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LTD Transcript (First Meeting- July 23, 2016)

Samantha Feril and Jackie Gan

2D (AY 2016-2017)
How does one acquire ownership over a piece
of land? It is trough possession. Possession is
the outward manifestation of a persons control
over a piece of land.
How would you be able to assert and enforce
his right of ownership? Primary questions asked
in land controversies are: Who owns the land?
Would possession be sufficient to enable a
person to exercise control over such land to the
exclusion of others? How can that person
compel third persons to recognize his
ownership so that he cannot be disturbed from
his enjoyment? What pieces of evidence can
the courts admit in order to enforce a persons
claim of ownership?
Before the Spanish conquest in the Philippines,
its inhabitants settle in different areas in small
groups and communitiesmeaning, communal
organization embodies the concept of private
land ownership. Our ancestors are well aware
that they exercise temporary control over the
land they occupied. However, upon the
conquest, the King of Spain proclaimed full
ownership over all lands so that lands can only
be acquired from the government. At that time,
he was the sovereign.
What are the modes of acquiring ownership?
Either by purchase or other modes of land grab,
such as enconmienda or royal grant. In United
States of America, they use the Torrens system
of land registration. Act no. 496 was enacted for
land registration. It was only in 1978 that this
was repealed and replaced by the present law,
PD. 1529 (Land Registration Act). It is the source
of the rules governing private land ownership.

Definition of terms:

Land- solid part surface of the earth

Land title- evidence of the right of the owner of
his interest; means by which he gain control
and as a rule, assert of right to exclusive
possession and enjoyment of the property
Certificate of title- document of evidence of
ownership or title, either original certificate of
title (issued for the first time to the owner) or
transferred certificate of title (when the land is
subject to subsequent transaction; it has
already been registered under the Torrens
Deed-refers to a written instrument executed in
accordance with the form prescribed by law
wherein a person grants or conveys to another
certain lands, tenements, or hereditaments; it is
the subject of different transactions, sales, or
donations; document evidencing the
transaction, agreement, or contract (ex. Deed
of Donation, Deed of Assignment)
*What could be the evidence of contracts, like
sale? Deed of Absolute Sale
*In transferring a land from one person to
another, like sale, there should be a document
evidencing the sale (Deed of Absolute Sale)
*In order that a deed is considered effective
and binding to third persons, what are the
requirements provided by law?
1. The grantor or the transferor of the land
2. The grantee or the transferee
3. The description of the property involved
(Why is this important? Because it satisfies the
requirement of the contract that the offer must
be certain and determinate; the description
determines the object of the contract)
4. Words of grant- words that usually found in a
deed (transfers, conveys, assigns)
5. Signature of the grantor (Why is this
important? It satisfies one element of the
contract: consent; signifies the voluntary act of
the transferor)
6. Participation of the public in the deed
attestation of at least 2 witnesses
7. Notarial acknowledgementrenders the
document a public document (Important


because under Section 112 of PD 1529, the

document becomes a registrable document)
Registration- the entry made in the Registry
which records solemnly and permanently the
right of ownership and other real rights
Classification of lands:
A. Refer to Art. 414 of the Civil Code
-Real or immovable property (Art. 415):
susceptible of private ownership and
-Personal or movable property
B. According to acquisition
-Public lands or lands of public domain: those
which has not been segregated from the
general mass of the public domain
-Private lands: those which are segregated
already from a grant by the State and which are
in the possession of the original grantees and
their successors; they are registrable under the
Torrens System of Land Registration
C. According the Constitution
-Forest lands
-Mineral lands
-Agricultural lands
-National parts (?)
*Only agricultural lands can be the subject of
appropriation or private ownership, therefore
may be registered under the Torrens system
D. According to ownership under the Civil Code
-Lands of public dominion (Art. 420)
-Land of private ownership (Art. 425)
*Land of public dominion:
In the case of Malabanan vs. Republic, the
Supreme Court described lands of public
dominion into three types:
1. Lands devoted to public use
2. Lands devoted to public service
3. Lands devoted to the development of
the national wealth

-Alienable and disposable lands (those which

are capable of appropriation)
-Inalienable lands (those which are not capable
of appropriation or private ownership)
F. According to registration of the lands under
the Torrens System
-Registered lands (lands that are covered by
certificate of title)
-Unregistered lands (no certificate of title issued
to the person claiming ownership)
G. According to susceptibility
-Registrable lands (those susceptible to private
-Non-registrable lands (not registered under the
Torrens System)
*Supreme Court in several decisions declared
certain lands as non-registrable:
-those devoted to general public use (e.g. public
roads, plazas, parks, riverbanks)
-those devoted to public service (e.g. city/town
-those essential to public service, defense or
safety (e.g. before Fort Bonifacio was essential
to public defense)
-those preserved and cannot be acquired by
private persons (e.g. mineral lands, rivers,
streams, creeks, lakes, watershed, grazing
lands, alluvial deposits)

Two systems of land registration

1. Torrens System which is covered now by PD
1529 or the Property Registration Decree
(system of judicial registration for ownership of
2. System of Recording Unregistered Landsgoverned by PD 1529 Sec. 113
*Before February 16, 1976, we have a third
system of land registration: System under the
Spanish Mortgage Law which has been
abolished already by the issuance of PD 892 (?)

E. According to alienability of the land


What are the purposes of registration under

the Torrens System?
1. To quiet title to land (Sec. 31 of PD
2. To relieve land of unknown liens,
burdens, or claims, whether just or
unjust (Sec. 44 of PD 1529)
3. To prevent fraudulent claims (Sec. 51
and 53)
4. To establish priority in rights (Sec. 56)
5. To create indefeasible and
imprescriptible title (Sec. 32 and 47)
6. To provide means of publication or
constructive notice to third persons
(Sec. 52)
7. To provide stability to land titles (Sec.
90-102: provisions on assurance fund)
To quite title to land
-Legarda vs. Saleeby: The primary and
fundamental purpose of the Torrens system is
to finally settle title to the lands. When land is
once registered under the Torrens system, the
title thereto is settled and unimpeachable after
the expiration of 1 year. It is not subject again
under another action for registration. It is to put
a stop forever to any question as to the legality
of the title, except those that noted on the title
itself or those which claims which may arise
subsequent to the registration of the land.
-Once the title is registered, the owner is
secured. It avoids the possibility of losing his
-Two aspects of this purpose: (1) settlement
and legality of title and (2) security of the
registered owner
To relieve land of unknown liens, burdens, or
claims, whether just or unjust
1. In order that a land may be registered under
the Torrens System (ordinary mode of
registration), the person must file a petition or
application for registration in court. In and
registration proceedings, there is a requirement
that any other person claiming right or interest
over the land must file his answer or opposition
to the application or petition.

What is the effect if he does not file his claim?

He will be barred forever from asserting such
claim. If the land is then registered in the name
of the person who filed petition, he will obtain a
certificate of title.
What is the significance of the certificate of title
as far as the registered owner is
concerned?According to Sec. 44, the person
who gets the certificate of the title owns the
property free from all encumbrances. So the
claims, liens, and encumbrances that were not
noted in the title can no longer bind the
registered owner. Hence the consequence is
that it relieves the land of unknown liens and
burdens, except statutory liens provided in Sec.
44. There are four legal statutory or legal liens
(See Sec. 44).
To prevent fraudulent claims
-Two aspects with respect to transactions:
(1) Under Sec. 51, registration is the operative
act which affects the land insofar as third
parties are concerned to bind third persons.
(2) Under this purpose, transactions can no
longer be kept in secrecy. It is known to the
public by the mere act of registering land.
Registration protects the owner. What is effect
of registration of a forged deed of conveyance?
Under Section 53, it is null and void
To establish priority in rights
-Sec 56 (also related to Sec. 51)
-Priority in rights is determined by the date of
-What is the thing you register in the Registry of
Deeds? You register the documents evidencing
the transaction. That document will be entered
in a book maintained by the Registry. The
preliminary entry is made in the primary entry
-To determine who registered first: check the
order of receipt of that documenthence,
priority in rights or the preferential right is
determined by the reception of the document.
-Two illustrations:


(a) Double sale- There are two different buyers.

Assuming that both of them are in good faith
(they do not know that the same land was sold
by the same seller). Who is considered the
owner of the land subject to double sale? It is
the one who first registered. Even if the second
buyer who first registered the Deed of Sale, he
has the preferential right.
(b) The property of the debtor is registered. Let
us say Creditor A and B filed cases against the
debtor and both obtained a favorable judgment
(Php 1M each). To enforce the right of creditors
by virtue of the judgment given in their case,
Creditor A and B pursued against the debtors
property through attachment or levy on
execution. What is the effect if Creditor A was
able to register the levy on execution ahead of
B? Creditor A has the preferential right. The
property will then be sold to public auction
(execution sale).
*What is preferential right? Preferential right
means being paid ahead of the other creditor.
In the given example, the property was sold at
the public auction for Php 1.5 million. How
much would Creditor A get? Php 1M. How
much would Creditor B get? Php 500k.
Assuming that the property was sold for only
Php 500k, Creditor A will get Php 500k.
To create indefeasible and imprescriptible title
-Upon the expiration of one year, the decree of
registration and certificate of title issued shall
become incontrovertible or incontestable.
-What do you mean by defeasible title?
Incapable of being defeated-- It means that the
person who owns the title cannot be defeated
by any other document saying that another
person is the owner of the same property.
-Supreme Court: It is settled in law that a
certificate of title is the best proof of
ownership. A partys declaration of a real
property for tax purposes (evidenced tax
declaration) or payment of real estate taxes
(evidenced by real estate tax receipt) or
presentation of document stating that he is

supposed to be the owner of the land cannot

defeat a certificate of title.
-What does imprescriptible title mean? See.
Sec. 47 (no title can be acquired by acquisitive
prescription or adverse possession)
-One of the modes of acquiring ownership
under Art. 712 of the Civil Code is prescription.
This means that a person has been in
possession of the land continuously for a period
of time prescribed by law. One acquires
ownership through the lapse of time
(acquisitive prescription). The other type is
extinctive prescription (usually applicable in
-The registered owner cannot lose his property
through acquisitive prescription.
-Let us say in 1972, the person was able to
register his land and acquired a certificate of
title, but because Martial Law was declared, he
left the Philippines and resided in US. After he
left the Philippines, a third person entered the
land and gained possession of the land. He
stayed there, paid taxes, and made
improvements from 1973 to 2016 (more or less
40 years). Under the Civil Code, the period of
prescription of possession in bad faith is 30
years. Hence, after 30 years, he will be divested
of ownership. But in the example, the third
person didnt gain ownership because the land
is registered. The title of the registered owner is
imprescriptible; hence, he can recover the land.

To provide means of publication or
constructive notice to third persons
To provide stability to land titles
-A person will be the real owner of the property
if he files his property through registration and
the title registrant is protected by the law but a
person who lost his property may however
claim damages or compensation from the
assurance fund.
-Every time, you register a document, may
bayad yan. Part of the registration fee goes to

the assurance fund. Parang insurance yan! To

those who own a private land who also pays the
costs of registration, it may apply for certain
conditions prescribed by law. While a person
may seek compensation from the assurance
-So, the effect is that there is stability to land
titles. The registration provides stability to land
titles as long as the registrant has the value of
an innocent registrant, then you are protected
by law. And, you acquire the title or the
ownership of the property.

Registration does not vest title but merely

confirms title to the land. It means that
registration is not a mode of acquiring
ownership. It will not give you title. You register
your ownership and therefore, registration
merely confirms your ownership to the land. If
you're not the real owner of the land, there's
nothing to confirm. The real owner can still
recover the land from you even if it's registered
in your name because registration does not vest
title in the land, merely confirms. That is why
the judgment of the land registration case is to
confirm title of the land, that would be the
dispositive portion of the land registration
Registration does not also validate an invalid
document or cure its legal defects. In a deed of
donation that is registered but the deed does
not contain an acceptance by the donee, its not
valid even if it's already registered because
acceptance of the donee is a requirement of the
validity of the donation.
Since registration merely confirms title to the
land, it is not one of the modes of acquiring
ownership. It does not give the registrant a
better right of what he actually has if the
registration was done in bad faith.
Earlier weve mentioned the 2 systems of
-System of registration under the Torrens

-System of recording of unregistered land

What is the effect if the evidence of the doc
evidencing the transaction was registered in
the wrong system of land registration? (How is
this possible? The land is already a registered
land but it was registered in the book for
unregistered land.)
-Ordinarily, the transaction of the registered
land should be registered where? The book for
registration for registered land. There is another
for unregistered land.
-The SC said that, where the law or a
registration system requires a particular doc to
be registered and such registration was
accomplished under the wrong system, such
registration is legally ineffective and cannot
bind the property.
-For example, in one case, the attachment of
land was registered in the wrong system of
registration for the unregistered land, then was
sold in a public auction. On the other hand, the
same land was sold by the registered owner to
another person. And the same was registered in
a different system of land registration. So, who
between the two has a better right over the
property involved? It was even said that the
attachment was registered ahead of the sale
but only problem is in the wrong book.
Answer: the one who registered it in the
correct system because the registration of the
land in the wrong system is legally ineffective
and cannot bind the property.
Why? According to SC, the person verifying the
permanent record of the title would naturally
examine the registration book for registered
land. If you want to know the status and
condition of the property, what book would you
examine? Book for registered land. You cannot
be bound by the principle of constructive
notice. One should be notified if there is a
registration is in the correct book of registration
because that is part of the verifying.
-The doctrine of constructive notice does not
apply to the person registering the land, if the


person registered the land in the book of the

unregistered land.

*What is the object/subject matter of

Generally it is the immovable or real propery/
real rights over immovable property

be issued to the grantee. (Ex of patent

land: Free patent, sales patent)
Special patent for the cultural minority
or the indigenous people
The emancipation patent under PD 27 is
actually a govt. grant because the
property before it is already a private


Intellectual creation
In consequence of contract by

What is the source of the title to land?

-Source of title to land emanates from the State
(Regalian doctrine simply means that land
ownership or title emanates from the State)


Government grant
Adverse possession/prescription
Voluntary transfer
Involuntary alienation

*Modes of acquiring grant of ownership under

Royal grant
Special grant
Adjustment title
Title by purchase
Possessory Information Title

Government grant
-There is governmentt grant whenever public
land is conveyed to some private individual
- Regalian doctrine: basis of government grant;
title to land must emanate from some source, it
cannot arise from nowhere. Public land can be
acquired by private persons without a form of
grant registration in line from the govt.
lands of public domain or public land Can be
acquired through some form of law.
-What is the law? Public Land Act CA 141
-Usually the basis of the govt. grant is by
possession of the land. You will have to comply
with the conditions prescribed by law in order
that the possession would be the basis of govt.
grant under the law.
After compliance with the conditions
prescribed by land, a patent land may

*Private land titles from the government can be

acquired either by grant or purchase.


As a consequence of the royal proclamation of
land ownership by the king of the state (the
king or royalty or regal), the people may only
claim the title over the lands owned by the king
from the king himself. He is the source of the
persons title to the land.
That is why it is called Regalian doctrine from
the word regal or king.
The title of the land must come from
somebody, that somebody is the King of Spain,
he was the sovereign. He is identified with the
Sec 2, art 12 of 1987 Consti (Memorize)
Sec 1, Art 13 of 1935 Conti
Sec 8, Art 14 of 1973 Consti
*Only exception is the agricultural lands-- all
other things must not be alienated.


*Now, how can private individuals become

By grant
By purchase
-SEC OF DENR vs Mayor Jose Yap explained
Regalian Doctrine:
All lands of the public domain are owned by the
The State is the source of any ascertained right
to the ownership of the land and charged with
the conservation of such patrimony.
All lands not otherwise appearing will clearly
retain private ownership, not presumed to
belong to the State.
All lands that had not been acquired from the
govt either by purchase or grant belong to the
State as part of the inalienable public domain.

longer physically forest or timber, it remains to

be non-registrable.
-It requires a positive act from the government
declaring it as alienable and disposable land of
the public domain, without this positive
declaration by the government, it cannot be
acquired privately, it is not susceptible to
private ownership and therefore the land is
Possession of the land from time
immemorial by claimant or his
predecessor in interest
Church or ecclesiastical property

*Our present Land Law bases our rules on the

Regalian Doctrine.
*If the land has been classified as forest or
timber land, and it remains to be classifed as a
land of forest or timber land. Can it be
acquired by a private person?
-Supposing meron akong trees. This is the case
of Boracay Island. Still in the case of SEC OF
DENR vs Mayor Jose Yap. In this case, occupants
of Boracay Island filed their application for reg
of the land in their name as possessors of the
land. However, in the course of the
proceedings, it was determined that Boracay
Island has been classified as forest or timber
land and there is no proclamation or executive
order issued by the President, or even a law
made by the congress reclassifying the said land
from forest or timber to alienable or disposal
land to the public. So, since the classification of
the land in Boracay is forest or timber then it
cannot be a subject of private appropriation nor
susceptible to private ownership. Therefore, it
is non-registrable property.
-For as long as the land remains to be classified
as forest or timber, whether in actuality it is no