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CERTIFICATE OF TITLE

1. PREPARATION OF CERTIFICATION OF TITLE (Sec.39, PD 1529)


A. Statement of personal circumstance (Sec.45, PD 1529)
Every certificate of title shall contain the following entries:
(a) full names of all persons whose interest make up the full ownership in the land;
(b) civil status;
(c) names of their respective spouses, if married;
(d) citizenship; and
(e) residence and postal address. If the property belongs to the conjugal partnership, the
title shall be issued in the names of both spouses.

B. Entry of Original Certificate of Title (Sec.40, PD 1529)


 The OCT is issued for the first time after initial registration proceedings

 OCT shall be the true copy of the decree of registration

 Upon receipt of the Register of Deeds of the original and duplicate copy of the
certificate of title, he shall enter the same in the record book and shall be
numbered, dated and signed and sealed with the seal of his office

 If the property belongs to the conjugal partnership, it shall be issued in the names of both
spouses.

C. The Owner’s Certificate of Title (Sec.41, PD 1529)


 Shall be delivered to the registered owner or his duly authorized representative

 If 2 or more persons are registered owners, one owner’s duplicate may be issued
for the whole land

 If the 2 co-owners desire, a separate duplicate may be issued to each of them in


like form but all outstanding certificates so issued shall be surrendered whenever
the RD shall register any subsequent voluntary transaction affecting the whole land
or part thereof or any interest therein

D. Registration Book (Sec.42, PD 1529)


Upon entry of the original certificate of title, the Register of Deeds shall file the same in a
registration book provided for the purpose. The same shall be bound and filed in consecutive
order with other certificates of title

E. Transfer Certificate of Title (Sec.43, PD 1529)


The transfer certificate of title which may be issued pursuant to any voluntary or involuntary
instrument shall be in like form as the original and titled “Transfer Certificate of Title.” The
original is kept in the office of the Register of Deeds while the owner’s duplicate is
delivered to the party concerned. The transfer certificate of title shall indicate the number
of the next previous certificate covering the same land and also the fact that it was
originally registered, giving the record number, number of the original certificate of title,
and the volume and page of the registration book in which it is filed.

F. Several certificates covering the same land


A. General Rule: Where 2 or more certificates cover the same land, the earlier
in date prevails.

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The general rule is that where two certificates of title are issued to different persons
covering the same land in whole or in part, the earlier in date must prevail as
between the original parties, and in case of successive registration where more
than one certificate is issued over the land, the person holding under the prior
certificate is entitled to the land as against the person who relies on the second
certificate. In other words, where more than one certificate are issued in respect of
a particular estate or interest in land, the person claiming under the prior certificate
is entitled to the estate or interest.

Cited in: Iglesia ni Kristo vs CFI, GR no. L-35273, July 25,1983, 208 Phil 441

WHICH OF THE TWO TITLES IS SUPERIOR, AN EARLIER TITLE SECURED


ADMINISTRATIVELY OR A LATTER TITLE SECURED THRU JUDICIAL
PROCEEDINGS

We follow the general rule that where two certificates of title are issued to different persons
covering the same land in whole or in part, the earlier date must prevail as between the original
parties, and in case of successive registration where more than one certificate is issued over the
land, the person holding under the prior certificate is entitled to the land as against the person
who relies on the second certificate.

Exception:
 Anomalies, Irregularities in the issuance of title,
Cited in: Mathay vs Court of Appeals, SPS. Atangan, SPS. Poblete,
SPS Tirona, GR no.15788, Sept. 17,1988

The Spouses-Private respondents are the valid owners of the individual properties in question
because all the subsequent certificates of title including the petitioner’s titles are void for the same
were forged and falsified. It was further proved that the titles issued to Mathays are void for the
allegedly Sales Certifcate executed by Tomas Lucido in favor of Pedro Pugay was not signed by
the said Tomas Lucido. Neither does it bear the signature of the latter. It further proved that the
deeds showed by Banayo and Pugay were not for the individual property in question. The
circumstances surrounding the execution of the Deed of Absolute Sale by Pedro Banayo and
Pablo Pugay in favor of the spouses Sonya Mathay and Ismael Mathay further showed that it did
not comply with the legal formalities and was not duly notarized. Furthermore, the residence
certificates of vendors Banayo and Pugay appeared to be of dubious source.

 Mistake
Cited in: Consuelo Legarda vs. N.M. Saleeby, GR no.8936, Oct.3,1915

It is the duty of the courts to adjust the rights of the parties under such circumstances so as to
minimize such damages, taking into consideration al of the conditions and the diligence of the
respective parties to avoid them. In the present case, the appellee was the first negligent (granting
that he was the real owner, and if he was not the real owner he cannot complain) in not opposing
the registration in the name of the appellants. He was a party-defendant in an action for the
registration of the lot in question, in the name of the appellants, in 1906. "Through his failure to
appear and to oppose such registration, and the subsequent entry of a default judgment against
him, he became irrevocably bound by the decree adjudicating such land to the appellants. He had
his day in court and should not be permitted to set up his own omissions as the ground for
impugning the validity of a judgment duly entered by a court of competent jurisdiction."

 Fraudulent Registration
Cited in: SPS Carpo vs Ayala Land, GR no.166577, Feb.3,2010, 611
SCRA 436

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In this jurisdiction, it is settled that "(t)he general rule is that in the case of two certificates of title,
purporting to include the same land, the earlier in date prevails x x x. In successive registrations,
where more than one certificate is issued in respect of a particular estate or interest in land, the
person claiming under the prior certificate is entitled to the estate or interest; and that person is
deemed to hold under the prior certificate who is the holder of, or whose claim is derived directly
or indirectly from the person who was the holder of the earliest certificate issued in respect
thereof.

a. Co-owned Land:

 May a co-owner convey a physical portion of the land owned in


common?
a co-owner may not convey a physical portion of the land owned in
common. What a co-owner may dispose of is only his undivided aliquot
share, which shall be limited to the portion which may be allotted to him
upon the termination of the co-ownership. He has no right to divide the
property into parts and then convey one part by metes and bounds.

Cited in: Lopez vs Ilustre, GR no. L-14429, June 30,1962

It is well-settled that a co-owner has no right to sell a divided part, by metes and bounds, of the real estate
owned in common.

 All co-owner’s duplicates must be surrendered


Cited in: Balbin vs RD, 28 SCRA 12

There being several copies of the same title in existence, their integrity may be affected if an
encumbrance, or an outright conveyance, is annotated on one copy and not on the others. If different
copies were permitted to carry different annotations, the whole system of Torrens registration would
cease to be available.

b. Previous Adjudication
Cited in: Republic vs CA, 83 SCRA 453
Authorities are in agreement that a land registration court is without jurisdiction to
decree again the registration of land already registered in an earlier registration
case, and that the second decree entered for the same land is null and void. 73 If
there is no valid and final judgment by the land registration court to speak of, then
the filing of an admittedly late appeal from the decision denying the Amended
Petition would be immaterial and of no moment, in so far as these proceedings are
concerned in view of the congenitally fatal infirmity that attaches to the main
decision. decreeing for the second time the registration of the same Lots, despite
an earlier registration. Jurisprudence holds that the appellant's failure to perfect an
appeal on time, "although ordinarily decisive, carries no persuasive force" and may
be completely disregarded if the trial court acted without jurisdiction. As held in
United States v. Jayme, lack of jurisdiction. la jurisdiction over the subject matter
is fatal and may be raised at any stage of the proceedings. Jurisdiction is conferred
by the sovereign authority which organizes the court; it is given only by law, and in
the manner prescribed by law and an objection on the lack of such jurisdiction
cannot be waived by the parties. The infirmity cannot be cured by silence,
acquiescence, or even by express consent, or by win of the parties.

c. Defective Title vs Unblemished Title

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When a parcel of land was registered by a defective title and a Unblemished Title,
unblemished title prevails

Cited in: Lorenzana vs CA, 231 SCRA 713


Petitioners would minimize the import of the defects in their titles by describing
them as "clerical." The plea does not persuade for the self-contradictions in
petitioners' titles infract their integrity. Errors that relate to the lots' mother title, their
technical descriptions and their locations cannot be dismissed as clerical and
harmless in character. With these errors, the titles of the petitioners do not deserve
the sanctity given to torrens title. These errors precisely created and cast the cloud
of doubt over petitioners' titles and precipitated the case at bench.

d. Overlapping titles.
Cited in: Cambridge Realty and Resources Corp. vs Eridanus Development
Inc., GR no.152445, July 4, 2008

A landowner loses his right to claim that his property has been encroached when
his predecessor did not register any objections at the time alleged encroachment
was made. A Torrens Certificate of title, complete and valid on its face may not be
defeated by another Torrens certificate of title which, on its face, is irregular and
which contains defective technical description. No verification survey conducted.

In overlapping of titles disputes, it has always been the practice for the court to
appoint a surveyor from the government land agencies - the Land Registration
Authority or the DENR - to act as commissioner.

2. EFFECT OF ISSUANCE OF TITLE

a. Certificates of title cannot be used to protect a usurper from the true owner;
neither can it be used to perpetuate fraud.
Cited in: Pagaduan vs Ocuma, GR no.176308, May 8,2009
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 at the expense of others.
Knowledge gained by respondents of the first sale defeats their rights even if they were
first to register the second sale. Knowledge of the first sale blackens this prior
registration with bad faith. Good faith must concur with the registration. Therefore,
because the registration by the respondents was in bad faith, it amounted to no
registration at all.

b. Registration as operative act binding the land. (Sec.51 par.2, PD 1529)


It is the registration of contracts dealing with registered property in the corresponding
Registry of Deeds that binds or affects third persons. Non-compliance with the formal
requirements does not adversely affect the validity of the contract nor the contractual
rights and obligations of the parties. The act of registration is the operative act to
convey or affect the land insofar as third persons are concerned. Registration is a mere
ministerial act by which a deed, contract or instrument is inscribed in the records of
the office of the Register of Deeds and annotated at the back of the certificate of the
title covering the land subject of the deed, contract or instrument.

Cited in: Roxas vs Dinglasan, 28 SCRA 430;

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A Torrens title is generally a conclusive evidence of the ownership of the land referred
to therein (Section 49, Act 496). A strong presumption exists that Torrens titles are
regularly issued and that they are valid. A Torrens title is incontrovertible against any
"information possessoria" or title existing prior to the issuance thereof not annotated
on the title

Egao vs CA, 174 SCRA 484


A Torrens title, once registered, cannot be defeated, even by adverse open and
notorious possession. A registered title under the Torrens system cannot be defeated
by prescription. The title, once registered, is notice to the world. All persons must take
notice. No one can plead ignorance of the registration.

c. Notice to the whole world (Sec.52, PD 1529)


A deed or other voluntary instrument involving registered land shall not take effect as
a conveyance or bind the land but shall operate only as a contract between the parties
and as evidence of authority of the Register of Deeds to make registration. The act of
registration shall be the operative act to convey or affect the land insofar as third
persons are concerned. It is the act of registration which creates a constructive notice
to the whole world and binds third persons.
Cited in: People vs Reyes, 175 SCRA 597
The title, once registered, is a notice to the world. All Persons must take notice. No
one can plead ignorance of registration.

The essence, therefore, of registration is to serve notice to the whole world of the
legal status and the dealing therewith.

If registration is a notice to the whole world, then registration is in itself a notice and
therefore, the prescriptive period of registered document must start to run from the
date the same was annotated in the Register of Deeds.

d. Conclusive evidence of ownership;


Cited in: Ching vs CA, 181 SCRA 9
A Torrens title is generally a conclusive evidence of the ownership of the land referred
to therein. A strong presumption exists that Torrens titles are regularly issued and that
they are valid. A Torrens title is incontrovertible against any "information possessoria"
or title existing prior to the issuance thereof not annotated on the title

it enjoys the presumption of validity; registration does not vest title; it is not a
mode of acquiring ownership

Cited in: Dela Cruz vs CA, 298 SCRA 172;


Having been notarized, the documents have in their favor the presumption of
regularity, and to contradict the same, there must be evidence that is clear, convincing
and more than merely preponderant.

Cabrera vs CA, 267 SCRA 339;


It is well settled that in case of sale of a piece of land titled under the Torrens System,
it is the act of registration, and not tradition, that transfers the ownership of the land
sold.

Avila vs Tapucar, 201 SCRA 148

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Registration does not vest title. It is not a mode of acquiring ownership but is merely
evidence of such title over a particular property. It does not give the holder any better
right than what he actually has, especially if the registration was done in bad faith. The
effect is that it is as if no registration was made at all.

e. A certificate of title is conclusive as to


(a) the ownership of the registrant
Cited in: Tan vs Bantegui, GR no. 154027, Oct. 24,2005
Finally, Respondent Bantegui remained in continuous possession of the owners
duplicate copy of the Certificate of Title. She was even allowed to undertake an
administrative reconstitution of her file copy after its destruction by fire.
Accordingly, the Register of Deeds issued a reconstituted title in her name, in
which the property had been registered as early as 1959. For reasons known only
to the alleged purchasers, no attempt was even made to have the title immediately
cancelled. It is basic that registration does not vest title, which is a mere evidence
of title to a property.

(b) the identity of the land and


Cited in: Demasiado vs Velasco, 71 SCRA 105
Under Section 47 of the Land Registration Act, (Act No. 496) the certificate of title
covering registered land "shall be received as evidence in all courts of the
Philippines, and shall be conclusive as to all matters contained therein (principally,
the Identity of the owner of the land covered thereby) except so far as provided" in
the Act itself.

(c) its location.


Cited in: Odsigue vs CA, 233 SCRA 626
A certificate of title is conclusive evidence not only of ownership of the land
referred but also its location.

f. General Incidents (Sec.46, PD 1529)


Land registered under the Torrens system is, as a rule, not subject to any burden
except those noted on the certificate of title. In fact, every registered owner and every
subsequent purchaser taking a certificate of title in good faith shall hold the same free
from all encumbrances excepts those noted thereon and except any of the
encumbrances mentioned in Section 44 of PD No. 1529.

Cited in: Budlong vs Pondoc, 79 SCRA 24

LEGAL INCIDENTS OF REGISTRATION LAND

1. Registered land is subject to the same legal burdens and incidents as


unregistered land and, therefore, fake unregistered land, it is subject to
attachment and execution for the payment of debts. The rights and liabilities
which are created by law and are made applicable to unregistered land, are
applicable to registered land, except as otherwise provided in Act No. 496.
2. The rights arising from the relation of husband and wife are applicable to
registered lands.
3. Registered land is subject (a) to any alien of any description established by
law on land and the b thereon, or the interest of the owner in such land or
buildings, (b) to the laws of descent, and (c) to the rights of partition between
coparceners joint tenants, will other cotenants except as otherwise expressly
provoked in Act No. 496.

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4. ATTRIBUTES

A certificate of title has several attributes, namely: (a) imprescriptible; (b) indefeasible and
incontrovertible; (c) not subject to collateral attack; and (d) quiets title.

(a) Imprescriptible

Under Sec. 47 of P.D. No. 1529, a registered land is never subject to prescription.
Prescription and adverse possession can never militate against the right of a registered owner
since it is settled that a title, once registered, cannot be overcome even by an adverse, open,
continuous and notorious possession.

The certificate of title serves as evidence of an indefeasible and incontrovertible title the
certificate of title serves as evidence of an indefeasible and incontrovertible title to the property in
favor of the person whose name appears therein. As reiterated in the case of Caa vs. Evangelical
Free Church, G.R. No. 157573, February 11, 2008, it is an age-old rule that, “the person who has
a Torrens Title over a land is entitled to possession thereof”.

This protection given by law is available only to the registered owner and his heirs. In
Alzona vs. Capunitan 4 SCRA 450, February, 28, 1962, "the prosecution given by the law is in
favor only of registered owners and consequently, unregistered owners of the property in litigation
cannot invoke prosecution in support of their cause of action. On the other hand, in Barcelona vs.
Barcelona 100 Phil 251, October 31, 1956, hereditary successors merely step into the shoes of
the decedent by operation of law and are merely the continuation of the personality of their
predecessor in interest.

However, ownership may be lost through laches. Laches is defined as “the failure or
neglect, for an unreasonable and unexplained length of time, to do that which by exercising due
diligence could or should have been done earlier” (p. 414, Agacaoili, 2011). Laches deals with
the fact of delay and effect of unreasonable delay. Hence, if a registered owner asserts his right
over the property too late, he may be barred by recovering possession of his property. As held in
Lucas vs. Gamponia, 110 Phil 277, October 31, 1956, “the original owner’s right to recover back
the possession of the property and the title thereto from the defendant has, by the long period of
37 years and by patentee’s inaction and neglect, been converted into a stale demand.”

The right to recover possession is imprescriptible. As enunciated in J.M. Tuason vs. CA,
93 SCRA 146, November 21, 1979, Mere possession of whatever length cannot defeat the
imprescriptible title to the holder of registered Torrens Title to real property, and that registered
real property under the Torrens system cannot be acquired by acquisitive prescription. The
registered owner of the disputed land has a right to possess and recover the same. Moreover, as
what has been stated earlier, ownership of registered land under the Torrens System is
imprescriptible.

Nonetheless, an action by the registered owner to recover possession based on a Torrens


title is not barred by laches (Dablo vs. CA, G.R. No. 93365 September 21, 1993). In other
words, laches is unavailing. Moreover, prescription is unavailing not only against the registered
owner but also his hereditary successors. The legal heirs of a deceased may file an action
arising out of a right belonging to their ancestor without a need of a separate judicial declaration
as legal heirs, provided there is no pending special proceeding for the settlement of the
decedent’s estate.

(b) Incontrovertible and indivisible

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As what has been indicated earlier, the certificate of title serves as evidence of an
indefeasible and incontrovertible title the certificate of title serves as evidence of an indefeasible
and incontrovertible title to the property in favor of the person whose name appears in the title.
The person who has a Torrens Title over a land is entitled to possession thereof.

Furthermore, indefeasibility has several consequences. First, the principle of


indefeasibility of a Torrens title does not apply where fraud attended the issuance of title. The
Torrens title does not furnish a shield for fraud. As such, a title issued based on void documents
does not run against the State and its subdivisions.

In the case of Eagle Realty Corp. vs. Republic, G.R. No. 151424, July 24, 2008, the facts
show that another decision with the same date and similar signature of the judge who ruled in
favor of the applicant in a land registration case was surreptitiously inserted in the records of the
LRC. The subsequent decision adjudicates the property to another person. The Supreme Court
held that, since the Torrens title does not furnish a shield for fraud, a title issued based on void
documents may be annulled. Moreover, elementary is the rule that prescription does not run
against the State and its subdivisions.

The second principle states that the principle of indefeasibility does not apply when the
title and patent based thereon are null and void. As enunciated in De Guzman vs. Agabala, G.R.
No. 163566, February 19, 2008, The Director of Lands had no authority to grant a fee patent over
privately owned land. Any title issued pursuant thereto is null and void. Hence, although an original
certificate of title is merely being collaterally attacked, if nullified, the nullification is still correct
since the free patent to which it is based is null and void.

Third, when one purchases a property from another who procured his title by fraud, it is a
settled rule that the defense of indefeasibility of a certificate of title does not extend to a transferee
who takes it with notice of the flaws in his transferor's title (Bornales vs. IAC 166 SCRA 512,
October 18, 1988). To reiterate, the Torrens system of land registration should not be used as a
means to perpetrate fraud against the rightful owner of real property. Registration, to be effective,
must be made in good faith.

However, it is important to note that a title procured by fraud or misrepresentation can still
be the source of a completely legal and valid title if the same is in the hands of an innocent
purchaser for value.

An innocent purchaser for value is defined as one who buys the property of another without
notice that another has an interest in such property and then pays full price. As held in Heirs of
Tiro vs. Philippine Estates Authority G.R. No. 170528, August 25, 2008, “a person dealing with
registered land may safely rely on the correctness of the certificate of title of the vendor/transferor,
and the law will in no way oblige him to go behind the certificate to determine the condition of the
property”.

The fourth consequence deals with lands covered by previous valid title. In Register of
Deeds vs. PNB, 13 SCRA 793, January 30, 1965, it was held that Indefeasibility of title thereunder
could be claimed only if a previous valid title to the same parcel of land does not exist. This
statement merely affirms the principle that a certificate is not conclusive evidence of title if it is
shown that the same land had already been registered and an earlier certificate for the same land
is in existence. In sum, the indefeasibility of title will not apply in lands covered by previously valid
title.

Fifth, if a patent and a certificate are issued over a private land, the patent and certificate
are null and void. It was held in Agne vs. Director of Lands 181 SCRA 46, February 6, 1990 that,
the incontrovertibility of a certificate of title upon the expiration of one year, after the entry of the
decree, does not apply where an action for the cancellation of a patent and a certificate of title

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issued pursuant thereto is instituted on the ground that they are null and void because the Bureau
of Lands had no jurisdiction to issue them at all.

The indefeasibility and imprescriptibility of a Torrens title issued pursuant to a patent may
be invoked only when the land involved originally formed part of the public domain. If it was a
private land, the patent and certificate of title issued upon the patent are a nullity.

Sixth, a certificate of title issued on the basis of a free patent procured through fraud or in
violation of the law may be cancelled since such is not cloaked with indefeasibility.

In Martinez vs. CA G.R. No. 170409, January 28, 2008, the indefeasibility of a title does
not apply if fraud was employed in the proceedings which led to the issuance of the free patents
and the titles. Moreover, a certificate of title issued on the basis of a free patent procured through
fraud or in violation of the law may be cancelled, as such title is not cloaked with indefeasibility.

The seventh consequence of indefeasibility deals with cases where there are illegally included
areas in one’s title. As said in Caragay-Layno vs. CA, 132 SCRA 718, December 26, 1984, a
party whose property had been wrongfully registered in the name of another, but which had not
yet passed into the hands of third parties, can properly seek its reconveyance. The remedy of
that party is to bring an ordinary action in the ordinary court of justice for reconveyance or, if the
property has passed into the hands of an innocent purchaser for value, for damages.

Lastly, the rule on incontrovertibility and indefeasibility is equally applicable to title


acquired through homestead or free patents.

In the case of Iglesia ni Cristo vs. CFI of NE, 208 Phil 44, July 25, 2983, where land is
granted by the government to a private individual, the corresponding patent therefor, is recorded,
and the certificate of title is issued to the grantee; thereafter, the land is automatically brought
within the operation of the Land Registration Act. Upon the expiration of one year from its
issuance, the certificate of title becomes irrevocable and indefeasible like a certificate issued in a
registration proceeding.

(c) Not subject to collateral attack

Under Sec. 48 of P.D. No. 1529, a certificate of title shall not be subject to collateral attack.
It cannot be altered, modified, or cancelled except in a direct proceeding in accordance with law.

An action is deemed an attack on a title when the object of the action or proceeding is to
nullify the title, and thus challenge the judgment pursuant to which the title was decreed (p. 417,
Agcaoili, 2011). An attack on a title is direct when the object of the action is to annul or set aside
such judgment, or enjoin its enforcement. On the other hand, an attack is indirect or collateral
when in action to obtain a different relief, an attack on the judgment is only an incidence.

In the case of Heirs of Sps. Lim vs. RTC Judge G.R. No. 173891, September 8, 2008, the
validity of the parties’ respective titles is being attacked, in a proceeding which was brought merely
to seek the nullification of an order of reconstitution. The Supreme Court held that this cannot be
allowed since it is a well-settled doctrine that a certificate of title cannot be subject to collateral
attack and can be altered, modified or cancelled only in a direct proceeding in accordance with
law.

It has long been established that after the expiration of the one year period from the
issuance of the decree of registration, a certificate of title becomes incontrovertible. Furthermore,
a decree of registration and a certificate of title may be attacked on the ground of actual fraud
within one (1) year from the date of its entry. The attack must be direct.

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In addition, it must be noted that Cancellation of title to be filed in the same court where
the decree was entered. As held in Estanislao vs. Honrado 114 SCRA 748, all petitions and
motions filed under the provisions of this Act after original registration shall be filed and entitled in
the original case in which the decree of registration was entered (Section 12, Land Registration
Act). Additionally, a plain, speedy and adequate remedy is accorded to the aggrieved party within
the Executive Department of the Government, the courts will not intervene until that remedy has
been resorted to and exhausted.

Nonetheless, a void title is subject to collateral attack. As stated in Ferrer vs. Bautista, 231
SCRA 748, while the rule states that a title becomes incontrovertible one year after it is issued
pursuant to a public grant, such rule does not apply when such issuance is null and void. An
action to declare the nullity of that void title does not; in fact, it is susceptible to direct, as well as
to collateral, attack.

(d) Quiets title

It is well-settled that the real purpose of the Torrens System is “to quiet title to land and to stop
forever any question as to its legality”. Once a title is registered, the owner may rest secure,
without the necessity of waiting in the portals of the court, or sitting on the "mirador su casato,"
avoid the possibility of losing his land. An indirect or collateral attack on a Torrens Title is not
allowed

5. STATUTORY LIENS AFFECTING TITLE

A “lien” is a charge on property usually for the payment of some debt or obligation. It is a
qualified right or a proprietary interest, which may be exercised over the property of another. It is
a right which the law gives to have a debt satisfied out of a particular thing (p. 398, Agcaoili, 2011).

On the other hand, an encumbrance is a burden upon land, depreciative of its value, such
as a lien, easement, or servitude, which, though adverse to the interest of the landowner, does
not conflict with his conveyance of the land in fee. Examples include claim, lien, charge, or liability
attached to and binding upon real property, e.g., a mortgage, judgment lien, lease, security
interest, easement or right of way, accrued and unpaid taxes (p. 398, Agcaoili, 2011).

Pursuant to Section 44 of P.D. No. 1529, every registered owner receiving a certificate of
title pursuant to a decree of registration and every subsequent purchaser of registered land for
value and in good faith shall hold the title free from all encumbrances. In SM Prime Holdings vs.
Madayag, G.R. No. 164687, February 12, 2009, it was held that once the title is registered under
the said law, owners can rest secure on their ownership and possession. Claims and liens of
whatever character, except those mentioned by law as existing, against the land prior to the
issuance of certificate of title are cut off by such certificate if not noted thereon, and the certificate
so issued binds the whole world, including the government. If the purchaser is the only party who
appears in the deeds and in the titles registered in the property registry, no one except such
purchaser may be deemed by law to be the owner of the properties in question.

However, there are two exceptions: (a) those noted in the title; and (b) encumbrances
enumerated in the law. The list given in Sec. 44 is an exclusive enumeration of what may limit the
registered owner’s title of the property, particularly:

1. Liens, claims or rights arising or existing under the laws and 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 purchasers or encumbrancers of record.

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2. Unpaid real estate taxes levied and assessed within two years immediately preceding the
acquisition of any right over the land by an innocent purchaser for value, without prejudice
to the right of the government to collect taxes payable before that period from the
delinquent taxpayer alone.
3. 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 canal or lateral thereof have been determined.
4. Any disposition of the property or limitation on the use thereof by virtue of, or pursuant to,
Presidential Decree No. 27 or any other law or regulations on agrarian reform.

For unpaid realty taxes, it is not necessary to register a tax lien because it is automatically
registered, once the tax accrues (p. 401, Agcaoili, 2011).

The inclusion of a public highway in the certificate of title does not give the holder of such
certificate ownership of the highway. Though prescription never prevails over a Torrens title, a
Torrens title cannot include public thoroughfare (p. 402, Agcaoili, 2011).

The certificate of land transfer issued under P.D. 27 states that the tenant farmer is
considered to be the owner of the agricultural land subject to certain conditions.

Sec. 60 of C.A. 141 or the Public Land Act is a statutory lien. Section 60 of CA No. 141
constitutes, under Section 44 of PD No. 1529, a statutory lien affecting title of the registered land
even if not annotated on the certificate of title.

Alienable lands of the public domain held by government entities under Section 60 of CA
No. 141 remain public lands because they cannot be alienated or encumbered unless Congress
passes a law authorizing their disposition. Congress, however, cannot authorize the sale to
private corporations of reclaimed alienable lands of the public domain because of the
constitutional ban. Only individuals can benefit from such law. In Chavez vs. Public Estates
Authority, G.R. No. 133250, July 9, 2002, the provisions of CA No. 141 apply to the Freedom
Islands on matters not covered by PD No. 1084. Section 60 of CA No. 141 prohibits, except when
authorized by Congress, the sale of alienable lands of the public domain that are transferred to
government units or entities.

OTHER EXCEPTIONS: (SEC. 46, PD1529)

a. Rights incident to the relation of husband and wife

 Presumption:
 Under the Family Code, all property acquired during the marriage are presumed
to belong to the Absolute Community of Property.

 Under the old Civil Code, all properties acquired during the marriage are
presumed to belong to the conjugal partnership.

 A Husband’s and a wife’s rights over a conjugal property are merely inchoate prior to
the liquidation of the conjugal partnership. Therefore, a wife may not bind the
conjugal assets without a special authorization from her husband. (Domingo v. Reed
G.R. No, 157701, December 9, 2005)

 All property of the marriage is presumed to belong to the conjugal partnership unless
it is proved that it pertains exclusively to the husband or the wife. Only proof of
acquisition during the marriage is needed to raise the presumption that the property
is conjugal. In fact, even when the manner in which the properties were acquired

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does not appear, the presumption will still apply, and the properties will still be
considered conjugal. (De Leon v. De Leon G.R. No. 185063, July 23, 2009)

b. Rights incident to landlord and tenant


c. Liability to attachment and execution
d. Liability to any lien of any description established by law on the land and the buildings
thereon, or on the interest of the owner on such lands and buildings
e. Rights incident to the laws on descent
f. Rights incident to the laws on partition between co-owners
g. Taking of the property through eminent domain
h. Right to relieve such land from liability to be recovered by an assignee in insolvency or
trustee in bankruptcy under the laws relative to preferences
i. Rights or liabilities created by law and applicable to unregistered land

C. Certificate of Title is subject to servitudes.

Exception: Section 44 which subjects the certificate of title to public servitudes which may
be subsisting, does not apply, say, in the case of a road constructed subsequent to the
acquisition of the land.

 It would be unfair for the Government to take back the land without just compensation
after selling it to and collecting the full price therefor. To do so would abridge the
owner’s individual right, guaranteed by the Constitution, to own private property and
keep it, free from State appropriation without due process and without just
compensation. Ours is a government dedicated to uphold and preserve the right of an
individual, a fundamental concept in a democratic society which spells the big difference
between democracy and totalitarianism. The Government must respect and observe
individual rights for, otherwise, the citizenry would be liable to lose confidence in it.
(Digran v. Auditor General G.R. No. L-21593, April 29, 1966)

D. Liens and Encumbrances

 Lien – A legal right or interest that a creditor has in another’s property, usually lasting
until a debt or duty that it secures is satisfied. (Black’s Law Dictionary)
Example: accrued and unpaid taxes

 Encumbrance – A claim or liability that is attached to property or some other right and
that may lessen its value, such as lien or mortgage; any property right that is not an
ownership interest. (Black’s Law Dictionary)
Example: lease, easement of right of way, mortgage, security interest, judgment

 An adverse possession by another is not an "incumbrance" in law, and does not


contradict the condition that the property be free from encumbrance; nor is it a "lien",
which connotes security for a claim. (Ozaeta v. Palanca, G.R. No. L-17455, August 31,
1964)

 A notice of lis pendens does not establish a lien but is only a notice or warning that a
claim or possible charge on the property is pending determination by the court. (p. 426,
Agacaoili, 2015)

 An annotation is a remark, note, case summary, or commentary on some passage of a


book, statutory provision, court decision, of the like, intended to illustrate or explain its
meaning. The purpose of the annotation is to charge the purchaser or title holder with
notice of such burden and claims. Being aware of the annotation, the purchaser must
face the possibility that the title or the real property could be subject to the rights of third
parties. (ASB Realty Corp. v. Ortigas and Company Limited Partnership, G.R. No.
202947, December 9, 2015)

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6. RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS THAT RUN WITH THE LAND

 Restrictive Covenant - A provision in a deed limiting the use of the property and
prohibiting certain uses.

 Restrictive covenants are not, strictly speaking, synonymous with easements. While
it may be correct to state that restrictive covenants on the use of land or the location
or character of buildings or other structures thereon may broadly be said to create
easements or rights, it can also be contended that such covenants, being limitations
on the manner in which one may use his own property, do not result in true
easements, but a case of servitudes (burden), sometimes characterized to be
negative easements or reciprocal negative easements. Negative easement is the
most common easement created by covenant or agreement whose effect is to
preclude the owner of the land from doing an act, which, if no easement existed, he
would be entitled to do. (Fajardo v. Freedom to Build, Inc. G.R. No. 134692, August
1, 2000)

7. SPLITTING OR CONSOLIDATION OF TITLE (Sec 49, PD1529)

Section 49. Splitting, or consolidation of titles. A registered owner of several distinct parcels
of land embraced in and covered by a certificate of title desiring in lieu thereof separate
certificates, each containing one or more parcels, may file a written request for that purpose
with the Register of Deeds concerned, and 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 registered owner of several distinct parcels of land covered by
separate certificates of title desiring to have in lieu thereof a single certificate for the whole
land, or several certificates for the different parcels thereof, may also file a written request
with the Register of Deeds concerned, and the latter, upon the surrender of the owner's
duplicates, shall cancel them together with their originals, and issue in lieu thereof one or
separate certificates as desired.

8. SUBDIVISION AND CONSOLIDATION OF PLANS

A. Simple Subdivisions (Sec 50, PD1529)

Section 50. Subdivision and consolidation plans. Any owner subdividing a tract of
registered land into lots which do not constitute a subdivision project has defined and
provided for under P.D. No. 957, shall file with the Commissioner of Land Registration
or with the Bureau of Lands a subdivision plan of such land on which all boundaries,
streets, passageways and waterways, if any, shall be distinctly and accurately
delineated.

If a subdivision plan, be it simple or complex, duly approved by the Commissioner of


Land Registration or the Bureau of Lands together with the approved technical
descriptions and the corresponding owner's duplicate certificate of title is presented for
registration, the Register of Deeds shall, without requiring further court approval of said
plan, register the same in accordance with the provisions of the Land Registration Act,
as amended: Provided, however, that the Register of Deeds shall annotate on the new
certificate of title covering the street, passageway or open space, a memorandum to the
effect that except by way of donation in favor of the national government, province, city

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or municipality, no portion of any street, passageway, waterway or open space so
delineated on the plan shall be closed or otherwise disposed of by the registered owner
without the approval of the Court of First Instance of the province or city in which the
land is situated.

A registered owner desiring to consolidate several lots into one or more, requiring new
technical descriptions, shall file with the Land Registration Commission, a consolidation
plan on which shall be shown the lots to be affected, as they were before, and as they
will appear after the consolidation. Upon the surrender of the owner's duplicate
certificates and the receipt of consolidation plan duty approved by the Commission, the
Register of Deeds concerned shall cancel the corresponding certificates of title and
issue a new one for the consolidated lots.

The Commission may not order or cause any change, modification, or amendment in
the contents of any certificate of title, or of any decree or plan, including the technical
description therein, covering any real property registered under the Torrens system, nor
order the cancellation of the said certificate of title and the issuance of a new one which
would result in the enlargement of the area covered by the certificate of title.

B. Complex Subdivisions (PD957)

 Complex subdivision plan - a subdivision plan of a registered land wherein a street,


passageway or open space is delineated on the plan. (Sec. 2)
 The subdivision plan, as so approved, shall then be submitted to the Director of
Lands for approval in accordance with the procedure prescribed in Section 44 of the
Land Registration Act ; Provided, that it case of complex subdivision plans, court
approval shall no longer be required. (Sec. 4)

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