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An Overview of Land Titles and Deeds

An Overview of Land Titles and Deeds

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Published by karenrae
An Overview of Land Titles and Deeds
An Overview of Land Titles and Deeds

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Published by: karenrae on Jul 25, 2010
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1. Importance of the Subjecta. Man - Land Ratiob. Land as a finite resource
PD 1529
otherwise known as "The Property Registration Decree".Approved June 11, 1978 codified and incorporated the following lawsrelated ti property registration:a. Act 496, The Land Registration Actb. Commonwealth Act 141, The Public Land Actc. Act 2259, The Cadastral Actd. Act 3344, System of Registration for Unregistered Landse. Act No. 1508, as amended, The Chattel Mortgage Lawf. Republic Act No. 26, REconstitution of Original Certificates of Titleg. PD 27, Emancipation Patents, Land Reform Law2.
The Civil Code Provision (Articles 708 - 711)
Title IXa. Art. 708. The Registry Property has for its object the inscription or annotation of acts and contracts relating to the ownership and other rights over immovable property.b. Art. 709. The titles of ownership, or of other rights over immovableproperty, which are not duly inscribed or annotated in the Registry of Property shall not prejudice third persons.c. Art. 710. The books in the Registry of Property shall be public for those who have a known interest in ascertaining the status of theimmovables or real rights annotated or inscribed therein.d.
Art. 711. For determining what titles are subject to inscription or annotation, as well as the form, effects, and cancellation of inscriptions and annotations, the manner of keeping the books in theRegistry, and the value of the entries contained in said books, theprovisions of the Mortgage Law, the Land Registration Act, andother special laws shall govern.
1. The Legal Basis and Nature (Sec 2, PD 1529)Nature of registration proceedings; jurisdiction of courts. - Judicialproceedings for the registration og lands throughout the Philippines shallbe in rem and shall be based on the generally accepted principlesunderlying the Torrens system.2. Purpose and meaning of the Torrens System of Registration.a.) The real purpose of the system is to quiet title of land; to put a stopforever to any question of the legality of the title, except claims which werenoted at the time of registration, in the certificate, or which may arisesubsequent thereto. That being the purpose of the law, it would seem thatonce a title is registered, the owner may rest secure, without the necessityof waiting in the portals of the courts, or sitting in the "mirador de su casa",to avoid the possibility of losing his land. (Legarda vs. Saleeby 31 Phl 590)b.) The main purpose of the Torrens System is to avoid possible conflictsof title to real estate and to facilitate transactions relative thereto by givingthe public the right to rely upon the face of the Torrens Certificate Title andto dispense with the need of inquiring further, except when the partyconcerned has actual knowledge of the facts and circumtances that shouldimpel a reasonably cautious man to make such further inquiry. (TradersRoyal Bank vs CA 315 SCRA 190)2. Jurisdictiona. Regional Trial CourtCourts of First Instance (RTC) shall have exclusive jurisdiction over allapplications for original registration of title to lands, includingimprovements and interest therein, and over all petitions filed after originalregistration of title, with power to hear and determine all questions arisingupon such applications or petitions. (Sec 2, PD 1529)b. Pursuant to Sec 34 of Batas Pambansa 129, the Supreme Court issuedAdministrative Order No 64-93 dated April 21, 1993, authorizing METC's,MTCC's and MTC's to hear and decide, Cadastral or Land Registrationcases covering Lots where there is no controversy or opposition, or contested lots, the value of which does not exceed P100,000.00 for MTC'sand P200,000.00 for METC's.
Original Registration under Sec 14, Pd 1529Who may apply:
A.) Those who by themselves or through their predecessors-in-interesthave been in open, continuous, exclusive and notorious possession andoccupation of alienable and disposable lands of the public domain under abona fide claim of ownership since June 12, 1945, or earlier.In Republic vs CA and Corazon Naguit GR No 144057, Janurary 17,2005, the Supreme Court held that:"Sec 14(1) of PD 1529 merely requires the property sought to beregistered as already alienable and disposable at the time of application for registration of title is filed.""If the State, at the time the application is made, has not yet deemed itproper to release the property for alienation or disposition, thepresumption is that the government is still reserving the right to utilizethe property, hence, the need to preserve its ownership is the Stateirrespective of the length of adverse possession even if in good faith.""However, if the property has already been classified as alieanable anddisposable, then there is already an intention on the part of the State toabdicate its exclusive prerogative over the property.""There are no material differences between Sec 14 (1) of the PropertyRegistration Decree and Sec 48 (b) of the Public Land Act. True, thePublic Land Act does refer to "agricultural lanf of the public domain,"while the Property Registration Decree uses the term "Alianable andDisposable lands of public domain." It must be noted though that theConstitution declares declares that "alienable lands of public domainshall be limited to agricultural lands. Clearly, the subject lands under Sec 48 (b) of the Public Land Act and Sec 14(1) of the PropertyRegistration Decree are of the same type."B.) Those who have acquired ownership of private lands by prescription under the provisions of existing laws."Prescription is one of the modes of acquiring ownership under theCivil Code. There is a consistent jurisprudential rule that propertiesclassified as alienable public land may be converted into privateproperty by reason of open, continuous and exclusive possession of atleast 30 years. With such conversion, such property may now fallwithin the comtemplation of "Private Lands" under Section 14(2), andthus susceptible to registration by those who have acquired ownershipthrough prescription. Thus, even if possession of the alienable publicland commenced on a date later than June 12, 1945, and suchpossession being open, continuous and exclusive, then the possessor may have the right to register the land by virtue of Section 14(2) of theProperty Registration Decree" (Republic vs CA and Naguit)C.) Those who have acquired ownership of private lands or abandonedriver beds by right of accession or accretion under the existing laws.Accretion is the slow and hardly perceptible accumulation of soil depositsthat the law grants to the riparian owner. (Binalay vs Manolo, 195 SCRA374)D.) Those who have acquired ownership of land in any other manner provided by law.
2. Judicial Confirmation of Imperfect or Incomplete Title under Sec 48 (b)of CA 141.
Those who by themselves or through their predecessors-in-interest havebeen in open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious possession andoccupation of agricultural lands of the public domain under a bona fideclaim of acquisition of ownership, for at least 30 years immediatelypreceding the filing of the application for confirmation of title, except whenprevented by war or force majeure. Those shall be conclusively presumedto have performed all the conditions essential to a government grant andshall be entitled to a certificate of title under the provision of this chapter.The period to avail of this provision has been extended to Dec 31, 2020pursuant to RA 9176 , approved Nov 13, 2002 with the limitation that thearea applied for should not exceed 12 hectares.
3. Cadastral Act, Ac 2259
(Involuntary Proceedings)Compulsory proceedings are premised on the presumption under theRegalian Doctrine. That all Lands of whatever classifications belong to the
public domain. Once instituted in court, all private claims to land are opento question and it is to the public interest that such private claims besettled and adjudicated.
4. Administrative Method
Free Patent, Homestead and Sale Provisions
A.) Whenever lands of the public domain are disposed of by the DENRthrough free patent, homestead and sales, they shall be brought under theoperation of the Torrens System.Thus Sec 103 of PD 1529, states:"Whenever public lanf is by the Government alienated, granted, or conveyed to any person, the same shall be brought forthwith under theoperation of this Decree. It shall be the duty of the official issuing theinstrument of alienation, grant, patent or conveyance in behalf of theGovernment to cause such instrument to be filed with the Register of Deeds of the province or city where the land lies, and to be registered likeother deeds and conveyance whereupon a certificate of title shall beentered as in other cases of registered land, and an owner's duplicateissued to the grantee."B.) Emancipation Patent or Certificates of Land Ownership Awards(CLOA)Whenever a tenant or farm worker is issued a patent, the same shallalso be transmitted to the Register of Deeds for registration under Sec 104and 105 of PD 1529 and the issuance of the corresponding Certitficate of Title, this bringing the land under the operation of the Torrens System.C.) Indefeasilibility of a title obtained through thr administrative method.An original certificate of title issued on the basis of a patentpartakes of the nature of a certificate of title issued in a judicial proceedingand becomes indefeasible upon the expiration of one year from the date of promulgation of the order of the Director of Lands for the issuance of patent. (Heirs of Gregorio Tingco vs Heirs of Jose Alinaias, 168 SCRA198)
- In Director of Lands vs. Reyes, et al, 68 SCRA 177 -182. The SCruled:"The applicant is not relieved from submitting in evidence the original planapproved by the Director of Lands as required by law. One of thedistinguishing marks of the Torrens System is the absolute certainty of theidentity of a registered land. Consequently, the primary purpose of the saidrequirements is to fix the exact or definite identity of the land as shown inthe plan and technical description."2.
- Discussed earlier as to where to file.3.
Setting the Date of Initial Hearing
Not earlier than 45 days nor more than 90 days from the date of the order (Sec 23, PD 1529)4.
Transmittal of the Order of the Court to the LRA
Preparation and Issuance of the Notice of Initial Hearing
Publication, registed mail and posting (Sec 3, Pd 1529)
" Sec 23 states that publication in the Official Gazette shall be sufficient toconfer jurisdiction upon the Court. However, in Director of Lands vs. CA(276 SCRA 276-287) the SC ruled that the publication in a newspaper of general circulation is equally a mandatory jurisdictional requirement. "Theelementary norms of due process require that before the claimed propertyis taken from the concerned parties and registered in the name of theapplicant. The said parties must be given notice and opportunity tooppose.7.
Shall be filed by any person who claims the land or any interest therein.8.
Initial Hearing and Presentation of Evidence
.A. General DefaultB. Default Order is enteredC. All applicants must overcome the presumption that the land sought tobe registered form part of the public domain.
Republic vs CA and Naguit Supra)
 D. Tax declarations when coupled with proof of actual possession arestrong evidence of ownership
(Gonzaga vs CA SCRA 327)
 E. A foreign national may apply for registration of title over a parcel of landwhich he acquired by purchase while still a citizen of the Philippines
(Republic vs CA and Lapiña, 235 SCRA 567)
 F. A private corporation may apply for judicial confirmation of title to publicagricultural land because if a price of land of the public domain has been inopen, continuous, exclusive and notorious possession under a bona fideclaim of ownership for a period prescribed by law, the land after the lapseof said period Ipso Jure ceases to form part of the public domain andbecomes private property, thus removing it from the ambit of theconstitutional prohibition
(Republic vs CA 155 SCRA 344)
G. Spanish Titles - PD 892, effective Feb 16, 1976, invalidated all Spanishtitles and declared that they can no longer be used as evidence of landownership. They shall then be treated as unregistered lands.H. Judgment - Shall become final after 15 days from notice, there can beno execution of judgment pending appeal in land registration proceedings.9.
Decree of Registration for the Land to be issued by the Administrator,LRA
Original Certificate of Title
The land Registration Authority has devised a form where the decree andthe original certificate of title are embodied in the same document.
Rules, principles, doctrines, and maximes of the Torrens system which wereculled from landmark decisions of the highest court on actual cases asarranged by Prof. Gregorio Bilog in his book, "Land Title and Deeds", 2005 Ed.
Best Evidence of Ownership
- A Torrens Certificate of Title is the bestevidence of ownership of the land described therein.
(See Vilanueva vs CA, 198 SCRA 482 Ching vs CA, 181 SCRA 9,Heirs of George Bofill vs CA, 237 SCRA 451,Halili vs National Labor Relations Commissions, 257 SCRA 174,Lee Tek Sheng vs CA, 292 SCRA 544)
Notice to the Whole World
- A torrens title gives notice to the whole world;or a Torrens title bind the whole world.
(See Egao vs CA, 174 SCRA 484,National Grains Authority vs IAC, 157 SCRA 380,Ching vs Malaya, 153 SCRA 412,People vs Reyes, 175 SCRA 597)
The issuance of certificate of title is a constructive notice thereof to allpersons.
(Serna vs CA, 308 SCRA 527, 529)
Registration of a deed sale in the Registry of Deeds constitutes constuctivenotice thereof to the whole world.
(See Calalang vs ROD of Quezon City, 208 SCRA 215,People vs Pacificador, 354 SCRA 310)
No one can plead ignorance of the registration.
(Egao vs CA, 174 SCRA 484,Jacob vs CA, 244 SCRA 189)
Unregistered Claims
- A Torrens title bars all prior claims not registeredon the title.
(See PD 1529 , Sec 44; Republic vs Umali 171 SCRA 647)
All claims and liens of whatever character existing against the land prior tothe issuance of certificate of title are barred, if not noted on said certificateThe registered owner of a Torrens Certificate of Title and the subsequentpurchaser for value and in good faith of registered land shall hold thecertificate free from all liens and encumbrances, except those noted in saidcertifcate and those specified by law.
(See PD 1529 Sec 44 and 46, Republic vs Umali 171 SCRA 647, Felix Gochan and Sons Realty Corp vs Cañada, 165 SCRA 207; Ferre-Lopez vs CA 150 SCRA 393;Cureg vs IAC, 177 SCRA 313, Aldecoa and Co vs Warner Barns & Co, 30 Phil 209;Snyder vs Fiscal of Cebu and Avila. 42 Phil 766)
- A Torrens certificate of title services as evidence of anindefeasible title to the property in favor of the person whose names appear therein.
( See Republic vs CA, 204 SCRA 160, Muyco vs CA, 204 SCRA 358, Tirado vsSevilla, 188 SCRA 321, Ortegas vs Hidalgo, 198 SCRA 6356, Jacob vs CA, 266 SCRA189)
Title to the property covered by a Torrens certificate becomesincontrovertible or indefeasible after one year from the entry of the decreeif registration.
**SeePD 1529, Sec 32 Calalang vs. Register of Deeds of Quezon City, 208 SCRA 215 Reyes and Nadres vs Borbon and Director of Lands, 50 Phil 791Jacob vs Court of Appeals, 224 SCRA 189Trinidad vs IAC, 204 SCRA 524Tirado vs Sevilla, 188 SCRA 321Cagayan de Oro City Landless Residents Association, Inc, vs CA, 254 SCRA 220 Republic vs CA, 204 SCRA 160 Muyco vs CA, 204 SCRA 358 Ortegas vs. Hidalgo, 198 SCRA 635 Republic vs De Guzman, 326 SCRA 267 Heirs of Simplicio Santiago vs Heirs of Mariano E. Santiago, 404 SCRA 193
A Torrens Title is Imprescriptible
(See PD 1529, Sec 47; Vda. de Villanueva vs CA, 351 SCRA 12)
No title to registered land in derogation of the title of the unregisteredowner shall be acquried by prescription or adverse possesion.
See:PD 1529, Sec 17 Viacrucis vs CA, 44 SCRA 176 J.M. Tuason and Co., Inc. vs CA, 93 SCRA 146  Alarcon vs Bidin, 120 SCRA 390 umbay vs Alecha, 135 SCRA 427 Cimafranca vs IAC, 147 SCRA 611Gallardo vs. IAC, 155 SCRA 248 Claudel vs. CA, 199 SCRA 133Jacob vs. CA, 224 SCRA 198 Caiña vs. CA, 239 SCRA 252 Rivera vs. CA, 244 SCRA 218 
The owner of the land registered under the Torrens System cannot lose it byprescription
See:Bishop vs CA, 208 SCRA 636 Ruvera vs CA, 244 SCRA 218 J.M. Tuason and Co., Inc. vs CA, 93 SCRA 146 Egao vs CA, 174 SCRA 484 Alarcon vs Bidin, 120 SCRA 390 Umbay vs Alecha, 135 SCRA 427 Cimafranca vs IAC, 147 SCRA 611Gallardo vs. IAC, 155 SCRA 248 Claudel vs. CA, 199 SCRA 133Jacob vs. CA, 224 SCRA 198 Caiña vs. CA, 239 SCRA 252 Vda. de Villanueva vs CA, 351 SCRA 12 
Integrity of Titles
-The integrity of the Torrens System must be protected.Every person dealing with registered land may safely rely on the correctnessof the certificate of title issued therefore and the law will in no way oblige himto go behind the certificate to determine the condition of the property. Staeddifferently, an innocent purchaser for value, relying on a Torrens title issued, isprotected.G.
Not Subject to Collateral Attack
- A certfificate of title shall not be subjectto collateral attack. It cannot be altered, modified or cancelled, except in adirect proceeding in accordance with law.
See. PD. 1529. Sec. 48; See also National Grains Authority vs IAC, 157 SCRA 380;Tan vs. Philippines Banking Corp., 355 SCRA 292; Windows and Orphans Association, Inc. vs CA, 201 SCRA 165; Toyota Motor Phils. Corp vs CA, 216 SCRA236)
Fraudulent Registration
-The person in whose name the land isfraudulently registered holds it as a mere trustee, with the legal obligation toreconvey the properry and the title thereto in favor of the true owner.
(Pajarillovs IAC, 176 SCRA 340)
A Torrens title cannot be used as a shield for fraud or for enriching aperson at the expense of another 
(Vda. De Recinto vs Inciong, 77 SCRA 196;Legarda and Prieto vs Saleeby, 31 Phil 590)
The Torrens system was not designed to shield and protect one who hadcommitted fraud or misrepresentation and thus holds title in bad faith.
(Walstrom vs. Mapa, Jr., 181 SCRA 431)
The Torrens system only protects a title holder in good faith, and cannotbe used as shield for fraud and chicanery. Deceit is not to becountenanced; duplicity is not to be rewarded.
(Philippine Commercial &Industrial Bank vs Villalva, 48 SCRA 31)
The Torrens title cannot cover up frauds.
(Adille vs. CA, 157 SCRA 672)
- Any registration procured by the presentation of a forgedduplicate certificate of title, or a forged deed or other instrument shall be nulland void (PD 1529 Sec 23)A forged instrument may become the "root of a valid title".
(Torres vs CA, 186 SCRA 672)
A fraudulent or forged document of sale may become the root of a valid titleif the certificate of title has already been transferred from the name of thetrue owner to the name of the forger or the name indicated by the forger.
(See Duran vs. IAC, 138 SCRA 489; De la Cruz vs Fabie, 35 Phil 14; Roman Catholic Bishop vs Philippine Railway, 49 Phil. 546)
The doctrine that a forged instrument may become the root of a valid titlecannot be applied where the owner still holds a valid and existing certificateof title covering the same interest in a realty.
(Torres vs CA, 186 SCRA 672)
Loss -
As between two innocent persons, the one who made it possible for the wrong to be done should be the one to bear the resulting loss
(See: Legardavs CA, 280 SCRA 642; Cabuhat vs CA, 366 SCRA 176; Tomas vs. Tomas, 98 SCRA280; Traders Royal Bank vs. CA, 315 SCRA 190)
As between two persons, both of them whom are in good faith and bothinnocent of any negligence, the law must protect and prefer the lawfulholder of registered title over the transfer of a vendor bereft of anytransmissible rights.
(Baltazar vs. CA, 168 SCRA 354; Torres vs CA, 186 SCRA672)
Priority of Rights
- "Prior tempore potior jure" -He who is first in time ispreferred in right.The act of registration in the Registry of Deeds shall be the operative act toconvey or affect the lanf insofar as third persons are concerned.L.
Double Titles
. Where two certificates of title include the same land, thecertificate that is earlier in date prevails.
(Garcia vs CA, 95 SCRA 380)
Presumptions: Regular and Valid
- Torrens title presumed to have beenissued regularly and legally.
(Salao vs Salao, 70 SCRA 65, Ching vs. Malaya, 153SCRA 412; Ofrecio vs. Lising, 159 SCRA 366, Republic vs. Umali, 171 SCRA 647;People vs. Reyes, 175 SCRA 597, Bishop vs. CA, 208 SCRA 636)
A strong presumption exists that a Torrens title is regularly issued and that itis valid.
(Salao vs Salao, 70 SCRA 65)
A Torrens title is presumed to have been issued regularly and legally,unless contradicted and overcome by clear, convincing, strong andirrefutable proof. More than merely preponderant evidence is required.
(Ramos vs. CA, 112 SCRA 542)
Good Faith - The presumption is that the transferee of registered land is notaware of any defect in the title of the property he purchased.
(Tajonera vs CA,103 SCRA 467)
Reliance on the Title
-Every person dealing with registered land maysafely rely on the correctness of the certificate of title issued therefore.
(See Halili vs Court of Industrial Relations, 257 SCRa 174; Kho vs CA, 214 SCRA 329;Legarda vs CA, 208 SCRA 642; Ibarra vs. Ibarra, Sr, 156 SCRa 616)
One who deals with properly registered under the Torrens System neednot go beyond the same, but only has to rely on the title. He is charge withnotice only of such burdens and claims as are annotated on the title.
(Domingo vs. Roces, 401 SCRA 197)
This principle does not apply when the party has acualknowlege of facts and circumstances that would impel a reasonablycautious man to make such inquiry or when the purchaser has knowledgeof a defect or the lack of title in his vendor or of sufficient facts to induce areasonably prudent man to inquire into the status of the title of the propertyin litigation. One who falls withing the exception can neither be dominatedan innocent purchaser for value nor a puchaser in good faith.
(Domingo vs.Roces, 401 SCRA 197)
An innocent purchaser for value has every right to rely on the correctnessof the title.
(A.D. Guerrero vs. Juntilla, 173 SCRA 572; Gevero vs IAC, 189 SCRA201)

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