Certificate of title ay di sapat na katibayan sa pag-aari ng lupa

Kgg. na Chief Acosta,

Mayroon kaming namanang lupain mula sa aming lola na sumakabilang buhay na noong nakaraang taon. Nang makita namin ang titulo ng lupa, nalaman namin na naipangalan ito ng kapatid ng aming lola sa kaniyang sarili at may nakasulat dito na entry of decree of registration na taong 2012. Ngayon po ay pinapaalis na kami sa aming tinitirahan ng kapatid ng aming lola. Ano po ang maaari naming gawin?

Lubos na gumagalang,

Lesie

Dear Leslie,

Naisaad ng Kagalang-galang na Korte Suprema sa kaso ng Del Prado v. Caballero (G.R. No. 148225, 3 March 2010) na nagiging indefeasible at incontrovertible ang titulo ng lupa paglagpas nang isang (1) taon mula sa entry ng decree of registration:

It is a fundamental principle in land registration that a certificate of title serves as evidence of an indefeasible and incontrovertible title to the property in favor of the person whose name appears therein. Such indefeasibility commences after one year from the date of entry of the decree of registration.

Ngunit nakasaad din naman sa Kagalang-galang na Korte Suprema sa kaso ng Lacbayan v. Samoy (G.R. No. 165427, 21 March 2011) na ang certificate of title ay hindi isang conclusive na ebidensya sa pagmamay-ari nito. Ibig sabihin, hindi dahil nakarehistro ang nasabing lupa sa pangalan ng kapatid ng inyong lola, may conclusive presumption na siya ang nagmamay-ari nito.

Moreover, placing a parcel of land under the mantle of the Torrens system does not mean that ownership thereof can no longer be disputed. Ownership is different from a certificate of title, the latter only serving as the best proof of ownership over a piece of land. The certificate cannot always be considered as conclusive evidence of ownership.

Upang maipaglaban ang inyong karapatan, kakailanganin ninyong kuwestiyunin ang titulo sa pamamagitan ng pagsampa ng isang civil action for reconveyance at damages  sang-ayon sa Section 96 ng Property Registration Decree:

Section 96. Against whom action filed. If such action is brought to recover for loss or damage for deprivation of land or of any estate or interest therein arising wholly through fraud, negligence, omission, mistake or misfeasance of the court personnel, Register of Deeds, his deputy, or other employees of the Registry in the performance of their respective duties, the action shall be brought against the Register of Deeds of the province or city where the land is situated and the National Treasurer as defendants. But if such action is brought to recover for loss or damage or for deprivation of land or of any interest therein arising through fraud, negligence, omission, mistake or misfeasance of his deputy or other employees of the Registry, such action shall be brought against the Register of Deeds, the National Treasurer and other person or persons, as co-defendants. It shall be the duty of the Solicitor General in person or by representative to appear and to defend all such suits with the aid of the fiscal of the province or city where the land lies: Provided, however, that nothing in this decree shall be construed to deprive the plaintiff of any right of action which he may have against any person for such loss or damage or deprivation without joining the National Treasurer as party defendant. In every action filed against the Assurance Fund, the court shall consider the report of the commissioner of Land Registration.

Maaari rin kayong magsampa ng action for quieting of title dahil kayo ang may possession ng nasabing lupa, sang-ayon sa naisaad ng Kagalang-galang na Korte Suprema sa kasong Spouses Edicito v. Spouses Gerardo (G.R. 141964, 30 June 2006):

The prevailing rule is that the right of a plaintiff to have his title to land quieted, as against one who is asserting some adverse claim or lien thereon, is not barred while the plaintiff or his grantors remain in actual possession of the land, claiming to be owners thereof, the reason for this rule being that while the owner in fee continues liable to an action, proceeding, or suit upon the adverse claim, he has a continuing right to the aid of a court of equity to ascertain and determine the nature of such claim and its effect on his title, or to assert any superior equity in his favor. He may wait until his possession is disturbed or his title is attacked before taking steps to vindicate his right. But the rule that the statute of limitations is not available as a defense to an action to remove a cloud from title can only be invoked by a complain[ant] when he is in possession.

Nawa ay nasagot namin ang inyong mga katanungan. Nais naming ipaalala sa inyo na ang opinyon na ito ay nakabase sa inyong mga naisalaysay sa inyong liham at sa pagkakaintindi namin dito. Maaaring maiba ang opinyon kung mayroong karagdagang impormasyon na ibibigay. Mas mainam kung personal kayong sasangguni sa isang abogado.

Ang inyong Lingkod Bayan,

PERSIDA V. RUEDA-ACOSTA

Punong Manananggol Pambayan

Paunawa:
 
Isangguni ang iba pa ninyong usaping legal sa aming opisina sa address na nakasaad sa pitak na ito o kaya ipadala ang inyong katanungan sa aming e-mail address: pao_executive@yahoo.com o tumawag sa PAO hotline: 929-9436 local 106 o 107 during office hours at local 159 after office hours.

Ang mga serbisyong legal ng PAO gaya ng “legal advice,” court representation, pagsasagawa ng dokumento, notaryo at iba pa ay libre at walang bayad mula sa kliyente ng PAO sang-ayon sa R.A. 9406 (PAO Law). Sang-ayon din sa nasabing batas, ang katunggali o kalaban sa kaso na matatalo ang magbabayad ng attorney’s fee sa PAO para ideposito sa National Treasury. Maaaring isumbong kay Chief Acosta ang sinumang public attorney o empleyado ng PAO na manghihingi o tatanggap ng salapi mula sa kliyente ng PAO sa address na ito: 5th Floor, DOJ Agencies Building, NIA Road corner East Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City, 1104.