the plaintiffs and the defendant occupy, as owners, adjoining lots in the district of Ermita in the city of Manila.
there exists... a stone wall between the said lots. Said wall is located on the lot of the plaintiffs.
the plaintiffs... y of March, 1906, presented a petition in the Court of Land Registration for the registration of their lot.
After a consideration of said petition the court,... decreed that the... title of the plaintiffs should be registered and issued to them the original certificate provided for under the torrens system.
Said registration and certificate included the wall.
Later the predecessor of the defendant presented a petition in the Court of Land Registration for the registration of the lot now occupied by him.
The description of the lot given in the petition of the defendant also included said wall.
Several months later... iffs discovered that the wall which had been included in the certificate granted to them had also been included in the certificate granted to the... defendant.
They immediately presented a petition... for an adjustment and correction of the error committed by including said wall in the registered title of each of said parties.
The lower court however,... without notice to... the defendant,... denied said petition... during the pendency of the petition for the registration of the defendant's land, they failed to make any objection to the registration of said lot, including the wall, in the name of the... defendant.
That the land occupied by the wall is registered in the name of each of the owners of the adjoining lots. The wall is not a joint wall.
who is the owner of the wall and the land occupied by it?
For the difficulty involved in the present case the Act (No. 496) providing for the registration of titles under the torrens system affords us no remedy. There is no provision in said Act giving the parties relief under conditions like... the present. There is nothing in the Act which indicates who should be the owner of land which has been registered in the name of two different persons.
This, we think, is the rule, except as to rights which are noted in the certificate or which arise subsequently, and with certain other exceptions which need not be discussed at present. A title once registered can not be defeated, even by an adverse,... open, and notorious possession. Registered title under the torrens system can not be defeated by prescription (section 46, Act No. 496). The title, once registered, is notice to the world. All persons must take notice. No one can... plead ignorance of the registration.
Section 38 of Act No. 496, provides that; "It (the decree of registration) shall be conclusive upon and against all persons, including the Insular Government and all the branches thereof, whether mentioned by name... in the application, notice, or citation, or included in the general description 'To all whom it may concern.'
It will be noted, from said section, that the "decree of registration" shall not be opened, for any reason, in any court, except for fraud, and not even for fraud, after the lapse of one year.
Article 1473 of the Civil Code provides,... among other things, that when one piece of real property has been sold to two different persons it shall belong to the person acquiring it, who first inscribes it in the registry.
Adopting the rule which we believe... to be more in consonance with the purposes and the real intent of the torrens system, we are of the opinion and* so decree that in case land has been registered under the Land Registration Act in the name of two different persons, the earlier in date... shall prevail.
the primary and fundamental purpose of the torrens system is to quiet title. If the holder of a certificate cannot rest secure in his registered title then the purpose of the law is defeated.
We have decided, in case of double registration under the Land Registration Act, that the owner of the earliest certificate is the owner of the land. That is the rule between original parties.
We are inclined to the view, without deciding it, that the record under the torrens system must, by the very nature and purposes of that system, supersede all ... other registries.
Once land is registered and recorded under the torrens system,... that record alone can be examined for the purpose of ascertaining the real status of the title to the land.
It would seem to be a just and equitable rule, when two persons have acquired equal rights in the same thing, to hold that the one who acquired it first and who has complied with all the requirements of the law... should be protected.