Legal spouse's name on the land title

Their juvenile romance ended with the promise of “till death do us part.” Ador Tam and Wennie Bal were made one in the eyes of the Lord.  Read more: A wife’s sweet revenge. By: Ma. Soledad Deriquito-Mawis - @inquirerdotnet. Philippine Daily Inquirer. 05:11 AM September 02, 2017. their marriage, they acquired a parcel of land in Bulacan. The deed of sale over the said property was signed by Ador alone as vendee. One of the signing witnesses to the deed of sale was Rosie Bang. Rosie’s cousin brokered and processed the issuance of the new transfer certificate title.

In a bizarre twist of events, the couple’s love ended as soon as the other began. Ador left his wife, Wennie, and thereafter openly cohabited with Rosie. When TCT T-123 covering the Bulacan property was issued, it was made under the name of “ADOR TAM married to ROSARIO E. BANG.” Soon, Ador, the lover boy, died intestate. Wennie then filed a Petition for Cancellation of TCT T-123. She alleged, among others, that she is the legal wife of Ador; that the TCT was erroneously registered and made in the name of “ADOR TAM married to ROSIE BANG”; and that the issuance of the title in Rosie’s name as Ador’s spouse was due to an insidious machination by her and her cousin. She prayed, among others, that TCT T-123 be cancelled; that a new certificate of title be made out in Ador’s name, with her as the spouse indicated.

Q: Can Wennie seek the correction of the erroneous entry in TCT T-123?

A: Yes. Under Section 108 of PD 1529, the proceeding for the erasure, alteration, or amendment of a certificate of title may be resorted to in seven instances: (1) when registered interests of any description, whether vested, contingent, expectant, or inchoate, have terminated and ceased; (2) when new interests have arisen or been created which do not appear upon the certificate; (3) when any error, omission or mistake was made in entering a certificate or any memorandum thereon or on any duplicate certificate; (4) when the name of any person on the certificate has been changed; (5) when the registered owner has been married, or, registered as married, the marriage has been terminated and no right or interest of heirs or creditors will thereby be affected; (6) when a corporation, which owned registered land and has been dissolved, has not conveyed the same within three years after its dissolution; and (7) when there is reasonable ground for the amendment or alteration of title.  Read more: A wife’s sweet revenge. By: Ma. Soledad Deriquito-Mawis - @inquirerdotnet. Philippine Daily Inquirer. 05:11 AM September 02, 2017.

Wennie’s case falls under (3) and (7), where the Registrar of Deeds of Bulacan committed an error in issuing TCT T-123 in the name of “Ador Tam married to Rosie Bang” when, in truth and in fact, Wennie is Ador’s lawful spouse.

Q: Can the fact that Rosie is the common law wife of Ador be used as a reason to justify the inclusion of her name in TCT No. 123?

A: No, Rosie’s name cannot be included or named in TCT T-123 as Ador’s spouse as the right and privilege belonged to Wennie alone. Philippine law does not recognize common law marriages.

A man and woman not legally married who cohabit for many years as husband and wife, who represent themselves to the public as husband and wife, and who are reputed to be husband and wife in the community where they live may be considered legally married in common law jurisdictions but not in the Philippines.

Thus, when referring to a “spouse”, contemplate a lawfully wedded spouse, not a common law spouse.

Q: Did Rosie become the co-owner of the property by virtue of the fact that her name appeared on the transfer certificate title?

A: No. The certificate of title cannot always be considered as conclusive evidence of ownership. Mere issuance of the certificate of title in the name of any person does not foreclose the possibility that the real property may be under co-ownership with persons not named in the certificate or that the registrant may only be a trustee or that other parties may have acquired interest subsequent to the issuance of the certificate of title.

Registration does not vest title. It is merely the evidence of such title. Land registration laws do not give the holder any better title than what he actually has. (Source: Tambuyat vs. Tambuyat, G.R. No. 202805, March 23, 2015)

Ma. Soledad Deriquito-Mawis is currently the Dean for the Lyceum of the Philippines University; president of the Philippines Association of Law Schools; and Senior Partner, Gatchalian Castro & Mawis Law Office. Read more: A wife’s sweet revenge. By: Ma. Soledad Deriquito-Mawis - @inquirerdotnet. Philippine Daily Inquirer. 05:11 AM September 02, 2017.