The right of a person deprived of land or of any estate or interest therein by adjudication or confirmation of title obtained by actual fraud is recognized by law as a valid and legal basis for reopening and revising a decree of registration.

Going to the second issue that the appellate court’s decision is not supported by law and Jurisprudence, we find this to be vague and without merit as well.

At the time material hereto, registration of untitled land was pursuant to Act No. 496, as amended.  Later, Presidential Decree 1529, the Property Registration Decree, amended and codified laws relative to registration of property.  “Adjudication of land in a registration (or cadastral) case does not become final and incontrovertible until the expiration of one (1) year after the entry of the final decree.”[20] After the lapse of said period, the decree becomes incontrovertible and no longer subject to reopening or review.

However, the right of a person deprived of land or of any estate or interest therein by adjudication or confirmation of title obtained by actual fraud is recognized by law[21] as a valid and legal basis for reopening and revising a decree of registration.

The fraud contemplated by the law is actual and extrinsic fraud, which includes an intentional omission of a fact required by law.  For fraud to Justify a review of a decree, it must be extrinsic or collateral, and the facts upon which it is based have not been controverted or resolved in the case where the judgment sought to be annulled was rendered.  Persons who were fraudulently deprived of their opportunity to be heard in the original registration case are entitled to a review of a decree of registration.[22]

“An action based on implied on constructive trust prescribes in ten (10) years.  This means that petitioners should have enforced the trust within ten (10) years from the time of its creation or upon the alleged fraudulent registration of the property.”[23] Discovery of the fraud must be deemed to have taken place from the issuance of the certificate of title “because registration of real property is considered a ‘constructive notice to all persons’ and it shall be counted ‘from the time of such registering, filing or entering.’”[24]

In the present case, respondents came to know of the fraud in securing title to the land sometime after its registration, however, an innocent purchaser for value had not acquired the property.  Extrinsic fraud attended the application for the land registration.  It was filed when respondents were out of the country and they had no way of finding out that petitioners applied for a title under their name.

Fortunately, respondents’ action for reconveyance was timely, as it was filed within ten (10) years from the issuance of the torrens title over the property.[25]

http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/jurisprudence/1999/jun99/124605.htm

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About Erineus

Born on December 28, 1965, Surallah, South Cotabato, Southern Mindanao, Philippines.
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