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UPDATES IN PROPERTY REGISTRATION, MORTGAGES,

CONDOMINIUMS AND RELATED PROCEEDINGS


(1une 2013)
(Based on Agcaoili, Property Registration Decree and Related Laws
(Land Titles and Deeds), 2011 ed., and ~Reviewer in Property Registration
(With Sample M!s and S"ggested #nswers)
1

1ustice Oswaldo D. Agcaoili
2
REGALIAN DOCTRINE
Under the Regalian doctrine, all lands of whatever classification and other natural
resources not otherwise appearing to be clearly within private ownership are presumed to
belong to the State which is the source of any asserted right to ownership of land.
3
Accordingly, public lands not shown to have been reclassified or released as alienable
agricultural land or alienated to a private person by the State remain part of the
inalienable public domain.
4
Property of the public domain is beyond the commerce of
man and not susceptible of private appropriation and acuisitive prescription. !ccupation
thereof in the concept of owner no matter how long cannot ripen into ownership and be
registered as a title.
"
#
Published by Re$ %oo& Store. See also' (Law on Natural Resources,) and (Reviewer in Property
Registration and Related Laws (with MCQs and Suggested Answers).
*
+ustice !swaldo ,. Agcaoili finished law at the University of Sto. -omas. .e obtained a degree in
/anagement at the Asian 0nstitute of /anagement. A former 1hief of 2egislative and Research Section,
%ureau of 2ands, he was appointed Solicitor in the !ffice of the Solicitor 3eneral in #45", and Assistant
Solicitor 3eneral in #464. 0n #44", he was appointed Associate +ustice of the 1ourt of Appeals. .e was
1hairman of the #3
th
,ivision upon his retirement from the 1ourt. 1ourt. +ustice Agcaoili is a full7time
Professor of the Philippine +udicial Academy 8P.02+A9 and Professorial 2ecturer of the UP 0nstitute for
the Administration of +ustice 8UP70A+9 and other /12: providers. .e is a duly accredited Appellate 1ourt
/ediator 8A1/9. A delegate;participant in several international conferences, he wrote a paper entitled
!nviron"ental Protection# $he Convergence o% Law and Policy& which he read during the *<
th
%iennial
1onference on the 2aw of the =orld held in ,ublin, 0reland in !ctober *<<#. ,escribed by 1hief +ustice
Reynato S. Puno as (isa sa "ga e'sperto sa "ga 'arapatan sa lupa 8one of our e$perts on land rights9,)
+ustice Agcaoili is the author of three boo&s' (Property Registration (ecree and Related Laws (Land
$itles and (eeds),) with a >oreword by 1hief +ustgice Reynato S. Puno, (Law on Natural Resources and
!nviron"ental Law (evelop"ents,) with a >oreword by +ustic Adolfo S. A?cuna, 1hancellor of the
Philippine +udicial Academy, and (Reviewer in Property Registration and Related Proceedings.) 8-el.'
4**7<*3*, ""*74@3@, <4*<74"<@364A :7mail' oswaldodagcaoiliByahoo.com9 +ustice Agcaoili is married to
the former 1onsuelo 3uerrero +ose with whom he has three children, /ario, 1ynthia and =endy now all
residing with their families in the US.
3
Secretary of the ,:CR v. Dap, 3R Co. #5*55", !ct. , *<<6A Arbias v. Republic, 3R Co. #536<6, Sept.
#5, *<<6A Alcantara v. ,:CR, 3R Co. #@#66#, +uly 3#, *<<6A %uenaventura v. Republic, 3R Co. #@@6@",
/arch *, *<<5ARepublic v. 1andy /a&er, 0nc., 3R Co. #@35@@, +une **, *<<@A Pag&atipunan v. 1ourt of
Appeals, 3R Co. #*46@*, /arch *#, *<<*A Ealiao v. Republic, 3R Co. #5<5"5, Cov. *6, *<##.
4
Republic v. -ri7Plus 1orporation, 3.R. Co. #"<<<<, September *@, *<<@, "<3 S1RA 4#, #<#7#<*.
"
Republic v. 1andy /a&er, 0nc., 3.R. Co. #@35@@, +une **, *<<@, 44* S1RA *5*, *4#.
-he #465 1onstitution, li&e the #43" and #453 1onstitutions,
@
embodies the
principle of State ownership of lands and all other natural resources as provided in
Section *, Art. F00, to wit'
(All lands of the public domain, waters, minerals, coal, petroleum, and
other mineral oils, all forces of potential energy, fisheries, forests or timber,
wildlife, flora and fauna and other natural resources are owned by the State.
=ith the e$ception of agricultural lands, all other natural resources shall not be
alienated.)
ANCESTRAL DOMAINS AND
ANCESTRAL LANDS
0n Cru) v. Secretary o% !nviron"ent and Natural Resources,
5
petitioners
challenged the constitutionality of RA Co. 635#, otherwise &nown as the 0ndigenous
Peoples Rights Act of #445 80PRA9, on the ground that it amounts to an unlawful
deprivation of the StateGs ownership over lands of the public domain and all other natural
resources therein, by recogni?ing the right of ownership of 0ndigenous 1ultural
1ommunities or 0ndigenous Peoples 8011s;0Ps9 to their ancestral domains and ancestral
lands on the basis of native title. After due deliberation on the petition, the Supreme
1ourt voted as follows' seven 859 +ustices voted to dismiss the petition while seven 859
others voted to grant the petition. As the votes were eually divided 85 to 59 and the
necessary maHority was not obtained, the case was redeliberated upon. .owever, after
redeliberation, the voting remained the same. Accordingly, pursuant to Section 5, Rule "@
of the Rules of 1ourt, the petition was dismissed, and the validity of the law, deemed
upheld.
+ustice Iapunan, voting to dismiss the petition, stated that the Regalian theory
does not negate native title to lands held in private ownership since time immemorial,
adverting to the landmar& case of Cari*o v. +nsular ,overn"ent-
.
where the United
States Supreme 1ourt, through +ustice .olmes, declared'
(0t might, perhaps, be proper and sufficient to say that when, as far bac& as
testimony or memory goes, the land has been held by individuals under a claim of
private ownership, it will be presumed to have been held in the same way from before
the Spanish conuest, and never to have been public land.)
-he rights of 011s;0Ps may be acuired in two modes' 8a9 by native title over both
ancestral lands and domainsA or 8b9 by -orrens title under the Public 2and Act and
Property Registration ,ecree with respect to ancestral lands only.
THE TORRENS SYSTEM
OF REGISTRATION
@
Saad Agro70ndustries, 0nc. v. Republic, 3R Co. #"*"5<, Sept. *5, *<<@.
5
Supra.
6
*#* U.S., 444A "3 2aw :d., "44.
*
-he 3overnment has adopted the -orrens system due to its being the most
effective measure to guarantee the integrity of land titles and to protect their
indefeasibility once the claim of ownership is established and recogni?ed. 0f a person
purchases a piece of land on the assurance that the sellerJs title thereto is valid, he should
not run the ris& of being told later that his acuisition was ineffectual after all, which will
not only be unfair to him as the purchaser, but will also erode public confidence in the
system and will force land transactions to be attended by complicated and not necessarily
conclusive investigations and proof of ownership. -he further conseuence will be that
land conflicts can be even more abrasive, if not even violent. -he 3overnment,
recogni?ing the worthy purposes of the -orrens system, should be the first to accept the
validity of titles issued thereunder once the conditions laid down by the law are satisfied.
4
-he 3overnment is reuired under the -orrens system of registration to issue an
official certificate of title to attest to the fact that the person named in the certificate is the
owner of the property therein described, subHect to such liens and encumbrances as
thereon noted or what the law warrants or reserves.
#<
-he obHective is to obviate possible
conflicts of title by giving the public the right to rely upon the face of the -orrens
certificate and to dispense, as a rule, with the necessity of inuiring further. -he -orrens
system gives the registered owner complete peace of mind, in order that he will be
secured in his ownership as long as he has not voluntarily disposed of any right over the
covered land.
##
PURPOSE OF REGISTRATION
-he real purpose of the -orrens system of registration, as e$pressed in Legarda v.
Salee/y,
#*

a #4#" decision, is to uiet title to landA to put a stop forever to any uestion of
the legality of the title, e$cept claims which were noted at the time of registration, in the
certificate, or which may arise subseuent thereto. -he -orrens system aims to decree
land titles that shall be final, irrevocable, and indisputable,
#3

and to relieve the land of the
burden of &nown as well as un&nown claims.
#4

.owever, the -orrens system does not furnish a shield for fraud,
#"
nor permit one
to enrich himself at the e$pense of others,
#@
otherwise its acceptability is impaired.
#5

4
1asimiro ,evelopment 1orporation v. /ateo, 3R Co. #5"46", +uly *5, *<##-enio7!bseuio v. 1ourt of
Appeals, 3.R. Co. #<54@5, /arch #, #445, *3< S1RA ""<.
#<
Republic v. 3uerrero, 3.R. Co. #33#@6, /arch *6, *<<@, 46" S1RA 4*4A citing CobleHas, 2and -itles
and ,eeds, #46@ ed., p. 3*.
##
Republic v. 1ourt of Appeals, 3.R. Cos. 274@@*@7*5, ,ecember *5, #454, 44 S1RA 6@", 654.
#*
3R Co. 643@, !ct. *, #4#", 3# Phil. "4<, 3# Phil. "4<A see also 1hing v. 1ourt of Appeals, 3R Co.
"453#, +an. ##, #44<, #6# S1RA 4A Cational 3rains Authority v. 0ntermediate Appellate 1ourt, 3R Co. 27
@654#, +an. *6, #466, #"5 S1RA 366.
#3
3overnment of the Philippine 0slands v. Abural, 3R Co. #4#@5, Aug. #4, #4#4, 34 Phil. 44@.
#4
S/ Prime .oldings, 0nc. v. /adayag, supra.
#"
Rodrigue? v. 2im, 3R Co. #3"6#5, Cov. 3<, *<<@, 4"4 S1RA 4#*A /anlapat v. 1ourt of Appeals, 3R
Co. #*""6", +une 6, *<<".
#@
+/id.
#5
:rmac v. :rmac, 3R Co. #44@54, /ay 3<, *<<3, 4<3 S1RA *4#.
3
REGISTRATION NOT A MODE
OF ACQUIRING OWNERSHIP
Registration is not a mode of acuiring ownership but is merely a procedure to
establish evidence of title over realty.
#6
0t is a means of confirming the fact of its
e$istence with notice to the world at large. A certificate of title is not a source of right. 0t
merely confirms or records a title already e$isting and vested.
#4
-he mere possession
thereof does not ma&e one the true owner of the property.
*<
/ere issuance of the certificate of title in the name of any person does not
foreclose the possibility that the real property may be under co7ownership with persons
not named in the certificate or that the registrant may only be a trustee or that other
parties may have acuired interest subseuent to the issuance of the certificate of title.
Registration is not the euivalent of title, but is only the best evidence thereof.
*#
DISTINCTION BETWEEN ~TITLE
AND ~CERTIFICATE OF TITLE
$itle may be defined briefly as that which constitutes a just cause of e$clusive
possession, or which is the foundation of ownership of property. Certi%icate o% title, on
the other hand, is a mere evidence of ownershipA it is not the title to the land itself.
**

CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE UPON
REGISTRATION
Registration in a public registry wor&s as constructive notice to the whole world.
Section "# of Act Co. 44@, as amended by Section "* of Presidential ,ecree Co. #"*4,
provides'
S:1-0!C "*. Constructive notice upon registration. K :very conveyance,
mortgage, lease, lien, attachment, order, Hudgment, instrument or entry affecting
registered land shall, if registered, filed or entered in the !ffice of the Register of ,eeds
for the province or city where the land to which it relates lies, be constructive notice to all
persons from the time of such registering, filing, or entering.
REGISTRATION OF LANDS:
GOVERNING LAW
P, Co. #"*4 8Property Registration ,ecree9 issued on +une ##, #456 covers both
ordinary and cadastral registration proceedings, and supersedes Act Co. 44@ 82and
#6
Solid State /ulti7Products 1orporation v. 1ourt of Appeals, 3R Co. 63363, /ay @, #44#, #4@ S1RA
@3<A Eagilidad v. Eagilidad, 3R Co. #@##3@, Cov. #@, *<<@, "<5 S1RA 44.
#4
-iro v. Phil :states 1orporation, 3R Co. #5<"*6, Aug. *@, *<<6 "@3 S1RA 3<4.
*<
%orromeo v. ,escallar, supra.
*#
,uue7Rosario v. %anco >ilipino Savings and /ortgage %an&, 3R Co. #4<"*6, ,ec. 5, *<##.
**
1astillo v. :scutin, 3R Co. #5#<"@, /arch #3, *<<4, "6# S1RA *"6.
4
Registration Act9 which too& effect on >ebruary #, #4<3. Act Co. **"4, or the 1adastral
Act, governs cadastral proceedings.
Section 468b9, 1A Co. #4# 8Public 2and Act9 governs the procedure for the
Hudicial confirmation of imperfect of incomplete titles over public lands.
1URISDICTION
Regional -rial 1ourts have plenary Hurisdiction over land registration proceedings
and over all petitions filed after original registration of titles.
*3
-he registration court may
now hear both contentious and non7contentious cases.
*4
%ut first level courts may be
delegated by the Supreme 1ourt to hear and decide cadastral and land registration cases
8a9 covering lots without controversy or opposition, or 8b9 contested lots where the value
does not e$ceed P#<<,<<<.<<.
*"
Appeal is ta&en to the 1ourt of Appeals.

All petitions or motions after original registration shall be filed and entitled in the
original case in which the decree of registration was entered.
*@
Section #4 of %P %lg. #*4
confers Hurisdiction on the R-1 over (all civil actions which involve the title to or
possession of, real property or any interest therein $ $ $.) -he 1ourt of Appeals, or the
2RA for that matter, has no Hurisdiction to cancel a certificate of title.
*5

REGISTRATION UNDER PD 1529
IS A PROCEEDING $% R&M
A land registration is a proceeding in re" and Hurisdiction in re" cannot be
acuired unless there be constructive sei?ure of the land through publication and service
of notice.
*6

CLASSIFICATION OF LANDS
2ands of the public domain are classified into 8#9 agricultural, 8*9 forest or timber,
839 mineral lands, and 849 national par&s. =ith the e$ception of agricultural lands, all
other natural resources shall not be alienated.
*4

Sec. 468b9 of 1A #4#, as amended, applies e$clusively to alienable and disposable
public agricultural land. Possession of inalienable public lands, no matter how long,
cannot ripen into private ownership.
*3
Sec. *, P, Co. #"*4.
*4
Averia v. 1aguioa, 3R Co. 27@"#*4, ,ec. *4, #46@, #4@ S1RA 4"4.
*"
Sec. 34 %P %lg. #*4, as amended by RA 5@4#. See also S1 1ircular Co. @743, dated Covember #",
#44".
*@
Sec. 6, P, Co. #"*4A !ffice of the 1ourt Administrator v. /atas, Adm. /ater R-+74*763@, Aug. *, #44",
*45 S1RA 4.
*5
/anoto& v. %arue, 3R Co. #@*33", ,ec. #6, *<<6.
*6
Republic v. 1ourt of Appeals and Ribaya, 3R Co. ##3"44, +uly ", #44@, *"6 S1RA **3.
*4
Secs. * and 3, Art. F00, 1onstitution.
"
(S:1. 4. >or the purpose of their administration and disposition, the lands of the
public domain alienable or open to disposition shall be classified, according to the use
or purposes to which such lands are destined, as follows'
8a9 AgriculturalA
8b9 Residential, commercial, industrial, or for similar productive purposesA
8c9 :ducational, charitable, or other similar purposesA and
8d9 Reservations for town7sites and for public and uasi7public uses.) 81A Co.
#4# or the Public 2and Act9.
ILLUSTRATIVE CASE: CLASSIFICATION
OF BORACAY ISLAND
-he case of Secretary o% the (epart"ent o% !nviron"ent and Natural Resources
v. 0ap
3<
illustrates the classification by Presidential fiat of %oracay 0sland in the
/unicipality of /alay, A&lan. !n /ay **, *<<@, during the pendency of the case,
President Arroyo issued Proclamation Co. #<@4 classifying %oracay 0sland into 4<<
hectares of reserved forest land 8protection purposes9 and @*6.4@ hectares of agricultural
land 8alienable and disposable9.
Under P, Co. 5<", or Revised >orestry 1ode, all unclassified lands are
considered public forest. P, Co. 5<", however, respects titles already e$isting prior to its
effectivity.
NON-REGISTRABLE PROPERTIES
Property is either of pu/lic do"inion or of private ownership.
3#
-he following
things are property of public dominion'
8#9 -hose intended for public use, such as roads, canals, rivers, torrents, ports
and bridges constructed by the State, ban&s, shores, roadsteads and others of similar
characterA
8*9 -hose which belong to the State, without being for public use, and are
intended for some public service or for the development of the national wealth.
3*

-he following properties are outside the commerce of men and may not be
disposed of or registered' lands for public use or public service, forest lands, mineral,
foreshore lands, swamplands, mangrove lands, watershed, rivers and creeks,
seashore, reclaimed and public reservation.
3<
Supra.
3#
Art. 4#4, 1ivil 1ode.
3*
Art. 4*<, i/id.
@
Properties of public dominion are not only e$empt from real estate ta$, they are
e$empt from sale at public auction. %ut portions of the properties leased to ta$able
entities are not only subHect to real estate ta$, they can also be sold at public auction to
satisfy the ta$ delinuency.
33
0n Laurel v. ,arcia,
34

the e$ecutive department attempted to sell the Roppongi
property in -o&yo, +apan, which was acuired by the Philippine government for use as
the 1hancery of the Philippine :mbassy. Although the 1hancery had transferred to
another location thirteen years earlier, the 1ourt ruled that, under Article 4** of the 1ivil
1ode, property of public dominion retains such character until formally declared
otherwise.
>oreshore lands, or that part of the land adHacent to the sea which is alternately
covered and left dry by the ordinary flow of the tides, belong to the State.
3"
-hey can
only be disposed of under a foreshore lease or revocable permit application filed with the
2ands /anagement %ureau.
0n the case of Repu/lic v. Court o% Appeals and Repu/lic Real !state
Corporation,
3@
the 1ourt held that foreshore lands are lands of public dominion intended
for public use. So too are lands reclaimed by the government by dredging, filling, or other
means. 0n Chave) v. Pu/lic !states Authority,
35
+ustice 1arpio gives an enlightening
historical bac&ground of foreshore and reclaimed lands and the development of the law
governing such lands.
0n Repu/lic v. Court o% Appeals and Morato,
36
the 1ourt held that when the sea
moved towards the estate and the tide invaded it, the invaded property became foreshore
land and passed to the realm of the public domain.
!nly when actually reclaimed from the sea can submerged areas be classified as
public agricultural lands, which under the 1onstitution are the only natural resources that
the State may alienate. !nce reclaimed and transformed into public agricultural lands, the
government may then officially classify these lands as alienable or disposable lands open
to disposition. -hereafter, the government may declare these lands no longer needed for
public service. !nly then can these reclaimed lands be considered alienable or disposable
lands of the public domain and within the commerce of man.
34
>orest and mineral lands are public lands not subHect to private ownership.
Subseuent release of forest lands as A and , lands does not validate the grant.
4<

33
1ity of Pasig v. Republic, 3R Co. #6"<*3, Aug. *4, *<##
34
3R Co. 4*<#3, +uly *", #44<, #5 S1RA 545.
3"
Republic v. 1ourt of Appeals, *44 S1RA #44.
3@
Supra.
35
Supra.
36
3R Co. #<<5<4, Cov. #4, #445, *6# S1RA @34.
34
1have? v. Public :states Authority, supra.
4<
0turalde v. >alcasantos, 3<# S1RA *43A Reyes v. 1ourt of Appeals, *4" S1RA *4@.
5
(A forested area classified as forest land of the public domain does not lose such
classification simply because loggers or settlers may have stripped it of its forest cover.
Parcels of land classified as forest land may actually be covered with grass or planted to
crops by 'aingin cultivators or other farmers. L>orest landsG do not have to be on
mountains or in out of the way places. Swampy areas covered by mangrove trees, nipa
palms, and other trees growing in brac&ish or sea water may also be classified as forest
land. -he classification is descriptive of its legal nature or status and does not have to be
descriptive of what the land actually loo&s li&e. Unless and until the land classified as
LforestG is released in an official proclamation to that effect so that it may form part of the
disposable agricultural lands of the public domain, the rules on confirmation of imperfect
title do not apply.)
4#
/inerals found in public or even private land belong to the State.
42
0n a resolution
dated ,ecember #, *<<4, the Supreme 1ourt in La 1ugal213laan Association v. Ra"os
43

held that all mineral resources are owned by the State and their e$ploration, development
and utili?ation must always be subHect to the full control and supervision of the State.
0n Repu/lic v. Court o% Appeals and (e la Rosa,
44
+ustice 1ru? said that the
Regalian doctrine reserves to the State all natural wealth that may be found in the bowels
of the earth even if the land where the discovery is made be private. -hus, if a person is
the owner of agricultural land in which minerals are discovered, his ownership of such
land does not give him the right to e$tract or utili?e the said minerals without the
permission of the State to which such minerals belong.
2and inside a military or naval reservation cannot be registered.
45
The 1alumpang
Point Caval Reservation can not be subHect to occupation, entry or settlement. -he
government, through the %ases 1onversion ,evelopment Authority 8%1,A9, has title
and ownership over >ort %onifacio. -o segregate portions of the public domain as a
military reservation, all that is needed is a presidential proclamation to that effect.
0n Repu/lic v. Southside 4o"eowners Association- +nc.,
4@
it was held that a
military reservation, li&e the >%/R, or a part thereof is not open to private appropriation
or disposition and, therefore, not registrable, unless it is in the meantime reclassified and
declared as disposable and alienable public land. And until a given parcel of land is
released from its classification as part of the military reservation ?one and reclassified by
law or by presidential proclamation as disposable and alienable, its status as part of a
military reservation remains, even if incidentally it is devoted for a purpose other than as
a military camp or for defense.
4#
Amunategui v. ,irector of >orestry, 3R Co. 27*5653, Cov. *4, #463, #*@ S1RA @4.
4*
Republic v. 1ourt of Appeals and ,ela Rosa, #@< S1RA **6.
43
3R Co. #*566*, ,ec. #, *<<4, 44" S1RA #.
44
3R Co. 2743436, April #", #46<, #@< S1RA **6.
4"
Republic v. Southside .omeowners Association, 0nc. 3R Co. #"@4"#, Sept. *, *<<@.
4@
3R Co. #"@4"#, Sept. **, *<<@.
6
Cavigable rivers cannot be appropriated and registered,
45
and so are la&es,
46
watersheds
44
and mangrove swamps.
"<

WHO MAY APPLY FOR REGISTRATION
Under Section #4, P, Co. #"*4, the following may apply for registration'
8#9 -hose who by themselves or their predecessors7in7interest have been in
open, continuous, e$clusive and notorious possession and occupation of
alienable and disposable lands of the public domain under a /ona %ide
claim of ownership since +une #*, #44", or earlier.
8*9 -hose who have acuired ownership of private lands by prescription under
the provisions of e$isting laws.
839 -hose who have acuired ownership of private lands or abandoned river
beds by right of accession or acuired under e$isting lawsA
849 -hose who have acuired ownership of land in any other manner provided
for by law.
Under Section 468b9 of 1A Co. #4# 8Public 2and Act9, it is provided as follows'
-hose who by themselves or through their predecessors7in7interest have been in
the open, continuous, e$clusive and notorious possession and occupation of alienable and
disposable land of the public domain, under a /ona %ide claim of acuisition of
ownership, since +une #*, #44" or prior thereto may apply for the confirmation of
imperfect or incomplete title.
NO SUBSTANTIAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
SEC. 14(1), PD No. 1529 and SEC. 48(b), CA NO. 141
-here is no substantial difference between Sec. #48#9 of P, Co. #"*4 and Sec.
468b9 of 1A Co. #4#. 0n both, the applicant must show that 8#9 the land is alienable and
disposable 8A and ,9 public agricultural landA and 8*9 he has been in open, continuous
e$clusive and notorious possession thereof under a /ona %ide claim of ownership since
+une #*, #44", or prior thereto.
"#
%oth refer to original registration proceedings, are
against the whole world, and the decree of registration for both is conclusive and final.
REQUIREMENTS FOR REGISTRATION
45
Republic v. Sioson, 4 S1RA "33.
46
Pelbel /anufacturing 1orporation v. 1ourt of Appeals, 3R Co. #4#3*", +uly 3#, *<<@A Republic v. 1ourt
of Appeals and ,el Rio, #3# S1RA "3*.
44
Sta. Rosa ,evelopment 1orporation v. 1ourt of Appeals, 3@5 S1RA #5".
"<
Sec. 4, RA Co. 6""<.
"#
Republic v. San 2oren?o ,evelopment 1orporation, 3R Co. #5<5*4, +an. *4, *<<5A Reyes v. Republic,
3R Co. #4#4*4, +an. *3, *<<5A Republic v. /anna Properties, 3R Co. #4@"*5, +an. 3#, *<<", 4"< S1RA
*45..
4
UNDER SEC. 14(1), PRD IN RELATION
TO SEC. 48(B), PLA.

Section #4 8#9 of the Property Registration ,ecree has three reuisites for
registration of title' 8a9 that the property in uestion is alienable and disposable land of
the public domainA 8b9 that the applicants by themselves or through their predecessors7in7
interest have been in open, continuous, e$clusive and notorious possession and
occupationA and 8c9 that such possession is under a bona fide claim of ownership since
+une #*, #44" or earlier.
"*

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. 0t is continuous when uninterrupted, unbro&en and not intermittent or
occasionalA e5clusive when the adverse possessor can show e$clusive dominion over the
land and an appropriation of it to his own use and benefitA and notorious when it is so
conspicuous that it is generally &nown and tal&ed of by the public or the people in the
neighborhood.
"3

0n Mala/anan v. Court o% Appeals,
"4
the 1ourt en /anc reiterated the rule in
Repu/lic v. Court o% Appeals and Naguit
""
that (since Section 468b9 8in relation to
Section #4M#N9 merely reuires possession since #* +une #44" and does not reuire that
the lands should have been alienable and disposable during the entire period of
possession, the possessor is entitled to secure Hudicial confirmation of his title thereto as
soon as it is declared aliena/le and disposa/le, subHect to the timeframe imposed by
Section 45 of the Public 2and Act.)
"@

!riginally, Section 468b9 of 1A Co. #4# provided for the possession and
occupation of lands of the public domain since +uly *@, #464. -his was superseded by
RA Co. #44* which provided for a simple 3<7year prescriptive period of occupation by
an applicant for Hudicial confirmation of an imperfect title. -he law, however, has been
amended by P, Co. #<53, approved on +anuary *", #455, which now reuires possession
since +une #*, #44" or prior thereto.
"5
Eested rights acuired under Sec. 468b9 prior to its amendment by P, #<53 must
be respected. -hus, an applicant who, prior to the effectivity of P, #453 on +an. *",
#455, has been in open, continuous, e$clusive and notorious possession and occupation
"*
Ealiao v. Republic, 3R Co. #5<5"5, Cov. *6, *<##A Eictoria v. Republic, 3R Co. #54@53, +une 6, *<##A
Republic of the Philippines v. 1ourt of Appeals, 464 Phil. 4<", 4#3 8*<<"9.
"3
Republic v. :ast Silverlane Realty ,evelopment 1orporation, 3R Co. #6@4@#, >eb. *<, *<#*, citing.
.eirs of /arcelina Ar?adon71risologo v. RaOon, 3.R. Co. #5#<@6, Sept. ", *<<5, "3* S1RA 34#.
"4
3R Co. #54465, April *4, *<<4.
""
446 S1RA 44*.
"@
:mphasis supplied.
"5
Rep. v. :ast Silverlane, 3R Co. #6@4@#, >eb. *<, *<#*A Rep. v. :spinosa, 3R Co. #5#"#4, +uly #6, *<#*A
-an v. Republic, 3R Co. #55545, ,ec. 4, *<<6A Secretary of the ,epartment of :nvironment and Catural
Resources v. Dap, 3R Co. #5355", !ct. 6, *<<6A Republic v. Sarmiento, 3R Co. #@4345, /arch #3, *<<5A
Republic v. .erbieto, 3R Co. #"@##5, *@ /ay *@, *<<", 4"4 S1RA #63A Republic v. ,oldol, *4" S1RA
3"4. See also RA Co. @44<, dated /arch *6, #44<.
#<
of an agricultural land of the public domain, under a /ona %ide claim of ownership, for at
least 67 years, or at least since 8an. 9:- ;<:=, may apply for Hudicial confirmation of
imperfect or incomplete title under Sec. 468b9 of the P2A.
"6

ONLY FILIPINO CITIZENS MAY ACQUIRE
LANDS OF THE PUBLIC DOMAIN
!n the basis of their capacity (to acuire or hold lands of the public domain,) the
following may acuire private lands'
8#9 >ilipino citi?ensA

8*9 >ilipino corporations and association as defined in Section *, Article F00 of
the 1onstitutionA and, by e$ception,
839 Aliens but only be hereditary successionA and
849 A natural7born citi?en of the Philippines who has lost his citi?enship can both
(acuire) or (hold) lands of the public domain, the limitation being up to a
ma$imum of ",<<< suare meters if urban land, or 3 hectares if rural land.
"4

Private land may be transferred only to individuals or entities (ualified to acuire
or hold lands of the public domain.) !nly >ilipino citi?ens or corporations at least @<P
of the capital of which is owned by >ilipinos are ualified to acuire or hold lands of the
public domain. -he fundamental law e$plicitly prohibits non7>ilipinos from acuiring or
holding title to private lands, e$cept only by way of legal succession or if the acuisition
was made by a former natural7born citi?en.
@<
Aliens, however, may lease private lands.
@#
-he constitutional ban against foreigners applies only to ownership of Philippine
land and not to the improvements built thereon. 2and cannot sold to an alien and is
allowed to recover the money spent for the purchase thereof. -he provision on unHust
enrichment does not apply if the action is proscribed by the 1onstitution.
@*

CAPACITY TO ACQUIRE LAND IS
DETERMINED AT THE TIME OF ITS
ACQUISITION, NOT REGISTRATION
-he time to determine whether a person acuiring land is ualified is the time the
right to own it is acuired. -hus, a naturali?ed 1anadian citi?en who, while still a
natural7born >ilipino, acuired land from a vendor who had already complied with the
"6
Rep. v. :spinosa, 3R Co. #5#"#4, +uly #6, *<#*,
"4
%ernas, -he #465 1onstitution, A Reviewer Primer, *<<< ed., "#"A Sec. 6, Art. F00, 1onstitutionA RA
Co. 5<4*, as amended by RA Co. 6#54.
@<
%orromeo v. ,escallar, 3R Co. #"43#<, >eb. *4, *<<4.
@#
!ng 1hing Po v. 1ourt of Appeals, *34 S1RA 34#A Iriven&o v. Register of ,eeds, 54 Phil. 4@#A
Philippine %an& of 1ommerce v. 2ui She, *# S1RA "*.
@*
%eumer v. Amores, 3R Co. #4"@5<, ,ec. 3, *<#*, citing cases.
##
reuirements of registration prior to the purchase, can validly register his title to the land
even if at the time of the filing of his application he was already an alien.
@3
.e already
had a vested right to the land.
ACQUISITION OF PRIVATE LAND
BY PRESCRIPTION
0n Repu/lic v. !ast Silverlane Realty (evelop"ent Corporation,
@4
Section #48*9
must be considered in relation to the rule on prescription under the 1ivil 1ode as a mode
of acuiring ownership of patrimonial property. Possession and occupation of an
alienable and disposable public land for the periods provided under the 1ivil 1ode do not
automatically convert said property into private property or release it from the public
domain. $here "ust /e an e5press declaration that the property is no longer intended %or
pu/lic service or develop"ent o% national wealth. =ithout such e$press declaration, the
property, even if classified as alienable or disposable, remains property of the State, and
thus, may not be acuired by prescription. And only when the property has become
patrimonial can the prescriptive period for the acuisition of property of the public
dominion begin to run.
@"
Such declaration shall be in the form of a law duly enacted by
1ongress or a Presidential Proclamation in cases where the President is duly authori?ed
by law.
@@
-he period of possession preceding the classification of the property as
patrimonial cannot be considered in determining the completion of the prescriptive
period.
@5
Under ordinary acuisitive prescription, a person acuires ownership of a
patri"onial property through possession for at least ten 8#<9 years, in good faith and with
Hust title. Under e$traordinary acuisitive prescription, a personGs uninterrupted adverse
possession of patrimonial property for at least thirty 83<9 years, regardless of good faith
or Hust title, ripens into ownership.
@6
!pen, continuous and e$clusive possession of land classified as A and , land for
at least thirty years segregates the land from the public domain and ipso >ure converts the
same to private property.
@4
-he conversion wor&s to summon in operation Sec. #48*9 of
the Property Registration ,ecree which authori?es the acuisition of private lands
through ordinary prescription of ten years or e$traordinary prescription of thirty years.
5<
8Cote' 0n the case o% 4eirs o% Marcelina A)ardon2Crisologo v. Ra*on-
5#
the
1ourt ruled that a mere Cotice of Adverse 1laim did not constitute an effective
@3
Republic v. 1ourt of Appeals and 2apiOa, *3" S1RA "@5.
@4
3R Co. #6@4@#, >eb. *<, *<#*.
@"
/alabanan v. 1ourt of Appeals, 3R Co. #54465, April *4, *<<4.
@@
Republic v. :spinosa, 3R Co. #5#"#4, +uly #6, *<#*
@5
Republic v. :ast Silverlane Realty ,evelopment 1orporation, supra.
@6
+d.
@4
%uenaventura v. Republic, 3R Co. #@@6@", /arch *, *<<5A Republic v. 1ourt of Appeals, *3" S1RA "@A
See Arts. ##*5 and ##34, 1ivil 1ode.
5<
2incoma /ulti7Purpose 1ooperative v. Republic, 3R Co. #@5@"*, +uly #<, *<<5.
5#
3.R. Co. #5#<@6, September ", *<<5, "3* S1RA 34#.
#*
interruption of possession. 0n the case of 4eirs o% 1ienvenido and Araceli $anyag v.
,a/riel,
5*
which also cited the Ra*on Case- the 1ourt stated that the acts of declaring
again the property for ta$ purposes and obtaining a -orrens certificate of title in oneJs
name cannot defeat anotherJs right of ownership acuired through acuisitive
prescription. 0n the same vein, a protest filed before an administrative agency and even
the decision resulting from it cannot effectively toll the running of the period of
acuisitive prescription. !nly in cases filed before the courts may Hudicial summons be
issued and, thus, interrupt possession.
53
9
ACQUISITION OF PRIVATE LAND
BY RIGHT OF ACCESSION OR
ACCRETION
Under Article 4*<, paragraph #
54
and Article "<*, paragraph #
5"
of the 1ivil 1ode,
rivers and their natural beds are property of public dominion.
River beds which are abandoned through the natural change in the course of the
waters ipso %acto belong to the owners whose lands are occupied by the new course in
proportion to the area lost.
5@
.owever, the owners of the lands adHoining the old bed shall
have the right to acuire the same by paying the value thereof, which value shall not
e$ceed the value of the area occupied by the new bed.
%y law, accretion K the gradual and imperceptible deposit made through the
effects of the current of the water K belongs to the owner of the land adHacent to the
ban&s of rivers where it forms.
55
-he drying up of the river is not accretion. .ence, the
dried7up river bed belongs to the State as property of public dominion, not to the riparian
owner, unless a law vests the ownership in some other person.
56
0n Celestial v.
Cachopero,
54
it was held that a dried7up cree& bed is property of public dominion.
6<
Article 4"5 of the 1ivil 1ode reuires that the deposit be gradual and
imperceptibleA that it be made through the effects of the current of the waterA and that the
land where accretion ta&es place is adHacent to the ban&s of rivers.
6#
.owever, the
accretion does not automatically become registered land Hust because the lot which
5*
.eirs of %ienvenido and Araceli -anyag v. 3abriel, 3.R. Co. #5"5@3, April ##, *<#*. citing .eirs of
/arcelina A?ardon71risologo v. RaOon, 3.R. Co. #5#<@6, September ", *<<5, "3* S1RA 34#, 4<@74<5.
53
Eirtucio v. Alegarbes, 3R Co. #654"#, Aug. *4, *<#*.
54
Art. 4*<. -he following things are property of public dominion'
#9 -hose intended for public use, such as roads, canals, rivers, torrents, ports and bridges
constructed by the State, ban&s, shores, roadsteads, and others of similar characterA . . . .
5"
Art. "<*. -he following are of public dominion'
#9 Rivers and their natural bedsA . . . .
5@
Art. 4@#, 1ivil 1ode.
55
Art. 4"5, id.
56
Republic v. Santos, 3R Co. #@<4"3, Cov. #*, *<#*.
54
4"4 Phil. 4<3 8*<<39.
6<
See also >ernando v. Acuna, 3R Co. #@#<3<, Sept. #4, *<##.
6#
>ernando v. Acuna, 3R Co. #@#<3<, Sept. #4, *<##.
#3
receives such accretion is covered by a -orrens title. -here must be a separate action for
the registration thereof.
6*


Alluvial formation along the seashore is part of the public domain and is not open
to acuisition by adverse possession, unless subseuently declared as no longer needed
for coast guard service, for public use or for special industries.
63

PRIVATE CORPORATIONS DISQUALIFIED
FROM ACQUIRING PUBLIC LANDS
A private corporation may not hold alienable lands of the public domain e$cept
by lease not to e$ceed #,<<< hectares.
64
-he rule does not apply where at the time the
corporation acuired the land, the same was already private land as when it was
possessed by its predecessor in the manner and for such length of time as to entitle the
latter to registration.
6"

0f the predecessors7in7interest of the corporation have been in possession of the
land in uestion since +une #*, #44", or earlier, then it may rightfully apply for
confirmation of title to the land.
6@
0n (irector o% Lands v. +nter"ediate Appellate Court
and Ac"e-
65
it was held that a private corporation may apply for Hudicial confirmation of
the land without need of a separate confirmation proceeding for its predecessors7in7
interest first.
66
PUBLICATION, MAILING AND POSTING
=ithin five days from the filing of the application for registration, the court shall
issue an order setting the date and hour of initial hearing which shall not be earlier than
4" days nor later than 4< days from date of the order.
64
-he public is given notice of the
initial hearing by 8a9 publication once in the !fficial 3a?ette and once in a newspaper of
general circulationA 8b9 mailing of the notice to persons named in the application for
registration and also to relevant government officials, and 8c9 posting of the notice on a
conspicuous place on the land itself and on the bulletin board of the city or municipality
where the land is situated.
4<
Publication in the !3 shall be sufficient to confer
Hurisdiction.
4#
.owever, publication of the notice in a newspaper of general circulation
remains an indispensable reuirement consistent with procedural due process.
4*
6*
3rande v. 1ourt of Appeals, " S1RA "*4.
63
0gnacio v. ,irector of 2ands, #<6 Phil. 33".
64
Sec. 3, Art. F00, 1onstitution.
6"
Republic v. 0ntermediate Appellate 1ourt and A1/:, #4@ S1RA "<4.
6@
Republic v. 0glesia ni 1risto, 3R Co. #6<<@5, +une 3<, *<<4, "4# S1RA 436.
65
3R Co. 53<<*, ,ec. *4, #46@, *3< Phil. "4<.
66
Republic v. /anna Properties, 0nc., supra.
64
Sec. *3, P, Co. #"*4.
4<
+d.
4#
Sec. *4, P, Co. #"*4.
4*
Ro$as v. 1ourt of Appeals, @3 S1RA 3<*A ,irector of 2ands v. 1ourt of Appeals and Abistado, *5
S1RA *5@.
#4
0f amendment of the application is made to include additional area, a new
publication of the amended application must be made, but not when the amendment
consists in the e$clusion of a portion form the area originally applied for.
43

OPPOSITION
Any person, whether named in the notice or not, may appear and file and
opposition, based on right of dominion or some other real right, to the application for
registration.
44
-he absence of opposition does not Hustify outright registration. Since the
presumption is that all lands belong to the State, the applicant has the burden of proving
his imperfect right or fee simple title to the land applied for.
4"
-he failure of the
government to file an opposition, despite receipt of notice, does not deprive it of its right
to appeal a decision adHudicating the land as private property.
4@
PROOF AS TO THE
IDENTITY OF THE LAND
As reuired by Section #5 of P, Co. #"*4, the application for registration must
be accompanied by a survey plan of the land duly approved by the ,irector of 2ands
8now Regional -echnical ,irector, 2ands /anagement %ureau9, together with the
applicantGs muniments of title. Co plan or survey may be admitted in land registration
proceedings until approved by the ,irector of 2ands.
0n (irector o% Lands v. Reyes,
45

the Supreme 1ourt declared that the submission
of the tracing cloth plan is a statutory reuirement of "andatory character. %ut in
(irector o% Lands v. Court o% Appeals and +glesia ni Cristo,
46

the 1ourt considered the
submission of a white print copy of the plan as sufficient to identify the land. -he 1ourt
was more categorical in (irector o% Lands v. +nter"ediate Appellate Court and
!spartine)
44

when it stated that (the presentation of the tracing cloth plan reuired $ $ $
"ay now /e dispensed with where there is a survey plan the correctness of which had not
been overcome by clear, strong and convincing evidence.)
PROOF OF CLASSIFICATION
OF LAND AS ~A AND D
-he following may be considered sufficient to establish the classification of land
as alienable and disposable land for purposes of original registration'
#. 1ertification of the %ureau of >orest ,evelopment that the land has been
43
%enin v. -uason, "5 S1RA "3#.
44
Sec. *5 P, Co. #"*4.
4"
,irector of 2ands v. Agustin, 4* Phil. **5.
4@
Regalado v. Republic, 3R Co. #@6#"", >eb. #", *<<5.
45
3R Co.27*5"44, Cov. *6, #45", @6 S1RA #55.
46
3R Co. 27"@@#3, /arch #4, #466, #"6 S1RA "6@.
44
3R Co. 5<6*", /arch ##, #44#, #4" S1RA 46.
#"
released as alienable and disposable land.
*. 2and 1lassification /ap showing that the land lies within the alienable
and disposable portion of the public domain.
3. :$ecutive proclamation withdrawing from a reservation a specific area
and declaring the same open for entry, sale or other mode of disposition.
4. 2egislative act or e$ecutive proclamation reserving a portion of the public
domain for public or uasi7public use, which amounts to a transfer of ownership to the
grantee.
". -he report of a land inspector of the %ureau of 2ands that the subHect land
was found inside an (agricultural ?one) and is suitable for rice cultivation (is binding on
the courts inasmuch as it is the e$clusive prerogative of the :$ecutive ,epartment of the
3overnment to classify public lands. -he classification is descriptive of its legal nature or
status and does not have to be descriptive of what the land actually loo&s li&e.)
#<<

@. A certification by the 1:CR! of the ,:CR stating that the land subHect of an
application is found to be within the alienable and disposable site per a land classification
proHect map is sufficient evidence to show the real character of the land subHect of the
application.
#<#

5. -he 1ertification by ,:CR Regional -echnical ,irector that (2ot *44 had
been verified as belonging to the alienable and disposable area as early as +uly #6, #4*",)
as annotated on the subdivision plan, constitutes substantial compliance with the legal
reuirement.
#<*

0n Repu/lic v. $.A.N. Properties- +nc.,
#<3
the 1ourt held that the applicant shall
submit the following' 8a9 1:CR! or P:CR! certification that the land is A and ,, and
8b9 copy of the original classification approved by the ,:CR Secretary and certified as
true by the legal custodian thereof.
%ut in ,:CR /emorandum Co. "@4, dated Cov. #", *<#*, it was clarified that
the issuance of the certification and the certified copy of the approved 21 /ap to prove
that the area applied for is indeed classified as A and , is (within the co"petence and
>urisdiction) of the 1:CR! where the area is below <."< has., or the P:CR! where it is
more than <."< has.
#<<
Republic v. ,e Por&an, 3R Co. 27@@6@@, +une #6, #465, it is not enough for the Provincial :nvironment
and Catural Resources !fficer 8P:CR!9 or 1ommunity :nvironment and Catural Resources !fficer
81:CR!9 to certify that a land is alienable and disposable. -he applicant for land registration must prove
th #"# S1RA 66.
#<#
2lanes v. Republic, 3R Co. #55445, Cov. *5, *<<6, "5* S1RA *"6, citing Republic v. 1andy /a&er,
0nc., 3R Co. #@35@@, +une **, *<<@, 44* S1RA *5*.
#<*
Republic v. Serrano, 3R Co. #63<@3, >eb. *4, *<#<.
#<3
3R Co. #"44"3, +une *@, *<<6, @#3 S1RA "35. See also Republic v. %antigue, 3R Co. #@*3**, /arch
#4, *<#*A Republic v. ,ela Pa?, 3R Co. #5#@3#, Cov. ", *<#<A /ercado v. Ealley /ountain /ines
:$ploration, 0nc., 3R Co. #4#<#4, Cov. *3, *<##A Eictoria v. Republic, 3R Co. #54@53, +une 6, *<##.
#@

0n Llanes v. Repu/lic,
#<4
the 1ourt allowed consideration of a 1:CR!
1ertification although it was only presented during appeal to the 1A to avoid a patent
unfairness. 0n ?ictoria v. Repu/lic,
#<"
the subHect property was covered by a cadastral
survey of -aguig conducted by the government. -he 1ourt held' (Such surveys are
carried out precisely to encourage landowners and help them get titles to the lands
covered by such survey. 0t does not ma&e sense to raise an obHection after such a survey
that the lands covered by it are inalienable land of the public domain, li&e a public forest.
-his is the 1ity of -aguig in the middle of the metropolis.)
-hat there are building structures, residential houses and even government
buildings e$isting and standing on the area does not prove that the land is no longer
considered and classified as forest land.
#<@
-he conversion of the property by the
applicant into a fishpond or the titling of properties around it, does not authomatically
render the property alienable and didsposable.
#<5
PROOF OF IDENTITY
OF THE LAND
-he land must be surveyed to establish its identity, location and area. !nly the
2/% ,irector may approve survey plans for original registration purposes. 8P, *34, +uly
4, #4539 A certified blue print or white print copy of the plan suffices for registration
purposes. 8,irector of 2ands v. 1A and 0glesia ni 1risto, #"6 S1RA "6@9
Survey is the process by which a parcel of land is measured and its boundaries
and contents ascertainedA also a map, plat or statement of the result of such survey, with
the courses and distances and the uantity of the land.
#<6
=hat defines a piece of land is
not the area but the boundaries thereof.
#<4

EVIDENCE OF POSSESSION
Under Section 468b9 of 1A Co. #4# and Section #48#9 of P, Co. #"*4, the
rec&oning point of possession is +une #*, #44".
##<
0t is only necessary that the land is
already classified as A and , land at the time of the filing of the application for
registration.
###
#<4
3.R. Co. #55445, Covember *5, *<<6, "5* S1RA *"6, *@67*@4.
#<"
3R Co. #54@53, +une 6, *<##.
#<@
1hang v. Republic, 3R Co. #5#5*@, >eb. *3, *<##.
#<5
,irector of 2ands v. 1ourt of Appeals and Ealeriano, 3R Co. "66@5, +une **, #464, #*4 S1RA @64.
#<6
Pabaus v. Dutiamco, 3R Co. #@43"@, +uly *5, *<##.
#<4
Republic v. 1A and Santos, 3<# S1RA 3@@A ,ichoso v. 1ourt of Appeals, 3R Co. ""@#3, ,ec. #<,
#44<.
##<
,el Rosario70gtiben v. Republic, 3R Co. #"6444, !ct. **, *<<4, 44# S1RA #66..
###
/alabanan v. Republic, 3R Co. #54465, April *4, *<<4, "65 S1RA #5*.
#5
Possession must be open, continuous, e$clusive and notorious under a /ona %ide
claim of ownership since +une #*, #44" or earlier.
##*
Acts of a possessory character by
virtue of a license or mere tolerance on the part of the real owner are not sufficient.
##3
/ere casual cultivation of land, the raising of cattle or gra?ing of livestoc& without
substantial enclosures or other permanent improvements do not constitute e$clusive and
notorious possession under claim of ownership
##4
VESTED RIGHTS
A vested right is some right or interest in property that has become fi$ed and
established, and is no longer open to doubt or controversy. Rights are vested when the
right to enHoyment, present or prospective, has become the property of some person as
present interest.
An open, continuous, adverse and public possession of a land of the public
domain from time immemorial by a private individual personally o through his
predecessors confers an effective title on said possessor, whereby the land cease to be
public, and becomes private property. 1ompliance with all reuirements for a
government grant ipso >ure converts land to private property. -he land ceases to be of the
public domain and is beyond the authority of the ,:CR to dispose of it under any of the
modes of disposition under the Public 2and Act.
##"

TAX DECLARATIONS AND
TAX RECEIPTS
-a$ declarations and payment of ta$es are not conclusive proof of ownership but
have strong probative value when accompanied by proof of actual possession or
supported by other effective proof.
##@
,eclaring land for ta$ation purposes and visiting it
every once in a while do not constitutes acts of possession.
##5
-a$ declarations are not
evidence of the right of possession unless supported by the other effective proof. %ut
they constitute proof that the holder has claim of the title over the property.
##6

Payment of ta$es is on an annual basis. ,elayed declaration of property for ta$
purposes negates a claim of continuous, e$clusive, and uninterrupted possession in the
concept of owner.
##4
.ence, payment in one a lump sum to cover all past ta$es is
(irregular) and affects the validity of the applicantGs claim of ownership.
#*<
%ut mere
##*
Sec. #48#9, P, Co. #"*4A Sec. 468b9, 1A Co. #4#, as amendedA -an v. Republic, 3R Co. #55545, ,ec.
4, *<<6A Republic v. .erbieto, 3R Co. #"@##5, *@ /ay *<<", 4"4 S1RA #63
##3
Seminary of San 1arlos v. /unicipality of 1ebu, 3R Co. 274@4#, /arch #3, #4##, #4 Phil.3*.
##4
/unicipality of Santiago v. 1ourt of Appeals, #*< S1RA 534A ,irector of lands v. Reyes, @6 S1RA #55.
##"
Susi v. Ra??on, 3R Co. *4<@@, ,ec. 4, #4*", 46 Phil. 4*4.
##@
-an v. Republic, 3R Co. #55545, ,ec. 4, *<<6A /unicipality of Santiago v. 1ourt of Appeals, id.
##5
,irector of 2ands v. 0ntermediate Appellate 1ourt, *<4 S1RA *#4.
##6
/unicipality of Antipolo v. Qapanta, #33 S1RA 6*<A /asagana v. Argamora, #<4 S1RA "3A ,irector
of lands v. Reyes, @6 S1RA #55.
##4
Regalado v. Republic, 3R Co. #@6#"", >eb. #", *<<5.
#*<
Republic v. -ayag, #3# S1RA #4<.
#6
failure of the owner to pay ta$es does not warrant a conclusion that there was
abandonment of the property.
#*#

SPANISH TITLES NO LONGER
VALID PROOF OF OWNERSHIP
Spanish titles are no longer admissible as proof of ownership. -he so7called
$itulo de Propriedad No. :;6@ is ine$istent.
#**
0n a case, -1- Co. 4"#4*37A was traced
bac& to $itulo de Propriedad No. :;6@, which, in the +ntestate !state o% the late (on
Mariano San Pedro y !ste/an v. Court o% Appeals- was already declared null and void,
and from which, the 1ourt declared, no rights could therefore be derived.
#*3

1UDGMENT; DECREE OF REGISTRATION
=ithin #" days from entry of Hudgment, the court shall issue an order directing the
2and Registration Authority 82RA9 to issue a decree of registration and certificate of
title.
#*4
-here is no period within which to issue the decree.
#*"
=hile the Hudgment becomes final #" days from receipt of notice of the Hudgment
8as to the government, period of appeal shall be rec&oned from receipt of the decision by
the Solicitor 3eneral who represents the government in all registration proceedings9,
#*@
the court nevertheless retains Hurisdiction over the case until after the e$piration of one
year from the issuance of the decree of registrationA
#*5
hence, the case may still be
reopened and the decision set aside when granted.
#*6

:$ecution pending appeal is not applicable in a land registration proceeding and
the certificate of title thereby issued is null and void. A -orrens title issued on the basis of
a Hudgment that is not final is a nullity, as it is violative of the e$plicit provisions of the
Property Registration ,ecree which reuires that a decree shall be issued only after the
decision adHudicating the title becomes final and e$ecutory, and it is on the basis of said
decree that the Register of ,eeds concerned issues the corresponding certificate of title.
#*4
A land registration court has no Hurisdiction to order the registration of land
already decreed in the name of another in an earlier land registration case. A second
decree for the same land would be null and void.
#3<

#*#
Reyes v. Sierra, 43 S1RA 45*.
#**
P, Co. 64*, dated Aug. #@, #45@A Santiago v. S%/A, 3R Co. #"@666, Cov. *<, *<<@A Rue?on
Province v. /arte, 3R Co. #34*54, !ct. *3, *<<#A 0ntestate :state of ,on /ariano San Pedro v. 1ourt of
Appeals, *@" S1RA 533A ,irector of 2and v. Rivas, #4# S1RA 3*4.
#*3
,e la Rosa v. Ealde?, 3R Co. #"4#<#, +uly *5, *<##.
#*4
Sec. 3<, P, Co. #"*49
#*"
,el Rosario v. 2imcaoco, 3R Co. #5534*, Cov. *@, *<#*.
#*@
Sec. # 8e9, P, Co. 456A Republic v. Sayo, #4# S1RA 5#.
#*5
3ome? v. 1ourt of Appeals, #@6 S1RA "<3.
#*6
1ayanan v. ,e los Santos, *#1RA #346.
#*4
-op /anagement Programs 1orp. v. >aHardo, 3R Co.#"<4@*, +une #", *<##, citing cases.
#3<
/ercado v. Ealley /ountain /ines :$ploration, 0nc., 3R Co. #4#<#4, Cov. *3, *<##, citing 2aburada
v. 2and Registration Authority, 3.R. Co. #<#365, /arch ##, #446, *65 S1RA 333, 3437344, citing
#4
0n (irector o% Lands v. Court o% Appeals,
#3#
the 1ourt held that a Hudicial
declaration that a parcel of land is public, does not preclude even the same applicant from
subseuently see&ing a Hudicial confirmation of his title to the same land, provided he
thereafter complies with the provisions of Section 46
#3*
of 1ommonwealth Act Co. #4#,
as amended, and as long as said public lands remain alienable and disposable.
#33
WRIT OF POSSESSION
-he writ may be issued not only against the person defeated in the registration
case but also against any one adversely occupying the land during the proceedings up to
the issuance of the decree.
#34
-he writ does not lie against a person who entered the land
after the issuance of the decree and who was not a party in the case. .e can only be
proceeded against in a separate action for eHectment or reivindicatory action.
#3"
-he writ
is imprescriptible. A writ of demolition is but a compliment of the writ of possession
#3@
and may be issued by a special order of the court. /andamus is a proper remedy to
compel the issuance of a writ of possession.
#35
1URISDICTION: REAL ACTIONS
Section #, #4 Rule #4 of the #445 Rules of 1ivil Procedure provides that actions
affecting title to or possession of real property or an interest therein 8real actions9 shall be
commenced and tried in the proper court that has territorial Hurisdiction over the area
where the real property or any part thereof is situated.
An action for reconveyance or to remove a cloud on oneJs title involves the title
to, or possession of, real property, or any interest therein, hence, e$clusive original
Hurisdiction over such action pertains to the R-1, unless the assessed value of the
property does not e$ceed P*<,<<<.<< 8or P"<,<<<.<< in /etro /anila9, in which instance
/etropolitan =aterwor&s and Sewerage Systems v. 1ourt of Appeals, 3.R. Co. #<3""6, Covember #5,
#44*, *#" S1RA 563, 566.
#3#
3.R. Co. 4"6*6, +une #, #44*, *<4 S1RA 4"5, 4@3, citing ,irector of 2ands v. 1ourt of Appeals, Co.
2745645, +uly 3#, #46#, #<@ S1RA 4*@, 433.
#3*
Sec. 46. -he following described citi?ens of the Philippines, occupying lands of the public domain or
claiming to own any such land or an interest therein, but whose titles have not been perfected or completed,
may apply to the 1ourt of >irst 0nstance of the province where the land is located for confirmation of their
claims and the issuance of a certificate of title therefor, under the 2and Registration Act, to wit'
$$$ $$$ $$$
8b9 -hose who by themselves or through their predecessors7in7interest have been in open,
continuous, e$clusive, and notorious possession and occupation of agricultural lands of the public domain,
under a bona fide claim of acuisition of ownership, since +une #*, #44", or earlier, immediately preceding
the filing of the application for confirmation of title, e$cept when prevented by war or force maHeure. -hese
shall be conclusively presumed to have performed all the conditions essential to a 3overnment grant and
shall be entitled to a certificate of title under the provisions of this chapter. 8:mphasis supplied9.
#33
Ealiao v. Republic, 3R Co. #5<5"5, Cov. *6, *<##
#34
Eencilao v. Eano, #6* S1RA 44#.
#3"
%ernas v. Cuevo, #*5 S1RA 344.
#3@
3awaran v. 0ntermediate Appellate 1ourt, #@* S1RA #"4A 2ucero v. 2eot, *" S1RA @65.
#35
:dralin v. Philippine Eeterans %an&, 3R Co. #@6"*3, /arch 4, *<##.
*<
the /-1 having territorial Hurisdiction would have e$clusive original Hurisdiction.
,eterminative of which regular court had Hurisdiction would be the allegations of the
complaint 8on the assessed value of the property9 and the principal relief thereby
sought.
#36
-he original and e$clusive Hurisdiction over a complaint for uieting of title and
reconveyance involving friar land belongs to either the Regional -rial 1ourt 8R-19 or the
/unicipal -rial 1ourt 8/-19. .ence, the dismissal of such a complaint on the ground of
lac& of Hurisdiction due to the land in litis being friar land under the e$clusive Hurisdiction
of the 2and /anagement %ureau 82/%9 amounts to manifest grave abuse of discretion
that can be corrected through certiorari.
#34

Actions for cancellation o% title and reversion belong to the class of cases that
Sinvolve the title to- or possession o%- real property, or any interest thereinS and where the
assessed value of the property e$ceeds P*<,<<<.<<, fall under the Hurisdiction of the
R-1.
#4<
=hen the dispossession or unlawful deprivation has lasted more than one year,
one may avail himself of accion pu/liciana to determine the better right of possession, or
possession de >ure, of realty independently of title. !n the other hand, accion
reivindicatoria is an action to recover ownership which necessarily includes recovery of
possession. =hile an accion reivindicatoria is not barred by a Hudgment in an eHectment
case, such Hudgment constitutes a bar to the institution of the accion pu/liciana.
#4#

REMEDIES CONSEQUENT TO
FRAUDULENT OR IRREGULAR
REGISTRATION
-he aggrieved party has a number of remedies to uestion the validity of the
decision. -hese include the remedies of new trial or reconsideration under Rule 35 of the
Rules of 1ourt, relief from Hudgment under Rule 36, or appeal to the 1ourt of Appeals or
Supreme 1ourt pursuant to Section 33, P, Co. #"*4.
Under the property Registration ,ecree, the remedies conseuent to fraudulent or
irregular registration are' review of decree under Section 3*A reconveyance under Secs.
"3 and 4@A damages under Sec. 3*A claim against the Assurance >und under Sec. 4"A
reversion under Sec. #<#, 1A Co. #4#A cancellation of titleA uieting of titleA annulment
of Hudgment under Rule 45A and criminal prosecution under the Revised Penal 1ode and
other special laws.
Petition for review of decree. (Sec. 32, PD No. 1529)
#36
Reterta v. /ores, 3R Co. #"444#, Aug. #5, *<##, citing .eirs of 3eneroso Sebe v. .eirs of Eeronico
Sevilla, 3.R. Co. #54445, !ctober #*, *<<4, @<3 S1RA 34", 4<<.
#34
Reterta v. /ores, 3R Co. #"444#, Aug. #5, *<##.
#4<
Republic v. Roman 1atholic Archbishop, 3R Co. #4*45", Cov. #*, *<#*A Santos v. 1A, *#4 S1RA
#@*.
#4#
Eiray v. Usi, 3R Co. #4*46@, Cov. *#, *<#*, citing cases.
*#
0n !land Philippines- +nc. v. ,arcia,
#4*
the Supreme 1ourt, citing Agcaoili,
Property Registration (ecree and Related Laws (Land $itles and (eeds)&, stressed that
courts may reopen proceedings already closed by final decision or decree when an
application for review is filed by the party aggrieved within one year from the issuance of
the decree of registration. .owever, the basis of the aggrieved party must be anchored
solely on actual fraud.
0t has been ruled that the petition may be filed at any time after the rendition of
the courtGs decision and before the e$piration of one year from the entry of the final
decree of registration for, as noted in Rivera v. Moran,
#43
there can be no possible reason
for reuiring the complaining party to wait until the final decree is entered before urging
his claim of fraud.
-he rule on the incontrovertibility and indefeasibility of a -orrens title after one
year from entry of the decree of registration is eually applicable to titles acuired
through homestead or free patents.
#44
0t has been held that the date of issuance of the
patent corresponds to the date of the issuance of the decree in ordinary registration cases.
Under the -orrens system of registration, the -orrens becomes indefeasible and
incontrovertible one year from the issuance of the final decree and is generally conclusive
evidence of the ownership.
#4"
-he rule on the inconvertibility and indefeasibility of a
-orrens title after one year from entry of the decree of registration is eually applicable to
title acuired through homestead or free patents.
#4@
!nly e$trinsic or collateral, as
distinguished form intrinsic, fraud is a ground for annulling a Hudgment.
-o avail of a petition for review, the following reuisites must be satisfied' 8a9 the
petitioner must have an estate or interest in the landA 8b9 he must show actual fraud in the
procurement of the decree of registrationA 8c9 the petition must be filed within one 8#9
year from the issuance of the decree by the 2and Registration AuthorityA and 8d9 the
property has not yet passed to an innocent purchaser for value.
#45

!5trinsic %raud refers to any fraudulent act of the successful party in a litigation
which is committed outside the trial of a case against the defeated party, or his agents,
attorneys or witnesses, whereby said defeated party is prevented from presenting fully
and fairly his side of the case. !n the other hand, intrinsic %raud refers to acts of a party
in a litigation during the trial, such as the use of forged instruments or perHured testimony,
which did not affect the presentation of the case, but did prevent a fair and Hust
determination of the case.
Relief is granted to a party deprived of his interest in land where the fraud consists
#4*
3R Co. #53*64, >eb. #5, *<#<, per +ustice Peralta.
#43
3R Co. *4"@6, /arch *, #4*@, 46 Phil. 63@.
#44
0glesia ni 1risto v. 1>0 of Cueva :ciHa, 3R Co. 273"*53, +uly *", #463, *<6 Phil. 44#.
#4"
1alalang v. Register of ,eeds, *3# S1RA 66 8#44*9
#4@
0glesia ni 1risto v. 1>0 of Cueva :ciHa, 3R Co. 273"*53, +uly *", #463, *<6 Phil. 44#.
#45
=alstrom v. /apa, 3R Co. 36365, +an. *4, #44<, #6# S1RA 43#.
**
in the following acts'
8a9 ,eliberate misrepresentation that the lots are not contested when in fact they
areA
8b9 Applying for and obtaining adHudication and registration in the name of a co7
owner of land which he &nows had not been alloted to him in the partitionA
8c9 0ntentionally concealing facts, and conniving with the land inspector to
include in the survey plan the bed of a navigable streamA
8d9 =illfully misrepresenting that there are no other claimsA
8e9 ,eliberately failing to notify the party entitled to noticeA
8f9 0nducing a claimant not to oppose the application for registrationA
8g9 /isrepresentation by the applicant about the identity of the lot to the true
owner causing the latter to withdraw his opposition.
#46
8h9 >ailure of the applicant to disclose in her application for registration the vital
facts that her husbandGs previous application for a revocable permit and to
purchase the lands in uestion from the %ureau of 2ands had been reHected,
because the lands were already reserved as a site for school purposesA
8i9 ,eliberate falsehood that the lands were allegedly inherited by the applicant
from her parents, which misled the %ureau of 2ands into not filling the
opposition and thus effectively depriving the Republic of its day in court.
#44

0n all these e$amples, the overriding consideration is that the fraudulent scheme of
the prevailing litigant prevented a party from having his day in court or from presenting
his case. -he fraud, therefore, is one that affects and goes into the Hurisdiction of the
court.
0n Cru) v. Navarro,
#"<
it was held that the intentional omission by the respondent
to properly inform the court a Auo that there were persons 8the petitioners9 in actual
possession and cultivation of the parcels in uestion, with the result that the court as well
as the 2and Registration Authority were denied of their authority to reuire the sending
of specific individual notices of the pendency of the application in accordance with
Sections *3 and *4 of the Property Registration ,ecree, constitutes actual fraud.
Reconveyance . (Sec. 96 PD No. 1529)
#46
2ibudan v. Palma 3il, 3R Co. 27*##@4, /ay #5, #45*, 4" S1RA #5.
#44
Republic v. 2o?ada, 3R Co. 27436"*, /ay 3#, #454, 4< S1RA "<*.
#"<
3R Co. 27*5@44, Cov. *4, #453, "4 S1RA #<4.
*3
An action for reconveyance is a legal and euitable remedy granted to the rightful
landowner, whose land was wrongfully or erroneously registered in the name of another,
to compel the registered owner to transfer or reconvey the land to him.
#"#

An action for reconveyance is an action in persona" available to a person whose
property has been wrongfully registered under the -orrens system in anotherJs name. 0t is
filed as an ordinary action in the ordinary courts of Hustice and not with the land
registration court. A notice of lis pendens may be annotated on the certificate of title
immediately upon the institution of the action in court.
#"*

As held in Medi)a/el v. Apao,
#"3
the essence of an action for reconveyance is that
the certificate of title is respected as incontrovertible. =hat is sought is the transfer of the
property, in this case its title, which has been wrongfully or erroneously registered in
another personJs name, to its rightful owner or to one with a better right. -he mere
issuance of the certificate of title in the name of any person does not foreclose the
possibility that the real property may be under co7ownership with persons not named in
the certificate or that the registrant may only be a trustee or that other parties may have
acuired interest subseuent to the issuance of the certificate of title.
#"4

Reconveyance does not aim to reopen proceedings but only to transfer or
reconvey the land from registered owner to the rightful owner.
#""
Reconveyance is
available in case of registration of property procured by %raud thereby creating a
constructive trust between the parties.
#"@
-o warrant a reconveyance of the land, the following reuisites must concur'
8a9 the action must be brought in the name of a person claiming ownership or
dominical right over the land registered in the name of the defendantA
8b9 the registration of the land in the name of the defendant was procured
through fraud or other illegal meansA
8c9 the property has not yet passed to an innocent purchaser for valueA and
8d9 the action is filed after the certificate of title had already become final and
incontrovertible but within four years from the discovery of the fraud,
#"5
or
#"#
2eoveras v. Ealde?, 3R Co. #@446", +une #", *<##.
#"*
/uOo? v. Dabut, 3R Co. #4*@5@, +une @, *<##, citing cases.
#"3
3.R. Co. #43#6", >ebruary *<, *<<@, 46* S1RA "65, @<6. See also >ernando v. Acuna, 3R Co.
#@#<3<, Sept. #4, *<##
#"4
Pineda v. 1ourt of Appeals. 4"@ Phil. 53*, 546 8*<<39, citing 2ee -e& Sheng v. 1ourt of Appeals, 3"4
Phil. ""@, "@#7"@* 8#4469.
#""
%autista7%orHa v. %autista, 3R Co. #3@#45, ,ec. #<, *<<6A ,aclag v. /acahilig, 3R Co. #"4"56, +uly
*6, *<<6A :sconde v. %arlongay, #"* S1RA @<3A Rodrigue? v. -oreno, 54 S1RA 3"@.
#"@
.uang v. 1ourt of Appeals, 3R Co. #46"*", September #3, #444.
#"5
%albin v. /edalla, 3R Co. 274@4#<, !ct. 3<, #46#, #<6 S1RA @@@, which held that' (An action for
reconveyance of real property resulting from fraud may be barred by the statute of limitations, which
reuires that the action shall be filed within four 849 years from the discovery of the fraud.)
*4
not later than #< years in the case of an implied trust.
#"6
A petition for review and action for reconveyance are no longer available if the
property has already been transferred to an innocent purchaser for value.
Article 434 of the 1ivil 1ode provides that to successfully maintain an action to
recover the ownership of a real property, the person who claims a better right to it must
prove two 8*9 things' first, the identity of the land claimedA and second, his title thereto.
#"4
-here is no special ground for an action for reconveyance, for it is enough that the
aggrieved party asserts a legal claim in the property superior to the claim of the registered
owner, and that the property has not yet passed to the hands of an innocent purchaser for
value.
#@<
ACTION FOR RECONVEYANCE MAY
BE BARRED BY PRESCRIPTION
8#9 Action based on fraud 2 %our years
8*9 Action based on implied trust 2 ten years
839 Action based on a void contract B i"prescripti/le
849 Action to uiet title where plaintiff is in possession B i"prescripti/le
An action for reconveyance based on implied or constructive trust prescribes in
ten 8#<9 years from the issuance of the -orrens title over the property, or the instrument
affecting the same is inscribed in accordance with law, inasmuch as it is what binds the
land and operates constructive notice to the world. Repudiation of said trust is not a
condition precedent to the running of the prescriptive period.
#@#
-he #<7year prescriptive period applies only when the reconveyance is based on
fraud which ma&es a contract voidable 8and that the aggrieved party is not in possession
of the land whose title is to be actually reconveyed9. 0t does not apply to an action to
nullify a contract which is void a/ initio. Article #4#< of the 1ivil 1ode categorically
states that an action for the declaration of the ine$istence of a contract does not
prescribe.
#@*

%ut prescription does not run against the plaintiff in actual possession of the
#"6
Cew Regent Sources, 0nc. v. -anHuatco, 3R Co. #@66<<, April #@, *<<4, "6" S1RA 3*4, citing
=alstrom v. /apa, 3R Co. 36365, +an. *4, #44<, #6# S1RA 43#A Iionisala v. ,acut, 3R Co. #45354,
>eb. *5, *<<*, 356 S1RA *<@.
#"4
>ierro v. Seguiran, 3R Co. #"*#4#, Aug. 6, *<##, citing .utchinson v. %uscas, 446 Phil. *"5, *@*
8*<<"9.
#@<
Reterta v. /ores, 3R Co. #"444#, Aug. #5, *<##A .eirs of Ealeriano S. 1oncha, Sr. v. 2umocso, 3.R.
Co. #"6#*#, ,ecember #*, *<<5, "4< S1RA #, #37#4.
#@#
1abacungan v. 2aigo, 3R Co. #5"<53, Aug. #", *<##Spouses Abrigo v. ,e Eera, 45@ Phil. @4#, @"3
8*<<49.
#@*
Abalols v.,ima&uta, 3R Co. #@4@43, /arch *3, *<##.
*"
disputed land because such plaintiff has a right to wait until his possession is disturbed or
his title is uestioned before initiating an action to vindicate his right.
#@3

LACHES MAY BAR RECOVERY
=here a court of euity finds that the position of the parties has to change that
euitable relief cannot be afforded without doing inHustice, or that the intervening rights
of third persons may be destroyed or seriously impaired, it will not e$ert its euitable
powers in order to save one from the conseuences of his own neglect.
#@4
-his is the
basic principle of laches which may bar recovery for oneGs neglect or inaction.
Cancellation of title
>raud and misrepresentation, as grounds for cancellation of patent and annulment
of title, should never be presumed, but must be proved by clear and convincing evidence,
mere preponderance of evidence not being adeuate. >raud is a uestion of fact which
must be proved.
#@"
Action for damages. (Sec. 32, PD No. 1529)
-his action may be filed against applicant or person responsible for the fraud
where reconveyance is no longer possible as when the land has been transferred to an
innocent purchaser for value.
#@@

Action for compensation from the Assurance Fund. (Sec. 95, PD No.
1529)
-he reuisites for recovery are' 8a9 a person sustains loss or damage, or is
deprived by any estate or interest in landA 8b9 on account of the bringing of land under the
-orrens systemA 8c9 through fraud, error, omission, mista&e or misdescription in the
certificate of entry in the registration boo&A 8d9 without negligence on his part, and 8e9 is
barred from bringing an action for recovery of the land.
#@5

Reversion. (Sec. 101, CA No. 141)
-he action is instituted by the government, through the Solicitor 3eneral, in all
cases where lands of public domain are held in violation of the 1onstitution
#@6
or were
fraudulently obtained.
#@4

#@3
Dared v. -iongco, 3R Co. #@#3@<, !ct. #4, *<##.
#@4
2ucas v. 3amponia, 3R Co. 27433", !ct. 3#, #4"@, #<< Phil. *55.
#@"
Sampaco v. 2antud, 3R Co. #@3""#, +uly #6, *<##
#@@
1hing v. 1ourt of Appeals, #6# S1RA 49
#@5
Sec. 4", P, Co. #"*4.
#@6
Sec. 3", 1hapter F00, -itle 000, :! Co. *4*.
#@4
.ermosilla v. Remouillo, 3R Co. #@53*<, +an. 3<, *<<5.
*@
Annulment of 1udgment. (Rule 47, Rules of Court)
A petition for annulment by the 1ourt of Appeals of Hudgments or final orders of
Regional -rial 1ourt for which the ordinary remedies of new trial, appeal, etc. are no
longer available must be based on 8a9 e$trinsic fraud, 8b9 lac& of Hurisdiction
#5<
and 8c9
lac& of due process.
#5#
A petition for annulment of Hudgment based on e$trinsic fraud
must be filed within four 849 years from its discoveryA and if based on lac& of Hurisdiction,
before it is barred by laches or estoppel.
#5*

2ac& of Hurisdiction as a ground for annulment of Hudgment refers to either lac& of
Hurisdiction over the person of the defending party or over the subHect matter of the
claim.
#53
=here the uestioned Hudgment is annulled, either on the ground of e$trinsic
fraud or lac& of Hurisdiction, the same shall be set aside and considered void.
#54
Annulment of Hudgment is a remedy in law independent of the case where the Hudgment
sought to be annulled was rendered. 1onseuently, an action for annulment of Hudgment
may be availed of even if the Hudgment to be annulled had already been fully e$ecuted or
implemented.
#5"
0n 0u>uico v. Repu/lic,
#5@
the 1ourt ruled that the action of the government for
reversion on the ground that the land was part of the /anila %ay was improperly filed
with the R-1 as the action should have been filed with the 1ourt of Appeals pursuant to
Rule 45 of the Rules of 1ourt governing annulment of Hudgments of R-1s.
>inal Hudgments of uasi7Hudicial tribunals or administrative bodies are not
susceptible to petitions for annulment under Rule 45.
#55
PURCHASER IN GOOD FAITH
Section 3* of P, Co. #"*4 provides that (in no case shall such 8petition for
review9 be entertained by the court where an innocent purchaser for value has acuired
the land or an interest therein, whose rights may be preHudiced.)
An innocent purchaser for value is one who buys the property of another without
notice that some other person has a right to or interest in it, and who pays a full and fair
price at the time of the purchase or before receiving any notice of another personGs
claim.
#56
#5<
Rule 45. Rules of 1ourt.
#5#
,iona v. %alangue, 3R Co. #53""4, +an. 5, *<#3.
#5*
Section 3, id.A 3alicia v. /anliue?, 3R Co. #""56", April #3, *<<5.
#53
Alca?ar v. Arante, 3R Co. #55<4*, ,ec. #<, *<#*.
#54
RU2:S !> 1!UR-, Rule 45, Sec. 5A %ulawan v. Auende, 3R Co. #6*6#4, +une **, *<##.
#5"
%ulawan v. Auende, supra.
#5@
3R Co. #@66@#, !ct. *@, *<<5, citing Agcaoili, (Property Registration (ecree and Related Laws.)
#55
>raginal v. ParaOal, 3R Co. #"<*<5, >eb. *3, *<<5, "#@ S1ERA "3<.
#56
Rosales v. %urgos, 3R Co. #43"53, +an. 3<, *<<4, "55 S1RA *@4.
*5
A person dealing with registered property need not go beyond, but only has to
rely on, the title. .e is charged with notice only of such burdens and claims which are
annotated on the title, for registration is the operative act that binds the property.
#54

%ut a
purchaser can not close his eyes to facts which should put a reasonable man on his guard
and still claim that he acted in good faith.
#6<
-he rule of caveat e"ptor reuires the purchaser to be aware of the supposed title
of the vendor and one who buys without chec&ing the vendorGs title ta&es all the ris&s and
losses conseuent to such failure.
Article #"44 of the 1ivil 1ode provides that, as regards immovable property,
ownership shall belong to the person acuiring it who in good faith first recorded the sale
in the Registry of Property.
0n Cru) v. 1anco" Cinance Corporation, the adverse claim and the notice of lis
pendens were annotated on the title on !ctober 3<, #454 and ,ecember #<, #454,
respectivelyA the real estate mortgage over the subHect property was registered by
respondent only on /arch #4, #46<. -he 1ourt stated that the prior registration of a lien
created a preference. :ven a subseuent registration of the prior mortgage will not
diminish this preference, which retroacts to the date of the annotation of the notice of lis
pendens and the adverse claim.
-he ma$im prior est in te"pore- potior est in >ure 8he who is first in time is
preferred in right9 is followed in land registration.
#6#
-hus, it has been held in a case that
/ahinayGs notice of lis pendens having been registered ahead of SorensenJs real estate
mortgage, the notice of lis pendens ta&es precedence over the real estate mortgage. -he
claim of Sorensen that the ownerJs copy of -1- Co. ##5"3# does not contain any adverse
annotation at the time the owners transacted with her is of no moment. %eing in the
nature of involuntary registration, the annotation of the notice of lis pendens on the
original copy of -1- Co. ##5"3# on file with the Registry of ,eeds is sufficient to bind
third parties. 0t affects the whole world even if the ownerJs copy does not contain the
same annotation.
#6*
-he phrase (innocent purchaser for value) in Section 3* of the Property
Registration ,ecree includes an innocent lessee, mortgagee, or other encumbrancer for
value.
#63
%ut unli&e private individuals, ban&s are e$pected to e$ercise greater care and
prudence in their dealings, including those involving registered lands. A ban&ing
institution is e$pected to e$ercise due diligence before entering into a mortgage
contract.
#64
#54
Unchuan v. 1ourt of Appeals, 3R Co. 5655", /ay 3#, #466, #@# S1RA 5#<.
#6<
Dared v. -iongco, supra.
#6#
3arcia v. 1ourt of Appeals, #64 Phil. 3"6, 3@" 8#46<9 citing %ass v. ,e la Rama, 53 Phil. @6*, @6"
8#44*9.
#6*
/ahinay v. 3a&o, 3R Co. #"336, Cov. *6, *<##, citing Du v. 1ourt of Appeals, 3*# Phil. 645, 4<#74<3
8#44"9.
#63
1risostomo v. 1ourt of Appeals, supra.
#64
PC% v. +umanoy, 3R Co. #@44<#, Aug. 3, *<##.
*6
0n St. (o"inic Corporation v. +nter"ediate Appellate Court,
#6"
the 1ourt, held
that where a -orrens title was issued as a result of regular land registration proceedings
and was in the name of the mortgagor when given as a security for a ban& loan, the
subseuent declaration of said title as null and void is not a ground for nullifying the
mortgage rights of the ban& which had acted in good faith.
0n Mahinay v. ,a'o,
#6@
the 1ourt ruled that when a mortgagee relies upon what
appears on the face of a -orrens title and lends money in all good faith on the basis of the
title in the name of the mortgagor, only thereafter to learn that the latterJs title was
defective, being thus an innocent mortgagee for value, his or her right or lien upon the
land mortgaged must be respected and protected.
#65

0n 1lanco v. !sAuierdo,
#66
it was held that the right or lien of an innocent
mortgagee for value upon the land mortgaged must be respected and protected, even if
the mortgagor obtained his title thereto thru fraud. 0n this case, upon a complaint filed by
the legal heirs of /a$imiano, the trial court ordered the cancellation of -1- Co. -7@"6*
for having been secured through fraud, and also the cancellation of ,%PGs mortgage. -he
only uestion is whether the ban& is an innocent purchaser for value. -he 1ourt answered
in the affirmative. -he ban& was not a party to the fraud. -he certificate of title was in the
name of >ructuosa at the time of the mortgage. .ence, the ban& had the right to rely on
what appeared in the certificate and was under no obligation to loo& beyond the
certificate and investigate. -he remedy of the persons preHudiced is to bring an action for
damages against those who caused the fraud, and if the latter are insolvent, an action may
be filed for recovery of damages against the Assurance >und.
RULE ON DOUBLE SALE OF
IMMOVABLE PROPERTY
Article #"44 of the 1ivil 1ode reads'
(AR-. #"44. 0f the same thing should have been sold to different vendees,
the ownership shall be transferred to the person who may have first ta&en
possession thereof in good faith, if it should be movable property.
Should it be immovable property, the ownership shall belong to the person
acuiring it who in good faith first recorded it in the Registry of Property.
Should there be no inscription, the ownership shall pertain to the person
who in good faith was first in possessionA and, in the absence thereof, to the
person who presents the oldest title, provided there is good faith.GG
#6"
3R Co. 5<@*3, +une 3<, #465, #"# S1RA "55.
#6@
Supra.
#65
+d., citing Penullar v. Philippine Cational %an&, *<" Phil. #*5, #3"7#3@ 8#4639, citing ,irector of 2ands
v. Abache, 53 Phil. @<@ 8#44*9 and %lanco v. :suierdo, ##< Phil. 444 8#4@<9.
#66
3R Co. 27#"#6*,,ec. *4, #4@<, ##< Phil. 444.
*4
%etween two buyers of the same immovable property registered under the -orrens
system, the law gives ownership priority to' 8a9 the first registrant in good faithA 8b9 then,
the first possessor in good faithA and 8c9 finally, the buyer who in good faith presents the
oldest title. -his provision, however, does not apply if the property is not registered under
the -orrens system.
#64
%ased on this provision, the overriding consideration to determine
ownership of an immovable property is the good or bad faith not of the seller, but of the
buyerA specifically, to determine who first registered the sale with the Registry of
Property 8Registry of ,eeds9 in good faith.
#4<
As against the registered owners and the
holder of an unregistered deed of sale, it is the former who has a better right to possess.
#4#
0n Re"alante v. $i/e,
#4*
the 1ourt ruled that the civil law provision on double sale
is not applicable where there is only one valid sale, the previous sale having been found
to be fraudulent.
2i&ewise, in :spiritu and !spiritu v. ?alerio,
#43
where the same parcel of land was
purportedly sold to two different parties, the 1ourt held that despite the fact that one deed
of sale was registered ahead of the other, Art. #"44 of the 1ivil 1ode will not apply
where said deed is found to be a forgery, the result of this being that the right of the other
vendee should prevail.
#44
-he rule that where two certificates purport to include the same
land, the earlier in date prevails, is valid only absent any anomaly or irregularity tainting
the process of registration.
#4"
!n the other hand, while the e$ecution of a public
instrument shall be euivalent to the delivery of the obHect of the contract, it only gives
rise to a pri"a %acie presumption of delivery. 0t is deemed negated by the failure of the
vendee to ta&e actual possession of the land sold.
#4@
/oreover, it is an established principle that no one can give what one does not
have K ne"o dat Auod non ha/et. Accordingly, one can sell only what one owns or is
authori?ed to sell, and the buyer can acuire no more than what the seller can transfer
legally. 0n a number of cases, an action for reconveyance has been treated as an action to
uiet title.
#45
PRESUMPTION OF CON1UGAL
OWNERSHIP
0n (ewara v. La"ela,
#46
the subHect property was acuired by spouses :lenita and
:duardo during their marriage, before the enactment of the >amily 1ode. -he issue is
whether the property is the paraphernal;e$clusive property of :lenita or the conHugal
property of spouses :lenita and :duardo, and whether the same may be subHect to levy
#64
Abrigo v. ,e Eera, 3R Co. #"44<4, +une *#, *<<4, 43* S1RA "44.
#4<
1abigas v. 2imbaco, 3R Co. #5"*4#, +uly *5, *<##
#4#
1atindig v. ,e /eneses, 3R Co. #@"6"#, >eb.*, *<##.
#4*
3R Co. 27"4"#4, >ebruary *", #466, #"6 S1RA #36.
#43
3R Co. 27#6<#6, ,ec *@, #4@3, ##4 Phil. @4.
#44
>udot v. 1attleya 2and, 0nc., 3R Co. #5#<<6, Sept. #3, *<<5, "33 S1RA 3"<.
#4"
/athay v. 1ourt of Appeals, 3R Co. #"566, Sept. #5, #466, *4" S1RA ""@.
#4@
%eatingo v. 3asis, 3R Co. #54@4#, >eb. 4, *<##.
#45
Cey v. RuiHano, 3R Co. #56@<4, Aug. 4, *<#<, and cases cited therein.
#46
3R Co. #54<#<, April ##, *<##.
3<
and e$ecution sale to answer for the civil liability adHudged against :duardo in a criminal
case for serious physical inHuries. .eld'
All property of the marriage is presumed to belong to the conHugal partnership,
unless it be proved that it pertains e$clusively to the husband or to the wife.
#44
Registration in the name of the husband or the wife alone does not destroy this
presumption.
*<<
-he separation7in7fact between the husband and the wife without Hudicial
approval shall not affect the conHugal partnership. -he lot retains its conHugal in nature.
*<#
/oreover, the presumption of conHugal ownership applies even when the manner in
which the property was acuired does not appear. -he use of the conHugal funds is not an
essential reuirement for the presumption to arise. .owever, it does not necessarily
follow that it may automatically be levied upon in an e$ecution to answer for debts,
obligations, fines, or indemnities of one of the spouses. %efore debts and obligations may
be charged against the conHugal partnership, it must be shown that the same were
contracted for, or the debts and obligations should have redounded to, the benefit of the
conHugal partnership. >ines and pecuniary indemnities imposed upon the husband or the
wife, as a rule, may not be charged to the partnership. .owever, if the spouse who is
bound should have no e$clusive property or if the property should be insufficient, the
fines and indemnities may be enforced upon the partnership assets only after the
responsibilities enumerated in Article #@# of the 1ivil 1ode have been covered.
0n Ros v. PN1,
*<*
the subHect property was acuired in #4@6 during Ros and
AgueteJs marriage. Ros mortgaged the property in #454. 0s the debt chargeable to the
conHugal partnershipT .eld'
-he husband cannot alienate or encumber any conHugal real property without the
consent, e$press or implied, of the wife. Should the husband do so, then the contract is
voidable.
*<3
Article #53 of the 1ivil 1ode allows Aguete to uestion RosJ encumbrance of
the subHect property. .owever, the same article does not guarantee that the courts will
declare the annulment of the contract. Annulment will be declared only upon a finding
that the wife did not give her consent. 0n the present case, we follow the conclusion of the
appellate court and rule that Aguete gave her consent to RosJ encumbrance of the subHect
property. ,ebts contracted by the husband for and in the e$ercise of the industry or
profession by which he contributes to the support of the family cannot be deemed to be
his e$clusive and private debts. >or this reason, we rule that RosJ loan from PC%
redounded to the benefit of the conHugal partnership. .ence, the debt is chargeable to the
conHugal partnership.
FORGED DEED MAY BE THE ROOT
OF A VALID TITLE
3enerally, a forged or fraudulent deed is a nullity and conveys no title.
*<4
%ut a
fraudulent or forged document of sale may become the root of a valid title if the
#44
10E02 1!,:, Art. #@<A Eillanueva v. 1hiong, 3.R. Co. #"4664, +une ", *<<6, ""4 S1RA #45, *<3.
*<<
%ucoy v. Paulino, et al., #3# Phil. 54<, 6<< 8#4@69.
*<#
10E02 1!,:, Art. #56A Eillanueva v. 1hiong, supra, at *<*.
*<*
3R Co. #5<#@@, April @, *<##.
*<3
Eera71ru? v. 1alderon, 3.R. Co. #@<546, #4 +uly *<<4, 434 S1RA "34 citing .eirs of 0gnacia Aguilar7
Reyes v. Spouses /iHares, 3.R. Co. #436*@, *6 August *<<<, 4#< S1RA 45.
*<4
Sec. "3, P, Co. #"*4.
3#
certificate of title has already been transferred from the name of the true owner to the
name of the forger or the name indicated by the forger, and while it remained that way,
the land was subseuently sold to an innocent purchaser.
*<"

CERTIFICATE OF TITLE
A certificate of title is conclusive of ownership. 0t enHoys the presumption of
validity. Registration does not vest title' 0t is not a mode of acuiring ownership.
*<@
0t
does not give any person any better title than what he lawfully has.
*<5
Registration is
merely a system of registration of titles to lands.
*<6
A certificate of title is an indefeasible
title and is conclusive as to the ownership of the registrant,
*<4
the identity of the land,
*#<
and its location.
*##
As against the registered owners and the holder of an unregistered deed
of sale, it is the former who has a better right to possess.
*#*
=hile certificates of title are indefeasible, unassailable and binding against the
whole world, including the government itself, they do not create or vest title. -hey
merely confirm or record title already e$isting and vested. -hey cannot be used to protect
a usurper from the true owner, nor can they be used as a shield for the commission of
fraudA neither do they permit one to enrich himself at the e$pense of other.
*#3

0f two certificates of title purport to include the same land, whether wholly or
partly, the better approach is to trace the original certificates from which the certificates
of title were derived. Should there be only one common original certificate of title, the
transfer certificate issued on an earlier date along the line must prevail, absent any
anomaly or irregularity tainting the process of registration.
*#4
An original certificate of title issued by virtue of administrative proceeding is as
indefeasible as a certificate of title issued under Hudicial proceedings. .owever, the
indefeasibility of title does not attach to titles secured by fraud and misrepresentation.
*#"
*<"
/uOo? v. Dabut, 3R Co. #4*@5@, +une @, *<##A Solivel v. >rancisco, 3R Co. "#4"<, >eb. #<, #464, #5<
S1RA *#6A ,uran v. 0ntermediate Appellate 1ourt, 3R Co. 27@4#"4, Sept. #<, #46", #36 S1RA 464A
,irector of 2ands v. Addison, 3R Co. *3#46, /arch *", #4*@, 44 Phil. #4.
*<@
,ela 1ru? v. 1ourt of Appeals, *46 S1RA #5*A 1abrera v. 1ourt of Appeals, *@5 S1RA 334A Avila v.
-apucar, *<# S1RA #46.
*<5
2egarda v. Saleeby, 3# Phil. "4<. ,uue7Rosario v. %anco >ilipino Savings and /ortgage %an&, 3R
Co. #4<"*6, ,ec. 5, *<##.
*<6
3arcia v. 1ourt of Appeals, 3#* S1RA #6<A Republic v. 1ourt of Appeals, 3<# S1RA 3@@.
*<4
-an v. %antegui, 3R Co. #"4<*5, !ct. *4, *<<".
*#<
,emasiado v. Eelasco, 5# S1RA #<".
*##
!dsigue v. 1ourt of Appeals, *33 S1RA @*@.
*#*
1atindig v. ,e /eneses, 3R Co. #@"6"#, >eb.*, *<##.
*#3
Sta. 2ucia Realty v. 1ity of Pasig, 3R Co. #@@636, +une #", *<##, citing (e Pedro v. Ro"asan
(evelop"ent Corporation, 44* Phil. @43 8*<<"9.
*#4
-op /anagement Programs 1orp. v. >aHardo, 3R Co.#"<4@*, +une #", *<##, citing ,egollacion v.
Register of ,eeds of 1avite, G.R. No. 161433, August 29, 2006, 500 SCRA 108, 115 and /athay v.
1ourt of Appeals, G.R. No. 115788, Septembe 17, 1998, 295 SCRA 556.
*#"
Sampaco v. 2antud, 3R Co. #@3""#, +uly #6, *<##.
3*
!ne who deals with property registered under the -orrens system need not go
beyond the certificate of title, but only has to rely on the certificate of title.
*#@
.e is
charged with notice only of such burdens and claims as are annotated on the title.
*#5
CONVEYANCE AND OTHER DEALINGS
BY REGISTERED OWNER
-he general rule in dealing with registered land is set forth in Section "# of P.,.
Co. #"*4'
Section "#. Conveyance and other dealings /y registered owner. K An
owner of registered land may convey, mortgage, lease, charge or otherwise deal with the
same in accordance with e$isting laws. .e may use such forms of deeds, mortgages,
leases or other voluntary instruments as are sufficient in law. %ut no deed, mortgage,
lease, or other voluntary instrument, e$cept a will purporting to convey or affect
registered land shall ta&e effect as a conveyance or bind the land, but shall operate only
as a contract between the parties and as evidence of authority to the Register of ,eeds to
ma&e registration.
-he act of registration shall be the operative act to convey or affect the land
insofar as third persons are concerned, and in all cases under this ,ecree, the registration
shall be made in the office of the Register of ,eeds for the province or city where the
land lies.
Co voluntary instrument shall be registered by the Register of ,eeds, unless the
ownerJs duplicate certificate is presented with such instrument, e$cept in cases e$pressly
provided for in the law 8P, #"*49 or upon order of the court, for cause shown.
*#6
>rom the standpoint of third parties, a property registered under the -orrens
system remains, for all legal purposes, the property of the person in whose name it is
registered, notwithstanding the e$ecution of any deed of conveyance, unless the
corresponding deed is registered.
*#4
Simply put, if a sale is not registered, it is binding
only between the seller and the buyer, but it does not affect innocent third persons.
**<

DISTINCTION BETWEEN VOLUNTARY
AND INVOLUNTARY REGISTRATION
*#@
Sec. 44, P, #"*4A 1asimiro ,evelopment 1orporation v. /ateo, 3R Co. #5"46", +uly *5, *<##A
Sandoval v. 1ourt of Appeals, 3.R. Co. #<@@"5, August #, #44@, *@< S1RA *63A Santos v. 1ourt of
Appeals, 3.R. Co. 4<36<, September #3, #44<, #64 S1RA ""<A Unchuan v. 1ourt of Appeals, 3.R. Co. 27
5655", /ay 3#, #466, #@# S1RA 5#<A %ailon71asilao v. 1ourt of Appeals, 3.R. Co. 2756#56, April #",
#466, #@< S1RA 536A ,irector of 2ands v. Abad, @# Phil. 454, 465 8#43"9A Ruimson v. Suare?, 4" Phil.
4<#, 4<@ 8#4*49.
*#5
Agricultural and .ome :$tension ,evelopment 3roup v. 1ourt of Appeals, 3.R. Co. 4*3#<, September
3, #44*, *#3 S1RA "@3A Unchuan v. 1ourt of Appeals, supra.
*#6
Sec. "3, P, #"*4.
*#4
Carciso PeOa, supra note 36, at #64.
**<
%ulaong v. 3on?ales, 3R Co. #"@3#6, Sept. ", *<##.
33
As a rule, the order of entries in the Primary :ntry %oo& determines the priority in
registration.
**#
0n voluntary registration, such as a sale, mortgage, lease and the li&e, if the
ownerJs duplicate certificate be not surrendered and presented or if no payment of
registration fees be made within fifteen 8#"9 days, entry in the day boo& of the deed of
sale does not operate to convey and affect the land sold. 0n involuntary registration, such
as an attachment, levy upon e$ecution, lis pendens and the li&e, entry thereof in the day
boo& is a sufficient notice to all persons of such adverse claim.
***
AMENDMENT OR ALTERATION
OF CERTIFICATES
-he proceeding for the amendment and alteration of a certificate of title under
Section #<6 of P.,. Co. #"*4 is applicable in seven instances or situations, namely' 8a9
when registered interests of any description, whether vested, contingent, e$pectant, or
inchoate, have terminated and ceasedA 8b9 when new interests have arisen or been created
which do not appear upon the certificateA 8c9 when any error, omission or mista&e was
made in entering a certificate or any memorandum thereon or on any duplicate certificateA
8d9 when the name of any person on the certificate has been changedA 8e9 when the
registered owner has been married, or, registered as married, the marriage has been
terminated and no right or interest of heirs or creditors will thereby be affectedA 8f9 when
a corporation, which owned registered land and has been dissolved, has not conveyed the
same within three years after its dissolutionA and 8g9 when there is reasonable ground for
the amendment or alteration of title.
**3
=hile Section #<6, among other things, authori?es a person in interest to as& the
court for any erasure, alteration, or amendment of a certificate of title or of any
memorandum appearing therein, the prevailing rule is that proceedings thereunder are
summary in nature, contemplating corrections or insertions of mista&es which are only
clerical but certainly not controversial issues.
**4
Relief under the said legal provision can
only be granted if there is unanimity among the parties, or that there is no adverse claim
or serious obHection on the part of any party in interest.
**"

-he court has no authority to reopen the Hudgment or decree of registration, and
that nothing shall be done or ordered by the court which shall impair the title or other
interest of a purchaser holding a certificate for value in good faith, or his heirs and
assigns without his or their written consent.
**@
REGISTERED LAND NOT SUB1ECT
**#
+d.
***
%ulaong v 3on?ales, supra.
**3
Pa? v. Republic, 3R Co. #"53@5, Cov. *3, *<##.
**4
.eirs of /iguel >ranco v. 1A, 4@3 Phil. 4#5, 43#743* 8*<<39.
**"
Philippine Eeterans %an& v. Ealen?uela, 3R Co. #@3"3<, /arch 4, *<##A-agaytay7-aal -ourist
,evelopment 1orporation v. 1A, 334 Phil. 355, 364 8#4459.
**@
+d.
34
TO PRESCRIPTION
Co title to registered land in derogation of the title of the registered owner shall be
acuired by prescription or adverse possession.
**5
-hus, the right to recover possession of
registered land is imprescriptible because possession is a mere conseuence of
ownership.
**6
Prescription is unavailing not only against the titled owner but also against
his heirs.
**4
%ut ownership may be lost through laches
*3<
which is failure or neglect to
assert a right for an unreasonable length of time.
*3#
CERTIFICATE NOT SUB1ECT
TO COLLATERAL ATTACK
A certificate of title is not subHect to collateral attac&. 0t cannot be altered,
modified, or cancelled e$cept in a direct proceeding.
*3*
-hus, in a complaint for recovery
of possession, defendant cannot raise in the action the validity of plaintiffGs title.
*33
-here
must be a direct attac& on the title via a separate actionA but a direct attac& may be made
in a counterclaim or third7party complaint.
*34
=hat cannot be collaterally attac&ed is the certificate of title and not the title
itself.
*3"
-he certificate referred to is that document issued by the Register of ,eeds
&nown as the -1-. 0n contrast, the title referred to by law means ownership which is,
more often than not, represented by that document.
*3@
-he prohibition against collateral
attac& does not apply to spurious or non7e$istent titles, since such titles do not enHoy
indefeasibility.
*35

REPLACEMENT OF LOST OR
DESTROYED CERTIFICATE
Section #<4, P, Co. #"*4, governs the procedure for the replacement of a lost or
destroyed ownerGs duplicate certificate of title. =here the ownerGs duplicate copy is not
in fact lost or destroyed, a petition for the purpose is unwarranted as the court has no
Hurisdiction over the petition.
*36

**5
Sec. 45, P, Co. #"*4.
**6
>ernando v. Acuna, 3R Co. #@#<3<, Sept. #4, *<##, citing !mba" #. A$e%&a, 220 '&($. 103, 107
)1985*.
**4
%arcelona v. %arcelona, #<< Phil. *"#A 3uinoo v. 1ourt of Appeals, 45 Phil. *3".
*3<
>ernando v. Acuna, supra, citing cases. See also 2ucas v. 3amponia, #<< Phil. *55.
*3#
1abrera v. 1ourt of Appeals, *@5 S1RA 334.
*3*
Sec. 46, P, Co. #"*4A -apuroc v. 2ouellano, 3R Co. #"*<<5, +an. **, *<<5.
*33
3aiterio v. Almeria, 3R Co. #6#6#*, +une 6, *<##A DbaOe? v. 0ntermediate Appellate 1ourt, #44 S1RA
543.
*34
2eyson v. %ontuyan, 3R Co. #"@3"5, >eb. #6, *<<"A Sampaco v. 2antud, 3R Co. #@3""#, +uly #6,
*<##.
*3"
2ee -e& Sheng v. 1ourt of Appeals, 3.R. Co. ##"4<*, +uly #", #446, *4* S1RA "44, "45.
*3@
2acbayan v. Samoy, 3R Co. #@"4*5, /arch *#, *<##.
*35
8!liveros v. San /iguel 1orporation, 3R Co. #53"3#, >eb. #, *<#*.
*36
1amitan vs. 1ourt of Appeals, 3R Co. #*6<44, ,ec. *<, *<<@.
3"
RECONSTITUTION OF LOST OR
DESTROYED CERTIFICATE
-he reconstitution of a certificate of title denotes restoration in the original form
and condition of a lost or destroyed instrument attesting the title of a person to a piece of
land. -he purpose of the reconstitution of title is to have, after observing the procedures
prescribed by law, the title reproduced in e$actly the same way it has been when the loss
or destruction occurred.
*34
-he lost or destroyed document referred to is the one that is in
the custody of the Register of ,eeds. =hen reconstitution is ordered, this document is
replaced with a new one K the reconstituted title K that basically reproduces the
original. After the reconstitution, the owner is issued a duplicate copy of the reconstituted
title.
*4<
Reconstitution denotes restoration of the certificate of title allegedly lost or
destroyed in its original %or" and conditions' it does not pass upon the uestion of
ownership.
*4#
>or an order of reconstitution to issue, the following must be shown' 8a9
that the certificate of title had been lost or destroyedA 8b9 that the documents presented by
petitioner are sufficient and proper to warrant reconstitution of the lost or destroyed
certificate of titleA 8c9 that the petitioner is the registered owner of the property or had an
interest thereinA 8d9 that the certificate of title was in force at the time it was lost or
destroyedA and 8e9 that the description, area and boundaries of the property are
substantially the same and those contained in the lost or destroyed certificate of title.
*4*

Reconstitution is governed by RA Co. *@ in relation to Section ##< of P, Co.
#"*4. Administrative reconstitution is also governed by RA Co, *@, as amended by RA
Co. @53*, dated +uly #5, #464. Section #* of R.A. Co. *@ describes the reuirements for
a petition for reconstitution while Section #3 prescribes the reuirements for a notice of
hearing of the petition. Con7compliance with the reuirements deprives the court of
Hurisdiction over the petition for reconstitution.
*43
-he reuirements of Sections * and 3, RA Co. *@ are almost identical. -he
enumerated reuirements are documents from official sources which recogni?e the
ownership of the owner and his predecessors7in7interest. -he phrase (any other
document) in paragraph 8f9 of Sections * and 3 refers to documents similar to those
enumerated.
*44

As held in Castillo v. Repu/lic,
*4"
liberal construction of the Rules of 1ourt does
not apply to land registration cases.
*4@
0ndeed, to further underscore the mandatory
*34
Republic v. -uastumban, 3.R. Co. #53*#<, April *4, *<<4, "6@ S1RA @<<, @#4.
*4<
Republic v. Eergel de ,ios, 3R Co. #5<4"4, >eb. 4, *<##.
*4#
Republic v. Santua, 3R Co. #""5<3, Sept. 6, *<<6A 2ayos v. >il7:state 3olf and ,evelopment
1orporation, 3R Co. #"<45<, Aug. @, *<<6A Pinote vs. ,ulay, #65 S1RA #*.
*4*
Republic v. 2oren?o, 3R Co. #5*336, ,ec. #<, *<#*A 2ayos v. >il7:state 3olf and ,evelopment
1orporation, 3R Co. #"<45<, Aug. @, *<<6.
*43
1astillo v. Republic, 3R Co. #6*46<, +une **, *<##.
*44
Republic v. 2agramada, 3R Co. #"<54#, +une #*, *<<6A Republic v. Santua, supra.A
*4"
Supra.
*4@
Section @, Rule # of the #445 Rules of 1ivil Procedure.
3@
character of these Hurisdictional reuirements, the Rules of 1ourt do not apply to land
registration cases.
*45
0n all cases where the authority of the courts to proceed is conferred
by a statute, and when the manner of obtaining Hurisdiction is prescribed by a statute, the
mode of proceeding is mandatory, and must be strictly complied with, or the proceeding
will be utterly void.
*46
1ourts have no jurisdiction over petitions for reconstitution of allegedly lost or
destroyed titles over lands that are already covered by duly issued subsisting titles in
the names of their duly registered owners.
*44
-he absence of opposition from government agencies is of no controlling
significance because the State cannot be estopped by the omission, mista&e or error of its
officials or agents, hence, the Republic is not barred from assailing the decision granting
the petition for reconstitution if the same has no merit.
*"<
ADVERSE CLAIM
An adverse claim is registered by filing with the Register of ,eeds a sworn
petition starting the basis of the right claimed.
*"#
-he duty of the Register of ,eeds to
record the same on the title of ministerial.
*"*
-he notice of adverse claim is to apprise
third person that there is controversy over the ownership of the land, such that any
transaction regarding the land is subHect to the outcome of the dispute.
*"3
-he annotation
of an adverse claim over registered land under Section 5< of Presidential ,ecree #"*4
*"4
*45
Section 4, Rule # of the #445 Rules of 1ivil Procedure.
*46
1alte$ >ilipino /anagers U Supervisors AssJn. v. 10R, #3# Phil. #<**, #<3< 8#4@69.
*44
/anoto& v. %arue, 3R Co. #@*33", ,ec. #6, *<<6.
*"<
Republic v. 2oren?o, 3R Co. #5*336, ,ec. #<, *<#*.
*"#
Sec. 5<, P, Co. #"*4.
*"*
SaHonas v. 1ourt of Appeals, *"6 S1RA 54.
*"3
1hing v. :nrile, 3R Co. #"@<5@, Sept. #5, *<<6A Arra?ola v. %ernas, 6@ S1RA *54A ,uue7Rosario v.
%anco >ilipino Savings and /ortgage %an&, 3R Co. #4<"*6, ,ec. 5, *<##.
*"4
Section 5< of Presidential ,ecree #"*4 provides'
Section 5<. Adverse claim. K =hoever claims any part or interest in registered land adverse to
the registered owner, arising subseuent to the date of the original registration, may, if no other provision is
made in this ,ecree for registering the same, ma&e a statement in writing setting forth fully his alleged
right or interest, and how or under whom acuired, a reference to the number of the certificate of title of the
registered owner, the name of the registered owner, and a description of the land in which the right or
interest is claimed.
-he statement shall be signed and sworn to, and shall state the adverse claimantJs residence, and a
place at which all notices may be served upon him. -his statement shall be entitled to registration as an
adverse claim on the certificate of title. -he adverse claim shall be effective for a period of thirty days from
the date of registration. After the lapse of said period, the annotation of adverse claim may be canceled
upon filing of a verified petition therefor by the party in interest' Provided, however, that after cancellation,
no second adverse claim based on the same ground shall be registered by the same claimant.
%efore the lapse of thirty days aforesaid, any party in interest may file a petition in the 1ourt of
>irst 0nstance where the land is situated for the cancellation of the adverse claim, and the court shall grant a
speedy hearing upon the uestion of the validity of such adverse claim, and shall render Hudgment as may
be Hust and euitable. 0f the adverse claim is adHudged to be invalid, the registration thereof shall be ordered
canceled. 0f, in any case, the court, after notice and hearing, shall find that the adverse claim thus registered
was frivolous, it may fine the claimant in an amount not less than one thousand pesos nor more than five
35
reuires a claim on the title of the disputed land. -he e$istence of an easement of
subHacent and lateral support need not be annotated at the bac& of the title of the servient
estate.
*""
An adverse claim is not ipso %acto cancelled upon the lapse of the thirty days from
its registration. -here must be a petition for the purpose to afford the adverse claimant an
opportunity to be heard.
*"@
Parties with liens annotated on the certificate of title are entitled to notice in an
action for cancellation of their liens.
*"5

NOTICE OF L$S P&%D&%S
A notice of lis pendens is an announcement to the whole world that a particular
real property is in litigation, serving as a warning that one who acuires an interest over
said property does so at his own ris&, or that he gambles on the result of the litigation
over the said property.
*"6
-he title obtained by the transferee pendente lite affords him no
special protectionA he cannot invo&e the rights of a purchaser in good faith and cannot
acuire better rights than those of his predecessor7in7interest.
*"4
-hus, one who buys land
where there is a pending notice of lis pendens cannot invo&e the right of a purchaser in
good faithA neither can he have acuired better rights than those of his predecessor in
interest.
*@<

A notice of lis pendens should contain 8#9 a statement of the institution of the
action or proceedingA 8*9 the court where the same is pendingA 839 the date of its
institutionA 849 a reference to the number of the certificate of titleA and 8"9 an adeuate
description of the land affected and its registered owner.
*@#
-he notice is not a lien or
encumbrance on the property, but simply a notice to prospective buyers or to those
dealing with the property that it is under litigation.
*@*
-he litigation must involve the title
to, or the use or occupation of, a specific property. 0t does not apply where the obHect of
the suit is money Hudgment, or proceedings for the probate of will or administration of the
estate of a deceased person, levy on e$ecution or preliminary attachments.
*@3
A notice of
lis pendens subHects the interest of the transferee to the results of the pending suit.
thousand pesos, in its discretion. %efore the lapse of thirty days, the claimant may withdraw his adverse
claim by filing with the Register of ,eeds a sworn petition to that effect.
*""
1astro v. /onsod, 3R Co. #635#4, >eb. *, *<##.
*"@
SaHonas vs. 1ourt of Appeals, supraA see also ,uue7Rosario v. %anco >ilipino Savings and /ortgage
%an&, 3R Co. #4<"*6, ,ec. 5, *<##
*"5
1risologo v. !melio, 3R Co. A./. Co. R-+7#*7*3*#, !ct. 3, *<#*.
*"6
,ela /erced v. 3S0S, 3R Co. #@5#4<, Cov. *3, *<##.
*"4
Du v. 1ourt of Appeals, 3*# Phil. 645, 4<#74<* 8#44"9.
*@<
Du v. 1ourt of Appeals, 3.R. Co. #<4<56, ,ecember *", #44", *"# S1RA "<4, "#37"#4, citing
1onstantino v. :spiritu, Co. 27*3*@6, +une 3<, #45*, 4" S1RA ""5, "@3 and -anchoco v. Auino, Co. 27
3<@5<, September #", #465, #"4 S1RA #, #"A see Philippine Cational %an& v. 1ourt of Appeals, Co. 27
344<4, +une *", #46<, 46 S1RA *<5, *3*.
*@#
Sec. 5@, P, Co. #"*4.
*@*
Republic v. Ravelo, 3R Co. #@"##4, Aug. @, *<<6.
*@3
%iglang7awa vs. 1onstantino, #<4 Phil. #@6.
36
CONSULTA
0t is the ministerial duty of the Register of ,eeds to register documents presented
to him for registration. 8Sec. #<, P, Co. #"*49. 0f the Register of ,eeds is in doubt as to
the registrability of the document, the remedy is to elevate the matter to the 2RA via en
consulta. -he same procedure may be availed of by the interested party.
*@4
Appeal from
the 2RA decision may be ta&en to the 1ourt of Appeals.
*@"
MORTGAGES AND LEASES
-he reuisites of a mortgage are' 8a9 it is constituted to secure the fulfillment of a
principal obligationA 8b9 the mortgagor is the absolute owner of the property, and 8c9 the
mortgagor has the free disposal thereof.
Under Article *<6" of the 1ivil 1ode, one of the essential reuisites of the
contract of mortgage is that the mortgagor should be the absolute owner of the property
to be mortgagedA otherwise, the mortgage is considered null and void. .owever, an
e$ception to this rule is the doctrine of Smortgagee in good faith.S Under this doctrine,
even if the mortgagor is not the owner of the mortgaged property, the mortgage contract
and any foreclosure sale arising therefrom are given effect by reason of public policy.
-his principle is based on the rule that all persons dealing with property covered by a
-orrens certificate of title, as buyers or mortgagees, are not reuired to go beyond what
appears on the face of the title. -his is the same rule that underlies the principle of
Sinnocent purchasers for value.S .ence, even if the mortgagor is not the rightful owner
of, or does not have a valid title to, the mortgaged property, the mortgagee in good faith
is, nonetheless, entitled to protection.
*@@
A mortgage lien is a right in re" which follows the property V whoever its owner
may be. 0f the mortgagor sells the property, the buyer must respect the mortgage, if
registered, or if he &nows of its e$istence.
*@5
-he phrase (innocent purchaser for value)
includes an innocent lessee, mortgagee or other encumbrancer for value.
*@6
-he
subseuent nullification of the mortgagorGs title will not nullify the mortgage.
*@4
HIGHER STANDARD OF CARE REQUIRED
OF BANKING OR FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS
-he general rule that a mortgagee need not loo& beyond the title does not apply to
ban&s and other financial institutions as greater care and due diligence is reuired of
*@4
Almirol vs. Register of ,eeds of Agusan, ** S1RA ##"*.
*@"
1alalang vs. Register of ,eeds of Rue?on 1ity, *3# S1RA 66.
*@@
,uue7Rosario v. %anco >ilipino Savings and /ortgage %an&, 3R Co. #4<"*6, ,ec. 5, *<##.
*@5
2igon v. 1ourt of Appeals, *44 S1RA @43.
*@6
Unchuan v. 1ourt of Appeals, #@# S1RA 5#<.
*@4
3on?ales v. 0ntermediate Appellate 1ourt, #"5 S1RA "65A %lanco v. :suierdo, ##< Phil. 444A Penullar
v. Philippine Cational %an&, #*< S1RA #5#.
34
them.
*5<
0mbued with public interest, they Sare e$pected to be more cautious than
ordinary individuals.S
*5#
0n a case,
*5*
the 1ourt adHudged that unli&e private individuals, a ban& is e$pected
to e$ercise greater care and prudence in its dealings, including those involving registered
lands. A ban&ing institution is e$pected to e$ercise due diligence before entering into a
mortgage contract. -he ascertainment of the status or condition of a property offered to it
as security for a loan must be a standard and indispensable part of its operations.
*53

FORECLOSURE OF MORTAGE

=hen the principal obligation becomes due and the debtor fails to perform his
obligation, the creditor may foreclose on the mortgage for the purpose of alienating the
8mortgaged9 property to satisfy his credit.
*54

-he procedure for e$traHudicial foreclosure of real estate mortgage is governed by
Act Co. 3#3", as amended by Act Co. 4##6. -he purchaser at the public auction sale of
an e$traHudicially foreclosed real property may see& possession thereof in accordance
with Section 5 of said Act.
*5"
Unli&e in an ordinary sale, inadeuacy of the price at a forced sale is immaterial
and does not nullify the sale. 0t is also not reuired that the bid should at least be eual to
the mar&et value of the foreclosed property or the outstanding obligation of the mortgage
debtor.
*5@
0f Sthe proceeds of the sale are insufficient to cover the debt in an e$traHudicial
foreclosure of mortgage, the mortgagee is entitled to claim the deficiency from the
debtor.
*55
=here the mortgagee is a banking institution, the determination of the
redemption price for the foreclosed property is governed by Section 56 of the 3eneral
%an&ing Act. -here must be an uneuivocal tender of payment for the full amount of the
repurchase price.
*56
-he only instance when this rule may be construed liberally, i.e.,
allow the non7simultaneous tender of payment, is if a >udicial action is instituted by the
redemptioner.
*54
GUIDELINES ON FORECLOSURE
*5<
/etropolitan %an& and -rust 1o., v. Pascual, 3.R. Co. #@3544, >ebruary *4, *<<6, "45 S1RA *4@, *@#.
*5#
Alano v. PlanterGs ,evelopment %an&, 3R Co. #5#@*6, +une #3, *<##. Philippine Cational %an& v.
1orpu?, 3.R. Co. #6<44", >ebruary #*, *<#<, @#* S1RA 443, 44@A 3on?ales v. 0ntermediate Appellate
1ourt, #"5 S1RA #65.
*5*
1ru? v. %ancom >inance 1orporation, 4*4 Phil. **", *34 8*<<*9.
*53
,uue7Rosario v. %anco >ilipino Savings and /ortgage %an&, supra.
*54
,evelopment %an& of the Philippines v. ,oyon, 3R Co. #@5*36, /arch *", *<<4.
*5"
1hina %an&ing 1orporation v. 2o?ada, 3R Co. #@44#4, +uly 4, *<<6.
*5@
%P0 >amily Savings %an&, 0nc. v. Avenido, 3R Co. #5"6#@, ,ec. 5, *<##.
*55
+d.
*56
Allied %an&ing 1orporation v. /ateo, 3R Co. #@54*<, +une ", *<<4A Ruisumbing v. PC%, 3R Co.
#56*4*, +an. *<, *<<4.
*54
Ruisumbing v. PC%, supra.
4<
A.M. No. 99-10-05-0, FEBRUARY 20, 2007
-he resolution embodies the additional guidelines intended to aid courts in
foreclosure proceedings, specifically limiting the instances, and citing the conditions,
when a writ against foreclosure of a mortgage may be issued, to wit'
8#9 Co temporary restraining order or writ of preliminary inHunction against
the e$traHudicial foreclosure of real estate mortgage shall be issued on the allegation that
the loan secured by the mortgage has been paid or is not delinuent unless the application
is verified and supported by evidence of payment.
8*9 Co temporary restraining order or writ of preliminary inHunction against
the e$traHudicial foreclosure of real estate mortgage shall be issued on the allegation that
the interest on the loan is unconscionable, unless the debtor pays the mortgagee at least
twelve percent per annu" interest on the principal obligation as stated in the application
for foreclosure sale, which shall be updated monthly while the case is pending.
839 =here a writ of preliminary inHunction has been issued against a
foreclosure of mortgage, the disposition of the case shall be speedily resolved. -o this
end, the court concerned shall submit to the Supreme 1ourt, through the !ffice of the
1ourt Administrator, uarterly reports on the progress of the cases involving ten million
pesos and above.
849 All reuirements and restrictions prescribed for the issuance of a
temporary restraining order;writ of preliminary inHunction, such as the posting of a bond,
which shall be eual to the amount of the outstanding debt, and the time limitation for its
effectivity, shall apply as well to a status uo order.
REDEMPTION AND CONSOLIDATION
OF OWNERSHIP
0f the foreclosed property is registered, the mortgagor has one year within which
to redeem the property from and after registration of sale with the Register of ,eeds.
*6<

After the e$piration of the period of redemption, the purchaser at the foreclosure sale or
anyone claiming under him may petition the court for the entry of a new certificate to
him. %ut before the entry of a new certificate of title, the registered owner may pursue all
legal and euitable remedies to impeach or annul such proceedings.
*6#
-he rule on redemption is liberally construed in favor of the original owner of the
property. -he policy of the law is to aid rather than to defeat him in the e$ercise of his
right of redemption. -he general rule in redemption is that it is not sufficient that a person
offering to redeem manifests his desire to do so. -he statement of intention must be
accompanied by an actual and simultaneous tender of payment. -he redemption price
should either be fully offered in legal tender or else validly consigned in court.
*6*
*6<
Union %an& of the Philippines v. 1ourt of Appeals, 35< Phil. 635, 645 8#4449A %P0 >amily Savings
%an&, 0nc. v. Avenido, 3R Co. #5"6#@, ,ec. 5, *<##.
*6#
Sec. 5", P, #"*4A Reyes v. -ang Soat 0ng, 3R Co. #6"@*<, ,ec. #4, *<##
*6*
,uue7Rosario v. %anco >ilipino Savings and /ortgage %an&, 3R Co. #4<"*6, ,ec. 5, *<##.
4#
Upon the e$piration of the redemption period of one year from the registration of
the sale, the right of the purchaser to the possession of the foreclosed property becomes
absolute.
*63
.e is entitled to possession following the consolidation of ownership in his
name.
*64
-he writ of possession becomes a matter of right and its issuance to a purchaser
in an e$traHudicial foreclosure is merely a ministerial function.
*6"
-he trial court has no
discretion on this matter.S
*6@

/ay persons to whom several mortgaged lands were transferred without the
&nowledge and consent of the creditor redeem only several parcels if all the lands were
sold together for a single price at the foreclosure saleT 0n several early cases decided by
the 1ourt, the right of the mortgagor or redemptioner to redeem one or some of the
foreclosed properties was recogni?ed.
*65
ISSUANCE OF WRIT OF POSSESSION
MINISTERIAL

Under Sec. 5 of Act Co. 3#3", a writ of possession may be issued either 8a9 within
the one7year period, upon the filing of a bond, or 8b9 after the lapse of the redemption
period, without need of a bond.
*66

-he proceeding for the issuance of the writ is e5 parte and is ministerial duty of
the court,
*64
unless a third party is actually holding the property adversely to the
Hudgment debtor,
*4<
or where the bid price is unHustifiably higher than the real amount of
the obligation.
*4#
-he issuance of the writ may not be stayed by a pending action for
annulment of the mortgage or the foreclosure itself, without preHudice, of course, to the
eventual outcome of the pending annulment case.
*4*
-he order of the R-1 granting the petition for a writ of possession is final which
can only be uestioned on appeal.
*43
PUBLIC LAND ACT;
GENERAL PRINCIPLES
*63
Philippine Cational %an& v. 3otesco, 3R Co. #63*##, +une ", *<<4.
*64
:dralin v. Philippine Eeterans %an&, 3R Co. #@6"*3, /arch 4, *<##A %an& of the Philippine 0slands v.
-arampi, 3R Co. #54466, ,ec. #<, *<<6.
*6"
,uue7Rosario v. %anco >ilipino Savings and /ortgage %an&, supra.
*6@
/etropolitan %an& and -rust 1o. v. %ance, 3.R. Co. #@5*6<, April 3<, *<<6, ""3 S1RA "<5, "#"7"#@.
:mphasis supplied.
*65
Dap v. ,y, 3R Co. #5#6@6, +uly *5, *<##.
*66
Philippine Cational %an& v. Sanao /ar&eting 1orporation, 4@" S1RA *65.
*64
Sueno v. 2and %an& of the Philippines, 3R Co. #545##, Sept. #5, *<<6.
*4<
3lapuno v. 3apultos, #3* S1RA 4*4A 1hina %an&ing 1orporation v. 2o?ada, supra.
*4#
Sulit v. 1ourt of Appeals, *@6 S1RA 44#.
*4*
.%an& of the Philippine 0slands v. -arampi, 3R Co. #54466, ,ec. #<, *<<6.
*43
San >ernando Rural %an&, 0nc. v. Pampanga !mnibus ,evelopment 1orporation, 3R Co. #@6<66, April
4, *<<5.
4*
Regalian doctrine V all lands and all other natural resources are owned by the
State
Co public land can be acuired by private persons without any grant, e$press or
implied from the government. 0t is indispensable that there be a showing of a title
from the State.
!nly those lands shall be declared open to disposition or concession which have
been officially delimited and classified and, when practicable, surveyed, and
which have not been reserved for public or uasi7public uses, nor appropriated by
the government, nor in any manner become private property.
2and remains unclassified land until it is released therefrom and rendered open to
disposition.
-he classification of public lands is a function of the e$ecutive branch of
government.
>or purposes of their administration and disposition, lands of the public domain
which are alienable or open to disposition may be further classified as' 8a9
agricultural, 8b9 residential, commercial, industrial, or for similar productive
purposes, 8c9 educational, charitable, or other similar purposes, and 8d9
reservations for townsites and for public and uasi7public uses.
MODES OF DISPOSITION
#. >or homestead settlementA
*. %y saleA
3. %y lease
4. %y confirmation of imperfect or incomplete title
8a9 %y Hudicial legali?ation
8b9 %y administrative legali?ation 8free patent9
Homestead 7 any citi?en of the Philippines over the age of eighteen years, or the
head of a family, may enter a homestead of not e$ceeding twelve hectares of
agricultural land of the public domain. -he applicant must have cultivated and
improved at least one7fifth of the land continuously since the approval of the
application and resided for at least one year in the municipality in which the land
is located.

43
=hen a homesteader has complied with all the terms and conditions which
entitle him to a patent for a tract of public land, he acuires a vested interest
therein, and is to be regarded as the euitable owner thereof.
-he e$ecution and delivery of the patent, after the right to a particular
parcel of land has become complete, are the mere ministerial acts of the
officer charged with that duty.
Free patent 7 Any natural7born citi?en of the Philippines who is not the owner of
more than #* hectares and who, for at least 3< years, has continuously occupied
and cultivated, by himself or through his predecessors7in7interest a tract of
agricultural public land, and who shall have paid the real estate ta$ thereon shall
be entitled to have a free patent issued to him for such tract of land not to e$ceed
twelve #* hectares.
RA No. 10023, dated March 9, 2010, authorizes issuance of free patent titles
to zoned residential lands. Residence requirement: 10 years.
Reuirements'
Survey plan and technical description
Affidavit of two * persons who are residents of the barangay that the
applicant has actually resided on, and actually possessed and occupied, the
land applied for, under a /ona %ide claim of ownership, for at least #<
years, and has complied with the other reuirements prescribed by the Act.
Sales patent 7 Any citi?en of the Philippines of lawful age or the head of a family
may purchase any tract of pu/lic agricultural land not to e$ceed twelve hectares
which shall be sold thru sealed bidding. -he land shall be awarded to the highest
bidder, but the applicant may eual the highest bid.
-he purchaser shall have not less than one7fifth of the land cultivated
within five years from the date of the award, and pays the full purchase
price.
Direct sale 7 RA Co. 53< permits the direct sale of public lands for residential
purposes to ualified applicants.
-he applicant must' 8a9 be a >ilipino citi?en of legal ageA 8b9 not the
owner of a home lot in the municipality or city in which he residesA 8c9
have established in good faith his residence on a parcel of public land
which is not needed for public serviceA and 8d9 have constructed his house
and actually resided therein.
44
TITLE INDEFEASIBLE
A certificate of title issued pursuant to a public land patent parta&es of the nature
of a certificate of title issued through Hudicial proceeding. 0t becomes
incontrovertible upon the e$piration of one year from the date of the order for
issuance of the patent, hence, prescription cannot operate against the registered
owner.
0f the land covered by a free patent was a private land, the ,irector of 2ands has
no Hurisdiction over it. Such free patent and the subseuent certificate of title
issued pursuant thereto are a nullity.
*44
-he aggrieved party may initiate an action
for cancellation of such title.
*4"
CONTINUING AUTHORITY
TO INVESTIGATE
%ut the Regional ,irector has continuing authority to conduct an investigation to
determine whether or not fraud attended the issuance of the patent.
-he Solicitor 3eneral may bring an action for cancellation of title obtained
through fraud and for the reversion of the land to the State.
Action is not barred by prescription.
PROHIBITED ALIENATIONS
Homestead - may not be sold or encumbered within " years from the issuance of
the patent, and for a term of *< years thereafter without the consent of the ,:CR
Secretary.
2and covered by a Free paent V may not be sold within " years from the issuance
of the patent.
Prohibition against alienation is mandatory.
Policy of the law:
-o conserve the land which a grantee has acuired under the Public 2and Act for
him and his heirs as a reward for his labor in cleaning and cultivating it
-o give the patentee a place where to live with his family so he may become a
happy citi?en and useful member of society
*44
Agne v. ,irector of 2ands, 3.R. Cos. 4<344 U 5**"", >ebruary @, #44<, #6# S1RA 543, 6<3.
*4"
Pabaus v. Dutiamco, 3R Co. #@43"@, +uly *5, *<##
4"
EFFECT OF A VOID CONVEYANCE
0t shall produce the effect of annulling and cancelling the title and cause the
reversion of the property and improvements to the State.
REPURCHASE
:very conveyance of land acuired under the free patent or homestead provisions,
when proper, shall be subHect to repurchase by the applicant, his widow, or legal
heirs, within a period of five years from the date of the conveyance.
-he five7year period of redemption of homestead sold at e$traHudicial foreclosure
runs after the e$piration of the one7year period of repurchase allowed in an
e$traHudicial foreclosure.
Ruery' =here the patentee sold the land during the prohibited period, may he
recover the property from the vendeeT Des, consistent the with the fundamental
policy to afford the patentee a piece of land for his home and cultivation.
8%inayug v. Ugaddan, 3R Co. #6#@*3, ,ec. ", *<#*9
SUBDIVISION AND CONDOMINIUM
BUYER`S DECREE (PD 957)
Su/division pro>ect 2 a registered parcel of land registered partitioned for
residential purposes into individual lots and offered to the public for sale, in cash
or in installment terms. 0t shall include all residential, commercial, industrial and
recreational areas as well as open spaces and other community and public areas in
the proHect.
Condo"iniu" unit 2 a part of the condominium proHect intended for any type of
independent use or ownership, including one or more rooms or spaces located in
one or more floors 8or part of parts of floors9 in a building or buildings and such
accessories as may be appended thereto.
(eveloper 2 the person who develops or improves the subdivision proHect or
condominium proHect for and in behalf of the owner thereof.
1URISDICTION OF THE HLURB
Unsound real estate business practicesA
1laims involving refund and any other claims filed by subdivision lot
condominium unit buyer against the proHect owner, developer, dealer, bro&er
or salesmanA and
4@
1ases involving specific performance of contractual and statutory obligations
filed by buyers of subdivision lot or condominium unit against the owner,
developer, dealer, bro&er or salesman.
.2UR% has Hurisdiction over cases for collection of unpaid installments and
claims for damages.
Co Hurisdiction over cases filed by subdivision owners or developers against lot
or unit buyers
1ourt, not .2UR%, has Hurisdiction over issues involving ownership or
possession of property.
SUMMARY OF CASES WHERE
HLURB HAS 1URISDICTION
>or a determination of the rights of the parties under a contract to sell a
subdivision lotA
>or the delivery of title against the subdivision ownerA
>or the refund of reservation fees for the purchase of a subdivision lotA
>or specific performance filed by a lot buyer against the seller of a subdivision
lotA
>or the annulment of the mortgage constituted by the proHect owner without the
buyerGs consent, the mortgage foreclosure sale, and the condominium certificate
of title issued to the highest bidder at the said foreclosure saleA
>or the collection of the balance of the unpaid purchase price of a subdivision lot
filed by the developer of a subdivision against the lot buyerA and
>or incidental claims for damages.
LICENSE TO SELL
-he owner or dealer must have a license to sell the proHect within two wee&s from
the registration of such proHect.
.owever, the absence of a license to sell the subdivision lots does not render the
sale thereof void. -he absence of the license to sell only subHects the
condominium developer and its officers civilly and criminally liable.
EXEMPT TRANSACTIONS
45
Sale of a subdivision lot resulting from the partition of land among co7owners and
co7heirs.
Sale or transfer of a subdivision lot by the original purchaser and any subseuent
sale of the same lot.
Sale of a subdivision lot or a condominium unit by or for the account of a
mortgagee in the ordinary course of business when necessary to liuidate a bona
fide debt.
FOREIGNERS MAY PURCHASE
Under RA Co. 45*@, foreign nationals can own Philippine real estate through the
purchase of condominium units or townhouses up to not more than 4<P of the
total and outstanding capital stoc& of a >ilipino7owned or controlled corporation.
-he land is owned by the condominium corporation and the unit owner is simply
a member in this condominium corporation.
DEALERS AND BROKERS
Co real estate dealer, bro&er or salesman shall engage in the business of selling
subdivision lots or condominium units unless he has registered himself with the
%oard.
Applicant must be of good repute and has complied with the applicable rules of
the Authority
REGISTRATION
All contracts to sell, deeds of sale and other similar instruments relative to the sale
or conveyance of the subdivision lots and condominium units, whether or not the
purchase price is paid in full, shall be registered in the !ffice of the Register of
,eeds of the province or city where the property is situated.
MORTGAGES
Co mortgage on any unit or lot shall be made by the owner or developer without
prior written approval of the %oard. Such approval shall not be granted unless it is
shown that the proceeds of the mortgage loan shall be used for the development of
the condominium or subdivision proHect and effective measures have been
provided to ensure such utili?ation.
-he mortgage of a subdivision lot or a condominium unit is void if e$ecuted by a
property developer without the prior written approval of the .2UR%. -hat an
46
encumbrance has been constituted over an entire property, of which the subHect lot
or unit is merely a part, does not affect the invalidity of the lien over the specific
portion at issue. -he fact that the lot had no separate -1- did not ma&e it less of a
Ssubdivision lotS entitled to the protection of P, 4"5.
*4@
(-he circumstance that ,%P and A,1 e$ecuted the mortgage contract prior to the
selling of the subdivided portions of the property to 1apulong is immaterial
considering that when ,%P granted the loan to A,1, it already &new that the loan
was to be used for realty development. ,%P should have considered that it was
dealing with a property subHect of a real estate development proHect. $ $ $ ,%P
cannot be deemed to be an innocent mortgagee.)
*45

-he essence of the governmentJs sociali?ed housing program is to preserve the
beneficiaryJs ownerships for a reasonable length of time, at least within five years
from the time he acuired it free from any encumbrance.
*46

ADVERTISEMENTS
Advertisements by the owner or developer must not mislead or deceive the public.
A subdivision owner was held in breach when it failed to deliver a (closed7circuit
-E monitor through which residents from their apartments can see their guests)
as advertised. 8%P0 v. A2S /anagement, 3R Co. #"#6*#, April #4, *<<49
TIME OF COMPLETION
Petitioner may be held liable in damages for any delay in the construction.
A reuest for e$tension of time to complete development of a subdivision or
condominium proHect may be granted only where non7completion of the proHect is
caused by fortuitous events or legal ordersand with written notice to lot or unit
buyers.
DESISTANCE OR NON-PAYMENT
OF AMORTIZATIONS
%uyer need not give prior notice before desisting from further paying
amorti?ations.
%uyer may not be ousted for non7payment due to the failure of the subdivision
owner to put up the reuired improvements.
*4@
>ar :ast %an& and -rust 1o, v, /arue?, 3R Co. #454@4, April #4, *<<4.
*45
,%P v. 1apulong, 3R Co. #6#54<, +an. 3<, *<<4.
*46
2alicon v. C.A, 3R Co. #6"44<, +uly #3, *<##.
44
>ailure to develop a subdivision may Hustify non7payment of amorti?ations by a
lot buyer.
>ailure of seller to deliver the condominium unit entitles buyer to cancel contract.
THE MACEDA LAW
%uyer is entitled to the following rights in case he defaults in the payment of
succeeding installments'
3race Period VV to pay, without additional interest, the unpaid installments
due within the total grace period earned by him which is fi$ed at the rate of one
month grace period for every year of installment payments made' Provided- -hat
this right shall be e$ercised by the buyer only once in every five years of the life
of the contract and its e$tensions, if anyA and
Refund of (1ash Surrender Ealue) K if the contract is cancelled, the
seller shall refund to the buyer the cash surrender value of the payments on the
property euivalent to fifty percent of the total payments made and, after five
years of installments, an additional five percent every year but not to e$ceed
ninety per cent of the total payments madeA Provided- -hat the actual cancellation
of the contract shall ta&e place after thirty days from receipt by the buyer of the
notice of cancellation or the demand for rescission of the contract by a notarial act
and upon full payment of the cash surrender value to the buyer.
ISSUANCE OF TITLE
-he owner or developer shall deliver the title of the lot or unit to the buyer upon
full payment of the lot or unit.
:ven with a valid mortgage over the lot, the seller is still bound to redeem said
mortgage without any cost to the buyer apart from the balance of the purchase
price and registration fees.
ROADS, ALLEYS, OPEN SPACES
-he owner as developer of a subdivision shall provide adeuate roads, alleys and
sidewal&s, and for subdivision proHects one hectare or more, reserve 3<P of the
gross area for open space e$clusively for par&s, playgrounds and recreational use.
-hese areas shall be non7alienable public lands, and non7buildable.
-he roads, alleys, sidewal&s and playgrounds shall /e donated by the owner or
developer to the city or municipality and it shall be mandatory for the local
government to acceptA provided, however, that the par&s and playgrounds may be
"<
donated to the .omeowners Association of the proHect with the consent of the city
or municipality concerned.
VISITORIAL POWERS
-he %oard, through its duly authori?ed representative may, at any time, ma&e an
e$amination into the business affairs, administration, and condition of any person,
corporation, partnership, cooperative, or association engaged in the business of
selling subdivision lots and condominium units.
0t may deputi?e the Philippine 1onstabulary or any law enforcement agency in the
e$ecution of its final orders, rulings or decisions.
TAKEOVER DEVELOPMENT
-he %oard may ta&e over or cause the development and completion of the
subdivision or condominium proHect at the e$penses of the owner or developer
who has refused or failed to develop or complete the development of the proHect.
0t may demand, collect and receive from the buyers the installment payments due
on the lots for the development of the subdivision.
ADMINISTRATIVE FINES
-he %oard may prescribe and impose fines not e$ceeding ten thousand pesos for
violations of the provisions of the ,ecree or of any rule or regulation thereunder.
>ines shall be payable to the %oard and enforceable through writs of e$ecution in
accordance with the provisions of the Rules of 1ourt.
.2UR% is without Hurisdiction to determine criminal liability.
ILLUSTRATIVE CASES
Gotesco Properties, Inc. (GPI) v. Fajardo, GR No. 201167, Feb. 27, 2013
Section *" of P, 4"5 imposes on the subdivision owner or developer the
obligation to cause the transfer of the corresponding certificate of title to the buyer upon
%ull pay"ent. >or the long delay in the performance of its obligation, 3P0 substantially
breached its contract to sell which accords the buyers the right to rescind the contract.
:uity and Hustice dictate that the buyers should be allowed to recover the prevailing
mar&et value of the undelivered lot, with payment of moral and e$emplary damages and
attorneyJs fees, including costs of suit.
PNB v. Lim, GR No. 171667, 1an. 30, 2013
"#
-he Hurisdiction of the .2UR% to regulate the real estate trade is broad enough to
include Hurisdiction over complaints for annulment of mortgage. -his is pursuant to the
intent of P, Co. 4"5 to protect hapless buyers from the unHust practices of unscrupulous
developers which may constitute mortgages over condominium proHects sans the
&nowledge of the former and the consent of the .2UR%.
Liwag v. Happy Glen Hope Homeowners Association, Inc., GR No. 189755,
1uly 4, 2012
P, Co. #*#@ e$pressly provides that open spaces in subdivisions are reserved for
public use and are /eyond the co""erce o% "an. -he term Sopen spaceS is defined in P,
#*#@ as San area reserved e$clusively for par&s, playgrounds, recreational uses, schools,
roads, places of worship, hospitals, health centers, barangay centers and other similar
facilities and amenities.) -he enumeration refers to areas reserved for the common
welfare of the community. -he water facility in uestion was used continuously for more
than 3< years as the residentsJ sole source of water and forms part of the area reserved for
open space. -he sale by the subdivision owner of the water facility is null and void and
ma&es out a case of unsound real estate business practice within the e$clusive Hurisdiction
of the .2UR%.
Bethel Realty and Development Corporation v. HLURB, GR No. 184482,
1uly 4, 2012
>or failure of petitioner, %ethel Realty, to deliver the title to the complainants
despite the latterGs full payment of the subdivision lot in uestion, the .2UR% rendered a
decision ordering petitioner to immediately deliver the corresponding title to
complainants, failing in which it shall refund to complainants the total amount paid to it
plus interest and damages. 0n addition, .2UR% directed petitioner to pay damages to
complainants in the sum of P*<,<<<.<<, and to the %oard, administrative fine of
P#<,<<<.<< (for violation of Sections 4, " and *" of Presidential ,ecree Co. 4"5.) -he
decision was affirmed by the 1ourt.
Metropolitan Cebu Water District v. Mactan Rock Industries, Inc., GR No.
172438, 1uly 4, 2012
1iting Pe*a v. ,S+S,
*44
the 1ourt held that although the complaint for specific
performance, annulment of mortgage, and damages filed by the petitioner against the
respondent included title to, possession of, or interest in, real estate, it was well within the
Hurisdiction of the .ousing and 2and Use Regulatory %oard 8.2UR%9, a uasi7Hudicial
body, as it involved a claim against the subdivision developer, RueenJs Row Subdivision,
0nc., as well as the 3overnment Service 0nsurance System 83S0S9. PeOa was later cited in
1adillo v. Court o% Appeals,
3<<
where the 1ourt concluded that the .2UR% had
Hurisdiction over complaints for annul"ent o% title. -he 1ourt also held that courts will
not determine a controversy where the issues for resolution demand the e$ercise of sound
*44
3R Co. #"4"*<, Sept. #4, *<<@, "<* S1RA 363.
3<<
3R Co. #3#4<3, +une *@, *<<6, """ S1RA 43".
"*
administrative discretion, such as that of the .2UR%, the sole regulatory body for
housing and land development.
Ortigas & Co. v. Court of Appeals, GR No. 129822, 1un 20, 2012
Section # of P.,. #344 @ vests in the .2UR% the e$clusive Hurisdiction to hear
and decide the following cases' 8a9 unsound real estate business practicesA 8b9 claims
involving refund and any other claims filed by subdivision lot or condominium unit buyer
against the proHect owner, developer, dealer, bro&er, or salesmanA and 8c9 cases nvolving
specific performance of contractual and statutory obligations filed by buyers of
subdivision lots or condominium units against the owner, developer, dealer, bro&er or
salesman. 0n the conte$t of the evident obHective of Section #, it is implicit that the
Sunsound real estate business practiceS would, li&e the offended party in paragraphs 8b9
and 8c9, be the buyers of lands involved in development. -he policy of the law is to curb
unscrupulous practices in real estate trade and business that preHudice buyers. %ut not
every case involving buyers and sellers of subdivision lots or condominium units can be
filed with the .2UR%. 0ts Hurisdiction is limited to those cases filed by the buyer or
owner of a subdivision lot or condominium unit and based on any of the causes of action
enumerated in Section # of P, #344.
3<#
Go v. Distinction Properties Development and Construction, Inc., GR No.
194024, April 25, 2012
-he .2UR% is given a wide latitude in characteri?ing or categori?ing acts which
may constitute unsound business practice or breach of contractual obligations in the real
estate trade. -his grant of e$pansive Hurisdiction to the .2UR% does not mean, however,
that all cases involving subdivision lots or condominium units automatically fall under its
Hurisdiction. >or an action to fall within the e$clusive Hurisdiction of the .2UR%, the
decisive element is the nature of the action as enumerated in Section # of P, #344. 0t has
been consistently held that the concerned administrative agency, .2UR%, has
Hurisdiction over complaints aimed at compelling the subdivision developer to co"ply
with its contractual and statutory o/ligation.
3<*
A perusal of the complaint discloses that
petitioners are actually see&ing to nullify and invalidate the duly constituted acts of
P.11 K the April *4, *<<" Agreement *5 entered into by P.11 with ,P,10 and its
%oard Resolution *6 which authori?ed the acceptance of the proposed
offsetting;settlement of ,P,10Js indebtedness and approval of the conversion of certain
units from saleable to common areas. Petitioners alleged causes of action are nott
cogni?able by the .2UR% considering the nature of the action and the reliefs sought.
Luzon Development Bank v. Enriquez, GR No. 168646, 1an. 12, 2011.
,:2-A violated Section #6 of P, 4"5 in mortgaging the properties in ,elta .omes 0
8including 2ot 49 to the %ACI without prior clearance from the .2UR%. -his violation
renders the mortgage void. =e have held before that Sa mortgage contract e$ecuted in
3<#
1iting ,elos Santos v. Sarmiento, 3R Co. #"4655, /arch *5, *<<5, "#4 S1RA @*, 5".
3<*
1iting 1hristian 3eneral Assembly, 0nc. v. 0gnacio, 3R Co. #@4564, August *5, *<<4, "45 S1RA *@@.
"3
breach of Section #6 of MP, 4"5N is null and void.S 1onsidering that SP, 4"5 aims to
protect innocent subdivision lot and condominium unit buyers against fraudulent real
estate practices,S we have construed Section #6 thereof as Sprohibitory and acts
committed contrary to it are void.) Sec. #5 of P, 4"5 reuires that contracts to sell
registered is registered with the Register of ,eeds in order to ma&e it binding on third
parties. %ut despite non7registration, the %ACI cannot be considered an innocent
purchaser for value since it was well aware that the assigned properties, including 2ot 4,
were subdivision lots and therefore within the purview of P, 4"5.
1USTICE OSWALDO D. AGCAOILI
Philippine +udicial Academy
Supreme 1ourt
""*74@3@, 4**7<*3*, <4*<74"<@364
:mail' oswaldodagcaoiliByahoo.com
Reference:
AGCAOILI, Property Registration Decree and Related Laws (Land Titles and
Deeds) 2011 ed., (with a foreword by Chief justice Reynato S. Puno), cited by the
Supreme Court as ~one o' the recogni(ed te)t*oo+s on property registration in &land
Philippines $nc, v. -arcia, GR No. 173289, Feb. 17, 2010. See also: Agcaoili, Law
on %at"ral Reso"rces and &nvironmental Law Developments (with a Foreword by
1ustice Adolfo S. Azcuna, Chancellor, Philippine 1udicial Academy, Supreme
Court), and Reviewer in Property Registration and Related Laws (With Sample
M!s and S"ggested #nswers) . Published by REX Book Store, Inc.
"4