Presentation on theme: "AN UPDATE ON THE LAW LAND TITLES AND DEEDS"— Presentation transcript:
1 AN UPDATE ON THE LAW LAND TITLES AND DEEDS ATTY LINDA L. MALENAB-HORNILLAUndersecretary, Department of Justice
2 ORIGINAL REGISTRATION OF LAND UNDER THE TORRENS SYSTEM Private lands may be brought under the operation of the Torrens System Land Registration thru: (1) ordinary or voluntary land registration proceedings under Act No. 496 and Sections 14 to 33 of P. D. No. 1529, and under Section 48(b) of C.A. No. 141, as amended, otherwise known as the Public Land Act, (2) compulsory proceedings under Act No. 2259, otherwise known as the Cadastral Act of 1913, and (3) Sections 35 to 38 of P. D. No (cadastral)
3 ORIGINAL REGISTRATION OF LAND UNDER THE TORRENS SYSTEM Public lands granted by way of homestead, sales or free patent under the Public Land Act are likewise brought under the Torrens System upon registration of the patent and issuance of the corresponding certificate of title by the Register of Deeds. Registration of such lands under the Torrens System is automatic and compulsory. The same could be said of an emancipation patent issued by the Department of Agrarian Reform when such patent covers an unregistered private agricultural land devoted to rice and corn, by virtue of P. D. No. 266.
4 Who applies?In an ordinary land registration proceedings under Act 496 and Sections 14-33, P. D. No. 1529, only those who claim to own the land in fee simple may apply, i.e., those who acquired ownership of the land by titulo real (royal grant), titulo de composicion con el estado (adjustment title), titulo de concession especial (special grant), titulo de compra (title by purchase during the Spanish Colonial Period, or thru the different forms of accession under the Civil Code and special laws, like accretion, avulsion, abandonment of river bed, formation of lands in non navigable rivers and reclamation.
5 ORIGINAL REGISTRATION OF LAND UNDER THE TORRENS SYSTEM the use of Spanish titles as evidence in land registration proceedings is proscribed by P. D. No. 892 as February 16, 1976Spanish titles are now hard to find and if there is any it would probably be of doubtful genuineness or validity.
6 ORIGINAL REGISTRATION OF LAND UNDER THE TORRENS SYSTEM Most, if not all, ordinary applications for land registration is based on possession and occupation, tax declaration and tax realty receipts, and nothing more. Tax declaration and realty tax receipts are not evidence of a grant of land from the State.The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that they are not conclusive evidence of ownership. Nevertheless the Supreme Court has also consistently held that they are good indicia of possession in the concept of an owner. [Ramos-Balallo vs. Ramos, 470 SCRA 533 (January 23, 2006)]
7 IMPERFECT/INCOMPLETE TITLE The title to the land is imperfect or incomplete, invoke Section 48(b) of C. A. no. 141, as amended, otherwise known as the Public Land Act, which provides:citizens of the Philippines, occupying the lands of the public domain or claiming to own such lands or an interest therein, but whose title have not been perfected or completed, may apply to the Court of First Instance of the province where the land is located for confirmation of their claims and the issuance of a certificate of title under the Land Registration Act
8 Judicial confirmation or legalization of imperfect or incomplete title This is referred to as judicial confirmationor legalization of imperfect or incomplete title to public agricultural lands under Section 48(b) of the Public Land Act.it requires the concurrence of the following elements, to wit;
9 Judicial confirmation or legalization of imperfect or incomplete title The applicant must be a Filipino citizen. This is in keeping with the provision of Section 2, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution which limits the acquisition and enjoyment of our natural resources to Filipino citizens. However, in Director of Lands vs. Lapena, the Supreme Court held that there is nothing to prevent a foreign national from applying for judicial confirmation of the imperfect title to a tract of land that he purchased while he was still a Filipino from one who had been in possession and occupation of the land for the period and to the manner prescribed by Section 48(b) of the Public Land Act, for then the land has ceased to be public land.
10 Judicial confirmation or legalization of imperfect or incomplete title a private corporation may file an application for judicial confirmation of imperfect title under Section 48(b) of the Public Land Act for the reason that alienable and disposable public land held by a possessor, personally or through his predecessor-in-interest, openly continuously and exclusively for the prescribed statutory period is converted to private property by mere lapse or completion of said period, ipso jure.
11 Judicial confirmation or legalization of imperfect or incomplete title The proceedings would not originally convert the land from public to private land but only confirm such a conversion already affected by operation of law from the moment the required period of possession became complete. [Director of Lands vs. Acme Plywood and Veneer Corp. & IAC, 146 SCRA 509.
12 Judicial confirmation or legalization of imperfect or incomplete title PERIOD AND CHARACTER OF POSSESSION AND OCCUPATION –The applicant has been in open, continuous, exclusive and notorious possession under a bona fide claim of acquisition of ownership since June 12, 1945.
13 Judicial confirmation or legalization of imperfect or incomplete title The area applied for shall not exceed 144 hectares.The land has been classified as alienable and disposable.The application must be filed not later than December 31, [See also Republic vs. Estonilo, 476 SCRA 265 (November 25, 2005); Republic vs. Enciso, 474 SCRA 700 (November 11, 2005); Carlos vs. Republic, 468 SCRA 709, (August 31, 2005)]
14 CADASTRAL PROCEEDINGS THE TITLE OF OWNERSHIP ON THE LAND IS VESTED UPON THE OWNER UPON EXPIRATION OF THE PERIOD TO APPEAL FROM THE DECISION OR ADJUDICATION BY THE CADASTRAL COURT“The land had become a registered property which could not be acquired by adverse possession and, therefore, beyond the jurisdiction of the Land Management Bureau, to subject it to a free patent. The free patent issued by the DENR and the certificate of the title issued by the Register of Deeds are null and void.” [Calimpong vs. Heirs of Filomena Gumela, 468 SCRA 441 (March 31, 2006), citing De la Merced vs. CA, 5 SCRA 240]
15 CADASTRAL PROCEEDINGS The President of the Philippines or his alter ego, the Director of Lands, has no authority to grant a free patent for land that has ceased to be a public land and has passed to private ownership; and a title so issued is null and void. The nullity arises not from the fraud or deceit, but from the fact that the land is not under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Lands.” [Calimpong vs. Heirs of Filomena Gumela, 468 SCRA 441 (March 31, 2006), citing De la Merced vs. CA, 5 SCRA 240]
16 REMEDIES OF AGGRIEVED PARTIES IN LAND REGISTRATION PROCEEDINGS PETITION TO REVIEW OR REOPEN A DECREE OF REGISTRATIONSection 38 of Act 496 recognizes the right of a person deprived of land to institute an action to reopen or revise the decree of registration obtained by actual fraud.”
17 REMEDIES OF AGGRIEVED PARTIES IN LAND REGISTRATION PROCEEDINGS Fraud is two kinds: actual or constructive.Actual or positive fraud proceeds from an intentional deception practiced by means of the misrepresentation or concealment of a material fact.Constructive fraud is construed as a fraud because of its detrimental effect on public interests and public or private confidence, even though the act is not done with an actual design to commit positive fraud or injury upon other persons
18 REMEDIES OF AGGRIEVED PARTIES IN LAND REGISTRATION PROCEEDINGS Prescription does not run against the State and the latter may still bring an action, even after the lapse of one year, for the reversion of the land to the public domain, of land which have been fraudulently granted to private individuals.” [Republic vs. Guerrero, 485 SCRA 424 (March 28, 2006)]
19 REMEDIES OF AGGRIEVED PARTIES IN LAND REGISTRATION PROCEEDINGS 2. ACTION FOR RECONVEYANCE - In action for reconveyance, a decree of registration is respected as incontrovertible. What is sought instead is the transfer of the property or its title which has been wrongfully or erroneously registered in another person's name, to its rightful or legal owner, or to one who has a better right. [Naval vs. CA, 483 SCRA 102 (February 22, 2006)]
20 REMEDIES OF AGGRIEVED PARTIES IN LAND REGISTRATION PROCEEDINGS An action for reconveyance does not prescribed when the plaintiff is in possession of the land to be reconveyed.” [Naval vs. CA, 483 SCRA 102 (February 22, 2006); see also Cuizon vs. Remoto, 472 SCRA 274 (October 11, 2005)]The fraudulent registration of a parcel holds the person in whose name the land is registered as a mere trustee of an implied trust for the benefit of the person from whom the property comes. Registration alone without good faith is not sufficient. Good faith must concur with registration for such prior right to be enforceable. [Portes, Sr. vs. Arcala, 468 SCRA 343 9august 30, 2005)]
21 PRESUMPTIVE INDEFEASIBILITY, CONCLUSIVENESS AND INCONTOVERTIBILITY OF A TORRENS TITLE “T.C.T. No. M and T.C.T. No , being genuine and valid, on their face, are incontrovertible, indefeasible and conclusive against the petitioners and the whole world. Thus, the unregistered deed of sale and the subdivision contract upon which petitioners rely, cannot prevail over the certificate of title in the name of Cruz. To hold otherwise is to defeat the primary object of the Torrens System which is to make the Torrens title indefeasible and valid against the whole world.” [Santos vs. Cruz, 484 SCRA 66 (March 3, 2006)]
22 EXCEPTION TO THE RULE OF INDEFEASIBILITY OF A TORRENS TITLE A title emanating from a free patent which was secured through fraud and misrepresentation does not become indefeasible, precisely because the patent from whence the title sprung is itself void and of no effect whatsoever. [Heirs of Carlos Alcaraz vs. Republic 464 SCRA 280 (July 28, 2005)]
23 PRESUMPTIVE INDEFEASIBILITY, CONCLUSIVENESS AND INCONTOVERTIBILITY OF A TORRENS TITLE If a property covered by a Torrens title is involved, the presumptive conclusiveness of such title should be given due weight, and in the absence of strong compelling evidence to the contrary, the holder thereof should be considered the owner of the property in controversy until his title is nullified or modified in an appropriate ordinary action.” [Pacioles, Jr. vs. Chuatoco-Ching, 466 SCRA 90 (August 9, 2005)]
24 IMPRESCRIPTIBILITY OF TORRENS TITLE It is not disputed that at the core of this controversy is a parcel of land registered under the Torrens system. In a long line of cases, we have consistently ruled that lands covered by a title cannot be acquired by prescription or by adverse possession. So it is that in Natalia Realty Corp. vs. Vallez, et al., we held that a claim of acquisitive prescription is baseless when the land involved is a registered land because of Article 1126 of the Civil Code and Section 47 of P.D. No [Ragudo vs. Fabella Estate tenants Association, Inc., 466 SCRA 136(August 9, 2005)]
25 PRESUMPTIVE INDEFEASIBILITY, CONCLUSIVENESS AND INCONTOVERTIBILITY OF A TORRENS TITLE But a party's alleged possession of a transfer certificate of title and actual possession of subject land, although strong proof of ownership, are not necessarily conclusive where the assertion of the proprietary rights is founded on a dubious claim of ownership.” [Estate of Salvador Serra vs. Heirs of Primitivo Hernaez, 466 SRCA 120 (August 9, 2005); see also Bejoc vs. Cabreros, 464 SCRA 78 (July 22, 2005)]
26 A VOID TITLE MAYBE THE SOURCE OF A VALID TITLE IN THE HANDS OF AN INNOCENT PURCHASER FOR VALUE If the evidence show that the free patent and O.C.T. issued to petitioners' predecessors-in-interest is valid and/or Lot No. 89 is not inside T.C.T. No , then judgment should be rendered in favor of petitioners; and whether the latter acted in good faith or bad faith, will no longer be a decisive issue in the case. On the other hand, if the title of petitioners' predecessors-in -interest is declared void, the defense of good faith may still be available to petitioners' who claim to be purchasers in good faith and for value.” [Tan vs. Dela Vega, 484 SCRA 538 (March 10, 2006)]
27 A TORRENS TITLE IS NOT SUBJECT TO COLLATERAL ATTACK It is well settled that the Torrens title cannot be collaterally attacked; the issue on the validity of title, i.e., whether or not it was fraudulently issued can only be raised in an action expressly instituted for the purpose. It has been invariably stated that the real purpose of the Torrens System is to quiet title to land to stop forever any question as to its legality. Once a title is registered, the owner may rest secure, without the necessity of waiting in the portals of the court, or sitting in the “mirador a su casa” to avoid the possibility of losing his hand.”
28 A TORRENS TITLE IS NOT SUBJECT TO COLLATERAL ATTACK “Respondents’ application for registration of a parcel of land already covered by a Torrens title is actually a collateral attack against petitioners’ title, not permitted under the principle of indefeasibility of a Torrens title.”“A decree of registration that has become final shall be deemed conclusive not only on the questions actually contested and determined, but also upon matters that might be litigated or decided in the land registration proceedings. Thus, it is too late for the respondents to question petitioners’ titles considering that the certificates of title issued to the latter have become incontrovertible after the lapse of one (1) year from the date of registration.” [Fil-estate Management, Inc. Supra]
29 POSSESSION OF TITLED PROPERTY ADVERSE TO REGISTERD OWNER IS NECESSARILY TAINTED WITH BAD FAITH Good faith consists in the belief of the builder that the land he is building on is his and his ignorance of any defect or flaw in his title. In the instant case, when the verification survey report came to the petitioners’ knowledge, their good faith ceased. The survey report is a profession of encroachment of respondents’ titled property. It is doctrinal in land registration law that possession of titled property adverse to the registered owner is necessarily tainted with bad faith [Cajayon vs. Batuyong, 482 SCRA 461 (February 16, 2006)]
30 CONTINUING, SPECIAL AND LIMITED JURISDICTION OF THE LAND REGISTRATION COURT OVER PETITIONS FILED AFTER ORIGINAL REGISTRATION OF TITLEThe Regional Trial Court has the authority to act, not only on the application for original registration of title to land, but also on all petitions filed after original registration of title. The Court of Appeals, therefore, erred on ruling that the Regional Trial Court, Branch 255, Las Pinas City, has no jurisdiction over LRC Case No. M-228 on the ground that the land subject to respondents’ application for registration was already registered in the Registry of Deeds of Las Pinas City.” [Fil-Estate Management, Inc. vs. Trono, 482 SCRA 578(February 17, 2006)]
31 REGALIAN DOCTRINE; FOREST LAND NON-REGISTRABLE AS PRIVATE LANDS; HOMESTEAD Under the Regalian Doctrine, all lands of the public domain belong to State, and those lands not appearing to be clearly within private ownership are presumed to belong to the state. Lands of the public domain are classified into agricultural, forest or timber, mineral lands and national parks. Alienable and disposable lands of the public domain shall be limited to agricultural lands.”
32 REGALIAN DOCTRINE; FOREST LAND NON-REGISTRABLE AS PRIVATE LANDS; HOMESTEAD C. A. No. 141 (1936) or the Public Land Act, as amended by P.D (1977), remains to be the general law governing the classification and disposition of alienable lands of the public domain It enumerates the different modes of acquisition of these lands and prescribes the terms and conditions to enable private persons to perfect their title to them.
33 HOMESTEADA homestead patent is one of the modes to acquire title to public lands suitable for agricultural purposes. Under the Public Land Act, a homestead patent is one issued to any citizen of this country, 18 years of age or head of family, and who is not the owner of more than 24 hectares of land in the country. To be qualified, the applicant must show that he has resided continuously for at least one (1) year in the municipality where the land is situated and must have cultivated at least one-fifth of the land applied for.” [Ramos-Balallo vs. Ramos, 479 SCRA 533 (January 23, 2006)]A homestead patent once registered under the Land Registration Act becomes as indefeasible as a Torrens title. [Portes Sr. vs. Arcala, Supra]
34 FOREST LANDPublic forest lands or forest reserves, unless declassified and released by positive act of the Government so that they may form part of the disposable lands of the public domain, are not capable of private appropriation. The rules on confirmation of imperfect title do not apply.” Forests, in the context of both the Public Land Act and the Constitution classifying lands of the public domain into “agricultural, forest or timber, mineral lands and national parks”, do not necessarily refer to a large tract of wooded land or an expense covered by dense growth of trees or underbrush.” (Republic vs. Naguiat, 479 SCRA 585 (January 24, 2006)
35 FORESHORE LANDForeshore land has been defined as that which lies between the high and low watermarks, and that is alternately wet and dry according to the flow of the tide. In other words, it is that strip of land between high and low water, the land left dry by the flux and re-flux of the tide. In the present case, although corners 3 and 4 of lot 2833 have been shown to adjoin the sea, they have not been proven to be covered by water during high tide. Hence, the property cannot be considered foreshore land. [Republic vs. Lensico, 466 SCRA 361 (August 9, 2005)]
36 PROBATIVE VALUE OF A TAX DECLARATION Time and again, we have held that although tax declarations or realty tax payments are not conclusive evidence of ownership, nevertheless, they are good indicia of possession in the context of an owner, for no one is in his right mind would be paying taxes for a property that is not in his actual or at least constructive possession. (Ramos-Balallo vs. Ramos, 479 SCRA 533 (Jan. 23, 2006)
37 Quieting of TitleThe settled rule is that an action for quieting of title is imprescriptible, as in the instant case, where the person seeking relief is in the possession of the disputed property. A person in actual possession of a piece of land under claim of ownership may wait until his possession is disturbed or his title is attacked before taking any step to vindicate his right, and that the undisturbed possession gives him the continuing right to seek the aid of the Court of Equity to ascertain and determine the nature of the adverse claim of a third party and its effect on his title.”
38 Payment of taxesOnly a positive and categorical assertion of their supposed rights against petitioners would rule out the application of laches. It means taking the initiative by instituting means to wrest possession. Respondent’s payment of taxes alone, without possession, could hardly be considered as an exercise of ownership. What stands out is their overwhelming passivity by allowing petitioners to exercise acts of ownership and to enjoy the fruits of the litigated lot for 32 years without any interference.” (Rumarate vs. Hernandez, 487 SCRA 317 [April 18, 2006])
39 Effective PossessionThe statement of an immediate neighbor of a disputed property as to who he observed was in effective possession of the same commands great weight and respect.” (Buduhan vs. Pakurao, 483 SCRA 116 (Feb. 22, 2006)]
40 The petitioner to prove compliance with the following requirements: JUDICIAL RECONSTITUTION OF LOST OR DESTROYED ORIGINAL CERTIFICATE OF TITLEJurisprudence dictates that the jurisdictional requirements must be complied with before the court can act on the petition and grant the reconstitution of title prayed for.”The petitioner to prove compliance with the following requirements:
41 NOTICE OF PETITION Publication The notice of petition be published at the expense of the petitioner twice in successive issues in the Official Gazette, and posted in the main entrance of the provincial building and the municipal building of the municipality or city in which the land is located at least thirty (30) days prior to the date of hearing
42 Jurisdictional Requirements The notice must state the number of the lost or destroyed certificate of title, if known, the name of the registered owner, the name of the occupants and persons in possession of the property, the owner of adjoining properties and all other interested parties, the location, area, and boundaries of the property ad the date on which all persons having any interest therein must appear and file their claim or objection to the petition.
43 Jurisdictional Requirements The notice must state the number of the lost or destroyed certificate of title, if known, the name of the registered owner, the name of the occupants and persons in possession of the property, the owner of adjoining properties and all other interested parties, the location, area, and boundaries of the property ad the date on which all persons having any interest therein must appear and file their claim or objection to the petition.
44 Jurisdictional Requirements A copy of the notice must also be sent, by registered mail or otherwise, at the expense of the petitioner, to every person named (i.e. the occupants or persons in possession of the property, the owner of adjoining properties and al other interested parties whose address is known, at least 30 days prior to the date of the hearing;
45 Jurisdictional Requirements At the hearing, the petitioner must submit proof of publication, posting and service of notice as directed by the court.The non-observance of the requirement invalidates the reconstitution proceedings in the trial court.
46 Jurisdictional Requirements The purposes of the stringent and mandatory character of the legal requirements of publication, posting and mailing are to safeguard against spurious and unfounded land ownership claim, to apprise all interested parties of the existence of such action and give them enough time to intervene in the proceeding. Substantial compliance with the jurisdictional requirements is not enough.” [Gov’t of the Phil. Vs. Aballe, 435 SCRA 308 (Mar 24, 2006)]
47 Judicial Reconstitution In case the reconstitution is to be made exclusively from source enumerated in Section 2 (f), (any other doc) the petition shall be accompanied by a plan and technical description of the property duly approved by the General Land Registration Office, or with a certified copy of the description taken from the prior certificate of title covering the same property.” [Cabello vs. Republic, 467 SCRA 330 (Aug. 18, 2005)]
48 PETITION FOR ISSUANCE OF REPLACEMENT OF A LOST OWNER’S DUPLICATE CERTIFICATE OF TITLE AND RECONSTITUTION OF LOST ORIGINAL CERTIFICATE OF TITLE ON FILE WITH THE REGISTER OF DEEDSThe applicable law in applying for a replacement of and owner’s duplicate certificate of title is P.D (Section 109); R.A. No. 26 applies only in cases of reconstitution of lost original certificate on file with the Register of Deeds.”“When the reconstituted certificate is void, the court that rendered the decision has no jurisdiction.“No valid transfer certificate of title can issue from a void T.C.T., unless an innocent purchaser for value had intervened.
49 JUDICIAL RECONSTITUTION “As a rule, the annotation of an affidavit of loss on a reconstituted certificate might be defective and inferior to an already existing certificate of title.”“The remedy to nullify an order granting reconstitution is a petition for annulment under Rule 47 of the Rules of Court.” [Eastworld Motor Industries Corp. vs. Skunac Corp., 478 SCRA 420 (Dec. 16, 2005)]
50 the only issues to be resolved In a petition for issuance of a second owner’s duplicate copy of the certificate of title in replacement of a lost oneWhether o not the original owner’s duplicate copy of the certificate of title had indeed been lost.Whether the petitioner seeking the issuance of a new owner’s duplicate title is the registered owner or another person-in-interest.
51 UNDER THE TORRENS SYSTEM, REGISTRATION IS THE OPERATIVE ACT THAT AFFECTS AND CONVEYS THE LAND INSOFAR AS THIRD PERSONS ARE CONCERNED“Respondents contention that the unregistered buyer’s rights over the property is superior to that of the judgment obligor has not basis. The fact that the contracts to buy and sell are unregistered and the properties in question are still in the name of the respondent underline the fact that the sales are not absolute. [DSM Construction and Development Corp. vs. CA, 478 SCRA 618 (Dec. 19, 2005)]
52 IMMUNITY OF A TORRENS TITLE FROM COLLATERAL ATTACK An action is deemed as an attack on a title when the object of the action or proceeding is to nullify the title, and thus challenge the judgment pursuant to which the title is decreed.” A third party complaint is in the nature of an original complaint. The third party complaint for the cancellation of transfer certificate of title, being in the nature of an original complaint for cancellation of transfer certificate of title, it therefore constitutes a direct attack of such TCT.” [Sarmiento vs. CA, 479 SCRA 99, (Sept. 16, 2005)]
53 IMMUNITY OF A TORRENS TITLE FROM COLLATERAL ATTACK An action is deemed as an attack on a title when the object of the action or proceeding is to nullify the title, and thus challenge the judgment pursuant to which the title is decreed.”“A third party complaint is in the nature of an original complaint. The third party complaint for the cancellation of transfer certificate of title, being in the nature of an original complaint for cancellation of transfer certificate of title, it therefore constitutes a direct attack of such TCT.” [Sarmiento vs. CA, 479 SCRA 99, (Sept. 16, 2005)]
54 MIRROR PRINCIPLE OF THE TORRENS SYSTEM When dealing with land that is registered and titled, buyers are not required by law to inquire further than what the Torrens certificate indicates on its face.The presence of anything that excites or arouses suspicion should then prompt the buyer to look beyond the vendor’s certificate and investigate the title appearing on the face of that certificate. [Domingo vs. Reed, 477 SCRA 227, (Dec. 9, 2005); Planters Development Bank vs. Garcia, 477 SCRA 185 (Dec. 9, 2005)]
55 MIRROR PRINCIPLE OF THE TORRENS SYSTEM However, this rule does not apply to banks. Banks are required to exercise more care and prudence than private individuals in dealing even with registered properties for their business is affected with public interest. (Keppel Bank Philippines, Inc. vs. Adao, 473 SCRA 372 (Oct. 19, 2005)]
56 ADMINISTRATIVE RECONSTITUTION OF CERTIFICATE OF TITLE The LRA properly ruled that the reconstitution officer should have confined himself to the owner's duplicate certificate of title prior to the reconstitution. Section 3 of Republic Act No. 26 clearly provides: Section 3: Transfer certificates of titles shall be reconstituted from such of the sources hereunder enumerated as may be available in the following order (a) the owner's duplicate of the certificate of title."
57 ADMINISTRATIVE RECONSTITUTION OF CERTIFICATE OF TITLE Since respondents' source of reconstitution is the owner's duplicate certificate of title, there is no need for the reconstituting officer to require the submission of the plan, much less deny the petition on the ground that the submitted plan appears to be spurious. By enumerating the hierarchy of sources to be used for the reconstitution, it is the intent of the law to give more weight and preference to the owner's duplicate certificate of title over the other enumerated sources."
58 ADMINISTRATIVE RECONSTITUTION OF CERTIFICATE OF TITLE "The factual finding of the LRA that respondents' title is authentic, genuine, valid, and existing, while petitioners' title is sham and spurious, as affirmed by the two divisions of the Court of Appeals, is conclusive before this Court.""In reconstitution proceedings, the LRA is bound to determine from the evidence submitted which between or among the titles is genuine and existing to enable it to decide whether to deny or approved the petition. Without such authority, the LRA would be a mere robotic agency clothed only with mechanical powers." [Manotok IV vs. Heirs of Homer Barque, 477 SCRA 339 (December 12, 2005)]
59 DISSENTING OPINION REGISTERED BY JUSTICE CARPIO The majority opinion patently violates Section 48 of P.D. No which expressly states that a Torrens title cannot be canceled except in a direct proceeding in accordance with law. Only the proper trial court in an action directly attacking the validity of a Torrens title can cancel a Torrens title after trial on the merits.The reconstitution of a certificate of title is far from being a ministerial act.
60 DISSENTING OPINION REGISTERED BY JUSTICE CARPIO In accordance with paragraph 8 of LRA Circular No. 13, the reconstituting officer or the register of deeds shall issue an order of reconstitution only after appropriate verification which means that he must be convinced that the certificate of title is genuine and not spurious. Thus, the reconstituting officer must go beyond the owner’s co-owner's duplicate certificate of title to determine whether the title is genuine. The process of verification allows the reconstituting officer to counter check with other government agencies to determine the validity of the title to be reconstituted.
61 DISSENTING OPINION REGISTERED BY JUSTICE CARPIO The LRA has jurisdiction to review on appeal decisions on petitions for reconstitution. However, it is not within its powers and functions to declare a title void. The LRA, in its 24 June 1998 Resolution, recognized that only the Regional Trial Court could declare a title fraudulently reconstituted. Clearly, LRA's jurisdiction to act on petitions for administrative reconstitution does not include the power to declare a title sham so spurious or to order the cancellation of a certificate title.
62 DISSENTING OPINION REGISTERED BY JUSTICE CARPIO The LRA exceeded its jurisdiction when it declared that Manotok, et. al's title is sham and spurious. The LRA itself acknowledged that only the RTC could declare a title fraudulently reconstituted. By ruling on the validity of Manotok et al's title, the LRA assumed the function of the RTC. The LRA also preempted whatever decision the RTC may render on the matter.
63 DISSENTING OPINION REGISTERED BY JUSTICE CARPIO Respondent relies solely on its reconstituted title which, by itself, does not determine or resolve the ownership of land covered by the lost or destroyed title. The reconstitution of a title is simply the re-issuance of a lost duplicate certificate of title in its original form and condition. It does not determine or resolve the ownership of land covered by the lost or destroyed title. A reconstituted title, like the original certificate of title, by itself does not vest ownership of the land or estate covered thereby.
64 DISSENTING OPINION REGISTERED BY JUSTICE CARPIO The determination of the authenticity of documents and veracity of the claims of both parties requires a trial on the merits. The LRA exceeded its jurisdiction when it made a conclusive finding on the validity of the titles of the parties. Such function falls under the exclusive original jurisdiction of the RTC under Section 19 of BP. Blg The Court of Appeals should not have resolved the factual issues by adopting as its own the LRA's finding. The Court accords respect, if not finality, to factual findings of an administrative body. However, this rule does not apply when the administrative body has no jurisdiction to make a conclusive factual finding particularly when the findings might conflict with findings of the tribunal or agency which has jurisdiction on the matter. [Monotok IV vs. Heirs of Homer Barque, Supra]
65 ADVERSE CLAIMSThe general rule is that a person dealing with registered land is not required to go behind the register to determine the condition of the property. However, such person is charged with notice of the burden on the property which is noted on the face of the register or certificate of title. A person who deals with registered land is bound by the liens and encumbrances including adverse claim annotated therein. [Navotas Industrial Corp. vs. Cruz, 469 SCRA 530 (September 12, 2005)]