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CONCEPT OF INDEFEASIBILITY ACCORDING TO P.D.

1529
The concept of indefeasibility of title was introduced in the Philippine legal system
through P.D. 1529 or the Property Registration Decree. As provided in the law, the land
registration in the Philippines shall be governed by the generally accepted principles of Torrens
system.1 In Grey v Alba (2010), Torrens System is referred to as a registration of transactions
with interest in land whose object is, under governmental authority, to establish and certify to the
ownership of an absolute and indefeasible title to realty, and to simplify its transfer.2
The purposes of Torrens system are:
1. To quiet title of land and to put a stop forever to any question of the legality of the title,
except claims that were noted at the time of registration, in the certificate, or which may
arise subsequent thereto3.
2. To facilitate transactions relative thereto by giving the public the right to rely upon the
face of the Torrens certificate of title and to dispense with the need of inquiring further,
except when the party concerned has actual knowledge of facts and circumstances that
should impel a reasonably cautious man to make such further inquiry.4

There are four characteristics of the Torrens system which can be derived from its
definition and its purposes, and these are:
1 Presidential Decree 1529, Amending and Codifying the Laws Relative to Registration of Property and
for Other Purposes [PROPERTY REGISTRATION DECREE], Chapter 1, 2.
2 Grey Alba vs. De la Cruz, 17 Phil. 49, 58, 60 (1910)
3 Constantino vs. Espiritu, 45 SCRA 557, 562 (1972)
4 Capitol Subdivision, Inc. vs. Province of Negros Occidental, 7 SCRA 60, 69-70 (1963).

1.
2.
3.
4.

Imprescriptible;
Not subject to collateral attack;
Incontrovertible; and
Indefeasible.

The concept of indefeasibility of title as discussed in Casimiro Development Corporation


v. Mateo is as follows:
If a person purchases a piece of land on the assurance that the sellers title thereto
is valid, he should not run the risk of being told later that his acquisition was
ineffectual after all, which will not only be unfair to him as the purchaser, but will
also erode public confidence in the system and will force land transactions to be
attended by complicated and not necessarily conclusive investigations and proof
of ownership.5
The concept of indefeasibility of title is derived from the following provision of the Property
Registration Decree.:
Sec. 32.The decree of registration shall not be reopened or revised by reason of
absence, minority, or other disability of any person adversely affected thereby, nor
by any proceeding in any court for reversing judgments, subject, however, to the
right of any person, including the government and the branches thereof, deprived
of land or of any estate or interest therein by such adjudication or confirmation of
title obtained by actual fraud, to file in the proper Court of First Instance a petition
for reopening and review of the decree of registration not later than one year from
and after the date of the entry of such decree of registration, but in no case shall

5 Casimiro Development Corporatin v. Mateo, G.R. No. 175485, July 27, 2011.

such petition be entertained by the court where an innocent purchaser for value
has acquired the land or an interest therein, whose rights may be prejudiced.
Whenever the phrase "innocent purchaser for value" or an equivalent phrase
occurs in this Decree, it shall be deemed to include an innocent lessee, mortgagee,
or other encumbrancer for value.
Upon the expiration of said period of one year, the decree of registration and the certificate of
title issued shall become incontrovertible. Any person aggrieved by such decree of registration in
any case may pursue his remedy by action for damages against the applicant or any other persons
responsible for the fraud.

EXCEPTION TO INDEFEASIBILITY
1. No valid title over the land exists
2. There was fraud in procurement of title
3.
uch as when a land in possession of a rightful possessor in the concept of owner is fraudulently
registered

in

the

name

http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2010/july2010/164402.htm

of

another.