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October 2, 1915 G.R. No. L-8936

CONSUELO LEGARDA, with her husband MAURO PRIETO, plaintiffs-appellants,
N.M. SALEEBY, defendant-appellee.

Consuelo Legarda and N.M. Saleeby are owners of adjoining lots in Ermita, Manila. Between
their lots is a stone wall which is located on the lot of the plaintiffs. On March 2, 1906, Consuelo and
her husband presented a petition in the Court of Land Registration to register their lot. The
registration was allowed on October 25, 1906. They were then issued an original certificate and the
title was registered. Both included the wall.
On March 25, 1912, the predecessor of N.M. Saleeby presented a petition in the Court of
Land Registration for registration. The court decreed the registration of the land which also included
the wall. The plaintiffs Consuelo and Mauro, her husband, discovered that the wall has also been
registered to N.M. Saleeby. They presented a petition in the Court of Land Registration for
adjustment and correction of the error where the wall was indicated in both registrations. However,
the lower court contended that during the pendency of the petition for the registration of the
defendants land, they failed to make any objection to the registration of said lot, including the wall,
in the name of the defendant.

Whether or not the defendant is the owner of the wall and the land occupied by it?

NO. The lower courts decision would call for the plaintiffs to be always alert and see to it
that no other parties will register the wall and its land. Else, if they spotted someone registering such
wall in their own name, plaintiff must immediately oppose. Such would become defeat the real
purpose of the Torrens system of land registration.
The real purpose of that system is to quiet title to land; to put a stop forever to any question
of the legality of the title, except claims which were noted at the time of registration, in the
certificate, or which may arise subsequent thereto. That being the purpose of the law, it would seem
that once a title is registered the owner may rest secure, without the necessity of waiting in the
portals of the court, or sitting in the mirador de su casa to avoid the possibility of losing his land.
So who owns the land? According to Torrens system, the plaintiffs. Under our law, once a
party registers the land, final and in good faith, no third parties may claim interest on the same land.
The rights of all the world re foreclosed by the decree of registration. The registration, under the
Torrens system, does not give the owner any better title than he had. The registration of a particular
parcel of land is a bar to future litigation over the same between the same parties. It is a notice to the
world and no one can plead ignorance of the registration.
Adopting the rule which we believe to be more in consonance with the purposes and the
real intent of the torrens system, we are of the opinion and so decree that in case land has been
registered under the Land Registration Act in the name of two different persons, the earlier in date
shall prevail. The presumption is that the purchaser has examined every instrument of record
affecting the title. This presumption is IRREBUTABLE. It cannot be overcome by proof of innocence or
good faith. Otherwise the very purpose and object of the law requiring a record would be destroyed.
The rule is that all persons must take notice of the facts which the public record contains is a rule of
law. The rule must be absolute. Any variation would lead to endless confusion and useless litigation.

Judgment of the lower court was revoked. The wall and the land where it sits is awarded to
the plaintiffs.