Further, the CA, in its Decision dated 17 August 2007, correctly observed that a certificate of title serves as evidence of an indefeasible title and after the expiration of the one-year period from the issuance of the registration decree upon which it is based, the title becomes incontrovertible. The CA also declared that the basis of Lebrudo’s claim, the two Sinumpaang Salaysay dated 28 December 1989 and 3 December 1992, were illegal and void ab initio for being patently intended to circumvent and violate the conditions imposed by the agrarian law. The relevant portions of the decision provide:
x x x It is undisputed that CLOA 20210 was issued to the respondent on December 27, 1990 and was registered by the Register of Deeds of Cavite on March 14, 1991, resulting in the issuance of TCT/CLOA No. 998 in her name.
Under Sec. 43, P.D. 1529, the certificate of title that may be issued by the Register of Deeds pursuant to any voluntary or involuntary instrument relating to the land shall be the transfer certificate of title, which shall show the number of the next previous certificate covering the same land and also the fact that it was previously registered, giving the record number of the original certificate of title and the volume and page of the registration book in which the original certificate of title is found.
The certificate of title serves as evidence of an indefeasible title to the property in favor of the person whose name appears therein. After the expiration of the one-year period from the issuance of the decree of registration upon which it is based, the title becomes incontrovertible.
Accordingly, by the time when original petitioner Julian Lebrudo filed on June 27, 1995 the first case (seeking the cancellation of the respondent’s CLOA), the respondent’s certificate of title had already become incontrovertible. That consequence was inevitable, for as the DARAB correctly observed, an original certificate of title issued by the Register of Deeds under an administrative proceeding was as indefeasible as a certificate of title issued under a judicial registration proceeding. Clearly, the respondent, as registered property owner, was entitled to the protection given to every holder of a Torrens title.
The issue of whether or not the respondent was bound by her waiver and transfer in favor of Julian Lebrudo, as contained in the several sinumpaang salaysay, was irrelevant. Worse for the petitioner, the DARAB properly held that the undertaking of the respondent to Julian Lebrudo under the sinumpaang salaysay dated December 28, 1989 and December 3, 1992 – whereby she promised to give him ½ portion of the homelot in consideration of his helping her work on the release of the CLOA to her and shouldering all the expenses for the purpose – was “clearly illegal and void ab initio” for being patently intended to circumvent and violate the conditions imposed by the agrarian laws and their implementing rules. He could not, therefore, have his supposed right enforced. x x x24
We see no reason to disturb the findings of the CA. The main purpose of the agrarian reform law is to ensure the farmer-beneficiary’s continued possession, cultivation and enjoyment of the land he tills.25 To do otherwise is to revert back to the old feudal system whereby the landowners reacquired vast tracts of land and thus circumvent the government’s program of freeing the tenant-farmers from the bondage of the soil.26