You are on page 1of 18

LAND REGISTRATION In an action for reconveyance, the decree of registration is respected as incontrovertible but what is sought instead is the

transfer of the property wrongfully or erroneously registered in anothers name to its rightful owner or to one with a better right. Rementizo vs. Heirs of Pelagia Vda. De Madarieta, 576 SCRA 109. The following actions must be brought within ten years from the time the right of action accrues: (1) Upon a written contract; (2) Upon an obligation created by law; (3) Upon a judgment. The 10-year prescriptive period is reckoned from the date of issuance of the certificate of title. Id. There is but one instance when prescription cannot be invoked in an action for reconveyance, that is, when the plaintiff or complainant (Madarieta or respondents in this case) is in possession of the land to be reconveyed, and the registered owner was never in possession of the disputed property. Id. An action for reconveyance based on an implied of constructive trust prescribed in 10 years from the issuance of the Torrens title over the property, which operates as a constructive notice to the whole words. Rementizo vs. Heirs of Pelagia Vda. De Madarieta, 576 SCRA 109; Lasquite vs. Victory Hills, Inc., 590 SCRA 616. The act of registration is the operative act to convey or affect the land insofar as third persons are concerned, it follows that where there is nothing in the certificate of title to indicate any cloud or vice in the ownership of the property, or any encumbrance thereon, the purchase is not required to explore farther than what the Torrens title upon its face indicates in quest for any hidden defect or inchoate rights that may subsequently defeat his right thereto. Guaranteed Homes, Inc. vs. Heirs of Maria P. Valdes, 577 SCRA 441. Registration in the public registry is notice to the whole world. Id. Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 1529 eliminated the distinction between the general jurisdiction vested in the Regional Trial Court and the latters limited jurisdiction when acting merely as land registration court land registration courts, as those involving substantial issues when a law confers jurisdiction upon a court, the latter has deemed to have all the necessary powers to exercise such jurisdiction to make it effective. SM Prime Holdings vs. Madayag, 578 SCRA 552 The LRA distinguished between two systems of land registration: one is the Torrens System for registered lands under the Property Registration Decree, and the other is the system of registration for unregistered land under Act No. 3344 (now Section 113 of the Property Registration Decree). Castillo vs. Excutin, 581 SCRA 258. Title is generally defined as the lawful cause or ground of possessing that which is ours Certificate of title is a mere evidence of ownership, it is not the title to the land itself. Id. A certificate of title issued is an absolute and indefeasible evidence of ownership of the property in favor of the person whose name appears therein. Id.

Tax declaration and corresponding tax receipts cannot be used to prove title or ownership of a real property inasmuch as they are not conclusive evidence of the same. Id. Well-settled is the rule that every person dealing with a registered land may safely rely on the correctness of the certificate of title issued therefor and the law will in no way oblige to him to go beyond the certificate to determine the condition of the property. Villamil vs. Villarosa, 584 Scra 562; Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority vs. Tirol, 588 Scra 635. The principle does not apply when the party has actual knowledge of facts and circumstances that would impel a reasonably cautious man to make such inquiry or when the purchaser has knowledge of a defect or the lack of title in his vendor or of sufficient facts to induce a reasonably prudent man to inquire into the status of the title of the property in litigation. Id. A person who deals with registered property in good faith will acquire good title from a forger and be absolutely protected by a Torrens title. Id. Notwithstanding the passage of the Property Registration Decree and the inclusion of Section 14 (1) therein, the Public Land Act has remained in effect. Both laws commonly refer to persons or their predecessors-in-interest who have been in open continous, exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of alienable and disposable lands of the public domain under a bonafide claim of ownership since June 12, 1945, or earlier. Heirs of Mario Malabanan vs. Republic 587 Scra 172. Section 48 of the Public Land Act is more descriptive of the nature of the rights enjoyed by the possessor than Section 14 of the Property Registration Decree, which seems to presume the pre-existence of the right, rather than establishing the right itself for the first time. Id. Alienable and disposable lands are expressly declared by the State to be no longer intended for public service or for the development of the national wealth that the period of acquisitive prescription can begin to run. Such declaration shall be in the form of a law duly enacted by Congress or a Presidential Proclamation in cases where the President is duly authorized by law. Id. Possession of public dominion property before it becomes a patrimonial cannot be the object of prescription according to the Civil code. Id. Section 14 (1) mandates registration on the basis of possession, while Section 14 (2) entitle registration on the basis of prescription. Registration under Section 14 (1) is extended under the aegis of the Property Registration Decree and the Public Land Act while registration under Section 14 (2) is made available both by the Property Registration Decree and the Civil Code. Id. View that lands belonging to the public dominion may not be acquired by prescription. Id. View that Sec. 14 (2) of the Property Registration Decree applied only to what already are private lands, which can be acquired by prescription. Id. View that judicial confirmation and registration of an imperfect title, under Section 48 (b) of the Public Land Act, as amended, and Section 14 (1) of the Property Registration Decree, respectively should only be granted when : (1) a

Filipino citizen, by himself or through his predecessors-in-interest, have been in open, continuous domain, under a bonafide claim of acquisition of ownership, since 12 June 1945, or earlier; and (2) the land in question, necessarily, was already declared alienable and disposable also by 12 June 1945 or earlier. Id. View that when an individual acquires an imperfect title, he acquires a right to a grant by operation of law. Id. View that any consideration of lands of the public domain must begin with the Constitution and its regalian doctrine and the special laws thereon. Id. View that Presidential Decree 1073 should have provided January 24, 1947 and not June 12, 1945 as its cut-off date. Id. View that congress extended the period for filing applications for judicial confirmation of imperfect titles to December 31, 2020. Id. View that this Court acts beyond the limits of the constitutionally-mandated separation of powers in giving Section 48 (b), as amended by PD 1073, an interpretation beyond its plain wording. Id. View that a public land, even if alienable is State property and prescription does not run against the State. Id. View that public land, may become private by the governments declaration in which case is prescription under the Civil Code can run. Id. View that the ruling in Republic vs. Court of Appeals and Naguit (442 Scra 445) must be abandoned. Id. Where a Torrens title was issued as a result of regular land registration proceedings and was in the name of the mortgagor when given as a security for a bank loan, the subsequent declaration of said title as null and void would not nullify the rights of the mortgagee who acted in good faith. Development Bank of the Philippines vs. Prime Neighborhood Association, 587 Scra 582. Registration of instruments must be done in the proper registry in order to effect and bind the land; if a parcel of land covered by a Torrens title is sold, but the sale is registered under Act. No. 3344 and not under the Land Registration Act, the sale is not considered registered and the registration of the deed does not operate as constructive notice to the whole world. Mactan-Cebu International Airport authority vs. Tirol, 588 Scra 635. A sale that is not correctly registered is binding only between the seller and the buyer, but it does not affect innocent third persons. Id. The fact that the certificate of title over the registered land is lost does not convert it into unregistered land. Id. A free patent granted on the bases of fraud and misrepresentation is null and void; it cannot be reconveyed; that which is a nullity produces no effect. Maagad vs. Maagad, 588 Scra 649. Forest lands or forest reserves are not capable of private appropriation, and possession thereof, however long, cannot convert them into private property verily, non-disposable public lands registered under the Land Registration Act may be recovered by the State at any time and the defense of res judicata would

not apply; A void judgment may be assailed or impugned at any time either directly or collaterally, by means of a petition filed in the same case or by means of a separate action, or by resisting such judgment in any action or proceeding wherein it is invoked. Republic vs. Regional Trial Court, Branch 18, Roxas City, 589 Scra 552. In an action to annul a void judgment, the burden of proving the judgments nullity rests upon the petitioner. Id. The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in cases brought before it from the Court of Appeals is limited to reviewing or revising errors of law. Id. There are three requisites for the filing of an application for registration of Title under Section 14 (1) of PD 1529; (1) that the property in question is alienable and disposable land of the public domain; (2) that the applicant by himself or through his predecessors-in-interest have been in open, continuous, exclusive and notorious possession and occupation; and (3) that such possession is under a bona fide claim of ownership since 12 June 1945 or earlier. Republic vs. Tsai, 590 Scra 423; Mistica vs. Republic, 599 Scra 401; Republic vs. Abril 601 Scra 83 Through the years, Section 48 (b) of the CA 141 has been amended several times. Id. As the law now stands, a mere showing of possession and occupation for 30 years or more is not sufficient. Id. Guiding Principle in Case of Successive Registration. Lasquite vs. Victory Hills, Inc., 590 SCra 616. A certified true copy of an original certificate of title shall be admissible as evidence in our courts and shall be conclusive as to all matters contained therein except as otherwise provided by Act. No. 496; the evidentiary value of public documents must be sustained in the absence of strong, complete and conclusive proof of its falsity or nullity. Id. A duly registered certificate of title is considered a public document and the entries found in it are presumed correct, unless the party who contests its accuracy can produce evidence establishing otherwise; Records of public officers which are admissible in evidence are limited to those matters which the public officer has authority to record. Id. The established legal principle in action for annulment or reconveyance of title is that a party seeking it should establish not merely by a preponderance of evidence but by clear and convincing evidence that the land sought to be reconveyed is his. Id. Whoever alleges forgery has the burden of proving the same; Forgery cannot be presumed but should be substantiated with clear and convincing evidence. If the plaintiff, as the real owner of the property also remains in possession of the property, the prescriptive period to recover title and possession of the property does not run against him; Such an action for reconveyance, if nonetheless filed, would be in the nature of a suit for quieting of title, an action that is imprescriptible. Id.

One and the same decree cannot serve as basis for a valid grant of separate title in fee simple over the same lot to two different persons. Heirs of the Late Jose Luzuriaga vs. Republic, 591 Scra 299. A reconstituted title is ordered issued in an ordinary civil case, not in a cadastral proceeding for judicial confirmation of imperfect title over unregistered property. Id. It is well-settled that no public land can be acquired by private persons without any grant, express or implied, from the government and it is indispensable that the persons claiming title to a public land should show that their title was acquired from the State or any other mode of acquisition recognized by law. Republic vs. Iglesia ni Cristo, 591 Scra 438. Herbieto essentially ruled that reckoning of the possession of an applicant for judicial confirmation if imperfect title is counted from the date when the lot was classified as alienable and disposable, and possession before such date is inconsequential and must excluded in the computation of the period of possession; In Naguit, it is sufficient for the property sought to be registered to be already alienable and disposable at the time of the application for registration of title is filed. Id. In declaring that the correct interpretation of Sec. 14 (1) of PD 1529 is that which was adopted in Naguit, the Court ruled that the more reasonable interpretation of Sec. 14 (1) of 1529 is that it merely requires the property sought to be registered as already alienable and disposable at the time the application for registration of title is filed. Id. Courts Affirmation of Naguit in Malabanan as regards the correct interpretation of Sec. 14 (1) of PD 1529 relative to the reckoning of possession vis a vis the declaration of the property of the public domain as alienable and disposable is indeed more in keeping with the spirit of the Public Land Act, as amended, and PD 1529. Id. Only actual and extrinsic fraud had been accepted and is contemplated by the law as a ground to review or reopen a decree of registration. Rabaja Ranch Development Corporation vs. AFP Retirement and Separation Benefits System, 592 Scra 201. In a reversion case, even if the original grantee of a patent and title has obtained the same through fraud, reversion will no longer prosper as the land had become private land and the fraudulent acquisition cannot affect the titles of innocent purchasers for value. Id. Settled is the rule that no valid TCT can issue from a void Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT), unless an innocent purchaser for value had intervened. Id. It bears stressing that a Homestead Patent, once registered under the Land Registration Act, becomes as indefeasible as a Torrens Title. Id. The Torrens system is not a mode of acquiring titles to lands; it is merely a system of registration of titles to lands. Id. The court required for the first time in Sunshine Finance, investment and financing corporation to take the necessary precautions to ascertain if there were

any flaws in the certificate of title and examine the condition of the property they were dealing with. Eagle Realty Corporation vs. Republic, 594 Scra 555. Ruling in Sunshine Finance expands to cover realty corporations, which because of the nature of their business, are, likewise, expected to exercise a higher standard of diligence in ascertaining the status of the property not merely on what appears on the face of a certificate of title. Id. To prove that the land subject of an application for registration is alienable, an applicant must establish the existence of a positive act of the government, such as a presidential proclamation or an executive order; an administrative action; investigation reports of Bureau of Lands investigators; and a legislative act or statute. Republic vs. Javier, 592 Scra 481. Although tax declarations or realty tax payments of property are not conclusive evidence of ownership, nevertheless, they are good indicia of possession in the concept of an owner, for no one in his right mind would be paying taxes for a property not in his actual or at least constructive possession. Id. Once a patent is registered and the corresponding certificate of title is issued, the land covered thereby ceases to be part of public domain, becomes private property and the Torrens Title issued pursuant to the patent becomes indefeasible upon the expiration of one year from the date of such issuance. Encinares vs. Achero, 597 Scra 34. The legal principle is that if the registration of the land is fraudulent, the person in whose name the land is registered holds it as a mere trustee. Reyes vs. Montemayor, 598 Scra 61. It has long been established that the sole remedy of the landowner whose property has been wrongfully or erroneously registered in anothers name is to bring an ordinary action in an ordinary court of justice for reconveyance or, if the property has passed into the hands of an innocent purchaser for value, for damages. Id. The Register of Deeds, in placing its faith in the unsupported statements of the person who had confessed to having acquired and registered the property in bad faith, against the presumed good faith of the former owners, acted in a manner that was highly irregular. Id. A judgment directing a party to deliver possession of a property to another is in personam it is binding only against the parties and their successors in interest by title subsequent to the commencement of the action. Id. A person whose right to remain in peaceful possession of his property is violated by another persons fraudulent registration of such property in her name is entitled to nominal damages under Article 2221 of the Civil Code. Id. The alienable and disposable character of the lands to be registered should have already been established on June 12, 1945 or earlier, and where they were declared alienable only on March 15, 1982, the applicants could not have maintained a bona fide claim of ownership since June 12, 1945 or earlier. Lim vs. Republic, 598 Scra 247. Taken together with the words open, continuous, exclusive and notorious, the word occupation serves to highlight the fact that for an applicant to qualify,

his possession must not be a mere fiction actual possession of a land consists in the manifestation of acts of dominion over it of such a nature as a party would naturally exercise over his own property. Id. An applicant in a land registration case cannot just harp on mere conclusions of law to embellish the application but must impress thereto the facts and circumstances evidencing the alleged ownership and possession of the land. Id. Section 48 (b) of the Public Land Act and Section 14(1) of the Property Registration Decree vary with respect to their operation since the latter operates when there exists a title which only needs confirmation, while the former works under the presumption that the land applied for still belongs to the State. Id. Only when the property has become patrimonial can the prescriptive period for the acquisition of property of the public domain begin to run; the classification of the lots as alienable and disposable lands of the public domain does not change its status as properties of the public dominion. Id. While a tax declaration by itself is not adequate to prove ownership, it may serve as sufficient basis for inferring possession the voluntary declaration of a piece of real property for taxation purposes not only manifests ones sincere and honest desire to obtain title to the property, but also announces an adverse claim against the state and all other interested parties with an intention to contribute needed revenues to the government. Mistica vs. Republic, 599 Scra 401. Where a document was written in Spanish and the party offering it did not bother to have the contents thereof translated to English or to any other language that the court could understand, the Court could not determine, if, indeed, the document was a Deed of Sale, and if the subject matter thereof was the property sought to be registered. Id. To be sure, general statements that are mere conclusions of law and not factual proof of possession are unavailing and cannot suffice. Id. Possession alone is not sufficient to acquire title to alienable lands of the public domain because the law requires possession and occupation since these words are separated by the conjunction an the clear intention of the law is not to make one synonymous with the other; Possession is broader than occupation because it includes constructive possession when the law adds the word occupation, it seeks to delimit the all-encompassing effect of constructive possession. Id. We ruled that the decision of a land registration court in a petition for consolidation of ownership and registration precludes another action for annulment of auction sale. Hu Chuan Hai vs. Unico, 600 Scra 390. Settled is the rule that, for purposes of real property taxation, the registered owner of the property is deemed the taxpayers. Id. Since the transfer of the property to respondents was never registered, the City Treasurer correctly sent notice of the tax sale and advertisement to the spouses de los Santos and the tax sale conducted in connection therewith was valid. Id. Section 32 of Presidential Decree 1529 provides that upon the expiration of said period of one year, the decree of registration and the certificate of title

shall become incontrovertible. Any person aggrieved by such decree of registration in any case may pursue his remedy by action for damages against the applicant or other persons responsible for the fraud. Heirs of the Late Joaquin Limense vs. Vda. De Ramos, 604 SCRA 599. The Torrens system does not create or vest title; It only confirms and records title already existing and vested. Campos vs. Pastrana, 608 Scra 55 The phrase adverse, continuous, open, public, peaceful and in concept of owner are mere conclusions of law requiring evidentiary support and substantiation. Wee vs. Republic, 608 Scra 72. In the absence of other competent evidence, tax declarations do not conclusively establish either possession or declarants right to registration of title. Id. Mere casual cultivation of the land does not amount to exclusive and notorious possession that would give rise to ownership. Id. Since a complaint for reversion can upset the stability of registered titles through the cancellation of the original title and the others that emanate from it, the State bears a heavy burden of proving the ground for its action; An electronic reproduction of a Land Classification (LC) Map has no probative value. Republic vs. Development Resources Corporation, 608 Scra 591 In a reversion proceeding, premised on the claim that the property is foreshore land or that the patents were obtained through fraud or misrepresentation, the burden is now upon petitioner to prove such allegations. Republic vs. Leonor, 609 Scra 75. The lands proximity alone to the waters alone does not necessarily make it a foreshore land. it must be shown that the land is between high and low water and left dry by the flux and reflux of the tides or between the high and low water marks, which is alternatively wet and dry according to the flow of the tide. Id. Fraud and misrepresentation are never presumed, but must be proved by clear and convincing evidence mere preponderance of evidence is not even adequate. Republic vs. Leonor, 609 Scra 75. The mere omission of an information from the patent application, though essential, does not, per se, cause the ipso facto cancellation of the patent. Id.

LAND TITLES In an action for reconveyance, the decree of registration is respected as incontrovertible but what is sought instead is the transfer of the property wrongfully or erroneously registered in anothers name to its rightful owner or to one with a better right. Rementizo vs. heirs of Pelagia Vds. De Madarieta, 576 Scra 109. The following actions must be brought within ten years from the time the right of action accrues: (1) Upon a written contract; (2) Upon an obligation created by law; (3) Upon a judgment. The 10-year prescriptive period is reckoned from the date of issuance of the certificate of title. Id.

There is but one instance when prescription cannot be invoked in an action for reconveyance, that is, when the plaintiff or complainant (Madarieta or respondents in this case) is in possession of the land to be reconveyed, and the registered owner was never in possession of the disputed property. Id. An action for reconveyance based on an implied or constructive trust prescribed in10 years from the issuance of the Torrens title over the property, which operated as a constructive notice to the whole world. Id. Lasquite vs. Victory Hills, Inc., 590 Scra 616. Accion publiciana is also used to refer to an ejectment suit where the cause of dispossession is not among the grounds for forcible entry and unlawful detainer, or when possession has been lost for more than one year and can no longer be maintained under Rule 70 of the Rules of Court. Padilla vs. Velasco, 576 Scra 219. Registration is the operative act that conveys or affects registered land as against third persons. Vicente vs. Avera, 576 Scra 634; Guranteed Homes, Inc. vs. Heirs of Maria P. Valdez, 577 Scra 441; Destreza vs. Rinoza-Plazo, 604 Scra 775. A petition which, in effect, questioned the validity of a deed of sale for registered land constitutes a collateral attack on a certificate of title. Id. A notice of lis pendens neither affects the merits of a case nor creates a right of a lien it serves to protect the real rights of the registrant while the case involving such rights is pending resolution, and, while the notice of lis pendens remains on a certificate of title, the registrant could rest secure that he would not lose the property or any part of it during the litigation. Id. The registered owner has the right to possess and enjoy his property, without any limitations other than those imposed by law. Id. Lis pendens, which literally means pending suit, refers to the jurisdiction, power or control which a court acquires over property involved in a suit, pending the continuance of the action, and until final judgment. St. Mary of the Woods School, Inc. vs. Office of the Registry of Deeds of Makati City, 576 Scra 713. It is well-settled that in order for an action for reconveyance based on fraud to succeed, the party seeking must prove by clear and convincing evidence his title to the property and the fact of fraud. Heirs of Bernardo Ulep vs. Ducat, 577 Scra 6. As a general rule, questions of fact cannot be raised in a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court; Exceptions. Id. Documents in the nature of an admission against interest are the best evidence which affords the greatest certainty of the facts in dispute. Id. Registration in the public registry is notice to the whole world. Guaranteed Homes, Inc. vs. Heirs of Maria P. Valdez, 577 Scra 441. The judicial action required to challenge the validity of title is a direct attack, not a collateral attack; the attack is considered direct when the object of an action is to annul or set aside such proceeding, or enjoin its enforcement, and, conversely, an attack is indirect of collateral when, in an action to obtain a

different relief, an attack on the proceeding is nevertheless made as an incident thereof; An action to attack a certificate of title may be an original action or a counterclaim, in which a certificate of title is assailed as void; A counterclaim stands on the same footing as, and is to be tested by the same rules as if it were, an independent action. Arangote vs. Maglunob, 579 Scra 620. Registration is not a mode of acquiring ownership. It is only a means of confirming the fact of its existence with notice to the world at large. Certificates of title are not a source of right. The mere possession of a title does not make one the true owner of the property. Thus, the mere fact that respondent has the titles of the disputed properties in her name does not necessarily, conclusively and absolutely make her the owner. The rule on indefeasibility of title likewise does not apply to respondent. A certificate of tile implies that the title is quiet, and that it is perfect, absolute and indefeasible. However, there are well-defined exceptions to this rule, as when the transferee is not a holder in good faith and did not acquire the subject properties for a valuable consideration. Borromeo vs. Descallar, 580 Scra 175. direct Attack and Collateral Attack Distinguished. Gregorio Araneta University Foundation vs. Regional Trial Court of Kalookan City, br. 120, 580 Scra 532. The rule that a title is issued under the Torrens System is presumed valid and, hence, is the best proof of ownership does not apply where the very certificate itself is faulty as to its purported origin. Id. Well-settled is the rule that the indefeasibility of a title does not attach to titles secured by fraud and misrepresentation. Id. Where a party voluntarily submitted itself to the jurisdiction of the trial court through the process of intervention, it would be too late in the day for it to turn its back and disclaim that jurisdiction, more so where an adverse judgment has already been rendered against it. Id. The LRA distinguished between two systems of land registration: one is the Torrens System for registered lands under the Property Registration Decree, and the other is the system of registration for unregistered land under Act No. 3344 (now Section 113of the Property Registration Decree). Castillo vs. EScutin, 581 Scra 258. Title is generally defined as the lawful cause or ground of possessing that which is ours; Certificate of title is a mere evidence of ownership, it is not the title to the land itself. Id. A certificate of title issued is an absolute and indefeasible evidence of ownership of the property in favor of the person whose name appears therein. Id. Tax Declarations and corresponding tax receipts cannot be used to prove title to or ownership of a real property in as much as they are not conclusive evidence of the same. Id. A Torrens title issued on the basis of the free patents became as indefeasible as one which was judicially secured upon the expiration of one year from date of issuance of the patent. Cavile vs. Litania-Hong, 581 Scra 408.

An action for reconveyance is one that seeks to transfer property, wrongfully or fraudulently registered by another, to its rightful and legal owners. Id. Settled is the rule that a certificate of title shall not be subject to a collateral attack, and, it cannot be altered, modified, or canceled except in a direct proceeding in accordance with law. Villarica Panwship, Inc. vs. Gernale, 582 Scra 67; Soriente vs. The Estate of the late Arsenio E. Concepcion, 605 Scra 315. Titles acquired by State by way of expropriation are deemed cleansed of whatever previous flaws may have attended these title. Manotok Relaty, Inc. vs. CLT Realty Development Corporation, 582 Scra 583. The well-settled legal principle in actions for annulment or reconveyance of title is that a party seeking it should establish not merely by preponderance of evidence but by clear and convincing evidence that the land sought to be reconveyed is his in an action to recover, the property must be identified, and the plaintiff must rely on the strength of his title and not on the weakness of the defendants claim. Id. Lasquite vs. Victory Hills, Inc. 590 Scra. 616. Absent such a finding by the Special Division of the Court of Appeals that the other Manotok titles were false or fraudulent, the Supreme Court is disinclined to take the ultimate step of annulling those titles. Id. In lieu of annulling the Manotok title per the Special Divisions third recommendation, the Court deems it sufficient to require the Registers of Deeds concerned to annotate this Resolution on said titles so as to sufficiently notify the public of their unclear status, more particularly the inability of the Manotoks to trace the titles without any gap back to Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. 994 issued on 3 May 1917 if there should be any cause for the annulment of those titles from a proper partys end, then let the proper case be instituted before the appropriate court. Id. The rectification of the title may be made only through a proper action filed for that purpose a certificate of title shall not be subject to collateral attack; the attack on title is direct when the object of an action or proceeding is to annul or set aside such judgement, or enjoin its enforcement, while, on the other hand, the attack is indirect or collateral when in action to obtain a different relief, an attack on the judgment is nevertheless made as an incident thereof. Catores vs. Afidchao, 582 Scra 653. Claims of errors in the technical description as appearing in the title of another person and even in that of her predecessors-in-interest constitute as a collateral attack against title, which cannot be allowed in an accion publiciana. Id. To be valid, a contract of sale need not contain a technical description of the subject property 0 contracts of sale of real property have no prescribed from for their validity, they follow the general rule on contracts that they may be entered into in whatever form, provided all the essential requisite for their validity are present. Naranja vs. Court of Appeals, 586 Scra 31. The form of a deed of sale provided in Section 127 of Act No. 496 in only a suggested form it is not a mandatory form that must be strictly followed by the parties to a contract; Resort can always be made to the technical description as stated in the certificate of title covering the property. Id.

The governing law for judicial reconstitution of titles is R.A. No. 26; Any other document in Secs. 2(f) and 3(f) of RA 26 refers to documents similar to those mentioned in Sections (a) (b) (c) (d) and (e). Republic of the Philippines vs. Tuastumban, 586 Scra 600. The reconstitution of a certificate of title denotes restoration in the original form and condition of a lost or destroyed instrument attesting the title of a person to a piece of land; RA 26 presupposes that the property whose title is sought to be reconstituted has already been brought under the provisions of the Torrens System. Id. The governing law for judicial reconstitution of titles is R.A. No. 26; Any other document in Secs. 2(f) and 3(f) of RA 26 refers to documents similar to those mentioned in Sections (a), (b), (c), (d) and (e). Republic of the Philippines vs. Tuastumban, 586 SCra 600. The reconstitution of a certificate of title denotes restoration in the original form and condition of a lost or destroyed instrument attesting the title of a person to a piece of land; RA 26 presupposes that the property whose title is sought to be reconstituted has already been bough under the provisions of the Torrens System. Id. The following must be present for an order for reconstitution to issue: (2) that the certificate of title had been lost or destroyed; (b) that the documents presented by petitioner are sufficient and proper to warrant reconstitution of the lost or destroyed certificate of title; (c) that the petitioner is the registered owner of the property or had an interest therein; (d) that the certificate of title was in force at the time it was lost and destroyed; and (e) that the description, area and boundaries of the property are substantially the same as those contained in the lost or destroyed certificate of title. Id. Resort to other documents in Sec. 2(f) of R.A. No. 26 must be employed only when the documents earlier referred to in Secs. 2(a) to (e) do not avail. Id. Jurisprudence has consistently held that under Act. No. 1120, the equitable and beneficial title to the land passes to the purchaser the moment the first installment is paid and a certificate of sale is issued, and when the purchaser finally pays the final installment on the purchase price and is given a deed of conveyance and a certificate of title, the title, at least in equity, retroact to the time he first occupied the land, paid the first installment and was issued the corresponding certificate of sale. Id. The fact that no opposition was filed by a private party or by the Republic of the Philippines will not relieve the petitioner in the petition for reconstitution of his burden of proving not only the loss or destruction of the title sought to be reconstituted but also that at the time the said title was lost or destroyed, he or his predecessor-in-interest was the registered owner thereof. Id. Despite a host of jurisprudence that states a certificate of title is indefeasible, unassailable and binding against the whole world, it merely confirms or records title already existing and vested, and it cannot be used to protect a usurper from the true owner, nor can it be used for the perpetration of fraud; neither does it permit one to enrich himself a the expense of others. Pagaduan vs. OCuma, 587 Scra 604.

Registration of instruments must be done in the proper registry in order to effect and bind the land; If a parcel of land covered by a Torrens Title is sold, but the sale is registered under Act No. 3344 and not under the Land Registration Act, the sale is not considered registered and the registration of the deed does not operate as constructive notice to the whole world. Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority vs. Tirol, 588 Scra 635. A sale that is not correctly registered is binding only between the seller and the buyer, but it does not affect innocent third persons. Id. The fact that the certificate of title over the registered land is lost does not convert it into unregistered land. Id. A person dealing with registered land may generally rely on the correctness of a certificate of title and the law will in no way oblige him to go beyond it to determine the legal status of the property, except when the party concerned has actual knowledge of facts and circumstances that would impel a reasonably cautious man to make such inquiry. Id. Guiding Principle in Case of Successive Registration. Lasquite vs. Victory Hills, Inc. 590 Scra 616. A certified true copy of an original certificate of title shall be admissible as evidence in our courts and shall be conclusive as to all matters contained therein except as otherwise provided by Act No. 496; The evidentiary value of public documents must be sustained in the absence of strong, complete and conclusive proof of its falsity or nullity. Id. A duly-registered certificate of title is considered a public document and the entries found in it are presumed correct, unless the party who contests its accuracy can produce evidence establishing otherwise; Records of public officers which are admissible in evidence are limited to those matters which the public officer has authority to record. Id. If the plaintiff, as the real owner of the property also remains in possession of the property, the prescriptive period to recover title and possession of the property does not run against him; Such an action for reconveyance, if nonetheless filed, would be in the nature of a suit for quieting of title, an action that is imprescriptible . Id. Since no indispensable party was ever impleaded by the Salazars in their petition for cancellation of entry filed before Branch 63 of the Regional Trial Court of Tarlac, herein petitioners are not bound by the dispositions of the said court. Acosta vs. Salazar, 591 Scra 262. The failure of the SAlazars to implead indispensable party defendants in the petition for cancellation of entries in Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. 40287 should have been a ground for the Regional Trial Court to dismiss, or at least suspend, the proceedings of the case; Although the action proceeded, any judgment or order issued by the court thereon is still null and void for want of authority on the part of the court to act with respect to the parties never impleaded in the action. Id.\ Rarely will the court allow another person to attack the valid grant of separate titles in fee simple over the same lot to two different persons. Heirs of the Late Jose De Luzuriaga vs. Republic, 591 Scra 299.

A reconstituted title is ordered issued in an ordinary civil case, not in a cadastral proceeding for judicial confirmation of imperfect title over unregistered property. Id. The purpose of such an action is merely to have the certificate of title reproduced, after proper proceedings, in the same form it was in when it loss or destruction occurred; Failure to comply with any of this jurisdictional requirements for a petition for reconstitution renders the proceedings null and void. Angat vs. Republic, 591 Scra 364. Section 10 of Republic Act No. 26 does not mandate that notice be specifically sent to adjoining property owners. It only necessitated publication and posting of the notice of the petition in accordance with Section 9 of the Act. Id. In a reversion case, even if the original grantee of a patent and title has obtained the same through fraud, reversion will no longer prosper as the land had become private land and the fraudulent acquisition cannot affect the titles of innocent purchaser for value. Rabaja Ranch Development Corporation vs. AFP Retirement and Separation Benefits System, 592 Scra 201. Settles is the rule that no valid TCT can issue from a void Transfer Certificate of Title, unless an innocent purchaser for value had intervened. Id. It bears stressing that a Homestead Patent, once registered under the Land Registration Act, becomes as indefeasible as a Torrens Title. Id. The Torrens System is not a mode of acquiring titles to lands; it is merely a system of registration of titles to lands. Id. Every person dealing with the registered land may safely rely on the correctness of the certificate of title issued therefore. Id. It is settled that the registration of the dominant estate under the Torrens system without the annotation of the voluntary easement in its favor does not extinguish the easement it is the registration of the servient estate as free, that is, without the annotation of the voluntary easement, which extinguishes the easement. Unisource Commercial and Development Corporation vs. Chung, 593 Scra 230. If the dominant estate is divided between two or more persons, each of them may use the easement in its entirety, without changing the place of its use, or making it more burdensome in any other way. Id. The court required for the first time in Sunshine Finance, investment and financing corporation to take the necessary precautions to ascertain if there were any flaws in the certificate of title and examine the condition of the property they were dealing with. Eagle Realty Corporation vs. Republic, 594 Scra 555. Ruling in Sunshine Finance expands to cover realty corporations, which because of the nature of their business, are, likewise expected to exercise a higher standard of diligence in ascertaining the status of the property not merely on what appears on the face of a certificate of title. Id. Jurisprudence abounds in holding that, if a person claiming to be the owner is in actual possession of the property, the right to seek reconveyance,

which in effect seeks to quiet title to the property, does not prescribe. Pioneer Insurance and Surety Crop. Vs. heirs of Vicente Coronado. 595 Scra 263. The fact that the property cannot be plotted on a certain area based on the technical description indicated in the certificate of title does not foreclose the possibility that there is simply an error in the technical description, or that it is only deficient - unless the exact location of the property described in the certificate of title is determined, we cannot safely and definitively conclude that it is not located at a certain place. Id. The real purpose of the Torrens System of land registration is to quiet title to land and put stop forever to any question as to the legality of the title. Id. A certificate of title is conclusive evidence not only of ownership but also the location of the property. Id. A Torrens Certificate of Title is evidence of indefeasible title of property in favor of the person in whose name the title appears. Madrid vs. Mapoy, 596 Scra 14. A collateral attack transpires when, in another action to obtain a different relief and as an incident of the present action, an attack is made against the judgment granting the title. Id. Defendants attack on the validity of plaintiffs title, by claiming that fraud attended its acquisition, is a collateral attack on the title it is an attack incidental to their quest to defend their possession of the properties in an accion publiciana, not in a direct action whose main objective is to impugn the validity of the judgment granting the title. Id. The sufficiency of the Register of Deeds report is not an indispensable requirement in reconstitution of the cases. Republic vs. Dela Raga, 596 Scra 648. When the Regional Trial Court found Dela Ragas evidence sufficient and proper to warrant the reconstitution of OCT No. 49266, the Regional Trial Court had the duty to issue the order of reconstitution. Id. Once a patent is registered and the corresponding certificate of the title is issued, the land covered thereby ceases to be part of public domain, becomes private property, and the Torrens Title issued pursuant to the patent becomes indefeasible upon the expiration of one year from the date of such issuance. Encinares vs. Achero, 597 Scra 34. When a certificate of title is cancelled, the owners duplicate must also be surrendered to the Register of Deeds for cancellation, in accordance with Section 53 of Presidential Decree No. 1529, otherwise known as the Property Registration Decress as amended. Reyes vs. Montemayor, 598 Scra 61 A partys unabashed confession that she knew of the dubiousness of her title from the very beginning is contrary to the concept of good faith. Id. The legal principle is that if the registration of the land is fraudulent, the person in whose name the land is registered holds, it as a mere trustee. Id. It has long been established that the sole remedy of the landowner whose property has been wrongfully or erroneously registered in anothers name is to

bring an ordinary action in an ordinary court of justice for reconveyance or, if the property has passed into the hands of an innocent purchaser for value, for damages. Id. The Register of Deeds, in placing its faith in the unsupported statements of the person who had confessed to having acquired and registered the property in bad faith against the presumed good faith of the former owners, acted in a manner that was highly irregular. Id. A judgment directing a party to deliver possession of a property to another is in personam it is binding only against the parties and their successors in interest by title subsequent damages under Article 2221 of the Civil Code. Id. While the act of registration of a document is not necessary in order to give it legal effect as between the parties, requirements for the recording of the instruments are designed to prevent frauds and to permit and require the public to act with the presumption that a recorded instrument exists and is genuines. Hegna vs. Paderanga, 598 Scra 575. The non-registration of the deed of absolute sale menas that the sale could not bind third parties but a transaction affecting unregistered lands covered by an unrecorded contract, if legal, might be valid and binding on the parties themselves. Dadizon vs. Court of Appeals, 601 Scra 351. Property covered by Torrens Title cannot be acquired by possession possession no matter how long could not ripen into ownership. Pico vs. AdalimSalcedo, 602 Scra 21. A deed, mortgage, lease of other voluntary instrument, except a will, purporting to convey or affect conveyance involving registered land, shall not take effect as a conveyance or bind the land shall operate only as a contract between the parties and as evidence of authority of the REgister of Deeds to make registration. Cayton vs. Zeonnix Trading Corporation, 603 Scra 141. When a conveyance has been properly recorded, such record is constructive notice of its contents and all interests, legal and equitable, included therein, and under the rule of notice, it is presumed that the purchaser has examined every instrument of the record affecting title; The rule that all persons must take notice of the facts that the public record contains is a rule of law. Id. A writ of attachment that has been levied on real property or any interest therein belonging to the judgement debtor creates a lien which nothing can destroy but its dissolution. Id. Title is the claim, right or interest in real property, a certificate of title is the evidence of such claim. Heirs of generoso Sebe vs. heirs of Veronica Sevilla, 603 Scra 395. Well-settled is the rule that once the patent is registered and the corresponding certificate of title is issued, the land ceased to be par of the public domain and becomes private property and the State can no longer award the same to another. Lee vs. Dela Paz 604 Scra 522 Section 32 of Presidential Decree 1529 provides that upon the expiration of said period of one year, the decree of registration and the certificate of title shall become incontrovertible. Any person aggrieved by such decree of registration in any case may pursue his remedy by action for damages against

the applicant or other persons responsible for the fraud. Heirs of the Late Joquin Lamente vs. Vda. De Ramos, 604 Scra 599 The public interest in upholding the indefeasibility of a certificate of title, as evidence of the lawful ownership of the land or of any encumbrance thereon, protects a buyer or mortgagee who, in good faith, relies upon what appears on the face of the certificate of title. Balatico vda., de Agatep vs. Rodrigues, 604 Scra 634. In our jurisdiction, it is an enshrined rule that even a registered owner of property may be barred from recovering possession of property by virtue of laches. Tys vs. Queens Row subdivision, Inc. 607 Scra. 324. While section 6 rule 39 of the Rules of Court together with Article 1144 of the Civil Code cannot be the basis for depriving a registered owner of its title to a property, they nevertheless prohibit petitioners from enforcing the ex parte judgment in their favor, which can likewise be the basis of pronouncement of laches. Id. Radstock, a foreign corporation, with unknown owners whose nationalities are also unknown, is not qualified to own land in the Philippines. Strategic Alliance Development Corporation vs. Radstock Securities Limited, 607 Scra 413. Since Radstock is disqualified to own lands in the Philippines, it is also disqualified to own the rights to ownership of lands in the Philippines it is basic that an assignor or seller cannot assign or sell something he does not own at the time the ownership or the rights to the ownership, are to be transferred to the assignee or buyer; The assignment by PNCC of the real properties to a nominee to be designated foreign corporation owning lands in the Philippines. Id. View that on the assumption, for the sake of argument, that the compromise agreement gives Radstock a right that is an attribute of ownership, such grant may still be justified nonetheless by the totality of the circumstances as the end result of the whole operation of the compromise agreement; and, as scuh, it would still be consistent with, not violative of, the constitutional ban on foreign ownership of lands. Id. View that the compromise agreement does not attempt to create any kind of the title over the properties in favor of Radstock it simply allows Radstock to designate a qualified assignee to whom the properties may be assigned or transferred. Id. Registration is not a requirement for validity of a contract as between the parties, for the effect of registration serves chiefly to bind third persons. Gurttierez vs. Mendoza-Plaza, 607 Scra 807. The Torrens system does not create or vest title; it only confirms and records title already existing and vested. Camps vs. Pastrana, 608 Scra 55 The age-old rule is that the person who has a Torrens title over a land is entitled to possession thereof. Barias vs. Heris of Bartolome Boneo, 608 SCra 169.

One who deliberately ignores a significant fact which would naturally generate wariness is not an innocent purchaser for value. Luna, Jr. vs. Cabales, 608 SCra 193. A counterclaim is considered an original complain and, as such, the attack on the title in a case originally for recovery of possession is not considered as a collateral attack on the title. Id. The registration of a property in ones name, whether by mistake or fraud, the real owner being another, impresses upon the title so acquired the character of a constructive trust for the real owner. Id. The issue of whether a title was procured by falsification or fraud should be raised in an action expressly instituted for the purpose, not in an action for quieting of title an action for annulment of title is the more appropriate remedyu. Leonoro vs. Barba, 609 Scra 51.