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LTD JULY 12 extension of the personality of the grantor and

the grantee.
The torrens system of land registration is So third persons generally are not bound by
created by Sir Robert Richard Torrens, a British unregistered sale or mortgage of registered land.
Customs officer who was inspired by the party However, third persons who have actual
facility in the sheets, and undivided shares in knowledge or notice of the transaction are
such sheets were negotiated and transferred in bound.
the contracts with the English Merchants So again, we have 3 classes of persons who are
Shipping Act. bound, first, will be the contracting parties,
In order to avoid endless confusion and second, will the heirs, assigns or successors in
uncertainties, he became an expert in the body interest, third, persons who have actual
of system of registered lands patterned after the knowledge or notice of the transaction, because
English Merchants Shipping Act. as stated by the SC, to this person who have
When he became a member of the first colonial knowledge of the transaction, the purpose of
ministry he produced a deed embodied in this registration is more than accomplished.
system of land registration, which became the (Because the purpose of registration is
Real Property Act of 1857 to 1858. publication or to give constructive notice and the
Because he was the one who introduced this purpose of notice is to provide information to
system of land registration, it was named after persons and the persons who receive the notice
him. That is why we call it the Torrens System of acquires knowledge). And since registration is
Land Registration. notice and notice is knowledge then knowledge
The basic idea of the system is ** to land is equivalent to registration.
registration proceeding is also judicial in nature In the very early case of winterland v. beluz, a
and the applicant or petitioner for land persons knowledge is of the value of
registration is required to prove his ownership unregistered interest serves the purpose of
of the land and if hes successful and the registration and he cannot claim that he is not
corresponding certificate of title is issued, duly informed thereof.
particularly describing the nature of this estate,
and that such certificate of title vests on Now, what government agency is charged with the
registered owner an indefeasible title.The institution of the laws relative to registration?
subsequent presumptions are based on such It is now called the Land Registration Authority because
certificate of title. of EO No. 292 renamed the National Land Titled engaged
Of course in the Philippines, we have adopted in land registration to Land Registration Authority.
the Torrens System of Land Registration. The LRA is headed by an administrator and hes
Comparative benefits offered by the Torrens assisted by two deputy administrators.
Systems were the advantages of the torrens After the LRA, you have the various ** officers
system of land registration as compared to other of the Register of Deeds, each province or cities
systems of land registration. has an office of the Register of Deeds.
The LRA basically is the central repository of
If sale or mortgage of a registered land is not records relative to original registration of land
registered will it be binding upon third persons? title under the torrens system. So all records
Under sec. 51, registration is an operative act concerning the registration of land under the
that conveys and affect registered lands so far as torrens system kept by the LRA including
third persons are concerned, it is an express subdivision, consolidation, consolidated-
provision of law. In the same provision, the subdivision plans of titled properties. So if you
contract involving registered land is nonetheless want to trace the history of the certificate of title
binding upon the parties therein. covering a parcel of land, you can go to the LRA,
First, the grantors and grantee they are they still have records (Yung hindi nasira nung
bound under the contract, although panahon ng second world war because a lot of
unregistered. Why? Because they cannot deny lands were registered between 1901 and 1941,
their own acts as they affect them adversely and after the war, a lot of offices were destroyed
under the principle of estoppel by deed. The and a lot of government records were also lost
execution of a deed prevents or bars persons or destroyed. The LRA have microfilm copies of
from denying the act or transaction contained in the documents, so pwede pang makuha). If the
the deed; it is why it is estoppel by deed. land registration case reach the SC, that is a good
Second, persons or group of persons who are source of information regarding the root or the
bound in the unregistered sale or mortgage of source of the certificate of title.
the registered land, or the heirs, assigns and So of course, the head of the LRA is the
devisees of the grantor and the grantee, administrator, hes appointed by the President
under the principle of relativity of contracts upon the recommendation of the Secretary of
under article 1311 of the CC. So the heirs, Justice, because the LRA is under the executive
assigns and successors in interests are the supervision of the DOJ.

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The two deputy administrators are likewise documents like affidavit of adverse claim, there is a form
appointed by the President of the Philippines. prescribed in sec. 70. But basically, the requirement is
sec. 112. So to be registrable, the document must appear
So what are some of the functions of the in public document. The document is considered public if
administrator of the LRA? it is duly acknowledged before a notary public and
attested by at least 2 witnesses.
(1) Issues decrees of registration pursuant to final
judgment courts in land registration proceedings and So what is the nature or character of the function or
cause the issuance by the Registers of Deeds of the duty of the register of deeds to register an
corresponding certificate of title; instrument or document?
(2) Exercise supervision and control over all Registers of The SC construed (under sec. 10) that the function of the
Deeds and other personnel of the Commission; Register of Deeds with reference to the registration of
(3) Resolve cases elevated en consulta by, or on appeal deeds, encumbrances, instruments and the like is
from decision of, Registers of Deeds (denied registration ministerial in nature. In other words, the Register of
noh?); Deeds is duty-bound to register the instrument if the
(4) Exercise executive supervision over all clerks of court instrument is registrable. So, the act of registration is an
and personnel of the RTC throughout the Philippines administrative act, which does not contemplate or
with respect to the discharge of their duties and require notice to, and hearing of the interested parties.
functions in relation to the registration of lands; All that the Register of Deeds needs to do is to
(5) Implement all orders, decisions, and decrees determine whether the instrument or the
promulgated relative to the registration of lands and document complies with the requisites of the
issue, subject to the approval of the Secretary of Justice, law as to whether the instrument is a registrable
all needful rules and regulations thereunder; and document. So if the document is registrable
(6) Verify and approve subdivisions, consolidation, and document, then he has no discretion but to
consolidated-subdivision survey plans of properties register the instrument or the document. So the
titled under P.D. No. 1529 except those covered by P.D. Register of Deeds is entirely precluded by sec. 10
No. 957. from exercising his personal judgment and
discretion when confronted with problem of
The Office of the Register of Deeds is under the LRA and whether to register a deed or instrument on the
it constitutes an act of repository of records and ground that it is invalid.
instruments affecting registered or unregistered lands So the SC said he cannot exercise his personal
and chattel mortgages in the province or cities wherein discretion in determining whether an
such office is situated. So there is one office of the instrument is valid or not. Because that involves
Register of Deeds for every province and city, and big the exercise of discretion, discretionary power,
cities, meron pang district offices yan noh? discretionary power that involves the
Of course it is the Register of Deeds who heads determining of the validity of a document
the office and he is assisted by a deputy register because a document evidences a contract, so he
of deeds. does not have that authority that involves
So the Register of Deeds should be a member of judicial function. Of course judicial function
the Philippine Bar and to be appointed by the involves the exercise of discretion.
President of the Philippines and must have So if Register of Deeds has knowledge or
engaged in the practice of law for at least 3 years information (hearsay) that a document
or has been employed for a like period in any presented to him is a forged deed, or he was
branch of government the functions of which informed per se that the signature presented
include registration of property. in the deed of absolute sale was forged but
The Deputy Register of Deeds should also be a the instrument presented to him complies
member of the Philippines Bar, he is however with sec. 55 and sec. 112 that the instrument
appointed by the Secretary of Justice upon the is a registrable instrument. So can the Register
recommendation of the administrator of the of Deeds refuse registration of such document?
LRA. NO, because that involves a determination of the
validity of the document. So in the case of
Now what is the general function or the main Maranga v. Bustillo, the SC said that suppose the
function of the Register of Deeds, it is provided in Sec. validity of the contract is no valid objection to
10 of P.D. No. 1529, so it shall be the duty of the Register registration because its validity is no proof for
of Deeds to immediately register an instrument its non-existence and not a valid excuse for
presented for registration dealing with real or personal denying its registration. The law does not
property which complies with all the requisites for require that only valid instruments shall be
registration. So the instrument or the document must be registered.
a registrable document. So, when is the document If the purpose of registration is merely to give
considered registrable? If it complies with the form notice, then questions regarding the effect of
prescribed by law, under sec. 112 and of course there are invalidity of instrument are expected to be
other requirements like sec. 55 and also specific decided after and not before registration. Or

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as follows as a necessary consequence that or application is directed unlike in proceedings
registration must first be allowed and validity or in personam.
effect litigated afterwards.
And its not for the Register of Deeds to A proceeding in personam is an action directed against
determine the validity of the document or a specific person, and the proceedings are binding only
instrument, as long as the same is registrable, upon the parties to the case. An example of an action in
the Register of Deeds must register. personam would be an action or a case for recovery of
That is the reason why a forged deed of possession of the land or an action for reconveyance of
conveyance can become a root of a valid title land.
(to be discussed after the midterm exams), so
the Register of Deeds may register even a forged Then we have a proceedings quasi-in rem, so it is an
deed. action against a specific person, but the purpose of the
action is to subject the land to a lien or a charge
Instances where the Register of Deeds may deny burdening it. An example is judicial foreclosure of real
registration of voluntary instruments estate mortgage.
Of course, if the deed or instrument is not duly
acknowledged by the notary public then it is not Which court has jurisdiction over cases of land
a public document (so private document yan, so registration?
its not a registrable document). Under sec. 2, the RTC (including improvements and
Another requirement under P.D. No. 1529, Sec. interest therein). Also, the RTC have jurisdiction for
55, that the deed of conveyance must state the petitions filed after original registration of title in order
citizenship of the grantee, the buyer or to determine upto here and to determine all questions
transferee of the land, of course the person must arising upon such application or petition. The RTC acting
be a Filipino citizen, otherwise the sale of the as the land registration courts has limited jurisdiction in
land will be void under the Constitution, original land registration cases because of the second
Rebenco doctrine. paragraph or Sec. 2, this was clarified by the SC in several
Now, if, let us say, the deed of absolute sale states that the cases already, such in the case of Beria v. Caguioa, where
buyer is Lebron James, and the Register of Deeds is a fan the SC held that Sec. 2 has eliminated the distinction
of Lebron James, should he register the deed of absolute between the general jurisdiction vested in the RTC and
sale? No, because Lebron James is not qualified. the limited jurisdiction conferred upon it by the former
Therefore it is not a registrable document. law, meaning Act. No. 496. In Act No. 496, the land
registration court or the RTC has limited jurisdiction
Now what is the nature of land registration with respect to land registration cases, it cannot
proceedings? determine or resolve issues of ownership or the validity
According to Sec. 2, land registration proceedings are of contracts, unless the parties agree that the LRA court
judicial proceedings and these judicial proceedings may determine the issue. But now, inalis na yung
can be in rem, and shall be based on the generally distinction na yon. The RTC have plenary power
accepted principle underlying the Torrens System of acting as the LRA court. Because the provision of the
Land Registration. Judicial because, the application or law is aimed at avoiding multiplicity of suits, theyve
petition for land registration must be filed with the been changed as simplified registration proceedings by
courts and the courts will hear or determine the conferring upon the RTC the authority to act not only on
application or petition for land registration. The 3 types applications for original registration but also for
of judicial land registration of course involve the filing of petitions filed after original registration of title, the
the petition with the courts and proceedings shall be in power to hear and determine all questions arising upon
rem. such application.

So what do your mean by proceedings in rem? Now, according to Sec. 2, the RTC shall have exclusive
It means that it binds all persons, known and jurisdiction upon all applications for original
unknown, and the title issued as a consequence registration of titles to land. Is this still the rule? The
thereof, is binding and conclusive upon the answer is NO, because it has been amended by Sec. 34 of
whole world. All persons may be adversely PB blg. 129, which in turn was amended by RA 7691. Sec.
affected by proceedings are bound by the 34 of PB blg. 129 reads that MuTC, MeTC, MCTC maybe
proceedings, innocent as they might be of the assigned by the SC to hear and determine cadastral and
publication or notice of initial period. land registration cases. The SC was given the power by
Proceedings in rem have also been defined as the legislature and of course by the President, to assign
proceeding where the court has jurisdiction over to the first level courts. The SC has already exercised the
the things itself, the subject matter of the case, power delegated to it by Sec. 34 of BP blg. 129, issuing AC
or the res, and the proceedings are binding 6-93-A (Nov. 15, 1995), authorizing the first level courts
against the whole world. So that is why a to hear and decide cadastral and land registration cases.
petition or an application for land registration,
well take a look at sec. 15 (read sec. 15). There
is no specific person against which the petition

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So what do you call the jurisdiction of the first level individually owned ancestral land. Ancestral
courts with respect to cadastral and land registration land is defined by Sec. 3 of RA No. 8371, as
cases? distinguished from ancestral domain, and land
It is called delegated jurisdiction because the SC delegated of course owned by the community as a whole,
or assigned to the first level courts a portion or a part of instead of individual members of the cultural
the jurisdiction of the RTC. minority.

So in what cases may the first level courts exercise Now the second registration proceeding is the
jurisdiction in cadastral cases: Administrative Registration Proceedings which is
(1) In cases covering lots where there is no controversy; governed by Sec. 103 of P.D. No. 1529, so these are public
and lands which were given to qualified individuals through
(2) land registration cases covering lots the value of the issuance of land patent. So the grantee or the
which does not exceed P100,000. patentee of the public land need not file a petition or
application in court for registration. He can simply
So if the first level court hears and decides a case present the land patent (homestead patent, sales patent)
within his delegated jurisdiction where should the to the Register of Deeds.
appeal for the judgment be made?
The CA. And the period of appeal will not stop and will JUDICIAL CONFIRMATION OF INCOMPLETE OR
continue to run until 15 days within which to perfect the IMPERFECT TITLE
appeal. If youre going to file a notice of appeal stating
that the appeal in the decision of the RTC that judgment What is the nature of this judicial proceeding? It is also
will become final and executory. judicial in nature and the proceedings are in rem. In
judicial confirmation of incomplete or imperfect title is
2 modes of land registration: conclusive and final and the same court procedures and
(1) The judicial land registration proceedings; and rules of evidence govern the judicial confirmation of
(2) administrative proceedings. incomplete or imperfect title as well as ordinary or
voluntary land registration proceedings.
Under the judicial registration proceedings these are
the classes cognizable by the land registration What laws govern? Sec. 48 (b) of CA No. 141 as
courts: amended, also called the Public Land Act.
(1) Judicial Confirmation of Incomplete or Imperfect The original wordings of this law has been
Title; amended by RA 1942, which became effective on
(2) Voluntary or Ordinary Land Registration Proceeding June 22, 1957. Two matters were amended in
(established in Sec. 14), (3) Cadastral Proceedings; subsection (b) of Sec. 48. First was on the period
(4) IPRA or Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997, this or the length of time of possession and
law merely gives the individual member of the cultural occupation, under this law, the possession and
minorities an option. occupation of the applicant or claimant must be
for at least 30 yrs immediately preceeding the
What law governs these types of judicial registration application for confirmation of title. And the
proceedings? second amendment was just the deletion of the
With respect to judicial confirmation of phrase except ** the government. The next
incomplete or imperfect title, C.A. 141 as amendatory law was RA 3872, but this law
amended governs this type of administration merely exempted or added subsection (c) to Sec.
proceedings, of course together with P.D. No. 48 of the Public Land Act. And this subsection
1529. (c) provides as follows, members of the
Then for Voluntary Land Registration national cultural minorities who by themselves
Proceedings, of course it is governed by P.D. No. or through their predecessors-in-interest have
1529. That is why the law on land registration been in open, continuous, exclusive and
does not only involve substantive law but also notorious possession and occupation of lands of
procedural law or remedial law. the public domain suitable to agriculture
Then Cadastral Proceedings are also governed whether disposable or not, under a claim of
by P.D. No. 1529, specifically sec. 35 to 38. ownership for at least 30 yrs, shall be entitled
As I said, R.A. No. 8371 governs the IPRA, gives the rights granted in subsection (b) hereof. And
the individual members of the cultural this is the reason why the members of the
minorities, with respect to their individually national cultural minorities under RA 8371 may
owned ancestral land, to either register or also avail of judicial confirmation of title or to
secure title to their ancestral land, either under register their individually owned ancestral
CA 141 as amended, or under the provisions of lands, under PD No. 1529. You correlate this
PD No. 1529. Actually, its not a separate land (subsection c) with Sec. 12 of RA 8371.
registration proceeding, the member however PD No. 1073 then amended, of course,
reckon only individual members of the cultural subsections (b) and (c) of Sec. 48, and the
communities and ** with respect to their amendment is provided in Sec. 4 of the said PD,

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to wit: The provisions of Sec. 48 (b) and Sec. 48 1. The land must be alienable and disposable land
(c) of Chapter VIII of the Public Land Act is of the public domain. (It must be classified
hereby amended in the sense that these already as an alienable and disposable land of
provisions shall apply only to alienable and the public domain)
disposable lands of the public domain, which has 2. The possession and occupation of the land of the
been in open, continuous, exclusive and claimant or his predecessors-in-interest must be
notorious possession and occupation by the for the length of time and in the manner and
applicant himself or through his predecessors- concept stated in Sec. 48 (b) of the Public Land
in-interest under a claim of acquisition of Act, as amended. (That it must be OCENO and
ownership since June 12, 1945 or prior thereto. since June 12, 1945 or prior thereto)
In other words, the amendment referred to in
PD No. 1073 involves the classification of the How do you prove compliance with the provisions of
land that may now be the subject of judicial Sec. 48 (b)?
confirmation of incomplete of imperfect title. As to whether the land is alienable and
The other amendment, on the other hand, refers disposable established through documentary
to the nature and character of the possession evidence, there must be documentary proof that
and occupation of the land, and their length of the land has been classified by the government
time. The nature and character of possession as alienable and disposable land of the public
and occupation is OCENO (Open, Continuous, domain. And which department of the
Exclusive, Notorious, under claim of acquisition government? The executive and the legislative.
of Ownership) and the length of time of the [In the case of Director of Lands v. Buyco, the
same is June 12, 1945 or prior thereto. SC gave us examples of documentary proofs that
[Actually this provision is similar to par.1 of Sec. the land has been classified as alienable and
14 of PD No. 1529. So sabi nga nila, if you want disposable land of the public domain and
to file an application for land registration or therefore registrable: PDs and EOs issued by the
judicial confirmation of title, you join this President, AOs issued by the DENR,
petition as alternative causes of action, either certifications issued by the Bureau of Forest
judicial confirmation ka or voluntary land Development Land Classification Map,
registration under par. 1 of Sec. 14]. Under Sec. certification by the Director of Forestry,
47 of the Public Land Act the application of investigation reports of the Land Management
petition for judicial confirmation of title has a Bureau, and legislative acts or statutes.]
time limit. So you have to file the application [HOWEVER, in a recent case, there is a recent
within a period of time provided by law, which decision of the SC that certification alone is not
has been extended by several amendatory laws, sufficient for purposes of proving that the land
and the last amendatory law which is RA has already been classified as alienable and
9176, which provided that (sec. 2) Sec. 47 of the disposable land of the public domain, it is now
Public Land Act now reads as follows, The required that the original copy of the document
persons specified in the next following section classifying the land as alienable and disposable
(sec. 48), are hereby given time not to extend land of the public domain must be submitted or
beyond Dec. 31, 2020. presented to the court, or certified true copy at
The other amendment to the law is the the very least. If it is an AO, you must produce
maximum area that maybe applied for in a the original copy or at least a certified true copy
judicial confirmation of title, which is 12 in court.]
hectares. As to possession and occupation of the land
Possesion and Occupation it must be
Who may apply for Judicial Confirmation of Title? understood that the law speaks of possession
1. Filipino citizens who by themselves or through AND occupation, since these words were
their predecessors-in-interest have been in separated by the conjunctions AND, the clear
open, continuous, exclusive and notorious intention of the law is not to make one
possession and occupation of alienable and synonymous with the other. It is not
disposable lands of the public domain under a synonymous with the other because possession
claim of acquisition of ownership since June 12, is broader than occupation because it includes
1945 or prior thereto. constructive possession. When the law adds
2. Private corporations or associations who have the word occupation, it only seeks to delimit the
acquired lands from Filipino citizens under #1. all-encompassing effect of constructive
3. Natural-born citizens of the Philippines who possession. So taken together with the words
have lost their Philippine citizenship, who have open, continuous, exclusive and notorious,
acquired disposable and alienable lands of the occupation serves to highlight the fact that for
public domain from Filipino citizens under #1. one to qualify under par (b) of the aforesaid sec.
48, his possession of the land must not be mere
Conditions prescribed under Sec. 48 (b) or what fiction. Which means that it should be ACTUAL
applicants must prove POSSESSION and NOT MERELY CONSTRUCTIVE.

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dispositive portion, because that describes the
Open when it is patent, visible, apparent, land, which ** is covered by a decree of
notorious and not clandestine; registration, issued by the administrator of the
Continuous when uninterrupted, unbroken, LRA and the technical description will also be
and not intermittent or occasional; stated in the certificate of title. So the judgment
Exclusive when the adverse possessor can of the court ordering the registration of the land,
show exclusive dominion over the land and an the decree of registration issued by the
appropriation of it to his own use and benefit; administrator and the certificate of title must
Notorious when it is conspicuous and it is contain the same entries, with respect to the
generally known and talked of by the public or description of the land. What is the source of the
by the people in the neighborhood; and description of the land? The technical
Under a bona fide claim of Ownership description, which is a document prepared by
possession and occupation must not be as a the Land Management Bureau. The process of
mere tenant or lessee or agent, he must be in ascertaining the technical description is through
possession and occupation of the land as an survey, making a survey plan.
owner of the land or in the concept of an owner.
What is the effect of compliance with the 2
So what pieces of evidence may be introduced or conditions prescribed in Sec. 48 (b)? [This is covered
presented to the court to prove the nature and by last sentence of subsection (c) of Sec. 48]
character of the possession and the length of time of This shall be conclusively presumed when performed all
possession and occupation of the land? conditions essential to a government grant, and shall be
By DOCUMENTARY and TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE (of 2 entitled to a certificate of title under the provisions of his
witnesses). The applicant may also submit TAX chapter, this was explained by the SC in several decisions
DECLARATION or REAL ESTATE TAX RECEIPTS. These already. The SC said that as interpreted in several cases,
documents, presented together with testimonial when the conditions as specified in the foregoing
evidence (confirming OCENO) constitute STRONG conditions (in Sec. 48) are complied with, the possessor is
EVIDENCE OF OWNERSHIP. Kasi no person daw will deemed to have acquired, by operation of law (ipso jure), a
declare land or tax ** and pay taxes thereon if he is not right to a grant, a government grant, without the
actually in possession of the land. So if yung necessity of a certificate of title being issued. The land
predecessors-in-interest mo eh meron nyan, since 1945 therefore, ceases to be of the public domain and beyond
pa or prior thereto, it means you comply with the length the authority of the Director of Land Management to
of time provided by law. dispose of. [Note: In the second paragraph, the land
became a PRIVATE LAND]
Note: The best way probably is i-secure mo muna yung
classification of the land as alienable and disposable land May a private corporation or association apply for
of the public domain before 1945, then, you present judicial confirmation of incomplete or imperfect
witnesses, kung sinong pinaka-matatandang testigong title?
pwede mong tawagin. Kung hindi, possession since time General Rule: Under the 1987 Constitution, they cannot
in memorial yan noh? Since June 12, 1945 or prior hold or acquire lands of the public domain. They can only
thereto. lease public lands for a period of 25 yrs, and can be
extended for another 25 yrs and the maximum area is
Aside from the conditions prescribed under Sec. 48 1000 heactares.
(b), what else may be established or proven in the Exception: If the private corporation or association
judicial confirmation of incomplete or imperfect acquire the land from a Filipino who already complied
title? with the conditions prescribed in Sec. 48 (b), because by
The IDENTITY OF THE LAND. Nasaan ba yang lupang then, the land will already be a PRIVATE LAND, therefore,
yan? What is the description of the land? So how do you the prohibition under the Constitution does not apply
prove the identity of the land? [Note: This is important anymore.
because the land will be covered by a certificate of title,
so what should be contained in the certificate of title? Note: In the case of Natividad v. CA, the key to the issue is
The description of the land, which is actually the identity the character of the land, whether it is still public land or
of the land registered] already private land, WHEN THE REGISTRATION
1. Survey plan or the Tracing cloth plan PRECEEDINGS WERE COMMENCED.
2. Technical Description of the land. [Note:
Actually, if you apply the provions of the PD No. Note: For corporations who have applied for registration
1529, the survey plan and the technical under the 1935 Constitution, (they are qualified under
description must be attached to the application the 1935 Constitution) if they have not yet registered the
already, i-attach mo sa annex, because that land, they can still proceed to register. Because if they
established the identity of the land, which is the acquire the land under the 1935 Constitution, they
subject of judicial registration proceedings.] The continue to own the land, under the DOCTRINE OF
technical description, of course, must appear in VESTED RIGHTS (because their right to due process of
the judgment of the court, especially the law will be violated).

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ATTY. SERRANO LTD LECTURE JULY 12
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