I would like the entry in the Torrens Title issued to me covering a residential lot in Pasay City (MetroManila), which described me as “married to Andrew,” be deleted and replaced with the word “single.” I am not really married to Andrew because he is legally married to Ana, and we are just live-in partners. I purchased the property out of my own funds during our cohabitation. Now, the lawful wife of Andrew is interested in the property. Can the intended amendment/correction of title be done by the Register of Deeds?
The intended correction or amendment in the Certificate of Title can only be corrected through a court order/decision. The Register of Deeds has no authority to correct the error in the title.
Section 108 (Amendment and Alteration of Certificates) of Presidential Decree 1529, states:
“No erasure, alteration or amendment shall be made upon the registration book after the entry of a certificate of title or of a memorandum thereon and the attestation of the same by the Register of Deeds, except by order of the proper Court of First Instance. A registered owner or other person having an interest in registered property, or, in proper cases, the Register of Deeds with the approval of the Commissioner of Land Registration, may apply by petition to the court upon the ground that the registered interests of any description, whether vested, contingent, expectant or inchoate appearing on the certificate, have terminated and ceased; or that new interest not appearing upon the certificate have arisen or been created; or that an omission or error was made in entering a certificate or any memorandum thereon, or, on any duplicate certificate; or that the same or any person on the certificate has been changed; or that the registered owner has married, or, if registered as married, that the marriage has been terminated and no right or interests of heirs or creditors will thereby be affected; or that a corporation which owned registered land and has been dissolved has not convened the same within three years after its dissolution; or upon any other reasonable ground; and the court may hear and determine the petition after notice to all parties in interest, and may order the entry or cancelation of a new certificate, the entry or cancelation of a memorandum upon a certificate, or grant any other relief upon such terms and conditions, requiring security or bond if necessary, as it may consider proper; Provided, however, That this section shall not be construed to give the court authority to reopen the judgment or decree of registration, and that nothing shall be done or ordered by the court which shall impair the title or other interest of a purchaser holding a certificate for value and in good faith, or his heirs and assigns, without his or their written consent. Where the owner’s duplicate certificate is not presented, a similar petition may be filed as provided in the preceding section.
“All petitions or motions filed under this section as well as under any other provision of this decree after original registration shall be filed and entitled in the original case in which the decree or registration was entered.”
In your situation, it is clear that there was a mistake that should be corrected in the Certificate of Title describing you as “married to Andrew” since the latter is legally married to another. Hence, the appropriate legal remedy is to file a petition for amendment in the court of appropriate jurisdiction for the correction of the Certificate of Title.
We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to email@example.com