EFFECT OF FRAUDULENT REGISTRATION

In document Land Title and Deeds Review Notes (Page 157-162)

HILDA WALSTROM, vs. FERNANDO MAPA, JR, G.R. No. L-38387 January 29, 1990

.

FACTS:

Cacao Dianson, has a free patent application, he filed with the District Land Office in Baguio City a letter protesting the construction in April, 1956 by Josefa Abaya Mapa of on the parcel of land (described as

"portion A") of one of the parcels of land covered by his Free Patent

Application. The controversy was referred to Bureau of Lands Investigator Antonio Mejia. He found that Josefa Abaya Mapa has filed a Miscellaneous Sales Application, the same was awarded to her on May 12, 1934. The purchase price has been paid in full in 1943 evidenced by an Official Receipt. Cacao Dianson filed a Free Patent Application for the same parcel of land on June 1, 1956, alleging that the said land was first occupied by his father, Dianson, in 1884.

The regional land officer of Dagupan City decided that Free Patent Application of Cacao

Dianson should exclude Portion "A" which is covered by the Miscellaneous Sales Application of

Josefa Abaya Mapa.

Two years after the death of Dianson, Walstrom filed a motion for reconsideration, claiming that Dianson is her predecessor in interest, the motion for reconsideration resulted in setting aside the decision of the Regional land officer. Mapa then appealed to the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources reinstated the decision of the Regional land officer, then Gabriela Walstrom filed for motion for reconsideration but was denied.

While Walstrom filed for a second motion for reconsideration of the order of

DANR, Mapa filed a motion for execution. DANR granted the motion for execution. Walstrom then filed a petition for relief with the DANR but then pending the petition, she died. The heirs of Mapa pursued the case. This petition of Walstrom remained unresolved, according to petitioner Hilda Walstrom, daughter of Gabriela Walstrom, she was compelled to file an action in the court because the 1 year prescriptive period provided for in Sec 38 of Land Registration act was about to lapse.

ISSUE:

1. Whether or not Walstrom‘s civil complaint against the respondents praying for nullification of the Mapa‘s sales patent and certificates of title issued by the register of deeds under Section 38 of Act 496 or the Land Registration Act is valid.

RULING:

SEC. 38 of Act 496 or the Land Registration Act provides that a decree of registration may bereopened or reviewed by the proper Regional Trial Court upon the concurrence of five essentialrequisites, to wit:

(a) that the petitioner has a real and a dominical right;

(b) that he has been deprived thereof;

(c) through fraud;

(d) that the petition is filed within one year from the issuance of the decree; and

(e) that the property has not as yet been transferred to an innocent purchaser

for value.

An examination of the records of the case shows non-concurrence of the essential elements enumerated above. The first element is patently not present because the petitioner cannot allege that she has already a real and dominical right to the piece of property in controversy since the decision of the Regional land officer was upheld by the DANR secretary. That the

petitioner's Free Patent Application shall exclude the disputed portion "A"

of Lot No. 1, which, instead, shall be included in the Mapas' Miscellaneous Sales Application.

The second element is also absent, the petitioner cannot aver that she was deprived of property because she did not have a real right over portion

"A". As to the third element, the records are bereft of any indication that there was fraud in the issuance of the certificates of title.

The court also finds that the lower court was correct in holding that the case does not fall under

any of the exceptions to the rule on exhaustion of administrative remedies.

Instead of invoking

Section 38, the petitioner should have pressed for the speedy resolution of her petition with the

DANR. The petitioner‘s fear that since the one-year prescriptive period for seeking judicial relief

provided for in Sec. 38 of the Land Registration Act was about to lapse, she was compelled to

file the action to nullify said patent is not correct.

The court has ruled before in Amerol vs. Bagumbaran that notwithstanding the irrevocability of the Torrens title already issued in the name of another person, he can still be compelled under the law to reconvey the subject property to the rightful owner. After all, the Torrens system was not designed to shield and protect one who had committed fraud or misrepresentation and thus holds title in bad faith. In an action for reconveyance, the decree of registration is respected as incontrovertible.

What is sought instead is the transfer of the property, in this case the title thereof, which has been wrongfully or erroneously registered in another person's name, to its rightful and legal owner, or to one with a better right.Yet, the right to seek reconveyance based on an implied or constructive trust is not absolute nor is it imprescriptible. An action for reconveyance

based on an implied or constructive trust must perforce prescribe in ten years from the issuance of the Torrens title over the property. The court upheld the decision of the trial court.

Adille vs. CA, 157 SCRA 672, January 29, 1988

Registration is not equivalent to notice of repudiation when it is done to defraud the others. Torrens title cannot be used as shield for fraud.

FACTS:

There was a woman who had two husband. With the first husband, she produced the Petitioner. The second husband, the Respondents. Meanwhile, this woman owned a land and sold the same to a third person with right of repurchase. However, when the woman died, it was Petitioner who by himself repurchased the land and later on he executed an affidavit of sole ownership and registered the land unto himself alone. Eventually, the other heirs (Respondent) learned of the registration so they filed an action to cancel the title.

Now Petitioner claims prescription almost on similar grounds with the previous case, i.e. the registration constituted constructive notice to the other heirs, if not to the world.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Petitioner is correct.

RULING:

NO. First of all, the redemption by Petitioner benefited all so that the ownership did not transfer to him alone. The other heirs only need to reimburse him.

As to the notice, the registration by Petitioner cannot be considered as notice of the repudiation because they were done in bad faith to deprive the other co-heirs. In fact, they were done clandestinely. One of the co-heir in fact was in possession of the land and yet he was not informed of the pending registration nor ousted by Petitioner. Hence, should there have been any notice, it would be during litigation when the heirs finally learned of the registration. In that case, there is no prescription yet.

BAR NOTES

In document Land Title and Deeds Review Notes (Page 157-162)