LAURA F. PARAGUYA v. SPS. ALMA ESCUREL-CRUCILLO AND EMETERIO CRUCILLO AND THE REGISTER OF DEEDS OF SORSOGON, G.R. No. 200265, December 2, 2013

Civil Law; Annulment of Torrens Title must be seasonably filed. It is an established rule that a Torrens certificate of title is not conclusive proof of ownership. Verily, a party may seek its annulment on the basis of fraud or misrepresentation. However, such action must be seasonably filed, else the same would be barred.  In this relation, Section 32 of PD 1529 provides that the period to contest a decree of registration shall be one ( 1) year from the date of its entry and that, after the lapse of the said period, the Torrens certificate of title issued thereon becomes incontrovertible and indefeasible.

Civil Law; Prescriptive period of an action for reconveyance. The prescriptive period for actions for reconveyance is ten (10) years reckoned from the date of issuance of the certificate of title, except when the owner is in possession of the property, in which case the action for reconveyance becomes imprescriptible.

Civil Law; Spanish titles not longer used as evidence of ownership. Petitioner’s complaint for annulment of title should be dismissed altogether since she merely relied on the titulo posesorio issued in favor of Estabillo sometime in 1893 or 1895. Based on Section 1 of PD 892, entitled “Discontinuance of the Spanish Mortgage System of Registration and of the Use of Spanish Titles as Evidence in Land Registration Proceedings,” Spanish titles can no longer be used as evidence of ownership after six (6) months from the effectivity of the law, or starting August 16, 1976.

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