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JURISPRUDENCE – LAND TITLES AND DEEDS

Civil Law G.R. No. 123713


Property April 1, 1998
Land Titles and Deeds HEIRS OF LEOPOLDO VENCILAO, SR., represented by their Administrator ELPIDIO
PURCHASER IN GOOD FAITH VENCILAO, petitioners, vs.COURT OF APPEALS, SPOUSES SABAS and RUPERTA
GEPALAGO, and DOMICIANO GEPALAGO, respondents.

As a general rule, where the certificate of title is in the name of the vendor when the land is
sold, the vendee for value has the right to rely on what appears on the face of the title. He
is under no obligation to look beyond the certificate and investigate the title of the vendor
appearing on the face of the certificate. By way of exception, the vendee is required to make
the necessary inquiries if there is anything in the certificate of title which indicates any cloud
or vice in the ownership of the property. Otherwise, his mere refusal to believe that such
defect exists, or his willful closing of his eyes to the possibility of the existence of a defect
in his vendor's title, will not make him an innocent purchaser for value if it afterwards
develops that the title was in fact defective, and it appears that he had such notice of the
defect as would have led to its discovery had he acted with that measure of precaution
which may reasonably be required of a prudent man in a like situation.
Civil Law G.R. No. 123713
Property April 1, 1998
Land Titles and Deeds HEIRS OF LEOPOLDO VENCILAO, SR., represented by their Administrator ELPIDIO
STATUS OF TAX VENCILAO, petitioners, vs.COURT OF APPEALS, SPOUSES SABAS and RUPERTA
DECLARATIONS AS PROOF GEPALAGO, and DOMICIANO GEPALAGO, respondents.
OF OWNERSHIP
Neither can the tax declarations and tax receipts presented by petitioners as evidence of
ownership prevail over respondents' certificate of title which, to reiterate, is an
incontrovertible proof of ownership. It should be stressed that tax declarations and receipts
do not by themselves conclusively prove title to the land. They only constitute positive and
strong indication that the taxpayer concerned has made a claim either to the title or to the
possession of the property for which taxes have been paid. Stated differently, tax
declarations and tax receipts are only prima facie evidence of ownership or possession.
Civil Law G.R. No. 155830
Property August 15, 2012
Land Titles and Deeds NUMERIANO P. ABOBON, Petitioner, vs. FELICITAS ABATA ABOBON and GELIMA
DOCTRINE OF ABATA ABOBON, Respondents.
INDEFEASIBILITY OF TITLE
First of all, a fundamental principle in land registration under the Torrens system is that a
certificate of title serves as evidence of an indefeasible and incontrovertible title to the
property in favor of the person whose name appears therein. The certificate of title thus
becomes the best proof of ownership of a parcel of land; hence, anyone who deals with
property registered under the Torrens system may rely on the title and need not go beyond
the title. This reliance on the certificate of title rests on the doctrine of indefeasibility of the
land title, which has long been well-settled in this jurisdiction. It is only when the acquisition
of the title is attended with fraud or bad faith that the doctrine of indefeasibility finds no
application.
Civil Law G.R. No. 139843.
Property July 21, 2005
Land Titles and Deeds CONSUELO N. VDA. DE GUALBERTO, FE GUALBERTO-CHAVEZ, AMADOR
DOCTRINE OF GUALBERTO, CESAR GUALBERTO, RODOLFO GUALBERTO, LUZVIMINDA
INDEFEASIBILITY OF TITLE GUALBERTO MIRANA, and VIRGINIA GUALBERTO, Petitioners, vs. FRANCISCO H. GO,
RAYMUNDO J. GO, MIRIAM J. GO, MIRIAM G. SON, VICENTE J. GO, BELEN GO, and
ROSA JAVIER GO, Respondents.

The said property is covered by TCT No. 102167 of the Registry of Deeds of Quezon City.
Under the Land Registration Act, title to the property covered by a Torrens certificate
becomes indefeasible after the expiration of one year from the entry of the decree of
registration. Such decree of registration is incontrovertible and is binding on all persons
whether or not they were notified of or participated in the registration proceedings.

If such title is to be challenged, it may not be done collaterally, as in the present case,
because the judicial action required is a direct attack. Section 48 of the Property
Registration Decree expressly provides 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.
Civil Law G.R. No. 129471
Property April 28, 2000
Land Titles and Deeds DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and
PRESCRIPTION OF ACTION CARLOS CAJES, respondents.
FOR RECONVEYANCE BASED
ON IMPLIED OR Second. Generally, an action for reconveyance based on an implied or constructive trust,
CONSTRUCTIVE TRUST such as the instant case, prescribes in 10 years from the date of issuance of decree of
registration. However, this rule does not apply when the plaintiff is in actual possession of
the land. Thus, it has been held:

. . . [A]n action for reconveyance of a parcel of land based on implied or


constructive trust prescribes in ten years, the point of reference being the
date of registration of the deed or the date of the issuance of the certificate
of title over the property, but this rule applies only when the plaintiff or the
person enforcing the trust is not in possession of the property, since if a
person claiming to be the owner thereof is in actual possession of the
property, as the defendants are in the instant case, the right to seek
reconveyance, which in effect seeks to quiet title to the property, does not
prescribe. The reason for this is that one who is in actual possession of a
piece of land claiming to be the owner thereof may wait until his
possession is disturbed or his title is attacked before taking steps to
vindicate his right, the reason for the rule being, that his undisturbed
possession gives him a continuing right to seek the aid of a court of equity
to ascertain and determine the nature of the adverse claim of a third party
and its effect on his own title, which right can be claimed only by one who
is in possession.

Having been the sole occupant of the land in question, private respondent may seek
reconveyance of his property despite the lapse of more than 10 years.
Civil Law G.R. No. 175542
Property June 5, 2013
Land Titles and Deeds GREEN ACRES HOLDINGS, INC., Petitioner, vs. VICTORIA P. CABRAL, SPS. ENRIQUE
QUIETING OF TITLE T. MORAGA and VICTORIA SORIANO, FILCON READY MIXED, INC., DEPARTMENT
OF AGRARIAN REFORM ADJUDICATION BOARD (DARAB), and REGISTRY OF DEEDS
OF BULACAN, MEYCAUA YAN BRANCH, Respondents.

Art. 476. Whenever there is a cloud on title to real property or any interest therein, by reason
of any instrument, record, claim, encumbrance or proceeding which is apparently valid or
effective but is in truth and in fact invalid, ineffective, voidable, or unenforceable, and may
be prejudicial to said title, an action may be brought to remove such cloud or to quiet the
title.

An action may also be brought to prevent a cloud from being cast upon title to real property
or any interest therein.

Quieting of title is a common law remedy for the removal of any cloud upon, doubt, or
uncertainty affecting title to real property. Whenever there is a cloud on title to real property
or any interest in real property by reason of any instrument, record, claim, encumbrance,
or proceeding that is apparently valid or effective, but is in truth and in fact, invalid,
ineffective, voidable, or unenforceable, and may be prejudicial to said title, an action may
be brought to remove such cloud or to quiet the title. In such action, the competent court is
tasked to determine the respective rights of the complainant and the other claimants, not
only to place things in their proper places, and make the claimant, who has no rights to said
immovable, respect and not disturb the one so entitled, but also for the benefit of both, so
that whoever has the right will see every cloud of doubt over the property dissipated, and
he can thereafter fearlessly introduce any desired improvements, as well as use, and even
abuse the property.

For an action to quiet title to prosper, two indispensable requisites must concur: (1) the
plaintiff or complainant has a legal or equitable title or interest in the real property subject
of the action; and (2) the deed, claim, encumbrance, or proceeding claimed to be casting a
cloud on his title must be shown to be in fact invalid or inoperative despite its prima facie
appearance of validity or legal efficacy.

There is no dispute as to the first requisite since Green Acres has legal title over the subject
properties. The issue lies in the second requisite.

A cloud on title consists of (1) any instrument, record, claim, encumbrance or proceeding;
(2) which is apparently valid or effective; (3) but is in truth and in fact invalid, ineffective,
voidable, or unenforceable; and (4) may be prejudicial to the title sought to be quieted.

This Court holds that the DARAB decision in favor of Cabral satisfies all four elements of a
cloud on title.

JURISPRUDENCE

Civil Law G.R. No. 123713


Prescription April 1, 1998
Kinds of Acquisitive Prescription HEIRS OF LEOPOLDO VENCILAO, SR., represented by their Administrator ELPIDIO
VENCILAO, petitioners, vs.COURT OF APPEALS, SPOUSES SABAS and RUPERTA
GEPALAGO, and DOMICIANO GEPALAGO, respondents.

Prescription is another mode of acquiring ownership and other real rights over immovable
property. It is concerned with lapse of time in the manner and under conditions laid down
by law, namely, that the possession should be in the concept of an owner, public, peaceful,
uninterrupted and adverse. Possession is open when it is patent, visible, apparent,
notorious and not clandestine. It is continuous when uninterrupted, unbroken and not
intermittent or occasional; exclusive when the adverse possessor can show exclusive
dominion over the land and an appropriation of it to his own use and benefit; and notorious
when it is so conspicuous that it is generally known and talked of by the public or the people
in the neighborhood.28 The party who asserts ownership by adverse possession must
prove the presence of the essential elements of acquisitive prescription.

Article 1117 of the Civil Code is instructive:

Art. 1117. Acquisitive prescription of dominion and other real rights may be ordinary or
extraordinary.

Articles 1134 and 1137 of the Civil Code fix the periods of possession,29 which provide:
Art. 1134. Ownership and other real rights over immovable property are acquired by
ordinary prescription through possession of ten years.

Art. 1137. Ownership and other real rights over immovables also prescribe through
uninterrupted adverse possession thereof for thirty years, without need of title or of good
faith.

From the foregoing, it can be gleaned that acquisitive prescription of real rights may be
ordinary or extraordinary. Ordinary acquisitive prescription requires possession of things in
good faith and with just title for the time fixed by law; without good faith and just title,
acquisitive prescription can only be extraordinary in character. Regarding real or immovable
property, ordinary acquisitive prescription requires a period of possession of ten years,
while extraordinary acquisitive prescription requires an uninterrupted adverse possession
of thirty years.
Civil Law G.R. No. 155830
Property August 15, 2012
Land Titles and Deeds NUMERIANO P. ABOBON, Petitioner, vs. FELICITAS ABATA ABOBON and GELIMA
DOCTRINE OF ABATA ABOBON, Respondents.
INDEFEASIBILITY OF TITLE
First of all, a fundamental principle in land registration under the Torrens system is that a
certificate of title serves as evidence of an indefeasible and incontrovertible title to the
property in favor of the person whose name appears therein. The certificate of title thus
becomes the best proof of ownership of a parcel of land; hence, anyone who deals with
property registered under the Torrens system may rely on the title and need not go beyond
the title. This reliance on the certificate of title rests on the doctrine of indefeasibility of the
land title, which has long been well-settled in this jurisdiction. It is only when the acquisition
of the title is attended with fraud or bad faith that the doctrine of indefeasibility finds no
application.