Civil Code

Topics: Real property law, Property, Property law Pages: 17 (5041 words) Published: August 16, 2013
Marvyn Rose Arbes

LAND TITLES AND DEEDS REVIEWER
AUSL 1st Sem., SY 2013-2014
Atty. Josephine R. Santiago – Saturday 1-3 Set B

. INTRODUCTION / OVERVIEW

LAND TITLE is the evidence of the owner’s right or extent of interest, by which he can maintain control and as a rule assert right to exclusive possession and enjoyment of property.
DEED is the instrument in writing by which any real estate or interest therein is created, alienated, mortgaged, or assigned, or by which title to any real estate may be affected in law or equity.

LAND REGISTRATION is a judicial or administrative proceeding whereby a person’s claim over a particular land is determined and confirmed or recognized so that such land and the ownership thereof may be recorded in a public registry.

TORRENS SYSTEM is a system for registration of land under which, upon the landowner’s application, the court may, after appropriate proceedings, direct the issuance of a certificate of title.

. History of Land Laws
i. Lynch Article
 Spanish Era
2. The indigenous concept of ownership by occupation and cultivation was recognized early on by the Laws of the Indies which governed Spanish possessions in the Philippines and elsewhere.
3. Royal Decree stated that “justified long and continuous possession by the natives qualified them for title to their cultivated land. “Where such possessors shall not be able to produce title deeds, it shall be sufficient if they shall show ancient possessions as a valid title.”

4. Royal Cedula Circular declared: “the will of the Crown” as expressed in various instructions, royal edicts, orders and decrees, that the distribution of lands to conquistadores’ discoverers, and settlers should never prejudice the natives and their and-holdings.”

5. The Spanish Mortgage Law of 1893 provided for the systematic registration of land titles and deeds as well as for possessory claims. Under its provisions “owners who lack recorded title of ownership” could have their interests registered during possessory information proceeding before informacion posesoria to qualified applicants. The titulo was merely a record of possession. It could be converted into a record of ownership, however, twenty years (later reduced to ten years) after its date of issue, if certain conditions were met.

6. The “Maura Law” of 1894 was partly an amendment of the Mortgage Law as well as the Laws of the Indies, as already amended by previous orders and decrees. This was the last Spanish land law promulgated in the Philippines. It required the “adjustment” or registration of all agricultural lands, otherwise the lands shall revert to the state.

7. Under the Treaty of Paris of December 10, 1998, Spain ceded to the government of the United States all rights, interests and claims over the national territory of the Philippines Islands. However, the Treaty was explicit that “the relinquishment and cession…cannot in any respect impair the property rights which by law belong to peaceful possession.”

 Separate Opinion of J. PUNO in Cruz v. Secretary 347 SCRA 128
. How did Spain acquire the Philippines?
The Philippines passed to Spain by virtue of “discovery” and “conquest”. Consequently, all lands became the exclusive patrimony and dominion of the Spanish Crown. The Spanish Government took charge of distributing the lands by issuing royal grants and concessions to Spaniards, both military and civilian.

Private land titles could only be acquired from the government either by purchase or by the various modes of land grants from the Crown.

 Separate Opinion of J. KAPUNAN in Cruz v. Secretary 347 SCRA 128
. How did Spain acquire the Philippines?
When Spain acquired sovereignty over the Philippines by virtue of its discovery and occupation thereof in the 16th century and the Treaty of Tordesillas of 1494 which it entered into with Portugal, the continents of Asia, the Americas and Africa were considered as “terra nullius”...
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