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Land, Title and Deeds

Concept of Torrens System


The Torrens system does not create or vest title. It only confirms and records title already
existing and vested. It does not protect an usurper from the true owner. It cannot be a shield for
the commission of fraud. It does not permit one to enrich himself at the expense of another.
(Angeles vs Samia, 66 Phil 444).
Advantages of the Torrens System
1.
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8.

It abolishes endless fees.


It eliminates repeated examinations of titles.
It reduces records enormously.
It instantly reveals ownership.
It protects against encumbrances not noted on the Torrens certificate.
It makes fraud almost impossible.
It assures.
It keeps up the system without adding to the burden of taxation because the beneficiaries of
the system pay the fees.
9. It eliminates tax titles.
10. It gives practically eternal title as the State insures perpetually.
11. It furnishes state title insurance instead of private title insurance.
12. It makes possible the transfer of titles or of loans within the compass of hours instead of a
matter of days and weeks.
Regalian Doctrine
> Generally, under this concept, private title to land must be traced to some grant, express or
implied, from the Spanish Crown or its successors, the American Colonial Government, and
thereafter, the Philippine Republic
> In a broad sense, the term refers to royal rights, or those rights to which the King has by virtue of
his prerogatives
> The theory of jure regalia was therefore nothing more than a natural fruit of conquest
CONNECTED TO THIS IS THE STATES POWER OF DOMINUUM
> Capacity of the state to own or acquire propertyfoundation for the early Spanish decree
embracing the feudal theory of jura regalia
> This concept was first introduced through the Laws of the Indies and the Royal Cedulas
> The Philippines passed to Spain by virtue of discovery and conquest. Consequently, all lands
became the exclusive patrimony and dominion of the Spanish Crown.
> The Law of the Indies was followed by the Ley Hipotecaria or the Mortgage Law of 1893. This
law provided for the systematic registration of titles and deeds as well as possessory claims
> The Maura Law: was partly an amendment and was the last Spanish land law promulgated in the
Philippines, which required the adjustment or registration of all agricultural lands, otherwise the
lands shall revert to the State
TAKE NOTE THAT THE REGALIAN DOCTRINE IS ENSHRINED IN OUR PRESENT AND PAST
CONSTITUTIONS THE 1987 CONSTITUTION PROVIDES UNDER NATIONAL ECONOMY AND
PATRIMONY THE FOLLOWING
> Section 2. 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. With the exception of agricultural lands, all other natural
resources shall not be alienated. The exploration, development, and utilization of natural resources
shall be under the full control and supervision of the State. The State may directly undertake such
activities, or it may enter into co-production, joint venture, or production-sharing agreements with
Filipino citizens, or corporations or associations at least sixty per centum of whose capital is owned
by such citizens. Such agreements may be for a period not exceeding
twenty-five years, renewable for not more than twenty-five years, and under such terms and
conditions as may be provided by law. In cases of water rights for irrigation, water supply fisheries,
or industrial uses other than the development of water power, beneficial use may be the measure
and limit of the grant.
> The abovementioned provision provides that except for agricultural lands for public domain
which alone may be alienated, forest or timber, and mineral lands, as well as all other natural
resources must remain with the State, the exploration, development and utilization of which shall
be subject to its full
control and supervision albeit allowing it to enter into coproduction, joint venture or productionsharing agreements, or into agreements with foreign-owned corporations involving technical or
financial assistance for large-scale exploration, development, and utilization
THE 1987 PROVISION HAD ITS ROOTS IN THE 1935 CONSTITUTION
WHICH PROVIDES
> Section 1. All agricultural timber, and mineral lands of the public domain, waters, minerals, coal,
petroleum, and other mineral oils, all forces of potential energy and other natural resources of the
Philippines belong to the State, and their disposition, exploitation, development, or utilization
shall be limited to citizens of the Philippines or to corporations or associations at least sixty per
centum of the capital of which is owned by such citizens, subject to any existing right, grant, lease,
or concession at the time of the inauguration of the Government established under this
Constitution. Natural resources, with the exception of public agricultural land, shall not be
alienated, and no license, concession, or lease for the exploitation, development, or utilization of
any of the natural resources shall be granted for a period exceeding twenty-five years, renewable
for another twenty-five years, except as to water rights for irrigation, water
supply, fisheries, or industrial uses other than the development of water power, in which cases
beneficial use may be the measure and limit of the grant.
THE 1973 CONSTITUTION REITERATED THE REGALIAN DOCTRINE
AS FOLLOWS
> Section 8. All lands of public domain, waters, minerals, coal, petroleum and other mineral oils,
all forces of potential energy, fisheries, wildlife, and other natural resources of the Philippines
belong to the State. With the exception of agricultural, industrial or commercial, residential, or
resettlement lands of the public domain, natural resources shall not be alienated, and no license,
concession, or lease for the exploration, or utilization of any of the natural resources shall be
granted for a period exceeding twentyfive years, except as to water rights for irrigation, water
supply, fisheries, or industrial uses other than development of water power, in which cases,
beneficial use may by the measure and the limit of the grant.
THE REGALIAN DOCTRINE DOESN'T NEGATE NATIVE TITLE. THIS IS IN PURSUANCE TO
WHAT HAS BEEN HELD IN CRUZ V. SECRETARY OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL
RESOURCES
> Petitioners challenged the constitutionality of Indigenous Peoples Rights Act on the ground that
it amounts to an unlawful deprivation of the States ownership over lands of the public domain and
all other natural resources therein, by recognizing the right of ownership of ICC or IPs to their
ancestral domains and ancestral lands on the basis of native title.
> As the votes were equally divided, the necessary majority wasnt obtained and petition was
dismissed and the laws validity was upheld
> Justice Kapunan: Regalian theory doesnt negate the native title to lands held in private

ownership since time immemorial, adverting to the landmark case of CARINO V. LOCAL
GOVERNMENT, where the US SC through Holmes held: xxx 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 conquest, and never to have been public land.
> Existence of native titie to land, or ownership of land by Filipinos by virtue of possession under a
claim of ownership since time immemorial and independent of any grant from the Spanish crown
as an exception to the theory of jure regalia
> Justice Puno: Carino case firmly established a concept of private land title that existed
irrespective of any royal grant from the State and was based on the strong mandate extended to the
Islands via the Philippine Bill of 1902. The IPRA recognizes the existence of ICCs/IPs as a distinct
sector in the society. It grants this people the ownership and possession of their ancestral domains
and ancestral lands and defines the extent of these lands and domains
> Justice Vitug: Carino cannot override the collective will of the people expressed in the
Constitution.
> Justice Panganiban: all Filipinos, whether indigenous or not, are subject to the Constitution, and
that no one is exempt from its allencompassing provisions

Citizenship Requirements
As a rule, only Filipino citizens and corporations or partnerships with least 60% of the shares are
owned by Filipinos are entitled to acquire land in the Philippines.
Aliens can acquire land in the Philippines only on a few exceptions: 1) Acquisition before the 1935
constitution. 2) Acquisition thru hereditary succession -if the foreigner is a legal heir. 4) Purchase
of not more than 40% interest as a whole in a condominium project. 4) Purchase by a former
natural born Filipino citizen who acquired foreign citizenship & has not applied and granted dual
citizenship can purchase up to 1,000 square meters of residential land and 1 hectare of agricultural
or farm land.
Cruz V Secretary of DENR
Facts:Former Justice Isagani Cruz, a noted constitutionalist, assailed the validity of the Republic
Act No. 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA Law) on the ground that the law amount
to an unlawful deprivation of the States ownership over lands of the public domain as well as
minerals and other natural resources therein, in violation of the regalian doctrine embodied in
Section 2, Article XII of the Constitution. The IPRA law basically enumerates the rights of the
indigenous peoples over ancestral domains which may include natural resources.
In addition, Cruz et al contend that, by providing for an all-encompassing definition of ancestral
domains and ancestral lands which might even include private lands found within said areas,
Sections 3(a) and 3(b) of said law also violate the rights of private landowners.

ISSUE: Whether or not the IPRA law is unconstitutional.

HELD: The Supreme Court deliberated upon the matter. After deliberation they voted and reached
a 7-7 vote. They deliberated again and the same result transpired. Since there was no majority
vote, Cruzs petition was dismissed and the constitutionality of the IPRA law was sustained. Hence,
ancestral domains may include public domain somehow against the regalian doctrine.

Ancestral lands and ancestral domains are not part of lands in public domain. The right of the
native does not include natural resources, what is given is priority rights, not the exclusive rights.
Yap vs DENR
These are two consolidated cases.
G.R. No. 167707
Boracay Mayor Jose Yap et al filed for declaratory relief to have a judicial confirmation of
imperfect title or survey of land for titling purposes for the land theyve been occupying in
Boracay. Yap et al alleged thatProclamation No. 1801 and PTA Circular No. 3-82 raised doubts on
their right to secure titles over their occupied lands. They declared that they themselves, or
through their predecessors-in-interest, had been in open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious
possession and occupation in Boracay since June 12, 1945, or earlier since time immemorial. They
declared their lands for tax purposes and paid realty taxes on them.
The Republic, through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), opposed the petition for
declaratory relief. The OSG countered that Boracay Island was an unclassified land of the public
domain. It formed part of the mass of lands classified as public forest, which was not available
for disposition pursuant to Section 3(a) of Presidential Decree (PD) No. 705 or the Revised
Forestry Code. Since Boracay Island had not been classified as alienable and disposable, whatever
possession they had cannot ripen into ownership. RTC Ruled in favor of Yap et al. The OSG
appealed.
G.R. No. 173775
During the pendency of G.R. No. 167707, in May 2006, then President Gloria MacapagalArroyo issuedProclamation No. 1064 classifying Boracay Island into four hundred (400) hectares
of reserved forest land (protection purposes) and six hundred twenty-eight and 96/100 (628.96)
hectares of agricultural land (alienable and disposable). The Proclamation likewise provided for a
fifteen-meter buffer zone on each side of the centerline of roads and trails, reserved for right-ofway and which shall form part of the area reserved for forest land protection purposes.
Subsequently, Dr. Orlando Sacay, and other Boracay landowners in Boracay filed with the
Supreme Court (SC) an original petition for prohibition, mandamus, and nullification
of Proclamation No. 1064. They alleged that the Proclamation infringed on their prior vested
rights over portions of Boracay. They have been in continued possession of their respective lots in
Boracay since time immemorial. They have also invested billions of pesos in developing their lands
and building internationally renowned first class resorts on their lots.
The OSG again opposed Sacays petition. The OSG argued that Sacay et al do not have a vested
right over their occupied portions in the island. Boracay is an unclassified public forest land
pursuant to Section 3(a) of PD No. 705. Being public forest, the claimed portions of the island are
inalienable and cannot be the subject of judicial confirmation of imperfect title. It is only the
executive department, not the courts, which has authority to reclassify lands of the public domain
into alienable and disposable lands. There is a need for a positive government act in order to
release the lots for disposition.
ISSUES: Whether Proclamation No. 1801 and PTA Circular No. 3-82 pose any legal obstacle for
Yap et al and Sacay et al, and all those similarly situated, to acquire title to their occupied lands in
Boracay Island.

HELD: Yes. The SC ruled against Yap et al and Sacay et al. The Regalian Doctrine dictates that all
lands of the public domain belong to the State, that the State is the source of any asserted right to
ownership of land and charged with the conservation of such patrimony. All lands that have not
been acquired from the government, either by purchase or by grant, belong to the State as part of
the inalienable public domain.
A positive act declaring land as alienable and disposable is required. In keeping with the
presumption of State ownership, there must be a positive act of the government, such as an
official proclamation, declassifying inalienable public land into disposable land for agricultural or
other purposes. In the case at bar, no such proclamation, executive order, administrative action,
report, statute, or certification was presented. The records are bereft of evidence showing that,
prior to 2006, the portions of Boracay occupied by private claimants were subject of a
government proclamation that the land is alienable and disposable. Absent such well-nigh
incontrovertible evidence, the Court cannot accept the submission that lands occupied by private
claimants were already open to disposition before 2006. Matters of land classification or
reclassification cannot be assumed.
Also, private claimants also contend that their continued possession of portions of Boracay Island
for the requisite period of ten (10) years under Act No. 926 ipso facto converted the island into
private ownership. Private claimants continued possession under Act No. 926 does not create a
presumption that the land is alienable. It is plain error for petitioners to argue that under the
Philippine Bill of 1902 and Public Land Act No. 926, mere possession by private individuals of
lands creates the legal presumption that the lands are alienable and disposable.
Private claimants are not entitled to apply for judicial confirmation of imperfect title under CA
No. 141. Neither do they have vested rights over the occupied lands under the said law. There are
two requisites for judicial confirmation of imperfect or incomplete title under CA No. 141, namely:
(1) open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious possession and occupation of the subject land by
himself or through his predecessors-in-interest under a bona fide claim of ownership since time
immemorial or from June 12, 1945; and
(2) the classification of the land as alienable and disposable land of the public domain.
The tax declarations in the name of private claimants are insufficient to prove the first element of
possession. The SC noted that the earliest of the tax declarations in the name of private claimants
were issued in 1993. Being of recent dates, the tax declarations are not sufficient to convince this
Court that the period of possession and occupation commenced on June 12, 1945.
Yap et al and Sacay et al insist that they have a vested right in Boracay, having been in possession
of the island for a long time. They have invested millions of pesos in developing the island into a
tourist spot. They say their continued possession and investments give them a vested right which
cannot be unilaterally rescinded by Proclamation No. 1064.
The continued possession and considerable investment of private claimants do not automatically
give them a vested right in Boracay. Nor do these give them a right to apply for a title to the land
they are presently occupying. The SC is constitutionally bound to decide cases based on the
evidence presented and the laws applicable. As the law and jurisprudence stand, private claimants
are ineligible to apply for a judicial confirmation of title over their occupied portions in Boracay
even with their continued possession and considerable investment in the island.

Krivenko vs Register of Deeds,

Facts: An alien bought a residential lot and itsregistration was denied by the Register of Deeds
onthe ground that being an alien, he cannot acquire landin this jurisdiction. When the former
brought the caseto the CFI, the court rendered judgement sustainingthe refusal of the Register of
Deeds.
Issue: WON an alien may own private lands in thePhilippines.
Held: No. Public agricultural lands mentioned in Sec.1, Art. XIII of the 1935 Constitution,
include residential,commercial and industrial lands, the Court stated:
Natural resources, with the exception of publicagricultural land, shall not be alienated, and with
respect to public agricultural lands, their alienation islimited to Filipino citizens. But this
constitutionalpurpose conserving agricultural resources in the handsof Filipino citizens may easily
be defeated by theFilipino citizens themselves who may alienate their agricultural lands in favor of
aliens.Thus Section 5, Article XIII provides:Save in cases of hereditary succession,
no privateagricultural lands will be transferred or assignedexcept to individuals, corporations or
associationsqualified to acquire or hold lands of the public domainin the Philippines.
Seeing as how Article XIII section 1 limits the alienation of public agricultural lands to Filipino
citizens, this may easily be circumvented by a simple transfer from a Filipino citizen in favor of an
alien.[1] Thus, Section 5 of the same constitution addresses this explicitly.
Section 5. Save in cases of hereditary succession, no private agricultural land shall be transferred
or assigned except to individuals, corporations, or associations qualified to acquire or hold lands of
the public domain in the Philippines.[2]
When Sections 1 and 5 are read together, it is therefore clear that aliens are prohibited from
acquiring lands in the Philippines, subject to exceptions provided by law. [1]
The penned decision referred to the Constitutional Convention, specifically the report of the
Committee on Nationalization and Preservation of Lands and other Natural Resources, for the
purpose behind the principle:"that lands, minerals, forests, and other natural resources constitute
the exclusive heritage of the Filipino nation. They should, therefore, be preserved for those under
the sovereign authority of that nation and for their posterity." (2 Aruego, Framing of the Filipino
Constitution, p. 595.)[1]
This is further supported by the CA 141, which blocked out the right of aliens from acquiring
property by reciprocity; previously granted them by the Public Land Act No. 2874 sections 120 and
121.[1]
The Supreme Court affirmed the act of the Register of Deeds in denying the registration of
Krivenkos land, and established itself as a landmark case when addressing the issue of foreign
ownership of lands within the jurisdiction of the Philippines.
PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 1529
AMENDING AND CODIFYING THE LAWS RELATIVE TO REGISTRATION OF PROPERTY AND FOR OTHER
PURPOSES

CHAPTER III
ORIGINAL REGISTRATION
I
ORDINARY REGISTRATION PROCEEDINGS
A. APPLICATIONS
Section 14. Who may apply. The following persons may file in the proper Court of First Instance an application
for registration of title to land, whether personally or through their duly authorized representatives:
(1) Those who by themselves or through their predecessors-in-interest have been in open, continuous,
exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of alienable and disposable lands of the public
domain under a bona fide claim of ownership since June 12, 1945, or earlier.
(2) Those who have acquired ownership of private lands by prescription under the provision of existing
laws.
(3) Those who have acquired ownership of private lands or abandoned river beds by right of accession
or accretion under the existing laws.
(4) Those who have acquired ownership of land in any other manner provided for by law.
Where the land is owned in common, all the co-owners shall file the application jointly.
Where the land has been sold under pacto de retro, the vendor a retro may file an application for the original
registration of the land, provided, however, that should the period for redemption expire during the pendency of
the registration proceedings and ownership to the property consolidated in the vendee a retro, the latter shall be
substituted for the applicant and may continue the proceedings.
A trustee on behalf of his principal may apply for original registration of any land held in trust by him, unless
prohibited by the instrument creating the trust.