same, it
recover for loss or damage or for deprivation of land or of any estate or also did not allege the existence of any relationship, fiduciary or
interest therein arising wholly through fraud, negligence, omission, otherwise, with the respondent which may justify the creation of
mistake or misfeasance of the court personnel, Register of Deeds, his an implied trust. The respondent, therefore, could not have
deputy, or other employees of the Registry in the performance of their committed fraud against the petitioner or its predecessor-in-
respective duties, the action shall be brought against the Register of interest. Marcopper Mining Corporation v Garcia
Deeds of the province or city where the land is situated and the National
Treasurer as defendants. But if such action is brought to recover for loss Prescriptive period within which to file an action for
or damage or for deprivation of land or of any interest therein arising reconveyance based on implied or constructive trust is 10 years,
through fraud, negligence, omission, mistake or misfeasance of person and 4 years, in cases of actual fraud.
other than court personnel, the Register of Deeds, his deputy or other There being no implied or constructive trust, the petitioner cannot
employees of the Registry, such action shall be brought against the invoke the ten-year prescriptive period within which to file an
Register of Deeds, the National Treasurer and other person or persons, action for reconveyance. Thus, even assuming that the
as co-defendants. It shall be the duty of the Solicitor General in person or respondent was indeed guilty of fraud in the procurement of the
by representative to appear and to defend all such suits with the aid of free patent and the corresponding OCT in his name and that the
the fiscal of the province or city where the land lies: Provided, however, petitioner is the one entitled to the issuance of a patent, then
that nothing in this Decree shall be construed to deprive the plaintiff of petitioner's action should have been filed within four (4) years
any right of action which he may have against any person for such loss or from the issuance of the respondent's OCT which was on October
damage or deprivation without joining the National Treasurer as party 23, 1973. Marcopper Mining Corporation v Garcia
defendant. In every action filed against the Assurance Fund, the court
shall consider the report of the Commissioner of Land Registration. Despite the indefeasiblity of a title, the law protects rightful
partys interest by allowing him to judicially seek reconveyance of
Civil Code, Art. 1456. If the property is acquired through mistake or the property to him by reason of fraud or improper use of
fraud, the person obtaining it is, by force of law, considered a trustee of technicalities, provided that the land has not been transferred to
an implied trust for the benefit of the person from whom the property a purchases in good faith.
comes. While an inherently defective Torrens title may not ordinarily be
cancelled even after proof of its defect, the law nevertheless
safeguards the rightful party's interest in the titled land from fraud
and improper use of technicalities by allowing such party, in
An implied or constructive trust presupposes the existence of a appropriate cases, to judicially seek reconveyance to him of
defrauded party who is the rightful owner of the disputed whatever he has been deprived of as long as the land has not
property. been transferred or conveyed to a purchaser in good faith. (Pedro
An implied or constructive trust presupposes the existence of a Pascua, et al., vs. Mariano Gopuyoc et al., L-23197, May 31,
defrauded party who is the rightful owner of the disputed 1977.) Municipality of Victorias v CA
property, In the case at bar, aside from the fact that the petitioner
and its predecessor-in-interest never applied for a free patent

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Dann Mercado (Batch 3, DLSU Law)

The trustor has the right to enforce the trust, notwithstanding the questioned property is not the real owner thereof (Rodriguez v.
irrevocability of the Torrens title, and the trustee and his Toreno, 79 SCRA 357 [1977]). An ordinary civil action for
successors-in-interest are bound to execute the deed of reconveyance does not seek to set aside the decree but respecting
reconveyance. the decree as incontrovertible and no longer open to review, seeks
The Civil Code provides: to transfer or reconvey the land from the registered owner to the
rightful owner (Director of Lands, et al. v. Register of Deeds, et al.
"Art. 1456. If the property is acquired through mistake or fraud, 92 Phil. 827 [1953]). Esconde v Barlongay
the person obtaining it is, by force of law, considered a trustee of
an implied trust for the benefit of the person from whom the If the action is by reason of intrinsic fraud, it must be brought
property comes." within the period of one year from the issuance of decree of
registration.
Thus, it has been held that where the land is decreed in the name Under the circumstances in the case at bar, it is apparent that
of a person through fraud or mistake, such person is by operation reconveyance is not the proper remedy. As earlier stated, there
of law considered a trustee of an implied trust for the benefit of was no proof of irregularity in the issuance of title, nor in the
the persons from whom the property comes. The beneficiary shall proceedings incident thereto, nor was it established that fraud had
have the right to enforce the trust, notwithstanding the indeed intervened in the issuance of said title, and the period of
irrevocability of the Torrens title and the trustee and his one year within which intrinsic fraud could be claimed had long
successors-in-interest are bound to execute the deed of expired. Under similar conditions, the Court ruled that the land
reconveyance. (Pacheco vs. Arro, 85 Phil. 505; Escobar vs. Locsin, should be adjudicated to the registered owner (Paterno, et al. v.
74 Phil. 86). Municipality of Victorias v CA Salud, 118 Phil. 933-934 [1963]).
Esconde v Barlongay
What is an action for reconveyance?
However, an action for reconveyance is a legal and equitable The prescriptive period for filing of action for reconveyance does
remedy granted to the rightful owner of land which has been not run against a person in possession of a land. It is
wrongfully or erroneously registered in the name of another for imprescriptible so long as he possesses the same.
the purpose of compelling the latter to transfer or reconvey the We held that prescription cannot be invoked in an action for
land to him (Bilog, "Remedies Available to Aggrieved Parties As a reconveyance, which is, in effect, an action to quiet title against
Consequence of Registration Under the Torrens System"; Property the plaintiff therein who is in possession of the land in question.
Registration 1979; pp. 122-123). The prevailing rule in this The reason, We explained, is "that as lawful possessor and owner
jurisdiction does not bar a landowner whose property was of the Disputed Portion, her cause of action for reconveyance
wrongfully or erroneously registered under the Torrens System which, in effect, seeks to quiet title to property in one's possession
from bringing an action, after one year from the issuance of the is imprescriptible. Her undisturbed possession over a period of
decree, for the reconveyance of the property in question. Such an fifty-two [52] years (48 years in this case) gave her a continuing
action does not aim or purport to re-open the registration right to seek the aid of a Court of equity to determine the nature
proceeding and set aside the decree of registration, but only to of the adverse claim of a third party and the effect on her title."
show that the person who secured the registration of the Almarza v Arguelles

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Dann Mercado (Batch 3, DLSU Law)

owner of the land was never in possession of the disputed


If ever prescription may be invoked, it may be said to have property, and the party who has the better right, and is asking for
commenced to run only from the time the possessor was made its reconveyance had always been in possession of the same.
aware of a claim adverse to his own. The law thereby creates the obligation of the trustee to reconvey
We further stated that if ever prescription may be invoked, it may the property and the title thereto in favor of the true owner.
be said to have commenced to run only from the time the Correlating Section 53, paragraph 3 of Presidential Decree No.
possessor was made aware of a claim adverse to his own. In the 1529 and Article 1456 of the Civil Code with Article 1144(2) of the
case at bar, petitioner was made aware of such adverse claim only Civil Code, supra, the prescriptive period for the reconveyance of
upon service on her of the summons in Civil Case No. 11051. As fraudulently registered real property is ten (10) years reckoned
her action for reconveyance, or to quiet title was contained in her from the date of the issuance of the certificate of title.
counterclaim, the same cannot be said to have already
prescribed. Almarza v Arguelles There is but one instance when prescription cannot be invoked in
an action for reconveyance, that is, when the plaintiff is in
The action for reconveyance on the theory of trust might propser, possession of the land to be reconveyed.[9]
if at all, as against the trustees and provided that they still hold
the properties, but not as against third persons who do not In a series of cases,[10] this Court permitted the filing of an
occupy the same fiduciary position. action for reconveyance despite the lapse of ten years and
Land Registration Act a decree of registration quiets title to the declared that said action, when based on fraud, is imprescriptible
land definitely, subject only to reopening on the ground of fraud, as long as the land has not passed to an innocent purchaser for
upon petition of the party defrauded within a period of one year. value. But in all those cases including Vital vs. Anore[11] on which
It seems, however, that the action is one for reconveyance, on the the appellate court based its assailed decision, the common
theory that the original registered owners - the spouses Marcelo factual backdrop was that the registered owners were never in
Garcia and Alberta Zamora in regard to the first parcel, and possession of the disputed property. Instead, it was the persons
Lorenzo Mendoza in regard to the second - were the with the better right or the legal owners of the land who had
administrators of those lands, and hence held them in a fiduciary always been in possession of the same. Thus, the Court allowed
capacity. Even assuming that this was true, the disabilities the action for reconveyance to prosper in those cases despite the
imposed by such relationship did not extend to the transferees of lapse of more than ten years from the issuance of title to the land.
said administrators, who acquired the land for value and claimed The exception was based on the theory that registration
adverse title in themselves. The action for reconveyance on the proceedings could not be used as a shield for fraud or for
theory of trust might prosper, if at all, as against the trustees and enriching a person at the expense of another.[12] Saludares v
provided they still hold the properties, but not as against third Dator
persons who do not occupy the same fiduciary position.
Joaquin v Cojuangco After lapse of one year, a decree of registration is no longer open
to review or attack although its issuance is attended with actual
The general rule is that the prescription bars an action for fraud. But a party may still file an action for reconveyance as long
reconveyance. The exception to this rule is when the registered as the property has not yet passed to an innocent purchaser.

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... The basic rule is that after the lapse of one (1) year, a decree Pursuant to Sec. 19(2) of BP 129, as amended by RA 7691, the
of registration is no longer open to review or attack although its RTC has exclusive jurisdiction:
issuance is attended with actual fraud. This does not mean, a. in all civil actions which involve the title to, or possession of,
however, that the aggrieved party is without a remedy at law. If real property, or any interest therein, where the assessed value
the property has not yet passed to an innocent purchaser for of the property exceeds P20,000;
value, an action for reconveyance is still available. The decree b. or for civil actions in Metro Manila, where such value exceeds
becomes incontrovertible and can no longer be reviewed after one P50,000.
(1) year from the date of the decree so that the only remedy of -Exception: actions for forcible entry and unlawful detainer,
the landowner whose property has been wrongfully or erroneously original jurisdiction over which is conferred upon the MetroTCs,
registered in another's name is to bring an ordinary action in court MuniTCs, MuniCTCs.
for reconveyance, which is an action in personam and is always Being in the nature of actions for reconveyance or actions to
available as long as the property has not passed to an innocent remove cloud on one's title, the applicable law to determine which
third party for value. If the property has passed into the hands of court has jurisdiction is Section 19(2) of B.P. 129, as amended by
an innocent purchaser for value, the remedy is an action for R.A. No. 7691, viz:
damages. Heirs of Sanjorjo v Heirs of Quijangco
In an action for reconveyance, two facts must be alleged in the Section 19. Jurisdiction in Civil Cases.-- Regional Trial Courts shall
complaint, namely, (1) that the plaintiff was the owner of the exercise exclusive original jurisdiction: x x x
land and (2) that the defendant had illegally disposed him of the
same. And the body of the pleading or complaint determines the (2) In all civil actions which involve the title to, or possession of,
nature of an action. real property, or any interest therein, where the assessed value of
An action for reconveyance is one that seeks to transfer property, the property involved exceeds Twenty thousand pesos
wrongfully registered by another, to its rightful and legal (P20,000.00) or for civil actions in Metro Manila, where such value
owner.[21] All that must be alleged in the complaint are two (2) exceeds Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) except actions for
facts which, admitting them to be true, would entitle the plaintiff forcible entry into and unlawful detainer of lands or buildings,
to recover title to the disputed land, namely, (1) that the plaintiff original jurisdiction over which is conferred upon the Metropolitan
was the owner of the land and, (2) that the defendant had illegally Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial
dispossessed him of the same.[22] The body of the pleading or Courts;
complaint determines the nature of an action, not its title or
heading.[23] In their complaint, the petitioners clearly asserted x x x. Heirs of Concha v Spouses Lumosco
that their predecessors-in-interest have long been the absolute
and exclusive owners of the lots in question and that they were Actions for reconveyance of or cancellation of title to or to quiet
fraudulently deprived of ownership thereof when the private title over real property are actions that fall under the
respondents obtained free patents and certificates of title in their classification of cases that involve title to, or possession of, real
names.[24] These allegations certainly measure up to the property, or any interest therein.
requisite statement of facts to constitute an action for In a number of cases, we have held that actions for
reconveyance. Heirs of Sanjorjo v Heirs of Quijangco reconveyance[44] of or for cancellation of title[45] to or to quiet

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title[46] over real property are actions that fall under the forum to ventilate and adjudge the issue of impairment of legitime
classification of cases that involve "title to, or possession of, real as well as other related matters involving the settlement of
property, or any interest therein." estate.[40]

In determining which court has jurisdiction, only the assessed An action for reconveyance with damages is a civil action, whereas
value of the property involved should be computed. matters relating to settlement of the estate of a deceased person
Petitioners' contention that the value of the trees cut in the such as advancement of property made by the decedent, partake
subject properties constitutes "any interest therein (in the subject of the nature of a special proceeding. Special proceedings require
properties)" that should be computed in addition to the respective the application of specific rules as provided for in the Rules of
assessed values of the subject properties is unavailing. Section Court.[41] Heirs of Doronio v Heirs of Doronio
19(2) of B.P. 129, as amended by R.A. No. 7691, is clear that the
RTC shall exercise jurisdiction "in all civil actions which involve the When two certificates of title are issued to different persons
title to, or possession of, real property, or any interest therein, covering the same land in whole or in part, the earlier in date
where the assessed value of the property involved exceeds must prevail; and in case of successive registrations where more
Twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00) or for civil actions in Metro than one certificate is issued over the same land, the person
Manila, where such value exceeds Fifty thousand pesos holding a prior certificate is entitled to the land as against a
(P50,000.00)." It is true that the recovery of the value of the person who relies on a subsequent certificate.
trees cut from the subject properties may be included in the term But we agree with respondents that petitioner cannot rely on the
"any interest therein." However, the law is emphatic that in decision in LRC No. 142-A. As pointed out by the Court of Appeals,
determining which court has jurisdiction, it is only the assessed even if a title had been issued to petitioner based on said decision,
value of the realty involved that should be computed.[54] In this his title would be of a later date than the title of respondents,
case, there is no dispute that the assessed values of the subject hence inefficacious and ineffective. This Court has ruled that,
properties as shown by their tax declarations are less than when two certificates of title are issued to different persons
P20,000.00. Clearly, jurisdiction over the instant cases belongs covering the same land in whole or in part, the earlier in date
not to the RTC but to the MTC. Heirs of Concha v Spouses must prevail; and in case of successive registrations where more
Lumosco than one certificate is issued over the same land, the person
holding a prior certificate is entitled to the land as against a
Issues on matters that are within the compass of special person who relies on a subsequent certificate.[9] Antonio v
proceedings cannot be brought and passed upon in an action for Santos
reconveyance and damages.
On the other hand, petitioners are correct in alleging that the Prescriptive period for action for reconveyance begins to run from
issue regarding the impairment of legitime of Fortunato Doronio the time of issuance of the original certificate of title. Registration
must be resolved in an action for the settlement of estates of of real property is considered a constructive notice to all persons.
spouses Simeon Doronio and Cornelia Gante. It may not be Note, however, should be taken of the established doctrine that
passed upon in an action for reconveyance and damages. A an action for reconveyance resulting from fraud prescribes four
probate court, in the exercise of its limited jurisdiction, is the best years from the discovery of the fraud. Such discovery is deemed

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to have taken place upon the issuance of the certificate of title 6. Action for Damages
over the property. Registration of real property is considered a
constructive notice to all persons, thus, the four-year period shall If an action for reconveyance may no longer prosper because the
be counted therefrom.[12] It appears that OCT No. 108 was property had already been passed to an innocent purchaser for
issued to respondents by the Register of Deeds for Metro Manila value, the defrauded party may bring an action for damages
on May 20, 1977. From the time of registration of the land in the against those who caused the fraud. Such action prescribes in ten
name of respondents on May 20, 1977 to the filing of the years from the issuance of the Torrens title over the property.
complaint on September 19, 1988, more than four years had -If an action for reconveyance based on constructive trust cannot
already elapsed. Hence, it cannot be denied that petitioner's reach an innocent purchaser for value, the remedy of the
action had already prescribed. Antonio v Santos defrauded party is to bring an action for damages against those
who caused the fraud or were instrumental in depriving him of
A registration of transfer of any rights over a property, which is the property. And it is now well- settled that such action
declared invalid, does not vest any title. The Torren system does prescribes in ten years from the issuance of the Torrent Title
not create or vets title where one does not have a rightful claim over the property. Pino v CA
over a real property. Thus, the decree of registration, even after
the lapse of one year, cannot attain the status of indefeasibility. In order for an action for damages to prosper, the party
(And a reconvenyance may ensue) defrauded must be in good faith.
As a result, the subsequent registration of the foreclosure sale -We agree. Petitioner was not in good faith when he registered the
cannot transfer any rights over the mortgaged property to the fake documents.
Spouses Espiritu. The registration of the foreclosure sale, herein
declared invalid, cannot vest tile over the mortgaged property. Good faith is ordinarily used to describe that state of mind
The Torrens system does not create or vest title where one does denoting "honesty of intention, and freedom from knowledge of
not have rightful claim over a real property. It only confirms and circumstances which ought to put the holder upon inquiry; an
records title already existing and vested. It does not permit one to honest intention to abstain from taking any unconscientious
enrich oneself at the expense of another. Thus, the decree of advantage of another, even through technicalities of law, together
registration, even after the lapse of one year, cannot attain the with absence of all information, notice, or benefit or belief of facts
status of indefeasiblity. Heirs of Espiritu v Landrito which render the transaction unconscientious." Ingusan v
Reyes
Exception: provided that the property had not been
transferred to an innocent purchase for value 7. Action for Reversion
Significantly, the records show that the property
mortgaged was purchased by the Spouses Espiritue and Action for Reversion distinguished from Action for Nullification of
had not been transferred to an innocent purchaser for Title
value. This means that an action for reconveyance may still Heirs of Ambrocio Kionisala v. Heirs of Honorio Dacut[21]
be availed of in this case. Heirs of Espiritu v Landrito distinguishes an action for reversion from an action for declaration
of nullity of free patents and certificates of title as follows:

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An ordinary civil action for declaration of nullity of free patents


and certificates of title is not the same as an action for reversion.
the Land Management Bureau or the Secretary of the DENR .
The difference between them lies in the allegations as to the Estate of Yujuico v Republic
character of ownership of the realty whose title is sought to be
nullified. In an action for reversion, the pertinent allegations in the Reversion is a proceeding by which the State seeks the return of
complaint would admit State ownership of the disputed land. xxx lands of the public domain or the improvements thereon through
the cancellation of private title erroneously or fraudulently issued
On the other hand, a cause of action for declaration of nullity of over it.[32] The one crucial element which sets it apart from all
free patent and certificate of title would require allegations of the other actions involving possession or title to property is the
plaintiff's ownership of the contested lot prior to the issuance of positive averment in the complaint of state ownership of the
such free patent and certificate of title as well as the defendant's property in dispute. Figuracion v Libi
fraud or mistake, as the case may be, in successfully obtaining
these documents of title over the parcel of land claimed by Reversion suits are proper in the following instances:
plaintiff. In such a case, the nullity arises strictly not from the Pursuant to Section 124 of the Public Land Act, reversion suits are
fraud or deceit but from the fact that the land is beyond the proper in the following instances, to wit:
jurisdiction of the Bureau of Lands to bestow and whatever patent 1. Alienations of land acquired under free patent or homestead
or certificate of title obtained therefor is consequently void ab provisions in violation of Section 118, CA No. 141;
initio. The real party in interest is not the State but the plaintiff 2. Conveyances made by non-Christians in violation of Section
who alleges a pre-existing right of ownership over the parcel of 120, CA No. 141; and
land in question even before the grant of title to the defendant. 3. Alienations of lands acquired under CA No. 141 in favor of
Baguilan v CA persons not qualified under Sections 121, 122, and 123 of CA No.
141. Estate of Yujuico v Republic
What is an action for reversion?
An action for reversion seeks to restore public land fraudulently An action for reversion is now covered by Rule 47 of the Rules of
awarded and disposed of to private individuals or corporations to Court. The two grounds for annulment are extrinsic fraud and lack
the mass of public domain.[17] This remedy is provided under of jurisdiction, the prescriptive period of which are 4 years and
Commonwealth Act (CA) No. 141 (Public Land Act) which became before it is barred by laches or estoppel, respectively.
effective on December 1, 1936. Said law recognized the power of When the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure became effective on July
the state to recover lands of public domain. 1, 1997, it incorporated Rule 47 on annulment of judgments or
final orders and resolutions of the RTCs. The two grounds for
xxx annulment under Sec. 2, Rule 47 are extrinsic fraud and lack of
jurisdiction. If based on extrinsic fraud, the action must be filed
It is clear therefore that reversion suits were originally utilized to within four (4) years from its discovery, and if based on lack of
annul titles or patents administratively issued by the Director of jurisdiction, before it is barred by laches or estoppel as provided
by Section 3, Rule 47. Thus, effective July 1, 1997, any action for

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reversion of public land instituted by the Government was already Considering that innocent purchaser for value Yujuico bought the
covered by Rule 47. Estate of Yujuico v Republic lot in 1974, and more than 27 years had elapsed before the action
for reversion was filed, then said action is now barred by laches.
An action for reversion is filed with the Court of Appeals, not with
the Regional Trial Court. While the general rule is that an action to recover lands of public
The instant Civil Case No. 01-0222 for annulment and cancellation domain is imprescriptible, said right can be barred by laches or
of Decree No. N-150912 and its derivative titles was filed on June estoppel. Section 32 of PD 1592 recognized the rights of an
8, 2001 with the Paraaque City RTC. It is clear therefore that the innocent purchaser for value over and above the interests of the
reversion suit was erroneously instituted in the Paraaque RTC government. Estate of Yujuico v Republic
and should have been dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. The
proper court is the CA which is the body mandated by BP Blg. 129 Innocent purchasers for value encompasses even innocent
and prescribed by Rule 47 to handle annulment of judgments of mortgagees.
RTCs. Estate of Yujuico v Republic Likewise protected are the rights of innocent mortgagees for
value, the PISO, Citibank, N.A., PDC, RCBC, PCIB, and DBP. Even
An action for reversion may be barred by reason of laches if the mortgagor's title was proved fraudulent and the title
or estoppel. declared null and void, such declaration cannot nullify the
Assuming that the Paraaque RTC has jurisdiction over the mortgage rights of a mortgagee in good faith. Estate of
reversion case, still the lapse of almost three decades in filing the Yujuico v Republic
instant case, the inexplicable lack of action of the Republic and the
injury this would cause constrain us to rule for petitioners. While it What is laches?
may be true that estoppel does not operate against the state or its More on the issue of laches. Laches is the failure or neglect, for an
agents,[20] deviations have been allowed. unreasonable and unexplained length of time, to do that which by
exercising due diligence could or should have been done earlier. It
xxx is negligence or omission to assert a right within a reasonable
time, warranting a presumption that the party entitled thereto has
Equitable estoppel may be invoked against public authorities when either abandoned or declined to assert it. Estate of Yujuico v
as in this case, the lot was already alienated to innocent buyers Republic
for value and the government did not undertake any act to
contest the title for an unreasonable length of time. HABA TALAGA NG YUJUICO! POTEK! :)))

Republic v. Court of Appeals is reinforced by our ruling in Republic What should be alleged in a case for annulment of title?
v. Umali,[25] where, in a reversion case, we held that even if the In a case for annulment of title, the plaintiff must allege two
original grantee of a patent and title has obtained the same essential facts: (1) that plaintiff was the owner of the land, and
through fraud, reversion will no longer prosper as the land had (2) that the defendant illegally dispossessed the plaintiff of the
become private land and the fraudulent acquisition cannot affect property. Absent either of these allegations, the plaintiff is
the titles of innocent purchasers for value. considered not the proper party to cause the cancellation of the

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Dann Mercado (Batch 3, DLSU Law)

title of the defendant. Figuracion v Libi incontrovertible but what is sought instead is the transfer of the
property which has been wrongfully or erroneously registered in
The Solicitor General or the officer acting in his stead is the another person's name, to its rightful owner or to one with a
proper party which shall institute action for reversion. better right. Considering that the land subject of the action
Respondents having no real interest in the subject lot under their originated from a grant by the government, its cancellation is a
Second Amended Complaint, they have no legal personality to file matter between the grantor and the grantee.[35] The ruling
the action for reversion of public land.[39] It is not merely a rule nullifying the award of NHA in favor of Maranan has the effect of
of procedure but a requirement of law that reversion be instituted nullifying the deed of sale executed between her and petitioner
in the name of the Republic of the Philippines. Section 101 of the andconsequently, the issuance of the certificate of title in her
Public Land Act is categorical: name must be canceled. However, this will lead to the reversion of
the title back in the name petitioner and not to respondent who
Section 101. All actions for the reversion to the government of has not yet acquired title over the property prior to the issuance
lands of the public domain or improvements thereon shall be of Maranan's title. Thus, having affirmed the disqualification of
instituted by the Solicitor General or the officer acting in his stead, Maranan as a lot awardee and consequently canceling her title
in the proper courts, in the name of the Commonwealth [now over the lot in question, the Court of Appeals should have instead
Republic] of the Philippines. ordered petitioner to award the lot to respondent and to proceed
Figuracion v Libi with the execution of proper instruments to transfer said property
in the name of petitioner in accordance with its rules and
9. Cancellation of Title regulations. NHA v Pascual

What should be alleged in a case for annulment of title? 10. Quieting of Title
In a case for annulment of title, the plaintiff must allege two
essential facts: (1) that plaintiff was the owner of the land, and Chapter 3. Quieting of Title, Civil Code
(2) that the defendant illegally dispossessed the plaintiff of the Art. 476. Whenever there is a cloud on title to real property or any
property. Absent either of these allegations, the plaintiff is interest therein, by reason of any instrument, record, claim,
considered not the proper party to cause the cancellation of the encumbrance or proceeding which is apparently valid or effective but is in
title of the defendant. Figuracion v Libi truth and in fact invalid, ineffective, voidable, or unenforceable, and may
be prejudicial to said title, an action may be brought to remove such
Action for annulment of title should not be filed along with an cloud or to quiet the title.
action for reconveyance where the case is not of two certificates
of titles issued to different persons. An action may also be brought to prevent a cloud from being cast upon
Although respondent has the personality to ask for the annulment title to real property or any interest therein.
of title, however, reconveyance is not proper in the case at bar
and it was error for the Court of Appeals to order petitioner to Art. 477. The plaintiff must have legal or equitable title to, or interest in
reconvey the lot to respondent. The essence of an action for the real property which is the subject matter of the action. He need not
reconveyance is that the decree of registration is respected as be in possession of said property.

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Further, Article 477[72] of the same Code mandates that in an


Art. 478. There may also be an action to quiet title or remove a cloud action to quiet title, the party bringing the action must have a
therefrom when the contract, instrument or other obligation has been legal or, at least, an equitable title[73] to the real property
extinguished or has terminated, or has been barred by extinctive subject of the action and that the alleged cloud[74] on his title
prescription. must be shown to be in fact invalid. Verily, for an action to quiet
title to prosper, two indispensable requisites must concur,
Art. 479. The plaintiff must return to the defendant all benefits he may namely: (1) the plaintiff or complainant has a legal or an equitable
have received from the latter, or reimburse him for expenses that may title to or interest in the real property subject of the action; and
have redounded to the plaintiff's benefit. (2) the deed, claim, encumbrance or proceeding claimed to be
casting cloud on his title must be shown to be in fact invalid or
Art. 480. The principles of the general law on the quieting of title are inoperative despite its prima facie appearance of validity or legal
hereby adopted insofar as they are not in conflict with this Code. efficacy.[75] Heirs of Diaz v Virata

Art. 481. The procedure for the quieting of title or the removal of a cloud An action to quiet title involves ownership of the land, with
therefrom shall be governed by such rules of court as the Supreme Court possession as a mere attribute of ownership. The party filing such
shall promulgated. action need not be in possession of said property. Tan v
Valdehuaza
What is an action to quiet title?
An action for quieting of title is a remedy which may be availed of An action to quiet title to property in the possession of the
only when by reason of any instrument, record, claim, plaintiff is imprescriptible. If at all, the period of prescriptions
encumbrance or proceeding, which appears valid but is, in fact, begins to run against the possessor only from the time the
invalid, ineffective, voidable or unenforceable, a cloud is thereby summons were served to him. The reason for such, being that the
cast on the complainant's title to real property or any interest undisturbed possession gives him the continuing right to seek aid
therein. of a court of equity to ascertain and determine the nature of the
adverse claim of a third party and its effect on his own title,
Article 476 of the Civil Code provides: which right can be claimed only by one who is in possession.
Article 476. Whenever there is a cloud on title to real property or
any interest therein, by reason of any instrument, record, claim, (1)The counterclaim of Felipe Faja for reconveyance to her of the
encumbrance or proceeding which is apparently valid or effective litigated property has not prescribed. It is an established rule that
but is in truth and in fact invalid, ineffective, voidable, or an action to quiet title to property in the possession of plaintiff is
unenforceable, and may be prejudicial to said title, an action may imprescriptible. 10 Inasmuch as it is alleged in paragraph 3 of
be brought to remove such cloud or to quiet the title. Frial's complaint, that Felipa Faja has been in possession of the
property since 1945 up the present or for a period of 30 years,
An action may also be brought to prevent a cloud from being cast her cause of action for reconveyance, which in effect seeks to
upon title to real property or any interest therein. quiet her title to the property, falls within that rule. If at all, the
period of prescription began to run against Felipa Faja only from

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the time she was served with copy of the complaint in 1975 giving In the same complaint, petitioners allege that recently private
her notice that the property she was occupying was titled in the respondents have disturbed their possession of the property by
name of Indalecio Frial. There is settled jurisprudence that one surreptitiously constructing dikes. 8 The rule is that the petitioners
who is in actual possession of a piece of land claiming to be owner may wait until their possession is disturbed or their title is
thereof may wait until his possession is disturbed or his title is attacked before they may take steps to vindicate their right. The
attacked before taking steps to vindicate his right, the reason for statute of limitation is not available as a defense to an action to
the rule being, that his undisturbed possession gives him a remove a cloud from title over property in possession of the
continuing right to seek aid of a court of equity to ascertain and petitioners. Mamadsul v Moson
determine the nature of the adverse claim of a third party and its
effect on his own title, which right can be claimed only by one who In an action to quiet title, the plaintiff must have legal or
is in possession. 11 No better situation can be conceived at the equitable title to, or interest in the real property which is the
moment for Us to apply this rule on equity than that of herein subject matter of the action. But it does not require that the
petitioners whose mother, Felipa Faja, was in possession of the person seeking to quiet his title is the registered owner of the
litigated property for no less than 30 years and was suddenly property in question.
confronted with a claim that the land she had been occupying and The trial court held that in an action to quiet title the plaintiff
cultivating all these years, was titled in the name of a third "must" have legal or equitable title to, or interest in the real
person. We hold that in such a situation the right to quiet title to property which is the subject matter of the action." 9 It
the property, to seek its reconveyance and annul any certificate of interpreted legal title to mean registered ownership and equitable
title covering it, accrued only from the time the one in possession title to mean beneficial ownership.
was made aware of a claim adverse to his own, and it is only then
that the statutory period of prescription commences to run against [But it] is not necessary that the person seeking to quiet his title
such possessor. Felipe v Faja is the registered owner of the property in question.

An action to quiet title is a quasi in rem proceeding. In Chacon, 10 this Court considered the action to be one for
Suits to quiet title are not technically suits in rem, nor are they, quieting of title where the plaintiffs alleged ownership and actual
strictly speaking, in personam, but being against the person in possession since time immemorial of the property in question by
respect of the res, these proceedings are characterized as quasi in themselves and through their predecessors-in-interest, while
rem. (McDaniel v. McElvy, 108 So. 820 [1926].) The judgment in defendants secured a certificate of title over said property through
such proceedings is conclusive only between the parties. Realty fraud, misrepresentation and deceit. Mamadsul v Moson
Sales Enterprise v IAC

The statute of limitation (prescription) cannot be availed of as a What is title in an action to quiet title?
defense to an action to remove a cloud from title over property in Thus, "title" to property does not necessarily mean the original
possession of the petitioner, the reason being, they may wait transfer certificate of title. It can connote acquisitive prescription
until their possession is disturbed or their title is attacked before by possession in the concept of an owner thereof. 11 Indeed, one
they may take steps to vindicate their right. who has an equitable right or interest in the property may also file

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an action to quiet title under the law. Mamadsul v Moson claims title or in which he claims any interest.
(e) Any person who shall willfully obstruct the making of any survey
11. Criminal Prosecution undertaken by the Bureau of Lands or by a licensed Geodetic Engineer
duly authorized to conduct the survey under this Section, or shall
J. Cadastral Registration Proceedings maliciously interfere with the placing of any monument or remove such
monument, or shall destroy or remove any notice of survey posted on the
Section 35. Cadastral Survey preparatory to filing of petition. land pursuant to law, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one
(a) When in the opinion of the President of the Philippines public interest thousand pesos or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.
so requires that title to any unregistered lands be settled and
adjudicated, he may to this end direct and order the Director of Lands to Section 36. Petition for registration. When the lands have been surveyed or
cause to be made a cadastral survey of the lands involved and the plans plotted, the Director of Lands, represented by the Solicitor General, shall
and technical description thereof prepared in due form. institute original registration proceedings by filing the necessary petition in the
(b) Thereupon, the Director of Lands shall give notice to persons claiming Court of First Instance of the place where the land is situated against the
any interest in the lands as well as to the general public, of the day on holders, claimants, possessors, or occupants of such lands or any part thereof,
which such survey will begin, giving as fully and accurately as possible stating in substance that public interest requires that the title to such lands be
the description of the lands to be surveyed. Such notice shall be punished settled and adjudicated and praying that such titles be so settled and
once in the Official Gazette, and a copy of the notice in English or the adjudicated:
national language shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the bulletin The petition shall contain a description of the lands and shall be accompanied by
board of the municipal building of the municipality in which the lands or a plan thereof, and may contain such other data as may serve to furnish full
any portion thereof is situated. A copy of the notice shall also be sent to notice to the occupants of the lands and to all persons who may claim any right
the mayor of such municipality as well as to the barangay captain and or interest therein.
likewise to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and the Sangguniang Bayan Where the land consists of two or more parcels held or occupied by different
concerned. persons, the plan shall indicate the boundaries or limits of the various parcels as
(c) The Geodetic Engineers or other employees of the Bureau of Lands in accurately as possible. The parcels shall be known as "lots" and shall on the plan
charge of the survey shall give notice reasonably in advance of the date filed in the case be given separate numbers by the Director of Lands, which
on which the survey of any portion of such lands is to begin, which notice numbers shall be known as "cadastral lot numbers". The lots situated within
shall be posted in the bulletin board of the municipal building of the each municipality shall, as far as practicable, be numbered consecutively
municipality or barrio in which the lands are situated, and shall mark the beginning with number "one", and only one series of numbers shall be used for
boundaries of the lands by monuments set up in proper places thereon. It that purpose in each municipality. However in cities or townsites, a designation
shall be lawful for such Geodetic Engineers and other employees to enter of the landholdings by blocks and lot numbers may be employed instead of the
upon the lands whenever necessary for the purposes of such survey or designation by cadastral lot numbers.
the placing of monuments. The cadastral number of a lot shall not be changed after final decision has been
(d) It shall be the duty of every person claiming an interest in the lands entered decreasing the registration thereof, except by order of court. Future
to be surveyed, or in any parcel thereof, to communicate with the subdivisions of any lot shall be designated by a letter or letters of the alphabet
Geodetic Engineer upon his request therefor all information possessed by added to the cadastral number of the lot to which the respective subdivisions
such person concerning the boundary lines of any lands to which he pertain. The letter with which a subdivision is designated shall be known as its

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Dann Mercado (Batch 3, DLSU Law)

"cadastral letter": Provided, however, that the subdivisions of cities or townsites conducted, and orders for default and confessions entered, in the same manner
may be designated by blocks and lot numbers. as in ordinary land registration proceedings and shall be governed by the same
rules. All conflicting interests shall be adjudicated by the court and decrees
Section 37. Answer to petition in cadastral proceedings. Any claimant in awarded in favor of the persons entitled to the lands or to parts thereof and
cadastral proceedings, whether named in the notice or not, shall appear before such decrees shall be the basis for issuance of original certificates of title in
the court by himself or by some other authorized person in his behalf, and shall favor of said persons and shall have the same effect as certificates of title
file an answer on or before the date of initial hearing or within such further time granted on application for registration of land under ordinary land registration
as may be allowed by the court. The answer shall be signed and sworn to by the proceedings.
claimant or by some other authorized person in his behalf, and shall state
whether the claimant is married or unmarried, and if married, the name of the A cadastral proceeding is a proceeding in rem
spouse and the date of marriage, his nationality, residence and postal address, A Cadastral proceeding is a proceeding in rem and against everybody,
and shall also contain: including the respondents herein, who are deemed included in the
(a) The age of the claimant; general order of default entered in the case. Rodil v Benedicto
(b) The cadastral number of the lot or lots claimed, as appearing on the
plan filed in the case by the Director of Lands, or the block and lot Cadastral proceedings, like ordinary registration proceedings, are
numbers, as the case may be; proceedings in rem, and are governed by the usual rules of practice,
(c) The name of the barrio and municipality in which the lots are procedure and evidence. A cadastral decree and a certificate of title are
situated; issued only after the applicants prove all the requisite jurisdictional facts:
(d) The names and addresses of the owners of the adjoining lots so far as that they are entitled to the claimed lot; that all parties are heard; and
known to the claimant; that evidence is considered. Tan Sing Pan v Republic
(e) If the claimant is in possession of the lots claimed and can show no
express grant of the land by the government to him or to his The right for the issuance of writ of possession is imprescriptible.
predecessors-in-interest, the answer shall state the length of time he has The better rule, however, is that enunciated in the case of Manlapas and
held such possession and the manner in which it has been acquired, and Tolentino vs. Lorente, 14 which has not yet been abandoned, that the
shall also state the length of time, as far as known, during which the right of the applicant or a subsequent purchaser to ask for the issuance
predecessors, if any, held possession; of a writ of possession of the land never prescribes. Rodil v Benedicto
(f) If the claimant is not in possession or occupation of the land, the
answer shall fully set forth the interest claimed by him and the time and Publication is essential even in cadastral cases.
manner of his acquisition; In Director of Lands, et al. v. Benitez, et al.,[5] the Court categorically
(g) if the lots have been assessed for taxation, their last assessed value; stated that publication is essential to establish jurisdiction in land
and registration and cadastral cases, without which the court cannot acquire
(h) The encumbrances, if any, affecting the lots and the names of adverse jurisdiction thereon or obtain any authority to proceed therewith.
claimants, as far as known.
xxx
Section 38. Hearing, Judgment, Decree. The trial of the case may occur at any
convenient place within the province in which the lands are situated and shall be

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Dann Mercado (Batch 3, DLSU Law)

Publication of course is one of the essential bases of the jurisdiction of serve to put all those affected on their guard. Tan Sing Pan v
the court in land registration and cadastral cases, and the attempt that Republic
was here made to incorporate lot No. 40 into the cadastral was futile.
Before a cadastral survey can be amended so as to include land in which After trial in a cadastral case, three actions are taken:
no publication has been made, new publication is necessary, - a step a. Adjudication of ownership in favor of one of the claimants
essential to the protection of persons interested in the property which is b. Declaration by the Court that the decree is final and its order
intended to be included. Tan Sing Pan v Republic for the issuance of the certificate of title by the Chief of the
Land Registration Office (LRA)
What is Cadastral System/proceeding? What is its purpose? c. Issuance of decree by the Chief Surveyor of the General Land
Under the Cadastral System, pursuant to initiative on the part of the Registration Office. (LRA)
Government, titles for all the land within a stated area, are adjudicated After trial in a cadastral case, three actions are taken. The first
whether or not the people living within this district desire to have titles adjudicates ownership in favor of one of the claimants. This constitutes
issued. The purpose, as stated in section one of the Cadastral Act (No. the decision - the judgment - the decree of the court, and speaks in a
2259), is to serve the public interests, by requiring that the titles to any judicial manner. The second action is the declaration by the court that
lands "be settled and adjudicated." Tan Sing Pan v Republic the decree is final and its order for the issuance of the certificates of title
by the Chief of the Land Registration Office. Such order is made if within
How is a cadastral proceeding conducted? thirty days from the date of receipt of a copy of the decision no appeal is
Admitting that such compulsory registration of land and such excessive taken from the decision. This again is judicial action, although to a less
interference with private property constitutes due process of law and that degree than the first.
the Acts providing for the same are constitutional, a question not here
raised, yet a study of the law indicates that many precautions are taken The third and last action devolves upon the General Land Registration
to guard against injustice. The proceedings are initiated by a notice of Office. This office has been instituted "for the due effectuation and
survey. When the lands have been surveyed and plotted, the Director of accomplishment of the laws relative to the registration of land."
Lands, represented by the Attorney General, files a petition in court (Administrative Code of 1917, Sec. 174.) An official found in the office,
praying that the titles to the lands named be settled and adjudicated. known as the chief surveyor, has as one of his duties "to prepare final
Notice of the filing of the petition is then published twice in successive decrees in all adjudicated cases." (Administrative Code of 1917, Sec.
issues of the Official Gazette in both the English and Spanish languages. 177.) This latter decree contains the technical description of the land and
All persons interested are given the benefit of assistance by competent may not be issued until a considerable time after the promulgation of the
officials and are informed of their rights. A trial is had. "All conflicting judgment. The form of the decree used by the General Land Registration
interests shall be adjudicated by the court and decrees awarded in favor Office concludes with the words: "Witness, the Honorable (name of the
of the persons entitled to the lands or the various parts thereof, and such judge), on this the (date)." The date that is used as authority for the
decrees, when final, shall be the bases of original certificates of title in issuance of the decree is the date when, after hearing the evidence, the
favor of said persons." (Act No. 2259, Sec. 11.) Aside from this, the trial court decreed the adjudication and registration of the land. Tan
commotion caused by the survey and a trial affecting ordinarily many Sing Pan v Republic
people, together with the presence of strangers in the community, should

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The judicial decree when final is the basis for the certificate of title. The to issue the corresponding decree of registration and certificate of title. The clerk
date of the judgment begins the running of the time for the of court shall send, within fifteen days from entry of judgment, certified copies
interposition of a motion for a new trial or for the perfection of an of the judgment and of the order of the court directing the Commissioner to
appeal to the Supreme Court. issue the corresponding decree of registration and certificate of title, and a
The judgment in a cadastral survey, including the rendition of the certificate stating that the decision has not been amended, reconsidered, nor
decree, is a judicial act. As the law says, the judicial decree when final is appealed, and has become final. Thereupon, the Commissioner shall cause to be
the base of the certificate of title. The issuance of the decree by the Land prepared the decree of registration as well as the original and duplicate of the
Registration Office is ministerial act. The date of the judgment, or more corresponding original certificate of title. The original certificate of title shall be a
correctly stated, the date on which the defeated party receives a copy of true copy of the decree of registration. The decree of registration shall be signed
the decision, begins the running of the time for the interposition of a by the Commissioner, entered and filed in the Land Registration Commission.
motion for a new trial or for the perfection of an appeal to the Supreme The original of the original certificate of title shall also be signed by the
Court. The date of the title prepared by the Chief Surveyor is Commissioner and shall be sent, together with the owner's duplicate certificate,
unimportant, for the adjudication has taken place and all that is left to be to the Register of Deeds of the city or province where the property is situated for
performed is the mere formulation of the technical description. If an entry in his registration book.
unknown individual could wait possibly years until the day before a
surveyor gets around to transcribing a technical description of a piece of Section 40. Entry of Original Certificate of Title. Upon receipt by the Register of
land, the defeated party could just as reasonably expect the same Deeds of the original and duplicate copies of the original certificate of title the
consideration for his appeal. As a matter of fact, the so-called unknown is same shall be entered in his record book and shall be numbered, dated, signed
a party just as much as the known oppositor for notice is to all the world, and sealed by the Register of Deeds with the seal of his office. Said certificate of
and the decree binds all the world. Tan Sing Pan v Republic title shall take effect upon the date of entry thereof. The Register of Deeds shall
forthwith send notice by mail to the registered owner that his owner's duplicate
is ready for delivery to him upon payment of legal fees.
The filing of an answer or claim with the cadastral court is equivalent to Section 41. Owner's duplicate certificate of title. The owner's duplicate
an application for registration of title certificate of title shall be delivered to the registered owner or to his duly
As petitioners' themselves concede,[10] the filing of an answer or claim authorized representative. If two or more persons are registered owners, one
with the cadastral court is equivalent to an application for registration of owner's duplicate certificate may be issued for the whole land, or if the co-
title to real property. It is thus an action in rem[11] and the land owners so desire, a separate duplicate may be issued to each of them in like
registration court acquires jurisdiction over the res by service of form, but all outstanding certificates of title so issued shall be surrendered
processes in the manner prescribed by the statute. Tan Sing Pan v whenever the Register of Deeds shall register any subsequent voluntary
Republic transaction affecting the whole land or part thereof or any interest therein. The
Register of Deeds shall note on each certificate of title a statement as to whom a
K. Certificate of Title copy thereof was issued.

Section 39. Preparation of decree and Certificate of Title. After the judgment Section 42. Registration Books. The original copy of the original certificate of
directing the registration of title to land has become final, the court shall, within title shall be filed in the Registry of Deeds. The same shall be bound in
fifteen days from entry of judgment, issue an order directing the Commissioner consecutive order together with similar certificates of title and shall constitute

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the registration book for titled properties. make up the full ownership in the whole land, including their civil status, and the
names of their respective spouses, if married, as well as their citizenship,
Section 43. Transfer Certificate of Title. The subsequent certificate of title that residence and postal address. If the property covered belongs to the conjugal
may be issued by the Register of Deeds pursuant to any voluntary or involuntary partnership, it shall be issued in the names of both spouses.
instrument relating to the same land shall be in like form, entitled "Transfer
Certificate of Title", and likewise issued in duplicate. The certificate shall show Section 46. General incidents of registered land. Registered land shall be
the number of the next previous certificate covering the same land and also the subject to such burdens and incidents as may arise by operation of law. Nothing
fact that it was originally registered, giving the record number, the number of contained in this decree shall in any way be construed to relieve registered land
the original certificate of title, and the volume and page of the registration book or the owners thereof from any rights incident to the relation of husband and
in which the latter is found. wife, landlord and tenant, or from liability to attachment or levy on execution, or
from liability to any lien of any description established by law on the land and
Section 44. Statutory liens affecting title. Every registered owner receiving a the buildings thereon, or on the interest of the owner in such land or buildings,
certificate of title in pursuance of a decree of registration, and every subsequent or to change the laws of descent, or the rights of partition between co-owners,
purchaser of registered land taking a certificate of title for value and in good or the right to take the same by eminent domain, or to relieve such land from
faith, shall hold the same free from all encumbrances except those noted in said liability to be recovered by an assignee in insolvency or trustee in bankcruptcy
certificate and any of the following encumbrances which may be subsisting, under the laws relative to preferences, or to change or affect in any way other
namely: rights or liabilities created by law and applicable to unregistered land, except as
First. Liens, claims or rights arising or existing under the laws and otherwise provided in this Decree.
Constitution of the Philippines which are not by law required to appear of
record in the Registry of Deeds in order to be valid against subsequent Section 47. Registered land not subject to prescriptions. No title to registered
purchasers or encumbrancers of record. land in derogation of the title of the registered owner shall be acquired by
Second. Unpaid real estate taxes levied and assessed within two years prescription or adverse possession.
immediately preceding the acquisition of any right over the land by an
innocent purchaser for value, without prejudice to the right of the Section 48. Certificate not subject to collateral attack. A certificate of title shall
government to collect taxes payable before that period from the not be subject to collateral attack. It cannot be altered, modified, or canceled
delinquent taxpayer alone. except in a direct proceeding in accordance with law.
Third. Any public highway or private way established or recognized by
law, or any government irrigation canal or lateral thereof, if the certificate
of title does not state that the boundaries of such highway or irrigation Section 49. Splitting, or consolidation of titles. A registered owner of several
canal or lateral thereof have been determined. distinct parcels of land embraced in and covered by a certificate of title desiring
Fourth. Any disposition of the property or limitation on the use thereof by in lieu thereof separate certificates, each containing one or more parcels, may
virtue of, or pursuant to, Presidential Decree No. 27 or any other law or file a written request for that purpose with the Register of Deeds concerned, and
regulations on agrarian reform. the latter, upon the surrender of the owner's duplicate, shall cancel it together
with its original and issue in lieu thereof separate certificates as desired. A
Section 45. Statement of personal circumstances in the certificate. Every registered owner of several distinct parcels of land covered by separate
certificate of title shall set forth the full names of all persons whose interests certificates of title desiring to have in lieu thereof a single certificate for the

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whole land, or several certificates for the different parcels thereof, may also file cut off by such certificate if not noted thereon, and the certificate so
a written request with the Register of Deeds concerned, and the latter, upon the issued binds the whole world, including the government. National
surrender of the owner's duplicates, shall cancel them together with their Grains Authority v IAC
originals, and issue in lieu thereof one or separate certificates as desired.
Exception: where a person obtains a certificate of title to a land
The registered owner is entitled to possession of the owners duplicate belonging to another and he has full knowledge of the rights of
of title. the true owner.2
In a decided case, this Court has already held that: the owner of the land The only exception to this rule is where a person obtains a
in whose favor and in whose name said land is registered and inscribed in certificate of title to a land belonging to another and he has full
the certificate of title has a more preferential right to the possession of knowledge of the rights of the true owner. He is then considered
the owner's duplicate than one whose name does not appear in the as guilty of fraud and he may be compelled to transfer the land to
certificate and has yet to establish his right to the possession thereof. the defrauded owner so long as the property has not passed to
Reyes v Reyes the hands of an innocent purchaser for value (Angeles vs. Sania,
66 Phil. 444 [1938]). National Grains Authority v IAC
An original certificate of title does not establish the time of the
acquisition of the property. Rather it merely confirms a pre-existing Liens, claims and encumbrances annotated on previous certificates of
title. title are carried over to the new transfer of certificates of title.
We should not overlook the fact that the title to said property was not a This is so because any lien annotated on previous certificates of title
transfer certificate of title, but an original one, issued in accordance with should be incorporated in or carried over to the new transfer certificates
a decree which, pursuant to law, merely confirms a pre-existing title. 14 of title. Such lien is inseparable from the property as it is a right in rem,
Said original certificate of title does not establish, therefore, the time of a burden on the property whoever its owner may be. It subsists
acquisition of the Paraaque property by the registered owner thereof. notwithstanding a change in ownership; in short, the personality of the
- Ponce De Leon v Rehabilitation Finance Corp. owner is disregarded.[16] As emphasized earlier, the provision on
automatic membership was annotated in the Certificate of Title and made
Only the claims and liens, except those mentioned by law as existing, a condition in the Deed of Transfer in favor of PADCOM. Consequently, it
noted on the certificate of title shall be imposed and held against the is bound by and must comply with the covenant. Padcom v Ortigas
subject land of its registered owner receiving the certificate or its
subsequent purchaser for value and in good faith. A certificate of title cannot be attacked collaterally.
Thus, under Section 44 of P.D. 1529, every registered owner receiving a We agree with the CA that OCT No. P-6176 remains valid. The issue of
certificate of title in pursuance of a decree of registration, and every the validity of title (e.g. whether or not it was issued fraudulently or in
subsequent purchaser of registered land taking a certificate of title for breach of trust) can only be assailed in an action expressly instituted for
value and in good faith, shall hold the same free from all encumbrances
except those noted on the certificate and any of the encumbrances which
may be subsisting, and enumerated in the law. Under said provision, 2
Knowledge is equivalent to registration. See voluntary and involuntary
claims and liens of whatever character, except those mentioned by law as dealings.
existing, against the land prior to the issuance of certificate of title, are

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that purpose.[31] A certificate of title cannot be attacked collaterally.


Ingusan v Reyes The failure on the part of the administrative authorities to do their part in
the issuance of the decree of registration cannot oust the prevailing party
Certificate of Title is the best proof of ownership of land from ownership of the land. Neither the failure of such applicant to follow
The fact that the subject real property was registered under the Torrens up with said authorities can. The ultimate goal of our land registration
System of registration in the name of respondent MMPCI under Transfer system is geared towards the final and definitive determination of real
Certificate of Title No. 301151 by the Register of Deeds of Quezon City on property ownership in the country, and the imposition of an additional
June 14, 1983, makes the instant petition all the more dismissible, burden on the owner after the judgment in the land registration case had
considering that the best proof of ownership of a piece of land is the attained finality would simply frustrate such goal.
Certificate of Title. Halili v CIR
Clearly, the peculiar procedure provided in the Property Registration Law
A decision in a land registration proceeding decreeing a land to the from the time decisions in land registration cases become final is
applicant need not be enforced by him for the issuance of the title. It is complete in itself and does not need to be filled in. From another
not barred by prescription or laches. The obligation to promulgate and perspective, the judgment does not have to be executed by motion or
enforce the decision lies within the duties of the LRA. enforced by action within the purview of Rule 39 of the 1997 Rules of
Despite the invocation by the OSG of these two cases, there Civil Procedure. Republic v Nillas
exists a more general but definite jurisprudential rule that favors
Nillas and bolsters the rulings of the lower courts. The rule is that 1. Indefeasibility
"neither laches nor the statute of limitations applies to a decision
in a land registration case."[12] Indefeasibility of title does not operate on titles issued over
properties of public domain classified as inalienable and not
xxx agricultural.
It was premature for the trial court to rule on whether or not the
The provision [Section 39, PD 1529] lays down the procedure that titles based on the patents awarded to the private respondents
interposes between the rendition of the judgment and the issuance of the have become indefeasible. It is well settled that a certificate of
certificate of title. No obligation whatsoever is imposed by Section 39 on title is void when it covers property of public domain classified as
the prevailing applicant or oppositor even as a precondition to the forest or timber and mineral lands. Any title issued on non-
issuance of the title. The obligations provided in the Section are levied on disposable lots even in the hands of alleged innocent purchaser for
the land court (that is to issue an order directing the Land Registration value, shall be cancelled. Lepanto v Dumyung
Commissioner to issue in turn the corresponding decree of registration),
its clerk of court (that is to transmit copies of the judgment and the order Certificate of title serves as an evidence of an indefeasible title
to the Commissioner), and the Land Registration Commissioner (that is over a property
to cause the preparation of the decree of registration and the transmittal In Eduarte vs. Court of Appeals,[5] the Court reiterated the
thereof to the Register of Deeds). All these obligations are ministerial on hornbook principle that "a certificate of title serves as evidence of
the officers charged with their performance and thus generally beyond an indefeasible title to the property in favor of the person whose
discretion of amendment or review. name appears therein." Caraan v CA

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This circumstance obtaining in the Mejia de Lucas case is


2. Prescription not present in the case at bar. Here, there are no
intervening rights of third persons which may be affected
Section 47. Registered land not subject to prescriptions. No title to or prejudiced by a decision directing the return of Lot No.
registered land in derogation of the title of the registered owner shall be 12 to plaintiffs-respondents. Hence, the equitable defense
acquired by prescription or adverse possession. of laches will not also apply as against the registered
owners in this case. Urbano Javier v Concepcion
No person may acquire title to a registered land by prescription or
adverse possession Exception to the exception: possession is by
Defendants', now petitioners', position is untenable, the mere tolerance
established rule being that one cannot acquire title to a registered To start with, the lower court found that
land by prescription or adverse possession. Thus, in the same petitioners' possession of the subject lot was
case of Tuason v. Bolaos, supra, this Court reiterated this merely at the tolerance of its former lawful
principle when it held: owner. In this connection, Bishop vs. Court
of Appeals[29] teaches that if the claimant's
". . . Nor could title to that land in derogation of that of plaintiff, possession of the land is merely tolerated by
the registered owner, be acquired by prescription or adverse its lawful owner, the latter's right to recover
possession. (Section 46, Act No. 496). Adverse, notorious and possession is never barred by laches:
continuous possession under claim of ownership for the period
fixed by law is ineffective against a Torrens title. (Valiente vs. As registered owners of the lots in question,
Judge of CFI of Tarlac, etc., 45 Off Gaz., Supp. 9, p. 43) and it is the private respondents have a right to eject
likewise settled that the right to secure possession under a decree any person illegally occupying their property.
of registration does not prescribe. (Francisco vs. Cruz, 43 Off This right is imprescriptible. Even if it be
Gaz., 5105, 5109-5110) A recent decision of this Court on this supposed that they were aware of the
point is that rendered in the case of Jose Alcantara, et al. vs. petitioner's occupation of the property, and
Mariano, et al., 92 Phil. 796. . . ." Urbano Javier v regardless of the length of that possession,
Concepcion the lawful owners have a right to demand
the return of their property at any time as
Exception: barred by laches long as the possession was unauthorized or
". . . All of these transfer(s) from Zacarias Ciscar to his merely tolerated, if at all. This right is never
heirs, to Roque Sanchez and to defendant Andres barred by laches. (Emphasis supplied).
Gamponia, acts which covered a period of 37 years would Ragudo v Fabella
all have to be undone and the respective rights and
obligations of the parties affected adjusted, unless the 3. Collateral Attack
defense is sustained." 25

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Certificate of title cannot be collaterally attacked. The issue of Title over a property can be collaterally attacked, not certificate
validity of title must be instituted in direct attack which is of title. A title is the ownership which is represented by the
expressly instituted for that purpose. document, certificate of title. By certificate of title, it refers to the
In the present petition, the Union seeks from respondent MMPCI document issued by the Register of Deeds.
the recovery of the subject property. It is evident that the What cannot be collaterally attacked is the certificate of title and
objective of such claim is to nullify the title of private respondent not the title. The certificate referred to is that document issued by
to the property in question, which thereby challenges the the Register of Deeds known as the Transfer Certificate of Title
judgment pursuant to which the title was decreed. This is (TCT). By title, the law refers the ownership which is represented
apparently a collateral attack which is not permitted under the by that document. Petitioner apparently confuses certificate with
principle of indefeasibility of a Torrens Title. It is well settled that title. Placing a parcel of land under the mantle of the Torrens
a Torrens Title cannot be collaterally attacked. The issue on the system does not mean that ownership thereof can no longer be
validity of title, i.e., whether or not it was fraudulently issued, can disputed. Ownership is different from a certificate of title.
only be raised in an action expressly instituted for that purpose. Erasusta v CA
Hence, whether or not petitioners have the right to claim
ownership of the land in question is beyond the province of the When is an action an attack on a title? When is it direct? When is
instant proceeding. Halili v CIR it collateral?
When is an action an attack on a title? It is when the object of the
An application for registration of a parcel of land already covered action or proceeding is to nullify the title, and thus challenge the
by a Torrens title is a collateral attack judgment pursuant to which the title was decreed. The attack is
Respondents' application for registration of a parcel of land direct when the object of an action or proceeding is to annul or set
already covered by a Torrens title is actually a collateral attack aside such judgment, or enjoin its enforcement. On the other
against petitioners' title not permitted under the principle of hand, the attack is indirect or collateral when, in an action to
indefeasibility of a Torrens title. It is well settled that a Torrens obtain a different relief, an attack on the judgment is nevertheless
title cannot be collaterally attacked; the issue on the validity of made as an incident thereof. Heirs of Diaz v Virata
title, i.e., whether or not it was fraudulently issued, can only be
raised in an action expressly instituted for the purpose.[9] Hence, L. Reconstitution of Title
whether or not respondents have the right to claim title over the
property in question is beyond the province of the instant PD 1529
proceeding. That should be threshed out in a proper action. It has Section 109. Notice and replacement of lost duplicate certificate. In case
been invariably stated that the real purpose of the Torrens System of loss or theft of an owner's duplicate certificate of title, due notice
is to quiet title to land and to stop forever any question as to its under oath shall be sent by the owner or by someone in his behalf to the
legality. Once a title is registered, the owner may rest secure, Register of Deeds of the province or city where the land lies as soon as
without the necessity of waiting in the portals of the court, or the loss or theft is discovered. If a duplicate certificate is lost or
sitting on the 'mirador su casa' to avoid the possibility of losing his destroyed, or cannot be produced by a person applying for the entry of a
land.[10] Fil-Estate v Trono new certificate to him or for the registration of any instrument, a sworn
statement of the fact of such loss or destruction may be filed by the

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registered owner or other person in interest and registered. motion for the issuance of a writ of possession, which is summary in
nature, deprive the actual occupants of possession thereof. Possession
Upon the petition of the registered owner or other person in interest, the and/or ownership of the property should be threshed out in a separate
court may, after notice and due hearing, direct the issuance of a new proceeding. Serra v CA
duplicate certificate, which shall contain a memorandum of the fact that it
is issued in place of the lost duplicate certificate, but shall in all respects In reconstitution of title, actual and personal notice must be served to
be entitled to like faith and credit as the original duplicate, and shall actual owners and possessors of the property.
thereafter be regarded as such for all purposes of this decree. Private respondents argue that the herein petitioners are bound by the
order granting reconstitution because the reconstitution proceedings was
A petition for reconstitution of title does not confirm or adjudicate heard after notices were sent to alleged boundary owners and the
ownership over the property covered by the reconstituted title. Thus, a petition was published in the Official Gazette. However, the petitioner
writ of possession may not be issued pursuant thereto. who were in actual possession of the properties were not notified. Notice
In a land registration case, a writ of possession may be issued by publication is not sufficient as regards actual possessors of the
only pursuant to a decree of registration in an original land registration property. In the case of Alabang Development v. Valenzuela, No. 54094,
proceedings "not only against the person who has been defeated in a August 30, 1982, 116 SCRA 277, We held that in petitions for
registration case but also against anyone adversely occupying the land or reconstitution of titles, actual owners and possessors of the lands
any portion thereof during the proceedings up to the issuance of the involved must be duly served with actual and personal notice of the
decree." (Lucero v. Loot, G.R. No. L-16995, October 28, 1968, 25 SCRA petition. Serra v CA
687; Marcelo v. Hon. Mencias, L-15609, April 29, 1960; Demorar v. Hon.
Ibaez and Paras, G.R. No. L-7595, May 21, 1955, 97 Phil. 72). It cannot A reconstituted title does not attain finality and may be attacked any
however, be issued in a petition for reconstitution of an allegedly lost or time if no such original title in facts exists or that there is an earlier
destroyed certificate of title. Reconstitution does not confirm or valid certificate of title in the name and in the possession of another
adjudicate ownership over the property covered by the reconstituted title person/s.
as in original land registration proceedings where, in the latter, a writ of Thus, if no such original title in fact exists, the reconstituted title is a
possession may be issued to place the applicant-owner in possession. nullity and the order for its reconstitution does not become final because
Serra v CA the court rendering the order has not acquired jurisdiction. It may be
attacked at any time. The same rule applies if in fact there is an earlier
What is the purpose of reconstitution of title? valid certificate of title in the name and in the possession of another
The purpose of the reconstitution of any document, book or record is to person/s.
have the same reproduced, after observing the procedure prescribed by
law in the same form they were when the loss or destruction occurred. "The Court stresses once more that lands already covered by duly issued
The reconstitution of certificates of title should be made, as just stated, existing Torrens titles (which become incontrovertible upon the expiration
in the same form and exactly as they were at the time they were lost or of one year from their issuance under Section 38 of the Land Registration
destroyed, . . . (Gov't. of the Philippine Islands v. Abada, 48 O.G., p. Act) cannot be the subject of petitions for reconstitution of allegedly lost
1872, April 1952). A person who seeks a reconstitution of a certificate of or destroyed titles filed by third parties without first securing by final
title over a property he does not actually possess cannot, by a mere judgment the cancellation of such existing titles. . . . The courts simply

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Dann Mercado (Batch 3, DLSU Law)

have no jurisdiction over petitions by such third parties for reconstitution requires that the petition shall be accompanied with a plan and
of allegedly lost or destroyed titles over lands that are already covered by technical description of the property only if the source of the
duly issued subsisting titles in the names of their duly registered owners. reconstitution is Section 3(f) of RA No. 26. Thus:
The very concept of stability and indefeasibility of titles covered under
the Torrens System of Registration rules out as anathema the issuance of Section 12. ... Provided, That in case the reconstitution is to be
two certificates of title over the same land to two different holders made exclusively from sources enumerated in section 2(f) or 3(f)
thereof. A fortiori, such proceedings for 'reconstitution' without actual of this Act, the petition shall further be accompanied with a plan
notice to the duly registered owners and holders of Torrens titles to the and technical description of the property duly approved by the
land are null and void." (Alabang Development v. Valenzuela, supra.) Chief of the General Land Registration Office, or with a certified
Serra v CA copy of the description taken from a prior certificate of title
covering the same property.[29]
The Office of Solicitor General need not be notified and heard in a
proceeding for issuance of a new duplicate certificate of title in lieu of Since respondents' source of reconstitution is the owner's
lost copy. duplicate certificate of title, there is no need for the reconstituting
Nothing in the law, however, requires that the Office of the Solicitor officer to require the submission of the plan, much less deny the
General be notified and heard in proceeding for the issuance of an petition on the ground that the submitted plan appears to be
owner's duplicate certificate of title. In contrast, 23 of the same law, spurious. By enumerating the hierarchy of sources to be used for
involving original registration proceedings, specifically mentions the the reconstitution, it is the intent of the law to give more weight
Solicitor General as among those who must be notified of the petition. and preference to the owner's duplicate certificate of title over the
Similarly, 36 provides that the petition for registration in cadastral other enumerated sources. Severino Manotok v Heirs of
proceedings must be filed by the Solicitor General, in behalf of the Barque
Director of Lands. Republic v CA and Yupangco

1. Judicial Reconstituion The reconstitution would not be a collateral attack on a title


illegally issued.
The sources for the reconstitution of title as provided under The reconstitution would not constitute a collateral attack on
Section 3 of RA 26 should be made in hierarchy. Presentment of petitioners' title which was irregularly and illegally issued in the
any of the sources as enumerated, absent the existence of the first place.[43] As pertinently held in Dolfo v. Register of Deeds
other preferred sources as enumerated, is sufficient. for the Province of Cavite:[44]
When respondents filed the petition for reconstitution, they
submitted in support thereof the owner's duplicate certificate of The rule that a title issued under the Torrens System is presumed
title, real estate tax receipts and tax declaration. Plainly, the same valid and, hence, is the best proof of ownership of a piece of land
should have more than sufficed as sources for the reconstitution does not apply where the certificate itself is faulty as to its
pursuant to Section 3 of RA No. 26 which explicitly mandates that purported origin. Severino Manotok v Heirs of Barque
the reconstitution shall be made following the hierarchy of sources
as enumerated by law. In addition, Section 12 of the same law

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Reconstitution under RA 26 presupposes that the property whose interest in the property. The petition shall state or contain, among
title is sought to be reconstituted has already been brought under other things, the following: (a) that the owner's duplicate of the
the Torrens registration. certificate of title had been lost or destroyed; (b) that no co-
Republic Act No. 26, entitled "An Act Providing a Special Procedure owner's, mortgagee's, or lessee's duplicate had been issued, or, if
for the Reconstitution of Torrens Certificates of Title Lost or any had been issued, the same had been lost or destroyed; (c)
Destroyed", approved on September 25, 1946, lays down the the location, area and boundaries of the property; (d) the nature
procedure by which previously issued but lost or destroyed and description of the buildings or improvements, if any, which do
certificates of title may be reconstituted. As the title of the law not belong to the owner of the land, and the names and addresses
suggests, it presupposes that the property whose title is sought to of the owners of such buildings or improvements; (e) the names
be reconstituted has already been brought under the provisions of and addresses of the occupants or persons in possession of the
the Torrens System, Act 496.[10] Cabello v Republic property, of the owners of the adjoining properties and all persons
who may have any interest in the property; (f) a detailed
Petition for JUDICIAL reconstitution of title are filed on Regional description of the encumbrances, if any, affecting the property;
Trial Courts. and (g) a statement that no deeds or other instruments affecting
Republic Act No. 26 confers jurisdiction or authority on the Court the property have been presented for registration, or, if there be
of First Instance (now the Regional Trial Court) to hear and decide any, the registration thereof has not been accomplished, as yet.
petitions for judicial reconstitution. It provides the special All the documents, or authenticated copies thereof, to be
requirements and procedure that must be followed before the introduced in evidence in support of the petition for reconstitution
court can properly act, assume and acquire jurisdiction or shall be attached thereto and filed with the same: Provided, That
authority over the petition and grant the reconstitution prayed for. in case the reconstitution is to be made exclusively from sources
Cabello v Republic enumerated in section 2(f) of 3(f) of this Act, the petition shall be
further accompanied with a plan and technical description of the
property duly approved by the Chief of the General Land
Procedure for reconstitution of title under RA 26. Procedural and Registration Office, or with a certified copy of the description
documentary requirements are mandatory. taken from a prior certificate of title covering the same property.
The petition for reconstitution must allege certain specific [Emphasis supplied.]
jurisdictional facts, the notice of hearing must be published in the
Official Gazette and posted in particular places and the same sent SECTION 13. The court shall cause a notice of the petition, filed
or notified to specified persons.[11] Sections 12 and 13 of RA 26 under the preceding section, to be published, at the expense of
set forth the contents of the petition and lay down the procedure the petitioner, twice in successive issues of the Official Gazette,
to be followed therefor, as follows: and to be posted on the main entrance of the provincial building
and of the municipal building of the municipality or city in which
SECTION 12. Petitions for reconstitution from sources enumerated the land is situated, at least thirty days prior to the date of
in sections 2(c), 2(d), 2(e), 2(f), 3(c), 3(d), 3(e) and/or 3(f) of hearing. The court shall likewise cause a copy of the notice to be
this Act, shall be filed with the proper Court of First Instance, by sent, by registered mail or otherwise, at the expense of the
the registered owner, his assigns, or any person having an petitioner, to every person named therein whose address is

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known, at least thirty days prior to the date of hearing. Said 2. Administrative Constitution
notice shall state, among other things, the number of the lost or
destroyed certificate of title, if known, the name of the registered The LRA has the jurisdiction to act on petitions for
owner, the names of the occupants or persons in possession of ADMINISTRATIVE reconstitution. Its function is adjudicatory in
the property, the owners of the adjoining properties and all other nature.
interested parties, the location, area and boundaries of the The LRA has the jurisdiction to act on petitions for administrative
property, and the date on which all persons having any interest reconstitution. It has the authority to review, revise, reverse,
therein must appear and file their claim or objections to the modify or affirm on appeal the decision of the reconstituting officer.
petition. The petitioner shall, at the hearing, submit proof of the The function is adjudicatory in nature - it can properly deliberate on
publication, posting and service of the notice as directed by the the validity of the titles submitted for reconstitution. Logically, it can
court. declare a title as sham or spurious, or valid on its face. Otherwise, if
it cannot make such declaration, then there would be no basis for
The documentary requirements and procedure are mandatory and its decision to grant or deny the reconstitution. The findings of fact
must be strictly complied with before the court can act on a of the LRA, when supported by substantial evidence, as in this case,
petition for reconstitution and grant the remedy sought. shall be binding on the Court of Appeals.[34]
Otherwise, the proceedings will be utterly void.[12] Cabello v
Republic In the reconstitution proceedings, the LRA is bound to determine
from the evidence submitted which between or among the titles is
If the source of reconstitution is sec. 2 (f) of RA 26, petition must genuine and existing to enable it to decide whether to deny or
be accompanied by a plan and technical description of the approve the petition. Without such authority, the LRA would be a
property duly approved by the Chief of the LRA, or with a certified mere robotic agency clothed only with mechanical powers.
copy of the description taken from a prior certificate of title Severino Manotok v Heirs of Barque
covering the same property, pursuant to Sec. 12 of the same Act.
As can be seen from the foregoing text in relation to Sec. 12 of RA
26, in case the reconstitution is to be made exclusively from sources Owners duplicate copy of the title is sufficient to approve
enumerated in Sec. 2(f), the petition shall be further accompanied a petition for administrative reconstitution of a title.
by a plan and technical description of the property duly approved by Be that as it may, the fact alone that the petition for
the Chief of the General Land Registration Office, or with a certified reconstitution was approved on the same day that it was filed did
copy of the description taken from a prior certificate of title covering not render the approval suspect. In administrative reconstitution
the same property. This requirement does not exist if the source of of a certificate of title supported by the owner's duplicate copy of
the reconstitution is Sec. 2(d), although as worded, it must be the title, no other requisite was required under Section 6 of
shown that an original certificate of title was indeed issued pursuant Republic Act 26 unlike in judicial reconstitution under Section 12
to the very decree of registration presented as basis for of the same law. The Register of Deeds correctly granted the
reconstitution. Cabello v Republic reconstitution on the basis of private respondents owners'
duplicate copy of TCT No. 23377. Republic v CA and Guido

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Presentment of owners duplicate of title is sufficient for Inexistence of clear title disallows reconstitution of title.
administrative reconstitution of title, thus, deed of conveyance Reconstitution of title is merely a re-issuance of a lost certificate
is no longer necessary. of title in its original forma and condition.3
Petitioners next argue that the reconstituted title of Cebu Country Consequently, we rule that neither Tomas N. Alonso nor his son
Club, Inc. had no lawful source to speak of; it was reconstituted Francisco M. Alonso or the latter's heirs are the lawful owners of
through extrinsic and intrinsic fraud in the absence of a deed of Lot No. 727 in dispute. Neither has the respondent Cebu Country
conveyance in its favor. In truth, however, reconstitution was Club, Inc. been able to establish a clear title over the contested
based on the owner's duplicate of the title, hence, there was no estate. The reconstitution of a title is simply the re-issuance of a
need for the covering deed of sale or other modes of conveyance. lost duplicate certificate of title in its original form and condition.
Cebu Country Club, Inc. was admittedly in possession of the land It does not determine or resolve the ownership of the land
since long before the Second World War, or since 1931. Alonso covered by the lost or destroyed title. A reconstituted title, like the
v Cebu Country Club original certificate of title, by itself does not vest ownership of the
land or estate covered thereby.[38] Alonso v Cebu Country
Absence of technical description is not a bar for administrative Club
reconstitution of title. The two-year period for its filing is merely
directory, and the failure to submit the same merely bars transfer M. Voluntary Dealings
of title to a third party in a voluntary transaction.
Petitioners next question the lack of technical description inscribed 1. General Provisions
in the reconstituted title in Cebu Country Club, Inc.'s name. This is
not a bar to reconstitution of the title nor will it affect the validity Section 51. Conveyance and other dealings by registered owner. An owner of
of the reconstituted title. A registered owner is given two (2) registered land may convey, mortgage, lease, charge or otherwise deal with the
years to file a plan of such land with the Chief of the General Land same in accordance with existing laws. He may use such forms of deeds,
Registration Office.[27] The two-year period is directory, not mortgages, leases or other voluntary instruments as are sufficient in law. But no
jurisdictional. In other words, the failure to submit the technical deed, mortgage, lease, or other voluntary instrument, except a will purporting to
description within two (2) years would not invalidate the title. At convey or affect registered land shall take effect as a conveyance or bind the
most, the failure to file such technical description within the two- land, but shall operate only as a contract between the parties and as evidence of
year period would bar a transfer of the title to a third party in a authority to the Register of Deeds to make registration.
voluntary transaction. Alonso v Cebu Country Club
The act of registration shall be the operative act to convey or affect the land
insofar as third persons are concerned, and in all cases under this Decree, the
registration shall be made in the office of the Register of Deeds for the province

3
Reconstitution under RA 26 presupposes that the property
whose title is sought to be reconstituted has already been brought under
the Torrens registration.(See Cabello v Republic)

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or city where the land lies. owners. All interests in registered land less than ownership shall be registered
by filing with the Register of Deeds the instrument which creates or transfers or
claims such interests and by a brief memorandum thereof made by the Register
Section 52. Constructive notice upon registration. Every conveyance, mortgage, of Deeds upon the certificate of title, and signed by him. A similar memorandum
lease, lien, attachment, order, judgment, instrument or entry affecting shall also be made on the owner's duplicate. The cancellation or extinguishment
registered land shall, if registered, filed or entered in the office of the Register of of such interests shall be registered in the same manner.
Deeds for the province or city where the land to which it relates lies, be
constructive notice to all persons from the time of such registering, filing or
entering. Section 55. Grantee's name, nationality, etc., to be stated. Every deed or other
voluntary instrument presented for registration shall contain or have endorsed
upon it the full name, nationality, residence and postal address of the grantee or
Section 53. Presentation of owner's duplicate upon entry of new certificate. No other person acquiring or claiming an interest under such instrument, and every
voluntary instrument shall be registered by the Register of Deeds, unless the deed shall also state whether the grantee is married or unmarried, and if
owner's duplicate certificate is presented with such instrument, except in cases married, the name in full of the husband or wife. If the grantee is a corporation
expressly provided for in this Decree or upon order of the court, for cause or association, the instrument must contain a recital to show that such
shown. corporation or association is legally qualified to acquire private lands. Any
change in the residence or postal address of such person shall be endorsed by
The production of the owner's duplicate certificate, whenever any voluntary
the Register of Deeds on the original copy of the corresponding certificate of
instrument is presented for registration, shall be conclusive authority from the
title, upon receiving a sworn statement of such change. All names and addresses
registered owner to the Register of Deeds to enter a new certificate or to make a
shall also be entered on all certificates.
memorandum of registration in accordance with such instrument, and the new
certificate or memorandum shall be binding upon the registered owner and upon Notices and processed issued in relation to registered land in pursuance of this
all persons claiming under him, in favor of every purchaser for value and in good Decree may be served upon any person in interest by mailing the same to the
faith. addresses given, and shall be binding, whether such person resides within or
without the Philippines, but the court may, in its discretion, require further or
In all cases of registration procured by fraud, the owner may pursue all his legal
other notice to be given in any case, if in its opinion the interest of justice so
and equitable remedies against the parties to such fraud without prejudice,
requires.
however, to the rights of any innocent holder for value of a certificate of title.
After the entry of the decree of registration on the original petition or Section 56. Primary Entry Book; fees; certified copies. Each Register of Deeds
application, any subsequent registration procured by the presentation of a shall keep a primary entry book in which, upon payment of the entry fee, he
forged duplicate certificate of title, or a forged deed or other instrument, shall be shall enter, in the order of their reception, all instruments including copies of
null and void. writs and processes filed with him relating to registered land. He shall, as a
preliminary process in registration, note in such book the date, hour and minute
of reception of all instruments, in the order in which they were received. They
Section 54. Dealings less than ownership, how registered. No new certificate shall be regarded as registered from the time so noted, and the memorandum of
shall be entered or issued pursuant to any instrument which does not divest the each instrument, when made on the certificate of title to which it refers, shall
ownership or title from the owner or from the transferee of the registered bear the same date: Provided, that the national government as well as the

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provincial and city governments shall be exempt from the payment of such fees
in advance in order to be entitled to entry and registration. Invalidity of contract is not an excuse for denying registration.
Every deed or other instrument, whether voluntary or involuntary, so filed with Registration must first be allowed, and validity or effect litigated
the Register of Deeds shall be numbered and indexed and endorsed with a afterwards.
reference to the proper certificate of title. All records and papers relative to On the other hand, the supposed invalidity of the contracts of lease is no
registered land in the office of the Register of Deeds shall be open to the public valid objection to their registration, because invalidity is no proof of their
in the same manner as court records, subject to such reasonable regulations as non-existence or a valid excuse for denying their registration. The law on
the Register of Deeds, under the direction of the Commissioner of Land registration does not require that only valid instruments shall be
Registration, may prescribe. registered. How can parties affected thereby be supposed to know their
invalidity before they become aware, actually or constructively, of their
All deeds and voluntary instruments shall be presented with their respective existence or of their provisions? If the purpose of registration is merely to
copies and shall be attested and sealed by the Register of Deeds, endorsed with give notice, then questions regarding the effect or invalidity of
the file number, and copies may be delivered to the person presenting them. instruments are expected to be decided after, not before, registration. It
Certified copies of all instruments filed and registered may also be obtained from must follow as a necessary consequence that registration must first be
the Register of Deeds upon payment of the prescribed fees. allowed, and validity or effect litigated afterwards. Gurbax Singh v
Reyes

What is the purpose of registering an instrument? Registration of a void contract does not validate the same.
The purpose of registering an instrument is to give notice thereof to all The act of registration does not validate petitioner's otherwise void
persons (section 51, Act No. 496); it is not intended by the proceedings contract. Registration is a mere ministerial act by which a deed, contract,
for registration to seek to destroy or otherwise affect already registered or instrument is sought to be inscribed in the records of the Office of the
rights over the land, subsisting or existing at the time of the registration. Register of Deeds and annotated at the back of the certificate of title
The rights of these parties, who have registered their rights, are not put covering the land subject of the deed, contract, or instrument. While it
in issue when an instrument is subsequently presented for registration; operates as a notice of the deed, contract, or instrument to others, it
nor are its effects on other instruments previously registered put in issue does not add to its validity nor converts an invalid instrument into a valid
by the procedure of registration. Thus, the objections raised by one as between the parties,[32] nor amounts to a declaration by the
respondents-appellants that they had no knowledge of the contract of state that the instrument is a valid and subsisting interest in the
lease, Exhibit A, before the property was mortgaged to them, or that the land.[33] The registration of petitioner's void deed is not an impediment
same violates their contract of mortgage with the owner of the land - to a declaration by the courts of its invalidity. Fudot v Cattleya
these are not passed upon by the order for the registration of petitioners-
appellees' contract of lease. The objections, as well as the relative rights
When is registration of involuntary dealing and voluntary dealing
of all parties who have registered their deeds, shall be decided in the
deemed sufficient?
proper suit or proceeding when the opportune occasion arises; but they
That ruling was superseded by the holding in the later six cases of Levin
are not now in issue, nor may they be adjudicated upon, simply because
vs. Bass, 91 Phil. 420, where a distinction was made between voluntary
petitioners-appellees have applied for the registration of their contract of
and involuntary registration, such as the registration of an attachment,
lease. Gurbax Singh v Reyes

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levy upon execution, notice of lis pendens, and the like. In cases of the annotation of such instrument upon the entry book, as sufficient to
involuntary registration, an entry thereof in the day book is a sufficient affect the real estate to which it relates.[36] Autocorp v CA
notice to all persons even if the owner's duplicate certificate of title is not
presented to the register of deeds. Reason behind the difference:
The reason for the difference is obvious. In a voluntary
On the other hand, according to the said cases of Levin vs. Bass, in case instrument, the registered owner of the land to be affected by
of voluntary registration of documents an innocent purchaser for value of registration is presumed to be interested in registering the
registered land becomes the registered owner, and, in contemplation of instrument and would willingly surrender, present or produce his
law the holder of a certificate of title, the moment he presents and files a duplicate certificate of title to the register of deeds in order to
duly notarized and valid deed of sale and the same is entered in the day accomplish such registration. On the other hand, as the
book and at the same time he surrenders or presents the owner's registration of an involuntary instrument is contrary to the interest
duplicate certificate of title covering the land sold and pays the of the registered owner or will affect him adversely, it is but
registration fees, because what remains to be done lies not within his natural that he will not willingly present or produce his duplicate
power to perform. The register of deeds is duty bound to perform it. (See certificate or at least delay the production as long as
Potenciano vs. Dineros, 97 Phil. 196.) - Garcia v CA possible.[37] Autocorp v CA

Second. Petitioners contend that the aforecited case of DBP is not Registration of conveyance is a constructive notice notice to the
apropos to the case at bar. Allegedly, in DBP, the bank not only paid the world.
registration fees but also presented the owner's duplicate certificate of When a conveyance has been properly recorded, such record is
title. We find no merit in petitioners' posture. They fail to consider the constructive notice of its contents and all interests, legal and equitable,
voluntary or involuntary nature of the instrument subject of registration. included therein." "Under the rule of notice, it is presumed that the
A voluntary instrument is a willful act of the registered owner of the land purchaser has examined every instrument of record affecting the title.
to be affected by registration,[33] while an involuntary instrument is one Such presumption is irrefutable. He is charged with notice of every fact
pertaining to a transaction affecting lands in which the registered owner's shown by the record and is presumed to know every fact which an
cooperation is not needed and which transaction may even be done examination of the record would have disclosed" (Legarda and Prieto vs.
against his will.[34] For the registration of a voluntary instrument, it is Saleeby, supra, page 600). Garcia v CA
necessary not only to register the deed, instrument or assignment,
mortgage, or lease in the entry book of the register of deeds, but a General Rule: Registration is the operative act to bind or affect the land
memorandum thereof must also be made on the owner's duplicate and insofar as third persons are concerned.
on its original. The mere entry by the register of deeds in the entry or Section 50 of Act No. 496 (now Sec. 51 of P.D. 1529), provides that the
diary book, without the presentation of the owner's duplicate certificate registration of the deed is the operative act to bind or affect the land
of title for corresponding annotation of the conveyance, does not have insofar as third persons are concerned. But where the party has
the effect of a conveyance of the property.[35] On the other hand, for knowledge of a prior existing interest which is unregistered at the time he
the registration of an involuntary instrument, the law does not require acquired a right to the same land, his knowledge of that prior
the presentation of the owner's duplicate certificate of title and considers unregistered interest has the effect of registration as to him. The torrens

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system cannot be used as a shield for the commission of fraud (Gustillo


v. Maravilla, 48 Phil. 442). As far as private respondent Zenaida Angeles Further, the heirs of Eduardo cannot be considered third persons
and her husband Justiniano are concerned, the non-registration of the for purposes of applying the rule. The conveyance shall not be
affidavit admitting their sale of a portion of 110 square meters of the valid against any person unless registered, except (1) the grantor,
subject land to petitioners cannot be invoked as a defense because (2) his heirs and devisees, and (3) third persons having actual
(K)nowledge of an unregistered sale is equivalent to registration notice or knowledge thereof.[38]. Heirs of Manlapat v Cruz
(Winkleman v. Veluz, 43 Phil. 604). Fernandez v CA
An unregistered instrument of conveyance merely operates as a
contract between the parties therein.
It is clear from the foregoing that the registration of the deed is the It is clear from these provisions that before a purchaser of land causes
effectual act which binds the land insofar as third persons are concerned. the registration of the transfer of the subject property in her favor, third
Prior registration of a lien creates a preference as the act of registration persons, such as Arcalas, cannot be bound thereby. Insofar as third
is the operative act that conveys and affects the land.[8] Considering persons are concerned, what validly transfers or conveys a person's
that the prior sale of the subject property to the Macadangdang spouses interest in real property is the registration of the deed. As the deed of
was not registered, it was the registered mortgage to the spouses sale was unrecorded, it operates merely as a contract between the
Martinez that was valid and effective. For sure, it was binding on Omalin parties, namely Victoria Tolentino as seller and Pineda as buyer, which
and, for that matter, even on the Macadangdang spouses, the parties to may be enforceable against Victoria Tolentino through a separate and
the prior sale. Macadangdang v Martinez independent action. On the other hand, Arcalas's lien was registered and
annotated at the back of the title of the subject property and accordingly
Exceptions: amounted to a constructive notice thereof to all persons, whether or not
1. The party has knowledge of a prior existing interest which is party to the original case filed before the Quezon City RTC. Pineda v
unregistered at the time he acquired a right to the same land, his Arcalas
knowledge of that prior unregistered interest has the effect of
registration as to HIM. Payment of the respondent bank of registration fees a day after the
2. Grantor. entry of registration on the primary entry book, does not invalidate
3. Heirs and devisees of the grantor. registration. The important fact is that entry has already been made
Registration is not a requirement for validity of the contract as prior to the actions filed pursuant to/sourcing from the registration.
between the parties, for the effect of registration serves chiefly to The objection as to the payment of the requisite fees is unavailing. There
bind third persons.[36] The principal purpose of registration is is no question that the fees were paid, albeit belatedly. Respondent bank
merely to notify other persons not parties to a contract that a presented the certificate of sale to the Office of the Register of Deeds of
transaction involving the property had been entered into. Where Cebu City for registration on January 21, 1999 at 4:30 p.m. As the
the party has knowledge of a prior existing interest which is cashier had already left, the Office could not receive the payment for
unregistered at the time he acquired a right to the same land, his entry and registration fees, but still, the certificate of sale was entered in
knowledge of that prior unregistered interest has the effect of the primary entry book. The following day, respondent bank paid the
registration as to him.[37] requisite entry and registration fees. Given the peculiar facts of the case,

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we agree with the Court of Appeals that the payment of respondent bank
must be deemed to be substantial compliance with the law; and, the The subject matter of the instant petition involves registered land. Unlike
entry of the instrument the day before, should not be invalidated. In any the case of unregistered land, in which an earlier instrument, be it sale or
case, even if we consider the entry to have been made on January 22, mortgage, prevails over a latter one, and the registration of any one of
the important fact is that the entry in the primary entry book was done them is immaterial,[5] with respect to registered land, the rule is
prior to the issuance of the writ of injunction by the trial court. different. Between two transactions concerning the same parcel of land,
Autocorp v CA the registered transaction prevails over the earlier unregistered right.[6]
The act of registration operates to convey and affect the registered land
Registration of an instrument sought to be inscribed in the records of so that a bonafide purchaser of such land acquires good title as against a
the Office of the Register of Deeds and annotated at the back of the prior transferee, if such prior transfer was unrecorded.[7]
certificate of title is a ministerial duty of the Register of Deeds Macadangdang v Martinez
Registration is merely a specie of notice.[39] It is a ministerial act by
which an instrument is sought to be inscribed in the records of the Office The rule on double sale only applies where the same property is validly
of the Register of Deeds and annotated at the back of the certificate of sold to two different persons.
title covering the land subject of the instrument. It is not a declaration by In the first place, there is no double sale to speak of. Art. 1544 of the
the State that such an instrument is a valid and subsisting interest in the Civil Code,[24] which provides the rule on double sale, applies only to a
land.[40] The law on registration does not require that only valid situation where the same property is validly sold to different vendees. In
instruments shall be registered. The purpose of registration is merely to this case, there is only one sale to advert to, that between the spouses
give notice.[41] Tecson and respondent. Fudot v Cattley

It is a ministerial duty on the part of the Register of Deeds to annotate No voluntary instrument shall affect a REGISTERED land until its
the instrument on the certificate of sale after a valid entry in the primary registration. If its not registered, it is binding only between the seller
entry book. Autocorp v CA and the buyer and does not affect INNOCENT third persons.
This principle is in full accord with Section 51 of PD 1529[14] which
Rule in cases of double sale4 of immovable properties as provided by provides that no deed, mortgage, lease or other voluntary instrument --
Art. 1544, CC. except a will -- purporting to convey or affect registered land shall take
Otherwise stated, the law provides that a double sale of immovables effect as a conveyance or bind the land until its registration.[15] Thus, if
transfers ownership to (1) the first registrant in good the sale is not registered, it is binding only between the seller and the
faith; (2) then, the first possessor in good faith; and (3) finally, the buyer buyer but it does not affect innocent third persons.[16] Abrigo v De
who in good faith presents the oldest title.[13] There is no ambiguity in Vera
the application of this law with respect to lands registered under the
Torrens system. Abrigo v De Vera

4
At least two valid sale of the same property to at least two different
persons

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Registration of an instrument in order to bind a REGISTERED land must somebody else even if the earlier sale was unrecorded. Abrigo
be done in the proper registry. A registered land under the Torrens v De Vera
system must have the instrument registered under CA 141/PD 1529,
and not under Act 33445. Registration under Act. 3344 does not constitute as a constructive
Soriano v. Heirs of Magali[23] held that registration must be done in the notice to the whole world.
proper registry in order to bind the land. Since the property in dispute in As can be gathered from the foregoing, constructive notice to the second
the present case was already registered under the Torrens system, buyer through registration under Act 3344 does not apply if the property
petitioners' registration of the sale under Act 3344 was not effective for is registered under the Torrens system, as in this case. Abrigo v De
purposes of Article 1544 of the Civil Code. Vera

More recently, in Naawan Community Rural Bank v. Court of Under Art. 1544, CC, the second buyer must acquire the immovable in
Appeals,[24] the Court upheld the right of a party who had registered the good faith and to register it in good faith. Mere registration of title is not
sale of land under the Property Registration Decree, as opposed to enough; good faith must concur with the registration.
another who had registered a deed of final conveyance under Act 3344. "Under the foregoing, the prior registration of the disputed property by
In that case, the "priority in time" principle was not applied, because the the second buyer does not by itself confer ownership or a better right
land was already covered by the Torrens system at the over the property. Article 1544 requires that such registration must be
time the conveyance was registered under Act 3344. For the same coupled with good faith. Jurisprudence teaches us that '(t)he governing
reason, inasmuch as the registration of the sale to Respondent De Vera principle is primus tempore, potior jure (first in time, stronger in right).
under the Torrens system was done in good faith, this sale must be Knowledge gained by the first buyer of the second sale cannot defeat the
upheld over the sale registered under Act 3344 to Petitioner-Spouses first buyer's rights except where the second buyer registers in good faith
Abrigo. Abrigo v De Vera the second sale ahead of the first, as provided by the Civil Code. Such
knowledge of the first buyer does not bar her from availing of her rights
Reason: under the law, among them, to register first her purchase as against the
Radiowealth Finance Co. v. Palileo[25] explained the difference in second buyer. But in converso, knowledge gained by the second buyer of
the rules of registration under Act 3344 and those under the the first sale defeats his rights even if he is first to register the second
Torrens system in this wise: sale, since such knowledge taints his prior registration with bad faith.
This is the price exacted by Article 1544 of the Civil Code for the second
"Under Act No. 3344, registration of instruments affecting buyer being able to displace the first buyer; that before the second buyer
unregistered lands is 'without prejudice to a third party with a can obtain priority over the first, he must show that he acted in good
better right.' The aforequoted phrase has been held by this Court faith throughout (i.e. in ignorance of the first sale and of the first buyer's
to mean that the mere registration of a sale in one's favor does rights) ---- from the time of acquisition until the title is transferred to him
not give him any right over the land if the vendor was not by registration, or failing registration, by delivery of possession.'"[34]
anymore the owner of the land having previously sold the same to (Italics supplied) Abrigo v De Vera

Presentment of owners duplicate certificate of title with the instrument


5
Registration of instruments affecting UNREGISTERED lands sought to be registered is a conclusive of authority to the Register of

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Deeds to issue a transfer certificate or make a memorandum of Under Sec. 53, PD 1529, presentation of a forged duplicate certificate of
registration in accordance with the instrument. title, or a forged deed or other instrument, shall be null and void.
Petitioners argue that the issuance of the TCTs violated the third Indeed, case law is that a Torrens title is generally conclusive evidence of
paragraph of Section 53 of P.D. No. 1529. The argument is baseless. It ownership of the land referred to therein.[46] While it serves as evidence
must be noted that the provision speaks of forged duplicate certificate of of an indefeasible title to the property in favor of the person whose name
title and forged deed or instrument. Neither instance obtains in this case. appears therein[47] (and TCT No. T-48521 shows, on its face, that the
What the Cruzes presented before the Register of Deeds was the very owner is the respondent), when the instrument presented for registration
genuine owner's duplicate certificate earlier deposited by Banaag, is forged, even if accompanied by the owner's duplicate certificate of title,
Eduardo's attorney-in-fact, with RBSP. Likewise, the instruments of the registered owner does not thereby lose his title, and neither does the
conveyance are authentic, not forged. Section 53 has never been clearer assignee or the mortgagee, for that matter, acquire any right or title to
on the point that as long as the owner's duplicate certificate is presented the property.[48] In such a case, the transferee or the mortgagee, based
to the Register of Deeds together with the instrument of conveyance, on a forged instrument, is not even a purchaser or a mortgagee for value
such presentation serves as conclusive authority to the Register of Deeds protected by law. Thus, in Joaquin v. Madrid,[49] the Court had the
to issue a transfer certificate or make a memorandum of registration in occasion to state:
accordance with the instrument. Heirs of Manlapat v Cruz
In the first assignment of error, it is argued that since par. 2 of Sec. 55
There is no explicit requirement as to the matter of acquiring owners of the Land Registration Act expressly provides that "in all cases of
duplicate of certificate of title for purposes of issuing a TCT. registration of fraud, the owner may pursue all his legal and equitable
Presentation of the duplicate is conclusive authority from the registered remedies against the parties to the fraud, without prejudice to the rights
owner to the Register of Deeds to enter a new certificate or to make a of any innocent holder for value of a certificate of title," the second
memorandum of registration. proviso in the same section "that a registration procured by the
Further, the law on the matter, specifically P.D. No. 1529, has no explicit presentation of a forged deed shall be null and void" should be
requirement as to the manner of acquiring the owner's duplicate for overlooked. There is no merit in this argument, which would have the
purposes of issuing a TCT. This led the Register of Deeds of Meycauayan effect of deleting the last proviso. This last proviso is a limitation of the
as well as the Central Bank officer, in rendering an opinion on the legal first part of par. 2 in the sense that in order that the holder of a
feasibility of the process resorted to by the Cruzes. Section 53 of P.D. No. certificate for value issued by virtue of the registration of a voluntary
1529 simply requires the production of the owner's duplicate certificate, instrument may be considered a holder in good faith for value, the
whenever any voluntary instrument is presented for registration, and the instrument registered should not be forged. When the instrument
same shall be conclusive authority from the registered owner to the presented is forged, even if accompanied by the owner's duplicate
Register of Deeds to enter a new certificate or to make a memorandum certificate of title, the registered owner does not thereby lose his title,
of registration in accordance with such instrument, and the new and neither does the assignee in the forged deed acquire any right or title
certificate or memorandum shall be binding upon the registered owner to the property.
and upon all persons claiming under him, in favor of every purchaser for
value and in good faith. Heirs of Manlapat v Cruz In the second assignment of error, it is further argued that as the
petitioner is an innocent purchaser for value, he should be protected as
against the registered owner because the latter can secure reparation

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from the assurance fund. The fact is, however, that petitioner herein is property to another who relies on what appears on the said title.
not the innocent purchaser for value protected by law. The innocent The innocent purchaser (mortgagee in this case) for value
purchaser for value protected by law is one who purchases a titled land protected by law is one who purchases a titled land by virtue of a
by virtue of a deed executed by the registered owner himself, not by a deed executed by the registered owner himself, not by a forged
forged deed, as the law expressly states. Such is not the situation of the deed, as the law expressly states. Such is not the situation of
petitioner, who has been the victim of impostors pretending to be the petitioner, who has been the victim of impostors pretending to be
registered owners but who are not said owners.[50] Erena v Queerer- the registered owners but who are not said owners.[57] The
Kauffman doctrine of mortgagee in good faith does not apply to a situation
where the title is still in the name of the rightful owner and the
Exception: Where the title of the property mortgaged or sold is in mortgagor is a different person pretending to be the owner.
the name mortgagor or seller, despite his title being fraudulent, Erena v Ferrer-Kauffman
the buyers or mortgagees right will be protected.
There is, however, a situation where, despite the fact that the 2. Specific Provisions
mortgagor is not the owner of the mortgaged property, his title
being fraudulent, the mortgage contract and any foreclosure sale a. Conveyances and Transfers
arising therefrom are given effect by reason of public policy. This
is the doctrine of "mortgagee in good faith" based on the rule that Section 57. Procedure in registration of conveyances. An owner desiring
all persons dealing with the property covered by a Torrens to convey his registered land in fee simple shall execute and register a
Certificate of Title, as buyers or mortgagees, are not required to deed of conveyance in a form sufficient in law. The Register of Deeds
go beyond what appears on the face of the title. The public shall thereafter make out in the registration book a new certificate of title
interest in upholding the indefeasibility of a certificate of title, as to the grantee and shall prepare and deliver to him an owner's duplicate
evidence of lawful ownership of the land or of any encumbrance certificate. The Register of Deeds shall note upon the original and
thereon, protects a buyer or mortgagee who, in good faith, relied duplicate certificate the date of transfer, the volume and page of the
upon what appears on the face of the certificate of title.[55] registration book in which the new certificate is registered and a
reference by number to the last preceding certificate. The original and
Indeed, a mortgagee has a right to rely in good faith on the the owner's duplicate of the grantor's certificate shall be stamped
certificate of title of the mortgagor of the property given as "canceled". The deed of conveyance shall be filled and indorsed with the
security and in the absence of any sign that might arouse number and the place of registration of the certificate of title of the land
suspicion, has no obligation to undertake further investigation. conveyed.
Hence, even if the mortgagor is not the rightful owner of, or does
not have a valid title to, the mortgaged property, the mortgagee Section 58. Procedure where conveyance involves portion of land. If a
in good faith is nonetheless entitled to protection.[56] This deed or conveyance is for a part only of the land described in a certificate
doctrine presupposes, however, that the mortgagor, who is not of title, the Register of Deeds shall not enter any transfer certificate to
the rightful owner of the property, has already succeeded in the grantee until a plan of such land showing all the portions or lots into
obtaining a Torrens title over the property in his name and that, which it has been subdivided and the corresponding technical
after obtaining the said title, he succeeds in mortgaging the descriptions shall have been verified and approved pursuant to Section

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50 of this Decree. Meanwhile, such deed may only be annotated by way B. Mortgages and Leases
of memorandum upon the grantor's certificate of title, original and
duplicate, said memorandum to serve as a notice to third persons of the Section 60. Mortgage or lease of registered land. Mortgage and leases
fact that certain unsegregated portion of the land described therein has shall be registered in the manner provided in Section 54 of this Decree.
been conveyed, and every certificate with such memorandum shall be The owner of registered land may mortgage or lease it by executing the
effectual for the purpose of showing the grantee's title to the portion deed in a form sufficient in law. Such deed of mortgage or lease and all
conveyed to him, pending the actual issuance of the corresponding instruments which assign, extend, discharge or otherwise deal with the
certificate in his name. mortgage or lease shall be registered, and shall take effect upon the title
Upon the approval of the plan and technical descriptions, the original of only from time of registration.
the plan, together with a certified copy of the technical descriptions shall No mortgagee's or lessee's duplicate certificate of title shall hereafter be
be filed with the Register of Deeds for annotation in the corresponding issued by the Registers of Deeds, and those issued prior to the effectivity
certificate of title and thereupon said officer shall issue a new certificate of this Decree are hereby deemed canceled and the holders thereof shall
of title to the grantee for the portion conveyed, and at the same time immediately surrender the same to the Register of Deeds concerned.
cancel the grantor's certificate partially with respect only to said portion
conveyed, or, if the grantor so desires, his certificate may be canceled Section 61. Registration. Upon presentation for registration of the deed
totally and a new one issued to him describing therein the remaining of mortgage or lease together with the owner's duplicate, the Register of
portion: Provided, however, that pending approval of said plan, no further Deeds shall enter upon the original of the certificate of title and also upon
registration or annotation of any subsequent deed or other voluntary the owner's duplicate certificate a memorandum thereof, the date and
instrument involving the unsegregated portion conveyed shall be effected time of filing and the file number assigned to the deed, and shall sign the
by the Register of Deeds, except where such unsegregated portion was said memorandum. He shall also note on the deed the date and time of
purchased from the Government or any of its instrumentalities. If the filing and a reference to the volume and page of the registration book in
land has been subdivided into several lots, designated by numbers or which it is registered.
letters, the Register of Deeds may, if desired by the grantor, instead of
canceling the latter's certificate and issuing a new one to the same for Section 62. Discharge or cancellation. A mortgage or lease on registered
the remaining unconveyed lots, enter on said certificate and on its land may be discharge or canceled by means of an instrument executed
owner's duplicate a memorandum of such deed of conveyance and of the by the mortgage or lessee in a form sufficient in law, which shall be filed
issuance of the transfer certificate to the grantee for the lot or lots thus with the Register of Deeds who shall make the appropriate memorandum
conveyed, and that the grantor's certificate is canceled as to such lot or upon the certificate of title.
lots.
Section 63. Foreclosure of Mortgage. (a) If the mortgage was foreclosed
Section 59. Carry over of encumbrances. If, at the time of any transfer, judicially, a certified copy of the final order of the court confirming the
subsisting encumbrances or annotations appear in the registration book, sale shall be registered with the Register of Deeds. If no right of
they shall be carried over and stated in the new certificate or certificates; redemption exists, the certificate of title of the mortgagor shall be
except so far as they may be simultaneously released or discharged. canceled, and a new certificate issued in the name of the purchaser.
Where the right of redemption exists, the certificate of title of the
mortgagor shall not be canceled, but the certificate of sale and the order

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confirming the sale shall be registered by a brief memorandum thereof purchaser after the owners duplicate certificate shall have
made by the Register of Deeds upon the certificate of title. In the event been previously delivered and cancelled.
the property is redeemed, the certificate or deed of redemption shall be 3. Nonetheless, the purchaser at a foreclosure sale may demande
filed with the Register of Deeds, and a brief memorandum thereof shall possession of the land even during the redemption period by
be made by the Register of Deeds on the certificate of title of the posting a bond. But this bond is no longer required after the
mortgagor. redemption period if the property is not redeemed.
If the property is not redeemed, the final deed of sale executed by the 4. Upon proper application and proof of title, the issuance of the
sheriff in favor of the purchaser at a foreclosure sale shall be registered writ of possession becomes a ministerial duty of the court.
with the Register of Deeds; whereupon the title of the mortgagor shall be 5. Not having done any of the aforementioned, the buyer at a
canceled, and a new certificate issued in the name of the purchaser. foreclosure sale does not obtain any perfected right of
(b) If the mortgage was foreclosed extrajudicially, a certificate of sale possession over the subject property.
executed by the officer who conducted the sale shall be filed with the Now, on the issue of possession:
Register of Deeds who shall make a brief memorandum thereof on the
certificate of title. Section 7 of Act No. 3135, as amended by Act No. 4118, provides
In the event of redemption by the mortgagor, the same rule provided for that in case of extrajudicial foreclosure of mortgage, the court ***
in the second paragraph of this section shall apply. may issue as a matter of course a writ of possession in favor of
In case of non-redemption, the purchaser at foreclosure sale shall file the purchaser even during the redemption period, provided that a
with the Register of Deeds, either a final deed of sale executed by the proper motion has been filed, a bond is approved, and no third
person authorized by virtue of the power of attorney embodied in the person is involved.
deed of mortgage, or his sworn statement attesting to the fact of non-
redemption; whereupon, the Register of Deeds shall issue a new Section 6 of the Act provides that where an extrajudicial sale is
certificate in favor of the purchaser after the owner's duplicate of the made, "redemption shall be governed by the provisions of sections
certificate has been previously delivered and cancelled. four hundred and sixty-four to four hundred and sixty-six,
inclusive, of the Code of Civil Procedure, in so far as these are not
Mortgage rules: inconsistent with the provisions of this Act."
1. The owner of the mortgaged property foreclosed and sold in a
foreclosure sale has the right of redemption for a period of one Sections 464-466 of the Code of Civil Procedure were superseded
year after the registration of the sale. by Sections 25-27 and Section 31 of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court,
2. In case of non-redemption, the purchaser at a foreclosure sale which in turn were replaced by Sections 29 to 31 and Section 35
may demand consolidation of ownership and file with the of Rule 39 of the Revised Rules of Court.
register of deeds either a final deed of sale executed by the
person authorized by virtue of the power of attorney embodied Section 35 provides that "if no redemption be made within twelve
in the deed of mortgage or his sworn statement attesting to (12) months after the sale, the purchaser, or his assignee, is
the fact of non-redemption. The Register of Deeds shall entitled to a conveyance and the possession of property, . . . . The
thereupon issue a new certificate in favor of the purchaser possession of the property shall be given to the purchaser or last
after the owners duplicate certificate in favour of the redemptioner by the same officer unless a third party is actually

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holding the property adversely to the judgment debtor." ministerial duty of the court. (Emphasis supplied)

To give effect to his right of possession, the purchaser must xxx


invoke the aid of the courts and ask for a writ of possession. He
cannot simply take the law into his own hands and enter the Not having done any of these, DBP had as yet not acquired any
property without judicial authorization. 6 We have consistently perfected right of possession that it could transfer to the private
held that he need not bring a separate and independent suit for respondents. And as the petitioner continued in actual possession
this purpose. 7 Nevertheless, it is essential that he ask for and be of the subject premises, she could undoubtedly maintain an action
granted a writ of possession in order that he may be legally for forcible entry against the private respondents when, not being
installed in the property he has bought. armed with a court order or a writ of possession, they simply
entered and took possession of the subject lands. Joven v CA
Section 63 (b) of P.D. 1529, otherwise known as the Property
Registration Decree, requires that in case of non-redemption, the c. Powers of Attorney
purchaser at a foreclosure sale shall file with the Register of Deeds
either a final deed of sale executed by the person authorized by Section 64. Power of attorney. Any person may, by power of attorney,
virtue of the power of attorney embodied in the deed of mortgage convey or otherwise deal with registered land and the same shall be
or his sworn statement attesting to the fact of non-redemption. registered with the Register of Deeds of the province or city where the
The Register of Deeds shall thereupon issue a new certificate in land lies. Any instrument revoking such power of attorney shall be
favor of the purchaser after the owner's duplicate certificate shall registered in like manner.
have been previously delivered and canceled.
d. Trusts
In F. David Enterprises vs. Insular Bank of Asia and America, 8
this Court held: Section 65. Trusts in registered land. If a deed or other instrument is
It is settled that the buyer in a foreclosure sale becomes the filed in order to transfer registered land in trust, or upon any equitable
absolute owner of the property purchased if it is not redeemed condition or limitation expressed therein, or to create or declare a trust
during the period of one year after the registration of the sale. As or other equitable interests in such land without transfer, the particulars
such, he is entitled to the possession of the said property and can of the trust, condition, limitation or other equitable interest shall not be
demand it at any time following the consolidation of ownership in entered on the certificate; but only a memorandum thereof shall be
his name and the issuance to him of a new transfer certificate of entered by the words "in trust", or "upon condition", or other apt words,
title. The buyer can in fact demand possession of the land even and by a reference by number to the instrument authorizing or creating
during the redemption period except that he has to post a bond in the same. A similar memorandum shall be made upon the original
accordance with Section 7 of Act No. 3135 as amended. No such instrument creating or declaring the trust or other equitable interest with
bond is required after the redemption period if the property is not a reference by number to the certificate of title to which it relates and to
redeemed. Possession of the land then becomes an absolute right the volume and page in the registration book in which it is registered.
of the purchaser as confirmed owner. Upon proper application and
proof of title, the issuance of the writ of possession becomes a Section 66. Trust with power of sale, etc., how expressed. If the

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instrument creating or declaring a trust or other equitable interest memorandum of the attachment or other lien may be made thereon. If the
contains an express power to sell, mortgage or deal with the land in any owner neglects or refuses to comply within a reasonable time, the Register of
manner, such power shall be stated in the certificate of title by the words Deeds shall report the matter to the court, and it shall, after notice, enter an
"with power to sell", or "power to mortgage", or by apt words of order to the owner, to produce his certificate at a time and place named therein,
description in case of other powers. No instrument which transfers, and may enforce the order by suitable process.
mortgages or in any way deals with registered land in trust shall be
registered, unless the enabling power thereto is expressly conferred in Section 74. Enforcement of liens on registered land. Whenever registered land
the trust instrument, or unless a final judgment or order of a court of is solved on execution, or taken or sold for taxes or for any assessment or to
competent jurisdiction has construed the instrument in favor of the enforce a lien of any character, or for any costs and charges incident to such
power, in which case a certified copy of such judgment or order may be liens, any execution or copy of execution, any officer's return, or any deed,
registered. demand, certificate, or affidavit, or other instrument made in the course of the
proceedings to enforce such liens and required by law to be recorded, shall be
Section 67. Judicial appointment of new trustee. If a new trustee of filed with the Register of Deeds of the province or city where the land lies and
registered land is appointed by a court of competent jurisdiction, a new registered in the registration book, and a memorandum made upon the proper
certificate may be issued to him upon presentation to the Register of certificate of title in each case as lien or encumbrance.
Deeds of a certified copy of the order or judicial appointment and the
surrender for cancellation of the duplicate certificate. Section 75. Application for new certificate upon expiration of redemption
period. Upon the expiration of the time, if any, allowed by law for redemption
Section 68. Implied, trusts, how established. Whoever claims an interest after registered land has been sold on execution taken or sold for the
in registered land by reason of any implied or constructive trust shall file enforcement of a lien of any description, except a mortgage lien, the purchaser
for registration with the Register of Deeds a sworn statement thereof at such sale or anyone claiming under him may petition the court for the entry
containing a description of the land, the name of the registered owner of a new certificate of title to him.
and a reference to the number of the certificate of title. Such claim shall Before the entry of a new certificate of title, the registered owner may pursue all
not affect the title of a purchaser for value and in good faith before its legal and equitable remedies to impeach or annul such proceedings.
registration.
Before entry of a new certificate of title by the purchaser at execution
N. Involuntary Dealings sale pursuant to Sec. 75, PD 1529, the registered owner may pursue all
legal and equitable remedies to impeach or annul such proceedings.
1. General Provisions It is crystal from the above-quoted provision(Sec. 75) that upon the
expiration of time allowed by law for redemption of a registered land sold
Section 71. Surrender of certificate in involuntary dealings. If an attachment or on execution, the purchaser at such sale may petition for the issuance of
other lien in the nature of involuntary dealing in registered land is registered, a new certificate of title to him, subject to the condition that "before
and the duplicate certificate is not presented at the time of registration, the entry of a new certificate of title the registered owner may pursue all
Register of Deeds shall, within thirty-six hours thereafter, send notice by mail to legal and equitable remedies to impeach or annul such proceedings."
the registered owner, stating that such paper has been registered, and (emphasis ours).
requesting him to send or produce his duplicate certificate so that a

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xxx Corporation.

. . . While it is true that Section 78 of Act. 496 on which the petition is It is settled that execution is enforced by the fact of levy and sale.
based provides that upon the failure of the judgment-debtor to redeem Blancaflor v CA
the property sold at public auction the purchaser of the land may be
granted a new certificate of title, the exercise of such function is qualified It is the certificate of title issued by the sheriff after the auction sale
by the provision that 'at any time prior to the entry of a new certificate which has to be registered for involuntary conveyance, and not the
the registered owner may pursue all his lawful remedies to impeach or judgment of the court.
annul proceedings under executions or to enforce liens of any Contrary to the impression of petitioners, it is the certificate of sale
description.' The right, therefore, to petition for a new certificate under issued by the sheriff after the auction sale which has to be registered for
said section is not absolute but subject to the determination of any such involuntary conveyance to affect the land [as provided under Sec.
objection that may be interposed relative to the validity of the 74, PD 1529]. Blancaflor v CA
proceedings leading to the transfer of the land subject thereof which
should be threshed out in a separate appropriate action. As should be evident from Blancaflor, petitioner Padilla's reliance on
Tagaytay-Taal v CA Section 6 of Rule 39 of the 1997 Revised Rules of Civil Procedure is
misplaced. The fact of levy and sale constitutes execution, and not the
The petition for the surrender and/or cancellation of the owners action for the issuance of a new title. Here, because the levy and sale of
duplicate copy of transfer certificate title is merely a consequence of the the properties took place in June and July of 1990, respectively, or less
execution of a judgment in an auction or foreclosure sale. It is settled than a year after the decision became final and executory, the
that execution is enforced by the fact of levy and sale. respondent clearly exercised its rights in timely fashion. Padilla v
A closer examination of the facts discloses that enforcement of the Philippine Producers, Inc.
decision in Civil Case No. 10270 of the CFI of Rizal was not the cause of
action in private respondent's petition for the Surrender and/ or It should be a PETITION for the surrender and/or cancellation of
Cancellation of the Owner's Duplicate Copy of Transfer Certificate Title the owners duplicate copy of transfer certificate of title, not a
No. 14749. Plainly, the petition was merely a consequence of the MOTION.
execution of the judgment as the judgment in said Civil Case No. 10270 Petitioner is correct in assailing as improper respondent's filing of a mere
had already been fully enforced. A writ of execution was in fact issued on motion for the cancellation of the old TCTs and the issuance of new ones
26 August 1968, by virtue of which a "Notice of Attachment or Levy" was as a result of petitioner's refusal to surrender his owner's duplicate TCTs.
made by the Sheriff on the property of Blancaflor, including the lot
covered by TCT No. 14749. This notice was duly inscribe at the back of Indeed, this called for a separate cadastral action initiated via petition [as
TCT No. 14749, then an auction sale of the lot covered by TCT No. 14749 provided under Sec. 107, PD 1529].
was conducted with Sarmiento Trading Corporation emerging as the
highest bidder. The latter was awarded the bid and a certificate of sale in xxx
its favor was executed by the Sheriff and thereafter inscribed as a
memorandum of encumbrance on TCT No. 14749. Subsequently, the Respondent alleges that it resorted to filing the contested motion because
Sheriff executed a final deed of sale in favor of Sarmiento Trading it could not obtain new certificates of title, considering that petitioner

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refused to surrender his owner's duplicate TCTs. This contention is Deeds.


incorrect. The proper course of action was to file a petition in court,
rather than merely move, for the issuance of new titles. This was the b. Adverse Claim
procedure followed in Blancaflor by Sarmiento Trading which was in more
or less the same situation as the respondent in this case. Padilla v Section 70. Adverse claim. Whoever claims any part or interest in registered
Philippine Producers Inc. land adverse to the registered owner, arising subsequent to the date of the
original registration, may, if no other provision is made in this Decree for
2. Specific Provisions registering the same, make a statement in writing setting forth fully his alleged
right or interest, and how or under whom acquired, a reference to the number of
a. Attachment the certificate of title of the registered owner, the name of the registered owner,
and a description of the land in which the right or interest is claimed.
Section 69. Attachments. An attachment, or a copy of any writ, order or
process issued by a court of record, intended to create or preserve any lien, The statement shall be signed and sworn to, and shall state the adverse
status, right, or attachment upon registered land, shall be filed and registered in claimant's residence, and a place at which all notices may be served upon him.
the Registry of Deeds for the province or city in which the land lies, and, in This statement shall be entitled to registration as an adverse claim on the
addition to the particulars required in such papers for registration, shall contain certificate of title. The adverse claim shall be effective for a period of thirty days
a reference to the number of the certificate of title to be affected and the from the date of registration. After the lapse of said period, the annotation of
registered owner or owners thereof, and also if the attachment, order, process or adverse claim may be canceled upon filing of a verified petition therefor by the
lien is not claimed on all the land in any certificate of title a description party in interest: Provided, however, that after cancellation, no second adverse
sufficiently accurate for identification of the land or interest intended to be claim based on the same ground shall be registered by the same claimant.
affected. A restraining order, injunction or mandamus issued by the court shall
be entered and registered on the certificate of title affected, free of charge. Before the lapse of thirty days aforesaid, any party in interest may file a petition
in the Court of First Instance where the land is situated for the cancellation of
Section 72. Dissolution, etc. of attachments, etc. Attachments and liens of the adverse claim, and the court shall grant a speedy hearing upon the question
every description upon registered land shall be continued, reduced, discharged of the validity of such adverse claim, and shall render judgment as may be just
and dissolved by any method sufficient in law, and to give effect to the and equitable. If the adverse claim is adjudged to be invalid, the registration
continuance, reduction, discharge or dissolution thereof the certificate or other thereof shall be ordered canceled. If, in any case, the court, after notice and
instrument for that purpose shall be registered with the Register of Deeds. hearing, shall find that the adverse claim thus registered was frivolous, it may
fine the claimant in an amount not less than one thousand pesos nor more than
Section 73. Registration of orders of court, etc. If an attachment is continued, five thousand pesos, in its discretion. Before the lapse of thirty days, the
reduced, dissolved, or otherwise affected by an order, decision or judgment of claimant may withdraw his adverse claim by filing with the Register of Deeds a
the court where the action or proceedings in which said attachment was made is sworn petition to that effect.
pending or by an order of a court having jurisdiction thereof, a certificate of the
entry of such order, decision or judgment from the clerk of court or the judge by
which such decision, order or judgment has been rendered and under the seal of
the court, shall be entitled to be registered upon presentation to the Register of

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What is an adverse claim? force and effect after the lapse of thirty days, then it would not have
Concededly, annotation of an adverse claim is a measure designed to been necessary to include the foregoing caveat to clarify and complete
protect the interest of a person over a piece of real property where the the rule. For then, no adverse claim need be cancelled. If it has been
registration of such interest or right not otherwise provided for by the automatically terminated by mere lapse of time, the law would not have
Land Registration Act or Act 496 (now P.D. 1529 or the Property required the party in interest to do a useless act.
Registration Decree), and serves a warning to third parties dealing with
said property that someone is claiming an interest on the same or a xxx
better right than that of the registered owner thereof. Such notice is
registered by filing a sworn statement with the Register of Deeds of the . . .The law, taken together, simply means that the cancellation of the
province where the property is located, setting forth the basis of the adverse claim is still necessary to render it ineffective, otherwise, the
claimed right together with other dates pertinent thereto. Sajonas v inscription will remain annotated and shall continue as a lien upon the
CA property. For if the adverse claim has already ceased to be effective upon
the lapse of said period, its cancellation is no longer necessary and the
A subsequent sale of a property covered by a certificate of title cannot process of cancellation would be a useless ceremony. 29
prevail over an adverse claim.
While it is the act of registration which is the operative act which conveys It should be noted that the law employs the phrase "may be cancelled",
or affects the land insofar as third persons are concerned, it is likewise which obviously indicates, as inherent in its decision making power, that
true, that the subsequent sale of property covered by a Certificate of Title the court may or not order the cancellation of an adverse claim,
cannot prevail over an adverse claim, duly sworn to and annotated on the nothwitstanding such provision limiting the effectivity of an adverse claim
certificate of title previous to the sale. 21 While it is true that under the for thirty days from the date of registration. The court cannot be bound
provisions of the Property Registration Decree, deeds of conveyance of by such period as it would be inconsistent with the very authority vested
property registered under the system, or any interest therein only take in it. A fortiori, the limitation on the period of effectivity is immaterial in
effect as a conveyance to bind the land upon its registration, and that a determining the validity or invalidity of an adverse claim which is the
purchaser is not required to explore further than what the Torrens title, principal issue to be decided in the court hearing. It will therefore depend
upon its face, indicates in quest for any hidden defect or inchoate right upon the evidence at a proper hearing for the court to determine whether
that may subsequently defeat his right thereto, nonetheless, this rule is it will order the cancellation of the adverse claim or not. 30
not absolute. Thus, one who buys from the registered owner need not
have to look behind the certificate of title, he is, nevertheless, bound by To interpret the effectivity period of the adverse claim as absolute and
the liens and encumbrances annotated thereon. One who buys without without qualification limited to thirty days defeats the very purpose for
checking the vendor's title takes all the risks and losses consequent to which the statute provides for the remedy of an inscription of adverse
such failure. Sajonas v CA claim, as the annotation of an adverse claim is a measure designed to
protect the interest of a person over a piece of real property where the
An adverse claim does not ipso facto loses its effect after the lapse of registration of such interest or right is not otherwise provided for by the
thirty days. Petition for its cancellation is necessary to cancel the Land Registration Act or Act 496 (now P.D. 1529 or the Property
adverse claim. Registration Decree), and serves as a warning to third parties dealing
If the rationale of the law was for the adverse claim to ipso facto lose

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with said property that someone is claiming an interest or the same or a


better right than the registered owner thereof. 31 Sajonas v CA Reason:
In the same vein, the annotation on May 20, 1993 of the November 13,
Reason: 1972 affidavit of adverse claim on TCT No. 2355 (34515) afforded no
The reason why the law provides for a hearing where the validity of the protection to petitioner for the same reason that said belated assertion of
adverse claim is to be threshed out is to afford the adverse claimant an his alleged right over the property is barred by prescription and laches.
opportunity to be heard, providing a venue where the propriety of his Leonardo v Maravilla
claimed interest can be established or revoked, all for the purpose of
determining at last the existence of any encumbrance on the title arising An annotation of adverse claim may substitute for the surrender the
from such adverse claim. This is in line with the provision immediately duplicate certificate of title for the registration of voluntary instrument.
following: Such annotation is sufficient to bind third persons. However, lack of
demand or unjustified refusal of the owner of the duplicate certificate of
Provided, however, that after cancellation, no second adverse claim shall title to surrender the same renders the adverse claim invalid.
be registered by the same claimant. But where the vendor refused to deliver to the vendee the owner's
duplicate certificate of title, which title must be presented in order that
Should the adverse claimant fail to sustain his interest in the property, the deed of conveyance may be registered and the corresponding
the adverse claimant will be precluded from registering a second adverse transfer certificate of title may be issued,[38] the vendee may file with
claim based on the same ground. the Register of Deeds an adverse claim under Section 110 of Act No. 496.
For an adverse claim to be valid, it must be shown that a demand was
It was held that "validity or efficaciousness of the claim may only be made on the vendor and that the latter refused to surrender the owner's
determined by the Court upon petition by an interested party, in which duplicate certificate of title.[39]
event, the Court shall. order the immediate hearing thereof and make the
proper adjudication a justice and equity may warrant. And it is only when xxx
such claim is found unmeritorious that the registration of the adverse
claim may be cancelled, thereby protecting the interest of the adverse For lack of the requisite unjustified refusal of the registered owner to
claimant and giving notice and warning to third parties". Sajonas v CA surrender the owner's duplicate certificate of title, the affidavit of adverse
claim registered by petitioner is not valid. Leonardo v Maravilla
Registration of an adverse claim does not toll the running of prescriptive
period. The basis of respondent Villanueva's adverse claim was an agreement to
Petitioner's claim that the prescriptive period was tolled when he sell executed in her favor by Garcia Realty. An agreement to sell is a
registered his adverse claim with the Register of Deeds is untenable. In voluntary instrument as it is a wilful act of the registered owner. As such
Garbin v. Court of Appeals, et al.,[32] wherein an action for annulment of voluntary instrument, Section 50 of Act No. 496 [now Presidential Decree
a deed of sale was dismissed on the ground of prescription and laches, No. 1529] expressly provides that the act of registration shall be the
the Court held that the registration of an adverse claim does not toll the operative act to convey and affect the land. And Section 55 of the same
running of the prescriptive period. Leonardo v Maravilla Act requires the presentation of the owner's duplicate certificate of title

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for the registration of any deed or voluntary instrument. As the Section 76. Notice of lis pendens. No action to recover possession of real
agreement to sell involves an interest less than an estate in fee simple, estate, or to quiet title thereto, or to remove clouds upon the title thereof, or for
the same should have been registered by filing it with the Register of partition, or other proceedings of any kind in court directly affecting the title to
Deeds who, in turn, makes a brief memorandum thereof upon the original land or the use or occupation thereof or the buildings thereon, and no judgment,
and owner's duplicate certificate of title. The reason for requiring the and no proceeding to vacate or reverse any judgment, shall have any effect
production of the owner's duplicate certificate in the registration of a upon registered land as against persons other than the parties thereto, unless a
voluntary instrument is that, being a wilful act of the registered owner, it memorandum or notice stating the institution of such action or proceeding and
is to be presumed that he is interested in registering the instrument and the court wherein the same is pending, as well as the date of the institution
would willingly surrender, present or produce his duplicate certificate of thereof, together with a reference to the number of the certificate of title, and an
title to the Register of Deeds in order to accomplish such registration. adequate description of the land affected and the registered owner thereof, shall
However, where the owner refuses to surrender the duplicate certificate have been filed and registered.
for the annotation of the voluntary instrument, the grantee may file with Section 77. Cancellation of lis pendens. Before final judgment, a notice of lis
the Register of Deeds a statement setting forth his adverse claim, as pendens may be canceled upon order of the court, after proper showing that the
provided for in Section 110 of Act No. 496. In such a case, the annotation notice is for the purpose of molesting the adverse party, or that it is not
of the instrument upon the entry book is sufficient to affect the real necessary to protect the rights of the party who caused it to be registered. It
estate to which it relates, although Section 72 of Act No. 496 imposes may also be canceled by the Register of Deeds upon verified petition of the party
upon the Register of Deeds the duty to require the production by the who caused the registration thereof.
[r]egistered owner of his duplicate certificate for the inscription of the At any time after final judgment in favor of the defendant, or other disposition of
adverse claim. The annotation of an adverse claim is a measure designed the action such as to terminate finally all rights of the plaintiff in and to the land
to protect the interest of a person over a piece of real property where the and/or buildings involved, in any case in which a memorandum or notice of lis
registration of such interest or right is not otherwise provided for by the pendens has been registered as provided in the preceding section, the notice of
Land Registration Act, and serves as a notice and warning to third parties lis pendens shall be deemed canceled upon the registration of a certificate of the
dealing with said property that someone is claiming an interest on the clerk of court in which the action or proceeding was pending stating the manner
same or a better right than the registered owner thereof. (emphases of disposal thereof.
supplied)
What is notice of lis pendens?
xxx The notice of lis pendens i.e., that real property is involved in an action is
ordinarily recorded without the intervention of the court where the action
The deed of sale with assumption of mortgage executed by respondents is pending. The notice is but an incident in an action, an extrajudicial one,
Calingo and Barrameda is a registrable instrument. In order to bind third to be sure. It does not affect the merits thereof. It is intended merely to
parties, it must be registered with the Office of the Register of Deeds. It constructively advise, or warn, all people who deal with the property that
was not shown in this case that there was justifiable reason why the deed they so deal with it at their own risk, and whatever rights they may
could not be registered. Hence, the remedy of adverse claim cannot acquire in the property in any voluntary transaction are subject to the
substitute for registration. Rodriguez v CA results of the action, and may well be inferior and subordinate to those
which may be finally determined and laid down therein. 21 The
c. Notice of Lis Pendens cancellation of such a precautionary notice is therefore also a mere

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incident in the action, and may be ordered by the Court having c) An action to remove clouds thereon;
jurisdiction of it at any given time. And its continuance or removal like d) An action for partition; and
the continuance or removal of a preliminary attachment or injunction is e) Any other proceedings of any kind in Court directly affecting the title
not contingent on the existence of a final judgment in the action, and to the land or the use or occupation thereof or the buildings thereon.
ordinarily has no effect on the merits thereof. Magdalena Magdalena Homeowners Association v CA
Homeowners Association v CA
Lis pendens has no application in the following:
Lis pendens literally means a pending suit. The doctrine of lis pendens On the other hand, the doctrine of lis pendens has no application in the
refers to the jurisdiction, power or control which a court acquires over following cases:
property involved in a suit, pending the continuance of the action, and a) Preliminary attachments;
until final judgment.[20] Heirs of Eugenio Lopez v Enriquez b) Proceedings for the probate of wills;
c) Levies on execution;
What is the purpose of lis pendens? d) Proceedings for administration of estate of deceased persons; and
The doctrine of lis pendens is founded upon reasons of public policy and e) Proceedings in which the only object is the recovery of a money
necessity, the purpose of which is to make known to the whole world that judgment.[27] Heirs of Eugenio Lopez v CA
properties in litigation are still within the power of the court until the
litigation is terminated and to prevent the defeat of the judgment or What should a notice of lis pendens contain?
decree by subsequent alienation. The notice of lis pendens is an As decreed by Section 76 of PD 1529, a notice of lis pendens should
announcement to the whole world that a particular real property is in contain a statement of the institution of an action or proceeding, the
litigation, and serves as a warning that one who acquires an interest over court where the same is pending, and the date of its institution. A notice
said property does so at his own risk, or that he gambles on the result of of lis pendens should also contain a reference to the number of the
the litigation over said property. Yared v Tiongco certificate of title of the land, an adequate description of the land affected
and its registered owner. Heirs of Eugenio Lopez v CA
The purposes of lis pendens are (1) to protect the rights of the party
causing the registration of the lis pendens, and (2) to advise third When is a notice of lis pendens is may be cancelled?
persons who purchase or contract on the subject property that they do so Now, a notice of lis pendens may be cancelled upon order of the court,
at their peril and subject to the result of the pending litigation.[21] "after proper showing that the notice is for the purpose of molesting the
Heirs of Eugenio Lopez v Enriquez adverse party, or that it is not necessary to protect the rights of the party
who caused it to be recorded." Magdalena Homeowners
Notice of lis pendens if proper in the following cases: Association v CA
According to Section 24, Rule 14 of the Rules of Court 19 and Section 76
of Presidential Decree No. 1529, 20 a notice of lis pendens is proper in A notice of lise pendens may only lies where there is an action or
the following cases, viz.: proceeding in court, which affects title, to or possession of real
property. Its effects are:
a) An action to recover possession of real estate; In other words, lis pendens is the jurisdiction, power, or control which the
b) An action to quiet title thereto; court acquires over the property involved in the suit pending the

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continuance of the action; and until its final judgment therein, it has for incident in connection with the action subject of the appeal, even before
its object the keeping of the subject or res within the power of the court final judgment. The rule that no questions may be raised for the first time
until the judgment or decree shall be entered, to make it possible for on appeal have reference only to those affecting the merits of the action,
courts of justice to give effect to their judgments and decrees. 15 This, in and not to mere incidents thereof, e.g., cancellation of notices of lis
effect, is the essence of the rule of lis pendens. When a case is pendens, or, to repeat the grant or dissolution of provisional remedies.
commenced involving any right to land registered under the Land [emphasis supplied] Yared v Tiongco
Registration Law, any decision therein will bind the parties only, unless a
notice of the pendency of such action is registered on the title of the said O. Registration of Judgments, Orders, Petitions
land, in order to bind the whole world as well. Therefore, in order that a
notice of lis pendens may affect the right of a subsequent purchaser, such Section 78. Judgment for Plaintiff. Whenever in any action to recover
notice should be annotated on the back of the certificate of title, which is possession or ownership of real estate or any interest therein affecting
not present in the case at bar. Dino v CA registered land judgment is entered for the plaintiff, such judgment shall be
entitled to registration on presentation of a certificate of the entry thereof from
Two-fold effects of lis pendens the clerk of court where the action is pending to the Register of Deeds for the
The filing of a notice of lis pendens has a two-fold effect. First, it keeps province or city where the land lies, who shall enter a memorandum upon the
the subject matter of the litigation within the power of the court until the certificate of title of the land to which such judgment relates. If the judgment
entry of the final judgment to prevent the defeat of the final judgment by does not apply to all the land described in the certificate of title, the certificate of
successive alienations. Second, it binds a purchaser, bona fide or not, of the clerk of the court where the action is pending and the memorandum entered
the land subject of the litigation to the judgment or decree that the court by the Register of Deeds shall contain a description of the land affected by the
will promulgate subsequently. However, the filing of a notice of lis judgment.
pendens does not create a right or lien that previously did not
exist.[22] Heirs of Eugenio Lopez v CA Section 79. Judgment adjudicating ownership. When in any action to recover
the ownership of real estate or an interest therein execution has been issued in
favor of the plaintiff, the latter shall be entitled to the entry of a new certificate
An assertion of claim over the property is enough to make a notice of lis of title and to the cancellation of the original certificate and owner's duplicate of
pendens. the former registered owner. If the registered owner neglects or refuses within a
Thus, all petitioner has to do is to assert a claim of possession or title reasonable time after request of the plaintiff to produce his duplicate certificate
over the subject property to put the property under the coverage of the in order that the same may be canceled, the court shall, on application and after
rule. It is not necessary for her to prove ownership or interest over the notice, enter an order to the owner to produce his certificate at the time and
property sought to be affected by lis pendens. Yared v Tiongco place designated, and may enforce the order by suitable process.

A notice of lis pendens being merely an incident of action, it may be Section 80. Execution of deed by virtue of judgment. Every court rendering
raised for the first time on appeals. judgment in favor of the plaintiff affecting registered land shall, upon petition of
In the case at bar, the case had properly come within the appellate said plaintiff, order and parties before it to execute for registration any deed or
jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals in virtue of the perfection of the instrument necessary to give effect to the judgment, and shall require the
plaintiffs' appeal. It therefore had power to deal with and resolve any registered owner to deliver his duplicate certificate to the plaintiff or to the

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Register of Deeds to be canceled or to have a memorandum annotated upon it. be issued.


In case the person required to execute any deed or other instrument necessary
to give effect to the judgment is absent from the Philippines, or is a minor, or Section 83. Notice of insolvency. Whenever proceeding in bankruptcy or
insane, or for any reason not amenable to the process of the court rendering the insolvency, or analogous proceedings, are instituted against a debtor who owns
judgment, said court may appoint a suitable person as trustee to execute such registered land, it shall be the duty of the officer serving the notice of the
instrument which, when executed, shall be entitled to registration. institution of such proceedings on the debtor to file a copy thereof with the office
of the Register of Deeds for the province or city where the land of the debtor
Section 81. Judgment of partition. In proceedings for partition of registered lies. The assignee or trustee appointed by the court in such proceedings shall be
land, after the entry of the final judgment of partition, a copy of such final entitled to the entry of a new certificate of the registered land of the debtor or
judgment, certified by the clerk of the court rendering the same, shall be filed bankrupt, upon presenting and filing a certified copy of the assignment in
and registered; thereupon, if the land is set of to the owners in severalty, each insolvency or order or adjudication in bankruptcy with the insolvent's or
owner shall be entitled to have his certificate entered showing the share set off bankrupt's duplicate certificate of title; but the new certificate shall state that it
to him in severalty, and to receive an owner's duplicate thereof. is entered to him as assignee in insolvency or trustee in bankruptcy or other
If the land is ordered by the court to be sold, the purchaser or his assigns shall proceedings, as the case may be.
be entitled to certificate of title entered in his or their favor upon presenting a
certified copy of the judgment confirming the sale. Section 84. Judgment or order vacating insolvency proceedings. Whenever any
In case the land is ordered by the court to be assigned to one of the parties of the proceedings of the character named in the preceding section against a
upon payment to the others of the sum ordered by the court, the party to whom registered owner, of which notice has been registered, is vacated by judgment, a
the land is thus assigned shall be entitled to have a certificate of title entered in certified copy of the judgment or order may be registered. Where a new
his favor upon presenting a certified copy of the judgment: Provided, however, certificate has been entered in the name of the assignee or trustee, such
that any new certificate entered in pursuance of partition proceedings, whether certificate shall be surrendered for cancellation and forthwith the debtor shall be
by way of set-off or of assignment or of sale, shall contain a reference entitled to the entry of a new certificate to him.
memorandum to the final judgment of partition, and shall be conclusive as to
the title to the same extent and against the same persons as such judgment is Section 85. Land taken by eminent domain. Whenever any registered land, or
made conclusive by the laws applicable thereto: and provided, further, that any interest therein, is expropriated or taken by eminent domain, the National
person holding such certificate of title or a transfer thereof shall have the right Government, province, city, municipality, or any other agency or instrumentality
to petition the court at any time to cancel the memorandum relating to such exercising such right shall file for registration in the proper Registry a certified
judgment or order and the court, after notice and hearing, may grant the copy of the judgment which shall state definitely, by an adequate description,
petition. Such certificate shall thereafter be conclusive in the same manner and the particular property or interest expropriated, the number of the certificate of
to the same extent as other certificates of title. title, and the nature of the public use. A memorandum of the right or interest
taken shall be made on each certificate of title by the Register of Deeds, and
Section 82. Registration of prior registered mortgaged or lease on partitioned where the fee simple title is taken, a new certificate shall be issued in favor of
property. If a certified copy of a final judgment or decree of partition is the National Government, province, city, municipality, or any other agency or
presented and it appears that a mortgage or lease affecting a specific portion or instrumentality exercising such right for the land so taken. The legal expenses
an undivided share of the premises had previously been registered, the Register incident to the memorandum of registration or issuances incident to the
of Deeds shall carry over such encumbrance on the certificate of title that may memorandum of registration or issuance of a new certificate shall be for the

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account of the authority taking the land or interest therein. Section 89. Land devised to executor. When it appears by will, a certified copy
of which with letters testamentary had already been filed as provided in this
Section 86. Extrajudicial settlement of estate. When a deed of extrajudicial Decree, that registered land is devised to the executor to his own use, or upon
settlement has been duly registered, the Register of Deeds shall annotate on the some trust, the executor may have the land transferred to himself upon the
proper title the two-year lien mentioned in Section 4 of Rule 74 of the Rules of register in like manner and subject to like terms and conditions and to like rights
Court. Upon the expiration of the two-year period and presentation of a verified as in the case of a transfer pursuant to a deed filed in the office of the Register
petition by the registered heirs, devisees or legatees or any other party in of Deeds.
interest that no claim or claims of any creditor, heir or other person exist, the
Register of Deeds shall cancel the two-year lien noted on the title without the Section 90. When executor empowered by will to sell, etc. When the will of a
necessity of a court order. The verified petition shall be entered in the Primary deceased owner of registered lands, or an interest therein, empowers the
Entry Book and a memorandum thereof made on the title. executor to sell, convey, encumber, charge or otherwise deal with the land, a
No deed of extrajudicial settlement or affidavit of adjudication shall be registered certified copy of the will and letters testamentary being filed as provided in this
unless the fact of extrajudicial settlement or adjudication is published once a Decree, such executor may sell, convey, encumber, charge or otherwise deal
week for three consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the with the land pursuant to the power in like manner as if he were registered
province and proof thereof is filed with the Register of Deeds. The proof may owner, subject to the terms and conditions and limitations expressed in the will.
consist of the certification of the publisher, printer, his foreman or principal clerk,
or of the editor, business or advertising manager of the newspaper concerned, or Section 91. Transfer in anticipation of final distribution. Whenever the court
a copy of each week's issue of the newspaper wherein the publication appeared. having jurisdiction of the testate or intestate proceedings directs the executor or
administrator to take over and transfer to the devisees or heirs, or any of them,
Section 87. Filing of letters of administration and will. Before the executor or in anticipation of final distribution a portion or the whole of the registered land
administrator of the estate of a deceased owner of registered land may deal with to which they might be entitled on final distribution, upon the filing of a certified
the same, he shall file with the office of the Register of Deeds a certified copy of copy of such order in the office of the Register of Deeds, the executor or
his letters of administration or if there is a will, a certified copy thereof and the administratory may cause such transfer to be made upon the register in like
order allowing the same, together with the letters testamentary or of manner as in case of a sale, and upon the presentation of the owner's duplicate
administration with the will annexed, as the case may be, and shall produce the certificate to the Register of Deeds, the devisees or heirs concerned shall be
duplicate certificate of title, and thereupon the Register of Deeds shall enter entitled to the issuance of the corresponding certificates of title.
upon the certificate a memorandum thereof, making reference to the letters
and/or will by their file number, and the date of filing the same. Section 92. Registration of final distribution of estate. A certified copy of the
partition and distribution, together with the final judgment or order of the court
Section 88. Dealings by administering subject to court approval. After a approving the same or otherwise making final distribution, supported by
memorandum of the will, if any, and order allowing the same, and letters evidence of payment of estate taw or exemption therefrom, as the case may be,
testamentary or letters of administration have been entered upon the certificate shall be filed with the Register of Deeds, and upon the presentation of the
of title as hereinabove provided, the executor or administrator may alienate or owner's duplicate certificate of title, new certificates of title shall be issued to the
encumber registered land belonging to the estate, or any interest therein, upon parties severally entitled thereto in accordance with the approved partition and
approval of the court obtained as provided by the Rules of Court. distribution.

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P. Assurance Fund in any court of competent jurisdiction for the recovery of damages to be paid out
of the Assurance Fund.
Section 93. Contribution to Assurance Fund. Upon the entry of a certificate of
title in the name of the registered owner, and also upon the original registration Section 96. Against whom action filed. If such action is brought to recover for
on the certificate of title of a building or other improvements on the land loss or damage or for deprivation of land or of any estate or interest therein
covered by said certificate, as well as upon the entry of a certificate pursuant to arising wholly through fraud, negligence, omission, mistake or misfeasance of
any subsequent transfer of registered land, there shall be paid to the Register of the court personnel, Register of Deeds, his deputy, or other employees of the
Deeds one-fourth of one per cent of the assessed value of the real estate on the Registry in the performance of their respective duties, the action shall be
basis of the last assessment for taxation purposes, as contribution to the brought against the Register of Deeds of the province or city where the land is
Assurance Fund. Where the land involved has not yet been assessed for situated and the National Treasurer as defendants. But if such action is brought
taxation, its value for purposes of this decree shall be determined by the sworn to recover for loss or damage or for deprivation of land or of any interest therein
declaration of two disinterested persons to the effect that the value fixed by arising through fraud, negligence, omission, mistake or misfeasance of person
them is to their knowledge, a fair valuation. other than court personnel, the Register of Deeds, his deputy or other
Nothing in this section shall in any way preclude the court from increasing the employees of the Registry, such action shall be brought against the Register of
valuation of the property should it appear during the hearing that the value Deeds, the National Treasurer and other person or persons, as co-defendants. It
stated is too small. shall be the duty of the Solicitor General in person or by representative to
appear and to defend all such suits with the aid of the fiscal of the province or
Section 94. Custody and investment of fund. All money received by the city where the land lies: Provided, however, that nothing in this Decree shall be
Register of Deeds under the preceding section shall be paid to the National construed to deprive the plaintiff of any right of action which he may have
Treasurer. He shall keep this money in an Assurance Fund which may be against any person for such loss or damage or deprivation without joining the
invested in the manner and form authorized by law, and shall report annually to National Treasurer as party defendant. In every action filed against the
the Commissioner of the Budget the condition and income thereof. Assurance Fund, the court shall consider the report of the Commissioner of Land
The income of the Assurance Fund shall be added to the principal until said fund Registration.
amounts to five hundred thousand pesos, in which event the excess income from
investments as well as from the collections of such fund shall be paid into the Section 97. Judgment, how satisfied. If there are defendants other than the
National Treasury to the account of the Assurance Fund. National Treasurer and the Register of Deeds and judgment is entered for the
plaintiff and against the National Treasury, the Register of Deeds and any of the
Section 95. Action for compensation from funds. A person who, without other defendants, execution shall first issue against such defendants other than
negligence on his part, sustains loss or damage, or is deprived of land or any the National and the Register of Deeds. If the execution is returned unsatisfied
estate or interest therein in consequence of the bringing of the land under the in whole or in part, and the officer returning the same certificates that the
operation of the Torrens system of arising after original registration of land, amount due cannot be collected from the land or personal property of such other
through fraud or in consequence of any error, omission, mistake or defendants, only then shall the court, upon proper showing, order the amount of
misdescription in any certificate of title or in any entry or memorandum in the the execution and costs, or so much thereof as remains unpaid, to be paid by
registration book, and who by the provisions of this Decree is barred or the National treasurer out of the Assurance Fund. In an action under this
otherwise precluded under the provision of any law from bringing an action for Decree, the plaintiff cannot recover as compensation more than the fair market
the recovery of such land or the estate or interest therein, may bring an action value of the land at the time he suffered the loss, damage, or deprivation

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thereof. time within two years after such disability has been removed, notwithstanding
the expiration of the original period of six years first above provided.
Section 98. General Fund when liable. If at any time the Assurance Fund is not
sufficient to satisfy such judgment, the National Treasurer shall make up for the Who can demand from the assurance fund?
deficiency from any funds available in the treasury not otherwise appropriated. 1) Any person who sustains loss or damage under the following
conditions:
Section 99. Subrogation of government to plaintiff's rights. In every case where
payment has been made by the National Treasurer in accordance with the 'a) that there was no negligence on his part; and
provisions of this Decree, the Government of the Republic of the Philippines shall
be subrogated to the rights of the plaintiff against any other parties or 'b) that the loss or damage was sustained through any omission,
securities. The National Treasurer shall enforce said rights and the amount mistake, or misfeasance of the clerk of court, or the register of deeds, his
recovered shall be paid to the account of the Assurance Fund. deputy or clerk, in the performance of their respective duties under the
Section 100. Register of Deeds as party in interest. When it appears that the provisions of the land Registration Act,' or
Assurance Fund may be liable for damages that may be incurred due to the
unlawful or erroneous issuance of a certificate of title, the Register of Deeds "2) Any person who has been deprived of any land or any interest therein
concerned shall be deemed a proper party in interest who shall, upon authority under the following conditions:
of the Commissioner of Land Registration, file the necessary action in court to
annul or amend the title. 'a) that there was no negligence on his part;
The court may order the Register of Deeds to amend or cancel a certificate of
title or to do any other act as may be just and equitable. 'b) that he was deprived as a consequence of the bringing of his land or
interest therein under the provisions of the Property Registration Decree;
Section 101. Losses not recoverable. The Assurance Fund shall not be liable for or by the registration by any other persons as owner of such land; or by
any loss, damage or deprivation caused or occasioned by a breach of trust, mistake, omission or misdescription in any certificate or owner's
whether express, implied or constructive or by any mistake in the resurveyed or duplicate, or in any entry or memorandum in the register or other official
subdivision of registered land resulting in the expansion of area in the certificate book, or by any cancellation; and
of title.
'c) that he is barred or in any way precluded from bringing an action for
Section 102. Limitation of Action. Any action for compensation against the the recovery of such land or interest therein, or claim upon the same.'"
Assurance Fund by reason of any loss, damage or deprivation of land or any - Treasurer of the Philippines v CA
interest therein shall be instituted within a period of six years from the time the
right to bring such action first occurred: Provided, That the right of action herein In order to claim from the assurance fund, the person claiming must
provided shall survive to the legal representative of the person sustaining loss or have acquired a registered land or interest, and as the holders of title,
damage, unless barred in his lifetime; and Provided, further, That if at the time that they be innocent purchasers in good faith and for value.
such right of action first accrued the person entitled to bring such action was a The second situation is also inapplicable. The strongest obstacle to
minor or insane or imprisoned, or otherwise under legal disability, such person recovery thereunder is that the private respondents acquired no land or
or anyone claiming from, by or under him may bring the proper action at any

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any interest therein as a result of the invalid sale made to them by the That difficulty alone, however, should not make the Assurance Fund liable
spurious Lawaan Lopez. to the private respondents for the serious wrong they have sustained
from the false Lawaan Lopez. The Government ---- like all governments,
The petition correctly points out that such sale conveyed no title or any and for obvious reasons ---- is not an insurer of the unwary citizen's
interest at all to them for the simple reason that the supposed vendor property against the chicanery of scoundrels. - Treasurer of the
had no title or interest to transfer. He was not the owner of the land. He Philippines v CA
had no right thereto he could convey. Manifestly, the deception imposed
upon them by the impostor deprived the private respondents of the The person claiming against the assurance fund must not have acted
money they delivered to him as consideration for the sale. But there is no with negligence.
question that the subsequent cancellation of the sale did not deprive The trial court also dismissed the Cues' third party complaint against the
them of the land subject thereof, or of any interest therein, for they Treasurer of the Philippines as custodian of the Assurance Fund after
never acquired ownership over it in the first place. finding them negligent in protecting their interest. The trial court
recognized the principle that a person dealing with registered lands need
xxx not go beyond the certificate of title but nevertheless pointed out that
there are circumstances in this case which should have put the Cues on
The second situation is also inapplicable. The strongest obstacle to guard and prompted them to investigate the property being mortgaged to
recovery thereunder is that the private respondents acquired no land or them, thus:
any interest therein as a result of the invalid sale made to them by the The property in question is a very valuable property, in fact
spurious Lawaan Lopez. accepted by defendants Mota and Medina Cue as collateral for
more than half a million pesos in loans granted by them to
The petition correctly points out that such sale conveyed no title or any Fernandez. Its value lies principally in its income potential, in the
interest at all to them for the simple reason that the supposed vendor form of substantial monthly rentals. Certainly, the registered title
had no title or interest to transfer. He was not the owner of the land. He does not yield any information as to the amount of rentals due
had no right thereto he could convey. Manifestly, the deception imposed from the building, much less on who is collecting them, or who is
upon them by the impostor deprived the private respondents of the recognized by the tenants as their landlord. Any prospective buyer
money they delivered to him as consideration for the sale. But there is no or mortgagee of such a property, if prudent and in good faith, is
question that the subsequent cancellation of the sale did not deprive normally expected to inquire into all these and related facts and
them of the land subject thereof, or of any interest therein, for they circumstances.
never acquired ownership over it in the first place. - Treasurer of the
Besides, by the course of visible dimensions of the M. Torres
Philippines v CA
Building, it should be readily obvious to any one that the area of
the two lots ... covered by TCT No. 86018 cannot accommodate
Other recourse of the person claiming from the assurance fund.
the building, as in fact it also rests upon a lot covered by TCT No.
They are, of course, not entirely without recourse, for they may still
56387, and partly upon a lot leased by (Torres) from the City of
proceed against the impostor in a civil action for recovery and damages
Manila. Had (the Cues) known of this fact would they have
or prosecute him under the Revised Penal Code, assuming he can be
accepted the mortgage alone over TCT No. 86018? The answer is
located and arrested. The problem is that he has completely disappeared.

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obvious. And yet, to all indications, they never bothered to look unwary citizen's property against the chicanery of scoundrels. Petitioners'
into this fact about the M. Torres Building. recourse is not against the Assurance Fund, as the Court of Appeals
pointed out, but against the rogues who duped them. - De Guzman v
xxx xxx xxx
Court of Appeals
Another thing that defendants Mota and Medina Cue must have
investigated, as any prudent buyer or mortgagee should before Q. Cadastral Proceedings
consummating any transaction on real property, in the matter of
payment of taxes on the property. After all, the big value of the Section 35. Cadastral Survey preparatory to filing of petition.
property in question necessarily means that even real estate taxes (a) When in the opinion of the President of the Philippines public interest
on it alone would involve big amounts of money, and if there are so requires that title to any unregistered lands be settled and
tax arrearages, any buyer or subsequent owner of the property adjudicated, he may to this end direct and order the Director of Lands to
wig have to come face to face with the tax hen attaching to the cause to be made a cadastral survey of the lands involved and the plans
property wherever its owner may be. ... (P. 257, Record on and technical description thereof prepared in due form.
Appeal) Torres v CA (b) Thereupon, the Director of Lands shall give notice to persons claiming
any interest in the lands as well as to the general public, of the day on
which such survey will begin, giving as fully and accurately as possible
The Assurance Fund is intended to relieve innocent persons from the the description of the lands to be surveyed. Such notice shall be punished
harshness of the doctrine that a certificate is conclusive evidence of an once in the Official Gazette, and a copy of the notice in English or the
indefeasible title to land. The Government is not an insurer of the a national language shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the bulletin
negligent's persons deprivation of land. Petitioners' recourse is not board of the municipal building of the municipality in which the lands or
against the Assurance Fund but against the defrauders. any portion thereof is situated. A copy of the notice shall also be sent to
Petitioners' claim is not supported by the purpose for which the the mayor of such municipality as well as to the barangay captain and
Assurance Fund was established. The Assurance Fund is intended to likewise to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and the Sangguniang Bayan
relieve innocent persons from the harshness of the doctrine that a concerned.
certificate is conclusive evidence of an indefeasible title to land.5 (c) The Geodetic Engineers or other employees of the Bureau of Lands in
[Estrellado and Alcantara vs. Martinez, supra.] Petitioners did not suffer charge of the survey shall give notice reasonably in advance of the date
any prejudice because of the operation of this doctrine. On the contrary, on which the survey of any portion of such lands is to begin, which notice
petitioners sought to avail of the benefits of the Torrens System by shall be posted in the bulletin board of the municipal building of the
registering the property in their name. Unfortunately for petitioners, the municipality or barrio in which the lands are situated, and shall mark the
original owners were able to judicially recover the property from them. boundaries of the lands by monuments set up in proper places thereon. It
That petitioners eventually lost the property to the original owners, shall be lawful for such Geodetic Engineers and other employees to enter
however, does not entitle them to compensation under the Assurance upon the lands whenever necessary for the purposes of such survey or
Fund. While we commiserate with petitioners, who appear to be victims the placing of monuments.
of unscrupulous scoundrels, we cannot sanction compensation that is not (d) It shall be the duty of every person claiming an interest in the lands
within the law's contemplation. As we said in Treasurer of the Philippines to be surveyed, or in any parcel thereof, to communicate with the
vs. Court of Appeals,6 [Supra.] the Government is not an insurer of the Geodetic Engineer upon his request therefor all information possessed by

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such person concerning the boundary lines of any lands to which he pertain. The letter with which a subdivision is designated shall be known as its
claims title or in which he claims any interest. "cadastral letter": Provided, however, that the subdivisions of cities or townsites
(e) Any person who shall willfully obstruct the making of any survey may be designated by blocks and lot numbers.
undertaken by the Bureau of Lands or by a licensed Geodetic Engineer
duly authorized to conduct the survey under this Section, or shall Section 37. Answer to petition in cadastral proceedings. Any claimant in
maliciously interfere with the placing of any monument or remove such cadastral proceedings, whether named in the notice or not, shall appear before
monument, or shall destroy or remove any notice of survey posted on the the court by himself or by some other authorized person in his behalf, and shall
land pursuant to law, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one file an answer on or before the date of initial hearing or within such further time
thousand pesos or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both. as may be allowed by the court. The answer shall be signed and sworn to by the
claimant or by some other authorized person in his behalf, and shall state
Section 36. Petition for registration. When the lands have been surveyed or whether the claimant is married or unmarried, and if married, the name of the
plotted, the Director of Lands, represented by the Solicitor General, shall spouse and the date of marriage, his nationality, residence and postal address,
institute original registration proceedings by filing the necessary petition in the and shall also contain:
Court of First Instance of the place where the land is situated against the (a) The age of the claimant;
holders, claimants, possessors, or occupants of such lands or any part thereof, (b) The cadastral number of the lot or lots claimed, as appearing on the
stating in substance that public interest requires that the title to such lands be plan filed in the case by the Director of Lands, or the block and lot
settled and adjudicated and praying that such titles be so settled and numbers, as the case may be;
adjudicated: (c) The name of the barrio and municipality in which the lots are
The petition shall contain a description of the lands and shall be accompanied by situated;
a plan thereof, and may contain such other data as may serve to furnish full (d) The names and addresses of the owners of the adjoining lots so far as
notice to the occupants of the lands and to all persons who may claim any right known to the claimant;
or interest therein. (e) If the claimant is in possession of the lots claimed and can show no
Where the land consists of two or more parcels held or occupied by different express grant of the land by the government to him or to his
persons, the plan shall indicate the boundaries or limits of the various parcels as predecessors-in-interest, the answer shall state the length of time he has
accurately as possible. The parcels shall be known as "lots" and shall on the plan held such possession and the manner in which it has been acquired, and
filed in the case be given separate numbers by the Director of Lands, which shall also state the length of time, as far as known, during which the
numbers shall be known as "cadastral lot numbers". The lots situated within predecessors, if any, held possession;
each municipality shall, as far as practicable, be numbered consecutively (f) If the claimant is not in possession or occupation of the land, the
beginning with number "one", and only one series of numbers shall be used for answer shall fully set forth the interest claimed by him and the time and
that purpose in each municipality. However in cities or townsites, a designation manner of his acquisition;
of the landholdings by blocks and lot numbers may be employed instead of the (g) if the lots have been assessed for taxation, their last assessed value;
designation by cadastral lot numbers. and
The cadastral number of a lot shall not be changed after final decision has been (h) The encumbrances, if any, affecting the lots and the names of
entered decreasing the registration thereof, except by order of court. Future adverse claimants, as far as known.
subdivisions of any lot shall be designated by a letter or letters of the alphabet
added to the cadastral number of the lot to which the respective subdivisions

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Section 38. Hearing, Judgment, Decree. The trial of the case may occur at any A motion to dismiss may be availed of by a party in a cadastral
convenient place within the province in which the lands are situated and shall be proceeding. Rule 132 of the Rules of Court is suppletory applied in land
conducted, and orders for default and confessions entered, in the same manner registration and cadastral cases.
as in ordinary land registration proceedings and shall be governed by the same In support of their first assignment of error, appellants claim that
rules. All conflicting interests shall be adjudicated by the court and decrees oppositors-appellees can not avail of a motion to dismiss in a land
awarded in favor of the persons entitled to the lands or to parts thereof and registration case and that the application and the titles do not show
such decrees shall be the basis for issuance of original certificates of title in similar identities between the lots covered by said titles and those
favor of said persons and shall have the same effect as certificates of title applied for in these proceedings.
granted on application for registration of land under ordinary land registration
proceedings. The first assignment of error can not be sustained. By express provision
of Rule 132 of the Rules of Court, the rules contained therein apply to
A petition for reopening of a cadastral case as well as a petition for land registration and cadastral cases in a suppletory character and
amending its official plan requires new publication, notice, and mailing whenever practicable and convenient (Dulay v. The Director of Lands,
in order to bind other persons. Vol. 53 O.G. p. 161). The Land Registration Act does not provide for a
But, as already stated, the petition for reopening should be filed in the pleading similar or corresponding to a motion to dismiss. As a motion to
same cadastral proceedings where the original lands were surveyed and dismiss is necessary for the expeditious termination of land registration
adjudicated and in pursuance of the procedure laid down in the Cadastral cases, said motion contained in the Rules of Court can be availed of by
Act. Thus, besides filing the petition for reopening, it is necessary that the parties in this case.
notice thereof be given to those persons who claim an adverse interest in
Lands previosly registered under the Torrens system can no longer be a
the land sought to be registered, as well as the general public, by
subject of cadastral proceedings.
publishing such notice in two successive issues of the Official Gazette,
The primary and fundamental purpose of the Torrens System of
which shall likewise be posted in a conspicuous place on the new land to
registration is to finally settle the titles to land; to put to stop any
be surveyed, as well as in the municipal building of the city or
question of legality of title thereto. That being the purpose of the law,
municipality in which the same is situated, as required in Section 1 of the
there would be no end to litigation if every property covered by torrens
Cadastral Act (Act No. 2259).
title may still be relitigated in a subsequent land registration proceedings.
Pursuant to the above purpose, we have held in a long line of decisions
It is for this reason that this Court has held that "An order of a court in a that a homestead patent once registered under the Land Registration Act
cadastral case amending the official plan so as to make it include land not can not be the subject matter of a cadastral proceeding and that any title
previously included therein is a nullity unless new publication is made as issued thereon is null and void.
a preliminary to such step. Publication is one of the essential bases of the
jurisdiction of the court in land registration and cadastral cases, and A homestead patent, once registered under the Land Registration Act,
additional territory cannot be included by amendment of the plan without becomes as indefeasible as a Torrens title, and cannot thereafter be the
new publication" (Philippines Manufacturing Company vs. Imperial, 49 subject of an investigation for determination or judgment in a cadastral
Phil. 122; See also Escueta vs. Director of Lands, 16 Phil. 482). - case. Any new title which the cadastral court may order to be issued is
Director of Lands v Benitez null and void and should be cancelled. All that the cadastral court may do

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is to make correction of technical errors in the description of the property title shall be entered as in other cases of registered land, and an owner's
contained in its title, or to proceed to the partition thereof if it is owned duplicate issued to the grantee. The deed, grant, patent or instrument of
by two or more co-owners. - Duran v Olivia conveyance from the Government to the grantee shall not take effect as a
conveyance or bind the land but shall operate only as a contract between the
Jurisdiction of the courts over lands already registered is limited to the Government and the grantee and as evidence of authority to the Register of
correction of technical errors over the description of the subject land, Deeds to make registration. It is the act of registration that shall be the
which must not impair the rights of the registered owner. operative act to affect and convey the land, and in all cases under this Decree,
It has long been settled that in cadastral cases the jurisdiction of the registration shall be made in the office of the Register of Deeds of the province
court over lands already registered is limited to the necessary correction or city where the land lies. The fees for registration shall be paid by the grantee.
of technical errors in the description of the lands, provided such After due registration and issuance of the certificate of title, such land shall be
corrections do not impair the substantial rights of the registered owner, deemed to be registered land to all intents and purposes under this Decree.
and that such jurisdiction cannot operate to deprive a registered owner of
his title. (Pamintuan v. San Agustin, 43 Phil. 561 [1922]). Section 104. Provisional Register of Documents. The Department of Agrarian
Reform shall prepare by automate data processing a special registry book to be
In a later case, such power of the court was further clarified and known as the "Provisional Register of Documents issued under PD-27" which
amplified to the effect that the above proposition does not exclude from shall be kept and maintained in every Registry of Deeds throughout the country.
the jurisdiction of the court the power to determine the priority of over- Said Registry Book shall be a register of:
lapping or over- lying registered titles. There is nothing in this proposition a. All Certificates of Land Transfer (CLT) issued pursuant to P.D. No. 27;
which militates against allowing the court in a cadastral case to and
determine which one of several conflicting registered titles shall prevail. b. All subsequent transactions affecting Certificates of Land Transfer such
This power is necessary for a complete settlement of the title to the land, as adjustments, transfer, duplication and cancellations of erroneous
which is the express purpose of cadastral proceedings and must Certificates of Land Transfer.
therefore, be considered as within the jurisdiction of the courts in such
proceedings. Furthermore, it was stressed that in such proceedings no Section 105. Certificates of Land Transfer Emancipation Patents. The
final decree or registration was reopened or set aside (Timbol v. Diaz, 44 Department of Agrarian reform shall pursuant to P.D. No. 27 issue in duplicate, a
Phil. 589-590 [1932]). - Gabriel v CA Certificate of Land Transfer for every land brought under "Operation Land
Transfer", the original of which shall be kept by the tenant-farmer and the
R. Registration of Patents duplicate, in the Registry of Deeds.
After the tenant-farmer shall have fully complied with the requirements for a
Section 103. Certificates of title pursuant to patents. Whenever public land is grant of title under P.D. No. 27, an Emancipation Patent which may cover
by the Government alienated, granted or conveyed to any person, the same previously titled or untitled property shall be issued by the Department of
shall be brought forthwith under the operation of this Decree. It shall be the Agrarian Reform.
duty of the official issuing the instrument of alienation, grant, patent or The Register of Deeds shall complete the entries on the aforementioned
conveyance in behalf of the Government to cause such instrument to be filed Emancipation Patent and shall assign an original certificate of title number in
with the Register of Deeds of the province or city where the land lies, and to be case of unregistered land, and in case of registered property, shall issue the
there registered like other deeds and conveyance, whereupon a certificate of corresponding transfer certificate of title without requiring the surrender of the

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owner's duplicate of the title to be canceled.


In case of death of the grantee, the Department of Agrarian Reform shall
determine his heirs or successors-in-interest and shall notify the Register of
Deeds accordingly.
In case of subsequent transfer of property covered by an Emancipation Patent or
a Certificate of Title emanating from an Emancipation Patent, the Register of
Deeds shall affect the transfer only upon receipt of the supporting papers from
the Department of Agrarian Reform.
No fee, premium, of tax of any kind shall be charged or imposed in connection
with the issuance of an original Emancipation Patent and for the registration or
related documents.

Section 106. Sale of agricultural land; affidavit. No voluntary deed or


instrument purporting to be a subdivision, mortgage, lease, sale or any other
mode of encumbrance or conveyance of private agricultural land principally
devoted to rice or corn or any portion thereof shall be registered unless
accompanied by an affidavit of the vendor or executor stating that the land
involved is not tenanted, or if tenanted, the same is not primarily devoted to the
production of rice and/or corn.
If only a portion of the land is primarily devoted to the production of rice and/or
corn, and such area so devoted is tenanted, no such deed or instrument shall be
registered unless accompanied by an affidavit stating the area (size) of the
portion which is tenanted and primarily devoted to rice and/or corn, and stating
further that the deed or instrument covers only the untenanted portion or that
which is not primarily devoted to the production of rice and/or corn. A
memorandum of said affidavit shall be annotated on the certificate of title. The
Register of Deeds shall cause a copy of the registered deed or instrument,
together with the affidavit, to be furnished the Department of Agrarian Reform
Regional Office where the land is located. The affidavit provided in this section
shall not be required in the case of a tenant-farmer who deals with his
Certificate of Land Transfer or Emancipation Patent in accordance with law.

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