[ G.R. No. 46724, September 30, 1939 ]
CRESCENCIO REYNES ET AL., PLAINTIFFS AND APPELLEES, VS. ROSALINA BARRERA ET AL., DEFENDANTS AND APPELLANTS.
D E C I S I O N
There is no question that the defendant-appellant is a purchaser of lot No. 471-b in good faith and for a valuable consideration. There was nothing in the certificate of title of Manuel Reynes, from whom she acquired the property, to indicate any cloud or vice in his ownership of the property, or any encumbrance thereon. Where the subject of a judicial sale is a registered property, the purchaser thereof is not required to explore farther than what the Torrens title, upon its face, indicates in quest for any hidden defect or inchoate right that may subsequently defeat his right thereto. If the rule were otherwise, the efficacy and conclusiveness of the certificate of title which the Torrens system seeks to insure, would entirely be futile and nugatory. "Every applicant receiving a certificate of title in pursuance of a decree of registration, and every subsequent purchaser of registered land who takes a certificate of title for value in good faith, shall hold the same free of all encumbrance except those noted on said certificate * * *." (Sec. 39, Act No. 496, as amended by Act No. 2011.) In De la Cruz vs. Fabie (35 Phil., 144), it was held that, even admitting the fact that a registration obtained by means of fraud or forgery is not valid, and may be cancelled forthwith, yet, when a third person has acquired the property subjectmatter of such registration from the person who appears as registered owner of same, his acquisition is valid in all respects and the registration in his favor cannot be annulled or cancelled; neither can the property be recovered by the previous owner who is deprived thereof by virtue of such fraud or forgery.
Judgment is accordingly reversed, and defendant-appellant is hereby absolved from the complaint, with costs in both instances against plaintiffs-appellees.
Avanceña, C. J., Villa-Real, Imperial, Diaz, Laurel, and Concepcion, JJ., concur.