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Legarda v. Saleeby G.R. No.

L-8936 October 2,
1915
JOHNSON, J.:
FACTS:
1. 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. Consuelo
and her husband presented a petition in the Court of Land Registration to register their
lot. The registration was allowed and they were issued an original certificate and the title
was registered which included the stone wall.
2. The predecessor of N.M. Saleeby, Teus, presented a petition in the Court of Land
Registration for registration of the lot now occupied by him. The court decreed the
registration of the land which also included the wall.
3. The plaintiffs Consuelo and Mauro, her husband, discovered that the wall which was
included in the certificate granted to them has also been registered to N.M. Saleeby. They
immediately 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, without notice to the defendant, denied said petition upon the theory 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.

ISSUE:
1. Whether the predecessor of N.M. Saleeby owns the land? No. Spouses Legarda owns it since
they registered the land first. N.M. Saleeby cannot also be considered an innocent purchaser
and be protected against the mistake of his predecessor.

RATIO:
The argument of defendants is not valid because the court held that if this was a valid
argument that the defendant can use against the plaintiff (check no. 3 facts), the plaintiff may
also use said argument since the defendant did not oppose as well to the registration of the land
which included the wall.

The real purpose of the torrens system of land registration 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 registrations in the certificate, or which may arise subsequent thereto. That being the
purpose of the law, it would seem that once the title was registered, the owner might 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. The proceeding for the registration of land under the
torrens system is a judicial proceeding. It is clothed with all the forms of an action and the result
is final and binding upon all the world. It is an action in rem.

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While the proceeding is judicial, it involves more in its consequences than an ordinary
action. All the world are parties, including the government. After the registration is complete and
final and there exists no fraud, there are no innocent third parties who may claim an interest. The
rights of all the world are foreclosed by the decree of registration. The government itself assumes
the burden of giving notice to all parties.

The registration of a particular parcel of land is a bar to future litigation over the same
between the same parties. In view of the fact that all the world are parties, it must follow that
future litigation over the title is forever barred; there can be no persons who are not parties to the
action. A title once registered cannot be defeated, even by an adverse, open, and notorious
possession; or by prescription.(section 46, Act No. 496). No one can plead ignorance of the
registration.

According to Torrens system, the plaintiffs own the land. 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 are foreclosed by the decree of registration.

Thus, where two certificates of title include or cover the same land, the earlier in date
must prevail as between the original parties, whether the land included in the latter certificate be
wholly or only in part comprised in the earlier certificate. In case of double registration under the
Land Registration Act, the owner of the earliest certificate is the owner of the land. That is the
rule between original parties. This may be applied to successive vendees of the owners of such
certificates. The general rule is that the vendee of land has no greater right, title, or interest than
his vendor; that he acquires the right, which his vendor had, only. Under that rule the vendee of
the earlier certificate would be the owner as against the vendee of the owner of the later
certificate. (So kung ano yung rights nung vendor ganon din sa vendee; kung ano rights ni Teus
yon din rights ni N.M. Saleeby,) However, there are provisions in Act No. 496 (Sections 38, 55,
and 112) which give rights to vendees who are considered as innocent purchasers that are not
given to vendors.

But in this case, the purchaser of a land which has been included in the second original
title cannot be considered as an innocent purchaser The first original certificate is recorded
in the public registry. It is never issued until it is recorded. The record notice to all the world. All
persons are charged with the knowledge of what it contains. Under the rule of notice, it is
presumed that the purchaser has examined every instrument of record affecting the title. Such
presumption is irrebutable. This presumption cannot be overcome by proof of innocence or
good faith. (So sina N.M. Saleeby hindi pwede maging innocent purchaser ng second original
title ng land kasi presumed na alam nila yung registration ng plaintiffs. They cant say na they
didnt know about the registration of the first because of the rule of notice)

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